It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz



It’s been a quiet week on the home front. I finished binge watching Grace & Frankie, and Lucifer, caught up with a few other shows and have started Dead to Me.

Our federal elections were this weekend, and the results were disappointing.

I’ve knocked a few more books off that Netgalley backlog I accrued during my hiatus, I’m down to five, but I’ve added more (of course). However Netgalley seems to think close enough is good enough, my feedback rating is at 100%

This week my oldest daughter will turn 23, the same age I was when she was born! She still lives at home and has requested pizza and a funfetti cake to celebrate on Tuesday night, and invited a bunch of her friends over for pre drinks on Saturday night, as a precursor to heading out to a club.

Here she is, aged 1



What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


The Land Girls by Victoria Purman

The Police Women’s Bureau by Edward Conlon

Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Named Helga by Todd Alexander

The Passengers by Eleanor Limprecht

Cake at Midnight by Jessie L Star

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a **** by Gill Sims



New Posts


Review: When It All Went to Custard by Danielle Hawkins

Review: The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Review: The Accusation by Wendy James

Review: Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Named Helga by Todd Alexander

Review: Four Respectable Ladies Seek the Meaning of Wife by Barbara Toner

Stuff on SundaysBookshelf Bounty



What I’m Reading This Week

{Click on the cover to add the book to your shelf on Goodreads}


A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same Bronx precinct in 1973. They aren’t close friends on the job, but end up living next door to each other outside the city. What goes on behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the stunning events to come.

Ask Again, Yes by award-winning author Mary Beth Keane, is a beautifully moving exploration of the friendship and love that blossoms between Francis’s youngest daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son, Peter, who are born six months apart. In the spring of Kate and Peter’s eighth grade year a violent event divides the neighbors, the Stanhopes are forced to move away, and the children are forbidden to have any further contact.

But Kate and Peter find a way back to each other, and their relationship is tested by the echoes from their past. Ask Again, Yes reveals how the events of childhood look different when reexamined from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.


You never know what life will throw at you. You just need to know who to turn to for help.

One morning in early summer, a man and woman wait to board a flight to Italy. 

Allie has lived a careful, focused existence. But now she has unexpectedly taken leave from her job as an academic research scientist to fly to a place she only recently heard about in a letter. Her father, Joe, doesn’t know the reason for her trip, and Allie can’t bring herself to tell him that she’s flying to Italy to unpick the truth about what her mother did all those years ago.

Beside her is her best friend since schooldays, Ed. He has just shocked everyone with a sudden separation from his wife, Julia. Allie hopes that a break will help him open up.

But the secrets that emerge as the sun beats down on Lake Garda and Liguria don’t merely concern her family’s tangled past. And the two friends are forced to confront questions about their own life-long relationship that are impossible to resolve.


A thoughtful, uplifting and magical story of childhood, family and finding ways to change the inevitable . . .
Meet Willa Waters, aged 8 . . . 33 . . . and 93.
On one impossible day in.
1965, eight-year-old Willa Waters receives a mysterious box containing a jar of water and the instruction: ‘One ocean: plant in the backyard.’ So she does – and somehow creates an extraordinary time-slip that allows her to visit her future selves.
On one impossible day in .
1990, Willa is 33 and a mother-of-two when her childhood self magically appears in her backyard. But she’s also a woman haunted by memories of her dark past – and is on the brink of a decision that will have tragic repercussions . . .
On one impossible day in .
2050 Willa is a silver-haired, gumboot-loving 93-year-old whose memory is fading fast. Yet she knows there’s something she has to remember, a warning she must give her past selves about a terrible event in 1990 . . . If only she could recall what it was.
Can the three Willas come together, to heal their past and save their future . . . before it’s too late?


Every story one day comes to an end.

As roommates, they met for the first time in college. Two of the brightest minds ever to graduate from Stamford Psychology University.

As adversaries, they met again in Quantico, Virginia. Robert Hunter had become the head of the LAPD’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. Lucien Folter had become the most prolific and dangerous serial killer the FBI had ever encountered.

Now, after spending three and a half years locked in solitary confinement, Lucien has finally managed to break free. And he’s angry.

For the past three and a half years, Lucien has thought of nothing else but vengeance.

The person responsible for locking him away has to pay, he has to suffer.

That person … is Robert Hunter.

And now it is finally time to execute the plan.


Lost letters have only one hope for survival…The Dead Letters Depot.

Inside the walls of a former tea factory, letter detectives work to solve mysteries: missing zip codes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names—these are the twists of fate behind missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers.

But when letters arrive addressed simply to “My Great Love,” one longtime letter detective with face his greatest mystery yet, as his quest to follow the clues becomes a life-changing journey of love, hope and courage.


Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz



My oldest son turned 15 this week! He wanted me to thank you for your birthday wishes, and your lovely comments on his guest review. Here he is with the triple choc birthday cake I made him.

I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day weekend. My mother is doing much better after her injury but I still haven’t been able to visit her between my lingering illness and still having no car, hopefully soon though. Our day was quiet, my husband went to Archery as usual, the kids mumbled Happy Mother’s Day during their respective semi-somnolent forays into the kitchen for food, and that was it.

I’m watching Lucifer with hubby on Netflix in the evenings, and binge watching Grace & Frankie once he goes to bed. It’s hilarious, and completely to blame for me not getting through my reading list this week.



