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The Best New Diet Booksf

New year, new health goals…no motivation? With so many new diet books hitting the market, from juicing to paleo diet books, we review the latest diet books to help get you on track with your exercise, diet and weight loss goals.

Clean Living, by Luke Hines and Scott Gooding. RRP $29.99
Remember Luke and Scott from My Kitchen Rules? They’re back with a bootcamp in a book and their promise to improve your diet and health in just 21 days. They’ve created three weeks’ of menu plans focusing on paleo recipes, plus an accompanying exercise plan that will have anyone, even workout haters, in better shape in a few weeks.

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Reboot with Joe Juice Diet, by Joe Cross. RRP $22.95
I admit it: I love juicing. It’s only a recent thing. I couldn’t stand people that went on juice cleanses, but I bought a slow juicer last year and got into making delicious juices a few times a week. Now I’m obsessed. To get started, watch Joe’s Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and if that doesn’t motivate you to juice a carrot, I don’t know what will! Joe is really inspiring and shares 3-day, 5-day, 10-day, 15-day and 30-day Reboot programs, which get you off sugar and junk food, and addicted to fresh juices. Packed with juicing recipes, as well as exercise and fitness tips, this is a favourite.

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Your Personal Paleo Diet, by Chris Kresser. RRP $29.99
I didn’t know much about the paleo diet, but a few friends have been following the “caveman diet” for months and have never looked or felt better, so I was keen to check out this paleo diet book. The book recommends a 30-day kickstart plan where you eat lean meat, fish, non-starchy vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds, but avoid grains, dairy, sugar and refined foods. Chris advocates a real-life approach, so you won’t feel guilty if you indulge in a bowl of pasta here or there. There’s also tips on improving sleep, stress and fitness, so it takes a holistic approach, which I’m a fan of.

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The Bottom Line Diet, by Jessica Irvine. RRP $22.99
Jessica has a really friendly approach to dieting. The book is like a good friend sharing weight loss tips, anecdotes and motivation. Why it works is because it focuses on the fundamental weight loss principle that you must consume less calories than you burn. Forget fad diets, Jessica shows you how to count calories and keep the weight off for good.

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The 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition, by Dr Mike Moreno. RRP $52.00
Well, 17 days certainly caught my eye. If you can promise to help me lose weight (especially after all that festive overindulgence) in just 17 days, then I’m all ears. The bestselling author describes how to achieve fast weight loss – not by going on crazy celebrity diets – but by flushing sugar and toxins out of the body. He also looks at ways to boost your metabolism and enjoy portion control. If you’re serious about how to lose weight quickly, this is the book to read.
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Don’t Quit Sugar, by Cassie Platt. RRP $29.99
With all the information overload, who knows what to think with sugar! Sydney-based nutritionist Cassie Platt debunks the major anti-sugar myths and offers a practical guide to integrating the right sugars into your diet. Plus there’s great recipes, with a menu plan to get you started, and tips for eating out sensibly.

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Do you have a favourite diet book? Tell us in the comments!

January 14, 2014

December’s New Romance Books

December is the perfect month to catch up one of these new romance books, whether you’re taking some time for yourself before the relatives take over your house for Christmas, or you need a new read for your summer holidays. Here are 5 of our favourite romance novels to lose yourself in this month.

 

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Catch of the Day, by Carla Caruso. Published by Penguin Books, RRP $15.99
After a regrettable incident at the office Christmas party, up-and-coming fashion editor, Winnie Cherry, is banished to coastal South Australia to set up a beach lifestyle magazine – 300km from nowhere.

Her friends joke that she’ll marry a rich cray fisherman and stay there for good, but Winnie has other ideas. Determined to get back to Sydney within two months, she gets to work and starts counting down the days. Until she meets handsome freelance photographer Alex Bass, and sparks begin to fly.

As Winnie is increasingly drawn into the close-knit local community, she starts to question whether city life is really what she wants.  That is, until Alex drops a bombshell that casts dark storm clouds over all her coastal dreams…

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Southern Star, by J. C. Grey. Published by Penguin Books, RRP $15.99
Her reputation and career in tatters, Hollywood siren Blaze Gillespie escapes the scandal by fleeing to the Queensland property she still calls home.

Sweet Springs has been deserted for years and Blaze focuses all her energy on restoring the run-down homestead. Faced with hostile locals who have never forgiven her for flitting off to Hollywood, Blaze turns to her neighbour, handsome cattle farmer, Macauley Black, for help.

As Sweet Springs returns to its former glory, Blaze and Mac can’t resist their growing attraction. But when Blaze becomes the target of some serious threats, it looks like trouble has followed her home to Sweet Springs.

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Small Town Storm, by Elise K. Ackers. Published by Penguin Books, RRP $15.99
Nineteen years after a devastating crime almost killed her, Erica Lawrence has returned home. In the small town of Olinda, her story is legend. And now everyone knows she’s back, including top cop and her childhood friend, Jordan Hill, the only person to ever touch her guarded heart.

When a woman’s body is found brutally murdered, suspicion soon falls on Olinda’s newest resident and even Jordan must admit that the evidence is stacking up against the woman he swore to protect.   While Jordan and Erica struggle with their feelings for each other, the murders continue and the tension in town grows. Together, they must find a way to prove Erica’s innocence – before she becomes the killer’s next victim.

Brilliantly capturing the intense range of emotions felt when trust breaks down, Small Town Storm is a startling Australian debut and 2013 Romantic Book of the Year Finalist.

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Sweet Seduction, by Jennifer St George. Published by Penguin Books, RRP $15.99
Together for the first time in one heartwarming volume.

The Convenient Bride: Sienna De Luca will do anything to save her family’s hotel, and ruthless Italian businessman Antonio Moretti knows it. With problems of his own, he proposes a marriage of convenience that will secure his next business deal and save Sienna’s hotel.   In keeping with her part of the bargain, Sienna travels to Venice with Antonio, who introduces her to a life of luxury and opulence. Antonio soon realizes he has vastly underestimated Sienna.  Unexpectedly, she gets too close, and when she discovers his dark secret, Antonio’s perfectly planned life begins to unravel…

Seducing the Secret Heiress: Diamond heiress, Charlotte Wentworth, is passionate about two things – cooking and her  fiancée, Paul. Until the day she finds out Paul has been unfaithful.    Charlotte flees to Europe, determined to build her own life without her family’s fortune. When she meets gorgeous TV producer, Gabe Grenville, she keeps her connections secret and soon finds herself the star of his new cooking show. But how will he react when he discovers Charlotte’s true identity?

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Summer at the Lake, by Erica James. Published by Hachette Australia, RRP $29.99
It was a wedding invitation that changed everything for Floriana…  If she hadn’t been so distracted at the thought of having to witness the one true love of her life get married, she would have seen the car coming.   If she’d seen the car coming, there would have been no need for elderly spinster Esme Silcox and local property developer Adam Strong to rush to her aid.   And if Floriana hadn’t met Adam and Esme she would never have had the courage to agree to attend Seb’s wedding in beautiful Lake Como.

For Esme, Lake Como awakens memories of when she stayed at the lake as a nineteen-year-old girl and fell in love for the first time. So often she’s wondered what happened to the man who stole her heart all those years ago, a man who changed the course of her life.

Now it’s time for both Esme and Floriana to face the past – and the future – on the shores of this most romantic and enchanting of lakes.

What are your favourite romance books?

December 10, 2013

Latest Book Reviews: Spring’s Best New Books

There’s no better time to grab a new book and head to the beach or park and wile away an afternoon getting lost in a page-turner. Here are our favourite new books, from Danielle Steele’s latest must-read set in the world of fashion, to a bestselling story of sisterhood.

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Songs of Willow Frost, by Jaime Ford. Published by Allen and Unwin, RRP $27.99

From Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel.

Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls – a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past – both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness. From the international bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday – or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday – William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.

Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.   Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.

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First Sight, by Danielle Steel. Published By Random House, RRP 32.95
New York. London. Milan. Paris.   Fashion week in all four cities. A month of endless interviews, parties, unflagging work and attention to detail.  At the centre of the storm is Timmie O’Neill, whose renowned line, ‘Timmie O’, is the embodiment of casual chic, in fashion and for the home. She has created an international empire that inspires, fills, and consumes her life.

In a world where humility and compassion are all too rare, Timmie’s humour, kindness, integrity, and creativity are inspirational. Yet as blessed as she feels by her success, she harbours the private wounds of a devastating childhood and past tragedy. Always willing to take risks in business, she never risks her heart – until an intriguing Frenchman comes into her life during Paris Fashion Week. There is every reason why they must remain apart. But neither can deny their growing friendship and the electricity that sparks whenever they meet.

Are they brave enough to face what comes next? And will they do it together – or apart?

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Rose Harbour in Bloom, by Debbie Macomber. Published By Random House, RRP $32.95
From the number one New York Times bestseller Debbie Macomber, welcome to the Rose Harbor Inn, where every room has an inspiring new view, and every guest finds a second chance…

Jo Marie has started to feel at home running the Rose Harbor Inn. Now it’s springtime, and in memory of her late husband, Paul, Jo Marie has designed a beautiful rose garden for the property and enlisted handyman Mark Taylor to help make it happen. Jo Marie and Mark don’t always see eye-to-eye but deep down, she finds great comfort in his company. And while she still seeks a sense of closure, she welcomes her latest guests, who are on their own journeys.

