It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

 Another busy week has flown by. As the end of the first school term approaches, basketball for the boys is winding down with the finals to be played on Saturday, but soccer training has already started for the winter semester. Aleah’s first months of high school has gone smoothly with the teachers I met with this week singing her praises while she was enjoying her year 7 camp. Scouts and cubs also continue to keep us busy while Simariah is juggling a new job with training for her Gymnastics meet in Finland in August. My husband also has finally bought his own Archery bow which means he is disappearing to the range whenever he can.

 I have to be honest, I’ve struggled this week to find time to read and blog. One of the days I might actually get caught up… maybe some time tonight after basketball training, dinner, scouts and gym.

What I Read Last Week

The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone by Charity Norman

The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

A Time of Secrets by Deborah Burrows

Life and Death by Michael Robotham

The Umbrian Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review:  The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone by Charity Norman ★★★★

Review: The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer ★★

Review: A Time of Secrets by Deborah Burrows ★★★★

Review: Life and Death by Michael Robotham  ★★★★1/2

Weekend Cooking:  The Umbrian Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi ★★★★

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

 What I Am Reading Today

Unlucky-in-love zoologist Zoe King has given up on men. Moving from Sydney to take up an exciting new role in marine science in the small sugar town of Kiawa is a welcome fresh start. Zoe is immediately charmed by the region’s beauty – by its rivers and rainforests, and by its vast cane fields, sweeping from the foothills down to the rocky coral coast. And also by its people – its farmers and fishermen, unhurried and down to earth, proud of their traditions. Her work at the Reef Centre provides all the passion she needs and Zoe finds a friend in Bridget, the centre’s director. The last thing she wants is to fall for her boss’s boyfriend, cane king Quinn Cooper, so she refuses to acknowledge the attraction between them – even to herself. But things aren’t quite adding up at the Reef Centre and when animals on the reef begin to sicken and die, Zoe’s personal and professional worlds collide. She faces a terrible choice. Will protecting the reef mean betraying the man she loves?

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

  I should have told. Julie’s right: I would have saved dozens of others. Jeff, Julie, Sam, the academy kids, the Huck Finn boys, everyone else was ignorant or greedy or scared or confused or overwhelmed by bullies, but I was strong enough—I could’ve pushed him away. I did push him away. I saved myself and let everyone else suffer. Me and the god of creation—we’re the villains of this story.  Brian and Jeff were best friends, growing up together in New York City in the late 1960s. Then something happened that drove a wedge between them, ending both their friendship and their childhood, something that neither ever spoke about . . . at least until their shared secret resurfaced some forty years later, forcing them to reunite and, along with Jeff’s cousin Julie, to face the consequences of their years of silence.

Atticus Craftsman never travels without a supply of Earl Grey and his five favourite books – so he makes sure he has packed both after his father, distinguished publisher of Craftsman & Co., sends him to Madrid to shut down a failing literary magazine, Librarte When nobody has heard from him in three months, his father knows something must be very wrong. Do not fear, Inspector Manchego is on the case. No, not the cheese. Manchego, as in the most valiant Don Quijote de la Mancha. Lacking a horse but with hapless derring-do, Manchego gets to work unravelling the mystery of the quintessential Englishman’s disappearance. But there to block him at every turn are the five fiery and closeknit Spanish women who run Librarte, and who’ll do anything to keep their jobs – even if it involves subterfuge, the long-lost poems of Federico García Lorca and a journey to the gypsy heart of Andalucía . . .

He was dismayed how readily he took to lying. He’d always thought of it as a decisive abandonment of the truth. Instead, he realised, it was simply a matter of one word slipping into the place of another.’ Dr Quinn Davidson and his wife Marianna have endured years of unsuccessful IVF and several miscarriages, and Quinn can’t face another painful attempt to conceive. Marianna is desperate to be a mother and their marriage is feeling the strain. At a small-town practice a few hours from their home, Quinn meets Rachel, the daughter of one of his patients. Drawn to each other, it’s not long before they find themselves in a passionate affair and Quinn realises he must choose between the two women. Then Marianna announces a surprise natural conception, news that will change the course of all their lives. Set in the lush Australian subtropics, this taut emotional drama poses questions about moral courage and accountability, and asks whether love means always telling the truth

Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town. Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment. When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves? A brand new Hope Junction story of fresh starts and second chances.

From a producer of Family Guy, a satirical look at a dysfunctional family complete with a stage mom, 9 year-old pageant queen, philandering husband, his girlfriend, and the crazy grandmother Miranda Miller’s mission in life is to make sure her nine-year-old daughter, Bailey, continues to be one of the most successful child pageant contestants in the southern United States. Lately, that mission’s been difficult. Bailey has been secretly binge eating to gain weight so Miranda will let her retire; and the reality show Miranda been trying to set up for Bailey (and herself) just went to their biggest rival, Starr Kennedy and her tyrannical stage mother, Theresa. But Miranda’s got an ace up her sleeve. She’s seven months pregnant with her fourth child, a girl, thank God, and Miranda is going to make damn sure that this one will be a pageant champion, too. Unbeknownst to her, Miranda’s husband Ray, a nurse with a hobby of popping random pills, has knocked up Courtney, the less than brilliant seventeen-year-old orphan granddaughter of one of his hospice patients. With a wife, a mistress, two jobs, three kids (and two more on the way), a mountain of debt, and no real friends, Ray is desperately hoping his life puts itself back in order. Meanwhile, the Millers’ two boys are being “homeschooled” by Miranda’s mother, Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann), a well-intentioned widow who spends most of her time playing solitaire and planning a murder with Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. They’re just your typical dysfunctional American family.

