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Inspiring books

Reading a good book is a simple and timeless pleasure. Whether they are escapist, informative or eye-opening, books allow you to open your heart and mind to different experiences and perspectives.

Books offer laughter and honesty, and stimulate your imagination as you glimpse into other cultures, places and minds. You can live a thousand lives through the eyes of your protagonist, or learn to enrich your own.

They can also be great way to let you switch off and have time to yourself after a long day at work or with the family.
Getting involved with an exciting plot or your latest project lets you re-ignite your inspiration and creativity- you might even want to get your family and friends involved too!

Novels


One Good Friend Deserves AnothOne Good Friend Deserves Another

by Lisa Verge Higgins RRP $27.99

A funny and heartfelt story of four best friends who, one heartbreak at a time, created a set of rules for relationships. But now in their mid-30s, those rules might need to be broken.

Dhara, Kelly, Marta, and Wendy have been the closest of friends since college. So close, that after a series of romantic disasters, they bond together to create Rules of Relationships to keep their hearts safe.

How many of these dating rules have you broken? 1. Choose Your Own Man 2. Make Sure Your Friends Approve 3. No One-Night Stands 4. Trust Your Instincts 5. Never Make the Same Mistake Twice 6. After a Break-Up, Wait Six Months Before Dating Again.

Years later, the rules seem to have worked . . . until Marta discovers that her hot boyfriend is married, Kelly begins a risky love affair, Wendy inches closer to a pre-marital infidelity, and, most shocking of all, Indian-American Dhara suddenly agrees to an arranged marriage.

Hearts are about to be broken and the bonds of friendship are tested. Is it possible to find true love, when you're breaking all the rules?

My Wild RideMy Wild Ride

by Fiona Johnson RRP $29.99

The inspiring true story of how rodeo champion, Fiona Johnson's faith and determination helped her acheive her dreams and overcome some of life's greatest obstacles.

Fiona Johnson was born a city girl. But she was always drawn to horses. Aged 10 she saved all of her pocket money to buy a saddle at a garage sale. Eventually, after months of nagging her parents, she persuaded them to buy her a horse to go with the saddle. And so began a life-long love affair with horses and Rodeo.

Fiona eventually moved from city to country when she met the love of her life Matt. Sadly tragedy struck shortly after they were married. Fiona was diagnosed with Leukaemia, a rare form of cancer. She wasn't given very long to live.

But Fiona is a fighter. She was determined to beat her illness. And determined to fulfill her dream of participating in Rodeo events. Shortly after her release from seven months in hospital, Fiona decided now was the time to finally learn how to rope. She desperately wanted to be part of the Rodeo world. After many failed practice sessions, she eventually got the hang of it and went on to win the rookie title for ladies breakaway roping in 2005.

Now ten years later, in remission and with two children, she can look back at the most difficult time in her life and revel in her triumph over near tragedy.

Fiona is a true survivor and a champion roper. This is her story.

Rough DiamondRough Diamond

by Michael Joseph RRP $29.99

Funny, romantic, and action-packed, Rough Diamond introduces Australia's own Stephanie Plum – the unforgettable Erica Jewell.

The shock ending to Erica Jewell's marriage left a huge hole in her bank balance and a bigger one in her heart. And now her life goals make a very short list: no surprises, no debt and, definitely, no men. That is, until she finds one bleeding to death in her Melbourne garden one stormy Friday night.

Jack Jones is a man whose emotional wounds are more life-threatening than the bullet in his shoulder. Under orders, he recruits Erica to his secret team of vigilantes, and Erica suspects her safe, predictable world is about to be turned upside down.

And she's absolutely right.

The Wild GirlThe Wild Girl

by Kate Forsyth RRP $32.95

Dortchen Wild fell in love with Wilhelm Grimm the first time she saw him.

Growing up in the German kingdom of Hessen-Cassel in the early nineteenth century, Dortchen Wild is irresistibly drawn to the boy next door, the young and handsome fairy-tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm.

It is a time of war, tyranny and terror. Napoléon Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hessen-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, the Grimm brothers decide to save the old tales that had once been told by the firesides of houses grand and small all over the land.

Dortchen knew many beautiful old stories, such as ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘The Frog King’ and ‘Six Swans’. As she tells them to Wilhelm, their love blossoms. Yet the Grimm family is desperately poor, and Dortchen’s father has other plans for his daughter. Marriage is an impossible dream.

Dortchen can only hope that happy endings are not just the stuff of fairy tales …

BackfireBackfire

by Catherine Coulter RRP $29.99

San Francisco Judge Ramsey Hunt, longtime friend to FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich, is presiding over the trial of Clive and Cindy Cahill – accused in a string of murders – when the proceedings take a radical turn. Federal prosecutor Mickey O'Rourke, known for his relentless style, becomes suddenly tentative in his opening statement, leading Hunt to suspect he's been threatened – suspicions that are all but confirmed when Hunt is shot in the back.

Savich and Sherlock receive news of the attack as an ominous note is delivered to Savich at the Hoover Building: YOU DESERVE THIS FOR WHAT YOU DID. Security tapes fail to reveal who delivered the tapes. Who is behind the shooting of Judge Ramsey Hunt? Who sent the note to Savich? And what does it all mean? Savich and Sherlock race to San Francisco to find out . . . watching their backs all the while.

Love with a Chance of DrowningLove with a Chance of Drowning

by Torre DeRoche RRP: $29.99

Love can make a person do crazy things . . .
A city girl with a morbid fear of deep water, Torre DeRoche is not someone you would ordinarily find adrift in the middle of the stormy Pacific aboard a leaky sailboat - total crew of two - struggling to keep an old boat, a new relationship and her floundering sanity afloat.

But when she meets Ivan, a handsome Argentinean man with a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world, Torre has to face a hard decision: watch the man she's in love with sail away forever, or head off on the watery journey with him.

Suddenly the choice seems simple. She gives up her sophisticated city life, faces her fear of water (and tendency towards seasickness) and joins her lover on a year-long voyage across the Pacific.

Set against a backdrop of the world's most beautiful and remote destinations, Love with a Chance of Drowning is a sometimes hilarious, often moving and always brave memoir that proves there are some risks worth taking.

Health and Wellbeing


Your best bodyYour Best Body: BEST thinking, BEST training, BEST eating

by Michelle Bridges RRP $29.99

Want to be the best possible version of you? Who wouldn't?!

Michelle Bridges, Australia's most successful diet and fitness expert, gives you the tools you need to achieve a healthy mind and a healthy body, so that you can make positive changes and embrace new possibilities.

From getting your head right and knowing which foods you should eat to maximise healthy vitality, to exercising effectively to burn fat and give you more energy, this book is one-stop shop for getting the most out of yourself.

?A sample two-week exercise program so you can build your own workouts
?A great glossary of exercise so you'll never be bored!
?30 fresh new recipes
?Up-to-date information on superfoods
With positive thinking techniques, delicious, nutritious dishes and comprehensive training programs, Your Best Body gives you everything you need to achieve your goals, whether it's losing weight or working a slammin' set of shoulders, a tight midsection and a great pair of legs.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's Go!

Aussie Body Detox PlanAussie Body Diet & Detox Plan

by Saimaa Miller RRP $35.00

Finally, a detox program with a difference – where you don't feel deprived, you'll never go hungry, and can even have dessert.

Australians are famous for their sunkissed athletic physiques, and now Saimaa Miller, one of Australia's most respected naturopaths, has written a guide to getting the Aussie body you've always dreamed of. Australia is blessed with an abundance of good food, sunlight and beautiful natural surrounds, and simply making the most of these advantages is the key to good health.

In Aussie Body Diet & Detox Plan you'll discover the seven secrets to optimum health, learn which type of detoxer you are, and be able to devise the program that's right for you, with tips from for good health from Saimaa's celebrity clients to encourage you. All accompanied by recipes so delicious, you'll hardly believe you're on a detox. In just fourteen days you'll detox your system, leaving you refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.

With mouthwatering food you can serve to friends and family, tips on going out to eat and suggestions for simple changes you can make to get enough sunshine, exercise and relaxation, this isn't just another quick-fix diet book – it's the first step to a whole new way of life.


Where there's light there's shadowWhere There’s Light, There’s Shadow


A collection of poetry from Canberra writer Chris Jones RRP $19.95

Where There’s Light, There’s Shadow could be compared to a carnival freak show, and is bound to attract people with a
taste for the bizarre and a certain darkness in their hearts
.
With flying carpets made from butterfly wings, mirrors constructed from owl eyes, and a monochrome rainbow
projected from sunlight shining through acid rain, it certainly has its fair share of freaks.

Contrasting light against darkness, it mixes elements of science fiction, horror and fantasy. Where there’s light, there’s shadow, is a speculative poetry anthology with a surrealist twist.

The poetry calls out in siren songs that echo over the dark waters of the imagination. So come to the carnival and feed your dark desires…

About the Author


Chris Jones was born in Malaysia, and travelled the world thanks to his father’s job in the Royal Australian Air Force. He eventually settled in Canberra to do the Professional Writing Course at the University of Canberra where he received a distinction for Poetry and the Imagination. 

His work has been published in university magazines First and Curio, as well as several other magazines including: Ripple Magazine, Short and Twisted, Velour Zine, Masques, and Leap Out. He also paints and works part-time at a law chambers.

The Divinity of DogsThe Divinity of Dogs

by Jennifer Skill RRP $24.99

The Divinity of Dogs captures moments in which you learn something profound about life from an experience with a dog. These inspiring and heartwarming true stories show where love, tolerance, comfort, compassion, loyalty, joyfulness and even death have provided experiences that have led to spiritual enlightenment.

You'll meet Little Bit, the chihuahua who detected a small lump in her owner's breast, a growth even doctors couldn't find. There's Emma, the devoted rottweiler who ferociously grabbed her owner's arm at the moment he was trying commit suicide, saving his life. You'll be inspired by Luna, the retriever who dragged her owner to safety after she collapsed late at night in a field. And you'll fall in love with the many dogs who simply provide steady comfort when needed - dogs like Bo, the Boxer who soothed his mistress after the loss of her son. The author also weaves her own experiences with dogs throughout the book, showing how they comforted her through mistreatment as a child, a divorce and a cancer diagnosis.

The stories that make up The Divinity of Dogs provide hope, help and healing for readers in the complex and difficult times in which we live. Whether you believe dogs are divine or are actually a gift from the divine, The Divinity of Dogs gives you permission to accept what you know: dogs are healers, educators, protectors and tangible examples of pure love.

MadnessMadness: A Memoir

by Kate Richards RRP $29.99

Madness is a real world for the many thousands of people who are right now living within it. It never apologises. Sometimes it is a shadow, ever present, without regard for the sun. Sometimes it is a well of dark water with no bottom, or a levitation device to the stars.

Madness, a memoir is an insight into what it's like to live with psychosis over a period of ten years, in which bouts of acute illness are interspersed with periods of sanity. The world is beautiful and terrifying and sometimes magical. The sanctity of life is at times precious and at times precarious and always fragile. It's a story of learning to manage illness with courage and creativity, of achieving balance and living well. It is for everyone now living within the world of madness, for everyone touched by this world, and for everyone seeking to further his or her understanding of it, whether you think of madness as a biological illness of the brain or an understandable part of the continuum of the human condition.

Kate Richards is a trained doctor currently working in medical research.

Toxic OilToxic Oil: Why Vegetable Oil Will Kill You and How to Save Yourself

By David Gillespie RRP $29.99

Everything you believe about fat is wrong.

Polyunsaturated oil - everyone knows it's good for you, right? Wrong! And we all know artery-clogging, cholesterol-forming saturated fat is bad for you, don't we? Wrong again! In his previous book Big Fat Lies, David Gillespie showed that these 'truths' are in fact myths, based on poor research and bad evidence.

'Vegetable oil', which isn't made from vegetables at all, but manufactured from seeds, has systematically replaced saturated fats in our diets over the past one hundred years, but our rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are higher than ever.

In Toxic Oil, David reviews the latest evidence on why vegetable oil will kill you. He shows us how to avoid it and leads us through the supermarket, explaining how to read food labels and which products to buy. In the recipe section, you'll discover how to make versions of delicious meals and snacks that are difficult to buy without seed oil. No need to give up hot chips!

With this practical guide in hand, you'll be able to make healthy food choices based on evidence rather than what the processed food industry wants you to believe. So have a good breakfast - preferably bacon and eggs - strap yourself in, and be prepared to have everything you thought you knew about fat turned upside down.

Delicious Food


Hugh's Three Good Things on a PlateHugh's Three Good Things . . . On A Plate

by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall RRP $49.99

A magic formula to simplify cooking and amplify taste - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall puts three good things together on a plate.

How often have you wished there was a magic formula to simplify cooking? Well, there is. Put three good things together on a plate and, somehow, the whole is always greater and more delicious than the sum of its parts. Looking back over nearly two decades of professional cookery, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has worked out the combinations that make magic. Salty, sweet, crunchy. Sharp, rich, crumbly. Hot, bland, crisp. Think scones with jam and cream, fish and chips with mushy peas, or porridge with golden syrup and cream.

Hugh has used the formula of three to create two hundred recipes, both well-loved classics and brand new ideas, including rhubarb, yoghurt and granola; potatoes, baked beans and Cheddar; mackerel, celery and orange; lemon sole, lemons and mash; mussels, leeks and bacon; chicken, French beans and olives; sausages, beans and tomatoes; scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and fried bread; fennel, orange and watercress; avocado, lime and chillies; spinach, cheese and toast; peaches, cream and praline; and rice pudding, apples and caramel. Because the possibilities are endless, Hugh has also suggested two hundred three-word recipe ideas, which can be used as a springboard for improvised cooking.

With sumptuous photography from Simon Wheeler, this book will unlock a whole new world of fantastic food. Hugh's Three Good Things. It really is that simple.

A Bite of the Big AppleA Bite Of The Big Apple

by Monica Trapaga & Lil Tulloch RRP $39.99

It's Ella and Louis. It's Seinfeld and Woody Allen. It's the bright lights of Broadway, it's hot dogs at 2 a.m., it's bagels and doughnuts and pastrami on rye. It's also Mexican, Jamaican, Filipino, Puerto Rican and Chinese food, all thrown together in a cultural cacophony quite unlike anywhere else in the world. All of these influences come together when Monica Trápaga, one of Australia's most-loved entertainers, escapes to New York – and realises she has come home.

Join Monica on her journey of discovery as she explores her American, Hispanic and Filipino roots in a city on the other side of the world. She shares both the recipes she discovers there, and family treasures from the Trápaga vault, all illustrated with her beautiful collages, drawings and photographs. Monica shows you how to infuse even the simplest act with a little of her carnival creativity.

Embrace food, embrace laughter, embrace life!

Home


Design Your HomeDesign Your Home

by Shaynna Blaze RRP $39.99

With a great understanding of what makes a home work well, and a keen eye for colour detail, Shaynna Blaze shares her many years of experience as an interior designer to help you find the perfect solutions for getting the most out of the place you live in.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, Shaynna takes you on a room-by-room tour of the home. She highlights potential problem areas, suggesting easy and innovative solutions, and describing attractive design alternatives for every room – from the public living areas to the private spaces of bathroom and bedroom and the often problematic home office.

Her down-to-earth approach and stylish ideas, as seen on high-rating TV shows Selling Houses Australia and The Block, mean that anyone – whatever their budget – can create their dream home.

'As an interior designer, I'm here not just to make your home pretty but to solve problems and find solutions. Your home is about you, your life and those you invite into your space. With this book, you'll have the confidence to design a home that functions around the way you live.'

Lazing on a Sunday CrafternoonLazing on a Sunday Crafternoon: Little projects for people with just a little time and a little skill

by Eliza Muldoon RRP $39.99

A year's worth of really simple Sunday afternoon craft projects for mums to undertake with their kids - great fun and easy to make for even the most artistically challenged.

Lazing on a Sunday Crafternoon is a collection of 52 blissfully simple craft ideas to make with a child helper. This beautiful book will have you creating delightful things out of everyday household items using nothing more than your own time and ingenuity. You and your child can while away hours of crafting fun with Eliza Muldoon as she helps you make these easy projects - from a child's head band or aprons, to peg dolls, to skirts and shoe adornments, to practical bags and tool belts, felt toys and unique artworks to adorn your home.

Money


Free yourself from debtFree Yourself From Debt

by Paul Clitheroe RRP $19.99

Are you struggling to clear your credit card debt? Are you afraid to open those monthly bills? Does your mortgage weigh you down? Would you like to know how to use loans for growing your wealth?

Whatever your situation, Paul Clitheroe – one of Australia's most trusted financial experts – shows you here, step-by-step, how to manage your debt and regain control of your finances. Using experience gained from his Money TV program, and the popular Money magazine, and including actual case studies, Paul offers straightforward advice on how to:

  • Avoid the most common debt traps
  • Identify and control problem spending
  • Create (and stick to) an achievable budget
  • Overcome credit card problems
  • Repay your mortgage faster
  • Eliminate 'bad' debt
  • Use 'good' debt to increase your wealth

If you are overwhelmed by your finances, facing serious debt problems or just want to know how to manage your current finances better, this one-stop guide will help you tackle debt now to fast-track a path to a better financial future. 

For The Kids


The last elephantLost World Circus Series

by Justin D'Ath RRP $14.99 each

Colt Lawless is on the run, suddenly famous, and more than a little superhuman. But can he save the last animals on earth?

Twelve years from now, rat flu has wiped out almost every animal and bird on the planet. The creatures in Captain Noah's Lost World Circus are the last of their kind. But the Rat Cops are determined to shut down the circus, and Colt and his acrobat friend Birdy might be the only ones who can save it, starting with Lucy - the world's last elephant.

An electrifying new series from Justin D'Ath, author of the bestselling Extreme Adventures.

About the Author


orn in New Zealand, Justin D'Ath is one of twelve children. He came to Australia in 1971 to study for missionary priesthood but after three years, left the seminary in the dead of night and spent two years roaming Australia on a motorbike! Whilst doing that he began his writing career contributing pieces for motorbike magazines. He published his first novel for adults in 1989 and this was followed by numerous award-winning short stories, also for adults. Justin has worked in a sugar mill, on a cattle station, in a mine, on an island, in a laboratory, built cars, picked fruit, driven forklifts and taught writing for twelve years. He wrote his first children's book in 1996 and to date he has published 31 books. He has two children, two grandchildren, and one dog.

The Eerie SeriesThe Eerie Series

by S.Carey RRP $9.99 each

She called herself Mrs Hunter, although that was not her real name. No one on Earth could pronounce that. She had chosen the name Hunter because the word had a meaning all of its own . . .

When Mrs Hunter collects William she thinks she has found the perfect prey . . . but she may have met her match.

An alien-invasion story about the kind of hunting and collecting that makes your skin crawl . . .

About the Author


I, S. Carey, Curator of the Eerie Series, and my gruesome friends, Ivor Bloodlust from the Eastern European Gore Pits, Iza Gonagetyoo from the Fellowship of Monsters and Terry Fye, from Melbourne, have clawed the world for the most eerie stories we could find. Terry's sister Petra would have helped but she's not allowed out. Miss you, Petra. So, enjoy yourself my frightened friend. May the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and ruin you collar. May your skin creep and crawl right off your bones. May your... well, you get the idea. Yours Sinscarily, S. Carey.

Wild CardVanguard Prime: Wild Card (Book 2)

by Steven Lochran RRP $14.99

Elite superhero team Vanguard Prime has a new mission . . .

When a villainous organisation puts out a Kill Order on the Knight of Wands, Goldrush gets caught in the crossfire. What dark secrets lurk in the Knight's past? And will the two heroes survive the night?

About the Author


Steven Lochran graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a BA in Creative Writing. He has worked as a journalist and sub-editor and has been working in publishing for the past four years. After a stint in marketing, he is currently out on the road as a Sales Rep in Victoria. 

The Vanguard Prime series for 10+ readers is a true labour of love – it combines Steve's passion for books and storytelling with a lifelong interest in comics and pop culture.

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About the Books

About the Books

Just as with any magazine's regular book reviews, many of the books featured in our book reviews are provided to us from a range of publishers while others have come from my personal library.

I try to choose books I think you, my reader, will enjoy but as the She Inspires reader has her own tastes and times for reading, I try to include a range of topics that you'll want to read or find that perfect book gift idea - what better present is there than a book?

If there are types of books that you'd love to see more of in our reviews then please let me know because I do find it a tad challenging sometimes making sure I am picking out books outside of my own favourite categories! Who would have thought?

So what happens with the books after we've reviewed them? If we're running an event they'll go in the goodie bags, otherwise some are given to the smaller country libraries on my regional trips, some to kids reading programs while others are passed around with friends and families - what matters is the sharing of them.

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