It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

Flu_Bug-900x900

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

What I Read Last Week

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Hand That Feeds You by A J Rich

The Redeemers by Ace Atkins

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

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

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

Review: The Redeemers by Ace Atkins ★★★★

Giveaway: Heart of the Country by Tricia Stringer

What I Am Reading Today

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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

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

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

SNAG-0051

What I Read Last Week

The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White

Set in Stone by Ros Baxter

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

The Trivia Man by Deborah O’Brien

Thursday’s Children by Nicci French

Friday On My Mind by Nicci French

Fast and Loose by Nicholas J Johnson

A Time to Run by JM Peace

Precocious by Joanna Barnard

Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas

The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

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

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

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

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

Stuff on Sunday: I’m All About the Books

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

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

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

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

Review: Precocious by Joanna Barnard ★★★

Review: Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas DNF

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

What I Am Reading Today

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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

  ***********


Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

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

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

SNAG-0050

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 8/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 45/50

Aussie Author Challenge 7/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 6/12

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

 

What I Read Last Week

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop

Hush, Little Bird by Nicole Trope

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

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

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

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

 

What I Am Reading Today

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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

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

makyah-bluecast

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

gymnaestrada2015

What I Read Last Week

(and the week before)

After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh

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

Chasing Chris Campbell by Genevieve Gannon

Forensics by Val McDermid

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

The Forsaken by Ace Atkins

The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

The Homestead Girls by Fiona McArthur

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

Guest Post & Excerpt: After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh

Review: After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh ★★

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

Review: Chasing Chris Carson by Genevieve Gannon ★★

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

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

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

Stuff on Sunday: Bookshelf Bounty

Feature: Excerpt of The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

Review: The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

Review: The Forsaken by Ace Atkins

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

Review: The Homestead Girls by Fiona McArthur

What I Am Reading Today

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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

 

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

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

sundaypost

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

Life…

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

What I Read Last Week

The Darkling Child by Terry Brooks

The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner

Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein

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

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

Review: The Darkling Child by Terry Brooks ★★

Review: The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell ★★

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

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

Review:  The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein ★★

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

What I Am Reading Today


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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

wkendcooking

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

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

Author: Laura Fuentes

Published: Fair Winds Press: Murdoch Books June 2015

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Pudding

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

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

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

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

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

Available to purchase from

Murdoch Books Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AUvia Booko

Amazon US I BookDepository

and all good bookstores.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

sundaypost

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

Life…

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

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

SNAG-0049

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 8/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 40 /50

Aussie Author Challenge 5/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 4/12

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

What I Read Last Week

Limbo by Amy Andrews

Leap by Myfanwy Jones

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

If You’re Not the One by Jemma Forte

And Then Came Paulette by Barbara Constantine

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Limbo by Amy Andrews ★★★★

Review: Leap by Myfanwy Jones ★★★★

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

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

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

Stuff on Sundays: Australian Voices in Print Tour

What I Am Reading Today


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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

sundaypost

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

Life…

MjAxMy02NGE1MGE0N2I0ZWQ2YTM4_528646126a533

What I Read Last Week

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

My Life as A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

How To Write Your Blockbuster by Fiona McIntosh

Ascendance by John Birmingham

Eat the Week by Anna Barnett

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

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

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

Review:  Ascendance by John Birmingham ★★

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

Weekend Cooking: Eat the Week by Anna Barnett

What I Am Reading Today

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


 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: Eat the Week by Anna Barnett

wkendcooking

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

****

 

Title: Eat the Week: every meal, every day

Author: Anna Barnett

Published: Murdoch Books May 2015

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Available to purchase from

Murdoch Books Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AUvia Booko

BookDepository  I Amazon UK I AmazonUS

and all good bookstores.

Eat-the-week-cover

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

sundaypost

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

Life…

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

simcake

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

What I Read Last Week (and the week before)

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

The World Between Two Covers by Ann Morgan

The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen ★★★★

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

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

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

Stuff on Sunday: Bookshelf Bounty

What I Am Reading Today

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


 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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


Thanks for stopping by!

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