Post Script: Journeys End – Jennifer Scoullar

Journey's End

Journey’s End

Jennifer Scoullar

Penguin Books Australia

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143797005

 

Description:

From the author of Currawong Creek and Turtle Reef comes a beautiful story of family, friendship and the healing power of love.

When Sydney botanist Kim Sullivan and her husband inherit Journey’s End, a rundown farm high on the Great Eastern Escarpment, they dream of one day restoring it to its natural state. Ten years later, however, Kim is tragically widowed. Selling up is the only practical option, so she and her children head to the mountains to organise the sale. The last thing Kim expects is for Journey’s End to cast its wild spell on them all.

The family decide to stay, and Kim forges on with plans to rewild the property, propagating plants and acquiring a menagerie of native animals. But wayward wildlife, hostile farmers and her own lingering grief make the task seem hopeless. That is, until she meets the mysterious Taj, a man who has a way with animals. Kim begins to feel that she might find love again. But Taj has his own tragic past – one that could drive a wedge between them that can not be overcome . . .

 

My View:

If you are a fan of crime fiction (as I am) then this read will convert you to the genre of Australian Rural Fiction! Or maybe just to Jennifer Scoullar’s work 🙂

I loved this read – for so many reasons:

This is a well written narrative of rewilding/restoration – and the simile is not reserved just for the flora and fauna in the narrative, it also reflects the emotional restorations happening in so many of the characters’ lives in the book.

It made me reflect on another perspective on the war in Afghanistan that I hadn’t really given much thought to, (that of the innocent victims of the war) and I saw Afghanistan, the country as a more diverse  landscape than that often cited in media grabs ; more than  a flat, dusty, almost people less,  barren land of a remote villages.

It made me consider and reflect on more natural ways of conserving /preserving nature than baiting and trapping. I looked at dingoes and their role in the environment in a new light. Thanks for opening my eyes Jennifer.

Jennifer Scoullar’s writing has a rich complexity  – it can be read as simply a story of renewal from a place of grief,  a story of friendships, a romance, or you can absorb the depth of issues gently  raised here – of racism, environmental management, wild life rescue, the effects of dwindling numbers in small towns on education etc. the illegal logging of protected stands of trees etc. etc.

However you read this you will enjoy it!

 

 

In The Mail This Week 15 July 2016

Some more great reads found their way to my mail box this week. Some great titles here – any that you fancy?Books 15-7-016

This will be my first Liane Moriarty – I am looking forward to that as I have heard so many good things about this author.  Rebellious Daughters has also got my attention…Sabine Durrant is a favourite author… Pierre Lemaitre – a standalone from him is exciting news, Position Doubtful -Kim Mahood – gets a 5 star review from my husband – which means it must be good, (as did A Beautiful Young Wife), I liked the last Michel Bussi I read,  and Jane Joago – The Wrong Hand ..looks like some difficult subject matter here but could be interesting: “We all make mistakes. Moments that change us and the path we are on irrevocably. For Rachel Allen it was the moment that she let her son’s hand slip from hers. For Danny Simpson and Graham Harris it was the moment one of them took it. Seven years ago Danny and Graham were just children themselves, angry, marginalized and unguided. That was, until they committed a crime so..”

 

Add to that a few eBooks and about 4 direct requests this week from authors to read and review their books…where to start???

Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons – have you ever made  them or perhaps used them in cooking?  How do you make yours and how do you use the finished product?

We have an abundance of lemons at the moment, I have juiced and frozen the juice for later, and still have plenty of lemons so I thought I would try preserving them. It is easy enough, you just need some large jars, lemons, salt and some spices. I have two slightly different recipes – one you the cut lemons, add salt and leave for a week in jar, then squash down the lemons in the jar then add spices, top with olive oil and store in cupboard for a month before use.

The other you  add a layer of salt to bottom of the jar before filling, cut the lemons and mix with spices and  additional salt and firmly pack into a jar and top with lemon juice if needed, then finish with a layer of olive oil and leave for two months. It will be interesting to see any differences in the end results.

Can you use the salty lemon juice for anything?

preserved lemons

 

 

Post Script: The Kept Woman – Karin Slaughter

The Kept Woman

The Kept Woman

Karin Slaughter

Random House UK, Cornerstone

Century

ISBN: 9781780893570

 

Description:

The latest novel in the Will Trent series from No. 1 bestselling author, Karin Slaughter.

