2014 Aurealis Awards Shortlists announced!

AA-logoSome familiar names were joined by some exciting new talents in the announcement of the shortlists for the 2014 Aurealis Awards, recognising the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

Winners of the 2014 Aurealis Awards and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony, on Saturday 11 April at the University House, Canberra.

How many have you read?


BEST FANTASY NOVELfireborn

Fireborn by Keri Arthur

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke

Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfelds

Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins


BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELthis-shattered-world

Aurora: Meridian by Amanda Bridgeman

Nil by Mouth by LynC

The White List by Nina D’Aleo

Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Foresight by Graham Storrs


BEST HORROR NOVELrazorhurst

Book of the Dead by Greig Beck

Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

Obsidian by Alan Baxter


BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVELafterworld

The Astrologer’s Daughter by Rebecca Lim

Afterworld by Lynnette Lounsbury

The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty

Clariel by Garth Nix

The Haunting of Lily Frost by Nova Weetman

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfelds


BEST CHILDREN’S FICTIONslaves-of-socorro

Slaves of Socorro: Brotherband #4 by John Flanagan

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy by Karen Foxlee

The Last Viking Returns by Norman Jorgensen and James Foley

Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell

Sunker’s Deep: The Hidden #2 by Lian Tanner

Shadow Sister: Dragon Keeper #5 by Carole Wilkinson


BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL/ILLUSTRATED WORKawkwood

Left Hand Path #1 by Jason Franks & Paul Abstruse

Awkwood by Jase Harper

“A Small Wild Magic” by Kathleen Jennings

Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye by Tim Molloy

The Game by Shane W Smith

Peter Twohig, author of The Torch, answers Six Sharp Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Peter Twohig

author of The Torch

Six Sharp Questions
___________

1. Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?

The Torch is about a boy who is inspired to help another boy, who is a firebug, to avoid capture, in an attempt to assuage the helplessness he felt, and the grief he feels following the death of his twin just over a year earlier. But as his story unfolds he discovers that he has become trapped in a morass of deceit and secrecy that he first attempts to pass off as coincidence, but later discovers is really the complex world of adults.

The Torch has for me been a wonderful opportunity to plunge the reader (and myself) back into the life of the main character of The Cartographer. It has also been strengthening experience as a writer: actually to be asked to write a book, especially one about an established character. Although The Cartographer was not my first novel, it was the first to be published. I therefore feel a sense that that initial accomplishment has now developed into an accomplishment of more mature proportions, and that is very satisfying.

2. Times pass. Things change. What are the best and worst moments that you have experienced in the past year or so?

The best moment has been completing the structural edit of The Torch. It’s very satisfying to work with editors who appreciate the characters and story so much that their suggestions enable you to rethink the whole work again, despite already having written a complete revision. Once they have granted their imprimatur, I’m a happy little Vegemite. Worst moments: none to speak of.

3. Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us? It doesn’t need to be deep but it would be great if it meant something to you.

The main character, a twelve-year old, occasionally gives us his understanding about something or other, making the best of (very) limited information: it’s in his nature to be helpful in that way. Here is one such example.

I knew all about pregnancy. When Johnno Johnson’s cat got pregnant, it became very lumpy; basically, it ended up being one big lump. And when Douggie Quirk’s big sister, Maureen, got pregnant (except she wasn’t so much pregnant as ‘having a baby’), she was put in a special home for girls who are having babies. Mum’s couldn’t get pregnant, of course, but they could be ‘expecting’, which was slightly different, as it meant that they were expecting to get lumpy, not expecting to go to Hell, which is what being pregnant meant (unless you were a cat or a dog). So I couldn’t understand why Mum said she was pregnant when she was actually expecting, as I knew that mothers could not be sent to Hell. I decided that she must have made a mistake. That is something that girls tend to do when they’re upset, which is the reason why it is that it always the magician who gets to saw the girl in half, and not the other way round. But call it what you will, it’s always bad news.

