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isobelblackthorn

Isobel Blackthorn musing on...

  1. The BentoNet book revolution

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    Something exciting is happening in the world of small presses. It’s called BentoNet, and it’s a way to purchase books online and collect from your local bookstore. My publisher, is among the first to join.


    https://www.thebentonet.com.au/index...seybooks.html/

    There aren’t too many participating bookstores as yet, but it really is early days. The point is that you can buy a title online via the BentoNet website and collect it from your local bookstore. How amazing is that! You’ll be paying the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) as set by the publisher and shipping is only a couple of bucks, about a 1/4 of standard postal rates.

    BentoNet helps ...

    Updated 19th July 2016 at 02:30 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  2. Liam Brown’s Wild Life



    As the title suggests, Wild Life by Liam Brown is not a sober story comfortable within the confines of the ordinary and the every day. Instead, protagonist Adam Britman takes the reader on a downward spiral into a nightmarish underworld.

    Adam is an accounts manager for a digital marketing company, husband, and father of two. A self-made success it would seem, only his work style and his own propensity for addiction lead him, with the assistance of his little plastic bag of white powder, headlong into alcoholism and gambling. Adam is Dionysius gone wrong. He doesn’t seem to know it but he’s on the archetypal ...

    Updated 22nd June 2016 at 01:45 AM by Mick Pacholli

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  3. In conversation with Cli-fi author Sue Parritt

    After reviewing Pia and the Skyman a few days ago, it’s a pleasure to speak with author, Sue Parritt and discover what motivates her to write Climate Fiction.



    Starting with the obvious, tell me a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

    I was born and raised in Bournemouth, a seaside town in southern England. At 19 I married my childhood sweetheart, Mark, and seven months later we emigrated to Brisbane, Australia. We have one son, David.

    After graduating (B.A. University of Queensland 1982, with majors in English Literature, Drama and French) I worked in university libraries ...

    Updated 20th June 2016 at 05:04 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  4. Featuring Michelle Saftich

    Today I’m in conversation with Michelle Saftich, author of the acclaimed novel Port of No Return (Odyssey Books, 2015), a work of historical fiction I reviewed earlier this year.



    Where were you born and raised?

    I was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia. I have also spent time living in Sydney and Osaka, Japan. What I love most about each city – I love Brisbane’s warm weather, Sydney’s harbour and Osaka’s food!
    So, where are you now?

    I am still in Brisbane, living with my husband, who is an accomplished musician and singer/songwriter and who helped to edit the first drafts of my book, ...

    Updated 13th June 2016 at 08:00 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  5. Ghosts Like Us, Inez Baranay

    Lately, I’ve started getting into book reviewing. I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much and it’s becoming something of a compulsion.

    Sometimes I post my reviews here on my website. I reviewed Inez Baranay’s Ghosts Like Us, for Newtown Review of Books.



    “Ghosts Like Us is a poetic, ambiguous and subversiveexploration of the nature of history and remembering.” Read the whole review here: http://newtownreviewofbooks.com.au/2...el-blackthorn/

    If you are of an intellectual bent, you love the 1980s for its second-wave feminism, or you are into the processes ...

    Updated 12th June 2016 at 12:18 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  6. Chains of Sand by Jemma Wayne


    Legend Press, June 2016


    A work of contemporary fiction, Chains of Sand by Jemma Wayne is a timely and important portrayal of a realm of Middle Eastern conflict made familiar to most of us in the West through the distorted lens of news and current affairs coverage, a lens too often smeared with the Vaseline of prejudice, its purported wide angle little more than a pinhole. Perhaps it is only through the lived experience of people to some degree inside the context of Israeli/ Palestinian tensions and conflict that our awareness can broaden and deepen. Set against the backdrop of another looming conflict with ...

    Updated 13th June 2016 at 08:26 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  7. A Perfect Square cover reveal



    Due for release on 29 August 2016

    Here it is, the cover of my third novel! It’s a literary thriller/mystery with pizzazz.
    Advance review copies of A Perfect Square are now available. If you’re interested in grabbing a copy send me an email by clicking here.

    When pianist Ginny Smith moves back to her mother’s house in Sassafras after the breakup with the degenerate Garth, synaesthetic and eccentric Harriet Brassington-Smythe is beside herself. She contrives an artistic collaboration to lift her daughter’s spirits: an exhibition of paintings and songs. Ginny reluctantly agrees.

    While ...

    Updated 16th May 2016 at 01:49 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  8. Drag over coals

    Last month I found myself on a fast train from Edinburgh to London. Too tired to read, I spent the whole journey gazing out the window. Recollecting that journey, one memory stands out: the number of wind farms, none of them that far from residential areas. I mentioned this to the couple seated by me, and they said that people are used to them. They realise the necessity. I have no idea if that is true, but their comment had me thinking how absurdly precious Australia can be.



