It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

bookdateimwayr

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date

Life…

I had a busy weekend, aside from the usual mundane activities such as grocery shopping, cooking, washing and cleaning, basketball season has begun and I’m back to coaching, and my parents and younger brother (whom I only see once a year or so because he lives in the Northern Territory) came for a visit. We went ten pin bowling,  in the photo below you can see my four kids on the left, my parents in front on the right, and behind them my brother and my oldest daughter’s (6ft4!) boyfriend.

bowling_family16

 

What I Read Last Week

 Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar

The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore

All That is Lost Between Us by Sara Foster

This Was Not the Plan by Cristina Alger

Honky Tonk Samurai by Joe R Lansdale

New Posts

Review: Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar ★★★★1/2

Review: How To be Single by Liz Trucillo ★★

Review: The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore ★★★

Win 1 of 10 double passes to see Brooklyn in Aussie cinemas

Blog Tour Review: All That is Lost Between Us by Sara Foster ★★★★1/2

Stuff On Sundays: 2016 Eclectic Reader Recommendations Part 1

 

What I Am Reading Today

Carly Townsend is starting over after a decade of tragedy and pain. In a new town and a new apartment she’s determined to leave the memories and failures of her past behind.  However that dream is shattered in the dead of night when she is woken by the shadow of a man next to her bed, silently watching her. And it happens week after week. Yet there is no way an intruder could have entered the apartment. It’s on the fourth floor, the doors are locked and there is no evidence that anyone has been inside. With the police doubting her story, and her psychologist suggesting it’s all just a dream, Carly is on her own. And being alone isn’t so appealing when you’re scared to go to sleep . . .

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Welcome to Quinn, Montana, population: 956. A town where nearly all of the volunteer firemen are named Jim, where The Dirty Shame—the only bar in town—refuses to serve mixed drinks (too much work), where the locals hate the newcomers (then again, they hate the locals, too), and where the town softball team has never even come close to having a winning season. Until now. Rachel Flood has snuck back into town after leaving behind a trail of chaos nine years prior. She’s here to make amends, but nobody wants to hear it, especially her mother, Laverna. But with the help of a local boy named Jake and a little soul-searching, she just might make things right.

So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James. When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it. Ruth Oliphant-Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn’t want to be found?

The best things in life . . . can be just around the corner. Rachel and Becca aren’t real sisters, or so they say. They are step-sisters, living far apart, with little in common. Rachel is the successful one: happily married with three children and a big house, plus an impressive career. Artistic Becca, meanwhile, lurches from one dead-end job to another, shares a titchy flat and has given up on love. The two of them have lost touch but when Rachel doesn’t come home one night, Becca is called in to help. Once there, she quickly realises that her step-sister’s life is not so perfect after all: Rachel’s handsome husband has moved out, her children are rebelling, and her glamorous career has taken a nosedive. Worst of all, nobody seems to have a clue where she might be. As Becca begins to untangle Rachel’s secrets, she is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about her own life, and the future seems uncertain. But sometimes happiness can be found in the most unexpected places…

Psychologist sleuth Alex Delaware is surprised to get the call when well-known TV actress Zelda Chase turns up half-naked, half-mad in the LA’s rural Westside. He has little connection to the starlet, save a psychiatric evaluation he performed on her adopted son several years ago, a child who has since vanished without a trace and whom Zelda refuses to talk about. When the actress turns up dead a few weeks later without a scratch on her, Delaware calls in police lieutenant Milo Sturgis to help him crack the case—or at least the wall of silence surrounding it. When the body of a second actress turns up with the same mysterious cause of death, Delaware and Sturgis start to wonder—is this a copycat case or a coincidence? When they uncover the death of another actress, a star from another era who vanished decades ago, never to be found, they realize they’re facing one of their most baffling, mind-bending cases yet.

***********

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

bookdateimwayr

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date

Life…

The kids are finally back at school  – the boys have both been placed in the GATS class again, J is in year 5 and M in year 6. A is in year 8 while S is back at TAFE from tomorrow (though only two days a week).  Now its time to get my groove back :)

The third annual Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop was a great success. I had over 250 entries so my heartiest congratulations to the two winners (drawn via random.org): Hannah D (Aus) & Penny T (INT) who have been contacted via email.

It’s the beginning of the month so here are my challenge updates

SNAG-0061

1 book behind already? eek!

2016 Eclectic Reader Challenge  3/12

2016 Australian Women Writers Challenge 6/50

2016 Non Fiction Challenge 2/15

What I’ve Read Since I last Posted

Summer Harvest by Georgina Penney

Night Study by Maria V Snyder

Numbered by Amy Andrews

Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti

Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne

 

New Posts

Review: Summer Harvest by Georgina Penney ★★★

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

Review: Numbered by Amy Andrews ★★★★1/2

Review: Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti ★★★1/2

Review: Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne ★★★★1/2

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

 

What I Am Reading Today

Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even.
The lesson: don’t mess with Unity girls. The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold . . . and smart enough to keep up with Jess. A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig – sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they’re at their most vulnerable? It’s all Girl meets Boy, Girl steals from Boy, seduces Boy, ties Boy to a chair and burns Boy’s stuff. Just your typical love story. A searingly honest and achingly funny story about love and sex amid the hotbed of university colleges by the award-winning author of Raw Blue.

 

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Jett Bennett moved to New York to become a music journalist. What she found was a temp gig as a proofreader, but at least she’s fitting in with the artists and musicians in the tragically hip Brooklyn neighborhood she calls home. But when Jett opens up her mail and finds a mix tape meant for her neighbor, KitKat, a local queen bee renowned for her “enhanced” baked goods and retro videogame collection, everything changes. Jett drops off the cassette and discovers that it’s game over for KitKat: someone bashed her head in with a rolling pin… and left her pot brownies burning in the oven. KitKat’s boyfriend, Bronco, is M.I.A. Her sister is so desperate that she asks Jett to snoop around. Then there’s that mix tape. Jett didn’t know KitKat well, but she knows music. And a tape full of love songs from someone other than Bronco screams motive—sending Jett and her best friend, Sid, on an epic quest to find KitKat’s killer through record stores, strip joints, vegan bakeries, and basement nightclubs—a journey that resonates with Jett, and her past, in unexpected ways.

Seventeen-year-old Georgia has a secret – one that is isolating her from everyone she loves. She is desperate to tell her best friend, but Sophia is ignoring her, and she doesn’t know why. And before she can find out, Sophia is left fighting for her life after a hit and run, with Georgia a traumatised witness. As a school psychologist, Georgia’s mother Anya should be used to dealing with scared adolescents. However, it’s very different when the girl who needs help is your own child. Meanwhile, Georgia’s father is wracked with a guilt he can’t share; and when Zac, Georgia’s younger brother, stumbles on an unlikely truth, the family relationships really begin to unravel. Georgia’s secret is about to go viral. And yet, it will be the stranger heading for the family home who will leave her running through the countryside into terrible danger. Can the Turner family rise above the lies they have told to betray or protect one another, in order to fight for what matters most of all?

From the acclaimed author of The Darlings comes an incisive, hilarious, and tender exploration of fatherhood, love, and family life through the story of a widower who has to become the father he didn’t know he could be. Charlie Goldwyn’s life hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Widowerhood at thirty-three and twelve-hour workdays have left a gap in his relationship with his quirky five-year-old son, Caleb, whose obsession with natural disasters and penchant for girls’ clothing have made him something of a loner at his preschool. The only thing Charlie has going for him is his job at a prestigious law firm, where he is finally close to becoming a partner. But when a slight lapse in judgment at an office party leaves him humiliatingly unemployed, stuck at home with Caleb for the summer, and forced to face his own estranged father, Charlie starts to realize that there’s more to fatherhood than financially providing for his son, and more to being a son than overtaking his father’s successes. At turns heartbreaking and hilarious, This Was Not the Plan is a story about loss and love, parenthood, and friendship, and what true work-life balance means.

Only Hap and Leonard would catch a cold case with hot cars, hot women, and ugly skinheads. The story starts simply enough when Hap, a former 60s activist and self-proclaimed white trash rebel, and Leonard, a tough black, gay Vietnam vet and Republican with an addiction to Dr. Pepper, are working a freelance surveillance job in East Texas. The uneventful stakeout is coming to an end when the pair witness a man abusing his dog. Leonard takes matters into his own fists, and now the bruised dog abuser wants to press charges.  One week later, a woman named Lilly Buckner drops by their new PI office with a proposition: find her missing granddaughter, or she’ll turn in a video of Leonard beating the dog abuser. The pair agrees to take on the cold case and soon discover that the used car dealership where her granddaughter worked is actually a front for a prostitution ring. The mystery of her disappearance only deepens from there.

***********

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

bookdateimwayr

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date

Life…

It’s time to celebrate! Be in it to win it!

2016AustraliaDay-bloghop

What I’ve Read Since I last Posted

Desert Flame by Janine Grey

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Hold On To Me by Victoria Purman

Confucius Jane by Katie Lynch

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon

 

New Posts

Review: Desert Flame by Janine Grey

Review: Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddpn

Review: Hold On To Me by Victoria Purman

Review: Confucius Jane by Katie Lynch

It’s the 2016 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop

2016AustraliaDay-bloghop

ENTER NOW

 

What I Am Reading Today

English dog trainer Beth Poole is having trouble getting her life back together after beating a life-threatening illness and divorcing her husband. When her Aussie-soap-obsessed grandma sends her to Australia to recover, it seems a great opportunity for some rest and relaxation while she figures out what’s next. But when Beth arrives in Australia things get off to a rocky start. To begin with, she’s on the wrong coast and there are deadly creatures everywhere. And if that weren’t enough, her neighbours are driving her crazy. She’s staying in the beautiful Margaret River wine region, right next door to a family-owned vineyard. It should be perfect, but the boisterous Hardy clan just don’t seem able to leave her alone. The usually reserved Beth is soon reluctantly embroiled in their family disputes and romantic entanglements. And eldest son Clayton Hardy is proving surprisingly persistent. The more Beth gets to know Clayton and the Hardys, the more she sees what she wants for her future. But as the end of summer approaches, her past comes back to haunt her and will test her newfound relationships to the limit.

