What Lies Beneath the Cedars - 2016
It is 1999 and 26 year-old Lucy Shadid is the daughter of a first generation Lebanese family living in an Australian country town. She feels frustrated and unfulfilled, working in her family's café, Millie's Place; that’s well-loved by the locals. Lucy's younger sister, Grace is estranged from the family and as such, her mother, Amelia is highly controlling to ensure Lucy stays on the right track.
Rhys Boyd is an Aussie mechanic scarred by a traumatic childhood and chasing after his brother who is living a dangerous lifestyle.
When Rhys appears at Millie's Place to appease his brother’s wrongdoing, Lucy is intrigued by the handsome yet troubled man. He represents the freedom she desperately craves.
Against her family’s wishes, Lucy and Rhys develop a friendship. But just as it deepens into a romance, their fairytale is shattered by a tragic turn of events.
Through the heartbreak, Lucy comes face to face with some shocking truths that will challenge every belief she has had both in herself and her culture.
What Lies Beneath The Cedars is an entertaining and very moving story of a young Lebanese woman in rural Australia trying to make a life for herself and fulfil her dreams while respecting the commitment she has to her family, their traditions and her heritage.
Where the Cedars Rise (sequel to What Lies Beneath the Cedars) - 2017
In the sequel to What Lies Beneath the Cedars, Lucy travels with Rhys to a mountain village in Lebanon to learn more about the true origins of her family. For Lucy, it is a chance to connect with the extended family she never knew and celebrate the love she has just found with Rhys. But they soon discover “the old country” is one of contrasts, complexity and intrigue.
Meanwhile, back in Australia, Lucy’s mother, Amelia chooses to keep secret some frightening news about her health which puts a strain on her relationships with those around her.
For Amelia’s other daughter, Grace, getting the truth from her mother is one more problem she must deal with in addition to running the family business by herself and the growing realisation that her own marriage is facing difficulties. If that were not enough, a chance discovery sends shock waves through the whole family.
From the breathtaking backdrop of Lebanon’s Qadisha Valley to the flourishing, cultural town of Australia’s Opal Hills, Where the Cedars Rise is a gripping story of a mother and her two daughters coming to terms with long-held family secrets, ghosts of the past and working to create a solid future for themselves and their family.