Operation Honey Bee


by - February 27th, 2014

There’s a second, complementary element to Operation Chooken, which I blogged about yesterday. Entitled Operation Honey Bee (are you sensing a theme?), I’m about to learn beekeeping. For environmental reasons. Bees are in trouble worldwide. Pesticides and mites are wiping them out at frightening rates, and what few humans seem to truly grasp that if […]



Review – After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman


by - February 26th, 2014

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Laura Lippman delivers another absorbing thriller that sucks you in with vivid characters and great plotting. Inspired by a true story of a Baltimore mobster who went missing in the 1970s while under house arrest, Lippman does what she does best, sees a side to the story more interesting than the headline, the people left […]



Operation Chooken


by - February 25th, 2014

Reinventing the Chicken Coop

I’ve been absent from blogging for a bit not because I didn’t have a billion books I wanted to write about, but because I’ve been buried in an ever-deepening sea of study. I’ve surfaced now, having passed some crucial milestones. I’d like to say I’m feeling fresh and perky, but I’m really just feeling wholly […]



Player Profile: Tony Cavanaugh, author of The Train Rider


by - February 25th, 2014

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Tony Cavanaugh, author of The Train Rider Tell us about your latest creation: It’s called The Train Rider and is the third in the Darian Richards series of novels that I began a few years ago. The Train Rider is a serial killer in Melbourne – Darian was unable to catch him and that failure tore at him […]



Player Profile: P.M. Newton, author of Beams Falling


by - February 24th, 2014

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P.M. Newton, author of Beams Falling Tell us about your latest creation: Beams Falling. The novel is set in the early 1990s when drugs and violence began to tear apart the fragile refugee community that had  put down roots in the outer south-western Sydney suburb of Cabramatta. The press reports of the day refer to the ‘wall of silence’ […]



Review – Beams Falling by P.M. Newton


by - February 24th, 2014

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Ex-cop P.M. Newton burst onto the Australian crime writing scene four years ago with her impressive debut The Old School. Newton’s distinctive style and experience brought a point of view sadly missing from most Australian crime novels. And the introduction of Detective Nhu ‘Ned’ Kelly was a welcome change from the usual clichéd lead character in […]



Review – FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL by Sheri Fink


by - February 19th, 2014

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The disaster that was Hurricane Katrina meets the disaster that is the American healthcare system. There is something about Hurricane Katrina and it’s aftermath that continues to fascinate me, even nine years on from the disaster. The storm and the subsequent flooding of New Orleans exposed a part of America that is often hidden, ignored […]



5q Interview with Gerry Bobsien, author of Surf Ache


by - February 18th, 2014

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Gerry Bobsien is a writer, surfer and reluctant ballet mother. She has worked as a blacksmith in an industrial forge in Melbourne making tools and large architectural works and as a curator and director of an arts centre. She grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney and then via everywhere else now lives in […]



Recent Book Trailers


by - February 17th, 2014

My Life

The other day I came across of couple of really innovative and entertaining book trailers… both from the same author. I wanted to share these trailers, and others, so I thought it was time for another post about book trailers — after all, it’s been over twelve months since I last posted on this topic […]



Review – I Love You Night and Day


by - February 17th, 2014

I Love you Night and Day

Okay, so I’ve missed the love boat on the Valentine’s Day cruise again this year. Who says we can only share bad love puns and schmaltz on just one specific day of the year? Cue, I Love You Night and Day, by popular London writer Smriti Prasadam-Halls and UK illustrator, Alison Brown, which by the […]



5Q Interview with Vanessa Stubbs, author of Star Attraction


by - February 14th, 2014

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Vanessa Stubbs is an entertainment and fashion reporter for MX newspaper, and has interviewed many Hollywood actors, including Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington. She has also worked as a News Limited journalist as a general reporter and medical reporter for the Daily Telegraph. Star Attraction is her first novel. Can you remember the first story you ever […]



Review – You Will Never Find Me by Robert Wilson


by - February 13th, 2014

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Robert Wilson is a master thriller writer and he proves it again with his new novel. You Will Never Find Me picks up right where Capital Punishment ended which is a challenge in itself. Wilson give himself no time to ease into the story, reintroduce characters or build tension and still pulls off an exceptional page-turner. At the end of Capital […]



Review – Fire


by - February 10th, 2014

Fire

My first glimpse of the flamed-licked cover of Fire, sparked a considerable amount of emotion. Growing up close to the Adelaide foothills meant scorching childhood summers were unfortunately often synonymous with phrases such as Ash Wednesday and Black Friday. A couple of years ago I was inextricably moved by the heart-rending picture book recount of […]



