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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Author Signing - Sean Williams & Garth Nix - Troubletwisters

Tomorrow, Friday 27th will be the Sean Williams and Garth Nix author signing. It starts at 3.30pm at Castle Plaza Bookshop. 

We are celebrating the release of 'Troubletwisters' a brand new fantasy series for teens from New York Times bestselling authors Garth Nix and Sean Williams, in which twins find that they must act as wards against a threatening evil.

'Come to us, Troubletwisters, join us ... welcome, most welcome!'
When their home mysteriously explodes around their ears, twins Jack and Jaide are sent to stay with a grandmother they have never met, in a town they have never heard of. Portland might seem boring and quiet, but it soon becomes apparent that Grandma X is more than a little eccentric, and there are very strange happenings in the town. Talking cats, swarms of cockroaches, a miniature tornado trashing their room - the twins are about to find out what it means to be a troubletwister!
Something growing
Something read
Something living
Someone dead 

We will also have stock of the authors other books they have written, including Garth's 'Keys to the Kingdom series' and Sean's 'Star Wars: Force series'. 

If you have any questions about the signing then feel free to give us a call on (08) 8277-8857.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hounded - Kevin Hearne

Atticus O'Sullivan
Though my existence is just now being made public, I've been walking amongst you (and, presumably, all the people now dead that were walking around before you) for more than two thousand years. I'm a Druid—the last real Druid, as a matter of fact. If I can keep my new apprentice alive for the twelve-year training period, there will be two of us.

You're probably wondering how I managed to live so long. And you might also be wondering why I didn't single-handedly stop the Industrial Revolution so we could have avoided things like oil companies and fast food and geckos who can save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. The answers to all those questions are in Hounded, a book written by Kevin Hearne, but the short answer is this: I was hiding.

I call myself Atticus O'Sullivan these days. (There was a terrifying three-month period in the 1950's during which I went by the name Nigel, but thank the Gods Below that's all past.) I have an Irish wolfhound that I jokingly named Oberon after Shakespeare's king of the Fae. I have bound his consciousness to mine so that we can speak mentally, and he keeps me grounded and appreciating the simple pleasures of life. As I write this, he's wondering when I'm going to stop and cook up some sausage for him.

What would I give to have no worries but a hungry hound! Unfortunately, the world's pantheons and the Fae aren't willing to leave me alone, now that my hideout in Arizona has been exposed. I'm not talking about some modern, sanitized version of the Fae, by the way: The true Fae are badass descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann, who went underground long ago. First among the Fae is Brighid, goddess of poetry, fire, and the forge, though she might be a goddess of manipulation as well, considering what she did to me recently (it's in the book). I have an uncomfortable suspicion that she's not through with me yet.

The best thing for me to do—the smart thing—would be to run and hide somewhere else. Thing is, I've been doing that for two thousand years, and I'm a bit tired of it. I've got my Irish up now, and I figure those who want a fight from me can have one for free.

Kevin Hearne is writing down my story as fast as I can tell it. It's a series now called The Iron Druid Chronicles, which I like because it makes me sound like a total badass. The second book in the series, Hexed, comes out in early June and the third book, Hammered, will be released in early July.

You can read the first six chapters of Hounded for free right here and if you'd like to go mess with Kevin a little bit, that would amuse me no end. Kevin has a blog here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

Sláinte, friends. May harmony find you.

Happy Reading!
Atticus O'Sullivan
(as dictated to Kevin Hearne)

Taken from the HarperCollins/Del Ray Newsletter 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Anthony Bozza - Why AC/DC Matters Special

Australian rock giants AC/DC have sold more records in the U.S. than Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, and than the Rolling Stones, yet have always been undervalued and unappreciated by mainstream rock music critics. In Why AC/DC Matters, former Rolling Stone staff writer and New York Times bestselling author Anthony Bozza addresses this inequity, penning a just tribute to these monsters of rock. Brimming with fascinating stories and insights from musicians, fans, music scholars, and the author himself, Why AC/DC Matters is an overdue homage to arguably the greatest rock and roll band of all time. 
We have on special at the moment for only $15, down from $22.99 Why AC/DC Matters.
It is a lovely little hardback book - perfect for a gift.
Come in and get one while stocks last!

