It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

I’ve been a bit distracted this week, season four of Haven finally showed up on Netflix and I decided to rewatch the entire series.

I have just enjoyed a very peaceful weekend. My husband took our boys on a weekend Scout camp leaving just my daughters and I at home alone. We embraced the quiet, each absorbed in our own tasks (ie: watching Haven for me), before sharing dinner and a movie on Saturday night with my BFF , the girls godmother, whose husband also went on the camp.

Of course the serenity was shattered the minute the boys returned on Sunday afternoon with bags of muddy clothes to wash and loud voices competing to be the first to tell me everything. I adore them but they are so noisy!

 

What I Read Last Week

The House We Grew Up in by Lisa Jewell

The Broken Places by Ace Atkins

New Orleans Requiem by Don J Donaldson

Heartbreak Hotel by Debbie Moggach

I Work At a Public Library by Gina Sheridan

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review:  Deadly Obsession by Karen M Davis ★★★

Review: Nest by Inga Simpson ★★★

Review: The Broken Places by Ace Atkins ★★★1/2

Review: The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell ★★★★

Feature: Q&A with Don J. Donaldson, author of the Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn series

Review: New Orleans Requiem by Don J Donaldson

Last chance to vote in the People’s Choice Best Designed Book of 2014!

What I Am Reading Today

Cass Lehman has a terrifying ‘gift’… She sees what others can’t… Cass Lehman had the misfortune of being born into a family of extraordinary women with supernatural talents. Her mother sees the future, her grandmother is a healer and Cass has the less sexy talent of seeing the past… but not just any past events… Cass’s terrifying gift is triggered when she walks over a spot where someone has met their end in a sudden and brutal way. Not only does she see their death, but she feels it… she relives it. So, for years, she’s hardly set foot outside… until now. Spurred by a desire to have a life of her own, Cass decides to take her first tentative steps towards freedom only to find herself confronted by murder and mayhem in her sleepy hometown of Jewel Bay. Taking a chance, she offers to help the local police track down the killer and finds herself thrust into working with the tormented and emotionally charged Detective Ed Dyson. Together they battle to overcome his prejudice and her fear of using her talent aiming to stop a killer who’s been operating quietly and systematically in their midst for years… Can Cass save the killer’s latest victim… and herself?

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

In the wake of going head-to-head with international sex traffickers in The Doll, Munroe has retreated to Djibouti, where, while passing as a man, she finds work as an interpreter for a small, private, maritime security company. Pressed into duty at sea by her boss, Leo, Munroe discovers she is part of a gunrunning operation and she wants no part in protecting the crew or cargo. When the ship is attacked by pirates off the Somali coast, Munroe escapes and takes the unconscious captain with her to get answers. Leo’s wife, Amber Marie, the only person Munroe has cared about since she arrived in Africa, is desperate when Leo goes missing along with the rest of the hijacked crew, so Munroe agrees to try to find him for Amber Marie’s sake. She soon realizes it’s not the cargo or the ship or the crew that the hijackers were after: they want the captain. On the run, wounded, without connections or resources, and with the life of the captain as bait and bartering chip, Munroe believes that the only way to save Leo, assuming he’s still alive, is to hijack the ship back.

 

Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it. One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again. Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.

 

Strap in for a breathtaking, tyre-peeling, high-octane adventure ride by rising star of action thrillers. Melbourne, Australia: Round one of the Formula One World Championship. Billy Hotchkiss no longer races a V8 Supercar, but that doesn’t mean he’s lost the need for speed. When the young cop uncovers a diamond heist in progress he leaps into action and almost captures the thieves single-handedly. Lyon, France: Interpol are convinced the criminals are somehow connected to Formula One. And they think this Australian ex-race driver is just the guy to stop them. Sent undercover with an unwilling French partner, Billy is thrust into the glamorous world of international motor racing. But as the duo closes in on the thieves they soon expose a far more sinister threat. With the fate of a city and the lives of one hundred thousand people in the balance, Billy must drive like never before to stop the worst act of terror since 9/11.

In 1942, as the Japanese sweep towards northern Australia and allied troops swarm into Townsville, Kitty Martin is sent inland to the safety of Moonlight Plains. But when two American airmen crash on the isolated property, she is forced to grow up fast, coming face to face with tragedy, with love . . . and with heartbreak. Years on, and Sally Piper, a young journalist, is sent to Moonlight Plains to cover the story of a cattleman turned builder who is restoring his grandmother’s forgotten homestead. Sparks fly between them, but Sally is struggling to let go of the past, and Luke has his eyes fixed firmly on the future. What they uncover together is a shocking secret that has been kept safe for more than seventy years. Now the entire family’s happiness is at stake – or does the truth about the past hold a valuable lesson for the future?

