#FridayFreebie: Other Peoples Houses – Kelli Hawkins

Other People’s Houses

Kelli Hawkins

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9781460759226

 

Description:

A stunningly tense, page-turning debut for all fans of The Woman in the Window and The Girl on the Train The perfect house. The perfect family. Too good to be true.

 

Kate Webb still grieves for her young son, ten years after his loss. She spends her weekends hungover, attending open houses on Sydney’s wealthy north shore and imagining the lives of the people who live there.

 

Then Kate visits the Harding house – the perfect house with, it seems, the perfect family. A photograph captures a kind-looking man, a beautiful woman she once knew from university days, and a boy – a boy that for one heartbreaking moment she believes is her own son.

 

When her curiosity turns to obsession, she uncovers the cracks that lie beneath a glossy facade of perfection, sordid truths she could never have imagined.

 

** Thanks to the wonderful people at Harper Collins Australia, I have one copy of this stunning debut to offer you as a giveaway. Simply state the city this book is set in, in the comments. Open to Australian residents only. Winner randomly selected on 19th March 2021.**

 

 

Four-Ingredient Toppings for Baked Salmon -The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan by Jamie Rose Chambers

This is a fantastic book! It has many helpful suggestions including ways to make the IF lifestyle suit your lifestyle ( there is  even an IF guide for the retired couple), some great quick no fuss recipes and a yummy chocolate bark recipe which I will  share with you later.

 


The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan by Jamie Rose Chambers,

Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99,

Photography by Rob Palmer

 

Four-ingredient toppings for baked salmon

“One of my favourite quick meals for our family when I’m in a bit of a rush and have defrosted or (am lucky to have) some fresh salmon fillets is one of my go-to four-ingredient salmon toppings. It takes less than a couple of minutes to throw the ingredients into a small bowl, drizzle over the top of the salmon fillets and on they go into a hot oven until golden. p. 136”

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with
baking paper and arrange the salmon fillets on the
tray, leaving space between them.

2. Choose a flavour topping and mix all of the
ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Drizzle or spoon the flavour topping evenly on top of
each salmon fillet. Some toppings will be thick and
sit on top of the salmon, others will be runny and
will pool around the base of the salmon fillet. Both
types will be delicious.

4. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes for medium,
or longer if you like your salmon well done.

 

1.Yoghurt and herbs:
150 g Greek-style yoghurt (no-fat, low-fat or full-fat yoghurt will all work here)
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill fronds
juice of ½ small lemon
sea salt

2. Coconut korma:
150 g coconut yoghurt
2 tablespoons korma paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut

 

3.Garlic, mustard and lemon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard

4.Soy and sesame:
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

 

 

 

Review: Other Peoples Houses – Kelli Hawkins

Other People’s Houses

Kelli Hawkins

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9781460759226

 

Description:

A stunningly tense, page-turning debut for all fans of The Woman in the Window and The Girl on the Train The perfect house. The perfect family. Too good to be true.

 

Kate Webb still grieves for her young son, ten years after his loss. She spends her weekends hungover, attending open houses on Sydney’s wealthy north shore and imagining the lives of the people who live there.

 

Then Kate visits the Harding house – the perfect house with, it seems, the perfect family. A photograph captures a kind-looking man, a beautiful woman she once knew from university days, and a boy – a boy that for one heartbreaking moment she believes is her own son.

 

When her curiosity turns to obsession, she uncovers the cracks that lie beneath a glossy facade of perfection, sordid truths she could never have imagined.

 

 

My View:

I don’t think I have come across such a unique narrator and unique plot; a mostly functioning alcoholic whose life is coloured with the raw grief of loss. Kate Webb is the most unreliable narrator I have come across yet her world is credible, the self-destructive behaviours understandable as her grief transcends her weak desire to function and exist in the world.

 

But this is not just a book about alcoholism and grief. Without giving away too much, this is a book about domestic violence in its worse form, its is about murders and psychopaths, about control, about relationships, about the glimmer of hope that just might sustain; it is a read where the nothing is as it seems.

 

And it is a read that will keep you up all night until you have discovered the truths. This is a compelling read and I will admit to shedding a silent tear as I finished this.

 

 

Review: Change Your Thinking to Change Your Life – Kate James

Change Your Thinking to Change Your Life

Kate James

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760787738

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

Many of us experience feelings of being stuck in the wrong life and disconnected from our true selves.

Australian mindfulness expert and bestselling author Kate James has coached thousands of clients in similar situations.

Now, Kate introduces us to a range of techniques, based on her knowledge of mindfulness, positive psychology, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), creativity and neuropsychology, that will help us clarify our goals, realise our purpose and connect more fully with the wonder of life.

Change Your Thinking to Change Your Life will help you to:

– get to know yourself well

– overcome the thoughts and beliefs that inhibit inner peace and limit you in your life choices

– find your way to your version of a fulfilling life.

This is the perfect companion for negotiating transformation in an unsettled age.

Praise for Change Your Thinking to Change Your Life

‘Kate James is such an honest, warm and generous teacher. Read this book and you’ll be learning from one of the very best.’ Clare Bowditch

‘Kate’s writing is immensely practical. Rich with compassion and insight from her many years as a therapist, her books always offer life-enhancing tools that may be applied right away. Transformational wisdom at its best!’ David Michie, author of Hurry Up and Meditate.

