#FridayFreebie – Nancy Business – R W R McDonald

Description:

Tippy, Uncle Pike and Devon are back for another camp cozy crime mystery from the award-winning author of The Nancys.

It’s been four months since Tippy, Uncle Pike and Devon were together for Christmas. Now back for the first anniversary of Tippy’s father’s death, the Nancys are reformed when Riverstone is rocked by an early morning explosion that kills three people and destroys the town hall.

A new case is born and the Nancys re-form. Is the accused bomber really guilty? Is there a second bomber? And if so, does that mean a threat to destroy Riverstone Bridge is real? And is asparagus a colour? Once again, it is up to the Nancys to go against the flow and ignore police advice to get to the truth.

It’s great to be back in Nancy business again, but this time it’s all different. Uncle Pike and Devon can’t agree on anything and Tippy is learning hard truths about the world and the people she loves the most. Can the Nancys stay together to do their best work and save the town? Or will the killer strike again? When everyone is right, does that make you wrong? And can Tippy ever trust anyone again

** Thanks to the lovely people at Allen & Unwin Australia I have a copy of the new release “Nancy Business” to give away to one lucky Australian resident. Its easy. In the comments simply tell me where this series is set. Giveaway closes 25th June and the winner will be randomly selected from all entrants. Good luck.**

Overnight Cinnamon Buns: Food for the Soul – Lucy Lord

It’s winter, time to get baking. Cinnamon scrolls/buns are one of my favourites.

Recipes and images taken from Food for the Soul by Lucy Lord, published by HarperCollins.

Overnight cinnamon buns with a maple cream cheese glaze

225ml milk

1 tbsp active dried yeast

90g granulated sugar, plus 1 tbsp

550g strong white bread flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or use vanilla extract)

2 large eggs

75g butter, melted

FOR THE FILLING

6 tbsp butter, at room temperature

180g soft dark brown sugar

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

FOR THE MAPLE CREAM CHEESE GLAZE

120g cream cheese

3 tbsp butter, at room temperature

75g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or use vanilla extract)

4 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

1. Gently warm the milk in a pan until it’s ‘bath-water warm’, then pour into a jug and add the yeast and

the tablespoon of sugar. Stir to mix and then leave to activate for 5 minutes, or until it goes foamy.

2. Put the flour, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the 90g granulated sugar,

vanilla, eggs and melted butter and then pour this into the bowl of flour along with the activated yeast milk.

Mix with a spoon until a dough forms.

3. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8–10 minutes until a smooth dough is formed and

the dough is no longer sticky. Transfer this dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl, then cover with cling film

and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, grease and line a 30 x

20cm baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

4. Without disturbing the risen dough too much, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle,

about 40 x 60cm. Spread the softened butter all over the dough rectangle, leaving an unbuttered

1cm border on all sides. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this all over the dough, using

your fingers to press it into the butter.

5. Starting at a long edge, tightly roll the dough up like a Swiss roll, pinching at the end to seal and keep a tight

roll. Use a very sharp knife to score and then cut the roll into 12 slices, each about 4cm thick. Trim off any

loose ends.

6. Place the rolls in the greased baking tray, cover tightly with cling film and place in the fridge overnight, or for

at least 12 hours.

7. When you are ready to bake, remove the cinnamon rolls from the fridge, uncover and allow to come

to room temperature for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan

8. Bake for 20–25 minutes until starting to turn golden around the edges and the dough is firm to touch and

hollow when tapped with a wooden spoon.

9. Make the cream cheese glaze by combining everything with a hand-held electric whisk in a small bowl.

10. Remove the cinnamon buns from the oven and whilst they are still warm and in the baking tray, generously

spread the glaze over the top. Enjoy warm or keep for 2–3 days in an airtight container at room temperature

or up to 5 days in the fridge.

NOTE

• If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to mix and knead the dough.

• These can be frozen once baked or after the first proving; allow to defrost overnight in the fridge and then bake as above.

Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

Flourish for Mums

Sonia Bestulic

Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781922387998

Description:

This book is a warm hug for mothers. Motherhood is a personal journey of self-discovery. A mix of feeling delight and wonder, to challenged and overwhelmed – often, all in one day! FLOURISH for Mums is your perfect companion to cultivate 21 healthy ways to let go of unrealistic expectations and create space to celebrate your unique parenting pathway. Filled with uplifting anecdotes and supportive strategies, while busting big misconceptions – this is personal, yet universal in its strong, yet gentle messages. Handbag friendly and always ready to provide a dose of inspiration. Dear mum, it’s time to relax – replenish – FLOURISH.

My View:

There is so much “real” in this book. So much that resonates. It is promoted as a book for new mums but I think this book has a much bigger audience; it’s a book we can all find something to take with us on our life’s journey.  A book for life.

“If I had to summarise the experience of self-forgiveness; it would look a little like this:

SELF-FORGIVENESS

= Self -Awareness

  = Acknowledgement

     = Self- kindness

     = Openness to listening

        = Learning

           = Acceptance

              = Owning

                  = New space for personal growth

Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

…. tune in and listen to yourself.” P98

#FridayFreebie : The Bombay Prince – Sujata Massey

Thanks to the lovely people at Allen & Unwin Australia I have one copy of the just released book, The Bombay Prince to give away to an Australian resident.

Description:

The redoubtable Perveen Mistry makes her triumphant return to solve a shocking murder on the streets of 1920s Bombay’Perveen [Mistry] is much more than a sari-clad Miss Marple: she’s Bombay’s first female lawyer as well as a keenly intelligent sleuth, a trail-blazing woman balancing the weight of family tradition with her own dreams . . . a deliciously satisfying read!’ Kate Quinn, The New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code

November, 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a four-month tour.

