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Thursday, April 25, 2013

AUTHOR GUEST POST - The story behind the story – Half Moon Bay by Helene Young

Ellie Wilding has been running from her past, but when the residents of Half Moon Bay call for help she knows it's finally time to return home.  As an international photojournalist, she's used to violence in war zones, but she's shocked when it erupts in the sleepy hamlet on the north coast of New South Wales, threatening all she holds dear.
Battle-weary Nicholas Lawson walked away from his military career leaving unfinished business. In a coastal backwater, that decision returns to haunt him. He remembers all too vividly his last lethal assignment in Afghanistan when Ellie's sister, Nina, was shot and killed. Ellie's been in his dreams ever since, even if she doesn't remember him…
As a storm rages and floodwaters rise, Ellie struggles to save her community. But who can she trust? Nick Lawson, the dangerously attractive stranger with secrets, or an old friend who's never let her down?
The story behind the story – Half Moon Bay.
Helene Young
Do you ever read the newspaper and think, ‘No way could that be true? How could something so horrible happen?’
I do that regularly. Often it’s a crime so horrific that I can’t comprehend a person being capable of such cruelty. Other times it’s a story that makes me cry with the scale of the tragedy. As a writer those moments frequently become the catalyst for a new story.
My Border Watch trilogy dealt with the threat of home grown terrorism, people trafficking, motorcycle gangs with their drugs, arms and violence, and the last book, Burning Lies, delved into the psyche of an arsonist. The research was fascinating and all three books are grounded in reality.
Half Moon Bay, my latest story, started life as a story about a corrupt council and a land grab. When I was twelve years old we lived in a small hamlet at Currumbin Beach on the southern Gold Coast.  At the time there was uproar over a proposed road development that cut a swathe through bush land and divided the community. It was the first time I really appreciated how people-power could be harnessed. I remember being very proud when my letter to the editor was published in the Courier Mail newspaper.
While I was busy writing the first draft of Half Moon Bay I read a news story about a journalist killed on assignment in Iraq. My sister was a journalist for many years so I had a small understanding of what drives people to put their lives on the line to report the news. I’m not talking ‘News of the World’ sensationalism here, but the sort of reporting that can change your opinion in an informed way, without favour or bias.
It started me thinking about a war correspondent’s motivation and how they coped with the traumas they see up close and personal. Of course my imagination didn’t stop there. Off it went on a tangent about a journalist who becomes complicit in a crime in order to prove her point.  From there it was a matter of interweaving the plots around a small community on the Northern New South Wales coast called Half Moon Bay.
My heroine, Ellie, is feisty but reserved. Life hasn’t always been kind to her so she’s happy to hide behind her camera and let the photos tell the story, but she’s weary of battle zones and wary of love.
Nick Lawson is the quintessential battle scarred soldier returning after a long and difficult tour of duty. He’s not looking for love any more than Ellie is, but when they find themselves on opposing sides the tension can’t help but ramp up.
Half Moon Bay is a fast paced action-filled story of corruption, betrayal and a community’s fighting spirit set in today’s world. It’s also a story of how love can blossom in the most unlikely of places.  

Multi-award winning author, Helene Young, lives aboard a catamaran moored near the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. She shares her sailing adventures with her husband and their dog, Zeus. Her work as a senior captain with a major regional airline takes her all over Australia and she draws inspiration for her stories from the communities she visits.
She won the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. She was also voted most popular romantic suspense author by the Romance Readers of Australia (ARRA) in 2010 and 2011, and shortlisted for the same award in 2012.
Helene is the custodian of several thousand bees and in what spare time she has left, loves to read and travel.

Find Helene at

Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review - Reboot - Amy Tintera

Reboot (Reboot, #1)Reboot by Amy Tintera

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A brilliant take on the zombie literature but with a twist.

This series is a duo. The first book ' Reboot' is due for release in Australia, June 2013.

After a virus and then war decimated the world, the surviours are rules by a organisation called HARC ( Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation) Food is scarce and so is medical treatment. When people die, if they have had the virus or even sometimes you hadn't, you may come back to life as a Reboot. The main character Wren is 178 - meaning she was dead for 178 minutes before she rebooted. This makes her one of the strongest Reboots in Austin. When you come back as a Reboot, you are stronger, faster, able to heal from wounds that would normally kill you and they are less emotional. The longer you were dead means the more powerful you become. Wren takes a chance on Callum a 22, and this starts a change inside her. She begins to question events that start to happen when the scientists start playing God with the Reboots.

A fantastic twist on the zombie genre as we get to read a story that isn't mindless killing (yet) and we get to see a different side to the undead. I am NOT a fan of zombies, I can not stand them. Saying that, I really enjoyed this book and am keen to see where the author takes it.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2013 CBCA Titles Shortlist Announced

Here are the titles that are on the shortlist for the 2013 CBCA 

Pennies For Hitler by Jackie French
Other Brother by Simon French
After by Morris Gleitzman
Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
Pookie Aleera Is Not My Boyfriend by Steven Herrick
The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk by Glenda Millard  ill. by Stephen Michael King
The Terrible Suitcase by Emma Allen ill. by Freya Blackwood
With Nan by Tania Cox ill. by Karen Blair
The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog by Sue DeGennaro
Too Many Elephants In This House by Ursula Dubosarsky ill. by Andrew Joyner
It’s a Miroocool! by Christine Harris ill. Ann James
Peggy by Anna Walker

The Coat by Julie Hunt ill. Ron Brooks
Tanglewood by Margaret Wild ill. Vivienne Goodman
Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon
Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
Lightning Jack by Glenda Millard ill. Patricia Mullins
A Day To Remember by Jackie French ill. Mark Wilson


(Please note age recommendations on these titles, as the Older Readers category is generally suitable for Secondary School age only)
The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan
The Shiny Guys by Mark MacLeod
Creepy and Maud by Dianne Touchell
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield
The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail

Python by Christopher Cheng ill. Mark Jackson
Lyrebird! A True Storyby Jackie Kerin ill. Peter Gouldthorpe
Topsy-Turvy World: How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers by Kirsty Murray
Portrait of Spain for Kids by Queensland  Art Gallery
Tom the Outback Mailman by Kristin Weidenbach ill. Timothy Ide

The Whale Shark Song by Sadie James
Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp
A Forest by Marc Martin
Yellow Dress Day by Michelle Worthington ill. Sophie Norsa
Apollo the Powerful Owl by Gordon Winch ill. Stephen Pym
One Very Tired Wombat by Renee Tremi
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