Drum roll…. We’re announcing the winners of our April Competitions!

In April we had a myriad of prizes and promotions for you to sink your teeth into.

Let’s wrap a few up and announce the winners of these great prizes, shall we?


Dennis-Jones-Competition-616x150NewsletterBanner-v3

All you had to do to enter was order The Anzacs 100 Years On : In Story and Song by April 30th!

the-anzacs-100-years-on-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-The Anzacs 100 Years On : In Story and Song

by Ted Egan

The Anzacs 100 Years On: In Story and Song is a unique contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of the Anzacs. Ted Egan weaves personal stories and songs into a highly readable history of the Anzacs and the two nations, with amusing anecdotes and tales of great courage and ingenuity serving to leaven somewhat the brutal truth exposed, of a tragic and senseless war.

The soldiers, nurses, politicians, wives, and the mothers who lost their sons, or welcomed them home severely damaged, all feature in this book and its songs.

Egan’s stories and poignant songs infuse the facts with the more…

…and the winner is:

P.Hawkins, Exeter, TAS

Grab a copy of The Anzacs 100 Years On : In Story and Song here


Bolinda-Anzac-Day-Collection-Rotating-Homepage-Banner

All you had to do to enter was buy anything in our Bolinda Anzac Day collection by April 30th!

1914 : The Year the World Ended – Re Issue

1914-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-Author: Paul Ham
Read by: Robert Meldrum

Few years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did.

In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history.

In the longer run, the events of 1914 set the world on the path toward the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of more…

…and the winner is:

A.Poad, Northampton, WA

Check out our Bolinda Anzac Day collection here


9781921383595- Sujet-Saenkham- Rotating-Homepage-Banner

To celebrate the release of Spice I Am, a book of recipes from Sydney-based Thai chef Sujet Saenkham, we gave customers the chance to win a prize, worth $255!

The pack includes to dinner for two at any of Sydney’s Spice I Am restaurants, valued at $150 and the opportunity to attend a Spice I Am cooking class, valued at $105.

spice-i-am

Spice I Am

by Sujet Saenkham

In this much anticipated cookbook Sydney-based Thai chef Sujet Saenkham shares his family recipes for the fresh flavours of regional Thai cooking so you can enjoy authentic Thai food at home.

Leave the Thai takeaway menus in your kitchen drawer, as you learn how to make restaurant favourites such as Sujet’s signature stir-fried crispy pork belly with basil, roasted red duck curry with eggplant, tomato and pineapple and crispy prawn and lemongrass salad, as well as traditional classics like pad Thai, fishcakes and a massaman beef curry from scratch. Throughout, Sujet offers practical advice on finding the ingredients and mastering the cooking techniques you need to create your own Thai feasts at home.

…and the winner is:

P.Chen Matraville, NSW

Check out Spice I Am here


Congratulations to the winners!

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, where you could be a winner every day!

promotions

 

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

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

With nine books to read and judge for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA awards – none of which I can tell you about, sorry! – I didn’t have much personal reading time left. But I did manage three wonderful books.


All the Light We Cannot See
Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize

by Anthony Doerr

Oh, this was beautiful! The writing was completely gorgeous, the settings stunningly rendered, and the terrors of occupied France and Nazi obsessions truly frightening in their depiction. The story unfolds in two interweaving narrations. The first is Marie Laure, a blind girl whose father is Master of Locks at the Natural History Museum in Paris. After the Germans occupy Paris, Marie Laure and her father flee to her uncle’s house at Saint-Malo. Meanwhile, orphan Werner grows up in Germany, but when his talents with electronics is spotted, he’s sent to a brutal Hitler Youth academy. As the war progresses, these two characters dance closer and closer.

As well as being named best historical fiction in the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards, and a slate of other awards, All The Light We Cannot See recently won a Pulitzer Prize. Well deserved, I reckon.

Grab a copy of All the Light We Cannot See here


Red Queen 

by Victoria Aveyard

I didn’t realise this was a young adult fantasy until after I’d started reading but it proved to be another very enjoyable addition to the genre. Mare Barrow is a red blood and therefore relegated to her world’s lowest class. Her people are used as not much more than slave labour to the ruling silver blood class, and cannon fodder in their constant wars. When Mare is given a job in the palace, an accident reveals she has powers no Silver possesses. Frightened of what she is and to explain her power, the Silver ruling family give her a new history. Mare is not longer red but silver and, worse, she’s engaged to a prince of the class she hates.

