Book Jacket


rank 5285
word count 10791
date submitted 02.09.2010
date updated 12.10.2010
genres: Literary Fiction, Christian, Religi...
classification: universal

Three Red Seeds

E Maclean

Jade StJohn's "to do" list: terminate pregnancy and save billion dollar mining project, or should that be save the pregnancy and terminate the mining project?


Three Red Seeds immerses readers in the red dust of remote outback Western Australia and the 40,000 year old indigenous culture as they follow protagonist Jade St John for one hectic week.

Jade is a white woman equipped with the insensitivity and professional savvy necessary to do a tough job in the mining industry but this week’s challenges push her beyond the limits of physical and emotional endurance.

Using an ancient Australian bush remedy to bring on miscarriage Jade swallows three red seeds before enduring a six day wait for them to take effect. Through a series of events her dogged determination to end the unwanted pregnancy begins to wane. Anxiety and tension rise as Jade reassesses her life plan.

The manuscript explores issues surrounding career versus motherhood common to working women across the globe. What makes this narrative unique is the key role Australian indigenous elders play in influencing the tertiary educated white woman’s opinions. Throughout the week they impart their wisdom by stealthily orchestrating situations for Jade to learn important life lessons.

Use of close third POV keeps protagonist and reader guessing to the very last paragraph.

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, aboriginal, career women, indigenous, mining, motherhood, pregnancy

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hikey wrote 1397 days ago

Your very vivid writing creates an imagery that brings the Australian outback to life. With a strong credible voice and observation of the most ordinary events I could visualise everything and was totally engrossed.

The strength and power of the writing is in the sensitive way you handle important issues brought up by the story.


yasmin esack wrote 1394 days ago

Brilliant and intriguing. Your setting is incredibly visual and your writing style engrosses the reader.

Love it!


andrew skaife wrote 1396 days ago

The phenomena of chick lit is becoming challenging and this addition is set to be a strong challenger on that scale. This ticks every box for the genre.


ATrueCritic wrote 1235 days ago

Your first paragraph needs work. I didn't read past the first paragraph because neither would any potential customer if thing showed up on the shelves of a bookstore. It sounds like your trying to hard to use unique words and alliteration. And very few times is a person moved by the way an author talks about his or her character's breath. I would suggest aiming the first paragraph more at how she feels then how she's breathing.

Also in the fifth sentence you use the word "it" and I'm not quite sure what you are referring to, is your character? In which case you should say “she.” Or the cough? In which case, you should probably be aware that a cough typically comes invisible.

When the first paragraph convinces me that the rest of the book is worth reading, as is its very purpose, I will continue and adjust your rating appropriately.

HECROW55 wrote 1364 days ago

Couldn't help but take a look at your work after reading your message to the author of spiritual warfare.
I back your book
Would you please consider taking a look at my manuscript 'Thy Wondrous Works Vol One The Law of Moses Fulfilled' and give me feedback.


SandiTrue wrote 1366 days ago

Dear E,
The emotional roller coaster that Jade finds herself on is clearly felt in the wording. I found myself bringing up my own shoulders and feeling anxious in response. I love the opening with the description of Jade fishing the seeds from the tin, but I would like to know a little more about what brought her to this point. I feel like the most recent events regarding the pregnancy will be revealed further in the story, but is there something in her past that brought her to her current state of aloneness?

I look forward to discovering more.

Elijah Enyereibe Iwuji wrote 1368 days ago


Brilliant, intriguing and fabulous tale. Read only two chapters, very fascinating and vividly flows. You are actually a gifted and masterful writer. Your characters are visual as you paint them, with authentic and original voice. Will continue. Goodluck.

Elijah E. Yamslaw (Victims of African Wealth)

Andy M. Potter wrote 1368 days ago

E, wonderfully evocative depiction. we instantly get into J's body and mind, and see valuable insights into her world. you tell us what we need to know and no more.
on my shelf.
no picky quibbles.
best, andy

A. Zoomer wrote 1371 days ago


Dear 3 Red Seeds,
The premise of the story is fabulous and you unfold it masterfully (mistressly?)
The timing for your protagonist is crucial and you begin with the tension of will she choke?
Your writing is fluid and purposeful. The characters and setting enchanting. I don't read this as chick lit. I read it as literature.
Backed with enthusiasm.
A Zoomer

