Guest Review: There Was Still Love – Favel Parrett

 

There Was Still Love

Favel Parrett

Hachette AU

ISBN: 9780733630682

Description:

The profoundly moving new novel from the critically acclaimed and Miles Franklin shortlisted author of PAST THE SHALLOWS and WHEN THE NIGHT COMES. A tender and masterfully told story of memory, family and love.

Prague, 1938: Eva flies down the street from her sister. Suddenly a man steps out, a man wearing a hat. Eva runs into him, hits the pavement hard. His hat is in the gutter. His anger slaps Eva, but his hate will change everything, as war forces so many lives into small, brown suitcases.

Prague, 1980: No one sees Ludek. A young boy can slip right under the heavy blanket that covers this city – the fear cannot touch him. Ludek is free. And he sees everything. The world can do what it likes. The world can go to hell for all he cares because Babi is waiting for him in the warm flat. His whole world.

Melbourne, 1980: Mala Li ka’s grandma holds her hand as they climb the stairs to their third floor flat. Inside, the smell of warm pipe tobacco and homemade cakes. Here, Mana and Bill have made a life for themselves and their granddaughter. A life imbued with the spirit of Prague and the loved ones left behind.

Favel Parrett’s deep emotional insight and stellar literary talent shine through in this love letter to the strong women who bind families together, despite dislocation and distance. It is a tender and beautifully told story of memory, family and love. Because there is still love. No matter what.

Brenda’s Review:

What an utterly divine, beautifully written novel There Was Still Love is by Aussie author Favel Parrett. Moving, profound, I’m blown away by this book. I loved the author’s previous novels, and this one is exceptional.

Set in Prague in 1938 and 1980, and Melbourne in 1980, it tells Eva and Mana’s stories and that of their grandchildren. Ludek lives in Prague with his Babi while his mother is a long way away working, and Mala Li ka lives in the tiny Melbourne flat with her grandma and grandpa. Love; the past; the present – all link together as there was still love; always.

Although There Was Still Love is a work of fiction, the author has drawn from the lives of her grandparents, showing the kindness and love which was always present. A very memorable book which is told mostly in the voices of the two children, and which I have no hesitation in recommending highly. The cover is beautiful, with the fox having special meaning. 5 stars

With thanks to Hachette AU for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

 

Guest Review: Trouble on Teral (The Portal Adventures #1) – Andrew J. Harvey

Trouble on Teral

Andrew J. Harvey

Peasantry Press

ISBN: 9781988276328

 

Description:

Perhaps running away from home had not been one of Mark’s brightest ideas. But after his mom canceled his visit to her archaeological dig on Teral Four, he felt he had no choice. Now he wasn’t so sure – when his dad, a Colonel in the UN Peacekeepers, found out he was going to go ballistic. If he could just speak to his mom perhaps he could still smooth things over. Unfortunately for Mark, the Llarst, violent aliens who have already fought one war with Earth, have taken his mom and the other archaeologists hostage. And if the Llarst find what they’re looking for, all of Earth will be in danger. Now, with just the assistance of Windracer, a young saurian on her first vision quest, and her elephant- sized groundhog, he must rescue his mother and her friends, stop the Llarst, and face his dad. Piece of cake …

Brenda’s Review:

Mark’s rebellion kicked in when the anticipation of his visit to Teral Four where his mum was working on the archeology dig was dashed. He immediately decided to go anyway and surprise his mum. But as usual, he hadn’t thought things through – namely what his dad would do when he found out.

His arrival was fraught with trouble – the Llarst, who were terrifying aliens, had invaded and kidnapped Mark’s mother and the rest of the archaeologist team, locking them up a long way underground. Mark met up with a young saurian, Windracer and her gigantic groundhog, Matak, and they decided to attempt a rescue of Mark’s mum and everyone else. But as Mark was about to find out, there was a lot more involved; and a lot of danger as well. Could they do it? What would happen if the Llarst did what they threatened?

Trouble on Teral is the 1st in The Portal Adventures series by Aussie author Andrew Harvey and it was an exciting, adventure filled race against time for the two unlikely friends. I loved Windracer’s character, and Mark was a typical youngster, not thinking before acting. I’m really looking forward to the second in the series – “Crisis at Calista Station” – and recommend Trouble on Teral for young and old alike 😊 5 stars

With thanks to the author for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

The Perfect Halloween Read: The Shape of Night – Tess Gerritsen


The Shape of the Night

Tess Gerritsen

Penguin Random House Australia

Bantam Press

ISBN: 9781787631656

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of . . .

 

When Ava arrives at Brodie’s Watch, she thinks she has found the perfect place to hide from her past. Something terrible happened, something she is deeply ashamed of, and all she wants is to forget.

 

But the old house on the hill both welcomes and repels her and Ava quickly begins to suspect she is not alone. Either that or she is losing her mind.

 

The house is full of secrets, but is the creeping sense of danger coming from within its walls, or from somewhere else entirely…

 

 

My View:

This really is the perfect Halloween or anytime, suspenseful read that pays homage to the gothic era of horror stories.

 

The tension is incredible! After the first one hundred or so pages I had to stop and read the rest in the day time – I was so apprehensive about what was next; the power of words on the page. What a great read.

 

I love a little paranormal in my reading to mix things up a little. This book was thrilling! Tess Gerritsen is an excellent storyteller – I can imagine her sitting round a camp fire telling this story late at night. Fabulously spooky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#FridayFeebie : Dead Man Switch – Tara Moss

Description:

Bestselling author Tara Moss returns to crime fiction with a stunning new series, and a stunning new heroine. Meet PI Billie Walker – smart and sexy, with a dash of Mae West humour, she’s a hard-boiled detective with a twist.

