Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Bolinda – you could win a prize pack worth over $800!

bolinda-prizeCelebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Bolinda and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $800!!

Just buy any title in Bolinda’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Bolinda’s showcase

Our Top Pick


by Peter Carey

How does a young woman from suburban Melbourne become America’s public enemy number one?

When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into the computers of Australia’s prison system, freeing hundreds of asylum seekers, she sets off a chain reaction. These prisons are run by US companies, and so the doors of some 5000 American institutions have also opened. And to some watching eyes, the secrets of both countries threaten to pour out.

Was this a mistake? Or has the elusive Gaby declared cyberwar on the US, as part of the longstanding covert conflict between the two countries that has as its most outrageous act the CIA-engineered coup of 1975 – a coup so brazen we immediately forgot it as part of our Great Amnesia.

Amnesia is Carey at his best: funny, sweeping, intimate, exhilarating. It is a novel that speaks powerfully about our history but most urgently about our present.

Click here to enter Bolinda’s showcase

What Cathryn Read – The September Round Up (by bestselling author Cathryn Hein)

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

I read some wonderful books this month, from a traditional Mills & Boon romance that surprised me hugely, to heart-pounding thrillers, an Australian bush-set Gothic mystery and the heart-warming tale of a socially awkward vet.

Damaso Claims His Heir

by Annie West

It’s been quite some time since I’ve read a Mills & Boon, and I have to admit the traditional Sexy and Presents lines with their über alpha heroes has never really appealed. I tend to wish the heroine would just push the silly man back into his Bentley and find herself a nice beta good sort, preferably a footy playing one with a farm, a collie and a ute. Damaso Claims His Heir, however, was a revelation. The story took off from the first page, and galloped wonderfully along to the end. The characters had amazing backstories, the settings were interesting and exotic, and the writing vivid.

Dogged by scandal and heartbroken from the death of her brother, Princess Marisa of Bengaria is not only running from her homeland but from her emotions. When she meets Brazillian billionaire Damaso Pires she senses a man who might heal her. But at the end of a passionate night together, scared by the intensity of his feelings toward this amazing woman, Damaso walks out and Marisa’s emotional shutters slam once again closed. But one night stands can have consequences, and when Damaso discovers Marisa is pregnant, there’s no way he’s letting go of his heir.

If you’re curious about what a modern Mills & Boon is like, or simply after page-turning, emotional romance from a skilled and experienced author, then Damaso Claims His Heir is for you.

Grab a copy of Damaso Claims His Heir here

Thornwood House

by Anna Romer

This has probably been said many times, but if you’re a fan of Kate Morton (as I am) then Thornwood House is right in your zone.

After the unexpected death of her ex-partner, single mum Audrey Kepler is stunned to find she’s inherited Thornwood House, a large rural property in the rugged Queensland bush. Though long abandoned and valuable, Audrey’s plan to sell Thornwood disappears when she feels an immediate affinity with the house. Affinity that grows when she discovers a photograph of the house’s former occupant, Samuel Riordan, a man accused of bashing a young woman to death. But there have been other suspicious deaths in the area, and soon Audrey becomes consumed with their mystery. As she comes closer to the truth, Audrey discovers her obsession might come at an unthinkable price.

I adored this book. Beautiful writing, a wonderfully complex mystery, fantastic Gothic atmosphere and a romantic subplot that still makes me gooey when I think of it. I look forward to sinking into Romer’s new release, Lyrebird Hill.

 Grab a copy of Thornwood House here

Blood Secret

by Jaye Ford

Oh, I so adore having the pants scared off me, and Jaye Ford managed to do that within the first few pages of Blood Secret. This is fast-paced, clever thriller writing at its best.

Rennie Carter has been on the run for most of her life but for the last few years the sleepy area of Haven Bay and lover Max Tully have provided sanctuary and a kind of contentment. Though Rennie knows one day she’ll have to run again, for now she’s making the most of it. Except one night Max goes missing.

