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Rhonda Forrest is an Australian teacher and the author of four novels: Kick the Dust (2019), Two Heartbeats (2018) and under the pen name Lea Davey, Silkworm Secrets (2017) and The Shack by the Bay (2016). She writes captivating contemporary women’s fiction and historical fiction novels about relationships, family life, and social issues, set amidst beautiful and uniquely Australian landscapes.

After bringing up three daughters and traversing several different careers, Rhonda went on to teach creative writing, English, and History to high school students. In 2015 she taught English as a second language to newly arrived refugees to Australia. Her passion for literacy, history and traveling around Australia fuels her novels.

Rhonda currently lives with her husband between two Queensland homes: one on Tamborine Mountain, the other a century-old cottage with a rambling garden, overlooking the waters of the Whitsundays.

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An intriguing mix of historical romance, a coming of age, love and its complications against the backdrop of World War II.

A novel that offers a linkage between the present and past while showcasing the natural beauty of a spectacular slice of Australia.

An isolated fishing shack on a beautiful bay in the Whitsundays provides Luke with a retreat where he can find peace and solitude. However, the discovery of family war relics, and a developing relationship with the beautiful Lily, connect family histories and reveals a story that threatens to destroy his chance at real happiness.
Will the wartime secrets prove to be the breaking point for a beautiful romance? Or can two families put the deeds of the past behind them?
Romantic and purely Australian, The Shack by the Bay captures the pristine beauty of the Whitsundays and the wartime memories of older Australians while introducing an eclectic blend of friends and family.


Yes, it's true, this novel explores deeper and darker issues - but life can be like that, complex, difficult, unfair. A rollercoaster ride of emotion, but well worth it. This quintessential Australian novel is a must-read.

What was it that two best friends, Ruby and Bobby, witnessed from high up in the sanctuary of their treehouse? What chain of events will be pushed to the back of their minds, until a court case twenty years later, triggers memories and secrets that have remained silent?

The rural suburbs of Brisbane should have been an idyllic place for Ruby and Bobby to grow up in. Their treehouse retreat, set high in a mulberry tree gives them a safe place, to not only share their friendship and problems but to also watch the events of the yards nearby. However as the years pass and the two become teenagers, the naive Ruby is exposed to the sinister events that Bobby has to deal with in his family life.

When the two friends eventually go their separate ways, childhood events become a distant memory. However, when evil deeds are exposed years later, both Ruby and Bobby are forced to face up to the reality of what they saw so many years earlier.

This is a story about the secrets that children keep, the strength that comes from a childhood friendship and a special family love that overcomes the hardships of the past.

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