Let Me Introduce Author Sandy Vaile To You

Welcome  to my blog Sandy Vaile.

Sandy Vaile, author of romantic suspense, is here to chat about her new book, “Combatting Fear”, and what drives her.

sandy vaile

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. When she’s not devising horrible things to do to fictional characters, she writes procedures for high-risk industrial activities, mentors new writers through the Novelist’s Circle critiquing group, judges romance writing competitions, presents literary craft workshops, and writes the odd article and blog.

Combatting Fear is Sandy’s new book.

combatting fear cover

How far would you go to save a child that wasn’t yours?

Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher, Neve Botticelli, leads a double life. At home with her paranoid father, she is a combat trained survivalist who lives off-the-grid.

When self-made billionaire, Micah Kincaid, storms into town in search of his four-year-old son, Rowan, he’s pushy, entitled, and stands for everything Neve despises.

But something far more sinister than a cheating estranged wife, is lurking in rural Turners Gully, and it has its sights set on little Rowan’s inheritance. It turns out there is one thing Micah and Neve can agree on, and that’s keeping Rowan safe.

As they work together to free Rowan, they glimpse beneath one another’s guises, and realise that falling in love could be even more dangerous than hunting deadly criminals.

Buy “Combatting Fear” here…

Buy “Inheriting Fear” here…

 

Listen to what Sandi has to share with us here:

 

Thanks so much Sandy – I really love the personal connections a video interview brings to a Q & A.

 

Stay in touch with Sandy via her website, Facebook or Twitter

Post Script – The Scandalous Life of Sacha Torte – Lesley Truffle

the-scandalous-life-of-sasha-torte

The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte

Lesley Truffle

HarperCollins Publishing Australia

ISBN: 9781460751442

 

Description:

Revenge, redemption … and pastry. The witty new novel from the author of Hotel du Barry, for fans of Jonas Jonasson.

 

In the winter of 1912 on the wild West Coast of Tasmania, Wolfftown’s most notorious heiress and murderess, Sasha Torte, tells the tale of her own spectacular downfall.

 

Forsaken by her parents and raised by criminals and reprobates, Sasha becomes a world-famous pastry chef at the tender age of seventeen. Entanglement with the disreputable Dasher brothers leads to love, but also to a dangerous addiction.

 

Behind bars in Wolfftown’s gaol, Sasha sips premium champagne as she recalls a life of seduction, betrayal, ghosts, opium and an indiscreet quantity of confectionary – and plots her escape.

 

The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte: revenge, redemption and pastry, is a novel of dastardly deeds, intrepid protagonists, dark villains, wild gangs, luxurious hotels … and murder.

 

My View:

A captivating/fun/ribald/honest read…and educational 🙂

 

Open the pages and catch a glimpse of colonial Australia, in particular the Wild West coast of Tasmania to a narrative set in the fictional township of Wolfftown.  The reader is privy to the extreme vagaries of the rich and the devastatingly poor – the contrast is extreme.  Those familiar with the history of the Australian penal settlements and mores of the time will be aware of the huge role alcohol played in society – indeed it was even deemed currency – actual as payment for labour and social currency – snobbery and elitism abounded.

 

Thus we have the perfect introduction to a new (to me) description that appeared in this witty narrative – crapulous! What a fantastic word! Now at this point I must admit to you that I read along thinking…hmm…a little of the authors own colloquialism here…however at some stage in my reading of this novel I decided to see if such a word did exist – and to my surprise it does! Crapulous – what a fabulous word!

Word Origin and History for crapulous

adj.

 

1530s, “sick from too much drinking,” from Latin crapula, from Greek kraipale “hangover, drunken headache, nausea from debauching.” The Romans used it for drunkenness itself. English has used it in both senses. Related: Crapulously; crapulousness.” Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

 

What a perfect description – concisely and succinctly describes some of the themes covered in this novel – drunkenness, debauchery but …alcohol and addictive behaviours provide both the backdrop and the impetus for so much that happens in this novel – destructive behaviour that time has not changed. Truffle touches on issues of mental health, family violence and all manner of social issues directly related to crapulous and addictive behaviours.

