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

 

Life…

 

So Netflix Australia added Seasons 1-10 of The Big Bang Theory last week, guess what we’ve been doing…it even lured my kids from their bedrooms (after midday of course – it is the school holidays), turning the bingewatch into a family event, which happily didn’t require us to leave the house, or spend money… I call that a win!

Sigh, I will miss this show!

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth

 

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New Posts

 

Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Review: The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl

Review: Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

Review: The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman

Weekend Cooking: Cozy Culinary Mysteries

 

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What I’m Reading This Week

Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes. Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.

Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.

When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith.

Because, after all, it’s her funeral…

The perfect antidote to all books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry, perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley’s Bridesmaids, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Good Place.

+++++++

 

Discover a brilliant story of love, danger, courage and betrayal, from the internationally bestselling author of The Survivors.

1953, the South of France. The fragile peace between the West and Soviet Russia hangs on a knife edge. And one family has been torn apart by secrets and conflicting allegiances.

Eloïse Caussade is a courageous young Frenchwoman, raised on a bull farm near Arles in the Camargue. She idolises her older brother, André, and when he leaves to become an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris to help protect France, she soon follows him. Having exchanged the strict confines of her father’s farm for a life of freedom in Paris, her world comes alive. 

But everything changes when André is injured – a direct result of Eloise’s actions. Unable to work, André returns to his father’s farm, but Eloïse’s sense of guilt and responsibility for his injuries sets her on the trail of the person who attempted to kill him.

Eloïse finds her hometown in a state of unrest and conflict. Those who are angry at the construction of the American airbase nearby, with its lethal nuclear armaments, confront those who support it, and anger flares into violence, stirred up by Soviet agents. Throughout all this unrest, Eloïse is still relentlessly hunting down the man who betrayed her brother and his country, and she is learning to look at those she loves and at herself with different eyes. She no longer knows who she can trust. Who is working for Soviet Intelligence and who is not? And what side do her own family lie on?

++++++

 

 

It’s the summer of 1982. The Man from Snowy River is a box office hit and Paul Hogan is on the TV.

In a seaside suburb of NSW, housewife Theresa Howard takes up swimming. She wants to get fit; she also wants a few precious minutes to herself. So at sunrise each day she strikes out past the waves.

From the same beach, the widowed Marie swims. With her husband gone, bathing is the one constant in her new life.

After finding herself in a desperate situation, 26-year-old Leanne only has herself to rely on. She became a nurse to help others, even as she resists help herself.

Elaine has recently moved from England. Far from home without her adult sons, her closest friend is a gin bottle.

In the waters of Shelly Bay, these four women find each other. They will survive shark sightings, bluebottle stings and heartbreak; they will laugh so hard they swallow water, and they will plunge their tears into the ocean’s salt. They will find solace and companionship in their friendship circle, and learn that love takes many forms.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Cooking: Cozy Culinary Mysteries

 

One of my guilty reading pleasures has always been cozy mysteries.

Cozy mysteries series are generally themed, and culinary/food themes are some of the most popular. Many of the books in a series include recipes, and whether you favour chocolate or chilli, dinner or dessert, you can find something tasty that will appeal.

Below are the covers of the first book in a variety of series, click to learn more.

 

 

Feel free to share your own favourite cozy mystery in the comments.

 

 

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

Life…

I really enjoyed attending the Triple M concert midweek, where my middle children sang Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ with their a capella group. The other performers which ranged from rock bands to a very talented clarinet player, were also impressive, and in all it was a great night.

My son is second from the left (his music teacher is next to him), only a sliver of my daughter is  visible on the far right).

I was also very proud to learn my son earned a place in the top five students of his grade at his mid year assembly. My youngest son also came home with good results on his mid year report.

Unfortunately the rest of the week got away from me and between one thing and another, I just barely got my reviews up, and all I managed to read were two books.

School holidays start today for my kids, though as teenagers they sleep til noon and keep themselves amused mostly. We have some vague plans but much will depend on the weather.

And CONGRATULATIONS to Claire Louisa who has won a copy of All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan courtesy Hachette Australia

I hope you have a great week!

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

The Chain by Andrew McKinty

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl

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New Posts

Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang ★★★1/2

Review: Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern ★★★★

Review: Wild Horses of the Summer Sun by Tory Bilski ★★★

Review: The Roadhouse by Kerry McGinnis ★★★

Six Degrees of Separation

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What I’m Reading This Week

 

 

Tom Hope doesn’t chase rainbows. He does his best on the farm – he milks the cows, harvests the apples, looks after the sheep – but Tom’s been lonely since his wife Trudy left, taking little Peter with her to go join the holy rollers.

