Showing posts with label Guest Posts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest Posts. Show all posts

Aug 7, 2015

Guest Post: The Inspiration Behind the Super-sexy 'Striker' Series & Giveaway


Guest Post – The inspiration behind the super-sexy ‘Striker’ series


I loved Footballers’ Wives? That show used to be my not-so-secret guilty pleasure. Pure escapism. All the glamour, glitz, scandal - I loved it! It never really was about the football though, was it?

But even though I adored getting lost in all that fictional, hedonistic glamour and scandal, I’m actually quite a big fan of the so-called Beautiful Game. Football has always been a part of my life. Me and my dad used to be season ticket holders at Newcastle United, I’ve been watching Match of the Day for as long as I can remember, and during World Cup tournaments I’m never without a wall chart!

So, I’m a football fan, but I’m also an author. And as someone who loves a good Jackie Collins or Jilly Cooper bonkbuster, I’d always wanted to write my own, a story set against the backdrop of professional football. But in my eyes basing a romance novel around the sport was always going to be a risky thing to do. I mean, sometimes all you have to do is mention the word to some women (football, that is, not romance) and their eyes glaze over. But the books were never really going to be about football. They focus much more on glitz, glamour and scandalous drama. The characters involved just happen to live and work within the world of Premiership football. The books are fun, sexy and HOT! I even jokingly labelled them “Fifty Shades of Football” at one point, because the kind of action in there isn’t anything you’re going to see on Sky Sports! They really are more about the sex than the soccer!

But when I was writing the books, I also wanted to create characters that were believable because, for some reason, the world of the professional footballer, and the people who share their lives, has always fascinated me. So to be told in a review, by someone who works within the world of football, that I have the character of fictional footballer Ryan Fisher just right, that was good to hear. Because Ryan really is your stereotypical footballer – a bad boy with attitude; a player in every sense of the word. He’s hot, handsome and talented, with a slightly over-inflated ego. But after reading a book called ‘I am the Secret Footballer’ – written by a top-flight player, and a book that lifted the lid on his life within the world of football – I realised that nothing I made Ryan do would be far fetched. That book was invaluable research for me, not to mention a real eye-opener as far as what life as a footballer can be like. It certainly isn’t all glamour, believe me!

But for me, writing those books was a labour of love. I even got to look around a real-life football stadium as part of my research. Sunderland AFC were kind enough to give me a little tour of the Stadium of Light, including the dressing rooms – which were all devoid of footballers at the time, unfortunately. I got to go into the manager’s office, have a look around the Players’ and Press Lounges, go pitch side, and thanks to that visit I got more information than I could ever possibly have gathered just through Googling alone. I got the feel of a real-life football club; I got to hear how things worked and just what goes on during match days, which turned out to be an invaluable insight when it came to writing the ‘Striker’ books.

To sum up what the ‘Striker’ series is really all about, I guess you could say we’re talking hot footballers, sexy sports reporters, a manager that makes Jose Mourinho look dull and boring… mix all of that with a bit of glamour, a fair dose of scandal, sprinkle it with some pretty racy scenes, and you’ve got the ‘Striker’ series, books that were inspired by my love of football, and a show that epitomised glamorous, escapist TV.

Giveaway

Win a paperback copy of Striker!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.


Jul 31, 2015

Guest Post: Top 5 Beach Reads According to Sarah Morgan



Top 5 beach reads according to Sarah Morgan 


Riders, by Jilly Cooper – no summer reading list would be complete without something from the Queen of the Bonkbuster, Jilly Cooper herself! And when you’re sunning yourself on a beach, there’s no better book to curl up on your towel or sun-lounger with than Riders. Full of sex, scandal and the most amazingly funny (and awful!) characters, it’s a compulsive read. Not least because you’ll be introduced to the gorgeous and outrageous Rupert Campbell-Black, one of my favourite heroes IN THE WORLD. 


The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. I love this author, and I’m always counting down to her next release! This book is a particular favourite of mine. Richly drawn characters, complex relationships and family secrets played out against the sultry American South. Perfect beach reading! 


The Undomestic Goddess, by Sophie Kinsella – prepare to laugh out loud as Samantha, a high powered lawyer, makes a mistake at work that drives her in a direction totally unsuited to her skills. This is easily my favourite Sophie Kinsella book. . 


