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Australian Fiction

Crossing the Lines

Crossing the Lines

Sulari Gentill

$29.99
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When Madeleine d’Leon conjures Ned McGinnity as the hero in her latest crime novel, she makes him a serious writer simply because the irony of a protagonist who’d never lower himself to read the story in which he stars, amuses her.

When Ned McGinnity creates Madeleine d’Leon, she is his literary device, a writer of detective ction who is herself a mystery to be unravelled.

As Ned and Madeleine play out their own lives while writing the other’s story, they nd themselves crossing the lines that divide the real and the imagined.

This is a story about two people trying to hold onto each other beyond reality.
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Her

Her

Garry Disher

$29.99
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Out in that country the sun smeared the sky and nothing ever altered, except that one day a scrap man came by ...HER name is scarcely known or remembered. All in all, she is worth less than the nine shillings and sixpence counted into her father's hand. She bides her time. She does her work. Way back in the corner of her mind is a thought she is almost too frightened to shine a light on: one day she will run away. A dark and unsettling tale from the turn of the twentieth century by a master of Australian literature.
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Whipbird

Whipbird

Robert Drewe

$32.99
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ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- What better set-up in order to dissect attitudes, skewer pretensions and tell lots of stories, than a huge family gathering? On a hot November weekend at his newly acquired vineyard near Ballarat, barrister Hugh Cleary is hosting a family reunion to celebrate 160 years since Conor Cleary arrived in Australia. Amongst the attendees is his notorious rock star brother Simon/Sly, who thinks he’s dead and is the complacent host to Conor’s ghost; sister Thea, a doctor with a family health revelation; their father Mick, a die-hard Richmond fan still nursing a grudge about being made redundant years ago; cousin Doug, who was part of the team that sacked Mick; cousin Ryan, Catholic priest/ex-Afghanistan forces padre with a secret crush. Then there’s the strangely familiar teenager, tattooed and disruptive, who in a Puck-like way spreads mischief and spite wherever he goes.

With such a vast number of characters to choose from, Drewe has sly fun commenting on family, society and history. Sometimes a little stretched with so many characters, and occasionally veering towards stereotype, this is nonetheless an entertaining read, the family dynamics leading to many humorous set pieces, and Drewe’s descriptive powers perfectly capturing the landscape. Lindy Jones

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Kungadgee, Victoria, Australia. A weekend in late November, 2014. At Hugh and Christine Cleary's new vineyard, Whipbird, six generations of the Cleary family are coming together from far and wide to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the arrival of their ancestor Conor Cleary from Ireland. Hugh has been meticulously planning the event for months - a chance to proudly showcase Whipbird  to the extended clan. Some of these family members know each other; some don't. As the wine flows, it promises to be an eventful couple of days.  Comic, topical, honest, sharply intelligent, and, above all, sympathetic, Robert Drewe's exhilarating new novel tells a classic Australian family saga as it has never been told before.
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The Lone Child

The Lone Child

Anna George

$29.99
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Neve Ayres has always been so careful. Since her mother’s death when Neve was seven, she’s learned to look after herself and to keep her cards close. But now her deliberately constructed world has collapsed: her partner’s left her when she was eight months pregnant. And so, alone with her newborn son, she’s retreated to her cliff-top holiday house in coastal Flinders.

There, another child comes into her life.

The first time Neve sees Jessie, the small girl is playing on an empty stretch of beach. On the cold autumn day, she is bare-legged and alone, while her mother is distracted by her own troubles. At once, almost despite herself, Neve is intrigued and concerned, and Jessie is drawn to Neve’s kindness – and to her home.

To Neve’s surprise, Jessie becomes an unlikely source of much needed care for her and her baby. Having been lost in the sleepless haze of new motherhood, Neve is touched, and finds herself grappling with how to best help the forgotten girl. She has the spacious house, the full pantry, the resources... But how much can you – should you – do for a stranger’s child?

