Ann Lehtmets

The story of Ann Lehtmets:

This is an amazing true story of survival against all odds. A book that everyone should read. It is a reminder of the depths to which society can sink under authoritarian rule. It is also a reminder of the capacity of the human spirit to endure and overcome hardship, cruelty and extreme privation over many years and yet to emerge intact and rejoin society and family.

Strong & Bold Publishing is proud to bring you this first edition of Sentence: Siberia as an e-book of 144,000 words and 404 pages. Available now only via Amazon.


On the night of 14 June 1941, Ann Lehtmets was forcibly removed from her home in the city of Rakvere, Estonia, and transported to Siberia. In 1959, when she was reunited with her daughter in Australia, she became one of few to survive this other holocaust and rejoin the western world.

The June 1941 action by the Soviet Union, involving tens of thousands of Baltic citizens, was one ruthless step in the Kremlin march to demolish Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as sovereign states and incorporate their territories into the USSR.

Each of these three nations, across the Baltic Sea from Finland, has a language and culture distinct from any in Russia. Each had no ties, ethnic or otherwise, with that country and no desire whatsoever to become a part of it.

The Ribbentrop-Molotov pact had been signed two years earlier, in 1939, on the eve of Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Hitler’s and Stalin’s foreign ministers had been authorised, in exchange for ‘peace’ on the eastern front and in anticipation of non-intervention from the west, to tear central Europe apart and divide it between Germany and Russia, like spoils between raiding wolves. Perhaps the supposedly stronger wolf thought to satisfy its voracious rival for a while by allowing it the tasty offering of access to the Baltic Sea.

On 15 June 1940, almost exactly a year before the mass deportations, with central and Western Europe in turmoil, the Russian dictator Stalin claimed his share. An ultimatum was presented virtually simultaneously to the individual Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian governments, demanding for the USSR the right to send troops anywhere in their territories. The ultimatum also demanded that the present governments ‘retire’ and new governments friendly to the USSR be formed. On the same day Soviet troops poured into Lithuania – the closest Baltic country to Germany, thus isolating all three – and within forty-eight hours into Latvia and Estonia.

The only possible allies against this invasion, Britain and France, were by then totally engrossed in their own desperate struggle. There was no hope of assistance; certainly none of surviving physical opposition.

Thus the elected governments of three nations were no more, ‘retiring’ to avoid bloodshed. The same applied to Latvia and to Lithuania as to Estonia, where President Päts, General Laidoner and all other members of the Estonian parliament were deposed. Local communists took their place, occupying all the important positions in parliament and soon in any civic institutions left. The Soviet legation in Tallinn gave Moscow’s orders: the puppets had them carried out.

Those deposed were now nothing. Except marked. Newspapers and radio stations were seized and controlled. It became an offence to receive overseas broadcasts, the only remaining contact with the outside world, and all ‘news’ was communist-issued.


President Päts and Laidoner, the Commander of Armed Forces, were arrested and deported. The judiciary was discharged, police and militia scattered, banks and news media taken over, and parliament dissolved. Hundreds of once-influential people now had no money, no income, and, in many instances, no home.

This was Estonia’s and Estonians’ uneasy state for the year before Ann Lehtmets’s removal from her home.

Elmar Lehtmets, Ann’s husband, a lawyer by profession, was editor-in-chief of Rakvere’s principal newspaper at the time of the occupation, and a member of Estonia’s democratic parliament. Ann was a commissioner of Girl Guides and active in local community service.


Inevitably, some people met on the way through the years these pages cover are just that – transients: temporarily substantial before dissolving into mists of time and distance. No invention has been employed to achieve a neat ending; no apology is offered for the inability to tie up loose ends infinitely more unsatisfactory to writer than to reader.

All people in this book are – or were – real people. Some names have been changed, some abbreviated, as at the time of writing there was fear of reprisal, embarrassment or retaliation to friends and relatives behind the Iron Curtain. It is largely this fear that has held her chronicle back some thirty years from Ann’s liberation, and even now is not entirely dispelled.

The Russian political turmoil of 1994 warns us that imperialist ambitions are far from forgotten in the Kremlin, and that Ann’s unease was justified.


