My books

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Historical fiction


 The Brisbane Mysteries

9780994170019-TEMPLATE.inddFeatured Image -- 243

Enemies**Enemies within these Shores** NEW

Enemies within these Shores is a page-turning saga that sweeps from the sugar towns of tropical north Queensland to the internment camps of South Australia.

Based on a true story of our hidden past, the novel brings to life the tumultuous war years of ‘enemy aliens’, political opportunism, retribution … and ultimately survival.

Great holiday reading.

Buy Enemies within these Shores as a paperback direct from the author (and I’ll sign it) or an ebook from your favourite online retailer.

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Enemies within these Shores – 1 paperback $25 (includes delivery in Australia). Link takes you to my Paypal site – choose the Pay with a Card button.

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Enemies within these Shores – 5 paperbacks $99 (includes delivery to a single address in Australia)

Note: I only post within Australia. If you live in another country and would like a paperback copy, order through Book Depository or Amazon.


Larsens Newsagency, 60 Rankin Street, Innisfail, Qld 4860. Ph 0740611028

Avid Reader, Brisbane

SLQ Library Shop (State Library of Queensland)

More about Enemies within these Shores

What really happened on Australia’s home front during World War II?

“Enemies within these Shores” is an untold story of political opportunism, pride, envy and survival.

We, of the far north, are drowning in immigrants who refuse to learn the language or assimilate into our way of life. These peasants, these wretched curs, are blights on our society. ~ William Delahunty MP

Spring 1939. To appease his electorate, Delahunty orders a police roundup of Italian sugarcane workers. With his marriage failing, he initiates a volatile affair with Amy. What will be her revenge?

Summer 1941. Canefarmer Luigi is a naturalized British citizen, yet he is classified as an enemy alien during the war. Captured and interned for three years, what will he find on his return?

Autumn 1943. Edith is the wife of Tony Zucchero, an accountant and canefarmer. When he is unjustly interned, her father refuses to help. How will a city girl manage the farm alone?

Winter 1945. At Loveday Internment Camp, shell-shocked WW1 veteran Ted prevents a breakout and an uprising, and oversees secret experiments for the army. After the war, what will he do with his life?

Enemies within these Shores is a page-turning saga that sweeps from the sugar towns of tropical north Queensland to the Riverland district of South Australia. Based on a true story, the novel brings the WW2 home front to life.

Praise for Enemies within these Shores

“What was it like living in Queensland Australia during WW 2? How were people affected by the contemporary events?  In her semi historical novel ‘Enemies within these Shores’ Debbie Terranova ably demonstrates a clever aptitude for conveying a sense of involvement in the times through interesting characters and insightful descriptions of local administrative measures.

“Her tale, drawn heavily on knowledge of actual events and known personal experiences, presents the intriguing story of the internment of Italian immigrants during that momentous era. Not only are the effects of such internment on the internees themselves explored in a fascinating manner; but also the dynamic repercussions on their families, their communities, and their captors are addressed with surprising twists.

“Terranova’s writing style pleases well with wonderful similes and compact self replete chapters that nevertheless maintain an impending rhythm toward an appealing conclusion. Her depth of research in a little understood period of Australian history shows through with surprising revelations.

“This is a novel for anyone curious about aspects of life in Australia during the early 1940’s and how our country, rightly or wrongly, addressed some of challenges of the period. The writing style is easy on the eye and the fact that, although a work of fiction, many of the events described actually happened make it all the more interesting. Enjoy.” Wayne Dawson, March 2018

“Debbie Terranova’s third novel, Enemies within these Shores, is yet another gripping read. Her writing shows both attention to historical detail and perceptive use of colourful metaphors. Completely engrossing.” Antoni Bonetti, Music Director and Conductor, Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, 2018

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Enemies within these Shores. A realistic blend of truth and fiction that is engaging and well-paced.” Jenny, 2018

“Debbie Terranova has done a fine job with this novel, bringing to life a chapter in Australia’s past that has been overlooked. Centralising a fictional narrative around the events of the round up and internment of Italian workers in far north Queensland, gives a voice to those impacted by these events.” Mrs B’s Book Reviews, 2018. Read her full review here.