No one seems to believe that Max is in danger, but Rennie does. She’s convinced that her past has stolen into her life again, but as she searches for Max she discovers that, like her, the man she loves may also not be who he seems. Except whose secret has caused him to vanish so suddenly? And what other things are being hidden in Haven Bay?

There aren’t that many books that can make me physically anxious for the characters but Blood Secret certainly did. Whether it’s this one, Beyond Fear, Scared Yet? or her new release Already Dead, give yourself a thrill and read a Jaye Ford book. They’re brilliant.

  Grab a copy of Blood Secret here

Dog Gone, Back Soon

by Nick Trout

This series is so much fun. It started with The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs and I don’t know if there are any more planned but I hope so. It’s like James Herriot for a modern audience with a tricky romance thrown in.

Without giving too much of the first book’s plot away, our hero vet, the nerdy, socially awkward Dr Cyrus Mills, has managed to save the practice he inherited from his father. Now he’s determined to make The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals a business to be proud of. Except there’s stiff competition from Healthy Paws, the factory-like practice across town, and they like to play dirty. Nor do Eden Falls locals, with their eccentricities and baffling animal mysteries, make it easy. Then there’s Amy, the beautiful girl Cyrus hankers for but seems to stuff up every meeting with.

Life tends to become complicated for poor Doc Cyrus, but that’s what makes these books such a hoot to read. Nick Trout is a vet himself and draws both his animal (and people) characters wonderfully. The veterinary mysteries and facts are fascinating too.

Heart-warming and adorable. Like a beloved pet, this is a book to cuddle up with.

Grab a copy of Dog Gone, Back Soon here

The Fallen Angelthe-fallen-angel

by Daniel Silva

This is this first novel I’ve read from this acclaimed thriller author and unlikely to be the last. The Fallen Angel was so good that half way through reading I ordered a copy for my dad. He’s reading it now, and is completely hooked. I bet he ends up borrowing every book in the Gabriel Allon series from the library.

Gabriel Allon is an accomplished art restorer who also happens to be a sometime Israeli spy. When a woman is killed in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Gabriel’s Vatican connections compel him to abandon the Caravaggio he restoring and investigate. It’s not long before he’s drawn into the criminal underworld, but one dangerous night he discovers this underworld might be linked to something bigger. Something in the fearsome realm of terror that could destroy peace forever.

This is race against the clock, edge of your seat thriller-land. I particularly admired the swift sketches that brought clearly to life characters regular readers would know without being boring or slowing the plot. Great stuff.

Grab a copy of The Fallen Angel 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

Are you a Booktoberfest prize winner in Week 2?

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Booktopia Weekly Prize Draw :

$250 Booktopia Gift Voucher

Week 1 L.Pettit, Merewether, NSW

Week 2 M.Taylor, Marrickville, NSW

Booktoberfest is on right now, and you’re invited, so come and celebrate with us!

Booktopia’s Booktoberfest is a month-long celebration of books, authors, publishers and most importantly you, the readers! We’re running competitions, giveaways and lots of other goodies for you all October.

Australia’s biggest publishers have come to the Booktoberfest party with some incredible prizes, with over $13,000 worth of books up for grabs!

And don’t forget about our weekly prize draw! Simply place an order between during October to go in the running for our weekly draw – we have 4 x $250 Booktopia Gift Vouchers to give away!

So put on your party hat, grab your dancing shoes and let’s have some fun. Get your Christmas shopping done now and you could win!

Click here to check out Booktoberfest 2014

Booktoberfest Partners

Click here to check out Booktoberfest 2014

Gary Gibson, author of Extinction Game, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Gary Gibson

author of Extinction Game, Final Days series and many more…

Ten Terrifying Questions

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Born in Glasgow, Scotland. Raised in Glasgow, Scotland. Schooled in Glasgow, Scotland. Well, mostly, apart from a few years living in Ayrshire. Or, as I like to think of it, north of the Ice Wall amongst the WIldlings.

