18 Books That Will Change Your Life In 2018

Get ready for weekends shut up in bed with a new book.

Jackie Collins Confessions of a Wild Child Book Review

Lucky Santangelo – a name many Jackie Collins fans would know and love. Being the daughter of infamous former gangster Gino Santangelo, Lucky is the fierce heroine of several of Collins’ best-selling novels.

In Confessions of a Wild Child, we are transported back to the wild teenage years of Lucky and learn how she first set out on her rebellious path to success. Lucky is fifteen; smart, sassy and strong-minded, striving to one day follow in her fathers’ footsteps and rule an empire. Her father however has other plans, wanting nothing more than for Lucky to become a lady, get married and settle down. In this prequel and ninth novel in the Lucky Series, we get a glimpse into how Lucky challenged her father and forged her way to independence.

After tragically witnessing her mothers’ death at the age of five, Lucky and her brother Dario spend all of their time at their secluded Bel Air estate. That is until Lucky is sent away to a strict all-girls boarding school. It is here Lucky meets Olympia Stanislopolous and the two become an unstoppable pair, taking you on a crazy ride of fun, friendship and wild nights.

Lucky reveals in her newfound freedom, breaks all the rules and learns the power she holds over boys, love and ultimately, in taking charge of her own life. From sneaking out of boarding school in Switzerland, running away to the South of France and partying it up in Vegas, we share in Luckys’ wild child confessions.

This latest Collins page-turner gives you a deeper insight into Lucky’s character, delving into her innermost thoughts and secrets – including her attraction to an older man, Marco, who works for her father.

Lucky is wild, ambitious, and definitely trouble; far from any ideal sweet and innocent teenager! In Confessions of a Wild Child Jackie Collins does not disappoint – loyal Lucky fans and new readers alike will not be able to put this one down!

Confessions of a Wild Child, by Jackie Collins. Published by Simon & Schuster RRP $29.99

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Book Reviews

Book Reviews

My Sister?s Keeper
Jodi Picoult
Allen and Unwin
RRP $29.95

On the surface, Anna is a normal thirteen-year-old girl. She loves playing sport, talking about boys and hanging out with her older sister, Kate. But what makes her different, is that she was conceived to be a direct DNA match to help fight her sister?s leukemia. From donating blood, to bone marrow, it is a role that she has taken on with unquestioning acceptance. But when her parents start talking about her donating a kidney, Anna demands that her voice should be heard. This book battles with a controversial and relevant issue. How far do you go to save a person?s life? What permanent impact will trying to save the life of one sick child make on the other children in the family? What does it mean to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person? These are the questions you will ask yourself when you read this book. Told through various eyes, you will see all points of view and sample a taste of the dilemma this family goes through. Just one warning ? keep the tissues close by!
RRP $29.95 but only $26.96 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop

Name Dropping: An Incomplete Memoir
Kate Fitzpatrick
Harper Collins Publishers
RRP $32.95

Kate Fitzpatrick seems to have done everything in life. She?s been an actor on screen and stage, she was a cricket commentator, a Liberal Party speechwriter, a world traveller, journalist. And she?s met some of the most famous and desirable men on earth ? Imran Khan, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and Prince Charles to name a few. Ok the last one isn?t desirable but he?s famous? All in all, while reading this book, you can?t help feeling just a little jealous of Kate. And with a title like Name Dropping, you wonder if that?s her intention! But despite all this, it?s entirely fascinating to find out how she managed such a life. She regales us with stories of her life behind the scenes in 18 different countries and how she met personalities such as Germaine Greer, Sam Neill and Brett Whiteley. Even her review is full of namedropping!

Revenge of the blondes

Revenge of the blondes

The Dirty Girl?s Joke Book
Karen S. Smith
Carlton Books Limited

Great Jokes About Crap Blokes
Carlton Books Limited

Most girls love a good old dirty joke. Whether it?s to break up a boring afternoon at work, or for your weekly girly breakfast, there?s nothing better than having a cackle at a normally taboo subject. But think about it – most jokes are written for blokes. How many blonde jokes have you heard? Well now we?ve got something to fight back with. The Dirty Girl?s Joke Book and Great Jokes About Crap Blokes are two hilarious books aimed at not just picking on men, but beating them at their own game.

Regular themes in The Dirty Girl?s Joke Book include men?s and women?s different opinions to the same sexual experience, reasons why dogs, cars, bicycles etc… (the list goes on) are better than men and/or sex as well as interesting chapters such as ?shaggy bitch stories? and ?pussy power?. Want an example? “Why is a woman like a TV remote control? Because a man will just sit there pushing buttons randomly until something happens.”

Great Jokes About Crap Blokes isn?t quite as funny as the former but is still a great giggle. It boasts 201 hilarious jokes dedicated to the male species, which, you have to admit, is a rather entertaining subject of ridicule. Just don?t say stuff like this to a naked man and expect him to still be there in the morning: “But it still works – right?” or “Aaah it?s so cute” or even “Does it come with an airpump?”

These books are perfect to give your bestie the next time she breaks up with her bloke. Or you could just use them for your next girlie evening to have a little giggle at your man?s expense. After all those blonde jokes – don?t they deserve it?!

February Sexy Reads

February sexy reads
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Sex in the City: The Essential Guide to Dating and Sex for Modern Women
Lisa Sussman
Carlton Books $45.00

This book is not your run of the mill “how to have great sex” it is more like those off the record chats you have with your best girlfriend, you know the ones after a few wines when you really discuss what goes on between the sheets at your place? This book let’s loose about dating, love and sex for single, modern chicks. If you want hints on “how to know if your good in bed” with tips like “There are three essential rules to being good in bed: 1. Enthusiasm, don’t just lie there, moan, giggle, wriggle and beg for more.2. Use lots of spit. 3. Don’t bite his penis (nips, yes; teeth never!) And a whole chapter on the rules of the new modern mating games There is even over 40 pages devoted to the sacred organism! So rush out and buy this book if you feel your sex life needs a little sizzle to it this summer!

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How to be a Sex Goddess – Unleash the Power Within
Sarah Tomczak
Macmillan $22.95
“How to be a Sex Goddess” will teach you how to love your body, cultivate your mind, and charm every guy you meet. It will not only change the way others see you, it will change the way you see yourself!
This helpful little book will teach you how to bring out all the characteristics of a classic sex goddess – confidence, grace, strength, humor, charm, loyalty and intelligence. If this all seems a bit much for you, don’t worry this book outlines how it is possible to be all that & more! Think Sophia Loren, Salma Hayek, Audrey Hepburn, Halle Berry and of course Marilyn Monroe, the most glamorous sex goddesses of our time.

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Cool for Cats by Jessica Adams

In Cool for Cats aspiring music journalist Linda Tyler lists her top ten life changing songs. What are some of yours?The ten songs that changed Linda Tyler’s life aren’t mine at all. For me, it would be The Power and the Passion by Midnight Oil, which inspired me to get involved with People for Nuclear Disarmament back in the 80s, then Helicopter by XTC which got me into music in the first place, and The Nips Are Getting Bigger by Mental As Anything (they were the first rock band I ever interviewed when I was still at school.) And maybe Parklife by Blur, as it came along when I had been working in the music business for years and was utterly fed up with it – but that song got me straight back in again!

If Cool for Cats were made into a film who could you see playing Linda?

Cool For Cats has only just been published so the film rights have not been sold yet, but my cat Henry is crossing his paws.

Your next Astrology book will be one for the boys, were there any particular challenges in writing a book on Astrology for blokes?

Astrobloke has taken me years to write, which shows what complex little beasties men actually are, but it is nearly done, and Penguin will publish it in 2004. It’s everything I ever learned about men, astrology, life, the universe and everything in 20 years of professional stargazing, and it hopefully answers all those questions that women are always emailing me!

What are three things that have made a positive impression on you in the last month?

Big influences on me at the moment are Holy Cow! by Sarah McDonald, which I am reading for the third time (I am putting a quote on the cover of the English version of the book) and good old Triple J, which I have come back to after several months in London, and am thrilled to find is still the most original and creative radio station in the world.

Buy Cool for Cats by Jessica Adams, from the SheSaid Bookshop – and save 10%

Anything She Can Do I Can Do Better

Anything She Can Do I Can Do Better
By Rachael Oakes-Ash
Random House $22.95

Have you coveted, envied, admired another woman’s hair, shoes, bag, job, husband, figure or weight this morning?

Chances are, if you are like the rest of us, you’re competitive.

Not that you’ll admit it.

The truth about women and competition is a taboo subject, something previously swept under the carpet with other no-go zones like menstruation and masturbation.

In Anything she can do I can do better Rachel Oakes-Ash discusses this topic with the honesty of your best friend and the humour of a stand-up comedian, all mixed into one hilarious yet very thought provoking read.

If you only one read book this year that makes you think twice about how you conduct yourself (OK, a self help book for bitches!) then this is the one for you.

“Friendships between females are the most passionate of love affairs.”

Oakes-Ash attempts to prove that competitiveness need not be a negative trait that we should neither hide nor deny its existence. The problem as she sees it lies more in “the way in which competition manifests between women that can cause the destruction of female relationships.

Women have yet to realise that they can have conflict between each other without losing their friendship and they have yet to discover how to do that successfully without guilt, without silence, and without gossiping behind each other’s backs”.

As Molly Meldrum is so famous for saying “Do yourself a favour” and go out and buy a copy of this book and read it! You will want to give it to all your best girly mates in an attempt to discourage your favourite sport “back stabbing and belittling other chicks”. You may even want to give it to that girl at work who is never happy with what she has, and constantly covets what every other woman in the office has!

But be prepared to face some cold hard truths.

Oakes-Ash doesn’t hold back on her observations of how malicious, cruel and down right dastardly women can be to each other and themselves.”

And the sad thing is – she’s right!

We are our own worst enemy! Oakes-Ash aims to get us to examine our own competitiveness and try to discover why we compete with other women and what can we do about it.

But the good news is “Competition plus oestrogen need not equal cold-hearted bitch.”

In writing this essential book, Rachael Oakes-Ash interviewed prominent women including formidable US gossip columnist Liz Smith, Anita Roddick, Julie Burchill, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Nancy Friday, Cynthia Heimel, Tara Moss, Wendy McCarthy, Ann Sherry, Maggie Alderson, Fiona Horne, Deborah Lee Furness and Miss Australia.

In her inimitable style, she shares their experiences, and her own, as well as theories on female competition.

A percentage of profits from this book will be donated to the International Women’s Development Agency (an Australian based charity).

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Winter Reads

The Facial Analysis Diet

Elizabeth Gibaud

Random HouseCelebrity nutritionist (Kate Winslet is apparently a big fan) Elizabeth Gibaud reveals the secrets behind Facial Analysis, a unique technique that can determine dietary needs, deficiencies and intolerances simply by looking at the lines, tone and texture of your face. Drawing on 30 years experience as a highly successful nutritionist, Elizabeth Gibaud shows how to determine which of her carefully devised eating plans is right for you.