Will McClean

Lenny the talent scout dreams he has found an amazing singing duo in the hot, dry outback of Queensland. But then he wakes up to discover that his dream was really true! However he is disappointed when the amazing couple tell him that they are not interested in being rich and famous. The reasons they give reflect a point of view that is foreign to Lenny, but he respects them all the same. The author, Will McLean lives in Macclesfield, South Australia. The illustrator, Barney Lewis, lives on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Suitable for all ages but especially for children between the ages of 5 and 10. This book has an unusual message that some people may find disconcerting!

A Tale Of Two Noble Lovers – Part 3

Doug Wiggins

This is Part 3 of the story of Luigi Da Porto, the man who created ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This historical novel is set in Friuli and Venice in the early sixteenth century and tells the story of Luigi Da Porto’s love affair with Lucina Savorgnan and the events that influenced the creation of his novella entitled ‘Guilietta, a tale of two noble lovers’. That novella was the inspiration for Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’.
In Parts 1 & 2 we followed Luigi Da Porto's life and the interesting times he lived in from his departure as a soldier and military tactician to a man wracked by sorrow at his losses in life, both mental and physical. His world is a picture of Venice at the height of its powers, involved in a war that could have seen the end of the Venetian Republic, through personal highs and lows and the pain of serious battle injuries. We saw him through the loss of the love of his life, the beautiful Lucina Savorgnan and his fall into depression. In this final part of the story we see him finish his novella of Romeo and Juliet and see the other characters deal with the changing times. Enjoy being taken to a time of wonder in the “Serene Republic of Venice”, the pomp and ceremony, but also the gritty underside of life in the first part of the 16th century.
379 pages.

Still I Wonder

Will McClean

An interesting collection of contemporary Australian poems by writer and poet Will McClean, some of which reflect on his experiences while living in the USA.
In particular his title poem "Still I Wonder" evokes the perennial dilemma confronting all thinking people in the modern age; that of man's inhumanity to man.

Read this book, send us your honest review for us to publish here, and receive a free book of your choice from our catalogue.

Clinging to the Edge

Anne Rogers

Australian bush poetry is a genre that specialises in dealing with Australian life and culture using rhyme and rhythm as an essential part of the narrative. It started out in the 1800’s almost exclusively as verse about the Australian ‘bush’ or ‘outback’ and of course about the people who lived and worked there. In more recent times the genre has come to include narrative verse on any topic relating to Australia.

Anne Rogers is an experienced practitioner of Australian bush poetry and in this volume has collected together forty poems, the main themes of which are nostalgia, humour, and respectful remembrance. The poems are presented in a fairly random order so as to provide some variety for the assiduous reader. But for those who wish to “cherry-pick” a poem to suit their mood the Table of Contents contains a letter N, H or RR in brackets alongside each title to help identify nostalgia, humour or respectful remembrance.

Anne was born and bred in the outback of New South Wales and spent the first 42 years of her life living and working on sheep and cattle stations in Western N.S.W., for the most part on the Darling river between Menindee and Wilcannia.

Welcome to the work of Anne Rogers, a quintessential Australian bush poet.

Also available from Amazon. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR DETAILS.

MAKING BIOCHAR – With Technical Manual

Brian Lewis

“Making Biochar – With Technical Manual” was written by Brian Lewis based on the experience gained from 5 years of developing and trialling 3 different styles of biochar kilns in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia.

The book provides a good introduction to biochar basics, distinguishes between the different types of kilns that can be used and provides detailed and practical instructions on the operation of a retort style biochar kiln together with a chapter on the economics of making and selling biochar.
The pdf version of the book includes detailed drawings of two types of kiln, the retort style and the gasifier style.

A case study on using a retort kiln by a commercial winery is included. And a description of a Do-It-Yourself gasifier kiln is also included.

This book will be of interest to all biochar enthusiasts, small landowners, horticulturalists and anyone else interested in the improvement of soils by the addition of carbon and the potential for a biochar industry to contribute to the supply of carbon credits.

A Tale of Two Noble Lovers – Part 2

Doug Wiggins

This is Part 2 of the story of Luigi Da Porto, the man who created ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This historical novel is set in Friuli and Venice in the early sixteenth century and tells the story of Luigi Da Porto’s love affair with Lucina Savorgnan and the events that influenced the creation of his novella entitled ‘Guilietta, a tale of two noble lovers’. That novella was the inspiration for Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’. 154 pages. $9.95

Read this book, send us your honest review to publish here and receive a free copy of Part 3.

