#Giveaway A Day #4 – Axed Who Killed Australian Magazines – Phil Barker

For my birthday this year I decided to do something a little different – you get the presents- I am giving away a book a day – drawn randomly, sometime during the day/night…for the next few days…a lucky dip of books.

I hope you find something in this eclectic selection that sparks your interest. Open to Australian residents., thanks to DMCPR Media – its simple – just respond, “yes please” in the comments.

Description:

Axed charts the dramatic decline of the magazine industry in Australia from the million-selling highs of the 1990s to the recent round of mergers, closures and mass-redundancies. What went wrong?

Australian magazines once boasted the highest circulation per capita in the world. Former magazine editor Phil Barker follows the story from this golden age to today, showing how mismanagement, unchecked spending and the challenge presented by the rise of the internet all combined to undermine the previously unassailable position magazines held in the Australian consciousness.

Prominent magazine executives and editors who witnessed the industry’s decline and failure to capitalise on digital opportunities have gone on the record for the first time. Featuring in-depth analysis of archival reporting and brand-new interviews with key players, Axed lifts the lid on the scandals behind the industry’s swan dive.

But Phil also talks to the people who have managed to pivot in a fast-moving media landscape and believe magazines are a part of Australia’s future. Are magazines really dead, or is there still some hope for survival?

#Giveaway A Day #3 – Talk With Your Kids About Things That Matter – Michael Parker

For my birthday this year I decided to do something a little different – you get the presents- I am giving away a book a day – drawn randomly, sometime during the day/night…for the next few days…a lucky dip of books.

I hope you find something in this eclectic selection that sparks your interest. Open to Australian residents., thanks to DMCPR Media – its simple – just respond, “yes please” in the comments.

Description:

What makes a person good? Is it their impeccable table manners? Whether they participate in protests? The way they treat the waiter?

Talk to Your Kids About Things That Matter is the go-to guide for navigating ethics in the 21st century. In a post-Trump, post-truth world, the lines between right and wrong are increasingly blurred and ethics matter more than ever.

More of us are questioning the world that we live in and what is our role inside it.

Inside this book you’ll find over 100 conversation starters for creating meaningful, thought-provoking discussions. From Plato to veganism, cancel culture to consent, and politics to basic kindness, these topics are set to engage, inspire, and even divide. It’s the perfect accompaniment for road trips, Sunday afternoon drinks, family dinners or even a first date.

Designed to have no real answer, but rather, stir even more questions, this provocative and deeply engaging book will kick your philosophical gears into action. How to be a Good Human encourages readers to dig deeper, put yourself in others’ shoes, and be the best human you can be.

About the Author

Michael Parker is the Headmaster of Oxley College in Southern NSW. He received Arts and Law degrees from Sydney University and worked briefly in a corporate law firm before turning his attention to Education. He has a Masters Degree in teaching Philosophy to children and has written six textbooks in the areas of Legal Studies, Philosophy in Schools, and English.

Michael joined the Jane Curry Publishing team in 2012 with Ethics 101: Conversations to have with your kids. A great success, the book has since been published in the USA in August 2013. The second book in this series, Talk With Your Kids: Big Ideas, was published in May 2014, along with a second edition of Ethics 101, aptly renamed Talk With Your Kids: Ethics.

Michael’s talents don’t just lie in the world of Education publishing. He has had two novels published, including a Young Adult Novel Doppelganger, which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award in 2007, and a children’s picture book, You Are A Star, which was published with Bloomsbury in the USA in September 2012. He is married and has two daughters.

#Giveaway A Day #2 -Nomad Girl -Kanakiya Myra Ah Chee

For my birthday this year I decided to do something a little different – you get the presents- I am giving away a book a day – drawn randomly, sometime during the day/night…for the next few days…a lucky dip of books.

I hope you find something in this eclectic selection that sparks your interest. Open to Australian residents., thanks to DMCPR Media – its simple – just respond, “yes please” in the comments.

