VIDEO: Kooshyar Karimi on his incredible new book Leila’s Secret

Kooshyar Karimi is an Iranian Jew who fled his native country after years of living a double life; as a doctor performing secret and illegal operations and as a spy for his country’s secret police. He talks to Caroline Baum about his acclaimed new book Leila’s Secret.

leila-s-secretLeila’s Secret

by Kooshyar Karimi

In fundamentalist Iran, new life sometimes means certain death. When Leila comes to see Doctor Karimi, both are in danger.

Born in a slum to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother, Kooshyar Karimi has transformed himself into a successful doctor, an award-winning writer, and an adoring father. His could be a comfortable life but his conscience won’t permit it: he is incapable of turning away the unmarried women who beg him to save their lives by ending the pregnancies that, if discovered, would see them stoned to death.

One of those women is 22-year-old Leila. Beautiful, intelligent, passionate, she yearns to go to university but her strictly traditional family forbids it. Returning home from the library one day – among the few trips she’s allowed out of the house – she meets a handsome shopkeeper, and her fate is sealed. Kooshyar has rescued countless women, but Leila seeks his help for a different reason, one that will haunt him for years afterwards and inspire an impossible quest from faraway Australia.

Spellbinding and heartbreaking. Leila’s Secret shows us everyday life for women in a country where it can be a crime to fall in love. But for all its tragedy, this unforgettable book is paradoxically uplifting, told from the heart of Kooshyar’s immense sympathy, in the hope that each of us – and the stories we tell – can make a difference.

Grab a copy of Leila’s Secret here

VIDEO: Lauren Sams on the inspiration behind her new book She’s Having Her Baby

Lauren Sams began her career at Cosmopolitan before moving to Girlfriend as deputy editor. She’s now back at Cosmo as Associate Editor and Managing Editor of Cosmopolitan Bride. She writes for Elle, Marie Claire and Sunday Style, and her work regularly appears on dailylife.com.au. She chats to Elizabeth Earl about her new novel She’s Having Her Baby.

she-s-having-her-babyShe’s Having Her Baby

by Lauren Sams

Georgie Henderson doesn’t want to have kids, but her best friend, Nina Doherty, has wanted to have a baby for as long as she can remember. Sadly, Nina’s uterus refuses to cooperate. One drunken evening, Nina asks Georgie for the ultimate favour: would she carry a baby for her? Georgie says yes . . . and spends the next nine months discovering what she’s got herself into.

With intense bacon-and-egg roll cravings, a foundering friendship and distant memories of what her feet look like, Georgie also tries to keep it all together in her dream job as the editor of Jolie, a magazine whose readership is shrinking as fast as Georgie’s waist is expanding.

She’s Having Her Baby is an entertaining story about pregnancy, dating and modern parenting, and – ultimately – the indomitable power of female friendship.

Grab a copy of She’s Having Her Baby here

 

VIDEO: Debra Oswald on Offspring fandom and her new novel Useful

Debra Oswald is the co-creator and head writer of the TV series Offspring which recently finished its fifth season. She chats to Caroline Baum about her transition to adult fiction with her darkly funny new novel Useful.

Grab a copy of Debra Oswald’s Useful here

useful-signed-copies-available-

Useful

by Debra Oswald

Once a charming underachiever, he’s now such a loser that he can’t even commit suicide properly. Waking up in hospital after falling the wrong way on a rooftop, he comes to a decision.

He shouldn’t waste perfectly good organs just because they’re attached to his head. After a life of regrets, Sully wants to do one useful thing: he wants to donate a kidney to a stranger.

As he scrambles over the hurdles to become a donor, Sully almost accidentally forges a new life for himself. Sober and employed, he makes new friends, not least radio producer Natalie and her son Louis, and begins to patch things up with old ones, like his ex-best mate Tim. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of him.

But altruism is not as easy as it seems. Just when he thinks he’s got himself together, Sully discovers that he’s most at risk of falling apart.

From the creator of Offspring comes a smart, moving and wry portrait of one man’s desire to give something of himself.

Grab a copy of Debra Oswald’s Useful here

Congratulations to our Useful Facebook competition winners Amie Clarke, Edel Taylor, Hanadi Nasser, Jan Hartz and Elaine Smith. You’ve all won a copy of Useful! Please email your details to promos@booktopia.com.au and we’ll get your books out to you ASAP!

VIDEO: James Bradley on his long awaited new novel Clade

James Bradley’s past novels Wrack, The Deep Field and The Resurrectionist have won or been shortlisted for a number of major literary awards. He chats with Caroline Baum about his new novel Clade.

Grab a copy of James Bradley’s Clade here

 clade-signed-copies-available-Clade

by James Bradley

Compelling, challenging and resilient, over ten beautifully contained chapters, Clade canvasses three generations from the very near future to late this century. Central to the novel is the family of Adam, a scientist, and his wife Ellie, an artist. Clade opens with them wanting a child and Adam in a quandary about the wisdom of this.

