Q&A With Author Karly Lane!

Happy new release to author Karly Lane! Ms Lane chats about her newest novel If Wishes Were Horses and what projects she is currently working on. If Wishes Were Horses is published by Allen & Unwin Australia, RRP $29.99.


What was your hardest scene to write?

There were a few scenes in this book that were a little difficult to write. The WW1 diary entries were emotional. The things these men endured are hard to imagine. The human spirit and what it can endure, is truely an amazing thing. However, probably the most difficult for me, personally to write, was the scene that revealed the fate of the 120,000 horses shipped overseas during WW1. As a horse lover, its difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that after everything these horses did for the war effort and the bond they developed with their riders–the government refused to bring them home and they were either sold to be used as farm animals or destroyed.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing If Wishes Were Horses?

I can’t think of anything we cut.

What is the first book that made you cry?

I think it would have to be Black Beauty.

What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?

I remember finding a dog-eared book in a second hand store once and it just jumped out at me. It was called The Showgirl and the Brumby by Lucy Lehmann. It was before rural fiction had kicked off and it had so much gritty, rural earthiness, humour about it. I really loved that book.

How many hours a day do you write?

I usually work to a 9-3 schedule fitting in with school hours for the kids. Some days I write most of that time, other days I might get sidetracked from actual writing by emails and other writing related chores, researching or edits arriving for other books.

What can reader’s expect next in your writing projects?

In December I have another book due, so there’ll be 2 books out again this year. It has some really relevant issues that effect not only rural, but all communities in Australia. The publisher hasn’t settled on a title at this point, but hopefully we’ll have one soon.


About If Wishes Were Horses by Karly Lane

Already struggling to come to terms with the tragic death of her husband, Sophie Bryant nearly loses her own life while attending a domestic dispute as a paramedic. Diagnosed with a mild form of post-traumatic stress disorder, Sophie decides to accept a posting to the remote township of Hilsons Ridge.

Soon after her arrival, Sophie decides on a whim to buy an old house on the outskirts of town. There, she discovers the diary of a light horse trooper from the First World War, which she finds fascinating.

Local vet, Zac Conway, is also struggling in the wake of losing his life partner. So when Sophie brings an abandoned horse to him for treatment and they get to know each other, Zac is surprised to feel emotions he never hoped to experience again.

The peace and tranquillity of living in her new community sees Sophie gradually recovering from her trauma and grief. As she discovers more about her farm’s history, she realises that the past and the present are irrevocably connected and, just like love, it waits for the right person to come along to unlock its secrets.

If Wishes Were Horses is a totally captivating novel combining romance and history with a dash of suspense.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Angus & Robertson  *  Kobo


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Q&A With Author Kirsty Manning!

kirstymanning_author_allenandunwinausToday’s feature post is my Q&A with author Kirsty Manning! Kirsty discusses her
book The Midsummer Garden, published by Allen & Unwin Australia and available now. Welcome to Talking Books Blog Kirsty!


How long have you been an author?

I started writing fiction about two years ago through an online writing course. I co-published a cookbook in 2010 (We Love Food), and had academic work published, but no fiction. Not even a short story!
But I have worked as a lifestyle features writers for about a decade. So I have lots of experience with writing place, food, design and capturing the essence of dialogue. You have to write pretty fast, and clean.
It’s funny, even though I’d been a jobbing writers for years, I couldn’t call myself a writer or author until I finished the fifth draft! Somewhere in among all the words I realised I just had to start believing in my story, and myself. Lo and behold, I became an author and wrote the book!


What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?

Finishing! On a more serious note, I find tweaking the plot, making both eras work as their own entity, then tie in with the other plot line quite a challenge. Somehow the book needs to find it’s own rhythm across both eras. I adore doing the research, but the challenge is to make sure that does not dictate the story. So you have to research the history in, then write so it feels natural. Or write a bit of plot, then find what history you need in there to make it believable. It’s give and take the whole way.
It’s a bit like putting together a jigsaw where you don’t know what shape the pieces are yet! But it’s an amazing feeling when it comes together.


Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing The Midsummer Garden?

Oh so many! There was a scene where Pip’s parents died in the very first unfinished draft. themidsummergarden_kirstymanningBut I decided that I loved them too much, so they had to stay!
There were a couple of other wonderful characters with subplots that went nowhere (in different countries) . But I think I’m keeping said characters for another book as they are still in my mind, willing me to write a story around them. Just goes to show you should never press ‘delete’. Save the bits you cut, you never know when they’ll inspire something very different.


On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Hmmm, well I’m writing my second book and I have given myself just under twelve months. I’m close to finishing the first draft, so should be fine. That’s where the fun starts, for me anyway. With historical fiction, there’s lots of facts to check and bits to be filled in. There’s always a surprise, and that is the delight of writing. It’s a wonderful way to fill the day.