What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


Four Respectable Ladies Seek the Meaning of Wife by Barbara Toner

When It All Went to Custard by Danielle Hawkins

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

The Accusation by Wendy James



New Posts…


Review: Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor: A New Beginning Vol 1 by Jody Houser, Artist: Rachael Stott

Review: Sixty Summers by Amanda Hampson

Review: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean

Review: Hush Hush {Harriet Blue #4} by Candice Fox and James Patterson

Review: Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by  H.P. Wood

Weekend CookingSixty Summers in Six Dishes with Amanda Hampson




What I’m Reading This Week…


The Bronx, 1958.

The Policewomen’s Bureau isn’t respected within the Department, even as it handles those cases only a woman’s touch could solve. Marie Carrara, a young officer with the 44th Precinct, has joined the few women stepping away from the select matronly duties available to female officers to take up series cases. With courage and a stiff upper lip when undercover, Marie is dispatched to grim and scary situations, using her air of innocence and others’ prejudice against her to take down degenerates and sex offenders. Despite the violence of her job, the sexism she faces daily, and a rocky marriage waiting for her at home, Marie is determined to make a name for herself within the NYPD and be the role model her young daughter deserves.

With the support of Marie Cirile, the real-life inspiration for Marie Carrara, author Ed Conlon combines the true stories of her time on the Job with his author’s flair to create an exciting story, worthy of the best silver screen police movies



Once I was the poster boy for corporate success, but now I’m crashing through the bush in a storm in search of a missing pig. How the hell did we end up here?

Todd and Jeff have had enough of the city. Sick of the daily grind and workaday corporate shenanigans, they throw caution to the wind and buy 100 acres in the renowned Hunter Valley wine region, intent on living a golden bucolic life and building a fabulous B&B, where they can offer the joys of country life to heart-weary souls.

Todd will cook, Jeff will renovate. They have a vineyard, they can make wine. They have space, they can grow their own food. They have everything they need to make their dreams come true. How hard can it be?

(I won this, and had it signed for my mother for Mother’s Day, but I’m going to read it first)



The Tides are a family with many secrets. Haunted by the events of one tragic day a decade ago, they are each, in their own way, struggling to move forward with their lives.

There is Dora, the family’s youngest daughter, who lives in a ramshackle London warehouse with her artist boyfriend. She is doing a good job of skating across the surface of her life, but when she discovers she is pregnant, she finds herself staring back at the darkness of a long-held guilt. Dora’s mother, Helen, is a complicated woman whose relationship with her family has always been turbulent, while her father Richard has cobbled together a life that bears little resemblance to his boyhood dreams. And Cassie, Dora’s long-estranged sister, has cut off her family entirely, it seems.

When Dora arrives at Clifftops, her family’s rambling home on the Dorset coast, it seems that Helen might finally be ready to make amends for her own part in the tragedy. But what Dora soon discovers is that the path to redemption does not rest solely with her mother. Can family crimes this damaging ever really be forgiven?



Sarah and Hannah are on a cruise from San Diego, California to Sydney Australia. Sarah, Hannah’s grandmother, is returning to the country of her birth, a place she hasn’t seen since boarding the USS Mariposa in 1945. She, along with countless other war brides, sailed across the Pacific to join the American Servicemen they’d married during World War II.

Hannah is the age Sarah was when she made her first journey, and in hearing Sarah tell the story of her life, realises the immensity of what her grandmother gave up.

The Passengers is a luminous novel about the journeys we undertake, the sacrifices we make and the heartache we suffer for love. It is about how we most long for what we have left behind. And it is about the past – how close it can feel – even after long passages of time.


Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: ‘Sixty Summers’ in Six Dishes from Amanda Hampson

In my new novel ‘Sixty Summers’, the relationships of three old friends are put to the test when they retrace the steps of their youthful backpacking trip through Europe. I had my own memories of travelling in that era to draw on for the past story. The next task was to research the current day journey through Europe. I set off by train with my characters for company and share with you here a few of my food experiences.

Paris was my first stop in Europe. A city with many fabulous restaurants for those who are not on a tight budget, and know where to eat. I don’t fall into either category and had a couple of meals that were almost inedible. The best was one of my favourite French dishes, salade de chévre chaud. It is so simple it’s almost impossible to mess up. Grilled goat’s cheese on slices of baguette with ripe tomatoes and a little greenery – délicieux!

Next stop was Berlin. Known for wonderful breads and every kind of sausage, they also excel at knocking up a torte or two. Fresh and beautifully decorated, the slices are generous so the tricky part is deciding which kuchen to sample. One of my favourites is the unpronounceable zwetschgendatschi; a sponge cake topped with ripe plums and dusted with powdered sugar.

In Prague they are very keen on all things chocolate. It was 8 degrees below zero when I was there and I did indulge in a delicious hot chocolate to thaw my frozen hands out after a long walk. I didn’t have a chance to sample these rather strange concoctions. Chocolate rum I can understand, but chocolate wine and beer?!

In Vienna, I lashed out on lunch at the historic Cafe Central to check out the classic Viennese architecture. First opened in 1876, some of its regulars were Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler and Sigmund Freud – not sure if they shared a table! The cafe is justifiably famous for its exquisite pastries and gateaux. I had the Himbeer Harmonie – chocolate with raspberry and marshmallow – it tasted even better than it looks!

Bologna has some of the most amazing food shops anywhere in Europe and, after indulging in gateaux, it was time get into some fruit and vegetables. One fruiterer, unimpressed with my pronunciation of mela (apple) took it upon herself to give me some tutoring. Other customers stood around watching with interest as she corrected me and had me repeat the word numerous times until she was satisfied – no extra charge.

Crete was my last stop. There are so many classic Greek dishes that are good and the yoghurt and fruit I had in Chania was the best. This beetroot salad was one of those dishes that, when it arrives, makes you wonder what on earth you ordered. It was beetroot and was cold, so I guess that makes it a salad – but it was also very weird!


If you would like to read more about my research trip jump over to my blog:

BethFishReads invites you to share any food related post in the weekly Weekend Cooking link up.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?



The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz


My mother is a pretty amazing woman, she’s in her early seventies but I never think of her as old. She volunteers in her community, she plays ukulele in a band, she leads a very active walking group (as in they walk up mountains), she and my Dad travel, and they have a full social life. She had a fall at home last week though, tumbling off a small step in her pantry resulting in three broken ribs, and a torn lung. She is okay, though still very sore of course, but I hate that she is hurt. 😦

Other than that, it’s been a relatively uneventful week here.

Tomorrow though, my oldest son turns 15…you can help him celebrate by leaving a comment on the special guest review he wrote, which will be published on Tuesday. Like me, my son is an avid reader, though epic fantasy and manga are his preferred genres. He writes Dr. Who fan fiction too, and has short stories already published in two books.

Here he is…all 6ft of him, he has short hair right now though, it was shaved off, along with his facial hair (which has already grown back), last month during an event for The World’s Greatest Shave = his team raised over $6000 for the Leukaemia Foundation.




What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


The Woman In Darkness by Charlie Donlea

Sixty Summers by Amanda Hampson

The VanApfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean

Liar, Liar by Candice Fox and John Patterson

Hush, Hush by Candice Fox and John Patterson



New Posts


Review: 55 by James Delargy ★★★★

Review: The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta ★★★★1/2

Review: The Woman in Darkness by Charlie Donlea ★★★1/2

Review: Devil’s Bargain {Red Letter Days #1} by Rachel Caine ★★★1/2

Review: Devil’s Due {Red Letter Days #1} by Rachel Caine ★★★

Review: Beloved Poison {Jem Flockhart #1} by E.S. Thomson ★★★1/2

Stuff on Sundays: Six Degrees of Separation 



What I’m Reading This Week


‘Marriage isn’t always a bed of roses. And there are many ways to be a wife,’ the vicar informs the town …

It’s 1930, and as the Depression overtakes rural New South Wales, what it means to be a wife tests the four respectable ladies of Prospect to their very limit.

Louisa Worthington fled to the city ten years ago, pregnant, poor and under a cloud of scandal. Now she’s back – blonde and brazen – with her heart set on the married son of the town’s mayor.

Adelaide Nightingale, newly widowed and starved of romance, yearns for adoration, security and a version of herself defined by beauty not business.

Maggie Albright dreams of empire building, but is hamstrung by her over-cautious husband, who grows less handsome by the day.

Then there’s Pearl Fletcher, happily married to Joe, the district’s most successful sheep farmer, but protecting a secret that could tear their family apart.

And hovering in the town’s shadows is a ghost from their past. A man newly released from jail ruthlessly bent on exploiting the ladies’ hopes and fears to get what he wants. And what he wants is Louisa . .



Odds of saving marriage – slim. Farming expertise – patchy. Chances that it’ll all be okay in the end – actually pretty good …

I wasn’t enjoying the afternoon of 23 February even before I learnt that my husband was having an affair …

The news of her husband’s infidelity comes as a nasty shock to Jenny Reynolds, part-time building control officer and full-time mother – even though, to her surprise and embarrassment, her first reaction is relief, not anguish. What really hurts is her children’s unhappiness at the break-up, and the growing realisation that, alone, she may lose the family farm.

This is the story of the year after Jenny’s old life falls apart; of family and farming, pet lambs and geriatric dogs, choko-bearing tenants and Springsteen-esque neighbours. And of just perhaps a second chance at happiness.




War has engulfed Europe and now the Pacific, and Australia is fighting for its future. For spinster Flora Atkins, however, nothing much has changed. Tending her dull office job and beloved brother and father, as well as knitting socks for the troops, leaves her relatively content. Then one day a stranger gives her brother a white feather and Flora’s anger propels her out of her safe life and into the vineyards of the idyllic Mildura countryside, a member of the Australian Women’s Land Army.

There she meets Betty, a 17-year-old former shopgirl keen to do her bit for the war effort and support her beloved, and the unlikely Lilian, a well-to-do Adelaide girl fleeing her overbearing family and theworld’s expectations for her. As the Land Girls embrace their new world of close-knit community and backbreaking work, they begin to find pride in their roles. More than that, they start to find a kind of liberation. For Flora, new friendships and the singular joy derived from working the land offer new meaning to her life, and even the possibility of love.

