Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Day 20: Jennifer Scoullar is taking us on a rural reading adventure with her book Currawong Creek. Check out her excerpt to wet your whistle.

Welcome Jennifer.


Jennifer has always harboured a deep appreciation and respect for the natural world. Her house is on a hill-top, overlooking valleys of messmate and mountain ash. A pair of old eagles live there too. Black-shouldered wallabies graze by the creek. Eastern Spinebills hover among the callistemon. Jennifer lives with her family on a beautiful property in the mountains, that was left to her by her father. Horses have always been her passion. She grew up on the books of Elyne Mitchell, and all her life she’s ridden and bred horses, in particular Australian Stock Horses. She has three published novels. Wasp Season (Sid Harta 2008) Brumby’s Run (Penguin 2012) and Currawong Creek (Penguin 2013). Her new novel Billabong Bend will be released by Penguin in 2014

Title of Book : Currawong Creek
Author: Jennifer Scoullar
State: Victoria

Series Title:
Published By : Penguin Books (Aust)
Date Released July 2013
Genre : Rural Fiction

“When Brisbane lawyer Clare Mitchell finds herself the unlikely guardian of a small troubled boy, her ordered life is turned upside down. In desperation, she takes Jack to stay at Currawong Creek, her grandfather’s horse stud in the foothills of the beautiful Bunya Mountains.

Being at Currawong takes some getting used to, but it also feels like coming home. Her grandad adores having them there. Jack falls in love with the animals, his misery banished and Clare finds herself falling hard for the kind, handsome local vet.

But trouble is coming, in the form of the Pyramid Mining Company. Trouble that threatens to destroy not only Clare’s newfound happiness, but also the livelihoods of her new neighbours, and the peace and beauty of the land she loves.”


Chapter 1

Friday morning. Clare finished the interview and sized up her client. Too thin, junky thin. Red eyes, more than a hint of the shakes and she couldn't stop sniffing.

'I advise you to plead guilty,' said Clare. 'We'll present a plea in mitigation and ask for a bond or for a community-based order. It will be better all round.' This week she'd seen too many cases just like this one. The young woman was going to make a bad impression on the court without even opening her mouth.

'Can we nick out for a smoke?'

'Of course.'

The boyfriend was already out the door, and the girl wasn't far behind. Clare started making notes on the file, then looked up. The little boy was still sitting there. Clare walked to the door and called after the two figures retreating down the hall. 'Haven't you forgotten something?'

The boy regarded her with solemn eyes, peeking from beneath cartoon-perfect lashes. An uncommonly pretty child in spite of his snotty nose and soiled, shabby clothes.

'Mummy and Daddy will be back soon.' Clare's voice was bright and encouraging, but the boy's expression didn't change.

'Daddy's dead,' he said in a small voice. His bottom lip began to quiver.


Tiredness and guilt washed over her, along with a feeling that she couldn't name. A vague dissatisfaction that had troubled her all week, each time she'd looked out of her narrow window to the view of the stunted Coolabah tree, and beyond it, the barren car park. A missing. Or perhaps a wishing for something indefinable. Clare averted her gaze both from the tree and the boy and riffled through the files on the desk. What on earth was his name? It was hard to concentrate with him looking at her like that. She glanced down at the interview sheet. The mother was Taylor Brown. But that was it, no mention of the child at all.

'What's your name?' she asked.

He didn't answer. He just maintained that unsettling stare. It didn't matter. How long could it take to smoke a cigarette? Clare turned back to her work, reviewing her record of the interview so far. It was clear that the plea in mitigation would be simple. Taylor had a depressingly familiar tale: growing up in a series of broken homes, women's refuges and foster care placements. She ticked all the boxes for a history of domestic and sexual abuse – and she was a heroin addict, although currently on methadone replacement. Clare reread the charge sheet. Theft of a Bull Terrier puppy. Cute, really. The rest wasn't so cute. Around three o'clock in the morning of May the second, police had stopped and searched her vehicle on Wickham Street in the Valley. They'd found cannabis, money and various stolen items. The boy had been unrestrained in the front seat. Clare looked up and surprised herself by imagining him with a puppy on his lap. Would the puppy have made him laugh? Put a smile on his serious face? Had Taylor wanted to see that smile?

Time ticked by. Her next appointment would be here soon. Clare day-dreamed out the grimy window. A bird sat in her poor excuse for a tree. She'd never seen a bird there before. A currawong, big and black, with bright yellow eyes and startling white crescents on its wings. It looked straight at her and uttered a wild, ringing cry. The call sounded disturbingly out of place in a city car park. With a wrench Clare returned her attention to the boy. What was Taylor's mobile number? The digits on the legal aid form were a series of uncertain scratches. A quick glance over the rest of the largely incomplete application, revealed her to be barely literate. Under date-of-birth, Taylor had laboriously written 20. Only twenty years old. Jesus, how old could she have been when she had the kid? Clare began to key the numbers into her phone. There were only seven of them. Oh god. Taylor had listed only seven numbers.

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Check back later in the day for my review of Breeze of Life by Kirsty Dallas. * whispers * I had a girlie cry.


  1. I love small town stories! I'm really loving this feature of yours, I hope this is going to be an annual thing and I'm even happier that I won something from you again! Ha!

    P.S. Thanks for still stopping by the blog when I was away, really appreciate the visits Matey :)

    1. I gotta get my ass around to everyone more often. I get in my little world over here and can forget to go cyberspace tubing and say g'day to everyone :P

      I have met some wonderful Aussie Authors. I put it together in two weeks, lol! Silly me should have taken a nice month of putting it together. But it is running along very smoothly.

      I have hubs all geared up for MArch next year on Gold Coast Indie Author Event
      We have to go see the folks in Adelaide in September, been too long for me like 12 years since I been back.

      Then November is the big Sydney event. So whaahhh!! Gotta start saving for air tickets.


      Thanks for dropping by

  2. I really enjoyed this book -will be looking up other Scoullar's books :)

    1. Awesome Tien. I hadn't heard of Jennifer before the road trip, so I am finding new authors every day :D


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