It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

sundaypost

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

Life…

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

simcake

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

What I Read Last Week (and the week before)

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

The World Between Two Covers by Ann Morgan

The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen ★★★★

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

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

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

Stuff on Sunday: Bookshelf Bounty

What I Am Reading Today

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


 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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


Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

sundaypost

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

Life…

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

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

What I Read Last Week (and the week before)

Northern Heat by Helene Young

The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins

The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitor

Only We Know by Victoria Purman

The Lie by CL Taylor

Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedland

A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Blog Tour: Introducing Northern Heat by Helene Young

Review: Northern Heat by Helene Young ★★★★

Review: The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins ★★★★

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

Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberley McCreight ★★

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

Stuff on Sunday: Motherhood in Fiction

Blog Tour Review: The Lie by CL Taylor ★★

Review: The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitor ★★

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

Review: Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedman ★★

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

 

What I Am Reading Today


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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

wkendcooking

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

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Title: Easy Weeknight Meals: Simple, healthy, delicious recipes

Author: My Food Bag and Nadia Lim

Published: Allen & Unwin April 2015

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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© Allen and Unwin 2015

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

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© Allen and Unwin 2015

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

Available to purchase from

Allen & Unwin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU

and all good bookstores.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

sundaypost

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

Life…

Still trying to catch up!

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

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

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The Eclectic Reader Challenge 7/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 35 /50

Aussie Author Challenge 4/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 4/12

What’s In A Name? Challenge 4/6

What I Read Last Week

Hush Hush by Laura Lippman

Season of Shadow and Light by Jenn J McLeod

Stay With Me by Maureen McCarthy

What She Left by TR Richmond

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

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

Review: Hush Hush by Laura Lippman★★

Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep ★★

Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberley Creighton ★★

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

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

Stuff on Sundays: Celebrating Penguin’s 80th Birthday

 What I Am Reading Today


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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

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

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

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

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

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

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WINNERS of:  The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon

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

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

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

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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 haven’t quite caught up yet after my unscheduled break but I’m making progress.

This past week has been a bit of a wild one with huge storms causing havoc across the state. Thankfully we were only on the fringes of the cell that caused widespread flash flooding and damage to homes and infrastructure, but many of my family members were in the thick of it so there were a few tense days and nights.

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Despite the drama of the week, on  Saturday Australian’s pulled together to commemorate ANZAC Day. The date, April 25th, specifically  references the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915, a doomed campaign that nevertheless birthed the legend of the ANZAC spirit.

My daughter was accorded the honour of leading the ANZAC march in my country town, on the 100th anniversary of the landings, bearing the Australian flag, while my oldest son wore his grandfather’s service medals as he and his brother marched with their cub troop. Lest we forget.

aleah_anzac2015

What I Read Last Week

Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indriðason

Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum by Georgia Madden

The Falls by Cathryn Hein

Gallipoli Street by Mary-Anne O’Connor

Captive Prince by C.S Pacat (DNF)

Where They Found Her by Kimberley McCreight

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Inside The O’Briens by Lisa Genova ★★★★

Review & Giveaway: The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon ★★

Blog Tour: An Excerpt from All That Sparkles by Claire Boston

Review & Giveaway: Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum by Georgia Madden ★★★1/2

Review: The Falls by Cathryn Hein ★★★1/2

Review: Gallipoli Street by Mary-Anne O’Connor ★★

Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

 What I Am Reading Today

On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over. But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn’t sure he approves. Now that’s she’s a mother herself–short on time, patience–Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre’s lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre’s security needs. As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she’s encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder. Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she’s been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well. . . .

 

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Tess is in trouble. Stuck on a farm outside Byron Bay, cut off from family and friends, Tess knows she must find a way to escape her violent partner to save her life and the life of her child … A chance meeting offers a way out – but can she ever trust again? Tess embarks on a desperate road trip back to the heart of her past. But what will be waiting for her at home? Will her family forgive her – and can she forgive them?

Sometime this season… The secret keeper must tell. The betrayed must trust. The hurt must heal.  When it seems everything Paige trusts is beginning to betray her, she leaves her husband at home and sets off on a road trip with six year old Matilda, and Nana Alice in tow. But stranded amid rising floodwaters, on a detour to the tiny town of Coolabah Tree Gully, Paige discovers the greatest betrayal of all happened there twenty years earlier. Someone knows that truth can wash away the darkest shadows, but… Are some secrets best kept for the sake of others?