Annie arrives in town to organise her grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration. But she’s struggling to move on from her broken engagement, and her grandparents themselves seem to be having trouble getting along. But all the best parties end with a surprise, and Annie is in for the biggest one of all.  Mary has achieved incredible success in business, yet serious illness has led her to face her sole regret in life. Almost nineteen years ago, she ended her relationship with her true love, George, and now she has returned to Cedar Cove to make amends.

Together, the women discover that sometimes you have to travel far from home to find the place where you really belong.

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Almost English, by Charlotte Mendelson. Published by Pan Macmillan, RRP A$29.99
Home is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

In a tiny flat in West London, sixteen-year-old Marina lives with her emotionally delicate mother, Laura, and three ancient Hungarian relatives. Imprisoned by her family’s crushing expectations and their fierce unEnglish pride, by their strange traditions and stranger foods, she knows she must escape. But the place she runs to makes her feel even more of an outsider.

At Combe Abbey, a traditional English public school for which her family have sacrificed everything, she realises she has made a terrible mistake. She is the awkward half-foreign girl who doesn’t know how to fit in, flirt or even be. And as a semi-Hungarian Londoner, who is she? In the meantime, her mother Laura, an alien in this strange universe, has her own painful secrets to deal with, especially the return of the last man she’d expect back in her life. She isn’t noticing that, at Combe Abbey, things are starting to go terribly wrong.

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Deep Blue Sea, by Tasmina Perry. Published by Headline Australia, RRP $29.99
With her unique signature blend of escapism, passion and thrilling suspense, Tasmina Perry once again proves she is simply in a league of her own.

Diana and Julian Denver have the world at their feet. With a blissful marriage, a darling son and beautiful homes in London and the country, Diana s life, to the outside world, is perfect. But nothing is as it seems…When Julian dies suddenly and tragically, Diana is convinced there is more to it than meets the eye. She calls on the one person she had never wanted to see again, her sister, Rachel.

A former tabloid reporter, Rachel appears to be living the dream as a diving instructor on a Thai island. The truth is she’s in exile, estranged from her family and driven from her career by Fleet Street’s phone-hacking scandal.  For Rachel, Diana’s request opens old wounds. But she is determined to make amends for the past, and embarks on a treacherous journey to uncover the truth – wherever it may lead…

What are you reading right now? Share in the comments!

November 25, 2013

Latest Book Releases: 6 Winter Murder Mysteries

Need something to read by the heater curled up against the winter rain and wind? We have six new books including Stephen King’s latest to keep you enthralled all winter.

Six thrilling tales of love, loss, murder and betrayal to keep you turning those pages all night long…

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The Kill Room (The Lincoln Rhyme Series) by Jeffery Deaver. Published By Hachette Australia,  RRP $32.99

In what marks Number One bestselling author Jeffery Deaver’s thirtieth suspense novel, brilliant criminalist and quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme returns in his tenth electrifying adventure.

Robert Moreno, an American citizen living in South America, is shot in the Bahamas by a sniper. The killing was commissioned by the U.S. government, who received a tip-off that Moreno was planning a terrorist attack on a U.S. oil company headquarters. But this intelligence was fatally incorrect: anti-American Moreno ordered a protest at the oil company, not an attack.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are drafted in to investigate. While Sachs traces Moreno’s steps in New York, Rhyme travels to the scene of the crime in Nassau, where he finds himself on a dangerous path trailed by the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discover that not all is what it seemed. Can they achieve justice and escape with their lives intact?

    book2Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. Published By Simon and Schuster, RRP $24.99

In the grand spy-tale tradition of John le Carré…comes this shocking thriller written with insider detail known only to a veteran CIA officer.

In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters” to MARBLE, the priceless Russian mole. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust,” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.

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A Bitter Taste by Annie Hauxwell. Published By Penguin Australia, RRP $29.99

Treachery becomes a habit.   London is in the grip of a stifling heatwave. The city has slowed to a claustrophobic shuffle. Heroin-addicted investigator Catherine Berlin suffers while working the lowest of investigations: matrimonial.

The city’s junkies are in the grip of a drought of a different kind. Sonja Kvist a strung-out ghost from Berlin’s past, turns up on her doorstep. Sonja daughter is missing. An unpaid debt leaves Berlin no choice but to take the case of the missing ten-year-old.

Berlin is back. And soon the hunter becomes the hunted: corrupt detectives are on Berlin’s tail chasing drugs she doesn’t have, a young girl is murdered and the matrimonial case unravels.

