Are you the new owner of a James Patterson signed pack?

James Patterson has been at the top of bestseller lists for over 20 years, with more than 305 million copies of his books still in print. It’s no wonder that, when we ran our competition to win a signed James Patterson pack, Booktopians got a little excited.

All you had to do to enter was order any title from our James Patterson Book Guides by June 30th.

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truth-or-dieTRUTH OR DIE

by James Patterson, Howard Roughan

The truth will set you free – if it doesn’t kill you first. New York attorney Trevor Mann’s world shatters when he receives a phone call telling him his girlfriend has been shot dead in a mugging. But the circumstances point to something more calculated than a random attack. Claire was a New York Times journalist and Trevor is convinced she had unearthed a secret so shocking that she was murdered to keep it from coming to light. Chasing Claire’s leads, Trevor will more…

…and the winners are:

D.Bowden, Jerrabomberra, NSW
F.George, Greensborough, VIC
R.Smith, Mildura, VIC
B.Taylor, Wollstonecraft, NSW
K.Davis, Davistown, NSW

Grab a copy of Truth or Die here


Congratulations to the winners!

Missed out on the prize? Don’t sweat it, there’s so much more up for grabs, as well as limited editions, signed copies and 2 for 1 offers!

Head to our Promotions and Competitions page!

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Nicole Trope, author of Hush, Little Bird, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Nicole Trope

author of Hush, Little Bird

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 South Africa. I came to Australia at eighteen and went through university here. I have a Master’s Degree in children’s literature and I was a high school teacher before I had my first child. I originally went to university to study Law but gave that up after writing my first essay. I was more interested in the drama of ancient Greece and less interested in what that all meant for the study of Law. While trying to figure out what to do I wrote a short story for the university magazine and flippantly thought, ‘If this gets published I’ll switch to an English degree.’ It did and I did.

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

I always wanted to be a writer. Even when I couldn’t even conceive of writing a novel I knew that immersed in a book was my favourite place to be. At eighteen I wanted to write children’s literature and I think I stuck with that idea until I came up with the plot for my first published novel.

At thirty I wanted to be able to say that I was a published writer, not just an aspiring author. It took many years after that for my dream to be realised.

Author: Nicole Trope

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

I believed that there would be a time when I truly felt like an adult and where I was in control of all aspects of my life. Now I know that maturity brings with it the realisation that this will never really be the case. Very few things in life are clear cut and absolute control of anything is really just an illusion.

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

I am, as most writers are, a great reader. Because I have read so widely I can’t really say that any novel in particular has had a great effect on my writing but rather that certain novelists have taught me some things about the craft. I love Fay Weldon and Terry Pratchett for their dark humour and Joanna Trollope for her light touch when it comes to domestic drama. I love the music in Alice Hoffman’s language and the spare prose of Australian writers like Olga Masters. Over time I have read everything from romance novels to crime series. Now when I read and am struck by a sentence or an idea I will take time to look at how the author has been able to create that feeling and learn from that.

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

Stories have always been my preferred form of expression. It never occurred to me to try anything else.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Hush, Little Bird is the story of two very different women; Rose who has lived her life in the spotlight and Birdy who has lived her whole life hiding from the truth. It takes an act of violence for Birdy’s secrets to overwhelm her and then fate steps in and brings the two women together. The novel unfolds through the eyes of each woman and the reader gradually learns what connects them and why Birdy is determined to have her revenge.

Grab a copy of Nicole’s new book Hush, Little Bird here

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

I always hope that readers wish they didn’t have to put the book down and that perhaps they have been able to think about something in a different way.

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

Just a few of the authors I admire are: Fay Weldon, Terry Pratchett, Elizabeth Berg, Alice Hoffman, Peter Goldsworthy, Douglas Adams, Alice Walker and Margaret Atwood. Every couple of weeks I pick a letter of the alphabet at the library and try to find a new author to admire.

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

I just want to keep writing and keep getting published and hopefully have readers say that each book is better than the last.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

The obvious ones-which are to read all the time and to write all the time, even when you don’t want to or are feeling despondent about your latest rejection. Also there are a lot of organisations you can join and competitions you can enter that will get your novel or short story in front of someone who can see the potential in a writer’s work. Give everything a go!

Nicole, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Hush, Little Bird here


Hush, Little Bird

by Nicole Trope

A celebrity wife. A damaged young woman. How did they both end up in prison and what is the secret they share? White-knuckle reading from the queen of domestic suspense.