It’s not that the passage itself has meaning: it’s functions are to let us hear the narrator’s voice and to hear him telling his story. But it’s an endearing voice.

petertwohig

4. Writers have often been described as being difficult to live with. Do you conform to the stereotype or defy it? Please tell us a little about the day to day of your writing life.

I would say that I’m an easy person to live with, requiring only writing equipment (my Mac and some top software) and coffee (which I sometimes forget to drink for long periods). I always start writing first thing in the morning, even before breakfast, or my first cuppa. After I’ve done some work, I’ll get brekky, which I take back to the computer. Ditto lunch. No dinner. Occasionally, I’ll go for a long walk or jump on my motorbike and take off. That’s it. I sleep for eight hours per night. Often I dream of a good idea, so I’ll wake up and go back to the computer for a minute. The other night, I dreamt of the opening line of my next novel. How easy is that!

5. Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).

The marketplace doesn’t affect my writing at all. I know I’m going to sell books, and that’s that. I write books for sheer enjoyment, knowing that it will shine through the writing, though I didn’t realise that until I began to get feedback from readers. So what’s left? Technical excellence, and that’s what I aim for. But even  those aspects of writing – grammar, punctuation, diction, the rhythms and structures of fiction, poetic effects, the music of voice – I’m passionate about. The way I look at it, the characters appear out of nowhere, they tell me their story, and I write it down. All I have to do is get it down faithfully.

6. Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only a few books with you. What do you take and why?

Ill-educated and uncivilised? Then I’ll start with a story about an ill-educated, uncivilised character, Huckleberry Finn. Then I’ll graduate to another streetwise but uneducated character, whose mastery of his idiom, and his problem, is deeply touching and exciting: Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban. Next, A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, a devastating critique of modern social values, starring Alex Du Large, a fifteen-year-old psychopath with a gifted ear for slang. Having shed a tear for Alex (or not, if they’re hard bitten types), I would introduce them to DBC Pierre’s Vernon God Little. If that doesn’t give them a rounded introduction to literature, they’re beyond help. By this time they’ll probably need something completely different, so, as a segue to world of adult main characters, I’d take along a copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (though any Vonnegut would do). Hey, I’m nothing if not subversive.

Peter, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of The Torch here


The Torch

by Peter Twohig

Melbourne, 1960: Mrs Blayney and her twelve year old son live in South Richmond. At least, they did, until their house burnt down. The prime suspect – one Keith Aloysius Gonzaga Kavanagh, also aged 12 – has mysteriously disappeared. Our narrator, the Blayney kid, sets off on a covert mission to find young Keith, who he privately dubs ‘Flame Boy’, to save him from the small army of irate locals – not to mention his mother – who want to see him put away.

Flame Boy has not only made himself scarce, but he’s done so with a very important briefcase of secrets, which the kid is keen to get hold of for his grandfather, a shady character who has some secrets of his own. But the kid has got a lot going on: he’s also organising a new gang of kids; coping with the ups and downs of having a girl friend (who likes to kiss – a lot); trying to avoid Keith’s dangerous prison-escapee father, Fergus Kavanagh, also an arsonist, who is suspected of selling secrets to the Russians; and all the while wondering how he can get his hands on the most beautiful object in the world: the Melbourne Olympic Torch.

A madcap, brilliantly shambolic and irresistibly fun novel about loss, discovery and living life to the full, The Torch is a ripper of a ride.

About the Author

Peter Twohig was born in Melbourne in 1948. As a boy he became one of Australia’s youngest Queen Scouts and in his mid-teens he took up guitar which led him to becoming a member of a rock band that played around Melbourne. Peter had a long career in various government departments (including the army) and as a management consultant before training in naturopathy and homoeopathy and setting up Sydney’s largest natural medicine practice in Crow’s Nest in 1995. He has a BA in Professional Writing and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy. He now lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and is a full-time writer.

Grab a copy of The Torch here

 

GUEST BLOG: Jennifer Niven on the inspiration behind her new novel ‘All The Bright Places’

jennifer niven

Author Jennifer Niven

I wrote All the Bright Places the summer of 2013, following the death of my literary agent. The last time I saw him, I was nearing the end of a series of books I’d begun writing in 2008 and was feeling depleted. He told me, “Whatever you write next, write it with all your heart. Write it because you can’t imagine writing anything else.”