Wadim wrote 1375 days ago

Hi E,
Sorry about the delay. Finally, here are my comments.
You left me wanting to read more. Only four chapters: I want to know what happens next!
I have lived in Australia and indirectly have some knowledge of the Native Title and related issues you incorporate in the book. You describe the harsh Australian outback vividly and you also provide useful background about the issues between the mining companies and the indigenous owners without going into the ins and outs of the situation arising from the Mabo and Wik decisions. It might be too simplistic for some readers, especially Australian readers with more background, but the average reader doesn’t need every detail.
You also communicate strongly the connection the indigenous people have with the land and how they pass on knowledge of their country and their stories to each other and to younger generations. But also how fragile that connection can be: how the companies can use this fragility to diminish the argued continuation and strength of a connection to a particular area (a particular country from the indigenous peoples’ perspective). You also present the English as spoken by the indigenous people really well: I can hear the women elders having a yarn around the fire.
Jade herself is perhaps still a bit distant. Perhaps to some extent she has to be. She is sort of distant from herself in some senses and this threat to her career ambitions suddenly throws a new light on her life, her priorities and how she relates to people.
We know what she thinks now, but not so much how she came to think this way. As a reader I was curious as to what drew her towards the “bush remedy”. Given her legal background and presumably her means, she would know full well what other modern alternatives there are (ie. legally and medically, although perhaps not necessarily morally). And she would be fully aware of the risks she runs with this approach. She fears discovery more than anything else. Dismissing possible adverse physical side-effect as easily resolved by a call to the Flying Doctor Service and passed off as accidental food poisoning. Unfortunately it may not be so simply so quickly resolved if things suddenly take a turn for the worst: she risks serious physical illness and possibly death. Time is of the essence and she wants no one to know. So her options are limited. But perhaps later chapters will give us more insight on Jade’s motivations for such an alternative approach and the self-imposed time frame within which to conclude this plan.
Powerful writing, and as you will have seen from the feed, I’ve already backed you. Look forward to reading more.

nsllee wrote 1379 days ago

Hi E

Great title and lovely visual writing style, so physical and in the moment. There's a real sense of place and you make your MC's predicament very present for the reader. Backed.


GK Stritch wrote 1379 days ago

Ah, jaded Jade the white woman and Three Red Seeds. Good work, E Maclean, crisp and clean.

GK Stritch
CBGB Was My High School

John Warren-Anderson wrote 1380 days ago

Chapter 1 is both literate and vivid. It pulls us into Jade's mind and into her situation. An unusual and well crafted story but I think a couple of tweaks will improve it. Avoid starting sentences with words ending with ing. It weakens the statement.
I think you need to being in the smells and the feeling of the outback. The oven-like heat, the smell of the baked ground, flies. You know the place, as do I, but others don't, and you need to show them. But don't go overboard with description, just a couple of lines dropped into the narrative should do it.
Good luck with it.

Walden Carrington wrote 1380 days ago

I love the narrative style of Three Red Seeds. Your descriptions paint such vivid images throughout this compelling narrative. Backed with pleasure.

vessels wrote 1382 days ago

You're a gifted writer, E., whatever that's short for. I keep expecting to read a full book here and sometimes only portions are uploaded, but what I read, I really enjoyed, because your writing is so fluid. I'd start the book at paragraph two -- we (or at least I do sometimes) waste an incredible amount of time on opening paragraphs, sometimes to realize later we don't need them, and maybe you disagree, but to me, the book should just start

Under a blue arch of sky a jam tin sits nestled in the dirt. (and then carry on with the rest of paragraph 2), but those opening words pretty much sum up Jade's life just then.
God bless you,
of vessels

Marsi wrote 1383 days ago

Many thanks for the backing. Red Seeds on my WL. Will get back. Haven't time to do more than read the blurb but the Australian setting and the concept bode well. Back soon.

Telegraph wrote 1384 days ago

A intriguing read. Charcter and scenes seem as if you could step into them. C W

Terry Murphy wrote 1385 days ago

Good to see a story with such a strong, capable and credible female MC having to cope in such traumatic circumstances. Very well handled. And all crafted vividly in such an atmospheric wilderness of a background. Not my usual read, or pace, but the writing carries the story.