Enter Hannah Babel, quixotic smalltown bookseller: the second Jew – and the most vivid person – Tom has ever met. When she asks him to move in, and help her build Australia’s most beautiful bookshop, Tom dares to believe they could make each other happy.

But it is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Tom Hope is taking on a battle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.

 

++++++

 

The highly anticipated first book by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the #1 hit podcast My Favorite Murder!

Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.

In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.

 

++++++

 

 

Moving between Imperial China and France during the ‘Terror’ of the French Revolution and inspired by the true story of the quest for a blood-red rose.

Viviane de Faitaud has grown up alone at the Chateau de Belisama-sur-le-Lac in Brittany, for her father, the Marquis de Ravoisier, lives at the court of Louis XVI in Versailles. After a hailstorm destroys the chateau’s orchards, gardens and fields an ambitious young Welshman, David Stronach, accepts the commission to plan the chateau’s new gardens in the hope of making his name as a landscape designer.

David and Viviane fall in love, but it is an impossible romance. Her father has betrothed her to a rich duke who she is forced to marry and David is hunted from the property. Viviane goes to court and becomes a maid-in-waiting to Marie-Antoinette and a member of the extended royal family. Angry and embittered, David sails away from England with Lord Macartney, the British ambassador, who hopes to open up trade with Imperial China.

In Canton, the British embassy at last receives news from home, including their first reports of the French Revolution. David hears the story of ‘The Blue Rose’, a Chinese fable of impossible love, and discovers the blood-red rose growing in the wintry garden. He realises that he is still in love with Viviane and must find her.

Viviane escapes the guillotine and returns to the ruin of Chateau de Belisima to rebuild her life. David carrying a cluster of rosehips finds her there, and together they decide to grow the fabled red rose of China in France.

++++++

What if the love of your life forgot who you were?

When outback midwife Ava May meets Zac on a flight to Alice Springs, they tumble into a whirlwind affair. But an exciting adventure leads to a terrible accident, with shattering consequences. The couple who had so much going for them now find themselves with everything to lose.

Devastated, Ava retreats to her family cattle station to help salvage what she can of the critical situation. But at home on the drought-ridden farm, her brother is being pushed to his limits, and as his depression intensifies, Ava must step in to prevent another family tragedy.

Against the majestic backdrop of Australia’s Red Centre, old dreams are shattered, new babies are born and true love takes flight.

By Australia’s renowned midwife and bestselling author of Mothers’ Day, The Desert Midwife is a romantic drama about strong women, medical miracles and new beginnings

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Thanks for stopping by!

Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees

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!

This month’s starting point is Maurice Sendak’s childhood classic Where The Wild Things Are. It’s possible that I first read this, or it was read to me, as a child but my first clear introduction to the book was while I was studying children’s literature as part of my education degree. I know I read it often while teaching, and to my children when they were little. It’s still on the bookshelf in the room my teenage boys share.

 

While an ocean appears in Max’s bedroom to take to where the wild things are, in the adult novel, A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird, an ocean grows in Super Gumboots Willa’s backyard to help her to escape the ‘wild thing’ that is her father.

Super Gumboots Willa is her own superhero, so too is Elsa in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She is Sorry by Fredrik Backman. This heartfelt story shares seven year old Elsa’s quest to deliver letters of apology on behalf of her late grandmother.

Atonement by Ian McEwan shares similar themes of regret, grief, and forgiveness after thirteen year old Briony mistakenly ruins a young man’s life. To be honest I found the book, which I read many years ago, tedious, but I did enjoy the movie (starring Keira Knightly).

There are several points of similarity between Briony and eleven year old Flavia de Luce, the main character in Alan Bradley’s series, which begins with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Both, for example, are British, precocious, and lonely, however while Briony falsely accused someone of a crime, eleven year old Flavia de Luce, with a fascination for chemistry, sets out to solve a crime of which her father has been falsely accused.

Food links the title of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie to The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. On her ninth birthday, Rose Edelstein discovers she has a magical gift that is also a curse, she can taste the emotions of those who have prepared the food she eats.