Lines on forehead? Your diet is too rich and oily.

Open pores? This may mean there’s too much acid in your system.

Elizabeth takes the old adage ?you are what you eat? to the extreme. What does your face say about the food you consume?

How to Manage Your Mother

Alyce F Cleese

Random House

If there?s one relationship that most people need to work on, it?s the one with their mother. Affection. Embarrassment. Anger. Love. Your Mum can make you feel all these things, sometimes in the space of a few minutes. And it seems that no matter how together and successful we are as adults, sometimes all it takes is one word from Mum

a frustrated, scolded child.The question is, can mothers and adult children ever learn to set aside their earlier relationship and talk to each other as adults?

Alyce Faye Cleese and Brian Bates seem to think so and have gone to the trouble of writing a book on this very subject. Featuring dozens of revealing stories from well known personalities from politics and show business, the authors lift the lid on this most personal relationship, showing that is possible to improve your relationship with your mother – or at the very least begin to understand it.

It?s my party, and I?ll knit if I want to

Sharon Aris

Allen and Unwin

Funky urban women from coast to coast are getting down to the click clack of knitting needles and getting their cheap thrills at Lincraft or Spotlight of a Saturday. What a funny, thought provoking book! Here you?ll find patterns

knitting simple scarves and even cushion covers, plus your burning questions about knitting are all answered ? Is it OK to knit in public? Should I share needles?Yes. It?s true. Knitting is the new yoga. The repetitive stitching has a surprisingly Zen like quality ? and what?s more hand-made scarves as massive this season. But be warned, it?s seriously addictive.

Raunchy Romance Read – Red Shoes and a Diary

From Red Shoes and a Diary by Mia Zachary.”There’s something I’d like to try, if you’re not afraid.”

Meghan inhaled sharply. Was he thinking what she thought he was thinking? She’d written a couple of fantasies about mild bondage, but never dared to try it.

“Well? Are you?” He drew the material leisurely over his palm, then twisted the ends around his fists.

A wild excitement filled her as she glanced from his face to the scarf. Would she try it? Oh, yes. In a heartbeat. The sense of forbidden longing was a complete turn-on. She cocked her head and rested a hand on one naked hip. “Do I look afraid?”

“You look incredibly beautiful.” His eyes, clear and intense, glowed with an inner fire. Admiration and something unfathomable mingled in his expression. Nick draped the scar in front of her face, surprising her by tying it securely behind her head.

She closed her eyes beneath the fabric, unnerved by the sudden heightening of her other senses. The air between their bodies was charged with anticipation. His large hand stroked her hair, his touch light and reassuring, but he didn’t speak again.

The silence was electric. She breathed in the soap-and-water smell of his skin when he swept her into his arms. For a moment she was disoriented as he carried her across the room. He laid her down on the cool bed sheet, then moved away.

Wearing nothing but a blindfold, she suddenly felt vulnerable, exposed. Meghan draped her arms over her waist. She crossed her legs and uncrossed them again. Finally she forced herself to relax. Eagerly awaiting whatever happened next, her heart hammered in her chest.

Unable to see, only to feel, she became acutely aware of the sound of her own breathing, the dampness between her thighs, the soft breeze billowing over her naked body. It was so much like what she’d written – the darkness all around, her lover ready to possess her body and soul – familiar and yet different.

The mattress dipped under Nick’s weight and she sensed him shift toward her. When he placed a hand against her shoulder, she startled at the unforeseen touch. She identified the faint smell of cinnamon and waited for the taste of his lips.

His mouth was hot, his kiss soft and drugging. Her entire being focused on his lips and tongue, the only place their bodies met. The heat of his kiss sent flames of lust straight to the juncture of her thighs. A moan escaped her throat.

Then suddenly he retreated, leaving her frustrated. Her earlier inhibition completely disappeared. She reached out blindly, searching for him, desperate for him. Not hearing a sound and fearing he might have left the room, she knew a second of alarm, alone as she was in the utter darkness.

Fantasy and reality merged, intensifying the thrill of the unknown. Then some primal instinct told her of his presence. She pictured him, motionless by the bed, silent and smug. A smirk tugged at the corners of her mouth. He wanted to watch? She’d give him something to watch.

Book Review: Misconceptions


A Novel of Births, Deaths and what happens in between.

Terry McGee

PanmacmillanDr Julia Kent has a busy beachside obstetrics practice, and delivering babies is what she loves doing. This is the story of a successful, single mum that is also performing miracles on a regular basis by delivering new life in the world. With hardly enough time for herself and her teenage daughter, Emma,and her best friend Angie, love is the furthest thing from Julia?s mind, until she meets Patrick. At first Patrick seems to be everything that her ex-husband wasn?t. Like open and honest for starters. But sometimes looks can be deceiving, and just when Julia feels her life is full and happy again and she has finally let go of the past, her life is turned upside by an unexpected arrival – a malpractice lawsuit. Julia needs all of her strength and determination to see that her life both personally and professionally isn?t ruined by courtroom drama. This is a fabulous first novel by an Australian woman; Terry McGee, who herself is a qualifed Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, wife and mother of two children!

by a highly publicised negligence case involving a female doctor, (who by all accounts was of the highest calibre) but as a result of the court case never practiced medicine again. An intriguing story that’s well worth a read.

BuyMisconceptions from the SheSaid BookshopDying for Cake

Louise Limerick


This is the story of five women in a Brisbane mothers’ group that share a special friendship. They meet to chat over coffee discussing life and their common connection, their children. All appears to be going well until new Baby Amy disappears and then so does Evelyn, the baby?s distraught mother, who ends up in a psychiatric hospital. Evelyn won’t talk to anyone and everyone in the group copes with their grief in their own way. Joanna is dying for cake, Clare dreams of painting again and Susan wants to turn back the clock of time,

regain all the time she?s lost and Wendy just wants to forget the past. This is a rare insight into the transformation into motherhood and beyond. This novel takes you through the full spectrum of emotions when a tragedy occurs and forces to you to ask yourself how you would react in the same situation. Louise Limerick is a young Brisbane mother of three children and this is her first novel. You?ll laugh, you?ll cry but most of all you will identify with at least one of the women in this powerful first novel.

Buy Dying for Cake from the SheSaid BookshopCasting Couch Confidential

Bessie Bardot and Geoff Barker

Bessie Bardot and Geoff Barker, both models themselves, are better known around the Sydney social scene for how much skin they are showing or how spectacularly their modelling agency went bust last year rather than their literary skills. Suprisingly, their first writing collaboration isn?t half bad. Casting Couch Confidential is a collection of the most outrageous, unbelievable and down-right dirty things that go on in the world of modelling. Based on real-life accounts from models, photographers and industry insiders this is a warts-and-all look at ?the ugly business of the beautiful people?- the modelling industry. Riotous acts of sexual favours, orgies, drugs, and explotiation fill the 340 pages to the brim of this tell-all novel. As Bessie Bardot, 27 (surprisingly, not her real name) said in a recent interview the book will appeal to three types of readers ?Suburban mothers who want an insight into a world they see in New Idea; inner-city people who?ll want to see if they are in it; and hopefully the mothers of daughters who want to get into modelling?. If you thought some people would do anything to be famous, then after reading this you’ll know it?s true!

Buy Casting Couch Confidential from the SheSaid Bookshop

Raunchy Romance Read The Boy Toy

From The Boy Toy by Eugenia RileyHis hands slid boldly up her stockinged thighs, until he had hiked her skirt high above her waist. Allison writhed with flagrant suggestiveness.

Expression intense, Pete was staring down at her hips and legs clad in sheer lacy panties, sexy black garter belt and stockings. When he touched her bare inner thigh she arched against him wantonly. “You’re not taking off that garter belt, woman.” He touched her mound through her bikinis and she cried out softly. “I want to see all of that hot black lace as I drive into you.” He tugged at the wispy fabric of her crotch. “But it’ll be a damn shame to rip off these pretty panties.”

His provocative words made her burn. Allison boldly met his gaze, catching his hand and pulling his fingers into her cleft. “No need to,” she informed him.

“Oh sugar!” The look of mingled surprise and naked desire that crossed his face rocked Allison’s world. Eagerly Pete explored her with his fingers, grinning as he found the secret crotch panel that parted in the middle. He whistled. “Why, Ms. Tracy. So businesslike on the outside. But under all that starch, a secret fetish for naughty underwear, eh?”

“Yeah, cowboy, you’ve got my number,” she purred.

He parted the panel wider with steady fingers, making her go deliciously achy inside, leaving her feeling exquisitely vulnerable to him.

His beautiful features grew fierce with desire. “What’s your secret fantasy, Allison?” he rasped. “That a man will see you like this and want you so bad, he won’t be able to wait to tear these panties off you?”

“Yes, oh yes. Don’t wait.” She threw her trembling arms around his neck.

He eased his body downward. “But no man worth his salt would deny himself this pleasure first.”

Even as she wondered what carnal torture he had in mind, he parted the panel wider, and her feminine folds. Then he touched her with his tongue only. In just the right place.

Allison screamed, her hips coming up off the couch. She was so aroused, so tormented, that the sensations streaming through her put her in a panic.

He chuckled. “Easy honey, I just want to get you ready.”

She squirmed. “I-I’m ready. So ready.”

He was undeterred. “Lie still or I’m going to whack that pretty fanny of yours.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“Oh, yes I would. I said lie still.”

Raunchy romance read The Boy Toy (contd)

Seething with frustration, Allison managed not to buck again, thought the torture was unbearable as Pete gently flicked her with his hot, slightly rough tongue. Shattering sensations pulsed and peaked inside her, leaving her mindless, almost incoherent. When his index finger began stroking her mound of hair, she sobbed helplessly.”Hot damn,” he murmured, brushing his mouth over the downy fuzz. “Even here, you’re shot through with gold.”

“I – want to be – shot through with you,” she panted.

“I know, honey, I know.” But still he persisted, caressing her with mind-bending skill, then pushing a finger inside her. She moaned and his finger left her, making her feel momentarily bereft. Then she came apart entirely as he shoved in two and began relentlessly stroking her G-spot.

Allison went wild, frantically seeking escape, yet there was none. She was jolted by one uncontrollable orgasm after another, the sensation harder, stronger than anything she’d ever felt ion her life. Pete was devastating her, overwhelming her senses, killing her with a pleasure such as she’d never known before. She was left to sob, shudder, wildly toss her head.

Her fingernails dug into his shoulders. “Oh God, Pete, I can’t take-”

“Sure you can, angel. Sure you can.” Relentlessly he plied her flesh until she cried out – one, two, three times. Then at last he took mercy on her, sliding his body upward, soothing her trembling lips with his mouth, drowning her with his sex-laced tongue, while her own hand grabbed frantically at his belt buckle, his zipper. With a ragged sound he pulled back, retrieved a foil packet from his pocket, freed his swollen penis and began rolling on a condom.

His grin was wide. “You’re good and wet now.”

“Yeah,” she gasped, boldly staring at his generous endowments. “I’m – ready for the drive shaft to start pumping.”

“Now who’s spouting dirty shop talk?”

Allison didn’t get to answer as his mouth smothered hers again. Despite her being so slick, his entry was far from effortless as the tip of him probed her. Heavens, he was colossal, so hot and rigid. Allison struggled to take him in, her body crying out for him.

He heard her cry and lost control, shoving himself in deep and tight. Both of them groaned convulsively. The sensual rub of her underwear only heightened the delicious torment.

He rested a moment, breathing hard. “Still think I’m a scrawny little runt?”

Allison was riding a wave of sizzling, purest ecstasy, arching against him to enhance the shattering friction. “You’re definitely big where it counts, cowboy.”

Then he was thrusting hard, pounding into her, lifting her hips up off the couch. Allison wrapped her long legs about his waist, arching greedily to take everything he could offer her. The rapture surging inside her was so powerful it almost hurt. She sobbed as she climaxed again and again, and then at last…

With him.

Pete knew he had her now. Allison was taking her pleasure wantonly-deep, hard, one scorching pinnacle after another. She was a wildcat in his arms, but also totally vulnerable and open to him. The look of primal abandon in her eyes was almost more than he could bear. And the sight of her in the naughty black lace sent him spiralling upward on a searing erotic ride such as he’d never known…


4 Blaze titles are released every month and are available at retail stores, newsagents and selected bookstores. Each title retails for $6.95.

Raunchy romance read The Diva Diaries

From The Diva Diariesby Karen Anders.He took the ends of her shirt and jerked it up her body, baring her breasts to him, lifting her easily, his biceps bulging from the weight of her. She brought her hands up to clasp his wrists, sliding seductively over the smooth hair on his forearms until she reached the tight, rounded muscles. She tested his taut skin and felt the strength of him pulsate into her fingers until the maleness of him seemed to seep into her blood and burn.

For a moment of heated silence he just stared at her. Then he caught a nipple between his teeth. He licked and sucked until she arched in desperate, aching need, causing little frissons of heat to explode in her stomach. It was a sensation that reached into the core of her, stabbing so intensely she was afraid she was beginning to unravel.

Finally, giving in to her need to touch him, she ran her hands through that endearing head of hair, liking the soft feel of the strands against her fingers. Enjoying it so much she did it again, much more slowly. Her knees went weak. Desire rushed through her body, hot and thick.

“Damn,” he whispered raggedly before his mouth was on hers, urgently pressing her backward, grabbing her around the waist, bowing her over his arm. Soon, his hands were deftly at her jeans and underwear, and she stepped out of them.

At last, she knew what it was like to be really kissed by him. This was why he kept such a firm control over himself. He had found a well of passion that he hadn’t realised existed. It reached out and engulfed him as easily as a tidal wave engulfed an island with an unrelenting force. The same force that crashed over her.

The heat of his mouth seared every other kiss she’d ever had permanently from her memory. As kisses went, this one was off the scale. There was no point in grading, where Sam was concerned.

He deepened the kiss, his sensuous lips flexing over hers in an urgent fierceness that left her breathless. She felt him spread his heavily muscled thighs to give him better balance. He slid his big hands over her buttocks, jerking his hips against him. The pulsing heat form his groin reached out to her, made her groan into his soft lips.

Book Review : Sacking the Stork

Sacking the Stork

Kris Webb and Kathy Wilson

Pan Macmillan ($30)”Sophie presumed ‘making sacrifices for your children’ meant giving up Bloody Marys and champagne for nine months.”

Sacking the Stork is a funny yet poignant story of what happens when Sophie, the busy Sydney marketing executive, discovers she is pregnant – and has already broken up with Max, her boyfriend of two years. Her support group comes from an unlikely bunch of friends that meet weekly for coffee at a King Street cafe. The book follows Sophie’s pregnancy through to single motherhood and beyond whilst still keeping her sense of humour. This first novel written by two sisters from Brisbane is a brilliant read if you like books with central characters you can relate to. Makes you want to write a novel or have a baby or do both!

Buy this book from the SheSaid Bookshop.

Confessions of a Reformed Dieter

A.J. Rochester

Bantam Books ($29.95)

Imagine being approached in the street and asked to appear on a television programme about obesity? This is exactly what happened to A.J. Rochester – who until this point didn’t think she

with her weight. Confessions of a Reformed Dieter tackles the growing concern that is obesity with a large serving of humour and a side serving of self-depreciation. Follow A.J through her miraculous transformation, dropping eight dress sizes along the way and in the process getting her life back. Confessions of a Reformed Dieter is peppered with painfully honest diary entries, low-fat recipes and entertaining lists. “Alternative list of things to do when craving crap food: 1) Poke eyes out with a blunt stick.”

It’s an inspiring account of one woman’s mission to liberate her self from 40 kilos of excess baggage – and proof that you can do almost anything if you set your mind to it. Now get off your arse and get on with it!Buy this book from the SheSaid Bookshop.

And What Have You Done Lately?

Cornelia Frances

Pan Macmillan ($30.00)

Her stern voice and

red hair put the fear into generations of TV viewers, her roles as the malevolent Barbara Hamilton in Sons and Daughters and the resident bitch Morag in Home and Away making her one of the most recognisable faces on Australian television. In recent times, she’s made her mark as the scathing host of cult TV game show The Weakest Link, but there’s a lot more to Cornelia Frances than bitching, back-stabbing and conniving. And What Have You Done Lately? is the story of her life, a natural and endearing narrative highlighting her career from the early days in London theatres (and her famously during down lunch with screen legend Dirk Bogarde) to her move to Australia and her enduring appeal as an Australian TV icon.

