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


I know it’s Sunday, but this post is inspired by the week’s topic on  Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl , so credit where credit is due.



It may be a cliche, but it’s almost inconceivable to me that we are half way through the year already. Returning to blogging has added a structure to my days that I’ve been lacking, and time seems to be moving faster now that I’m working to schedules and deadlines again.

Anyway, I was inspired by this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic to take a look at the upcoming new releases for the rest of the year.

This isn’t an exhaustive list (obviously), it’s a bit of a mixed bag including contemporary romance, non-fiction, fantasy, and crime fiction. I didn’t think too deeply about what I chose to include in this post, though I tried to pick up a few from each month. None of the books are currently on my review schedule , though I have requested a few (but have yet to be approved). I’ve ordered the books by month of release rather than any particular level of desirability.

Let me know what’s on your wishlist!

Click on the cover to learn more about the book on Goodreads

”If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.” The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman July 9th by Berkley

”Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies” Things You Save In a Fire by Katherine Center August 13th from St. Martins Press

”The remarkable, improbable story of a small, makeshift library in the Syrian town of Darayya” Syria’s Secret Library by Mike Thomson August 20th from Public Affairs

”A darkly funny and sexy novel that blows the lid off the medical profession and life inside a hospital by a young doctor” Going Under by Sonia Henry September 17th from Allen & Unwin

”Jess Brightwell and his friends must come together as never before, to forge a new future for the Great Library” Sword & Pen {The Great Library #5} by Rachel Caine September 19th from Alison Busby

”They will be joined by three diverse women and become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.” The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes October 18th from Pamela Dorman Books

“books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell” The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith October 1st from Ace Books

“Dan is also an obsessive list maker, and his story unfolds entirely in his lists, which are brimming with Dan’s hilarious sense of humor, unique world-view, and deeply personal thoughts.” Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks November 19th from St. Martins Press

“Who will find the girls first? And will they get there in time?” Now You See Them {Stephens & Mephisto #5} by Elly Griffiths December 3rd from HMH

”All she has to do is kill a stranger” The Kill Club by Wendy Heard December 17th from Mira


Which of these will you be adding to your wishlist?



Bookshelf Bounty

Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

i’m linking up with Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted co-hosted by Tynga’s Reviews  & Reading Reality


Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)
(My thanks to the respective publishers)


For Review (Electronic)
(My thanks to the respective publishers)



Six Degrees of Separation


Hosted by Kate at Books Are My favourite and Best, the Six Degrees of Separation meme asks you to start at the same place as other readers, add six books, and see where you end up!


Murmur by Will Eaves is this months selection as the springboard for Six Degrees of Separation. What I know of Alan Turing is largely gleaned from ‘The Imitation Game’ (starring Benedict Cumberbatch), and I wouldn’t be averse to learning more about him, but honestly this is not something I will ever read, reviews give me the impression that its terribly pretentious

Of the previous winners of the Wellcome Prize, I found The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot fascinating. I read it as a member of an informal bookclub, and it was one of the first books I reviewed on Goodreads.

Speaking of immortality, I really enjoy reading urban fantasy, and the immortal Atticus O’Sullivan, along with his faithful Irish Wolfhound companion, Oberon, who features in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne is one of my favourites. Beginning with Hounded, the series ended last year with book 9, Scourged.

From an Irish Druid with a dog, to an Irish cop (with no dog) brings us to Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty, book five of his gritty crime series set in Ireland during ‘The Troubles’ featuring Guarda Sean Duffy. In this instance, Duffy is investigating the death of a journalist in the grounds of Carrickfergus Castle.


Duffy enjoys a whisky now and then, which leads me to Whisky and Charlie by Annabel Smith (one of the original hosts of this meme). First published in Australia as ‘Whisky, Charlie, Foxtrot’ in 2012, Whiskey and Charlie is a moving and poignant novel, the story of identical twin brothers, Charlie and William (aka Whiskey) Ferns.

Newly published, The Place on Dalhousie is authored by another Australian writer, Melina Marchetta. It’s an adult contemporary fiction novel that loosely follows up on her popular young adults novels, Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son, though it can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone. It begins when Rosie and Jimmy meet during a flood.

To bring the chain to a close, I decided to go with Deeper Water by Jessie Cole in which a flood also has life changing repercussions for the main character, Mema, a young woman awakening to the possibilities of love and life.


Since I hadn’t read the first book in the chain, I also decided that the rest should draw on books I had read.


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

Stuff on Sundays: Managing Memes


Book blogging memes are a fixture of our community, (though the term ‘meme’ is more popularly applied to the graphic images I’m sure you are all familiar with).

