The author wrote this book because "I lived in Lightning Ridge with migrants from about fifty countries and they all have a story to tell. When dealing with opals, love and betrayals play a big part. There are joys and tragedies and excitement, and especially hope.
"I feel that I have added to the mosaic of opal adventure. Some books are written about opal, but none about opal miners. This unique industry began in the late 1800s and it blossomed with the influx of migrants in the 1960s. I also wrote migrant stories as an adult education teacher."
Originally from Slovenia, Cilka Zagar now resides in Lightning Ridge, Australia.
"Slovenia, where I come from, is a jewel of central Europe. Our neighbors coveted and annexed much of Slovenian land, so the country is now very small. After WWII, some aspirational Slovenians escaped from communism and many came to Australia.
"I worked as a primary school teacher and an accredited interpreter. "I have been an Aboriginal liaison officer and have often represented the views of Aborigines and migrants. I write fiction and non-fiction, and had books published in English and Slovenian languages.
"I had my first stories and poems published when I was 12."
Lightning Ridge, Australia, the world's opal capital, has miners from over fifty countries, who brought with them their political and religious beliefs, traditions, and memories.
Gradually they created a unique society with a new culture, character, morals, and ideals.
You never know who is who in Lightning Ridge, says Bill, an old opal miner. Aborigines and Europeans, doctors and illiterates, policemen and criminals, all camp next to each other, looking for the same rainbow in the clay beneath the sandstone.
Prospectors come to Lightning Ridge in search of the elusive rainbow gem that will make them instantly rich and respected. The hope to find a red-on-black opal is the dream these opal miners live on.
Ratting is the worst crime possible in an opal mining community. Ratters are miners who masquerade as prospectors, but they wait until a miner hits opal and then loot his mine.
These stories are also about the women who loved and followed their adventurous men searching for their rainbow in the heart of Australian wilderness.
The seven stories in this book are based on real people and events. Each story can be read separately or as one book. Set in Lightning Ridge and in Canberra, the tales span from 1938 to present day.