Spring New Release Books

October 24, 2011

Breakfast in Bed, by Eleanor Moran. Published By Sphere, RRP $27.99.

At 31, Amber’s getting bombarded with wedding invitations just as she’s collecting her divorce papers.

Her wedding photos are hidden in her parents’ attic; her dress sold on eBay; the top layer of the wedding cake skewered by a well-aimed Louboutin. With a heart that’s bruised but not quite broken, Amber is determined to rebuild her life and pursue the career she’s always dreamed of: as a top chef. She knows she has what it takes. But to achieve her dream she must be prepared to work harder than she’s ever worked before – she’s being trained by celebrity chef Oscar Retford and his temper, and ability to fire people on the spot, is as legendary as the food he creates.

Amber doesn’t mind hard work – it stops her thinking about why her marriage failed. But, as she discovers, erasing the past is nowhere near as easy as she thinks. And Oscar’s kitchen is also the place to provide an unexpected spark of passion …

The Secrets of Rosa Lee, by Jodi Thomas. Published by Mira, RRP $29.99.

Everyone assumes Rosa Lee Altman lived a life without passion. But buried secrets are meant to be revealed…

The once beautiful Altman home sits empty: its gardens overgrown, its windows boarded up — an old lady, now silent. But if some of the townsfolk have it their way, this lovely reminder of times past will be sold off to the highest bidder. When a group of community members with little in common is chosen to decide the fate of ‘the old Altman place’, they soon learn that Rosa Lee’s home is more than bricks and mortar. It’s also a place that harbours a love so strong, it has the power to change the entire town.

But no one is prepared for what they discover beneath Rosa Lee’s overgrown roses — or how her legacy will change their lives forever.

The Elegant Art of Falling Apart, by Jessica Jones. Published By Hachette Australia, RRP $32.99.

After completing seven months of gruelling treatments for breast cancer Jessica Jones travelled to Sydney to begin a celebratory three-month holiday with her boyfriend only to find herself D.O.A. – Dumped On Arrival! Marooned half a world away from her current home in London, with little money she faced a decision: return immediately, heartbroken and defeated or step forward into the unknown. Jessica made the decision to stay, to undertake a new adventure.

Told in the first person, The Elegant Art of Falling Apart relates Jessica’s encounter with cancer, mental breakdown and hospitalisation in Australia and her return to London. As the story unfolds it is interspersed with vignettes that delve into the past, mining the rich vein of her life’s experience: a life studded with what self-help writers euphemistically call opportunities for growth. Jessica was born in Australia and as a young woman she had been totally paralysed on a life-support machine.

Her early adulthood was chaotic because of her alcoholism and drug addiction and her disastrous relationships: travelling the world with Brendan the self-obsessed photographer; cocaine and dust-ups with Trevor the sociopath gangster but she got way from all that. She rebuilt her career and bought her own flat. And then, just when her life became, at last, prosperous and secure and she had embarked on a wonderful, new relationship, she learned that she had cancer.

The Elegant Art of Falling Apart tells how Jessica learned to cope with whatever life threw at her and she did it all with style, grace and a smile on her face.

Pacific Heights, by Paul Harper. Published By Quercus.

A San Francisco detective becomes entangled with a private intelligence agency as he investigates what appears to be a traceless form of murder.

A couple meets in a seedy hotel room for an illicit affair, the rules of which are simple: no names, no personal details, the specifics of their lives off-limits. It’s all very exciting to Lore Cha—the wife of a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur—who thinks their forbidden meetings and taboo sexual encounters are exactly the escape she’s been looking for: every single detail is as she imagined. But that’s the problem. Phillip Krey anticipates every thought before she has it. He plays out her untold fantasies down to the last detail. His insights are beyond intuitive; they’re invasive, even frightening. It’s as if he has access into her mind.

Across town, Elise Currin, wife to one of San Francisco’s most powerful businessmen, is also seeing Krey, and is slowly being driven insane by his ability to tap in to her most private desires. When it’s revealed that these women are also seeing the same therapist, a chilling scenario unfolds, and the quiet, plotting detective Marten Fane is called in.

Slowly Fane uncovers a plot that goes beyond Krey to reveal a powerful private sector, secret government involvement, and one of the most elaborate and monstrous psychological experiments imaginable: a traceless form of murder.

Tiger Men, by Judy Nunn. Published By William Heinemann, RRP $32.95.

‘This town is full of tiger men,’ Dan said. ‘Just look around you. The merchants, the builders, the bankers, the company men, they’re all out for what they can get. This is a tiger town, Mick, a place at the bottom of the world where God turns a blind eye to pillage and plunder.’

Van Diemen’s Land was an island of stark contrasts; a harsh penal colony, an English idyll for its landed gentry, and an island so rich in natural resources it was a profiteer’s paradise. Its capital Hobart Town had its contrasts too; the wealthy elite in their sandstone mansions, the exploited poor in the notorious slum known as Wapping, and the criminals and villains who haunted the dockside taverns and brothels of Sullivan’s Cove. Hobart Town was no place for the meek.

Tiger Men is the story of Silas Stanford, a wealthy Englishman; Mick O’Callaghan an Irishman on the run; and Jefferson Powell, an idealistic American political prisoner. It is also the story of the strong, proud women who loved them, and of the children they bore who rose to power in the cut-throat world of international trade.

Tiger Men is the sweeping tale of three families who lived through Tasmania’s golden era and witnessed the birth of the Commonwealth of Australia, only to watch its young men consumed by the fires and horror of the First World War.

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