Birdy thought she would have to wait until she was free again to see Rose, but now Rose has been convicted of a shocking crime and she and Birdy will be together. Birdy has been saving all her anger for Rose. It is Rose who should have protected her and kept her safe. Birdy was little but Rose was big and she knows Rose could have saved her.

This is a story about monsters who hide in plain sight and about the secrets we keep from ourselves. It is about children who are betrayed and adults who fail them. This is the story of Birdy who was hurt and Rose who must be made to pay.

A provocative and compassionate read from the queen of white-knuckle suspense and searing family drama. You won’t be able to put it down.

About the Author

Nicole Trope is a former high school teacher with a Masters Degree in Children’s Literature. In 2005 she was one of the winners of the Varuna Awards for Manuscript Development. In 2009 her young adult novel titled I Ran Away First was shortlisted for the Text Publishing Prize. The Secrets in Silence is Nicole’s third novel. Her previous titles include the acclaimed The Boy Under The Table and Three Hours Late.

 Grab a copy of Hush, Little Bird here

Rochelle Siemienowicz, author of Fallen, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Rochelle Siemienowicz

author of Fallen

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 Geelong, Victoria, but my family moved so quickly and so often that I have no memory of it. My parents were Seventh-day Adventist missionaries and we lived in various parts of New Guinea and Fiji until I was 14 and then we moved to Perth where I finished High School. I moved to Melbourne to start University in the early 1990s and have been here ever since.

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

Twelve: A schoolteacher because although I really wanted to be a writer I didn’t think it was possible.
Eighteen: A journalist because it seemed the likeliest way of making a living as a writer. Or an academic, because I was good at writing essays and this seemed a continuation of that.
Thirty: A film journalist and sometime novelist as this combined all my passions – cinema, literature and connecting with communities of likeminded creative people.

Author: Rochelle Siemienowicz

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

I was raised in a strict religious household and believed that the end of the world was imminent – that Jesus Christ was going to return in the clouds and rescue his chosen people while the rest of the earth burned. These days I’m an atheist, though I still harbour apocalyptic fears – now related to environmental destruction.

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?

1. The huge changes in Australian Higher Education during the late 1990s and early 2000s meant that an academic career seemed too hard and too precarious to pursue. I was surrounded by bitter academics and underpaid sessional staff, so I finished my PhD on Australian cinema and fled academe, never to return.

2. Becoming involved in The Big Issue magazine’s family of writers and editors from 1997 until the present has been life changing. The Big Ish was the first publication to pay me for my words and so many of my closest friends and associates are people I met there.

3. Reading Andrew McGahan’s searingly honest, funny and distinctively Australian Vogel-winning debut novel Praise (1991) changed my life. I fell in love with McGahan’s candor, courage, and skilful blending of autobiography and fiction. This was controlled confessional writing at its most deceptively simple – unafraid to get dirty, but also able to rise above the grime into pure poetry and wry philosophical reflection.

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?

I was raised on books, especially the Bible, and I always wanted to have my name on the cover of one. I love to hold the physical objects and there’s nothing quite as immersive as a really good book. Also, you can read them during take-off and landing when flying on an aeroplane.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Fallen is my first book. It’s a memoir about sex, religion and marrying too young, and it traces a crucial period in my early twenties when I broke away from everything I’d been raised to believe. Raised as devout Seventh-day Adventists, who believe that the end of the world is near and premarital sex is a terrible sin, my husband and I married at twenty while still at University. But after leaving the parental nest, we started experimenting with all the things that were forbidden to us – alcohol, meat, rock and roll, cinema and literature that stretched the boundaries of ‘decency’. We loved each other sincerely and took our marriage vows very seriously, but part of this experimentation involved having an open marriage. My book is about three weeks at the end of that marriage when I revisited my hometown of Perth and broke the rules of our agreement. It’s a sexual coming of age story, a tale of first love and innocence lost.

Grab a copy of Rochelle’s new book Fallen here

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

Telling the truth about the variety and detail of female sexual experience is still a radical act – even in our supposedly liberated and highly sexualised culture. If my book could counter some of the shame around sexual desire, and make readers feel less alone, less dysfunctional, and less ‘sinful’, then that would be a huge achievement.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Right now I’m full of admiration for the people close to me who are enduring heartbreak, divorce, unemployment and depression. These are the supposedly ordinary people who keep on doing what they have to do, with kindness and generosity, even when getting out bed in the morning feels like the most courageous and impossible act. Life is tough a lot of the time and there’s a lot of everyday heroism. Being human is hard.

