It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

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 always such a thrill to find a quote from a review of mine has been used as an endorsement for an author or book, especially since there is never a warning.

In Meet Me in Venice by Barbara Hannay

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

The Day The Lies Began by Kylie Kaden

Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen

White Horses by Rachael Treasure

Meet Me in Venice by Barbara Hannay

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New Posts

Review: The Burnt Country by Joy Rhoades ⭐️⭐️1/2

Review: The Day The Lies Began by Kylie Kaden ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review: Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Review: White Horses by Rachael Treasure ⭐️1/2

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week

England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . .

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast.

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

xxxxxx

 

‘I was pregnant with the baby of a man I had met once. What was one normally left with after a first date? A bad case of thrush?’

After eight years together, Lil Bailey thought she’d already found ‘the one’ – that is, until he dumped her for a blonde twenty-something colleague. So she does what any self-respecting singleton would do: swipes right, puts on her best bra and finds herself on a first date with a handsome mountaineer called Max. What’s the worst that can happen?

 Well it’s pretty bad actually. First Max ghosts her and then, after weeing on a stick (but mostly her hands), a few weeks later Lil discovers she’s pregnant. She’s single, thirty-one and living in a thimble-sized flat in London, it’s hardly the happily-ever-after she was looking for.

Lil’s ready to do the baby-thing on her own – it can’t be that hard, right? But she should probably tell Max, if she can track him down. Surely he’s not that Max, the highly eligible, headline-grabbing son of Lord and Lady Rushbrooke, currently trekking up a mountain in South Asia? Oh, maybe he wasn’t ignoring Lil after all…

xxxxxx

 

A harrowing collection of sixty narratives—covering over fifty years of shootings in America—written by those most directly affected by school shootings: the survivors.

“If I Don’t Make It, I Love You,” a text sent from inside a war zone. A text meant for Stacy Crescitelli, whose 15-year-old daughter, Sarah, was hiding in a closet fearing for her life in Parkland, Florida, in February of 2018, while a gunman sprayed her school with bullets, killing her friends, teachers, and coaches. This scene has become too familiar. We see the images, the children with trauma on their faces leaving their school in ropes, connected to one another with hands on shoulders, shaking, crying, and screaming. We mourn the dead. We bury children. We demand change. But we are met with inaction. So, we move forward, sadder and more jaded. But what about those who cannot move on?

These are their stories.

If I Don’t Make It, I Love You collects more than sixty narratives from school shooting survivors, family members, and community leaders covering fifty years of shootings in America, from the 1966 UT-Austin Tower shooting through May 2018’s Santa Fe shooting.

Through this collection, editors Amye Archer and Loren Kleinman offer a vital contribution to the surging national dialogue on gun reform by elevating the voices of those most directly affected by school shootings: the survivors.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundaySalon #SundayPost

 

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 still haven’t bought that bookshelf, my youngest son needs new shoes again instead. He is growing like a weed right now and has gone up two shoe sizes in last six months. It’s a ridiculously expensive exercise since at a minimum he needs four new pairs each time..school shoes, sneakers (trainers/joggers/runners), basketball boots (he plays three times a week), and a pair of casual shoes. I’m hoping this will be the last set for a while, he is only thirteen though so no doubt there will be more growth spurts to come.

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Accidentals by Minrose Gwin

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams

Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen

The Burnt Country by Joy Rhoades

 

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New Posts

 

Review: Snake Island by Ben Hobson ★★★★1/2

Review: The Accidentals by Minrose Gwin ★★

Review: Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams ★★

Weekend Cooking: Margaret Fulton and Mini Pavlova’s

 

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What I’m Reading This Week

 

 

“It seemed simple at first – folding one lie over the next. She had become expert at feathering over the cracks to ensure her life appeared the same. But inside, it didn’t feel fixed.”

It happened the day of the Moon Festival. It could have been left behind, they all could have moved on with their lives. But secrets have a habit of rising to the surface, especially in small towns.

Two couples, four ironclad friendships, the perfect coastal holiday town. With salt-stung houses perched like lifeguards overlooking the shore, Lago Point is the scene of postcards, not crime scenes. Wife and mother Abbi, town cop Blake, schoolteacher Hannah and local doctor Will are caught in their own tangled webs of deceit.

When the truth washes in to their beachside community, so do the judgements: victim, or vigilante, who will forgive, who will betray? Not all relationships survive. Nor do all residents.

Sometimes, doing wrong can feel completely right…

++++++

 

Following the disappearance of her mother when she was just a young child, Drift has been raised by her father, growing up to work alongside him as an itinerant cattle drover along the beautiful coastline of remote Western Australia. It’s a tough life, but nurtured and taught by two wise women – Wilma, a gentle travelling librarian and straight-talking Charlie, the legendary mobile saddler – Drift grows up to become a confident, idealistic young woman.

