Tour: Petrichor

By Melanie Rees

15 – 21 October

  • Publisher: Hague Publishing
  • Amazon link:
  • Genre:  Young adult fantasy
  • Print length: 147 pages
  • Age range: Young adult
  • Trigger warnings: A suicide which occurred before the action of the story is recalled and provides a driver for the plot
  • Formats available for the Tour: all standard electronic formats (sorry, no paperbacks)
  • Amazon Rating: Not yet published; unrated

If you would be interested in joining this tour as a reviewer, please contact us using the SIGN-UP FORM at the end of the page.

Reflecting the issues explored in this novel, 15% of the publisher’s revenue from the sale of this book will be donated to the charities Rural Aid and Beyond Blue


About Petrichor

Some things cannot be mended with baling twine.

Drought has turned the paddocks of Paddle Creek Station to dust. Now the death of Clayton’s older brother has shaken his family to its core and left a gaping hole in Clayton’s memory. A hole his parents won’t even discuss.

When Waringa, in the shape of a fox-spirit, tells Clayton it’s up to him to save his family and to free the rain spirits held prisoner by the demonic Red King, Clayton must find a strength within himself he never knew he possessed.

But as Waringa guides Clayton towards his ultimate battle with the Red King, his quest brings his whole family closer to the abandoned homestead where his brother died. And as it does Clayton’s actions uncover raw wounds, forcing hidden memories to surface.

Praise for Petrichor

“Set in a time of drought in the vast almost unfarmable interior of Australia, Petrichor is the haunting story of a young lad’s quest to open an inner floodgate after a desperate family tragedy…. Everything in this story is layered and its meanings shimmer in and out, like shapes seen in the swirling dust of a dry plain, never quite out of sight, never quite within grasp.  She has a wonderful lightness of touch, and this story about the hard work of recovery from tragedy will resonate with readers of every age, from adolescence upwards.
Ordinary magic happens, and extraordinary magic too.  The rain can come again; the grass – and a family – can grow again.” 
Carly Rheilan, Author of Birthrights and Asylum

Behind this young adult novel, before the story starts, there is a family event so terrible that the central character, Clayton, cannot let himself remember it.  Looking forward, with drought ravaging the family farm, there is the possibility of ruin.  All around there is the terrible silence of adults not coping.  It’s a dark place, but young readers will be captivated by the fantasy components through which Clayton gropes his way forward. These figures are real in the story, and the parallel truths lurking behind them are never explicitly stated. An older teenager will find the hidden meanings; a younger one will not need to….It is a story that fascinates and inspires in equal measure.  
De Gevallene, The Hard Hat Book Site

About the Author

Melanie Rees has loved writing and reading speculative fiction for as long as she can remember, but started taking it seriously after a failed kidney transplant to help fill in the time and provide purpose while hooked up to dialysis machines. Since then she has published over 100 stories and poems in several anthologies by by Black Inc. and Simon & Schuster; and renowned magazines including Cosmos, Apex, Nature – Futures, and Aurealis.

She works as an environmental scientist, where she has spent a lot of time working on outback properties, wetlands, forests, and along the coast. When not playing in the dirt or stuck up a tree, she writes.

Petrichor was inspired by her time working with farmers in northern South Australia during the millennial drought and witnessing the malaise and heartache in both the community and landscapes. She wanted to capture that and address serious issues farmers were facing, but at the same time inject some “magic” into the story.

You can find Melanie and links to her other work online on Twitter, Facebook and at   

Offline she lives on the picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula on a bushland property, and lives in a strawbale house that she built with her husband.


Reviewers – please complete the form below if you would like to take part in this Tour, October 15 – 21

(For information about how we use the data that you provide on this form, see our statement here.)



%d bloggers like this: