Australia Day Blog Hop Giveaway 2016!



It’s that time time of year again when we Aussies get a little bit crazy and carried away. Yep, that’s right its Australia Day! And to celebrate all things Aussie, I’m joining forces with a bunch of other blogs in Shelleyrae’s Australia Day Blog Hop Giveaway, where a bunch of fantastic Aussie blogs are giving away free Australian Swag and books. So make sure you check out Book’d Out for all participating blogs; you never know what you might win from it or who you might meet along the way! So pull up a seat, and grab a ‘snag'(a sausage or if your from the UK a banger) and grab a cold one and simply enjoy πŸ™‚

Keeping with tradition I’m supporting local Aussie authors again this year and have two book packs to give away.

Book One: The Reluctant Jillaroo by Kaz Delaney( YA)

Open To Australian Residents Only.

Surf-loving Heidi impersonates her horse-mad twin to help Harper get a scholarship to attend the much sought-after agricultural school in this rural romance from Australia’s queen of teen, Kaz Delaney. Suitable for teen readers of Rachael Treasure.

Harper Gage has won the opportunity of a lifetime – ten days at Winmaroo Jillaroo and Jackaroo school. The camp could give her the recommendation she needs to go to the exclusive Agricoll for years 11 and 12. But when an accident leaves Harper hospitalised, her twin sister, Heidi, goes in her place. The only problem is that Heidi is not much of a country girl – not like her sister. And to make life even more complicated, her sister’s biggest rival Trent is going to be there. Will she be able to fool him?

And then the reality of the school hits Heidi hard. It’s all dust, snakes and heat – a million miles away from the surf she loves. When she meets the fun and handsome Chaz, life at the school suddenly doesn’t seem so bad, although with Trent acting up and trouble brewing with the other students, Heidi’s not sure how long she can keep her identity secret. And if her secret is revealed, will Chaz ever be able to trust her again?

Book Two: The Dressmaker by Rosalie HamΒ  (Women’s Fiction)

Open Internationally to any country that Book Depository delivers to!

Tilly Dunnage left her hometown of Dungatar in rural Australia under a black cloud of accusation. Years later Tilly, now a couturier for the Paris fashion houses, returns home to make amends with her mentally unstable mother. Mid-century Dungatar is a small town, and small towns have long memories. At first she wins over the suspicious locals with her extraordinary dressmaking skills. But when the eccentric townsfolk turn on Tilly for a second time, she decides to teach them a lesson and exact long-overdue revenge…Packed with memorable characters, acid humour and luscious clothes, The Dressmaker is an irresistible gothic tale of small-town revenge.


Australian fiction has been embraced by the world whole heartedly recently, with publishers in Germany particularly loving Aussie Rural fiction. Australian YA is world renowned as being some of the best, and the Australian romance community is becoming more and more popular in American and the rest of world. Our crime and thriller writers are constantly making names for themselves and it seems like the world is finally waking up to some of the amazing home grown talent we have here. For your chance to win a copy of one of the books listed about, simply leave a comment below answering the following question:

What is it about Australian fiction that makes it so appealing? Which Aussie authors and books do you love the most and why?

Entries close Wednesday 27th January, with winners announced by email and on the blog on Friday 29th January 2016.

68 thoughts on “Australia Day Blog Hop Giveaway 2016!

  1. Lizzy says:

    Thanks for the giveaway, Jess. What I love about Australian fiction is its diversity. You get everything from high quality literary fiction, to hot steamy romances, apocalyptic visions and quiet reflections.

    I have so many favourite authors in different genres, it’s hard to narrow them down – and some of them are friends – but my standout literary read for 2015 was Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things. I also love to bury myself in a chunky Kate Morton historical fiction. For an incomparable fantasy/horror/literary writers, you can’t go past Margo Lanagan and Nike Sulway. As for romance, my personal favourites are Anna Campbell and Kandy Shepherd, but there are many more I could mention. On the crime front, there are so many talented writers, including newcomers Emma Viskic and D B Tait, to name only two. What’s not to love about great Aussie fiction?

    • Jess says:

      Hey Lizzy. Thanks for stopping by! I totally agree with you; there is just so much diversity in all aspects of Australian fiction and I’m so glad its being embraced more widely internationally now. I know its not all that recent and that it still has a long way to go, but I can’t help but feel so proud when I hear international authors raving about how much they love Aussie authors. I may not be one, but its great to know that the talent is being supported and loved everywhere! You mention some great Aussie authors there too. I haven’t read Charlotte Wood’s book yet, but after the amount of praise coming from everywhere I think I might have to make it a priority soon! I lovve Margo Lanagan’s work. She is so diverse too in what she writes! Anna Campbell is divine! Have an awesome Australia Day.

