Category Archives: Novels

September Price Promotion – Grounded

In a world where wings give everyone the freedom to fly, an artist born wingless uses her art to show the winged world the wonder of the ground. But when she meets a recently injured police officer who finds himself grounded, they will both learn that there is more than one way to soar.

From 1 to 30 September, Escape Publishing is offering Grounded at a special price on Amazon Australia for Australian and New Zealand readers! This ebook is available for only $3.99 until the end of the month!

To make the deal even sweeter, I’m offering a separate promotion of my own (to Australia-based readers only)!

If you reblog this post, you’ll get one entry into a competition to win one of three Dangerous Charms items of jewellery, inspired by Grounded.

If you buy Grounded at the special offer this month, message me with proof of purchase via the Contact page (under About Narrelle) or via @daggyvamp and you’ll get 10 entries in the draw.

Get Grounded from Amazon Australia for $3.99 until 30 September!

On offer are a necklace and two sets of earrings, to be posted anywhere in Australia for three winners.

The Dangerous Charm jewellery promotion is only open to people based in Australia, as I’m not able to post small items overseas under the current Covid-19 Australia Post restrictions.

Grounded: On Sale in ANZ during June 2020

Escape Publishing has put my wingfic romance ebook, Grounded, on special in Australia and New Zealand for the whole month of June 2020!

About Grounded

In a world where wings give everyone the freedom to fly, an artist born wingless uses her art to show the winged world the wonder of the ground. But when she meets a recently injured police officer who finds himself grounded, they will both learn that there is more than one way to soar.


Grounded is one of the best paranormal romances I’ve read. It is smart and sweet, with some fantastic worldbuilding and genuine warmth between the characters.

~Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Earl Grey Editing

Loved the storyline, characters, and the lovin! The themes of disability/ accessibility were a welcome breath of fresh air

Stephanie Livingston-Bujold 

 A sweet, empowering tale of renewal.

D. Antonio, Amazon

Some links!

Xmas 2019 Gift Recs for Readers and Writers

If you’re hunting for last minute gifts for the lovelies in your life (or your lovely self) I’ve brought together some recommendations of books I’ve reviewed throughout the year.

Crime for all tastes

Emma Viskic’s Caleb Zelic trilogy began with Resurrection Bay then And Fire Came Down, and the fabulous Darkness for Light came out in December this year. It’s a great triple-hit for the crime lover in your life.

Another set of trilogies for crime lovers that are also suitable for YA readers are Ellie Marney’s “Every” series (Every Breath, Every Word and Every Move) which are a kind of Holmesian YA reworking set in Australia, and the “Circus Hearts” books (All the Little Bones, All Fall Down and All Aces).

I love a cosy crime set in a place I know, especially when it’s full of delicious recipes and delicious Scottish men, so let me throw confetti over Livia Day’s whole Cafe La Femme series. One short (The Blackmail Blend) is an ebook but the rest: A Trifle Dead, Drowned Vanilla and the latest, Keep Calm and Kill the Chef, are all available in paperback!

Science Fiction

I remain delighted that LynC’s superb Nil By Mouth was re-released this year, and even though it’s harrowing in places it’s also filled with compassion.

Alison Evans’ Highway Bodies is the zombie apocalypse for today’s diverse YA reader (and I’m very excited to have their latest, Euphoria Kids, on my review pile – it comes out in February).

Of course, Twelfth Planet Press continues to bring amazing work to the world, and their Mother of Invention anthology, edited by Rivqa Rafael & Tansy Rayner Roberts, is something special for the SF reader in your life.

Sherlock Holmes

Improbable Press is settling in to its new home with Clan Destine Press, but has put out a few books this year: Tessa Barding’s The Case of the Misplaced Models and another of its 221b series (short stories of exactly 221 words, the last of which starts with the letter B) in A Question of Time by Jamie Ashbird with illustrations by Janet Anderton.

And, while it’s a few years old, Joe Ide’s interpretation of what a Holmes and Watson might be like if they were born in a tough black LA neighbourhood, IQ, is fantastic and I’ll be looking up the rest in the series in the new year.


For armchair travellers, Lonely Planet has some lovely books for both adults and children. You can explore the monsters of the world in The Atlas of Monsters and Ghosts or travel to the stars in The Universe: A Travel Guide. Two more Lonely Planet Kids books have recently arrived for review (Wild in the City and Myths and Legends of the World), so I’m looking forward to reading more sumptuously illustrated and quirky travel books this month.

Support your local blogger

If you’d like to support this writer, there are of course the books I released this year: paperbacks Kitty and Cadaver and Scar Tissue and Other Stories, and the anthology War of the Worlds: Battleground Australia.


I have a other recommendations for your summer reading, but as many of these are ebooks and so not as well designed for gifting, I’ll cover those in my next post.

Review: Keep Calm and Kill the Chef by Livia Day

Cover art: Keep Calm and Kill the Chef

I have previously blogged my absolute delight with the Cafe La Femme series by Livia Day (the name Tansy Rayner Roberts uses when she’s moonlighting as a writer of crime!)

The previous two novels and novella in this series came out a little while back, and I’ve been waiting not-entirely-patiently for this third novel to appear via Twelfth Planet Press’s Deadlines imprint. Whatever the delay, it’s been worth the wait.

Blurb for Keep Calm and Kill the Chef

Scones, tea, and a stabbing…

When Tabitha Darling entered Cafe La Femme in a reality TV show hosted by an infamous “bad boy” Chef, she never expected to be a suspect in his murder.

When Xanthippe Carides quit working in a cafe to become a private detective, she never expected one of her first cases would be keeping Tabitha out of jail…

These two friends have a mystery to solve, and only one of them is telling the whole truth.

The first treat in store is that the whole series been re-released with stunning covers by Cathy Larsen. Look at these pretty things! (And look for the details and some wonderful murdery symbols!)

The story is exactly the kind of delicious, crime-riddled confection of mystery, frocks, mouth-watering recipes, badassery and glitter I’ve come to expect from any story featuring Hobart chef, Tabitha Darling.

Keep Calm and Kill the Chef is structured like one of Tabitha’s more complex recipes. The viewpoint shifts between Tabitha and her best friend, newly minted private eye Xanthippe Carides, while it also flips timelines before and after the murder: and all of this with perfect ease and lightness of touch.

Like all the Cafe La Femme stories, Keep Calm and Kill the Chef is a little hyper-real, set in a heightened Hobart and full of characters who are collectively more vivid than you’d expect to find in one group of friends. From catsuit-wearing Xanthippe to frock-and-glittery Ceege, from bizarrely hip hipsters to unexpectedly knife-throwing-skilled kitchenfolk, everyone is bright and shiny. Even the villains.

And of course there’s Tabitha, who is a little manic, a lot stubborn and keeping many, many secrets. Her love life is a melange, as usual, between her actual boyfriend, policeman Leo Bishop, and her just-very-excellent-good-friend Stewart McTavish, the delectable Scot. (Kiss him Tabitha, damnit!)

(Okay, I admit it, I am 100% #McTabitha.)

Keep Calm and Kill the Chef is a delightful book, with enough light touches and enough complex notes to be thoroughly satisfying. The mystery dishes up all the clues, red herrings and puzzling twists that any reader of cosy crime could wish for. Using Hobart as a locale adds a dash of charm for those who like the setting to be one of the characters. The wonderful array of characters and all their inter-relationships add layers of reasons to care about the outcome as the chef-killer becomes less of an abstract puzzle and more of an actually-trying-to-kill-you presence.

In short, this book is fabulous, with enough fluff for fun, enough grit to make the stakes high, and enough heart for everything to matter.

Buy Keep Calm and Kill the Chef (available September 19, 2019)