  ***********

Congratulations to the winners of She’s Having Her Baby:

Linda H; Jan O; Amanda N; Tash B; Kirsty A

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: The Umbrian Supper Club by Marlena de Blasi

wkendcooking

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

****

Title: The Umbrian Supper Club

Author: Marlena de Blasi

Published: Allen & Unwin March 2015

Status: Read from March 20 to 21, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

“A good supper…restores to us the small delights that the day ransacks. Through crisis and catastrophe, and rare moments of uninterrupted joy, it’s the round, clean and imperishable wisdom that sustains them: cook well, eat well and talk well with people who are significant to your life.”

Every Thursday night for decades a small group of Umbrian women, occasionally accompanied by the their husbands or lovers, have met in an old stone house belonging to Miranda to share their supper. Under sheaves of dried olive branches, seated on plank benches, they have laughed, cried, cooked and eaten together.

Befriended by Miranda, Marlena De Blasi, an American chef, journalist and food critic who has made her home in rural Orvieto, was invited to join the women, taking a place at the table every Thursday, delighting in both the food, and the stories each woman has to tell.

In The Umbrian Supper Club, Marlena shares what she learned of the lives of the four women members – Miranda, Ninuccia, Paolina and Gilda, as she joined with each in preparing Thursday night suppers over a period of four years.

The women’s stories are moving and fascinating, aged between 52 and 80 something, they have lived full lives. They have variously been wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and lovers, they have endured heartache, loss, poverty and celebrated love, friends, and food. They speak, as the gather, prepare and cook their supper of childhood, family, aging, sexuality, of the evil eye, the Mafia, religion, of life and death.

“‘I wish life could end all even, like a supper when there’s that last little roasted potato with a single needle of rosemary clinging to its crust and the end of a sausage, charred to a crunch, a heel of bread, the last long pull of wine. Even. Everything in harmony. I have always preferred that last bit of my supper to the first, the beginning being fraught with hunger, the last with serenity. As life should be. Every supper can be a whole life'”

Full of mouthwatering descriptions of food preparation and feasting, The Umbrian Supper Club will delight any foodie. Crusty bread freshly baked in a woodfire oven is dipped in oil pressed by a donkey driven mill, pasta is simmered in litres of local red wine, thyme leaves are stripped from their branches to flavour scored duck breasts.
Several full recipes of traditional Umbrian dishes, such as Zucca Arrostita and La Crostata di Pere e Pecorino adapted for the modern cook, are included, but plenty of cooking advice is informally dispensed through the pages.

“In a basket on the worktable there are perhaps a dozen heads of garlic, the purple colour of the cloves bright beneath papery skins. Slapping head after head with the flat of the cleaver, she scrapes the smashed, unpeeled cloves into a five-litre jug of new oil in which she’s earlier stuffed leaves of wild sage, wild fennel flowers, rosemary,a fistful of crushed, very hot chillies. She is building one of her famous potions. Violence, she calls it. She uses it to gloss vegetables before tumbling them into the roasting pan, to massage into loins of pork and the breasts and thighs of her own fat chickens, to drizzle over burning hot charcoaled beef and veal.”

The Umbrian Supper Club is a delightful true story of family, friendship and food.

Available to purchase from

Allen & Unwin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

Seasoned Traveller 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

buried-in-books

What I Read Last Week

Razorhurst by Justine Larbelestier

The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah

She’s Having Her Baby by Lauren Sams

Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway

Resistance by John Birmingham

Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford

 

  New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Razorhurst by Justine Larbelestier ★★★★1/2

Review: The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah ★★

AWW Feature & Giveaway:  Lauren Sams on Writing

Review & Giveaway: She’s Having Her Baby by Lauren Sams ★★★★

Review: Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway ★★★★

Review: Resistance by John Birmingham ★★★

Stuff On Sundays: Eclectic Reader 2015 Recommendations Part 4

 

 What I Am Reading Today

Girl meets boy. They fall in love, and they marry. For thirty years they share one another’s lives. That should have been the end of the story. I thought I knew that man. I thought I had been shown into every corner of his mind. I’d shared every fear, every hidden longing. I thought he kept no secrets from me. Turns out I never knew him at all.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here. And now they are all his mother has left. Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity. When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son… But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable? Or is he something far, far worse?

1943 is a dangerous time to fall in love… In wartime Melbourne loose lips sink ships, so when Australian Women’s Army sergeant Stella Aldridge overhears soldiers whispering about a revenge killing, she follows her instincts to investigate, despite finding herself drawn to one of the soldiers, the enigmatic Staff Sergeant Eric Lund. But the world is at war and there is little time for romance. Someone in the Australian Intelligence Bureau is trading secrets and it’s up to Stella and her uncompromising superior officer, Lieutenant Nick Ross, to find the traitor. When Eric’s team is scheduled to be deployed in a dangerous mission to the South West Pacific, Stella races to uncover the truth or risk not only Eric’s life, but the security of Australia itself. Torn between protecting the ones she loves and her duty to her country, Stella chooses to pursue the truth at all costs. Even if it means putting herself in the firing line…

 

 Why would a man who has served a long prison sentence escape the day before he’s due to be released? Audie was sentenced to 10 years for a robbery in which four people died, including two members of his gang. Five million dollars has never been recovered from the robbery, and everybody believes Audie knows where the money is. For 10 years Audie has been beaten, stabbed, and threatened by inmates and guards, all desperate to know the secret. The day before he is due to be released, Audie suddenly vanishes.  The hunt for Audie, and the money, is on. But Audie’s not running to save his own life–instead, he’s trying to save someone else. In what promises to be his most popular thriller yet, Robotham has created the ultimate underdog hero, an honorable criminal shrouded in mystery and ready to lead readers on a remarkable chase.

He was dismayed how readily he took to lying. He’d always thought of it as a decisive abandonment of the truth. Instead, he realised, it was simply a matter of one word slipping into the place of another.’ Dr Quinn Davidson and his wife Marianna have endured years of unsuccessful IVF and several miscarriages, and Quinn can’t face another painful attempt to conceive. Marianna is desperate to be a mother and their marriage is feeling the strain. At a small-town practice a few hours from their home, Quinn meets Rachel, the daughter of one of his patients. Drawn to each other, it’s not long before they find themselves in a passionate affair and Quinn realises he must choose between the two women. Then Marianna announces a surprise natural conception, news that will change the course of all their lives. Set in the lush Australian subtropics, this taut emotional drama poses questions about moral courage and accountability, and asks whether love means always telling the truth

‘The only sauce is olive oil – green as sun-struck jade – splashed in small lustrous puddles, through which one skates the flesh, the fat, the bones, the potatoes, the bread. In the last, best drops, one skates a finger.’ Luscious and evocative, The Umbrian Supper Club recounts the stories of a small group of Umbrian women who – sometimes with their men and, as often, without them – gather in an old stone house in the hills above Orvieto to cook, to sit down to a beautiful supper, to drink their beloved local wines. And to talk. During the gathering, the preparation, the cooking and the eating, they recount the memories and experiences of their gastronomic lives and, as much, of their more personal histories. For a period of four years, it was Marlena de Blasi’s task, her pleasure, to cook for the Supper Club – to choose the elements for supper, to plan the menu and, with the help of one or another of the women in the club, to prepare the meal. What she learnt, what they cooked and ate and drank and how they talked is the fundamental stuff of this book. Including a dozen recipes, drawn from the Supper Club, The Umbrian Supper Club is a delight to read and to taste.

  ***********

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

The past week has been stressful for one reason and another, and my brain hurts.

The bright spot was celebrating my great aunts 90th birthday with family, despite the 6 hour round trip. Aunty Dot is an amazing woman.

auntydot90

What I Read Last Week

Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp

The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman

Rose River by Margareta Osborn

Witch Upon a Star by Jennifer Harlow

Cranky Ladies of History by Tehani Wessley

 

  New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Yes, Chef! by Lisa Joy ★★

AWW Feature: Amanda Ortlepp and Claiming Noah

Review: Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp ★★★★

Review: The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman ★★★★

Review: Rose River by Margareta Osborn ★★★1/2

Review: Witch Upon a Star by Jennifer Harlow ★★1/2

Review: Nothing Sacred by David Thorne ★★

International Women’s Day: Cranky Ladies of History by Tehani Wessley ★★★★

 

 What I Am Reading Today

Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by “razor men.” Kelpie, orphaned and homeless, is blessed (and cursed) with the ability to see Razorhurst’s many ghosts. They tell her secrets the living can’t know about the cracks already forming in the mobs’ truce.  Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell, a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She’s earned the nickname “Angel of Death” because none of her beaus has ever survived knowing her. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and she knows that Gloriana’s hold is crumbling one henchman at a time. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens the two girls at every turn, Dymphna is determined not only to survive, but to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 

Georgie Henderson doesn’t want to have kids, but her best friend, Nina Doherty, has wanted to have a baby for as long as she can remember. Sadly, Nina’s uterus refuses to cooperate. One drunken evening, Nina asks Georgie for the ultimate favour: would she carry a baby for her? Georgie says yes – and spends the next nine months wondering why!
With intense bacon-and-egg roll cravings and distant memories of what her feet look like, Georgie tries to keep it all together in her dream job as the editor of Jolie magazine. Her love life’s a mess – and sauvignon blanc’s off the menu – leaving Georgie to deal with twists in her life she never expected.

Hanna Schutt never suspected that her younger daughter’s happiness would lead to her husband’s death and the destruction of their family. When Dawn brings her new boyfriend home from college for a visit, her parents and sister try to hide their doubts because they’re glad that Dawn – always an awkward child – appears to have grown into a confident, mature young woman in her relationship with Rud. But when Hanna and her husband, Joe, are beaten savagely in their bed, Rud becomes the chief suspect and stands trial for Joe’s murder.
Claiming her boyfriend’s innocence, Dawn estranges herself from her mother, who survived the attack with serious injuries and impaired memory. When Rud wins an appeal and Dawn returns to the family home saying she wants to support her mother, Hanna decides to try to remember details of that traumatic night so she can testify to keep her husband’s murderer in jail, never guessing that the process might cause her to question everything she thought she knew about her daughter.