A must-read for anyone fascinated by those who have a dream to tread the boards – and the talent to keep doing so for decades. Buy this book from the SheSaid Bookshop.

I’m a Believer by Jessica Adams

I suspect that even Jessica Adams herself could not have divined her eventual foray into the world of fiction. A student of philosophy and scriptwriting graduate from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, the extent of Jessica’s early literary ambitions was writing for a rock mag. Her obsession with astrology was soon unearthed and before long she was writing horoscopes. The rest, they say is history, with Jessica penning Astrology for Women before crossing the fence into fiction territory, turning our Single White Email and Tom, Dick and Debbie Harry before long. Her most recent work I’m A Believer is about a guy talks to dead people – namely his recently deceased girlfriend who appears to him soon after she’s shuffled off her mortal coil. It’s an emotional, goose-bumpy tale of love and letting go.SheSaid chatted with Jessica about London lads, pet psychics and channelling Chinese spirits.

The central character in I’m A Believer is male. What preparation was required to get into character to narrate your new story in a male voice?

None at all actually. It was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. I’ve known so many men like Mark Buckle in my life – completely cynical guys in their thirties – so it was really easy to get his attitude and his words. I went into a pub in London after I finished the book and I saw at least 3 guys that were like Mark Buckle. He’s a typical London male – he’s going bald, so he shaves his head, he likes football, he likes going to the pub, he’s quite clever, he’s very funny, but he believes in absolutely nothing. They always seem, to me, quite stunted. They have their jobs, they earn their money, they’ve got their relationships, and they don’t really “get it” beyond that. So where something goes wrong in their life they hit the wall.

They can make you laugh, for about half an hour, but if start to go into any further into anything, anything remotely serious, or to do with emotion, they just can’t do it.

I’ve heard that you’re also working on some celluloid pursuits at present!

My agent got me an offer from a producer in New York (he was connected to Forrest Gump) and he wants to do a film on pet psychics. He’s asked me to write a treatment for a screenplay which I’m currently working on. There is a pet psychic in America called Sonya and she’s famous. He wants me to use my psychic experience as well as my screenwriting experience (She’s worked on The Secret Life of Us) to create a film about a cable pet psychic show. It will probably be a comedy though, it’s not going to be serious.

Speaking of psychics, you’re into channelling – tell us something about that part of your life.

I was doing some this morning actually. I bought through two of my guides. I work as a trance medium, I have three spirit guides who regularly come through me and I haven’t done it since I left England. I thought I’d better check back in.

Do you call on any of your spiritual guides for advice when you’re faced with making a big decision?

When I have a big decision to make, I’ll going into a light trance and will bring through my guides. I have a Chinese guide called Huang Lee. He died hundreds of years ago, but he has an extraordinary grasp of philosophy and ethics and also, he’s quite good with practical questions like career, love, whatever. So I will pose a question to him and as he speaks through me I will actually hear it, so it’s almost like being in two places at once. I’m talking in a very clipped Chinese way, but I can also consciously hear what he is saying. I love the way that he looks at problems, he looks at them so philosophically. Then when you finish, and you shut down and you come back into the real world again, you can take what he’s told you and you can use it.

Huang Lee comes through a lot when I’ve been reading for clients who are going through a divorce or going through bankruptcy or whatever it is, and he will give this wonderful 15 minute talk on the issue and he will give people the bigger picture. That more than anything else seems to put their minds at rest. He is a very talented guide for me to have.

When I do reading, I reunite the person I’m reading for with someone who has died. Then, inevitably, they have a question for me because they are facing some problem – maybe they want plastic surgery, but they’re not sure they should get it done. Maybe they owe the bank $50,000 and they don’t know how they are going to pay it back. I bring through Huang Lee to look at those issues and he gives them good practical advice. He might give them some really good advice about the future. He’ll also come through with his philosophical angle on it, because of course he’s coming from hundreds of years of experience and he’s also looking at your life in terms of your long-term future. So that’s quite interesting.

Book Review: A Woman’s Guide to Sex,Optimism & Surviving

There are some things in life that you have to learn the hard way – through experience, trial and error or just plain making a mess of it. For instance, do you know how to throw a punch? Ask your for a raise? Or possibly one of the most important questions of all – do you know how to get a great haircut every single time? If you answered no to any (or all) of these questions, never fear. Helen Hawkes is here. Her book SOS: A Woman’s Guide to Sex, Optimism and Surviving the 21st Century is the perfect how-to guide for the modern woman. If you want to find a date in a foreign city, change a tyre, dump your partner, or survive office politics, this handy guide will see you throughSheSaid chatted with Helen Hawkes about living your life and surviving the 21st Century

How did the book come about?

The book came about because I realised that I’d had to do a whole lot of things myself and that no one had ever told me how to do them. I thought “Wouldn’t it be great if there was some kind of guide that actually told you things that your parents might not have told you – how to get a raise, how to dump a boyfriend.” I don’t remember my mum ever having given me a talk about how to get a raise. Having done all those things myself, I thought it would be a good idea if I put the things I know into a book and then I’d go to other experts – and you’ll see them in the book – and get them to share their knowledge on their specialty.

I think women spend so much time working on making the relationship work. If they put all that energy into making their own lives work and being happy, we’d be in a much better place.

What’s the secret to surviving the 21st Century?

Belief in yourself. It depends on what sort of field you’re in or where you live but it’s a pretty tough place for women still to nurture their dreams and their ambitions, to really value themselves. Because people always try to put you down, or say you can’t do it, or it’s not possible. You’ve just got to dig your heels in.

