Post Script: Secrets of The Springs – Kerry McGinnis

Secrets of the Springs

Kerry McGinnis

Secret of the Springs

Penguin

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143784586

 

Description:

When Orla Macrae receives a letter asking her to return to the family cattle property where she grew up, she does so grudgingly. Her estranged uncle Palmer may be dying, but he is the last person she wants to see, not when she’s made a new life far away from where she lost so much. But on his deathbed he utters a few enigmatic words about a secret locked away and a clue as to its whereabouts.

 

Intrigued, Orla decides to stay, reconnecting with old friends and taking a chance on a long-time dream of opening the homestead to tourists. Continuing the search for her uncle’s elusive secret, she discovers far more than she bargained for – a shocking truth about her parents’ marriage, and the confession of a chilling murder.

 

Set in the stunning countryside north of the Barrier Ranges near Broken Hill, this is an authentic tale of life on the land and a gripping mystery about old family secrets and finding love in the harsh Australian bush.

 

My View:

“Kerry McGinnis was born in Adelaide and, at the age of twelve, took up a life of droving with her father and three siblings. The family travelled extensively across the Northern Territory and Queensland before settling on a station in the Gulf Country. Kerry has worked as a shepherd, droving hand, gardener, stock-camp and station cook, eventually running a property at Bowthorn, near Mount Isa. She is the author of two volumes of memoir and now lives in Bundaberg,” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1219708.Kerry_McGinnis

 

I have now read three (of eight books) Kerry McGinnis’s has written, all have been five star reads. In each the landscapes are diverse in location yet feature rural communities and vibrant likeable characters who you want to cheer on, to do well. McGinnis’s female leads are always strong, intelligent, resourceful women and the protagonist in this book, Orla Macrae fits this mould – strongminded, resourceful, a quick thinker and ahead of her times in commercial acumen (think Airbnb for farm stays set in the 1980’s.) Orla realises that to survive on the land diverse income streams are needed.

 

In this narrative, family dramas and dastardly revelations will surprise the reader, these were different times.

 

Each page is infused with McGinnis’s trade mark love of the land, it is infectious.  Slip under the cover of this impressive book and be transported, listen to the wisdom McGinnis shares: ‘You couldn’t change the past; that was a finished page, one turned over, done with, not to be rewritten. But by constantly harking back to it you could imbue it with the power to cause past deeds to impinge upon the future.’ p353

 

 

 

Post Script: Two Nights – Kathy Reichs

Loved, loved, loved this one!

Two Nights

Two Nights

Kathy Reichs

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Bantam

ISBN: 9780345544070

 

Description:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller—featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

 

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . .

 

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing.

 

But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

 

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found?

 

It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons—because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

 

 

My View:

Loved, loved, loved this one!

 

Staccato writing/pacing… sparse, intense, not a word wasted, I loved the pace, the style and the sublime twist. What a surprise! Though a fan of Reich’s Temperance Brennan series I think this new book might just about be my favourite from this author.  Maybe I am a little too comfortable with Bones and her cohorts, her storylines, her TV series… Two Nights is fresh, powerful and different.

 

A story of redemption, of facing your fears, of cults, of mind washing…of terror. This is a brilliant read – read with an open mind and no preconceived notions about the writing or the writer and you will enjoy this book. I hope this this is the start of a new series.

 

 

Waffles & Date Chocolate Sauce – The Goodness of Nuts & Seeds: Natalie Seldon

It’s World Chocolate Day – let’s celebrate with a little something that combines decadent with wholesome.

goodness-of-nuts-and-seeds

http://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Goodness-of-Nuts-and-Seeds/Natalie-Seldon/9780857834133

 

WAFFLES & DATE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

 

*VEGETARIAN *GLUTEN-FREE *DAIRY-FREE

Decadent yet wholesome, these are drizzled with warm, sticky sauce and vibrant fresh berries for an indulgent affair to savour. Golden and crispy on the outside with a soft and fluffy centre, these griddled, healthy treats contain gluten-free buckwheat flour, supplying a multitude of vitamins and minerals. These provide a little sweet solace on wet and windy days and are sure to warm the hearts of family and friends.

Makes 3–4 (depending on the size of your waffle iron)

75g buckwheat flour

75g almond flour or ground almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons date syrup  (or unrefined sugar)

1 egg, lightly beaten

275ml almond milk

2 tablespoons almond butter

2 teaspoons vanilla bean  paste or extract

 

For the date chocolate sauce

100ml date syrup

75g raw cacao powder

2½ tablespoons maple syrup

 

To serve

200g fresh red berries, such as raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants

25g toasted flaked almonds

 

  1. Sift both flours, the baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the date syrup, egg, almond milk, almond butter and vanilla bean paste or extract, then mix well until combined. Leave the batter to rest for 5 minutes.