Ivo fell for her. He fell for a girl he can’t get back. Now he’s hoping for something. While he waits he plays a game: He chooses a body part and tells us its link to the past he threw away. He tells us the story of how she found him, and how he lost her. But he doesn’t have long. And he still has one thing left to do …

It should have been a time of acquiring confidence, building self respect and independence, of fostering a connection with the natural world through long hikes…  A gripping, compulsively readable memoir of bullying at an elite country boarding school.

A dragon brings down the Vice President’s plane, a monster army is camped outside Omaha, and an empath demon springs an undercover operation in New York. New Orleans was just the beginning. New and different demons are breaking through all over America, and Dave Hooper has a new enemy with more guile and guts than the celebrity superhero, still stumbling in his role as Champion. While his agent fields offers for movies and merchandise, Dave is tasked with ending a siege in Omaha, saving his friends and deciphering the underrealms’ plans to take over the earth. As an ancient and legion evil threatens to destroy mankind, Dave has to decide what kind of man he wants to be and the nature of his role in this new world. He may not be the hero humanity deserves, but he’s the only one we’ve got.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

Ugh, I hate being sick and I spent most of last week called up in a ball on the lounge.

The upside was that I finished watching Dawson’s Creek – I teared up during the final episode but was really happy with how it ended – and now I have started watching Roswell. (It seems I am in the grip of a second adolescence.)

The downside is that I’ve had to spend the weekend getting the blog caught up, which I haven’t quite managed, when I really had hoped to get ahead, because I have an extra busy week in store, which includes my great aunt’s 90th birthday party this coming weekend.

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

SNAG-0034

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 3/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 15 /50

Aussie Author Challenge 3/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 0/12

What’s In A Name? Challenge 4/6

What I Read Last Week

Snowy River Man by Lizzy Chandler

Harms Reach by Alex Barclay

Yes Chef! by Lisa Joy

Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder

Nothing Sacred by David Thorne

 

  New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Harm’s Reach by Alex Barclay ★★★★

Review: Blue Stars by Emily Gray Tedrowe ★★★★

AWW Feature: Lizzy Chandler and the Snow River Man

Review: Snowy River Man by Lizzy Chandler ★★

About: Wolf, Wolf by Eben Venter

Review: Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder ★★★★

 

 What I Am Reading Today

Catriona and James are desperate for children, and embark on an IVF program. After a gruelling round of treatments, Catriona finally falls pregnant, and they donate their remaining embryo anonymously. Diana and Liam are on a waiting list to receive an embryo. Sooner than expected, they are thrilled to discover one is available. After a difficult pregnancy, Catriona gives birth to Sebastian. But severe postnatal depression affects her badly, and quickly turns into deadly psychosis. For her protection and her baby’s, she’s admitted into psychiatric care. When she comes home, she again struggles to bond with her baby, but gradually life finds its own rhythm. Meanwhile, Diana has given birth to a beautiful little boy, Noah.
But when he is two months old Noah is abducted … and Diana and Liam’s nightmare begins. Where is Noah? This gripping, emotional thriller binds together the stories of Catriona and Diana and will leave you on the edge of your seat.  What if your child belonged to someone else?

 

What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

The USA Today bestselling author of The Midwife of Hope River returns with a heartfelt sequel, a novel teeming with life and full of humor and warmth, one that celebrates the human spirit. The Great Depression has hit West Virginia hard. Men are out of work; women struggle to feed hungry children. Luckily, Nurse Becky Myers has returned to care for them. While she can handle most situations, Becky is still uneasy helping women deliver their babies. For these mothers-to-be, she relies on an experienced midwife, her dear friend Patience Murphy.  Though she is happy to be back in Hope River, time and experience have tempered Becky’s cheerfulness-as tragedy has destroyed the vibrant spirit of her former employer Dr Isaac Blum, who has accompanied her. Patience too has changed. Married and expecting a baby herself, she is relying on Becky to keep the mothers of Hope River safe.  But becoming a midwife and ushering precious new life into the world is not Becky’s only challenge. Her skills and courage will be tested when a calamitous forest fire blazes through a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. And she must find a way to bring Isaac back to life and rediscover the hope they both need to go on.

Take one city girl – and drop her into the back of beyond… Housesitting in rural Burdekin’s Gap, high up in the East Gippsland Mountains, is not an obvious career move for a PR executive like Jaime Hanrahan. But, hey, retrenchment is a kicker. Plus she’s determined not to spend Christmas in Melbourne with her friends, who still have company cars and six-figure salaries, or with her mother, Blanche, who has remarried too soon after her father’s death. However, it turns out that Burdekin’s Gap is a little more remote than Jaime had anticipated, the house is in the middle of a cattle station, and the handsome manager, Stirling McEvoy, doesn’t appreciate a new farmhand in Jimmy Choos and Sass & Bide cut-offs.  Soon Jaime is fending off stampeding cows, town ladies wielding clipboards, sheep that think they are goats, nude sportsmen and one very neurotic cat. So why does she feel like she’s falling in love . . . with the life, with the breathtaking landscape, and with one infuriating cowboy?

