Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Bloomsbury- you could win a prize pack worth over $800!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Bloomsbury and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $800!!!

Just buy any title in Bloomsbury’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Bloomsbury’s showcase

Our Top Pick

Let Me be Frank with You

by Richard Ford

Richard Ford returns to the territory that sealed his reputation as a master: the world of Frank Bascombe

In his masterful trio of novels portraying the life of an entire American generation, Richard Ford has imagined one of the most indelible and widely-discussed characters in modern literature, Frank Bascombe.

Now, in Let Me Be Frank With You, Bascombe returns. Sixty-seven years old, ensconced in a quiet suburb in Haddam, New Jersey, Frank lives with his second wife Sally, enjoying the ‘Next Level of life’ – retirement. Unfolding over several days before Christmas, we follow Bascombe as he navigates life in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Sandy.

While Frank’s house has been spared, the only damage to his property a broken windshield on his car, the effects of the hurricane seep into his life. His duty is to listen – to the man who bought Frank’s beachfront house that now lies in ruins; to the woman left homeless by the storm that turns up on his doorstep; to his ex-wife, convinced that the hurricane has caused the Parkinson’s disease that is slowly ravaging her body; and to an old acquaintance with advanced cancer, who ruminates painfully on his past.

In these four richly luminous, entwined narratives, Ford charts the waning years of Frank Bascombe, protean, funny, profane, wise, often inappropriate, as he attempts to reconcile, interpret and console a world undone by calamity. Let Me Be Frank With You is both a moving, wondrous and extremely funny odyssey through modern America and a brilliantly nuanced meditation on ageing, grief and acceptance from a writer at the absolute height of his powers.

Click here to enter Bloomsbury’s showcase

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Random House – you could win a prize pack worth over $800!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Random House and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $800!!!

Just buy any title in Random House’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Random House’s showcase

Our Top Pick

My Story

by Julia Gillard

‘I was Prime Minister for three years and three days. Three years and three days of resilience. Three years and three days of changing the nation. Three years and three days for you to judge.’

On Wednesday 23rd June 2010, with the government in turmoil, Julia Gillard asked then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a leadership ballot.

The next day, Julia Gillard became Australia’s 27th Prime Minister, and our first female leader. Australia was alive to the historic possibilities. Here was a new approach for a new time.

It was to last three extraordinary years.

This is Julia Gillard’s chronicle of that turbulent time – a strikingly candid self-portrait of a political leader seeking to realise her ideals. It is her story of what it was like – in the face of government in-fighting and often hostile media – to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to our international obligations and building strategic alliances for our future. This is a politician driven by a sense of purpose – from campus days with the Australian Union of Students, to a career in the law, to her often gritty, occasionally glittering rise up the ranks of the Australian Labor Party.

Refreshingly honest, peppered with a wry humour and personal insights, Julia Gillard does not shy away from her mistakes, admitting freely to errors, misjudgements, and policy failures as well as detailing her political successes. Here is an account of what was hidden behind the resilience and dignified courage Gillard showed as prime minister – her view of the vicious hate campaigns directed against her, and a reflection on what it means – and what it takes – to be a woman leader in contemporary politics.

Here, in her own words, Julia Gillard reveals what life was really like as Australia’s first female prime minister.

Click here to enter Random House’s showcase

BOOKTOBERFEST GUEST BLOG: Writing in the steppes of Genghis Khan by Tim Cope, author of On the Trail of Genghis Khan

Tim CopeWriting in the steppes of Genghis Khan

A crisp autumn day near the Danube River in Hungary in 2007 marked the end of a long journey for my animals and I. For three and a half years I had travelled with three horses, and a dog, Tigon, from the Mongolian empire capital, Kharkhorin, across the steppe of Central Asia on a quest to understand the legacy of the nomads – the horseback cultures, who under Genghis Khan created the largest land empire in history.