Beautifully written and emotionally compelling, The Lone Child is about parenting and judgement, loss and love. From the acclaimed author of What Came Before, this is a gripping, atmospheric novel that explores how the desire to mother, and to be mothered, can be overwhelmingly seductive.
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The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

Sophie Green

$29.99
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ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Taking place over three years, this traces the friendships and changing lives of a small community just outside the outback town of Katherine. It follows a formula - the standoffish woman, her misfit friend, the English rose daughter-in-law, and the outsider and the abused wife - all women needing to prove their worth in a male-oriented world. Together they find friendship and succour while attempting to find something finer (and more literary) in their difficult lives. And yes, while it isn't wildly original, it is an enjoyable, competent and satisfying read, probably best accompanied with a plate of scones and a pot of tea! Lindy Jones

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In 1978 the Northern Territory has begun to self-govern. Cyclone Tracy is a recent memory and telephones not yet a fixture on the cattle stations dominating the rugged outback. Life is hard and people are isolated. But they find ways to connect.

Sybil is the matriarch of Fairvale Station, run by her husband, Joe. Their eldest son, Lachlan, was Joe's designated successor but he has left the Territory - for good. It is up to their second son, Ben, to take his brother's place. But that doesn't stop Sybil grieving the absence of her child.

With her oldest friend, Rita, now living in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Ben's English wife, Kate, finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale, Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship and purpose: they all love to read, and she forms a book club.

Mother-of-three Sallyanne is invited to join them. Sallyanne dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town of Katherine where she lives with her difficult husband, Mick.

Completing the group is Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land.

If you loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul and The Thorn Birds you will devour this story of five different women united by one need: to overcome the vast distances of Australia's Top End with friendship, tears, laughter, books and love.
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Bridget Crack

Bridget Crack

Rachel Leary

$29.99
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Van Diemen's Land, 1826. A desperate convict flees into the wilderness. But the land that hides her will show her no mercy. A brilliant literary debut from a writer of rare talent.

When Bridget Crack arrives in the colony, she is just grateful to be on dry land. But finding the life of an indentured domestic servant intolerable, she pushes back and is punished for her insubordination-sent from one place to another, each significantly worse than the last. Too late, she realises the place she has ended up is the worst of all: the 'Interior,' where the hard cases are sent-a brutally hard life with a cruel master, miles from civilisation.

She runs from there and finds herself imprisoned by the impenetrable Tasmanian wilderness. What she finds there-what finds her-is Matt Sheedy, a man on the run, who saves her from certain death. Her precarious existence among volatile and murderous bushrangers is a different kind of hell and, surrounded by roaring rivers and towering columns of rock, hunted by soldiers and at the mercy of killers, Bridget finds herself in an impossible situation. In the face of terrible darkness, what will she have to do to survive?

A gripping and moving story of a woman's struggle for survival in a beautiful and brutal landscape, Bridget Crack is a unique and deeply accomplished novel by a rare talent.
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Taboo

Taboo

Kim Scott

$32.99
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From Kim Scott, two-times winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, comes a work charged with ambition and poetry, in equal parts brutal, mysterious and idealistic, about a young woman cast into a drama that has been playing for over two hundred years ...

Taboo takes place in the present day, in the rural South-West of Western Australia, and tells the story of a group of Noongar people who revisit, for the first time in many decades, a taboo place: the site of a massacre that followed the assassination, by these Noongar's descendants, of a white man who had stolen a black woman. They come at the invitation of Dan Horton, the elderly owner of the farm on which the massacres unfolded. He hopes that by hosting the group he will satisfy his wife's dying wishes and cleanse some moral stain from the ground on which he and his family have lived for generations.

But the sins of the past will not be so easily expunged.

We walk with the ragtag group through this taboo country and note in them glimmers of re-connection with language, lore, country. We learn alongside them how countless generations of Noongar may have lived in ideal rapport with the land. This is a novel of survival and renewal, as much as destruction; and, ultimately, of hope as much as despair.
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On the Java Ridge