An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl. In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.  The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults.  At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere

 While you are here…

Make your vote count in the ABAI Book Cover Design Awards

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

Meh!

 

What I Read Last Week

 Deeper Water by Jessie Cole

Hangtown by Karen Sandler

Deadly Obsession by Karen M Davis

Working Stiff by Judy Melinek and TJ Mitchell

Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review:  The Aitch Factor by Susan Butler ★★★

AWW Feature: Jessie Cole and Deeper Water

Review: Deeper Water by Jessie Cole ★★★★★

Review: Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth ★★★★

Review: Hamlet’s Ghost by Jane Tara ★★★1/2

Review: Hangtown by Karen Sandler ★★★★

National Bookshop Day

Review: Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner  by Judy Melinek and TJ Mitchell ★★★★★

Weekend Cooking: Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan: Tablet (Scottish Fudge)

Review: Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan ★★★1/2

 What I Am Reading Today

Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish, round-framed glasses. Their mother is a beautiful hippy named Lorelei, who exists entirely in the moment. And she makes every moment sparkle in her children’s lives. Then one Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in — and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago. Told in gorgeous, insightful prose that delves deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the captivating story of one family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 A year after becoming sheriff, Quinn Colson is faced with the release of an infamous murderer from prison. Jamey Dixon comes back to Jericho preaching redemption, and some believe him; but for the victim’s family, the only thought is revenge. Another group who doesn’t believe him – the men in prison from Dixon’s last job, an armored car robbery. They’re sure he’s gone back to grab the hidden money, so they do the only thing they can: break out and head straight to Jericho themselves. Colson and his deputy, Lillie, know they’ve got their work cut out for them. But they don’t count on one more unwelcome visitor: a tornado that causes havoc just as events come to a head. Communications are down, the roads are impassable – and the rule of law is just about to snap.

Hugh Tindall is an ordinary man who has lived through extraordinary times in outback Queensland. From a poor man’s selection on the Diamantina in 1928 to owning six large stations with his family, from shearing his first 100 sheep a day at the age of sixteen to organising sheds in the long running 1956 shearer’s strike, Hugh’s story is part of a turbulent time in the outback, whose history he is passionate about. Told in his own voice, it is an honest account of life in isolated western and central Queensland, where the tough survived or died.

 

From Deborah Moggach, bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, comes another hilarious and romantic comedy, this time set in a run-down B&B in Wales. When retired actor Buffy decides to up sticks from London and move to rural Wales, he has no idea what he is letting himself in for. In possession of a run-down B&B that leans more towards the shabby than the chic and is miles from nowhere, he realises he needs to fill the beds – and fast. Enter a motley collection of guests: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman; Amy, who’s been unexpectedly dumped by her (not-so) weedy boyfriend and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend is much too much for him to handle. But under Buffy’s watchful eye, this disparate group of strangers find they have more in common than perhaps they first thought…

Andy Broussard, the plump and proud New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food. Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, the two make a powerful, although improbable, mystery solving duo.  It s a bizarre case for Andy and Kit. A man is found in Jackson Square, stabbed, one eyelid removed and four Scrabble tiles with the letters KOJE on his chest. Soon, there s a second victim, also stabbed and missing one eyelid, but this time with only three letters on his chest, KOJ. The pattern is unmistakable, but does it mean there will be two more victims and then the killer will go away, or is he leading up to something bigger and deadlier?  Broussard and Kit use their disciplines to profile the killer, but it soon becomes clear that the clues and objects they ve found are part of a sick game that the killer is playing with Broussard; a game most likely engineered by one of the hundreds of attendees at the annual forensics meeting being held in New Orleans. Has Broussard finally met his match?

 

 While you are here…

Thanks for stopping by!

Review: Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

9781402281839

 

Title: Sweetshop of Dreams

Author: Jenny Colgan

Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca August 2014

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from August 08 to 09, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

From Jenny Colgan comes another delicious tale of family, love and romance in her newest release, Sweetshop of Dreams.

