It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR

Life…

Another rather ordinary week has passed me by, though it has had its moments. I enjoyed a brief visit from friends I rarely see in person as they were heading home from a motorcycle tour of Queensland, and won an awesome prize from Dymocks Books via their facebook page (below).

dymocks

This week I’ll be celebrating Book’d Out’s 5th blogoversary on Thursday. It will be a low key affair due to my non existent budget, but I hope you’ll stop by.

What I Read Last Week

The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathon Kellerman

Private Sydney by James Patterson & Kathryn Fox

The Crushing Season by Peta Jo

Good Mourning by Elizabeth Meyer

No House to Call My Home by Ryan Berg

We Never Asked For Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathon Kellerman  ★★★★

Review: Private Sydney by James Patterson & Kathryn Fox ★★★

AWW Feature: Peta Jo and The Crushing Season

Review: The Crushing Season by Peta Jo ★★★★

Review: Good Mourning by Elizabeth Meyer ★★★

Where the Magic Happens

Review: No House to Call My Home by Ryan Berg ★★★

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

What I Am Reading Today

When Lucy Hunter stumbles upon her grandfather Harry’s World War II memorabilia, she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as ‘George’ and a series of heartfelt letters. They are clues about the secret years, a period of Lucy’s family history that has been kept a mystery . . . until now.
How did a cattleman from north Queensland find forbidden love with the Honourable Georgina Lenton of London and persuade her to move to his isolated outback property? And why are the effects of this encounter still reverberating in the lives of Lucy and her mother, Rose, now?
As the passions of the past trickle down the years, three generations of one family pull together. Each must learn in their own way how true love can conquer the greatest challenges of all.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Blum is a mortician; an outspoken woman in a male dominated profession. She is also the loving mother of two young children, adored by those around her for her kind heart, her strength, and her sharp wit. Blum rides a motorcycle, and likes to spend time with friends and her husband, Mark, a policeman. She has been happily married to Mark for eight years, a perfect union. Blum has a good life, a life that masks the terrible secrets of her childhood. Then, in one devastating moment, Mark is killed before Blum’s eyes. A hit-and-run. The most important thing in her life, her support and happiness, is taken from her. Blum grieves, but she refuses to accept her fate. She soon discovers that there is more to Mark’s death than meets the eye. This was no accident. A shadowy group of people wanted Mark dead. But why?
Blum is determined to find out… and to have her revenge.

As a prolonged drought takes its toll on their lives, Bec and her husband must battle the bank’s attempts to foreclose on their beloved Coolibah Creek in a suspenseful and action-packed new novel from a fresh and authentic voice in rural romance. Bec Roberts and her husband Andy adore each other. They’re also passionate about their beloved station, Coolibah Creek, but are despairing as a relentless drought ravages their property. Bec is worried, too, about her best friend and neighbour, Maggie O’Donnell. Married to a difficult, hard-drinking man who’s away for long periods, Maggie finds herself increasingly drawn to a stockman who works for the family. When tragedy strikes, Bec is pushed to the very limits of her endurance. How will her family and Coolibah endure the challenges they’re facing? Suspenseful and action-packed, Coolibah Creek is about a woman who has to muster all the strength and determination she has in the face of adversity. It is also about the power of love.

With a missing girl in the news, Claire Scott can’t help but be reminded of her sister, who disappeared twenty years ago in a mystery that was never solved. But when Claire begins to learn the truth about her sister, nothing will ever be the same.

This collection of essays and memoir pieces explores the topic of reading, in particular what it means for writers to be readers and how that has shaped their life. Contributors include Debra Adelaide, Joan London, Delia Falconer, Sunil Badami, Gabrielle Carey, Luke Davies, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Kate Forsyth, Giulia Giuffre, Andy Griffiths, Anita Heiss, Gail Jones, Jill Jones, Catherine Keenan, Malcolm Knox, Wayne Macauley, Fiona McFarlane, David Malouf, Rosie Scott, Carrie Tiffany and Geordie Williamson.

A revelatory account of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don’t think it exists Jessica Compton’s family of four would have no cash income unless she donated plasma twice a week at her local donation center in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter Brianna in Chicago often have no food but spoiled milk on weekends.   After two decades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn’t seen since the mid-1990s — households surviving on virtually no income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to 1.5 million American households, including about 3 million children.   Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor? Edin has “turned sociology upside down” (Mother Jones) with her procurement of rich — and truthful — interviews. Through the book’s many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge.   The authors illuminate a troubling trend: a low-wage labor market that increasingly fails to deliver a living wage, and a growing but hidden landscape of survival strategies among America’s extreme poor. More than a powerful exposé, $2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our national debate on income inequality.

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR

Life…

It’s been a  rather ordinary week for our family – work, school, gymnastics, cubs, scouts, soccer, basketball. It keeps us busy though. I think I’ve finally reworked my schedule so I can keep on top of everything, though of course in five weeks when Spring finally arrives and a new school term starts, it will all change again.

What I Read Last Week

The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan

The Guilty One by Sophie Littlefield

The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth

The Callahan Split by Lisa Heidke

Long Bay by Eleanor Limprecht

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan ★★★

Review: The Guilty One by Sophie Littlefield ★★★1/2

AWW Feature: Fairytales, The Beast’s Garden and Kate Forsyth

Review: The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth ★★★★1/2

Review: The Callahan Split by Lisa Heidke ★★★

Review & Giveaway:  Long Bay by Eleanor Limprecht ★★★

What I Am Reading Today

#1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Jonathan Kellerman delivers a riveting standalone thriller featuring the unforgettable Grace Blades. Master psychologist by day, seductive adrenaline junkie by night, Grace has a very dark past—one that’s about to bleed into a terrifying present.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Even for Private Investigations, the world’s top detective agency, it’s tough to find a man who doesn’t exist . . . Craig Gisto has promised Eliza Moss that his elite team at Private Sydney will investigate the disappearance of her father. After all, as CEO of a high-profile research company, Eric Moss shouldn’t be difficult to find. Except it’s not just the man who’s gone missing. Despite the most advanced technology at their disposal, they find every trace of him has vanished too. And they aren’t the only ones on the hunt. Powerful figures want Moss to stay ‘lost’, while others just as ruthlessly want him found. On top of that, a routine background check has become a frantic race to find a stolen baby and catch a brutal killer – a killer Private may well have sent straight to the victim’s door . . .

IN the smoky haze of a small town’s cane harvesting season, May grew up as the silent bearer of her father’s vicious beatings. But four schoolmates save her with the simple act of their friendship.  Now in their thirties and busy with their own lives, the four friends are unaware how important they still are to May: Tate, a ballsy newspaper subeditor is struggling with her new role as mother; Alex, a bohemian soul has let his anxiety get in the way of his future happiness; Leah, the “boy mad” gal is one French backpacker away from her next heartbreak; and Benny, a die-hard romantic is about to give up his dreams and surrender the fantasy of being with the one girl he’s ever loved… Leah. But it’s May that holds their friendship together and she is up to something that will change their lives forever.  A harrowing, heart-wrenching read for anyone whose high-school friends became their family.

 

In this funny, insightful memoir, a young socialite risks social suicide when she takes a job at a legendary funeral chapel on New York Citys Upper East Side.Good Mourning offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most famous funeral homes in the country where not even big money can protect you from the universal experience of grieving.
It’s Gossip Girl meets Six Feet Under, told from the unique perspective of a fashionista turned funeral planner.

Underemployed and directionless, Ryan Berg took a job in a group home for disowned and homeless LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) teenagers. His job was to help these teens discover their self worth, get them back on their feet, earn high school degrees, and find jobs. But he had no idea how difficult it would be, and the complexities that were involved with coaxing them away from dangerous sex work and cycles of drug and alcohol abuse, and helping them heal from years of abandonment and abuse. In No House to Call My Home, Ryan Berg tells profoundly moving, intimate, and raw stories from the frontlines of LGBTQ homelessness and foster care. In the United States, 43% of homeless youth were forced out by their parents because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Berg faced young people who have battled extreme poverty, experienced unbalanced opportunities, structural racism, and homophobia. He found himself ill-equipped to help, in part because they are working within a system that paints in broad strokes, focused on warehousing young people, rather than helping them build healthy relationships with adults that could lead to a successful life once they age out of foster care. By digging deep and asking the hard questions, and by haltingly opening himself up to his charges, Berg gained their trust. Focusing on a handful of memorable characters and their entourage, he illustrates the key issues and recurring patterns in the suffering, psychology and recovery of these neglected teens. No House to Call My Home will provoke readers into thinking in new ways about how we define privilege, identity, love and family. Because beyond the tears and abuse, the bluster and bravado, what emerges here is a love song to that irrepressible life force of youth: hope.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future. Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR

Life…

After a concerted effort, and more than a few late nights, I’m almost caught up! I still have two reviews to write because I didn’t have the time I expected over the weekend due to family commitments but I’m hoping to be caught up by this evening.

It’s a little past the beginning of the month but here is my challenge update

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The Eclectic Reader Challenge 8/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 49/50

Aussie Author Challenge 8/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 6/12

What’s In A Name? Challenge 6/6 – Completed

What I Read Last Week

Kingdom of the Strong by Tony Cavanaugh

How To Be a Grown-Up by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb

The Veil by Chloe Neill

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Six Degrees by Honey Brown

The Hiding Place by John Burley

The Insanity of Murder by Felicity Young

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Kingdom Of the Strong by Tony Cavanaugh ★★★★1/2

Review: My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb ★★★★1/2

Review: How To Be a Grown-Up by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus ★★

Review: The Veil by Chloe Neill ★★★

Review: Six Degrees by Honey Brown ★★★★

Review: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica ★★★★

Review: The Insanity of Murder by Felicity Young ★★★★

Review: The Hiding Place by John Burley ★★★

Review: What My Daughters Taught Me by Joseph Wakim

Weekend Cooking: The Messy Baker by Charmain Christie

What I Am Reading Today

There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved.
In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookery writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs Eaden. There’s Jenny, facing an empty nest now her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife’s death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it’s like to have nothing and is determined her façade shouldn’t slip. As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest choux bun seems the least of the contestants’ problems. For they will learn – as Mrs Eaden did before them – that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it’s very much harder in life.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 A man stands on the Golden Gate Bridge, poised to jump…if a woman on the other end of the phone tells him to. Maris’s safe suburban world was shattered the day her daughter was found murdered, presumably at the hands of the young woman’s boyfriend. Her marriage crumbling, her routine shattered, Maris walks away from her pampered life as a Bay Area mom the day she receives a call from Ron, father of her daughter’s killer. Wracked with guilt over his son’s actions (and his own possible contribution to them), he asks Maris a single question: should he jump?
With a man’s life in her hands, Maris must decide, perhaps for the first time, what she truly wants. Retribution? Forgiveness? Or something more? Having lost everything, she’s finally free to recreate herself without the confining labels of “wife,” “mother,” or “mourner.” But will this shocking offer free her, or destroy her?

The Grimm Brothers published a beautiful version of the Beauty & the Beast tale called ‘The Singing, Springing Lark’ in 1819. It combines the well-known story of a daughter who marries a beast in order to save her father with another key fairy tale motif, the search for the lost bridegroom. In ‘The Singing, Springing Lark,’ the daughter grows to love her beast but unwittingly betrays him and he is turned into a dove. She follows the trail of blood and white feathers he leaves behind him for seven years, and, when she loses the trail, seeks help from the sun, the moon, and the four winds. Eventually she battles an evil enchantress and saves her husband, breaking the enchantment and turning him back into a man. Kate Forsyth retells this German fairy tale as an historical novel set in Germany during the Nazi regime. A young woman marries a Nazi officer in order to save her father, but hates and fears her new husband. Gradually she comes to realise that he is a good man at heart, and part of an underground resistance movement in Berlin called the Red Orchestra. However, her realisation comes too late. She has unwittingly betrayed him, and must find some way to rescue him and smuggle him out of the country before he is killed. The Red Orchestra was a real-life organisation in Berlin, made up of artists, writers, diplomats and journalists, who passed on intelligence to the American embassy, distributed leaflets encouraging opposition to Hitler, and helped people in danger from the Nazis to escape the country. They were betrayed in 1942, and many of their number were executed. The Beast’s Garden is a compelling and beautiful love story, filled with drama and intrigue and heartbreak, taking place between 1938 and 1943, in Berlin, Germany.

The Callahan Split: No one knows you better than your sister. In tennis, as in life, nothing ever goes truly to plan. Samantha and Annie Callahan are successful doubles champions — the toast of the Olympics, Wimbledon, and Flushing Meadow.  But their winning partnership spirals out of control when Annie’s new boyfriend announces their engagement at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Bear, the sisters’ coach, guides Annie as much as she’ll allow. But when she insists on dropping Samantha in favour of a singles career, her game and rankings plummet. Samantha is left floundering. Disillusioned, her only sweet spot is the growing passion between her and Bear.  Amidst rising anger and betrayal, Samantha completely changes both their destinies when she does the unthinkable after a devastating Wimbledon loss. The sisters are driven to create new lives by confronting the past and taking control of the present.  But can Samantha and Annie both win?

In 1909 Rebecca Sinclair was sent to Long Bay Women’s Reformatory after she was convicted of manslaughter. A mother-of-three had died at her house after a botched abortion. Rebecca was sentenced to three years hard labour, but less than six months into her prison term she gave birth to a child, a girl, who she kept with her in prison.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: The Messy Baker by Charmain Christie

wkendcooking

I’ve decided to make the Weekend Cooking meme, hosted by Beth Fish Reads a semi-regular post at Book’d Out.

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Title: The Messy Baker: More than 75 delicious recipes from a real kitchen

Author: Charmain Christie

Published: Rodale Books August 2015

Status: Read on August 09, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

After a sweet introduction, more properly a dedication to her mother, Charmain Christie opens The Messy Baker with ‘The Messy Manifesto’ and proclaims, “Never trust a person with a clean kitchen.”

The Messy Baker is cookbook for the enthusiastic home baker with a mix of over 75 sweet and savoury recipes. Full page photograph’s complement the appealing design, though not every recipe is featured.messy2

The first chapter, ‘Basics’, suggests ‘Can’t-do-without items’, Nice-to-have items, and ‘I’m-a-baker-and-I’ve-earned-it items’, before listing Essential ingredients that every baker should have on hand, their uses, tips for prep where applicable, and proper storage of said ingredients. And if you are still feeling a little lost, the Appendix includes a glossary, a measurement conversion chart, and a list of emergency ingredient substitutions.

Christie then begins with recipes for puff, shortcrust, and Pate Sucree pastry, as well as tips for working with phyllo pasty. The recipes are sorted into seven chapters categorised by texture.

messy1Flaky recipes include Morrocan Lamb Parcels, Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Scented Palmiers and Cherry and Lemon Macaroon Meringues. Crumbly treats include Stuffed Tomato, Arugula, and Cilantro Focaccia, Savoury Pecan and Cheddar Bites and Deep, Dark Cherry and Chipotle Brownies. The Dippable recipes are for dunking in coffee, tea, milk, soups, or sauces and include Rosemary and Black Olive Grissini, and Espresso and Hazelnut Biscotti. If you prefer foods that drip or ooze their filling then the Smoky Mushroom Crepes or Boozy Chocolate Torte (shown on the book’s cover), found under Sloppy, might appeal. The Peppery Pear and Smoked Gouda Dutch Baby and Burnt Caramel and Sea Salt Sticky Buns are two recipes found under Smudgy. Gritty sweet and savoury recipes include Many-Seed Lavash Bread and Citrus-topped Poppy Seed Bars. Drippy recipes include temptations such as Lime-Cilantro Dipping Sauce, Boozy Brown Sugar Whipped Cream and Chocolate Anything Sauce.

I liked the tone of this cookbook, Christie’s notes are encouraging, her tips are useful and of course there is no expectation of perfection, though there is an art to pulling off the ‘messy’ look. What it does lack is an index, and Christie’s timing ‘Commitment’ approach is a little eccentric.