But the world Drift lives in can be ugly and brutal. After a horrific sexual assault, Drift meets a handsome young stockman, but he is not all that he seems and she is drawn into a baffling world of lies and mysteries, centring on a lushly beautiful property called The Planet, run by a wealthy American woman. When Drift’s father is hospitalised following a tragic accident and the young man she loves disappears, Drift has to find the courage to make her own way in the world. Drawing upon the deep well of women’s wisdom taught her by Charlie and Wilma, Drift has to overcome heartbreak, betrayal, loneliness and pain in order to forge her path, own her truth, and create the kind of world that she wants to live in.

++++++

 

A year after her husband Leo’s death, widow Daisy invites her three adult children to join her for a holiday in beautiful Venice. It will be wonderful, her chicks under one roof again in their father’s birthplace. But is it possible to recapture the past?

Marc’s marriage is in jeopardy, but for his mother’s sake, he convinces his wife to keep up appearances. Anna’s trying to hide the truth about the dismal state of her London acting career; and Ellie, enjoying a gap year and uncertain about her future choices, wants to avoid family pressure to conform.

Despite the magic of Venice, family ties are tested to the limit, especially when a shocking secret from Leo’s past is revealed. Now everything they value about love, family, commitment and trust must be re-examined.

How can one family holiday require so much courage? Will Daisy’s sentimental journey make or break them?

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Thanks for stopping by!

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

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 a week of petty frustrations.

The most infuriating – for the fourth time in 3 years the heating element in my oven died mid meal. This time at least I could use the grill to finish dinner off, though it took almost two hours to do it, but it will take a few days until I can get the oven repaired. It’s a pain because I’ve already partially prepped a couple of meals for this week that require the oven, and at least one won’t keep.

The rest of the issues were mostly resolved, but managed to put a crimp in my plans for the week.

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron

State of Fear by Tim Ayliffe

Snake Island by Ben Hobson

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New Posts

Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Review: Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron

Review: State of Fear by Tim Ayliffe

Six Degrees of Separation– The Elegance of the Hedgehog to The Desert Midwife

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What I’m Reading This Week

In the fall of 1957, Olivia McAlister is living in Opelika, Mississippi, caring for her two girls, June and Grace, and her husband, Holly. She dreams of living a much larger life–seeing the world and returning to her wartime job at a landing boat factory in New Orleans. As she watches over the birds in her yard, Olivia feels like an “accidental”—a migratory bird blown off course.

When Olivia becomes pregnant again, she makes a fateful decision, compelling Grace, June, and Holly to cope in different ways. While their father digs up the backyard to build a bomb shelter, desperate to protect his family, Olivia’s spinster sister tries to take them all under her wing. But the impact of Olivia’s decision reverberates throughout Grace’s and June’s lives. Grace, caught up in an unconventional love affair, becomes one of the “girls who went away” to have a baby in secret. June, guilt-ridden for her part in exposing Grace’s pregnancy, eventually makes an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile Ed Mae Johnson, an African-American care worker in a New Orleans orphanage, is drastically impacted by Grace’s choices.

As the years go by, their lives intersect in ways that reflect the unpredictable nature of bird flight that lands in accidental locations—and the consolations of imperfect return.

++++++

 

Nadia gets the 7.30 train every morning without fail. Well, except if she oversleeps or wakes up at her friend Emma’s after too much wine.

Daniel really does get the 7.30 train every morning, which is easy because he hasn’t been able to sleep properly since his dad died.

One morning, Nadia’s eye catches sight of a post in the daily paper:

To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?

So begins a not-quite-romance of near-misses, true love, and the power of the written word.

++++++

 

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common―they didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there.

But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.

You’ll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You’ll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara’s pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools―and the rules―to help solve murders yourself.

Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you’ve read before.

++++++

 

A scandalous secret. A deadly bushfire. An agonizing choice.

Australia 1948. As a young woman single-handedly running Amiens, a sizeable sheep station in New South Wales, Kate Dowd is expected to fail. In fact the local graziers are doing their best to ensure she does.

However Kate cannot risk losing Amiens, or give in to her estranged husband Jack’s demands to sell. Because the farm is the only protection she can offer her half-sister Pearl, as the Aborigines Welfare Board calls for her forced adoption.

Ostracised by the local community for even acknowledging Pearl, Kate cannot risk another scandal. Which means turning her back on her wartime lover, Luca Canali . . .

Then Jack drops a bombshell. He wants a divorce. He’ll protect what’s left of Kate’s reputation, and keep Luca out of it – but at an extortionate price. Soon Kate is putting out fires on all fronts to save her farm, keep her family together and protect the man she loves. Until a catastrophic real fire threatens everything . .

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

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 a rough week health wise, so I accomplished very little.

I have done a little blog housekeeping, you might have noticed I changed the default font, and tidied up the sidebar (I was sad to realise how many blogs listed on my blog roll have been abandoned). I still need to do a bit more work on my pages. I’d been considering a more drastic change, but this is who I have been for the last nine years.

It’s the last Monday of the month, so time to check in with my Challenge progress

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge: 34/20

2019 Aussie Author Challenge: 8/12

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

 

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New Posts

 

Review: The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green ★★★★

Review: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson ★★★★1/2

Review: The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein ★★★1/2

Stuff on Sunday: BookCollectorz for Book Collectors

 

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What I’m Reading This Week

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan– which won last weeks poll by a fraction

++++++

Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.
Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.
Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses.
But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.