“This account of the internment of enemy aliens during the Second World War in Australia is a mixture of carefully researched history and fictional narrative based on actual events. The focus is on a community of Italian cane cutters from northern Queensland many of whom had been living in Australia for decades and some who were Naturalised Australian citizens. Despite the minimal security risk such people represented to Australia’s national interests, they were imprisoned for the duration of the war. This story focuses on the purpose-built Loveday internment camp (near Barmera in South Australia) and various happenings within, based on factual accounts and documents.

I found the story particularly interesting, shameful and informative. It shines a light on one forgotten aspect of Australian wartime history when the threat of invasion by Japan gave rise to enormous paranoia and mismanagement. An example of this was the imprisonment of so many cane cutters resulted in a serious shortage of sugar, necessitating rationing of that commodity across the country.

“For me the fictionalisation of this obscure history provided a more powerful way of understanding the issues, the pressures and the emotions facing a cultural group of ordinary citizens, making their wartime experiences even more unbearable than those facing the wider community.

“My only criticism is that at times the high level of documentary information contained in this work at times obscures the narrative and limits the possibility of a more epic treatment of particular episodes and lives affected.” Dr Rodney Jensen 2018

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9780994170019-TEMPLATE.inddThe Scarlet Key

A scarlet key. A bittersweet secret. A corpse with cryptic tattoos.

The Brisbane Mysteries, Book Two. When a scarlet key lands on his desk in mysterious circumstances, Seth VerBeek is thrust into a thrilling new crime adventure.

Who is the tattooed woman? Why did she die? In following his instincts, the intrepid reporter gets more than he bargained for. 

The cast of unforgettable characters includes a psychic tattooist, a female greyhound trainer, an ageing socialite with an outrageous lifestyle, an artist looking for inspiration, and a personal handyman who specializes in matters of the heart. Each character’s story unfolds like a slow striptease. Layers of subterfuge come off one by one until all is laid bare.

The Scarlet Key is a page-turner that tackles themes of positive ageing, finding love again, psychic healing, forgiveness, and end-of-life choices.

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The Scarlet Key 1 paperback for $25 including postage within Australia. Choose credit card or PayPal.

Buy Now ButtonThe Scarlet Key + Baby Farm – both paperbacks for $45 including postage within Australia.

Buy Now ButtonThe Scarlet Key – 5 paperback copies for $99 including postage to one address in Australia. 

Note: I only post within Australia. If you live in another country and would like a paperback copy, order through Book Depository or Amazon.

Bookstores: Chapter, 17 Hill St, Yeppoon Qld. 4703.

Online bookstores: Book Depository, Booktopia

eBook: Available from Smashwords, Apple iBooksBarnes and Noble, scribd and kobo. Sold on Amazon Kindle as Indelible Lies.

Praise for The Scarlet Key

“Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed ‘The Scarlet Key’. I didn’t know what to expect … but I just loved it. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day – the twists and turns of the story didn’t allow me to put it down.” Wendy 2016

“Started ‘The Scarlet Key’ this morning and couldn’t put it down. Now it’s finished. It was a great read. I look forward to the next one.” Peter 2016

“I have just finished reading ‘The Scarlet Key’. I just could not put it down and read late into the night. A fabulous read.. lots of action and intrigue.. many many thoughtful moments. I cannot wait for the next story with the gorgeous Seth.” Kay 2016

“Set in Brisbane, many of the locations in ‘The Scarlet Key’ are familiar to me and those that aren’t, are so well described that I feel I could find my way there blindfolded. The characters are a real mixed bag. All authentic, all easy to picture. Some parts of the story are truly moving without being overly sentimental, while the steady pace, multi-layered plot and attention to detail invite eager turning of the page. ‘The Scarlet Key’ is all about life choices. It shows us that even when we think we don’t have a say, our future really is in our hands. A riveting read.” Nene 2016 via Goodreads

“My holiday has just started and ‘The Scarlet Key’ was the first book on my book list. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. Thank you Debbie for giving me so much pleasurable reading. I loved the story, the characters, the setting and how it all came together. I couldn’t put it down. A great read and I can’t wait until your next one.” Maya 2016

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Baby FarmFeatured Image -- 243

How much is a baby worth?

The Brisbane Mysteries, Book One. A page-turner mystery novel, set in an isolated mansion in rural Australia. Inspired by true events of the 1970s, this is the story of a pregnant teen who was banished by her parents to Maidenhead, a home for unwed mothers.