The Witness, by Nora Roberts – part romance, part suspense, this page-turner will keep you on the edge of your sun lounger. 


The Thirty List by Eva Woods – this book couldn’t be more fun! Romantic and uplifting, this story about love, life and pushing yourself outside your comfort zones is a real treat! A must for any romance reader. 


About Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan writes warm contemporary romantic fiction with her trademark humour
which has gained her fans across the globe. Described as ‘full of sparkle’ by Lovereading,
she has been nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA© Award from the
Romance Writers of America and won the award twice; in 2012 and 2013.
Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing she
loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.
Visit Sarah online at www.sarahmorgan.com, on Facebook
at www.facebook.com/Author SarahMorgan and on Twitter @SarahMorgan_

Jun 24, 2015

Australia Week: Eugenia's Top 10 Australian Reads! & Giveaway

Eugenia’s Top 10 Australian Reads

Hi everyone! I’m Eugenia from Genie In A Book here to share my top 10 Aussie reads for you all. There are some fantastic books out there by Australian authors, and it’s definitely difficult to narrow it down to just ten, but here you go:


1. Disruption by Jessica Shirvington

This is a fast-paced almost dystopian/sci-fi novel in a duology in a version of the world similar to our own which absolutely blew me away! There’s action, some romance, and a kick-ass female protagonist who knows how to set things right.

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?
What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loves most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it.

Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for?

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.


2. Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James 

Rebecca James is always at the top of my list when it comes to writing an amazing YA thriller – this is just one of my favourites, and others she’s written include Sweet Damage and Cooper Bartholomew is Dead.

Who is Katherine Patterson? It is a question she hopes no one can answer. To erase her past, Katherine has moved to a new city, enrolled in a new school, and even changed her name. She’s done the next best thing to disappearing altogether. Now, wary and alone, she seeks nothing more than anonymity. What she finds instead is the last thing she expected: a friend.

Even more unlikely, Katherine’s new friend is the most popular and magnetic girl in school. Extroverted, gorgeous, flirtatious, and unpredictable, she is everything that Katherine is not and doesn’t want to be: the center of attention. Yet Alice’s enthusiasm is infectious, her candor sometimes unsettling, and Katherine, in spite of her guarded caution, finds herself drawn into Alice’s private circle.

But Alice has secrets, too—darker than anyone can begin to imagine. And when she lets her guard down at last, Katherine discovers the darkest of them all. For there will be no escaping the past for Katherine Patterson—only a descent into a trap far more sinister . . . and infinitely more seductive.


3. Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

This is a simply stunning rendition of Rapunzel – taking it right back to its origins, weaving in historical details as well. Kate Forsyth’s writing style is beautiful, and this story had me drawn in from the first page.

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens...

After Margherita's father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.


4. Every Breath by Ellie Marney

If you’re looking for a YA spin on Sherlock Holmes then this is it! This is the first book in a trilogy, and one you wouldn’t want to miss!

Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally.

A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again... 


5. A Waltz for Matilda by Jackie French

This is still my favourite book of all time – it’s set in the early period of Federation in Australian history and is both heartwarming and beautifully told. Jackie French is also my favourite author, so I’d definitely recommend other books she’s written as well (there are lots to choose from!).

In 1894, twelve-year-old Matilda flees the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm. But drought grips the land, and the shearers are on strike. Her father has turned swaggie and he′s wanted by the troopers. In front of his terrified daughter, he makes a stand against them, defiant to the last. ′You′ll never catch me alive, said he...′

Set against a backdrop of bushfire, flood, war and jubilation, this is the story of one girl′s journey towards independence. It is also the story of others who had no vote and very little but their dreams.

Drawing on the well-known poem by A.B. Paterson and from events rooted in actual history, this is the untold story behind Australia′s early years as an emerging nation.


6. The Rosie Black Chronicles: Genesis by Lara Morgan

This is a book set in Perth 500 years into the future, and I love sci-fi which is actually set in Australia. Another favourite of mine, this trilogy is one you have to read – action, loyalty, friendship, romance, drama – it has it all!

Five hundred years into the future, the world is a different place. The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the “Centrals”; the have-nots, the “Bankers”; and the fringe dwellers, the “Ferals”.

Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it – and will kill to get it.

Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss?

From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box – before it’s too late.


7. Shadows by Paula Weston

And now we move to paranormal – As it turns out, Aussie writers are really good at that too! This first book in the Rephaim series is a hit, and has been getting positive hype overseas as well.

It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.

And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series.


8. Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting

This novel really tugs at the heartstrings and demonstrates how friendships can change over time. It’s a lovely coming-of-age novel, emotional and thought-provoking.


Tallulah de Longland,' she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgement. 'That,' she announced, 'is a seriously glamorgeous name.'

From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is bewitched by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.

Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small, coastal town of Juniper Bay. Their lives become as entwined as Annabelle's initials engraved beneath the de Longland kitchen table.

But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.

Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgiveable.

It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.


9. The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

Now if you want a light and funny contemporary YA novel which will literally make you laugh out loud, then you can’t go past The Intern and the sequel Faking It. Everyone has Josie Browning moments, and these books are great for fans of The Devil Wears Prada.

Josie Browning dreams of having it all.

A stellar academic record, an amazing career in journalism - and for her current crush to realise she actually exists. The only problem? Josie can’t get through twenty-four hours without embarrassing her sister Kat or her best friend Angel, let alone herself.

Josie’s luck changes though when she lands an internship at the glossy fashion magazine Sash. A coveted columnist job is up for grabs, but Josie’s got some tough competition in the form of two other interns. Battle lines are drawn and Josie quickly learns that the magazine industry is far from easy, especially under the reign of powerful editor, Rae Swanson.

From the lows of coffee-fetching and working 10-hour days, to the highs of mingling with celebrities, scoring endless free beauty products (plus falling for her cousin’s seriously gorgeous flatmate James) this is one year Josie will never forget.

Totally fresh and funny, this debut novel from industry insider Gabrielle Tozer reveals just what is behind the seeming glamour and sparkle of the magazine industry. 


10. Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier

Historical fiction set in the glamorous city of Venice? This is a debut from Kylie Fornasier, and is just as gorgeous as the setting.


It's the Carnevale of 1750 and Venice's ballrooms, theatres, palazzos and squares are filled with delicious gossip, devilish fun and dangerous games. In this glittering masked world, everyone has a secret...

Set in an age of decadence made famous by Casanova, Masquerade uncovers the secrets of seven teens, from the highest aristocrat to the lowest servant – their dreams, desires, loves, loyalties ... and betrayals.

All the world's a stage. Let the show begin.

Thanks again for having me here on your blog Suze, hope you guys get to checking out some of these Australian gems soon!

Giveaway

Enter this giveaway to win a paperback version of The Intern 
 
 I will contact the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.     

Jun 23, 2015

Australia Week: The Healing Power of Chocolate by Josephine Moon


The Healing Power of Chocolate

By Josephine Moon


Imagine a world in which chocolate was medicine.

I like to think it’s not too much of a stretch. You see, rainforest plants provide the chemical basis for a quarter of Western medications, yet only a small number of the total rainforest plant species have been tested by science to see what other wonder ingredients they have on offer.

Chocolate comes from the rainforests, growing in a small band of tropical climate zone either side of the equator. And the best news is that research reveals exactly what we want to hear: chocolate is good for you.

Actually, more specifically, cacao is good for you. Cacao (pronounced ka-cow) is where chocolate comes from. Cacao comes from the rainforest tree Theobroma cacao, which means food of the Gods (no argument here.) The tree produces flowers, a small percentage of those flowers turn into fruit pods, and inside each pod are beans covered in white flesh. Crack open the beans and you’ll find the cacao nibs—small, hard and bitter fragments that give us cacao.


Raw cacao and cocoa are different. Cacao comes from cold-pressing unroasted nibs, while cocoa powder is the refined, processed product that has been heat-treated, thereby changing the vitamins and enzymes. One is a whole food and one is not.

This is an important difference. So before you run off to buy a truckload of high-fat, high-sugar, relatively inexpensive chocolate from the supermarket shelf, think again. After many years of researching (and eating) chocolate for my novel The Chocolate Promise, I’ve come to think of chocolate products as either confectionery or real food—there’s not much in between. I can eat shameful quantities of a certain type of milk chocolate in a day (because it’s confectionery) and far less of high-quality dark chocolate (because it’s actually real food, and therefore filling, nourishing and satisfying).

