Book – Where Lions Roar at Night

It’s been said that ‘Where Lions Roar at Night’, written by Penny’s twin sister Rosie Boom, has two main characters: Milly Boom – and the Homewood Stove! Our bookshelf definitely would not be complete without it.

‘Where Lions Roar at Night’ tells the tale of the excitement and adventures of a large ‘pioneering’ New Zealand family when they move into a run-down, 90-year old barn in the countryside.

This book will have you laughing out loud, and (when possums and rats aren’t making themselves welcome or ‘hundred year’ storms aren’t hitting!), very envious of the simple life the Booms live.

Read a sample chapter below, or visit the Official Website

– Janie

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Rose has kindly provided us with an excerpt:

Chapter Twenty Four

Tea Lights on Potatoes

No one went to bed early that night. Milly helped Mum squeeze out the sodden towels and empty buckets, while Sam and Jake had fun playing with all the candle wax dripping down the sides of the candles.

Then they all crowded into Mum and Dad’s bed and read a few chapters from Little House in the Big Woods. Milly held the lantern close so Mum could see. Finally Mum closed the book and said, “That’s all for tonight. My voice is hoarse from trying to read above the sound of the rain.”

“Just one more!” pleaded the children. No one wanted to go to their own beds. Mum looked at their eager faces and relented. “Just one more,” she said firmly.

She was half way through, when Dad suddenly said, “Shh!” They all sat very still and listened. Milly could hear the wind howling and the rain pounding. She could hear the creaking and groaning of the barn. Then she heard the mournful bellowing of Dad’s bulls.

“Bother!” said Dad as he jumped out of bed. “The bulls are out!” They all climbed up to the window and peered out into the dark. Right outside the window were huge black shapes. They looked like buffaloes to Milly. But they weren’t. They were Dad’s bulls, and they were pushing against the barn and against Mum’s potted fruit trees and roses.

“Oh no!” cried Mum. “They’re eating my trees!”

Dad disappeared into the darkness and the rain and the wind. He came back half an hour later looking frazzled and annoyed. “I can’t keep them in their paddock,” he told Mum. “They’ve worked out that the jolly electric fences aren’t on.” He wiped the rain from his face. “What a pain having these huge beasts down here. I should have kept them up at Penny and Dave’s farm.”

“You weren’t to know we would have a storm like this,” said Mum.

Dad groaned. “You should see the mess they’re making out there. They’ve made it a sea of mud.”

Mum didn’t want to see. Instead she tucked the children into their beds and kissed them goodnight. “Try and sleep,” she told them. “And try not to worry about the storm.”

Milly did try but everything sounded worse alone in bed at night. When a huge gust of wind shook the barn, she hid her head under the quilt and prayed the roof would stay on.

When she woke in the morning, she was still right under the covers. And the rain was still drumming on the roof, and the barn was still rattling and shaking. The sky outside looked angry and dark and everywhere she could see was flooded.

She jumped out of bed and ran down to Mum and Dad.

Mum pulled back the covers and Milly jumped in. “What a night, eh Milly?” said Mum. “Did you get some sleep?”

Milly nodded. She felt so much safer down here with Mum and Dad and the rain wasn’t so loud and scary. Her eyes felt heavy and tired.

After some hot porridge cooked on the Homewood, Dad said, “Why don’t we go for a little drive to see what’s happening elsewhere?”

They piled into the van and set off down the drive. They didn’t get far. A large tree had fallen across it, blocking the way. They sat in the car and tried to see out the windows. A number of trees lay fallen in the paddocks, their huge roots sticking up in the air like giant spider legs. Dirty, muddy water covered the paddocks and road.

“Oh boy,” said Mum. “What a mess.”

“Wait till you see our place,” said Dad. “The meadow is covered with water and some of our lovely native trees have fallen. And it’s not over yet.”

Milly groaned. “How much more rain can there be in the sky?”

“Plenty,” said Josiah.

The power was still off when darkness fell that night. Kate cooked a lovely dinner in the Homewood, and they sat around the fire for a long time afterwards, enjoying its warmth and gentle light. Milly had fun with the boys carving the candle wax that dripped onto the table.

“Just think of the poor men fixing the power lines in this storm,” said Mum as the barn rattled again in the fierce wind. “What a job.”

“I’ll say,” agreed Dad. “It was bad enough trying to nail down the tin on our roof yesterday. The ladder didn’t feel very safe. Do you know, I heard on the news today that they’re saying this is a ‘hundred year storm’. Imagine it! Two ‘hundred year storms’ in a matter of three months. I must say that makes me feel rather old.”

Mum laughed. “Me too! Or maybe I’m just exhausted. I hope we sleep a bit better tonight. At least we won’t lie awake expecting the roof to blow off at any moment.” She looked at Dad. “The wind has dropped a bit, hasn’t it?”

He nodded. “Still pretty fierce though. But I think if we were going to lose the roof, we would have lost it last night.”

Sam looked up from his carving. “It was pretty scary being on the top bunk last night,” he said in a quiet voice.

Mum looked up at his soft earnest eyes and gave him a hug. “You should top and tail with Jake in the bottom bunk tonight, Sam. You’ll be nice and warm together and it won’t be nearly as scary. And you know you can come down and sleep with Dad and me anytime, don’t you?”

Sam nodded. Then he said in a shy voice, “Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and thought I’d gone blind.”

Milly guffawed. Mum shot her a warning look, then turned to look at Sam again. “Because it was so dark?” she asked gently.

Sam nodded again. “I forgot the power was off, and everything was so black I couldn’t see my hand.”

Milly spluttered again and Mum narrowed her eyes at her over the top of Sam’s head. Then she dropped a kiss on his blonde hair. “Well, you come and cuddle us tonight if you feel scared, darling.” Then she looked over at Milly and added, “If there’s enough room, that is. Milly and Jake might have beaten you to it.”

“Yeah right,” said Milly laughing. But deep down she knew just how Sam felt, and she knew Mum was probably right. There could be a bit of a squash in Mum and Dad’s bed tonight if the storm wouldn’t shut up and go away.

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