What really happened there? What became of the babies? What lies were told? Above all, what happens forty years later when the truth is finally revealed?

“From the darkly compelling cover design, to the rich multi-layered story itself, I loved this novel from start to finish …” Nene D. 2015

Baby Farm 1 paperback for $25 including postage within Australia. Choose credit card or PayPal

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Baby Farm – 5 paperback copies for $99 including postage to one address in Australia.

Bookstores: Chapter, 17 Hill St, Yeppoon Qld. 4703.

eBook: Available from Smashwords, Apple iBooksBarnes and Noble, scribd and kobo. Sold on Amazon Kindle as Shameful Lies.

Praise for Baby Farm

“I couldn’t wait till Christmas to read Baby Farm and just had to dig in and read it. I loved it. What a fabulous read. I couldn’t put it down and was sorry when the story was all over! Can’t wait for your next book.” Jan 2015

“Wow, I so loved Baby Farm and did not want it to finish. It resonated with me on so many levels but principally from having grown up in that 1970’s era.” PS 2015

“What better way to spend a rainy weekend than to read Baby Farm! The only problem? I’m not getting anything else done because I can’t put it down. Congratulations on this wonderful book.” AG 2015

“I’m so disappointed I finished Baby Farm today!!! I wanted it to continue on. I really really enjoyed the whole story. Please let me know when the next novel is out.” RF 2015

“Baby Farm was great. I especially enjoyed going back to the 70’s and travelling the Brisbane streets in my mind. I loved the plot and was very interested in the forced adoptions as I know of the emotional pain women have experienced and also the problems adopting parents have had with their children.” MW 2015

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MowbrayPark_FinalMowbray Brothers, 2014, short story – eBook

Saturday night, summer of 1920. Mowbray Park is where the local lads go for a laugh, a beer and a smoke. Eight-year-old Lucky sneaks out of bed to discover his brother and hero has taken a dare that could cost much more than his one shilling bet.

Inspired by the author’s father, who liked to tell stories of growing up in the workers’ suburb of East Brisbane in the 1920s.

Praise for Mowbray Brothers

“A short story about two brothers in Brisbane circa 1920. I picked this up because it was written by (a friend’s) mum and it’s genuinely so well written that when I finished it I jumped straight on Amazon and bought her debut novel. Debbie’s writing is so descriptive and vivid. I felt more invested in these characters in the short time I knew them than a lot of characters in full novels.” LBD 2016

Download  from your favourite ebook retailer, eg Smashwords, kobo, iBooks, Amazon.

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Mischief, 2016, short story – eBook

A short story about making a sea change and falling in love with an adorable bundle of fur.
Sick of the boring desk job, budding author Emily Williams moves to a quaint seaside town to make a fresh start. What she seeks is the solitude a to finish her manuscript. What she gets is a stray feline who decides to adopt her. Despite his innocent blue eyes, Frankie the cat is mischief with a capital M.

Download  FREE from your favourite ebook retailer ~ Smashwords, kobo, iBooks.

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5 Responses to My books

  1. Pingback: In Conversation with ‘Baby Farm’ Author – Debbie Terranova – Carolyn Martinez

  2. Kaye Oliver says:

    Debbie, i’m New to you as an author,but just loved your Enemies within these shores.
    My grandfather and his brother had a cane farm at Yandina and my mother met my Victorian father training in the area, to be in the first battalion to meet the Japanese on the Kokoda. So the book had wonderful flashes of stories heard long ago. Many thanks.
    Problem buying it in Adelaide (I read it as a library book) but want to buy it for my daughter who is working in Brisbane.
    Must go chase up your previous books, I like your book writing style!
    Kaye Oliver

    • Thank you, Kaye.
      I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the book and that it touched a part of your family history. The best way to purchase a copy is online, either through this website or through an online retailer such as Book Depository, Booktopia, or Amazon.
      If you buy directly from me, I am happy to sign and write a personalised message on the inside cover. Postage within Australia is included in the price.
      Thanks again and happy reading, Debbie

  3. Pingback: International Women’s Day: Debbie Terranova – Kate Kelsen

  4. Pingback: Read history this Christmas | terranova publications

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