Who is Alice Salmon? Student. Journalist. Daughter. Lover of late nights, hater of deadlines. That girl who drowned last year. Gone doesn’t mean forgotten. Everyone’s life leaves a trace behind. But it’s never the whole story.

Following a long absence spent in New York, Elaine Nichols returns to her childhood home to live with her invalid father and his geriatric Alsatian dog. The house backing on to theirs is sold and as she watches the old furniture being removed, she is taken back to a summer in the 1970’s when she was almost sixteen and this small out-of-town estate was an enclave for women and children while the men are mysterious shadows who leave every day for the outside world. The women are isolated but keep their loneliness and frustrations hidden behind a veneer of suburban respectability. When an American divorcee and her daughter move into the estate this veneer begins to crack. The women learn how to socialise, how to drink martinis, how to care less about their wifely and maternal duties. While the women are distracted, Elaine and her friends find their own entry into the adult world. The result is a tragic event that will mark the rest of Elaine’s life and be the cause of her long and guilt-ridden exile. Insightful and full of suspense, this is an uncompromising portrayal of the suburbs and the cruelties brought about by the demands of respectability.

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.

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 Enter to WIN:  The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon and

Enter to WIN: Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum by Georgia Madden

(Entries Close May 3rd. Australian residents only)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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, please join me!

Life…

So it’s been a week or two (if you noticed). I have few excuses for my unscheduled break other than the chaos of the school holidays, an unhealthy obsession with Netflix (specifically The Vampire Diaries) and general apathy brought on by aging (I turned 42 last Tuesday).

I read, but posted only a couple of reviews, I’m going to do my best to get caught up ASAP.

What I Read Last Week
(and the week before)

Missing You by Kylie Kaden

The Nutters by Kate Starmer

The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon

Food 52: Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore

Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova

Death in the Rainy Season by Anna Jacquiery

Love at First Flight by Tess Woods

The Liar by Nora Roberts

Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe

 

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

AWW Feature: Kylie Kaden and Book Nerds Anonymous

Review: Missing You by Kyle Kaden ★★★★

Review: The Nutters by Kate Starmer ★★

Weekend Cooking: Food 52: Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore

AWW Feature: Tess Woods, Love at First Flight and the road to publication

Review: Love at First Flight by Tess Woods ★★★

Weekend Cooking: Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe ★★★★

 What I Am Reading Today

The loner Erlendur has recently joined the police force as a young officer. The beat on the streets in Reykjavik is busy: traffic accidents, theft, domestic violence, contraband… And an unexplained death. When a tramp he met regularly on the night shift is found drowned in a ditch no one seems to care. But his fate haunts Erlendur and drags him inexorably into the strange and dark underworld of the city. – Features the young Erlendur: “Reykjavik Nights “is a prequel to the long-running, acclaimed series that recently concluded with “Strange Shores.”

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

An idyllic suburban town. A devastating discovery. Shocking revelations that will change three lives forever. At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of a newborn is found in the woods fringing the campus of the town’s prestigious university. No one knows the identity of the baby, what ended her very short life, or how she wound up among the fallen leaves. But among the residents of Ridgedale, there is no shortage of opinions. When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the disturbing news for the Ridgedale Reader—the town’s local paper—she has good reason to hesitate. A severe depression followed the loss of her own baby, and this assignment could unearth memories she has tried so hard to bury. But the history Molly uncovers is not her own. Her investigation unravels a decades-old trail of dark secrets hiding behind Ridgedale’s white picket fences.

Successful hubbie? Tick. Facebook-worthy baby? Tick. Bikini-body six weeks after giving birth? Um … not so much. Fashion PR exec Ally Bloom got her happy ending. Okay, her marriage might be showing the odd crack, her battleaxe mother-in-law might have come to stay, and she might not be the yummy mummy she’d imagined, but it’s nothing a decent night’s sleep and a firm commitment to a no-carb diet won’t fix. But when Ally returns to work and finds she’ll be reporting to a 22-year-old airhead, she decides to turn her back on life as a professional fashionista and embrace her inner earth mama instead. So it’s out with the Louboutins and champagne and in with the sensible flats and coffee mornings with the Mummy Mafia. From attending her first grown-up dinner party only to discover that placenta is top of the menu to controlling her monster crush on local playgroup hottie Cameron, Ally must find her feet in the brave new world of the stay-at-home mum.