 

My View:

This is a book that you will read piece by piece, or all the way through or just some of it depending on your individual life journey and how well you know yourself already.  And you will read it again and then read it some more.

 

A highlight for me – Chapter Eighteen – Boost Your optimism – is one we can all easily follow.  The exercises (which actually just read as common sense), give everyday easy to actualise, guidance on practicing gratitude to balance the negative bias of the brain. “The remedy is not to supress negative experiences; when they happen, they happen.  Rather, it is to foster positive experiences – and in particular, to take them in so they became a permanent part of you.” (p166 Buddhas’ Brain, Rick Hanson). Well said. Practice makes change.

 

This guide – and yes, it is a guide – is full of helpful exercises, written in accessible, positive language. This is a book that I will keep by my bed and pick up and read, often, over and over. I have highlighted so many paragraphs in this book that I want to return to later.

 

PS I love the cover art.

 

Review: Crackenback – Lee Christine

Crackenback

Lee Christine

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760878900

RRP $ 29.99

 

Description:

A thrilling tale of snow-bound crime and suspense, from the bestselling author of Charlotte Pass.

Detective Sergeant Pierce Ryder of the Sydney Homicide Squad is on the hunt for notorious fugitive Gavin Hutton.

After months of dead-ends, the breakthrough Ryder has been hoping for leads him back to the New South Wales Snowy Mountains on the trail of the suspected killer.

Meanwhile, when an injured man bursts into the remote Thredbo lodge managed by Eva Bell, her first instinct is to protect her daughter, Poppy. The terrifying arrival of Jack Walker turns Eva’s world upside down as the consequences of Jack’s presence become clear.

With a killer on the loose, Jack Walker and Ryder are tangled in the same treacherous web – spun across the perilously beautiful Crackenback Range.

 

My View:

Superb reading!

I feel like my reading year has really started well, this is another 5-star read and a book I will be recommending to all my crime fiction reading friends. How did I miss book one, “Charlotte Pass”? Luckily it is not essential to have read book one before you read book 2, the author does a great job of recounting many salient points so that you will not be lost.  I will definitely keep a look out for book 3 and put this author on my “Must Read” list.

 

I did enjoy this one; empathetic characters, wonderful settings (I will visit the areas mentioned in the book – one day), and a gripping narrative that had me staying up way past a reasonable bed time just so I could finish this…such a great read this was.

 

I highly recommend this read to all lovers of great, character based, crime fiction. Lee Christine, I look forward to book 3.

#FridayFreebie: The Paris Affair – Pip Drysdale

The Paris Affair

Pip Drysdale 

Simon & Schuster

 

https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Paris-Affair/Pip-Drysdale/9781760854324 

She thinks love can kill you. It turns out she might be right. The dark and sexy new thriller from the bestselling author of The Sunday Girl and The Strangers We Know.

Harper Brown is an expert at picking locks, breaking her way out of car boots, talking her way out of trouble and she could run a masterclass on escaping relationships – her record for losing a guy is three minutes flat. She’s addicted to true crime podcasts and is the genius behind a micro-column called ‘How to not get murdered’.

After having her heart broken helping her ex follow his dreams, Harper has moved to Paris to fulfill hers. She’s talked her way into a job as an arts journalist, a stepping stone to her dream role as an investigative journalist. All she has to do is whatever it takes to get there. But then one night she meets the artist Noah X, and everything she thinks she knows is turned upside down.

Soon Harper finds herself entangled in a web of lies, hot on the trail of a murderer and the scoop of a lifetime. This is the story that could make her career – if the killer doesn’t catch her first.

*** I have one copy of the fabulous The Paris Affair  to give away – for your chance to win simply  leave a comment on this post with the title of another book written by Pip Drysdale. How easy is that? Entries open to Australian residents only, entries close  28th February 2021.  Thanks to the lovely people at Simon & Schuster and to the author for providing  this giveaway. ***

Review: The Paris Affair – Pip Drysdale

The Paris Affair

Pip Drysdale

Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781760854331

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

She thinks love can kill you. It turns out she might be right.

Meet Harper Brown…

Occupation: Arts journalist

Dream job: Hard-hitting news reporter

Location: Paris

Loves: True crime podcasts, art galleries, coffee, whiskey

Does not love: fake people, toxic positivity, being told how to live her life by smug workmates who have no life (that’s you, Stan), her narcissistic ex

Favourite book: 1984

Favourite artist: Noah X. Sometimes.

Favourite painting: Klimt’s Schubert at the Piano

Special skills: breaking out of car boots, picking locks and escaping relationships.

Superpower: She can lose any guy in three minutes flat. Ask her how.

Secret: She’s hot on the trail of a murderer – and the scoop of a lifetime.

 

That’s if the killer doesn’t catch her first.

 

My View:

I loved this sassy, modern, exciting, captivating mystery. Set in Paris, this read makes you feels like you are in the city, at the art gallery, in the office, walking along the streets…the settings are brilliant. And the characters are just as well written. Visit the office and recognise some of the character traits Drysdale has instilled in Harper’s colleagues, you will recognise them.  Examine the friendships, the relationships are credible and some familiar.

Flawed yet resilient and strong, the protagonist Harper Brown is gutsy and likeable in a sometimes cringeworthy way. But you will like her. And a bonus – she has a great knowledge of art (or if not, she certainly talks the talk) 😊. And Noah X is …worth reading about.

The murders/mystery elements will keep you guessing.  There are so many well-placed red herrings you will not guess who did.

 

A great read.