The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and India’s only female lawyer, Perveen Mistry, isn’t surprised when local unrest spirals into riots. But she’s horrified by the death of Freny Cuttingmaster, an eighteen-year-old student who falls from a second-floor gallery just as the prince’s grand procession is passing by her college.

Freny had come for a legal consultation just days before her death, and what she confided makes Perveen suspect that her death was not an accident. When Freny’s death is indeed ruled a murder, Perveen knows she can’t rest until she sees justice done.

‘Fantastic! . . . Anyone who likes Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries will love this.’ Bri Lee, bestselling author of Eggshell Skull, on The Satapur Moonstone

‘Massey has created the best gumshoe of them all – the utterly wonderful, exceptional Perveen Mistry. Bright and brilliantly aware.’ The Maitland Mercury on The Satapur Moonstone

**For your chance to win simple tell me the name of either book one or two in this series ( in the comments). Entries will be randomly selected on the 12th of June 2021. Good luck.**

Review: The Book Of Australian Trees – Inga Simpson

The Book of Australian Trees

Inga Simpson

Illustrations Alicia Rogerson

Lothian Children’s Books

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780734418531

RRP $29.99

Description:

Trees tell stories about places. Australia has some of the tallest, oldest, fattest and most unusual trees in the world. They have changed over thousands of years, adapting to this continent’s deserts, mountains, and coasts. Many have found clever ways of dealing with drought and fire.

Their leaves, flowers and seeds are food for birds, insects and mammals. Old trees have lots of hollows, which make good homes for possums, sugar gliders, birds and bees. But trees aren’t just important for other animals, we need them too. What trees breathe out, we breathe in. They are a vital part of the Earth’s ecosystems.

When you first stand in a forest, the trees all seem the same. But if you look more closely, they are each a little different, like people. This book is a love song to Australian trees, from the red ironbark to the grey gum, the Moreton Bay fig to the Queensland bottle tree.

My View:

This is such a beautifully illustrated book! Inga Simpson is a writer and tree lover – her passion for the natural world is evident in all she writes, fiction and non-fiction. Although this book is touted as a children’s read, I think this book is more than that; it is amazingly illustrated and any art lover will enjoy flicking though the pages, it is a great read for anyone interested in the natural world of Australian flora (although I would like to see this expanded to cover more varieties and more regions), this book would make a great gift to send to a relative overseas.  

A delightful book.   

Review: Sixteen Horses – Greg Buchanan

Sixteen Horses

Greg Buchanan

Mantle:

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN:9781529027174

RRP$32.99

Description:

Sixteen horses dead. Each buried with a single eye facing the sun . . .

In the dying English seaside town of Ilmarsh, the heads of sixteen horses are found buried in circles, with only their eyes exposed to the light of the low winter sun. The local police call upon forensic veterinarian Cooper Allen to assist with this uniquely disturbing case.

In the weeks that follow, investigators uncover evidence of a chain of crimes in this community: disappearances, arson, and mutilations, all culminating in the reveal of something deadly lurking in the ground itself. And as the town panics, not everything in Ilmarsh is as it seems. . . Dark days follow, then Cooper finds herself working with local police detective Alec Nichols to uncover a frightening mystery.

A literary thriller from a stunning new talent, Sixteen Horses is about enduring guilt, trauma and punishment, set in a small seaside community the rest of the world has left behind.

My View:

WOW! What an incredible read!

I will start by saying what an incredible writer Greg Buchanan is.!! This debut work of crime fiction/mystery/evocative gothic type read is equally compelling and harrowing.

As I read, I felt a swell of emotions ricochet through my mind; I was equally mesmerised and repulsed through out this read.  I was compelled to read this evocative, almost gothic in setting, and horrendous in crimes against animals and humanity, slow burn of a book. I was aghast, I was numb, I was fearful, I could not read more than a few chapters at a time, such was the toll on my emotions, but I kept reading, night after night, because… the writing is captivating.

Is this for you? Only you can decide. It is harrowing. It is brilliant. It is…memorable.

Review: The Nancys – R W R McDonald

The Nancys

R W R McDonald

Allen & Unwin

9781760527334

Description:

Tippy Chan is eleven and lives in a small town in a very quiet part of the world – the place her Uncle Pike escaped from the first chance he got as a teenager. Now Pike is back with his new boyfriend Devon to look after Tippy while her mums on a cruise.

Tippy is in love with her uncle’s old Nancy Drew books, especially the early ones where Nancy was sixteen and did whatever she wanted. She wants to be Nancy and is desperate to solve a real mystery. When her teacher’s body is found beside Riverstone’s only traffic light, Tippy’s moment has arrived. She and her minders form The Nancys, a secret amateur detective club.

But what starts as a bonding and sightseeing adventure quickly morphs into something far more dangerous. A wrongful arrest, a close call with the murderer, and an intervention from Tippy’s mum all conspire against The Nancys. But regardless of their own safety, and despite the constant distraction of questionable fashion choices in the town that style forgot, The Nancys know only they can stop the killer from striking again.

The Nancys is gripping and glorious, a heart-warming novel for anyone who’s ever felt they were on the outside looking in. At its heart it is about the family we make and how we must summon the courage to face the truth, no matter what the cost may be.

My View:

This book is …a little bit of everything.  It is a murder/mystery. It is a story about family, love, life. It is humorous and yet the last three quarters of the book are exciting and page turning. It really is a bit of everything woven delicately or riotously (depending on where you are at with the read) into a story about loss and grief.   Loss and grief and the importance of family would be my biggest take away form this read.

The main characters are colourfully drawn, I especially liked the voice of the child narrator Tippy Chan. What more can I say?  It is well written, engaging and I can’t wait for the second book, Nancy Business to reach my doorstep.