Description:

Kanakiya Myra Ah Chee was born at Oodnadatta in remote South Australia in 1932. When her mother tragically died Myra was only eight. Her grieving father gathered up the remaining family and walked north—away from her childhood home. They spent years as nomads, travelling with the camels that were her father’s livelihood, up and down the Finke River. Her father sought work where and when he could, while he looked after his children, teaching them about the bush, their culture, and life. It was a childhood of freedom, bush tucker, bush games, fires, stories at night, and sleeping under the stars—at times idyllic but, at other times, terrifying and tragic. Myra’s father was a safe and reassuring presence, but when he decided education was the key to his children’s future, Myra’s life was changed forever. ‘My family pulled all their strengths together from the bush life and from school education. We have shown how it is possible to be successful in life, bringing both sides of our cultures into line.

#Giveaway A Day – Brimstone – Russel Hutchings

For my birthday this year I decided to do something a little different – you get the presents- I am giving away a book a day – drawn randomly, sometime during the day/night…for the next few days…a lucky dip of books.

I hope you find something in this eclectic selection that sparks your interest. Open to Australian residents., thanks to DMCPR Media – its simple – just respond, “yes please” in the comments.

Description:

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PROTECT YOUR COUNTRY?

John Devereaux, an SAS Warrant Officer, is seconded to the Australian Secret Intelligence Service and handed a mission that will test him to his very core – both professionally and personally.

The operationally deniable mission: infiltrate into Cambodia via parachute in the dead of night and assassinate two high-value targets, alone, and with two dozen enemy soldiers in his way.

From the relentless jungles of Cambodia to the chaotic civilian-filled streets of Sydney and Bangkok, to the secretive dens of Moscow and the extravagant French Riviera, explosive SAS and ASIS action uncovers a shadowy and powerful organisation that brings us face to face with the Russian Mafia, and an assassin getting intimate.

Unbeknown to Devereaux, the Director-General of the Secret Intelligence Service, Magnus Webb, is testing him for a far more important role – to head an off-the-books clandestine cell buried deep inside this secret organisation and known only as MANTRA-6.

Devereaux’s mission has only just begun…

#FridayFreebie: Criminals – James O’Loghlin

Criminals

James O’Loghlin

Bonnier Echo

ISBN: 9781760687465

Description:

What makes a criminal? One May 2019 morning, two masked gunmen rob Blacktown Leagues Club. What happens next will change the lives of three people. Twenty-three-year-old Dean Acton is a heroin addict trying to get off the break and enter treadmill by pulling one big job. Sarah Hamilton, also twenty-three, is a police officer on stress leave, working behind the bar, trying to forget the mistake she made that caused the death of her fiancée. Mary Wallace, a forty-five-year-old ex-schoolteacher who lives and drinks alone, feels that her life is already over, and has made plans to formalise that arrangement.

When Sarah realises there is something familiar about one of the gunmen, she is drawn back to the thrill of investigating, and can identify Dean. Dean is overjoyed at his $12,000 haul, but before he can decide whether to spend it on a new start in Queensland or a few months’ worth of heroin, he’s arrested, and in Long Bay jail everyone wants to find out where he’s stashed the cash.

Mary is inspired by the robbery. Pottery and French classes haven’t jolted her out of her depression, but perhaps embarking on a life of crime will. She starts small, and then ups the ante. When she, too, is arrested and her lawyer tries to discover why a respectable middle-class woman would steal constipation medication, will she be able to reveal what caused her to give up on teaching and everything else?
Dean learns that the only person who identified him at the robbery was Sarah and is tempted by a plan that will ensure she won’t ever be able to give evidence against him. But is he prepared to go that far? And if he does, will he ever come back?

As Dean’s trial approaches, Mary, Dean and Sarah must work out why they have become who they are, and whether they have the courage to change

The Book:

I am currently reading this one, what I love about this one is that it continues to surprise me. It is a book about a crime but it is more than that – it is about people; the façades we present to the world, the complicated route we take to end up in a particular place in life, a destination we can move on from – or not, the choices we make.

