And the new Christian Grey is…

Fans of the acclaimed British drama The Fall will be pretty stoked with this news.

Irish actor Jamie Dornan, one of the show’s stars, is in final talks to play Christian Grey in the adaptation of E.L. James’ best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey.

Fifty Shades Greypies were thrown into chaos when the original Christian, Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam, pulled out of the production two weeks ago.

The casting of 31-year-old Dornan alongside Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia will hopefully be the final change in director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s production, slated to begin shooting mid-November.

According to female sources in the Booktopia offices, Jamie Dornan is a bit of alright. What do you think? Is the man once dubbed “the Golden Torso” by The New York Times the right man for the job?

Click here for all things Fifty Shades at Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Meet Christian Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey Cast Announced

The wait for Fifty Shades of Greypies worldwide is over. The question that has plagued scientists, philosophers and bloggers for ten, even twelve months, has been answered.

The two lead actors for the Fifty-Shades of Grey film have been announced.

Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam will be playing the titular character Christian Grey, while relative newcomer Dakota Johnson will play Anastasia Steele.

The film, which will be released by Focus Features on August 1, 2014 in North America, is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside E.L. James, the author of the #1 bestselling book on which the film is based.  The screenplay is by Kelly Marcel.

Here’s a quick fact file on the lead actors for all Shadistics out there.

Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam

Age: 33

Born: Newcastle, UK

TV: Sons of Anarchy, Undeclared, Queer as Folk (UK)

Film: Pacific Rim, Cold Mountain, Children of Men

Fun Fact: Unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Dawson in Dawson’s Creek

Dakota Johnson

Age: 23

Born: Austin, US

TV: Ben and Kate, The Office

Film: The Social Network, 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement

Fun Fact: Her parents are Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith

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Click here for more details on Fifty Shades of Grey
with Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore

The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings – a guest review by bestselling author Rachael Johns

Bestselling author and voracious consumer of romance Rachael Johns gives an insider’s perspective on The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings by Natasha Walker

Before I start, I must admit, I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey or any of the supposed spin-offs and had absolutely no inclination to do so. I read 100 pages of Grey because I thought I should – it sold bucket loads and as an author it would have been good research to work out why – but I honestly couldn’t go any further. Erotic romance has just never been my thing.  So, I’d never had any inclination to pick up The Secret Lives of Emma series either. There were just too many other books on my TBR pile. I like a hot sex scene as much as the next person in a romance, but I’m more there for the romance than the sex. Continue reading

On ‘The Naughty Girls’ Book Club’ – a guest post by Sophie Hart

Click here to buy

Sophie Hart takes readers into cafes, sex shops and between the covers of erotic classics in her latest book, The Naughty Girls’ Book Club.

Firstly, many thanks to Booktopia for inviting me onto their blog. I’m here to tell you a little more about my new novel The Naughty Girl’s Book Club. Despite appearances, it’s not actually erotica – in fact, it’s probably best described as ‘chick-lit with a saucy twist’, but there’s no doubt it’s been heavily influenced by the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon which has taken the planet by storm over the past year.

Continue reading

Reading: All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

On another rainy weekend we thought we’d scour through the interwebs and find some of our favourite clips of readers in action.

And don’t forget, we also have a huge collection of audiobooks in a range of formats to make life even easier.

Continue reading

Because of Low by Abbi Glines – a Review by Haylee Nash

To say that I’m excited by the emergence of New Adult as a genre is a gross understatement. I’m ecstatic. And I’m not picky about the kind of New Adult, either. Because New Adult comes in many forms  – from erotic romance featuring late teens/early twenty-somethings, to angsty, edgy love stories to heartbreaking coming of age novels. For those of you who aren’t entirely sure what New Adult is, if it features people 17+ experiencing their ‘firsts’ (first love, first heartbreak, first time having sex or taking drugs etc) and features romance, then it probably sits in the New Adult genre.

So, now that you’re up to speed, let me introduce you to Continue reading

Fifty Shades: The Musical – An 18+ post from Bookopia’s Editorial Director Caroline Baum

Booktopia’s Editorial Director Caroline Baum is on assignment in the Big Apple. She shares an experience of musically titillating proportions.

So I’m in New York flicking through the show listings in Time Out when an off-Broadway musical catches my eye. Its called Cuff Me, which also works when you say the first word backwards.

I book a ticket online, managing to score the last one for opening night. Imagine my complete  disbelief when I get to the theatre and discover that the Actors Temple is not a jumped up version of the Actors Studio, it is exactly what it says it is: a synagogue.

Feeling like I’m in a Seinfeld dream sequence (George invites Jerry to a smutty show only to discover its at the local shul, where they are greeted by the rabbi who turns out to be Elaine in disguise) I find myself surrounded by a party of women speaking loudly in Hebrew. But there are also quite a few couples there. One man has bought tickets for his partner as a gift.