For as long as she can remember, Teagan Bliss has wanted to manage her family’s property. She’s invested everything in the farm, knowing that when her parents retire she’ll be ready to take the reins. But when a family betrayal leaves her reeling, Teagan is forced to rethink her entire future. Heartbroken, Teagan flees to her aunt’s property in the idyllic Falls Valley. Vanessa is warm and welcoming and a favourite of the locals who drop in regularly for cocktail hour. Teagan soon catches the attention of sexy local farrier Lucas Knight, and with a new job, new friends and the prospect of a new relationship, she slowly begins to open up again. But the village is a hotbed of gossip and division and when Teagan gets caught up in town politics, Lucas and Vanessa become concerned. As the tension in town escalates, Teagan must decide who to trust. But when she realises those close to her have been keeping secrets, the fallout may split Teagan apart forever.

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave. Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomises the worst of the decadent court at Vere. But in the lethal web of Veretian politics, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen is caught up in a dangerous play for the throne, he must form an alliance with Laurent to survive and save his country. For Damen, there is just one rule: he must never reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .

  ***********

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe

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: Season of Salt and Honey

Author: Hannah Tunnicliffe

Published: Pan Macmillan April 2015

Status: Read from April 19 to 20, 2015 — I own a copy  {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Season of Salt and Honey is a bittersweet story of grief, love, family and food from forkandfiction.com blogger and author, Hannah Tunnicliffe.

Overwhelmed by grief after the death of her fiance, Francesca Caputo flees the sympathies of her well meaning family, seeking refuge in an abandoned cabin owned by Alex’s parents in a forested area of Washington. All Frankie wants is time alone to mourn the loss of forever, but her solitude is repeatedly interrupted, forcing her to reassess everything she thought she knew about her relationship, her family and herself.

“We were high-school sweethearts, just like everyone dreams about but no one actually has, because that kind of thing only happens in the movies. I knew right in my bones just how lucky I was. I knew everything was perfect, and did all the right things to keep it that way. Until now.”

Frankie’s grief at the loss of Alex is raw and biting, I felt for her and could understand her wish to be alone. She is craving peace and quiet, and the time to wallow in her happiest memories, but eventually Frankie is forced to confront some painful truths about her relationship with Alex when an offhand comment shakes her to the core.

“A loss that had started long before the ocean took him for good.”

Despite her desire for solitude, Frankie is befriended by caretaker, Jack, and his impish daughter, Huia, as well as the generous spirited Merriem, who all provide unexpected comfort as Frankie struggles to comes to terms with the changes Alex’s death has wrought. I liked these charming, enigmatic characters who offer kindness without expectation.

Frankie’s family is delightful, stereotypically Italian there is no escaping their loving, if somewhat suffocating, concern. While her Papa is a solid, comforting presence, Frankie’s aunts, Zia Rosa and Zia Connie, fuss and worry, cousin Vinnie makes mischief, and her estranged sister, Isabella, camps on her doorstep, reminding her of things she would rather forget.

Frankie’s family equates food with love, and Season of Salt and Honey includes the recipes for a handful of Italian dishes served and shared within its pages, including Pitta Mpigliata (Sweetbread rosettes with fruit and nuts); Lingua de Suocera (Marmalade filled pastries); Spring Risotto; and Pasta alla Norma (Pasta with eggplant, tomato and salted ricotta).

“The smells of the forest — the damp dark of the soil, the bleeding sap of the trees, the lemony cedar smell — all vanish in the company of the Sicilian food: the pungent garlic in Zio Mario’s salami, the vinegar pickling the vegetables, olives bobbing in brine, roasted peppers, the ubiquitous, sunshine-coloured olive oil.”

With lovely writing and a measured, almost lyrical, tempo, Season of Salt and Honey is a poignant novel embracing both the sourness and sweetness of love.

Available to purchase from

Pan Macmillan Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

seasonsalt_swag

eclecticreader15

Weekend Cooking: Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore

 

wkendcooking

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

****

Title: Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 recipes that will change the way you cook

Author: Kristen Miglore

Published: Ten Speed Press April 2015

Status: Read on April 10, 2015 — I own a copy  {Courtesy the publisher/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

“Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink the way we cook. They might involve an unexpectedly simple technique, debunk a kitchen myth, or apply a familiar ingredient in a new way. They’re handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacies. And, once we’ve folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too.”

Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook is written by Food52.com’s executive editor Kristen Miglore. Each of the featured recipes is of “Genius” stature, meaning they are first created by professional cooks and bakers, then submitted to Food52.com, a popular website which launched in 2009, by community members with their recommendation.

I was curious about the recipes included in this cookbook, and their claims of genius. I enjoy cooking but I’m all about keeping it simple – in both method and taste.

