Tag Archives: Xmas

Narrelle’s Holiday Reading Guide

The end of the calendar year is coming, bringing with it school holidays, the Christmas break, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the solstice and other observances and festivals, including the new year!

Whatever the occasion – it’s always a good time for a book, am I right? Seems a good time to suggest a recommended reading list of the books I’ve enjoyed this year!

Pardon the blatant plugging, but I have stories in a couple of fantastic anthologies that have been published over the year which you might enjoy, especially if you enjoy crime, adventure or fantasy!

Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook is a collection of stories set in Australia (and on a boat to New Zealand) in 1890.

Authors include Kerry Greenwood cowriting with Lindy Cameron, Lucy Sussex, Steve Cameron, Meg Keneally and Jason Franks!

And then.. Volumes One is an absolute treasure trove of great fiction by Australian writers, including Sulari Gentill,  Jason Nahrung, Alan Baxter, Jason Franks, Lucy Sussex, Amanda Wrangles, Evelyn Tsitas, Peter M Ball, Dan Rabarts, Kat Clay, Sophie Masson, Tor Roxburgh, Emilie Collyer and Tansy Rayner Roberts.

There are stories in outer space, in ancient lands, involving dragons and mysteries and alien life forms and pretty much everything in between!  Volume Two is coming as well – check out Clan Destine Press for details (and other cool books by Australian authors!)

I’m especially delighted with Scarlet Stiletto: the Ninth Cut 2017, as it contains my Award-winning ghost/crime story Jane. In fact, every story in the volume is an award winner, by fabulous new Australian crime writers.

I have novels and short stories out too, like the action-filled paranormal thriller/gay romance Ravenfall ,and lesbian romance Near Miss!

But it’s not all about me, I know that.

It’s also about Emily Larkin, whose Baleful Godmother series has been a delight all this year. The sixth book of this magical regency series of books and novellas has just been released, but you can start with the delightful Unmasking Miss Appleby, then dash right along with Resisting Miss Merryweather,  Trusting Miss Trentham, Claiming Mister Kemp, and Ruining Miss Wrotham before finishing (for now) with Discovering Miss Dalrymple.

Tansy Rayner Roberts has been another joy this year (and every year) with her Belladonna University/Fake Geek Girl and Castle Charming novella series, her Patreon posts and pretty much just everything she writes. I interviewed her recently, so you can find links of books to love right there. Her brand new book, Girl Reporter, is due out on 19 December too!

More gruesome splendour is provided by Emma Viskic, whose  And Fire Came Down, is every bit as good as its award-winning predecessor, Resurrection Bay.

Full of action, drama, serious injury, and featuring a cast of diverse supporing characters and a deaf protagonist. Highly, highly, highly recommended!

I also want to wave flaily hands at Gillian Polack’s The Wizardry of Jewish Women, because it displays her customary wry wit and intricate world-building in a seemingly innocuous domestic setting with suburban Australia.

Get The Wizardry of Jewish Women in Mobi or Epub formats at Bookview Cafe. 

That’s enough fiction of various types to be getting on with. If you want to try some more ideas, just search my blog on the tag ‘reviews’ for suggestions.

Enjoy your break, if you get one, and may every book you read be golden!

And please – if you have a great book recommendation for the 2017-18 transition, please leave a comment, and maybe even a link!

Quintette of Questions: SM Spencer

This week’s romance release interview is with:

SM Spencer

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

A Chance for Snow.  I wanted to keep to the theme of “A Chance …” and knew this was to be a story set around Christmas, so this worked well. It wasn’t hard to pick the title, just took a bit of tweaking.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Hugh Jackman would make a fabulous Jim Mitchell!  And Rose Byrne would make a great Debra Franklin. As for the kids, perhaps a young Liam Hemsworth for Porter, and Emily Browning as Megan. (An all Australian cast, for certain!)

3. What five words best describe your story?

Moving, Dreamy, Surprising, Entwining, Genuine

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

Well, if I were to base it on the number of times I watched the movie and never seemed to tire of it, I think it would have to be Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. My favourite quote from the movie, “big mistake”. Who doesn’t know where she says that, who she’s talking to at the time, and why she says it? It’s a classic line!

5. What song always makes you cry? 

The song Angel (sometimes known as In the Arms of an Angel) by Sarah McLachlan always make me teary; every time I hear it. I love all versions of the song, but perhaps my favourite would be the one with Pink, from the American Music Awards, 2008.

I’m glad you asked this question as it prompted me to look up the history of the song—there’s a good reason it brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

About A Chance for Snow

With a double wedding and Christmas fast approaching, love is in the air—or is it?

Of course Debra Franklin is looking forward to her best friend’s wedding; she just wishes she wasn’t dateless again, because even though she’s made plans to leave the small-town gossips behind, she knows the wedding photos with her looking like a spinster will last forever. But when the tall-dark-and-handsome Jim Mitchell, with his cobalt blue eyes shadowed by an American cowboy hat, appears on the scene just a week before the wedding, she reckons her problem of being dateless might just be solved.

Megan Saunders has always wanted a White Christmas, and this year she’s having one—in Canada. But getting her wish is a double-edged sword as it means having less time with her best friend, Porter Murray, before he leaves for university. She’s getting her childhood wish fulfilled, so why does her future feel as bleak as a dusty road leading nowhere?

As Debra’s and Jim’s paths cross with the teenagers, they form unusual friendships—and their lives are changed in surprising ways.

About S M Spencer

Growing up, S M Spencer wanted two things: a horse, and a writing career. After years of hard work, she’s got both. Living the Dream!

Follow S M Spencer

Buy A Chance for Snow