First Trailer for the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie is here – What do you think?

Is your Inner Goddess pleased with the first look at the Fifty Shades of Grey movie?

5 Choose Your Own Adventure Books You Never Knew Existed

What child’s bookshelf isn’t complete without a collection of Choose Your Own Adventure Books? While the rules could always be bent (finger still on the page means you haven’t chosen yet), they remain one of the best ways to get young kids into books.

But as the craze wore on and more and more titles began to flood the shelves, authors began to take some strange turns with the adventures. Here are some of our favourites.

the-brilliant-dr-woganThe Brilliant Dr. Wogan

by R. A. Montgomery

It takes a hell of a lot of imagination to create a choose your own adventure book. With twists and turns you never see coming, characters that come and go, villains that will take your breath away. One wonders who decided to call the most brilliant mind in the world Dr. Wogan. It’s an odd decision.

You need to save Dr. Diana Wogan, presumably from the ghost of Guy Fawkes by the look of the cover. She has created a machine that will neutralise radiation, putting an end to nuclear war and microwaves until the end of time. You need to save Wogan. Save Wogan!

Who is the shadowy figure? Is he a government official? Is he a terrorist? Is he the CEO of a profitable microwavable pizza company? With 20 possible endings, I’m sure all these questions will be revealed. Answered, no. But revealed, yes.

Want to save Dr. Wogan from the Microwave Lobby? Click here

Track Star!

by R. A. Montgomery

Don’t let that optimistic exclamation mark fool you, Track Star! is a searing tale of right and wrong. This book was actually endorsed by the World Anti-Doping Agency when it was published, so it’s fair to say you probably shouldn’t take that flu jab your coach wants you to take on page 114.

With 12 possible endings, I’m going to go out on a limb and say taking steroids may land you in hot water. Just my thoughts.

Track Star! is another example of the power of the Choose Your Own Adventure series in teaching kids the right thing to do. I had a friend who would always choose to keep the suitcase of money he found, flick to page 213, and be immediately arrested by the police. I won’t say what he’s doing now, but rest assured, he chose his own adventure. He chose his own adventure.

I’m not sure if one of the adventures ends with you in tears on Oprah ten years after retiring, but it’s a twist I like.

Want to make a tearful confession on Oprah? Click here

The Island of Time

by R. A. Montgomery

The Island of Time.

It doesn’t really make the heart leap out of the chest does it? Perhaps The Island of Thyme would have been worse I suppose, although much better with fish.

You go on a boat. You hit a storm. You go back in time. To The Island of Time. Monty really phoned this one in didn’t he?

I’m guessing Aztecs, sacrifice, all that. The CYOA series loved the Aztecs. The floating shadowy figure also makes another appearance, looking mysteriously like Jafar from Aladdin.

In Choose Your Own Adventure World, as in life, never trust anyone with a goatee.

Want to defeat The Evil Manscaper? Click here

Prisoner of the Ant People

by R. A. Montgomery

From the outset you’ll notice that the graphics department at CYOA didn’t liaise with the publishers all that much. Granted I’m an amateur zoologist, but I’m pretty sure the cover of Prisoner of the Ant People just shows giant ants, along with a shadowy figure.

Where are these Ant People? Do they have their own planet or is there some sort of Planet of the Apes scenario and Earth is actually Ant Planet now? Have we been breeding with the ants to make Ant People? I have my questions about how that works logistically.

Prisoner of the Ant People contains 28 possible endings, which is about as many as the series usually gives you. With 28 endings, I’m confident that one of your adventures could land you as King of the Ant People. I’m extremely okay with that. They’re great workers, and a stable agrarian based economy is essential for both Homo sapiens and Hymenoptera to live in perfect harmony.

Want to become King of the Ant People? Click here

A Girl Walks into a Bar

by Helena S. Paige

I know what you’re thinking. Why all this Choose Your Own Adventure love? Has something happened in the CYOA universe?

Yes, my friends. Behold. We now have Choose Your Own Adventure Erotica!

When your friend cancels on your girls’ night out at the last moment, you suddenly find yourself all dressed up and alone at an exclusive bar. What do you do now?

Will you spend the evening drinking tequila with a rock star? Or perhaps the suave and charming millionaire businessman is more your style? But the angelic young barman with a body made for sin has also caught your eye. . .

Then there’s the bodyguard who has the keys to his boss’s sports car and is offering you a ride. . .

Maybe you want to head home instead – to your sexy new neighbour. Whichever way you decide to go, each twist and turn you make will lead to an unforgettable encounter. Can you choose the ultimate sensual experience? The power is entirely yours…

Choose Your Own Erotic Adventure with A Girl Walks into a Bar

Nicola Moriarty, author of Captivation and Paper Chains, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Guru asks

Nicola Moriarty

author of Captivation and Paper Chains

Ten Terrifying Questions

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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 and schooled in Sydney – but as that sounds a bit boring, I’ll be a little more specific. Let’s see, I was born in Hornsby, raised in Kellyville and schooled in Baulkham Hills. Nope, still not overly exciting. Ahh, if only I was born on a yacht in the Caribbean, raised in a jungle in Brazil and schooled in a boarding house in the country. Oh well.