You can get a feel for Charmain Christie’s approach to baking on her blog, themessybaker.com

Available to Purchase via

Rodale Press I Amazon US I IndieBound

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR

Life…

Flu_Bug-900x900

*Sigh* … so best laid plans. I’m posting this late having been laid low by the flu for the better part of the past week thanks to my children sharing their germs. I got some reading done but I could barely focus most of the time, and by the time I was feeling more human I had other pressing things to attend to. I still am determined to get back on track, so lets try this again shall we?

What I Read Last Week

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Hand That Feeds You by A J Rich

The Redeemers by Ace Atkins

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham ★★★1/2

Review: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen ★★★

Review: The Hand That Feeds You by AJ Rich ★★★1/2

Review: The Redeemers by Ace Atkins ★★★★

Giveaway: Heart of the Country by Tricia Stringer

What I Am Reading Today

Darian Richards is an ex-cop, a good one. He did whatever it took to solve a crime and stop the bad guy. Whatever it took! But after sixteen years as the head of Victoria’s Homicide Squad, he’d had enough of promising victims’ families he’d find the answers they needed. He had to walk away to save his sanity.
Now Police Commissioner Copeland Walsh has tracked Darian down. He needs him to help clear an old case. The death of Isobel Vine. The coroner gave an open finding. An open finding that never cleared the cloud of doubt that hovered over four young cops who were present the night Isobel died.
Twenty-five years later, one of those young cops is next in line to become police commissioner, so Copeland Walsh needs the case closed once and for all. In his mind there is only one man for the job. One man who would be completely independent. One man who has never bowed to political or police pressure. One man who knows how to get the job done – Darian Richards.
Darian is going back to stir a hornet’s nest. But once Darian is on a case he won’t back off tracking down evil, no matter who he has to take down.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

From bestselling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus comes a timely novel about a forty-something wife and mother thrust back into the workforce, where she finds herself at the mercy of a boss half her age. Rory McGovern is entering the ostensible prime of her life when her husband, Blake, loses his dream job and announces he feels like “taking a break” from being a husband and father. Rory was already spread thin and now, without warning, she is single-parenting two kids, juggling their science projects, flu season, and pajama days, while coming to terms with her disintegrating marriage. And without Blake, her only hope is to accept a full-time position working for two full-time twenty-somethings. A day out of b-school, these girls think they know it all and have been given the millions from venture capitalists to back up their delusion—that the future of digital media is a high-end “lifestyle” site—for kids! (Not that anyone who works there has any, or knows the first thing about actual children.) Can Rory learn to decipher her bosses’ lingo, texts that read like license plates, and arbitrary mandates? And is there any hope of saving her marriage? With her family hanging by a thread, Rory must adapt to this hyper-digitized, over-glamorized, narcissistic world of millennials…whatever it takes.

From a childhood friendship sustained over years and distance, to a journey of discovery, Cathy Lamb’s poignant novel tells of two women whose paths converge with unforeseen results—and reveals the gift of connection, and the challenges that can change everything for the better…
Charlotte Mackintosh is an internationally known bestselling romance writer who has no romance, and remains a mystery to her fans. In fact, she has little in her life besides her work, her pampered cats, and her secluded home off the coast of Washington. And then there is her very best friend, Bridget, who lives in Scotland, where Charlotte lived until she was fifteen. Bridget, whom Charlotte hasn’t seen in twenty years, but continues to write to—though the replies have stopped. Hurt by the silence, an opportunity arises to find answers—and maybe much more.
Charlotte must finally return to Scotland to sell her late father’s cottage. It was his tragic death when Charlotte was fifteen that began her growing isolation, and the task is fraught with memories. But her plans are slowed when she’s confronted with the beautiful but neglected house, the irresistible garden—and Toran, Bridget’s brother. Capable and kind, Toran has the answers Charlotte seeks. And as she is drawn deeper into the community she thought she’d left behind, Charlotte learns not only more about her dear friend, but about herself—and discovers a new and unexpected path.

Long after the last drink is poured and the final gunshot fired, Cheryl Della Pietra’s novel inspired by her time as Hunter S. Thompson’s assistant will linger in your mind.  Alley Russo is a recent college grad desperately trying to make it in the grueling world of New York publishing, but like so many who have come before her, she has no connections and has settled for an unpaid magazine internship while slinging drinks on Bleecker Street just to make ends meet. That’s when she hears the infamous Walker Reade is looking for an assistant to replace the eight others who have recently quit. Hungry for a chance to get her manuscript onto the desk of an experienced editor, Alley jumps at the opportunity to help Reade finish his latest novel. After surviving an absurd three-day trial period involving a .44 magnum, purple-pyramid acid, violent verbal outbursts, brushes with fame and the law, a bevy of peacocks, and a whole lot of cocaine, Alley is invited to stay at the compound where Reade works. For months Alley attempts to coax the novel out of Walker page-by-page, all while battling his endless procrastination, vampiric schedule, Herculean substance abuse, mounting debt, and casual gunplay. But as the job begins to take a toll on her psyche, Alley realizes she’s alone in the Colorado Rockies at the mercy of a drug-addicted literary icon who may never produce another novel and her fate may already be sealed.

