International Women's Day!

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Celebrate International Women's Day today, Tuesday 8 March, by some reading books by Australian women authors.  Check out these suggestions...

Debut
Hotel Du Barry / Leslie Truffle
Heartbreak, joy and nefarious doings at London's luxurious HOTEL DU BARRY. A book for lovers of fine gin, murderous impulses and Jonas Jonasson.
When a laughing baby is found amongst the Hotel du Barry's billowing sheets, tucked up in an expensive pair of ladies' bloomers and neatly pegged to the laundry line, the hotel staff resolve to keep the child. The hotel's owner, Daniel du Barry, still mourning the loss of his lover in an automobile accident, adopts the little girl, names her after his favourite champagne and seeks consolation in fatherhood. Cat du Barry grows up beloved by both hotel staff and guests, equally at home in the ninth floor premium suite as she is in the labyrinth below stairs.
Years later when Daniel du Barry dies in sinister circumstances, Cat determines to solve the mystery with the assistance of her extended hotel family.
From hotel detective to roguish Irish gigolo, from compassionate housekeeper to foxy chamber maid, each will play their wicked part in this novel that will charm, amuse and delight.

Short Stories
My hearts are your hearts : twenty new stories and their origins / Carmel Bird
What are the hares getting up to among the sunflowers? Who is paying $6000 for a raincoat? The priest is good, kind, adored, believed - but can the schoolgirl trust him? Who kills his wife and dumps the body in the pool? What if you find your death was listed long ago online? With lightness in the telling, with subtle harmonies and rhythms in the sentences, subversive wit, tender observation - these new stories from one of Australia's foremost storytellers explore the mysterious workings of the heart. Accompanied by the author's comments on the stories' origins and themes, as well as insights into the creative process, this is the first in Spineless Wonders' new series, FICTION PLUS. A must for lovers of short fiction - for readers and for writers.

 Literary
The light on the water / Olga Lorenzo

Recently divorced and trying to make sense of her new life, Anne takes her daughter Aida on an overnight bushwalk in the moody wilderness of Wilsons Promontory. In a split second, Aida disappears and a frantic Anne scrambles for help. Some of the emergency trackers who search for Aida already doubt Anne's story.

Nearly two years later and still tormented by remorse and grief, Anne is charged with her daughter's murder. Witnesses have come forward, offering evidence which points to her guilt. She is stalked by the media and shunned by friends, former colleagues and neighbours.

On bail and awaiting trial, Anne works to reconstruct her last hours with Aida. She remembers the sun high in the sky, the bush noisy with insects, and her own anxiety, as oppressive as the heat haze.

A superbly written and conceived literary work about the best and the worst aspects of family life, this story asks difficult questions about society, the media, and our rush to judgement.

Biography
Plain-speaking Jane / Jane Caro
Jane Caro is known for saying what she thinks across the news and entertainment media. In an era where public figures talk about themselves as brands, and manage every moment accordingly, this is not just refreshing, it's, well, radical.

Unafraid to apply that razor-sharp insight to her own life, Jane reveals that she was not a model child or a faultless parent, and she's a better person for it; that asking for help is a skill worth mastering; and that in her long and successful career in advertising, she was bullied by some of the wittiest men in Australia.

Jane also talks frankly about her battle with anxiety, offering assurance and hope to the one-in-three Australian women affected by the condition. Jane shows that anxiety is not a life sentence, and that on the other side lies the ultimate reward: the freedom to do as we please.

Dystopian
The natural way of things / Charlotte Woods
Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a 'nurse'. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl's past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue - but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.

Thriller
Darkest Place/ Jaye Ford
Carly Townsend is starting over after a decade of tragedy and pain. In a new town and a new apartment she's determined to leave the memories and failures of her past behind.

However that dream is shattered in the dead of night when she is woken by the shadow of a man next to her bed, silently watching her. And it happens week after week.

Yet there is no way an intruder could have entered the apartment. It's on the fourth floor, the doors are locked and there is no evidence that anyone has been inside.

With the police doubting her story, and her psychologist suggesting it's all just a dream, Carly is on her own. And being alone isn't so appealing when you're scared to go to sleep . . .

Contemporary
 Hold/Kirsten Tranter
A haunting, hypnotic and enticing novel of grief and desire, by one of Australia's finest, most assured novelists.
Three years ago, Shelley's lover, Conrad, died in a surfing accident. Now, still in a state of subdued grief, Shelley has just moved into an old Victorian terrace in Paddington with David, her new partner, trying for a new beginning. At home one morning, Shelley discovers a door to a small intriguing room, which is not on the plans. There is a window, a fireplace and a beautiful chandelier. But nothing else.
When Shelley meets a man who seems to be Conrad's uncanny double, the mysterious room begins to dominate her world, becoming a focus for her secret fantasies and fears, offering an escape which also threatens to become a trap.

Novella
The girl with the dogs/ Anna Funder
The Girl with the Dogs is a poignantly beautiful novella about what's really precious in life, from Miles Franklin Award-winning Anna Funder, author of All That I Am. Amid the debris of their friends' marriages, Tess and Dan have hit the middle years relatively unscathed. But Tess senses she's at a hinge moment, poised between the life she thought she wanted and the one she long ago decided against. The demands of her Sydney family seem unrelenting: an uneasy teenage daughter, a father who has just been placed in care, the impending sale of her childhood home. Sent to London for a conference, she's unable to resist the pull of that relinquished life. What, she wonders, would it be like now? And might it have suited her better after all?

Romance 
Kakadu Sunset/ Annie Seaton
In the ancient lands of Kakadu, it's not just the crocodiles you should be afraid of...Helicopter pilot Ellie Porter loves her job. Soaring above the glorious Kakadu National Park, she feels freed from the heavy losses of her beloved family farm and the questions around her father's suicide. But when a search-and-rescue mission on the boundary of the older property reveals unusual excavation works, Ellie vows to investigate.The last thing she needs is her bad-tempered co-pilot, Kane McClaren, interfering. The son of the current owners of the farm, her attraction to him is a distraction she can't afford, especially when someone threatens to put a stop to her inquiries - but any means necessary.Ellie will have to trust Kane if she is to have any hope of uncovering the truth of what is really going on. Between Ellie's damage and Kane's secrets, can they find a way to open up to each other before the shadowy forces shut her up...for good?

In the news
Numbered / Amy Andrews & Ros Baxter
Mathematician and many-time Loser in Love Poppy Devine believes in being prepared. So when she discovers she has breast cancer, all she has to do is dust off the carefully numbered bucket list she prepared years before with her best friend Julia. There are only two problems: Quentin, a gorgeous younger man with rock-star ambitions, wasn't on her list. And take-a-risk Julia, has suddenly come over all disapproving.



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