Plenty of action and intrigue, some pretty cool superhero-type talents, plus a nice hint of romance kept the pages turning.

 Grab a copy of Red Queen here


Lord of the Scoundrels

by Loretta Chase

A rollicking romance by a master storyteller, Lord of Scoundrels is considered one of the genre’s greats. I loved it. The story pitted two extremely clever characters against one another, and the result was a smart and sometimes very funny duel. Spinster Jessica Trent is on a mission to save her not very bright brother from the scandalous and self-described ‘Bane and Blight of the Ballisters’, the Marquess of Dain. Dain thinks he’s more than a match for any woman, and any man for that matter, but he has never met the likes of Jessica. She not only runs rings around him, she ties him in complete knots. The only problem is that she’s having a little too much fun doing it.

A blast!

Grab a copy of Lord of the Scoundrels here


The Strings of Murder

by Oscar de Muriel

Ooh, I adore a good Victorian-era murder or two, and this crime novel didn’t disappoint. Very much in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, the story unfolds when cultured, fussy and stuffy Inspector Ian Frey is sent – much to his horror – from London to the wilds of Edinburgh to help solve the mystery of a murdered violinist. If that wasn’t bad enough his new boss, Detective ‘Nine Nails McGray’, is everything Ian is not. There’s conflict and mystery galore, and even a dabble or two in the macabre.

This is clearly the first in what will be a series. I’ll definitely be buying the next.

Grab a copy of The Strings of Murder here


Cold Deception

by D.B. Tait

D.B. Tait is a new voice in Australian crime fiction and a very welcome addition to the genre. Having worked in the criminal justice system for many years, D.B. really knows her stuff and it shows. The descriptions of prison life were fascinating and sometimes disturbing, and provided a gritty edge to the tale. Ten years ago, Julia Taylor went to prison for murder. Now she’s home in the Blue Mountains but from the first day of her release the peace she so desperately craves is shattered. Everyone has secrets, the biggest of all is Julia’s, and someone seems very afraid she might tell…

A pacy story set in a wonderfully described location, with loads of intrigue and a nice sub-drama involving family relations, plus a touch of romance. Highly recommended.

Grab a copy of Cold Deception here


Captive Prince / Prince’s Gambit

by C.S. Pacat

I don’t even know where to begin with this series. Gobsmacking hardly seems to cover it. What I can say is that it’s a stunningly written fantasy, stuffed with political intrigue, that had me hooked from page one and kept me in its grip until it’s end.

Captive Prince begins with Damen, hero and true heir to Akielos, being presented as a slave gift to his country’s arch enemy after Damen’s half-brother suddenly seizes the Akielos throne. Damen’s new master is the beautiful but vicious Prince Laurent. Before long, Damen is caught up in the deadly fight that is Veretian politics. What follows is a tale full of unexpected and breathtaking twists, most of which I never saw coming.

This series is incredible. It’s sometimes erotic and sometimes violent, but always fascinating and unlike anything I’ve ever read. Amazing. Hurry up book three!

Grab a copy of Captive Prince & Prince’s Gambit 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.

 Click here to see Cathryn’s author page

The Falls

by Cathryn Hein

For as long as she can remember, Teagan Bliss has wanted to manage her family’s property. She’s invested everything in the farm, knowing that when her parents retire she’ll be ready to take the reins. But when a family betrayal leaves her reeling, Teagan is forced to rethink her entire future.

Heartbroken, Teagan flees to her aunt’s property in the idyllic Falls Valley. Vanessa is warm and welcoming and a favourite of the locals who drop in regularly for cocktail hour. Teagan soon catches the attention of sexy local farrier Lucas Knight, and with a new job, new friends and the prospect of a new relationship, she slowly begins to open up again.

But the village is a hotbed of gossip and division and when Teagan gets caught up in town politics, Lucas and Vanessa become concerned. As the tension in town escalates, Teagan must decide who to trust. But when she realises those close to her have been keeping secrets, the fallout may split Teagan apart forever.