Memes are hosted on a regular weekly or monthly basis, but generally participants can opt in, or out, at anytime. Some memes have specific rules, others are more lax, but they almost all require some level of reciprocity, in that your post should link to the host, and you should visit others who are taking part. There are memes who have a hundred or more regular participants, some who have just a few. Numbers often rise and fall over time.

People tend to participate in memes for any number of reasons. I choose to participate for two main reasons:

#1 – it introduces me to, and helps me maintain connections with, other book bloggers

#2– they provide a loose framework for my blogging schedule

Every Monday I participate in three weekly memes, though I combine them into one post, in part because my Monday is Sunday in the US, and they share a similar theme.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Hosted By Kathryn @ Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone.

You can learn more here @ The Book Date

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

You can learn more at Caffeinated Reviewer

The Sunday Salon

The Salon has recently been revived by Nance at The Readerbuzz and is open to anyone who’d like to discuss books on a Sunday (or, frankly, any other day of the week). Bloggers are welcome to discuss what you’re reading here, or link to relevant blog posts, or comment on one another’s posts.

You can learn more here at Nance at the Readerbuzz

I also participate in three memes on a regular basis

On the 1st Sunday of the month I participate in a monthly meme Six Degrees of Separation, hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest where, on the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book.

You can learn more here Booksaremyfavouriteandbest


On the 2nd Sunday of the month I participate in Weekend Cooking, a weekly meme hosted by BethFishReads. Weekend Cooking is a chance to share the food love. Beth posts every Saturday morning , and you are welcome to share any post related to the theme of food, this might be a cookbook review, or a novel in which food plays a part, or even just some favorite food-related quotes.

You can learn more at BethFishReads


I’ve posted Bookshelf Bounty every 3rd Sunday of the month for several years, but now I link it with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews & Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

You can learn more at Tyngas Reviews


There is one other meme I participate in only sporadically. NonFiction Friday is hosted by DoingDeweyDecimal and is specifically for linking reviews of nonfiction books. They can be posted any time during the week, but when I have a nonfiction book review, I deliberately schedule the post on a Friday. Unfortunately participation seems to have dropped quite a lot, but I have always appreciated it because I enjoy nonfiction and this meme has allowed me to explore what’s out there, and I do check in weekly and browse those links that have been posted. Perhaps you’ll consider linking up your next nonfiction review.

You can learn more at


Though not everyone has the inclination, or time to take part, I think participation in memes is mostly beneficial to the book bloggers as it encourages connection and community. even among bloggers who have disparate tastes in books. It has other benefits too, in that memes can help boost blog stats, and fill gaps in your blog schedule when you are stuck, or under pressure.

There are several book bloggers who host meme directory’s. Some are more up to date or comprehensive than others. Here are links to a few:

Bookshelf Fantasies

The Reading Life

Perspective of a Writer

What do you think about memes?

What do you like about those that you participate in regularly?

Are there any memes you would recommend?

Bookshelf Bounty

Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

i’m linking up with Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)
(My thanks to the respective publishers)

For Review (Electronic)
(My thanks to the respective publishers)


Acquired by other means



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Aussie Books for Mothers Day


Looking for a gift this Mother’s Day, May 12th 2019?

There are some wonderful books from Australian women writers available, here is just a small sample from which you can choose…

(click on the cover to learn more via Goodreads)

For the new mother:

For the busy mother:

For the other mother:

For the grandmother:

For mother’s with daughters:

For mother’s with sons:

For the houseproud mother:

For the romantic at heart mother:

For the nosy mother:

For the starstruck mother:

For the activist mother:

For the nostalgic mother:


What will you be buying your mother this Mothers Day?



Bookshelf Bounty

Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

i’m linking up with Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)
(My thanks to the respective publishers)

For Review (Electronic)
My thanks to the respective publishers)

Which book catches your eye?


Oh and heads up, to celebrate World Book Day, Amazon has some great freebies available .. visit you local Amazon Kindle store

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Homemade Turkish Doner Kebab (Gyro)

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

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

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

Stuff on Sundays: 2019 Hugo Award Finalists Announced

Best Novel

• The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)

• Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)

• Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)

• Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)

• Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)

• Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Best Series

• The Centenal Cycle, by Malka Older ( Publishing)

• The Laundry Files, by Charles Stross (most recently Publishing/Orbit)

• Machineries of Empire, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)

• The October Daye Series, by Seanan McGuire (most recently DAW)

• The Universe of Xuya, by Aliette de Bodard (most recently Subterranean Press)

• Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

• The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform / Gollancz)

• Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)

• The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black (Little, Brown / Hot Key Books)

• Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

• The Invasion, by Peadar O’Guilin (David Fickling Books / Scholastic)

• Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman (Random House / Penguin Teen)

See more Hugo Award Finalists

Who would you vote for?

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