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.

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…

It has been a pretty good week,  I had a wonderful time meeting authors Jenn J McLeod, Karen M Davis and Tricia Stringer on Wednesday evening (you can read about it HERE) and I’ve enjoyed a mostly relaxing long weekend at home with my family.

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

SNAG-0049

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 8/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 40 /50

Aussie Author Challenge 5/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 4/12

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

What I Read Last Week

Limbo by Amy Andrews

Leap by Myfanwy Jones

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

If You’re Not the One by Jemma Forte

And Then Came Paulette by Barbara Constantine

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Limbo by Amy Andrews ★★★★

Review: Leap by Myfanwy Jones ★★★★

Review: In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume ★★★★

Review:  If You’re Not the One by Jemma Forte ★★

Review:  And Then Came Paulette by Barbara Constantine ★★1/2

Stuff on Sundays: Australian Voices in Print Tour

What I Am Reading Today


Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, traces the past for a living. But suddenly, truth and certainty is turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair. Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There’s too much at stake – her love, her work, her family. But on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen goes swimming and doesn’t come back. In a swirling daze of panic and fear, Rebecca is dealt with fresh allegations. And with time against her, she must uncover the dark secrets that stand between her and Stephen, and the deceit that has chased her halfway around the world.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

From New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks—the second stand-alone Shannara novel in the Defenders of Shannara series, following The High Druid’s Blade, easily accessible to new readers. Paxon Leah has joined the Druid Order as a paladin, tasked with protecting the Druids with the aid of his magical sword. But Paxon’s toughest assignment will come when he must track down a young musician with newly-manifested magic before a rival sorcerer can corrupt the boy.

In the early hours of a summer morning, a young woman steps into the path of an oncoming bus. A tragic accident? Or suicide? At the center of this puzzle is Adrian Wolfe, a successful architect and grief-stricken widower, who, a year after his third wife’s death, begins to investigate the cause. As Adrian looks back on their brief but seemingly happy marriage, disturbing secrets begin to surface. The divorces from his two previous wives had been amicable, or so it seemed; his children, all five of them, were resilient as ever, or so he thought. But something, or someone, must have pushed Maya over the edge… With psychological nuance that gets into the heart of its characters, The Third Wife is a gripping story about a man seeking the truth behind his seemingly perfect marriage and the broken pieces left behind.

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.

In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended–Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father’s last wish: to be buried “at the top of the world.” They have come to learn how to be alone. But in Lofoten, an archipelago of six tiny islands in the Norwegian Sea, ninety-five miles north of the Arctic Circle, they form a bond that fortifies them against the turmoil of their distant homes, offering solace amidst great uncertainty. With nimble and sure-footed prose, Dinerstein reveals that no matter how far we travel to claim our own territory, it is ultimately love that gives us our place in the world.

If you’re a parent or a caregiver, you know that kids are hungry all the time. And while you want to give them the best, snack time can be a true test. How do you avoid the convenient-but-unhealthy storebought treats and instead provide something that not only tastes good, but is good for them them too? With The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet, you’ll find more than 200+ great ideas for solving the snack conundrum. Recipes and ideas you can whip up in minutes, without fuss in the kitchen, or fuss from your kid! So whether you’re packing snacks for your purse, the school bag, the sports bag, or the can’t-make-it-until-dinner whining hour, you’ll find quick and healthy ideas everyone in your family will love.

 

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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…

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What I Read Last Week

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

My Life as A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

How To Write Your Blockbuster by Fiona McIntosh

Ascendance by John Birmingham

Eat the Week by Anna Barnett

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery ★★★★

Review: My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland ★★

Review: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty ★★★★

Review:  Ascendance by John Birmingham ★★

Review:  How To Write Your Blockbuster by Fiona McIntosh ★★★★

Weekend Cooking: Eat the Week by Anna Barnett

What I Am Reading Today

Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’ fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child. When ex hillbilly-punk rocker turned cadaver make-up artist Joy Valentine is visited by the ghost of a high-profile murder victim begging for Joy’s help to find her kidnapped baby girl, Joy knows from experience the cops are going to think she’s crazy.  So she takes it to the one guy she knows who won’t. The last thing disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator Dash Dent expected is a woman from his past turning up to complicate his present with a nutty, woo-woo story. The problem is he knows Joy is telling the truth and he can’t ignore the compelling plight of baby Isabella whose disappearance six months prior transfixed the nation. Discounted and discredited by the police, Dash and Joy work together to uncover the mystery and find Isabella, with a whacky supporting cast including Eve, a brothel madam; Stan, an excommunicated priest; Katie, Dash’s ten-year-old daughter; and two horny goldfish. It’s a race against time and against all odds – but the real battle for Dash and Joy might just be keeping their hands off each other.


 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

When a series of passenger airplanes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey within a three-month period in 1951–1952, Judy Blume was a teenager. “These events have lingered in my mind ever since,” says Blume. “It was a crazy time. We were witnessing things that were incomprehensible to us as teenagers. Was it sabotage? An alien invasion? No one knew, and people were understandably terrified.” Against this background, Blume uses her imagination to bring us the lives of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, who will be profoundly affected by these events, either directly or indirectly. But life goes on and Blume digs deep into her characters—we see them coping not only with grief but with first love, estranged parents, difficult friendships, familial obligations, divorce, career ambitions, a grandparent’s love, a widower’s hope, and everything in between. . . . Most important, In the Unlikely Event is filled with the same warmth and authenticity that have won Blume the hearts and minds of readers of all generations.

A few weeks after finishing their final exams high school sweethearts have an argument at a party. Joe wants to go – Jen begs him to stay. They fight in the corridor, following their usual script, and then he walks out and leaves her. A few hours later she dies. Three years on, after burning up his own dreams for the future, Joe is working in dead-end jobs and mentoring a wayward teenager not dissimilar from his younger self. Driven by the need to make good, he spends all his spare time doing parkour under an inner-city bridge, training his mind and body to conquer the hostile urban environment that took his love and blighted his future. Somewhere else, a middle-aged woman, Elise, is treading water in her life as her marriage breaks up. We watch as she retreats to the only place that holds any meaning for her – the tiger enclosure at Melbourne Zoo, where, for reasons she barely understands, she starts painting the tigers and forms a close connection to them. Joe is broken by grief, but the outside world won’t let him hide forever. A cool and bewitching girl turns up on the doorstep of his share house, somehow painfully familiar to him. Then there is the skateboarding chef at the bar where he works, the girl with the Cossack-blue eyes, who wants to be his friend. And someone going by the Facebook tag Emily Dickinson wants to reminisce about his dead girlfriend and won’t leave him alone. Can Joe staunch the flooding return of desire – or is it time to let go of the past? And will he make the nine-foot leap from girder to pillar or does he want to fall too?

What if you could do it all over again? Jennifer Wright is pretty sure her husband doesn’t love her anymore. She and Max used to be the perfect couple, but the pressures of work and kids have pulled them in opposite directions. Now , Jen is full of “what if” questions about whether her bland, suburban existence is all she was ever destined for. When a terrible accident sends Jen into a coma, she is able to see what her life could have been if she had run off to Australia with the handsome, dangerous man she met on vacation, or if she had stayed with her workaholic college boyfriend. Would she ever have loved another child as much as she loves her daughters? Could she have become rich? More than anything, Jen wants to do the right thing for her family. But what she discovers may leave her with even more questions about the choices she made, and no easy answers about what to do next.

A charming tale of family, friendship, love and loneliness. Barbara Constantine’s And Then Came Paulette has climbed the European bestseller charts providing many smiles and laughs as along the way. When his son’s family move away, widower Ferdinand is left with only a sadistic kitten for company on a farm that was built for a family. Just as loneliness starts to bite, he discovers his neighbor Marceline has long been shivering beneath a leaky roof. He welcomes her to his farm, temporarily of course, and also provides a home for her dog and her gluttonous donkey. As each begrudgingly adjusts to the other’s quirks, yet more new arrivals appear. It seems that Ferdinand isn’t the only one who was all-alone, and the dusty farm becomes a haven for lost souls of every age to share their sorrows and set about rediscovering their joie de vivre. Amidst the newfound hustle and bustle, one final uninvited guest threatens to upset the apple cart once and for all. Constantine has created a delightful and poignant novel of people coming together to create new interpersonal relationships of support.

