A review of Grace in Love by Ruth Latta

Having co-authored, with Joy Trott, the biography Grace MacInnis: A Woman to Remember, Ruth Latta is an expert on her subject. In Grace in Love, she holds a magnifying glass to a crucial portion of Grace Woodsworth MacInnis’s long life. Because Grace in Love is a novel, not a biography, some fictional characters mingle with the real ones.

An interview with Scott Erickson

Scott Erickson, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of America, talks about his new satirical novel and how it came about, his ideal audience, the value they’ll get from his book, about the idea of a collapsing America and the need for open discussion, about “semi-fiction” as a genre, why he writes satire, and lots more. 

A review of The Anarchist Thing to Do by Michael Raship

The Anarchist Thing to Do is immensely readable in a way that reminds me of Salinger, whose shorter works are particularly admired by Skye and Jude – I suspect because their descriptions of family life are as eccentric, hermetic and all-encompassing as their own. Embedded in a rich tradition of American storytelling, The Anarchist Thing to Do is a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding book, written with great assurance by an author who rarely puts a foot wrong.

A review of Green Point Bearings by Kathryn Fry

Though the poems in Green Point Bearings are grounded in the natural world and are rooted  in place, particularly Lake Macquarie, the Hunter and Northern Sydney, there is also something a bit magical in these poems.  There is a mystery in this natural world that is inexplicable, arising from the spaces in which the poems are contained, in the rock, the trees, the flowers and shrubs that are everywhere and still precious, always in motion and changing: “Everything here speaks of infinity”.

A review of The Hanging by Paddy Bostock

The Hanging is a thrilling read. It is enchanting, very well written and has a storyline that would for sure keep you hooked till the very end. It is a perfect blend of magic, paranormal, thriller and suspense; you really couldn’t ask for more. If you enjoy reading a thriller with a dash of magic and paranormal then this is exactly the kind of book you need.

An interview with A.E. Sawan

The author of Al Shabah: An Assassin’s Story talks about his debut novel and his inspiration for writing it, the blending of non-fiction with fiction, the challenges of writing about difficult and personal things, the steep learning curve of a first novel, and lots more.

A review of the Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

There is a kind of magic that is woven through the book, primarily from the language of flowers that works in conjunction with the semantical story but has its own silent meaning.  Flannel flowers mean “what is lost is found”, Sturt’s Desert Peas, which are integral to the plot, mean “Have courage, take heart”, and Foxtails mean “Blood of my blood”.  These flowers become Alice’s language when words fail her.

A review of Rome’s Sacred Flame by Robert Fabbri

Throughout the reading my mind often reflected back to Colleen McCullough’s collection. She remodelled Gaius Julius Caesar to her own interpretation and I sensed the same thing happening with Robert Fabbri’s Titus Flavivus Vespasianus. In this book he wastes little time in dispatching friend or foe (including his brutalised wife) into the next world with his trusty gladius. I can understand why this is a bestselling series with an ever-growing audience.

A review of Xaghra’s Revenge by Geoff Nelder

Geoff Nelder is one of those writers who seems to be able to work across multiple genres seamlessly. There’s always an element of action, a hint of steamy romance, and his trademark twist. In his latest novel, Xaghra’s Revenge, the twist is a mixture of history, science, horror and fantasy. The research that underlies this novel is obviously impeccable. The narrative is built on the true story of Turkish pirate Rais Dragut, a brutal and deranged man who, in 1551, captured the entire population of Gozo, one of the Maltese islands, and sold whoever survived the terrible journey into slavery in Northern Africa.