AWW 2015 round up post



AWW 2015 in review

So, this is my annual AWW round up post(2014’s is here) where I show you all the books that I read for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge for 2015.

I pledged to read at the Franklin level (10 reads), and I surpassed that, with a total of 13 books read.

Here they are in the order that I wrote them.

  1. Aurealis Issue #76 – Meryl Stenhouse and Melanie Rees. My Review
  2. Captive Prince: Volume One – C. S. Pacat. My Review
  3. Aurealis Issue #77 – Rebecca-Anne C. Do Rozario. My Review
  4. Koven – Vanessa Skye. My Review
  5. Sacred Striptease – Tahlia Newland. My Review
  6. The Lost Swimmer – Ann Turner. My Review
  7. The Bellamy Bird – Clare Havens. My Review
  8. Poisoned Waters – Ermisenda Alvarez. My Review
  9. Finding Home – Lauren K. McKellar. My Review
  10. The Secret Years – Barbara Hannay. My Review
  11. Love, Desire and Betrayal – Margaret Lynette Sharp. My Review
  12. Capturing the Pirate’s Heart – Annie Seaton. My Review
  13. Captive Prince: Volume Two – C. S. Pacat. My Review

My absolute favourite this year was the last one I read: Captive Prince: Volume Two – C. S. Pacat

I’m planning to sign up for AWW 2016 in the next few days so keep an eye out for my pledge post.

If you want to join in the fun, you can too by checking out the Australian Women Writers site (

Review: Sacred Striptease



Read on June 24, 2015

Synopsis: Ex-ballet dancer Lexie is a stripper on the suburban pub circuit. She loves her enthusiastic audiences, unless they’re like The Creep. His chilling presence reveals her vulnerability and makes her rethink what she does for a living. This short story raises important gender issues.

Bookish Things: 19 pages. The cover is simple, but a nice tie into the book.

Where to buy: Unfortunately this doesn’t look like it’s available through Amazon anymore.

My Review: 

Bookshelves: aussie-authors, amazon-freebie, aww2015indie-author, 4-star-review, smirk-worthy, made-me-think, too-short

I am not sure what to say about this naughty, cheeky and sinfully delightful short story by Tahlia.


I had come to expect young adult, or new adult mysticism tinged tales. But this, this story is raw and emotional, heartening and a bit scary at the same time.

I was amazed at just how much character Tahlia packed into this tiny story. In just 19 pages Tahlia weaved a swift net to capture the reader and make them sit up and take notice of this intriguing profession.

And, because Tahlia likes to ensure her readers have something important to think on when they finish reading her work, this time her focus is on gender issues. Society’s views on the stripping profession, what it means to be a stripper, who those that watch strip shows are, and quite a few others.

So, while this story is only 19 pages long, it’ll keep you thinking long after you’ve finished it.

Flawlessly edited again, as is expected from Tahlia. So, the only reason this doesn’t get 5 stars from me is the lack of a solid ending. This, I feel, will be a personal choice of each reader. The softer ending will please some, and annoy others. To me, there were too many unanswered questions. It felt unfinished to me.

**Note: Since getting this book, it has been removed from Amazon**

Review: Capturing the Pirate’s Heart


2 stars

Read from October 22 to 25, 2015

Synopsis: When Madeleine Bellerose sets out from her English manor on her quest to recover a priceless family heirloom in New Orleans, the last thing she expects is to be held captive by the infamous pirate, Sebastien Le Clerc.
Will Sebastien mend his wicked ways and help Madeleine in her quest?

Can love overcome the lack of trust and the web of lies that is spun in the race to find the emerald necklace?

Bookish Things: 200 pages of ocean-misted, pirate-filled adventures. The cover looks a little ‘home-made’ and could do with a bit of a spruce, but it is quite fitting for the story.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $2.85 or paperback for $12.99. Continue reading

Review: Love, Desire and Betrayal


2 stars

Read from October 12 to 14, 2015

Synopsis: Four young women: Michaela, Sally, Amelia and Lauren. All Australian. All destined to find that the course of real love is not smooth sailing.

Four separate tales touching on a universal goal.

Will career ambitions jeopardize their futures?

Michaela, A gifted student of music, is offered a long-hoped-for scholarship to study in London. Can the budding love between herself and Thomas be sustained over the miles?

Sally, a senior high-school student, finds that love is tested when her fiance begins his medical studies. Will their love survive?

Amelia, whose career ambitions have become a dominant force in her life, finds that married life with Steven is fraught with difficulties.

Lauren, young and vulnerable, finds her life undergoes a steep learning curve as she realises that there is life after a broken romance. Continue reading

Review: The Secret Years by Barbara Hannay



Read from September 14 to 22, 2015

Synopsis: When Lucy Hunter stumbles upon her grandfather Harry’s World War II memorabilia, she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as ‘George’ and a series of heartfelt letters. They are clues about the secret years, a period of Lucy’s family history that has been kept a mystery . . . until now.

How did a cattleman from north Queensland find forbidden love with the Honourable Georgina Lenton of London and persuade her to move to his isolated outback property? And why are the effects of this encounter still reverberating in the lives of Lucy and her mother, Rose, now?

As the passions of the past trickle down the years, three generations of one family pull together. Each must learn in their own way how true love can conquer the greatest challenges of all.

From the wild beauty of the Australian bush to England’s rugged south coast, this is a deeply moving story of heartbreak, heroism and homecoming by a beloved, multi-award-winning author. Continue reading

Review: Captive Prince Volume Two



Read from December 01 to 06, 2015 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Synopsis: With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master Prince Laurent must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot. Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow . . .

Bookish Things: 342 pages. This is book 2 in the trilogy, book 3 is scheduled to be released on 2 February 2016. My review of book 1. This cover is simplistic, some of the other covers are more detailed and have era specific items on them (swords etc). I like the subdued cover of this… it leaves so much room for the book to fill in the blanks. Continue reading