And the winners of the Rachael Johns, Belinda Alexandra and Jacqueline Harvey comps are……

The Winners of High Tea with Rachael Johns at The Tea Cosy, The Rocks NSW:

C.Walters, Berkeley Vale, NSW
K.Donkin, Baulkham Hills,NSW
S.Dawson, Corrimal, NSW
V.Collins, North Richmond, NSW
C. Stevens, Flinders, NSW

outback-blazeOutback Blaze by Rachael Jones

*For a limited time only, order Outback Blaze and you will receive a signed copy. Hurry, stocks won’t last!

Ruby wasn’t looking for love, Drew wasn’t looking to stay… until they found each other. Can their fling survive the darkness of Ruby’s past and Drew’s desire to move on?

Ruby Jones was always an optimist, but the trauma of her past had made her wary. So when she flees to the small rural community of Bunyip Bay to start afresh, she has her sights firmly set on establishing her horse-riding business and rebuilding her life. The last thing Ruby wants is a romance. In fact, after all she has been through, she can’t imagine she will ever believe in love again.

Police officer Drew Noble has no intention of staying in Bunyip Bay — he is just an outsider seeking temporary refuge. But as the charm of the town sways him, Drew finds himself increasingly drawn to

high tea 1

the community and its inhabitants, as well as another newcomer, the lovely Ruby Jones.

When Drew investigates a suspicious fire at Ruby’s parents’ business, he finds himself feeling strangely protective of the girl with the flowers in her hair. As the details of Ruby’s past emerge and she comes once more under threat, Drew realises he will do all in his power to save her.

Soon these outsiders discover they have both lost their hearts — not only to the town but to each other.

Grab a copy of Outback Blaze here

The Runners-up received a Book Pack from Harlequin featuring 10 books!:

N.West , Redland Bay, QLD
J.Briggs, Laverton, WA
S.Southgate , Murwillumbah, NSW
J.Darlington, Lameroo,SA
K.John , Wee Waa, NSW


The Winner of Belinda Alexandra’s signed Book Pack is:

J.Pfeiffer, Carrington, NSW

sapphire-skies

Sapphire Skies by Belinda Alexandra

A love bigger than a war. A beautiful woman lost. A mystery unsolved … until now.

2000: The wreckage of a downed WWII fighter plane is discovered in the forests near Russia’s Ukrainian border.
The aircraft belonged to Natalya Azarova, ace pilot and pin-up girl for Soviet propaganda, but the question of her fate remains unanswered. Was she a German spy who faked her own death,
as the Kremlin claims? Her lover, Valentin Orlov, now a highly-decorated general, refuses to believe it. Lily, a young Australian woman, has moved to Moscow to escape from tragedy.

She becomes fascinated by the story of Natalya, and when she meets an elderly woman who claims to know the truth behind the rumours, Lily is drawn deeper into the mystery. From the
pomp and purges of Stalin’s Russia through the horrors of war and beyond – secrets and lies, enduring love and terrible betrayal, sacrifice and redemption all combine in this sweeping saga
from Belinda Alexandra.

Grab a copy of Sapphire Skies here


The Winner of Book pack containing both the Clementine-Rose and Alice-Miranda series signed by Jacqueline Harvey is:

L.Do, Mansfield Park, SA

Jacqueline HarveyJHarvey

Jacqueline Harvey’s bestselling Alice-Miranda series began as an idea for a picture book but it soon became apparent that this perpetually positive seven-and-a-quarter-year-old had a lot more to say.

The series has been sold to the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia and Turkey and has been shortlisted for children’s book awards in Australia. Her first and only picture book, The Sound of the Sea was an Honour Book in the 2006 Children’s Book Council Awards.

Jacqueline has spent most of her working life teaching in girls’ boarding schools and has been a Deputy Head and Director of Development. She is passionate about improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students.

Jacqueline lives in Sydney with her husband Ian and is currently working on Alice-Miranda’s next adventure as well as an exciting spin-off series for younger readers about a sweet little girl called Clementine Rose.

