EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Zoe Foster, author of The Wrong Girl, chats to Caroline Baum



the-wrong-girlThe Wrong Girl
by Zoe Foster

What happens when you discover the man of your dreams is going out with your best friend?

Sometimes you don’t know what you want until someone else has it.

Lily needs a break. A man break. She hadn’t exactly meant to sleep with her friend, Pete, and she certainly hadn’t expected him to confess his love – for another girl – the next morning. If men were going to behave like such pigs, well, she’d happily take some time out.

Besides, her TV career requires all her attention right now. Jack Winters – the gorgeous new talent – is definitely proving a distraction, but Lily is determined to maintain her professional distance, even when Jack starts seeing someone completely inappropriate. It’s only when Lily accepts that good things don’t always come to those who wait and takes a leap into the great unknown that life starts making sense . . .

From the bestselling author of The Younger Man and Amazing Face comes a funny, heartfelt novel about what happens when life, love, work and friendships collide.

Read Caroline Baum’s Review

After a few wrong turns, Lily and her friend Simone decide to go on a sabboytical or man break. Lily needs to focus on her TV production career on a cooking show but when the new on camera cook turns out to be a dish, her romantic fasting diet intentions are tested by an unexpected rival.

Zoe Foster may have a Miles Franklin winner as a father (who discouraged her from being a writer) but her talent is very much her own. Playful, hip and fun, she has the chick lit thing down pat – plenty of glamour, social media, goss, casual sex and girlfriend issues. Her ear for dialogue never lets her down and the likeable freshness of her own high profile as part of a media golden couple comes through on the page. This is her moment.

About the Author

Zoe Foster has written three novels, Air Kisses, Playing the Field and The Younger Man, as well as the dating and relationship book Textbook Romance, written in conjunction with Hamish Blake, and the bestseller Amazing Face, a collection of her best beauty tips and tricks.

Grab a copy of The Wrong Girl here

Andrew Mueller, author of It’s Too Late to Die Young Now, I Wouldn’t Start From Here, and more, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

9781742612294The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Andrew Mueller

author of It’s Too Late to Die Young Now, I Wouldn’t Start From Here and more

Ten Terrifying Questions


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

To the enduring disbelief and/or delight of customs officials the world over, I was born in Wagga Wagga. Subsequently raised and schooled in various locations around Australia, according to the whims of the Australian Army, in which my father served. The less romantic distillation of that is: mostly Canberra and Sydney.

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

At twelve, I think I wanted to be fighter pilot, except on weekends, when I would of course be starting at centre half-forward for Geelong. By eighteen, 863having clearly abandoned any notion of civic duty and resigned myself to my total athletic ineptitude, I wanted to be a rock journalist – indeed, by this point, I was actually being a rock journalist, if not a terrifically good one. At thirty, I was perfectly happy doing what I was doing – ie, being a journalist and author – although I wouldn’t have objected to being better paid for doing it. At 44, this remains the case.

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

That’s an excellent question, and one which I asked myself a lot writing my new book. Obviously, tastes change – one would prefer to think mature – as does one’s idea of what constitutes a good time. But I’m not really sure that the contents of my head at the age of eighteen could really be regarded as coherent beliefs – more a melange of barely examined sentimental prejudices in favour of peace, justice, brotherhood and so forth. I’m still in favour of all those things, but suspect that my ideas about how or indeed if they might be accomplished have become rather more hard-headed.

Also at eighteen, I nigh certainly believed that there was no chance of medical science advancing sufficiently to allow me to live long enough to see Geelong win a premiership. I am especially delighted to have been proved wrong on this one.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

First and foremost, being taught to read, and to love reading, by my mother. Reading Melody Maker in the late 80s made me want to be a rock journalist – or, more accurately, a much better rock journalist than the one I was already being when I first read Melody Maker. Reading PJ O’Rourke’s Holidays In Hell in the early 90s made me realise, or at least hope, that it was possible to apply the irreverence and iconoclasm that once characterised the rock press at its best to other types of journalism. “Reading” would appear to be the common thread.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?