What can readers expect next from your writing?

I want to give the reader a really sensual experience so there will be lots of travel. I am studying a different era (WWII) in different countries! I even managed a research trip.
I hope look forward to curling up and transporting themselves to other worlds. I love the beauty, symbolism and nostalgia of food-the way we connect it to place, family and friends. I’m interested in history of herbs and herbalism, and how plants can be used to heal. Gardens are also my happy place. You can tell a lot about a person, or a place/city/town/ by their gardens. And of course, the symbolism and metaphors around gardening are endless inspiration.
Readers who love those elements in my work can expect to find that in my next one.



About The Midsummer Garden by Kirsty Manning

themidsummergarden_kirstymanningTravelling between lush gardens in France, windswept coastlines of Tasmania, to Tuscan hillsides and beyond, The Midsummer Garden lures the reader on an unforgettable culinary and botanical journey.

1487 Artemisia is young to be in charge of the kitchens at Chateau de Boschaud but, having been taught the herbalists’ lore, her knowledge of how food can delight the senses is unsurpassed. All of her concentration and flair is needed as she oversees the final preparations for the sumptuous wedding feast of Lord Boschaud and his bride while concealing her own secret dream. For after the celebrations are over, she dares to believe that her future lies outside the Chateau. But who will she trust?

2014 Pip Arnet is an expert in predicting threats to healthy ecosystems. Trouble is, she doesn’t seem to recognise these signs in her own life. What Pip holds dearest right now is her potential to make a real difference in the marine biology of her beloved Tasmanian coastline. She’d thought that her fiance Jack understood this, believed that he knew she couldn’t make any plans until her studies were complete. But lately, since she’s finally moved in with him, Jack appears to have forgotten everything they’d discussed.

When a gift of several dusty, beautiful old copper pots arrives in Pip’s kitchen, the two stories come together in a rich and sensuous celebration of family and love, passion and sacrifice.

Published by Allen & Unwin Australia RRP $29.99, and available now.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia * Booktopia * Angus & Robertson  *  Amazon Australia



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Kirsty Manning grew up in northern New South Wales. She has degrees in literature and communications and worked as an editor and publishing manager in book publishing for over a decade. A country girl with wanderlust, her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east and west coasts of the United States and pockets of Asia. Kirsty’s journalism and photography specialising in lifestyle and travel regularly appear in magazines, newspapers and online. In 2007, Kirsty and her husband, with two toddlers and a baby in tow, built a house in an old chestnut grove in the Macedon Ranges. Together, they planted an orchard and veggie patch, created large herbal ‘walks’ brimming with sage and rosemary, wove borders from chestnut branches and constructed far too many stone walls by hand. Kirsty loves cooking with her kids and has several large heirloom copper pots that do not fit anywhere easily, but are perfect for making (and occasionally burning) jams, chutneys and soups. With husband Alex Wilcox, Kirsty is a partner in the award-winning Melbourne wine bar Bellota, and the Prince Wine Store in Sydney and Melbourne.


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New Release! The Last McAdam by Holly Ford

Welcome to the book review post for The Last McAdam by Holly Ford as part of the Virtual Blog Tour.

The Last McAdam by author Holly Ford was breathtaking reading. I loved the story from the first chapter. So many notable scenes that stirred many sentiments. Hilarity, awkwardness, heartfelt and tense moments that were entertaining from one page to the next. Tess from the start was a firecracker – likeable and endearing. Nate – cheeky and likeable also. Stan’s character was beautifully portrayed and often pulled at the heartstrings. Even the secondary characters of Mitch and Harry were equally as entertaining as the main characters of Tess and Nate. As the pages turned and the story unfolded, it just kept getting better and better. Simply stunning reading.
Review copy received from Allen & Unwin Australia


About The Last McAdam by Holly Ford

Can Nate McAdam win the heart of the woman who’s taken over his farm? The Last TheLastMcadam_hollyford_allenandunwinausMcAdam combines an unforgettable cast of characters with an irresistibly entertaining tale of romance, suspense and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

Passed down through the same family for over a century, the remote sheep and cattle station of Broken Creek has recently been taken over by global agribusiness company Carnarvon Holdings. Now Carnarvon has sent its best troubleshooting manager, Tess Drummond, to turn the property’s failing fortunes around – fast.

When Tess arrives to take the reins of Broken Creek she’s faced with a couple of nasty surprises. For starters, her head stockman, Nate McAdam, happens to be the same gorgeous stranger she hooked up with – and ran out on – a few weeks before.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nate was supposed to inherit Broken Creek until his stepfather ran it into the ground. Now the last McAdam on the station leads a team of men whose bonds have been forged through hell and high water and whose mission is to see off Carnarvon and Tess so he can take his rightful place.

A genius with farm work – and women – but a disaster in the office, Nate is everything Tess believes a farmer shouldn’t be. Determined not to give in to her growing attraction to him, Tess sets out to do her job, but she soon finds herself caught up in the battle of her career.

