It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

It has been a busy week, though for no special reason, just the usual chaotic schedule of school and after school activities to contend with.

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

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The Eclectic Reader Challenge 10/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 65/50 – Completed!

Aussie Author Challenge 12/12 – Completed

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 11/12

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I want to thank all of you who have stopped by to celebrate Book’d Out’s 4th birthday and leave me messages of congratulations. I am truly grateful and humbled by your kind words and support.

You still have a week to enter to win one of the four great prizes I am giving away – make sure you enter!

bookdout4_500

 

What I Read Last Week

 Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay

When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett

Craven by Melanie Casey

Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman

Tacolicious by Sara Desern

 

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay ★★★★

Book’d Out celebrates 4 years!

Review: When The Night Comes by Favel Parrett ★★★1/2

Review: Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett ★★★1/2

Review: Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman ★★★

Stuff On Sundays: 18 Books for Aussie Dads this Fathers Day

What I Am Reading Today

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager – unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are.

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 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.

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.  While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child’s welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts.
But Fiona’s professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability; whether it was not contempt and ostracism she really fears. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses. But Jack doesn’t leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case—as well as her crumbling marriage—tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.

“When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.” So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices

In the tradition of The Cookbook Collector comes a funny, romantic novel about a young woman finding her calling while saving a used bookstore. Maggie Duprès, recently “involuntarily separated from payroll” at a Silicon Valley start-up, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly’s Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along. When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance — even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a book she hasn’t encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics Chatterley — it’s an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers. Witty and sharp-eyed in its treatment of tech world excesses, but with real warmth at its core, The Moment of Everything is a wonderful read.

 While you are here…

WINNER of Quick by Steve Worland. : Aaron C

Enter to WIN in the Book’d Out Birthday celebrations

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…

The routine of my week doesn’t vary much, though now I have resumed coaching basketball in advance of the season kicking off in a few weeks, making Monday and Thursday evenings particularly chaotic with multiple after school activities to juggle. I need to get a bit more organised, and stop binging on Netflix!

Oh! And I would like to invite you all to drop by Book’d Out on Wednesday, August 27th, to celebrate my 4th blogiversary with a great giveaway!

bookdout4_500

 

What I Read Last Week

 

Hindsight by Melanie Casey

The Catch by Taylor Stevens

 Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Quick by Steve Worland

The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Norland

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan ★★★

Review: Heartbreak Hotel by Debbie Moggach ★★

Review: The Catch by Taylor Stevens ★★★1/2

Review: Hindsight by Melanie Casey ★★★★

Review & Giveaway: Quick by Steve Worland ★★★★

Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami  ★★★

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

What I Am Reading Today

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?

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Running away from the mainland was supposed to make their lives better. But, for Isla and her brother, their mother’s sadness and the cold, damp greyness of Hobart’s stone streets seeps into everything. Then, one morning, Isla sees a red ship. That colour lights her day. And when a sailor from the ship befriends her mother, he shares his stories with them all – of Antarctica, his home in Denmark and life onboard. Like the snow white petrels that survive in the harshest coldest place, this lonely girl at the bottom of the world will learn that it is possible to go anywhere, be anything. But she will also find out that it is just as easy to lose it all. For Isla, those two long summers will change everything. Favel Parrett delivers an evocative and gently told story about the power fear and kindness have to change lives.

Colt Jenson and his younger brother Bastian live in a world of shiny, new things – skateboards, slot cars, train sets and even the latest BMX. Their affluent father, Rex, has made sure that they’ll be the envy of the new, working-class suburb they’ve moved to.  But underneath the surface of the perfect family, is there something unsettling about the Jensons? To the local kids, Rex becomes a kind of hero, but Colt senses there’s something in his father that could destroy their fragile new lives.

As a detective lieutenant with the LAPD, Peter Decker witnessed enough ugliness and chaos for a lifetime. Now, he and his devoted wife Rena Lazarus are ready to enjoy the quiet beauty of upstate New York, where they can be closer to their four adult children and their foster son. But working for the Greenbury Police department isn’t as fulfilling as Decker hoped.  While Rina has adapted beautifully to their new surroundings, Decker is underwhelmed and frustrated by his new partner, Tyler McAdams, a former Harvard student and young buck with a bad ‘tude. Just when he thinks he’s made a mistake, Decker is called to his first real crime here—a possible break-in at the local cemetery. At first, it seems like a false alarm until it’s discovered that a mausoleum’s stunning Tiffany panels have been replaced by forgeries. Then, a coed at one of the exclusive local colleges is brutally murdered. Poking into the hallowed halls of academia to find a killer, Decker and McAdams are drawn deep into a web of dark secrets, cold case crimes, international intrigue, and ruthless people who kill for sport. Suddenly, the job is anything but boring. This case just might be too much to handle and Decker will have to draw on every ounce of experience that he has garnered in the past thirty years as a Homicide cop. And then again, even that might not be enough!

Cass thought she had experienced every kind of death… Moving to the city, Cass Lehman hoped to leave her recent notoriety behind her. Her ability to experience the final moments of a violent death helped the local police capture a serial killer, but also meant she was almost his final victim… With a place of her own and a new job, things are looking up for Cass. But just as she starts to feel settled, Cass is targeted by a deranged stalker. Are the personal attacks linked to a string of unsettling deaths that have left the police stumped? Her ‘gift’ is called on yet again by the one man she vowed she would never contact. Cass and Detective Ed Dyson are thrown back into each other’s lives but can they overcome their feelings to put an end to the terror? Will her experiences of death reveal the mind of the killer… or is there no such thing as a happy ending? A reluctant psychic, a troubled detective… and a deeply twisted serial killer.

The old world is buried. A new one has been forged atop the shifting dunes. Here in this land of howling wind and infernal sand, four siblings find themselves scattered and lost. Their father was a sand diver, one of the elite few who could travel deep beneath the desert floor and bring up the relics and scraps that keep their people alive. But their father is gone. And the world he left behind might be next.  Welcome to the world of Sand, the first new novel from New York Times bestselling author Hugh Howey since his publication of the Silo Saga. Unrelated to those works, which looked at a dystopian world under totalitarian rule, Sand is an exploration of lawlessness. Here is a land ignored. Here is a people left to fend for themselves. Adjust your ker and take a last, deep breath before you enter.

A collection of recipes for fun, accessible taqueria fare–including colorful salsas, tasty snacks, irresistible cocktails, and of course tacos galore–from the wildly popular San Francisco restaurants and acclaimed Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market food stand, Tacolicious. Tacos may be the most universally loved, happy-making food on earth. After all, who can say no to a juicy, spicy Chile verde taco; a decadently deep-fried Baja-style fish taco; or a gloriously porky Carnitas taco? At Tacolicious, the San Francisco Bay Area’s most popular Mexican restaurant, tacos are a way of life. And now, in this hotly anticipated cookbook, co-owner Sara Deseran shares all of the restaurant’s tortilla-wrapped secrets. Whether you’re seeking quick and easy weeknight meals or inspiration for a fabulous fiesta, Tacolicious has you covered. With recipes for showstopping salsas, crave-worthy snacks, cocktails and mocktails, and, of course, tacos galore, this festive collection is chock-full of real Mexican flavor—with a delicious California twist.

 

 While you are here…

Enter to WIN Quick by Steve Worland. Open worldwide.

Don’t forget to stop by on August 27th!

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…

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.

 

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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