Thanks to everyone for the great comments. I'm in New Zealand at the moment, at their convention, and there's some great local writers here.
Trent's book Death Most Definite has been won by Nymfaux. Kirsten's book Madigan Mine has been won by Shari C. Tansy's Book Power and Majesty has been won by GB (formerly JD). Congrats! Email email@example.com to send me your address and I'll get your book in the mail to you asap.
In just under two weeks, the World Science Fiction convention (Worldcon) swings into action down-under.
Every ten years or so, Australia hosts Worldcon (under the name of Aussiecon) and for a lot of us who can't afford the airfares to the Northern Hemisphere, it's our only opportunity to enjoy the experience. Members of the Supernatural Underground who will be present are Tracey O'Hara, Helen Lowe, Carrie Vaughn and myself.
It's also a chance for us Aussies to spruik ourselves. The dealers room will be awash with Australian publishers, particularly small press, writers groups and artists.
In that spirit, I thought I'd use this month's post to spruik three new Australian paranormal/dark fantasy novels which have been released in recent months. These are all books that I've read and absolutely loved. In two cases (Trent and Kirstyn) it's the debut novel, and they are fantastic. In Tansy's case, it's a blend of urban and traditional fantasy that often had me stopping in awe of the brilliant ideas.
Note that only one is currently being published overseas, but I'll give you places to order the others if they interest you.
The most recent arrival on the Australian urban fantasy scene is Trent Jamieson, with his Death Works series. Death Most Definite is the story of Stephen de Selby, who is a pomp. It's a job that runs in the family and a job he likes - good pay, hours are okay, exciting enough without being overpowering. However, someone wants to take over Death's role, and that means killing all the pomps. Stephen has to find it within himself to not only survive, but find out what's going on and stop it.
Stephen's not your usual UF protagonist - he's a bit ineffectual, really. But the world Trent's developed is incredible, and Stephen is challenged and forced to grow like few characters are. This book is available in the US and UK, so look for it at your local bookstore.
Next is Madigan Mine, by Kirstyn McDermott. This isn't urban fantasy or paranormal romance, more what I'd call dark fantasy, but it's got such a fabulous premise and is so wonderfully written that I don't hesitate to recommend it to you all.
Alex Bishop's life is kinda drifting when his childhood soulmate Madigan Sargood reappears in his life. Alex is delighted to again be directed by Madigan's intensity and passion but all the while there is a time bomb - Madigan is dying. Eventually, the intensity becomes too much for Alex and he ends the relationship, then is devastated when Madigan dies soon after. But Madigan remains very much alive to him - too much alive.
Last is Tansy Rayner Roberts' Power and Majesty, book one of the Creature Court trilogy. Tansy has done something really interesting here - she's taken some of the tropes of urban fantasy, such as the hidden world and shapeshifters, and planted them into a fantasy world.
The city of Aufleur is a place of parties and parades, but each night while the citizens sleep the Creature Court wages war with the sky to save them. Velody is about to recieve the ultimate accolade for a dressmaker - the Duchessa is wearing one of her creations. But the Power and Majesty of the Creature Court is killed and suddenly Velody finds herself with powers and part of a world she never knew existed and she needs to learn how to live in it fast, or it will destroy her.
Unfortunately, neither Kirstyn nor Tansy's books are yet published outside Australia and New Zealand (although there are plans afoot - oh yes, my friends, there are plans). You can order them online at http://www.boomerangbooks.com.au/ or http://www.fishpond.com.au/
Fortunately, I have copies of all three books to give away to three lucky commenters! To win, join the fun by spruiking a local writer that you love. Winners will be chosen at random on 28 August.