Lyle Freeman and the Australian lyric poets

Danielle de Valera

The other day I found myself with nothing to read so I pulled out my old copy of A Book of Australian Verse, selected by Australian poet Judith Wright. I was reading the collection when I came across the poems of John Shaw Neilsen, whose work I’d always admired. This shy, slight figure, who had almost no education, had a love of natural beauty and could produce lines of effortless simplicity such as:

“I was around by the cherries today: all the cherries are pale. The world is a woman in velvet. The air is the colour of ale.” He is considered one of Australia’s finest lyric poets.

Shaw Neilsen Shaw Neilsen

Whenever I think of Neilsen, I’m reminded of a story my old friend Lyle Freeman told me. Lyle (gone now, alas) wasn’t a writer, but he moved on the edges of the literary circles in Brisbane and Sydney in the…

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Fantastic Four Years

The Escapades

Four years ago, Escape launched with a gala party on the beautiful Sydney Harbour, attended by authors, readers, booksellers, friends, and family.

Since that time, our family has grown exponentially, and we’re so proud to have more than 100 Escape Artists writing across 14 subgenres, but all adhering to that so important happy-ever-after ending.

To celebrate, I revisited the five books that kicked it all off for us:

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A romance about changing the game, finding the truth, and fancy footwork.

Reviewers said:

“Their journey is a really sweet and romantic one with a lot of depth and a great supporting cast, too” – USA Today – Happily Ever After Blog

“Keeper. New auto-buy author. Need I say more?” – BookThingo

“There’s a lot of great stuff in the book about the female/male dynamic; about the double standard; and about men respecting women. I appreciated seeing that addressed in a contemporary romance. …

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Lest We Forget

The Escapades

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872–1918)

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Feed Your Reader! December 8 Releases

The Escapades

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The Scottish Highlands meet The Bachelorette in this new historical romance from Allison Butler…


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For a man called Chris Kringle, Christmas is the most magical time of the year.  But this year, there’s something about a certain elf that’s grabbed his attention in the best of ways. 


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She would trust him with her life. But can either of them trust their hearts?


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Bremy St James is back in a brand new adventure, mixing chaos, humour, sex, and superheroes in this fresh, funny, flirty series. It’s the superhero romance you didn’t know you needed…


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He knew everything he wanted…until she showed him everything he never knew he needed


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A story about starting fresh, letting go, and risking it all for love…

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