Review: Beneath The Mother Tree – D M Cameron

Beneath The Mother Tree by D M Cameron

Beneath The Mother Tree

D M Cameron

MidnightSun Publishing

ISBN: 9781925227390

 

Description:

A spine-chilling mystery and contemporary love story, Beneath the Mother Tree plays out in a unique and wild Australian setting, interweaving Indigenous history and Irish mythology.

 

On a small island, something sinister is at play. Resident alcoholic Grappa believes it’s the Far Dorocha, dark servant of the Faery queen, whose seductive music lures you into their abyss. His granddaughter Ayla has other ideas, especially once she meets the mysterious flute player she heard on the beach.

 

Riley and his mother have moved to the island to escape their grief. But when the tight-knit community is beset by a series of strange deaths, the enigmatic newcomers quickly garner the ire of the locals. Can Ayla uncover the mystery at the heart of the island’s darkness before it is too late?

 

Wrought with sensuousness and lyricism, D.M. Cameron’s debut novel Beneath the Mother Tree is a thrilling journey, rhythmically fierce and eagerly awaited.

 

 

My View:

This is a unique read. An amazing debut that is sensitively written, evocative, and dreamy, at times with a childlike innocence that beguiles the reader.  There is a wonderful mix of Indigenous and Irish traditional/folk stories that support a strong narrative that focusses on family, family ties and love.  There is a sinister touch as historical and present day crimes intersect where blood has been shed and an evil miasma lurks.

 

This is a powerful story unlike any other I have read. How do you define this read, speculative fiction, love story, historical fiction, faery tale…so many styles create this engaging read.  Maybe we shouldn’t try to define this, we should just read and enjoy.

Last But Not Least – A Fantastic Four Book Give Away

I think you will agree that I have had some very special giveaways listed on my blog today, but they represent just a small sample of the talent that is Australian writers!  Next time you are selecting a book to read – at a bookshop, library,  airport news agency, online or in person, as a gift or for yourself consider Aussie authors – there is so much choice, so much talent in this country.

And speaking of talent, if you are not lucky enough to win this awesome book pack generously provided by Echo Publishing, you owe it to your self to seek out a copy of these contemporary eclectic reads.  And by the way – what do you think to these covers?  Magnificent aren’t they ? For your chance to win this 4 pack book treat, it is so simple, in the comments tell which cover art displayed here, speaks to you.

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

le-chateau

Le Chateau

Description:

When Charlotte regains consciousness after an accident, she finds herself living a stranger’s life. The previous five years are a blank, and her husband, Henri, and daughter, Ada, are strangers. Arriving at their family chateau in southern France, she hopes to regain her memories. Instead, she feels isolated and unsettled. Strange events hint at underlying darkness and menace. Charlotte doesn’t know who to trust.

Did she really have an affair with their charming Irish neighbour, as her enigmatic mother-in-law suggests? And what of Henri? He seems loving and kind, a good parent, but Charlotte is wary. Then there is Ada, a little girl who just wants her mother back.

With the help of her friend and fellow Australian Susannah, Charlotte starts to piece together events, but her newfound confidence is shaken with news that puts a deadline on her quest…

 

resurrection-bayResurrection Bay 

Description:

Caleb Zelic, profoundly deaf since early childhood, has always lived on the outside – watching, picking up tell-tale signs people hide in a smile, a cough, a kiss. When a childhood friend is murdered, a sense of guilt and a determination to prove his own innocence sends Caleb on a hunt for the killer. But he can’t do it alone. Caleb and his troubled friend Frankie, an ex-cop, start with one clue: Scott, the last word the murder victim texted to Caleb. But Scott is always one step ahead. As he delves deeper into the investigation Caleb uncovers unwelcome truths about his murdered friend – and himself.

 

 

skin-deep

Skin Deep

Description:

When washed up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out.

When more tattoos appear — accompanied by visions of war-torn Afghanistan, bikies, boat people, murder, bar fights and a mysterious woman — he begins to dig a little deeper.

There’s a federal election looming, with pundits tipping a landslide win for opposition leader Andrew Cardinal. Harry knows there’s a link between these disturbing visions and Cardinal’s shadowy past, and is compelled to right wrongs, one way or another.

