An adventurous romp awaits those who dare – Nikki Gemmell chats to Booktopia TV about her latest book in The Caddy Kids Series: The Luna Laboratorium

Caddy kids Kick, Bert, Scruff and Pin are back for another adventurous romp in The Luna Laboritorium!

Bestselling Australian author Nikki Gemmell is back with her third book in The Caddy Kids series, and what a thrill it is. With outback misadventures, secret tunnels, curious caretakers, strange letters and grotesque villains, no reader – whether young or young at heart – will be able to put it down. We dare you!

Have a listen to what Nikki Gemmell had to say about the book … oh, and did we mention she signed a few copies for some very lucky readers?!

Grab your signed copy of The Luna Laboratorium here!

The Luna Laboratorium

(The Caddy Kids: Book 3)

N.J. Gemmell

Armed with the knowledge that their mum might still be alive, Kick, Bert, Scruff and Pin have vowed to find her. They’ll comb the whole world if they have to! But it seems that Mum’s last-known location was closer to home.

So with a bewildered Uncle Basti in tow, and their mysterious friend Bone determined to tag along no matter what, the Caddy kids set off for Sydney … Read more.

Nikki Gemmell signed

Grab your signed copy of The Luna Laboratorium here!

Discover The Caddy Kids series here!

Emma Hooper, author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Emma Hooper

author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James

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 Alberta, Canada. That’s right in the middle of Canada, where the long low prairies meet the rocky mountains. That’s where I was raised and schooled too. Saskatchewan, where Etta and Otto and Russell and James is set was right next door (it’s nothing but prairie), and my childhood holidays were spent out there visiting my mom’s family. Long hot empty days in that long hot empty place. Nothing but wheat fields and gophers…

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

I never gave the same answer twice. One day it was a vet, the next a lawyer. Once it was a choral conductor because I noticed they got a lot of flowers. An ice-hockey player, an actor, a palaeontologist … the only certain thing was my indecision.  And now that I’m all grown up with three jobs I still can’t decide…

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

I was fiercly, fiercly, independent at that age. Didn’t want to have to rely on anyone for anything ever… I still value independence and want to be able to always land on my own two feet, but I now also see the value, the potential, of needing other people sometimes. Of teaming up…

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?

A book: Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco

A painting: The collected works of Erin K Hooper (my sister) and Jeff Kulak (my friend)

A piece of music: ‘Heartland’ by Owen Pallet

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

I’ve always been fond of narrative, of story-telling, that folds in and out of itself, everything from Borges’ Labyrinths to Egger A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. We don’t experience life linearly, we’re always thinking about what happened yesterday, or where we’ll be tomorrow, or both at once, so I was striving for a form that could capture some of that fluidity. That, and I’ve got quite aLabyrinths fondness for puzzles… for taking a bunch of seemingly disparate pieces and figuring out how to fit them together into one beautiful whole… A novel seemed the only and best form for that.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

My favourite is The Times’ (of London’s) description, so I’ll steal that: “a fantastical yet deeply human adventure story starring a wild, brave, outdoorsy heroine striding alone across the North American wilderness. A heroine who happens to be a little old woman…”

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

I hope they get the inspiration and impulse to do whatever it is they want to do. We all have goals and desires like Etta’s, that don’t always make sense to everyone else, or even to ourselves, sometimes. The “I’ve always wanted”s. If the book inspires one person who used to say, “I’ve always wanted to do X” to go ahead and do it, I’ll be happy. Swim with dolphins, living in Japan, making fudge, making a rocket, anything, everything.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?one-hundred-years-of-solitude

I admire writers who play with magic and reality, and who embrace joy as well as suffering in their books. Examples are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Karen Russell and Jonathan Safran Foer.

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

Never stop making. 

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Learn your grammar. Really. No one’s above the basics. And no one will take you seriously until you do.

Emma, thank you for playing.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James

by Emma Hooper

‘I’ve gone. I’ve never seen the water, so I’ve gone there. I will try to remember to come back.’

Etta’s greatest unfulfilled wish, living in the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan, is to see the sea. And so, at the age of eighty-two, she gets up very early one morning, takes a rifle, some chocolate and her best boots, and begins walking the 2,000 miles to the water.

But Etta is starting to forget things. Her husband, Otto, remembers everything, and he loves … Read more

Grab a copy of Etta and Otto and Russell and James here

About the Author

Emma Hooper is a musician and writer. As a musician, her solo project ‘Waitress for the Bees’ tours internationally and has earned her a Finish Cultural Knighthood. Asan author, she has published short stories, non-fiction pieces, poetry and libretti as well as a number of academic papers. She is a research-lecturer at Bath Spa University, in the Commercial Music department, but goes home to cross-country ski in Canada as much as she can afford.

 Grab a copy of Etta and Otto and Russell and James here

Garth Nix talks to Booktopia TV about his new book, Newt’s Emerald

Australian bestselling author Garth Nix talks to us about his new book, Newt’s Emerald, an enchanting regency romance centred around an intrepid young lady, dashing young hero, French spies, a case of mistaken identity and an enchanted moustache. Yep, an enchanted moustache!

Order your copy of Newt’s Emerald here and for a limited time receive a signed copy!