They might be. But they’re still – and will be for a while yet – the most bracing and rewarding challenge to a writer, and the best measure of a writer’s value. In relation to everything else, books have the same relationship that Test cricket does to the one-day and 20/20 formats – the shorter variants may be fleetingly more popular, and much more superficially dazzling, but nobody remembers the games afterwards.

97817426122946. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Thought you’d never ask. It’s called “It’s Too Late To Die Young Now”, and it actually addresses – at much greater length – a few of the questions asked above. It’s a memoir of my late teens and early twenties, which I spent being a rock journalist in Sydney and in London, so writing it obliged me to spend a great deal of time with my half-a-lifetime-younger self. This creature mostly struck me, to my considerable relief, as basically quite a nice kid, if possibly somewhat untowardly pleased with himself – but then young people often are, especially when they’re that lucky.

(BBGuru: Publisher’s blurb -There is no field of journalism more mythologised or more derided than rock journalism – with good reason, according to Andrew Mueller.

And he’d know. Starting out writing for the Sydney music street press in his teens, by his early twenties, Mueller was working for the legendary UK music weekly Melody Maker, earning a living by listening to records, going to gigs, hanging out in seedy pubs and travelling the world with his favourite rock groups. In barely two years, he went from a childhood bedroom with a poster of Robert Smith to The Cure’s tour bus in the United States.

Though it didn’t seem like it at the time, the years Mueller was living the dream – the late-eighties to the mid-nineties – were actually the last hurrah for the music scene as we knew it. The era of flourishing live pub venues and record stores, and rock journalists as cultural arbiters and agitators, is now long gone.)

 Click here to order It’s Too Late to Die Young Now from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

I’m tempted to answer that if I thought my work was in any danger of changing anything, I’d stop doing it. I have reached that middle-aged understanding, at once terrifying and liberating, of how little I (or anyone else) really know. But I’m always happy when someone writes to me to tell me that as a consequence of reading something I wrote, they’ve thought something about something that they otherwise might not have, whether this has led them to completely rebuild the very foundations of their worldview – this, in truth, occurs rarely – or merely to check out a record they hadn’t heard, but have discovered they quite like.

8.Whom do you most admire and why?

Uncritical admiration of individuals is obvious folly – plenty of musicians, artists, writers, athletes and politicians whose work I’ve appreciated have been personally flawed, and in many cases altogether reprehensible. As a generality, though, I most admire those people whom journalists tend to cover least – which is those who quietly and unfussily get on with stuff, put in a solid day’s work doing whatever it is they do, help others out when they can, observe common courtesies, and generally do their small part to enlarge the space in which civility can flourish. You wouldn’t know it from consuming our news media, but they’re a majority.i-wouldn-t-start-from-here

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

I’m more or less entirely happy doing what I do, so I’d just like to keep doing it. At which point ambition, I guess, does come into it – as I have an ambition that sufficient people will buy this book to make someone think it’s worth paying me to write another one – but I don’t get to have a great deal of control over that. I’d also like to do more of the reporting I enjoy doing most, so I guess that I also have an ambition that more people will realise that long-form travel reportage and/or foreign correspondence is still worth paying for – but I don’t have much say in that either, unless a lottery win and/or the onset of insanity makes launching my own publication seem a plausible notion. In the nearish future, I would also like to make another album with my awesome country band, The Blazing Zoos, and have one of the songs on it recorded by George Strait or someone so I can have that guitar-shaped swimming pool I’ve always wanted.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Depends on my mood. Sometimes, exactly that: aspire, ie write and write and write and write, and read and read and read and read. Other times, a variant on “It’s too late for me, but save yourself.” But it’s mostly the former: keep at it, refuse to take no for answer, and develop an ironclad indifference to the rejection and indifference that most of your efforts will elicit. Because if you can get away with it, it’s the best job in world.

Andrew, thank you for playing.

Click here to order It’s Too Late to Die Young Now from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Winners Announced: CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2013

YC-CBCA (468 x 96)The winners for this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards have been announced.

Booktopia congratulates the winners, those honoured,  and all the wonderful runners up. Be sure to visit our CBCA Showcase.

