Beneath the Old Oak


Current Edition 2018

Book Two – Meg’s Story

Author: Lisa Shambrook

Publisher: BHC Press – H20

Date of Publication: 16th October 2018
(Previous edition: November 2014)

Retail Price: £7.95 UK Paperback/$12.95 US Paperback
£5.31 UK eBook/$6.72 US eBook

ISBN: 978-1-947727-42-7 Paperback
978-1-948540-06-3 eBook

Cover Blurb:
Turn those dreams of escape into hope.

Meg’s mother is having a breakdown, and Meg can’t cope. Seeking to escape bullies and overwhelming anxiety, she discovers an old oak tree whose revelations begin to change her life.

Uncover the meaning of hope in Meg’s heartfelt tale of courage and growth.


Beneath the Old Oak is the second book in the Surviving Hope novels. A trilogy of books that encompass the lives and families of three girls:

Three girls, three lives, three stories composed with the melody of hope.

Freya’s death sends ripples through many lives as Meg loses her best friend, and Jasmine, her sister. Lost dreams need to be found, hidden family secrets need to be unearthed, and grief must be embraced before ghosts can be laid to rest.

These beautifully composed tales of coming of age, mental health, and the struggles of finding yourself, begin with grief and culminate with hope. As grief is faced, hope becomes the only force to cling to and build upon. Freya, Meg, and Jasmine need to survive with hope.


Writing Beneath the Old Oak

BeneathOldOak_Cover_Amazon (1)

First Cover 2014

I had never considered doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) before, but in 2012 I got caught up in my writing friends’ excitement and decided to pick up an idea I’d had a while ago…and Beneath the Old Oak was revived.

After writing Beneath the Rainbow, I wanted to find a new writing project and recalled a poem that my mother-in-law had written many years ago (see below, but be warned it does contain spoilers) and it inspired me to write about the old oak tree.
I wanted to write about the things a huge, ancient tree sees within its life span, but wasn’t sure whether to write as the tree or not. I decided not to, so I needed a protagonist. My first notions stirred recalling a character from Beneath the Rainbow, and I decided to write Meg’s story*.

Beneath the Old Oak AD with public reviews* Meg’s character is from Beneath the Rainbow so, Beneath the Old Oak became a companion book, though each book in the Surviving Hope series can be read as stand alone stories.

“Meg’s mother is anxious, depressed and neglectful. Meg thinks her mum is broken and wonders if she’ll be next, or is she already broken too? Meg wants to escape, but her mum beats her to it. Solace is found in a huge, old oak tree and Meg begins to learn to grow…”

Meg is damaged and the tree offers not only solace, but its experience

I drew on many of my own life experiences to write for Meg and her mother, and I fit deftly into both characters at times. I suffer chronic clinical depression and have had an anxiety/panic disorder since I was fourteen. Though It’s important to point out this is an entire work of fiction.

My first NaNo teaser is here…

chapter_head_pageI worked again with Blue Harvest Creative to create a lovely cover and beautifully formatted interior

Beneath the Old Oak was first released on 4th November 2014.

In 2018 I was offered a publishing deal with BHC Press and became one of their Authors. I had recently released A Symphony of Dragons with them and we worked to rerelease the Surviving Hope novels. This meant new covers and to create a branding identity I was asked to paint covers in a similar vein to my Symphony dragon. This was a feat, but one I enjoyed and Beneath the Old Oak was released by BHC Press‘s H20 imprint on 16th October 2018 with a brand new cover.

Beneath the Old Oak is available in eBook and paperback from most online retailers, all links are found on my website and at BHC Press. You can also buy signed and discounted paperbacks from my own Etsy shop, Amaranth Alchemy, too.

Beneath the Old Oak by Lisa Shambrook

Beneath the Old Oak © Lisa Shambrook


Here’s my mother-in-law’s beautiful poem that offered inspiration for this book:

The Death of a Tree
It stood as tall as a mountain tower,
Its branches spread out with unending power.
Two hundred years, it had stood there alone,
But only its leaves moved, when blown.
Life in its foliage, hid in its bark,
Like nests in the branches, for sparrow or lark.
Here the birds met every year
Before they moved to a warmer sphere.
Squirrels racing to and fro,
As if they didn’t know which way to go.
Their nuts they hid within its wall
To use again when snow did fall.
So many things this old tree saw,
More of nature, than us for sure,
And on the ground round its feet,
Young lovers there would oftimes meet.
They carved their names on its trunk together,
And knew their love would last forever.
When in the heat of a summer’s day,
Little children would come round him and play.
The boys would climb to the very top,
The little girls scared that they might drop.
Then one day in the midst of a storm,
Some of his branches were from him torn.
A ferocious wind, with claps of thunder,
Trees all around, sent all asunder,
And as the wind grew so much stronger,
He felt he couldn’t stay up much longer.
He tried to be brave and stay upright,
But he knew somehow he’d lose the fight.
Then in a moment all nature stood still,
As the wind was gathering over the hill,
Like the waves of the sea it came up fast,
And now this tree had seen its last.
A few weeks later people came to see,
A fallen hero their beautiful tree.
Nature could see the pain in their eyes,
Because now only a battered trunk lies,
But nature always heals things her way…
So take a walk in that place today,
You will not find a hole, where there once was a tree,
But you’ll see an acorn as proud as can be.
by Doreen Shambrook