Grab a copy of The Falls here

Fan of Fleur McDonald or the new movie Home? You might have won…

March and April were amazing months for prizes! We gave three fans of Fleur McDonald the chance to win her backlist pack, worth $99, and fans of the new movie Home the chance to win a Home pack!


emerald-springs-frontpage-spinning-banner

All you had to do to enter was order Emerald Springs before April 30th!

emerald-springsEmerald Springs

by Fleur McDonald

When suspicions are wrongly aimed at Amelia following the theft of proceeds from the local rodeo after a crash and grab, she must work with a skeptical rural detective to clear her name – and that of the man she loves. Mystery and romance abound in the new novel from the bestselling author of Crimson Dawn.

After finishing university, Amelia Bennett returns to Jervois and promptly falls in love with the wonderful – if broke and slightly stubborn – Paul Barnes. Now she’s determined to lose her old reputation for being scatty and unreliable by proving herself as the treasurer of the local rodeo committee and making the more…

…and the winners are:

C. Carr, Longreach, QLD

B.Knight, Dunedoo, NSW

J.Malone, Tumut, NSW

Grab a copy of Emerald Springs here


HOME_Rotating_Homepage_Banner

All you had to do to enter was buy anything in our Home Film Tie-in series by April 30th!

Dreamworks Home Deluxe Colouring & Puzzle Bookdreamworks-home-deluxe-colouring-puzzle-book

Ideal for felt-tip pens!

Join in the adventure as Tip and Oh race to save Earth … and each other! The Home Deluxe Colouring & Puzzle Book ensures heaps of Boovian fun for every Home fan!

The Boov are searching for a new planet to call home. They find the perfect planet in the middle of nowhere – Earth! The Boov kindly relocate all the humans to Happy Humanstown, and then proceed to completely rearrange the planet! By accidentally telling the Boov’s worst enemy where they are, Oh becomes the number one Boov fugitive. Oh meets Tip, the only human left in Boston, and their hilarious journey to friendship begins.

…and the winner is:

A.Parker, South Penrith, NSW

Check out our Home Film Tie-in series here


Congratulations to the winners!

Don’t have a gift for Mother’s Day because your Mum is too hard to buy for?

Get her a gift certificate from Booktopia and she can pick the books she would love to read!

REVIEW: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn (Review by Hayley Shephard)

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthythe-secrets-of-sir-richard-kenworthy was a fun, engaging read. While at times I was filled with anxiety for the characters I was also laughing really hard at other moments. And trust me, it takes something really special to make me laugh hard.

That’s what I love about regency books and authors today, especially Julia Quinn. The stories reflect humans that are just as strange, endearing and awkward as their modern counterparts. I am not saying that they are more romantic than stories written actually during the era or a contemporary romance, it’s just nice to read.

The heroine, Miss Iris Smythe-Smith, has been forced into marriage with a man called Sir Richard Kenworthy. And he’s a man with a secret. But what is it?

Julia Quinn kept me guessing. She lulled me into a false sense of security. She kept me entertained, and I forgot to search for clues. Not only was the writing so descriptive but the banter, the interplay between the characters, was perfect for two people who are trying to deal with what was before them. So awkward is it at times that I was both bordering on hysterics and wincing, covering my eyes.

What’s the secret? How did Iris find herself in this mess? I guess you’ll just have to read it and find out.

As for me, this book will definitely be re-read.

Grab a copy of The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy here


The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy

by Julia Quinn

From New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the final, dazzling installment of a four-book series featuring the Smythe-Smiths.

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second-or third-look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe-Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

About the Author

During her senior year at Harvard College, Julia Quinn (often known in cyberspace as JQ) realized that she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. This depressed her. In fact, the only thing that saved her sanity during this dark, dreary time was the fact that none of her friends knew, either. So she sat down with a big tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a good book and decided to figure out what to do.

Getting a job seemed too difficult. She wouldn’t mind HAVING a job, but she certainly didn’t know how to get one.

Law school seemed too annoying. Everyone hated lawyers, and Julia liked to be more…

Grab a copy of The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy here


Author Josephine Moon talks about her favourite chocolate recipe!