Each time I think I know where this book is going, it changes, little revelations here and there make for an engaging read.

If you want an opportunity to read this book I have one copy to give away thanks to the lovely people at Dmcprmedia and Echo Bonnier. It’s easy – in the comments let me know what other work James O’Loghlin is known for? Look closely I am sure many of you will recognise him 🙂 Giveaway open to Australian residents only and winner drawn on the 22nd of July 2022

James O’Loghlin

Review: Stone Town – Margaret Hickey

Stone Town

Margaret Hickey

Bantam

Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9780143777274

Description:

Stone Town is captivating new rural crime drama from the author of the bestselling Cutters End.

With its gold rush history long in the past, Stone Town has definitely seen better days. And it’s now in the headlines for all the wrong reasons . . .

When three teenagers stumble upon a body in dense bushland one rainy Friday night, Senior Sergeant Mark Ariti’s hopes for a quiet posting in his old home town are shattered. The victim is Aidan Sleeth, a local property developer, whose controversial plans to buy up Stone Town land means few are surprised he ended up dead.

However his gruesome murder is overshadowed by the mystery consuming the entire nation: the disappearance of Detective Sergeant Natalie Whitsted.

Natalie had been investigating the celebrity wife of crime boss Tony ‘The Hook’ Scopelliti when she vanished. What did she uncover? Has it cost her her life? And why are the two Homicide detectives, sent from the city to run the Sleeth case, so obsessed with Natalie’s fate?

But following a late-night call from his former boss, Mark is sure of one thing: he’s now in the middle of a deadly game . . .

My View:

William McInnes, opps sorry Mark Ariti is back in another rural crime drama – and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this read! Once again I could see this narrative playing out as if watching the show on TV; the landscape is familiar, the characters well developed, though only the protagonist has a face I recognise, Australian actor William McInnes, the rest are yet to be cast 🙂

I am now waiting for the next episode of this series…there must be another mustn’t there??

A 5 star read.

#FridayFreebie: WhoDunnit, Eddie Woo?- Eddie Woo

Team Trouble

Eddie Woo & Dave Hartley

Illustrated by Mitch Vane

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760983000

Time Out

Eddie Woo & Jess Black

Illustrated by Mitch Vane

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760982997

Descriptions:

Team Trouble –

Eddie Woo Super Sleuth: a mind for maths and a nose for adventure

A cryptic message, a coded menu, ciphers, skateboard spills …

Eddie Woo and his best friends Rusty and DT are on a mission to save a friend’s home, thwart the plans of evil smugglers and come first in the Triple Threat Quest.

Time Out – A treasure hunt, a piano key, ciphers, a puzzle from the past .

Eddie Woo and his best friends Rusty and DT must find clues, crack a musical mystery, scale a lighthouse, discover a secret cave and find long-forgotten gold. But they are not the only ones searching for it .

Eddie Woo is Australia’s favourite maths teacher and the presenter of Teenage Boss on ABC TV. He is also the author of Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths and the activity books Eddie Woo’s Magical Maths 1 and 2.

It’s #Friday Freebie time once again. Thanks to the generous people at Pan Macmillan Australia I have a set of these two fun filled early readers to give away to an Australian resident, it’s simple all you have to do is, in the comments, tell me who Australia’s favourite (and my favourite) maths teacher is. Easy 🙂 Giveaway closes midnight 7th July 2022

Review – Cutters End – Margaret Hickey

Cutters End

Margaret Hickey

Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9781761044151

Description:

A scintillating crime thriller, set in the South Australian outback town of Cutters End. A mysterious death on New Year’s Eve 1989 leads to a shocking murder investigation 32 years later…

A desert highway. A remote town. A murder that won’t stay hidden.

New Year’s Eve, 1989. Eighteen-year-old Ingrid Mathers is hitchhiking her way to Alice Springs. Bored, hungover and separated from her friend Joanne, she accepts a lift to the remote town of Cutters End.