But as the clouds of war darken the horizon, and their fears for loved ones – brothers, husbands, lovers – fighting at the front grow, the Land Girls’ hold on their world and their new-found freedoms is fragile. Even if they make it through unscathed, they will not come through unchanged..




East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.



A bizarre abduction. A body of damning evidence. A world of betrayal.

Eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning is found shivering and barely conscious on a country road, clad only in ill-fitting pyjamas. Her story of kidnap and escape quickly enthrals the nation: a middle-aged woman with a crazy old mother has held Ellie in a basement, chained her to a bed and given her drinks from an old baby’s sippy cup. But who was this woman and what did she want with Ellie? And what other secrets might she hide?

When the accusation is levelled at local teacher Suzannah Wells, no one seems more bewildered than Suzannah herself … to start with. The preposterous charge becomes manifestly more real as she loses her job and her friends. And the evidence is strong: a dementia-affected mother, a house with a basement, a sippy cup that belonged to her long-dead daughter. And Ellie Canning’s DNA everywhere. As stories about Susannah’s past emerge, even those closest to her begin to doubt she’s innocent.

And Ellie? The media can’t get enough of her. She’s a girl-power icon, a social-media star. But is she telling the truth?

A powerful exploration of the fragility of trust, and the power of suggestion, from the author of The Golden Child and The Mistake.


Thanks for stopping by!

Six Degrees of Separation

Hosted by Kate at Books Are My favourite and Best,

the Six Degrees of Separation meme

asks you to start at the same place as other readers, add six books, and see where you end up!

Click here for the rules!


This month begins with The Dry, the debut novel from Australian author, Jane Harper. One of its many strengths (you can read my review here), is it’s setting in a small and struggling drought affected country town in Victoria.

That, among other similarities, leads us to another Australian crime fiction novel, Scrublands  by Chris Hammer (you can read my review here). Set in New South Wales, drought-stricken Riversend is the scene of a shocking mass murder.

It’s no surprise that the film rights to both The Dry, and Scrublands, were snapped up by the local film industry. Currently in post production is I am Woman, a movie based on Australian Helen Reddy’s autobiography, The Woman I Am. With her song “I Am Woman,” Reddy provided the feminist anthem of the 1970’s.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a novel about a young woman’s music career set during the same period in which Helen Reddy found fame. Reid relates Daisy’s journey in an epistolary format, through interview transcripts mimicking a music documentary.

Which brings us to the YA sci-fi novel, Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff told through a combination of schematics, logs, emails and file documents. Set in the year 2575, Illuminae begins when Kady is forced to evacuate her planet after war breaks out between two mega corporations.

Next I’ve chosen Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See, where a father and his young blind daughter, are forced to flee their home in Paris when the the Nazi’s invade during World War 2. I really need to read this before Netflix releases its tv series adaption.

Finally, the chain ends with another book on my TBR pile, The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap. This novel features two vision impaired characters, Nova has been blind since birth, while Kate’s vision was affected by an accident. Both women face challenges as they negotiate their change in circumstances.

I’m looking forward to seeing how your chain unfolded!















It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz


Ugh, while I appreciate the cooler weather of autumn, I do not appreciate the change of season flu that follows it. My husband started coughing and sniffling on Friday, by Sunday I was too, and then like dominoes, the kids have fallen victim. So instead of being out and about enjoying the mild weather over the holidays, we’ve all been cooped up inside, unable to stray too far from a box of tissues.

I finally picked up my reading glasses. They are going to take a bit of getting used to but they do make a surprising amount of difference. I was going to take a selfie to show you but my nose is all red from the tissues, and my eyes are bloodshot from coughing…not a good look, so I’ll spare you.

It’s the last Sunday of the month, so time to check on the progress of my Goodreads Challenge, I’m ahead for now.





What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill

55 by James Delargy

Magruders Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Wood

The Baby Doctor by Fiona McArthur

Never Never by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Fifty Fifty by James Patterson and Candice Fox

The Place on Dalhousie Street by Melina Marchetta



New Posts


Review: Blood River by Tony Cavanaugh ★★★★

Review: The Heart by Maylis de Kerangel (Translated by Sam Taylor) ★★★

Review: Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline ★★

Review: Fortune’s Son by Jennifer Scoullar ★★★1/2

Review: Scrublands by Chris Hammer ★★★★1/2

Review: One For the Books by Joe Queenan ★★

Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger ★★★

Review: The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell ★★1/2

Review: A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill ★★★★

Stuff on Sunday: Aussie Books for Mother’s Day



What I’m Reading This Week


You look the type to break your father’s heart.’

‘Yeah, but he broke mine first.’

When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married less than a year after the death of Rosie’s mother. Martha is struggling to fulfil Seb’s dream, while Rosie is coming to terms with new responsibilities. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to.

As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie’s life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he’s now grappling, heartbreakingly, with forming one of his own . . .


As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together details others fail to see. And while cleaning out her late father’s law office, she takes a call that plunges her into a forty-year-old mystery.

In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind – until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, which uncovered his identity. But before police could question her, Angela disappeared.

Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder – the only killing the DA could pin on him. But a cryptic file found in her father’s office suggests to Rory there is more to the case than anyone knew.

Soon Rory is helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, she uncovers dark truths about the reclusive woman, her own father, and the man called The Thief.