Like Rose, twelve year old prodigy Paloma, in the Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery feels it is prudent to hide her thoughts. Her intelligence is both a blessing and a curse, it alienates her from her family and schoolmates to such an extent that Paloma is planning to commit suicide on her thirteenth birthday, until she finds friendship with Mr. Kakuro and Renee.

So there you have it, some of you may also have noticed that the six books I have chosen are also linked, each features a child narrator

 

Join in anytime during the month – Click here for the rules!

 

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

Life…

It’s been another quiet week, with not much variance in the routine except my son was home sick from school for a few days, and I attended parent/teacher night for my daughter, who is doing very well so far this year. She is in the top 5 for every class, and came first in Chemistry, Ancient History and Art.

School holidays start next week so we have a few end-of-term things on. My middle son and daughter are part of an acapella singing group at school and have a performance this Wednesday night, and the mid year academic award ceremony for the juniors are on Thursday and I’ve received an invitation, which means at least one of the boys have earned an award.

If you reside in Australia, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a print copy of All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan, it could be a great read for you or the teen in your life.

GO HERE TO ENTER

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Wild Horses of the Summer Sun by Tory Bilski

The Roadhouse by Kerry McGinnis

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New Posts

Review: While You Were Reading by Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus

Review: The Boy in the Photo by Nicole Trope

Review: The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar

Review & Giveaway: All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan

Review: The Baby Doctor by Fiona McArthur

Stuff on Sunday: In Case You Missed It…June 2019

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What I’m Reading This Week

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop.

A panicked stranger calls your phone.

Your child has been kidnapped.

The stranger then explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger.

The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child – within 24 hours.

Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child.

And most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered.

You are now part of The Chain.

++++++

“How far would you go to get your daughter back?

It’s been twelve months since Alison Miller-Juul’s world fell apart when her six-year-old daughter, Amalie, drowned. Twelve months of sympathy cards, grief counselling and gritting her teeth, but it’s still only the vodka and pills that seem to work.

Alison no longer cares about anything. She can’t smile at her step-son, she can’t answer her friends’ texts, she can’t even look at her husband. All Alison wants is Amalie back.

Then she learns that the girl who received her daughter’s heart lives just a few streets away. Unlike Amalie, this girl has a future. She’s alive because Amalie’s heart beats for her. And in the darkest recess of Alison’s brain, an idea begins to take shape…

++++++

Tom Hope doesn’t chase rainbows. He does his best on the farm – he milks the cows, harvests the apples, looks after the sheep – but Tom’s been lonely since his wife Trudy left, taking little Peter with her to go join the holy rollers.

Enter Hannah Babel, quixotic smalltown bookseller: the second Jew – and the most vivid person – Tom has ever met. When she asks him to move in, and help her build Australia’s most beautiful bookshop, Tom dares to believe they could make each other happy.

But it is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Tom Hope is taking on a battle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.

++++++

The highly anticipated first book by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the #1 hit podcast My Favorite Murder!

Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.

In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

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

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

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

Life…

 

It’s been an uneventful week, which is a good thing I guess, but doesn’t make for an exciting post.

Its the last Monday of the month though so time to check in with my Challenge progress.

 

 

2019 Australian Women Writer’s Challenge: 26/50

2019 Aussie Author Challenge: 6/12

 

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What I’ve Read Since I Last Posted…

 

The Boy in the Photo by Nicole Trope

While You Were Reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar

All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan

The Baby Doctor by Fiona McArthur

 

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New Posts

 

Review: The One by Kaneana May

Review: Conviction by Denise Mina

Review: Boxed by Richard Anderson

Review: Under the Cold Bright Lights by Garry Disher

Spotlight: More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth

Stuff on Sunday: New Releases on my Wishlist for the Second Half of 2019

 

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What I’m Reading This Week

{Click the cover to view on Goodreads}

 

How can a child disappear from under the care of four playgroup mums?

One Thursday morning, Lexie Parker dashes to the shop for biscuits, leaving Bella in the safe care of the other mums in the playgroup.

Six minutes later, Bella is gone.

Police and media descend on the tiny village of Merrigang on the edge of Canberra. Locals unite to search the dense bushland. But as the investigation continues, relationships start to fracture, online hate messages target Lexie, and the community is engulfed by fear.

Is Bella’s disappearance connected to the angry protests at Parliament House? What secrets are the parents hiding? And why does a local teacher keep a photo of Bella in his lounge-room?

What happened in those six minutes and where is Bella?

