VERANDAH Magazine 2019

After living in California’s Mojave Desert, one of the harshest and driest places on earth, Valerie Morton relocated to a rainforest near Byron Bay, one of the wettest, and has called Byron Shire home for the past 12 years.  Blame it on the Rain, Life Around Byron Bay, is a collection of light-hearted essays about the area she’s grown to love. 

When I call Valerie to arrange a time to talk to her about her book, she gives me a wonderfully Byron Shire reply.  “I’ll be around later,” she says, “unless I’m out feeding the Alpacas.”  Of course...

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WellRead SAWEEKEND NOVEMBER 17-18, 2018


LOW LIFE IN THE HIGH DESERT David Hirst Scribe $32.99 Hirst should have been born in the Wild West. Devoted to its folklore, he would have cut a fine figure on the edge of the law, complete with battered stetson and gun belt. He even looked a bit like Clint Eastwood and was known to espouse the “Dirty Harry solution” as a newspaper reporter in Melbourne. His time with girlfriend Boo in the Mojave Desert was hardly a “low life”. Together with dog Harry (what else?) they discovered Boulder House, a rambling folly amid the cactus and Joshua trees. It was the high country, and Hirst led a high life among characters who shunned the city for adventure in the wild. An Australian to his cowboy boots, Hirst has written a lively account of adventures to relish.



Weekend Australian Nov 17-18, 2018

Blame it on the Rain: Life around Byron Bay by Valerie Morton (Scribe, $32.99) is a cheeky tell-all by a resident that lifts the lid on the NSW north coast tourist town and its quirky characters such as cover model Kazzie Mahina the mermaid and her merboy, Makoa Tide.

The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia


To the eccentric world of Byron Bay, Valerie Morton brings a bemused and filmic eye. She blends wry wit with affection; acute observation with a dash of the macabre. You might think you’re with the Coen Brothers sometimes, but you’re really in the Australian bush, ancient home of the wonderful and freaky, close up with a cool, original and worldly guide.'


© 2018 by Valerie Morton.