 

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: Eat the Week by Anna Barnett

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: Eat the Week: every meal, every day

Author: Anna Barnett

Published: Murdoch Books May 2015

Status: Read on May 31, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

In her introduction to Eat the Week: Every Meal Every Day, Anna Barnett, blogger (www.annabarnett.com), columnist (‘The Reluctant Vegetarian’ in the UK newspaper Independent) and pop up restauranteur writes,

“This book is drawn from all my enthusiasms and experiences; it’s food from and for the lives many of us lead. It’s aim is to serve as inspiration for fun, delicious dishes that you can dip in and out of, and that reflect real lives and lifestyles.”

Offering a good mix of dishes suitable for singles, couples and families with a liking for fresh, (and mostly) healthy ingredients, Eat the Week is a good resource for a home cook looking for a simple way to add a gourmet touch to everyday meals.

The large hardcover cookbook is illustrated both with full page photographs of the dishes as well as some ‘lifestyle’ shots of the author. Neatly formatted, with a sentence or two of introduction, the recipes include both metric and imperial measurements, as well as a guide to prep and cooking time as well as serving size.

What I really like about Eat the Week is the way in which it is organised. For each day of the week, ‘Budget Mondays’, ‘Lazy Tuesdays’, ‘Make it Fancy Wednesdays’, ‘Cooking for Company Thursdays’, Barely in the Kitchen Fridays’, ;Something Special Saturdays’ and ‘Slow Sundays’, Barnett offers two menus which both include a Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Dessert and Leftovers.

A mixed sampling of the dishes includes Muffin Tinned Huevos Rancheros; Beet and Blueberry Smoothie; Asparagus, Parmesan & Pesto Crostini; Chilli Kale Chips; Pub Peanut Noodle Salad; Haloumi & Chorizo Salad Wrap; Fishcakes with Spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa; Cheat’s Aubergine Parmigiana; Peanut Butter & Cherry Chocolate Cups; and Pineapple & Gooey Coconut Macaroon Stack. There are around 100 individual recipes, many of which are suitable for vegetarians. Few are labour intensive, most requiring a minimal amount of prep or cooking time, and appeal to varied grocery budgets.

If you’re curious, sample pages, including recipes can be viewed via Amazon’s Look Inside feature.

Available to purchase from

Murdoch Books Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AUvia Booko

BookDepository  I Amazon UK I AmazonUS

and all good bookstores.

Eat-the-week-cover

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…

I feel so old. My daughter turned 19 this past week. 19! She had a superhero themed party and made her own cake, including the superhero symbols you can see using fondant, which was pretty awesome.

simcake

Of course that meant my weekend was a write off between prepping for the party, sport and everything else, so I’m still behind!

What I Read Last Week (and the week before)

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

The World Between Two Covers by Ann Morgan

The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: A Court of Thorn and Rose by Sarah J Maas ★★

Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen ★★★★

Review: Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry ★★★★

Review: The World Between Two Covers by Ann Morgan ★★

Review:  The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine ★★

Stuff on Sunday: Bookshelf Bounty

What I Am Reading Today

Angel Crawford is a loser. Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken. That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse. Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she’s hungriest! Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat. Literally.


 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

A girl always remembers the first corpse she shaves. It is the only event in her life more awkward than her first kiss or losing her virginity. The hands of time will never move quite so slowly as when you are standing over the dead body of an elderly man with a pink plastic razor in your hand. From her very first day at Westwind Cremation & Burial, twenty-three-year-old Caitlin Doughty threw herself into the gruesome daily tasks of her curious new profession. From caring for bodies of all shapes and sizes, picking up corpses from the hospital morgue, sweeping ashes from the cremation machines (sometimes onto her clothes) and learning to deal with mourning families, Caitlin comes face to face with the very thing we go to great lengths to avoid thinking about – death. But as she started to wonder about the lives of those she cremated, and found herself confounded by people’s erratic reactions to death, Caitlin’s feelings began to evolve in unexpected ways. Now a licensed mortician, Caitlin tells the story of her fumbling apprenticeship with the dead. Exploring our death rituals – and those of other cultures – she pleads the case for healthier attitudes around death and dying. Full of bizarre encounters, gallows humour and vivid characters (both living and very dead), this eye-opening account makes this otherwise terrifying subject urgent and fascinating.