 

He’s come for me. My savior, my heart, and ultimately, my devil. As a child, Anna Olmstead is rescued from her life of poverty and drugs by a vampire named Asher. Over the years, she grows to love Asher, first as a father and later as a lover. But soon trouble interrupts her once-perfect life. While Anna wants to settle down, Asher wants a more voyeuristic, party-driven lifestyle. When Anna leaves him, Asher does everything he can to bring her back to him–including murder. Even as she finally escapes and starts a new life with a special agent of the F.R.E.A.K.S., Asher makes a new move to kidnap Anna and her children. This time, she may not be able to escape him.

Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by “razor men.” Kelpie, orphaned and homeless, is blessed (and cursed) with the ability to see Razorhurst’s many ghosts. They tell her secrets the living can’t know about the cracks already forming in the mobs’ truce.  Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell, a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She’s earned the nickname “Angel of Death” because none of her beaus has ever survived knowing her. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and she knows that Gloriana’s hold is crumbling one henchman at a time. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens the two girls at every turn, Dymphna is determined not only to survive, but to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.

Warriors, pirates, murderers and queens… Throughout history, women from all walks of life have had good reason to be cranky. Some of our most memorable historical figures were outspoken, dramatic, brave, feisty, rebellious and downright ornery. Cranky Ladies of History is a celebration of 22 women who challenged conventional wisdom about appropriate female behaviour, from the ancient world all the way through to the twentieth century. Some of our protagonists are infamous and iconic, while others have been all but forgotten under the heavy weight of history. Sometimes you have to break the rules before the rules break you.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

 How can my life be so uneventful, yet so busy?

to-do-is-to-be

What I Read Last Week

Doctor Death by Lene Kaaberbøl

Intensive Care by Nicki Edwards

Blue Stars by Emily Gray Tedrowe

Losing It by Helen Lederer

Wolf, Wolf by Eben Venter

 

  New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

AWW Feature: My Writing Journey by Nicki Edwards

Review: Intensive Care by Nicki Edwards ★★

Review: Doctor Death by Lene Kaaberbøl ★★

Review: My Sunshine Away by MO Walsh ★★★★1/2

About: Losing It by Helen Lederer ★★★

Stuff on Sundays: Eclectic Reader 2015 Recommendations Part 3

 

 What I Am Reading Today

FBI Agent Ren Bryce finds herself entangled in two seemingly unrelated mysteries. But the past has a way of echoing down the years and finding its way into the present. When Special Agent Ren Bryce discovers the body of a young woman in an abandoned car, solving the case becomes personal. But the more she uncovers about the victim’s last movements, the more questions are raised. Why was Laura Flynn driving towards a ranch for troubled teens in the middle of Colorado when her employers thought she was hundreds of miles away? And what did she know about a case from fifty years ago, which her death dramatically reopens? As Ren and cold case investigator Janine Hooks slowly weave the threads together, a picture emerges of a privileged family determined to hide some very dark secrets – whatever the cost.

 

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 The last time Katrina Delaney saw Jack Fairley was the morning after a one-night stand, when she discovered he was engaged to be married. Seven years later, she dreams of a missing boy – Jack’s son. Katrina has worked with police to find missing children before, and she knows she must help. But seeing Jack again comes with its own set of dangers, and Katrina fears the risks she is taking with her heart. Jack Fairley’s standing in the community can’t keep his son from wandering off during a country rodeo. Frantic with worry, Jack is willing to do anything to find him, even put aside his scepticism and accept the help of a woman who sees his son in a dream. But when that woman turns out to be Katrina Delaney, he’s immediately suspicious. Neither Katrina nor Jack have any reason to trust each other, or the attraction that flares between them again. But trust they will have to, if they want any chance at love.

A mother’s nightmare: her children taken from her because of unexplained injuries all over their bodies. Who will believe her story? When lawyer Daniel Connell receives a visit from his trouble-making old flame Victoria pleading for his help, he looks for any excuse not to get involved. But no one else believes her pleas of innocence and Daniel can see she is terrified. As he enters Vick’s life once more, Daniel’s search for truth leads from the dark heart of Essex to the mountains of Afghanistan, and a terrifying world where monsters are real – and nothing is sacred.

Sassy foodie Becca Stone is over her job taking reservations in one of London’s most successful restaurant empires. So when she is unexpectedly catapulted into working as PA to celebrity chef, Damien Malone, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Becca is quickly caught up in an exciting whirlwind of travel, reality TV and opening nights, and even her usually abysmal love life takes a turn for the better. But as Becca is slowly consumed by the chaos of life in the spotlight, she begins to lose touch with her friends, her heart and even with reality. Working with Damien has its challenges and she is soon struggling with his increasingly outrageous demands and sleazy advances, all while managing the ridiculous requests of his self-centered wife. It takes a disastrous trip to Italy for Becca to realize that she may have thrown away exactly what she’s been looking for all along. Inspired by real-life adventures, this deliciously funny and romantic story reveals a tantalizing glimpse of the trendy restaurant scene: a world where chefs are treated like rock stars, and cooking isn’t all that goes on in the kitchen.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance… New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she’s back with a new tale of intrigue… Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands — and protect her relationship with Valek. Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job — and his life — are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret — or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is — while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers. Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

 It’s been an ordinary week: work, school, basketball, scouts, archery, gym, grocery shopping, housework etc etc.

