Heart of the Country is the first book in an epic historical saga of three Australian families. Spanning several generations, this epic tells the story of the Baker, Smith and Wiltshire families forging their paths in a land both beautiful and unforgiving.
Lives are intertwined by love and community then ripped apart by hate and greed but remain always bound to the land they love…
1846. Newly arrived from England, Thomas Baker is young, penniless and alone. Eager to make his mark on this strange new place called South Australia, he accepts work as an overseer on a distant sheep property, believing this will be the opportunity he seeks. But when Thomas’s path crosses that of ex-convict, Septimus Wiltshire — a grasping con man hell bent on making a new life for himself and his family at any price —trouble is on the horizon.
But Thomas is made of stern stuff and his fortunes take a turn for the better when he meets spirited farmer’s daughter Lizzie Smith, and soon he envisages their future together.
But this land is like no other he has encountered: both harsh and lovely, it breaks all but the strongest. When his nemesis intervenes once more and drought comes, Thomas finds himself tested almost beyond endurance with the risk of losing everything he and Lizzie have worked for… even their lives.
About the Author
After Tricia Stringer's fortieth birthday party she still had two things left on her 'to do before forty' list – write a children's novel and parachute from a plane. She gave up on the parachuting idea but not the writing and has since published three books for children and three for adults. She gave up on the parachuting idea but not the writing and has since published several books for children. Her latest book, Right as Rain, is her fifth rural romance. Queen of the Road was her first book with Harlequin and she is very excited that it went on to win the RWA Romantic Book of the Year for 2013 as well as be one of the 50 Books You Can't Put Down in the 2013 Get Reading campaign.
A country girl through-and-through, Tricia grew up on a farm on South Australia's, Eyre Peninsula. With a brief stint in the city for secondary education and teacher training she has always lived in rural communities and is currently not too far from the beach in the Copper Coast region of South Australia. Here she shares a rambling old farmhouse with her husband and assorted animals - only some of which are pets!
Some people would think that being an IT coordinator, teacher, librarian, wife, mother and grandmother would be enough to fill your days – yet somehow Tricia still finds the time to write. Inspired to create local history stories for the children she taught, Tricia honed her writing skills via courses, classes and lots of practice. While awaiting the publication of those early children's books she began dabbling with an adult short story for a writing competition with a rural theme. The short story became a full length novel and went on to become the first of her rural romances.
Tricia likes to create convincing characters in realistic situations. Her novels always have a rural setting and explore themes particular to Australian country life, which of course include romance - where would we be without a little romance in our lives! She is currently working on her next rural romance.
As for parachuting – she's done that too. There's something special about jumping out of a plane high over Queenstown, New Zealand. What a view!