 

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.   Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realize it’s far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

Live every day like it was your last. Mathematician and many-time Loser in Love Poppy Devine believes in being prepared. So when she discovers she has breast cancer, all she has to do is dust off the carefully numbered bucket list she prepared years before with her best friend Julia. There are only two problems: Quentin, a gorgeous younger man with rock-star ambitions, wasn’t on her list. And take-a-risk Julia, has suddenly come over all disapproving. Together with Poppy’s hippy mother Scarlet, the three form an unlikely alliance to help Poppy realise her goals. Sky diving, swimming with sharks, cooking classes in Tuscany, visiting an orphanage in India are all part of the journey. Along the way, Poppy is forced to confront her best friend’s grief, her fraught relationship with her mother, and the fact that she really might be using her last available time on earth to make the most imperfect match of her life. But Poppy comes to learn that when your days are numbered there’s no such thing as perfect and love really is all you need.

With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynn Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynn is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury… Danger has never looked quite so delicious…

She knows how the bodies are buried. How can a young woman crawl out of a grave that she’s been buried in for two years, but only have died within hours? How can a World War Two plane that’s been missing for decades suddenly reappear on the beach where it was last seen – with the pilot’s body in the cockpit? How can a girl disappear from the Empire State Building only to reappear almost instantly in Times Square looking like an angel fallen to earth? This is the work of the ‘Warlock’ – a case which has the FBI clueless and facing the rising hysteria of believers who see ‘Warlock’ as a miracle worker. Enter Jessica Blackwood, FBI Agent and ex-illusionist. Only she has the knowledge and the skills necessary to see beyond the illusions. Only she can stop the ‘Warlock’

***********

Sign Up for the 2016 Eclectic Reader Challenge

2016EclecticReader_BookdOut

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

bookdateimwayr

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date

Life…

 Kids are keeping me busy :)

What I’ve Read Since I last Posted

The Grass is Greener by Loretta Hill

Things You Won’t Say by Sara Pekkanen

Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid

Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty

 

New Posts

Review: The Grass is Greener by Loretta Hill

Review: Things We Won’t Say by Sara Pekkenen

Review: Slim Pickins’ in Fat Chance, Texas by Celia Bonaduce

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katrina Bivald

Review: Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid

Review: Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty

 

What I Am Reading Today

When her beloved father dies, Eliza Mayberry’s privileged world comes crashing down around her ears. On the verge of losing the business that has been in her family for generations, she has no option but to take over the last remaining case: tracking down the elusive Fingal McLeod in outback New South Wales and bringing him back to Sydney.  Fin, however, has other ideas. Determined to find the legendary Dark Flame, a rare opal that has eluded opal-hunters for decades, he has no intention of leaving his mine, Rebel’s Ruin, to reunite with the family of the man who abandoned him – even for the beguiling Miss Mayberry.  Drawn to the people and starkly beautiful landscape of the desert, Eliza discovers the new start that she’s been seeking in this unlikely place and with a man who is as infuriating as he is intriguing. But as passion blooms under the scorching outback sun, secrets from the past and present are bubbling below the surface – secrets that could destroy both the fragile trust between Eliza and Fin, and the bright promise of the future.

 

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

You won’t be able to put it down. Just remember to breathe.
Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy. Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands. Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma…

Can she learn to trust him and love again? Stella wasn’t looking for love – and especially not from a younger man.. When Stella Ryan’s successful life in Sydney crumbled, she returned flat broke – and broken hearted – to the beachside town she’d once called home. Five years on, she’s opened a boutique and rebuilt her life in the tourist haven of Port Elliot. Luca Morelli has been working flat out to establish his own building company in the city and doesn’t have time to be driving back and forth to the beach to do a small job in a shop that was almost destroyed in a fire. But he soon changes his mind when he meets the glamorous owner. Before long, Stella and Luca find that a working relationship isn’t the only thing developing between them. But the closer they get, the ghosts of Stella’s past come to haunt her once more. Can she ever believe a man again? And if she can, is the much younger Luca Morelli the man she can trust with her heart?