Years ago, I knew and loved a boy, and that boy was bipolar. I witnessed up-close the highs and lows, the Awake and the Asleep, and I saw his daily struggle with the world and with himself. The experience of knowing him—and losing him—was life-changing. I’d always wanted to write about it, but I wasn’t convinced I would ever be able to.

That summer of 2013, I thought again about this boy and that experience, and I knew in my heart it was the story I wanted to write. Issues like teen mental health aren’t always talked about openly, even though we need to talk about them. I’d never felt as if I was allowed to grieve for this boy I loved because of how he died. If I was made to feel that way after losing him, imagine how hard it was for him to find help and understanding when he was alive.

After I decided to work on the story, I thought of a thousand reasons why I shouldn’t. All these years later, it was still too painful. And there was another doubt in the back of my mind. When I was a screenwriting student at the American Film Institute, the main criticism I got from my fellow writers was that I didn’t put enough of myself in the stories I wrote. They wondered if I would ever be able to truly open up on paper. Novelist Paul Gallico once said, “It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader.” But it’s not always easy to bleed so publically.

9780141357034When I sat down to write the first chapter of All the Bright Places, I told myself I would just see what happened. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to write anything at all. And then I heard Finch’s first line: Is today a good day to die? And I saw him up on the ledge of his high school bell tower, his classmates down below, the same ones who called him “Theodore Freak.” And then suddenly, Violet was there too, on the other side of the ledge, the popular girl, frozen and needing help.

For the next few weeks, I barely left my desk. The story of this boy and this girl who went from that bell tower ledge to wandering their state—seeing every out-of-the-ordinary site, making it lovely, leaving something behind—flooded right out.

In just six weeks, the book was born. I like to say it’s the book I was writing in my head for the past several years without knowing I was writing it.

My mother, Penelope Niven, was an author as well. She used to say, “You have to be able to write in spite of everything. You have to be able to write because of everything.” In other words, you need to be willing to bleed onto the page, knowing that you will have something on paper which is real and honest. More so than any of my previous books, All the Bright Places proved to me I could do that.

Grab a copy of All the Bright Places here


9780141357034All the Bright Places

by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. I’m broken, and no one can fix it.

Violet Markey us devastated by her sister’s death. In that instant we went plowing through the guardrail, my words died too.

They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It’s only together they can be themselves . . .

I send a message to Violet: ‘You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.’

You’re so weird, Finch. But that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

But, as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

Grab a copy of All the Bright Places here

Scott Blackwood, author of See How Small, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Scott Blackwood

author of See How Small

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in the state of Arkasas, in the same small town, El Dorado, where Charles Portis, who wrote True Grit and a number of other great books, was born. My family moved around quite a bit. Memphis, Tennessee, Oklahoma. But I lived much of my life in Texas—first the Dallas area and later Austin, where I found a real home. I remember thinking that I’d been looking for this place all along, where it was okay to be a little different, to even aspire to be a writer or musician. I’m not sure it would have happened had I not moved there to go to school at the University of Texas in the mid-eighties. It was liberating to be around other people who’d take chances and pursue things that weren’t at all lucrative or safe. People who were willing to pursue an improvisational life, of sorts. That was very new to me and had a profound effect, even if my talents hadn’t really sufaced yet.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

When I was nine, I read a lot of Marvel Comics and suspected I had super powers that simply hadn’t surfaced yet—incredible reflexes, strength, eyesight, something. I was waiting patiently. So I practiced super heroing in the woods, beating on old tires, swinging on ropes. Just readying myself to defend suburban Dallas,Texas from petty criminals.

But by the time I was twelve, it occurred to me that girls would think I was even stranger than I was if I kept this thing up. So I became fixated, instead, on being a professional baseball player (more socially acceptable yet equally as far fetched).