Caroline Hartman wrote 1385 days ago

E Maclean,
I believe you may be a master. Your descriptions bring to life the rugged terrain, the ancient culture and lore. Jade seems very real and I'm in her mind easily. You foreshadow well and create just the right amount of tension. Jade is at a crossroads in her career and life, a crossroad many, many women throughout time have met. Best of luck.

mariahj24 wrote 1386 days ago

This book paints a very colorful picture in the mind. It gives the reader a sense of accomplishment. Very well crafted, nice work. Backed, Mariah

Sly80 wrote 1389 days ago

The description of Jade's thoughts, emotions and actions are almost surgically inscribed onto the page, 'confirms its presence with a sharp prick into the thigh muscle', 'Jade's hands form tight capsules', 'Perhaps she will actually feel a pulling, a letting go, a release'.

Jade and nature are one and the same in this story, as if her contact with the mines and with the indigenous people have somehow planted her deeply into the ground, and what is growing in her is a solid as her own roots no matter how she wishes it gone. The women mark out their stories in the dust, and erase, and mark anew - somehow less ephemeral than the message conveyed by the satellite phone.

It's a strange, mesmerising combination of clear-eyed observations and the mystery that is the interface between the outback and its people: 'a smudge of moon sits to their left', 'flickering smears their individual facial features', 'traversed it on foot for the past forty-thousand-years'. This is extraordinary in premise and in execution. A quandary that we can all identify with, played out on a canvass unchanged for millennia. It's a story that could only exist in Australia ... I would buy it in an instant.

Possible nits: 'tell you this mission as [was] an effort'. 'she grind[s] them'. 'retracing my [her] footsteps'. 'crumpled orange shirt sleeve', perhaps omit 'orange' here. 'provide an antidote ... provide a report', maybe an alternative for one 'provide? 'a release ... releases its grip'.

(BTW if you look at my novel, the least swearing and most religion (not a lot) is in chapter 5.)

SPW wrote 1390 days ago

Not my usual read, but it is well written, good pace and your descriptions are quite vivid.
You have taken a sensitive subject and approached it with care and feeling.
I will keep my eye on this and wish you the best of luck.

Yuko Zen is Somewhere Else.

Ron. D. Geysser wrote 1393 days ago

Just keep on!

yasmin esack wrote 1394 days ago

Brilliant and intriguing. Your setting is incredibly visual and your writing style engrosses the reader.

Love it!


J.S.Watts wrote 1395 days ago

Not totally my cup of tea, but what I dipped into was nicely written overall and the prose flows nicely. You might want to take a look at the opening again. It may be me (it probably is) but I started off by thinking she was lying down, flat out, hiding from the bad guys or something, just like they do in the movies and it took me a little while to reorientate around crouching down with a tin prior to eating something.


Mitch Kelly wrote 1396 days ago

Hi mate,

Finally got the time to read some of Three Red Seeds, and thought I'd give you some feedback.

Chap 1:
- 'different perspective: She' (she)
- 'reaches slowly providing' (slowly,)
- 'she grind them' (grinds)
- 'vowed make better' (to make)
- 'retracing my footprints' (her footprints?)
- 'her eyes allowing' (eyes,)
- For me there was no hook at the end to make me want to read more, but this may not be true for all - this is just definitely not my style of book. While I usually go for action, and if there is none in the beginning I lose interest, the plot is actually introduced and moved along early, which does make the reader interested.

Chap 2:
- Didn't like the repeat in the first paragraph of things from the first chapter... reclines on top of her swag.
- 'course hair it's' (hair,)
- 'night sky but Jade' (sky. Still, Jade)
- 'apple shaped' (apple-shaped)
- 'particular
interest lies' (particular interest lies)
- 'his grandchildren so these' (Something between grandchildren and so would split this up better.)
- Again there was no hook for me, but at lease things move along decently.

Chap 3:
- 'conversion the mindset' (to the)
- 'because
of a history' (because of a history)

Chap 4:
- 'Olive's eye grow wide' (eyes)
- 'baring the NiCorp logo' (bearing)
- 'if I can you it you can do it' (if I can do it)

Also, I think Rocky turned from a male in chapter two to a female in chapter three.