The clock is ticking…

This gripping novel will keep you guessing to the very last twist.

++++++

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love

++++++

What if you could steal time out just for yourself each year, a brief reprieve from ordinary life and its responsibilities? Wild Horses of the Summer Sun is author Tory Bilski’s witty, sometimes poignant, account of her annual ‘horse sabbaticals’ to Iceland. She and her travelling companions exhilarate in their freedom, the spectacular scenery, the midnight sun energy and the Icelandic horses that connect deeply to the soul. Each year brings a new discovery about Iceland, about herself and about her relationships with the other women who revel in the freedom to be their most ‘ridiculous selves’. Over the years, their friendships deepen as they grow older together, whilst keeping each other young.I am wildly free, giddily so, the long-forgotten impulses of my youth awakening and leaving my heart in flight mode … We are what we venture.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

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

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

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

Life…

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

The One by Kaneana May

Conviction by Denise Mina

Boxed by Richard Anderson

Hurricane Lover by Joni Rodgers

Under the Cold Bright Lights by Garry Disher

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New Posts

Review: Devil’s Lair by Sarah Barrie

Review: Those People by Louise Candlish

Review: Big Sky {Jackson Brodie #5} by Kate Atkinson

Review: The Hurricane Lover by Joni Rodgers

Stuff on Sunday: Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week

She becomes aware of the silence at the other end of the line. A prickling sensation crawls up her arms, her heart rate speeds up. ‘Found who?’ she asks, slowly, carefully, deliberately.

‘They found Daniel.’

Six years ago

Megan waits at the school gates for her six-year-old son, Daniel. As children come and go, the playground emptying, panic bubbles inside her. Daniel is nowhere to be found.

According to his teacher, Daniel’s father, Greg, has picked up his son. Except Greg and Megan are no longer together. After years of being controlled by her cruel husband, Megan has finally found the courage to divorce him. Hands trembling, she dials his number, but the line is dead.

Six years later

Megan is feeding baby daughter, Evie, when she gets the call she has dreamt about for years. Daniel has walked into a police station in a remote town just a few miles away. Her son is alive – and he’s coming home.

But their joyful family reunion does not go to plan. His room may have been frozen in time, with his Cookie Monster poster and stack of Lego under the bed, but Daniel is no longer the sweet little boy Megan remembers.

Cold and distant, Daniel is grieving the death of his father, blaming Megan for his loss and rejecting his family. And as Megan struggles to connect with the son she no longer recognises as her own, she begins to realise that Daniel has a secret. A secret that could destroy their family and put them in terrible danger.

++++++

 

Amelia Westlake meets My Favorite Murder in this debut from a terrific new voice in Australian YA. Combines a realistic story about high school drama and toxic friendship with true crime – the endlessly fascinating Somerton Man or Taman Shud mystery.

15-year-old Lara Laylor feels like supporting character in her own life. She’s Ashley’s best friend, she’s Hannah’s sister-she’s never just Lara.

When new history teacher Mr. Grant gives her an unusual assignment: investigating the mystery of the Somerton Man. Found dead in on an Adelaide beach in 1948, a half-smoked cigarette still in his mouth and the labels cut out of his clothes, the Somerton Man has intrigued people for years. Was he a spy? A criminal? Year 10 has plenty of mysteries of its own: boys, drama queen friends, and enigmatic new students. When they seem just as unsolvable as a 60-year-old cold case, Lara finds herself spending more and more time on the assignment. But Mr Grant himself may be the biggest mystery of all…

Interspersed with fictionalised snapshots of the Somerton Man investigation, ALL THAT IMPOSSIBLE SPACE is a coming of age novel exploring toxic friendships and the balance of power between teacher and student, perfect for fans of Cath Crowley and Fiona Wood.

++++++

Words are messy. Love is messier.

Meet Beatrix Babbage – 29-year-old dog-earer of books and accidental destroyer of weddings.

After ruining her best friend’s nuptials, Bea relocates to the other side of the country in search of a fresh start, including meeting new people, living life to the fullest and finally pulling off balayage.

But after a few months, life is more stagnant than ever. Bea’s job is dead-end. Her romantic life? Non-existent. And her only friends are her books, her barista and her cleaning lady.

Then Bea stumbles across a second-hand novel, inscribed with notes. Besotted with the poetic inscriptions, Bea is determined to find the author … and finds herself entangled in one hell of a love quadrangle.

