VIDEO: Kooshyar Karimi on his incredible new book Leila’s Secret

Kooshyar Karimi is an Iranian Jew who fled his native country after years of living a double life; as a doctor performing secret and illegal operations and as a spy for his country’s secret police. He talks to Caroline Baum about his acclaimed new book Leila’s Secret.

leila-s-secretLeila’s Secret

by Kooshyar Karimi

In fundamentalist Iran, new life sometimes means certain death. When Leila comes to see Doctor Karimi, both are in danger.

Born in a slum to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother, Kooshyar Karimi has transformed himself into a successful doctor, an award-winning writer, and an adoring father. His could be a comfortable life but his conscience won’t permit it: he is incapable of turning away the unmarried women who beg him to save their lives by ending the pregnancies that, if discovered, would see them stoned to death.

One of those women is 22-year-old Leila. Beautiful, intelligent, passionate, she yearns to go to university but her strictly traditional family forbids it. Returning home from the library one day – among the few trips she’s allowed out of the house – she meets a handsome shopkeeper, and her fate is sealed. Kooshyar has rescued countless women, but Leila seeks his help for a different reason, one that will haunt him for years afterwards and inspire an impossible quest from faraway Australia.

Spellbinding and heartbreaking. Leila’s Secret shows us everyday life for women in a country where it can be a crime to fall in love. But for all its tragedy, this unforgettable book is paradoxically uplifting, told from the heart of Kooshyar’s immense sympathy, in the hope that each of us – and the stories we tell – can make a difference.

Grab a copy of Leila’s Secret here

VIDEO: Lauren Sams on the inspiration behind her new book She’s Having Her Baby

Lauren Sams began her career at Cosmopolitan before moving to Girlfriend as deputy editor. She’s now back at Cosmo as Associate Editor and Managing Editor of Cosmopolitan Bride. She writes for Elle, Marie Claire and Sunday Style, and her work regularly appears on dailylife.com.au. She chats to Elizabeth Earl about her new novel She’s Having Her Baby.

she-s-having-her-babyShe’s Having Her Baby

by Lauren Sams

Georgie Henderson doesn’t want to have kids, but her best friend, Nina Doherty, has wanted to have a baby for as long as she can remember. Sadly, Nina’s uterus refuses to cooperate. One drunken evening, Nina asks Georgie for the ultimate favour: would she carry a baby for her? Georgie says yes . . . and spends the next nine months discovering what she’s got herself into.

With intense bacon-and-egg roll cravings, a foundering friendship and distant memories of what her feet look like, Georgie also tries to keep it all together in her dream job as the editor of Jolie, a magazine whose readership is shrinking as fast as Georgie’s waist is expanding.

She’s Having Her Baby is an entertaining story about pregnancy, dating and modern parenting, and – ultimately – the indomitable power of female friendship.

Grab a copy of She’s Having Her Baby here

 

VIDEO: Jacqueline Harvey on her amazing success and what’s in store for Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose

Jacqueline Harvey’s bestselling Alice-Miranda series began as an idea for a picture book but it soon became apparent that this perpetually positive seven-and-a-quarter-year-old had a lot more to say. The series has been sold to the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia and Turkey and has been shortlisted for children’s book awards in Australia. She chats to John Purcell.

alice-miranda-at-the-palaceAlice-Miranda at the Palace

by Jacqueline Harvey

Alice-Miranda is off on a royal adventure!

It’s Queen Georgiana’s silver jubilee, and Alice-Miranda and her friends are invited. While Evesbury Palace is every bit as magnificent as they’d imagined, some of the staff are behaving strangely. Edgar and Louis, Aunty Gee’s grandsons and the palace’s resident mischief-makers, don’t exactly give their guests a friendly welcome. When they team up with an unexpected visitor, things soon go from bad to worse.

Behind the scenes it seems something much more sinister is at play. Why is Aunty Gee so determined to keep Alice-Miranda at the palace for the rest of the holidays? And who is her mysterious milliner? With the help of her friends and a trusty butler, can Alice-Miranda uncover what threatens to bring down the royal family?

Click here to view the Alice-Miranda series

VIDEO: Ros Reines on her new novel The Social Diary and the difference between gossip and news

Ros Reines is one of Australia’s best known gossip columnists. She chats to John Purcell about her new novel The Social Diary, which is set among Sydney’s A-list in the Eighties The Social Diary is her second novel after the well received Gossip in 2005.

the-social-diary-a-novel-signed-copies-available-The Social Diary : A Novel

by Ros Reines

A gossipy and glamorous novel of 80s excess from the author of the real-life gossip column Guess Who Don’t Sue.