On leave from college, Jane Morrow has a new job, helping out in her uncle’s fortune cookie factory, and a new roommate—her precocious 11-year-old cousin. Though surrounded by her loving family and their close-knit Chinatown community, Jane feels like a colossal failure. Writing fortunes is a kind of poetry, but Jane is penning words of wisdom for strangers while wondering if she will ever have the guts to move on with her life. When Jane meets medical student Sutton St. James at her local noodle shop, sparks fly. Sutton stands at a career crossroads: surgical residency or stem cell research overseas? The first is what her father, former Surgeon General and “America’s doctor,” has planned for her, but the latter might help find a cure for her mother’s debilitating MS. Neither would make either of them comfortable with their daughter’s sexuality. Sutton’s only certainty is that she has no time for a relationship—yet neither she nor Jane can deny the chemistry between them. Jane opens a whole new view of family to Sutton, a powerful counter to Sutton’s cold, sterile upbringing. Sutton inspires Jane to be more ambitious and to dream again—and challenges her to have faith in herself. But can Sutton and Jane overcome a scandalous secret that threatens to keep them apart?

Tamsin and Michelle have been inseparable since childhood. Even now they spend all their time together, along with Patrick, Michelle’s handsome husband. Except Tamsin’s brilliant assistant Bea (without whom Tamsin’s life would fall apart) has heard a nasty rumour that Patrick is playing away. Determined to uncover the truth, Tamsin devises a honey-trap to test his resolve, using Bea as bait. But she never counted on Bea having her own agenda . . . Struggling to untangle the web of deceit, Patrick seems to be constantly one step ahead. Can Tamsin reveal the truth to Michelle without ruining everyone’s life along the way?

***********

Sign Up for the 2016 Eclectic Reader Challenge

2016EclecticReader_BookdOut

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

bookdateimwayr

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date

Life…

It’s been a fairly quiet week. My youngest daughter is currently at the 2016 Australian Jamboree with over 10,000 other scouts, my oldest daughter has been spending time with her new boyfriend, and my boys are Minecrafting their way into the record books.

I’m still working on catching up though, mainly because getting time on my computer is a battle!

What I’ve Read Since I last Posted

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard

That Empty Feeling by Peter Corris

Slim Pickins’ in Fat Chance, Texas by Celia Bonaduce

 

New Posts

(several links are placeholders until I can get caught up)

Feature Guest Post: How Sally Hepworth came to write The Things We Keep

Review: The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

Review: It’s.Nice.Outside. by Jim Kokoris

Review: A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

Review: A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard

Review: That Empty Feeling by Peter Corris

Sign up to host in the 2016 Australia Day Book Giveaway Hop

2016AustraliaDay-bloghop

 

What I Am Reading Today

The grass always seems greener on the other side . . . until you get there. For generations Bronwyn Stevenson’s family has thrived in the legal profession and a position at their prestigious firm is hers by right. Only problem is: she doesn’t want it. Her best friend Claudia has always dreamed of being a lawyer, but tragedy struck and she took up the reins of her father’s vineyard instead. It was supposed to be temporary . . . now there’s no end in sight. Bronwyn wants Claudia’s life so badly. Claudia can’t imagine anything better than Bronwyn’s job. So the friends hatch a crazy plan to swap places. Both are determined to be the person they always thought they could never be. But achieving your dreams isn’t easy – and falling in love with the men who oppose them isn’t a good idea .

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Splinter the Silence is a novel centered on the mysterious deaths of several women who were the victims of vicious cyberbullying. Is it violence if it’s virtual? The outspoken women targeted by the increasingly cruel internet trolls and bullies would probably say so. For some of them, the torrents of bile and vicious threats prove too much. They begin to silence themselves in a series of high-profile suicides.  Or do they? Tony Hill isn’t convinced. But he’s the only one. Former cop Carol Jordan is too busy messing up her life to care. Until she gets an unexpected second chance. Now it’s game on, and the stakes have never been higher.

In this timely and provocative novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen takes us inside a family in crisis and a marriage on the brink after a tragic shooting. How far would you go to save your family? Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has always dreaded: There’s been a shooting at police headquarters. Mike isn’t hurt, but his long-time partner is grievously injured. As weeks pass and her husband’s insomnia and disconnectedness mount, Jamie realizes he is an invisible casualty of the attack. Then the phone rings again. Another shooting; but this time Mike has pulled the trigger. But the shooting does more than just alter Jamie’s world. It’s about to change everything for two other women. Christie Simmons, Mike’s flamboyant ex, sees the tragedy as an opportunity for a second chance with Mike. And Jamie’s younger sister, Lou, must face her own losses to help the big sister who raised her. As the press descends and public cries of police brutality swell, Jamie tries desperately to hold together her family, no matter what it takes.

When her beloved father dies, Eliza Mayberry’s privileged world comes crashing down around her ears. On the verge of losing the business that has been in her family for generations, she has no option but to take over the last remaining case: tracking down the elusive Fingal McLeod in outback New South Wales and bringing him back to Sydney.  Fin, however, has other ideas. Determined to find the legendary Dark Flame, a rare opal that has eluded opal-hunters for decades, he has no intention of leaving his mine, Rebel’s Ruin, to reunite with the family of the man who abandoned him – even for the beguiling Miss Mayberry.  Drawn to the people and starkly beautiful landscape of the desert, Eliza discovers the new start that she’s been seeking in this unlikely place and with a man who is as infuriating as he is intriguing. But as passion blooms under the scorching outback sun, secrets from the past and present are bubbling below the surface – secrets that could destroy both the fragile trust between Eliza and Fin, and the bright promise of the future.