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

At twelve, I pretty much wanted to be Arthur C. Clarke. Actually, I also wanted to shave my head and wear white robes like the Talosian in the original Star Trek. That’s when I started thinking about writing since I was already sucking up science fiction books like a Roomba in a universe of dust-bunnies. By eighteen, I’d decided I wanted to be Jimmy Page (guitarist in Led Zeppelin) because I’d just moved back to Glasgow from darkest Ayrshire and discovered rock music. The writing took a back seat for a while. But in my mid-twenties, I’d had a kind of Damascene moment and started writing again. By the time I was thirty I’d had a couple of short stories published in pro sf and fantasy magazines.

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

Author: Gary Gibson

That logic and reason will always win any argument. It took a lot of bumps to work out logic and reason are the last things a lot of people ever want to hear.

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?

There’s no three things. It’s everything, all at once, poured into a single Gary Gibson-shaped mould. But if you kidnapped my dog – that is, if I had a dog – and showed me a live stream of it held over a bucket of piranhas and demanded I answer, I’d pick: Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge, Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, and the Gaia trilogy by John Varley. If I’ve got any influences, it’s those three. Probably.

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

It’s a falsity to say there are ‘innumerable’ artistic avenues open to anyone. Well, there are, but whether you’re actually any good at them is another matter. I “chose” to write a novel because it turns out that’s what I’m good at it, it’s fun, and there’s pretty much nothing else I can think of I might possibly want to do with my life.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

My latest is Extinction Game. I couldn’t just sit down and write a straight post-apocalyptic book, because it’s been done so many times. I needed something extra. A classic post-apocalyptic trope is the Last Man on Earth story, so since I’d been reading up on theories regarding the idea we live in a multiverse of infinite parallel realities, it made sense that there must also be an infinite number of universes in which different people are the last man or woman on Earth.

From there it didn’t take much more than a hop or skip to figure out an interesting story lay in bringing those people together through some technology that allows travel from one alternate reality to another. Why write a book about one world-destroying apocalypse, when you can write a book that by definition includes every single possible apocalypse?

Grab a copy of Gary’s latest novel Extinction here

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

An immediate desire to send me the entire contents of their bank accounts and the deeds to their homes. I’m not saying I planted any post-hypnotic suggestions in my books or anything, but…

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

Anyone who writes what they choose to write, regardless of what others think.

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

To produce a book a year; to always improve; to maintain a healthy level of self-criticism that allows me to grow as a writer; to be ambitious, in the sense of never resting on my laurels; to surprise, entertain and delight; to be raised to Godhood and worshipped by milli…ok, maybe not that last one.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

To understand that what appears to be failure is instead an opportunity to define and build on your true strengths.

Gary, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Extinction Game here

Extinction Game

by Gary Gibson

Jerry Beche should be dead. Instead, he’s rescued from a desolate Earth where he was the last man alive. He’s then trained for the toughest conditions imaginable and placed with a crack team of specialists. Every one of them is a survivor, as each withstood the violent ending of their own alternate Earth. And their new specialism? To retrieve weapons and data in missions to other apocalyptic worlds.

But what is ‘the Authority’, the shadowy organization that rescued Beche and his fellow survivors? How does it access other timelines? And why does it need these instruments of death? As Jerry struggles to obey his new masters, he begins to distrust his new companions. A strange bunch, their motivations are less than clear, and accidents start plaguing their missions. Jerry suspects the Authority is feeding them lies, and team members are spying on him. As a dangerous situation spirals into catastrophe, is there anybody he can trust?

 Grab a copy of Extinction Game here

Move over Breaking Bad, welcome to Baking Bad!

This week’s Booktopia Book Trailer of the Week goes to Walter Wheat’s methmerising new cookbook book Baking Bad. Cupcakes like you’ve never seen them before.

Grab a copy of Baking Bad here

baking-badBaking Bad

by Walter Wheat

You’re hooked on Breaking Bad.

You’ve got high on the escapades of Walt and Jessie.

Now it’s come to an end and you’re missing your latest fix.

