Sweet Old World
by Deborah Robertson
‘He goes down the stairs, singing Johnny Cash. It’s a song about a man who’s fallen real low, but he’s not low, he’s forty-three years old today, there’s still time. You never know what is waiting, you just never know. This morning he can hope. And this is the thing he doesn’t ever talk about: He wants to be a father, now, not later, he doesn’t want to waste one more minute of his life.’
David Quinn’s dream of family has for years eluded him. Surely what he wants is simple? It’s only what other men have, but there’s no woman in his life, and now that he’s living on a remote island in the Atlantic, do his hopes still stand a chance?
It’s summer on the Irish island of Inishmore, and the tourists are arriving. They’re coming for the wild beauty and the five thousand years of history, the Celtic legends and the burial sites of saints. They’re coming for the drink and the sex and the craic. Seventeen-year-old Esther Bradley has come from Fremantle, on the west coast of Australia. On harsh Inishmore, where people have always struggled to survive, she is battling the landscape of her own mind. David Quinn is reluctant to catch Esther when she tumbles dangerously into his life, but happiness is about to burst upon him, and every simple thing he’s wanted will soon be close enough to touch. But is anything ever really simple any more?
Set among the ancient stories of the haunting Aran Islands, reaching to London in the 1980s and contemporary Australia, this is an unforgettable love story about life’s wounds to the spirit and flesh, and the hope we all have for healing, for one more lucky roll of the dice. Following the bestselling and acclaimed CARELESS, Sweet Old World establishes Deborah Robertson as one of our most enthralling and original storytellers, a writer whose tender, fearless vision carries her readers close to the human heart.
Available in March
The Memory Tree
by Tess Evans
When Paulina dies mid-dance, leaving 12-year-old Zav and 7-year-old Sealie with Hal, their loving yet often unstable father, the family decides to plant a tree in her memory. This beautiful magnolia tree grows apace with the children, standing proud in the garden, a special place where secrets are whispered and feelings can be confessed.
As the memory tree grows, Hal, in pure grief for Paulina, feels increasingly suspicious of the world, and turns to his own brand of salvation to make sense of the voices he hears. Mrs Mac, the housekeeper and second mother since Paulina’s death, cooks, cleans, loves and worries about ‘her family’. She is even more concerned when Hal brings a stranger, Godown Moses, to the house for a beer. But Pastor Moses B. Washbourne of the Church of the Divine Conflagration, ex-sergeant of the US Army, soon becomes part of the family, with surprising and long-reaching consequences.
As the seasons pass, Sealie blossoms into a lovely young woman, the apple of Hal’s eye; Zav, having spent his childhood quietly trying to win his father’s lost attention, marries young and has a daughter, born while he is on his first tour of duty in Vietnam. And the voices continue to murmur poisonous words to Hal who knows to keep them hidden . . . until he is persuaded into the most tragic of acts.
Written with humour, compassion and poignancy, The Memory Tree is an unputdownable story of love, grief and forgiveness.
Available in March
Miles off Course
A Rowland Sinclair Novel
by Sulari Gentill
In early 1933, Rowland Sinclair and his companions are ensconced in the superlative luxury of The Hydro Majestic – Medlow Bath, where trouble seems distant indeed.
And then Harry Simpson vanishes.
Croquet and pre-dinner cocktails are abandoned for the High Country where Rowland hunts for Simpson with a determination that is as mysterious as the disappearance itself. Stockmen, gangsters and a belligerent writer all gather to the fray, as the investigation becomes embroiled with a much darker consipiracy.
Murder, Treason, Trespass, Kidnapping, Betrayal…
Again, Rowland Sinclair finds himself in the middle of it all.
Available in February
The Younger Man
by Zoë Foster
Abby runs her own agency, providing beautiful girls for promotional events. She needs a new website and when she calls in the web contractors, none other than the gorgeous, sexy, young Marcus turns up.
Abby had met Marcus at a party a few weeks earlier and they had an amazing one-night stand. Abby is not unhappy to see him again. He is rather divine, after all. It’s just that she’s 33 and he’s 22, so how can she ever expect anything to come of this relationship.
But Marcus is determined and sets out to prove to Abby that he is wise beyond his years and knows what he wants. Abbie is not so sure and when she escapes to Italy and meets someone else, she must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.
Available in Late February
by Nicola Moriarty
Belinda’s life is in free-fall after the sudden death of her fiancé Andy.
