3 reasons why…JON SNOW IS ALIVE!

SPOILER ALERT: THIS ARTICLE ABOUT SPOILERS CONTAINS SPOILERS THAT MAY SPOIL POTENTIAL SPOILERS

The final episode of Season 5 of Game of Thrones marked the first time readers of the book and watchers on the wall of the television series achieving a level of parity, plot-wise.

This means that all disciples of Westeros and beyond are waiting for one question to be answered.

Is Jon Snow really dead?

To answer this we’re not even going to go into theories within the Song Of Ice And Fire world. We’re talking about real life, citing logistical facts around the production of the TV series.

With George R.R. Martin serving as an executive producer, it’s all but certain that what happens in the show, is what happens in the next book (which we think will be published midway through next year).

Jon Snow is alive. 100%. And here’s why…

1. The Hair!

Harington famously has a clause in his HBO contract that he isn’t allowed to cut his hair while under contract to play Jon Snow, a clause so ironclad that he had to hide his curls under a wig for his performance in the recent Testament of Youth.

Harington has always said how much it annoys him having to live with his famous lion’s mane, and looked forward to cutting his locks when his time on the show was over.

So, Kit, explain this photo, taken at Wimbledon weeks after the finale had aired, and months after completing filming…

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Glorious curls = Contract still in action = Still on the show = Jon Snow is alive

2. The Beautiful Death?

Recently HBO commissioned a series of Game of Thrones “Beautiful Death” artworks, an official episode-by-episode guide to the most iconic deaths in the realm.

So which death is featured as the most ‘iconic’ in the Season 5 finale?

Stannis Baratheon. Over Jon Snow.

It’s nearly as if Jon….didn’t….die.

Right?

3. Kit Harington flew to Belfast yesterday

This one is the most compelling reason that Jon Snow is still alive.

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Consider these points.

a) Kit Harington flew to Belfast yesterday

b) Actors from the series are currently in Belfast where the cast is reading through the scripts for season six.

c) Filming for season six of Game of Thrones begins in Belfast at the end of the month.

d) He’s rocking a man bun. The hair is still there.

Sure, he could be there for a funeral scene, which would be a strong possibility if he were spotted flying at the end of the month. But surely playing a corpse doesn’t involve weeks of rehearsals?

All this can only mean one thing.

JON SNOW IS ALIVE!

Time to start forgiving Melisandre…

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Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine to Star in The Girl With All the Gifts adaptation

One of our favourite novels of last year, M.R. Carey’s The Girl with all the Gifts, is being given the Hollywood treatment. And the cast couldn’t be much better.

Six-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close will be joined by Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine in the adaptation, the name to be altered slightly to She Who Brings Gifts.

Colm McCarthy, the director of the BBC series of Sherlock, will make his feature directing debut with shooting to start in May.

If you haven’t read the book yet, you must. It’s a genre bender, full of twists and turns, beautiful and terrifying all at once.

Grab a copy of The Girl with all the Gifts here

the-girl-with-all-the-giftsThe Girl With All the Gifts

by M.R. Carey

An incredible, heart-breaking story about hope and humanity and a young girl who tries to save the world.

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’.

She loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her.

She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh…

Grab a copy of The Girl with all the Gifts here

Insurgent Passes One Hundred Million Dollars in First Week of Release

Wow, that escalated quickly.

Insurgent, the second film in the Divergent franchise, based on the bestselling books by Veronica Roth, has surged past $100,000,000 in box office takings worldwide in its first week of release.

And a few lucky Facebook Fans of Booktopia will get to see it for free by entering our competition!

Congratulations to Deanne Laity, Kate O’Sea, Gem Gallen, Nadia Bailey, Jamie Gunderson! Winners, email us at promos@booktopia.com.au with your details and we’ll send your double passes out ASAP.

For those that missed out, or don’t even know about all the giveaways we run on our social media channels, don’t worry. Make sure you like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more great giveaways and exclusive offers!

