ReBlog: Romance Round Up: November 2020 — Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog


As we move swiftly towards summer holidays and the Christmas season there are a great selection romance books that have been added to our AWW database by our well-read romance enthusiasts this past month. I hope you can pluck out at least one romance read from our generous spread this round up period to add…

Romance Round Up: November 2020 — Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

Reblog: Crime Fiction Round-Up: September-October 2020 — Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog


The year is running away from us fast and more than ever I’m finding that there are never enough hours for all the good books I want to read. This round-up sees me checking out a book that I have read and need to review, a book on my desk that I need to get…

Crime Fiction Round-Up: September-October 2020 — Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

AWW2020 Review: Crossing the Lines


Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill

Read from 4 – 30 August 2020.

Synopsis: When Madeleine d’Leon conjures Ned McGinnity as the hero in her latest crime novel, she makes him a serious writer simply because the irony of a protagonist who’d never lower himself to read the story in which he stars amuses her.

When Ned McGinnity creates Madeleine d’Leon, she is his literary device, a writer of detective fiction who is herself a mystery to be unravelled.
As Ned and Madeleine play out their own lives while writing the other’s story, they find themselves crossing the lines that divide the real and the imagined.

This is a story about two people trying to hold onto each other beyond reality.

Continue reading

Review: Passing Clouds ~ A winemaker’s journey


Passing Clouds by Graeme Leith

3 stars

Read from 1 – 4th July, 2020

Synopsis: Graeme Leith-electrician, Italophile and jack of all trades-joined Melbourne’s theatre collective at Carlton’s famously innovative Pram Factory theatre and said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was: Graeme Blundell, Jack Hibberd, Max Gillies and many others produced over 140 new Australian plays in ten years.

Like many of his generation, Graeme left suburban Australia in the 1950s, bound for London and Europe. After a stint in Britain’s atomic weapons industry he rode his Lambretta scooter to Perugia in Italy, where he had his first taste of ‘ethereal’ wine and fell in love.

But Graeme had also fallen for the idea of making wine, and in the mid-1970s he and his partner Sue Mackinnon established Passing Clouds, a vineyard in Victoria’s Spa Country that produced award-winning wines from the beginning.

Then tragedy struck. In 1984 Graeme’s beautiful and talented daughter Ondine and her boyfriend David vanished en route to the South Coast of New South Wales. Ten days later their ute was found in Kings Cross, where it had been abandoned by their killers.

Heartfelt and heartbreaking, humorous and hilarious, Passing Clouds tells of a life fully lived-a life embracing the experience of fatherhood, of triumph and disaster, of joy and tragedy, of ingenuity and sheer hard work and, above all, an unquenchable optimism. Continue reading

Review: Sex, Lies and Cruising


Sex, Lies and Cruising by Cathryn Chapman

2 stars

Read from 20-26 June, 2020

Synopsis: Exotic locations, sexy men, and crazy crew parties… Ellie has her dream job… or does she?

When Ellie’s fiancé cheats on her with a younger, slimmer, blonde from the office, she boots him out of her life and finds solace in a fabulous photography job aboard a Caribbean cruise ship. Twenty-four hours on board and she’s already shagged her sexy Texan colleague, who happens to love her muffin-top. Unfortunately he’s leaving in a week, and his ex-girlfriend, a hot-headed Brazilian with stripper moves right out of the 90s and a talent for stealing boyfriends, is still on board and out for revenge.

Ellie must work out how to deal with the loco ex, sort the lying scumbags from the good guys, and figure out how many crew members in a cabin it takes before officially becoming group sex. Who the hell knows? (It’s five, actually.) It’s a world completely unlike the one she left behind, but as she tries to find her place on board, Ellie discovers laughter and tears in equal measure. And in the midst of the craziness, she realises the greatest thing this lifestyle change has given her is the chance to rediscover herself. Continue reading

Review: The Book of Whispers


The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr

3 stars

Read from 13 – 23 October, 2017

Synopsis: Tuscany, 1096 AD. Luca, young heir to the title of Conte de Falconi, sees demons. Since no one else can see them, Luca must keep quiet about what he sees, or risk another exorcism by the nefarious priest Ramberti.

Luca also has dreams—dreams that sometimes predict the future. Night after night Luca sees his father murdered, and vows to stop it coming true. Even if he has to go against his father’s wishes and follow him on the great pilgrimage to capture the Holy Lands.

Far away in Cappadocia, Suzan has dreams too. Consigned with her mute mother to a life in an underground convent, she has a vision of a brown-haired boy riding through the desert. A boy with an ancient book that holds some inscrutable power. A boy who will take her on an adventure that will lead to places beyond both their understanding.

Together, Luca and Suzan will realise their true quest: to defeat the forces of man and demon that wish to destroy the world.

Kimberley Starr is a teacher and author based in Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies, won the 2003 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Author. She has a degree in mediaeval literature, and travelled through Turkey and Israel to research The Book of Whispers. Continue reading