Newt’s Emerald

Garth Nix

Newt's emerald

After the Newington Emerald is stolen at the height of a conjured storm, eighteen-year-old Lady Truthful Newington goes to London to search for the magical heirloom of her house. But as no well-bred young lady can hunt the metropolis for a stolen jewel, she has to disguise herself as a man, and is soon caught up in a dangerous adventure where she must risk her life, her reputation…and her heart.

Balancing twin roles as a young lady coming out in her first season and as an intrepid young man up against an evil sorceress isn’t easy, but Truthful has to manage it. Her father’s life and even the fate of England may depend upon her recovering the Newington Emerald!

Read Sarah McDuling’s review here.

Order your copy of Newt’s Emerald here and for a limited time receive a signed copy!

BOOK REVIEW: Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix (review by Sarah McDuling

unnamedWhat do you get when you combine Regency Romance with Gaslamp Fantasy and toss in a healthy dose of light-hearted humour and rollicking adventure?

You get Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, without doubt the most charming book I have read in AGES! Seriously. Why don’t more people write books like this?

An intrepid young lady, a dashing young hero, a stolen emerald with magical powers, kidnappings, French spies, adventures on the high seas and best of all … an enchanted moustache!

What all this adds up to is a shining example of one of my most favourite sub-genres – the ever so elusive ‘Fantasy of Manners’.

Books like this are just so hard to find!

Newt’s Emerald introduces readers to a plucky young heroine named Truthful who has disguised herself a man in order to recover a stolen family heirloom with magical properties. She is aided in her quest by her aged relative  (definitely my favourite character in the book) Lady Badgery – an imperious old woman with a sword hidden in her walking stick. After donning her disguise, Truthful meets a handsome young man calling himself “Major Hartnett” and what ensues is a magical frolic though a reimagined of version of Regency England.

As a devoted Georgette Heyer fan I’m constantly on the look out for books that boast that same brand of lively romance mingled with sparkling humour and old-world charm. The magical twist in Newt’s Emerald is an added bonus and places it amongst my absolute favourite ‘Fantasy of Manners’ reads – alongside Patricia C. Wrede’s A Matter of Magic and Mary Robinette Kowal’s Shades of Milk and Honey and Kiersten White’s Illusions of Fate.

An absolute must read for fans of all the above listed titles, as well as lovers of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen (and for fans of Garth Nix, of course!) – Newt’s Emerald is a high-spirited and playful romp guaranteed to enchant and delight!

Grab your copy of Newt’s Emerald here

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: A.L. Tait on her thrilling new kids series The Mapmaker Chronicles

Allison Tait is a freelance writer and author with more than 20 years’ experience in magazines, newspapers and online publishing. She talks to John Purcell about her acclaimed Mapmaker Chronicles series.

Grab a copy of The Mapmaker Chronicles here

race-to-the-end-of-the-worldThe Mapmaker Chronicles

Race to the End of the World

Adventure and danger lie just off the edge of the map in this swashbuckling new trilogy!

Quinn’s older brothers may long for adventure, but he is content with a quiet life on the farm. Destiny, however, has other plans.

The King is determined to create the first map of the world and has scoured the kingdom for boys who could become mapmakers. When Quinn is chosen for the King’s training school, he’s amazed – but that is nothing compared to his shock when he is selected as one of the three mapmakers and finds himself on board a ship, competing for the big prize.

So begins Quinn’s reluctant journey deep into the unknown, on a ship captained by a slave, with a stowaway girl on board, and a mysterious sea monster that seems to be following them. Hot on their trail are the other competitors for the King’s prize, who will stop at nothing to win.

The Mapmaker Chronicles: Race to the End of the World is packed with action, adventure and intrigue, as Quinn battles unexpected enemies, discovers strange new lands and tries to conceal two very big secrets from his crewmates…

Grab a copy of The Mapmaker Chronicles here

And the winners of the Big Little Lies Girls Night In prize packs are…

During July we gave you the chance to win 1 of 3 Girls Night In prize packs which not only included books but chocolates and a blanket. 

All you needed to do to enter was buy Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty!

And the lucky winners are…

S.Costin, Limpinwood, NSW

R.Davino, Merrylands, NSW

B.Hill, Cheltenham, NSW


big-little-liesBig Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

‘I guess it started with the mothers.’
‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’

‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead.

Liane Moriarty’s new novel is funny and heartbreaking, challenging and compassionate. The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author turns her unique gaze on parenting and playground politics, showing us what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here

Congratulations to the winners!
For your chance to enter a Booktopia Competition click here

The winner of the signed Frank Lampard Jersey and books is…

During the Football World Cup we gave you a chance to win a Chelsea Jersey signed by football royalty Frank Lampard.

All you needed to do to enter was buy a book from the Frankie’s Magic Football series!

And the lucky winner is…

T.Baer, New Norfolk, TAS



by Frank Lampard

Frankie and his friends and their dog, Max, are magic-ed to Brazil where they must track down three key items to help England win the World Cup: the referee’s whistle, a football and the trophy. Their adventures take them through a jungle, a Rio carnival and onto the beach for a game that could change the history of the tournament.


Grab a book from the series here

Congratulations to the winner!
For your chance to enter a Booktopia Competition click here


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