When Savannah Stephens returns to her hometown Sydney after a stint as a music journalist in London, she is thrown into the burgeoning world of society parties and the excesses of the eighties social scene.

Savannah’s first job back on home soil is as the editor of the newly created Social Diary. Her days are spent battling old fashioned newspaper colleagues, who frown upon the so-called ‘women’s pages’ and tut when her stories make front page splashes.

By night she is awash in a sea of expensive champagne at the biggest and best parties the city has to offer. It is there that she collides with the unbelievable characters and larger-than-life personalities who are fast becoming legendary for their jaw-dropping antics.

Will Savannah manage to prove her critics wrong or will she be distracted by a very handsome yet mysterious man?

Funny and satirical, The Social Diary reads at times like an extended version of Ros Reines’ real-life gossip column feature Guess Who Don’t Sue, and is written by someone who has been through it all and lived to tell the tale.

For a limited time only, order The Social Diary and you will receive a signed copy.

VIDEO: The Incompetent Cook battles breakfast with Janella Purcell

Janella Purcell is one of Australia’s favourite nutritionists and cookbook authors. She shares the secrets of her delicious Bircher Muesli with The Incompetent Cook.

Janella’s Super Natural Foods

janella-s-super-natural-foods-signed-copies-available-

Janella’s Super Natural Foods

by Janella Purcell

Keeping it deliciously simple is Janella’s healthy food philosophy. Using many superfoods and grains, she has created over 150 fantastic recipes that the whole family will love.

Superfoods. Food as medicine. Supergrains. Fermented foods. Wholefoods. Keep it simple.

In Janella’s Super Natural Foods every recipe will help you to achieve better health and beauty.

With over 150 delicious recipes for healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks, drinks and sauces, Janella uses wholefoods to satisfy everyone. A dynamic mix of superfoods and a good old-fashioned plant-based diet, Janella’s philosophy of using food as medicine is simple and easy to follow.

Many of the recipes have been influenced by Janella’s travels to Italy, Japan, India, the Middle East and South East Asia – healthy food has never been so tantalising nor so easy to create in your kitchen. Clearly marked throughout with symbols for gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, raw, soy-free, nut-free or grain-free, each recipe also contains alternative ingredient suggestions to please all your friends and family.

As a talented naturopath, nutritionist, wellness coach, herbalist and environmentalist, Janella Purcell is eager to share her wealth of knowledge and experience. Her passion for cooking and keeping things simple means that staying healthy has never been easier.

Grab your copy of Janella’s Super Natural Foods here

VIDEO: Connie and Samuel Johnson discuss Love Your Sister, unicycles, and mortality

Connie has fought cancer three times in her life, but this time things are different. Connie is dying and she doesn’t have much time left. Faced with the fight of her life, she set her brother Samuel the toughest challenge she could think of. To set a new Guinness World Record for the most distance travelled on a unicycle, raise $1 million and spread Connie’s message of breast cancer awareness. They chat to John Purcell about their amazing story and new book Love Your Sister.

love-your-sister-signed-copies-available-Love Your Sister

by Samuel Johnson, Connie Johnson

Born a year apart, Connie and Samuel Johnson have always been close. Faced with the devastating news that they would soon be separated forever, they made a decision.After already surviving cancer twice in her young life, at 33 Connie was diagnosed with breast cancer. But this time it was a whole different ball game. This time she was told she will die, leaving behind her two sons. As a young mum faced with her own death, Connie wanted to make it all less meaningless, and she knew just the way to do it – send her brother, Sam, on a one-wheeled odyssey around Australia.

The aims: to break the world record for the longest distance travelled on a unicycle. To raise $1 million for the Garvan Research Foundation. And, most importantly, to remind women to be breast aware and stop others having to say goodbye to those they love.Their message is simple: ‘Don’t fall into the booby trap.’ Samuel has travelled through every state and ridden more than 150,000 kilometres to raise awareness and raise research dollars.But Connie had a secret fourth aim: to fix Samuel. And it worked. Sam cleared his diary, cleaned himself up and tenaciously kept his promise to his dying sister.For them the job isn’t over.

They are determined to raise more money for research. Connie vows to fight until her dying day and Sam says the fight will go on long after that. These two remarkable Australians share their tale, from childhood through to the finish line and beyond in this truly unique story. Part memoir, part travel diary, part conversation, Love Your Sister is an inspiring and unforgettable story that shows just how far one man will go for his sister.

For a limited time only, order Love Your Sister and you will receive a signed copy.