July 2021. Detective Sergeant Mark Ariti is seconded to a recently reopened case, one in which he has a personal connection. Three decades ago, a burnt and broken body was discovered in scrub off the Stuart Highway, 300km south of Cutters End. Though ultimately ruled an accidental death, many people – including a high-profile celebrity – are convinced it was murder.

When Mark’s interviews with the witnesses in the old case files go nowhere, he has no choice but to make the long journey up the highway to Cutters End.

And with the help of local Senior Constable Jagdeep Kaur, he soon learns that this death isn’t the only unsolved case that hangs over the town…

My View:

As I am reading I see William McInnes as Mark … I see the film play out… the red dust, the gravel roads, isolation… small country towns and… violence. I am glad we are travelling (in caravan ) with our dog 🙂

This narrative poses a lot of questions regarding violence and misogynist attitudes…and asks how much have times changed? The biggest question, “once seen/heard” what do you do with that information?(No spoilers)

A great work of rural crime fiction, I cant wait to read the next in this series “Stone Town”.

Review: The Reunion – Polly Phillips

The Reunion

Polly Phillips

Simon & Schuster

ISBN:9781398513600

RRP$29.99

Description:

An utterly addictive, deliciously dark look at the underside of glamorous university life . . . An absolute five star read’ GYTHA LODGE

‘I was completely hooked. Reminiscent of Big Little Lies‘ VICTORIA SELMAN

A chance to reconnect.
A chance to get revenge . . .

Emily Toller has tried to forget her time at university and the events that led to her suddenly leaving under a cloud. She has done everything she can to forget the shame and the trauma – and the people involved. She has tried to focus on the life she has built with her children and husband, Nick.

But events like that can’t just be forgotten. Not without someone answering for what they’ve done. 

When an invitation arrives to a University reunion, everything clicks into place. Emily has a plan.

Because if you can’t forget – why not get revenge?

My View:
Picture this…… a long fuse….you hear a match strike, you see a flicker of light, and the flame “catches” and the fuse ignites, a gentle trail of red/orange/gold fizzes slowly along the fuse…you are mesmerized by the flame. BOOM!!! The dynamite explodes – as does this read!

A powerful read with a conclusion that will knock your socks off.

Guest Review: The Woman in the Library – Sulari Gentill

The Woman in the Library

Sulari Gentill

Ultimo Press

ISBN: 9881761151033

Description:
In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling read with The Woman in the Library, an unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.

Brenda’s View:
This is spectacular! Literary genius!
The best-selling author within our book, Hannah Tigone, is writing her book from her home in Australia, set in Boston in the US. The only time Hannah is mentioned is at the end of each chapter when she is emailed by her beta reader, Leo, who lives in the US. The beginning of the book is set in the Boston Public Library, where four strangers are brought together by a piercing scream. While security searched for the origin of the scream, but initially found nothing, the four strangers became acquaintances and then friends.

Freddie (Winifred) is the narrator of the story, and also a writer. She won an award in Australia which brought her to Boston to write her crime novel. Her meeting in the library with Cain (another author), Whit (a student trying to fail law) and Marigold (fixated on Whit) felt right. Freddie couldn’t believe how quickly the four became friends. When the body of a young woman was found in the library, it was just the start of their nightmare.

With the police focusing on the four friends, Freddie and Cain did their best to follow leads to find the killer. When another murder occurred, one of the four was in the frame. Strange text messages were sent to Freddie, odd happenings which were freaking her out – was the killer amongst them? Could Freddie identify the deranged murderer before anyone else died?

The Woman in the Library by Aussie author Sulari Gentill is so incredibly clever – I’ve never read anything like it! I loved the way it was done, loved the intricate juggling the characters perfected, and found the twists delicious! Ms Gentill has always had my admiration for her historical mystery series – Rowland Sinclair – and The Woman in the Library has cemented her place at the top of my favourite authors. Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Also Ultimo Press AU for my ARC which I devoured!!