But not even Rory is prepared for the terrifying secrets about to emerge…


Life is too short for compromise .

When Maggie, Fran and Rose met in their youth, they had dreams and ambitions. Forty years later, the three friends are turning sixty, each of them restless and disenchanted with their lives.

Fran works in a second-hand bookshop. Her lover, one of a long line of disappointing men, is drifting away and her future is uncertain.

Maggie married into a volatile family. Her beautiful, indulged twin daughters are causing havoc and her elderly mother-in-law has moved in and is taking charge.

Rose has been an off-sider for her hopelessly vague but academically brilliant husband and their two sons. Time is running out to find and fulfil her own ambitions.

In an attempt to recapture the sense of freedom and purpose they once possessed, they decide to retrace the steps of their 1978 backpacking trip through Europe and set off an odyssey that will test their friendship, challenge their beliefs and redefine the third age of their lives.


Tikka Molloy was eleven and one-sixth years old during the long hot summer of 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters disappeared. Hannah, beautiful Cordelia and Ruth vanished during the night of the school’s Showstopper concert at the amphitheatre by the river, surrounded by encroaching bushland.

Now, years later, Tikka has returned home to try and make sense of the summer that shaped her, and the girls that she never forgot.

Blackly comic, sharply observed and wonderfully endearing, this is Picnic at Hanging Rock for a new generation, a haunting coming-of-age story with a shimmering, unexplained mystery at its heart


Revenge is coming, and her name is Harriet Blue . . .

Detective Harriet Blue is clear about two things. Regan Banks deserves to die. And she’ll be the one to pull the trigger.

But Regan – the Georges River Killer and the man responsible for destroying her brother’s life – has gone to ground. And now Harriet needs to disappear too – before her colleagues stop her carrying out an act that could end her career, her freedom, even her life.

Suddenly, her phone rings. It’s him. Regan. And he wants to play ‘catch me if you can’.

Within hours Harry is following his clues along a path of devastation down the Australian south coast. Town by town, Regan is taking lives, and each one is someone she knows well.

With both of them wanted on every newspaper and every television screen, time is running out. Harry needs to stop this killing machine fast before her chance for vengeance slips away



Harriet Blue used to be a detective. Now she’s inmate 3329.
Prison is a dangerous place for a former cop – as Harriet is learning on a daily basis.
So, following a fight for her life and a prison-wide lockdown, the last person she wants to see is Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Woods. The man who put her inside.
But Woods is not there to gloat. His daughter Tonya and her two-year-old child have gone missing.
He’s ready to offer Harriet a deal: find his family to buy her freedom …


Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz


Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you are enjoying a relaxed weekend. My family is not religious so for us the holiday is an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast and spend time with family and friends.

So I’ve been working hard this week to catch up. I was shocked to log in to Netgalley and find I had 37 titles awaiting feedback, I really didn’t think the total would be so high. During the last two weeks, I’ve reduced that to under half, which is why you are seeing multiple posts a day right now, and will for a while.

And of course, since I was logged in already, I couldn’t help browsing and I added a few more titles to my schedule.

On a positive note, I discovered Netgalley has introduced some new badges, so I now have all these pretties to show off.

Unfortunately the tower of unsolicited print ARCs is still, well, towering. And there are still a couple of dozen or so titles in a pile which again, I read during my hiatus, for which I feel I still owe a review.

At the moment the task still feels insurmountable, but I’m going to keep working at it.



What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by MA Orthofer

Those Other Women by Nicole Moriarty

Devil’s Bargain {Red Letter Days #1} by Rachel Caine

Devil’s Due {Red Letter Days #2} by Rachel Caine

Blood River by Tony Cavanaugh

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger



New Posts


Review: The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell ★★★★★

Review: The Year of the Farmer by Rosalie Ham ★★★

Review: Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman ★★★

Review: Outback Sisters by Rachael Johns ★★★★

Review: Viral by Helen Fitzgerald ★★★

Review: Making it Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes ★★★

Review: The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by MA Orthofer ★★★★

Review: Dastardly Deeds by Isla Evans ★★★★

Review: Review: Fall {Archer & Bennett #3} by Candice Fox ★★★★★

Bookshelf Bounty

Review: The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan ★★★

(a better late than never) Review: The Near Miss by Fran Cusworth ★★

(a better late than never) Review: Smoke and Mirrors {Stephens and Mephisto #2} ★★★1/2



What I’m Reading This Week

(book covers link to Goodreads)


Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.

All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.

He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.

Heath is a serial killer.

As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.

Gabriel is the serial killer.

Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?


You live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses.

You’ve known your neighbours for years and you trust them. Implicitly.

You think your children are safe.

But are they really?

Midsummer night: a thirteen-year-old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?


May 1904. Coney Island’s newest amusement park, Dreamland, has just opened. Its many spectacles are expected to attract crowds by the thousands, paying back investors many times over.
Kitty Hayward and her mother arrive by steamer from South Africa. When Kitty’s mother takes ill, the hotel doctor sends Kitty to Manhattan to fetch some special medicine. But when she returns, Kitty’s mother has vanished. The desk clerk tells Kitty she is at the wrong hotel. The doctor says he’s never seen her although, she notices, he is unable to look her in the eye.
Alone in a strange country, Kitty meets the denizens of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. A relic of a darker, dirtier era, Magruder’s is home to a forlorn flea circus, a handful of disgruntled Unusuals, and a mad Uzbek scientist. Magruder’s Unusuals take Kitty under their wing and resolve to find out what happened to her mother.
But as a plague spreads, Coney Island is placed under quarantine. The gang at Magruder’s finds that a missing mother is the least of their problems, as the once-glamorous resort town is abandoned to the freaks, anarchists, and madmen.