Skin Deep is the thrilling, layered, genre-bending debut novel of Brisbane author and journalist Gary Kemble.

 

ida

Ida

Description:

How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

Ida is an intelligent, diverse and entertaining novel that explores love, loss and longing, and speaks to the condition of an array of overwhelming, and often illusory, choices.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Frame – AK Alliss

Amor Vincit Omnia!

frame

 

Frame

AK Alliss

Atlas Productions Pty Ltd

ISBN: 9780995377615

 

Description:

How far would you go to save someone who was already dead?

 

Hidden in the frame of a single photo, a content producer for social media sensation, Mathew Albrecht, discovers his possible ties to a global terrorist organisation. Could her client’s involvement also be linked to the death of her husband years earlier or is it something entirely more sinister in nature?

 

What is revealed may eclipse everything that she thought she knew, forcing her to confront the ghosts of her past in her pursuit of the truth.

 

Frame is a genre-bending thriller, set in a world poised on the brink of insanity.

 

 

My View:

I first read this remarkable narrative as a manuscript – I knew nothing of the author, or his style of writing or his track record but I was hooked from the moment I read these couple of sentences in synopsis; “Hidden in the frame of a single photo, a content producer for social media sensation, Mathew Albrecht, discovers his possible ties to a global terrorist organisation. Could her client’s involvement also be linked to the death of her husband years earlier or is it something entirely more sinister in nature?

 

Synchronicity was at work! In a previous life (as most of you will already know) I worked in the film and television industry, looking at images frame by frame…content producing… these terms/actions immediately connected and intrigued me. I had to read this and find out more.

 

And am I glad I took this opportunity? YES! This is an amazing read.  A thriller that is set in the future – but not too far in the future, in the foreseeable future – I can “see” the landscapes, the settings and the technology.

 

And technology is power – holders of this power can influence, control; domestically the power of social media dictates trends, projects individuals to celebrity status and a culture of hero worship by keyboard is encouraged. Politically, wars are won or lost based on control of information and technical fighting power. The landscapes created here are so real they make you feel uncomfortable.

 

The characters are vivid and realistic – I feel for the protagonist, Hannah – melancholy, trapped by a web of grief wound so tight she can hardly breathe…yet strong and resourceful and smart – a great female protagonist.

 

Love, grief, the importance of family, of emotional connections, ties that bind, are themes that are explored in depth in the novel. The words  love and family usually connatates positive emotions and responses but loss of love or the void death creates can also restrict, hold our emotional health to ransom and have the potential to destroy. Hope can empower and create change.  Ultimately  (no spoilers here) the lesson here is: Love Conquers All.

 

A meaningful and captivating read!

 

 

Welcome AK Alliss to My Blog

 

frame

Frame

AK Alliss

Atlas Productions Pty Ltd

ISBN: 9780995377615

Last year I was privileged to read the unpublished manuscript of AK ( Adam) Alliss’s contemporary novel, Frame.

AK Alliss introduces himself, talks about his writing and discusses Frame in this short video.  My review will follow shortly.

Thanks so much for sharing you story with us Adam.

In The Mail 18th November 2016

I am very excited by the books that arrived in the mail this week.

Books 18/11/016

So many great reads – it is almost better than Christmas!  I have started reading  Melina Marchetta’s  – Tell The Truth Shame The Devil– a great mystery/thriller ( maybe I might finish that tonight),  I have flicked  through  Vivienne Westwood’s Get a Life and I must say I am really keen to start this –  this hardback is beautifully presented – love the detailing on the inside back and front covers and the handwritten message from Vivienne and all the wonderful images sprinkled liberally throughout the book. This would make  a fantastic Christmas gift for someone special (or for yourself, your pretty special too).

I loved Saul Black’s The Killing Lessons  so really looking forward to Lovemurder.

The Rivers of London sounds interesting…  “my story really started when I tried to take a witness statement froma man who was already dead…” This grabbed my attention!  And I see Lisa Unger took my advice and created a novel from one of the novellas she wrote a while back 🙂  Ink and Bone – another I cant wait to start reading. And last but not least – a local publisher – Serenity Press brings us  Writing the Dream; twenty four inspiring stories from many writers you may know or know of – Louise Allan, Sara Foster, Jenn J Mcleod, Monique Mulligan, Sandi Wallace… I cant wait to read your stories!

