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Brian Smith was born in Melbourne, Victoria, his ancestry has been traced back to the First Fleet and his passion has always been history despite him choosing to start his career in the Australian Army and the Victoria Police Force.
On leaving the police force he was appointed Chief Security Officer at the Loloho Port Site on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea during the construction of the Bougainville Copper Mine.
On returning to Australia he founded the 'Jordan River Journal' a Hobart suburban weekly newspaper before he left the city to found another weekly newspaper, the 'Western Herald' on the west coast of the island.
On retiring from journalism he has kept himself busy writing four books: 'Off The Record', 'Convict Connections', 'Witness to a Miracle' and 'Her Jailer's Secrets'.
Brian was awarded a Diploma in Family History by the University of Tasmania in 2020.
He now lives in Devonport Tasmania.

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More About This Author
Authors Book Genres
Australian History, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
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Author's Books
Book Title
Historical Fiction

Based in 1786 London, Elizabeth found herself up against the brutal English justice system of the day when she nicked a cotton gown from a dress shop and got caught. She found herself sentenced to seven years transportation to Botany Bay where she witnessed brutality she had never known existed as well as surviving the ship wreck of the Sirius off Norfolk Island in 1790. She had close associations with the military of the new land that included the infamous Rum Corps and the overthrow of Governor Bligh.
On reaching Van Diemens Land she, with her now husband Henry Wilkinson, were granted 60 acres of land at Norfolk Plains but she never really knew who she really was after being orphaned in London at five years of age, until a mystery sealed letter that followed her around the world arrived.
Its contents shocked her as it will the reader of this intriguing story.

Bruce Miller, USA, April21, 2020.
Five stars.

“The area was full of dishevelled women of all ages and sizes, some were sitting on the ground breastfeeding their babies, the course language being used was overwhelming and the smell of so many human bodies all packed into the one enclosed quadrangle area, carrying with it the strong stench of a fishmonger mixed with smoke from the many cooking fires fueled with coal, that the women stayed close to all day to obtain as much heat as they could, resulting in their bodies being covered in soot. All their noses seemed to be running and if they weren’t blowing bubbles from them, the droppings had been spread across their faces where it dried, it all appeared as being extremely obnoxious, in fact shocking to one who had never experienced being inside such an institution previously.”
I felt that this author writes in an entertaining style at a quick and comfortable pace, and I found this story to be very entertaining, empathetic, and highly engaging.
The chapters are aptly named and followed by an insightful quotation providing an anticipatory preview of what is about to be read. For example, Chapter 13 is titled, "Treachery" and then followed by this foreboding quote, “Is it just, when persons feeling particularly pleased with things in general, that Fate sneaks up behind them with a length of lead piping.”
In my view, Mr. Smith has a strong command of the language and writes using an economy of words saying a lot in a few sentences, and I like that in a story. For example,
“She eventually turned from the shore to begin a lonely grief stricken walk back to her home while, in her vague memory, picturing her eldest sister, desperately seeking help for the penniless family in a home for destitute children where they could obtain shelter, as well as food. She recalled the dirty, ragged, innocent little group of four abandoned children entering the large unfamiliar, cold and dreary, bluestone building for the first time, where they were abruptly shown where to sleep and what they were required to do to earn their keep by a gruff, compassionless and very thin old lady with a frighteningly squeaky voice, who was completely dressed in black, making her look as if she had just dismounted from her broomstick…”
All in all, I felt this story was highly entertaining, creative, and unique. I enjoyed the way the author crafted this story with twists and turns, unexpected events, courage, warmth, love, and a plethora of emotions all leading to a surprise ending that made me pause and reflect on how intricately and well-planned this story was.
Very well done and highly recommended!
It was my pleasure to receive a free copy of this book but that does not in any way affect my opinions in this review of this exceptional book.

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