She’s a woman in a man’s world …

Sydney, 1946. Billie Walker is living life on her own terms. World War II has left her bereaved, her photojournalist husband missing and presumed dead. Determined not to rely on any man for her future, she re-opens her late father’s detective agency.

Billie’s bread and butter is tailing cheating spouses – it’s easy, pays the bills and she has a knack for it. But her latest case, the disappearance of a young man, is not proving straightforward …

Soon Billie is up to her stylish collar in bad men, and not just the unfaithful kind – these are the murdering kind. Smugglers. Players. Gangsters. Billie and her loyal assistant must pit their wits against Sydney’s ruthless underworld and find the young man before it’s too late.

Tara Moss head shot_thanks to Berndt Sellheim

Giveaway:

If you like your protagonists to be smart, assertive and female then Tara’ Moss’ s new series with the PI Billie Walker written in a modern ‘hard boiled’ style is for you.

For your chance to win pop over to Harper Collins website and tell me  in the comments in this blog post, who said this about the author  “‘A brilliant writer‘ ”

 

**Entries limited to Australian residents only and winners will be selected by a random draw on  the 31st of October 2019.**

Review: Dressing Your Family – Beci Orpin

Dressing Your Family

Beci Orpin

Hachette Australia

Lothian Books

ISBN:  9780734419408

RRP $12.99

Description:

Learn about family relationships and naming articles of clothing in this fun and inclusive board book, brightly and simply illustrated by Beci Orpin.

 

My grandma wears a cardigan.

 

My step-brother wears a jacket.

 

My family wears many different types of clothes.

 

Let’s learn about family relationships and the clothes we wear in this stylishly illustrated board book from one of Australia’s leading designer-illustrators, Beci Orpin.

 

 

My View:

Colourful, joyous, simply told, this board book makes a great “sit on my lap and read to toddler book” or a great first reader for the press schooler.  Perfect size for little hands.

 

Guest Review: Cross my Heart – Pamela Cook

Cross My Heart

Pamela Cook

Wildwords Publishing

ISBN: 9780648523505

 

Description:

When a promise kept means a life is broken…a haunting story of guilt, redemption and friendship that will have you turning pages well past bed-time.

When a promise kept means a life is broken …

Tessa De Santis’s child-free marriage in inner-city Sydney is ordered and comfortable, and she likes it that way.

When tragedy strikes and her childhood friend Skye Whittaker dies, Tess is bound to honour a promise to become foster-mother to Skye’s ten-year-old daughter, Grace, throwing her life upside down.

Leaving her husband and work-driven life behind, Tess travels to an isolated property where the realities of her friend’s life – and death – hit hard. The idyllic landscape and an unexpected form of therapy ease her fears, and her relationship with Grace begins to blossom.

But a secret from her earlier life with Skye refuses to remain hidden, and Tess is forced into a decision that will either right the wrongs of the past, or completely destroy her future.

Cross My Heart is a haunting story of guilt, redemption and friendship set in the beautiful central west of New South Wales.

 

Brenda’s Review:

Exceptional; outstanding! Cross My Heart by Aussie author Pamela Cook goes straight onto my favourites list for 2019!

Tess and Josh had been married for five years and lived the high life in Sydney, both career oriented and working long days. Tess had arrived home from Los Angeles where she’d been for work when she found the letter which would change her life forever. Tess’ best friend from school days was dead, her ten-year-old daughter Grace an orphan. But it was the promise that Tess had made to Skye when Grace had been born that was sending chills down her spine. Tess was Grace’s legal guardian; Tess who had no children; Tess and Josh who didn’t want children to disturb the lives they lived…

With the advice from a psychologist friend ringing in Tess’ ears, she and Grace left Sydney and headed for the only home Grace had known. Leaving her business in the reliable hands of her 2IC and a disgruntled Josh to head for his overseas commitment, Tess’ jitters and uncertainty accompanied them the whole way, through the Blue Mountains and on to the small town of Weerilla, where they found the isolated cottage that had been Skye and Grace’s home. But would returning home help Grace through her grief? Would it enable Tess and Grace to bond; to form a friendship – a relationship of sorts?

Cross My Heart is an emotional, heart wrenching but uplifting novel on grief, friendship, love, secrets and commitment that I dare anyone to read and not have a lump in their throat and tears in their eyes! Pamela Cook’s first 4 books (which I’ve loved) were in the rural category and Cross My Heart is a contemporary novel which she has mastered with ease. A fabulous read which I have no hesitation in recommending highly. 5 stars.

With thanks to the author for my signed ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

Khaki Town: Judy Nunn – Competition

To celebrate the release of Khaki Town by Judy Nunn, we’re giving you the chance to win a trip to Townsville, including flights, accommodation and a scenic tour to experience its history and understand the inspiration behind the novel.

One winner and their nominated companion will win the trip worth up to $2500, including the following:

  • Return flights to Townsville from a capital city in Australia
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in Townsville
  • A guided tour of  Townsville Military History plus Scenic Tour Package
  • Prize to be redeemed between the 1st May 2020 to 30th September 2020

To enter, simply purchase a copy of Khaki Town by Judy Nunn and then complete the form below. The chosen winner must provide proof of purchase to redeem prize. Entry form here:  

**This promotion commences on 1 October 2019 at 9:00am AEST and concludes on 31 January 2020 at 11:59pm AEST. In order to redeem this prize the winner will have to show proof of purchase. Entrants must be an Australian resident. Entrants aged under 18 years must obtain the consent and agreement of their parent or legal guardian to enter this promotion and be bound by these Conditions of Entry.**