Honestly, the only recipes I will likely try from this collection are Gabrielle Hamilton’s Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, which recommends slathering the outside of the bread in mayonnaise, instead of butter, before grilling them in a non stick frying pan; the Tomato Sauce with butter and onion which makes a simple but tasty sounding pasta sauce; and Cheater Soft Serve Ice-cream.

However, more adventurous foodies should enjoy the range of recipes, many which are suitable for vegetarians, and should appeal to both enthusiastic beginner and intermediate home cooks.

Breakfasts like Poached Scrambled Eggs and Chocolate Muscovado Banana Cake sound good. Mains range from Shrimp Grits to Sticky Balsamic Ribs, Cauliflower Steaks to Kale Panini, plus there are recipes for salads, soups and sides. Desserts include Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake and an interesting technique to create Caramelized White Chocolate.

While Food52.com has a regular ‘Genius’ column, it’s important to note that the author claims more than half of the recipes in this cookbook have never been published in the column before, so fans should still find something new to interest them.

The publisher’s book page shares a recipe for Chocolate Mousse from Herve This plus a ‘Look Inside’ feature.

Available to purchase from

Ten Speed Press I Amazon US I BookDepository I IndieBound

via Booko

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

I hope you have enjoyed the Easter long weekend. We had plans but due to poor weather and illness ours has been quiet, and I’ve been taking it easy.

*Ive just learned that Sheila tragically lost her son as a result of a car accident over the weekend. I extend my sincere sympathies to her and her family at this difficult time *

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

SNAG-0035

The Eclectic Reader Challenge 4/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 26 /50

Aussie Author Challenge 4/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 2/12

What’s In A Name? Challenge 4/6

What I Read Last Week

The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns

Normal by Graeme Cameron

Whiskey and Charlie by Annabel Smith

After Birth by Elisa Albert

Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns ★★★★

Review: Normal by Graeme Cameron ★★★★

Review:  Whiskey and Charlie by Annabel Smith ★★★★1/2

Reblog: Let’s Talk Books at The Never Ending Bookshelf

Review: After Birth by Elisa Albert ★★★

Review:  Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler ★★1/2

 What I Am Reading Today

‘Our lives were built around the strength of a kiss between strangers. Yet seven years on, look where it led us . . .’ When Aisha met Ryan she fell hard for his good looks and easy charm. Why worry that he didn’t want children or a 9 to 5 job? Nothing and no one would come between them. But with the birth of their high-needs son, Eli, their extraordinary love is shackled into an ordinary life, their passion blunted by responsibility. Until Ryan can’t take it anymore. Then, following a mysterious phone call late one night, Aisha leaves four-year-old Eli in the care of her elderly father Patrick – and doesn’t come back. As Patrick struggles with the grandson he barely knows or understands, his frustration with his missing daughter and absent son-in-law quickly turns to fear. Particularly when blood is found in Aisha’s abandoned car . . .

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Take a medically retired copper put out of action by a killer clown, add his eager but easily distracted wife, sprinkle in small town jealousies, secret pasts, blackmail, unrequited love and top off with a lot of food, wine, tea and cakes and Albert and Rose Nutter’s first case as private detectives is all set to be a twisting, turning, calorie-filled adventure.
In the quiet village of Upper Wobble, the vicar’s wife is receiving hate mail, someone else is being blackmailed, and the most eligible male in town is turning women’s heads. Enter the Nutters, incognito, to get to the bottom of it all. Meanwhile in the neighbouring village of Little Wobble, something far more dangerous than all the blackmailers in leafy England is on the hunt, and his target may be much closer to their home than they know.

Christmas Livingstone has 10 rules for happiness. Nurturing the senses every day, doing what you love, and sharing joy with others are some of the rules but the most important for her is number 10 – ‘Absolutely no romantic relationships’. Her life is good. In her enchantingly seductive shop, The Chocolate Apothecary, she tempers chocolate and creates handmade pieces; her friends and family surround her; and her secret life of wish granting brings joy to herself and others. She doesn’t need a handsome botanist ace who knows everything about cacao to walk into her life. One who has the nicest grandmother intent on interfering, who’s adopted a gorgeous rescue dog, and who needs her help to write a book on her passion, chocolate. She really doesn’t need any of that at all. Or does she?

