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: Sleeping Dogs


Sleeping Dogs by Sonya Hartnett

3 stars

Read on 9th June, 2020

Synopsis: When a stranger enters a family’s midst and insists on discovering all of their darkest secrets, the family begins a slow and painful descent into decay and madness. By the author of Wilful Blue.

Bookish Things: 144 pages. The cover is a bit obscure, but I do like it. It’s not the most eye catching cover though.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $9.99 and paperback for $14.63.

My Review:

that was sooo horrible

I am at a loss for words.

This was a gritty and brutal look into a damaged family. Both mentally and physically damaged, the Willow’s are at the same time inexplicably close and immensely lonely beings. The glimpse into their lives is tragic and taboo, covering a raft of events that all lead to a horrific conclusion.

I shudder to think that there are families like this out there, but know, sadly, that there are.

This book, which is deliciously written, will leave you feeling dirty for having read its pages. I am thankful in one breath that it only has just over 100 pages, but at the same time wishing for many more chapters of the artistry of Hartnett’s words.

Absolutely not a HEA (Happily Ever After), and very little in the way of happy moments explored within the pages, I wouldn’t read this one if you’re having a bad day or week. But if you’re in the mood for deliciously devious and stunning writing, then pick up this book and give it a try.

This is marked as YA, but I would be hesitant to give it to a young person. The themes and topics covered are quite adult in nature even though they’re not explicitly discussed or described. Definitely one for the adults to read first to gauge if appropriate for your young person.

Review: Welcome to Orphancorp


Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward

five-stars 5 stars

Read from 14 – 15 June, 2017

Synopsis: Winner of the 2015 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize

‘Takes all of your dystopian nightmares and connects them to a mother lode of pure emotional intensity. There’s so much keen detail here about the cruel logic of oppressive institutions, you’ll feel Mirii’s yearning for freedom in your bones – and you’ll rejoice at every tiny moment of escape that she achieves. Welcome to Orphancorp is harrowing, scarily real, and ultimately super moving.’ – Charlie Jane Anders (i09)

‘Punchy, crunchy, sexy and smart, Welcome to Orphancorp is a short, sharp shock of a story with bruised-but-not-broken characters and a bonsai dystopia you can actually believe in. Marlee Jane Ward is a writer of heart and passion, muscle and slow-burning anger.’ – Ian McDonald

Welcome to Orphancorp is an intimate, heartfelt story set in the darkest of places. I can’t stop thinking about these characters.’ – Kij Johnson

‘An object lesson in how to dehumanise young people by locking them up and depriving them of all warmth and care – has never been more timely. This gritty, greasy story is peppered with violence and lit with the slenderest shafts of affection and hope. It will make your jaw clench with fear for the indomitable Mirii Mahoney, and your fist punch the air at her every tiny victory.’ – Margo Lanagan Continue reading

Review: Heart of the Country


Heart of the Country by Tricia Stringer

five-stars 5 stars

Read from 23-24 April, 2017

Synopsis: Heart of the Country is the first book in an epic historical saga of three Australian families. Spanning several generations, this epic tells the story of the Baker, Smith and Wiltshire families forging their paths in a land both beautiful and unforgiving.

Lives are intertwined by love and community then ripped apart by hate and greed but remain always bound to the land they love…

1846. Newly arrived from England, Thomas Baker is young, penniless and alone. Eager to make his mark on this strange new place called South Australia, he accepts work as an overseer on a distant sheep property, believing this will be the opportunity he seeks. But when Thomas’s path crosses that of ex-convict, Septimus Wiltshire — a grasping con man hell bent on making a new life for himself and his family at any price — trouble is on the horizon.

But Thomas is made of stern stuff and his fortunes take a turn for the better when he meets spirited farmer’s daughter Lizzie Smith, and soon he envisages their future together.

But this land is like no other he has encountered: both harsh and lovely, it breaks all but the strongest. When his nemesis intervenes once more and drought comes, Thomas finds himself tested almost beyond endurance with the risk of losing everything he and Lizzie have worked for… even their lives. Continue reading