Overall it is well written, but certainly not my cup of tea... so it is difficult to comment on much else. Still, I think it could definitely do well for what I assume is your target audience.


andrew skaife wrote 1396 days ago

The phenomena of chick lit is becoming challenging and this addition is set to be a strong challenger on that scale. This ticks every box for the genre.


KirkH wrote 1396 days ago

chapter three.
Now I know what spinifex means - a type of Austrailian grass.

Found another broken paragraph..."The whole reason they need a heritage survey is because (here it broke) of a histoy of 'white man knows best' by companies like NiCorp.

Good ending with Olive falling,perhaps, into a creek bed.
The story and descriptions of the people and culture begin to fascinate me the more I read.

KirkH wrote 1396 days ago

chapter two
Got confused with, "As each woman became satisfied hers was ready she began scratching, ..."

Should it not be, "Jade is indignant, her boss implied, she may have failed to complete her part of the plan in full." ??

Good description of the relationship between the Aboriginees, NiCorp and the Austrailian government.
These heritage surveys sound interesting.

Paragraph got cut off here, "Their aim is to garner the aboriginal elders' approval for the mine through confirmation of the anthropological reports that nothing of particular (paragraph cut) interest lies within the project's boundaries.

Thats a new word for me - camber.

Story looks good as the evening progresses.

Chapter three is next.

KirkH wrote 1396 days ago

chapter one
This dalliance?
Retracing "my" footprints back towards the campfire...(should it not be "her" footprints?)
clump of spinifex? What's that?
I must say that if I didn't read the synopsis first, I would have been confused about the main character Jade, where she was, what she was doing and why.
I couldn't find any nit picks with the writing, (you can find much more with mine).
Just to say the description of the Austrailian outback, the creek the camp, the colors etc. soud real to me and it's easy to picture it. This is well-written.
Looking forward to reading chapter 2.

hikey wrote 1397 days ago

Your very vivid writing creates an imagery that brings the Australian outback to life. With a strong credible voice and observation of the most ordinary events I could visualise everything and was totally engrossed.

The strength and power of the writing is in the sensitive way you handle important issues brought up by the story.


Andrew Burans wrote 1397 days ago

You have written a very interesting and unique storyline, which I do like, and created a most memorable main character in Jade. The dialogue is realistic and well written and the pace of your story flows well. All of this along with your descriptive writing makes your work a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

happypetronella wrote 1400 days ago

Nice writing, nice story, and I enjoyed reading it. Backed.

CarolinaAl wrote 1403 days ago

A swirling story, richly imagined. Slick. Pacy. Great theme. Vivid, complex characters. Poignant emotions. Tense narrative. Very accomplished writing. A magnetic read. Backed.

Ariom Dahl wrote 1404 days ago

This is sad and full of tension. I’m not sure it’s what I’d take from the library to read and I’m not sure about the logic of taking the seeds in the environment she’s in. I’m not very sympathetic towards Jade; the Flying Doctor might well be within reach but she is putting herself in a risky situation and she is foolish to imagine that in a week she will be fine. It’s not that easy.

Phyllis Burton wrote 1405 days ago

Hello E.McClean, Three Red Seeds is an interesting, well written work. I read most of the four chapters that you have uploaded here. It is an unusual and held my interest.
I love the line 'She is struggling to contain a wide grin; a giggle escapes its confines, exploding into the air.' Good descriptive writing. Would have liked to have read more, but backed with pleasure. Good luck with this and I hope that you manage to sort out your SHELF PROBLEM. Thank you again for your comments. Did you read Chapter 31?


JMCornwell wrote 1406 days ago

It is interesting that you use three red seeds, probably pomegranate seeds from the picture, because it ties in with Persephone and Hades. Was that your initial inspiration?


Lynne wrote 1406 days ago

This is a most unusual premise and one that has the reader in pins waiting for the outcome. As with some of your other reviewers, I am not normally a fan of writing in the present tense, but you carry it off well and it does nothing to mar the tension of the story. Be careful, though, about changing back to the first person, e.g. around paragraph 18 in the first chapter you say "Retracing my footsteps". Good luck and welcome to Authonomy. Backed, Lynne, Brooklyn Bridge.