This weeks binge watching fodder is Dawson’s Creek. I hadn’t ever seen an episode, not long married with a new baby at the time it first played it didn’t interest me, and figured I would give it a try. The teen angst is a bit wearing, but it’s surprisingly watchable, and I love the soundtrack.

  What I Read Last Week

Arkie’s Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing by Lisa Walker

Second Life by SJ Watson

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Before I Go by Coleen Oakley

My Sunshine Away by MO Walsh

 

  New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Blog Tour Feature: Lisa Walker and the Japanese Connection

Review: Arkie’s Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing by Lisa Walker ★★

Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig ★★

Review: Second Life by S.J. Watson ★★

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard ★★★★

Review: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley ★★★

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

 

 What I Am Reading Today

Escaping to the country was meant to be easy … On the surface it looks like busy intensive care nurse Kate Kennedy has it all: a long-term relationship, a great career and a sleek inner city apartment. But appearances are deceiving, and in one fell swoop everything comes crashing down around her. In a moment of spontaneity, Kate leaves her city life and takes a new role as Nurse Unit Manager at Birrangulla Base Hospital, but her dream move proves harder than expected. Local cafe owner Joel O’Connor finds himself increasingly drawn to the gorgeous new nurse, but like Kate, he’s been scarred by love and isn’t looking to jump into anything. Yet their chemistry is hard to deny and after a near fatal incident, Joel and Kate find themselves opening up to one another. Just when Kate thinks she’s found love again, their fragile relationship is thwarted by their pasts. Can they both let go of their guilt and grief to move on to a bright new future?

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Boy in the Suitcase, a gripping historical thriller and poignant coming-of-age story set in nineteenth-century France. Madeleine Karno is an ambitious young woman eager to shatter the confines of her provincial French town. Driven and strong headed, Madeleine is set apart by her unusual occupation: assisting her father, Dr. Albert Karno, in his job as a forensic doctor. The year is 1894, and a young girl is found dead on the snowy streets of Varbourg. Dr. Karno is called in to determine the cause of her death, but before he can examine the body, the girl’s family forbids the autopsy from taking place. The only anomaly he manages to find is in the form of a mite in her nostril. Shortly after, several other dead bodies are discovered throughout the city, and Madeleine, her father, and the city commissioner must use the new science of forensic evidence to solve the mysterious cases before they all become the next victims of a deadly disease – or of a heinous murderer.

Emily Gray Tedrowe has written an extraordinary novel about ordinary people, a graceful and gritty portrayal of what it’s like for the women whose husbands and sons are deployed in Iraq. BLUE STARS brings to life the realities of the modern day home front: how to get through the daily challenges of motherhood and holding down a job while bearing the stress and uncertainty of war, when everything can change in an instant. It tells the story of Ellen, a Midwestern literature professor, who is drawn into the war when her legal ward Michael enlists as a Marine; and of Lacey, a proud Army wife who struggles to pay the bills and keep things going for her son while her husband is deployed. Ellen and Lacey cope with the fear and stress of a loved one at war while trying to get by in a society that often ignores or misunderstands what war means to women today. When Michael and Eddie are injured in Iraq, Ellen and Lacey’s lives become intertwined in Walter Reed Army Hospital, where each woman must live while caring for her wounded soldier. They form an alliance, and an unlikely friendship, while helping each other survive the dislocated world of the army hospital. Whether that means fighting for proper care for their men, sharing a six-pack, or coping with irrevocable loss, Ellen and Lacey pool their strengths to make it through. In the end, both women are changed, not only by the war and its fallout, but by each other.

Millie was at one time quite well known for various TV and radio appearances. However, she now has no money, a best friend with a better sex life than her, a daughter in Papua New Guinea and too much weight in places she really doesn’t want it. When she’s asked to be the front woman for a new diet pill, she naively believes that all her troubles will be solved. She will have money, the weight will be gone, and maybe she’ll get more sex. If only life was really that easy. It doesn’t take her long to realize it’s going to take more than a diet pill to solve her never-ending woes…

 

How should a man be? Mattie Duiker is trying very hard to live up to his dying father’s wishes. He is putting aside childish things, starting his first business serving healthy take-away food to the workers in his district of Cape Town. His Pa is proud. At the same time, Mattie is pulled toward an altogether different version of masculinity, in which oiled and toned bodies cavort for him at the click of a mouse. His porn addiction both threatens his relationship with his boyfriend, Jack, and imperils his inheritance. Pa’s peacocking days as a swaggering businessman are done, but even as the cancer shrivels and crisps him, the old man’s ancient authority intensifies as it shrinks, like Mattie’s own signature sauce. Pa haltingly prepares his son for life without him, and himself for life without a male heir. And, while the family wrestles with matters of entitlement and inheritance, around them a new South Africa is quietly but persistently nudging its way forwards. Wolf, Wolf is a novel of old rigid states and new unfinished forms, of stiff tolerance and mournful nostalgia. With uncommon sensitivity to place, time, and sex, Eben Venter reveals himself to the world outside his homeland as one of its most astute and acute observers, giving shape in story to some of the sea-changes of our time, in the manner of Coetzee and Roth.