Gwyneth Paltrow - Notes From My Kitchen Table

Delicious family-friendly recipes from the kitchen of supermum and supercook, Gwyneth Paltrow. The Academy-Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow is an icon of style and taste around the world. But her family comes above everything, and cooking and eating together are the key ingredients of a happy home. She is passionate about food and has precious memories of cooking with her father who was her culinary inspiration. Gwyneth has become increasingly vocal about food via her lifestyle blog and her collaborations with some of America's top chefs on television. Now, she has written her first cookbook which is full of fresh, original, healthy and practical recipes that all the family will love. Both accessible and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated and easy-to-use cookbook is the perfect cookbook for the modern family. Full of lavish photographs featuring Gwyneth's family and friends, it is a truly personal book that celebrates cooking with – and for – the ones you love.

Author Information

Gwyneth Paltrow is a mother and an actress, splitting her time between London and New York. Her website covers food, crafts, fashion and fitness.

Adam Liaw - Two Asian Kitchens

"Before I was 18 I had lived in more than 20 different homes across four countries, and each of their kitchens has left me with unique memories. My family crossed three countries in as many generations, and yet my story is not unique in Australia. As a child, every week I would eat my way around the world.

For me, Hainanese chicken rice is not just a good lunch: it is the latest in a thousand delicious plates of chicken my grandmother has lovingly prepared for our family. When I cook siew yuk, I am replaying the memory of my father carrying roasted pork belly home from the market on any of a hundred Saturday afternoons in Adelaide. A plate of beef with oyster sauce reminds me of all the times my mother served it up next to an equally huge platter of beef stroganoff to feed eight hungry children around the dinner table.

The Two Asian Kitchens in my life are The Old Kitchen and The New Kitchen. The Old Kitchen represents the traditional dishes of my family history - hawker noodles, Japanese yakitori, sour and salty Malaysian laksa. The New Kitchen features modern dishes that draw on the memorable flavours and experiences of my own life as a migrant in Australia."

Adam Liaw, Australia's MasterChef 2010

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Selected Michael Connelly Titles Only $10

Until stocks last, we have selected Michael Connelly books on special for $10

A Darkness More Than Night

City of Bones

And many more!

Hurry before we sell out :D

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Review - Steampunk Chronicles #1 Girl in the Steel Corset - Kady Cross

She thought there was something wrong with her. She was right.
Finley Jayne has known for quite some time that she isn’t ‘normal,’ but when she beats up the son of her employer and is forced to flee, she stumbles into a world where there are bigger freaks than her. They take her in, treat her like family and demand her trust. How can Finley trust them when she can’t trust herself? And why is she drawn to the powerful Griffin as well as the dangerous Jack? She has to get herself under control before she gets into trouble she can’t get out of.
Griffin King is one of the most powerful men in Britain but he couldn’t save his best friend from almost dying. He is determined to save Finley and help her become the person he knows she can be, but there’s evil afoot in London. Machines have attacked humans under the orders of a nefarious criminal called The Machinist. He has sworn to protect his country against such a threat, but he’s never faced any foe like this. However, when he discovers The Machinist’s connection to his past, Griffin vows to end the villain once and for all — but he’ll need the help of all his friends, including the beautiful Finley Jayne – the girl in the steel corset.

This book is due for release in June and it is going to be popular. It is set in 1897 Victorian England, where automatons are the rage and horses are becoming redundant. Finley Jayne is a girl who has a duel soul and is on the run from the unwanted advances of her employers son. Trouble follows her and leads her to Griffin King, Duke of Greythorne who takes her back to his home and introduces Finley to his assortment of family. The writing is well done and the characters are believable. I throughly enjoyed this book. I finished it within a day of starting it. It is aimed for the older teens as it does have some mature content but I can see people who love steampunk and alternative histories loving this series. I myself, can't wait to read book 2 when it comes out. This is a book to look out for!
The quote on the back cover is from Sherrilyn Kenyon "Kady Cross never disappoints"

If you would like to know more then go to Kady Cross's blog page here
People who like Michael Pryor and Scott Westerfeld will love this series!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Author Signing - Sean Williams & Garth Nix

Garth Nix & Sean Williams

Will be signing copies of their new book 'Troubletwisters'

At Castle Plaza Bookshop
On Friday 27th May at 3:30pm

Come along and meet a STORMTROOPER!!!
992 South Rd, Castle Plaza Shopping Centre
(08) 8277-8857

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guest Blog Post - Michael Pryor - How the Laws of Magic Started

With Michael's 'Hour of Need' book 6 of the Laws of Magic series released this month, we asked Michael if he would tell us how he first started the series.


In 2002 I started writing Blaze of Glory, the first book in what became The Laws of Magic series. I was no novice to writing novels, having already published nearly twenty books for young adult readers, so I’d learned a great deal about the challenges of constructing a narrative. I had my writing organisation well worked out and I knew how to approach the task in what I felt was an efficient way. This was vital, as I was working full time. Writing had to take place in the evenings, weekends and in what used to be holidays.