In day-to-day life, earning your own money, possibly trying to find a successful relationship, and just being happy, that’s all stuff the requires enormous energy and a commitment to really believing that you can. I don’t think it’s easy for women today. I think we’ve got a lot more advantages than we used to but it’s still tough.

There are still a lot of male dominated professions where women. If you’re in a job where it’s the men that are getting the fun jobs or the higher salaries, you’ve got to go in and say “I can do that job!” or “I want more money” and that’s hard to do.

Is there any one thing you think is particularly challenging for women these days?

Relationships. Women have got so much more now – an option to work – if they want – they still have the option to have children. And somehow we’re supposed to miraculously combine that with a high-powered career and still maintain a house and be, supposedly, a great cook or a demon in the bedroom, or whatever.

All my single friends say they’re fussy. The truth is that they are because they’ve got everything themselves and they think “How am I going to get a man to fit in with that?” or “How am I going to have a successful relationship?” it’s really tough. They want men that can communicate, and that are sensitive and all that stuff and yet they want men that can earn a good living and also be manly. It’s a really difficult combination.

“I was a receptionist in a brothel!”

Like many of us who have experienced unemployment, Always Greener actor and former Play School presenter Merridy Eastman turned to her local Centrelink office for assistance. They found her a job as a receptionist. The catch? Working nights in one of Sydney’s busiest brothels.There’s A Bear In There (And He Wants Swedish) is Merridy’s account of her time in front-of-house for a bunch of colourful women of the night. And while Merridy’s real-life experience with deviant sexuality was confined to the forbidden love between Big Ted and Jemima as seen through the ‘arched window’, her time as a receptionist in a brothel exposed her to much, much more. From nervous first-timers to celebrity couples Merridy ushered one and all into the mysterious world inhabited by women who make a living from having sex with strangers. Here she learned words for things she?d never conceived of in her wildest (and we mean wildest) dreams.

There’s A Bear In There (And He Wants Swedish) is an intriguing peek behind the red velvet curtain and into the seamy and steamy taboo world of sex-for-hire. A funny and insightful sojourn through the secret life of the world’s oldest profession garnished with delightfully honest snapshots of those gainfully employed in it?

SheSaid was swept up in the media feeding frenzy surrounding this wonderful book and had a nice chat with Merridy…

Writing There’s A Bear In There (And He Wants Swedish) is a big departure from acting. How’s it all going?

The interest is pretty huge which is great, I guess if you say Play School meets brothel’ to people they become interested immediately. The Play School reference is also there to illustrate how out of place I felt in that environment.

What would you say in the most important lesson you learned through your time in the brothel?

Definitely just to leave behind preconceived ideas of sex workers being ‘damaged victims’ who have no choice in that career path. They’re not all drug abused, or sexually abused women ? the bunch that I worked with ? generally speaking, were quite a bright, funny bunch of girls.

Do you think there is any truth to the stereotype of the ‘hooker with the heart of gold?’

Not really. There was some great girls with big hearts and very tough exteriors, but they came in all shades, colours, sizes? They were complex people just like the rest of us, and very real people, just like the rest of us. I feel ashamed of my unconscious prejudice that I did walk in there with. I didn’t realise that until I was there for a couple of weeks and I was shocked at my misconception as much as anything else.

Do you think that working in that industry will affect your ability to get work in children?s television again?

Yes, I think it will. I don?t think Play School will ever have me back. Not that they would have anyway, I mean, they got rid of me in ’89 or so. They were terrific, they were wonderful people to work for but I think I’ve probably stuffed that now, I’ll have to give that up. Say goodbye to that forever, which is a pity, because I wasn’t a sex worker, I was only a receptionist. But I’m sure the label will stick.

Did you manage to maintain friendships with the women outside of the working environment?

Towards the end there we tried, Sapphire and I, but what generally happened, was that they had an obstacle to overcome. When I bumped into them in the street, they would ignore me, most of the time, I think out of consideration for me. They wanted to protect me from having to make up some lie to my friend when I introduced them. The Marilyn character, she lived in Coogee (Sydney) for a while and I used to see her all the time. At night at the brothel we?d be great mates, but in the street, she?d pretend that we hadn’t seen each other. So as far as keeping in touch goes, they didn’t really return calls in the end, so I let it go.

When I was working with them, I didn’t know I was writing a book, I thought I was collecting material. I had to write it down, what was happening to me. Everyone I talked to said ‘You’ve got to write this down!’ It’s great stuff, it was very interesting, very funny. And it’s illuminating.

Buy a copy of There’s A Bear In There (And He Wants Swedish) from the SheSaid bookshop.

Book Review – Kylie:Naked

Kylie Minogue ? girl next door, diminutive pop starlet, sultry songstress, disco diva. The chameleon queen of reinvention has clocked up a massive 28 Top 20 hits including 6 number No 1’s in a recording career that spans three decades. More than impressive considering the volatile nature of the world’s music industry and the fickle tastes of the music buying public.Kylie:Naked, the recently published biography of Ms Minogue, delves deep into the life and times of this inimitable pop princess, revealing her to be anything but impossible. Biographer Nigel Goodall, who in the past has authored tomes on Winona Ryder and George Michael, portrays a determined, business-minded but essentially private person living her dream.

Her highly publicised romances are dissected, though with an admirable sensitivity, particularly her relationship with the tragically departed INXS front man Michael Hutchence. Kylie:Naked maps her high-profile path to fame from the perpetual spring-board that is Neighbours through her manufactured perma-grin pop years with SAW, to more recent times and her international, multi-platinum chart topping successes.

