All posts by Narrelle

Narrelle’s Holiday Reading Guide

The end of the calendar year is coming, bringing with it school holidays, the Christmas break, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the solstice and other observances and festivals, including the new year!

Whatever the occasion – it’s always a good time for a book, am I right? Seems a good time to suggest a recommended reading list of the books I’ve enjoyed this year!

Pardon the blatant plugging, but I have stories in a couple of fantastic anthologies that have been published over the year which you might enjoy, especially if you enjoy crime, adventure or fantasy!

Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook is a collection of stories set in Australia (and on a boat to New Zealand) in 1890.

Authors include Kerry Greenwood cowriting with Lindy Cameron, Lucy Sussex, Steve Cameron, Meg Keneally and Jason Franks!

And then.. Volumes One is an absolute treasure trove of great fiction by Australian writers, including Sulari Gentill,  Jason Nahrung, Alan Baxter, Jason Franks, Lucy Sussex, Amanda Wrangles, Evelyn Tsitas, Peter M Ball, Dan Rabarts, Kat Clay, Sophie Masson, Tor Roxburgh, Emilie Collyer and Tansy Rayner Roberts.

There are stories in outer space, in ancient lands, involving dragons and mysteries and alien life forms and pretty much everything in between!  Volume Two is coming as well – check out Clan Destine Press for details (and other cool books by Australian authors!)

I’m especially delighted with Scarlet Stiletto: the Ninth Cut 2017, as it contains my Award-winning ghost/crime story Jane. In fact, every story in the volume is an award winner, by fabulous new Australian crime writers.

I have novels and short stories out too, like the action-filled paranormal thriller/gay romance Ravenfall ,and lesbian romance Near Miss!

But it’s not all about me, I know that.

It’s also about Emily Larkin, whose Baleful Godmother series has been a delight all this year. The sixth book of this magical regency series of books and novellas has just been released, but you can start with the delightful Unmasking Miss Appleby, then dash right along with Resisting Miss Merryweather,  Trusting Miss Trentham, Claiming Mister Kemp, and Ruining Miss Wrotham before finishing (for now) with Discovering Miss Dalrymple.

Tansy Rayner Roberts has been another joy this year (and every year) with her Belladonna University/Fake Geek Girl and Castle Charming novella series, her Patreon posts and pretty much just everything she writes. I interviewed her recently, so you can find links of books to love right there. Her brand new book, Girl Reporter, is due out on 19 December too!

More gruesome splendour is provided by Emma Viskic, whose  And Fire Came Down, is every bit as good as its award-winning predecessor, Resurrection Bay.

Full of action, drama, serious injury, and featuring a cast of diverse supporing characters and a deaf protagonist. Highly, highly, highly recommended!

I also want to wave flaily hands at Gillian Polack’s The Wizardry of Jewish Women, because it displays her customary wry wit and intricate world-building in a seemingly innocuous domestic setting with suburban Australia.

Get The Wizardry of Jewish Women in Mobi or Epub formats at Bookview Cafe. 

That’s enough fiction of various types to be getting on with. If you want to try some more ideas, just search my blog on the tag ‘reviews’ for suggestions.

Enjoy your break, if you get one, and may every book you read be golden!

And please – if you have a great book recommendation for the 2017-18 transition, please leave a comment, and maybe even a link!

Quintette of Questions: Welton B. Marsland

This week’s new romance release interview is with:

Welton B. Marsland

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

It’s called By the Currawong’s Call, though it didn’t get that title until quite late in its development.

For the longest time, all its bits and pieces had no actual title at all, but they lived in a computer folder called ‘Dinbratten’ – the name of the town in the book.  Then for another long while, it had the working title Ratties (the nickname for the town’s residents).  Briefly, I considered various Biblical references, due to my main character being a priest, and Australian Football references, but nothing really fit well.

Finally, I started throwing around ideas involving various bush birds and settled on the currawong because it’s not only a beautiful bird with a beautiful call, but its name is beautiful, too.  I don’t know if anyone will notice, but the first occurrence of “currawong” in the book is actually made in reference to Jonah Parks (and he certainly does some calling!).

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

If I could cross early ’70s John Waters (the Australian actor, not the American film director!) with Jensen Ackles when he’s got a beard, I think the result would make a pretty good Jonah Parks.  For Matthew, my Anglican priest, 1939-era Tyrone Power would be just the ticket (have you seen him in that year’s “Jesse James”? Mercy!)

3. What five words best describe your story?

Intimate. Hopeful. Quiet. Sexy. Australian.

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

Several spring immediately to mind, but I must go with Agron & Nasir from the TV series Spartacus.  They flew under a lot of the mainstream’s radar, but they were magnificent characters, gifted with a story arc that was so carefully and lovingly woven, shunning practically every stereotype that might’ve got in their way.  Just so satisfying and narratively tight, it’s hard to believe they were “only” secondary characters.

Amazing work and commitment from three straight men (writer/creator Steven DeKnight, Australian actor Dan Feuerriegel and New Zealand actor Pana Hema-Taylor) in bringing this oh-so-untypical, heroic, badarse, complicated queer couple to the screen.

Dan and Pana set the bar so high for two-people-believably-falling-in-love that I’m just completely spoilt for all screen depictions of love stories from here on out.  I could shower accolades all day!

5. What song always makes you cry? 

Forever Autumn from the War of the World’s double album never fails to turn the waterworks on.

About By the Currawong’s Call

A small town, a new arrival, and a love that is as undeniable as it is unlawful…

Victoria, Australia, 1891

Anglican priest Matthew Ottenshaw receives his first posting in tiny Dinbratten, two days’ ride from his Melbourne home. Determined to honour his calling as best he can, he throws himself into the footy mad, two-pub town, navigating the dusty streets, learning the gossip, and striking up a friendship with Jonah Parks, the resident police sergeant and local bona fide hero.

A police officer and a priest often find themselves needed at the same place, and Jonah and Matthew’s friendship deepens quickly, as they set about their business of protecting the bodies and souls of Dinbratten’s residents. When a bushfire threatens the town, and Matthew’s inexperience with fire endangers the church buildings, Jonah comes to the rescue, and a reckless kiss in the midst of the chaos takes their friendship to forbidden.

Neither Matthew nor Jonah can go back to the way things were before, but continuing their relationship puts everything at risk: their jobs, their friends, even their lives. In the outback town of Dinbratten where everyone knows everything about everyone else, how can they ever expect to keep a secret this explosive?

About Welton B. Marsland

A queer-punk history geek who flits between nature walks, dinky bars, footy matches and live gigs, WBM lives in the great city of Melbourne with an ex-Army sword-slinger and three idiosyncratic cats.

Follow Welton B. Marsland

Buy By the Currawong’s Call