Experiences early on had foreshadowed the nature of the difficulties that would define my time in the saddle: within the first few weeks in Mongolia, my horses had been stolen in the night by thieves, the camp had been surrounded by wolves, and it dawned on me that there was much more to learning about horses than I had bargained for (before leaving Australia I had barely been on a horse in my life.) But at the same time, I was taken in by a nomadic people for whom hospitality is the linchpin of survival, and began to learn that friendship on the steppe is the true measure of life (in fact upon returning the horses to me, the man who likely stole my horse had explained that ‘a man on the steppe without friends is as narrow as a finger… a man on the steppe with friends is as wide as the steppe.’). Now, putting all that to rest, I had safely made it to Hungary with my family of animals. Surely, the hardship was over, and all I had to do was return home to the relative luxury of life under a roof and put my experiences to paper…..or so I had thought.

What I could never have imagined was that it would be another six years before I had penned the last words of my manuscript, four of years of which had been full time writing. As the writing unfolded, I found myself learning, and challenged to consider my personal encounters into context of the rich and complex histories of steppe nations. The book began as a way of re-adjusting to life in Australia, but became an adventure in itself: a process that transformed me, as month after month I returned to the steppe in my mind, only now with my dog Tigon on the couch next to me, rather than chasing hares and foxes on the horizon. Half way through the first draft, an author and friend of mine had mentioned something that stuck with me to the end: ‘If you knew what the book would be….then you would never start writing it.’ For me I am now convinced that the life of a writer is rich, raw, and vivid, precisely because the beginning of any unwritten chapter throws up the prospects of the unknown, and a path that is unscripted: and that to me is real life.


Tim Cope’s On the Trail of Genghis Khan is a featured title in Bloomsbury’s Booktoberfest Showcase, click here for more details

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on-the-trail-of-genghis-khanOn the Trail of Genghis Khan

by Tim Cope

The extraordinary adventure of one man’s journey following in the footsteps of Genghis Khan’s conquering armies

The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave rise to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Among them were the Mongols of the thirteenth century – a small tribe, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life nomads still lead today, Tim Cope embarked on a journey that hadn’t been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary.

From horse-riding novice to travelling three years and 10,000 kilometres on horseback, accompanied by his dog Tigon, Tim learnt to fend off wolves and would -be horse-thieves, and grapple with the extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. Along the way, he was taken in by people who taught him the traditional ways and told him their recent history: Stalin’s push for industrialisation brought calamity to the steepe and forced collectivism that in Kazakhstan alone led to the loss of several million livestock and the starvation of more than a million nomads. Today Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang precariously in the balance in the post-Soviet world.

About the Author

Tim Cope, F.R.G.S., is an adventurer, author, filmmaker and motivational speaker with a special interest in Central Asia and the states of the former Soviet Union. He has studied as a wilderness guide in the Finnish and Russian subarctic, ridden a bicycle across Russia to China, and rowed a boat along the Yenisey River through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean. He is the author of Off the Rails: Moscow to Beijing on Recumbent Bikes. He is the creator of several documentary films, including the award-winning series ‘The Trail of Genghis Khan’, which covers the journey of this book. He lives in Victoria, Australia.

Tim Cope’s On the Trail of Genghis Khan is a featured title in Bloomsbury’s Booktoberfest Showcase, click here for more details

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Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Penguin – you could win a prize pack worth $900!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Penguin and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $900!

Just buy any title in Penguin’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Penguin’s showcase

Our Top Pick

The Silver Moon

by Bryce Courtenay

Each of us has a place to return to in our minds, a place of clarity and peace, a place to think, to create, to dream. For Bryce Courtenay it was a waterhole in Africa he used to escape to as a boy for solitude. One evening, while hiding there, he witnessed the tallest of the great beasts drinking from the waterhole in the moonlight, and was spellbound. Ever since, he drew inspiration from this moment.

The Silver Moon gathers together some of the most personal and sustaining life-lessons from Australia’s favourite storyteller. In short stories and insights, many written in his final months, Bryce reflects on living and dying, and how through determination, respect for others and taking pleasure in small moments of joy, he tried to make the most out of life.

From practical advice on how to write a bestseller to general inspiration on how to realise your dreams, The Silver Moon celebrates Bryce Courtenay’s lifelong passion for storytelling, language and the creative process, and brings us closer to the man behind the bestsellers.

Click here to enter Penguin’s showcase

BOOKTOBERFEST GUEST BLOG: The Wonder of Books by Monica McInerney

web-McInerney-Monica-_Michael-Boyny__Size4Looking back, I’ve had a pretty busy fourteen years.

