Review: Bluey – The Beach – Bluey

Bluey – The Beach

Bluey

Puffin

Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9781760894054

 

Description:

“Based on the hit ABC KIDS TV show!

 

Join Bluey for a fun day at the beach. What will you discover along the way?

 

While Mum is off for a walk along the beach, Bluey discovers a beautiful shell. She runs to show Mum and has a series of encounters that will both excite and test her in unexpected ways.

 

Bluey has been a phenomenal success since airing on ABC KIDS in October 2018, amassing legions of dedicated fans and taking the coveted position of being the most watched program ever on ABC iView, with over 100 million plays. It has also topped the Australian iTunes Kids Chart with the series peaking at #1 and consistently remaining in the Top 5.” https://www.penguin.com.au/books/bluey-the-beach-9781760894054

 

 

My View:

Delightful! WE all love Bluey – young and old. This book has a charming colloquial Australian voice and is full of humour and of course great lessons for the young people.

 

I think this book will be the hit of Christmas – the BEST present! And the good news – there are more in the series to make birthday gift buying during the year easy.

Review: From the Ashes – Rowena Holloway

From The Ashes

(Ashes to Ashes #3)

 Rowena Holloway

Fractured Press

ISBN: 9780648205210

 

Description:

 The gripping conclusion to the page-turning Ashes To Ashes psychological thriller series

 

To expose the truth, she’ll trade the only thing she has left…

 

Journalist Charlotte Ashe has sacrificed her credibility, her friendships and her career. With no job and no prospects and a soon-to-be invalid working visa, she needs a big story. Fast. Her single lead is Blaxon Hall, a private brain injury clinic owned by Tyrone Garner.

 

And Tyrone Garner has become an obsession…

 

When Charlotte uncovers mystery surrounding the recent deaths of residents at the Hall, she knows she’s found her story. Are the deaths natural or murder? Does a killer lurk at the Hall? And why is Garner determined to keep his past, and his visits to the Hall, a secret?

 

But the closer she gets to the truth the real question becomes whether she can trust what she sees. Is she exposing the truth or is it all a figment of her overwrought imagination?

 

Then Blaxon Hall is consumed by fire. And one of the missing is Charlotte Ashe.

 

Lies kept her safe. Until Charlotte Ashe discovered the truth.

And his enemies found his weakness.

 

Read From The Ashes today and get lost in a labyrinth of twists that will leave you guessing until the last page.

 

 

My View:

Once again Rowena Holloway excels in her provision of the despicable, the violent and so credible “bad guy (s)” that in a few instances I had to stop and take a break from reading – such was the tension created on the page.

 

From the Ashes is the 3rd book in the Ashes to Ashes series is in my opinion the strongest in the series; perhaps that is because we have been on this journey with Charlotte and are invested in the outcome. Perhaps it’s because we see a different side of Charlotte – a more caring and selfless person who has developed a caring relationship with the residents of Blazon Hall.

 

Stay on this journey for a very twisty ride. I really enjoy the style of the writing – the different view points, the back and forward. There are many red herrings and wrong turns before the final exciting and satisfying ending.

 

This series is a great read.

 

PS I really like the cover designs on these books too.

 

Review: Darkness For Light – Emma Viskic

Darkness For Light

A Caleb Zelic Thriller

Emma Viskic

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760685812

RRP $29.99

 

Description:

After a lifetime of bad decisions troubled PI Caleb Zelic is finally making good ones. He’s in therapy, reconnecting with the Deaf community, and reconciling with his beloved wife.

But he can’t escape his past.

A violent confrontation forces Caleb back into contact with his double-crossing partner, Frankie. When her niece is kidnapped, Frankie and Caleb must work together to save the child’s life. But their efforts will risk everything, including their own lives.

 

My View:

I think I’ve been waiting all year for this book!

 

Those who know me personally, that is, in real life, will have heard me lament what I have experienced as a very lean year for crime fiction readers.  Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that the crime fiction books I have read are lacking in readability or excitement, they have just been lacking. For some reason so many excellent literary/contemporary reads have found their way to my mail box – some truly remarkable, outstanding reads but I am at heart a crime fiction reader and reviewer…and it feels like I have been waiting for this read all year!

 

This is an outstanding read (and just quietly between you and me, I’ll let you know now that this book is going to tie for my best crime fiction read of the 2019!)  Shhhhh…my “Best of Lists” haven’t been prepared yet but the minute I started reading this latest offering from Emma Viskic I knew that had a winner here.

 

I am not going to say anymore except I won’t be giving anything away but if you have enjoyed the Caleb Zelic thrillers you will adore this latest book! It is THE BEST of the three and it brings together two of my favourite characters – Frankie and Caleb – their relationship is complex and in this edition there will be revelations that will cause you palpitations.  It’s not all gloom though, there is optimism and hope for the future in this read.

 

Enough said, look out for this book which is sure to be on many “Best of 2019” lists and I predict will earn a place in many of next year’s crime fiction wards

 

 

 

Review: You Don’t Know Me – Sara Foster

You Don’t Know Me

Sara Foster

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781925685367

 

Description:

He’s guarding a dark secret, but so is she.

