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The Children of Blood and Bone sequel has been announced!

We're so excited the Afrofuturist fantasy about Zélie, Amari, and Inan we've all read and adored, Children of Blood and Bone, will have a sequel AND the title, release date, and official synopsis have been set free! The sequel is titled Children of Virtue and Vengeance, hitting shelves in March 2019.

Yes, we know, we're waiting like:

via GIPHY

In the meantime, join us in reading (and re-reading, analysing and hypothesising about) the synopsis!

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

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What some of our readers have been saying about Children of Blood And Bone: 

Children of Blood and Bone encapsulates everything that I love about YA fantasy. The world is amazing, the characters are so real feeling, the writing is perfect, the action is abundant, the romances are beautiful, the topics are important. This was such a fantastic read, I have no doubts that Children of Blood and Bone will make my best of 2018 list. 5 stars. - Melanie, QBD Doncaster

Blessed are the Brave. Set in the beautiful world of Orisha, you follow the story of handful of teenagers trying to write the wrongs of the past.Years after magic was taken from the diviners and all maji murdered Zelie grows up in the harsh lifestyle of being a diviner without Magic.
With the help of Amari and Tzain now is time to fight back, now is the time to rise and take back what was theirs. 3.5 stars.- David, QBD Mandurah

This book is amazing. With brilliantly fleshed out characters and excellent workd building Children of Blodd and Bone is a must read for fans of fantasy. It follows the story of Zelie as her world is burnt to ashes and she has to flea everything she has ever known to embark on a journey to save her people.
This book contains tragic backstories, intricately crafted magical lore, first love, betrayal, adventure, heart break, sword fights, magical duels, naval battles, mercenaries and it's all wrapped up in a captivating tale with more twists and heart-stirring moments than you would expect in a YA novel. Cannot wait for the next book in the series! 5 stars. - Rina, QBD Belconnen

QBD Reviews: 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson

Clinical psychologist and academic, Doctor Jordan Peterson, has made a splash across bestseller lists with his book ’12 Rules for Life’. It has been called ‘Self-Help’, and it has been categorised in ‘Business’, but it leans much more toward a kind of personal-political manifesto; a response to a range of radical ideas that have been drifting into the mainstream over the last decade or so, much of it through the academy and publishing industry itself. He has upset people, chiefly, the pushers of these ideas. The ease and glibness with which Peterson is branded as a ‘right-winger’ or even a ‘nazi’ only goes further to prove his point of view regarding the ills he identifies, particularly in the fragmenting public sphere.

But aside from the politics, Peterson puts an importance on reading, and reading well - the kinds of books that have been foundational to how we have come about as a people and the underpinnings of us psychologically: a canon.

Naturally enough, these are books that have been around a while, what we would call ‘Classics’. His reading lists on the internet have been expanded several times, and have led to a distinct up-turn of interest in the Classics region of the bookshop. If Rowling has been thought of as being responsible for a renaissance in reading-for-children, is Peterson becoming responsible for a renaissance in reading for young-adults … and in classic indispensable canonic literature?

To go back is often a decent way to deal with discovering that you are going the wrong way, or that you are lost entirely. To be constantly progressive is only good if you have a decent idea of where you are progressing to ... and that you want to be there. These readers, many of whom have been abandoned by the contemporary publishing world, are finding that great books, unlike films or many other mediums of art, tend to become more relevant and more valuable the older they become. And they are very readily available.

Primary among these works for Peterson is Solzhenitsyn's ‘The Gulag Archipelago’, so much so that he will be contributing a new introduction to a fiftieth anniversary edition due out this November. It’s been out of print in most English-speaking countries for a number of years, so that fact that this great work is getting a fiftieth anniversary treatment at all could be down to him anyway.

Why is this book so important to Peterson? One reason he lists on his Patreon site:

It's necessary for all of us (the moderate left included) to determine exactly when and why the good intentions of the egalitarian-minded go so terribly wrong.

Solzhenitsyn's work focuses on the evils of the Soviet empire and its treatment of dissidents and criminals, political and otherwise. It is a profound, utterly gruelling and harrowing account based on the author’s own experience. It is plain and unadorned, letting the action speak for itself in all its bleak horror. By being concerned for ‘when’, Peterson hints that there might be a tipping point that serves us Stalinism, some kind of ongoing but, on the face of it, altruistic formula that at some point goes badly wrong when we fundamentally combine authoritarianism with collectivism. It is why he puts such an emphasis on personal responsibility in his own book. If you can’t change yourself for the better, just this one person, then what hope do you have in changing a society for the better? Is it any wonder the Gulags appear and get filled?

So it is certainly worth returning to a canon, and Peterson’s is a good one.

And while Peterson’s plain white book goes head to head with the bright orange-covered and playful ‘Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’, he has no easy answers, and these books in the canon don’t offer the reader any quick fix either. They offer you a further and deeper relationship with yourself, a forthright art of giving a f*ck about yourself and how you might become even more so ... yourself.

My Favorite Children’s Picture Books!

Who knew that kids books needed as much thought as any other book?

Before I had my baby I just bought all the books! But when I started reading them to my son I quickly realised that kids books need to flow! It's the worst when you're reading along and sentences just don't read nicely. These are my 5 best books that are super easy to read to your little one!

Time for Bed by Mem Fox - This one is just so cute for bedtime, say goodnight to all the baby animals then to your little darling!

Koala Lou by Mem Fox - This heart breaking story has a nice ending! Koala Lou was used to all the attention on her until she started getting bothers and sisters and her mother's attention wasn't solely on her. Koala Lou has the perfect idea, She was going to compete in the Bush Olympics so she can win her Mother's affection back!

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox - Well this is the sweetest book you'll ever read! Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge live next door to an old persons home and he just loves going and visiting them all but his favorite was Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper because she had four names just like he did. When Wilfrid finds out that Miss Nancy has lost her memories he sets out to find out what a memory is to help her get her memories back.

Wombat Stew by Marcia K Vaughan - Dingo catches a Wombat and decides he will make a Gooey, Brewy, Yummy, Chewy, Wombat Stew but when his friends insist that he needs to add billabong mud, feathers, slugs, nugs and creepy crawlies I don't think Dingo realises what it is that his friends are up to!

Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey - Can Brian convince his Piranha friends into try his "awesome fruit platter" or are his friends bound to love to eat knees, feet and bums instead?

-Dimiti, Hurstville  QBD

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Press START to begin your adventure.

Player One, are you ready to set forth on your next adventure? Are you ready to unlock the secrets behind the fantastical world of the “Oasis”?

Come and flick through the pages of Ernest Cline’s debut novel Ready Player One. Whether young, old, small or tall Ready Player One will have you escorting Wade Watts on his quest to find three hidden keys needed to locate the Easter Egg. The one whom can solve the riddles and rhymes set by Halliday, the now deceased creator of the Oasis, and find the Easter Egg will not only have fame thrust upon them, but they will also become the sole owner of the Oasis; which is worth over half a trillion dollars!

Filled with pop culture nostalgia at every turn Cline’s debut novel is a well-crafted video game-laden adventure suitable for all ages. Don’t forget, Ready Player One is now also a major motion picture which means it’s a perfect time to brush on this novel before watching the movie to see all the characters you love come to the big screen.

If you’re a fan of graphic novels and anime such as Sword Art Online, or Log Horizon you’ll thoroughly enjoy the escapism on offer from Cline. Ready Player One is also suitable for mature kids and teenagers looking to expand their reading regime if they loved authors such as Rick Riordan and Terry Pratchett.

Now, strap yourself in and get ready Player One, the games are about to begin.

Author Q&A: Christian White

 

Meet the author behind our thrilling Book of the Month, The Nowhere Child!

This debut crime novel about a child gone missing will have you on the edge of your seat until you read the very last page.

Which authors and books have influenced you?
I’ve managed to narrow it down to my top three, which was no easy task! Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and Haruki Murakami. King writes with an amazing sense of nostalgia and draws you into his books like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I re-read It every few years. Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places made a huge impression – all her books are infused with a particular sort of darkness that attracts and repulses at the same time. Then there’s Murakami, who writes with simplicity and effortlessly creates quiet worlds you want to crawl into and live. There’s something mundane, cosy and desperate about his books that I can’t put into words. If I was Murakami, I probably could. Each are geniuses in their own unique way and I try to channel all three while I’m writing. An honourable mention should also go to Enid Blyton, whose books I grew up on. King made me want to write; Blyton made me want to read.

What’s the hardest part of writing a thriller?
The hardest part for me, but also the most important, is putting character before plot. I write with a detailed plan and always work toward a big climactic ending where all the loose strands and puzzle pieces pay off. So, it can be frustrating when you reach a point in your story and a character refuses to do what you want. It sounds a little crazy, but characters take on a life of their own as you flesh them out. For example, you might want a character to run into a burning building to save an old family photo album. In fact, you need them to run into that building because the elaborate third act you have planned won’t work otherwise. But over the many chapters you’ve spent living inside this fictional person’s head, you’ve discovered they’d never run into that burning building and the whole plan gets derailed. I hit these sorts of roadblocks a lot but, difficult as it is, I always choose character over plot.

A lot of people are talking about The Nowhere Child around the world. What’s been the most exciting part of getting a publishing deal?

Reading is a deal you strike with the author: you give them a handful of hours of your life and, if they’re doing their job, you get a good story in return. The idea that anyone – let alone people on the other side of the world – will give their time to read my story, is beyond thrilling. The idea of seeing my words in multiple languages blows my mind! But the most exciting thing about getting the publishing deal is the fact I now get to spend my days doing what I love.

A central part of your book is something called ‘decay theory’ – can you explain it?

I became obsessed with memory one Christmas day a few years ago, when I was talking to my nan, who has aged dementia. She has no idea who I am anymore and I wondered: is her memory of me gone, or has she simply lost the ability to access it? Decay Theory basically suggests we forget things because the memory of it fades as time passes. When we experience something, a neurochemical trace is created, like a thread we tug on when we want to remember it. But over time, if we don’t tug on that thread enough, it fades. That’s why older memories can be stronger than new ones. It might mean that the memories themselves are gone, or, and this is far more interesting to me, it might mean we simply can’t retrieve the memories anymore. So when the thread is gone the memories remain, floating around our head untethered.

The book alternates between Australia and Southern USA. What drew you to Kentucky?

I was really excited to explore the strange and fascinating world of Pentecostal snake handlers, religious fundamentalists who worship God by handling venomous snakes and scorpions. Kentucky is one of only a few states in America where these churches exist, so that was a really practical reason to take the story there. I also spent a little time in Kentucky years ago with my family and had an experience that stuck with me. I went on a walking tour through Mammoth Cave, an expansive system of underground caves and tunnels. Once inside, the tour guide switched off all the lamps. The darkness was so heavy and intense that it stuck with me. Whenever I think about Kentucky I think about that darkness, so I figured: what better place to set a thriller?

Down To Earth Cave, Mammoth Cave National Park | Source: TripAdvisor

And now for the fun questions!

Batman or Superman?

Definitely Batman. He’s complex, deeply flawed and has devoted his life to something insane. I like characters I can relate to. 

Who is your fictional alter-ego?

I’m equal parts Ralph and Piggy from Lord of the Flies.

What’s your favourite reading position?

In our sagging old armchair, semi-reclined in the corner of the living room, fire lit, raining outside, dog snoozing at my feet, coffee/beer/wine on the little table beside me.

 

About Christian White:

Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter whose projects include feature film RelicThe Nowhere Child is his first book. An early draft of this novel won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and rights were quickly sold into fifteen countries.

Born and raised on the Mornington Peninsula, Christian had an eclectic range of ‘day jobs’ before he was able to write full time, including food-cart driver on a golf course and video editor for an adult film company. He now spends his days writing from home in Melbourne, where he lives with his wife, filmmaker Summer DeRoche, and their adopted greyhound, Issy. He has a passion for true crime podcasts, Stephen King and anything to do with Bigfoot. The Nowhere Child is his first book. He’s working on his second.

Q&A provided by Affirm Press