At the time, I was also immersed in working with Paul Collins on the wide-ranging, ever growing creative project that was The Quentaris Chronicles. This was Australia’s first shared world series, a classic fantasy for younger readers, but it meant that as well as writing some of the titles in this series, Paul and I were series editors. We were chief guardians of the concept, making sure all the extremely talented writers who were involved were on the right track and comfortable working with the scenario. Paul and I read drafts, discussed and consulted, checked and vetted to ensure quality and consistency.

While I was doing this, however, I had an urge to spread my wings. The books in the Quentaris series were 25,000 words. They were neat and contained, but after writing a number of these adventures, I wanted to work with a larger canvas and for an older age group.

And so to the first stirrings of The Laws of Magic.

When I’m writing Fantasy, I tend to look to history for inspiration. The stories in our past are rich, remarkable and, by necessity, thoroughly human. I find that drawing on them can add backbone to a Fantasy concept, as well as useful coherence. The Quentaris series had been roughly Middle Ages/early Renaissance in flavour, so I looked elsewhere for a fertile historical period.

This is where a writer’s own reading is important in terms of influence. I’d always

loved the Steampunk genre, ever since reading its first flowerings in the middle-1980s. I remember reading Tim Powers’ The Anubis Gates and thoroughly enjoying its panache, its adventurousness and its recreation of Victorian times. In 2002, Steampunk was quiet, barely bubbling along, so I thought it might be fun to revisit it.

Naturally, inspiration is just a starting point. The more I researched my Victorian times, the more I became interested in the latter part of good Queen Vic’s reign. Eventually, I became absorbed in the era of her son, Edward, and the period at the beginning of the twentieth century. So many social changes! So many scientific developments! So much going on in international politics! I began to think that this time was shaping up as particularly fertile for a writer. They had the best of the past (the manners and formality, particularly in the relationships between males and females) but the modern age was dawning (the women’s suffrage movement, changes in social stratification – workers uniting!).

I maintain that Fantasy is the literature of location. A writer needs a thorough grasp of this ‘otherworld’, the place that tells a reader that they’ve somewhere different, where normal rules may not apply. Geography is one thing, but the sense of setting is more than that. It’s architecture, clothing, modes of transport, weather, food and a thousand other minute details. I researched, made notes, read authors from the time (Arthur Conan Doyle was particularly helpful), took on vocabulary and turns of speech both consciously and by osmosis, marinating myself in Edwardiana until I felt odd at zipping up my fly instead of buttoning it.

With all this, however, I still wasn’t ready to begin writing. I needed characters. At least one would be a good start, so I began working on an idea for a protagonist.

I was tired of reading YA fiction with main characters who were difficult to warm to. I’d also had enough of brooding characters who were aimless and meandered through life. I wanted to write that most unfashionable of characters: a hero. I wanted someone who was intelligent, witty, brave, resourceful, ambitious and selfless. Since I was writing Fantasy, it seemed natural for him to be a magic user of some genius.

But what were his flaws? If he was going to be so capable, wouldn’t the story be boring, with every challenge no challenge at all? I began thinking about how to make things difficult for him and, unprompted, a first line popped into my head: ‘Aubrey Fitzwilliam hated being dead. It made things much harder than they needed to be.’

Now, this sort of thing doesn’t happen all that often. When it does, I pay attention. Here, I had a name for my main character (always tricky) and he was immediately working under considerable difficulty, being dead and all. How he was dead and continuing to do anything at all was something I hadn’t worked out, but I was sure this was a good start. Working out the whys and wherefores was going to lead to some delicious, meaty stuff.

With the setting under control, and an intriguing main character shaping up, it was a matter of working out some sort of plot. To do this, I went back to history. The Edwardians didn’t know it, but their golden times were leading to a ghastly war. That tipped me into considering the politics, the manoeuvring, the espionage, the arms build up and the momentum that seized the world. My main character was going to be involved in this, I was sure. No passive observer, he. He was going to be involved in an assassination attempt, various magical conspiracies, while supporting his father – who turned out to be a former Prime Minister looking to gain the leadership of the nation again.

Then I sat down and began writing. Nine years, six books and nearly 700,000 words later and it’s all come to a conclusion. I feel satisfied, pleased, but strangely bereft. I’ve lived with Aubrey, George and Caroline for a long time. I’ve seen them grow. I’ve watched them risk their lives, save millions of people and misunderstand each other in awkward (and familiar) ways.

Waving goodbye to them was hard.