On the Java Ridge

Jock Serong

$29.99
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Amid the furious ocean there was no human sound on deck: some people standing, watching the wave, but no one capable of words. On the Java Ridge, skipper Isi Natoli and a group of Australian surf tourists are anchored beside an idyllic reef off the Indonesian island of Dana. In the Canberra office of Cassius Calvert, Minister for Border Integrity, a Federal election looms and (not coincidentally) a hardline new policy is being announced regarding maritime assistance to asylum-seeker vessels in distress. A few kilometres away from Dana, the Takalar is having engine trouble. Among the passengers fleeing from persecution are Roya and her mother, and Roya's unborn sister. The storm now closing in on the Takalar and the Java Ridge will mean catastrophe for them all. With On the Java Ridge Jock Serong, bestselling author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket, brings us a literary novel with the pace and tension of a political thriller-and some of the most compelling, heartstopping writing about the sea since Patrick O'Brian.
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The Easy Way Out

The Easy Way Out

Steven Amsterdam

$22.99
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ALS GOLD MEDAL 2017
LONGLISTED FOR THE INDIE AWARD FOR FICTION 2017
LONGLISTED FOR THE MILES FRANKLIN LITERARY AWARD 2017

If you could help someone in pain, would you?

Evan is a nurse, a suicide assistant. His job is legal... just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it.

Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.

As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against legality, his own morality and the best intentions of those closest to him, discovering that his own path will be neither quick nor painless.

He knows what he has to do.

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Steven Amsterdam challenges readers to face the most taboo and heartbreaking of dilemmas. Would you help someone end their life?
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Award Winning Australian Writing 2017: 10th Anniversary Edition

Award Winning Australian Writing 2017: 10th Anniversary Edition

$29.95
Each edition of Award Winning Australian Writing represents approximately 50 Writing organisations and competitions around Australia that run short story and poetry writing competitions. A sample of those represented includes:

Alan Marshall Short Story Award
Banjo Paterson Writing Award
Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize
Campbelltown Literary Award
City of Rockingham Short Fiction Award
Express Media Award
Fellowship of Australian Writers John Shaw Neilson Poetry Award
Fellowship of Australian Writers Michael Dugan Short Story Award
Fellowship of Australian Writers Microfiction Award
Forty South Publishing Tasmanian Writers' Prize
Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival Free Verse Competition
Hal Porter Short Story Competition
Ipswich Poetry Feast Award
John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers
Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Award
New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing
Newcastle Short Story Award
Overland Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize
Overland Story Wine Prize
QUT Postgraduate Creative Writing Prize
Society of Women Writers NSW Short Story Writing Competition
State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award
The age
Verandah Literary Award
Victorian Young Writers Award
W. B. Yeats Poetry Prize
Young Tasmanian Writers' Prize
ZineWest Competition
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Man in the Corner

Man in the Corner

Nathan Besser

$22.99
When David’s wife confesses that she was once a prostitute, the revelation doesn’t disturb him - he considers it simply an error of youth. But the following night David collapses from a rare brain disease and within a few months his world is turned upside down.

It was a perfectly acceptable life – successful business, happy marriage, two children. Why then has David involved himself in an identity-theft crime worth millions of dollars? Why is he taking instructions from the oddly eloquent, handsome criminal, Ben Strbic? David can’t quite understand the sequence of events that has led him here, only that he must continue to the very end.

As the days and months progress, a scam that was meant to be straightforward becomes a perilous mystery unfolding in David’s very own life.
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Common People

Common People

Tony Birch

$29.95
In this unforgettable new collection Tony Birch brings alive a cast of characters from all walks of life. These remarkable and surprising stories explore the lives of common people caught up in the everyday business of living and the struggle to survive. From a young girl who is gifted to a middle-class family for Christmas to a homeless deaf man who unexpectedly delivers a baby, Birch's stories are set in gritty urban refuges and struggling regional communities. His deftly drawn characters find unexpected signs of hope in a world where beauty can be found on every street corner - a message on a t-shirt, a friend in a stray dog, a star in the night sky - and the ordinary kindness of strangers can have extraordinary results. In Common People Birch turns his lens on shared experiences in modern society, his signature perceptivity affirming his position as one of Australia's finest writers of fiction. Stories include- 'The Ghost Train', 'Harmless', 'Colours', 'Joe Roberts', 'The White Girl', 'Party Lights', 'Paper Moon', 'Painted Glass', 'Frank Slim', 'Liam', 'Raven and Sons', 'The Good Howard', 'Sissy', 'Death Star', 'Worship'.
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Leaving Ocean Road

