Stephen King Publishes New Short Story For The New Yorker

As further evidence of Stephen King of being not just one of the world’s greatest storytellers but also one of the hardest working, the acclaimed author has just published a new short story for The New Yorker.

Here’s the first part, click the link below to read it in it’s entirety…

150309_r26192-880A Death

by Stephen King

Jim Trusdale had a shack on the west side of his father’s gone-to-seed ranch, and that was where he was when Sheriff Barclay and half a dozen deputized townsmen found him, sitting in the one chair by the cold stove, wearing a dirty barn coat and reading an old issue of the Black Hills Pioneer by lantern light.

Looking at it, anyway.

Sheriff Barclay stood in the doorway, almost filling it up. He was holding his own lantern. “Come out of there, Jim, and do it with your hands up. I ain’t drawn my pistol and don’t want to.”

Trusdale came out. He still had the newspaper in one of his raised hands. He stood there looking at the sheriff with his flat gray eyes. The sheriff looked back. So did the others, four on horseback and two on the seat of an old buckboard with “Hines Mortuary” printed on the side in faded yellow letters.

“I notice you ain’t asked why we’re here,” Sheriff Barclay said.

“Why are you here, Sheriff?”

“Where is your hat, Jim?”

Trusdale put the hand not holding the newspaper to his head as if to feel for his hat, which was a brown plainsman and not there.

“In your place, is it?” the sheriff asked. A cold breeze kicked up, blowing the horses’ manes and flattening the grass in a wave that ran south.

“No,” Trusdale said. “I don’t believe it is.”

“Then where?”

“I might have lost it.”

“You need to get in the back of the wagon,” the sheriff said.

“I don’t want to ride in no funeral hack,” Trusdale said. “That’s bad luck.”

“You got bad luck all over,” one of the men said. “You’re painted in it. Get in.”

Trusdale went to the back of the buckboard and climbed up. The breeze kicked again, harder, and he turned up the collar of his barn coat.

The two men on the seat of the buckboard got down and stood either side of it. One drew his gun; the other did not. Trusdale knew their faces but not their names. They were town men. The sheriff and the other four went into his shack. One of them was Hines, the undertaker. They were in there for some time. They even opened the stove and dug through the ashes. At last they came out…

Read the complete short story, A Death by Stephen King, here

Divergent author Veronica Roth to pen new series

veronica-roth-478771Just when you thought Veronica Roth fans couldn’t get more excited with the release of the film adaptation of Insurgent, the second novel of the bestselling Divergent trilogy, around the corner, an announcement from the author has given them even more reason to celebrate.

Roth has inked a deal for a new two book series, the first of which is due to arrive in 2017.

According to HarperCollins, the saga will feature ‘a boy who forms an unlikely alliance with an enemy, helping each other attain what they most desire. For one, redemption, and the other, revenge.’

The series is being billed as ‘in the vein of Star Wars‘.

Incredibly, Roth was still a college student when the Divergent series was released. Now 26 years old, we can’t wait to see what she was in store for us!

divergent-series-box-set-books-1-4-plus-world-of-divergent-Divergent Series Box Set

by Veronica Roth

Divergent: Sixteen-year-old Tris has been forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit. So she ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Tris can trust no one in this brutal new world, but she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.

Insurgent: Tris has survived a brutal attack on her home, but she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes reckless as she struggles to accept her new future. If Tris wants to uncover the truth, she must be stronger than ever as more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

Allegiant: The faction-based society that Tris once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she will find a simple new life, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Four – A Divergent Collection: Readers first encountered Tobias Eaton as “Four” in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Readers will find more of this charismatic character’s backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection. When read together, these long narrative pieces illuminate the defining moments in Tobias Eaton’s life.

Grab a copy of the Divergent Series Box Set here

Grab a copy of the Divergent Series Box Set here

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

New Sherlock Holmes story discovered, written by Arthur Conan Doyle

sherlock-holmesHistorian Walter Elliot has unearthed the first unseen Sherlock Holmes story in more than 80 years that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote to help save a town bridge.

The 1,300-word tale starring the famous detective was found in a collection of short stories written for a local bazaar.

The story is entitled Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar.

It is believed the story – about Holmes deducing Watson is going on a trip to Selkirk – is the first unseen Holmes story by Doyle since the last was published over 80 years ago.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mr Elliot said ‘In Selkirk, there was a wooden bridge that was put up some time before it was flooded in 1902.’

‘The town didn’t have the money to replace it so they decided to have a bazaar to replace the bridge in 1904. They had various people to come and do things and just about everyone in the town did something.

‘The Saturday was opened by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He had written a wee story about Sherlock Holmes and Watson and this was in the book.

‘He really must have thought enough of the town to come down and take part and contribute a story to the book. It’s a great little story.’

Grab a copy of The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes here

 

How spruce! A new book from Dr Seuss!