 Click here to visit Jacqueline Harvey’s author page

Five Books Every Man Should Read – From Jacqueline Harvey

This September we’re launching Operation GMR, Get Men Reading. To celebrate, we’ve asked some of our favourite Australian authors to give us Five Books Every Man Should Read.

Today’s guest is the one of Australia’s most loved children’s authors, Jacqueline Harvey.


Bridge to Terabithia

by Katherine Paterson

As a children’s author it seems only right to offer up a children’s book as my first suggestion.

This one’s a classic about an unlikely friendship between a young boy and girl and his courage when faced with immense loss.  All boys should read this.

Click here for more details


The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

This book offers a very different take on a much written about subject; World War Two.

The characters are beautifully drawn and the storyline compelling.

Click here for more details


The Secret Keeper

by Kate Morton

This book has a great plot, fabulous twist, strong female characters and when I recommended it to my husband (who loves Lee Child and Vince Flynn) he couldn’t put it down.

Click here for more details


Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

This is a big story of tremendous determination in the face of extraordinary adversity.  Martel takes the reader on an incredible journey.

And in my humble opinion the movie was great too.

Click here for more details


AWW Cook

How to Cook Absolutely Everything

Because every man needs to know the basics!

Click here for more details


Bonus Book!

Anything by Lee Child

I’m throwing in a sixth suggestion – because every man loves a hero and Lee Child does the hero, action, intrigue genre better than most.

Click here for more details


Jacqueline Harvey, author of Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor, answers Six Sharp Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jacqueline Harvey

author of Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor and The Alice-Miranda Series

Six Sharp Questions

 ——————————————

1.    Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?

Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor sees the launch of a whole set of new characters; who I completely adore.  Clemmie, as she’s affectionately known has some lovely quirks.  She recites poems that Uncle Digby, the family butler (but more like a beloved great uncle) teaches her and she can frequently be found performing for her grandparents (well, at least their portraits on the wall).  Clementine has a penchant for fashion and an unfortunate way of getting into trouble despite the best of intentions.  She also has a very sweet tea cup pig called Lavender.  When her scary great aunt Violet arrives unexpectedly, the household is thrown into disarray. What is it that Aunt Violet really wants and what is she carrying in her mysterious black bag?

This book is the start of a new series and there will be some interaction between these characters and the characters in the Alice-Miranda series.  Clementine lives in a village called Penberthy Floss and avid readers of Alice-Miranda will know that name from the second Alice-Miranda adventure, when she goes home for the holidays.  Clementine will also attend Ellery Prep School, where Alice-Miranda went before she took herself off to boarding school.  One of Clemmie’s best friends is Poppy Bauer who lives on the farm at Alice-Miranda’s parent’s property, Highton Hall.  I’m looking forward to writing Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose’s first meeting, which I anticipate happening in Clemmie’s fourth book and Alice-Miranda’s eighth. Click here to buy Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor.

2.    Time passes. Things change. What are the best and worst moments that you have experienced in the past year or so?

This year has been an extraordinary one as I took four months leave from my full time job and travelled, first in Australia promoting Alice-Miranda and then to the United States and United Kingdom, where I worked in 37 schools and met thousands of students.  I have been fortunate to secure contracts for the Alice-Miranda series in the US and UK (and translation rights in Indonesia and Turkey) and Clementine Rose will also be published in the UK too.  Having the opportunity to travel and write and meeting amazing people has been an obvious highlight of the year.  When we were in the UK we stumbled upon the derelict mansion that I’ve used as inspiration for Caledonia Manor in the Alice-Miranda series.  It was definitely one of those ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ moments as I had no idea where the house was, other than somewhere in Shropshire – which is a fairly large county with an abundance of derelict mansions.  We were ultimately able to look through all 100 rooms of the house and tour the grounds as well.  We were there four times and it really felt like there was a very strange connection between us and the house.  We then spent a week in Paris on the way home which was fantastic as I’m currently writing Alice-Miranda in Paris.  I blogged about the trip at http://jacquelineharvey.blogspot.com

It was a wonderful surprise to return home and find that Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor has been included in the Get Reading Program for 2012.  I’m so grateful for the momentum of the Alice-Miranda series and the opportunity to continue writing her books and now Clementine Rose as well.