Post Script: Bad Blood – Gary Kemble

Bad Blood

Bad Blood

Gary Kemble

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760402938

 

Description:

Freelance journalist Harry Hendrick is beginning to realise that you’re only as good as your last exclusive, and buzz doesn’t pay the bills, when he’s blackmailed by the police into investigating a series of bizarre suicides.

 

Those investigations lead him into the web of Mistress Hel, who plies her dark arts from her luxurious suburban lair. With continuing challenges in his personal and professional life, can Harry resist her seductive power? Or the thrill of danger itself?

 

The latest genre-bending thriller from an exciting Australian author, Gary Kemble.

 

Praise for Skin Deep

 

Kemble’s other life as a journalist is evident in his writing and his convincingly realistic characters … Skin Deep is a fine debut for both Kemble and Echo Publishing, which offers more than a passing nod to John Birmingham and Stephen King – BOOKS+PUBLISHING

 

Equally, not many ghost stories have this kind of immediacy, or tactility. No strange frissons or fleeting shadows here! It’s all blood, drained batteries and murderous rage, stinking of bourbon in the subtropical humidity – TABULA RASA

 

It keeps you guessing until the end – WEEKLY TIMES

 

My View:

Gary Kemble has his own brand of speculative fiction; it is the perfect mash up of horror, crime, gothic darkness, eroticism and paranormal narratives with a tiny bit of love and optimism thrown in for good measure.

 

The first prologue is dynamite! “NIGHTMARE. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT A NIGTHMARE IS!” p.3 (until you read this book).

 

Harry Hendrick is a great character; on the surface an average guy, just trying to live his life, earn a living and find love but scratch away at the epidermis, peel back the layers and discover the real Harry.  Harry is complex, likeable, at times self-destructive, full of good intentions, a great investigative reporter and is a little under the influence of a tattoo that mysteriously appeared on the back of his neck( see the first book in the series Skin Deep).  You can’t but help liking Harry.  I would like to know more about Sandy – the clairvoyant, I hope she features strongly in the next book.

 

This book has great characters, a suburban Australian setting, is a great example of the speculative read, and yet manages to seamlessly weave into this engaging narrative some serious social issues.  Historical abuse against children, misuse of Union funds…corruption…there is plenty of meat on this bone, give it a good chew.

 

Gary introduces Bad Bloodhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-ZU6GwXjU4

 

Post Script: Nocturnes Vol 2 Night Music – John Connolly

Nocturnes Vol 2 Night Music

Night Music

Nocturnes Volume 2

John Connolly

Hachette Australia

Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 1473619726

 

Description:

Fans of THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS and NOCTURNES will be delighted with this superbly crafted collection of short stories of the supernatural from John Connolly. A decade after NOCTURNES first terrified and delighted readers, John Connolly, bestselling author of thirteen acclaimed thrillers featuring private investigator Charlie Parker, gives us a second volume of tales of the supernatural. From stories of the monstrous for dark winter nights to fables of fantastic libraries and haunted books, from a tender narrative of love after death to a frank, personal and revealing account of the author’s affection for myths of ghosts and demons, this is a collection that will surprise, delight – and terrify. NIGHT MUSIC also contains two novellas: the multi-award-winning THE CAXTON PRIVATE LENDING LIBRARY & BOOK DEPOSITORY, and THE FRACTURED ATLAS, featuring The Wanderer in Unknown Realms, previously published as an ebook, developed here into a five-part novella. NIGHT MUSIC: NOCTURNES 2 is a masterly collection to be read with the lights on – menace has never been so seductive.

 

My View:

Captivating reading!  I was surprised to discover that one of my favourite writers, John Connolly (of the excellent Charlie Parker series) also turns his hand to short stories – and admirable they are.  I was particularly impressed with “The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository”; a little eerie, some great “what ifs” and some reflections/observations on reading and writing thrown in for good measure. Thoroughly enjoyable.  I think there is something here for everyone.

 

And speaking of the Charlie Parker series – look what arrived in the mail today.  I can’t wait to start this one though I seemed to have skipped A Song of Shadow – Charlie Parker #13 – I think I had better try and catch up on that before I start A Time of Torment #14.

 

A Time of Torment