Yet this is not a depressing book – written with wit and humour and with an outlandish cast of fops and conceited, talented and not so talented, corrupt and powerful individuals juxtaposed against a cast of world weary chancers and survivors… and a wonderful wonderful gutsy determined (in everything) talented, liberal, liberated and resourceful female protagonist – this is a riotous read.

 

At is core it is a mystery – the narrative introduces Sasha – who has been convicted of murder and who fears – like so many do – that she is turning into her mother (p. 11). The hook gleams – we want to know the what, why and how she is guilty of murder…and so the intriguing and entertaining story begins.  Sasha is incarcerated and we hear (via the memoir she is writing ) her history, a great device for allowing the reader to travel back in time to the beginning of her story and the prefect way to understand Sasha’s spectacular rise and fall and rise again…  but no spoilers here – you must read this yourself.

 

A little history, a little romance, a lot of crapulous behaviour, sex, alcohol, drugs, murder, cakes, baking and sugar syrup! A delightful read.

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Romance Writers Are World Class

Australia has world class romance writers: rural romance writers/contemporary romance writers/cosy romance writers/cozy crime fiction writers/romantic suspense writers,romantic comedy writers, historical romance writers…writers of women’s fiction and life lit, have I missed any one out? If romance is your go to read then enter to win a copy of best selling author Belinda Alexandra’s Southern Ruby.   In the comments section of this post tell me what Belinda is referring to when she asks “…is this naughty or nice?”  Thanks once again to HarperCollins Publishers Australia for providing this generous giveaway.

 

****Giveaway open to Australian residents only. Giveaway ends midnight 28 January 2017.

Southern Ruby cover imageDescription:

Forbidden love. Family secrets. A twist of fate. The stunning new generational saga from Belinda Alexandra, bestselling author of TUSCAN ROSE.

In New Orleans – the city of genteel old houses and ancient oak trees covered in Spanish moss, of seductive night life, of Creole culture, voodoo and jazz – two women separated by time and tragedy will find each other at last.
Amanda, orphaned as a child and suffering the loss of her beloved grandmother, has left Sydney in search of a family she never knew.
Ruby, constrained by the expectations of society and class, is carrying a lifetime of secrets. Amanda’s arrival sparks revelations long buried: a double life, a forbidden love, and a loss that cannot be forgotten.
Southern Ruby is a sweeping story of love, passion, family and honour. Alternating in time between the 1950s and the eve of Hurricane Katrina, it is also a tribute to a city heady with mystery, music, and superstition, which has borne the tumults of race and class and the fury of nature, but has never given up hope.

 

EDIT** News just in Belinda Alexandra has been voted #50 in Booktopia’s Australia’s favourite author of 2017  http://www.booktopia.com.au/australia-s-favourite-author/promo1140.html

 

Post Script: Walking The Line – Mandy Magro – Guest Reviewer

Brenda gives this a five star review!

walking-the-line

 Walking the Line

Mandy Magro

Harlequin MIRA AU

ISBN: 9781489210609

 

Description:

For how long can secrets stay buried?

Country-loving Dallas Armstrong is a hard-as-nails bull rider, who dreams of becoming Australian champion, just like his father, Mick, was. But when he discovers a shocking secret about his father on the same day Mick dies in a car accident, Dallas’s world is turned upside down. Now it’s up to him to protect his mother from the truth, and to keep the family farm Rollingstone Ridge afloat. And he will do everything in his power to do so.

Charlize Dawson is a successful city journalist whose marriage is in tatters. Begrudgingly sent to the country to write about Dallas, she is surprised to find that he isn’t the arrogant cowboy she’d assumed he’d be. Instead she and Dallas and share an intense chemistry and deep connection that lead to a stolen kiss at the Rodeo Ball.