 

A death in a historic castle, locked up overnight. It almost looks like a suicide, but then Sean Duffy pulls on a few little threads, and the whole Establishment could come undone
It’s just the same things over and again for Sean Duffy. Riot duty. Heartbreak. Cases he can solve but never get to court. But what detective gets two locked room mysteries in one career? When journalist Lily Bigelow is found dead in the snowy courtyard of Carrickfergus castle, it looks like a suicide. But there are just a few things that bother Duffy enough to keep the case file open. Which is how he finds out that she was working on a devastating investigation of corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and beyond. And so Duffy has two impossible problems on his desk: who killed Lily Bigelow? And what were they trying to hide?

***********

Sign Up for the 2016 Eclectic Reader Challenge

2016EclecticReader_BookdOut

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

bookdateimwayr

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date

Life…

Hi! I hope you have had a wonderful few weeks with family and friends :)

Well it’s a new year and I’m ready to get back on track. The last two months haven’t been easy, but my health issues have finally stabilised so I’m determined to get it together:)

Of course I do have the kids underfoot for the next four weeks until the new school year starts, and hubby is already back at work, so the chaos is sure to best me at times.

What I’ve Read Since I last Posted

Dogs of India by Polly McGee

Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew

The Near Miss by Fran Cusworth

Fall by Candice Fox

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

Grand Slam by Kathryn Ledson

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley

Its. Nice. Outside. by Jim Kokoris

 

New Posts

(several links are placeholders until I can get caught up)

Review: The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa

Review: Reap the Wind by Karen Chance

Review: The Golem of Paris by Jonathon and Jesse Kellerman

Review: An Empty Coast by Tony Park

Review: Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffith

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Review: After You by Jojo Moyes

Review: Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew

Review: Dogs of India by Polly McGee

Review: The Near Miss by Fran Cusworth

Review: The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

Review: Fall by Candice Fox

Sign Up for the 2016 Eclectic Reader Challenge

2016EclecticReader_BookdOut

Wishing You a Joyful Holiday

Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

Review: Grand Slam by Kathryn Ledson

It’s the End of the Year as We Know It…

Wishing You a Happy New Year

Review: The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley

Stuff on Sundays: 2016 Challenges

What I Am Reading Today

In A Window Opens, Elisabeth Egan brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as wearing many hatsand wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor, and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker, or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean;and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers; an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life; seems suddenly within reach. Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new balancing act (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up, and her work takes an unexpected turn. Fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It, Where’d You Go Bernadette, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she-Alice Pearce-really want?

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

A former paramedic’s visceral, poignant, and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta’s mean streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe. In the aftermath of 9/11 Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life—his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age twenty-six, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm—one of blood, violence, and amazing grace. Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people’s facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things. There is no pretense five beats into a chest compression, or in an alley next to a crack den, or on a dimly lit highway where cars have collided. Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each—as he termed them—as “a tourist,” “true believer,” or “killer.” Combining indelible scenes that remind us of life’s fragile beauty with laugh-out-loud moments that keep us smiling through the worst, A Thousand Naked Strangers is an absorbing read about one man’s journey of self-discovery—a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.

A death in a historic castle, locked up overnight. It almost looks like a suicide, but then Sean Duffy pulls on a few little threads, and the whole Establishment could come undone
It’s just the same things over and again for Sean Duffy. Riot duty. Heartbreak. Cases he can solve but never get to court. But what detective gets two locked room mysteries in one career? When journalist Lily Bigelow is found dead in the snowy courtyard of Carrickfergus castle, it looks like a suicide. But there are just a few things that bother Duffy enough to keep the case file open. Which is how he finds out that she was working on a devastating investigation of corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and beyond. And so Duffy has two impossible problems on his desk: who killed Lily Bigelow? And what were they trying to hide?

t’s been a year since an eccentric billionaire summoned seven strangers to the dilapidated, postage stamp-sized town of Fat Chance, Texas. To win a cash bequest, each was required to spend six months in the ghost town to see if they could transform it—and themselves—into something extraordinary. But by the time pastry chef Fernando Cruz arrives, several members of the original gang have already skedaddled… Fernando’s hopes of starting a new life in Fat Chance are dashed when the town’s handful of ragtag residents—and a mysterious low-flying plane—show him just how weird the place actually is. His hopes of making over the town’s sole café into a BBQ restaurant for nearby ranchers threaten to turn to dust as a string of bizarre secrets are revealed. But just when the pickins’ couldn’t get any slimmer, the citizens of Fat Chance realize they might be able to build exactly the kind of hometown they all need—but never knew they wanted…