 

Lizzie Burdett was eighteen when she vanished, and Noah Carruso has never forgotten her. She was his first crush, his unrequited love. She was also his brother’s girlfriend.

 

Tom Carruso hasn’t been home in over a decade. He left soon after Lizzie disappeared, under a darkening cloud of suspicion, and now he’s back for the inquest into Lizzie’s death – intent on telling his side of the story.

 

As the inquest looms, Noah meets Alice Pryce on holiday. They fall for each other fast and hard, but Noah can’t bear to tell Alice his deepest fears. And Alice is equally stricken – she carries a terrible secret of her own.

 

Is the truth worth telling if it will destroy everything?

 

 

My View:

Sara Foster is an excellent storyteller and a nice person to boot 🙂

What Sara always does well:

Dialogue – always realistic, fitting of the age groups involved/the relationships, the times.

Relationships – so well developed and again, realistic.

Surprises – the twists are good and in this one I couldn’t see the revelation coming.

The writing – always engaging.

 

What more could you want in a book?  A great read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Review: Invisible Boys – Holden Shepherd

This must be the standout book of the year – everyone is talking about this. Read what guest viewer Andy Macleod thought of this award winning debut novel.

Invisible Boys

Holden Shepherd

Fremantle Press

ISBN: 9781925815566 

 

Description:

In a small town, everyone thinks they know you: Charlie is a hardcore rocker, who’s not as tough as he looks. Hammer is a footy jock with big AFL dreams, and an even bigger ego. Zeke is a shy over-achiever, never macho enough for his family. But all three boys hide who they really are. When the truth is revealed, will it set them free or blow them apart?

Invisible Boys is a raw, confronting YA novel, tackling homosexuality, masculinity, anger and suicide with a nuanced and unique perspective. Set in regional Western Australia, the novel follows three sixteen-year-old boys in the throes of coming to terms with their homosexuality in a town where it is invisible – and so are they. Invisible Boys depicts the complexities and trauma of rural gay identity with painful honesty, devastating consequence and, ultimately, hope.

 

Invisible Boys – A review by Andy Macleod

Up until two days ago, I had only once before sobbed uncontrollably while reading a novel. It was Skallagrig, by William Horwood. It was the 1980s and I was in my twenties.

I’m now in my late fifties, and I’ve just finished Holden Sheppard‘s award-winning debut novel, Invisible Boys.

Set in Geraldton in WA’s Midwest, Invisible Boys follows three very different teenagers, Charlie, Hammer and Zeke, as they grapple with being gay in a very straight town.

This novel spoke directly to me like no other. The characters and I, although separated by nearly a generation, have a lot in common.

We share not only a hometown, but the fear, rejection, taunts and loneliness that came with being gay in it.

Finally, someone has put into words the trauma of my own experience growing up gay when I couldn’t.

When I finished Invisible Boys, I felt something crack, crumble and fall away deep inside. I’m still unpacking what that may have been. Possibly shame, maybe silence. I’ll need to work on it.

Is Invisible Boys only a book for gay men? Absolutely not. If nothing else, it’s also a great story, and I hope it becomes required reading in the high school curriculum.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but whatever you do, you won’t regret reading Invisible Boys.

My favourite laugh-out loud-moment would have to be the ‘onion rings’ reference.

 

 

#MondayMunchies Roadside Treasure Cake ( Apple & Blackberry Tray Cake): Family Food & Feelings – Kate Berry

 

‘Family, Food and Feelings by Kate Berry, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Kate Berry’

 

“When we lived in the hills, every autumn the girls and I kept a close eye on the roadside apple trees, checking on their progress and making sure no one had swooped in before us. It was a game of luck. Sometimes we’d get in first; sometimes we’d lose to another apple poacher, or to the birds. But when we did win, it was on. We’d park the car under
the tree, grab the baskets from the boot and take our positions: Pepper on the roof for the higher apples, me on the boot and Maya at ground level.
As for blackberries, well those guys were just everywhere, and they’re prickly. So even though they taste delicious, they just weren’t as fun. But I do love the metaphor that can be found somewhere within the hostile blackberry bush … with a little care and time you’re rewarded with something sweet and delicious.” p115

180 g (1½ cups) spelt flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
55 g (½ cup) hazelnut meal
155 g (2/3 cup) brown sugar
3 free-range eggs
100 g coconut oil
150 g plain yoghurt
2 apples (we’d use whatever variety we happened to find), cored and cut into eighths
200 g blackberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced). Line a lamington tin with baking paper.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a mixing bowl.

Stir in the hazelnut meal and set aside.

Place the sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk for 5 minutes or
until thick and pale. Add the coconut oil and yoghurt and whisk until well combined.

Gently fold the flour mixture into the yoghurt mixture until just combined – take care not to overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread it out nicely. Arrange the apples in an even layer on top of the batter, then squish the blackberries in between.

Bake for 40 minutes or until golden on top and firm to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares and serve.

SERVES 16