‘ Nobody in the world knows our secret… that I’ve ruined Bev’s life, and she’s ruined mine.’
Petra’s romantic life has always been a car-crash, and even in her sixties she’s still capable of getting it disastrously wrong. But then she falls in love with Jeremy, an old chum, visiting from abroad. The fatal catch? Jeremy is her best friend’s husband. But just as Petra is beginning to relax into her happy ever after, she finds herself catapulted to West Africa, and to Bev, her best friend who she’s been betraying so spectacularly. Meanwhile, on opposite sides of the world, two other women are also struggling with the weight of betrayal: Texan Lorrie is about embark on the biggest deception of her life, and in China Li-Jing is trying to understand exactly what it is her husband does on his West African business trips. . . It turns out that no matter where you are in the world, everyone has something to hide. Can Bev – can anyone – be trusted?

Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil’s Isle. Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused. Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head. But when the Veil threatens to shatter completely, Claire and Liam must work together to stop it, or else New Orleans will burn…

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR

Life…

I’m still struggling to catch up after the chaos of June, hence a few place markers in this week’s review list but I am determined to get back on track.

The kids are back at school, my oldest is still in Europe. The World Gymnaestrada finished yesterday and by all accounts their team performances were well received with a standing ovation, now they have ten days in Denmark training and touring before they come home.

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What I Read Last Week

The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White

Set in Stone by Ros Baxter

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

The Trivia Man by Deborah O’Brien

Thursday’s Children by Nicci French

Friday On My Mind by Nicci French

Fast and Loose by Nicholas J Johnson

A Time to Run by JM Peace

Precocious by Joanna Barnard

Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas

The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White ★★★★1/2

Review: Set in Stone by Ros Baxter ★★★★

Review: Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton ★★★★1/2

Review: The Trivia Man by Deborah O’Brien ★★★

Review: Thursday’s Children by Nicci French ★★★★1/2

Stuff on Sunday: I’m All About the Books

Review: Friday on My Mind by Nicci French ★★★★

Review: Fast and Loose by Nicholas J Johnson ★★★★

Blog Tour Feature: A Time To Run by J M Peace

Review: A Time To Run by J M Peace ★★★★

Review: Precocious by Joanna Barnard ★★★

Review: Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas DNF

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

What I Am Reading Today

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion. But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Morgan’s life seems to be settled – she is completing her thesis on victim psychology and newly engaged to Bennett, a man more possessive than those she has dated in the past, but also more chivalrous and passionate. But she returns from class one day to find Bennett savagely killed, and her dogs – a Great Pyrenees, and two pit bulls she was fostering – circling the body, covered in blood. Everything she holds dear in life is taken away from her in an instant. Devastated and traumatised, Morgan tries to locate Bennett’s parents to tell them about their son’s death. Only then does she begin to discover layer after layer of deceit. Bennett is not the man she thought he was. And she is not the only woman now in immense danger …

He is only in his early thirties, but now Quinn Colson is jobless—voted out of office as sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, thanks to the machinations of county kingpin Johnny Stagg. He has offers, in bigger and better places, but before he goes, he’s got one more job to do—bring down Stagg’s criminal operations for good. At least that’s the plan. But in the middle of the long, hot summer, a trio of criminals stage a bold, wall-smashing break-in at the home of a local lumber mill owner, making off with a million dollars in cash from his safe, which is curious, because the mill owner is wealthy—but not that wealthy. None of this has anything to do with Colson, but during the investigation, two men are killed, one of them the new sheriff. His friend, acting sheriff Lillie Virgil, and a dangerous former flame, Anna Lee Stevens, both ask him to step in, and reluctantly he does, only to discover that that safe contained more than just money—it held secrets.
Secrets that could either save Colson—or destroy him once and for all.

From bestselling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus comes a timely novel about a forty-something wife and mother thrust back into the workforce, where she finds herself at the mercy of a boss half her age. Rory McGovern is entering the ostensible prime of her life when her husband, Blake, loses his dream job and announces he feels like “taking a break” from being a husband and father. Rory was already spread thin and now, without warning, she is single-parenting two kids, juggling their science projects, flu season, and pajama days, while coming to terms with her disintegrating marriage. And without Blake, her only hope is to accept a full-time position working for two full-time twenty-somethings. A day out of b-school, these girls think they know it all and have been given the millions from venture capitalists to back up their delusion—that the future of digital media is a high-end “lifestyle” site—for kids! (Not that anyone who works there has any, or knows the first thing about actual children.) Can Rory learn to decipher her bosses’ lingo, texts that read like license plates, and arbitrary mandates? And is there any hope of saving her marriage? With her family hanging by a thread, Rory must adapt to this hyper-digitized, over-glamorized, narcissistic world of millennials…whatever it takes.

Long after the last drink is poured and the final gunshot fired, Cheryl Della Pietra’s novel inspired by her time as Hunter S. Thompson’s assistant will linger in your mind.  Alley Russo is a recent college grad desperately trying to make it in the grueling world of New York publishing, but like so many who have come before her, she has no connections and has settled for an unpaid magazine internship while slinging drinks on Bleecker Street just to make ends meet. That’s when she hears the infamous Walker Reade is looking for an assistant to replace the eight others who have recently quit. Hungry for a chance to get her manuscript onto the desk of an experienced editor, Alley jumps at the opportunity to help Reade finish his latest novel. After surviving an absurd three-day trial period involving a .44 magnum, purple-pyramid acid, violent verbal outbursts, brushes with fame and the law, a bevy of peacocks, and a whole lot of cocaine, Alley is invited to stay at the compound where Reade works. For months Alley attempts to coax the novel out of Walker page-by-page, all while battling his endless procrastination, vampiric schedule, Herculean substance abuse, mounting debt, and casual gunplay. But as the job begins to take a toll on her psyche, Alley realizes she’s alone in the Colorado Rockies at the mercy of a drug-addicted literary icon who may never produce another novel and her fate may already be sealed.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR

Life…

I should know better than to make too many plans during the school holidays, finding time for myself (and by extension this blog) is near impossible in the face of the needs and wants of four children. However temporary relief is in sight, my oldest daughter leaves for Europe tomorrow to compete at the World Gymnaestrada, and will be gone for three weeks, while my parents are taking the youngest three for a couple of days, planning to take them to the zoo. Of course the danger is I will be tempted to soak up the peace and quiet by doing nothing instead of everything I should while I have the chance!