Leaving Ocean Road

Esther Campion

$29.99
God damn it, Gerry Clancy, couldn't you have left well enough alone and stayed in Cork?Twenty years ago, Ellen O'Shea left her beloved Ireland to make a new life in Australia. Now a popular local in a small coastal town, but struggling to cope with the death of her much-loved Greek husband, Nick, Ellen finds her world turned upside down when an unexpected visitor lands on her doorstep. The arrival of Gerry Clancy, her first love from Ireland, may just be the catalyst that pulls Ellen out of her pit of grief, but it will also trigger a whole new set of complications for her and those she holds dear.Home is where the heart is - but where exactly is home? Can Ellen and Gerry's rekindled romance withstand the passage of time, family, young adult children with their own lives, and the shock disclosure of a long-held secret that will put all their closest relationships at risk?Set in Ireland, Greece and small-town coastal Australia, Leaving Ocean Road is a warm-hearted, poignant story about treasuring our memories while celebrating our new beginnings.'Leaving Ocean Road is warm, wise and full of humour. Esther Campion is a wonderful new voice in Australian fiction' CATHY KELLY
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Precious Things

Precious Things

Kelly Doust

$19.99
Spinning her love of stories, vintage fashion and frocks into an enchanting and enthralling novel of mothers and daughters, marriage, families and desire, bestselling author Kelly Doust's Precious Things is a story about how we so often reach out for the sparkly, shiny things (and people) we desire, only to realise - in the nick of time - that the most precious things are the ones we've had with us all along.

Maggie is an auctioneer living in modern-day London, who comes across an intriguing crumpled, neglected beading collar in a box of old junk, and sets out on an unexpected mission to resucitate it to its original glittering glory. On a hunt to uncover its secret and elusive past, she discovers more about its journey through time in the hands of the women who made it, loved it, desired it and lost it.

Maggie has a journey of her own too. Juggling a demanding job, a clingy young child and a rebellious stepdaughter, and with her once-solid marriage foundering under the pressure of a busy life, Maggie has to find out the hard way that you can't always get what you want... but sometimes, you're lucky enough to get precisely what you need.

Kelly Doust is the bestselling author of a number of books on craft and fashion, including Minxy Vintage and A Life in Frocks. She's written for Vogue and Sunday Life magazine, and worked in the UK and Hong Kong. She now lives in Sydney.
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Lovesick

Lovesick

Jean Flynn

$29.99
Beth is an absolute wreck. She is certain that she has some kind of disease - a fatal one, most likely. She is also very single and quite keen on her boss colleague, Dr Brendan Roberts. He seems to fancy her, too - well, until The Morning After.

Beth knows it's time to sort out her messy life, but she has no idea where to start. Enter Shane - a slightly dishevelled forklift driver. He may not be suave or wealthy, but he does laugh at Beth's jokes and remember how she likes her coffee. Plus, the more they hang out, the healthier she feels.

But when Shane suddenly cuts off all communication, Beth starts to think there's no such thing as The One, and she decides to stop being slapdash and move on. Only life is never that simple, and Beth must take a chance if she hopes to find the cure to her ills.

Lovesick is a light-hearted romance about getting sick, getting better and taking risks.
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Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms

Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms

Anita Heiss

$19.99
Over 1000 Japanese soldiers break out of the No.12 Prisoner of War compound on the fringes of Cowra. In the carnage, hundreds are killed, many are recaptured, and some take their own lives rather than suffer the humiliation of ongoing defeat. But one soldier, Hiroshi, manages to escape. At nearby Erambie Station, an Aboriginal mission, Banjo Williams, father of five and proud man of his community, discovers Hiroshi, distraught and on the run. Unlike most of the townsfolk who dislike and distrust the Japanese, the people of Erambie choose compassion and offer Hiroshi refuge. Mary, Banjo's daughter, is intrigued by the softly spoken stranger, and charged with his care.For the community, life at Erambie is one of restriction and exclusion - living under Acts of Protection and Assimilation, and always under the ruthless eye of the mission Manager. On top of wartime hardships, families live without basic rights.Love blossoms between Mary and Hiroshi, and they each dream of a future together. But how long can Hiroshi be hidden safely and their bond kept a secret?
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The Making of Christina

The Making of Christina

Meredith Jaffe

$29.99
Christina's daughter has a secret. And the monstrous truth will shatter their lives.