If pressed, Rosie Hopkins will admit that she is in a bit of a rut, her career has stalled, and so it seems, has her relationship of seven years, but she can’t imagine how spending six weeks in rural Derbyshire will help matters any. However her elderly Great Aunt Lilian needs help and Rosie, an auxiliary nurse, is best placed to do so. Reluctantly Rosie travels to the small village of Lipton, determined to sort out her aunts affairs and return to London, and Gerard, as quickly as possible, but as she experiences the charms of country life, changeable weather and grumpy dentists notwithstanding, Rosie slowly discovers just how sweet life could be.

On her first day in Lipton, Rosie gets lost in the country side during a rainstorm, on her second she discovers her aunts sweetshop, which needs to be sold as a going concern to fund Lilian’s move into a nursing home, has been abandoned, and on her third she careens out of control on Lilian’s old bicycle, destroying a farmer’s vegetable patch and humiliating herself in front of a hunky farmhand and the handsome local doctor. Country life, Rosie is convinced, is not for her but as she begins to restore the sweetshop to its former glory and make friends with the locals, she begins to consider the choices she has made and reevaluate what would make her happy.

Entwined with Rosie’s adventures in Lipton are glimpses into Lillian’s past as a young woman and the regrets, disappointments and tragedies that shaped her life. This goes a long way to explaining Lilian’s sharp tongue, and gives the story a little more depth, emphasising the novel’s major theme of regret over the risks not taken.

Most readers of a certain age will fondly remember the sweets of their youth, my preference was for cobbers (caramel squares covered in milk chocolate) and lurid pink musk sticks, so Rosie’s refurbishment of Lilian’s sweetshop holds a great deal of nostalgic appeal. Colgan’s recipe additions for treats such as Coconut Ice, Peanut Brittle and Tablet (aka Scottish Fudge- which Jenny Colgan kindly shared with Book’d Out readers) are a welcome inclusion, and perfect to enjoy along with the book.

An engaging and charming story with few sour notes, Sweetshop of Dreams is an enjoyable novel and a sweet treat to savour.

Sweetshop of Dreams is available to purchase from

Sourcebooks I Amazon I BAM I B&N I Indiebound I Indigo I Kobo

Click on the image for Jenny Colgan’s recipe for Tablet (aka Scottish Fudge)

Tablet The Fudge House

Weekend Cooking: Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

 

9781402281839

Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

Rosie Hopkins’s life is…comfortable. She has a steady nursing job, a nice apartment, and Gerard, her loyal (if a bit boring) boyfriend. And even though she might like to pursue a more rewarding career, and Gerard doesn’t seem to have any plans to propose, Rosie’s not complaining. Things could be worse. Right?

Life gets a bit more interesting when Rosie’s mother sends her out to the country to care for her ailing great aunt Lilian, who owns an old-fashioned sweetshop. But as Rosie gets Lilian back on her feet, breathes a new life into the candy shop, and gets to know the mysterious and solitary Stephen—whose family seems to own the entire town—she starts to think that settling for what’s comfortable might not be so great after all.

Recipe for Tablet (Scottish Fudge) from Jenny Colgan

Tablet The Fudge House

Ingredients:

1 stick butter
4 cups white sugar
1 small tin condensed milk
I cup milk.

Method:

• Melt butter slowly. Stir sugar in slowly, if it burns it’s done for.
• When melted in, add milk & condensed milk. Bring to boil, then back to a simmer, and keep stirring for about 45 minutes!!!
• When it goes brown, drop a bit off a metal spoon into a cup of cold water- it should form into a soft ball. Then it’s ready.
• Take off heat, scrape sugar off sides, STIR VIGOROUSLY for a few minutes until you feel the mixture start to thicken and granulate a bit.
• Pour into buttered tins. Will set like concrete in about 3 hours.
• Don’t then do what I did last night and eat so much you think you’re going to spew :) . You can add vanilla flavoring, or nuts and things, but I like it the traditional way.

 

****

A former columnist for The Guardian, Jenny Colgan contributes regularly to national BBC radio and is the author of more than eleven bestselling novels, including her recent international bestsellers The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris published in 2014 and Welcome To Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year award from the Romantic Novelists Association. She is married with three children and lives in London and France.

****

Read my review of Sweetshop of Dreams by clicking HERE

9781402281839

Sweetshop of Dreams is available to purchase from

Amazon I BAM I B&N I Indiebound I Indigo I Kobo

****

wkendcooking

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

  Wow this past week has flown past.  I got a lot of reading done since the kids are back at school, but afternoons and weekends have been busy with various activities from a car wash fundraiser for an upcoming Scout camp to the start of a weekly basketball clinic and Education Week events at school. I’m excited that my oldest daughter will be home today after spending two weeks in the Northern Territory – I’ve missed her.

