About the Book
About the Authors: a Mother and Son Duo
Susan Page Davis, James’s mom, is the author of more than sixty Christian novels and novellas. Her historical novels have won numerous awards, including the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest.
James Samuel Davis is a writer who has traveled in Australia, China, Micronesia, and Alaska. He resides in rural Travelers Rest, S.C., with his wife and seven children.
10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book
2. We don't use the term "mate," meaning “friend,” in our book because it didn't come into popular use until a year or so after our story takes place. If our characters return to Australia in a sequel, they will be amazed by the cultural, political, and industrial changes that will have occurred in just two or so years of pivotal Australian history in the mid-1850s.
3. The Malay pirates of this story’s time were ruthless and much dreaded.
4. This story takes place at a time when shipping technology is dynamically, if awkwardly, changing over from wind-power to steam power. This produces some interesting interactions between vessels and their personnel.
5. To keep the story active and interesting, we contrasted the cultures, life experiences, and personalities of the many different characters. They include a British aristocrat, an American middle class wife, an Australian farming family, a Norwegian fisherman’s daughter, women who have lived years in a Melbourne brothel, and many more.
6. The Victorian Gold Rush in Australia, little known to Americans today, probably qualifies as the largest and most feverish gold rush ever, easily eclipsing the California and Yukon gold rushes in terms of long-term financial and cultural impact.
7. The Chinese immigrant population Sonja interacted with was a source of much contention among British settlers and prospectors. Shortly after our story takes place, most of the Chinese were forcibly expelled from Australia.
8. The massacre of the survivors of the real ship Maria, 1840, was well known in the area, and it brings tension and dread to Sonja and Fiona's discussion of an event still fresh in living memory.
9. The red snapper Sonja caught during calm weather is a large, tasty fish found around the world in tropical and subtropical oceans. Two of Jim’s friends, who are brothers, each caught one in 2014, on opposite sides of the world, within a few weeks of each other.
10. 1901, the six colonies in Australia combined forming the Commonwealth of Australia. This country has its own federal parliamentary government and is a constitutional monarchy under the United Kingdom. Today, Australia has 24 million people, heavily concentrated on the east and south coasts.
Series: Hearts of Oak
Genre: historical; adventure
Publisher: Tea Tin Press
Publication date: January 20, 2016
Number of pages: 322
Content Rating: PG
Book Rating: 5 stars