Finally, in college, having failed at those things, I turned to something maybe even more impractical, writing fiction. I wasn’t very good at it at first. But being a glutton for punishment, I kept at it until it would have me.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

Author: Scott Blackwood

Love conquers all.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Works of fiction—Hemingway’s stories from In Our Time, Alice Munro’s The Progress of Love and Raymond Carver’s Where I’m Calling From and years later One Hundred Years of Solitude, Moby Dick, Light In August, Marilynnn Robinson’s Housekeeping.

Music—I listened to a lot of traditional Texas music and innovative music when I was in Austin in the 80s and early 90s, inspiring stuff mostly made by people roughly my own age.  Film—Richard Linklater’s first film, Slacker, which was set in Austin, Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire. Jarmusch’s early films.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

To be honest, I don’t think I had numerous avenues—it’s the rare person who has multiple talents. I grew into a novelist because I fooled myself long enough, incrementally enough, about my abilities, so that my confidence grew proportional to the task. The novel form intimidated me for the longest time—it seemed so unwieldy. I struggled at first because I thought a novel in stories was the same thing, that I could stay in my comfort zone but then I hit a wall. I realized a novel is about rhythms (because we are about rhythms too), and what affects us as readers are the rhythms of  interweaving story threads. And the weave gets tighter and tighter and vibrates more and more.

I once heard the Kentucky writer James Still describe, when he was a boy, hearing this wonderful music from a basement window that he thought was Bach but but when he looked through the window, it was coming from a giant mechanical loom. It’s archaic but it still works as metaphor because we think in story threads, through lines. So when I figured out  how this great weave works—and could see this overlaying, hear the rhythms of all that coming together in other people’s novels—I was finally able to take what I was doing in the shorter form  for a larger cumulative effect, a momentous push, a thrumming rhythm, as in a novel. It was a revelation to me.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

It’s a heartbreaker, I think, this book, See How Small. But I mean this in the best way. It’s about the aftermath of the brutal murder of three teenage girls in an Austin, Texas ice cream shop— the deep sense of loss but also the ways we make emotional sense of that loss, to transend it. How evil acts—atrocities—can strip us of this sense-making if we allow them to. These kinds of random acts are more with us now than ever—for instance, the Newtown massacre two years ago at the school in New York—and hit at the heart of who we are and want to be. My characters struggle against this, try to tell their own stories in the face of it, including the girls themselves, whose stories have been taken from them by the killers and even inadvertently by the community itself, which now only remember them as victims. I should say that See How Small was inspired by an actual murder in 1991 in Austin, Texas that remains unsolved, a crime I’ve been haunted by for many years. 

Grab a copy of Scott’s new novel See How Small here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I want them to be changed by it, to feel, a sense of wonder about things, about life, and a sense of terror, too, at times. That all of this together—wonder and terror—is in the world and that’s as it should be, as it’s always been. It’s not a comfort book but I do think it’s a book that celebrates life and its mystery, which is intimately tied to loss and death.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

My favourite living writer is Denis Johnson. If you haven’t read it, I can’t tell you how great a book like Train Dreams is. He gives us so little—the book isn’t much more than a 100 pages—yet the whole world’s inside it. It reaches back, as E.M. Forster said about truly great books.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To link all of my work together as Faulkner tried to do so that they are parts of one great weave. And like every writer worth his or her salt, I’d like my writing to have some kind of half-life. Somewhere in his amazing (and very long) novel 2666, the Chilean writer Roberto Bolano has one of his characters say that we forget sometimes that really great works are not easy, not symmetrical, that they even fight their authors. It’s always the heavyweight bouts that bring back the news from that other world. The writing that readers will to turn to again and again. Moby Dick, say, or A Hundred Years of Solitude. The rest are only sparring.  

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Well, one of the accidental advantages I had as a young writer was having children early: When I was 25. I had to make all my writerly choices count because there really couldn’t be any backtracking—there was no time for that. So I began to think about how all my work could fit together, how characters, if they were interesting enough, might be brought back in another work, broaden the scope of what I was trying to do. How a sense of place fits into this. How I was always writing out of the same themes—what separates us also draws us together. It only occurred to me later that this is how to create a fictional universe that resonates, make the sum worth more than its parts. This is a writer’s vision and it’s at least as important as talent. Maybe more so.

There are a lot of talented writers out there. But if you know where you are, what you’re working towards, how to fit it together, then no matter what happens around you—the publishing world in flux, personal setbacks—you’re still connected to your life’s work, which for me was trying to make something beautiful and lasting. In other words, don’t chase after the market, “what’s selling,” because that’s totally ephemeral. Ask maybe instead: if someone had a gun to my head, what would I write? The gun to all of our heads is time, of course. And there’s always less of it than you think.

Scott, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of See How Small


See How Small

by Scott Blackwood

Virgin Suicides meets Lovely Bones.

It begins one summer evening in a small Texas town. Two men walk into an ice cream shop shortly before it closes. They bind the three teenager girls working behind the counter. They set fire to the shop. They disappear. This horrific, mysterious crime is the subject of Scott Blackwood’s new novel.

Loosely based on the 1991 Yogurt Shop Murders in Austin, Texas, See How Small explores a community’s reactions to the brutal and seemingly random murder of these three girls. It is told through the perspectives of the community’s survivors, witnesses, suspects, and yes, the deceased girls. Among the people we meet is Jack Dewey, the fireman who ran into the burning building and discovered the girls’ bodies, and whose life becomes haunted by the girls’ memory. We see Kate Ulrich, the mother of two murdered girls, who finds that in fighting the community’s need to narrate her life in light of the murders, she’s also losing her connection to the girls’ lives. A suspect in the murders, Michael Greer, now with a daughter of his own, is haunted by his inadvertent participation in it and his brother’s earlier tragic death. And Rosa Heller, an investigative journalist who tries to piece together the mystery by interviewing involved people, becomes lost in the community’s false memories and lies and regrets. Above everything else is the girls’ shared narration as they watch over the community during the five years following their deaths, as they attempt to comfort their town.

See How Small will remind readers of the paradoxical promises of security and belonging, remembering and forgetting, and our collective need to both obscure and name evil. It is a short, powerful novel.

About the Author

Scott Blackwood is the author of three books of fiction, including the forthcoming novel See How Small. Blackwood was a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award recipient and his first novel, We Agreed to Meet Just Here, set in the Deep Eddy Neighborhood of Austin, Texas, won the AWP Prize for the Novel, Texas Institute of Letters Award for best work of fiction, and was a finalist for the PEN USA Award. His first book was the award-winning story collection, In the Shadows of Our House, published in 2001.

 Grab a copy of See How Small

VIDEO: John Flanagan tells us the difference between Vikings and Skandians

scorpion-mountain-order-your-signed-copy-Scorpion Mountain: Brotherband Series Book 5

by John Flanagan

When the worlds of Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband cross over, action and adventure are guaranteed!

King Duncan of Araluen has an urgent mission for Hal and the Heron Brotherband. One assassination attempt on Princess Cassandra was foiled. But the killers won’t be satisfied until they have fulfilled their honour-bound duty.

The Herons, along with Ranger Gilan, set off for Arrida. There they must track the cult of killers across the desert, and infiltrate the cult’s mountain lair to find their leader – and stop him. But the giant assassin isn’t the only threat they will face. There is a seaside battle looming, and the Herons are called upon to help an old friend of Araluen in his fight.

Trapped in an unfamiliar land, their forces split between searing hot land and treacherous seas, can the Herons complete their mission – before the killers find their royal target?

Click here to grab a copy of Scorpion Mountain here

Ruthie May, author of Count My Christmas Kisses, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Ruthie May

author of Count My Christmas Kisses, Stew a Cockatoo and Count My Kisses, Little One

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia until my father dragged the family across the Nullarbor when I was 15 for bigger things out East. I finished high school and went to University in Sydney and haven’t really ever left.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At age 12 I dreamed of one day running my own newspaper and dating Spike from Press Gang – the thought of sitting around talking about what stories were important and which weren’t seemed wonderful to me, and Dexter Fletcher was just so witty and respectful of Julia Sawalha; at age 18 I wanted to be an academic historian – I was studying history and loved it, I still do; at age 30 I wanted to be a lady of leisure – it seemed so appealing.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

Author: Ruthie May

I believed that life would take a linear, logical course.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Itsy-Bitsy Babies by Margaret Wild & Jan Ormerod; The Millennium Book of Myth and Story by Maurice Saxby & John Winch; & The Ghost’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a picture book? 

