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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On My Shelf This Week

This week, I am welcoming back one of my favourite authors, whose writing I have been following almost from the beginning. Author Dean Mayes doesn’t churn out books at a great rate of knots, but when a new title is announced, I just know it is going to be outstanding and will have been well worth the wait …

I would just like to take a moment to thank Dean for his continued support of Fiction Books, it is always a pleasure to receive his emails and know that I have a lovely new story to look forward to reading 🙂


Cover Image of The Book 'The Artisan Heart' By Author Dean MayesHayden Luschcombe is a brilliant paediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife Bernadette, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending the lavish parties organized by Bernadette.

When an act of betrayal coincides with a traumatic confrontation, Hayden flees Adelaide, his life in ruins. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia’s southern mountains, where he finds his childhood home falling apart. With nothing to return to, he stays, and begins to pick up the pieces of his life by fixing up the house his parents left behind.

A chance encounter with a precocious and deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter, and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Likewise, Hayden, protective of his own fractured heart, finds something in Isabelle that awakens dormant feelings of his own.

As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future.


Photograph Of Author Dean Mayes June 2015Dean lives in Adelaide, Australia with his partner Emily, and their two children Xavier and Lucy. An Intensive Care Nurse with over 15 years of clinical experience in adult, paediatric and neonatal medicine, he can often be found lying on a hospital gurney at 3 in the morning with a notebook in hand, madly scribbling ideas while on his break.

Dean grew up with an early love of words – a trait a little out of step for most children of his age and has been writing and creating for most of his life…or at least for as long as he could wield a pen and knew how to use it.
The genesis for what became his first published novel came in 2008, when Dean started an internet blog and decided to craft a story ‘on the fly’, with no bells or whistles and put it up in instalments each week. He would announce a new edition on Facebook and Twitter and let anybody who wanted to, read it. Dean suddenly found himself with a dedicated readership, a following who, hooked on the story, would ‘tune in’ each week to read the next instalment and encourage Dean to keep writing more.

Following on from this early success, Dean has written with global recognition and critical acclaim, three novels in differing genres. However for this, ‘The Artisan Heart’, his fourth novel, Dean has returned to his romantic roots, where his journey began.

In 2009, following a chance encounter, Dean met, was signed up and is published by Central Avenue Publishing of Vancouver, Canada. He is represented by Michelle Halket.

Keep up with all Dean’s latest news on his website

Follow Dean on Twitter

Connect with Dean on Facebook


Picture of an English red post boxis a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home, where links may be added each week. So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for our three new joint administrators, after all, we all like to receive them … Your Hosts for  ‘Mailbox Monday

Leslie of ‘Under My Apple Tree’

Serena of ‘Savvy Verse & Wit’

Martha of ‘Reviews By Martha’s Bookshelf’

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… You never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Having read The Recipient, I was surprised by the synopsis here. Then I saw that he’s returned to his “romantic roots” with this novel. That’s not my preferred genre, but I’ll certainly keep an open mind as you feature more from this in the future. (which I assume you will!) The cover art is quite appealing to me.

    • Ah! but Dean writes romance so beautifully and more than lives up to his ever growing and in MHO, well deserved reputation, as being the Nicholas Sparks of Australia.

      If you don’t want anything too romantic, but an excellent piece of literary writing and a social commentary of the times, then you should check out ‘Gifts Of The Peramangk’. I know you commented on several of the feature posts I ran, but I don’t recall if you ever added it to your list. I really do recommend it!

      The setting of the ‘The Artisan Heart’ is quite personal to Dean … and you commented on the cover art, which Dean’s daughter had a hand in designing. I’ll leave you a link to a recent radio interview Dean took part in, where he discusses the book in much more detail and which you might find quite interesting …


      Thanks for stopping by ad have a good week 🙂

    • This might perhaps be one that I wouldn’t have chosen for myself, from the shelves of a book shop. However, I know that Dean will have infused the characters and storyline with his own inimitable style and panache, making ‘The Artisan Heart’ yet another of his stories not to be missed!

      Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading this week 🙂

    • It sounds as though Hayden and Isabelle are strangers to one another when they first meet, so I am intrigued about the long-buried truths they have to confront?

      There is definitely no such thing as ‘easy love’ in a Dean Mayes novel, so if you decide to give this one a try, be prepared for plenty of twists and turns in the story line!