It’s the beginning of the month so time to check in with my challenge progress.

SNAG-0050

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 8/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 45/50

Aussie Author Challenge 7/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 6/12

What’s In A Name? Challenge 6/6 – Completed

 

What I Read Last Week

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop

Hush, Little Bird by Nicole Trope

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler ★★★★

Review: Hush Little Bird by Nicole Trope ★★★★1/2

Review: The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop ★★

***  AWW Blog: June 2015 General Fiction **

 

What I Am Reading Today

From a distance, Felix Fitzwilliam, the son of an old English family, is a good husband and father. But, obsessed with order and routine, he’s a prisoner to perfection. Disengaged from the emotional life of his North Carolina family, Felix has let his wife, Ella, deal with their special-needs son by herself. A talented jewelry designer turned full-time mother, Ella is the family rock…until her heart attack shatters their carefully structured existence. Now Harry, a gifted teen grappling with the chaos of Tourette’s, confronts a world outside his parents’ control, one that tests his desire for independence. As Harry searches for his future, and Ella adapts to the limits of her failing health, Felix struggles with his past and present roles. To prevent the family from being ripped apart, they must each bend with the inevitability of change and reinforce the ties that bind.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Lou Samuels is going home for the first time in twenty years. To the mother she can never forgive, the boy she can never forget, and a rural town that needs a saviour. Louise Samuels hasn’t been home to Stone Mountain since graduation night, twenty years ago. And she never, ever thinks about all she lost that night. So when her best friend convinces her to go back to their drought-stricken home for their school reunion they strike a deal.  One hour: get in, shake your booty, get out. Lou knows all about deals – she manages acquisitions and mergers at the biggest law firm in Sydney. But the deal gets shelved when The Boy Least Likely to Succeed, Gage Westin, brings up long-buried memories, and her estranged mother calls with an SOS. Things get even more complicated when Lou agrees to help the local council but ends up working with the coal seam gas company Gage is fighting for control of his property.  When Lou discovers her mother is dying, she starts to wonder if it’s time to face the ghosts of her past and make peace with her home.  But then things heat up with Gage, the gas company and the council, and Lou is forced to make a deal with the devil to save them all. She’s just not sure if Gage Westin, and Stone Mountain, will ever forgive her for it.

 Three confessions. Two liars. One killer. Three friends have had their lives ripped apart. Their pasts haunt them. They are consumed by guilt. And they don’t trust anyone. Not even themselves. But in their small, isolated, island community, trust is the only way to survive. Now a child has gone missing. And no one knows who to believe…

‘Trivia is a serious business, not a social occasion’ Kevin Dwyer, the ‘trivia man’ Dubbed ‘brainbox’ by his peers and ‘weirdo’ by his sister, Kevin Dwyer is a middle-aged forensic accountant who has never had a real friend, other than his eight-year-old nephew Patrick. When Kevin joins the Clifton Heights Sports Club trivia competition as a one-man team, and convincingly wins the first round, he is headhunted by the other contestants. But Kevin would prefer to be on his own. That is, until he meets Maggie Taylor . . . Maggie is a Latin teacher and movie buff, who’s good at her job but unlucky in love. In fact, she’s still besotted with the man who dumped her years ago. Nagged by her friend Carole about getting out and meeting people, Maggie reluctantly joins the trivia team founded by Carole’s husband, Edward.  Over a season of trivia nights, Kevin, Maggie and her team will experience arguments and crises, friendships and romances, heartbreaks and new beginnings. And maybe, just maybe, Kevin will find his happy ever after . .

When a bloated corpse is found floating in the River Thames the police can at least sure that identifying the victim will be straightforward. Around the dead man’s wrist is a hospital band. On it are the words Dr F. Klein. But psychotherapist Frieda Klein is very much alive. And, after evidence linking her to the murder is discovered, she becomes the prime suspect. Unable to convince the police of her innocence, Frieda is forced to make a bold decision in order to piece together the terrible truth before it’s too late either for her or for those she loves. Rich in intrigue, intensity and atmosphere, Friday on My Mind is classic Nicci French – a dark, gripping and sophisticated masterclass in psychological suspense in which nothing is quite what it seems . . .