  2. Kathryn says:

    Hello I am from New Zealand and I enjoy Australian authors -mostly romance but not totally. I think the Australian novels stand very well in the world of books. I love the romance authors Ainslie Paton and Rachael Johns, just great books to read. I’ve liked Graeme Simsion’s books, so entertaining. Didn’t even know The Dressmaker author was Australian!

    • Jess says:

      Hey Kathryn. Thanks for stopping by. I’m a really big fan of Aussie romance myself. Especially the rural romance authors like Rachael Johns – who I think is signed up for this giveaway so make sure you go and check it out when you get the chance. I love Ainslie Paton too. There’s just something so authentic about her writing. Graeme Simsion is a hoot too! Never a dull moment in his books.
      I went and saw the movie before I read the book and didn’t realise it was even set in Aus originally (I went with my Mum to see it; I had no clue what I was seeing), but I absolutely loved it. Some research recently told me that she was an Aussie and since the movie and book are so big and topical right now I just had to offer this one up.
      Happy reading πŸ™‚

  3. Amy says:

    What I love about Aussie fiction is that even when it is set in a place totally different than where I live it feels familiar. It’s Australian people living in Australia and it’s a different feeling as you read than having characters or events set outside Australia. You somehow relate to them more I find, which seems strange I know. My favourite Aussie authors have to be John Marsden, Garth Nix, and Melina Marchetta. All their books tell wonderful stories and are filled with fascinating characters.

    • Jess says:

      Hey Amy. Did you end up signing up the blog hop? Just my luck my net has broken after all that blogging yesterday and I’m desperately using my phone now! I totally agree with what you’ve mentioned though. It’s so easy to read say American or European fiction and although you totally love the narrative, writing and the characters still feel like that’s just a story or it would never happen out here. Reading local (as in Australia wide not just local area) brings this usual sense that anything could happen here and to you yourself. Some great favourites there!! I just realised I’ve meet every single one of them with you at some stage in the past few years or so! Have an awesome Australia Day on Tuesday πŸ™‚

      • Amy says:

        I did, I just got in last night. Sucks about the internet, and today of all days! I’m so glad you got what I meant, It sounded weird writing, but I’m glad someone understands!

  4. Christy says:

    I enjoy the sensibility — a sort of dry, realism which I find comforting to read, especially when I’m away from home myself. I love Tim Winton, Christos Tsiolkas, Sarah Turnbull, Charlotte Wood and for something more out of the box Jane Rawson.

    • Jess says:

      Hey Kristy. Thanks for dropping by. You mention some fantastic Aussie authors there and much like yourself I love that dry realism and dry humour that often comes out unexpectedly in Aussie books. Have an awesome Australia day.

  5. Janine says:

    I love the familiar places in Aussie fiction and it feels like your bare reading about someone you almost know! The depictions of the scenery sometimes bring back memories of where you have been or want to go!

    • Jess says:

      So true Janine. I get particularly excited (and at times everyone knows about it around me because I can get quite vocal about it) when that happens. There’s a particular crime book out there that was set in a place I used to frequent quite heavily for work. It made the whole thing that much more scary because I not only could not only picture what the author was showing us in the narrative but I knew how possible it all was. It made it so much more errie because of it. Have an awesome Australia Day!

  6. carolynswriting says:

    I guess I love Aussie fiction because being an Aussie, I love seeing our world in fiction. It also gives me a glimpse of aspects of Aussie life I don’t necessarily know, like surf culture or living in the outback. I have too many favourite Aussie authors these days, but Tim Winton, Jessie Cole & Eliza Henry-Jones write amazing literary fiction that’s beautiful and gritty; while Vikki Wakefield, Kirsty Eagar & Margaret McCarthy do the same in contemporary YA. Thanks Jess for the giveaway chance!

  7. Catherine says:

    Oh, those books look so much fun, especially the tagline on The Reluctant Jillaroo! What I love about Australian fiction is the sense of home about it, even when the books themselves are set elsewhere. I wonder if it’s a subtle thing to do with language use?

    I’m a big fan of Brian Caswell (who seems to have stopped writing, alas), Anne Gracie, Melina Marchetta, Randa Abdel-Fattah, and, in the right mood, Mary Grant Bruce, though I find myself reading the latter more as a historian than anything else.

    • Jess says:

      Thanks for stopping by Catherine. Like yourself I love the sense of home about Aussie fiction too. There’s nothing better than reading a book and knowing exactly where its set and being able to say ‘I’ve been there!’. Its the little things like that that get me excited about some Aussie books. I love love love Melina Marchetta and Anne Gracie. I haven’t heard of the others except for Randa Abdel-Fattah. What do they write?

      • Catherine says:

        Mary Grant Bruce wrote adventure/growing up stories about a girl called Norah who lived on a cattle farm in Australia in the early 20th century. She was actually writing them between about 1900 and 1930, so the attitudes are occasionally… interesting. Though you can also see where the author’s own views evolved over time, which is fun. I grew up reading my mother’s copies, so they are nostalgia books, but as an adult, yeah, I can’t help wincing at some of the attitudes.

        Brian Caswell writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, though he also sometimes writes straight YA. I’ve just checked and he was still writing as recently as 2013, though evidently not a lot. Very good characters, but it is hard to pin him down to a genre as he likes exploring different styles. I love Merryl of the Stones, for the Welsh mythology, Deucalion, which is science fiction that also looks at colonialism, and Asturias which is about music and growing up and also unions.

      • Catherine says:

        Oh, and Randa Abdel-Fattah I mostly love for ‘Does My Head Look Big In This’, which has a similar feel to Looking for Alibrandi, but is about a second generation Australian girl of Lebanese Muslim extraction, very much trying to figure out how to be herself.

      • Catherine says:

        It must be a generational thing! I get the impression he wasn’t in print for that long, sadly, so maybe only children of the 80s/90s got to appreciate him? I am now feeling so nostalgic for his books, will have to dig them all out…

  8. Mary Preston says:

    I can identify with Australian fiction. It’s my history & culture. I do love the works by Tom Keneally. Fascinating to read.

  9. Penny Olson says:

    I am quite new to Aussie fiction and want to learn more. I would imagine the land itself and the diversity of the people influence the books. As yet, I have no favorites. I need to discover Aussie authors!

    • Jess says:

      Well you’ve definitely chosen the right venue (and time) to do so I it’s so many great blogs and authors and publishing houses offering so many up to readers. I hope you find something you love Penny. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Jessy says:

    I love Australian fiction and just can’t get enough of it. . About Rural fiction ,I like the small town settings, romance and the outback setting. Love all genres. My favourite Authors are Liane Moriarty, Kaye Dobbie, Rachael Johns, Fiona McIntosh ,,Pamela Hart, Di Morrissey ,Annie West, Anna Campbell,,Melanie Milburne, Jennifer Scoullar and many more. It’s so good to read about so many places in Australia where the stories take place and not everyone can visit the whole of Australia. So, I travel through the books I get to read. It’s such an honour to say I live in that country to my friends when I give them the books to read..Enjoyed reading Nona and me and books by Randa Abdel -Fatah were interesting. My favourite book I read recently was Colors of Gold by Kaye Dobbie .

    • Jess says:

      I can’t help but agree. It’s comforting to know that other people deal with the same things we face and that fictional characters do face the same battles as us sometimes!

  11. Maida (@adiamaida) says:

    I think I have never read anything by any Australian author. That is why this hop sounded so interesting to me and I have discovered many authors and added their books to my to-read list. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak sounds especially intriguing and I will try to get my hands on it as soon as possible.

    • Jess says:

      Hey Maida. The Book Thief is such an exquisite book and I highly recommend you do read it. But prepared and have a box of tissues near by because you will need it!

  12. Amanda Barrett says:

    Hello there Jess and happy Australia Day to you from West Australia πŸ™‚ thanks for the giveaway. I love Australian rural romance fiction. I enjoy reading books from this genre as I love how they depict the Australian country landscape to city coastal dwellers such as myself. Such a different way of life, scenery and I love the true blue dialogue in these novels too. I have so many favourite rural ficition authors, my list would be endless! Fiona McCallum, Tricia Stringer, Rachael Johns, Fiona Palmer, Fleur McDonald, Pamela Cook, Charlotte Nash, Therese Creed, Jennifer Scoullar, Barbara Hannay, Cathryn Hein, Mandy Magro just to name a few!

    • Jess says:

      Hey Amanda. So glad you stopped by. We truly have some amazing rural writers into his country. You pretty much named all my fave rural authors too! I get so excited when they have new books out.

  13. Lara (@TwilightBizarre) says:

    As I’m from Europe, it is really interesting and refreshing to read Australian authors for me because I usually only come across local or American authors (which are great too but I love to have diversity when reading) and over all feel and the atmosphere in the books is different and I just enjoy it!

  14. Sarah ellwood says:

    I love how I can relate to stories with aussie characters, or books that are set in Australia. I recently read In The Quiet, which was Eliza Henry-Jones’ debut novel and I was blown away by how connected I felt to the characters and storyline.

  15. brendat59 says:

    Our Aussie authors are a talented lot and we need to get them “out there” – the focus has been for far too long on overseas writers. Ours are up to and better than some of the overseas authors…the diversity and the talent is mind boggling.

    I have a lot of trouble choosing favourites as I read so much. So I won’t choose a particular one, but the majority are great! Thanks for the opportunity Jess πŸ™‚ One day we’ll be reading yours! x

    • Jess says:

      Hey Brenda! Thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad that some of our truly fantastic writers are getting more and more into the hands of international readers. I’m the same as you and can’t choose favourites easily.

      Thanks for the kind words! I really hope that one day it becomes a reality.

  16. Melissa Wray says:

    So much talent when it comes to Aussie authors. A long time favourite is Bryce Courtney and more recently Kate Forsyth. Both vastly different but similar with their descriptive ability that draws me in to the story.

    • Jess says:

      Hey Melissa. Thanks for stopping by once again. I must admit I never really got into Bryce Courtney. I know it’s shocking, but I think my problem was I tried to read him too young and it didn’t mesh well. I might have to try again soon. I personally love Kate Forysths work. She is amazing!

  17. Nat H says:

    Aussie Authors can describe the beauty of Australia in their words, thats what I love. Favourite authors there is many, I remember as a teen being engrossed in the John Marsden Tomorrow Series, to Kate Forsyth, or the Silver Brumby, or a classic like Bryce Courtenay…how do you pick really?!

    • Jess says:

      Haha Nat. I know it was so evil of me to ask you to pick. Personally I can’t decide! We have so much fantastic and diverse talent in this country! Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Karen Stalker says:

    Hi Jess, I love the “home” feeling of reading Aussie stories. As a child, my family travelled quite a lot, and to read Australian stories describing the outback reminds me of these travels.
    I have a rather large collection of Aussie authors, among the favourites are Bryce Courtney, Jennifer Scoullar and Jenn J McLeod.
    Thanks for the chance to be involved in the blog hop, always enjoy it.

    • Jess says:

      Hey Karen. Thanks for stopping by once again. I love that home feeling about it too, it’s a really comforting feeling that just makes the experience so much more special. You mention some fantastic Aussie authors there. I hope you have a great Australia Day!

  19. Lily Malone says:

    I’m so glad to see Ainslie Paton mentioned way up above. Her work is amazing – I’m a huge fan. I think Australian writing has a fearlessness about it that I admire.
    Thanks for the giveaway Jess!

  20. StephMWard says:

    Thanks for the giveaway, Jess! There is something about Australian writing that seems exotic, it stems from a place that seems so remote to so many. I’m loving Alice Pung. I really enjoyed Laurinda and am now listening to Her Father’s Daughter. Happy Australia Day!

  21. wendyjdunn says:

    There is something truly special about a great Australian novel – and so much of that is to do with our ‘sunburnt’ country. β€œLandscape is character”, Henry James once wrote – and the Australian landscape indeed possesses a powerful entity. I love so many Aussie authors and books, but I find myself now remembering the books I read as a teenager – A Town called Alice by Nevil Shute, Walkabout by James Vance Marshall, The Shiralee by D’Arcy Niland, Ruth Park’s novels – all novels that could only be written in Australia.

    • Jess says:

      Hey Wendy. Thanks for stopping by. You’ve mentioned some great books and authors there. Your totally right too, the setting and landscape plays such a huge role in Aussie books so much so that it often becomes another character in itself almost.

  22. anniepinkshoes says:

    Aussie authors know about the land and write with such care and we can feel like we are in that exact spot which we are reading about. It is such fun reading a book that has a few of our quirky little ‘Aussie’ sayings and things we do in it.
    Helene Young, Jenn J McLeod, Fiona McIntosh, Jackie French, I could go on but these are just a few. They all write with emotion and use the land and their knowledge of Australia in their stories.

  23. lauraboon2014 says:

    It’s the quality of the writing and storytelling that accounts for the appeal of Australian authors, whether they write genre or literature in rural settings or on urban streets. It’s of a very high standard and touches on those universal emotions that ties us together around the planet. I love the books of a diverse range of authors from Tim Winton to Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell, Rachael Johns and Cathryn Hein.

  24. Kira Jessup (@kirajessup) says:

    Australian fiction is appealing for me personally because I’ve rarely read something from an Aussie author that I didn’t like. Aussie Authors cover all the genres, and the books that are set in Australia too tend to have a unique Aussie voice that I tend to relate to. There are so many Aussie Authors and books I like, but I like Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies), Jaye Ford (Already Dead), Kerry McGinnis (Mallee Sky), and plenty of others.

  25. tfs93 says:

    I would love to read The Dressmaker. My favorite Australian author book has to big Big Little Lies. It is such a great read, full of laughs and a hard to figure out mystery.

  26. Tracey Allen (@Carpe_Librum1) says:

    So much has been said here already, I guess I’d just add that I love the diversity of Aussie authors. Some write with a distinct Australian feel (Tim Winton) and others set their stories primarily overseas (like Kate Morton). I love the authors who have a passion for reading and writing and aren’t in it for the money, they just have a passion for what they do. Good luck everyone πŸ™‚

  27. Nicole Anaya says:

    What I like the most is their special way of describing moments and places, with words that I think may be strongly used in Australia, and I like finding new ways to say things πŸ˜€ And I love Jac McLean books ❀ ❀ ❀

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