AUSSIE TALES

Welcome to our Aussie Tales collection, where you'll find spectacular titles by Australian authors with page turning stories and adventures filled with the soul of our vast land...

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 Life in a small mining town can be like living in a fishbowl, where everyone knows everybody else's business.

 

Fifteen-year-old Jodi's mother wants her father to quit his binge drinking and his dangerous job at the mine - even more so after a collapse leaves two miners dead and three trapped deep underground.
As tensions escalate both at home and around the town, Jodi seeks comfort with her friends but soon faces a double betrayal. As Jodi struggles to gain autonomy over her life, she begins to discover the person she really is.

 

But with everything around her spiraling out of control, it may not be the right time to let her family, friends, and ultimately the whole town know - no matter how much she wants to.

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John Russell's fascination with Antarctica was born when, at the age of 12, he took afternoon tea with Lady Shackleton.

 

From that moment, there was no doubt he would become an Enginer. As ANARE Expedition Engineer he wintered at Macquarie Island (1949), Heard Island (1952), and was part of the 10-man team to set up Australia's Mawson Station (1954). He was Traverse Specialist at McMurdo during Deep Freeze IV (1958).

 

John was awarded the Polar Medal in 1956 for serving 13 months below 60S at Mawson Station. This memoir was written in his 99th year.

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From the author of A Lifetime of Impossible Days (winner of The Courier-Mail People's Choice QLD Book of the Year Award) comes this beautiful and uplifting story, that will make you laugh and make you cry.

 

Welcome to The Emporium of Imagination, a most unusual shop that travels the world offering vintage gifts to repair broken dreams and extraordinary phones to contact lost loved ones. But, on arrival in the tiny township of Boonah, the store's long-time custodian, Earlatidge Hubert Umbray, makes a shocking realisation. He is dying . . .
 
The clock is now ticking to find his replacement, because the people of Boonah are clearly in need of some restorative magic.
 
Like Enoch Rayne - a heartbroken ten-year-old boy mourning the loss of his father, while nurturing a guilty secret. Like Ann Harlow, who has come to the town to be close to her dying grandmother. Though it's Enoch's father who dominates her thoughts - and regrets . . .
 
Even Earlatidge in his final days will experience the store as never before - and have the chance to face up to his own tragedy . . .

 

'Prepare to immerse yourself in wonder, childish delight and dark, dark trauma in this unique novel from a new and important Australian literary voice.' Australian Women's Weekly on A Lifetime of Impossible Days

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The whole of the harbour was touched with gold – the tops of the quiet waves, warehouse roofs, the bulging folds of sails at rest, the tips of seagull wings – giving him one sweeping glimpse of beauty just as he was leaving, a vision of things as they ought always to be just as they were not…

 

March, 1912. A sultry Indian summer hangs over the west coast of Australia and aboard the luxury steamship SS Koombana, three tales entwine. Irene Everley longs to leave her first-class fishbowl existence, secretly penning a gossip column as her life spirals out of control into soulless liaisons and alcohol, the long shadow of a tragedy clouding her view.
 
Abraham Davis, a wealthy dealer whose scandalous divorce is being dragged through the press, prepares to take the gamble of his life: to purchase an infamous, stolen pearl along the journey north. Perfectly round, perfectly pink, this pearl comes with a curse and with a warning – destroying all who keep it from returning to the sea.

 

'Colourful, evocative and energetic' - Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum pick of the week

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One woman. Two men. War. Tragedy. Love.

Sweeping in its outlook, Sweet Bitter Cane is a family saga but also an untold story of migrant women – intelligent, courageous and enduring women who were the backbone of the sugarcane industry and who deserve to be remembered.

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Two teenage girls arrive in Australia in 1855, alone and with no knowledge of the colony or how they can survive far away from their native country, Wales.

 

They have a lot to learn, but surely things can't get worse than the mess they're already in.

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On the forestry road to Mount Delusion, on the edge of the Victorian High Country, stand two old huts known as Strobridge's huts.

 

This story is based on the life of Lucy Strobridge from Brookville in the Gippsland mountains of Victoria.

 

Some said she was mad, others said she was brave. She was simply being Lucy, living her life her way.

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When Adelaide is rocked by an earthquake, no one is left more shaken than David Burrows.

 

A recently completed apartment building suffers severe structural damage and collapses, leaving 26 people dead and countless injured. The building should never have collapsed and sparks a furore of condemnation by the press and public alike. David receives an alarming phone call from Alice Springs where the steel used in the construction was manufactured and the race is on across the country to uncover the truth.

 

As the plot unravels we learn that the failure of the structure is the result of something far more sinister.

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It’s a hot summer, and life’s going okay for Jackson and his family on the Mish.

 

It’s almost Christmas, school’s out, and he's hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, and avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson’s Aunty and his annoying little cousins visit from Sydney – but this time, a boy named Tomas comes with them.
 
Tomas is quiet, from a troubled background, and he’s artistic – more into his writing than he is willing to admit. And as both boys let down their guard, and their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family and community.

 

He must face his darkest secret – a secret that could shatter the careful persona he has built for himself on the Mish.

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This dramatic political novel features a cast of rogues, opportunists and idealists set against a background of corruption, strikes and union bashing in Queensland.

 

Yet this is not the 1980s but the 1920s and Jack O’Leary — socialist, railway worker and fiery unionist — befriends Fred Paterson, a young lawyer who has joined the newly-formed Communist Party of Australia.

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It’s 1914 and the coal town of Lithgow is booming. Daniel Ackerman is a serious young man, a miner, a socialist and German; Francine Connolly is the bourgeois, Irish-Catholic, too-good-for-this-place daughter of one of the mine owners.

 

When a tragic accident forces them together, this class-crossed pair fall in love despite themselves. Before the signatures on their marriage certificate are dry, though, war erupts, and a much more terrifying obstacle confronts them.
 
Against his principles but driven by a sense of solidarity, Daniel enlists; Francine, horrified, has no choice but to watch him go. Thrown into a daunting new world of separation and grief, they learn things about each other they might never have known in more certain times – hard lessons about heroism, sacrifice, and the thin line between bravery and stupidity.
 
Told with freshness, verve and wit, Black Diamonds is the tale of a fierce young nation, Australia, and two fierce hearts who dare to discover what courage really means.

 

‘This is the story of a love greatly tested and of the resilience of ordinary Australians sucked into a pointless war by propaganda. It’s enough to turn you into a war protester.’ – Australian Women’s Weekly

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How do children survive a mother’s abandonment and a stepmother’s cruelty in an outback town in the 1950s?

 

With imagination, a strong sibling bond, and humour to escape a bleak home life.

 

This book will take you on a comical and poignant journey.

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Broke and hopeless in 1929, Yo O’Keenan flees the violence of his home in Chippendale, and by some miracle charms his way into a job on the Harbour Bridge, a new start for himself and his little sister, Agnes.

 

Meanwhile, on the north side of Sydney, in her cluttered cottage at Lavender Bay, a young and ambitious costumier, Olivia Greene, works on her latest millinery creations, dreaming of taking her colours to Paris, London, New York.
 
A random encounter in the Botanic Gardens sparks a powerful attraction, even as the gulf between this pair seems wider than the blue mile of harbour that divides the city. By mid-1932, the construction of the Bridge is complete, but Sydney is in chaos, on the brink of civil war, as the Great Depression begins to bite – hard.
 
And then Yo disappears.
 
Against the glittering backdrop of Sydney Harbour, The Blue Mile tells of the cruelties of poverty, the wild gamble a city took to build a wonder of the world, and the risks the truly brave will take for a chance at life and love.

 

‘Kelly’s evocation of 1930s Sydney has a marvellous depth and authenticity based on some impressive research, and her characters, plot and fluid prose draw the reader into this world.’ Daily Telegraph. Troy Lennon, history editor.

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Gina and Albert are siblings. They help out in their parent’s shop, D & G Deli, on the Princes Highway in Unanderra, a suburb in Wollongong on the NSW South Coast.

 

The shop is open seven days a week, but both want to play Saturday sports. How could they do this when their parents needed help in their small businesses?
 
This brother and sister are typical of children and teenagers in Australia who worked in their parent’s businesses during the 1950s and ‘60s. They dreamt of being the same as all the Australian kids. Going to the beach or movies on weekends and playing Saturday sports.

 

All they want is to fit into the Australian lifestyle.

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On the cusp of summer 1939, another war has begun in Europe.

 

Bernie Cooper is wondering what might be in it for her; she’s looking for adventure, some way to stretch her wings. The boy next door, Gordon Brock, is wondering if Bernie will marry him – before he heads off on his own adventure, his first job as a geologist with an oil company in New Guinea.
 
But the war has plans for them both neither could have imagined in their wildest nightmares. As Gordon braces for the Japanese invasion of Rabaul, Bernie finally finds her purpose in the midst of the battle being fought on home soil – against the worst drought in living memory, the menace of an unseen enemy, and the torment of not knowing if those dear to her are alive or dead.
 
From the beaches of Sydney to the dusty heart of the continent, This Red Earth is a love letter to Australia, with all its beauty and terror, and a tale of telling the truth – before it’s too late.

 

‘Kim Kelly seems to understand the sounds and scents of the country … The strength of This Red Earth is that it reads as authentic in terms of the times in which it is set. Yet it does not succumb to saccharine nostalgia and feels like you are looking through a wide and clear window back to the 40s.’ Helen Crompton, The West Australian

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At Christmas, 1900, university student Berylda Jones is heading home from Sydney to Bathurst, and with customary reluctance, for ‘home’ is where she and her sister Greta live in quiet terror, under the control of their sadistic Uncle Alec.

 

Berylda has a plan this time, though, to free herself and Greta from Alec for good – if she can only find the courage to execute it. On New Year’s Eve, that plan begins to take fire. Just as Alec tightens his grip on the sisters, a stranger arrives at their gate – Ben Wilberry, a botanist in search of a particular native wildflower, with his friend, the artist Cosmo Thompson. So begins a journey that will take them all deep into the rugged wilderness of the old gold rush country of Hill End in search of a means to cure an unspeakable evil.
 
Set at the dawn of Federation and the coming of the Women’s Vote, Paper Daisies is an Australian gothic tale of murder and misogyny. A story of one woman’s determination to see justice done, and the man who clears her path.

 

‘One of the most powerful books I’ve read in years’ – Virginia Haussegger, AM, journalist, feminist academic.

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Wild Chicory is a novella that takes the reader on an immigrant journey from Ireland to Australia in the early 1900s, along threads of love, family, war and peace.

 

It’s a slice of ordinary life rich in history, folklore and fairy tale, and a portrait of the precious relationship between a granddaughter, Brigid, and her grandmother, Nell.
 
From the windswept, emerald coast of County Kerry, to the slums of Sydney’s Surry Hills; and from the bitter sectarian violence of Ulster, to tranquillity of rural New South Wales, Brigid weaves her grandmother’s tales into a small but beautiful epic of romance and tragedy, of laughter and the cold reality of loss. It’s Nell’s tales, tall and true, that spur Brigid to write her own, too.
 
Ultimately, it’s a story of finding your feet in a new land – be that a new country, or a new emotional space – and the wonderful trove of narrative we carry with us wherever we might go.

 

'Why can't more people write like this?' The Age

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It’s 1868 and the gold rush is sprawling across the wild west of New South Wales, bringing with it a new breed of colonial rogue – bushrangers.

 

A world far removed from hardworking farm girl, Annie Bird, and her sleepy village on the outskirts of Sydney. But when a cruel stroke of fortune sees Annie orphaned and outcast, she is forced to head for the goldfields in search of her grandfather, a legendary tracker.
 
Determined and dangerously naive, she sets off with little but a swag full of hope – and is promptly robbed of it on the road. Her cries for help attract another sort of rogue: Jem Fox, the waster son of a wealthy silversmith, who’s already in trouble with the law – up to his neatly trimmed eyebrows in gambling debts. And now he does something much worse. He ‘borrows’ a horse and rides after the thieves, throwing Annie over the saddle as he goes.

 

What follows is a breakneck gallop through the Australian bush, a tale of mistaken identity and blind bigotry, of two headstrong opposites tossed together by fate, their lives entwined by a quest to get back home – and the irresistible forces of love.

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"LostRalia" is an epic poem that takes place in the continent of Ralia (Australia) in an anachronistic medieval setting.

 

The Crown Prince Cavaliere wishes to marry the Lady Adelade, but his plans are thwarted by the Dark Lord Purth who schemes to use her to lure Cavaliere to the west to meld two mysterious shields and bring about eternal chaos. With the aid of the Grand Duke Orlbry, Cavaliere and Sir Sedny upset Purth's plans and establish a kingdom of love and true liberty.

 

"LostRalia" was originally a hand-written work that this author had finished in 1986.

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Like many of us, Eve is on her own journey. This story is one which will relate to many who struggle with life but eventually find peace.

 

As this book takes Eve on her own journey, we are taken along for the ride with her, through themes of social justice and self enlightenment.

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In early 2020 much of the world went into Lockdown as a means of dealing with Covid-19. This created a new situation for many people - separated by distance; connected by ideas and relationships, new and old.

 

Written during the first wave of the virus, this eclectic anthology documents the early days of Corona, and how we began to negotiate the strange new force that took over our lives.
 

With a broad range of characters, experiences and reactions, everyone will find something to relate to in "Life in the Time of Corona."

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The true story of Australia's first international Super Star, Dame Nellie Melba.

 

Part of the critically acclaimed Aussie Heroes series.

 

This book is a child friendly, informative and entertaining look at the life of Helen Porter Mitchell who became the Opera star, Dame Nellie Melba.

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Calm, mature, forgiving, honest, stylish and sober. Brisbane’s Terry Flynn possesses none of these qualities.

 

Bumbling his way through life without any real direction, knockabout Terry is the first to admit he’s never achieved anything of great significance in his 44 years. Seeking retribution from anyone he believes has wronged him is common practice, but when a degenerate gambler looks set to turn his world upside down, Terry is prompted to produce his greatest square up to date.
 
With an extremely short fuse and an inability to conform with modern society, it’s not going to be a walk in the park though. In fact his best mate reckons it’s the most ludicrous scheme Terry has ever devised and only gives him a 50/1 chance of pulling it off!
 
Terry’s not concerned in the slightest, he’s just got a cranky builder, a dangerous driver, English cricket fans and an 80’s television star amongst others to deal with first.

 

It’s going to be a busy few weeks in December, but with the help of a few friends, Terry’s going to give it a crack or go down swinging!

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Gold is a Family Saga/Drama set around the gold-mining areas of Western Australia.

The story spans a 30-year period in the lives of the chief characters, focusing on their interpersonal relationships as well as the protagonist's rise to power and the longer-term results of his Machiavellian nature. This is an Aussie tale, populated by true Aussie characters and a villain you will love to hate.
Malcolm Kincaid is a self-made man. He is also a ruthless businessman and opportunist. He knows what it takes to build and maintain a business empire, but how far will he be prepared to go to achieve his goals — and what will he sacrifice along the way?
Over three decades, Malcolm Kincaid uses, abuses, and dominates associates and family alike, crushing all opposition in his pursuit of wealth and power. When he allows the pollution of an Aboriginal settlement’s water supply, however, he faces justice of a kind he could never imagine.

 

GOLD! is a tale of greed, betrayal, family conflict, rape, and murder. It is also, however, a story of love and loyalty — and of how one man’s pride and prejudice can lead to terrible retribution.

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One for horse lovers from teenagers upwards!

 

Winston is a good-looking palomino horse whose life involves several different owners and many adventures. As you read his story, told by Winston himself, you will appreciate horse ownership from the horse’s point of view.
 
Born on a country property in Australia, Winston tells of his breaking-in and education and the different people he encounters – good, bad and ignorant. As well as his own story, Winston includes the experiences of other horses he meets along life’s way.
 
Whether it’s jumping, eventing, hunting or just hacking, Winston tries hard to please his rider. Follow his successes and his failures from his breaking-in to his show jumping win.

 

It is an eventful life – the story of one Australian horse out of thousands, but one that you will remember.

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Harry Williams from the age of ten years wanted to become a drover, like his father and grandfather before him.

 

This is his life story of leaving school at ten years old, operating his first droving plant at thirteen years and fully operational at twenty-one years old.

 

Droving is now a craft past its used by date. Harry Williams didn't think so.

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A tale of longing, loss and growing love under the bright Australian sun.

 

It’s 1921 and the Great War has left in its wake untold tragedy, not only in lives lost, but in the guilt of survivors, the deep-set scars of old wounds and the sting of redoubled bigotries. In the tiny hamlet of Sunshine, on the far-flung desert’s edge, three very different ex-servicemen – Jack Bell, an Aboriginal horseman; Snow McGlynn, a laconic, curmudgeonly farmer; and Art Lovelee, an eccentric engineer – find themselves sharing a finger of farmland along the Darling River, and not much else. That is, until Art’s wife Grace, a battle-hardened nurse, gets to work on them all with her no-nonsense wisdom.
 
Told with Kim Kelly’s inimitable wit and warmth, Sunshine is a very Australian tale of home, hope and healing, of the power of growing life and love, and discovering that we are each other’s greatest gifts.

 

'Shining from this deeply moving story of battle-scarred lives is the beauty of the land and the courage, resilience and generosity of ordinary people. Sunshine is a wonderful story: alive, full-hearted and shimmering with hope.' - Belinda Castles, award-winning author of Bluebottle

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A novel of love, war and kindness, inspired by a true story of medical genius and betrayal.

 

Sydney, 1948. Brilliant German surgeon, Hugo Winter, is dead, and his protégé, Lucy Brynne, is tasked with sorting his papers. Among them, Lucy finds glimpses of Hugo’s past that paint a disturbing picture of war and prejudice – a portrait of Australia she can barely recognise.
 
That same week, an intriguing patient comes into her care on the orthopaedic ward at Sydney Hospital: one Mr Jim Cleary. Lucy’s experience as an army physiotherapist, as well as her own very personal knowledge of pain, tell her there’s more to this man’s fractured leg than meets the eye. As she pieces together who Jim Cleary really is and the truth behind his injury, she not only falls for his laconic charm, but discovers the rival surgeon who relentlessly persecuted Hugo – a man who will shatter Jim’s life completely now, unless Lucy can stop him.

 

Inspired by a true story of medical genius and betrayal, Walking is a crisply told tale of bigotry and obsession, love and devastation, one that charts the path of a young woman finding her feet in the world, and the transformative power of kindness that drives her own ambition.

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Buy A Frighteningly Festive Anthology of Spine Jingling Tales and treat yourself to eight individually crafted stories from Down Under! 

 

Christmas Australis contains a novella, two novelettes and five short stories - something for everyone this Festive Season.

An absolute must for the scary, Christmas thongs beneath the tree!

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Addy Loest is harbouring a secret – several, in fact.

 

Dedicated overthinker, frockaholic and hard-partyer, she’s been doing all she can to avoid the truth for quite some time. A working-class girl raised between the Port Kembla Steelworks and the surf of the Illawarra coast, Addy is a fish out of water at the prestigious University of Sydney. She’s also the child of German immigrants, and her broken-hearted widower dad won’t tell her anything about her family’s tragic past.
 
But it’s 1985, a time of all kinds of excess, from big hair to big misogyny, and distractions are easy. Distractions, indeed, are Addy’s best skill – until one hangover too many leads her to meet a particular frock and a particular man, each of whom will bring all her truths hurtling home.

 

Told with Kim Kelly’s incomparable warmth and wit, The Truth & Addy Loest is a magical trip through shabby-chic inner-city Sydney, a tale of music and moonlight, literature and love – and of discovering the only story that really matters is the one you write for yourself.

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Yenohan's Legacy is a fascinating mix of adventure and history in which tales of pioneers, Aborigines and a modern-day women interweave.

 

Fran’s life changes over the course of a weekend as she helps restore a hut in the High Country of Australia.

 

 

Haunted by ghosts of previous occupants, she is drawn to their stories and seeks the truth, finding love in the process.

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