So what makes this real food so great? Raw cacao is bursting with phenolic phytochemicals (i.e. antioxidants), and minerals and vitamins (magnesium, iron and potassium to name a few). Some say it has the highest antioxidant of any food in the world. And many go so far as to call it a superfood. Backing this up, researchers at Cornell University (USA) found that cacao surpassed the antioxidant levels of both red wine and green tea. Antioxidants are the marvelous little scavengers that work to beat off cancer cells and heart disease.

Cacao also assists our own body to produce more of its feel-good hormones in the brain, namely serotonin and dopamine—it therefore has antidepressant qualities. It also contains phenethylamines, which help us to release endorphins, our ‘happy high’ hormone. And since the time of the Aztecs—clever people who worshipped cacao as the food of the Gods—it’s been a known aphrodisiac. Theobromine is a stimulant to the central nervous system and the heart. (But be warned, while we enjoy the effects of theobromine, it also makes chocolate toxic to dogs.)


In fact, there are more than seven hundred known components of chocolate and more not yet known. And the science says that cacao is good.

Having said that, not all chocolates are created equal and you need to know what you’re buying in order to benefit. Firstly, the price of the chocolate will give you a fair indication of quality. Next, look for the ingredients. You can make sweetened chocolate from just a few ingredients. I’ve handmade raw chocolate just from cacao, cacao butter, agave syrup and sea salt. That’s pretty much as authentic as you’re going to get. But if the ingredients are listing lots more than that, take note. Vanilla is used as a masking flavour to cover the (naturally occurring) variations between batches, while vanillin is a synthetic flavour.

And for goodness’ sake, don’t eat compound chocolate! It uses cocoa powder (of questionable value), ‘vegetable oil’ (which could mean anything) and a lot of sugar. I wouldn’t count on this for any medicinal qualities whatsoever.

The percentage of cacoa mass will give you some indication of quality as well. The higher the number then, potentially, the more health benefits (and less sugar) you’ll receive. I can enjoy up to 90% percent, though 70–80% is my preferred range. If you’re new to dark chocolate, try starting around 40% and working up.

Eat enough of the good stuff and your palette will change. Like all things, the more you educate yourself, the more you’ll learn to appreciate the immense varieties and value of chocolates out there. Better yet, you’ll be experiencing and receiving just a fraction of the amazing medicines the rainforest has to offer us, delivered in a silky smooth, universally-loved and endorphin-boosting treat. And in my dreams, maybe one day we’ll all be lucky enough to go the doctor and receive a script for chocolate.

Jun 19, 2015

Australia Week: A Lucky Country. A Lucky Writer. by Jenn J McLeod




A Lucky Country. A Lucky Writer.
By Jenn J McLeod

It was J K Rowling who said [about getting published], “It’s hard work and luck, and that the first often leads to the second.” So I figured, given I live in ‘the lucky country’, I only had to work hard and my publishing dream might actually come true.

 
I’d dabbled and daydreamed for decades while waiting for that lucky break, working hard to learn the craft as well as everything I could about the publishing business. Even so, no one was more shocked than me when, in 2012, the publisher from Simon & Schuster telephoned to offer me a two-book deal. More good fortune saw my 2013 debut, House for all Seasons, make #5 spot on the Australian Best Selling Debut Novel list. How lucky did I feel, especially knowing so many wonderful Australian writers, all hard working and with the same dream as me?


Lucky, however, is not what I would call some of my characters.
Take poor Maggie, in Simmering Season. Calingarry Crossing’s local publican has no idea the perfect storm is heading her way and about to blow the lid off a lifetime of secrets.  In my debut, House for all Seasons, I have four women, each as different as the seasons: Sara, a breast cancer survivor afraid to fall in love; Poppy, a tough, ambitions journo still craving her father’s approval; Amber, a spoilt socialite addicted to painkillers and cosmetic procedures; and Caitlin, a doctor frustrated by a controlling family and her flat-lining life.