3.    Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us? It doesn’t need to be deep but it would be great if it meant something to you.

It’s really a quote that I’ve stolen from a very good friend of mine who is oft heard to say, ‘don’t waste a minute,’ and I suppose it’s become a bit of a mantra of mine too.  Life is short and you really don’t want to wake up in ten or twenty years’ time and wonder why you didn’t give something a go or why you wasted time on something that you didn’t love doing.  It’s not about filling every moment of your day, but it’s about deciding what’s important to you and making sure that you focus on those things and do what makes you feel happiest and most fulfilled.  To that end I’ve recently made the big decision to become a full time writer and speaker, giving up my job as Director of Development at Abbotsleigh at the end of October.  I adore working at the school and have been there for over 11 years but after touring the US and UK and meeting loads of kids and visiting many schools, I realised that this is what I really want to do.  It has taken a long time to get to the point that I could contemplate writing as a full time career, and I feel so fortunate that I can take that path now – I’m not going to miss a minute and fully intend to make the most of every opportunity.

4.    Writers have often been described as being difficult to live with. Do you conform to the stereotype or defy it? Please tell us a little about the day to day of your writing life.

I don’t think I conform to the stereotype at all – well most of the time anyway.  Up until now my writing life has always happened in the evenings, on weekends and in break times.  When I’m working on a book, I tend to be extremely focused.  I like to write away from home if I can, so for the past couple of years my husband and I have gone to Port Macquarie, where we stay in an apartment overlooking the ocean.  I usually settle to a routine fairly quickly and if I’m distracted or stuck, I can go for a walk and get some sea air.  It seems to help.  When I’m in the zone I can write for hours and hours at a time and I definitely get caught up in the emotion of it all.  There are often tears and laughter and I love the feeling of being completely consumed by the writing.  I suppose there are times that I live a little through my characters – and that could be a somewhat strange thing.  My husband will invariably catch me when I’m reading aloud and using all the different voices, or laughing because for one moment I thought I was terribly funny.  But he keeps me grounded!

5.   Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).

I think ultimately all writers want to be read and certainly commercial success makes it easier to contemplate having a career in writing. I’m happiest with my writing when I’m completely in love with the characters and the stories.  Clementine Rose, like my previous character Alice-Miranda, is great to write because I adore her and I think that when you treasure your characters and really care about them, then hopefully that will be apparent to the readers too.  With the Clementine Rose and Alice-Miranda series’ I wanted to write stories that I know I would have loved as a child; with adventure, empowered kids, lots of food and some mysteries to unravel.  I don’t think I was looking for a gap in the market but I feel really fortunate that the books have been well received and children seem to connect with them.

6.   Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only five books with you. What do you take and why?

That’s a tricky question as there are so many amazing books.  I think I’d take The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, because I could help the students understand the power of language in the context of world war – and I wrote a really in-depth unit on the book a few years ago for the Quality Teacher Project so I know it well; The Bible, because no matter what you believe, there are so many universal stories played out and it would certainly allow for some interesting discussions on ethics, morality and belief systems;  To Kill A Mockingbird, because Atticus Finch is a man to admire and in that story there is a lot to talk about; a new book, that I read recently and loved called Wonder by RJ Palaccio, because Auggie is going to teach lots of kids about compassion and understanding and the not even yet thought about, Big Book of Clementine Rose and Alice-Miranda, because every day we’d need to be reminded of the power of positive thinking, the importance of friendship and the fun that can be had when there’s a mystery to be solved and a Devil’s Food cake to be consumed.

Jacqueline, thank you for playing.

Click here to buy Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

Jacqueline Harvey, author of the Alice-Miranda adventures, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jacqueline Harvey

author of the Alice-Miranda adventures

Ten Terrifying Questions

——————————

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

I was born in Fairfield NSW and lived in Ingleburn until I was nine then Camden until age 17. I attended Ingleburn Public School where I had possibly the scariest third grade teacher in the world. He kept a selection of canes in the corner cupboard and he wasn’t afraid to use them.

I was glad when I moved to Camden South Public School in the middle of Year 4 and into the classroom of possibly the most wonderful teacher on earth. She played music during class time and made Continue reading

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