Interior designer Christina Clemente is caught off guard by an intense affair with her charismatic client. Jackson Plummer quickly becomes the cure to Christina's loneliness and a surrogate father to her young daughter Bianca. 

When Jackson suggests moving to a run-down farm in the mountains, Christina is uncertain about uprooting their lives in the city. She soon forgets her hesitation, absorbing herself in restoring the rambling century-old house, Bartholomews Run, and becoming obsessed with solving its mysterious history.  

But while living on the isolated farm, her once effervescent child transforms into a quiet sullen teenager and Christina increasingly struggles to connect with her.  Because Bianca has a secret. And the monstrous truth threatens to destroy them all.

Poignant and thought-provoking, The Making of Christina will have you questioning how well you know the people you love, the price of truth, and how easily it could happen to you.
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The Way Back

The Way Back

Kylie Ladd

$29.99
Charlie Johnson is 13 and in her first year of high school. She loves her family, netball and Liam, the cute guy who sits next to her in Science-but most of all she loves horses and horse-riding. Charlie's parents have leased her a horse, Tic Tac, from the local pony club, but one day they go out for a ride in the national park and only Tic Tac returns...Four months later, long after the police and the SES have called off the search, Charlie is found wandering injured and filthy miles from where she was last seen. Her family rejoice in her return, but can anyone truly recover from what Charlie's been through? When a life has been shattered, how do you put the pieces back together?A moving, haunting and all-too-real-novel that takes you beyond the headlines and explores a family's worst nightmare with compassion and insight.
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Siren

Siren

Rachel Matthews

$29.95
A brave new novel that sensitively explores one woman's experience of sexual violence and the silencing of those who feel compelled to speak out.What happens when a young woman enters a city apartment early morning, with two footballers? Jordi Spence is sixteen years old and lives in outer Melbourne. By daybreak, her world has shifted. Max Carlisle, a troubled AFL star, can't stop what comes next. And Ruby, a single woman from the apartment block, is left with questions when she sees Jordi leave.In this remarkable novel, Rachel Matthews captures the characters of Jordi and her family, the players, and the often loveable inhabitants of a big city with a deceptive lightness of touch that seduces the reader. Siren reveals the often unnoticed life of a city while simultaneously drawing us deep into a dark and troubling world. What happens has an unexpected effect on all those who are both directly and indirectly involved.The result is a powerful and haunting novel about cultural stereotypes and expectations, love, loneliness, family and our struggle to connect. In so many ways, Matthews subtly sounds the siren on sexual violence and its prevalence in our culture. 'A powerful story that needs to be told' - Read the review in The Book Muse'It is a book that must be read and learned from' - Readings
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The Art of Navigation

The Art of Navigation

Rose Michael

$24.99
1987. Silently the forest closed around them. One, two, three girls left the dark garden and disappeared from sight under the green canopy that reached towards the house on the hill. 1587. Sometimes the visions Mr Kelley sees in the glass clarify as he gazes upon them: as though this precious stone is the lens of Dr Dee's spyglass projecting a scene from far away and Ed, homing in, is polishing the surface with his spying, lying mind. 2087. A skrying app - an icon containing infinite space, maintaining ultimate time - will be tapped. Directing the dark obsidian discs of a nova millennium's hundred-eyed crystalline ball. What refined magic science has become...
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The Town

The Town

Shaun Prescott

$29.99
With this long-awaited and utterly unique debut novel, Shaun Prescott announces himself as a compelling new voice. The Town is magnetic, revealing the true depth of Australia: the good, the bad, and the captivatingly ugly.

Community radio host Ciara receives dozens of unmarked cassette recordings every week and broadcasts them to a listenership of none. Ex-musician Tom drives an impractical bus that no one ever boards. Publican Jenny runs a hotel that has no patrons. Rick wanders the aisles of the Woolworths every day in an attempt to blunt the disappointment of adulthood.