Rowland Sinclair is an artist and a gentleman. In Australia’s 1930s the Sinclair name is respectable and influential, yet Rowland has a talent for scandal.

Even with thousands of unemployed lining the streets, Rowland’s sheltered world is one of exorbitant wealth, culture and impeccable tailoring. He relies on the Sinclair fortune to indulge his artistic passions and friends … a poet, a painter and a brazen sculptress.

Mounting tensions fuelled by the Great Depression take Australia to the brink of revolution.


‘The right people turn up in your life at the right time if you let them.’

Sienna Wilson is living her dream in the city – a rewarding obstetrics job in a leading hospital, an apartment with a view, and handsome Sergeant McCabe on call whenever she needs him. The last thing she wants is a posting to investigate a medical mystery in a remote outback town.

But on arrival in Spinifex, Sienna is brought to life in new and exciting ways. In a community riddled with secrets, she meets troubled young barmaid Maddy, and tough publican Alma, both with their secrets to hide.

As they draw strength from each other, new friendships, new loves and new babies are born, proving that when strong women join forces, they can overcome even the greatest odds.


Thanks for stopping by!


It’s Monday! What are you reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate



Do you ever experience weird coincidences with your reading? Sometimes it’s something simple, like the same name used in two different novels, at other times an unexpected esoteric topic crops up in conversation with a friend, or in the news, which is the subject of the next book you pick up. Once, when visiting my mother, she showed me a tea towel she’d bought on a recent trip that listed unusually named towns that I’d never heard of, the next day I started a new book which mentioned two of those towns. In this instance, I unintentionally scheduled two books to read in the past week that both feature a synesthete teenage boy – one is a murder mystery, The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, the other a literary novel, The Book of Dreams, which gave no hint as to a synesthete character. In addition, my daughter casually mentioned that synesthesia was a topic in her biology class this week after I mentioned the coincidence to her. ( ♪♫♪ Insert Twilight Zone theme here ♪♫♪)

By the way, you may find I’m posting more frequently over the next few weeks. In an effort to tidy up things left undone (particularly my netgalley account) during my hiatus I’ve been writing posts for books I read but didn’t review at the time. I’ve also been attempting to update my Goodreads shelves (which are still glitching) and my LibraryThing account (feel free to add me as a friend on one, or both) Thankfully I at least kept my BookCollectorz app up to date during my absence.

Oh and it was my birthday yesterday.

🎂 Happy Birthday to me 🎂

It was a quiet day, I lounged and read. My kids bought me some new slippers for the fast approaching winter weather, and made me a cake 🙂



What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

After the Party by Cassie Hamer

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies by Kitty Flanagan

Fortune’s Son by Jennifer Scoullar

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan



New Posts

Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella ★★

Review: The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence ★★★★1/2

Review: The Book of Dreams by Nina George ★★★

Review: Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies by Kitty Flanagan ★★★

Review: The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris ★★★1/2

Weekend Cooking: Slow Cooker Central 2 by Paulene Christie (and me!)

Review: After the Party by Cassie Hamer ★★★

(a better late than never) Review: Recipes of Love and Murder by Sally Andrew ★★★★1/2


What I’m Reading This Week


‘Is marriage just a series of texts about where the children are and whether we need milk until one of you dies?’

Susannah Parks – wife, mother, cleaner of surfaces and runner of household – is a viola virtuoso. Except she hasn’t picked up a viola for over a decade. She has, however, picked up a lot of Lego, socks, wet towels and other exhibits of mundanity. She has also picked up on the possibility that her husband has lost interest in her. (And frankly, she’s not very interested in Susannah Parks either.) But this year, she has resolved to be very interesting. Also thoughtful, useful, cheerful, relevant, self-sufficient, stylish, alluring and intelligent.

In her highly confidential diary, Susannah documents the search for the elusive spark in her marriage, along with all the high and low notes of life with her four beloved children, with her free-spirited (and world famous) best friend Ria, and with Hugh, the man who fills her heart with burning passion and her washing pile with shirts.

And perhaps amid the chaos she might be brave enough to find the missing pieces of herself.


Brisbane 1999. It’s hot. Stormy. Dangerous. The waters of the Brisbane River are rising.

The rains won’t stop. People’s nerves are on edge. And then…

A body is found.

And then another.

And another.

A string of seemingly ritualized but gruesome murders. All the victims are men. Affluent. Guys with nice houses, wives and kids at private schools. All have had their throats cut.

Tabloid headlines shout, THE VAMPIRE KILLER STRIKES AGAIN!

Detective Sergeant Lara Ocean knows the look. The ‘my-life-will-never-be-the-same-again look’. She’s seen it too many times on too many faces. Telling a wife her husband won’t be coming home. Ever again. Telling her the brutal way he was murdered. That’s a look you never get used to. Telling a mother you need her daughter to come to the station for questioning. That’s another look she doesn’t want to see again.