Their daughter proves to be an elusive little girl and then a troubled teenager, and by now cracks have appeared in her parents’ marriage. Their grandson is in turn a troubled boy, but when his character reappears as an adult he’s an astronomer, one set to discover something astounding in the universe. With great skill James Bradley shifts us subtly forward through the decades, through disasters and plagues, miraculous small moments and acts of great courage. Elegant, evocative, understated and thought-provoking, it is the work of a writer in command of the major themes of our time.

Grab your copy of James Bradley’s Clade here

7PM INTERVIEW: Bestselling author Liane Moriarty talks to John Purcell about her new book Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty has become one of the biggest novelists in the US market, yet she still hasn’t become a household name in her native Australia. She chats with John Purcell about her career and latest book Big Little Lies. A book John has read and highly recommends. He thinks it one of the best books of 2014!

Big 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.’

Click here to grab a copy of Big Little Lies 

Booktopia TV: Caroline Baum interviews award-winning writer Ashley Hay

Booktopia’s Editorial Director Caroline Baum sat down with award-winner Ashley Hay to discuss her new book The Railwayman’s Wife.

In a small town on the land’s edge, in the strange space at a war’s end, a widow, a poet and a doctor each try to find their own peace, and their own new story.

In Thirroul, in 1948, people chase their dreams through the books in the railway’s library. Anikka Lachlan searches for solace after her life is destroyed by a single random act. Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, has lost his words and his hope. Frank McKinnon is trapped by the guilt of those his treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle with the same question: how now to be alive.

Written in clear, shining prose and with an eloquent understanding of the human heart, The Railwayman’s Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can be sometimes to tell them apart. It’s a story of life, loss and what comes after; of connection and separation, longing and acceptance. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.

Click here to buy The Railwayman’s Wife from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

About the Author

Ashley Hay is the author of four books of non-fiction – The Secret: The strange marriage of Annabella Milbanke and Lord Byron, Gum: The story of eucalypts and their champions, and Herbarium and Museum with the visual artist Robyn Stacey. A former literary editor of The Bulletin, her essays and short stories have also appeared in anthologies and journals including Brothers and Sisters, The Monthly, Heat and The Griffith Review. Ashley’s first novel, The Body in the Clouds was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize ‘Best First Book’ (South-East Asia and Pacific region) and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Click here to buy The Railwayman’s Wife from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

The Incomparable Jackie Collins Answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jackie Collins

author of

Poor Little Bitch Girl,
Married Lovers
, Drop Dead Beautiful
and a host of other bestselling titles

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 London. Dropped out of school at fifteen. Followed school with Hollywood – gaining invaluable research, and meeting characters that I still write about today.

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

Everybody said you can’t be a writer, you dropped out of school, you need to go to college, etc. But I followed my dream and ignored everyone. At twelve I was writing unfinished novels. At eighteen I was doing the same thing. And at thirty I was a published author.

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

The beliefs I had at eighteen have stayed with me today. Strive and you will achieve. Work hard at what you love and your passion will shine through.

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?

Book – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. So mysterious and exciting. The painting – A Bigger Splash by David Hockney. I built my house based on that painting. And music – What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye. All of the above filled me with inspiration.

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

I am a born storyteller. One hundred years ago I would be sitting around the campfire saying “Let me tell you a story!”

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Poor Little Bitch Girl.Three twenty-something women, one hot, rich guy, two mega movie-stars, a drugs bust and a devastating murder. Poor Little Bitch Girl has it all!

There’s Denver Jones, the hotshot attorney working in L.A. and Carolyn Henderson – personal assistant to a powerful and very married Senator in Washington with whom she is having an affair. And then there’s Annabelle Maestro – daughter of two movie stars – who has carved out a career for herself in New York as the madame of choice for discerning famous men. The three twenty-something women used to go to high school together in Beverly Hills and Denver and Carolyn have always kept in touch, but Annabelle is out on her own with her cocaine addicted boyfriend Frankie.

Bobby is Frankie’s best friend – Bobby Santangelo Stanislopolous, that is, Kennedy-esque son of Lucky Santangelo and deceased Greek shipping billionaire Dimitri Stanislopolous. Now he owns Mood, the hottest club in New York, but back in the day he went to high school with Denver, Carolyn and Annabelle, and hung out with all three of them. Which means that Bobby knows everyone’s secrets – and he has some of his own, too. Read an ExtractClick Here

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

I fulfil my fantasies of what Hollywood and life in the fast lane is all about. Mind candy with hidden truths. And plenty of sly humour!

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

Charles Dickens. A genius. Harold Robbins who took you to places you never knew you wanted to go. Enid Blyton – the best children’s author of all time.

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

I’ve written 27 best selling novels. So my plan is to just keep on going!

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don’t talk about it. Do it!!

Jackie, thank you for playing.

Follow Jackie Collins on Twitter – click here

One for the girls – A Blast from the Past – Jackie interviews George Clooney (circa 1998)

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