“Surprised?” he asks her.
“With you, never,” she purrs, stroking his chest.

Unlike a traditional service at conservative synagogues, at least men and women get to sit together.

The set is pretty simple, three panels on wheels festooned with various sex toys including a double ended dildo that looks a bit like a boomerang.

There is a cast of four, two men, two women (Tina Jensen, who plays our heroine’s friend Kate and her inner goddess was outstandingly energetic in her broad  lewdness) and they are hugely competent singers and movers, as you’d expect in this city and while the lyrics are not consistently sharp in their savagery they are very adult, explicit and completely trash the book.

Tunes are borrowed and distorted, with apologies to Mamma Mia, Britney and Beyonce (a spirited All You Horny Ladies with the gesture of putting a ring on it substituted with page turning). There is an effective abuse of If I were A Rich Man and Hey Big Spender for good measure. And while there is warning about the strobe effect, there is no warning about the language which is as raunchy as it gets (a sample lyric : ‘ I wanted to finger your butthole with mayonnaise’).

Nice.

The only literary wink is that the lawyer who negotiates the contract Anastasia signs with Christian is called Willy Blowman. Oh and there are some references to the Twilight saga.

Crude? You bet.

Unauthorised? Ooh yeah, baby.

I’m tempted to say it was spankingly good, and a surefire hit. There, I just said it.

______________________________

Caroline Baum is Booktopia’s Editorial Director and a journalist and broadcaster, working as founding editor of Good Reading magazine, features editor for Vogue, presenter of ABC TV’s popular bookshow, Between the Lines, and Foxtel’s Talking Books, and as an executive producer with ABC Radio National.

She is a regular contributor to national newspapers and magazines and is in demand as a presenter at arts and literary festivals around the country and overseas.

You can follow Caroline on twitter at @mscarobaum

Caroline Baum: Fifty Shades – My Tuppence Worth

The other day I was in a rehearsal room with a bunch of young women. Several were reading one of the Fifty Shades of Grey  trilogy while waiting to perform. I was surprised. I thought this was a book you might want to read in private (as you can tell, I haven’t read it). I asked one of these young women how it felt to be reading this book at work, in a public place and she replied: ‘Oh I’m on the third book (Fifty Shades Freed) and I just skip the sex because it’s become boring, I’m just interested in what makes the guy tick ’. Silly me thought the sex was the whole point but then my GP, who is a big reader, said exactly the same thing. She too is skipping the sexy bits.

Is that what everyone is doing? (Let me know here - @mscarobaum)

On a more personal note: it turns out that one of my closest friends from my teens and student days in the UK is married to none other than E. L James.  He had told me a few months ago that she was writing what he referred to as rude pulp romance but I didn’t pay much attention back then. Silly me could have got a scoop!  Now he is being referred to in the media as Mr Fifty Shades of Grey because he’s just done a book deal of his own and the suggestion is he would never have attracted the attention of a mainstream publisher if he were not married to the biggest selling author of the moment. Well, I’m here to tell you that at seventeen, Niall Leonard  who grew up in the border town of Newry in Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles already wrote brilliantly – I have the letters to prove it.  He went on to make a very successful career as the writer of TV series like Monarch of the Glen and Wire in the Blood.

The UK media are being  sneery, ungenerous and cynical, not to mention ill-informed  in patronising him. But  of course he’s having the last laugh : suddenly he and Erika are as rich as Croesus. His young adult novel Crusher will be published in October. The plot sounds  great (a boy comes home and finds his father bludgeoned to death and himself the main suspect. He has to find the real killer) and I’m looking forward to reading it.

By Caroline Baum

Crusher

by Niall Leonard

To catch a killer, Finn Maguire may have to become one…
The most talked-about debut thriller of 2012.

Everything changed the day Finn found his father in a pool of blood, bludgeoned to death. His dull, dreary life is turned upside down as he becomes the prime suspect – how can he clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him?

Facing danger at every turn, uncovering dark family secrets and braving the seedy London underworld, Finn is about to discover that only the people you trust can really hurt you…

About the Author:

Niall Leonard is an acclaimed screenwriter, whose credits include Wire in the Bloodand Silent Witness. Originally from Northern Ireland, he currently lives in West London with his wife and two children.

Click here to order Crusher from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

Desperately Sensual – Kylie Ladd reviews THE SECRET LIVES OF EMMA: BEGINNINGS

To me, the trouble with the vast majority of erotica is twofold:

(i) the quality of the writing is far more disturbing than anything the protagonists might do to each other, literary merit not usually being the most lasting effect the author hopes to create;

and (ii) there are, to put it bluntly, only so many ways tab A can be inserted into slot B – or even slots B, C and D, simultaneously or in-turn.