It’s the first Monday of the month so here is a quick update on my challenge progress so far…

SNAG-0202

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 8/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 57/50 – Completed!

Aussie Author Challenge 11/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 10/12

What I Read Last Week

 Nest by Inga Simpson

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre

What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy

Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth

Hamlet’s Ghost by Tara Jane

The Aitch Factor by Susan Butler

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review:  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ★★★★★

Review: The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre ★★★

Review: What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy ★★★1/2

Review: Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth ★★★★

Review: A Year Without Henry by Cathie Pelletier ★★★

Stuff on Sundays: Six Degrees of Separation

 What I Am Reading Today

Innocent and unworldly, Mema is still living at home with her mother on a remote, lush hinterland property. It is a small, confined, simple sort of life, and Mema is content with it. One day, during a heavy downpour, Mema saves a stranger from a flooded creek. She takes him into her family home, where, marooned by floods, he has to stay until the waters recede. And without either of them realising it, he opens the door to a new world of possibilities that threaten to sweep Mema into the deep.

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Marooned in her despised hometown of Greenville, California, private investigator Janelle Watkins wants nothing more than to keep her head down and make enough money to move back to the City. But even in the sleepy town of Greenville, the edgy, smart-mouthed private investigator seems to attract mayhem. It starts with the apparent suicide of a nineteen year-old off a highway bridge. Then another young man goes missing and Janelle begins to suspect that there might be a connection between the incidents. With the help of her former SFPD partner and occasional lover, Sheriff Ken Heinz, Janelle begins to follow the convoluted trail, not realizing that the darkness of her past might finally be catching up

 

A young nurse’s body is found at Clovelly Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Apart from a puncture wound in her neck, she is in perfect condition. But she’s also clutching a rose in her hands – and there’s an empty packet of prescription drugs in her pocket. Investigating the scene, Detective Lexie Rogers and her partner Brad Sommers know something is not right. It appears to be a staged suicide. And as they begin to dig deeper, Lexie discovers the case is too close to home. The dead girl was a work colleague of Lexie’s ex-husband, who is now a paramedic – and she was also a friend of the woman who broke up Lexie’s marriage. Struggling as she is with her breakup with Josh Harrison, who pushed her away after the suicide of his sister, and the numbing flashbacks of the violent attacks she’s suffered in the past, Lexie throws herself into the case. When she’s handed the lead on the investigation, Lexie sets out to solve the murder and prove she’s up to the job.

 The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist’s rookie season as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases, hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex, that shaped her as both a physician and a mother. Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation, performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587. Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America’s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies, and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law and Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.

Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish, round-framed glasses. Their mother is a beautiful hippy named Lorelei, who exists entirely in the moment. And she makes every moment sparkle in her children’s lives. Then one Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in — and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago. Told in gorgeous, insightful prose that delves deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the captivating story of one family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

Were you a sherbet lemon or chocolate lime fan? Soft chewy ones or hard boiled sweeties (you do get more for your money that way)? The jangle of your pocket money . . . the rustle of the pink and green striped paper bag . . . Rosie Hopkins thinks leaving her busy London life, and her boyfriend Gerard, to sort out her elderly Aunt Lilian s sweetshop in a small country village is going to be dull. Boy, is she wrong. Lilian Hopkins has spent her life running Lipton s sweetshop, through wartime and family feuds. As she struggles with the idea that it might finally be time to settle up, she also wrestles with the secret history hidden behind the jars of beautifully coloured sweets.
Welcome to Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop of Dreams, a novel, with recipes.

 

 While you are here…

What is your favourite lolly/sweet?

Thanks for stopping by!

Stuff on Sundays: Six Degrees of Separation

800px-Six_degrees_of_separation.svg_-685x327

Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman were inspired to create this meme by a short story titled ‘Chains’ in which Hungarian writer and poet Frigyes Karinthy first coined the phrase ‘six degrees of separation’. Based on the idea in Karinthy’s story, Emma and Annabel will choose a book each month, and link it to five other books in a chain, inviting their readers and other bloggers to join them by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal or esoteric ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge.

The great thing about this meme is that each participant can make their own rules. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the ones next to them in the chain.

*********

This month, Annabel and Emma have chosen Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

What I was so impressed with in Gone Girl were the unexpected twists and turns this novel took. In my review I wrote, “The twists are incredible, lulled into believing one thing, I actually drew in a breath of shock each time Flynn flipped the direction of the story on its head. Flynn plays brilliantly on our own prejudices about class, marriage, money, domestic violence and infidelity and delves deeply into the psyche of two ordinary yet shocking personalities.”