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

I want to be as honest as I can be, in both my life and my work. I also want to spread pleasure. There’s really no higher achievement than writing something people enjoy reading for the pure pleasure of the language, the characters and the rich, beautiful world you’ve created. Pleasure should be an end in itself.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read. Read all the time. Stay off social media long enough to become absorbed in the words of others. Read the great books. Read them aloud. Hear how they work, or don’t work. Read your own work aloud. Feel where it gets boring or sticky. It’s not just that you’re tired of it. The writing is bad when that happens. Good writing is good even when you’ve read it fifty times.

Rochelle, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Fallen here


Fallen: A Memoir About Sex, Religion and Marrying Too Young

by Rochelle Siemienowicz

“Call me Eve. It’s the name I call myself when I think back to that time when I was a young wife – so very young, so very hungry. I picked the fruit and ate and drank until I was drunk with freedom and covered in juice and guilt.”

In this frank, compelling and beautifully written memoir, Rochelle Siemienowicz provides an intimate portrait of the last days of an open marriage.

Raised as devout Seventh-day Adventists, who believe that the end of the world is near and that premarital sex is a terrible sin, Eve and her husband marry young. Rebelling against their upbringing, and in an attempt to overcome problems in their relationship, they enter an agreement that has its own strict rules. But when Eve holidays alone in her hometown of Perth during a hot West Australian summer, she finds her body and heart floating free. Fallen is a true tale of sex, love, religion and getting married too young – and about what it feels like when you can’t keep the promises you once sincerely made.

About the Author

Rochelle Siemienowicz is a writer, film critic and former editor at the AFI | AACTA. She has a PhD in Australian cinema and was the long-time film editor for The Big Issue. She currently reports for Screen Hub, reviews for SBS Film and is Film Columnist for Kill Your Darlings. She very occasionally blogs at It’s Better in the Dark, and is currently working on her first novel, which has nothing at all to do with movies.

Grab a copy of Fallen here

Drum roll…. the winner of our Mark Billingham comp is…

May was our Month of Crime and we celebrated by giving customers the chance to win a book pack filled with awesome crime novels! All you had to do to enter was order Mark Billingham’s brilliant new book, Time of Death.

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time-of-death-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win- Time of Death

The Tom Thorne Series : Book 13

by Mark Billingham

The Missing

Two schoolgirls are abducted in the small, dying Warwickshire town of Polesford, driving a knife into the heart of the community where police officer Helen Weeks grew up and from which she long ago escaped. But this is a place full of secrets, where dangerous truths lie buried.

The Accused

When it’s splashed all over the press that family man Stephen Bates has been arrested, Helen and her partner Tom Thorne head to the more…

…and the winner is:

M.Nicholls, Boambee East, NSW

Grab a copy of Time of Death here


Congratulations to the winner!

Missed out on the prize? Hey, turn that frown upside up, we’ve got so much more up for grabs, not to mention limited editions, signed copies and 2 for 1 offers!

Head to our Promotions and Competitions page!

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Find out how you could win tickets to the Paper Towns Australian premiere!

Do you love John Green novels?

Do you love sweeping films about first loves and losses?

Do you love rubbing shoulders with celebrities?

Are you feeling lucky, punk?

After the runaway success of the film adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars another of his novels, Paper Towns, is about the hit the big screen.

To celebrate this, we have 2 double passes to the Australian Premiere on July 5th in Sydney!

For your chance to win one of them, just buy the stunning Paper Towns: Film Tie-in edition by June 28th!

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paper-towns-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-Paper Towns

Film Tie-in Edition

John Green

The stunning film tie-in edition of Paper Towns, from the award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars.

Quentin Jacobsen – Q to his friends – is eighteen and has always loved the edgy Margo Roth Spiegelman. As children, they’d discovered a dead body together. Now at high school, Q’s nerdy while Margo is uber-cool. One night, Q is basking in the predictable boringness of his life when Margo, dressed as a ninja, persuades him to partake in several hours of mayhem. then she vanishes.

While her family more…


We’ve got so much more up for grabs, not to mention limited editions, signed copies and 2 for 1 offers!
Head to our Promotions and Competitions page!

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Annie Barrows, author of The Truth According to Us, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Annie Barrows

author of The Truth According to Us

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, raised, schooled, and pretty much everything else in California. I grew up in a town just to the north of the San Francisco Bay called San Anselmo, which has grown alarmingly elite in recent years, but was just a plain little town during my childhood. I spent most of my youth at the library. I went to college at the University of California in Berkeley, where I studied medieval religious history (how practical!) and later got an MFA in Creative Writing (also practical!) at Mills College nearby. With all this California background, why did I write a book set in West Virginia?  Sheer mulishness.