We have just the drug for you: Baking Bad. 98% pure but 100% edible and delicious, Baking Bad is a spoof recipe book created in homage to the TV series that we STILL can’t stop talking about. A cookbook for fans of the greatest cult show ever produced (and no gasmask is required).

From ‘Ricin Crispie Treats’ to Walt’s patented ‘Meth Muffins’ (complete with blue sugar crystals), ‘Apple and Banana Hank-cakes’ to ‘Chocolate Gustavo Fingers’ and ‘Heisen-batten-Burg Cake’ (topped with a licorice hat), this book comes with so many in-jokes that you’ll need a fake carwash just to process them. So, get your protective gear on and your tool kit ready. Because, as Jessie would say, ‘Let’s Cook. B*tch’.

Grab a copy of Baking Bad here

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and HarperCollins- you could win a prize pack worth $999!

harper-collins-prizeCelebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and HarperCollins and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $999!!

Just buy any title in HarperCollins’ Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter HarperCollins’ showcase

Our Top Pick

kerry-stokes-the-boy-from-nowhereKerry Stokes : The Boy from Nowhere

by Andrew Rule

The compelling and inspirational story of the rags to riches life of Kerry Stokes, a remarkable Australian.

Kerry Stokes is a remarkable Australian. Not because he is one of Australia’s wealthiest and most powerful people, but because of what he overcame to get there and because he has endured when others didn’t. His success and his rise have intrigued the business world for decades but there is so much more to him than multi-million dollar deals or mergers.

Behind the laconic front is a human story as tough and touching as a Dickens tale: Oliver Twist with great self-expectations. It is the story of a poor boy who stared down poverty, ignorance and the stigma of his illegitimate birth to achieve great wealth and fulfilment. He’s a backstreets battler who has become a power player. It’s a compelling and inspiring story that, until now, he has not told.

Now he oversees a multi-billion dollar media, machinery and property empire. He is renowned for his art collection and for philanthropy, spending millions of dollars to buy – among other things – Victoria Crosses from soldiers’ families to donate to the Australian War Memorial.

But he’s a private man. A man apart. He made his name in the West but kept his distance from the buccaneering band of entrepreneurs who forged fabulous fortunes in Perth from the 1960s until the 1987 crash. Bond went to jail, Holmes a Court died; Connell did both. Lesser lights flickered and faded but Stokes grew stronger, becoming a player alongside Murdoch, Packer and Lowy. His story fascinates all the more because he has spent most of his life guarding it. But now he’s telling it, to one of Australia’s great storytellers.

He is the boy who came from nothing, who had nothing to lose. And now he has everything. It’s a great Australian journey.

Click here to enter HarperCollins’ showcase

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Ross Coulthart, author of Charles Bean, chats to John Purcell

Ross Coulthart’s Charles Bean is a featured title in HarperCollins’ Booktoberfest Showcase, click here for more details

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charles-bean-order-your-signed-copy-Charles Bean

by Ross Coulthart

CEW Bean’s wartime reports and photographs mythologised the Australian soldier and helped spawn the notion that the Anzacs achieved something nation-defining on the shores of Gallipoli and the battlefields of western Europe. In his quest to get the truth, Bean often faced death beside the Diggers in the trenches of Gallipoli and the Western Front – and saw more combat than many. But did Bean tell Australia the whole story of what he knew? In this fresh new biography Ross Coulthart explores the man behind the legend.

About the Author

From Channel 7’s Sunday Night, Ross Coulthart is one of Australia’s leading investigative journalists. He has won a Logie and five Walkley journalism awards including the Gold Walkley. Ross is the author of the magnificent Lost Diggers. Like CEW Bean, Ross Coulthart studied law, became a journalist and has covered conflicts in hostile war zones such as East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has always admired Bean’s courage and scrupulous honesty, and now he brings his journalist’s eye to the real story of the man who was one of Australia’s earliest embedded war reporters.

 Ross Coulthart’s Charles Bean is a featured title in HarperCollins’ Booktoberfest Showcase, click here for more details

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