Older Readers


Sea Hearts
by Margo Lanagan

A mesmerising selkie novel from multi-award winning, internationally acclaimed Australian author, Margo Lanagan – one of the most exciting voices in speculative fiction.

On remote Rollrock Island, the sea-witch Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. So, for a price, any man might buy himself a bride; an irresistibly enchanting sea-wife. But what cost will be borne by the people of Rollrock – the men, the women, the children – once Misskaella sets her heart on doing such a thing?

Click here to buy Sea Hearts from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


The Ink Bridge
by Neil Grant

A remarkable and gripping story about one refugee boy on a desperate journey from Afghanistan, and the Australian boy who befriends him.

The Ink Bridge is the compelling story of two young men: Omed, an Afghani refugee who flees the Taliban and undertakes a perilous journey to seek asylum in Australia; and Hector, an Australian boy afflicted by grief, who has given up on school and retreated into silence. Their paths meet at a candle factory where they both find work. But secrets fester behind the monotonous routine: secrets with terrible consequences.

Powerful and compelling, Omed’s and Hector’s story will grip hold of your heart and not let go.

Click here to buy The Ink Bridge from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Friday Brown
by Vikki Wakefield

Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run – running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who’d like her to stay. She’s lost, alone and afraid.

Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden. When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past. She will learn that sometimes you have to stay to finish what you started – and often, before you can find out who you are, you have to become someone you were never meant to be.

Friday Brown is the breathtaking second novel from the author of the award-winning All I Ever Wanted. Vikki Wakefield is an astonishing talent.

Click here to buy Friday Brown from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


The Shiny Guys
by Doug MacLeod

One night, the shiny guys visit fifteen-year-old Colin Lapsley. They don’t speak, but Colin can read their thoughts. They want him to pay for the terrible thing that he has done. When the shiny guys won’t go away, Colin is admitted to ward 44. There he discovers an alien world, a powerful weapon, a gentle giant, and a girl who may be able to see what he can see.

The Shiny Guys is a dark, sometimes funny novel about how fantasy and reality can merge, especially when electricity is involved.

Click here to buy The Shiny Guys from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Creepy & Maud
by Dianne Touchell

Hilarious and heartbreaking, Creepy & Maud charts the relationship between two social misfits, played out in the space between their windows.

Creepy is a boy who watches from the shadows keenly observing and caustically commentating on human folly.

Maud is less certain. A confused girl with a condition that embarrasses her parents and assures her isolation.

Together Creepy and Maud discover something outside their own vulnerability – each other’s.

Click here to buy Creepy & Maud from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

The Wrong Boy
by Suzy Zail

Hanna is a talented pianist, and the protected second daughter of middle class Hungarian Jews. Relatively late in World War II the Budapest Jews were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. Hanna and her mother and sister are separated from her father. Her mother becomes increasingly mentally ill until she too is taken away somewhere. Her sister Erika is slowly starving to death. Hanna is quite a naïve 15-year-old but when presented with the opportunity to play piano for the camp commander, she is desperate to be chosen.

She goes each day under guard to the commander’s house and stands waiting in case the commander should want some music. Also living in the house is the commander’s son, Karl. A handsome young man who seems completely disengaged from what is happening around him. Hanna hates him as he sits drawing in the music room. But the longer Hanna goes to the house, the more she realises there are other things going on. Secret things. Karl may not be the person she thinks he is. Before she knows it she has fallen in love with the wrong boy.

Click here to buy The Wrong Boy from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Younger Readers


Children of the King
by Sonya Hartnett

Three children have been sent to live in the countryside, safe from the war in London.

When they find two boys hiding in a castle, the past and future come together to make an extraordinary adventure.

A hauntingly beautiful story from one of Australia’s most acclaimed writers for adults and children.

Click here to buy Children of the King from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


Pennies for Hitler
by Jackie French

It’s 1939, and for Georg, son of an English academic living in Germany, life is full of cream cakes and loving parents. It is also a time when his teacher measures the pupils′ heads to see which of them have the most ‘Aryan’- shaped heads. But when a university graduation ceremony turns into a pro-Nazi demonstration, Georg is smuggled out of Germany to war-torn London and then across enemy seas to Australia where he must forget his past and who he is in order to survive.