Vital Statistics
Full Name: Michael Pryor
Date of Birth: 23 April
Place of Birth: Swan Hill, Victoria
Height: 173 cm
Weight: Variable
Interests: Computers, the Internet, games of all sorts, sport, reading, food, wine, gardening
Favourite Colour: Blue
Favourite Book: Probably Lord of the Rings
Favourite Film: It changes, but currently The Big Lebowski
Favourite Dinosaur: Triceratops
Favourite Food: Curry
Favourite Word: Cashmere
Favourite Animal: Pig, with otter a close second

If you would like to know more, then visit the wonderful website of Michael Pryor here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Great Teen and Junior Fiction

It's 1900 . . .
and Rose lives with her family in a big house in Melbourne. She wants to play cricket, climb trees and be an adventurer! But Rose's mother has other ideas.  Then Rose's favourite young aunt comes to town, and everything changes.  Will Rose's mother let Aunt Alice stay? And will Rose ever get to do the things she loves?
Meet Rose and join her adventure in the first of four stories about a Federation girl who's determined to do things her way!

 Ollie Jolson has stumbled across a secret so big no-one will ever believe him. He's fallen into a world where walls can literally have ears and eyes, and brains, and stomachs too. The despicable Lord Wight wants to take
over everything and everyone, and only a couple of kids stand in his way.
One of them is still in his pyjamas.
When you're lost in a space-time continuum, getting home is much harder than it sounds.

Bad moods, good moods, even back-to-school moods - Judy has them all! The first book in this internationally bestselling series is sure to get you in the Judy Moody mood!
Meet Judy Moody, her little "bother" Stink, her best friend Rocky and her "pest" friend Frank Pearl. Judy has a mood for every occasion, but when a new teacher gives the class a "Me" collage project, Judy has so much fun that she nearly forgets to be moody at all!

The Cursed Ones, or vampires, have made their presence known to mankind. They promised to help bring peace to the world but then declared war on humanity. The identity of their leader is unknown. Most people are too afraid or unwillingly to take a stand against them. Others, like eighteen-year-old Jenn Leitner, train secretly to become vampire fighters and risk everything in the process. Alongside her is fellow Hunter, Antonio de la Cruz. But Antonio has a secret - he is a vampire fighting on the side of humanity. Jenn must battle with her hatred of all things vampire, and her love for Antonio. For together only they can bring light into the darkness the vampires have drawn over the face of the planet...

 The first book of a major fantasy series from New York Times bestselling authors Garth Nix and Sean Williams, in which twins find that they must act as wards against a threatening evil. 'Come to us. Troubletwisters, join us ... welcome, most welcome!' When their home mysteriously explodes around their ears, twins Jack and Jaide are sent to live in a place they have never heard of, to stay with a grandmother they have never met. Portland might seem like a quiet coastal town, but it soon becomes apparent that Grandma X is more than a little eccentric, and the strange things going on in the town are anything but ordinary. Talking cats, swarms of cockroaches, a miniature tornado trashing their room - life is about to get a lot more interesting!

of Ancient Egypt were unleashed on the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister, Sadie, have been in trouble.  As descendants of the magical House of Life, they command certain powers.  But now a terrifying enemy – Apophis, the giant snake of chaos – is rising.
If Carter and Sadie don't destroy him, the world will end in five days time. And in order to battle the forces of chaos, they musty revive the sun god Ra – a feat no magician has ever achieved. First they must search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant the spells . . .
Can the Kanes destroy Apophis before he swallows the sun and plunges the earth into darkness . . . forever?

Book Review - Mercy #2 Exile - Rebecca Lim

EXILE is the breathtaking sequel to MERCY in a major new paranormal romance series.

Mercy′s search continues ...
All Mercy knows is that she is an angel, exiled from heaven for a crime she can′t remember committing.
So when she ′wakes′ inside the body and life of eighteen-year-old Lela Neill, Mercy has only limited recall of her past life. Her strongest memories are of Ryan, the mortal boy who′d begun to fall for her - and she for him.
Lela′s life is divided between caring for her terminally ill mother and her work as a waitress at the Green Lantern, a busy city cafe frequented by suits, cab drivers, strippers, backpackers and the homeless, and Mercy quickly falls into the rhythm of this new life.
But when Mercy′s beloved, Luc, reappears in her dreams, she begins to awaken to glimpses of her true nature and her true feelings for Ryan. How can she know that her attempts to contact Ryan will have explosive consequences?
Meanwhile, ′the Eight′ - responsible for her banishment - hover near, determined to keep Mercy and Luc apart, forever ... 

