Marianne de Pierres

Sharp Shooter-larsenI’m super excited to announce that the Tara Sharp series is being re-released by the Deadlines imprint of Twelfth Planet Press. To go with the re-issue of the first three books, the new novel (book 4), will be out in November 2016.

But right now you can pre-order SHARP SHOOTER’s new edition through Amazon or Twelfth Planet Press.
It is being released on May 23rd 2016.

TPP have re-packaged and re-edited the entire series. SHARP SHOOTER has had some tweaking done to it, and brand new material will be inserted into book two, SHARP TURN.

As part of the re-packaging, Cathy Larsen has designed an absolutely kick ass cover. I particularly love the colours, which are reminiscent of a blue sky and ochre dirt of the Australian landscape.

Cathy, as some of you know, has been designing for Penguin for many years, including being the cover artist for Isobelle’s Obernewtyn series.

The Tara Sharp site will have some re-design work done to it also, to fall in line with the new look. Currently, it features some designs we had originally planned to use, and changed our minds about. They were great, but we feel the new ones represent the look we want.

This is the first time the books have been released internationally (outside Australia and New Zealand), so please help us spread the word by writing an Amazon review, or simply recommending them to a friend. We hope the rest of the world has as much fun hanging out with this Aussie girl as we do.

Thanks for you patience, and welcome to new era of Tara’s life!

 

A. V. Mather

A. V. Mather is Brisbane-based writer of Fantasy fiction for Young Adults. She has a BA in Fine Arts and a Post-Grad in Education. In previous decades, she has worked as a Scenic Artist and a Secondary School Art teacher. Eight years ago, she finally gave in and devoted herself wholly to writing. She is represented by Tom Witcomb, of Blake Friedmann Agency in London, England.

A. V. Mather enjoys reading widely across genres and is also interested in art, satire, history, photography, popular culture, psychology, road trips and good stories – real and imagined.

You can follow her on Twitter @AVMather

sussex_thiefIn Thief of Lives, Australian author Lucy Sussex explores issues surrounding gender and relationships in four short – and vastly different — stories. Each one provides a different insight into the lives of characters who exist on the fringe of their society. Whether through vocation, origins, personality, or choices – each is living a life which isolates them in some way, making their associations all the more unusual and important. With every story, we look into worlds where attraction runs far deeper than lust or love and evil is a matter of degree.

We begin with Alchemy, a historic fantasy set in Ancient Mesopotamia. In this life-spanning tale, a demon seeks to lure a singularly intelligent young woman to the black arts. He recognises in her a rare mind that would, together with his knowledge of alchemy, advance the Mesopotamian civilisation to unprecedented heights.

Second is The Fountain of Justice, a modern crime story set in Australia. In it, a tenacious solicitor ruminates over past defendants, crimes and coincidences, whilst engaging in a case involving local hoodlums. There is a strong pull of affection and loyalty in her musings, despite the overwhelming sense of a tragedy unfolding.

The Subject of O throws us into the student world where a repressed young woman experiences a belated awakening. Her experiences lead her to value her own opinions and ideals, rather than shed them, as her knowledge broadens.

Thief of Lives is the final, and my favourite, of the four. The mysterious PA of a traumatised author arrives at Bristol station on a research mission. The arrival coincides with a publicity frenzy for a sensational new author, and the PA is inexorably caught up in events. It is an intriguing and tantalising urban fantasy, with witty morals and allusions, and also gives an insight into the history of the town.

The four stories together provide a showcase for the breadth of Lucy Sussex’s vision and creativity. Although the genres differ, the theme of relationships are very much at the heart of each. In delivering variations on the theme, she has created stories with wonderfully diverse voices and layers.

In line with the genres represented, the pacing and tension differs from story to story. There is a dreamy, ethereal quality to the writing in Alchemy: the sense of a lofty viewpoint borne of immortality. Then we are slammed back to earth with the gritty, urban voice of The Fountain of Justice. I felt a genuine sense of self-consciousness reading The Subject of O, and of power and obfuscation in the language of Thief of Lives.

