The Queen of Quirky is Back! Crimson Lake – Candice Fox

Crimson Lake

Candice Fox

Penguin Books Australia

Bantam

ISBN: 9780143781905

 

Description:

From the award-winning author of Hades and Eden comes an ingenious and edgy suspense novel that will keep you guessing to the very last page . . .

 

12.46: Thirteen-year-old Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop

12.47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her

12.52: The girl is missing . . .

 

Six minutes – that’s all it took to ruin Detective Ted Conkaffey’s life. Accused but not convicted of Claire’s abduction, he escapes north, to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

 

Amanda Pharrell knows what it’s like to be public enemy number one. Maybe it’s her murderous past that makes her so good as a private investigator, tracking lost souls in the wilderness. Her latest target, missing author Jake Scully, has a life more shrouded in secrets than her own – so she enlists help from the one person in town more hated than she is: Ted.

 

But the residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair’s every move. And for Ted, a man already at breaking point, this town is offering no place to hide . . .

 

 

My View:

The queen of quirky is back!

Candice Fox Margaret River Event 2017

Candice Fox – Margaret River Meet the Author event 2017

Last week I had the privilege of meeting Candice Fox as part of her extended Western Australian book tour. What a great night it was – Candice was open, honest and often hilarious, talking about everything that mattered to her – her childhood, family, marriage, divorce, second marriage, her childhood ambition to become a writer, her writing inspirations, the inspiration she draws from reading true crime novels (which was very evident to me as I read Crimson Lake) and her very successful writing collaboration with James Patterson.  What a night! What a life!

 

If you ever have an opportunity to meet an author/hear them speak about their work, take advantage of the opportunity – as a reader you learn so much more about the characters and how they came to life on the page, how they formed in the mind of the author. At the time I attend this event I was about 75% into Candice’s latest book Crimson Lake, and I noticed so many references that reflected places or people Candice had known, events in her life etc. and I discovered this Crimson Lake has been optioned for Television and there will be a second book in this new series. The TV option did not really surprise me – just the speed in which it occurred (as I was reading the first thing I thought was – this would make a great movie.)

 

This would make a great movie, why? Quirky, colourful, empathetic characters to start. Small town, semi-rural Queensland locations – with small town minds, dramas and… crocodiles – always good elements to ratchet up the creepiness and fear levels.  And themes – child abuse, missing persons, and famous authors, the questionable good cop or bad cop, did he do it? Did she do it? And the big question, why? The list goes on.

 

This book has a lot to offer (though I did think the start was just a little slow for my taste) but persevere and you will find an amazing read. Read it now before you see the film.

 

 

Post Script: Get Lean Stay Lean – Dr Joanna McMillan

get-lean-stay-lean

Get Lean Stay Lean

Dr Joanna McMillan

Murdoch Books

ISBN: 9781743368480

 

Description:

Get Lean, Stay Lean is an inspiring, evidence-based lifestyle program that will give you all the tools you need to embrace great health and take control of your weight.

Are you overwhelmed by misleading health messages and fad diets? Confused about food? And do you want to know how to lose weight and have a healthier, happier body, for life? Look no further, Get Lean, Stay Lean is perfect for you.

 

Dr Joanna will guide you through the six steps of Get Lean, Stay Lean to help reboot your body’s computer and change the way it works, for the better. As a result, you’ll become better at burning fat, controlling your appetite, controlling blood glucose and insulin levels, better at exercise, you’ll perform better at work, and you’ll have more energy to enjoy your life. Dr Joanna’s program includes: A flexible template for eating, so you can build your own healthy diet, rich balance of smart carbs and good fats; Over 100 delicious, nutritionally balanced recipes the whole family will love; Nutritional breakdown, notes and portion guidance for every recipe; A sample weekly meal planner for the Get Lean phase of the program; Inspiring ideas for making exercise a rewarding part of daily life; Tips on how to manage stress and how to get a good night’s sleep.