And looking into the eyes of a killer, yet doubting you’ve got it right. That’s the worst look of all – the one you see in the mirror. Get it right, you’re a hero and the city is a safer place. Get it wrong and you destroy a life. And a killer remains free. Twenty years down the track, Lara Ocean will know the truth.


Rivalries and resentments between mums and non-mums spiral wildly out of control in the compelling new book by the bestselling author of The Fifth Letter

Poppy’s world has tipped sideways. The husband who never wanted children has changed his mind. The trusted childhood best friend has betrayed her. And the new friend from work, Annalise, insists she need to let loose.

At least Annalise is on Poppy’s side – she has no interest in having kids either. After they create a private Facebook group dedicated to women like themselves who don’t have or want kids, the memberships soar, and Poppy feels like she’s in control again. Then things take a nasty turn. They have a mole – someone in their group isn’t who she says she is.

But Poppy and Annalise aren’t the only ones who are fed up. Their colleague, Frankie, is tired of being judged at every turn: by colleagues when she leaves early to pick up her kids, by stay-at-home mums when she can’t volunteer at school, and by her own children for missing events. Her frustrations are complicated by a secret she’s keeping, and she doesn’t know how much longer she can pretend everything is fine.

As the online hostility between parents and non-parents spills out into the real world, things begin to slide disastrously, dangerously out of control, exposing carefully concealed secrets and lies that will have a devastating effect on these three women’s lives.


Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor.

Two months pass and Christine is happily pregnant. but one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders-and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor.

Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced, with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses an ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer?


For more than a decade, the “Complete Review “has been an essential site for readers interested in learning about new books in translation and developments in global literature. Expanding upon the site’s content, this wide-ranging yet user-friendly resource is the perfect guide for English-language readers eager to explore fiction from around the world. Profiling hundreds of titles and authors from 1945 to today, with an emphasis on fiction published in the past two decades, this reference provides a fascinating portal into the styles, trends, and genres of the world’s literatures, from Scandinavian crime thrillers and cutting-edge works in China to Latin American narco-fiction and award-winning French novels.


Thanks for stopping by!

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

Weekend Cooking: Slow Cooker Central 2 by Paulene Christie (and me!)


So while I was on hiatus, one of the more exciting things that happened for me was the publication of a couple of recipes I submitted in the book Slow Cooker Central 2 by Paulene Christie.

I joined the Slow Cooker Central community in the search of ways to make more use of my slowcooker. With a large family, whom have large appetites and a busy schedule, I am always on the lookout for easy, economical and satisfying meal ideas.

Slow Cooker Central 2 (HarperCollins AU I HarperCollins US) contains 270 recipes organised into 14 chapters that will help you make meals to match your appetite or what’s in the fridge. They are family friendly recipes from people who cook for their families everyday. You’ll find great ideas for casseroles, curries, soups and roasts; plus plenty of recipes you might not expect, such as those for desserts, cakes, fudge and even face paint and play dough.

The recipes I contributed to Slow Cooker Central 2 are two of my family favourites, Creamy Chicken Fajitas and Luau Chicken.

The website at Slow Cooker Central contains an archive of recipes, hints, tips and more, and the Slow Cooker Central Facebook group is busy and active group. There is even an App It’s membership is primarily Australian so metric measurements are most common, but all nationalities are welcome. Other publications available are Slow Cooker Central 1, Slow Cooker Central Family Favourites, Slow Cooker Central Kids and Slow Cooker Central Super Savers.

One of my favourite slow cooker recipes that I didn’t submit is a tasty fakeaway meal. I’ve recently had to replace my trusty 20 year old 7L Breville Banquet Maker (pictured) with a newer model after it finally gave up the ghost, so this recipe is made in a 7L Breville Flavour Maker.

Homemade Turkish Doner Kebab (Gyro)

1.5 kg lean or extra lean beef mince
500g lamb mince
2 1/2 tbsp Greek Seasoning (I used Masterfoods brand)
1 Tbsp Harissa Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp all purpose seasoning
1 tsp salt
Optional: 1/4 -1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (omit if you dislike heat)

Measure Greek seasoning, Harissa Seasoning, garlic powder, all purpose seasoning, salt and cayenne pepper into a small container and mix well.
Place beef and lamb mince in a large bowl and mix by hand until well combined.
Add spices to mince and mix well again.
If available add mince mix to food processor and pulse til a thick paste
Line a rectangular container (approx lunch box size) with foil and add mince, pressing firmly with knuckles to expel air and fill. Cover and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours or up to overnight.
Remove container from refrigerator, ensure meat is tightly wrapped in foil, re-wrap if necessary.
Make 6 balls of foil (or use a rack) and place in slow cooker to create a stand for the foil wrapped meat. Add 1 – 1 1/2 cups water to slow cooker, make sure water level is below the level of the stand.
Add foil wrapped meat and turn slow cooker to HIGH
Cook on HIGH for 1.5 hours. This ensures meat will keep its tight shape.
Remove foil wrapped meat from slow cooker, take out balls/rack and pour out water.
Turn slow cooker to LOW, unwrap meat and place directly into the slow cooker bowl.
Cook on LOW for a further 2-3 hours (a meat thermometer should register at least 70c (150F) when inserted into the middle of the loaf)
When cooked, remove meat, wrap in foil and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes.
Slice thinly with a large very sharp knife (an electric or shaving knife would make this easier).
Serve wrapped in warmed pita or tortilla wraps with your preferred dressings
I like lots of shredded lettuce, thinly sliced onion rings, BBQ sauce and a squirt of aioli (garlic sauce). You can also add sliced tomato, shredded cheese, tabbouleh, humus etc
Leftovers still taste great heated in the microwave.