And the temperature keeps rising.  A Bitter Taste is addictive, fast-paced crime fiction spiked with grit and grunge.

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Under the Dome by Stephen King. Published by Hachette Australia, RRP $19.99

One of the masterly Stephen King’s most riveting novels – every chapter ends on a cliffhanger – a Maine town and its inhabitants are isolated from the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome.

Celebrated storyteller Stephen King returns to his roots in this tour de force featuring more than 100 characters – some heroic, some diabolical – and a supernatural element as baffling and chilling as any he s ever conjured.

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener s hand is severed as the dome comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. Dale Barbara, Iraq vet, teams up with a few intrepid citizens against the town s corrupt politician. But time, under the dome, is running out….

Under the Dome is King at his epic best and will capture a brand new readership as well as thrilling his existing fans.

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Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. Published by Allen and Unwin, RRP $24.99

A stunning psychological thriller about a respected female scientist and the single reckless decision that leads to her standing trial for murder.

‘Safety and security are commodities you can sell in return for excitement, but you can never buy them back.’

Yvonne Carmichael is a geneticist, a scientist renowned in her field but one day, she makes the most irrational of decisions. While she is giving evidence to a Select Committee at the Houses of Parliament, she meets a man and has sex with him in the secluded Chapel in the Crypt beneath the Great Hall of Westminster. It’s the beginning of a reckless liaison, but there is more to her lover than is at first apparent – as Yvonne discovers when the affair spins out of control and leads inexorably to violence.

Apple Tree Yard is about a woman who makes one rash choice that ends up putting her on trial at the Old Bailey for the most serious of crimes. Like the highly acclaimed Whatever You Love, it is part literary investigation of personal morality, part psychological thriller. Both a courtroom drama and an exploration of the values we live by, it is the gripping seventh novel from an author who has been acclaimed as a ‘courageous writer, willing to explore deeper territory with each book’ (Independent) and ‘terrifically compelling’ (Daily Mail).

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Hunting Eve by Iris Johansen. Published by Pan Macmillan Australia, RRP $29.99

The stakes are raised even higher in Hunting Eve as Eve battles the man who is holding her prisoner. Secrets about why Eve has been targeted come into the light, bringing Eve even closer to danger. With its cliffhanger ending, Hunting Eve sets up perfectly for the finale, Silencing Eve which we will be publishing in November 2013.

Iris Johansen is a no.1 New York Times bestselling author. She began writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. Johansen lives near Atlanta, Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

What new books are you reading right now?

August 8, 2013

Latest Books: Warrior Princess

Warrior Princess, by Mindy Budgor. Published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99

This is the story of a young woman – passionate, fearless and dangerously curious (with a set of ferocious Jewish parents breathing fire down her neck) – who turned her back on the safety of her suburban life to face probable death in an effort to become the world’s first female Maasai warrior.

Warrior Princess is the hilarious and inspirational memoir of Mindy Budgor, a young entrepreneur tired of corporate life, who decides to make changes in her life. While waiting for her Business School applications to go through, she decides to volunteer – first in India with Muhammad Yunus (Banker to the Poor), and then in Africa building schools and hospitals in the Maasai Mara. While living and working with the Maasai, Mindy talks to the chief and asks him why there are no women Maasai warriors. The chief responds simply and derisively – because women are not strong enough, or brave enough to be warriors. Mindy immediately realises her calling – she gets the chief to agree to train her (and her fellow volunteer) to become Maasai warriors when they return to Africa, and thus begins Mindy’s amazing adventure.

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Mindy is now one of the first female Maasai warriors and an official member of the tribe. As a result of their training and advocacy, law in Africa will be changed in 2016 to allow women the right to become Maasai warriors, and Mindy as a tribe member is ready to return to stand with her fellow-warriors against whatever opposition they might face – be it lions, or elephants, or Western-influence.

In her junior year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Mindy started her first business, CollegeButler, a concierge service for undergrads. She sold the company several years later and worked at a small sports marketing agency. She also managed early-stage investments for the agency’s CEO. In 2009, after leaving her marketing job, Mindy’s career was at a standstill. Unsure what she wanted to do next, she simultaneously applied to business school and bought a multi-stop plane ticket to Bangladesh and Kenya to explore her interests in social enterprises in developing countries. After completing a two-month microfinance internship in Dhaka, Mindy traveled to Kenya. While volunteering to build a clinic in the Maasai Mara, she met several members of the Maasai, a semi-nomadic tribe, which led to the journey detailed in Warrior Princess. She currently attends the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is a 2012 MBA candidate.

What’s your favourite new book?

July 28, 2013