But then ghostly signs begin to appear which suggest he might not really be gone. And Belinda begins to tumble even further.
Will his final parting gift be enough to save her?
Evelyn McGavin, Andy’s mum, is also struggling. She copes with her sorrow by shoplifting (once), hating Belinda (constantly) and jumping out of a plane.
In her skydiving instructor, Baz, she finds an unexpected friend. But why is he so agitated when he hears how Andy died?
Two women, united in their loss, separated by their grief. And yet still linked in a most unexpected way …
Available in Febuary
An Ella Marconi Novel
by Katherine Howell
On a searing summer’s day paramedic Holly Garland rushes to an emergency to find a man collapsed with a bullet wound in the back of his head, CPR being performed by two bystanders, and her long-estranged brother Seth watching it all unfold.
Seth claims to be the dying man’s best friend, but Holly knows better than to believe anything he says and fears that his re-appearance will reveal the bleak secrets of her past – secrets which both her fiance Fraser and her colleagues have no idea exist, and which if exposed could cause her to lose everything.
Detective Ella Marconi suspects Seth too, but she’s also sure the dead man’s wife is lying, and the deceased’s boss seems just too helpful. But then a shocking double homicide related to the case makes Ella realise that her investigations are getting closer to the killer, but also increasing the risk of an even higher body count.
Available in February
by Candice Bruce
In Australia in the 1840s, the lives of two very different women intersect. Ellis MacRorie is shipped to Victoria from her Scottish homeland by her bankrupt father; Leerpeen Weelan, her Aboriginal servant known as Louisa, has lost her tribe in a bloody act of violence.
Forced to marry a man she does not love, and isolated from all society, Ellis is resigned to a solitary life on the remote Western District homestead of Strathcarron. After the tragic death of two babies, she is ready is give up altogether. Although Louisa has endured dispossession and the loss of her own family, she becomes a steadfast source of guidance, friendship and strength for Ellis. When the American Romantic landscape painter, sketcher and collector Sanford P. Hart comes to stay at Strathcarron, the two women are transformed forever – in both enriching and devastating measures.
One hundred and fifty years later, ambitious assistant curator Cornelia, researching an exhibition on S. P. Hart for the National Gallery of Victoria, makes a remarkable discovery that has the potential to rewrite history. However, it is not Hart’s paintings that offer a glimpse into the untold events of nineteenth-century rural Australia, but rather something very rare . . .
The Longing is a novel about loss, finding home and the significance of history – what is recorded and what is left unknown.
Available in Febuary
by Margareta Osborn
An intoxicating outback romance – set in Victoria and Queensland – that is bursting with love for life on the land.
Bella threw her hat into the air. ‘We’ve lived one of our dreams, Patty. Our outback road trip is done. Now we’re free and ready for our next adventure. God, I love life!’ Bella Vermaelon and her best friend Patty are two fun-loving country girls bonded in a sisterhood no blood tie could ever beat. Now they are coming to the end of a road trip which has taken them from their family farms in the rugged Victorian high country to the red dust of the Queensland outback. For almost a year they have mustered on cattle stations, cooked for weary stockmen, played hard at rodeos and outback parties, and danced through life like a pair of wild tumbleweeds.
And with the arrival of Patty’s brother Will and Bella’s cousin Macca, it seems love is on the horizon too …
Then a devastating tragedy strikes, and Bella’s world is changed for ever.
So she runs – from the only life she has ever known. But can she really turn her back on the man she loves? Or on the land that runs deep in her blood?
Available in March
by Fleur McDonald
An exciting new novel full of romance and mystery from the author of the bestselling Red Dust and Blue Skies.
When Anna and Matt finally buy their dream farm, their struggles aren’t quite over. First it’s patchy rain and poor crops, then Matt has an accident … and even when the heavens finally open all might yet be lost.
Anna and Matt Butler were childhood sweethearts with a dream of owning their own land, a dream they achieved through hard work and determination.
But as the seasons conspire against them and Matt is involved in a terrible accident, the couple face financial ruin and the loss of their farm.
As they fight for everything they hold dear, they suddenly find themselves caught up in events much bigger and more dangerous than they could ever have imagined.
Purple Roads is a story about maintaining faith in yourself, staying true to your ideals and, most of all, the belief that some things are worth fighting for.
Available in April
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.