So how does anyone categorise Lucy Sussex? She is at once modernist and historian, fantasy and crime writer, fiction and non-fiction, adult/children’s/YA and a literary critic. She defies pigeon-holing and can only be pinned down by her interests in feminism and exploring the broad theme of gender.

I enjoy stories that provide tangible evidence of relationships beyond the accepted standards of love or lust. There are so many important relationships that don’t come under either heading. Those that go beyond ‘a feeling’ and need a richer vocabulary to describe them. They make our experience of life and other people so much deeper and more rewarding. I am instantly a fan of writing that explores associations borne of proximity, admiration, awkwardness, suffering or affinity. It is the true stuff of life, the relationships that fill in all of the gaps around the big loves, hatreds and lusts. Lucy Sussex plunges deep into the loam with Thief of Lives and should be enjoyed by anyone who likes to think about a story, long after closing the book.

 

Amanda Wrangles

 

Amanda Wrangles is an award-winning crime and speculative fiction writer based in Melbourne. 

Slattern The Female Factoryprocreation is big business. Children are a commodity few women can afford.

Hopeful mothers-to-be try everything. Fertility clinics. Pills. Wombs for hire. Babies are no longer made in bedrooms, but engineered in boardrooms. A quirk of genetics allows lucky surrogates to carry multiple eggs, to control when they are fertilised, and by whom—but corporations market and sell the offspring. The souls of lost embryos are never wasted; captured in software, they give electronics their voice. Spirits born into the wrong bodies can brave the charged waters of a hidden billabong, and change their fate. Industrious orphans learn to manipulate scientific advances, creating mothers of their own choosing.

From Australia’s near-future all the way back in time to its convict past, these stories spin and sever the ties between parents and children.

As the latest joint offering from super-star writing duo Angela Slatter and Lisa L. Hannett, The Female Factory lives up to all expectations we’ve come to expect from these two wicked masterminds.

Four novellas stitched together with the common theme of our innate need to reproduce, belong, love (and be loved); along with the often frightening lengths humans will go to in their craving to do just that.

The collection opens with ‘Vox’, a tale set in the near-future and my personal favourite. Protagonist Kate is desperate to be a mother, her empathy stretching far past what most would consider healthy, though it’s easy to care for this rather kooky character immediately. The authors absolutely nailed Kate’s emotional state in the early pages of this story with a good dose of both humour and darkness. And then comes the ‘surrender’, the ‘storage’ and the never ending search for voices – but only the right ones, of course.

‘Baggage’ plays with what if’s; what if some women had the ability to store multiple embryos at any one time? What if they could pause those pregnancies at will? Just how much would infertile couples be willing to pay a surrogate for the opportunity to become parents? And what lengths would those surrogates go to (or not) for the big bucks?

‘All the Other Revivals’ is quite a different story to the first two. A very Australian tale about small-town prejudice, a teen who doesn’t quite ‘fit’ and a magical billabong. A nice little nod to ‘Baggage’ is included in this one, if you look for it.

The title story, ‘The Female Factory’ concludes the collection. With an historical theme, this one is set around the convict era and the dark past of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and its female correctional facilities. A group of motherless children will do almost anything to find – or create – the love they’ve never known.

As with many of Slatter and Hannett’s stories (both as a duo and independent authors), I found I needed to read these stories twice. This collection is thought provoking and pushes the reader to uncomfortable spaces, making you ponder just how far you would go for the most basic of human needs. While they might make you squirm, these tales are also seriously beautiful, the words singing from the page. But – warning to readers – to allow yourself to get caught up in the song, to read too quickly or with a single passing is to do yourself a disservice. These are stories to be devoured with the luxury of time, at leisure and preferably with a comfortable couch and whole lot of quality chocolate.

Volume 11, Twelve Planets

ISBN: 978-1-922101-15-0 (pk)

ISBN: 978-1-922101-16-7  (ebk)

Cover Design by Amanda Rainey

Ebook Conversion by Charles Tan

Published December 2014

 

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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