Ann Mynard wrote 1411 days ago

This is a good start in the present tense into an interesting story. I was surprised in the beginning of your 18th para: 'Retracing my footsteps...' It would appear that someone is watching this woman with an all seeing eye and with extraordinary knowledge of her difficult situation. Para 2 did not enlighten me as to the truth or not of what I gathered. Perhaps this is a crucial part of the story that we get to later? For now, I'll back this and wait for the rest.
Ann Mynard (Windshadow)

Herschel Shirley wrote 1412 days ago

I am not a fan of present tense work but this one is not bad. There is the occasional slip where you turn from third person to first person but editing will take care of that. Your descriptions are very good and you begin building the back story effectively in the first chapter. Not bad at all. Backed.

Jim Darcy wrote 1412 days ago

Use of present tense can seem unusual and therefore difficult to accustom oneself to but peseverencepays off! the only thing I noticed was the use of 'I' every now and then which did not seem to make sense. Background and description come across as authentic however. My second Australian-based book today, I am learning loads about the place. :0

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1412 days ago

Dear E,
I think the content of your story is excellent. I only read the first chapter but hope to read the whole book because this is an important topic. I am very attracted to stories about women's issues. But I am a little off put by the use of present tense. For some reason, it seems contrived and difficult to read. I was very distracted by it. Maybe I'm the only one who is bothered by it, though, so please don't take my remarks too seriously.

Elizabeth Wolfe (MEMORIES OF GLORY)

zan wrote 1415 days ago

Three Red Seeds

E Maclean

You explore the highly relevant issues of unwanted pregnancies and abortion which is very worthwhile. I love your setting and the indigenous elders' input in the story appeals to me very much. Nice title too - and I think the "red" very symbolic. Jade of course is a complex character and I think you do a good job of characterising her. "Anxiety rises in her belly. Her body hardens in anticipation of what is to come." Knowing the plotline from your pitches, I understand her attitude. Good read so far and was happy to back you.

Jen Leeper wrote 1416 days ago


First, I thank you for your constructive criticism of 'Padre'.

Writing comes very naturally to you. I can see that from the first paragraph of your manuscript. I read until I was interrupted by influences external to your story, so you have quite a grasp on the mechanics of a good book.


Three Red Seeds wrote 1416 days ago

Dear E

I have started to read your writing and must say that it is compelling. Already you have established your animated characters in my head, ( they are not leaving soon) and i feel strongly to back your book now. I do wish to be part of your climb to the top on this site. CONGRATS and I will comment more as I read more

Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK also
The VERY best of luck to you

The Letter

I have seen you write this IDENTICAL comment elsewhere - even against non-fiction peices. I do not believe you have read my writing at all. Your comment is dishonest and has no value. What kind of person sets out to deceive and manipulate others in this way?

Tom Bye wrote 1417 days ago


turning out to be a very well though out literary read. premise is good. with plenty of atomsphere about
under the australian skys as they sit aroung the comp fire'
will read more.

Barry Wenlock wrote 1417 days ago

Hi E,
You have made a strong start with this story of Jade's agonising dilemma. You deal with the POV very well. Well done. More please.
Backed with pleasure, Barry (Little Krisna and the Bihar Boys)

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1418 days ago

What an original story! You have also used a setting unknown to most of your readers and this adds information and intrigue to the mix, well done. Paula Barrett (Cuthbert-how mean is my valley)

name falied moderation wrote 1418 days ago

Dear E

I have started to read your writing and must say that it is compelling. Already you have established your animated characters in my head, ( they are not leaving soon) and i feel strongly to back your book now. I do wish to be part of your climb to the top on this site. CONGRATS and I will comment more as I read more

Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK also
The VERY best of luck to you

The Letter

lizjrnm wrote 1418 days ago

This is my kind of read - I willcomment with more detail later but backed for now because Id buy this book.

The Cheech Room
A Fine Pickle

name falied moderation wrote 1418 days ago

Dear E

reading at present , comment to follow

The Letter

fortyplus wrote 1418 days ago

You have a plot that grabs the attention of all women... Backed w pleasure! Please check out 40...already??!! Angi

SusieGulick wrote 1418 days ago

Dear Alice, I love your story of Austrailia & how you put me right there with your heroine to feel what she's feeling. :) - what a read. :) Your pitch made me read your book as it provided the setting & your tight dialogue & paragraphs gave me a nice read. :) My heart goes out to Jade & her plight. :) I've backed your book :) - could you please take a moment to back my memoir book? :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart. :) Love, Susie :)

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"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."