Wombat Books Blog

Wombat Books blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Aussie kid's books.

Next installment in the Motive Games series released!

Next installment in the Motive Games series released!

Follow-up to the award-winning Motive Games just released!

The standalone sequel to the award-winning, Motive Games, by LD Taylor was released on 1 November by our new imprint Rhiza Press. Motive Games 2: Death Down Under, follows teenager, Phil Roland, and his videogame-production company across the world from Canada to New Zealand where the company is once again under threat.

Motive Games mysteries are fast-paced, high-tech thrillers enriched by thought-provoking themes. The first book, Motive Games, won the 2011 CALEB Prize for best Young Adult Manuscript and was a YA book silver medal-winner in the 2014 Literary Classics Book Awards in the USA.

'Having spent six months in a New Zealand police station, working as a university researcher, gave me an excellent opportunity to learn the ins and outs of crime investigation in my new country. I love the fact that I can give my readers 'true-to-life' glimpses into fascinating worlds (game development and murder investigation) and cultures (Canadian and Kiwi) that they might not otherwise be familiar with.

Social Rewards Programme
Readers who blog, tweet, Google + or write a FB comment about Motive Games 2: Death Down Under are eligible to receive a free enhanced ebook of the first story in the Motive Games series. In order to receive their reward, readers simply need to use the hashtag #motivegames with their social media post.


About Motive Games
In Canada, Phil Roland is a hero: he saved his dad's company, Motive Games; solved his dad's murder; and exposed a mafia ring. But by his second day in Auckland, Phil's life is out of control. The E3 East gaming show was supposed to be Motive's big chance to get published. Instead, people are blaming Phil for a controversial FPS; someone's hacked Motive's game; and Australian mega- distributer, PFG, is threatening to ruin the company. The guy whose name keeps popping up? PFG president, Bailey Kant. Thanks to Kant, Phil is dodging the press and protestors and being trailed by the mysterious girl in green.


Then a PFG exec turns up dead. An exec anyone could have mistaken for Kant. Now Phil and friends have 48 hours to solve the mystery... or watch their dreams die down under.


About LD Taylor
LD Taylor broke into the world of young adult fiction in 2011, after a successful and prolific career writing for the entertainment technology industry. In the award-winning Motive Games Taylor combined her in-depth knowledge of the game industry with her passion for mystery novels. Today, Taylor expands the Motive Games series, from her home in Whangarei, with the help of her daughter, sons and programmer husband.

Motive Games 2: Death Down Under is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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Verindon Trilogy complete! Win the final book!

Verindon Trilogy complete! Win the final book!

The final book in the popular Verindon Series: The Reign has just been released and you can win a copy!

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Music: a writer’s muse...

When Lynne Stringer writes, music is a constant inspiration.

With the upcoming release of The Reign, the third and final book in the Verindon Trilogy, Lynne talked about how much music helped her write.

“Each of my books so far have featured a ‘playlist’,” she said. “A playlist is like a soundtrack. I often have scenes laid out to a particular piece of music and I play them together in my head, with the piece of music accompanying the action.”

So strong is the voice of the music, Lynne has changed scenes to fit them.

“In The Heir there is a scene near the end which I had already written. Then I heard Muse’s Map of the Problematique and imagined the scene with the song. So powerful did the influence of that piece of music become, I adapted the scene to fit it more effectively.”

A similar thing happened in the second book in the trilogy, The Crown, with another of Muse’s songs: Glorious.

“Muse has definitely been a huge inspiration for me where writing it concerned. Their music is so emotive and is a great aid in the creative process.”

It also happens prior to writing. When Lynne was considering ideas for the story that became The Reign, a song helped make one scene come to life.

“I wasn’t completely sure where it was going, but I let Thom Yorke’s Hearing Damage inspire my imagination. It wasn’t long before I had the whole scene worked out in my head.

“I think music will always play a part in my writing. I’d like to thank all the artists out there for inspiring me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one!”

The playlists for Lynne’s books can be found on the Verindon Trilogy’s website: www.verindon.com.

The Reign is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

 

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New Release: Happy Pants

New Release: Happy Pants

Happy Pants is set for release on 1 May 2014 and you can win a copy!

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Not all Mums are happy on Mother’s Day…

For the one out of seven Australian mothers who suffer from post-natal depression, Mother’s Day is a sad reminder of their inability to cope. Author Heather Gallagher hopes her first picture book Happy Pants will inspire the many families who suffer as a result of the illness.

Happy Pants is a heartfelt way to help older children know that their mum’s postnatal depression is not because of them,’ said PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Association) chief executive Belinda Horton. ‘That dads are loving and caring, families can support each other and that mum will get better with help.’

Happy Pants is about a little boy who adores his Mummy. But when she comes home with his baby brother, she seems to have become a different person. The boy feels betrayed and confused, and sets about trying to make Mummy better…

Children’s author Heather Gallagher suffered PND following the births of both her daughters, now aged 9 and 12.

Ironically, the depression became a catalyst for Heather to act. She founded a playgroup for Mum’s with PND, Parents Overcoming Depression with Support (PODS). And went on to launch her career as a children’s writer.

‘With Happy Pants I wanted to let kids know that while they can’t make Mummy better, things will improve with time and love,’ she said. ‘There will come a day when Mum can put on her happy pants again!’

Happy Pants is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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New Release: The Bear Said Please

New Release: The Bear Said Please

The Bear Said Please has just been released and you can win a copy!

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A picture book The Bear Said Please featuring a very hungry, friendly bear is North Queensland writer and artist Jacque Duffy's latest book.

Jacque said 'It is a fun rhyming picture book aimed at 2-7 year olds. A very hungry bear discovers there's something he needs even more than honey and a full tummy – good manners!'

With the thought that her character looked as though he could use a good cuddle, Jacque has made 10 beautiful cuddly bears to give away as promotion for her new book. The Bear Said Please will be released April 1st by publisher Wombat Books and the promotion finishes on the 31st March. To be part of the 'Win a Bear' promotion visit Jacque's website www.jacquesartandbooks.com.

The Bear Said Please appears in a National Curriculum publication Playing with Grammar in the Early Years published by the Australian Literacy Educator's Association. Jacque said 'I am honoured to have my book used in such a way. The other books appearing in this publication are written by my role models, I am humbled to have my book sitting next to theirs. '

The Bear Said Please is a hard cover, fully illustrated rhyming book featuring a bear who wakes up hungry and goes in search of his favourite food. 'This bear is very huggable,' says Jacque. 'I really enjoyed drawing him getting into trouble and being a bit of a klutz. I see more adventures in his future.'

Jacque Duffy is a Mena Creek artist and writer. Her writing stretches from picture books, educational children's books, and crime writing. Several of her children's books have been purchased by the Queensland State Government and integrated into schools and libraries. Her art ranges from photorealism, to complete abstraction, through to illustration, graphic art and soft sculpture.

Her artwork has won many major awards and is in galleries and private collections around the world.

Just in time for the school holidays and Easter The Bear Said Please will make a lovely gift for the little people in your life.

The Bear Said Please is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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Little Meerkat: Big Ambitions

Little Meerkat: Big Ambitions

Little Meerkat has just been released and you can win a copy!

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Little Meerkat, a picture book by best-selling, award-winning author Aleesah Darlison.

From dedicated documentary series to insurance advertisements, meerkats are familiar and popular animals. Aleesah has used this internationally recognised animal as the main character for her latest picture book, to ensure children from all backgrounds, cultures and countries can connect with and learn from Little Meerkat's story.

Little Meerkat is a humorous, lively and adventurous picture book aimed at 3-7 year olds. The main character, Little Meerkat, craves independence and adventure in his life. His extended family, of Mum, Dad, brother, sister, Aunty and Uncle, are there to guide and protect him.

"This is a story that will resonate with young children who sense within themselves a desire to explore and grow, but who still need family support and a cuddle from Mum (or Dad) at the end of the day to reassure them," Aleesah says.

Because Little Meerkat is such a brave and inscrutable character, his behaviour, dialogue and mis-adventures bring humour to the story, offering fabulous opportunities for the illustrator, Shannon Melville, to interpret the text and create truly inspiring and unique visual images.

Aleesah Darlison is a multi-published children's book author. Aleesah's picture books include Puggle's Problem (NSW Premier's Reading Challenge), Bearly There (NSW PRC) and Warambi (2012 CBCA Notable Book Eve Pownall Award, 2012 Wilderness Society Award for Children's Literature – Shortlist, NSW PRC). Her chapter books include Fangs and Little Good Wolf. Her novels and popular series are I Dare You, Unicorn Riders, Totally Twins and Ash Rover. Aleesah has won numerous awards for her writing including an Australian Society of Authors (ASA) mentorship. Aleesah's short stories have appeared in the Random House Stories for Boys Anthology, the black dog books Short and Scary Anthology, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Hopscotch: Packed Lunch Anthology, Fight or Flight Anthology, The School Magazine and Little Ears Magazine. Aleesah is currently the Director of the NSW Writers' Centre Kids & YA Festival.

Shannon Melville is a freelance illustrator, graphic designer and community art teacher from Perth. She has illustrated the following books: My Arms Your Legs (Blake Education) by Kim Rackham, Matilda's Morning Adventures and Choose Active Transport: A Teacher's Resource (Physical Activity Taskforce, 2010) by Kim Chute, Little Good Wolf (Wombat Books, 2011) by Aleesah Darlison, Coming Home, by Sharon McGuinness and Boondaburra, by Natalie Londsale.

Available from all good bookstores or buy online now.

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How do you tell someone you love them when they don't even know you are there?

How do you tell someone you love them when they don't even know you are there?

When I See Grandma has just been released and you can win a copy!

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How can you show them you care? When I See Grandma captures the dilemma many children face when those they love are withdrawn, like the Grandmother in this book, and offers them a way to connect. It transports children from being passive onlookers in an overwhelming setting to active agents for transformation.

What readers have said:
"Debra and Leigh have done a lovely job of conveying grandma's integrity and humanity although she can no longer interact with her grand daughter. The whole feel is so gentle and uplifting." Belinda Garbutt-Young, primary school teacher.

"This is a joyful and poignant celebration of life and love, and I am delighted that Debra Tidball has decided to donate all her royalties to the Hazel Hawke Alzheimer's Research and Care fund." Sue Pieters-Hawke.

Two children visit their unresponsive grandmother in an aged care home and 'brighten her dreams' as the reader gains an insight into Grandma's past, linking her past to the present. The bleakness of the setting is transformed by the children's vitality that brightens the lives of the residents. And the children make memories they will treasure forever whilst helping Grandma remember.

"This beautiful book delicately points to the foundations of healthy grieving by showing practical demonstrations of love and focussing on creating and sharing memories. When I see Grandma is not only delightful to read, but a valuable resource for every home." Liz Mann, Bereavement Counsellor.

Debra Tidball says, "My daughter was born in a small private hospital that was later reassigned as a nursing home, where my mother died. When I See Grandma is about past and present, beginnings and endings, set in an aged care home and reflecting this cycle of life."

Debra Tidball has worked with children and families as a Social Worker for many years. Whilst raising her two children she obtained a Master of Arts in Children's Literature from Macquarie University. When I see Grandma is her first published book and is dedicated to her mother who lived a vibrant life and died with dementia.

When I See Grandma is beautifully and lyrically written, delightfully illustrated and a joy to read to your child. It will open a window into the past, help you make memories in the present and give you hope in the future. And even more – it will provide much needed funds for Alzheimer's research and care via Hazel Hawke's fund.

The book will be launched as part of Senior's Week at the Penrith City Library on Wednesday, 19 March at 11:30am.

When I See Grandma is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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Corruption, secret identities and a world overtaken by magic

Corruption, secret identities and a world overtaken by magic

The first book in the Bethloria fantasy series, Firelight of Heaven has just been released and you can win a copy!

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Firelight of Heaven is the first book in a series of fantasy adventure novels. Two brothers are forced to make a perilous journey over the forbidden mountain. They soon discover that things are eerily different on the other side. It is a gripping story of loss, elusive destinies and painful discoveries. It explores the resilience of the human spirit under intense pressures and how faith underpins their ultimate success.

Firelight of Heaven is a thoroughly mystifying, sinister glimpse into a world overtaken by magic. Nothing is free from its stranglehold. Two brothers share secret identities where the painful truth is buried in their past. This debut novel by Lizbeth Klein explores the terrible consequences of magic.

“There are always some mysterious leads to keep us enthralled,” said author Paula Vince. “One of the mysteries is revealed at the end of this book while others are left dangling, to tantalise us to read the sequels. It begins and ends with exciting events, and the middle sections are fast paced enough to keep us turning the pages too. It’s all really good.”

Check out the Book Trailer:

Firelight of Heaven is available in all good book stores or buy online now.

 

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