Homeaustralian authors
October 17, 2011

On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This is a book to be sped through, then read again and savoured and, when it’s tattered and the pages are curling, passed on to your kids.

This is the Melina Marchetta I thought I wouldn’t finish.

The story begins with a shocking scene of children trapped in a car wreck on the Jellicoe Road. But this isn’t the main story.

Twenty-two years later, Taylor Markham is elected to lead Jellicoe School in the annual territory wars against the Townies from the local public school, and the Cadets, who camp out in town for the summer holidays.

But Taylor has other things to worry about. Her dreams are filled by a boy in a tree who whispers in her ear. Hannah, the closest person she has to a mother, has mysteriously disappeared, and Taylor’s teetering on the brink of a breakdown—or worse.

What happened to the kids in the car accident and the boy on the bike who came along to save them? And what do they have to do with Taylor?

I was so confused, I killed a fairy before I even reached page 50.

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October 11, 2011
Swept: Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Swept: Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

A book for anyone with a sense of adventure, whether you’re an armchair traveller or someone who wants to see more of the world.

While working overseas in San Francisco for a year, Australian girl Torre DeRoche meets a hot Argentinian in a bar. Their romance is meant to be just a temporary thing, but somehow she ends up sailing around the South Pacific with him, despite a complete fear of sailing. Will their love survive the open water?

I first heard of the fearful adventurer by following a series of links and connections via Twitter. DeRoche’s book had not yet been published, but her story seemed so interesting. I immediately tried to get the ending out of her via Twitter but no, I was not allowed to kill a fairy and had to wait for the book to come out. When it did, I promptly downloaded the book, loaded it on the Kindle on my iPhone and, mid-book, left my phone on a bus…but not before skipping to the ending and killing a fairy!

What I love most about this book is that it combines two of my passions—travel and romance.

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September 23, 2011

Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe -- US edition

Some of the plot manipulations may stand out like dog’s balls, and you’d be copping a fair bit of earbashing on Strine, but if you like gently paced romances, it’s worth a Captain Cook.

When Mark Olsen—‘direct descendent [sic] of Viking marauders’—sees a bride wandering down his small home town, the least he could do is help her find her fiancé. Mark’s home for his annual Thanksgiving visit, and he’s already counting the days before he can leave.

Until it turns out that would-be bride Matilda Geoffrey—‘direct descendent [sic] of convicts’—has been left standing on Main Street, with nothing but a wedding dress, a tiara and a two-tiered fruit cake ‘that wouldn’t pass a breathalyzer test’. No groom in sight and no funds for a return trip home to Australia.

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September 21, 2011
Viper's Kiss by Shannon Curtis

Viper's Kiss by Shannon Curtis

A fun romp, but lacks the depth I want in a romance and the plausibility I want in suspense.

I’ll be honest. This book is a bit all over the place. The title smacks of the paranormal—snake shifters, anyone?—but the story is romantic suspense and ‘Viper’ is the codename for a notorious spy.

The cover is beefy, but the more sympathetic character is librarian heroine Maggie Kincaid, who is mistaken for Viper and is trying to avoid arrest, capture and/or torture, depending on who’s doing the chasing.

Luke Fletcher is a private security operative—ex-Special Forces, of course—hired to track down Viper and the top-secret technology she’s stolen from a research facility.

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August 8, 2011

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta (Australian edition)

I’ve made up my mind. This is my favourite Melina Marchetta book. If my house caught fire, I’d probably grab it on the way out.

We have a signed copy of The Piper’s Son to give away. We’ll post details of the giveaway this week, so watch this space!

Last year I declared Saving Francesca as my favourite young adult book, but that’s not totally accurate. It’s my favourite teen novel. The Piper’s Son is a little more grown-up, and in this book, Melina Marchetta moves more firmly into young adult territory.

I was crying before I got to the end of chapter one, right through to the end, and I loved every minute of it.

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July 19, 2011

If you were at the ARRA convention this year, you may remember Helene Young from her fantastic book reading and launch of Shattered Sky. Her books, set in North Queensland, combine romantic suspense with the increasingly popular rural lit category. Her debut novel, Border Watch (rereleased as Wings of Fear), won the 2010 Australian Romance Readers Award for Favourite Romantic Suspense and is nominated for this year’s R*BY Award in the Romantic Elements category.

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Helene is giving away a copy of her R*BY Award nominated novel, WINGS OF FEAR. For a chance to win, tell us why you love—or would love to try—Australian romantic suspense.

Some rules: Post your answer as a comment to this post. Multiple entries are fine. By entering, you give us permission to quote your entry in future blog posts and articles. You also give us permission to send your email address to the author, who will be organising delivery of the book. Open to international readers. The giveaway ends midnight on Monday, July 25 AEST. Wandergurl, Decadence and I will pick our favourite answer. The winner must provide a delivery address within one week after we announce the result on the blog.

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July 8, 2011
Kelly Hunter (source: Kelly Hunter)Source: Kelly Hunter

Mills and Boon author Kelly Hunter was a finalist in the 2011 RITA Awards for her Sexy release, Red-Hot Renegade, which features something not often seen in mainstream romance novels—an Asian heroine. I haven’t read this book yet (it’s on my list of books to read!) but based on Kate’s review I think I need to get to it soon.

Kelly’s latest Australian release was The Man She Loves to Hate (Sexy, 2-in-1). Her latest North American release was With This Fling (Presents), and her latest UK release was Taken By The Bad Boy (Paradise Nights anthology).

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Kelly is giving away a copy of her RITA-nominated book, RED-HOT RENEGADE. For a chance to win, tell us which renegade (living or historical) would make a fantastic romance hero and why.

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July 5, 2011
Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee (Tanner Siblings, Book 1)

Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee (Tanner Siblings, Book 1)

A friends to lovers story that doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights—or depths—that I prefer in my romances.

I love me a good friends-to-lovers story—it’s one of my favourite pairings. In theory, Jess Dee’s story in which the hero, Daniel, decides he’s had enough of being platonic friends with childhood friend, Amy, and executes a plan to change their relationship status…well, in theory it ticks the right boxes for me. Bonus for being an erotic romance, even though, as I may have mentioned a few times before, I’m so very picky with erotica.

Well…it kind of work and it didn’t. The fact that I’m a sucker for friends to lovers probably kept my interest longer than the book should have. Unfortunately, it just didn’t have enough emotional depth for me to care much about the characters.

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July 4, 2011

Here are some books for review sent by Random House, which are sitting in my to-be-read pile.

June 21, 2011

Phillipa Fioretti’s debut novel, The Book of Love, centres around a rare book of ancient Roman erotica. It’s a book that makes good use of Fioretti’s background in the arts. Phillipa has studied archaeology, sculpture and museum studies, and has taught drawing and media studies. Her second book, The Fragment of Dreams, continues the story of Lily and William, the couple from The Book of Love.

If you’re wondering whether or not her books have a happy ending, you can take heart from a Courier Mail interview in which Phillipa says, ‘I don’t want to write things that depress me. I don’t want to be in a dark headspace all day. I like to have a laugh while I’m doing it.’

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Phillipa is giving away a copy of THE FRAGMENT OF DREAMS. For a chance to win, tell us what fragment from history you’d like to own and why.

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