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

***

Dark Horse by Honey Brown is another brilliant psychological thriller where the plot the reader is sideswiped by a breathtaking twist where the author, “…masterfully plays on the reader’s expectations and with careful, but never obvious, manipulation, subverts the truth.”

It’s Christmas morning on the edge of the rugged Mortimer Ranges. Sarah Barnard saddles Tansy, her black mare. She is heading for the bush, escaping the reality of her broken marriage and her bankrupted trail-riding business. Sarah seeks solace in the ranges. When a flash flood traps her on Devil Mountain, she heads to higher ground, taking shelter in Hangman’s Hut. She settles in to wait out Christmas. A man, a lone bushwalker, arrives. Heath is charming, capable, handsome. But his story doesn’t ring true. Why is he deep in the wilderness without any gear? Where is his vehicle? What’s driving his resistance towards rescue? The closer they become the more her suspicions grow. But to get off Devil Mountain alive, Sarah must engage in this secretive stranger’s dangerous game of intimacy”

 

***

Eleanor Brown is the author of The Weird Sisters. I enjoyed it but for some reason I never wrote a review.

“There is no problem that a library card can’t solve.”  The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. “See, we love each other. We just don’t happen to like each other very much.”

 

 ***

I’ve yet to write a review for Emma Donoghue’s historical fiction novel,  Frog Music, either.  It happens sometimes when my schedule is really tight and I somehow overlook the fact that I haven’t.

Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.  The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny’s murderer to justice–if he doesn’t track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It’s the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.”

 

***

A book I really enjoyed, also set in San Francisco, is The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s “saying” the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. “To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable.” Forty years later the stories and history continue.

 

***

Mothers and Daughters by Kylie Ladd, due for release in September, is also a story about four mothers and their four daughters. I am really looking forward to reading it.

Four mothers. Four teenage daughters. An isolated tropical paradise with no internet or mobile phone reception. What could possibly go wrong? There’s tension, bitchiness, bullying, sex, drunken confessions, bad behaviour and breakdowns – and wait till you see what the teenagers get up to… How can we let our daughters go to forge lives of their own when what we most want to do is hold them close and never let them go? How do we let them grow and keep them protected from the dark things in the world at the same time? And how can mothers and daughters navigate the troubled, stormy waters of adolescence without hurting themselves and each other? A clear-eyed, insightful and wildly entertaining look into the complicated, emotional world of mothers and daughters by the acclaimed author of Into My Arms, Last Summer and After the Fall”

 

********

So that’s it, six books linked by six degrees of separation linked variously by author, character, setting, and theme.

Visit Emma‘s or Annabel’s blogs if you would like to join in with this meme or to browse the intriguing connections from bloggers who are participating.

6degrees

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

  Ugh, I’m sick again! Stuffy nose, sore throat etc, courtesy my youngest child.

I had such a good week too, got a fair bit accomplished – including watching the whole of Season 4 of Lost Girl on Netflix, made some delicious meals from scratch including Beef Spring Rolls and Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas and won first prize in a raffle, raising money for breast cancer research held by my sons Auskick team, on the weekend which included a bottle of pink champagne, a cake pop maker and boxes of chocolates!

kids-raffle

 But today I dropped the kids at school and then went back to bed for a few hours before dragging myself out to attend parent/teacher interviews this afternoon. Thankfully my children have no issues at school so the process was painless.

What I Read Last Week

 

The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert

 Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

A Fatal Tide by Steve Sailah

The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review:  The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen ★★★

Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper ★★★

Review: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey ★★★★1/2

Review: A Fatal Tide by Steve Sailah ★★★★1/2

Review: The Swan Gondola by Timothy Shaffert ★★★

 What I Am Reading Today

Once an artist and teacher, Jen now spends her time watching the birds around her house and tending her lush sub-tropical garden near the small town where she grew up. The only person she sees regularly is Henry, who comes after school for drawing lessons. When a girl in Henry’s class goes missing, Jen is pulled back into the depths of her own past. When she was Henry’s age she lost her father and her best friend Michael – both within a week. The whole town talked about it then, and now, nearly forty years later, they’re talking about it again. Everyone is waiting – for the girl to be found and the summer rain to arrive. At last, when the answers do come, like the wet, it is in a drenching, revitalising downpour.

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?   What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what?   Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:   Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).  Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.   New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.   Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.  