 

A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It’s the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career. Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim – a woman – has left the scene and vanished into thin air. And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city’s biggest, most politically-connected, most high-profile athlete – a local hero protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

 

But for Will – and also for Dr Sara Linton, the GBI’s newest medical examiner – the case is about to get even worse. Because an unexpected discovery at the scene reveals a personal link to Will’s troubled past. The consequences will wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those he loves, those he works with, and those he pursues.

 

But Sara’s scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find the missing woman before she bleeds out . . .

 

 

My View:

Let’s keep this review short and sweet.

 

Everyone knows Karin Slaughter’s work – and if they don’t they should remedy that fact immediately!

 

Thrilling!

 

Pulse raising!

 

Full of extraordinary twists and turns!

 

Engaging!

 

A 5 star read.

 

Do I need to say anymore? I don’t think so.  Fangirl? Me? Ok I confess – Karin Slaughter can do no wrong in my mind – her writing is outstanding. Don’t just take my word (though you could) read this series and discover a wonderful crime fiction talent.

 

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Bad Blood – Gary Kemble

Bad Blood

Bad Blood

Gary Kemble

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760402938

 

Description:

Freelance journalist Harry Hendrick is beginning to realise that you’re only as good as your last exclusive, and buzz doesn’t pay the bills, when he’s blackmailed by the police into investigating a series of bizarre suicides.

 

Those investigations lead him into the web of Mistress Hel, who plies her dark arts from her luxurious suburban lair. With continuing challenges in his personal and professional life, can Harry resist her seductive power? Or the thrill of danger itself?

 

The latest genre-bending thriller from an exciting Australian author, Gary Kemble.

 

Praise for Skin Deep

 

Kemble’s other life as a journalist is evident in his writing and his convincingly realistic characters … Skin Deep is a fine debut for both Kemble and Echo Publishing, which offers more than a passing nod to John Birmingham and Stephen King – BOOKS+PUBLISHING

 

Equally, not many ghost stories have this kind of immediacy, or tactility. No strange frissons or fleeting shadows here! It’s all blood, drained batteries and murderous rage, stinking of bourbon in the subtropical humidity – TABULA RASA

 

It keeps you guessing until the end – WEEKLY TIMES

 

My View:

Gary Kemble has his own brand of speculative fiction; it is the perfect mash up of horror, crime, gothic darkness, eroticism and paranormal narratives with a tiny bit of love and optimism thrown in for good measure.

 

The first prologue is dynamite! “NIGHTMARE. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT A NIGTHMARE IS!” p.3 (until you read this book).

 

Harry Hendrick is a great character; on the surface an average guy, just trying to live his life, earn a living and find love but scratch away at the epidermis, peel back the layers and discover the real Harry.  Harry is complex, likeable, at times self-destructive, full of good intentions, a great investigative reporter and is a little under the influence of a tattoo that mysteriously appeared on the back of his neck( see the first book in the series Skin Deep).  You can’t but help liking Harry.  I would like to know more about Sandy – the clairvoyant, I hope she features strongly in the next book.

 

This book has great characters, a suburban Australian setting, is a great example of the speculative read, and yet manages to seamlessly weave into this engaging narrative some serious social issues.  Historical abuse against children, misuse of Union funds…corruption…there is plenty of meat on this bone, give it a good chew.

 

Gary introduces Bad Bloodhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-ZU6GwXjU4

 

Post Script: Lily And The Octopus – Steven Rowley

Lily and the Octopus

Lily And The Octopus

Steven Rowley

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781471146640

 

Description:

Combining the emotional depth of The Art of Racing in the Rain with the magical spirit of The Life of Pi, Lily and the Octopus is an epic adventure of the heart.

 

When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride.

 

The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.

 

For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.

 

Remember the last book you told someone they had to read? Lily and the Octopus is the next one.

 

 

 

My View:

I laughed and laughed…then I cried and not just a little tear but torrents of sadness.

 

But don’t get me wrong this is largely an incredibly funny and intelligent read – the observations of life with dogs, searching for a soul mate, and Lily’s enthusiastic response to everything are sharp, hilarious, and often poignant; Lily and Ted do satire and sarcasm really well.

 

It is the banter, the dialogue between Lily and her human companion that is so engaging and cute; but there is a depth and wisdom in the conversations here. Scratch just below the surface (you don’t have to dig too far) and the cuteness is quickly revealed as a mask that tries to hide Ted’s loneliness, depression, his battle to come to terms with his best friends devastating diagnosis and the journey through grief to acceptance.