The story picks up not too long after the events of 'Mercy'
This time Mercy is in Australia and she has been tampered with so she can't remember her days as Carmen. The story progresses nicely and starts off with a bang. It leaves you at the edge of your seat the whole time. It only took me a day to read and now I really really want the third book 'Muse' when it comes out. You get to know more of Mercy and what has been done to her also you are introduced to more characters from her past.  
This is a nice series that isn't in your face religous, I am enjoying it immensively and am glad that I picked it up.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Book Review - Fateful - Claudia Gray ARC

I was given an ARC of Fateful by Claudia Gray (which due for release in September 2011). It is about werewolves on the Titanic and it was really well done. I quite enjoyed reading this book as Claudia seems to have done much research on the Titanic and the lives of servants in service to British Nobility. Also one thing that caught my eye was (the fact as we Australian's mostly descend from English stock, so our speech and writing are mainly British) the use of the word 'Mum'. Claudia got it correct. When the characters were in Britain they used the spelling 'Mum' Then when an American came onto the scene the spelling changed to "Mom'. I know it is something small, but it really made me want to keep reading simply for that fact.
Okay now I will stop going on about spelling and what nots and get to what you want to hear - what the story was like!
I thought the story was good, I know we all know how the book was going to end in parts (who doesn't know that the Titanic sunk??) The end still made me start in suprise - I didn't think she would do what she did. Tess is a spunky girl who dreams of becoming more than a servant in a household of people who think she is beneath them. Then comes Alec - who saves her from danger and must now introduce her into a world she thought was myth. There are about three or four different storylines running through the book and they all come together well. All in all a very enjoyable book and it is a must for any fans of Claudia's 'Evernight Series' and LJ Smith's 'Vampire Diaries'

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Gift Ideas


Even More to Sink Your Teeth into
Inner Ghoul
To get in touch with your inner ghoul...
a. go shopping
...b. cuddle a teddy bear
c. brains...brains?
Tatsuya Tsugawa loses his wealthy parents in the middle of high school. Trying to fulfill his father's dying wish of becoming an upstanding man, Tatsuya attempts to save a girl from obsessive bullies only to be consumed with intrigue and slight obsession himself. But what will Tatsuya do when his good will and earnest efforts lead him into a twisted fantasy world infested with mermaids and mind-controlling parasites?
For fans of Bleach and Death Note:

Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth, the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin's veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won't be easy, especially when drawing his father's sword releases the demonic power within him!
The Cherry Blossom Princess Reborn!

Sakura is the granddaughter of a mysterious moon princess who slew demons with her Blood Cherry Blossom sword.

All her life Sakura has been forbidden to look at the full moon without knowing why. Then one night, unhappy over her impending marriage, Sakura gazes up at the moon, only to see a demon attacking her...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Book Review - Mercy - Rebecca Lim

Mercy ′wakes′ on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else′s business -- or thinks they do. But they will never guess the secret Mercy is hiding ....
As an angel exiled from heaven and doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, Mercy is never sure whose life and body she will share each time. And her mind is filled with the desperate pleas of her beloved, Luc, who can only approach her in her dreams.
In Paradise, Mercy meets Ryan, whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is now presumed dead. When another girl disappears, Mercy and Ryan know they must act before time runs out. But a host of angels are out for Mercy′s blood and they won′t rest until they find her and punish her -- for a crime she doesn′t remember committing ...

I have heard a lot of hype about this book so I was a bit hestitant to read it. Yesterday morning I picked it up as I needed something to read and I finished it last night. It was well written and the story was great. Mercy is an angel who has committed a terrible deed she doesn't remember. Her punishment is to take over the bodies and lives of random people who need her. She has lost all her memories of her former angel self and doesn't know what she is. Only she is starting to remember. In this book, Mercy is Carmen, a sorprano singer in a choir who gets caught up in a case everyone tells her to leave alone. I really enjoyed this book and it was easy to read. I like the idea that her memories come back to her slowly as we grow closer to the character.
A very good read and I can't wait to read Exile, the 2nd book in the series. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Author Signings - Garth Nix, Sean Williams & Keri Arthur

The end of May and beginning of June is going to be a very busy time for us at Castle Plaza Bookshop. Not only do we have Garth Nix & Sean Williams instore signing their new book 'Troubletwisters' on the 27th May but on the 3rd June we have paranormal author Keri Arthur signing copies of her new book 'Mercy Burns'.
Very exciting and we can't wait to see these wonderful authors. Make sure you save the dates so you don't miss out on meeting you're favourite authors.

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