Grab the Divergent Box Set here

divergent-series-box-set-books-1-4-plus-world-of-divergent-Divergent 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. Exclusive scenes included!

Grab the Divergent Box Set here

GUEST BLOG: A farewell to Sir Terry Pratchett – by Karen Miller

TerryWhat’s that saying in showbiz? Always leave ‘em wanting more? Well, I guess then it’s mission accomplished. Because I know I’m not the only one who will forever more be wanting more Sam Vimes, more Granny Weatherwax, more Captain Carrot and Lord Vetinari and Susan and Death of Rats and Nanny Ogg and Magrat and … and … and …

When we learned in 2007 that the man who created the Discworld was afflicted with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, we knew we’d been given advance warning that we’d be losing him sooner rather than later. But that doesn’t make this moment any easier to bear. Sometimes being forewarned isn’t being forearmed. Sometimes it’s a really mean trick.

Terry Pratchett wrote extraordinary books. I’d go so far as to say that his was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of imagination and intellect. I’d go so far as to say that in Pratchett we had our own William Shakespeare. Terry Pratchett never wrote comedy, although so much of his work was witty and amusing and often made his readers laugh aloud. No. Terry Pratchett wrote deeply, passionately, sometimes angrily, sometimes kindly, but always with wisdom and keen insight, about the infinitely complicated truths of human nature and human society, about the need for and lack of simple human compassion – and the astonishing impact both the need and lack of it could have on both a single life and the world.

a-slip-of-the-keyboardSince being asked to collect some thoughts on his work, and his passing, of course I’ve been revisiting his books, and my favourites among them. Inevitably there are some I love more than others, some I’ve re-read until the covers are in danger of falling off and others I’ve honestly only read once or twice. Far and away my two favourite subsets are the City Watch series, and the Witches series. No lie, I must be up to at least fifteen re-reads of those books and they never get boring or commonplace or over-familiar. I love them with all my heart and soul and as I think about them I’m overwhelmed by moments I adore: Magrat facing down the elves … Vimes and his egg-and-toast soldiers in Uberwald … Susan and her poker … Nobby Nobbs and Fred Colon and Lord Vetinari in the submarine … Nanny Ogg’s Joy of Snacks … Death and his cats and his curries and his bad fake beard … Granny Weatherwax the chiropractor … Greebo and the vampyres … Lady Sybil and her dragons …

So many wonderful moments and memories. So many characters who became dear friends.

small-godsBefore I became a full-time novelist, I had my own speculative fiction bookshop. That’s why I was given the incredible opportunity to host Terry Pratchett, David Gemmell and Sara Douglass (and I can’t believe they’ve all left us now) at a weekend-long literary convention in Parramatta. Not surprisingly, the event was sold out and standing room only. It was fantastic, in every sense of the word. Three very different writers, three great talents, three gracious guests who gave of themselves without hesitation.

But what I remember best about that weekend is dinner on the Friday night before the convention officially began. It was just me, David Gemmell and Terry Pratchett at a table (Sara was coming in on the Sunday), and over our meal I was entertained by a lively debate between David and Terry on the various merits and pitfalls of Christianity. David was a committed Christian and Terry … wasn’t. He’d been raised in a religious family, though, and as a result he’d formed certain opinions. The Terry Pratchett I listened to and learned from that night was the Pratchett who’d written Small Gods just a few years earlier in 1992. As withering critiques of organised religion and its inherent flaws go, I think that book is the gold standard. I still think it’s one of the best books Pratchett ever wrote. Certainly it should be required reading for theological students everywhere.

the-truthBut oddly enough, at the end of the day it’s not Small Gods that remains with me, lighting a fire in my heart. It’s the ending of another book, written some eight years later: The Truth. That’s the book about journalism, and lies – although perhaps I’m repeating myself. In it we meet two of Terry’s most amazing characters, Mr Tulip and Mr Pin. They’re not nice men. They’re killers for hire. But in taking us on their journey, Terry gives us a uniquely nuanced experience. Tulip and Pin might both be killers, but under that cruel veneer they’re quite different men. As always it’s the humanity of his characters that drives his exploration of them, leading his readers to think hard about the nature of good and evil and What If and, profoundly, the notion of There But For the Grace of God … and second –ing chances.