An unexpected obituary takes Cliff Hardy on a trip down memory lane to a case he’s been trying to forget for twenty years: oil, fraud, boxing, racing – and murder. One case still haunts Hardy Legendary PI Cliff Hardy has reached an age when the obituaries have become part of his reading, and one triggers his memory of a case in the late 1980s. Back then Sydney was awash with colourful characters, and Cliff is reminded of a case involving ‘Ten-Pound Pom’ Barry Bartlett and racing identity and investor Sir Keith Mountjoy. Bartlett, a former rugby league player and boxing manager, then a prosperous property developer, had hired Hardy to check on the bona fides of young Ronny Saunders, newly arrived from England, and claiming to be Bartlett’s son from an early failed marriage. The job brought Hardy into contact with Richard Keppler, head of the no-rules Botany Security Systems, Bronwen Marr, an undercover AFP operative, and sworn adversary Des O’Malley. At a time when corporate capitalism was running riot, an embattled Hardy searched for leads – was Ronny Saunders a pawn in a game involving big oil and fraud on an international scale? Two murders raise the stakes and with the sinister figure of Lady Betty Lee Mountjoy pulling the strings, it was odds against a happy outcome.

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

bookdateimwayr

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date

Life…

All my enthusiasm to dive back in came to naught unfortunately, thanks to a series of (or more properly, one realllllly long) migraine. However I have haven’t had a one for 3  whole days so I’m optimistic….

 

What I Read Since I last Posted

The Golem of Paris by Jonathon and Jesse Kellerman

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

An Empty Coast by Tony Park

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Solidarite

Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

 

What I Am Reading Today

The long-awaited sequel to the worldwide phenomenon Me Before You.
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. And when an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.
In a church basement, with the motley crew of the support group Moving On, Lou attempts to kick-start her life again. And when she meets strong, capable Sam Fielding things seem like they are going in the right direction. This is until a figure from Will’s past appears out of the blue . .

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Dogs, monkeys, corruption and sexual politics: Dogs of India draws on the complex, chaotic and colourful tradition of Indian storytelling in a spicy literary blend of Animal Farm vs. Holy Cow via Bollywood. Revenge. A dish best served cold. Or if you’re Sydney native Lola Wedd, with a broken heart and a life in chaos, a dish served up by heading to India to marry a total stranger as part of an international visa scam. Lola naïvely thought she would ‘find herself’ in India. Instead she is enmeshed in a drama worthy of Bollywood, starring an abandoned Pariah dog, a dead civil servant, a vengeful actor, a suicidal housewife, a boutique hotel owner, a blushing chauffeur, an absent groom, an ambitious girl journalist and a megalomaniac monkey. As Lola begins to understand the consequences of her choices, she ignites a series of events that lead to a Diwali Festival more explosive than anyone in New Delhi could have imagined.

Meet Tannie Maria: A woman who likes to cook a lot and write a little. Tannie Maria writes recipes for a column in her local paper, the Klein Karoo Gazette.  One Sunday morning, as Maria savours the breeze through the kitchen window whilst making apricot jam, she hears the screech and bump that announces the arrival of her good friend and editor Harriet. What Maria doesn’t realise is that Harriet is about to deliver the first ingredient in two new recipes (recipes for love and murder) and a whole basketful of challenges.  A delicious blend of intrigue, milk tart and friendship, join Tannie Maria in her first investigation. Consider your appetite whetted for a whole new series of mysteries . . .

Grace, hardworking and tired, wants another baby. But she’s dealing with debt, a manic 4-year-old and a jobless husband determined to make his inventions into reality. Can they both get their way, or will competing dreams tear their marriage apart? Eddy analyses risk for a living, but his insecurities have brought his own life to a halt. He won’t let go of the flighty, unfaithful Romy, but will he ever risk believing in himself? Melody is trying to raise her son Skip in the city while holding true to her hippie lifestyle. But will past mistakes and judgement from other parents force her to leave her beliefs behind? This is a story about real life aspirations, and whether you can chase your dreams at the same time as raising children and paying the bills. It’s about friendship, and how the people you meet in a moment can change your life forever.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

bookdateimwayr

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date

Life…

So, you may have noticed it’s been a little while. I apologise for my absence,  I’ve been pretty ill for the last few weeks, a nasty flare up of a chronic medical condition that got complicated. I couldn’t even pick up a book for almost three weeks.

I still need to take it easy for a little while, so things might be slower around here than usual, but I hope to get back on track sooner rather than later.

What I Read Since I last Posted

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

Buying Thyme by TJ Hamilton

Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

Host by Robin Cook

The Enchanted Island by Ellie O’Neill

The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa

Reap the Wind by Karen Chance

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Because I’ve been ill, I wasn’t able to write full reviews and if I try to catch up I will drive myself crazy so I’ve mostly written just a sentence or two to give a general impression.