She hasn’t left her apartment. She makes money from performing to webcams on a sex site, where her clients pay $6.99 a minute for her time. She’s doing alright. The dollars are piling up in the bank. She’s the number 3 model on cams.com. And she hasn’t killed anyone for years. But when Deanna sees on the news that a little girl called Annie has gone missing, the story rattles her carefully ordered world. It’s uncomfortably similar to the dark fantasy of one of her most disturbing online clients. She’s convinced he’s responsible for the girl’s abduction – but no one will listen to her. So, after three years, Deanna finally leaves the apartment. And this is what happens…

For fans of The Great British Bake Off, this is a story about family life, unfriendly rivalry and flat Victoria sponges. Marie Dunwoody doesn’t want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee. Marie can’t ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie’s had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow – to the letter – recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask ‘What would Mary Berry do?’ Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . . Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy’s sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?

Innocent and unworldly, Mema is still living at home with her mother on a remote, lush hinterland property. It is a small, confined, simple sort of life, and Mema is content with it. One day, during a heavy downpour, Mema saves a stranger from a flooded creek. She takes him into her family home, where, marooned by floods, he has to stay until the waters recede. And without either of them realising it, he opens the door to a new world of possibilities that threaten to sweep Mema into the deep.

This road trip will have earth-shattering consequences . . .  Twins Justine and Perry are about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s been a year since they watched their dad lose his battle with cancer. Now, at only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother. But with Perry having been accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory.  For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of his favourite things: mythical sea monsters, Jackie Chan movies and the study of earthquakes.  For Justine, it’s a chance to reconcile the decision to ‘free’ her twin, to see who she is without her boyfriend, Marc – and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.  But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble . . .

 

 While you are here…

Make merry!

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

  Yesterday my oldest daughter flew to spend two weeks working with my younger brother, a DJ, event compere, promoter and sometimes actor,  in the Northern Territory.  It is not the first time she has been away, but it is the first time she has gone unchaperoned (my brother doesn’t really count) and as an actual adult (she just turned 18). It’s a little scary to be honest though I know the experience and the independence will be good for her.

I feel for the relatives of those on the Malaysia Airlines MH17 , whose loved ones won’t be coming home from their adventures.

 

What I Read Last Week

 

Family Secrets by Liz Byrski

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik  Backman

Chasing the Ace by Nicholas J Johnson

The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Swimming in the Dark by Paddy Richardson ★★★★1/2

Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman ★★★★★

Review: Family Secrets by Liz Byrski ★★★

Review: Letters to My Daughter’s Killer by Cath Staincliff ★★★★

Review: Chasing the Ace by Nicholas J Johnson ★★★

Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

 

 What I Am Reading Today

On the eve of the 1898 Omaha World’s Fair, Ferret Skerritt – ventriloquist by trade, conman by birth – isn’t quite sure how it will change him or his city. Omaha still has the marks of a filthy Wild West town, even as it attempts to achieve the grandeur and respectability of nearby Chicago. But when he crosses paths with the beautiful and enigmatic Cecily, his whole purpose shifts and the fair becomes the backdrop to their love affair.
One of a travelling troupe of actors that has descended on the city, Cecily works in the Midway’s Chamber of Horrors, where she loses her head hourly on a guillotine playing Marie Antoinette. And after closing, she rushes off, clinging protectively to a mysterious carpet bag, never giving Ferret a second glance. But a moonlit ride on the swan gondola, a boat on the lagoon of the New White City, changes everything, and the fair’s magic begins to take its effect.

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together—if it doesn’t kill them first! When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.” But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart. But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

 

‘Elizabeth is missing.’ Maud keeps finding notes in her pockets with this message scrawled on it, but she can’t remember writing it. That said, she can’t remember much these days: the time of day, whether she’s eaten lunch, if her daughter’s come to visit, how much toast she’s eaten. Still, the notes about Elizabeth nag at her. When was the last time she spoke with her best friend? It feels like ages ago.. Frustratingly, no one seems willing to help Maud find her: not the police nor Elizabeth’s son – not even Maud’s own daughter or granddaughter. It’s like they’re hiding something. Maud resolves to take matters into her own hands, and begins digging for the truth. There are many clues, but unhelpfully, they all seem to point to another unsolved disappearance: that of Maud’s sister Sukey just after the war. Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance lead Maud to the truth about Elizabeth? As Maud’s mind retreats into the past at a frightening pace, alienating her from her family and carers, vivid memories of what happened over fifty years ago come flooding back to give her quest new momentum.