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

When I was twelve I wanted to write and illustrate children’s books because one of my primary school teachers  (Mrs Walsh – she had cascading curly hair and I adored her) had made a big fuss over a story I wrote. When I was eighteen I wanted to be an actress because I was performing in various amateur theatre productions at the time and I loved the rush of being up in front of an audience and becoming a different person. At thirty I very much wanted to be a writer – so it’s lucky that that’s what I seem to be doing!

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

I believed that I would never get married because I thought that marriage was too conventional for me. Ha! I’ve been married now for just coming up to eight years.

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?

First off, Coldplay’s song ‘Warning Sign’ definitely helped me to write my first novel. I love listening to emotional music as I write, it helps me to get into the right head-space. Secondly, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Piccoult – I can specifically remember exactly where I was when I was reading the final chapter of this book. I remember being outside on our balcony in the apartment we used to rent in Parramatta, and there was a huge storm and when I read the final twist I absolutely SOBBED. And I thought, I would love to be able to affect readers in this way. Finally, the play ‘Death of a Salesman’ – however it wasn’t the actual play that reached me, it was while I was involved in an amateur theatre production of it. I had a very minor role, and while I and the rest of the cast were backstage I decided to write a spin-off for all the minor characters. Creating the small play and then watching it come to life (we performed it for the rest of the cast and crew on closing night) reminded me how much I loved creating something.

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

I love to write, it makes me happy, it’s hard to stop – simple as that!

paper-chains6.    Please tell us about your latest novel…

My latest release was a supernatural romance novella called Captivation… But my latest full-length novel was called Paper Chains, and that’s about fate, friendship, post-natal depression, loss, love, London and Luna Park.

Grab a copy of Paper Chains here

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

First I want them to use my book to escape from the world for just a little while. And then I want them to be left with that feel-good glow, even if it’s just for the rest of the day after they finish reading. Finally I want them to be hungry for more words – and not necessarily just my words!

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

captivationCan I name two people, is that okay? Liane and Jaclyn Moriarty – my two wildly successful author sisters who encourage and support me and who’s novels I absolutely adore. When I read Liane’s books for the first time, I generally end up neglecting other things in my life because I can’t put it down – my writing, the washing that needs to be hung out, my children… her books make me laugh out loud and they make me cry and they twist my stomach. Jaci has an amazing ability to constantly reinvent herself. One minute she is writing YA fiction that connects with her readers on an unprecedented level, next she is creating a novel that is quirky and clever and sweet and sad. Now she’s moved on yet again – to a magical realism trilogy that is utterly delightful. How does she do that?!

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

Here is my most ambitious and ridiculously unachievable goal: I want to write a book that EVERYONE loves. I mean every single person who reads it, thinks that it is amazing. And even those people that haven’t read it, they just love the look of it. Oh and even those people that haven’t seen it or heard of it, they have this strange, psychic connection with it that they don’t quite understand, but they can identify that it is love for a work of fiction somewhere in the world. Too much? Yeah, I guess I got a bit carried away there didn’t I?

10.    What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Write when you want to write, when you’re in the mood and you’re feeling creative. Let your fingers trip across the keyboard, let your pen run away with your hand. Try out different styles and different genres. Take a creative writing course. Eat chocolate. Quit smoking (contrary to Hollywood movies, you don’t need to be a sleep-deprived, chain-smoking, coffee-drinking struggling romantic to be a writer – although cappuccinos are okay).

Nicola, thank you for playing.

Check out Nicola’s books here

Vote For Australia’s Favourite Novelist 2014 – Final Round of Voting

There is only one more week of voting left to decide who is Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

This is the longlist as voted by you, congratulations to all the novelists for making it onto this extraordinary list.

But the job isn’t finished. We need your final vote to decide the order of the top 50.

Vote for all your favourite authors, and spread the word, tell your friends and family to get voting! The poll closes 5pm Saturday.

Next week we’ll announce the Top 50 as voted by you and decide who, in 2014, is Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

 

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Vote For Australia’s Favourite Novelist 2014 – Heat 5

January is the month of Australian Stories at Booktopia, and to celebrate we need your help to discover Australia’s Favourite Novelist for 2014!

This is it folks. Your last chance to push your favourite authors into next week’s final round of voting. Last year’s winner Kate Morton is also in this heat!

Next week we’ll have the top 100 authors from all the heats for you to vote for!

Remember you can select as many authors as you like with your vote and give them the chance to become Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

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Vote For Australia’s Favourite Novelist 2014 – Heat 4

January is the month of Australian Stories at Booktopia, and to celebrate we need your help to discover Australia’s Favourite Novelist for 2014!

Heat 4 is full of some huge names and exciting newcomers. Who will you vote for?

Thanks to everyone who has voted so far, the response has been incredible! And thanks to all the wonderful authors and publishers for spreading the word!

Remember you can select as many authors as you like with your vote and give them the chance to become Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

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Vote For Australia’s Favourite Novelist 2014 – Heat 3

January is the month of Australian Stories at Booktopia, and to celebrate we need your help to discover Australia’s Favourite Novelist for 2014!

Today’s list is full of the most popular writers in Australia today, it’s a tough one!

Remember you can select as many authors as you like with your vote and give them the chance to become Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

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