But when Charlize’s research for her article puts her on the path of uncovering Dallas’s secret, he demands she stop or lose him forever. Dallas or her career, which should she choose? How can she turn her back on the people who have welcomed her into their lives with open arms, all in the name of her job? Her career is all she has left, and she has worked so very hard to be where she is. But how can she reveal what she knows, if it means losing the love of her life?

 

Brenda’s View:

Journalist from a top Sydney newspaper, Charlize Dawson was going through many stages of grief after finding her beloved husband had been cheating; their marriage a sham. But then her boss who was also a good friend, decided to send Charlize to Grenfell, deep in the country near Parkes in New South Wales. His idea was for Charlize to have some time to clear her mind and think about her future, plus combine it with an assignment to interview Dallas Armstrong, champion bull rider keen to become the Australian champion. Reluctant though she was, Charlize knew the break away would help; and her career wouldn’t suffer either.

Dallas lived on Rollingstone Ridge, the family farm which had been his home from birth. His father had been killed several months before in a terrible car accident, only a matter of hours after Dallas had discovered a secret he had been hiding; his determination to protect his mother Katherine and Gramps Reg from learning the truth had him struggling with a combination of grief and guilt.

On learning of the imminent arrival of the journalist, Dallas was angry. He didn’t want this – the risk of secrets being uncovered had him concerned. But helping the family farm survive was a priority – he was sure he could handle it and send the journalist on her way. As Charlize settled quickly into country life, loving it which surprised her immensely, she found Dallas’ family friendly and welcoming. The townsfolk of Grenfell were the same – all except for one person. Who was this bitter, nasty piece of work who seemed to want to do nothing more than cause trouble? And what would Charlize do when she discovered something she really didn’t want to know?

Walking the Line is another excellent rural romantic suspense novel by Aussie author Mandy Magro. Set in the vast depths of country Australia, the descriptions of the bush and rural life, along with the struggles of the farmers are authentic. The mystery and intrigue are high; the pages, especially toward the end, just raced by while I kept reading until late to discover what had happened. This 5 star read is highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

 

Post Script: The Beauty Of The End – Debbie Howells

The Beauty of the End

The Beauty of the End

Debbie Howells

Kensington Press

ISBN: 9781496705983

 

Description:

From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover’s past.

 

“I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . .”

 

So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose–and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.

 

While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April’s name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.

 

Or so everyone believes. . .

 

Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love.

 

 

My View:

This is a book that successfully merges many genres- romance, contemporary fiction, crime fiction and thriller.

 

The early chapters succinctly capture the dizziness, the neediness, the all-consuming power of adolescent first love; and beautifully captured it is. The emotions and the passion, the hopefulness, the desire for that love to be recognised, to be loved back with equal passion… this author has successfully taken me back to being a teenager, such profound prose, emotions exposed.

 

This narrative is complex, it is more than a love story, though that element has as much presence as the characters themselves, love is influential and ambitious, making its power felt as the story develops. Complex, twisted and surprising…a story of abuse, hope, manipulation and more love…and abuse of power and position.

 

Willingly we follow the crumbs that lead us deeper into the woods – the path back muddy and confusing. The unreliable narrator serves his purpose well – only the last pages will reveal the truth and provide justice.

 

A great read.

 

 

Post Script: Black – Fleur Ferris

Black

Black

Fleur Ferris

Penguin Random House Australia

ISBN: 9781925324976

 

Description:

Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days . . . She can’t wait to leave the town where she’s known only as ‘Black’. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too.

 

Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed.

 

Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she’s used to being on her own. It’s easier that way.

 

But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge.

 

If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?

 

 

 

My View:

The perfect Teen/ YA read. This could be small town anywhere; the narrow minded attitudes, the suspicions, a haunted house, a curse, fear, gossip, “in groups”, outcasts. There are dramas, “accidents”, exorcism and a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure – and of course a happy ending.

 

Fleur Ferris writes yet another novel that to me, reads like a film! Congratulations on another engaging read Fleur.