    Also, we passed a solar farm, tucked beside the railway tracks. Obviously someone decided those panels would generate enough power, despite cloud.
    ...
  9. Long gone the old ways …

    As any anthropologist will tell you, the old ways of indigenous cultures the world over are always tramped on in the name of progress. Some are decimated, wiped from the earth like unwanted crumbs. Others allowed to exist on the fringes, tolerated, ignored and oppressed all at once. Then there are smaller cultures absorbed into a larger dominant culture, seeping into language and custom. And then there are those wiped away by the dishrag of colonisation, only to be resurrected as curiosities for the edification of tourism.


    view of Los Helechos through our front door


    Here on Lanzarote, the indigenous people, the Conojeros,
    ...
  10. The fire mountains

    What can be said about driving down a narrow road carved through a lava plain, a road that goes on and on and on? The basalt that covers the land in every direction, thick, crusty, alive with lichen. Volcanoes or calderas 500 metres high and about 1 or 2 kilometres in diameter, rising up like cone-shaped boils, some black, others brown or red. Then there are those calderas burst open, serrated at the rim, splayed open where their lava spilled to scour the land.



    Everywhere you look on the island, there they are, some ancient, some young, the roads on Lanzarote coursing paths between.

    ...

    Updated 14th March 2016 at 01:25 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  11. Shifting perspectives

    Day 6 and my awe and delight at having returned are replaced by an acute awareness. Here are some of my observations.

    Lanzarote is an island of contrasts. The everyday lives of the locals, with their tight knit family networks, their lives lived behind closed doors, and the tourists. Like almost all tourist destinations where the industry has planted itself in amongst a local culture and boomed, the people and their traditions, their culture, seems squeezed aside. At times tourism manifests like a sycamore in a foreign land, a eucalypt in Africa, a cane toad, a feral cat. Tourism, in essence temporary migration, fostered and serviced by a corporate edifice with no conscience.

    ...
  12. Hanging out in Oxford

    This trip to Lanzarote wouldn’t have been complete without a detour to Oxford to catch up with my oldest friends! Sue Raikes and Adrian Moyes still live in the quaint village of Eynsham, six miles west of Oxford, where I lived back in 84. Introducing them to my travelling companion and publisher, Michelle Lovi was a delight.



    The highlight of the flight was the refuel stopover in Dubai. Just two hours filled with queuing and shuffling about withe the carry on luggage, but it did prove just enough for Michelle to purchase a tin of Chocodates. I had no idea why she was on a mission to buy them until offered a free sample. An almond
    ...
  13. Let my tell you about my muse



    W
    hat is a muse? One of nine goddesses presiding over the arts, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Or a woman, or a force personified as a woman, the source of inspiration for the creative artist.

    Using this latter definition, I can say that my own daughter Liz functions as my muse, as she certainly inspires me. But I prefer to think that she has a direct line into me, or that my muse, Scarlet, has a direct line out to her.

    I named my muse Scarlet long ago, back when I had no idea who she was. All I knew was that she existed in my psyche and she was dangerous. Who is she?

    I hold with Stephen King’s depiction
    ...

    Updated 5th January 2016 at 03:41 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  14. Crowdfunding Eco-crime novel La Mareta

    It is true that when I meet someone I find a little curious for whatever reason, I study them, absorb them, listen to their stories with avid ears knowing full well a version of them will end up in one of my books. I feel like a vulture picking over others’ characteristics. Still, that makes me no different from any other author. I’m currently casting for La Mareta, so watch out!!



    I’m also crowdfunding to help bring La Mareta to fruition. Your pledge will help me fund the research side of the project. Like its predecessor, the acclaimed novel The Drago Tree, this new novel is set on the volcanic island of Lanzarote. That’s over
    ...

    Updated 21st December 2015 at 01:17 PM by Mick Pacholli

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  15. Playing the Trump card

    Who saw this coming? This pitting of Islam against the West and it’s quasi-Christian infused secularism. Who knew that after WWII the next major global conflict a la WWIII would be seated in the Middle East?

    What a fabulous find Donald Trump is for the American warmongers in this regard! They must be ecstatic. Fancy being able to roll him out to polarise debate and whip up hysteria and it’s counterpart, terror.

    Trump is a symptom of a terrible malaise sweeping the world. Hatred.
    And while all this murderous bullshit is going on, we’re wasting time. We should be in environmental damage control.

    Islam is a beautiful faith, as practised by billions. It teaches what all major world faiths teach – Love.
    ...

    Updated 22nd December 2015 at 12:43 PM by Mick Pacholli

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