 

Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing? As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia; the rainy season. When a French man, Hugo Quercy, is found brutally murdered, Commandant Serge Morel finds his holiday drawn to an abrupt halt. Quercy – dynamic, well-connected – was the magnetic head of a humanitarian organisation which looked after the area’s neglected youth. Opening his investigation, the Parisian detective soon finds himself buried in one of his most challenging cases yet. Morel must navigate this complex and politically sensitive crime in a country with few forensic resources, and armed with little more than a series of perplexing questions: what was Quercy doing in a hotel room under a false name? What is the significance of his recent investigations into land grabs in the area? And who could have broken into his home the night of the murder? Becoming increasingly drawn into Quercy’s circle of family and friends – his adoring widow, his devoted friends and bereft colleagues – Commandant Morel will soon discover that in this lush land of great beauty and immense darkness, nothing is quite as it seems . . .

  ***********

 

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Life…

 As expected the past week has been a busy one. Just four days of term remain before the children have a two week holiday for Easter. We don’t have any plans as yet.. though we might go camping for a few days.

I’m proud to share that my senior basketball team earned 3rd place in the Grand Finals on Saturday, they played a great game. My junior team also played hard and placed 4th. Later that afternoon the boys took part in a clinic with the Brisbane Spartans, an Australian NBL team and had a great time.

Spartans

What I Read Last Week

Turtle Reef by Jennifer Scoullar

The Wisdom of Perversity by Rafael Yglesias

The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sanchez

His Other House by Sarah Armstrong

Pretty Ugly by Kirker Butler

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Turtle Reef by Jennifer Scoullar ★★★1/2

Review: The Wisdom of Perversity by  Rafael Yglesias ★★★1/2

Review:  The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sanchez ★★1/2

Review: His Other House by Sarah Armstrong  ★★★★

Weekend Cooking:  Pretty Ugly by Kirker Butler ★★★

Stuff On Sundays: a Day in the Life of…

 What I Am Reading Today

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

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving you into the lane ahead of him.  What you don’t know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will—one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her. This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal… and it works. Perfectly. Then he meets the checkout girl from the 24-hour grocery. And now the plan, the hunts, the room… the others. He doesn’t need any of them anymore. He needs only her. But just as he decides to go straight, the police start to close in. He might be able to cover his tracks, except for one small problem—he still has someone trapped in his garage. Discovering his humanity couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Whiskey & Charlie is a captivating debut novel of brothers who have drifted apart and the accident that will determine their future, by an unforgettable new voice exploring the struggles and strengths of the sibling bond. Some twins communicate in a secret language all their own. For Whiskey and Charlie Ferns, the two-way alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta) whispered back and forth over their crackly walkie-talkies is the best they can do. But as the brothers grow up, they grow apart. Whiskey is everything Charlie is not-bold, daring, carefree-and Charlie blames his brother for always stealing the limelight, always striving ahead while seeming to push Charlie back. By the time the twins reach adulthood, they are barely even speaking to each other. When Charlie hears that Whiskey has been in a terrible accident and has slipped into a coma, he is shocked…although perhaps not devastated. But as days and weeks slip by and the chances of Whiskey recovering grow ever more slim, Charlie is forced to look back on their lives and examine whether or not Whiskey’s actions were truly as unforgivable as Charlie believed them to be.

Sometimes I’m with the baby and I think: you’re my heart and my soul, and I would die for you. Other times I think: tiny moron, leave me the fuck alone.  A year has passed since Ari gave birth and still she can’t locate herself in her altered universe. Sleep-deprived, lonely and unprepared, she struggles through the strange, disjointed rhythms of her days and nights. Her own mother long dead and her girlhood friendships faded, she is a woman in need. When Mina – older, alone, pregnant – moves to town, Ari sees hope of a comrade-in-arms. Perhaps the hostile terrain could be more easily navigable together. With purifying anger and outrageous humour, Elisa Albert unleashes on a culture that turns its new mothers into exiles, and expects them to act like natives. And as she defines the raw experience of motherhood, Albert offers a hilarious and devastatingly honest examination of how we become the women we are.

Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing? As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.

Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Leila nears the end of her servitude—only to be bound once again against her will. Will she risk all to be human? Born in ancient Persia, Leila turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry—by cursing Leila to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself. If she can remain unBound, Leila’s curse will soon be over. But Ozan Sawyer, a Magi with the ability to See, Call, and Bind jinn has other plans.
Oz needs Leila to help him penetrate Pittsburgh’s steel-soaked magic, a juice potent but poisonous to supernatural creatures, in order to find a missing girl with her own mysterious connection to Kouros. Unfortunately for Leila, becoming Bound to Oz may risk more than just her chance to be human once more—it could risk her very soul…

  ***********

 

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