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR

Life…

My absence from the blog over the past week has been unintentional. The week started out okay – busy as usual with a myriad of tasks from making 48 mini quiches (last minute) for a fundraiser, to taking my son to have his second round of leg casts fitted (blue this week), having a birthday lunch with my girlfriends, and attending my daughter’s first high school assembly where she received the mid year Academic Excellence award, having topped the grade. Then a three day migraine and a nasty flare up of a chronic medical issue left me barely able to get through the last three days. Heavy duty pain med’s made reading all but impossible, and I couldn’t form a coherent thought to put together a review. So I’m behind again!

makyah-bluecast

Today I am finally feeling somewhat human again, but it is also the start of school holidays so all the kids are home. Tonight we are all going to the preview of the performances my oldest daughter we be giving in Finland at the World Gymnaestrada, this time next week she will be on her way to Europe to represent Australia. Below is a photo of the team in their official uniform. (my daughter is in the back row, second from the left). This week we also have some vacation cub/scout activities to attend, Makyah will have a third round of casts fitted and there are some last minute things to put together for Simariah’s trip. I think I need a holiday!

gymnaestrada2015

What I Read Last Week

(and the week before)

After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh

My Grandmother Asked Me to tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Chasing Chris Campbell by Genevieve Gannon

Forensics by Val McDermid

This House is Not for Sale by E.C. Osondu

The Forsaken by Ace Atkins

The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

The Homestead Girls by Fiona McArthur

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: My Grandmother Asked me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederik Backman ★★★★★ +

Guest Post & Excerpt: After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh

Review: After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh ★★

AWW Feature: Long Distance Love, Chasing Chris Campbell & Genevieve Gannon

Review: Chasing Chris Carson by Genevieve Gannon ★★

Review: Forensics by Val McDermid ★★★★1/2

Review:  This House is Not For Sale by E.C. Osondu ★★

***  Ten great Australian reads recommended by Book’d Out**

Stuff on Sunday: Bookshelf Bounty

Feature: Excerpt of The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

Review: The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

Review: The Forsaken by Ace Atkins

AWW Feature: The Outback, The Homestead Girls and Fiona McArthur

Review: The Homestead Girls by Fiona McArthur

What I Am Reading Today

A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother’s name. What is the book’s connection to his family? Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.  The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Nicole Trope’s explosive fourth book tells the story of two very different women. One has been damaged by her disturbing past, the other is a society wife of a television celebrity. We meet them on the celebrity wife’s first day in a minimum security prison where the other, much younger, woman is also an inmate. As each woman tells her story in alternating chapters, we gradually come to know how they came to be in prison. As their pasts are revealed we start to realise that they have much more in common than their crimes. Only one woman knows the shocking secret that connects them, and she is determined to have her revenge.

Cambridge 1963. Charlotte struggles to reconnect with the woman she was before children, and to find the time and energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, cannot face the thought of another English winter. A brochure slipped through the letterbox gives him the answer: ‘Australia brings out the best in you’. Charlotte is too worn out to resist, and before she knows it is travelling to the other side of the world. But on their arrival in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light on both Henry and Charlotte and slowly reveals that their new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs, and how far she’ll go to find her way home…

From a distance, Felix Fitzwilliam, the son of an old English family, is a good husband and father. But, obsessed with order and routine, he’s a prisoner to perfection. Disengaged from the emotional life of his North Carolina family, Felix has let his wife, Ella, deal with their special-needs son by herself. A talented jewelry designer turned full-time mother, Ella is the family rock…until her heart attack shatters their carefully structured existence. Now Harry, a gifted teen grappling with the chaos of Tourette’s, confronts a world outside his parents’ control, one that tests his desire for independence. As Harry searches for his future, and Ella adapts to the limits of her failing health, Felix struggles with his past and present roles. To prevent the family from being ripped apart, they must each bend with the inevitability of change and reinforce the ties that bind.

 

Heart of the Country is the first book in an epic historical saga of three Australian families. Spanning several generations, this epic tells the story of the Baker, Smith and Wiltshire families forging their paths in a land both beautiful and unforgiving. Lives are intertwined by love and community then ripped apart by hate and greed but remain always bound to the land they love…
1846. Newly arrived from England, Thomas Baker is young, penniless and alone. Eager to make his mark on this strange new place called South Australia, he accepts work as an overseer on a distant sheep property, believing this will be the opportunity he seeks. But when Thomas’s path crosses that of ex-convict, Septimus Wiltshire — a grasping con man hell bent on making a new life for himself and his family at any price — trouble is on the horizon. But Thomas is made of stern stuff and his fortunes take a turn for the better when he meets spirited farmer’s daughter Lizzie Smith, and soon he envisages their future together. But this land is like no other he has encountered: both harsh and lovely, it breaks all but the strongest. When his nemesis intervenes once more and drought comes, Thomas finds himself tested almost beyond endurance with the risk of losing everything he and Lizzie have worked for… even their lives.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

sundaypost

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s  absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR, and the Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Life…

Where has the past week gone? It seems to have flown by! The week ahead is going to be a bit of a challenge, my oldest daughter and husband are both sick with colds and are convinced they are dying, and this Thursday my oldest son will have his first round of knee to toe plasters applied. I’m also trying to quit smoking (again).

What I Read Last Week

The Darkling Child by Terry Brooks

The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner

Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein

The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet by Laura Fuentes

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner ★★★★

Review: The Darkling Child by Terry Brooks ★★

Review: The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell ★★

Guest Feature: How the Hydro Majestic inspired the Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale

Review:  Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale ★★★★

Review:  The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein ★★

Weekend Cooking: The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet by Laura Fuentes

What I Am Reading Today


From the author of the internationally bestselling ‘A Man Called Ove’, a charming, warmhearted novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales. Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other. ‘My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry’ is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman’s internationally bestselling debut novel, ‘A Man Called Ove’. It is a story about life and death and an ode to one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

A moody, intense debut psychological thriller by a former police psychologist, this debut novel explores four lives that fall apart in the tense aftermath of a plane crash. Unraveling what holds these four together is a tense, taut tale about good people who make bad decisions that ultimately threaten to destroy them. Debut author Emma Kavanagh deftly weaves together the stories of those who lost someone or something of themselves in one tragic incident, exploring how swiftly everything we know can come crashing down.