Kylie:Naked strips back the layers of glitter and gloss and gets to the core of Kylie revealing her thoughts on men, love, acting and music. A compelling read for any self-respecting fan, this frank and thoughtful account will really put her detractors back in their box.

Buy a copy of Kylie:Naked by Nigel Goodall and Jenny Stanley-Clarke from the SheSaid Bookshop.

Book Review : Guilty Creatures

What?s more her husband, a top TV therapist too busy with an identity crisis of his own, doesn?t even seem to notice. A self-proclaimed relationship expert, he is paradoxically blind to the problems closest to home including his daughter’s more-than-a-teenage-crush on her drama teacher! Fisher (once known as Frank) has a reputation to preserve and a dysfunctional family is not what this doctor ordered.

Author Sue Welfare, now 44, didn’t begin writing professionally until her late 30s, spending her younger years at home juggling part-time jobs, helping run her husband’s business and bringing up their 4 sons. Guilty Creatures her latest novel is a funny take on one family’s dilemma – fame or family? – fidelity or freedom? An easy, if somewhat predictable read Guilty Creatures is perfect for that long, boring public transport ride home…

Book review: “Hope Happens”

Best-selling author Catherine DeVrye has created a special book of pocket wisdom to help brighten even your darkest day. And Catherine would know all about those. From her early life in a Canadian orphanage, to the death of her adoptive parents when she was 21 to facing her biggest battle (and winning!) cancer; life has certainly dealt her an unenviable hand at times.

Catherine’s determination is nothing less than inspirational. An international best-selling author, she’s also cycled over the Andes mountain range and climbed 20,000 feet to the summit of Mount Kiliminjaro. It is this inspiration that fills every page of Hope Happens!, with Catherine’s hand-picked potpourri of uplifting and inspiring quotes from freedom fighters, positive thinkers and humanitarians the world over. Helen Keller, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and even Catherine’s own beloved Grandad’s words of encouragement are transposed over beautiful photographic image taken by Catherine herself on her travels around the world.

Hope Happens! is the perfect tonic for those coping with loss – be it loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, financial loss or simply losing your way in life. Hope Happens! embraces the idea of learning from the past, looking towards the future, but most importantly living for today. Proceeds from the sale of this book will go the Cancer Council of NSW.

Book review: “Call Waiting”

Finding herself trapped in a life she’d never dreamed of Ally Trasker begins to question her lot in life and wonders what went wrong.

After graduating from Art College she imagined herself living a creative life as a bohemian artist. Now, nothing could be further from the truth as Ally struggles to face each day in a thankless teaching job, her days filled with unappreciative, snotty nosed kids.

Things on the home front fare no better either as Ally begins to feels her relationship has gone stale too.

It’s no wonder that Ally envies Meg her best mate from her college days, whose launched herself headfirst into a thriving career as a designer. What’s more, along the way she snagged herself a gorgeous, adoring husband and produced a cute little baby boy to complete the trifecta.

But all is not as it seems with Meg, whose own seemingly perfect life is bordering on dangerous case of boredom which if not kept in check could prove devastating. And Ally is confronted with personal tragedy that forces her to look long and hard at her past, present and ultimately her future.

In the tradition of Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly and Marian Keyes Call Waiting is an engrossing and amusing first novel from Australian author Diane Blacklock, that urges you to think about the life you live and the life you love.


Book Review – Filthy Rich

Filthy Rich

By Dorothy Samuels,

Harper CollinsDon’t underestimate the pressure of being someone’s lifeline in a million-dollar game show. How would you cope if you were called by a mate pleading with you for the correct answer to the $64,000 dollar question, or, as the case may be, the $1.75 million dollar question? Just say you get it wrong? What then? And what if that mate was not just some mate, but in fact your boyfriend. What then if that same boyfriend then proceeded on live television to dump you for choosing the wrong answer and costing them more money than they are ever likely to earn in their lifetime?

Enter Marcy Mallowitz professional life-coach and, as a result of her unceremonious on-air dumping, an overnight media sensation hounded by the paparazzi, courted by magazines and pursued by the undisputed queen of internationally televised on-screen therapy Oprah.

‘Filthy Rich’ is a funny and witty take on the new breed of celebrity spawned by mega-million dollar quiz shows, cut-throat endurance contests and reality-TV gone mad. Interspersed with real quiz show questions (and the correct answers!) and packed with comforting cult-TV reference points, it’s a deliciously light and entertaining way to fill in the time while you’re waiting for Australian Temptation Island to come on.

By Sally Schofield

Book Review – “Tick Tock”

Tick Tock

By Jane Freeman

BantamA freak mishap involving her engagement ring and a flushing toilet plunges Daisy Change, 35-year-old self-made PR babe into marital turmoil. Suddenly all is not right with her marriage of ten years. The little things that first attracted her to her husband now just plain annoy her and she’s beginning to wonder if he’s the man for her at all.

And if that weren’t bad enough she is being deafened slowly by the increasingly loud tick of her biological clock! Convinced that it’s now of never, Daisy is soon caught up in a fertility frenzy of food combining, Chinese herbs, yoga, new sexual positions and gross tasting cups of tea, in her frantic bid for motherhood.

But life has other plans for Daisy. Everything from meddling in-laws to desperate friends and family catastrophes seem to conspire against her on her crusade for conception.

“Tick Tock” is a warm and witty peak into the mind of the modern 30-something woman, juggling work, friends, love and family. Join Daisy on her sometimes funny, sometimes sad journey towards parenthood as she learns ultimate wisdom of taking the smooth with the crunchy.

By Sally Schofield