Funny, poignant and insightful, While You Were Reading reveals that there’s no such thing as perfection, the value of true friendship and, most importantly, the power of not living in fiction, but still reading it … Often.

A love story for book lovers that celebrates much more than romance.

++++++

 

A stunning story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots, whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes

1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It’s why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It’s why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it’s why she insists she is not interested in any dream-derailing romantic involvements, even with the disarming Lieutenant James Hart, who fast becomes a friend as treasured as the women she flies with. Then one fateful day, she gets caught in the air over Pearl Harbor just as the bombs begin to fall, and suddenly, nowhere feels safe.

To make everything she’s lost count for something, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. The bonds she forms with her fellow pilots reignite a spark of hope in the face war, and–especially when James goes missing in action–give Audrey the strength to cross the front lines and fight for everything she holds dear.

Shining a light on a little-known piece of history, The Flight Girls is a sweeping portrayal of women’s fearlessness in the face of adversity, and the power of friendship to make us soar.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

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

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

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

Life…

Today is a public holiday for most of Australia (except in WA & QLD), celebrating the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s celebrated on the second Monday in June here for several reasons, dating back to King George V’s rule, despite the fact that the Queen’s actual birthday is April 21st. Anyway, she turned 93 this year, happy birthday Queen Elizabeth II.

We didn’t make any plans for the long weekend because we weren’t sure if we would have the car back, and though we finally did pick it up on Friday afternoon, it’s not working as smoothly as it should, so it has to go back for some adjustments *sigh*

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

The Ex by Nicola Moriarty

Big Sky by Kate Atkinson

Devil’s Lair by Sarah Barrie

The One by Kaneana May

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New Posts

Review: A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird

Review: The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa

Review: The Ex by Nicola Moriarty

Review: The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka

Review: The Beekeeper’s Secret by Josephine Moon

Weekend Cooking: Cake at Midnight by Jessie L. Star

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What I’m Reading This Week

A breathtaking thriller about a wealthy housewife who successfully conceals her dark past until a true-crime podcast and a photo posted on social media send her running across Europe, with a faded rock star by her side and extremely dangerous enemies on her trail.

Anna McLean loves to revel in life’s unsavory details. When she’s keeping up appearances as an upper-class Edinburgh housewife, there’s no better escape than other people’s sordid stories retold in true-crime podcasts. Until the day it all falls apart.

A new podcast turns out to have a connection to Anna’s own dark past–the secret history she’s taken great pains to conceal. Hours later, her husband announces he’s leaving her–for her own best friend. And when the best friend’s husband–who happens to be former rock star Fin Cohen–shows up on Anna’s front stoop, a nosy neighbor plasters their photo all over the internet. Her cover well and truly blown, Anna’s only choice is to run–and take Fin along for his own protection.

Reigning queen of Scottish crime fiction Denise Mina deftly weaves the classic thriller elements of a woman with a secret past, an average citizen thrust into a high-stakes international chase, and a cheating spouse, with online life–internet sleuthing, true-crime podcasts, insta-celebrities, and Twitter–to craft a modern, propulsive page-turner like nothing you’ve read before.

++++++

When life delivers you gifts you don’t want.

Dave Martin is down on his luck: his wife has left him; his farm is a failure; his house is a mess; he has withdrawn from his community and friends; and tragedy has stolen his capacity to care. He passes the time drinking too much and buying cheap tools online, treating the delivered parcels as gifts from people who care about him.

And then boxes begin to arrive in the mail: boxes that he didn’t order, but ones that everyone around him seems to want desperately. As he tries to find out the secret of the boxes, Dave is drawn into a crazy world of red herrings and wrong turns, good guys and bad, false friends and true, violence, lust, fear, revenge, and a lot, lot more. It’s not a world he understands, but is it the only one Dave can live in?

++++++

During the record-smashing hurricane season of 2005, a deadly game of cat and mouse unfolds and a stormy love affair is complicated by polarized politics, high-strung Southern families, a full-on media circus and the worst disaster management goat screw in US history.

As Hurricane Katrina howls toward the ill-prepared city of New Orleans, Dr. Corbin Thibodeaux, a Gulf Coast climatologist and storm risk specialist, preaches the gospel of evacuation, weighed down by the fresh public memory of a spectacularly false alarm a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Shay Hoovestahl, a puff piece reporter for the local news, stumbles on the story of a con artist who uses storm-related chaos as cover for identity theft and murder. Laying a trap to expose the killer, Shay discovers that Corbin, her former lover, is unwittingly involved, and her plan goes horribly awry as the city’s infrastructure crumbles.