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

 We are settling back into routine now, the kids are whining about homework already and are our regular afternoon and weekend activities have resumed. I’m still not quite used to having my office in the lounge room though my husband, knowing how much I missed my lovely big desk, surprised me by making a new one for me at work, so I am no longer feeling hemmed in by that tiny hutch.

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I’m currently binge watching Falling Skies on Amazon Prime, I still have two season to go and only 3 days of the trial left – eek!

  What I Read Last Week

The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald

Runaway Lies by Shannon Curtis

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

Avery by Charlotte McConaghy

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

 

  New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald ★★★1/2

Review: Runaway Lies by Shannon Curtis ★★★★

Review: A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell ★★★★

Review: Avery by Charlotte McConaghy ★★★

Review: The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth ★★★★

Stuff On Sundays: Eclectic Reader 2015 Recommendations Part 2

 

 What I Am Reading Today

A delightfully funny and inspiring novel about a very modern pilgrimage, and one woman’s chance to rediscover what she’s lost. ‘I watch the highway go by and ponder my situation. I am on the run from my husband’s divorce lawyer, my mojo is still missing in action and my demon ex-lover is lurking . . . But, all things considered, my pilgrimage is going well . . .’ Arkie used to be a trendspotter, running a successful business advising companies on ‘the next big thing’. Until she lost her marriage and her mojo along with it. Her eccentric new friend Haruko suggests a pilgrimage in Japan. But funds are tight, so instead Arkie’s going on a very Australian trip, to all the ‘Big Things’. With Haruko as her guide, magic is everywhere. A Buddha appears next to the Big Redback, the Big Macadamia rises from the jungle like a lost temple and inside the Big Shell she can hear a tinkling voice, reminding her of the child she never had. As her improbable adventure unfolds, realisation dawns: could it be that, despite her celebrated foresight, Arkie’s been missing what was right before her eyes?

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

It was the summer everything changed.… My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

Julia’s life is comfortable, if unremarkable, until her sister’s brutal murder opens old wounds. She finds solace in her sister’s best friend, Sophie, but when Sophie reveals the extent of her sister’s online life, Julia becomes convinced that the truth about her death lies deep in the dark, sordid world of online chatrooms and internet sex. What begins as Julia’s search for the truth about her sister quickly turns into an exploration of herself and her own desires. After all, the internet is her playground, and why be just one thing when you can be as many as you like? What could possibly go wrong? After all, it’s only cybersex, isn’t it? No one’s going to get hurt. But then she meets the dark and mysterious Lukas in an online chat room, and things begin to get very dangerous indeed.

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers. To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

Daisy never asks you to feel sorry for her. Daisy is 27-years-old and has only months to live. And, each day, she’s finding her way through what needs to be done. Her major worry is what her wonderful, charming husband, Jack, will do without her. She knows that he won’t take care of himself so Daisy has to do it for him. As she searches for Jack’s next wife, she begins to realise that her plan to ensure Jack’s happiness is much more complicated than she expected. Life-affirming, authentic, funny and heartbreakingly beautiful, Before I Go is all about love

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

Shhh. Can you hear anything? No? Me either! No bickering voices, no indignant cries of “Muuuuuummm”, no Minecraft mood music… It’s so quiet now the children are finally back in school! Despite her initial fears, my daughter is enjoying high school and so far the boys, who are in the same (GATS) class this year despite being in different grades, are getting along.

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 1/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 6/50

Aussie Author Challenge 3/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 0/12

What’s In A Name? Challenge 2/6

 

  What I Read Last Week

Useful by Debra Oswald

The Disreputable History of Landau Banks by E Lockhart

Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty

The Martian by Andy Weir

Volcano Street by David Rain

 

  New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly ★★

Review: Useful by Debra Oswald ★★1/2

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart ★★★1/2

Review: Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty ★★★1/2

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir ★★★★★

About: Volcano Street by David Rain

Stuff On Sundays: Eclectic Reader 2015 Recommendations Part 1

 

 What I Am Reading Today

Some people love goodbyes…
23-year-old Catherine is mainly interested in Facebook and flirting, but she reluctantly takes a job at a local care home after her mother puts her foot down – and soon discovers that her new workplace contains many secrets. One of the residents at the home, 82-year-old Rose, is convinced that something sinister is going on in Room 7 and that her own life is under threat. But Rose has dementia – so what does she actually know, and who would believe her anyway? As Catherine starts investigating Rose’s allegations, terrible revelations surface about everyone involved. Can Catherine find out what’s really going on?

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Their relationship is built on a bed of lies – but can he trust his heart in order to save her life? Darcy Montgomery is on the run. She must hide until she can testify in a shocking court case involving her former employer, but so far the witness protection program has only brought more danger. Any hopes of keeping a low profile are dashed when she saves the two children of wealthy property developer, Dominic St. James, from a sinking car driven by his ex-wife. Dominic St. James learns the car crash was no accident and his ex-wife is still missing, presumed dead. He is determined to keep his children, as well as their mysterious rescuer, safe until the threat is neutralised. Fighting his enemies and a growing attraction, he discovers that Darcy is much more than she seems. The danger to Darcy, Dominic and his family grows as their security is eroded and they face not one but two adversaries who have deadly intent. Who ultimately can trust who?