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

That’s easy! When I was twelve I wanted to be eighteen. When I was eighteen, I wanted to be thirty, and when I was thirty, I wanted to be twelve again.
Okay, okay.
I think at twelve, I was still clinging to the hope that I’d somehow be transported back in time to 1880, so my career planning was confined to reading 19th century etiquette books in order to blend in. I’m sure this will come in handy someday.
At eighteen, I had a fantastic career plan. I was going to be an art restorer—one of those quiet, delicate-fingered people who spend years pasting together shards to make a single Grecian urn. Oh boy, was that going to be great! Except then I did it and found myself restringing thousands upon thousands of teeny glass beads on six inches of an Indian headband and almost lost my mind.

At thirty, I had attained every career goal I had set for myself in the previous ten years: I was the Managing Editor of one the largest book publishers on the West Coast and I was the acquiring editor of their first New York Times Best-Seller. Everything was great, everything was swell—except that I had just realized that what I really wanted was to be a writer.

Author: Annie Barrows

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

When I was eighteen, I thought that the most important thing in the world was to be right.  Now I think the most important thing in the world is to try to think that other people are right.

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?

Literary influences are such an enormous can of worms—there were so many of them, they were so influential—that I’d better focus on other art forms. (Though I’m pretty sure I would not be a writer if I hadn’t read, at about age 12, J.D. Salinger’s description of the Glass family’s bathroom medicine cabinet in Zooey.)

Three major artistic influences are:
1. Dumbo
Back when I was a kid, our grubby local movie theater held kiddie matinees on Saturdays. These events were strictly kid-only; no grownup ever entered the theater during them (even the ushers stayed out unless someone threw a chair). As a result, kiddie matinees were mayhem. The kids on the balcony rained spit and chewed candy on the kids below. The kids below hollered threats at the kids on the balcony. Children wailed and sobbed. It was like Lord of the Flies with Milk Duds. But there was no avoiding it; our parents made us go. They’d shove us out of the car and speed off, gravel spraying, to enjoy a quiet afternoon.lord-of-the-flies
Regular kiddie matinees were pretty bad, but one Saturday I was dropped off at a matinee of Dumbo with my older sister and my cousin. It was one of the most terrifying episodes of my life. Dumbo is about death and loss; specifically, it’s about a little elephant whose mama is tormented to death, leaving him to wander, alone and in despair, through various dire misfortunes. There I was, at age six, watching Dumbo’s mother die in agony while children wailed and sobbed around me. I tried to run out of the theatre, and my sister grabbed me and told me to sit still.

That afternoon was the foundation of a lot of neurosis, but also—and more to the point here—the foundation of a profound distrust of anything that calls itself children’s entertainment, a species that, in my opinion, rarely wants for children what they want for themselves. It was this distrust that ultimately led me to write for children.

2. The Hunt in the Forest
I stumbled on this painting one day in Oxford, and I can’t get over it. Paolo Uccello kills me in general, but this particular combination of precision and mystery completely mesmerized me. Uccello loves, loves, loves lines, but he doesn’t love lines more than he loves what he can’t see. It’s very instructive. Hilary Mantel does the same thing in writing.

3. Enrico IV
I am not recommending this play. It’s by Pirandello, and it’s kind of tedious. But in 1981, I saw a performance of it that blew me out of my seat. By the end of the show, the stage had been ripped apart—we could see more or less into the dressing rooms—and everything that signals Theater was in ruins. It was definitely the performance, not the play, that held the power, and for me, it was an astonishing lesson about the delivery of story through form, which I had always thought was cheap. I mean, mostly it is cheap, but when it’s on, it’s pure power.

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

I had to. Nobody would ever in a million years read—or publish!—what I’d most like to write, which is story without end, a literally endless following of, say, three lives (not mine) from beginning to—the moment I drop dead. It would be volumes and volumes and volumes long; it would tell story after story after story. Wouldn’t that be great?!
What?
No?
Oh.

This is why I wrote a novel.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

The Truth According to Us is set in the summer of 1938, when the town of Macedonia, West Virginia, is celebrating its Sesquicentennial, an occasion that will be commemorated with parades, picnics, and most importantly, a book recounting its history. Its reluctant author, the debutante Miss Layla Beck, recently disinherited by her father, arrives in town with one goal – to get out of it as quickly as possible.