Review: Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

A thought about: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

A thought about: A Better Man by Leah McLaren

A thought about: The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

A thought about: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

A thought about: Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

Blog Tour Review: The Enchanted Island by Ellie O’Neill

A thought about: Host by Robin Cook

About: Buying Thyme by TJ Hamilton

What I Am Reading Today

It’s been more than a year since LAPD detective Jacob Lev learned the remarkable truth about his family, and he’s not coping well. He’s back to drinking, he’s not talking to his father, the LAPD Special Projects Department continues to shadow him, and the memory of a woman named Mai haunts him day and night. And while Jacob has tried to build a bridge to his mother, she remains a stranger to him, imprisoned inside her own tattered mind. Then he comes across the file for a gruesome unsolved murder that brings the two halves of his life into startling collision.
Finding the killer will take him halfway around the world, to Paris—the city of romance, but also of gritty streets, behind the lights. It’s a dangerous search for truth that plunges him into the past. And for Jacob Lev, there is no place more frightening.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Sonja Kurtz – former soldier, supposedly retired mercenary – is in Vietnam carrying out a personal revenge mission when her daughter sends a call for help. Emma is on a dig at the edge of Namibia’s Etosha National Park studying archaeology and she’s discovered a body that dates back to the country’s liberation war of the 1980s. The remains, identified as Hudson Brand, are a key piece of a puzzle that will reveal the location of a modern-day buried treasure. A find people will kill for. Sonja returns to the country of her birth to find Emma, but she’s missing. Former CIA agent Hudson Brand is very much alive and is also drawn back to Namibia to finally solve a decades-old mystery whose clues are entombed in an empty corner of the desert.

The story begins with a dinner party invitation. When young journalist Thomas Cleary is sent to dig up quotes for the obituary of a legendary film producer, the man’s eccentric daughter offers him entrée into the exclusive upper echelons of Hollywood society. A small-town boy with working-class roots, Thomas is a stranger in this opulent world of private jets and sprawling mansions. Then he meets Matilda Duplaine.  Matilda is a beautiful and mysterious young woman who has never left the lush Bel-Air estate where she was raised. Thomas is immediately entranced by the enigmatic girl and the two begin a secret love affair. But what starts as an enchanted romance soon unravels a web of secrets and lies that could destroy their lives — and the lives of everyone around them — forever.

Brighton, winter 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ’of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’. DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime? For Stan (aka the Great Diablo), who’s also appearing in Aladdin, the case raises more personal memories. Back before the Great War, he witnessed the murder of a young girl while he was starring in another show, an event which has eerie parallels to the current case. Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But with both distracted by their own personal problems, neither can afford to miss a trick. For Annie and her friend, time is running out…

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

Meh. It hasn’t been a good week, we’ll just leave it as that shall we?

What I Read Last Week

Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

A Better Man by Leah McLaren

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Swimming Home by Mary-Rose McColl

Review: Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

Blog Tour: Sweet Wattle Creek by Kaye Dobbie

Review & Giveaway: Sweet Wattle Creek by Kaye Dobbie

Review: Preschooled by Anna Lefler

Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Review: Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

Review: A Better Man by Leah McLaren

Review: Carry On By Rainbow Rowell

What I Am Reading Today

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue – but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.
The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for. Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal. The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage. The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree. Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.

What else comes at a price? Miranda is a high-class escort at an infamous agency in Sydney, and always in demand from their top clients. Although it’s a life she never imagined for herself, Miranda has mastered the art of seducing men and makes a good living from it. Joe Tench, rich, powerful and alluring, owns the majority of the nightlife in Sydney and is a regular client of Miranda’s. He’s demanding, dominating and dangerous, but Miranda finds herself falling for his unexpected, yet enticing charm. That is, until she meets the mysterious Tom Smythe, heir to a wealthy mining company, and becomes caught between her feelings for these two very different men.  But neither is what they seem, and when tragedy forces Miranda to embark on a journey of discovery she will find it difficult to escape from. What price will she pay for freedom?

Rust and Metro live life to the fullest in the small Finnish city of Kotka. The lovers work together by day and write graffiti by night, always staying one step ahead of the law. But their luck runs out after an ambush by rogue security guards causes Rust to fall to his death. Having literally left their marks all over the city, Metro cannot help but be reminded of Rust everywhere she goes, making it impossible for her to move past the tragedy. Heartbroken and alone, she becomes determined to get to the bottom of her partner’s death and to exact revenge on those responsible by using the tool she knows best: spray paint. As she fights to bomb the system, she is constantly—and harshly—reminded of how unfair life can be. Up against lies, betrayal, and corruption, Metro musters the strength and inspiration to persevere in the name of truth and by adding beauty to an ugly world.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

kids took my mind

Did I mention it’s school holidays?