GUEST BLOG: Ten Must Read Futurological Sci Fi Books (by author David M Henley)

Let’s talk about the future.

Sci fi is a seriously big genre. Futurological Sci Fi is a subgenre that has fun with projecting future societies.

It’s all about enjoying the exploration of ideas and projections of what our world isn’t. And those differences indicate the fears, hopes and humour of any given author. So here are my top ten FSF books.

———————————————–

The Time Machine by HG Wells - One of the earliest books to explore the concept of time travel but also one that prompted people to think about the distant future.

The Time Machine by HG Wells

One of the earliest books to explore the concept of time travel but also one that prompted people to think about the distant future.

We by Yvgeny Zamyatin - The Russian version of 1984 (it came first), but different enough to make it worth reading. A world without privacy trying to become a world without dissent.

We by Yvgeny Zamyatin

The Russian version of 1984 (it came first), but different enough to make it worth reading. A world without privacy trying to become a world without dissent.

1984 by George Orwell - Using an ad absurdum future society to depict political trends of the time. Like Brave New World this exploration of a concept from micro to macro has contributed many powerful ideas to today's political discourse (and a terrible reality TV show).

1984 by George Orwell

Using an ad absurdum future society to depict political trends of the time. Like Brave New World this exploration of a concept from micro to macro has contributed many powerful ideas to today’s political discourse (and a terrible reality TV show).

Neuromancer by William Gibson - You just can't go past this one as a benchmark. Great micro and macro world-building and examinations of how the virtual world and real world can clash. Technology and humanity in a blender.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

You just can’t go past this one as a benchmark. Great micro and macro world-building and examinations of how the virtual world and real world can clash. Technology and humanity in a blender.

The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem - Follows a visiting dignitary, Ijon Tichy, to the eighth World Futurological Congress, drinks some water and begins hallucinating. Reality and illusion become very confused and gives Lem a vehicle to explore the ideas and limits of Utopia.

The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem

Follows a visiting dignitary, Ijon Tichy, to the eighth World Futurological Congress, drinks some water and begins hallucinating. Reality and illusion become very confused and gives Lem a vehicle to explore the ideas and limits of Utopia.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick - Forget the movie. Like many PKD books, this is a post apocalypse world and we are watching the survivors and what has survived of our society, for better and worse.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick

Forget the movie. Like many PKD books, this is a post apocalypse world and we are watching the survivors and what has survived of our society, for better and worse.

The Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman - Another mindbender like The Futurological Congress, this one unrolls mainly through holodeck-type sequences that go through a future history of Earth.

The Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman

Another mindbender like The Futurological Congress, this one unrolls mainly through holodeck-type sequences that go through a future history of Earth.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester - Imagine a society with telepaths including counter-measures and corporate misuse. A great parallel for surveillance and data hacking.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

Imagine a society with telepaths including counter-measures and corporate misuse. A great parallel for surveillance and data hacking.

Ghost in the Shell by Shirow Matsumune - I know it's got pictures but it's big enough to be a book. This is a projection of nearly perfect human machine interfaces and a hyper complex society facing today's problems and tomorrow's  that have arisen from new technologies.

Ghost in the Shell by Shirow Matsumune

I know it’s got pictures but it’s big enough to be a book. This is a projection of nearly perfect human machine interfaces and a hyper complex society facing today’s problems and tomorrow’s that have arisen from new technologies.

Peter F Hamilton's Confederation series - Begins with the what if that wormhole technology is successfully developed premise and then jumps forward a few hundred years. Not a utopia or dystopia but an extended exploration of intergalactic society that has come from our own. This is a mammoth read, don't start unless you can dedicate yourself to it.

Peter F Hamilton’s Confederation series

Begins with the what if that wormhole technology is successfully developed premise and then jumps forward a few hundred years. Not a utopia or dystopia but an extended exploration of intergalactic society that has come from our own. This is a mammoth read, don’t start unless you can dedicate yourself to it.

———————————————–

David M Henley is the author of the futuristic thrillers The Hunt for Pierre Jnr, Manifestations and Convergence.

His world takes inspiration from all the books listed above and many more places.

You can follow David on twitter at @DavidMHenley, and on Facebook here

———————————————–

convergenceConvergence

Hunt for Pierre Jnr

by David M Henley

The epic conclusion to an explosive trilogy.

Benders. Tappers. Robots. Clones.

As the Weave breaks down and Pierre Jnr’s control over the population becomes complete, who – if anyone – will be able to stop him?

Star Trek meets Akira in this futurist thriller about connectivity, control and artificial intelligence.

Click here for more details about Convergence

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,354 other followers

%d bloggers like this: