2017 Mother’s Day Gift Guide
The Shape of Us
Four different women. The same big problem. One magical solution?
Despite excelling at university, Mezz has ended up the second-choice doctor in a two-doctor town, and won’t be winning Mother of the Year any time soon. Miserably overweight, she knows it’s only a matter of time until her gorgeous husband starts to stray…
Jewels runs a successful business and lives in her dream house. All she needs to make life complete is a baby. She’ll do anything to lose weight and become a mother… just as soon as the Tim Tams are finished.
Ellie’s life looks perfect on Facebook. But unlike the sunny snapshots, her world in Canberra is dull: she left everything behind in London, and the woman she sacrificed her life for is hardly ever home. Her ever-increasing waistline is testimony to just how small Ellie’s life has become.
Kat’s baby is her world. As a Bosnian refugee, she wants nothing more than a stable, happy life for Ami, but Kat’s relationship with Ami’s dad is collapsing. If she could just lose the ‘baby weight’ maybe Josh would look at her the way he used to.
When Mezz, Jewels, Ellie and Kat meet in an online weight-loss forum, a common goal accelerates their friendship. As the kilos start to disappear but their problems don’t, they begin to realise that weight-loss might not be the key to happiness, but that supporting and believing in the ones you love, and yourself, just might be …
A Bouquet of Love
Serenity Press anthology
Ten couples not looking for love find something unexpected when they visit Serendipity Bridal Boutique, Kate Peron’s vintage-styled salon. Love is in the air and it’s about to blow into their lives, bringing fortunate accidents of the heartfelt variety to those lucky enough to walk through Serendipity’s doors.
A man comes to Eagle Point to stop a wedding. A magazine editor finds herself in a cheesy situation. A different kind of bride takes to the catwalk. Readers will be swept away by this bouquet of stories from ten Australian authors – stories of healing and second chances, of opening hearts and minds, of souls connecting and remembering, of temptation and desire. Life and love in Eagle Point has never been more challenging … or fun!
From cupcake-wielding assassins to hilarious blind date set-ups, there’s something for everyone in this delightfully romantic collection that proves there can never be too much ado about love.
The Scent of You
Perfume blogger Polly is in crisis. Will her husband’s absence break her … or make her? A novel of perfumes, exploring life, love, loss and forgiveness – Maggie Alderson’s new bestseller.
Are you still married if you haven’t seen your husband for months?
Polly’s life is great. Her children are away at uni, her glamorous mother – still modelling at eighty-five – is happily settled in a retirement village, and her perfume blog is taking off. Then her husband announces he needs some space and promptly vanishes.
As Polly grapples with her bewildering situation, she clings to a few new friends to keep her going – Shirlee, the loudmouthed yoga student; Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer; and Edward, an old flame from university.
And while she distracts herself with the heady world of luxury perfume, Polly knows she can’t keep reality at bay forever. Eventually she is forced to confront some difficult truths: about her husband, herself and who she really wants to be.
The Woolgrower’s Companion
As the war draws to a close, one woman faces her greatest battle . . .
Australia 1945. Until now Kate Dowd has led a sheltered life on Amiens, her family’s sprawling sheep station in northern New South Wales. The horrors of war have for the most part left her untouched. But with her father succumbing to wounds he’s borne since the Great War, the management of the farm is increasingly falling on Kate’s shoulders.
With only the sheep-rearing book The Woolgrower’s Companion to guide her, Kate rises to the challenge. However the arrival of two Italian POW labourers unsettles not only the other workers, but Kate too – especially when she finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Luca Canali.
Then she receives devastating news. The farm is near bankrupt and the bank is set to repossess. Given just eight weeks to pay the debt, Kate is now in a race to save everything she holds dear.
Talk of the Town
Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.
But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.
Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.
But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?
A moving story of secrets, love and new beginnings from bestselling author Rachael Johns.
Her Mother’s Secret
A sweeping story of love and ambition from England to the Manhattan of the 1920s and 1940s by the author of A KISS FROM MR FITZGERALD
1918, England. Armistice Day should bring peace into Leonora’s life. Rather than secretly making cosmetics in her father’s chemist shop to sell to army nurses such as Joan, her adventurous Australian friend, Leo hopes to now display her wares openly. Instead, Spanish flu arrives in the village, claiming her father’s life. Determined to start over, she boards a ship to New York City. On the way she meets debonair department store heir Everett Forsyth . . . In Manhattan, Leo works hard to make her cosmetics dream come true, but she’s a woman alone with a small salary and a society that deems make-up scandalous.
1939, New York City. Everett’s daughter, Alice, a promising ballerina, receives a mysterious letter inviting her to star in a series of advertisements for a cosmetics line. If she accepts she will be immortalized like dancers such as Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Ginger Rogers. Why, then, are her parents so quick to forbid it?
HER MOTHER’S SECRET is the story of a brave young woman chasing a dream in the face of society’s disapproval.
All her life Julia Gunn has been weighed down – first by a controlling father, then by a staid older husband, and always by a long-buried secret from her teenage years.
Now, widowed at just thirty-six, she’s going to do something for herself.
Except en route to a new life on the coast at Lakes Entrance she finds herself – courtesy of a rockslide – stuck in the remote mountain town of Lake Grace.
Yet maybe fate is on her side. Because Lake Grace is home to Rick Halloran – ex-rodeo king, sculptor and grazier – and the man with whom she enjoyed a brief, unforgettable romance twenty years ago.
Not only that, but Julia has dreamed of running her own café, and she’s just spotted a For Sale sign outside the prettiest little tea-room by the lake . . .
Julia is finally on the verge of the life she’s always wanted.
Then her long-buried secret knocks at the door . . .
A Letter from Italy
Inspired by the life of the world’s first woman war correspondent, Australia’s Louise Mack, the most gorgeous love story yet by Pamela Hart.
1917, Italy. Australian journalist Rebecca Quinn is an unconventional woman. At the height of World War I, she has given up the safety of her Sydney home for the bloody battlefields of Europe, following her journalist husband to the frontline as a war correspondent in Italy.
Reporting the horrors of the Italian campaign, Rebecca finds herself thrown together with American-born Italian photographer Alessandro Panucci, and soon discovers another battleground every bit as dangerous and unpredictable: the human heart.
A passionate and poignant love story set on the beautiful Italian coast by the bestselling author of THE SOLDIER’S WIFE and THE WAR BRIDE.
The Traitor’s Girl
‘I think I’m in danger. It’s a matter of some urgency. You must please come at once.’
After receiving a mysterious summons from her long-lost grandmother, Australian teacher Annabel Logan agrees to visit her home in the Cotswolds. But when she arrives at the magnificent Beechwood Hall, it appears abandoned and the local villagers have no idea where the reclusive Caroline Banks might be.
The one person who might know something is enigmatic journalist Simon Culpepper. He reveals that Caroline Banks was once known as Carrie Granger. A socialite’s daughter, Carrie became a spy and agent provocateur for MI5 during the Second World War. But when British intelligence failed to investigate a dangerous traitor, she decided to take matters into her own hands …
Concerned that her grandmother’s secret past has caught up with her, Annabel stays on to investigate. But the more she uncovers, the more difficult it becomes to know who to trust. There are strange incidents occurring at Beechwood and Annabel must use all her ingenuity and daring to find Carrie before it’s too late.
From the streets of Seville, Paris and London in the thirties and forties, to the modern English countryside The Traitor’s Girl is a captivating story of passion, intrigue and betrayal.
The Daintree breeds survivors, those who can weather the storms, heat and floods that come hand-in-hand with its beauty. Doctor Emma Porter is one such survivor, dedicated to her patients and to preserving this precious land where she has made a home.
Emma’s quiet life is disrupted when Doctor Jeremy Langford starts working at the hospital, bringing back painful memories: Jeremy was her first love and embodies all that she left behind in Sydney. Jeremy has demons of his own, however, and the tight-knit community of Dalrymple seems to promise the peace he has been looking for.
But while some come to the Daintree to find shelter, others are here to exploit the rainforest’s riches. And they will stop at nothing to get their hands on its bounty.
When something is taken away, it can make what’s left all the sweeter – in winemaking, they call it the ‘angels’ share’.
Mattie Cameron thinks she’s got it all figured out: an impressive career in London, a gorgeous boyfriend and brilliant friends. But after a freak skiing accident leaves her with serious injuries, a broken heart and a job she can no longer do, moving back to Australia to recuperate at her brother Mark’s winery in the Shingle Valley seems like the only option.
Meanwhile, Mark is preoccupied with a catastrophic threat to the future of the valley and his partner, Rose, is juggling the demands of her burgeoning restaurant and being a stepmother, all the while secretly longing for a child of her own.
As Mattie’s injuries heal, she begins to wonder where her future might lie, especially when she finds herself struggling with her growing feelings for winemaker Charlie Drummond – who happens to be engaged to someone.
The Desert King’s Captive Bride
‘I was blackmailed into this marriage. I will not be blackmailed into bed.’
Princess Ghizlan of Jeirut has returned home to find that warrior Sheikh Huseyn al Rasheed has seized her late father’s kingdom. With her sister held hostage, Ghizlan has no choice. Her barbarian captor is determined to tame her, rule her — and make her his own!
Forcing Ghizlan’s hand in marriage will not be enough to conquer her body and soul: Huseyn’s iron will is challenged at every step by her magnificent beauty and fierce pride. It won’t be long before they both fall prey to the firestorm between them…
The Midsummer Garden
From medieval France to contemporary Tasmania, two remarkable women discover their strengths, passions and loves.
Travelling between lush gardens in France, windswept coastlines of Tasmania, to Tuscan hillsides and beyond, The Midsummer Garden lures the reader on an unforgettable culinary and botanical journey.
1487 Artemisia is young to be in charge of the kitchens at Chateau de Boschaud but, having been taught the herbalists’ lore, her knowledge of how food can delight the senses is unsurpassed. All of her concentration and flair is needed as she oversees the final preparations for the sumptuous wedding feast of Lord Boschaud and his bride while concealing her own secret dream. For after the celebrations are over, she dares to believe that her future lies outside the Chateau. But who will she trust?
2014 Pip Arnet is an expert in predicting threats to healthy ecosystems. Trouble is, she doesn’t seem to recognise these signs in her own life. What Pip holds dearest right now is her potential to make a real difference in the marine biology of her beloved Tasmanian coastline. She’d thought that her fiance Jack understood this, believed that he knew she couldn’t make any plans until her studies were complete. But lately, since she’s finally moved in with him, Jack appears to have forgotten everything they’d discussed.
When a gift of several dusty, beautiful old copper pots arrives in Pip’s kitchen, the two stories come together in a rich and sensuous celebration of family and love, passion and sacrifice.
Soldier, surgeon, traitor, dog…
When Sergeant Nate Calloway is carried into the field hospital with no memory of how he got there or where the other members of his unit are, Australian army surgeon, Captain Beth Harper cares only about repairing his broken body. But it’s clear that something went terribly wrong on the other side of the wire, and as Nate slowly recovers, he becomes more and more anxious to return to duty, go back into the field, and rescue his friends, his unit, and the bomb detection dog that he loves.
The only way Nate can be released to active duty is if a doctor agrees to accompany him, and Beth surprises everyone by volunteering. Her role is to monitor Nate and take him right back to hospital the instant that his health deteriorates enough to put their rescue operation at risk. But as she stays close, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to his courage, his determination, and his commitment to his fellow soldiers.
Instead of a straightforward recovery, however, Nate and Beth soon realise they’ve stumbled on a tangled web of deceit and danger, and the enemy is no longer outside the wire. He is one of their own, a traitor, and he has them in his scope.
GIVEAWAY: Amanda is offering a beautiful Sending Love Box Winter Awakening gift pack to one lucky AusRom Today Mother’s Day Gift Guide reader! The pack can be seen here.
The Painted Heart
The enigmatic Hurley Twins were selling her…and Miss Elspeth James had no choice but to accept. As governess to the Canvases, she prepared the girls to be sold as living art, prepared them to become legendary Painted Sisters to some of the world’s most influential and powerful men, The Collectors. She would have walkout out, left the Hurley twins, her beloved charges and the ridiculous proposal but the girls were in serious danger. There were whispers a diabolical outlawed sect, a Skinner…of secret bidding, astronomical prices for the beautiful tattooed skin minus the girl. If she accepted the deal to become his Painted Sister, the arrogant, cold and infuriatingly handsome Mr. Blackburn, she could do something to protect the girls, to protect her friends. That, was worth doing the unimaginable for. That was worth fighting the way he made her body feel even as he hated him.
Mr Blackburn, a rudely wealthy self-made man, had connections at every level of society and he wanted more. Having a Painted Sister would rise him higher in the elite world of ‘The Collectors’, men who like him operated over and above the rules of society. Yet on meeting Miss James…. he wanted more. He pushed her to sign over her virtue as well as become his Painted Sister, pushed her to override her distaste for him and taste what passion felt like.
The trouble was… she made him hunger for something he’d never wanted and never believed in … Could she love him? Would she ever reach out and touch him with the same need that thumped through his veins every moment of every day since the first time they met?
Like so many of her university friends, Kate Brown is London bound, but unlike her friends – who had the chance to enjoy the beer, sights and attractions of the UK – Kate is instead visiting her grandmother (who may or may not be the devil).
Wanting nothing more than to be a normal, independent twenty-something living it up in ol’ London town, Kate finds herself a prisoner in her grandmother’s Kensington terrace, daydreaming about the holiday that could have been. But when Kate is almost run over by the ridiculously good looking Jack Baker, it leaves her wondering if being out and about is such a good idea after all, especially when she catches herself laughing at his jokes.
One thing Kate knows for sure is that she has to avoid Jack at all costs. But with her balcony facing his, you can pretty much guarantee Kate’s London adventure is going to be anything but boring . . .
The Song of Us
Zoe Wylde is a woman at a crossroad. Five years ago, she fled her successful career as a concert harpist in London to return to her Bondi home. She still plays, but now her audience is on the way out … literally. It’s complicated and complication is something Zoe understands well. Her best friend is chasing a new love, her brother’s chasing too much love and her father has been married far too many times. Compared to them she thought she was doing okay. She’s met the guy she is sure is the ONE. He wooed her and has been sleeping with her for almost five years. It would all be perfect … if he wasn’t married.
Zoe is learning that hearts, like harps, are capable of beautiful music if treated the right way and can be tricky to manoeuvre. She’s over the old tune. But does Zoe have the courage to rewrite the song of her own life?
Best Laid Plans
TO DO LIST
1) Buy hummus
2) Pay Pilates teacher
3) Find prostitute for son…
When it comes to sex, even the best laid plans come unstuck – in the stickiest way possible
As a crossword-addicted English teacher, Lucy never expected to be arrested for kerb-crawling. But her autistic twenty-year-old son Merlin is desperate to lose his virginity, and a prostitute seems like the only option . . . only Lucy picks up an undercover policewoman instead.
Let off with a suspended sentence, Lucy resigns herself to the fact that her son will never have sex, let alone find love… until the morning she miraculously discovers Merlin in bed with a girl.
But is tough, tattooed Kayleigh just taking Merlin for a ride? If so, why? And what has brought Lucy’s snake of an ex-husband wriggling back into their lives?
As all her best laid plans for Merlin’s happiness chaotically unravel, will Lucy ever be able to cut her son’s psychological umbilical cord and start to live her own life? And will the funny, quirky and marvellously magical Merlin ever find real love?
With plenty of comic twists and emotional turns, Kathy Lette’s riotous yet heartrending novel tackles the taboo subject of sex for the ‘differently abled’ – and shows us that when it comes to sex, we all have special needs …
For Emma and Lucie, the art of lying appears all too easy . . .
Emma Wilson has it all. Beauty, wealth, a loving and successful husband. But appearances can be deceptive. Bored and restless, her need for more fuels a dangerous craving; one she intends to keep hidden. Against her husband’s wishes and trapped in a deep web of lies, Emma returns to the family and hometown she left seventeen years earlier. Here, her lies magnify, threatening to destroy her marriage and all she holds dear.
Widowed and struggling financially and emotionally, Lucie Andrews is pushed to her limits. Delayed grief combined with an obstinate five-year-old drive her to rash decisions and reckless behavior, the consequences of which she is determined to keep secret. For Lucie, the most damaging lies are not the ones she tells others, but those she tells herself.
Thrown together by circumstance, will friendship be strong enough for Emma and Lucie to survive the fallout from their lies, or will the fragile threads of their lives continue to unravel?
The Currency Lass
She can run but she can’t hide…
As her father’s only heir, Catherine Cottingham expects to inherit their sprawling property in the Hunter Valley. What she doesn’t understand is why her father is trying to push her into a marriage to the pompous and repulsive Sydney businessman Henry W. Bartholomew.
When the will is read it becomes clear money, or the lack of it, lay behind her father’s plans. Catherine is mortified — as a married woman all her possessions will pass to her husband, the overbearing Bartholomew. Her only alternative is to wait until her twenty-first birthday and inherit the property in her own right, but can she elude such a determined man until then?
A chance encounter with a travelling circus and its fiery lead performer, Sergey Petrov, offers the perfect solution and Catherine escapes to the goldfields. But there is more to the circus than spangles and sawdust and Catherine finds herself drawn into a far-reaching web of fraud and forgery…
OUR MEGA GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED – THE LUCKY WINNERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Natasha Lester Her Mother’s Secret – Jordana K
JD Barrett The Song of Us – Marlene P
Pamela Hart A Letter from Italy – Michelle F
CJ Duggan London Bound – Leighta B
Amanda Knight’s Winter Awakening pack – Sue B
Tea Cooper The Currency Lass – Elyse E
Rachael Johns Talk of the Town – Caroline G, Ann-Marie D, Sherie B
Annie Seaton Daintree – Lesley M
Louise Guy Everyday Lies paperback – Courtney B
Louise Guy Everyday Lies ebook – Narelle C
Kayte Nunn Angel’s Share – Jodie A, Kate G, Janine K
Serenity Press A Bouquet of Love – Mette S, Leah M
Lisa Ireland The Shape of Us – Tea C
Maggie Alderson The Scent of You – Janet R, Johanna R, Michelle L, Juliette A, Chris D
Elsa Holland ebook gift pack – Pauline F
Annie West book pack – Denise F
Margareta Osborn Lake Hill – Deborah B
Kirsty Manning The Midsummer Garden – Dan H, Delores B
Christine Wells The Traitor’s Girl – Jean F, Jay H
Joy Rhoades The Woolgrowers Companion – Kathy Anne W
Get all your favourite reads for you (& your Mum) at Booktopia! And for a limited time you could win a Mother’s Day Book Pack valued at $1000!
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