There is so much delight to be had in a picture book – you only need to sit down and read to children to discover that. You can see the world open up to a child right before your very eyes. To be able to create those experiences is a total joy.

6. Please tell us about your latest picture book…

My latest picture book is a follow up book to a book I wrote a number of years ago called Count My Kisses, Little One. They appear to be counting books, but they are really about smooching and the affection small children have for new babies.

Grab a copy of Ruthie’s new book Count My Christmas Kisses here

 

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

A warm fuzzy feeling.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

In the realm of children’s picture writing, I’ve always admired Margaret Wild who knows how to write for babies and toddlers like no other, and Jan Ormerod, who was also a great expert in writing and illustrating for small children.  If you read their books, it doesn’t take long to see what great observers they are of life in the small lane.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To continue writing picture books that keep the interest and imagination of toddlers alive; books that when the reading comes to a close the toddler says, ‘again’, and mum or dad or the loved one has to read it over and over. Sorry grown-ups. 

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don’t be one of those people who read children’s books and say ‘I could have written that’ – you didn’t – but you could – if you sit down and give it a try.

Ruthie, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Count My Christmas Kisses


Count My Christmas Kisses

by Ruthie May, Tamsin Ainslie (Illustrator)

From the creators of the beautiful Count My Kisses, Little One comes another delightful book, perfect for the festive season.

One kiss for baby, under mistletoe. Two kisses for baby, catching falling snow.

2010’s Count My Kisses, Little One was an instant hit with Australian littlies and their parents. With Tamsin Ainslie’s adorable illustrations and Ruthie May’s beautiful rhyming text, the book gently introduced young children to the idea of numbers and counting.

The book soon left our shores, and went on to become an international bestseller, with more than 100,000 copies sold worldwide. Now, Ruthie and Tamsin are back with Count My Christmas Kisses – a gorgeous new picture book, perfect for the holiday season.

About the Author

Ruthie May was born in Perth, Western Australia. She is the published author of Count My Kisses, Little One and Stew a Cockatoo: My Aussie Cookbook illustrated by Leigh Hobbs. Ruthie immerses herself in stories for both children and grown-ups, but prefers stories where age doesn’t matter..

 Grab a copy of Count my Christmas Wishes

SERIES: The Incompetent Cook takes on Quinoa with Adam Liaw

Could Adam Liaw be the cook who drags our Incompetent Cook, Andrew Cattanach into kitchen competency? Adam is very patient with Andrew. He takes his time. Speaks clearly and demonstrates his techniques as simply as possible. But first things first – can he teach Andrew how to say Quinoa!?

adam-s-big-pot-order-your-signed-copy-Adam’s Big Pot 

by Adam Liaw

Want simple, healthy and delicious meals? Quickly? Masterchef winner Adam Liaw is back to help!

Adam’s Big Pot is a cookbook for modern families. In his latest cookbook, Adam Liaw shows you how to prepare easy family meals and gives new answers for that age-old question: ‘What’s for dinner?’ In this beautifully photographed cookbook, Adam takes a practical and creative approach to family cooking, creating new flavours from ingredients you already know, all in just one big wok, pan, dish or pot.

From fresh Vietnamese salads and simple South African curries, to Korean grilled pork belly and one-pot Japanese classics, the dishes in Adam’s Big Pot are basic enough for the novice home cook, affordable enough to feed the whole family, and can all be made from basic supermarket ingredients. Whether you’re after easy classics like shaking beef, mee goreng and lamb vindaloo or looking to add new dishes to your repertoire like tiger-skin chicken, snapper rice and Japanese souffle cheesecake, Adam’s Big Pot is your guide to simple, creative family cooking.

 Click here to grab a copy of Adam’s Big Pot

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