The people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does too. So it has been for thousands of years – until Ava. For although her bondmate, Avery, has been murdered and Ava’s soul has been torn in two, she is the only one who has ever been strong enough to cling to life. Vowing revenge upon the barbarian queen of Pirenti, Ava’s plan is interrupted when she is instead captured by the deadly prince of her enemies. Prince Ambrose has been brought up to kill and hate. But when he takes charge of a strangely captivating Kayan prisoner and is forced to survive with her on a dangerous island, he must reconsider all he holds true . . . In a violent country like Pirenti, where emotion is scorned as a weakness, can he find the strength to fight for the person he loves . . . even when she’s his vengeful enemy? Avery is a sweeping, romantic fantasy novel about loss and identity, and finding the courage to love against all odds.

Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy – including the identity of the baby’s father – hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest, even while her own life begins to crumble around her. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s-a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all.

The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in this richly imagined first novel in a new post-apocalyptic trilogy by award-winning poet Francesca Haig. Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha—physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega—burdened with deformity, small or large. With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other. Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side-by-side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.

It was the summer everything changed.… My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

 

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Winners of the Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop

Heather S and Samantha

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

  It’s been a busy week as the children prepare to return to school for the new year on Wednesday. New uniforms, new school books, pens, books etc. I have to admit I’m eager for the return of some routine, and though they deny it, I think the children are looking forward to going back.

Today is Australia Day and my family and I plan to spend the day at the beach after the children are finished representing their Cub/Scout troop and the morning ceremonies hosted by the local council.

As part of the day’s celebration I am again hosting the Australia day Book Giveaway Hop, make sure you enter my giveaway and then browse the linky for more contests to enter – many are open to international entries. Entry closes at midnight tomorrow.

2015-ausday

 

  What I Read Last Week

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen

Secrets of Whitewater Creek by Sarah Barrie

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

 

  New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Emergence by John Birmingham ★★★★

Review: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen ★★★★1/2

Review: Secrets of Whitewater Creek by Sarah Barrie ★★★1/2

Review: War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen ★★★1/2

Review: Mime Order by Samantha Shannon ★★★1/2

It’s the 2015 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop

 

 What I Am Reading Today

Sullivan Moss is useless. Once a charming underachiever, he’s now such a loser that he can’t even commit suicide properly. Waking up in hospital after falling the wrong way on a rooftop, he comes to a decision. He shouldn’t waste perfectly good organs just because they’re attached to his head. After a life of regrets, Sully wants to do one useful thing: he wants to donate a kidney to a stranger. As he scrambles over the hurdles to become a donor, Sully almost accidentally forges a new life for himself. Sober and employed, he makes new friends, not least radio producer Natalie and her son Louis, and begins to patch things up with old ones, like his ex-best mate Tim. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of him. But altruism is not as easy as it seems. Just when he thinks he’s got himself together, Sully discovers that he’s most at risk of falling apart.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. Her father’s ‘bunny rabbit’. A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school. Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder. And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston. Frankie Landau-Banks: No longer the kind of girl to take ‘no’ for an answer. Especially when ‘no’ means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society. Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew’s lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done. Frankie Landau-Banks at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way.

Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars. Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first man to die there. It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he’s stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to get him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit–he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Belfast, 1985. Gunrunners on the borders, riots in the cities, The Power of Love on the radio. And somehow, in the middle, Detective Inspector Sean Duffy is hanging on, a Catholic policeman in the hostile Royal Ulster Constabulary. Duffy is initially left cold by the murder of a wealthy couple, shot dead while watching TV. And when their troubled son commits suicide, leaving a note that appears to take responsibility for the deaths, it seems the case is closed. But something doesn’t add up, and people keep dying. Soon Duffy is on the trail of a mystery that will pit him against shadowy US intelligence forces, and take him into the white-hot heart of the biggest political scandal of the decade

A man’s body is found in an empty house. His heart has been cut out and delivered to his wife and children. He is the first victim, and Detective Inspector Helen Grace knows he will not be the last. But why would a happily married man be this far from home in the dead of night? The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse: a serial killer preying on family men who lead hidden double lives. Helen can sense the fury behind the murders. But what she cannot possibly predict is how volatile this killer is – or what is waiting for her at the end of the chase…

In the tradition of great Australian literature Volcano Street is a wonderfully vivid portrayal of small-town life and the uncertainties of childhood. ‘What would Germaine do?’ This is the mantra that Skip and Marlo Wells turn to as they navigate their way through the twists and turns that life brings. Such as the sectioning of their mother Karen Jane.  Marlo puts her faith in her hero, Germaine Greer, and twelve-year-old Skip trusts her clever big sister to know the right thing to do. But when the sisters are forced to move to their Auntie Noreen and Uncle Doug’s home in the backwater city of Crater Lakes even Marlo can’t think of a solution.  At age sixteen, Marlo is forced to quit school and work in the family hardware store. Skip manages to get on her auntie’s bad side from the get-go and is an outcast at school as she vehemently declares the injustice of the Vietnam War – not what Noreen wants to hear with her precious son Barry off fighting. Against the backdrop of a broken home, the fight for equality and a far off war Volcano Street is a heartfelt tale of acceptance and belonging, and learning what family truly means.

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

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