 

  1. Make the date and chocolate sauce by heating all the ingredients together in a small pan over a gentle heat. Stir until combined and glossy, then set aside until needed.

 

  1. Preheat a waffle iron as per instructions, spray both sides of the iron with oil spray (I use coconut oil) and pour a large ladleful (about 150ml) of batter in the centre of the iron and spread out towards the edges with a flat-bladed knife. Close the lid and allow to cook. Repeat until all the batter is used.

 

  1. Serve the waffles with the fresh fruit, a drizzle of date chocolate sauce and the toasted almonds.

Waffles with date Chocolate sauce

 

Recipes from The Goodness of Nuts & Seeds by Natalie Seldon. Published by Kyle Cathie. RRP $19.99

Post Script: Dear Banjo – Sasha Wasley

Dear Banjo

Dear Banjo

Sasha Wasley

Penguin Random House Au

ISBN: 9780143784524

 

Description:

They were best friends who were never meant to fall in love – but for one of them, it was already way too late.

 

Willow ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Tom Forrest were raised on neighbouring cattle stations in the heart of the Kimberley. As young adults, sharing the same life dreams, something came between them that Willow cannot forget, and now ten years have passed. When her father falls ill, Willow is called home to take over the running of the family property, Patterson Downs. Her vision for a sustainable, organic cattle station is proving hard to achieve. She needs Tom’s help, but is it all too late, and too difficult, to make amends?

 

A pile of Tom’s heartfelt letters has remained unopened and unspoken between them. Willow must find the courage to finally bring them out. Their tattered pages reveal a love story like no other – and one you’ll never forget. Dear Banjo is a wildly romantic and utterly captivating story about first love and second chances, from an exciting new Australian author.

 

 

My View:

A few months ago now, author Sasha Wasley contacted me regarding the release of her new book Dear Banjo and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing. We struck up a “on line” friendship – based on our mutual love of our journeys to the north of Western Australia (the cover of her book had evoked many memories of camping/caravanning/working in that region) – based on that red pindan infused cover, I decided to give this book a chance.  And what a fabulous read I discovered!

 

This book is so much more than an Australian rural romance – in fact I would describe it as a coming of age or contemporary fiction, life literature with a dash of humanism. In this read there are three main characters – Willow “Banjo’ Paterson, Tom Forrest and the rugged Kimberly outback. Whilst Patterson Downs is a fictional town, the settings and the local community come to life on the page.

 

The protagonists aspire to sustainable farming practices – a unique perspective in rural writing and hopefully one that is becoming more popular with actual graziers. This aspect of the novel was fascinating, the hero of the book.

 

Engaging, well developed characters, realistic settings and a narrative that enchants this is a must read!

 

 

 

 

Eliza Henry Jones Talks About Her Novel Ache

Welcome author of In the Quiet and Ache. “Eliza Henry-Jones was born in Melbourne in 1990. She was a Young Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre in 2012 and was a recipient of a Varuna residential fellowship for 2015. She has qualifications in English, psychology and grief, loss and trauma counselling. She is currently completing honours in creative writing – exploring bushfire trauma – and works in community services. She lives in the Dandenong Ranges with her husband and too many animals.” http://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460750384/#sm.000013x3sti4gof8ssqbvqu70beyi

 

I recently read Ache and was seduced by the emotions and the poignantly written characters; individuals, families, communities, animals and the landscape  – a vivid and bold major character in this novel. The compelling writing will touch all that read it. I highly recommend this read.

Listen to Eliza  here:

 

 

Post Script: Ache – Eliza Henry Jones

Ache

Ache

Eliza Henry Jones

Harper Collins

ISBN: 9781460750384

 

Description:

A year ago, a devastating bushfire ripped Annie’s world apart – killing her grandmother, traumatising her young daughter and leaving her mother’s home in the mountains half destroyed. Annie fled back to the city, but the mountain continues to haunt her. Now, drawn by a call for help from her uncle, she’s going back to the place she loves most in the world, to try to heal herself, her marriage, her daughter and her mother.

A heart-wrenching, tender and lovely novel about loss, grief and regeneration, Ache is not only a story of how we can be broken, but how we can put ourselves back together.