 

Author bio:

Dr Joanna McMillan is one of Australia’s favourite and most trusted health and wellbeing experts. She is a PhD qualified nutrition scientist, an accredited practising dietitian and a former fitness instructor, giving her the sound credentials required to help us all make our way through the increasingly confusing nutrition and health messages in the media. Joanna is a regular on television, radio and in print media, and a proud ambassador for Diabetes Australia, The Skin and Cancer Foundation, FoodBank NSW/ACT and Muscular Dystrophy. Born and raised in Scotland, Joanna immigrated to Australia in 1999

 

 

My View:

With each New Year, I, like many others, resolve to live a healthier lifestyle and to lose weight. Are you with me on this? I think I have already succeeded in reducing stress and I live a happy and (mostly) healthy lifestyle. I enjoy being retired, I love reading – I have found many reports that list the benefits of reading including stress reduction, I really enjoy cooking – cooking for people you love with love is such a satisfying and (mostly) relaxing way to socialise. Add in the exercise part of the equation and life will be… balanced.

 

This book provides a tool box of recipes, hints and tips to help you achieve great health; this is not a book about trying to achieve perfection, it is a book that provides a flexible and healthy approach to help you take control of your weight.  This evidence based program gives the power back to you to help you create lifestyle change.

 

Maybe this could be the book that helps you achieve your New Year Goals?

 

 

 

Post Script: The Wrong Side of Goodbye – Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly never disappoints!

the-wrong-side-of-goodbye

The Wrong Side of Goodbye

Harry Bosch #21

Michael Connelly

Allen and Unwin

ISBN: 9781760293833

 

 

Description:

Harry Bosch is California’s newest private investigator. He doesn’t advertise, he doesn’t have an office, and he’s picky about who he works for, but it doesn’t matter. His chops from thirty years with the LAPD speak for themselves.

 

Soon one of Southern California’s biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it?

 

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Bosch, the only person he can trust. With such a vast fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission could be risky not only for himself but for the one he’s seeking. But as he begins to uncover the haunting story–and finds uncanny links to his own past–he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

 

At the same time, unable to leave cop work behind completely, he volunteers as an investigator for a tiny cash-strapped police department and finds himself tracking a serial rapist who is one of the most baffling and dangerous foes he has ever faced.

 

 

My View:

Michael Connelly never disappoints!

 

Harry Bosch is one of my favourite characters- I have loved learning his history, following his career, his relationships and seeing his dedication to his craft – solving mysteries and crimes, writing wrongs.  I do not want this series to ever end. I am invested in the life this character. Keep on keeping on Michael Connelly.

 

Fan moment over 🙂

 

In this narrative we are taken back to Harry’s time in the “tunnels” as we compare Harry’s service history/time in the army with that of one of the people Harry is trying to identify. I loved hearing more of this time – a history I know little about.  A tiny red herring is fed to the reader – did you swallow this bait? I did and kept hoping for a twist till there was no room for hope. Well done – I loved the subtleness.

 

This is a duel narrative that explores Harrys’ working relationships and responsibilities – his role as a private investigator – tracking down a lost heir and that of part time cop – solving cold cases – a job he does best – this time a serial rapist. In both strands of the narrative there are plenty of plot twists and turns, tension and some great secondary characters.

 

As a bonus Connelly weaves the Lincoln Lawyer into the script. Brilliant! As always.

 

A question for you Michael Connelly – will there be an album of Harry’s Favourite Songs? Readers do you check out the musicians/the tracks Harry listens to?

 

 

 

Spotlight On Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival – Ann Turner

Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival

I am delighted to welcome Ann Turner to my blog.  “Ann is an award-winning screenwriter and director, avid reader, and history lover. She is drawn to salt-sprayed coasts, luminous landscapes, and the people who inhabit them all over the world. She is a passionate gardener.

Her films include the historical feature Celia starring Rebecca Smart — which Time Out listed as one of the fifty greatest directorial debuts of all time, Hammers Over The Anvil starring Russell Crowe and Charlotte Rampling, and the psychological thriller Irresistible starring Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, and Emily Blunt. Ann has lectured in film at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Returning to her first love, the written word, in her debut novel The Lost Swimmer  Ann explores themes of love, trust and the dark side of relationships.” (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13583861.Ann_Turner

Ann’s latest novel Out of the Ice, a mystery thriller set in Antarctica is getting rave reviews (and is currently vying for top position on my TBR pile). More on that soon!  PS – love this cover image!

Out of the Ice

Ann Turner will be discussing From Film to Novels – on Sunday June the 5th at 1.50-2.40pm at the festival.

Welcome to Margaret River Ann!