Terry Pratchett was many things: a philosopher, an historian, a theologian, a social analyst, a raconteur, a wit, an angry man and a humanist. But above all else he was a brilliant entertainer.

Thank you, Terry. You made our world a better place. You showed us humanity in all its different colours and flavours. You made us laugh, you made us cry, and best of all you made us think. And for as long as your books remain in print, you’ll go on doing that

The Turtle moves!

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Karen Miller writes speculative fiction. Mostly of the epic historical kind, but she’s also written Star Wars and Stargate novels and under the pen-name K.E. Mills writes the Rogue Agent series, about a wizard with special skills who works for his government under unusual circumstances.

You can hear more from Karen at her blog The Talkative Writer.

 

Winners of the 2014 Australian Romance Readers Awards!

The 2015 Australian Romance Readers Convention has come and gone, but we are not sad because we are left with a great list of award winning authors and having met so many new authors, hundreds of new books to read.

See what Booktopia’s John Purcell and Andrew Cattanach got up to at the convention here.


WINNERS

Favourite Cover: the winner was Play by Kylie Scott.outback-ghost

Sexiest Hero: the winner was Adam in Outback Ghost by Rachael Johns.

Favourite New Romance Author: Alli Sinclair.

shield-of-winterFavourite Paranormal Romance for 2014: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh.

Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance 2014: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews.

Favourite Short Category Romance 2014: The Honeymoon Trap by Kelly Hunter.

Favourite Historical Romance 2014: The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie.

Favourite Contemporary Romance 2014: Play by Kylie Scott.lick

The Favourite Erotic Romance 2014: Down and Dirty by Rhian Cahill, Lexxie Couper, Jess Dee and Sami Lee.

Favourite Romantic Suspense 2014: Safe Harbour by Helene Young.

Favourite Continuing Romance Series 2014: Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott.

The Favourite Australian Romance Author 2014: Kylie Scott.


Love Romance? Check out our Romance at Booktopia Facebook page!

NEWS: Terry Pratchett, Discworld series author, dies aged 66

Terry PratchettTerry Pratchett, the man who kept readers around the world laughing after the premature death of Douglas Adams, has died in his home surrounded by family eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Author of over 70 books, many of which make up his celebrated Discworld series, Pratchett redefined comic fantasy writing and made some of the biggest and most complex issues accessible to large audiences. His wit and satiric eye tore asunder the doublespeak of the modern world. His intelligence shone a light into places few dare to go. His recent documentary on assisted suicide was one of the most profound pieces of television to air this century.

From The Guardian: The announcement of his passing came in typically irreverent manner on the author’s Twitter feed, with a series of tweets beginning in the voice of his character, Death: “AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.”

With more than 75m copies sold around the world, Pratchett became one of the UK’s most-loved writers after the publication of his first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, in 1983. The 40th, Raising Steam, was released last year, with the writer completing recent work using voice-recognition software …

Click here to read the full article

Discworld Series
Terry Pratchett in quotes: 15 of the best

What Cathryn Read – Bestselling author Cathryn Hein on her recent reading

Australian novelist Cathryn Hein, author of The French Prize, Heartland and much more gives her verdict on the books she’s been reading.

January was the month I discovered Australian author Bec McMaster’s wonderful steampunk series. But I also enjoyed a sweet rural romance, a super-steamy novella and a lovely creepy tale.


Kiss of Steel / Heart of Iron

by Bec McMaster

Oh, this series is FUN! I adore Victorian era-set books and the whole idea of steam and clockpunk, but this series has vampires and werewolves woven through for extra paranormal spice. Plotting is clever and the world building great. I can picture vividly McMaster’s re-imagined Whitechapel, and the elevated world of London’s Blue Blood elite. The heroes are tough and sexy, the heroines more than a match, and the romances passionate. Expect lots of twists and turns before the hero and heroine reach their happily-ever-after. Brilliant escapist reads.

