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: 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: 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: 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