As such, I’m not a huge fan of the genre, often finding it predictable, dull, less believable than the letters to Penthouse Forum, and worst of all, execrably written. It’s not that I don’t like smut, it’s just that I’d much prefer to serendipitously stumble across a nice bit of filth in a novel I am already engaged with, where the characters think and feel, and any slot/tab sightings are integral to the plot.

The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings has the potential to change all that. Natasha Walker’s debut novel is eloquent, measured and articulate, its tone – in surely a first for erotica – both wry and playful. More to the point, it’s dirty enough that Walker adopted a pseudonym to write the book, and readers may feel in need of a shower after finishing it, cold or otherwise.

Emma Benson is a 32 year old housewife, not so much desperate as desperately sensual, in thrall to her own carnal nature and, though she loves her husband, questioning her ability to remain faithful to him after less than a year of marriage.

Salvation comes in the form of 18 year old schoolboy Jason, who literally drops into her lap when she is sunbathing in her backyard one afternoon. Though tall, good looking and an accomplished sportsman, Jason is (surprisingly but conveniently) untutored in the ways of the flesh, something Emma sets out to rectify over the course of the book.

One of The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings’ most impressive achievements in this regard is how Walker establishes the sexual tension between the characters early in chapter one, then not only sustains, but mercilessly ratchets it up, for the remaining 250 or so pages.

After the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY phenomenon, it is refreshing to find a female erotica lead who is older, experienced and very much in touch with her sexuality. Quite deeply in touch, as some scenes reveal, but I digress. More interestingly, Emma, like her Jane Austen namesake, is intelligent, self-assured, forthright, scheming and definitely likes to get involved in the lives of her neighbours. Walker’s occasional asides through Emma’s eyes on the nature of monogamy or Australian politics or the particular private school type peculiar to Sydney’s north shore are witty and subversive, a delight to read.

Still, that’s not why you buy erotica, is it? Perhaps I should just say then that yes, the book is filthy, arousing, and features plenty of tabs and slots, with the two sequels to be released later this year and in 2013 promising even greater levels of depravity. Walker – and Emma – are women to watch. I predict The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings will sell like hot cocks. Sorry, cakes.

Read more about THE SECRET LIVES OF EMMA: BEGINNINGS >

Read a free sample chapter >

Kylie Ladd is a novelist and freelance writer.

Her essays and articles have appeared in The Age, Griffith Review, Etchings, O magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Medicine and Readers Digest, among others.

She is the author of LAST SUMMER and AFTER THE FALL.

Visit Booktopia’s Kylie Ladd author page for more details

Follow Kylie on Twitter here

Follow Natasha on Twitter here

COMING IN OCTOBER 2012: Book Two

The Secret Lives of Emma: DISTRACTIONS

On the outside Emma Benson is a nice, respectable wife in the suburbs.

But on the inside she’s brimming with uninhibited desires – ones she occasionally can’t help acting upon…

Now, while on a relaxing break at a friend’s beach house, the seed of an exciting new fantasy has planted itself in her mind.

She loves her handsome husband, David.

She loves her beautiful best friend, Sally.

She will invite them both to come play in her secret, sensual world…

Click here to order 
The Secret Lives of Emma: Distractions

from Booktopia, Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

ALL AUSTRALIAN THRILLS: Destined to Play by Indigo Bloome

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Step aside, Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s a new name in steamy fiction.

Enter Destined to Play, the first in a three-book series that has seen first-time Australian author Indigo Bloome land herself in the position of a six-figure book deal.

The first in the Avalon trilogy may be Australia’s answer to the Anastasia Steele plot that has blown open the hunger for erotic fiction – and Destined looks set to please those who enjoyed the escapism afforded by the raunchy BDSM of Fifty Shades.

The book is being “rushed” into print after pre-orders in iTunes saw the title, announced on May 24, shoot straight to 7th on Apple iBooks bestsellers’ chart. It debuted at number two in the romance category and went on sale on July 1 read more

Read Indigo Bloome’s answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions

About Destined to Play: A 36-year-old psychologist specialising in visual perception comes to Sydney to give a series of lectures and meets up with Dr Jeremy Quinn, an ex-lover whom she hasn’t seen for years. After a few glasses of champagne in his luxurious hotel penthouse, he presents her with an intriguing offer: stay with him for the next 48 hours and accept two extraordinary conditions.

She knows he will challenge her every inhibition, but she soon finds herself seduced into a level of surrender – and danger – she could never have imagined .

Destined to Play is the first book in the Avalon trilogy exploring the intricate relationships between trust and betrayal, desire and love, risk …and reward.

If you liked Fifty Shades of Grey, you will love Destined to Play.

Click here to buy Destined to Play

Trailer:

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