But we have to pick ONE pet

And pick it out soon.

You know mother told us

To get back by noon!

SeussKnow the phrasing but can’t pick where it’s from? That’s because it’s a passage from a Dr Seuss story, a story that nobody knew existed until now!

More than 20 years after his death in 1991, a box filled with text and sketches will come to life in the latest creation by Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss: What Pet Should I Get?

The story “captures the excitement of a classic childhood moment — choosing a pet,” US publisher Random House Children’s Books said in a release.

Geisel’s widow, Audrey Geisel, found the manuscripts and illustrations in their home soon after her husband died. She set the materials aside, only to rediscover them recently while cleaning out his office.

“While undeniably special, it is not surprising to me that we found this because Ted always worked on multiple projects and started new things all the time,” Audrey Geisel said in the release.

one-fish-two-fish-red-fish-blue-fishCathy Goldsmith, Dr. Seuss’ former art director, said she believes Geisel wrote What Pet Should I Get? between 1958 and 1962. The publisher estimates Dr. Seuss wrote What Pet Should I Get? between 1958 and 1962.

“The brother and sister in the book are the same as those in his bestselling Beginner Book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, which was published in 1960,” Goldsmith said.

The book is due to be published in July.

We’ll keep you posted as news comes to hand, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.

Click here for more books from Dr. Seuss

Fifty Shades of Grey smashes Box Office records

The cinematic experience that is Fifty Shades of Grey: The Motion Picture continues to smash box office records worldwide.

Mr. Grey will see box office records now

Mr. Grey will see box office records now

Fifty Shades of Grey made more than $80 million over the weekend in the US and $248.7 globally, making it the biggest Presidents Day weekend opener ever and the third-biggest R-rated premiere in box office history

Fifty Shades’ opening weekend audience in the US was estimated to be 68% female, with the picture playing well on premium large format screens, which drew $7.4 million, as well as on Imax, which contributed $2.1 million.

The $248.7m global take was better than the $241.6m total achieved by Avatar, which went on to be the highest-grossing film of all time. In recent years, only big-budget fantasy movies such as The Avengers ($392.5m), Iron Man 3 ($372.5m), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One ($273.9m), X-Men: Days of Future Past ($262.9m), Transformers: Age of Extinction ($302.1m) and The Dark Knight Rises ($248.9m) have performed better.

Some lucky Booktopians have won double passes to see Fifty Shades of Grey at the movies, by being fans of our Facebook Page. Congratulations to Michelle Groves, Faylene Fazza Huckett, Palma Calanna, Kerryn Johnson, Nicole Robeson, Tanya Ross, Simone Phillips, Cherry Shephard, Fiona Drewitt and Laura Milczarek.

Winners, please email your details to promos@booktopia.com.au and we’ll get your prizes out to you asap!

Grab a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey here

fifty shadesFifty Shades of Grey

by E.L. James

Romantic, liberating and totally addictive, Fifty Shades of Grey is a novel that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you for ever.

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.

Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

But Grey is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Grey keeps hidden away from public view…

Grab a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey here

Grab a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey here

GUEST BLOG: Bestselling author Rachael Johns lists her Top Ten Romance Books

We’re so lucky to be able to host guest blogs from some of Australia’s Favourite Authors, and with the dust settling on Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a special treat for Romance lovers. A guest blog from romance bestseller Rachael Johns!

Rachael unveils her Top Ten Romance Books of All-Time. Did your favourites make the cut?


Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

bridget-jones-s-diaryThis book was the first book I read and enjoyed after a long drought in high school. It reignited my passion for reading and partly inspired me to write my own book.

Blurb: In the course of the year recorded in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget confides her hopes, her dreams, and her monstrously fluctuating poundage, not to mention her consumption of 5277 cigarettes and Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideous in every way). In 365 days, she gains 74 pounds. On the other hand, she loses 72! There is also the unspoken New Year’s resolution–the quest for the right man. A dazzling urban satire of modern human relations? An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?

Celebrating 40 years of outstanding international writing, this is one of the essential Picador novels reissued in a beautiful new series style.

Grab a copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary here


Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

wallbangerIt was one of my fave reads of 2013, I laughed out loud in so many places but I also loved the way the author portrays the development of the friendship and romance.

Burb: The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an—um—intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed “dating hiatus,” and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise …

Grab a copy of Wallbanger here


Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Hein

heart-of-the-valleySuch a heart-wrenching story that had me teary early on. This is a hard feat. I rarely cry in books!

Blurb: Brooke Kingston is smart, capable and strongwilled – some might even say stubborn – and lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley on her family property. More at home on horseback than in heels, her life revolves around her beloved ‘boys’ – showjumpers Poddy, Oddy and Sod.

Then a tragic accident leaves Brooke a mess. Newcomer Lachie Cambridge is hired to manage the farm, and Brooke finds herself out of a job and out of luck. But she won’t go without a fight.