In a town of innumerable petrol stations, labyrinthine cul-de-sac streets, two competing shopping plazas, and ubiquitous drive-thru franchises, where are these people likely to find the truth about their collective past – and can they do so before the town completely disappears?

Shaun Prescott’s debut novel The Town follows an unnamed narrator’s efforts to complete a book about disappeared towns in the Central West of New South Wales. Set in a yet-to-disappear town in the region a town believed by its inhabitants to have no history at all the novel traces its characters’ attempts to carve their own identities in a place that is both unyielding and teetering on the edge of oblivion.
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The Amber Amulet

The Amber Amulet

Craig Silvey

$14.99
Dear Sir/Ma'am,Please find enclosed this AMBER AMULET. That must sound unusual to a citizen, but you will have to trust me on this count because the science is too detailed for me to outline here. All you need to know is that the AMBER AMULET will eliminate your unhappiness by counteracting it with POSITIVE ENERGY.This should see you straight.Fear not, you're in safe hands now.Take care,The Masked AvengerMeet twelve-year-old Liam McKenzie, who patrols his suburban neighbourhood as the Masked Avenger - a superhero with powers so potent not even he can fully comprehend their extent.Along with his sidekick, Richie the Powerbeagle, he protects the people of Franklin Street from chaos, mayhem, evil and low tyre pressure - but can he save them from sadness?This perfect jewel of a book by the award-winning author of the 2009 Book of the Year Jasper Jones will hold all readers in its irresistible power.
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While the Moon Burns

While the Moon Burns

Peter Watt

$19.99
A sweeping epic befitting Australia's dramatic and inspirational history. Peter Fitzsimons In the war across the seas, the Duffys and the Macintoshes are on the same side. But on home turf, the battle between these two dynasties rages on... After fighting in two world wars, Tom Duffy's purchase of his ancestral property Glen View means a home for the next generation of Duffys. But the Macintosh family won't easily surrender this land, and when they challenge his ownership, he knows he's in for one hell of a fight. Meanwhile in Sydney, Sarah has taken over from her father as the head of the Macintosh firm. She has big plans for herself and the family business, and she isn't afraid to play dirty. Sergeant Jessica Duffy, Captain James Duffy and Major David Macintosh have survived countless battles the world over, but will all they are fighting for still be waiting for them when they return home?
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Colombiano

Colombiano

Rusty Young

$32.99
Blending fact and fiction, Colombiano takes us on a heart-thumping journey into the violent and unpredictable world of post-Escobar Colombia.

For seven years Rusty Young, author of the international bestseller Marching Powder, lived and worked in Colombia, interviewing special forces soldiers, snipers, undercover intelligence agents and members of two vicious terrorist organisations – the FARC and Autodefensas.

During this time he was both shocked and touched by the stories of child soldiers he encountered. He vowed to one day turn their tales into a book and let their voices be heard.

In Colombia you have to pick a side. Or one will be picked for you...

All Pedro Gutiérrez cares about is fishing, playing pool and his girlfriend Camila’s promise to sleep with him on his sixteenth birthday. But his life is ripped apart when Guerrilla soldiers callously execute his father in front of him, and he and his mother are banished from their farm.

Swearing vengeance against the five men responsible, Pedro, with his best friend Palillo, joins an illegal Paramilitary group, where he is trained to fight, kill and crush any sign of weakness.

But as he descends into a world of unspeakable violence, Pedro must decide how far he is willing to go. Can he stop himself before he becomes just as ruthless as those he is hunting? Or will his dark obsession cost him all he loves?

Colombiano is an epic tale of rural villages held to ransom, of jungle drug labs, cocaine supermarkets, witch doctors and buried millions, of innocent teenage love, barbaric torture and meticulously planned revenge.

Superbly told and by turns gripping, poignant and darkly comic, Colombiano is the remarkable story of a boy whose moral descent becomes a metaphor for the corruption of an entire nation. Both blockbuster thriller and electrifying coming-of-age story, Rusty Young’s powerful novel is also a meditation on the redeeming power of love.
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