Ann_Turner

Ann told me she was thrilled to be coming to the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival:

“I am absolutely thrilled to be coming to Western Australia to the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival. I’m really looking forward to being interviewed by the wonderful Michael Cathcart, where I’ll be talking for the first time about my new novel Out of the Ice, and reading from the book. I’m sure there’ll be lots of discussion about thrillers and whaling and the beautiful whales and wildlife in Antarctica, and also the future of Antarctica with the Antarctic treaty coming up for renewal. I’ll also be talking about the differences and similarities between writing and directing for the screen, and being an author. This is particularly fresh for me as producer Sue Maslin (The Dressmaker, Japanese Story) has optioned my first novel The Lost Swimmer and I am currently developing the screenplay. It has been a 360-degree journey for me as a writer-director to author, and then back to screenwriting, which has thrown up all sorts of challenges and been a huge learning curve, and I’ll be discussing how I’ve approached this.

I’m also eager to see lots of sessions with other writers, and I love the festival’s theme of Home – I’m absolutely intrigued to hear it explored from many different angles.  I adored Sara Foster’s All That Is Lost Between Us, a book I didn’t want to finish as I thoroughly enjoyed picking it up each night. I miss the characters and the Lakes District location. A great read, and I hope to hear Sara speak. It’s wonderful that Hannie Rayson’s play Hello Beautiful is on. I saw it in Melbourne and truly loved it – the terrain traversed resonated with me, and Hannie’s writing and performance is brilliant. I went home and read the book – and absolutely loved that too. Both book and play made me laugh out loud, and are also poignant. I’m looking forward to hearing Hannie air her Home Thoughts, with Kirsty Mackenzie and Jane Monk. And now I want to see the play again! Here’s to the festival and Margaret River – I can’t wait!”

Post Script: Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier – Michelle Cuevas

Very, very special!

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier

Michelle Cuevas

Simon and Schuster Children’s Books

ISBN: 9781471145506

RRP A$14.99

 

Description:

Jacques Papier thinks that everyone hates him. After all, teachers ignore him when he raises his hand in class, nobody ever picks him for sports teams, and his sister, Fleur, keeps having to remind their parents to set a place for him at the dinner table. But then Jacques discovers an uncomfortable truth: He is NOT Fleur’s brother; he’s her imaginary friend! And so begins Jacques’ quest for identity …what do you do when you realise that the only reason you exist is because of someone else’s imagination? The whimsical “autobiography” of an imaginary friend who doesn’t know he’s imaginary – perfect for fans of Toy Story, The Imaginary and Moone Boy.

 

My View:

This small paperback novel is crammed full with sparkling humour, is vividly descriptive and has the most amazingly beautiful prose. It is written is an easy to read deceptively simplistic style that children will enjoy and the adults looking on or reading to them will notice their hearts swelling with the emotions and the deeper points the subtle messages in this book conjure up. It is simply divine! The characters beyond cute, the lessons and realisations…, there so many levels of storytelling in this book, you must read this yourself to appreciate it.

 

“…you couldn’t help but think that anyone and everyone is amazing. I guess everyone, I realised would include me. But what was special about me? I guess you can’t always know what those things are about yourself. Maybe because you’re too close to see it, like a flower that looks down and thinks it is just a stem. I guess the important thing is to trust that you are. You’re special. And the people close to you see it in more ways than you could ever, ever know.” (p.143)

 

PS I have just discovered that Fox Animation has bought the rights to this book and is developing a movie. Cant wait!

 

 

A Surprise For Me

Today I received some exciting news –  I am a winner of a Face Book competition by Bolinda Audio. This is my win! Thanks so much Bolinda Audio.

The giveaway includes one signed copy each of;

‘Rush Oh!’ by Shirley Barrett
‘Rain Music’ by Di Morrissey
‘The Lake House’ by Kate Morton
‘Reckoning’ by Magda Szubanski
‘The Dressmaker’ by Rosalie Ham
‘The 65-Storey Treehouse’ by Andy Griffiths
‘Laurinda’ by Alice Pung
‘Inside’ by Chris Judd
‘The Tournament at Gorlan’ by John Flanagan
‘Napoleon’s Last Island’ by Tom Keneally
‘The Perfumer’s Secret’ by Fiona McIntosh
‘The Big Book of Australian Racing Stories’ by Jim Haynes
‘Everything’s Amazing (Sort of)’ from the Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon
‘Running Like China’ by Sophie Hardcastle

bolinda

 

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2015

completed challenge

 

Congrats! You have read 200 books of a goal of 200!

Now that wasn’t so hard was it? It is the reviewing 200 books that is the hard work.