My favourite chocolate recipe: chocolate beetroot cake…

This recipe comes from The Saffron Girl.

10947253_422641974566135_8175922899149544241_oI talk about chocolate a lot. I think about it a lot. And, yes, I even eat it a lot. But what I’ve learned while doing research for The Chocolate Promise, is that you need to know how to eat it in order to get all the great health benefits without all the fat and sugar nastiness that comes with so much of the commercial confectionary on the market.

In this recipe, I take two of my favourite foods—chocolate and cake—add some awesome beetroot and get a delicious, healthy indulgence.

But before we get to the recipe, let’s take a quick look at where chocolate comes from.

10527361_319377574892576_356655595822634473_n
This is a fruit pod from Theobroma Cacao. Inside the pod are flesh-covered beans, and inside the beans are the cacao nibs. And that’s from where we derive cacao, which is fermented, dried and roasted, and artisans then combine it in varying quantities with cocoa butter, some sort of sweetener, and perhaps vanilla or other flavours.
10488217_319379011559099_292976908707693652_n
In its most natural state, cacao is ridiculously good for you, containing a plethora of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and a whopping great load of antioxidants—twice those found in red wine and three times that of green tea.

The problem is that most of what we know as ‘chocolate’ is really just cocoa-flavoured fat and sugar. Bummer! To get the absolute best out of chocolate, you need be consuming high-quality fare of at least 70% cacao.

Better yet, just do what I like to do and put raw cacao powder in whatever you can manage! Smoothies, goodie balls, cakes… go for it!

DSC_0001
So, here is my chocolate beetroot cake. In the first picture, it is still in the making while in the food processor. Look how amazingly red it is! You know it’s good for you when it’s naturally red. Just like tomatoes and red wine, beetroot is full of fantastic cancer-fighting properties because of that red colour.

Red beetroot + chocolate = awesome!

DSC_0005
And here it is out on a plate, with a sprinkle of coconut and a sprig of lavender (because lavender is my thing—seriously, I will put it in everything given half the chance).

My tips for this recipe:

Measure the beetroot accurately (otherwise it can turn out runny if you use too much) and watch it carefully as it’s baking. Anytime I’ve made it, it needs much longer in the oven than the recipe suggests. Every oven is different so use your best judgment.

Also, it goes really well with coconut milk yoghurt and grated dark chocolate on top for decoration.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

•    3 cups of grated, cooked beetroots
•    4 eggs
•    1/2 cup olive oil
•    1/2 cup raw honey
•    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•    1 teaspoon baking soda
•    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
•    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•    1/2 cup raw 100% cacao powder
•    1/3 cup coconut flour (for a slightly fluffier and dryer cake, use 1/2 cup coconut flour)*

Process

1    Preheat oven to 170C (350F).
2    In a food processor or blender, beat the beetroots, eggs and olive oil.
3    Add the honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, sea salt and spices. Blend well.
4    Add the cacao powder and coconut flour and mix until well incorporated.
5    Pour into a greased cake pan of choice. I used a 9-inch diameter tart pan.
6    Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7    Cool completely before cutting and serving. Garnish as desired.


MoonThe Chocolate Promise

by Josephine Moon

For a limited time only, order a copy of The Chocolate Promise and get a free copy of My Little Chocolate Book. *Please note: offer available while stocks last and limit one free copy per order.

From Tasmania to Paris and beyond, an enchanting story of the proprietor of a specialist chocolate shop who must learn that some rules are meant to be broken – this real-life fairy godmother must learn to find her own magic. The new novel for readers who love Cathy Kelly and Monica McInerney from the bestselling author of The Tea Chest.

Christmas Livingstone has ten rules for happiness, the most important of which is ‘absolutely no romantic relationships’.

In The Chocolate Apothecary, her more…

Grab a copy of The Chocolate Promise here

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Bestselling author Sylvia Day on being an overnight success…10 years in the making!

Sylvia Day is the internationally bestselling author of over a dozen novels written across multiple genres, most famously, The Crossfire series, which has sold fifteen million copies plus worldwide. She chats to Booktopia’s John Purcell.