‘There were too many of them. Lucille was nowhere Dave could see and only a faint mournful sigh reached him from where she lay . . . It was time to die, the hero’s journey over.’ New York is on fire, the streets are overrun, and the Demon Horde is feasting. With the world’s greatest city in chaos, all eyes are on Dave Hooper, the superhero destined to save mankind. But hero or not, Dave is just one man and he’s short of allies. He soon finds himself relying on Karen Warat: art dealer and Russian deep cover agent. Smart, dangerous and armed with a magic sword, Dave knows not to trust her. He also knows that without her, New York will fall. While the United States military try desperately to hold off the Horde, Dave and Karen realise that the monsters have a powerful new weapon – one of their best warfare strategists is working for them. With the enemy using the military’s own tactics against them, defeat seems imminent. To have any chance of survival, mankind needs its Champion more than ever. The world needs Dave to become the hero he is meant to be.

Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’ fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child. When ex hillbilly-punk rocker turned cadaver make-up artist Joy Valentine is visited by the ghost of a high-profile murder victim begging for Joy’s help to find her kidnapped baby girl, Joy knows from experience the cops are going to think she’s crazy.  So she takes it to the one guy she knows who won’t. The last thing disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator Dash Dent expected is a woman from his past turning up to complicate his present with a nutty, woo-woo story. The problem is he knows Joy is telling the truth and he can’t ignore the compelling plight of baby Isabella whose disappearance six months prior transfixed the nation. Discounted and discredited by the police, Dash and Joy work together to uncover the mystery and find Isabella, with a whacky supporting cast including Eve, a brothel madam; Stan, an excommunicated priest; Katie, Dash’s ten-year-old daughter; and two horny goldfish. It’s a race against time and against all odds – but the real battle for Dash and Joy might just be keeping their hands off each other.

Angie loved Mr Fox’s magnificent, absurd hotel. In fact, it was her one true great love. But … today Angie was so cross, so fed up with everybody and everything, she would probably cheer if a wave of fire swept over the cliff and engulfed the Palace and all its guests. A sweltering summer’s day, January 1914: the charismatic and ruthless Adam Fox throws a lavish birthday party for his son and heir at his elegant clifftop hotel in the Blue Mountains. Everyone is invited except Angie, the girl from the cottage next door. The day will end in tragedy, a punishment for a family’s secrets and lies. In 2013, Fox’s granddaughter Lisa, seeks the truth about the past. Who is this Angie her mother speaks of: ‘the girl who broke all our hearts’? Why do locals call Fox’s hotel the ‘palace of tears’? Behind the grandeur and glamour of its famous guests and glittering parties, Lisa discovers a hidden history of passion and revenge, loyalty and love. A grand piano burns in the night, a seance promises death or forgiveness, a fire rages in a snowstorm, a painter’s final masterpiece inspires betrayal, a child is given away. With twist upon twist, this lush, strange mystery withholds its shocking truth to the very end.

 

A practical and inspirational guide on how to become a professional author of genre fiction. Almost everybody thinks they have a book in them, or dreams of seeing their name on the cover of a book. And while there are many resources out there on the “craft” of writing or how to find your creative voice as an “artist,” there is little by way of practical advice on how to actually set about writing genre fiction for a career. Fiona McIntosh, one of Australia’s most successful commercial authors across a range of genres, is here to set the record straight, and set aspiring novelists on a realistic path. She believes that if you have a tough hide and a philosophical attitude—as well as a damn strong work ethic—anyone can make a living from popular writing. And she’s here to show you how.

It’s Tuesday, you’re feeling lazy and you’re craving flavour. It’s Thursday, the weekend is in sight and it’s time to share a feast with friends. It’s Saturday, you’re ready to splash the cash and go big. Eat the Week is stylish, practical and personal. Anna Barnett has devised creative recipes inspired by our different moods as we navigate the week. There’s everything from weekend brunches and comforting dishes packed full of carbs to nutritious salads and zesty Asian noodles for when you want something lighter, plus cheats, insider tricks and imaginative ways with leftovers. On Mondays it’s all about simple dishes, healthy-eating resolutions, minimum fuss and robust flavours; on Saturdays, when you have more time to shop and cook, things get a bit more extravagant.