A Tale of Two Noble Lovers – Part 1

Doug Wiggins

This is the story of Luigi Da Porto, the man who created ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This historical novel is set in Friuli and Venice in the early sixteenth century and tells the story of Luigi Da Porto’s love affair with Lucina Savorgnan and the events that influenced the creation of his novella entitled ‘Guilietta, a tale of two noble lovers’. That novella was the inspiration for Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’. 193 pages. Currently available only from Amazon. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR DETAILS.

When you  have read this book please provide Amazon with your honest review, advise us and receive a free copy of Part 2.

IELTS Writing Band 9 Essays

Bruce Smart

Improved 2nd edition now available. This excellent book overcomes the weakness of other English writing guides by providing 40 high quality essays (10 Academic Task 1, 10 General Task 1 and 20 Task 2 essays) that are written by an educated native speaker. The essay topics have been chosen carefully so as to be relevant to modern day situations confronted by young adults. As a result the essays are quite interesting as well as being instructive.

Typically when IELTS students are shown these essays they are surprised by the directness and simplicity of the language. The essays provided are all of IELTS band 9 standard; however, the intention is not necessarily to allow students to reach that standard but to provide a pathway to write better quality essays that are of an academic standard and style. An important part of each essay is the accompanying "Essay Notes" section that explains the choices made by the writer.

It is also intended that this book, although directed at IELTS students, has a focus beyond the IELTS exam so as to provide students with writing skills that can also be used in study and in the workplace. This 2nd edition corrects some typographical errors and has an improved layout to help with legibility when using a Kindle. (204 pages). Available only from Amazon. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR MORE DETAILS. After purchase please provide a brief, honest review to Amazon of this book and advise us. We will then send you a free copy of any other book from our catalogue. Just name it!

Corroboree To The Sun

Ian Mudie

The poems that have been selected for this publication are representative of the main themes running through Ian Mudie’s poetry: viz: respect for and knowledge of the natural environment; respect for and understanding of the aboriginal peoples; pride in the Australian nation; and acknowledgement of the Australian character. However I have also included some whimsical poems that probably do not fit any of these themes. They are just so delightfully Mudie that I could not leave them out. (11 000 words).

Welcome to the work of Ian Mudie. A man well ahead of his time who produced a body of work that deserves to be kept alive. Pdf, kindle and epub versions are available from checkout for a combined price of $12.99.

Kindle version only is also available from Amazon; epub version only is also available from Kobo Book Store and Smashwords. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR MORE DETAILS.


Review by Dave Mack


An Account of the Colony of South Australia

Frederick Sinnett

First printed in 1862 for the London Exhibition the Account is effectively South Australia’s first year book and documents and describes some amazing achievements, some severe obstacles and some remarkable discoveries over the 26 years since settlement in 1836. In addition it is written fluently and critically by a quite young private citizen named Frederick Sinnett with the endorsement of the Government of the colony at that time. (158 pages). $9.99


Browse opening pages up to and including chapter 1.



Doug Wiggins

‘Branscombe’ is the first in a series of detective novels covering the adventures of retired Det. Sgt. John Branscombe. This first story is based in South Australia at the former police training centre of Fort Largs. It covers Branscombe’s involvement in the denouement of a corrupt police officer. However the entertainment value of the story lies in the relationships that Branscombe has with police officers and ex-partners, marital and otherwise.

Of particular interest is the relationship he stumbles into with a lesbian couple which leads him into a surprising situation. The story is tinged with humour and pathos and evolves quickly and effectively in many short chapters. (110 pages). $4.99

A Short History of Marker’s Barn

Brian Lewis

Marker’s Barn is an outstanding surviving example of a mid-19th century wheelwright’s shop which demonstrates German design characteristics and typical use of local materials, and the typical way of life of the Macclesfield pioneers, the early need for wheelwrights, and the fact that several German "pioneer" settlers also settled in Macclesfield and established businesses here. It also has important associations with the early development and cultural diversity of Macclesfield, one of South Australia’s most significant early rural towns. (2 000 words)

Macclesfield Collections – Vol. 1

Brian Lewis

The poems are modern, relevant, sometimes amusing, sometimes nostalgic, but always sincere. Eminently readable they lack the forced cleverness of some modern poetry and just aim to tell a story with poetic simplicity and compassion. This volume will appeal to most thinking people, young or old. It may occasionally “ruffle some feathers” but after all that is what we expect from good poetry. It would be interesting to know the reaction of the Adelaide City Council to the three poems about Bonython Park. (6 000 words). Also available from Amazon. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR DETAILS.


After the Cricket