++++++

The young detectives call Alan Auhl a retread, but that doesn’t faze him. He does things his own way—and gets results.

He still lives with his ex-wife, off and on, in a big house full of random boarders and hard-luck stories. And he’s still a cop, even though he retired from Homicide some years ago.

He works cold cases now. Like the death of John Elphick—his daughters still convinced he was murdered, the coroner not so sure. Or the skeleton that’s just been found under a concrete slab. Or the doctor who killed two wives and a girlfriend, and left no evidence at all.

Auhl will stick with these cases until justice is done. One way or another

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A year after a tragic accident changed her life forever, Tess Daley is in desperate need of a change. When she is offered a position with the Flying Doctor Service, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start. Yet once she arrives in remote Mica Ridge she feels like an outsider, unable to connect with her patients and unsure if she’ll ever fit in with this outback community.

Station owner Soretta Byrnes has grown to love the company and chaos that comes with living in a house filled with boarders. So with tenants moving out and bills piling up, it’s a welcome relief to have Tess and new pilot Charlie Fennes arriving in town and looking for somewhere to stay.

As they share life’s triumphs and challenges, it isn’t long before everyone at the station feels like family. But Charlie has yet to reveal his motive for coming to Mica Ridge and his secret will change the life of someone in the house forever .

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Weekend Cooking: Cake at Midnight by Jessie L. Star

 

Title: Cake at Midnight

Author: Jessie L. Star

Published: January 15th 2018, Simon & Schuster AU

Status: Read May 2019 courtesy Simon & Schuster

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My Thoughts:

An engaging novel of contemporary romance, Cake at Midnight is a story of friendship and love from Australian author, Jessie L. Star.

Giovanna, Zoë and Declan – the baker, the beauty, and the brains- have been best friends since childhood. Now in their early twenties, they have celebrated one another’s successes, and commiserated with one another during times of heartbreak. For years Gio has nursed a crush on Declan who doesn’t mind taking advantage of her slavish devotion when it suits him, much to the growing disgust of Zoe. And after a disastrous not-a-date Gio realises she has let the situation get out of control, and in order to preserve their friendships, decides to cut Declan out of her life for 30 days. It’s not an easy step for Gio to take, not even cake is enough to dull the hurt, but her new neighbour, the enigmatic Theo, might just be exactly what she needs.

I enjoyed the romance in Cake at Midnight, it develops slowly from an odd sort of companionship, to a ‘friends with benefits’ situation, to the beginnings of a real relationship. Despite their very obvious differences, Gio and Theo complement each other well, though of course their path to true love has obstacles to overcome.

But romance is not all Cake at Midnight is about. It’s also about the friendship between Gio, Zoe and Declan and how it has changed over time as they have matured. There is a layer of emotional complexity relating to the family dynamics of Theo, and Declan. It’s also about being true to oneself.

The foodie element of the novel comes from Gio’s love of baking. She works at Pickle, Peach and Plum, an artisanal bakery, as an apprentice pastry chef.

“You’d perhaps think that, working at a bakery, the last thing I’d want to do upon returning home from a gruelling, every-last-swirl-of-ganache-critiqued, constantly-on-my-feet, nine-hour day, was more baking. You’d be wrong. It was like the difference between reading for school and reading for pleasure. I’d certainly always found during my years of education that the chance to chuck aside a textbook and pick up a recipe book had been a welcome one. That was what home baking was like for me.”

The first cake she bakes for Theo, to both apologise and thank him for rescuing her the night her not-a-date with Declan goes badly, is a Dark Chocolate and Rum Cake. She serves him a two-layer Lemon and Cardamom Cake the first time they kiss. The foodie references and metaphors added to the sweetness of Cake at Midnight.

++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster AU

or from your preferred retailer via Amazon AU I Amazon US 

 

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

Life…

I met author Victoria Purman this week when she spoke at my local library about her newest release, The Land Girls. It was a lovely talk, I forgot to take a photo with her, though you can sort of see me the pic she took of the audience. Kaneana May was also there, her debut novel, The One, is due for release in mid June, we’ve met several times at library events as she lives in the next suburb over. In the photo below, they are holding each other’s books.