This year (2015) saw my third book released. Season of Shadow and Light is Paige’s story. After the stillbirth of her son, post-partum stroke robs the professional food reviewer of her sense of smell and taste. When it seems everything she trusts is beginning to betray her, including her husband, Paige and Matilda, with Nana Alice in tow, take off on a road trip to the small Australian country town of Coolabah Tree Gully, only to discover the greatest betrayal of all happened there twenty years earlier.

 
I’m on a bit of a road trip myself now. I’ve sold everything I own to buy a fifth wheeler caravan and I plan on doing the big lap around this lucky country to find small towns and quintessential Aussie characters to inspire more small town stories.

And about that luck thing . . . I do tend to agree with J.K.; there is definitely and case for ‘right place, right time’ and in the publishing business luck does play a hand if you also have the right story. But I believe luck happens when preparedness and opportunity meet. And we control both these to some degree.

We can make opportunities by connecting with other writers online and we can prepare by writing the best story possible and knowing when to let go. No one sells a story that sits on a hard drive, or isn’t perfect enough. I procrastinated for months—polishing and perfecting. I read and re-read House for all Seasons so many times I began to question everything. I had no other opinions—professional or otherwise—to lift me out of the big hole of self-doubt. I’d only let one person read the entire manuscript because I simply wasn’t brave enough. (Many new authors say that sharing early drafts is like stripping naked in the vegetable section of the local supermarket. Showing your work in its undressed state leaves you feeling exposed, a little goofy and sadly, if your fruit and veg is like mine, over-ripe!) Instead, I kept cutting and polishing for extra shine to make sure my manuscript stood out from that slush pile.

Faultless!

Lucky for me my publisher’s decision was not based on my ‘faultless submission’ and she was willing to see beyond the typos & poor grammer grammor, grammar. I’d died a thousand excruciating deaths when my first round of edits arrived and I saw the errors I’d missed.

That’s what I call ‘lucky’.

 
To find out more about Jenn J McLeod and her Australian Contemporary Fiction: www.jennjmcleod.com

You can also friend or follow her on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/JennJMcLeod.Author  &/or  the Readers of Jenn J McLeod group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jennjmcleod.author/
On Twitter:      @jennjmcleod #WriteRoundOz


For book information and buy links see Simon & Schuster Australia. http://authors.simonandschuster.com.au/Jenn-J-McLeod/404929874


Jun 16, 2015

Australia Week: Top 10 Australian Reads by Shelleyrae from Book'd Out & Giveaway!

Recommended Australian Reads 
By fellow Blogger Shelleyrae from Book'd Out!

I am delighted to have been asked by Suze and her team to contribute to Australia Week on LibrarianLavender. My name is Shelleyrae and I live in a small town on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia's most eastern state. I'm a voracious reader and I blog about books at Book'd Out, I'd love it if you dropped by and said hello!


I've been asked to recommend a list of Australian books today. Sadly, few Australian novels are published overseas as traditional presses are slow to exploit the increasingly global marketplace, so I have taken care to ensure the novels I have chosen to recommend here are all available via BookDepository.com , who offers free postage to over 80 countries, including the Netherlands. The list includes contemporary, historical , crime, young adult and romance fiction, hopefully something for everyone.


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.


Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko

A darkly funny novel of romantic love and cultural warfare from one of Australia’s most admired Indigenous voices.
When Jo Breen uses her divorce settlement to buy a neglected property in the Byron Bay hinterland, she is hoping for a tree change, and a blossoming connection to the land of her Aboriginal ancestors. What she discovers instead is sharp dissent from her teenage daughter, trouble brewing from unimpressed white neighbours and a looming Native Title war between the local Bundjalung families. When Jo unexpectedly finds love on one side of the Native Title divide she quickly learns that living on country is only part of the recipe for the Good Life.
Told with humour and a sharp satirical eye, Mullumbimby is a modern novel set against an ancient land.


Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher

"Shots fired on Bitter Wash Road..."
Hirsch is a whistle-blower. Formerly a promising metropolitan officer, now hated and despised. Exiled to a one-cop station in South Australia's wheatbelt. Threats, Pistol cartridge in the mailbox.
So when he heads up Bitter Wash Road to investigate gunfire and finds himself cut off without backup, there are two possibilities. Either he's found the fugitive killers thought to be in the area. Or his 'backup' is about to put a bullet in him.
He's wrong on both counts. But the events that unfold turn out to be a hell of a lot more sinister.


Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.
And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?


Maralinga by Judy Nunn

During the darkest days of the Cold War, in the remote wilderness of a South Australian desert, the future of an infant nation is being decided . . . without its people's knowledge. 
A British airbase in the middle of nowhere; an atomic weapons testing ground; an army of raw youth led by powerful, ambitious men - a cocktail for disaster. Such is Maralinga in the spring of 1956.
MARALINGA is a story of British Lieutenant Daniel Gardiner, who accepts a twelve-month posting to the wilds of South Australia on a promise of rapid promotion; Harold Dartleigh, Deputy Director of MI-6 and his undercover operative Gideon Melbray; Australian Army Colonel Nick Stratton and the enigmatic Petraeus Mitchell, bushman and anthropologist. They all find themselves in a violent and unforgiving landscape, infected with the unique madness and excitement that only nuclear testing creates.
MARALINGA is also a story of love; a love so strong that it draws the adventurous young English journalist Elizabeth Hoffmann halfway around the world in search of the truth. And MARALINGA is a story of heartbreak; heartbreak brought to the innocent First Australians who had walked their land unhindered for 40,000 years.
Maralinga . . . a desolate place where history demands an emerging nation choose between hell and reason.


Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McIerney

For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself—she tells the truth....
The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.
Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when a bump on the head leaves Angela with temporary amnesia, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways….


The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon

THE TROUT OPERA is a stunning epic novel that encompasses twentieth-century Australia. Opening with a Christmas pageant on the banks of the Snowy River in 1906 and ending with the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, it is the story of simple rabbiter and farmhand Wilfred Lampe who, at the end of his long life, is unwittingly swept up into an international spectacle. On the way he discovers a great-niece, the wild and troubled young Aurora, whom he never knew existed, and together they take an unlikely road trip that changes their lives. Wilfred, who has only ever left Dalgety once in almost a hundred years, comes face to face with contemporary Australia, and Aurora, enmeshed in the complex social problems of a modern nation, is taught how to repair her damaged life.


The Light Between the Oceans by M L Steadman

This is a story of right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same ...
1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world.
One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.
Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day - as the baby's real story unfolds …


Blue Skies by Fleur McDonald

Armed with a degree in Agribusiness, Amanda Greenfield dreams of employing all the skills she's learned in college to help her father turn the family farm from a debt-ridden, run-down basket case into a thriving enterprise. Then tragedy strikes with the death of Amanda's mother in a car accident. Wracked by grief and guilt, and wearied by the long struggle to keep Kyleena a going concern, Amanda's father argues that they should sell up and get on with their lives away from the vagaries of drought and fluctuating stock and crop yields. Having inherited half the farm from her beloved mother, whom she also grieves for, Amanda determines to summon all her strength, grit, and know how to save Kyleena. Along the way she faces mixed fortunes in both love and life.


The Fine Color of Rust by Paddy O'Reilly

Set in the Australian bush, a wryly funny, beautifully observed novel about friendship, motherhood, love, and the importance of fighting for things that matter. 
Loretta Boskovic never dreamed she would end up a single mother with two kids in a dusty Australian country town. She never imagined she'd have to campaign to save the local primary school. She certainly had no idea her best friend would turn out to be the crusty old junk man. All in all, she's starting to wonder if she took a wrong turn somewhere. If only she could drop the kids at the orphanage and start over . . . But now, thanks to her protest letters, the education minister is coming to Gunapan, and she has to convince him to change his mind about the school closure. And as if facing down the government isn't enough, it soon becomes clear that the school isn't the only local spot in trouble. In the drought-stricken bushland on the outskirts of town, a luxury resort development is about to siphon off a newly discovered springwater supply. No one seems to know anything, no one seems to care. 
With a dream lover on a Harley unlikely to appear to save the day, Loretta needs to stir the citizens of Gunapan to action. She may be short of money, influence, and a fully functioning car, but she has good friends. Together they can organize chocolate drives, supermarket sausage sizzles, a tour of the local slaughterhouse;whatever it takes to hold on to the scrap of world that is home.


Giveaway

Enter this giveaway to win a paperback copy of Raw Blue.

  I will contact the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.   
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