Hatred is contagious, but Georg finds that kindness can be, too.

The companion book for Hitler’s Daughter, Pennies For Hitler examines the life of a child during World War 2, from a different perspective.

Click here to buy Pennies for Hitler from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk
by Glenda Millard & Stephen Michael King

Flame-haired Saffron is the youngest of the five Silk sisters. Her family know that she has a talent for becoming Anne of Green Gables or Cleopatra, and that she loves reading myths and legends. But they don’t know about the firebirds that come to warn her of terrible headaches. And Saffron doesn’t know how to tell them.

In a big family, it’s easy to be overlooked. But when Saffron is sent to the city to see a specialist, she learns that her family’s love for her is deeper than she ever imagined. And that when you’re a Silk, miracles are never far from home…

Another heart-warming story in Glenda Millard’s multi-award-winning Kingdom of Silk series.

Click here to buy The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


Other Brother
by Simon French

Kieran wants to be part of the in-group at school. He wants to be on the football team. He wants to fit in. But then his cousin Bon turns up.

Bon doesn’t know anything about fitting in – he looks different, he wears the wrong clothes, and he says weird things.

Kieran just wants to ignore Bon, but soon he is forced to make a choice.

Which is more important – being popular, or doing the right thing?

Click here to buy Other Brother from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

by Morris Gleitzman

In the fourth part of Felix’s story, continuing his adventures in World War Two,.

In After, he faces perhaps his greatest challenge – to find hope when he’s lost almost everything, including his parents.

As Europe goes through the final agonizing stages of the war, Felix struggles to reconcile hatred and healing.

He’s helped by a new friend, but if he should lose her as well …

Click here to buy After from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend
by Steven Herrick

Award-winning author Steven Herrick’s latest book is a heart-warming tale about friendship, grief and the importance of baked goods.

In a country town, in a school just like yours, the kids in Class 6A tell their stories.
There’s Mick, school captain and sometimes trouble-maker, who wants to make the school a better place, while his younger brother Jacob just wants to fly. There’s shy and lonely Laura who hopes to finally fit in with a circle of friends, while Pete struggles to deal with his grandpa’s sudden death. Popular Selina obsesses over class comedian Cameron, while Cameron obsesses over Anzac biscuits and Pookie Aleera – whoever that is!

For new teacher Ms Arthur, it’s another world, but for Mr Korsky, the school groundskeeper, he’s seen it all before.

Click here to buy Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Early Childhood


The Terrible Suitcase
by Emma Allen & Freya Blackwood

What do you do when it’s your first day of school and your mum gives you a terrible suitcase instead of a red backpack with yellow rockets and a silver zipper?

Well, first you get mad.

M A D!

Then you use your imagination to build a rocket ship and escape with all your new friends.

Click here to buy The Terrible Suitcase from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


With Nan
by Tania Coz & Karen Blair

A leaf that flies…

A rock that hops…

These are some of the wonderful things that Simon sees on his walk with Nan.

Simon takes a walk through the bush with his Nan and along the way finds out that things are not always what they seem.

A simple story about camouflage is brought to life with the beautiful illustrations by Karen Blair

Click here to buy With Nan from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Too Many Elephants in This House
by Ursula Dubosarsky & Andrew Joyner

In Eric’s house there were too many elephants – in the living room, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, even in his bedroom!

The elephants take up a lot of space, but Eric loves every one of them. So when his mum says they have to go, Eric comes up with a clever solution to a very BIG problem . . .

From the creators of The Terrible Plop comes this delightfully energetic story, full of fun and exuberance.

Click here to buy Too Many Elephants in This House from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


The Pros & Cons of Being a Frog
by Sue DeGennaro

Finding the right animal wasn’t easy. It was Camille who finally gave me the idea of being a frog!

Frogboy and Camille are best friends but they are very different.

Camille speaks in numbers and Frogboy likes to dress up.

With Camille’s help he finds that dressing up as a frog is perfect for him, but when he tries to convince his friend to be a frog too, his plan goes terribly wrong.