Grab Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series here

sylvia-day-s-crossfire-seriesSylvia Day’s Crossfire Series

Four Book Collection

The first four intensely sensual Crossfire novels by bestselling author Sylvia Day.

Bared to You
Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness – beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart . . .

Reflected in You
Gideon Cross was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. He was my addiction. my every desire. We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession.

Entwined with You
No one knows how much Gideon risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become. Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession . . .

Captivated by You
Gideon calls me his angel, but he’s the miracle in my life. The vows we’d exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened up old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. We faced a terrible choice: the familiar safety of the lives we’d had before each other or the fight for a future that suddenly seemed an impossible and hopeless dream…

For a limited time only, grab your signed copy of the Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day

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

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

With nine books to read and judge for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA awards – none of which I can tell you about, sorry! – I didn’t have much personal reading time left. But I did manage three wonderful books.


Revival 

by Stephen King

King’s storytelling never ceases to amaze me. I kept pausing to try and work out what it was that made this book such a page-turner, but it was a wasted exercise. Each time I tried to analyse it, the story would suck me back and I’d forget what I’d stopped for in the first place.

Spanning five decades, Revival chronicles the relationship between young Jamie Morton and Reverend Charles Jacobs, a man fascinated by the power of electricity. Unhinged by tragedy, Jacobs has a meltdown while preaching, which leads to his sacking. Jamie loses a friend and mentor but as the years pass, this unlikely pair continue to cross paths. Only it appears Jacobs’s fascination has become an obsession. One with the potential to lead Jamie to hell.

Yet another disturbing and fascinating tale from the master.

Grab a copy of Revival here


Whispers Underground 

by Ben Aaronovich

This series cracks me up. It’s such FUN!

Whispers Underground is the third Constable Peter Gant adventure, and trainee wizard Peter is really started to hit his straps. A dead American art student is found in an underground station but this isn’t any ordinary murder. There’s a whiff of magic, and that means Peter and his boss, Inspector Nightingale, must lend a hand. What follows is a wonderful romp through London’s labyrinthine underground world, as well as adventures above. There are chases through sewers and Tube lines, a bit of fun-poking at the art world, some FBI meddling, and encounters with London’s gods and goddesses and other paranormal creatures.

Another witty and clever tale from Aaronovich. Highly recommended. These books make you feel good!

 Grab a copy of Whispers Underground here


The Princess Bride

by William Goldman

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve never seen the film The Princess Bride so I had no idea what this book would be like, let alone about. All I knew was that the film was a cult classic, and was a bit bemused to find that the book came after the film. I assumed it was the other way around.

It was, however, brilliantly weird.

Goldman claims that this book is his abridged version of S. Morgenstern’s classic tale, a story his father used to read to him. But Goldman discovers as an adult that his father never narrated the whole book, only the good bits because the original is bloated with dull detail. So Goldman sets out to create a new version. The rollicking romantic tale of The Princess Bride is there in all its quirky glory, but what makes this extra entertaining are Goldman’s interruptions and comments about everything from the movie to law suits from Morgenstern’s estate. There’s even a cameo by Stephen King.

A hoot! Now to track down a copy of the film and complete my Princess Bride education.

Grab a copy of The Princess Bride 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.

 Click here to see Cathryn’s author page

The Falls

by Cathryn Hein

For as long as she can remember, Teagan Bliss has wanted to manage her family’s property. She’s invested everything in the farm, knowing that when her parents retire she’ll be ready to take the reins. But when a family betrayal leaves her reeling, Teagan is forced to rethink her entire future.

Heartbroken, Teagan flees to her aunt’s property in the idyllic Falls Valley. Vanessa is warm and welcoming and a favourite of the locals who drop in regularly for cocktail hour. Teagan soon catches the attention of sexy local farrier Lucas Knight, and with a new job, new friends and the prospect of a new relationship, she slowly begins to open up again.

But the village is a hotbed of gossip and division and when Teagan gets caught up in town politics, Lucas and Vanessa become concerned. As the tension in town escalates, Teagan must decide who to trust. But when she realises those close to her have been keeping secrets, the fallout may split Teagan apart forever.

Grab a copy of The Falls here

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,371 other followers

%d bloggers like this: