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A Selection of Books

Sparring With Shadows (Penguin Books, 1997)


Nominated for the Italy In The World Literature Awards, this novel was a CBC Notable Book OF The Year...David Martinesi lives in the tranquil world of an extended Italian family that has developed its own particular way of surviving inner city Melbourne, complete with the quaint ways of old that include wine making in the backyard and keeping holidays free for house maintenance. Into this world comes Nathan Walsh and his broken home, his intellectually challenged “mate” Ralph, and the chance to break free of the “old-country” ways. It is a friendship that empowers David but threatens to undermine everything he had come to hold as true about the manner in which he has been raised-and the expectations set upon him by parents eager to make a mark in their adopted homeland.

The Dons (Penguin Books, 2002) 


Winner of the Family Therapists Book Of The Year 2003, and a CBC Notable Book Of The Year 2003...Paul has lost his father, his mother has just started dating again, and his Nonno is slipping slowly and irrevocably into senile dementia. When his girlfriend Tracey tries to convince Paul that old people should be locked away, Paul faces a crisis of identity that threatens to destroy all he has come to believe and hope in-not least of all, his beloved grandfather.

An Earful Of Static (Lothian Books, 2003)


Troy has several challenges to overcome, not least of which is the fact that his band is imploding, his father has gone off to “find himself”, and his sister is going out with his nemesis. Somehow Troy has to find a way to negotiate school and his love life while convincing his mother that her hippie days might best be left in the past. 


This novel has been reissued by Better Books and is available on demand directly from the publisher on (02) 9879 6411. 

Bruises: Boys Don’t Cry (Penguin Books, 2004) 


Falco’s older brother Val is dying. He knows he’s dying so there’s no hiding the fact from Val. It is a burden the entire family have to carry, but Falco shares a bond with his ill-fated brother that makes him vulnerable to the guilt that sits just below the surface of his desire to fit in and be one-of-the-boys. When the school sends his year level on a camp, Falco is obliged to share a bunkhouse with four other misfits, one of whom is determined to make life hell for the others-even if it means death for one.

On The Mat (Lothian Books, 2006)


Claude may not remember his father clearly, but he does have some vague idea about there being some sort of family secret that no one has shared with him. It is only when ‘Whitetail’ enters his life and Claude is introduced to wrestling, a sport he takes to with relative ease, that the past begins to make itself known to him. And the past can often be the best place to store secrets. 


This novel has been reissued by Better Books and is available on demand directly from the publisher on (02) 9879 6411. 

Last Of The Braves (Penguin Books, 2013)


Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was one of the truly great painters of any epoch. A visionary with a disdain for authority and protocol, Caravaggio painted as he saw fit, always using real people to stand in for the religious figures he was often commissioned to paint. It was this practice of “painting from life’ that brought him into conflict with the Papal court, and caused his eventual undoing and conviction for murder. When 17 year old Alex, living in contemporary Australia, decides to adopt Caravaggio’s lifestyle as his own, forgoing his natural gifts as an artist for something less palpable, he brings the threat of ruination upon himself and those around him. 

Dead Dog In The Still Of The Night (Ford Street Publishing 2014)


Primo sees himself as head of the household, now that his older brothers and sister have left, and his father is in a nursing home. Life is good for the most part. Primo has a girlfriend, is at the tail end of Year 12, and has a best mate Tone who is both loyal and a laugh. It is only when a dead dog comes into their lives, on the eve of one brother’s return to the family home that life suddenly takes on an ominous and potentially deadly aspect. If family means anything at all, it may be in the protection it affords those who mistake self-interest for duty and obligation.


Veiled Secrets (Solstice Publishing USA 2015)


When both Nick and Lia, strangers to one another, living in different parts of Australia, are asked by their respective grandparents to accompany them back to their native Italian village, both teenagers think this a trip of a lifetime. It is only when they get to the sleepy southern Italian village, and they meet for the first time, that the long-standing “secrets” that irrevocably bind the two families together slowly bubble to the surface. And the questioning for these two teens begins, first about their respective grandparents, then about themselves, their families, and the roles tradition, duty and expectation play in shaping-and defining, one’s life.  


Veiled Secrets can be purchased directly from Solstice Publishing website


co-authored with Josie Montano 


Veiled Secrets has recently been listed in the USA Top 100 books on Amazon and Kindle (October 2015). The novel is available from the author directly via his email address.

Summer Of The Purple Beret


This summer life will change for Lucy. Her younger brother Jess isn't coping with the world, and the strain is beginning to take its toll on the family. And when the mysterious and charismatic Tiranna comes into Lucy's life what had seemed so perfect and ordered is suddenly less so. What is it in Tiranna's fractured background that Lucy sees reflected back at her, her family and all that she had taken for granted? And how will it make her question everything she has come to believe in?


Tribal Lores

Frankie Rescio is struggling with the death of his sister. Next door, Lochie Marsh is about to have his world invaded by his estranged, pregnant half-sister and her layabout boyfriend. Despite tensions simmering just below the surface for both boys and their families, they form a bond that connects their different worlds. Until tribal lores threaten to bring everything crashing down. 

For the younger readers

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