Click here to buy The Pros & Cons of Being a Frog from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

It’s a Miroocool!
by Christine Harris & Ann James

Audrey lives in the outback, so when she loses her first tooth, she’s worried the tooth fairy will never find her! How will she let the tooth fairy know where she lives . . . and what will the tooth fairy leave her?

This is the same feisty and resourceful Audrey that readers have grown to love in the best-selling “Audrey of the Outback” series. A fabulous introduction for younger readers to the adored children’s fiction character Audrey of the Outback. A wonderfully optimistic story that captures the determined, mischievous, and imaginative nature of children.

Click here to buy It’s a Miroocool! from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

by Anna Walker

Peggy lives in a small house in a quiet street.

One blustery day a big gust of wind sweeps down and scoops up leaves, twigs and…Peggy!

The wind blows Peggy into the city, where she discovers strange new things, but how will she find her way back home?

Click here to buy Peggy from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Picture Books


The Coat
by Julie Hunt, Illustrated by Ron Brooks

Illustrated by Australia’s leading picture-book artist, this is a surprising and delicious story that will lift you off your feet and whirl you away. A coat in a strawberry patch flies off with a down-at-heel man, and together they have the night of their lives.

The Coat stood in a paddock at the end of a row of strawberries. It was buttoned up tight and stuffed full of straw and it was angry. ‘What a waste of me!’ it yelled. Then along came a man. ‘I could do with a coat like that,’ the man said. Together, swooping and swinging, they travelled to the Cafe Delitzia, and had the night of their lives

Click here to buy The Coat from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


Sophie Scott Goes South
by Alison Lester

Sophie Scott is only nine years old, but she’s going to Antarctica on an icebreaker with her dad, the ship’s captain. During the voyage to Mawson Station and back, Sophie keeps a diary. She sees icebergs, penguins, seals and whales. She makes new friends, experiences the southern lights and even becomes stranded in a blizzard!

Children’s Laureate and much-loved picture-book creator Alison Lester travelled to Antarctica as an Antarctic Arts Fellow. Her alter ego, Sophie Scott, goes on the same adventure in a friendly, informative and beautifully presented book that sees the wonder of Antarctica through a child’s eyes.

Click here to buy Sophie Scott Goes South from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

tanglewoodRUNNERS UP

by Margaret Wild, Illustrated by Vivienne Goodman

Tanglewood lives on an island far away, visited only by the wind.

One day a bird shelters from the storm among its branches and a precious bond is formed.

But Seagull belongs to the sky and, too soon, must leave.

Will she ever return?

Click here to buy Tanglewood from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Lightning Jack
by Glenda Millard, Illustrated by Patricia Mullins

When Sam Tully sees the free-spirited horse Lightning Jack, he dares to ride him. Together they muster a herd of steers into their stable, escape a grazier’s deal and fly into the air with Pegasus wings.

Then when they are ambushed by the notorious outlaw Ned Kelly, Lightning Jack leaps out of trouble and back to the wilderness.

But then Sam can’t resist a race and rides Lightning Jack against the ghost of Phar Lap at breakneck speed …Sam’s horse is a gallant horse, a midnight horse, a horse in every dream.

Click here to buy Lightning Jack from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

A Day to Remember
by Jackie French, Illustrated by Mark Wilson

Anzac Day is the day when we remember and honour ANZAC traditions down the ages, from the first faltering march of wounded veterans in 1916 to the ever-increasing numbers of their descendants who march today.

Containing reference to the many places the ANZACs have fought, and the various ways in which they keep the peace and support the civilians in war-torn parts of the world today, this is a picture book that looks not only at traditions, but also the effects of war.

Click here to buy A Day to Remember from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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Jessica Shirvington, author of Between the Lives, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

between-the-livesThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jessica Shirvington

author of Between the Lives and The Violet Eden Chapters

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 Sydney and raised on Sydney’s North Shore. I have two older brothers and one older sister. I went to primary school in St. Ives and then senior school began at Loreto Normanhurst and in year nine, my parents moved house and I transferred to Loreto Kirribilli. 

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

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