 

Does this sound like too much sharing and caring?  It actually isn’t – Lily is a bright foil to Ted’s darkness and despair (and a great device that enables the reader to understand Ted’s perspective on life).  The book is full of brilliant observations and it is a credit to the author that the reader cares so much for Lily and Ted.

 

The novel ends on a decidedly positive note, a great emotional read.  (Even the husband enjoyed it! High praise.)

Bob the Dog Reads…Lily and the Octopus

Here is  sneak peak of a book I have just finished reading – reviewed this week .  Bob  the Dog has great taste is books, he enjoyed this one too.

(And Bob the Dog is a star on Simon & Schuster Australia’s Face Book  page!  )

Bob teh Dog reads Lily and The Octopus

 

Read more about the book here : http://ow.ly/54JM301MoEm

 

And check out this remarkable duo

Post Script: Black – Fleur Ferris

Black

Black

Fleur Ferris

Penguin Random House Australia

ISBN: 9781925324976

 

Description:

Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days . . . She can’t wait to leave the town where she’s known only as ‘Black’. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too.

 

Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed.

 

Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she’s used to being on her own. It’s easier that way.

 

But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge.

 

If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?

 

 

 

My View:

The perfect Teen/ YA read. This could be small town anywhere; the narrow minded attitudes, the suspicions, a haunted house, a curse, fear, gossip, “in groups”, outcasts. There are dramas, “accidents”, exorcism and a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure – and of course a happy ending.

 

Fleur Ferris writes yet another novel that to me, reads like a film! Congratulations on another engaging read Fleur.

 

 

Professional Independent Publishing-on-Demand – A How-To Guide — Views From The Ridge

So you want to publish a book… Not any book… Your Book? When I’m not writing I still have my day job that takes me out and about. I design and deliver training programs on a whole bunch of topics, including lots of leadership, management and communication ‘stuff’… and on a bit of a tangent,…

via Professional Independent Publishing-on-Demand – A How-To Guide — Views From The Ridge

Post Script: When The Music Is Over – Peter Robinson

When the Music Is Over

When The Music’s Over (Inspector Banks #23)

 Peter Robinson

Hachette Australia

Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 9781444786712

 

 

Description:

The new DCI Banks book by Number One bestseller Peter Robinson has the team investigating two highly contemporary crimes – each echoing and illuminating the other.

 

In a remote countryside lane in North Yorkshire, the body of a young girl is found, bruised and beaten, having apparently been thrown from a moving vehicle.

 

While DI Annie Cabbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks is faced with a similar task – but the case Banks must investigate is as cold as they come.

 

Fifty years ago Linda Palmer was attacked by celebrity entertainer Danny Caxton, yet no investigation ever took place. Now Caxton stands accused at the centre of a historical abuse investigation and it’s Banks’s first task as superintendent to find out the truth.

 

While Annie struggles with a controversial case threatening to cause uproar in the local community, Banks must piece together decades-old evidence, and as each steps closer to uncovering the truth, they’ll unearth secrets much darker than they ever could have guessed . . .

 

 

My View:

Raise your glass and help me celebrate- this is my first DCI Banks read! Kudos to the author that despite the fact that I have not read the previous twenty two books I never felt like I was missing any significant back story or didn’t understand the protagonist’s quirks and foibles.

 

Peter Robinson artfully writes about historical abuse and a current case of abuse against children within the same framework by cannily supervising one investigation and leading in the other. Both crimes reflect contemporary social issues and crimes that unfortunately we are hearing a lot about in the media today; the crimes committed by those who feel “entitlement”; the attitude by some sections of society who believe  that women are available to be used and abused, debased, traded and treated like commodities; sexual toys. Robinson tackles this subject with sensitivity and honesty. Robinson has one of the female protagonists write a diary of sorts to record her thoughts, emotions and any details she can recollect of the crimes( historical) committed against her – the writing is simplistic yet brutal in its honesty and humanises the experience, validating the victims emotions and responses – past and present.

 

This is very well thought out, well developed and engaging police procedural that shines the spotlight on both historical and current abuse cases, highlights the difficulties in investigating the crimes and discusses attitudes to victims and perpetrators – past and present; an excellent read for all fans of crime fiction.