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Sunday, January 1, 2012

GIVE-AWAY: Australian Women Writers 2012

Hello Darling Readers,

I thought I'd start 2012 off with a BANG, and a lovely little book give-away!

To start the New Year off right, I am giving away a prize pack of SIX books to one lucky person! But this is an Australian resident’s only competition, I’m afraid.

Let’s see what’s up for grabs . . .

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Taylor Markham is not a popular choice. She is erratic, has no people skills and never turns up to meetings. Not to mention the incident when she ran off in search of her mother and only got halfway there. But she's lived at Jellicoe School most of her life and as leader of the boarders that's her greatest asset. Especially now the cadets, led by the infamous Jonah Griggs, have arrived. The territory wars between the boarders, townies and cadets are about to recommence.
But Taylor has other things on her mind: a prayer tree, the hermit who whispered in her ear, and a vaguely familiar drawing in the local police station. Taylor wants to understand the mystery of her own past. But Hannah, the woman who found her, has suddenly disappeared, leaving nothing but an unfinished manuscript about five kids whose lives entwined twenty years ago on the Jellicoe Road . . .

The Gorgon in the Gully by Melina Marchetta

Beyond the basketball courts and classrooms of St Raph's is a gully where everything disappears forever. Danny Griggs has heard stories about a creature that lives down there. So why does he volunteer to face the Gorgon when he's been petrified of everything all his life?
A gentle story about overcoming fear and looking at things from all angles, from best-selling author Melina Marchetta.

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

Blood sings to blood, Froi . . .
Those born last will make the first . . .
For Charyn will be barren no more.

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home - or so he believes.

Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess.

And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute . . .

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom.

But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother.

When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?

Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

Imagine your name is John Lennon, only everyone calls you Beatle.

And then you meet your Dream girl and her name is Destiny McCartney.

But what if you're already with the perfect girl?

A novel about change, chance and everybody doing the wrong thing.

This isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, books-up-for-grabs comp. If you’ll kindly notice, all of the books in the prize pack have a few things in common. One is that they are all young adult books. Two, is that they are written by Australian women! Which leads me on to my ulterior motive with this little give-away . . . the ‘Australian Women Writers 2012: National Year of Reading Challenge!’

I blogged about this earlier in December, that there is a great initiative going on in Australia throughout 2012 – and that is to promote Australian Women Writers. In case you’ve forgotten, here is the reasoning behind the year-long event;

Objective: This challenge hopes to help counteract the gender bias in reviewing and social media newsfeeds that has continued throughout 2011 by actively promoting the reading and reviewing of a wide range of contemporary Australian women's writing. (See the page on gender bias for recent discussions; also this page for the rationale behind the challenge.)

Readers should approach this challenge with a spirit of willingness. There are no failures, just personal goals. Reviews can be long or short, favourable or "this book is not for me". Hopefully, along the way, we'll all discover some future classics and perhaps a few surprises among genres we're not familiar with. The main aim is to have fun.

I am already participating in the challenge (with two reviews to come!) but I thought a little book give-away would be a great way to encourage people to get reading and support the cause.

This is an Australian resident’s only competition, I’m afraid. And I do have one teeny-tiny request of the winner (whoever that may be). And that is that whoever wins, I'd love it if they could review one of the books in the prize pack. If the winner has their own blog, it would be fantastic if they could post their review there. Or if they are blog-less, I'd be happy to let them borrow mine and I’ll post their review as a ‘guest post’ (never before done on ALPHA reader!). The prospective winner shouldn’t panic about the review though, as the challenge stipulates: ‘Reviews can be long or short, favourable or "this book is not for me".’

So that’s the give-away. Now how to enter . . .

How to enter:

☼ Become a follower of my blog (if you aren't already)

☼ Leave a comment on this blog post, answering the question; “Who is your favourite Australian female author?

☼ Include a way to contact you (e-mail addy is fine)

☼ One post per entrant

☼ This is a giveaway for AUSTRALIAN resident’s only!

☼ Contest closes January 31st
I will announce the lucky winner on February 2nd

P.S. - Happy New Year!
I hope 2012 treats you all fabulously!
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