What she doesn’t expect is Lachie himself – a handsome, gentle giant with a will to match her own …

Grab a copy of Heart of the Valley here


Northern Lights by Nora Roberts

northern-lightsThis was my first ever Nora Roberts novel and since then I’ve read loads more. She is not known as the Queen of Romance for nothing and I love the way she crafts characters.

Blurb: Lunacy, Alaska – population 506 – is Nate Burke’s last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he had watched his partner die – and the guilt still haunts him. Maybe serving as Chief of Police in this tiny, remote town, where darkness falls by mid-afternoon and temperatures fall to below zero, will bring some kind of solace. It isn’t as if he has anywhere else to go Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose and pulling apart two brothers fighting overJohn Wayne’s best movie Nate’s first weeks on the job are relatively quiet …

Grab a copy of Northern Lights here


The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella by Liz Fielding

the-secret-life-of-lady-gabriellaThis book broadened my thinking about what a Mills & Boon book was and I gobbled it up in one sitting.

Blurb: Lady Gabriella March is the perfect domestic goddess at least, that’s what her editor at Milady magazine thinks. In truth she’s simply Ellie March, cleaner and aspiring writer, who uses the beautiful mansion she is housesitting to inspire her.

When the owner returns unexpectedly, Ellie’s fledgling writing career is threatened. But even more dangerous is the man himself! Gorgeous Dr Benedict Faulkner is quite the opposite of the aging academic she imagined, and soon it is her heart, and not just her secret, that is exposed.

 Grab a copy of The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella here


the-ultimate-heroThe Magnate’s Indecent Proposal by Ally Blake

Another favourite Mills & Boon of mine. I loved the cute premise of this book and the rest of the book lived up to it.

Blurb: After her third nuisance call of the morning, Chelsea finally twigged. She must have accidentally swapped mobile phones with someone in the cafe that morning! To her pleasant surprise, the owner was darkly handsome and seriously sexy Damien ‘Rich-list’ Halliburton. Chelsea had sworn off men long ago, and hadn’t since been tempted. But with a guy this gorgeous how could she refuse his wicked, seductive and very indecent proposal?

Grab a copy of The Magnate’s Indecent Proposal here


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

pride-and-prejudiceWhat can I say? Jane Austen is a master of romance and Mr Darcy is swoon-worthy!

Blurb: When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships,gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Grab a copy of Pride and Prejudice here


Too Good To Be True by Kristan Higgins

too-good-to-be-trueMy first Higgins book and definitely not my last. I adore Kristan’s writing and the embarrassing situations she throws her heroines into.

Blurb: When Grace Emerson’s ex-fiance starts dating her younger sister, extreme measures are called for. To keep everyone from obsessing about her love life, Grace announces that she’s seeing someone… Someone wonderful. Someone handsome. Someone completely made up.

Who is this Mr Right? Someone…exactly unlike her renegade neighbour Callahan O’Shea. Well, someone with his looks, maybe. His hot body. His knife-sharp sense of humour. His smarts and his big heart. Whoa. No. Callahan O’Shea is not her perfect man! Not with his unsavoury past. So why does Mr Wrong feel so…right?

Grab a copy of Too Good To Be True here


Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

faking-itThe love scene from this book stands out as being one of my fave love scenes of all times. The sex wasn’t clichéd at all, in fact it was almost too real but somehow it worked and taught me a lot about what makes a believable and affective sex scene.

Blurb: Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who run a respectable art gallery—and have for generations. There’s Gwen, the matriarch, who likes to escape reality; Eve, the oldest daughter, who has a slight identity problem (she has two); Nadine, the granddaughter, who’s ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn’t leading off a cliff. And last, Matilda, the youngest daughter, who has inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, a secret she’s willing to do almost anything to keep, even break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past …


The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

the-perfect-rakeThis was my first Anne Gracie and my first historical with actual sex in it. Until that moment, I didn’t know such fabulous love scenes were allowed in historical books. I love all of Anne’s characters, but her hero in this book is to-die-for.

Blurb: She ran from a brute…
Fleeing the harsh guardianship of her grandfather, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters’ chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke… But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster…

Grab a copy of The Perfect Rake here


About Rachael Johns

rachael johnsRachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a supermarket owner by day, a mum 24/7, and a writer by night. She lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training.

At 17 she began writing, enlightened by the thought that she could create whatever ending she liked, and almost a decade later, after many, many attempts at writing different types of novels, she joined the Romance Writers of Australia association.

It was there that Rachael learnt there was more to writing a book than just typing out random thoughts. She learnt about the craft, conflict, consistent characters, etc, and also discovered that she LOVED contemporary romance.

The Road to Hopethe-road-to-hope
by Rachael Johns

Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.

Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment.

When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves?

Pre-order a copy of The Road to Hope here

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