      I’m not much of a cook – basics only for me I’m afraid. On the other hand, my youngest niece enjoys baking for a hobby and would love to have made a career for herself out of it, by running her own business. However, she has a good head on her shoulders and quickly worked out that if she is making cakes etc. to order, charging out her time so that she makes a living, is going to make the product far too expensive for the average consumer.

      My eldest niece’s husband is also into making his own bread, which I have to say is totally delicious. Although once again, as he prefers to make by hand, rather than using a bread making machine, it will only ever be a hobby for him.

      I can’t believe all these good cooks are related to me … something obviously went wrong with my line of the family!!

      Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading 🙂

    • I’m chiming in here rather late I’m afraid but I have been recovering from some fairly major throat surgery and I have to confess, my attention has been off kilter. Of course, I’m Dean – the author of The Artisan Heart and I’m really looking forward to getting it into the hands of readers this September.

      During the writing of the novel, I was lucky enough to spend some time with an actual artisan baker, watching them work and having long conversations about the *art* of bread making. It really is quite a lovely and rewarding occupation, though it does require a lot of work and commitment. I hope I convey that in the novel and that readers feel an affinity with Isabelle, who has given everything to her new venture.

      The actual bakery in Walhalla where I’ve set Isabelle’s Bakery has long been closed (since the late 70’s) but the building still stands.

      Thanks for taking a look at Yvonne’s post and many thanks to Yvonne once again for your continued support!

      • Artisan bread making is rather ‘on trend’ over here in the UK right now and I have to confess that bread is one of my great downfalls and helps keep my weight much higher than I know it should be.

        My niece’s husband has tried his hand at many and varied hobbies over the years, and right now, bread making is right up there for him. He has been to several classes and uses natural methods and ingredients wherever possible. I have to admit that his efforts look very good and are always tasty.

        Thanks for taking the time to support this post and Good Luck with all the pre-launch planning and promotion 🙂

        • You’re the best Yvonne. I got into bread making myself but I had to pull back because yes, it’s rather too generous on the waist line! I curated about a half a dozen recipes for artisnal bread loaves during the writing of the book and I had designs on including them in the text as like, a precursor to the chapters – but there was a whole rights thing we had to consider and the idea became a little too ambitious. I may do a few blog posts down the track and share those recipes then. That could work.

    • I must admit that even I am surprised by the number of new to me authors and great new titles I get to feature.

      The variety of genres always ensures that my interest is piqued and means that I need never read the same genre twice in a row!

      MM is still a good resource for making great reading choices and I am grateful that you continue to co-host this amazing meme 🙂

    • I think that you would enjoy both this and Dean’s debut novel ‘The Hambledown Dream’, which was also a romance.

      Dean has been described as the next Nicholas Sparks and his romances are far from cozy, as he employs some very complex characters, who find themselves in some very complicated situations.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and Happy Reading 🙂

      • It’s funny – when I began writing the novel, I didn’t set out to write a romance. It was more of a character study into what happens when one seemingly loses everything. There came a point in the writing process where I realized there was a romantic element there and I just went with it. I’m really pleased with the balance between that character study, the gentle romantic elements and the dramatic elements I weaved through the story. I really hope readers will respond favorably to it.

        • I am intrigued by the notion that …

          “As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future.”

          It doesn’t sound that the two know each other from the past, so their secrets may be individual, rather than shared?

          I know! – Why don’t I just wait until I read the book to find out, as you always weave such a great storyline 🙂

    • I always enjoy a Dean Mayes book and as he is writing about a place he actually knows, it should be good..

      Yes! Walhalla really is the name of a place, albeit very small, in the Gippsland area of Melbourne, Australia …


      Artisan bakeries, especially those which specialise in bread making, are always one of my favourite places to visit, although it is bad for the waistline, as I can eat it straight from the oven, with lashings of real butter.

      On that note, dinner is calling and Chinese food smells just as good right now 🙂

      • I have known Walhalla my entire life and have spent a lot of time there over the years. It’s a beautiful, almost spiritual place – even if it is a bit isolated. I’m actually really thrilled that it is being discovered once more by day trippers and campers from Melbourne who are visiting their in ever increasing numbers. It’s a wonderful shot in the arm for this gorgeous little hamlet.

        • So long as those new visitors don’t change the aura or the intrinsic essence of the place, then all will be well. Sometimes these small hamlets and villages can become a victim of their own success – a bit of a double-edged sword!

Written by Yvonne