Macedonia’s history seems simple enough, easily disposed of, easily understood. Then Layla meets the Romeyns—Jottie, Willa, Felix, Emmett—a family at once entertaining, eccentric, seductive, and inextricably bound up in Macedonia’s most impenetrable historic event.

Grab a copy of Annie’s new book The Truth According to Us here

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

I have to admit it—what I want most is for readers to love my darling people. They’ve been my dearest friends for years now, and I feel a little uncertain about them going out in the world without me. I felt exactly like this on my daughter’s first day of kindergarten.

On a more theoretical (and less insane) level, I’d want readers to question the possibility of veracity, the endlessly receding goal of knowing the past in order to possess it. Time is a tragedy from which we hope to protect ourselves by believing in the existence of facts.

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

How many days do you have? My problem here is that there’s not one realm of writing. There are lots of realms and sub-realms. For instance, there’s the realm of children’s writers, and within that realm, there are picture books, chapter books, novels, and young adult novels. I can deeply admire the work of a picture book writer, but my admiration is influenced by fact that I can’t write picture books myself. So that admiration is different than what I accord to people working in the same genre that I work.

And then, there’s the issue of variability in a single author. I don’t mean that the author’s skill is variable. The variable is my ability to be acted upon—I’m just way less engaged by some things than others. Take murder, for instance. It mostly bores me, so a book that’s centered on a murder has to be really good to overcome my apathy about the topic. An example: what Kate Atkinson is addressing in Life after Life is completely fascinating to me. Her books about Jackson Brodie are probably equally accomplished, but they’re accomplished at something I’m less interested in. Now that I think about it, I should probably admire her more for the Jackson Brodie books than for Life after Life because I liked them so much even though I don’t care about murder.

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

To finish my next novel in less than seven years.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

There are as many ways to be a writer as there are writers.

Annie, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of The Truth According to Us here


The Truth According to Us

by Annie Barrows

In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck is forced out of the lap of luxury and sent by her Senator father to work on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Assigned to cover the history of the little mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, Layla envisions a summer of tedium.

However, once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is completely drawn into their complex world.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to acquire her favourite virtues – ferocity and devotion – a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business with which her charismatic father is always occupied and the reason her adored aunt Jottie never married.

Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family’s veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a different tale about the Romeyns and their deep entanglement in Macedonia’s history. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s story, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed – and their personal histories completely rewritten.

Quirky, loveable, and above all human, this novel of small-town life in the 1930s is an immersive experience that will leave readers reeling and wanting more.

About the Author

Annie Barrows is the author of the children’s series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half and Magic in the Mix; she is also co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Annie lives in Northern California with her husband and her two daughters.

 Grab a copy of The Truth According to Us here

Never judge Fan Fiction by its inspiration…

A Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson, is the latest in a long line of Twilight fan fiction to be published. Jackson’s reason for creating Twilight fanfic alone makes you want to read this book because, let’s be honest, we are all guilty of creating new scenarios in our head and imagining an entirely different story. I’ve done it with so many of my favourite romance books, albeit with a starring role from yours truly.

Sophie has this to say about dipping her toe into the heady world of Fan Fiction.

“When I finished reading them (the Twilight series) the second time, I knew I needed more. I wanted to learn more about the characters, to see them in different situations and following different storylines. That’s when I happened upon FanFiction.net.

The talent in the fanfiction world is truly incredible, and I spent weeks falling down the ‘Twifiction’ rabbit hole, while falling more in love with the idea of writing my own. I was inspired.

I’m a hopeless romantic and a sucker for a love story, which is what I decided to write.”

A Pound of Flesh is part of a series and I can’t wait to read them!


a-pound-of-fleshA Pound of Flesh

A Pound of Flesh Series : Book 1

by Sophie Jackson

The first in a compelling, emotional and sexy series about the ultimate forbidden romance…

Lose your heart to your new bad boy book boyfriend. Wes Carter – sexy, edgy, behind bars, with emotional scars as permanent as the ink on his skin, just waiting to be healed by love…

Fans of Samantha Young, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Jamie McGuire, Katy Evans and Prison Break will find this powerful love story utterly addictive and unforgettable.

Can true love heal the deepest scars?

Wes Carter: Dangerous, brooding and behind bars, Carter’s more…

Grab a copy of A Pound of Flesh here

About the Author

Sophie Jackson is an English teacher from Chorley. Although she read and wrote furiously as a child, she first started writing as an adult, to scratch the creative itch, for the website FanFiction.net, after reading the Twilight series in 2008. She wrote and posted a number of Twilight fanfics, chapter by chapter, and built up an impressive readership.

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