Review – Capital Punishment by Robert Wilson


by - February 8th, 2014

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I am a huge Robert Wilson fan. From the dark and sweltering Bruce Medway series set in West Africa to the dark and bloody Javier Falcón series set in Seville, Wilson’s thrillers have always been a perfect blend of atmosphere, tension and dark secrets from the past. So for his new thriller he enters new territory; […]



Review – Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson


by - February 4th, 2014

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There have been a plethora of books on the brain; how it changes, how to rewire it, what it can do and how we still know hardly anything about it. At the same time there has been much written about the growth of The Internet, social media and advances in computer technology and how this […]



Review- In The Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty


by - February 4th, 2014

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Every great trilogy knocks you out with the first one, takes it up a notch with the second one and then blows you away with the final chapter. There a few great trilogies. Many fail at the second hurdle let alone the final one. But not Adrian McKinty. The Sean Duffy books are a truly […]



Review – I Wanna Be a Pretty Princess


by - February 3rd, 2014

Pretty Princess 2

OK, the child is back at school. It’s still primary school but we’re at the senior end now – the business end. No more coaxing along or mincing words. Fortunately she still adores being read to, so every day we still share glorious minutes together in worlds garnished extravagantly with pictures. Yes, I am a […]



Player Profile: Boyd Anderson, author of The Heart Radical


by - February 3rd, 2014

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Boyd Anderson, author of The Heart Radical Tell us about your latest creation: ‘The Heart Radical’ is, at its heart (ahem), an exploration of the truth of the Jesuit saying about giving them a child for 7 years and they will deliver the man. (I wonder if they are still saying that!)  It takes place during the Malayan […]



How I Discovered Peter Temple


by - February 2nd, 2014

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I first discovered Peter Temple with THE BROKEN SHORE and was blown away. I have to admit to a bit of cultural cringe when it comes to Australian writing in the crime genre but Peter Temple has completely and utterly broken this down. I discovered THE BROKEN SHORE via my favourite UK crime writer, John […]



Player Profile: Chris Muir, author of A Savage Garden


by - January 29th, 2014

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Chris Muir, author of A Savage Garden Tell us about your latest creation: It’s a powerful, thought -provoking and action-packed thriller set in the lawless wilds of the Congo. A Savage Garden takes you inside the Congo’s secret wars and one man’s battle to save the child soldiers who fight them. I’m originally from Brisbane…about a bazillion years ago. […]



Review – Aussie Day Reads


by - January 23rd, 2014

Midnight

With only a few more sleeps till another day of flag flying and fly swatting, it’s time to dig out the meat pies, ice the lamingtons and chill the beers. Australia Day means different things to different Aussies but the sense of camaraderie is an underlying similarity in us all. There are dozens of Australian […]



Re-Reading The Little Friend by Donna Tartt


by - January 20th, 2014

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After reading The Goldfinch I knew I had to re-read Donna Tartt’s previous two books. After re-reading The Secret History it was The Little Friend’s turn. A lot of people have commented to me that they loved The Secret History but were not fans of The Little Friend. I distinctly remember loving it the first time around so beyond the fact that The Little […]



Kevin Burgemeestre’s Kate


by - January 15th, 2014

Kate

Kate is Kevin Burgemeestre’s first novel. Mind you, Burgemeestre is no stranger to the publishing industry, having illustrated numerous books, including Hazel Edwards’s Antarctic Dad. He is an accomplished illustrator… but what’s he like as a novelist? Kate is a YA novel about a teenage girl who unwittingly becomes the target of some pretty shady […]



Turns a Popular Genre Completely on it’s Head


by - January 14th, 2014

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Review – The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey What a book to kick off 2014! This book totally blew me away from the first page. It is definitely one of those books where the less you know about it the more you are going to enjoy it. So I am going to […]



Review – Lilli-Pilli’s Sister


by - January 13th, 2014

Lilli Pilli's Sister

Not another Zombie story! Well, not that I don’t mind a dose of eye-bulging, brain-slurping fun now and then, but, “When was the last time you read a really nice story about fairies?”, so asked my other half when reading Lilli-Pilli’s Sister for the first time. “It’s full of heart and joy,” he added. “And […]



Review – Lulu Bell and the Moon Dragon


by - January 6th, 2014

Lulu Bell Cubby and Moon Dragon

Memories of school holidays for me involved curling up in a cool corner somewhere in the backyard with my friends. I was pretty tight with Trixie Beldon in those days but always had more of an affiliation with animals than solving mysteries. If Lulu Bell had been around some 38 years ago, she would have […]



2013 in Review


by - January 4th, 2014

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Happy New Year, dear readers! At the end of each year I write a blog post summing up the year that was. Well… 2014 has begun and so it is time for me to look back on 2013. It was a busy year for me in terms of writing. But not a great year in […]