 

 

My View:

I have had great difficulty trying to find the right words to describe my reaction to this book. It was an amazing read – written so beautifully, the writing seducing the reader to read more and more…and the feelings it evoked…an abundance of feelings.  The characters so credible and the situations they face almost unbearable at times and almost unbearable to read such is the empathy I felt for these paper people.

 

Survivor guilt, grief, PTSD…this book covers it all yet  despite the challenging scenarios presented in this narrative it is not a negative or depressing read, in fact it is full optimism. Read and discover your new favourite author.

 

 

Chocolate Eggplant Brownies: The Clever Guts Diet – Dr Michael Mosley

ANZ Clever Guts Diet cover

Extracted from The Clever Guts Diet by Dr Michael Mosley with Tanya Borowski, mBANT, IFMCP, and Dr Clare Bailey, GP. Available now, Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP $29.99.

http://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Clever-Guts-Diet/Michael-Mosley/9781925596038 

 

Strange as it may sound, the eggplant works brilliantly with the dark, flavonoid-rich chocolate. Truly yummy.” p. 259

 

Chocolate Eggplant Brownies

(makes 12 small squares)

 

1 medium eggplant (200g), peeled and diced

150g dark chocolate (minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces

60g coconut oil

60g soft pitted dates, diced

½ tsp salt

3 eggs, beaten

1 tsp baking powder

80g ground almonds

 

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Steam the eggplant for 15 min­utes until it’s soft (or microwave it in less time). Put it in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate and coconut oil. The warm eggplant will melt the chocolate and oil.

Add the chopped dates and salt. Using a hand blender or a food processor, blitz the mixture until it’s smooth. By now it should be cool enough to add the eggs and baking powder.

Blitz again for another minute or so, then mix in the ground almonds.

Spread the mixture onto a medium-sized baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. It is cooked when a knife comes out clean.

Serve the brownies with Raspberry Chia Jam and/or full-fat live organic Greek yoghurt.

 

Tip: Alternatively, to make cupcakes, divide the mix­ture into a 12-hole cupcake tray lined with paper cases, and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

clever guts brownie bake

 

 

 

Chia Jam: The Clever Guts Diet – Dr Michael Mosley

ANZ Clever Guts Diet cover

Extracted from The Clever Guts Diet by Dr Michael Mosley with Tanya Borowski, mBANT, IFMCP, and Dr Clare Bailey, GP. Available now, Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP $29.99.

http://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Clever-Guts-Diet/Michael-Mosley/9781925596038

 

clever guts breakfast loaf + chia jam

clever guts breakfast loaf + chia jam

 

 

Raspberry Chia Jam

“A delicious fruity low-sugar jam which is wonderfully quick and easy to make. You can also serve it as a coulis, stirred into full-fat yoghurt or coconut-based yoghurt.” p. 209

 

30-40g pitted dates, finely diced (or 1-2 tsp maple syrup)

125g raspberries (frozen or fresh)

2-3 tsp chia seeds (depending on how thick you like it)

 

Gently heat the dates in a small pan with 2 tbsp water for about 2 minutes, stirring to form a smooth paste.

Add the raspberries and chia seeds and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Mash the raspberries with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. The jam can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

 

 

.

 

 

Breakfast Bread: The Clever Guts Diet – Dr Michael Mosley

ANZ Clever Guts Diet cover

Extracted from The Clever Guts Diet by Dr Michael Mosley with Tanya Borowski, mBANT, IFMCP, and Dr Clare Bailey, GP. Available now, Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP $29.99.

http://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Clever-Guts-Diet/Michael-Mosley/9781925596038 

clever guts breakfast loaf + chia jam

Clever Guts breakfast loaf + chia jam

 

 

Breakfast Bread

(makes a 900g loaf, 10-12 slices)

 

The ground almonds, flaxseed and eggs make this a high-protein, low-grain breakfast or snack. This bread is best served warm or toasted. Try it spread with a little nut butter.” p.211

 

190g ground almonds

2 tbsp coconut flour

40g ground flaxseed

1 tsp sea salt

1½ tsp baking powder

5 eggs

30g coconut oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp live (raw) apple cider vinegar

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line a loaf tin with parchment or grease it with coconut oil. Put the ground almonds, coconut flour, ground flaxseed, salt and baking powder in a food processor and pulse until everything is combined.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse again to form a smooth dough.

Bake it for about 40 minutes or until it’s golden and cooked through (if you pierce it with a skewer it should come out clean). Leave it to cool, then turn it out. Store it in a zip-lock bag in the fridge or in the freezer, sliced.