The Last McAdam by Holly Ford is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Booktopia  *  iBooks Australia  *  Amazon Australia



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About The Author

Holly Ford grew up in a farming community in the Hokonui Hills in the South Island of New Zealand. Having lived and worked on three continents, she returned to her own patch of land in rural New Zealand, which she now shares with her family, an ever-increasing population of magpies and hares, and the occasional vacationing dairy cow. Her bestselling novels, packed with gutsy women who aren’t afraid to take what they want and men who are worth their trouble, celebrate life and love in some of the world’s most rugged country: the vast, spectacular mountain farms that form the backbone of New Zealand.

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Diary Of A 6th Grade Ninja Series – Books 5-7 by Marcus Emerson

Happy new book release to author Marcus Emerson! Ten books in the Diary Of A 6th Grade Ninja series will be releasing during the 2017 year. Books five, six and seven are now released! The first four books in the series are also available for purchase from book retailers. Each of the books in the series are attention grabbing and quick paced, full of creative writing to hold the attention of many. Childrens Fiction genre, ages 7-12.
This series is published by Allen & Unwin Australia and the first four books are RRP: $9.99-$12.99 each.

About Diary Of A Sixth Grade Ninja – Books 5 to 7


Diary Of A 6th Grade Ninja – Terror At The Talent Show (Book 5)

Continuing the havoc-meets-hilarious adventures of Chase Cooper, who is the leader of a secret society of ninjas at his school.

diaryofa6thgradeninja5_marcusemerson_allenandunwinausIt’s been one disaster after another lately, and things aren’t slowing down. During talent show rehearsals someone trashed the stage and set a penguin loose. (Seriously!) Now I’m on the hunt for a pet penguin and the kid who set him free. This week is gonna be wild.

My name is Chase Cooper, and I’m a 6th grade ninja.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia




Diary Of A 6th Grade Ninja – Buchanan Bandits (Book 6)

Continuing the havoc-meets-hilarious adventures of Chase Cooper, who is the leader of a secret society of ninjas at his school.

diaryofa6thgradeninja6_marcusemerson_allenandunwinausAs always, there’s trouble brewing in the school halls, and you’ll never guess who wants to team up with me… There’s a thieving bandit on the loose, and as each day passes, his list of victims grows. Zoe says I should stay out of it…but staying out of trouble isn’t my style.

My name is Chase Cooper, and I’m a 6th grade ninja.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia




Diary Of A 6th Grade Ninja – Scavengers (Book 7)

Continuing the havoc-meets-hilarious adventures of Chase Cooper, who is the leader of a secret society of ninjas at his school.

diaryofa6thgradeninja7_marcusemerson_allenandunwinausThe Scavengers invited me to join their secret club. Turning them down was a bad idea… It’s election week and I’m trying to help Zoe become president…while fending off the creepy Scavengers and a school reporter who’s trying to expose my ninja clan. Yeah, my week is packed.

My name is Chase Cooper, and I’m a 6th grade ninja.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia




Diary Of A 6th Grade Ninja Series – Books 1 to 10

diaryofa6thgradeninja1_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus diaryofa6thgradeninja2_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus diaryofa6thgradeninja3_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus diaryofa6thgradeninja4_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus diaryofa6thgradeninja5_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus diaryofa6thgradeninja6_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus diaryofa6thgradeninja7_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus

Coming Soon…

diaryofa6thgradeninja8_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus diaryofa6thgradeninja9_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus diaryofa6thgradeninja10_marcusemerson_allenandunwinaus


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New Release! Storm and Grace by Kathryn Heyman

Their love knows no limits – but the further you go, the more dangers there are. Love becomes obsession and lust becomes control. A riveting thriller in the tradition of Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep.

… she is screaming, the way he wanted, the way he promised she would …

stormandgrace_kathrynheyman_allenandunwinausWorld-famous freediver Storm Hisray hits Grace Cain like a bolt from the blue. Instantly smitten, she abandons her life in the city to follow him to his idyllic Pacific island. There he teaches Grace the ways of the deep, and she learns to sink to unimaginable depths on one single breath. As their world narrows to the two of them, she learns, too, the exquisite pleasures of her body–but also that Storm hides as many secrets as the sea.

As he pushes Grace further and further beyond her limits–both in and out of the water–her resistance grows, but so does Storm’s need to control her. With a secret of her own to protect, Grace starts to realise that she is in deeper and more dangerous water than she has ever imagined possible.

Brilliant, mesmerising, incendiary and haunting, Storm and Grace explores the dazzling thrill of the deep, and the terrors that lie in its shadows.

Category: Literary fiction
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: February 2017
Page Extent: 360
Subject: Literary fiction
RRP: $29.99

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia  *  iBooks


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