As a writer, here are just some of the things I’ve got up to:

- I spent ten months running a winery-restaurant in the Clare Valley.

- My two sisters and I had a big falling out and didn’t speak to each other for three years.

- I moved to New York, where I not only found a job with a cantankerous old woman, but also met the love of my life.

- I moved from England to Australia with my family and turned an old house in the Victorian goldfields into a tourist attraction.

- I ran a charity shop in a small town.

- I lived on a sheep station in outback South Australia, from where I accidentally sent out a Christmas letter that spilled the beans on all my family’s secrets.

That’s not all. I’ve been busy as a reader too. I’ve been a Cold War spy. A sociopathic Irishman. An international photojournalist. Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. A lighthouse keeper off the coast of Western Australia. A shop assistant in the cocktail dress section of an elegant Sydney department store.*

That’s the wonder of books. Whether we are writing them or reading them, stories take us out of our own lives and put us into other people’s shoes, minds, lives, homes and countries. I learned to read as a four-year-old, sitting on the roof of my family home in country South Australia. I read about the Famous Five and the Secret Seven, about snow and the Mississippi River, about places I never thought I’d see but was still able to imagine. As a writer, I have travelled all around the world fictionally and in real life. I’ve imagined events through my characters’ eyes, laughed with them, cried with them. I’ve had that same experience with other authors’ books.

Reading enriches us in more ways than we can imagine. Books are our passports to new lives and ways of thinking. Our tickets to a world of wonders. Magic carpets for our minds. Happy reading, everyone – not only during Booktoberfest, but every other month of the year too.

*The books I’m referring to are: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré. Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent. Half Moon Bay by Helene Young. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. The Women in Black by Madeleine St John.


Monica McInerney’s Hello from the Gillespies is a featured title in Penguin’s Booktoberfest Showcase, click here for more details

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hello-from-the-gillespiesHello from the Gillespies

by Monica McInerney

For more than thirty years, Angela Gillespie has sent 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 poorly with retirement. Her 32-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 Angela is taken from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together – and pull themselves together – in wonderfully surprising ways.

Monica McInerney’s Hello from the Gillespies is a featured title in Penguin’s Booktoberfest Showcase, click here for more details

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Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Walker Books- you could win a prize pack worth over $600!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Walker Books and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $600!!!

Just buy any title in Walker Books’ Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Walker Books’ showcase

Our Top Pick

The Bane Chronicles

by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson

Ever wanted to know why Magnus Bane is banned from Peru? Or what he got up to during the French Revolution? Or what he bought Alec Lightwood as a birthday present? Ten short stories that follow the adventures of immortal warlock Magnus Bane, a fan-favourite character from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series, written by Cassandra Clare in collaboration with fellow YA authors and friends, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson.

With stories originally published as eBooks only, this collection brings all ten together for the first time. Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and its prequel series, The Infernal Devices , are international bestsellers. There are over 12 million copies of The Mortal Instruments in print worldwide and it has been translated into more than 35 languages. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has been made into a movie.

Click here to enter Walker Books’ showcase

Nine Naughty Questions with… Jennifer St George, author of Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon.

tempted-by-the-billionaire-tycoonThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

 Jennifer St George

author of Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon

Nine Naughty Questions

———————————-

1. I wonder, is a romance writer born or made? Please tell us a little about your life before publication.

I suppose they could be both, but I was certainly a romance writer that was made. Before taking up a creative pen, I spent twenty years in corporate marketing and management consulting roles.  Some career highlights include launching Guinness beer in Russia; reaching 40 million people through a publicity campaign that ‘gave away’ a pub in Ireland and launching the Ford Ka brand in Australia. It took determination and hard work to transform from a business executive to a published romance author. Having said that, I’d always loved reading and books, which is a good start for any writer.

2. For all the glitz and the glam associated with the idea of romance novels, writing about and from the heart is personal and very revealing. Do you think this is why romance readers are such devoted fans? And do you ever feel exposed?

I don’t know about exposed, but I do become quite emotional while writing my stories.  Often while drafting the ‘black moment’, when all seems lost, I’m crying my eyes out. Other times I feel completely exhausted after writing a scene. I put my characters through hell and I can’t help feeling their pain (and their joy of course!)