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Have you entered the giveaway for Northern Heat by Helene Young?


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…

The last couple of weeks have been both difficult and busy.  I missed last Monday’s weekly post and I’m still trying to catch up in general with reviews. Things just seem to be piling up and I’m struggling to get out from under.

It’s not all gloom and doom though, my oldest son turned 11 last week, he had a small party with friends which included a trip to the movies to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Meanwhile my oldest daughter will be 19 this Thursday and she is having a superhero themed party on the weekend.

What I Read Last Week (and the week before)

Northern Heat by Helene Young

The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins

The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitor

Only We Know by Victoria Purman

The Lie by CL Taylor

Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedland

A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Blog Tour: Introducing Northern Heat by Helene Young

Review: Northern Heat by Helene Young ★★★★

Review: The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins ★★★★

Review: Stay With Me by Maureen McCarthy ★★★★

Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberley McCreight ★★

Review:  What She Left by T.R Richmond ★★

Stuff on Sunday: Motherhood in Fiction

Blog Tour Review: The Lie by CL Taylor ★★

Review: The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitor ★★

Review: Only We Know by Victoria Purman ★★★★

Review: Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedman ★★

Weekend Cooking: Easy Weeknight Meals by My Food Bag and Nadia Lim

 

What I Am Reading Today


Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

A ravishing first novel set in the vibrant, tumultuous underworld of late-19th-century New York, about four outsiders whose lives become entwined over the course of one fateful night. New York, 1895. It’s late on a warm city night when Sylvan Threadgill, a young night soiler who cleans out the privies behind the tenement houses, pulls a terrible secret out from the filthy hollows: an abandoned newborn baby. An orphan himself, Sylvan was raised by a kindly Italian family and can’t bring himself to leave the baby in the slop. He tucks her into his chest, resolving to find out where she belongs. Odile Church is the girl-on-the-wheel, a second-fiddle act in a show that has long since lost its magic. Odile and her sister Belle were raised in the curtained halls of their mother’s spectacular Coney Island sideshow: The Church of Marvels. Belle was always the star – the sword swallower -light, nimble, a true human marvel. But now the sideshow has burnt to the ground, their mother dead in the ashes, and Belle has escaped to the city. Alphie wakes up groggy and confused in Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum. The last thing she remembers is a dark stain on the floor, her mother-in-law screaming. She had once walked the streets as an escort and a penny-Rembrandt, cleaning up men after their drunken brawls. Now she is married; a lady in a reputable home. She is sure that her imprisonment is a ruse by her husband’s vile mother. But then a young woman is committed alongside her, and when she coughs up a pair of scissors from the depths of her agile throat, Alphie knows she harbors a dangerous secret that will alter the course of both of their lives…

A beguiling exploration of the joys of reading across boundaries, inspired by the author’s year-long journey through a book from every country. Following an impulse to read more internationally, journalist Ann Morgan undertook first to define “the world” and then to find a story from each of 196 nations. Tireless in her quest and assisted by generous, far-flung strangers, Morgan discovered not only a treasury of world literature but also the keys to unlock it. Whether considering the difficulties faced by writers in developing nations, movingly illustrated by Burundian Marie-Thérese Toyi’s Weep Not, Refugee; tracing the use of local myths in the fantastically successful Samoan YA series Telesa; delving into questions of censorship and propaganda while sourcing a title from North Korea; or simply getting hold of The Corsair, the first Qatari novel to be translated into English, Morgan illuminates with wit, warmth, and insight how stories are written the world over and how place-geographical, historical, virtual-shapes the books we read and write.

What secrets are hiding in the heart of Paris? At the famous Patisserie Clermont in Paris, 1909, a chance encounter with the owner’s daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air. But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins. Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words ‘Forgive me’. Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.

In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus’ surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature: and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. Sy Montgomery’s popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, “Deep Intellect”; about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think? The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.