++++++

 

John Bailey has a history of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The veteran war reporter has been kidnapped and tortured – twice. Finally he’s living something that resembles a normal life. But all that changes when a terrorist murders a woman in front of Bailey in London. The mastermind behind the attack is Mustafa al-Baghdadi – No.1 on the FBI’s most wanted list – and the man who tortured Bailey in Fallujah a decade ago.Mustafa has a deadly axe to grind with Bailey. He taunts Bailey with threats of more attacks in other cities, closer to home.
Back in Sydney the teenage son of Bailey’s old driver from Iraq is missing, and the people who matter most to Bailey have become targets. Bailey enlists the help of the only man he knows he can trust – ruthless CIA veteran Ronnie Johnson, supposedly retired – in a race against time to take down the world’s most deadly terrorist, once and for all.

++++++

 

Vernon and Penelope Moore never want to see their son Caleb again. Not after he hit his wife and ended up in gaol. A lifetime of careful parental love wiped out in a moment.
But when retired teacher Vernon hears that Caleb is being regularly visited and savagely bashed by a local criminal as the police stand by, he knows he has to act. What has his life been as a father if he turns his back on his son in his hour of desperate need? He realises with shame that he has failed Caleb. But no longer.
The father of the man bashing Caleb is head of a violent crime family. The town lives in fear of him but Vernon is determined to fix things in a civilised way, father to father. If he shows respect, he reasons, it will be reciprocated. But how wrong he is. And what hell has he brought down on his family?
Reading like a morality tale Western but in a starkly beautiful Australian setting, Snake Island is a propulsive literary thriller written with great clarity and power. It will take you to the edge and keep you there long after the final page is turned.

 

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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…

The thing about not having access to a car during the week, is when I need to go into town there are only three buses a day between the main shopping district and my home. I know #firstworldproblems and all, but it can be such a palaver.

Anyway, one of my trips into town this week was with my sixteen year old daughter, who sat for her learners permit and passed (YAY!), and at least we got the opportunity to shop for her upcoming school trip to the snow. Happily I scored some great bargains, so hopefully she won’t freeze to death.

School goes back tomorrow for the third term of the school year, I imagine it’s going to be a struggle to make sure the kids get up on time until routine is re-established. Even my youngest, who has always been an early riser, has been sleeping in this past week, he’s experiencing a growth spurt though, so I guess he needs it.

My plans this upcoming week include attending an author talk by Kaneana May, who wrote The One, at my local library; possibly buying a cheap bookcase if I can figure out where I can make room for it; and reading. Please vote in my poll to help me choose between two books I have my eye on this week. You’ll find it at the end of the post.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

The Desert Midwife by Fiona McArthur

Five Weddings and a Wake by Karen Ross

The Guardian of Lies by Kate Furnivall

The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green

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New Posts

Review: The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth

Review: The Desert Midwife by Fiona McArthur

Review: The Guardian of Lies by Kate Furnivall

Review: Five Weddings and a Wake by Karen Ross

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week

Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it–teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.

Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way–a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.

When they’re alone, Roux tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another.

To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.

A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love filled with dark twists leavened by Joshilyn Jackson’s trademark humor, Never Have I Ever explores what happens when the transgressions of our past come back with a vengeance.

 

++++++

Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife…

But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.

A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his loungeroom. A woman who lives with rats, random debris and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose.

Sarah Krasnostein has watched the extraordinary Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to these, the living and the dead—and the book she has written is equally extraordinary. Not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, but an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.

 

++++++

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

 

++++++

And I can’t decide which of these two books to read first so, please cast your vote below …

Galway 1993: Young Garda Cormac Reilly is called to a scene he will never forget. Two silent, neglected children – fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack – are waiting for him at a crumbling country house. Upstairs, their mother lies dead.

Twenty years later, a body surfaces in the icy black waters of the River Corrib. At first it looks like an open-and-shut case, but then doubt is cast on the investigation’s findings – and the integrity of the police. Cormac is thrown back into the cold case that has haunted him his entire career – what links the two deaths, two decades apart? As he navigates his way through police politics and the ghosts of the past, Detective Reilly uncovers shocking secrets and finds himself questioning who among his colleagues he can trust.

What really did happen in that house where he first met Maude and Jack? The Ruin draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland and asks who will protect you when the authorities can’t – or won’t.

Or

 

A hot summer. A shocking murder. A town of secrets, waiting to explode…

A beautiful young teacher has been murdered, her body found in the lake, strewn with red roses. Local policewoman Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock pushes to be assigned to the case, concealing the fact that she knew the murdered woman in high school years before.

But that’s not all Gemma’s trying to hide. As the investigation digs deeper into the victim’s past, other secrets threaten to come to light, secrets that were supposed to remain buried. The lake holds the key to solving the murder, but it also has the power to drag Gemma down into its dark depths…

 

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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…

 

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!

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!

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.

———————————————

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…

 

——————————————-

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!

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