00000069873. Please tell us about your latest novel…

A series of strange accidents are occurring at Sirona, a luxury spa resort in the picturesque English countryside. Billionaire owner Nic Capitini wants the person responsible sacked. But the law requires he give three official warnings. Nic checks in undercover to gather the evidence he needs, and when he arrives to find his general manager, Poppy Bradford enjoying the spa’s facilities, he doesn’t think it will prove very challenging.

But, it isn’t long before Nic realises that not only is Poppy beautiful, she’s a brilliant manager and the chemistry between them is undeniable. When Poppy herself is threatened, it seems clear the incidents are part of a systematic campaign of sabotage. Even though he believes she’s innocent, Nic knows Poppy is hiding something. But will learning her secret mean losing her forever?

Grab a copy of Jennifers’s novel Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon here

4. Is the life of a published Romance writer… well… Romantic?

I like to think so. I knew I was up for a lifetime of romance when my now husband flew across the world (I lived in London, he lived in Brisbane) to declare his undying love after only knowing me for three weeks.

Everyday romance-writing life however, it a lot of hard work and copious amounts of coffee! But, I do try to visit the locations I set my stories. Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon (my latest story) is set in Paris, Versailles and the Lake District (UK). I travelled to all these places to ensure I captured the essence of each location. A nice job perk!

the-billionaire-s-pursuit-of-love5. Of all of the Romantic moments in your life is there one moment, more dear than all the rest, against which you judge all the Romantic elements in your writing? If so can you tell us about that special moment?

My husband’s international dash outlined above is pretty hard to top, so yes, my heroes have to work pretty hard as I have very high romantic standards.

6. Sex in Romance writing today ranges from ‘I can’t believe they’re allowed to publish this stuff’ explicit to ‘turn the light back on I can see something’ mild. How important do you think sex is in a romance novel?

I write sexy category romance stories in glamorous international settings, so sex is a vital ingredient in all my novels. But, I think building the sexual tension in the story is critical to delivering an emotional and engaging read.

isbn97818440803807. Romance writers are often Romance readers – please tell us your five favourite (read and re-read) romance novels or five novels that influenced your work most?

1. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
2. Pride and Prejudice –  Jane Austen (I recently visited her house in Hampshire where she wrote the book…fascinating)
3, 4 and 5. Anything by category romance authors, Kelly Hunter, Rachel Bailey and Amy Andrews (I could go on and on and on)

8. Erotic Romance writing is ‘so hot right now’, do you have any thoughts on why?

I have to admit it is not really a genre I read, but I suspect it is a great way to escape into a fantasy world that whips reader away from the every day. There’s something pretty exciting about having a hot werewolf imprint on you or a vampire bite you so you live forever!

9. Lastly, what advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read and learn (and never stop) and write, write, write.

Once I decided I wanted to be a romance writer, I voraciously read the types of books I wanted to write.  I wanted to understand readers’ expectations. I travelled all over Australia to attend the best romance writing courses and I didn’t let rejection stop me. I kept writing until I got that call.  Also, I’d recommend joining Romance Writers of Australia…it will save you years of wandering around in the romance-writing wilderness!

Thanks for joining us Jennifer!


tempted-by-the-billionaire-tycoonTempted by the Billionaire Tycoon

by Jennifer St George

The latest sexy international romance from the bestselling author of The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love.

Three strikes and you’re out…

A series of strange accidents are occurring at Sirona, a luxury spa resort in the picturesque English countryside. Billionaire owner Nic Capitini wants the person responsible sacked. But the law requires he give three official warnings. Nic checks in undercover to gather the evidence he needs, and when he arrives to find his general manager enjoying the spa’s facilities, he doesn’t think it will prove very challenging.

Despite first impressions, it isn’t long before Nic realises that not only is Poppy Bradford beautiful, she’s a brilliant manager who runs the resort superbly. And the chemistry between them is undeniable. When Poppy herself is threatened, it seems clear the incidents are part of a systematic campaign of sabotage. Even though he believes she’s innocent, Nic knows Poppy is hiding something. But will learning her secret mean losing her forever?

Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon is part of the Billionaire series by Jennifer St George, but can certainly be enjoyed as a stand-alone book.

Grab a copy of Jennifers’s novel Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon here

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