A powerful novel set in Gallipoli, that’s part war-story and part mystery. ‘Amid Gallipoli’s slaughter he hunted a murderer . . .’ It is 1915 and Thomas Clare rues the day he and his best friend Snow went to war to solve the murder of his father. The only clues – a hidden wartime document and the imprint of an army boot on the victim’s face – have led the pair from the safety of Queensland to the blood-soaked hills of Gallipoli. Now not only are Thomas’s enemies on every side – from the Turkish troops bearing down on the Anzac lines, to the cold-blooded killer in his own trench – but as far away as London and Berlin. For, unbeknown to Thomas, the path to murder began thirteen years earlier in Africa with the execution of Breaker Morant – and a secret that could change the course of history . .

Only five still guard the border between the worlds. And when they fall, so do we all… The Oversight is a gothic fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell “The end always comes faster than you think.” Once there were hundreds of members of the Oversight, the brave souls who guard the borders between the mundane and the magic. Now there are only five. And their numbers are dwindling further still. When a vagabond brings a screaming girl to the Oversight’s London headquarters, she might answer their hopes for a new recruit, or she could be the instrument of their downfall. In his first novel for adults, Charlie Fletcher (The Stoneheart Trilogy) spins a tale of witch-hunters, supra-naturalists, mirror-walkers and magicians. Meet the Oversight, and remember: when they fall, so do we all

 

Elf and Yoli are two smart, loving sisters. Elf is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yoli is divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. When Elf’s latest suicide attempt leaves her hospitalised weeks before her highly anticipated world tour, Yoli is forced to confront the impossible question of whether it is better to let a loved one go

 While you are here…

Congratulations to the winners of  Colors of Gold by Kaye Dobbie

Australian: Maria P International: Denise D

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

Thankfully I am pretty much fully recovered after my bout with illness, and with the children returning to school tomorrow after their two weeks of holidays, I will hopefully be able to get caught up.

As I was so ill at the beginning of the month, I completely forgot about posting my monthly update so here it is:

SNAG-0201

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 8/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 55/50 – Completed!

Aussie Author Challenge 9/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 10/12

 

What I Read Last Week

 

Colours of Gold by Kaye Dobbie

Reservoir Dad by Clint Greagen

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry

The Luck of the Irish by Babette Smith

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

AWW Feature & Giveaway: Also Known As  Kaye Dobbie

Review & Giveaway:  Colours of Gold by Kaye Dobbie ★★★★1/2

Review: Mating for Life by Melissa Stapley ★★1/2

Review: Reservoir Dad by Clint Greagen ★★★★

Review: The Bookshop That Floated Away by Sarah Henshaw ★★★

Weekend Cooking: Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry ★★★★1/2 (and a recipe for Oven Baked Chicken Spring Rolls)

 What I Am Reading Today

When patriarch Gerald Hawkins passes away in his Tasmanian home, after ten years of serious illness, his family experience a wave of grief and, admittedly, a surge of relief. Gerald’s dominating personality has loomed large over his wife, Connie, their children, Andrew and Kerry, and his sister Flora, for decades. Connie, whose own dreams were dispensed with upon marriage, is now determined to renew her long friendship with Gerald’s estranged sister, Flora. She travels to France where she finds Flora struggling to make peace with the past and searching for a place to call home. Meanwhile Andrew’s marriage is crumbling, and Kerry is trapped in stasis by unfinished business with her father. As the family adjusts to life after Gerald, they could not be more splintered. But there are surprises in store and secrets to unravel. And once the loss has been absorbed, is it possible that they could all find a way to start afresh with forgiveness, understanding and possibility?

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell”. But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

Friendship and fraud is a dangerous mix. Joel Fitch has watched every twist-happy movie there is about con men, and he thinks he knows it all. After nineteen years of being a sucker, Joel’s going to take everything he’s learned from the screen and finally get his. He’s going to be a master con artist. Richard Mordecai is a real-life swindler. But unlike Joel, he knows the truth about con men. At the end of a long career of lies and betrayal, Richard is tired and jaded. He’s ready to retire. Until he meets Joel. They form an uneasy partnership and Joel soon finds himself thrust into a world of bottom dealers, fraudsters and ace chasers that’s unlike any movie he’s ever seen. And when the pair accidentally scam the wrong mark, they have to draw on every last trick and piece of cunning they can to get themselves free and walk away with the money … and hopefully their dignity.

On the eve of the 1898 Omaha World’s Fair, Ferret Skerritt – ventriloquist by trade, conman by birth – isn’t quite sure how it will change him or his city. Omaha still has the marks of a filthy Wild West town, even as it attempts to achieve the grandeur and respectability of nearby Chicago. But when he crosses paths with the beautiful and enigmatic Cecily, his whole purpose shifts and the fair becomes the backdrop to their love affair.
One of a travelling troupe of actors that has descended on the city, Cecily works in the Midway’s Chamber of Horrors, where she loses her head hourly on a guillotine playing Marie Antoinette. And after closing, she rushes off, clinging protectively to a mysterious carpet bag, never giving Ferret a second glance. But a moonlit ride on the swan gondola, a boat on the lagoon of the New White City, changes everything, and the fair’s magic begins to take its effect.

Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding… And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive.

Elf and Yoli are two smart, loving sisters. Elf is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yoli is divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. When Elf’s latest suicide attempt leaves her hospitalised weeks before her highly anticipated world tour, Yoli is forced to confront the impossible question of whether it is better to let a loved one go

 While you are here…

 Enter to WIN Colors of Gold by Kaye Dobbie (open worldwide)

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry

wkendcooking

I’ve decided to make the Weekend Cooking meme, hosted by Beth Fish Reads  a regular monthly post at Book’d Out. Cooking is something I enjoy and I have been making more of an effort again lately, so I am looking forward to sharing some of my culinary adventures.

**********************

Title: Chinese Cooking For Diamond Thieves

Author: Dave Lowry

Published:  Mariner Books: Haughton Mifflin Harcourt July 2014

Status: Read from July 09 to 10, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/netgalley}

My Thoughts:

I’m not sure exactly why I decided to take a chance on this novel but I am so glad I did. Funny, clever and fresh, Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry is a fabulously entertaining blend of mystery, action, a touch of awkward romance, and Chinese cooking.

Having been kicked out of college just before graduation, Tucker is heading home to Missouri in his aging Toyota when he crosses paths with the attractive and enigmatic Corrine Chang, making her way from Canada to Buffalo, NY, at a deserted rest stop. In the absence of any real goal, Tucker offers Corrine a ride, surprising her with his ability to speak Mandarin, and being surprised in turn when he intercepts a threatening phone call. Corrine, it seems, is on the run from a Chinese gang convinced she has $15 million dollars worth of diamonds missing from her employer’s store. Despite her protestations of innocence, the gang follows them all the way to St Louis, as intent on capturing Corinne, as Tucker, with a little help from the FBI, is at stopping them.

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is fast paced with plenty of action and intrigue, and just enough exaggeration to entertain. Snappy dialogue, liberally laced with sarcasm, is delivered with expert timing.

Lowry’s protagonist is an unusual guy. The son of white upper middle class parents (his father a retired agent of some description), Tucker practices xing-i, speaks Mandarin (and a little Cantonese) and cooks Chinese food, real Chinese food, with the skill of a native. He is simultaneously a tough guy capable of crippling an enemy with an economy of movement, and achingly vulnerable and self deprecating. The contradiction works perfectly to create a charming, quirky hero, who is supported by an equally appealing cast.

For foodies, there are plenty of tips for cooking authentic Chinese food, and a glimpse into the inner workings of a Chinese restaurant kitchen.

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is probably best described as a crime caper given the elements of humour, adventure and the offbeat characters. I thought it was witty, clever and interesting and recommend it without hesitation.

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is available to purchase from

Haughton Mifflin Harcourt I AmazonUS I BookDepository I Indiebound

via Booko

****

The few Chinese dishes I cook are unapologetically westernised versions and fairly simple ones at that. Today I thought I’d share one of my favourites, with apologies to Tucker, and Dave Lowry.

Oven Baked Chicken Spring Rolls

 

Ingredients

1 kg barbecued or roast chicken, finely shredded
1 large can of corn kernels
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp sesame oil
5 tbs soy sauce
1 pkt frozen spring roll wrappers
1/4 cup (60ml) peanut oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 200°C.

In a bowl combine shredded chicken, corn kernels, onions, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce

Lay out a spring roll wrapper with a point facing towards you. Place 2 tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture on pastry then fold pastry over filling once. Fold in side corners. Brush far corner with water then roll up tightly. Repeat with remaining filling and pastry.

Place spring rolls on an oven tray. Brush with peanut oil then bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with fried rice and/or a dipping sauce of your choice

spring rolls

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