I finally got to see my mother this weekend, not because we got the car back (we haven’t, and it’s been two months), but because she was finally feeling well enough to make the drive. She is doing well, and I was very glad to see it.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

Those People by Louise Candlish

The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa

The Lubetikin Legacy by Marina Lewycka

The Beekeepers Secret by Josephine Moon

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New Posts

Review: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Review: Messy, Wonderful Us by Catherine Isaac

Review: Hunting Evil by Chris Carter

Review: The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

Review: Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A **** by Gill Sims

Stuff on Sundays: Six Degrees of Separation Six Degrees of Separation

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What I’m Reading This Week

She wants him back. She wants you gone.

Luke is The One. After everything she’s been through, Georgia knows she deserves someone like him, to make her feel loved. Safe.

The only problem is his ex-girlfriend. Luke says Cadence is having trouble moving on. She texts Luke all the time and leaves aggressive notes on Georgia’s car.

Georgia starts to feel afraid. But she decides to confront Cadence … and that’s when things get interesting.

From the bestselling author of The Fifth Letter comes a twisty, pacy, gripping new novel that explores the baggage we carry from our past relationships and asks how well can you ever really know someone.

++++++

For readers of The Dark Lake and The Dry, comes this taut psychological suspense set in a dramatic Tasmanian landscape from bestselling author Sarah Barrie.

A lonely widow, a sinister act, a remote mansion with a dark past…

After the violent death of her husband, Callie Jones retreats to a cottage in the grounds of an old mansion in Tasmania. The relative remoteness of the place and the wild beauty of the Tasmanian landscape are a balm to her shattered nerves and the locals seem friendly, particularly horseman Connor Atherton and his siblings at the nearby property, Calico Lodge.

But all is not well: the old mansion has a sinister past, one associated with witchcraft and murder. As Callie is threatened by odd events in the night and strange dreams overtake her sleep, she begins to doubt her own sanity. What’s really going on beneath the surface of this apparently peaceful town? Are her friends and neighbours really who they seem? As events escalate, Callie starts to realise that the mansion may hold the key to unlocking the mystery, but the truth might have as much power to destroy as it does to save.

++++++

On the wrong side of thirty, Bonnie Yates wants a happily ever after. Problem is, she keeps choosing the wrong guys. When an ex returns to town with a fiancee in tow, history and temptation collide. Unable to shake her inappropriate feelings, Bonnie flees, becoming an unlikely contestant on popular dating show The One. Will she find what she’s looking for?

Working behind the scenes, Darcy Reed is a driven young producer dealing with a tyrant of a boss. Despite being surrounded by love at work, her own love-life with long-term boyfriend Drew is floundering. Producing a flawless season is her best chance at a promotion. But with the unrelenting demands of the show, how will she save their relationship while making that shot?

Penelope Baker has relocated to a small seaside town to hide away with her secrets and nurse a broken heart. But with The One beaming across the nation’s televisions, she can’t seem to quite escape the life she left behind…

Before cameras roll on the final ceremony, all three women will discover just what they’re willing to do in pursuit of the one…

++++++

Jackson Brodie, ex-military police, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, currently working as a private investigator, returns.

Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It’s picturesque, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.

Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network—and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.

 

++++++

A breathtaking thriller about a wealthy housewife who successfully conceals her dark past until a true-crime podcast and a photo posted on social media send her running across Europe, with a faded rock star by her side and extremely dangerous enemies on her trail.

Anna McLean loves to revel in life’s unsavory details. When she’s keeping up appearances as an upper-class Edinburgh housewife, there’s no better escape than other people’s sordid stories retold in true-crime podcasts. Until the day it all falls apart.

A new podcast turns out to have a connection to Anna’s own dark past–the secret history she’s taken great pains to conceal. Hours later, her husband announces he’s leaving her–for her own best friend. And when the best friend’s husband–who happens to be former rock star Fin Cohen–shows up on Anna’s front stoop, a nosy neighbor plasters their photo all over the internet. Her cover well and truly blown, Anna’s only choice is to run–and take Fin along for his own protection.
Reigning queen of Scottish crime fiction Denise Mina deftly weaves the classic thriller elements of a woman with a secret past, an average citizen thrust into a high-stakes international chase, and a cheating spouse, with online life–internet sleuthing, true-crime podcasts, insta-celebrities, and Twitter–to craft a modern, propulsive page-turner like nothing you’ve read before.

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