A girl always remembers the first corpse she shaves. It is the only event in her life more awkward than her first kiss or losing her virginity. The hands of time will never move quite so slowly as when you are standing over the dead body of an elderly man with a pink plastic razor in your hand. From her very first day at Westwind Cremation & Burial, twenty-three-year-old Caitlin Doughty threw herself into the gruesome daily tasks of her curious new profession. From caring for bodies of all shapes and sizes, picking up corpses from the hospital morgue, sweeping ashes from the cremation machines (sometimes onto her clothes) and learning to deal with mourning families, Caitlin comes face to face with the very thing we go to great lengths to avoid thinking about – death. But as she started to wonder about the lives of those she cremated, and found herself confounded by people’s erratic reactions to death, Caitlin’s feelings began to evolve in unexpected ways. Now a licensed mortician, Caitlin tells the story of her fumbling apprenticeship with the dead. Exploring our death rituals – and those of other cultures – she pleads the case for healthier attitudes around death and dying. Full of bizarre encounters, gallows humour and vivid characters (both living and very dead), this eye-opening account makes this otherwise terrifying subject urgent and fascinating.

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: Easy Weeknight Meals by My Food Bag and Nadia Lim

 

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: Easy Weeknight Meals: Simple, healthy, delicious recipes

Author: My Food Bag and Nadia Lim

Published: Allen & Unwin April 2015

My Thoughts:

Founded in March 2013, My Food Bag is a service that aims to provide simple and healthy recipes, along with the all of the ingredients to create them, to families in New Zealand and Australia. Firm believers in the real (or whole) food philosophy, My Food Bag recipes rely on ‘farm-gate to plate’ ingredients which are ethically sourced and delivered fresh to subscriber’s doorsteps.

Easy Weeknight Meals is the company’s first cookbook. While all of the recipes have been developed by professional chef’s, a team led by Nadia Lim, My Food Bag claims all of the recipes have been tried and tested by home cooks.

The cookbook is organised seasonally, taking advantage of in-season produce in line with the company’s whole food policy. The recipes are well set out with a bolded list of ingredients (metric measurements), and have clear instructions for prepping, cooking, and serving the dish. Prep and cook times are included as well as the nutritional information for each recipe.

Each recipe is a complete main meal often including vegetable or salad sides, as well as sauces. Almost all claim a serving size of 4-5 persons (2 adults and three young children or 2 adults and two teenagers). All of the meals can be prepared and served within an hour, most within 30 minutes.

There is a strong Asian influence amongst the recipes in the cookbook with dishes like Asian Pesto Fish with Sesame Spring Toss and Coconut Rice, Korean Beef and Shitake Mushroom Bibimbap, Sticky Hoisin and Ginger Pork with Rice and Bok Choy and Chicken Katsu Skewers with Cabbage and Sugar Snap Soba Noodles.

Middle Eastern inspired dishes are also popular including recipes such as Baked Lamb Kofta with Tomato Pilaf and Yoghurt Dressing, Harissa Chicken with Fennel, Orange, Baby Beet and Feta Tabouleh, and Hummus, Grilled Haloumi with Israeli Couscous, Yams and Herb Vinaigrette.

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© Allen and Unwin 2015

Traditional recipes are ‘upgraded’ with meals like Fish and Crispy Potatoes with Apple and Rocket Salad and Lemon Caper Aioli, Giant Pork, Pumpkin and Sage Sausage Rolls with Coleslaw, Venison Burgers with Roast Pepper and Blue Cheese, and Pizzettes with Olives, Feta, Oregano Oil and Greek Salad.

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© Allen and Unwin 2015

If I’m honest most of the recipes in Easy Weeknight Meals are too ‘gourmet’ for my family’s taste, but for parents whose children are adventurous eaters, this cookbook could be a great resource for weekly meals. I also think Easy Weeknight Meals would be a useful reference for busy professional couples.

Available to purchase from

Allen & Unwin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU

and all good bookstores.

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…

Still trying to catch up!

It hasn’t been the best of weeks to be honest. My husband’s car seized rather spectacularly and we don’t have the thousands of dollars needed to fix it, so for the foreseeable future we are having to make do with one car. I know, #firstworldproblems, but it’s frustrating, and as we are coming into winter it’s going to be awkward, especially as my oldest son will soon have toe to knee plasters on both legs to correct a bone alignment issue.

