Doesn’t Time Fly?

Here it is December 2016 already.  I cant believe it – this year has flown by, life has been busy; a grandson was born and he is now 8 months old.  Recipes have been tried and tested and many books have been read and reviewed – around the one hundred seventy mark thus far.

I am enjoying sharing the joy of reading with my grandson (with  appropriate titles) – it is never too early to encourage a love of reading.

Recently I invited a couple of ardent readers to share some of their favoruite reads on my site – to broaden the type of book reviews available here.  I hope you find some new favourite books and authors.  Thank you Bec and Brenda.

 

The reading year has not yet wound up – there is a blog tour ahead; the launch of Rachel Amphlett’s new police procedural series, Scared to Death. There is a   Q & A with debut Perth writer Anthea Hodgson, a Christmas menu to compile and share and a series of “best of 2016 reads” for you to comment on and…more reviews.

scared-to-death-blog-tour4-19-23-dec

 

Seasons greetings to you.

Christmas pavlova

 

 

Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival 2016 Is Here Again

Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival

It is that wonderful time of the year when I get the opportunity to see and hear some fantastic authors discuss their books and the experience of writing.  Some of the writers I am particularly looking forward to seeing are Ann Turner, Liz Byrski, Natasha Lester, Rosemary Sayer, Sara Foster, Sulari Gentill, Berncie Barry…to name just a few.  And for something different author and chef Lucio Galletto will be talking about his book The Art of Traditional Italian ( yes I have a copy and will share some recipes with you soon) and as a treat you can buy tickets to a two course meal featuring the recipes  in the book cooked by our local SWIT students and hear this authors story as you eat.

 

The very first day of the festival, Friday 3rd June at 9.15 am, author Josh  Langley talks candidly to us about ghosts, hauntings, mediums and tracking down his dad Aunt (Dying to Know is the title of his book). This sound interesting!

 

This festival has so much to offer, this years them is HOME; there is humour, local writers, local stories, food, interstate guests, a spotlight on Irish culture, biographical narratives , crime fiction, romance, workshops, a chance to pitch your story to Pantera Press (update – this is now fully booked)…and more. Check out the details by clicking on the link below.

 

Margaret River is a beautiful town and region and if you get the chance to visit this upcoming long weekend I  hope we get a chance to meet.

 

For more information about the festival, the link to the website is here :http://www.margaretriver.com/event/margaret-river-readers-and-writers-festival/

 

Post Script: Love Your Sister – Connie and Samuel Johnson

Love Your Sister

Love Your Sister

Connie &Samuel Johnson

Hachette Australia

Audible

Unabridged audio book 10 hrs 45 mins

ISBN: 9781510008496

 

 

Description:

How far would you go for someone you love…on a unicycle?

 

Brothers and sisters often dare each other to do things – it’s what siblings do. However, when Connie Johnson dared her brother, Samuel, to embark on a one-wheeled odyssey around Australia, she knew it was a big ask. But Connie knew exactly what she was doing and was sure he wouldn’t say no. Not this time.

 

Born a year apart, Connie and Samuel Johnson have always been close. Sam was by Connie’s side when she found out she had cancer at age 12 and again when she was diagnosed at age 22. Then, at 33, Connie was diagnosed with breast cancer, but this time she was told she would not recover. As a young mum faced with her own death, Connie wanted to find some meaning in the chaos. And so she dared Sam to help her.

 

Officially there were three aims: promote breast cancer awareness, raise more than $1 million for research – and break the world record for the longest distance travelled on a unicycle. However, Connie had a secret fourth aim: to fix Sam. She had no idea if any of it would work out. Neither did he.

 

Part memoir, part travel diary, part conversation, Love Your Sister is Connie and Sam’s inspiring, moving and unforgettable journey, told in their own distinctive voices. It’s a story of love, family, cancer – and the generosity of ordinary Australians.

 

About the authors: Samuel and Connie Johnson are the powerhouse brother-and-sister team who established the Love Your Sister charity. Samuel is an Australian actor with 20 years’ experience, best known for his work on The Secret Life of Us, Crackerjack, Underbelly II and Rush. In recent times he is more proud of his work as a breast cancer advocate and determined unicyclist.

 

Connie Johnson is a wife and mother of two beautiful young boys. She has worked in the disability sector for ten years and since her most recent diagnosis spends her time with her family and advocating for breast cancer issues…when she’s not busy seeing how much torture her brother will endure before he says no.

 

Warning: This audiobook contains some moderate coarse language.

 

©2014 Connie Johnson and Samuel Johnson (P)2015 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd

 

 

My View:

Poignant, inspirational, honest…this has it all.

 

Remarkable lives; remarkable courage, honesty, strength and love. This is a wonderful story of family, love and inspiration. Multiple tragedies inspire unselfish goals and such wonderful acts of individual heroism.

This family deserves….a long life together and to see their goal of financing the science that will help find a cure for breast cancer come to fruition. Unfortunately that long life together is most definitely not going to happen but that has not stopped this family from their journey to raise the funds to help this dream come true. Over two million dollars thus far and counting… Along the way Connie and Sam make memories that their families, friends and colleagues will never forget.

 

A poignant and very personal honest story that will leave you in awe of the strength of this family bond. I wish you all the very best as you continue to make the most out of every day.

 

 

 

Post Script: The Blood On My Hands – Shannon O’Leary

The Blood On My Hands

The Blood On My Hands

Shannon O’Leary

Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781519695871

 

Description:

Set in 1960s and ’70s Australia, “The Blood on My Hands” is the dramatic tale of Shannon O’Leary’s childhood years. O’Leary grew up under the shadow of horrific domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, and serial murder. Her story is one of courageous resilience in the face of unimaginable horrors.

 

The responses of those whom O’Leary and her immediate family reach out to for help are almost as disturbing as the crimes of her violent father. Relatives are afraid to bring disgrace to the family’s good name, nuns condemn the child’s objections as disobedience and noncompliance, and laws at the time prevent the police from interfering unless someone is killed.

 

“The Blood on My Hands” is a heartbreaking-yet riveting-narrative of a childhood spent in pain and terror, betrayed by the people who are supposed to provide safety and understanding, and the strength and courage it takes, not just to survive and escape, but to flourish and thrive.

 

My View:

A particularly horrific and grim story of ongoing domestic violence and psychosis that is not addressed in the perpetrator’s lifetime – this is a uncomfortable book to read  –  imagine what it must have been like to endure? And endure Shannon O’Leary and her family did – the depravity here is unbelievable – if the author hadn’t qualified the read with “autobiography” you would think this was macabre crime fiction.

To enjoy or not to enjoy? No I can’t say I enjoyed this read – the wounds, physical and psychological were open, raw and bleed onto the pages – I could not enjoy. Compelling – yes. An incredible story of courage and survival – yes.  Can we learn from the mistakes made here? I think this should be read by all in the agencies working in the field of domestic violence and community health; more education and resources are needed in these areas.

 

Shannon O’Leary – you must be one amazingly strong woman.  Whenever I think life is tough for me, I will recall what you have endured.