Player Profile: Geena Leigh, author of Call Me Sasha


by - January 3rd, 2014

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Geena Leigh, author of Call Me Sasha What is the name of your latest creation? Tell us all about it: ‘Call Me Sasha’ is the first book I’ve written, it is a non-fiction memoir. It is described as: ‘The inspirational account of one woman’s journey from sexual abuse through prostitution to eventual salvation. It is […]



Player Profile: Loretta Hill, author of The Girl in the Yellow Vest


by - January 3rd, 2014

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Loretta Hill, author of The Girl in the Yellow Vest Tell us about your latest creation: The Girl in the Yellow Vest. (Out Jan 2014) Set on the glorious Queensland coast, it’s all about falling in love with the wrong guy. Where are you from / where do you call home?: I’m from Perth and I still call […]



Player Profile: Candice Fox, author of Hades


by - January 2nd, 2014

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Candice Fox, author of Hades Tell us about your latest creation: Hades is Book One of the Bennett/Archer series, and is available December(ish) 2013 with Random House. Hades Archer, the man they call the Lord of the Underworld, surrounds himself with the things others leave behind. Their trash becomes the twisted sculptures that line his junkyard. The bodies they […]



The Hospital By The River


by - December 24th, 2013

The Hospital By The River

‘The fistula patients will break your heart’ were the prescient words a doctor spoke to Drs Reg and Catherine Hamlin soon after they arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Another later said: ‘Nothing can equal the gratitude of the woman who, wearied by constant pain and desperate with the realisation that her very presence is an […]



12 Years A Slave


by - December 19th, 2013

12 Years A Slave

‘Whoa,’ I wrote on Facebook. ‘I think films that make you do the ugly cry should come with added lights-down time at the end to regroup and cucumber slices to reduce your eye puff. Just previewed 12 Years A Slave. It’s exceptional and must-see, but is unapologetically unrelenting.’ 12 Years A Slave is a film […]



Five Faves for the Festive Season


by - December 18th, 2013

How to make small things with VM

Make that, FIVE SIX FAVES FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON It’s that time of the year when making wise gift choices can be as bewildering as wiring up your home with fairy lights. Nearly every title I review for kids is deserving of a place on the book shelf. Here are some extras worth stocking up […]



Perfect reading for this time of year.


by - December 16th, 2013

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Book Review – The Gods of Guilt I can distinctly remember reading John Grisham as a teenager and really getting into the legal thriller but as his books began to resemble movie pitches rather than novels and as I began to discover more authors and other books I drifted away. When I got back into […]



Typography Games To Procrastinate By


by - December 14th, 2013

I have the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast to thank for this blog post. And to blame for helping me procrastinate well beyond the point of it being ok. Without it, I wouldn’t have discovered that Mashable has scoured the interwebs to collate the best typography slash font games around. Yep, typography slash font games. As […]



If you are growing weary with The Walking Dead this is the boost you need.


by - December 13th, 2013

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Book Review – World War Z After watching the film, and being pleasantly surprised, despite all the production/screenplay problems it was rumoured to have had, I thought I should check out the original. The movie was a welcome change from the slow (slow) burn of The Walking Dead and even though the book’s zombies were […]



A Couple of Pages Podcast Episode 2 – Hunger Games, The Light Between Oceans and The Gods of Guilt


by - December 12th, 2013

Podcast Logo

Episode 2 – Hunger Games, The Light Between Oceans and The Gods of Guilt 0.00 Intro Music – Hello It’s Me by Todd Rundgren https://play.spotify.com/track/1nLqjrYXdtiol3Bo5PazCI 0.11 Hello and Welcome 0.22 All Things Hunger Games 0.46 Gregor The Overlander (  buy here ) 0.55 When Charlie McButton Lost Power ( buy here ) Hunger Games (  buy here ) […]



Five Faves from Afar


by - December 9th, 2013

Dragon Loves Penguin

Summer has nudged spring well and truly out of the garden but there’s still time to sit back, cool off and relax with this month’s Fave Five. Five sweet, syrupy offerings to help you remember the mellifluous moments of last season before we dive head first into the next silly one… “Wake Up Do, Lydia […]



The Little Veggie Patch Co.


by - December 9th, 2013

The Little Veggie Patch Co.

My career choices of ‘writer’ and ‘editor’ hint that I’m rather text-driven. So book design has to be pretty spectacular to warrant any or all of my attention. Suffice to say, The Little Veggie Patch Co.: How to grow food in small spaces is pretty spectacular. As in gorgeous, award-winning-worthy, I-want-to-eat-it, I’m-in-awe beautiful. But in […]



For a debut this book is just astonishing


by - December 3rd, 2013

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Book Review – The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton After reading The Luminaries there was no way I wasn’t going to go back and read Eleanor Catton’s first novel. Book covers are often filled with blurbs (some more than others) and there is often a lot of hyperbole flying around. However after reading this book there […]