What I Read Last Week

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

The Saddler Boys by Fiona Palmer

The Perfumer’s Secret by Fiona McIntosh

Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library by Wayne A. Weigand

Prick with a Fork by Larissa Dubecki

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review & Giveaway: Cloudwish by Fiona Wood ★★★★1/2

Review: Menagerie by Rachael Vincent ★★★★1/2

Review: The Saddler Boys by Fiona Palmer ★★★1/2

Review: The Perfumer’s Secret by  Fiona McIntosh ★★★1/2

Review: Part of Our Lives by Wayne A Weigand ★★★1/2

Weekend Cooking: Prick with a Fork by Larissa Dubecki ★★★1/2

What I Am Reading Today

The lone swimmer, turning over now to switch to a perfectly executed back crawl, wasn’t Oxford or Cambridge, wasn’t a man. It was a woman, a girl. It was Catherine. Of course it was Catherine. It’s 1925 and fifteen-year-old Catherine Quick longs to feel once more the warm waters of her home, to strike out into the ocean off the Torres Strait Islands and swim, as she’s done since she was a tiny child. But with her recent move to London where she lives with her aunt Louisa, Catherine feels that everything she values has been stripped away. Louisa, a busy, confident London surgeon who fought boldly for equality for women, holds definite views on the behaviour of her young niece. She wants Catherine to pursue an education, just as she did, to ensure her future freedom. Since Catherine arrived, however, Louisa’s every step seems to be wrong and she is finding it harder and harder to block painful memories from her past. It takes the influence of enigmatic American banker Manfred Lear Black to convince Louisa to come to New York where Catherine can test her mettle against the first women in the world to swim the English Channel. And where, unexpectedly, Louisa can finally listen to what her own heart tells her. Like Mary-Rose MacColl’s bestselling novel, In Falling Snow, Swimming Home tells a story of ordinary women who became extraordinary.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

A vintage wedding dress reveals family secrets she never knew… The chance discovery of a vintage wedding dress weaves together the fascinating stories of three women from different eras: Sophie, in hiding from a troubled past; Belle, who must lose everything to learn what really matters; and Martha, forced to give up those she loves in order to avoid exposure. It’s 1930 and Belle Bartholomew has arrived in rural Sweet Wattle Creek to claim her inheritance – a run-down grand hotel formerly owned by Martha Ambrose. Determined to solve the mystery of her birth and the reason why she was bequeathed the hotel Belle runs into difficulties with the townsfolk and their desire to keep their secrets safe. Sixty years later Sophie Matheson is on a quest to find Belle and her family after discovering the wedding dress. The Sweet Wattle Creek Centenary brings more challenges when her past catches up and she must fight for all that matters to her. Who were Belle and Martha and what links their lives together?

Feeling alive is always worth the risk. Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco’s night bus—turns Beatrix’s world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive…and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.

Behind the toddler-proof gate of Santa Monica’s exclusive Garden of Happiness, it’s the grown-ups who are getting schooled. When new preschool parent Justine discovers that the man who broke her heart back in grad school is a dad in her daughter’s class, she tells herself she’s immune to the superficial charms of the ex she calls “the crapwizard.” But when his presence opens a time tunnel of potent memories from her life before motherhood, she must find a way to defuse her old attraction to him before it undermines her marriage. Then there’s Ruben, rookie stay-at-home dad and standup comic who quits his day job to pursue his TV-writing dream on his wife’s condition that he take her place among the “power mommies” on the school committees. And ruling the sand box with an iron fist is Margaret, whose ongoing divorce from her dentist-turned-New Age-surfer husband forces her to rely on her dubious people skills in order to keep the school that has become the cornerstone of her identity. When the new school year kicks off with a flight-risk rabbit named Ozone, a school secretary in desperate need of a social filter, and some double-barreled committee recruiting tactics, it’s not all juice and cookies for Justine, Ruben, and Margaret as they struggle to play nice.

What if the only way to end your marriage was to be the perfect husband? Maya wants Nick to be less of a workaholic, to come home earlier, to spend some time with his children. Nick wants a divorce. With his mind made up, Nick is determined to leave quickly and with dignity, but it comes as an unpleasant shock to realise how much it will cost him to walk away. As a stay-at- home mum, Maya is entitled to everything. Nick is resolute, so when an unlikely solution presents itself he gives it everything he’s got. If Nick becomes a better husband and father, if he encourages his wife to rediscover herself, the more self-sufficient Maya will become: and the cheaper Nick’s pay-out. But as Nick pretends to be a better man he becomes one. He remembers his connection with Maya, their ability to be a couple and not just parents who share a house. Everything seems to be back on track. Until Maya finds out exactly what Nick has been planning.

“It’s the difference between surviving life and living life. It’s the difference between taking a shower and teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair.”  Jenny Lawson – aka The Bloggess – returns with the follow-up to her bestselling memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, recounting stories from everyday family life in her inimitably frank, hilarious, bizarre and endearing way. She describes her battles with depression and anxiety and her quest to overcome them by saying yes to even the absurdist opportunities and making the good times gloriously good. For as Jenny says: ‘You can’t experience pain without also experiencing the baffling and ridiculous moments of being fiercely, unapologetically, intensely and (above all) furiously happy…’ It’s a philosophy that has – quite literally – saved her life.

 

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