Grab a copy of Kiss of Steel & Heart of Iron


Moonlight Plains

by Barbara Hannay

This was a lovely sweet romance set mostly in north Queensland around Charters Towers and Townsville. I happened to be in Townsville when I started reading this and found the historical parts of the story particularly interesting. Moonlight Plains swings between 1942, when the Japanese were heading dangerously toward Australia and our north was populated with Allied troops, and contemporary times. The characters’ stories from both eras are entwined via Moonlight Plains, the homestead of which the contemporary hero, the very sexy Luke, is renovating. Family secrets, romance and more. Gorgeous stuff.

The book is the final in Hannay’s loosely related series that began with her best-selling Zoe’s Muster and continued with Home Before Sundown.

 Grab a copy of Moonlight Plains here


Secret Confessions – Sydney Housewives: Christa

by Keziah Hill

This was a fast and seriously steamy read that I enjoyed hugely. Secret Confessions – Sydney Housewives is a series of short novellas written by some of Australia’s best romance authors. Each story features a wealthy and self-assured Sydney woman whose secret personal life involves some rather sexy adventures. Christa – a formidable raiser of funds for charity – has a unique way of getting Sydney’s elite to part with their money. A touch of voyeurism and a scorching threesome: turn the air-con to high and prepare to get hot!


Forever Odd

by Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas, the first in this popular and quirky supernatural thriller series, was one of those books that made me smile and sniffle and want to lie on the couch with every other book in the series.

I can’t give too much away about Forever Odd because I wouldn’t want to spoil the twist of the first book for anyone, but in this we follow our dead-person-seeing short-order cook hero Odd on another of his paranormal adventures. After being visited by the ghost of his friend Dr Jessop, Odd heads to the Jessop house to investigate. There, he finds not only a murder scene but the realisation his fragile friend Danny has been kidnapped. Determined to find him, the ensuing battle of wits between Odd and his cunning and evil enemy makes for a compelling and exciting read. Next please!

Grab a copy of Forever Odd here


Hein, CathrynThanks Cathryn Hein, we look forward to seeing what you have read next month!

Cathryn Hein was born in South Australia’s rural south-east. With three generations of jockeys in the family it was little wonder she grew up horse mad, finally obtaining her first horse at age 10. So began years of pony club, eventing, dressage and showjumping until university beckoned.

Armed with a shiny Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) from Roseworthy College she moved to Melbourne and later Newcastle, working in the agricultural and turf seeds industry. Her partner’s posting to France took Cathryn overseas for three years in Provence where she finally gave in to her life-long desire to write. Her short fiction has been recognised in numerous contests, and published in Woman’s Day.

Now living in Melbourne, Cathryn writes full-time.

Click here to see Cathryn’s author page

The French Prize

by Cathryn Hein

An ancient riddle, a broken vow – a modern-day quest for a medieval treasure.

Australian-born Dr. Olivia Walker is an Oxford academic with a reputation as one of the world’s leading Crusade historians and she’s risked everything on finding one of the most famous swords in history – Durendal. Shrouded in myth and mystery, the sword is fabled to have belonged to the warrior Roland, a champion of Charlemagne’s court, and Olivia is determined to prove to her detractors that the legend is real. Her dream is almost within reach when she discovers the long-lost key to its location in Provence, but her benefactor – Raimund Blancard – has other ideas.

For more than a millennium, the Blancard family have protected the sword. When his brother is tortured and killed by a man who believes he is Roland’s rightful heir, Raimund vows to end the bloodshed forever. He will find Durendal and destroy it, but to do that he needs Olivia’s help.

Now Olivia is torn between finding the treasure for which she has hunted all her life and helping the man she has fallen in love with destroy her dream. And all the while, Raimund’s murderous nemesis is on their trail, and he will stop at nothing to claim his birthright.

Grab a copy of The French Prize here

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