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

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The Eclectic Reader Challenge 7/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 35 /50

Aussie Author Challenge 4/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 4/12

What’s In A Name? Challenge 4/6

What I Read Last Week

Hush Hush by Laura Lippman

Season of Shadow and Light by Jenn J McLeod

Stay With Me by Maureen McCarthy

What She Left by TR Richmond

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indriðason★★★1/2

Review: Hush Hush by Laura Lippman★★

Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep ★★

Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberley Creighton ★★

Blog Tour: Season of Shadow and Light by Jenn J McLeod

Review: Season of Shadow and Light by Jenn J McLeod ★★★1/2

Stuff on Sundays: Celebrating Penguin’s 80th Birthday

 What I Am Reading Today


 In steamy northern Queensland, Conor is living under an assumed name and rebuilding his shattered life. Working at Cooktown’s youth centre has given him the chance to make a difference again, and a chance to flirt with Dr Kristy Dark. After tragedy tore her family apart, Kristy fled to Cooktown with her feisty teenage daughter, Abby. She hoped being part of the small community would help them both heal, but Abby’s sports coach is turning out to be a compelling distraction. When a severe cyclone menaces the coast, threatening to destroy everything in its path, tensions come to a head – and the weather is not the only danger in Cooktown. Cut off from the world and with her life on the line, Kristy will have to summon her courage and place her trust in Conor, or they’ll both lose someone they love.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Hannah was the kind of woman who turned heads. Tall and graceful, naturally pretty, often impulsive, always spirited, the upper-class girl who picked, of all men, Lovell–the introverted climate scientist, the practical one who thought he could change the world if he could just get everyone to listen to reason. After a magical honeymoon they settled in the suburbs to raise their two children.  But over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She’s become withdrawn and directionless. His work affords him a convenient distraction. The children can sense the tension, which they’ve learned to mostly ignore. Until, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes. And Lovell, for the first time, is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory–and the eyes of his children. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife–and to their lives together–readers follow Hannah through that single day when the smallest of decisions takes her to places she never intended to go. 

 A rugged island. Two people. Family secrets. When Calla Maloney steps on the boat to Kangaroo Island, she’s filled with dread. Part of it is simple seasickness but the other part is pure trepidation. She’s not on a holiday but a mission: to track down her estranged brother, who she hasn’t seen since her family splintered two years before. Firefighter Sam Hunter left the island twenty years ago and has made a habit out of staying as far away as he can get. But when his father’s illness forces him home, he finds himself playing bad cop to his dad and reluctant tour guide to a redhead with no sense of direction. As Sam and Calla dig deeper into their long-buried family secrets, they discover that no one is an island and that opening up their hearts to love again might be the most dangerous thing they will ever do.

In this lively, fast-paced narrative, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins digs deep into the subculture of nursing, drawing readers into a brilliantly captivating in-depth investigation of the extraordinary working lives of nurses and the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets that all patients and their loved ones need to know. The Nurses is told through the real-life stories of four women in different hospitals: Molly, funny, well-loved, and confident enough to quit a longtime job after her hospital ramps up its anti-nurse policies. Lara, a superstar nurse who tries to battle her way back from a near-ruinous prescription-drug addiction. The outspoken but compassionate Juliette, a fierce advocate for her patients. And Sam, a first-year nurse, struggling to find her way in a gossipy mean-girl climate she likens to “high school, except for the dying people.” Readers will root for these bedside heroes, who operate in a world filled with joy and violence, miracles and heartbreak, dark humor and gripping drama. It’s a world of hazing—“nurses eat their young.” Sex—not exactly like on TV, but more prevalent than many imagine. Drug abuse—disproportionately a problem among the best and the brightest. There are true-life archetypes—the handsome, suave doctor, the patient brought back from death, the hunky male nurse. And bullying—by peers, by patients, by hospital bureaucrats, and especially by doctors, an epidemic described as lurking in the “shadowy, dark corners of our profession.” The result is a riveting page-turner, insightful and thought-provoking, that will leave readers feeling smarter about their healthcare and undeniably appreciative of the incredible nurses who provide it.

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and – lately – concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident? Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac: gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

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WINNERS of:  The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon

Catherine G; Janine K; Richard H; Suzanne R; Helen S

WINNERS of : Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum by Georgia Madden

Mary P; Tammy C; Stella P;  Kelly R; Sharon G

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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