But it happens to be my birthday I’m not cooking tonight YAY!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?



The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate


Time seems to have got away from me a bit this week. It’s strange how even the smallest interruption to your routine can throw everything off for days.

Until my glasses arrive I’m also finding I can only read printed books in short bursts, so that’s slowing my down some. I really want to make a concerted effort to get through the books I received during my hiatus.

I’m also making an effort to rejoin some of the challenges and memes I used to take part in. Obviously I’m taking part in It’s Monday! and The Sunday Post. I’m also rejoining BethFishReads Weekend Cooking linkup on a monthly basis, and the Six Degrees of Separation meme hosted by Kate at Books are my favourite and Best. I’ve signed up for the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Got any other recommendations for me?


What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence

Book of Dreams by Nina George

The Year of the Farmer by Rosalie Ham


New Posts

Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon ★★★★

Review: Force of Nature {Aaron Falk #2} by Jane Harper ★★★1/2

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang ★★★★

Review: Accidental Death? By Robin Bowles ★★★1/2

Review: Smoke and Iron {The Great Library #4} by Rachel Caine ★★★★

Stuff on Sunday: 2019 Hugo Award Finalists



What I’m Reading This Week


An unexpected gift left at her daughter’s fifth birthday party in the form of a little girl pitches Sydney mum Lisa Wheeldon into events both hilarious and life-changing.

Liane Moriarty meets Marian Keyes with a touch of Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap in this hilarious, touching and clever novel that asks what wouldn’t you do to save a child?

Be careful what you wish for…

Lisa Wheeldon has a lovely life. Wife to a gorgeous husband, Scott, and a devoted mother to two small daughters, the former accountant has everything she wants – except a third child. But the universe has a strange way of providing.

On the surface, Ava’s fifth birthday party seems the ideal opportunity for Lisa to meet her daughter’s new kindergarten friends – all 32 of them! But from beginning to end, the day is a complete nightmare, capped off by the discovery of a little girl hiding in the Wheeldon’s backyard. At first, Lisa reasons that Ellie’s mum is running late. But when they open a gift from the mysterious little girl, it becomes clear her mother has no intention of returning at all…

What sort of mother abandons her child? And why has she chosen the Wheeldons?

Together, Lisa and her sister Jamie launch their own efforts to find the missing mum, a journey that will force Lisa to face her past, Jamie to confront her future and see both embroiled with angry exes, pragmatic fortune-tellers, Russian mobsters and a hyena pack of yummy mummies.

A journey that will force Lisa to rethink all she knows about being a good mother.


Whatever happens, don’t tell anyone what you did to Bee Larkham…

Jasper is not ordinary. In fact, he would say he is extraordinary…

Synaesthesia paints the sounds of his world in a kaleidoscope of colours that no one else can see. But on Friday, he discovered a new colour – the colour of murder.

He’s sure something has happened to his neighbour, Bee Larkham, but no-one else seems to be taking it as seriously as they should be. The knife and the screams are all mixed up in his head and he’s scared that he can’t quite remember anything clearly.

But where is Bee? Why hasn’t she come home yet? Jasper must uncover the truth about that night – including his own role in what happened…


Heads you win. Tails you die …

Can one man’s revenge become his redemption?

Young Luke Tyler has everything going for him: brains, looks and a larrikin charm that turns heads. The future appears bright, until he defends his sister from the powerful Sir Henry Abbott. His reward is fifteen years hard labour on a prison farm in Tasmania’s remote highlands.

Luke escapes, finding sanctuary with a local philanthropist, Daniel Campbell, and starting a forbidden love affair with Daniel’s daughter, Belle. But when Luke is betrayed, he must flee or be hanged.

With all seeming lost, Luke sails to South Africa to start afresh. Yet he remains haunted by the past, and by Belle, the woman he can’t forget. When he returns to seek revenge and reclaim his life, his actions will have shattering consequences – for the innocent as well as the guilty.

Set against a backdrop of wild Tasmania, Australian Gold and African diamonds, Fortune’s Son is an epic saga of betrayal, undying love and one man’s struggle to triumph over adversity and find his way home.


In The Weight of Him Billy Brennan undergoes an unforgettable journey in a startling attempt to resurrect his family and reignite hearts, his own most of all.

At four hundred pounds, Billy can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food’s colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy’s beloved son Michael takes his own life.

Billy determines to make a difference in Michael’s memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention–his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy’s dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on, quietly, privately.

Despite his crushing detractors, Billy gains welcome allies: his community-at-large; a co-worker who lost his father to suicide; a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda; and a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he saves from disposal at the toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of the suffering and brokenness within and around him that he and others will be able to realize the recovery they need.

Told against the picturesque yet haunting backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is a big-hearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand of our lives.


Thanks for stopping by!

Im also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer



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