The hilarious and charming second novel from the author of Husband Hunters. For fans of The Rosie Project, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and all good rom-coms. Violet is saving money: living on rice and beans and denying herself chocolate eclairs all in the name of saving for a home deposit. Once they save enough, she and Michael can buy a house, settle down and live happily ever after. But when Michael does the unthinkable, Violet is forced to rethink her life choices. A chance encounter with Chris Campbell (first love, boy-next-door, The One That Got Away) spurs her into travelling to exotic locations she never dreamed she’d explore – Hong Kong, Vietnam, Varanasi – on a quest to catch up with Chris and lead a life of adventure. Armed with hand sanitiser and the encouraging texts of her twin sister Cassandra, will Violet find true love before it’s too late? Or will the nerve-wracking experience of travelling send her back to Melbourne in search of safety and stability? Can she work out what she really wants before she is left with nothing?

Val McDermid is one of the finest crime writers we have, whose novels have captivated millions of readers worldwide with their riveting narratives of characters who solve complex crimes and confront unimaginable evil. In the course of researching her bestselling novels McDermid has become familiar with every branch of forensics, and now she uncovers the history of this science, real-world murders and the people who must solve them. The dead talk—to the right listener. They can tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died, and, of course, who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces. Forensics draws on interviews with some of these top-level professionals, ground-breaking research, and McDermid’s own original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists. Along the way, McDermid discovers how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine one’s time of death; how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer; and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist were able to uncover the victims of a genocide. It’s a journey that will take McDermid to war zones, fire scenes, and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with both extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.

Thirty-six years ago, a nameless black man wandered into Jericho, Mississippi, with nothing but the clothes on his back and a pair of paratrooper boots. Less than two days later, he was accused of rape and murder, hunted down by a self-appointed posse, and lynched. Now evidence has surfaced of his innocence, and county sheriff Quinn Colson sets out not only to identify the stranger’s remains, but to charge those responsible for the lynching. As he starts to uncover old lies and dirty secrets, though, he runs up against fierce opposition from those with the most to lose—and they can play dirty themselves. Soon Colson will find himself accused of terrible crimes, and the worst part is, the accusations just might stick. As the two investigations come to a head, it is anybody’s guess who will prevail—or even come out of it alive.

This House is Not for Sale is a story about a house in an African neighbourhood, the Family House, owned and ruled over by the patriarchal, business-minded Grandpa – by turns benevolent and cruel – and home to his wives, children, grandchildren, and the many in his service. It tells the stories of the people who live there, of the curse placed on the house by one of its former occupants, of the evil and brutality that transpires there, and finally of its downfall.  By the acclaimed author of Voice of America, This House is Not for Sale is a brilliantly inventive debut novel which draws on the rich oral traditions of Nigeria and is full of wisdom and dark humour. From everyday violence and magic, to the voices of gossiping neighbours, here is an utterly engrossing story of an African community, its culture and traditions, and the power of storytelling.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: The Best Homemade Kid’s Snacks on the Planet

wkendcooking

I’ve decided to make the Weekend Cooking meme, hosted by Beth Fish Reads a semi-regular post at Book’d Out.

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Title: The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet: More than 200 Healthy Homemade Snacks You and Your Kids Will Love

Author: Laura Fuentes

Published: Fair Winds Press: Murdoch Books June 2015

Status: Read on June 13, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

The Best Homemade Snacks on the Planet contains more than 200 recipes designed to tempt toddlers, children and perhaps even teenagers to snack on wholesome homemade treats.

baked-items-best-snacksMy copy of The Best Homemade Snacks on the Planet is a large format softcover. The recipes are generally presented two to a page. Though there are full page colour photographs every few pages, not all recipe results are pictured. Both metric and imperial measurements are provided, as are yield amounts.

In the first chapter you will find time-saving tips, storage solutions, information about allergies, ingredient substitutions, and Laura Fuentes ‘Snacking Rules’.

The Recipes are sorted into seven chapters titled Fruit and Veggie Snacks, No-Bake Bites and Dips, Baked Bites, Reimagined Classics, Mini Meals, Super Smoothies and Drinks and lastly, Frozen Delights and Special Treats.

Simple to prepare and serve, using largely fresh and easy to source ingredients, recipes include Crunchy Berry Salad; Chocolate Avocado Pudding; Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bites; Cheese Crackers; Ninja Turtle Nuggets and Elvis Shakes.

I’ve bookmarked several snacks to try, and plan to my involve my children in making them, starting with this simple

Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Pudding

1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup plain yoghurt

Combine the peanut butter and yoghurt in a blender til smooth. Add the banana slices and blend just until smooth. Refrigerate or serve immediately. Serves 4

The final pages of the cookbook includes a Feedback Chart, allowing you or your child/ren to rate and make notes for each recipe.mini-meals-best-snacks

The Best Homemade Snacks on the Planet offers a practical collection of snack recipes with plenty of appeal for a child’s fussy palette. While this would be the perfect gift for any busy mother, the recipes could also appeal to adults who enjoy healthy snacks and treats.

Visit the author’s website for additional recipes, instructional videos and more.

Available to purchase from

Murdoch Books Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AUvia Booko

Amazon US I BookDepository

and all good bookstores.

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