Friday Freebie

I have 1 copy of the fabulous read,  Ghosted by Rosie Walsh to give away courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia. Comment below with your favourite book you’ve read from Pan Macmillan for the chance of winning. Entries close 22nd of June 2018.

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh cover art

**Competition open to Australian participants only.**


**Congratulations Stacy, I have sent you an email.**



Post Script: The Simplest Words A Story Teller’s Journey – Alex Miller

Cover The Simplest Words

The Simplest Words

A Story Teller’s Journey

Alex Miller

Allen & Unwin Australia

ISBN: 9781743313572



A selection of short pieces – both fiction and non-fiction – from one of Australia’s greatest literary treasures.


From one of Australia’s greatest novelists comes this fine collection, a storyteller’s journey. These short stories and essays, written over the last forty years, comprise an insightful and intelligent meditation on the life of the novelist and the culture of contemporary Australia. Personal and intimate as many of these pieces are, this collection forms a kind of assured autobiography, of the sort that only Alex Miller could write.


Alex Miller’s stories are told with a rare level of wisdom and profundity, engaging the intellect and the emotions simultaneously. Stories are, after all, in his blood.



My View:

I am very pleased to have made the acquaintance of author Alex Miller. This is my first experience of Alex Miller’s writing and an experience it was! There is so much of Mr Miller’s life and passion in this book you cannot help but be moved by this collection of extracts and observations. The full range of emotional experiences are exposed in the stories of this brilliant wordsmith – admiration, love, a hint of remorse, guilt, awe, passion, reconciliation and sadness (the short story How to Kill Horses devastated me, such a powerful and moving piece, a story that deserves your attention) and lastly an evocation of jealously – I would like to be able to evoke such feeling with my words, to be able to write with such sublime power. If I cannot write like Alex Miller then I would be satisfied to sit in a classroom with Alex Miller as tutor, even for one session – any chance Alex?


There is something here for both the reader and the writer in this collection. Alex Miller shares this observation with us “I’ve had great joy from writing novels. But now I need to obey the rule of necessity for change and have taken on a new challenge. This need to take a critical look at what I’ve been doing with my life possibly has something to do with Socrates’s remark that an unexamined life has not been worth living. I have begun to write what I hope can become a celebration of the tragic beauty of Max Blatt’s life and our friendship. The ocean of my ignorance, I soon found, is far deeper and broader than the island of my knowing. In reflecting on my own history I am aware of the paradox that I am going into a largely unknown landscape along a road I have never travelled. It has become clear to me that recollection is itself fiction….” (p263)


Further he shares this gem about writing and story (he is reflecting on his story about Journey to the Stone Country and some of the inspiration for characters in it)”…His father, Frank Budby, tell me Graham cherishes the book and his role in it, but it was only after I had written the story that I began to see how central to its theme his character was. We never know what we have written, after all, until our readers tell us to look again. Frank tells me that his son has found his dignity in the book. And I think of the books in which I first found my own dignity.” (p.277)  [Emphasis added by author]


This book is a delight to read, a highlight of my reading year.



Post Script: The Square of Revenge – Pieter Apse

The Square of Revenge, Pieter Aspe

The Square of Revenge

Pieter Aspe

Open Road Integrated Media

Open Road Media

ISBN: 9781453239742


The heart-pounding English-language debut by European crime sensation Pieter Aspe!

The beautiful medieval architecture of Bruges belies the dark longings of her residents. When the wealthy and powerful Ludovic Degroof’s jewellery store is robbed, nothing is stolen, but the jewels have been dissolved in jars of aqua regia, an acid so strong that it can melt even gold. In the empty safe is a scrap of paper on which a strange square has been drawn.

At first, Inspector Van In pays little attention to the paper, focusing on the bizarre nature of the burglary. But when Degroof’s children begin to receive letters with this same enigmatic square, Van In and the beautiful new District Attorney, Hannelore Martens, find themselves engaged in solving the mystery of a complex web of Latin phrases, a baroness’ fallen family, and Degroof’s unsettling relationship with a hostage grandchild, who is being ransomed for a priceless collection of art.

My View:


A refreshingly good crime/ mystery novel by an author held in esteem in his own country (Brussels).  I am so glad to have discovered this series and cannot wait for the others to be translated and available as ebooks.

Aspe writes a story with unconventional characters, that have no need for massive amounts of special effects/high voltage drama/ or in depth forensic analysis and commentary for attention – instead he relies on well drawn characters and an elaborate narrative to hold your imagination and interest – this is so refreshing!  I really enjoyed this book- it presented me with a landscape that was unfamiliar yet beautiful and interesting. It was not bleak or boring or predicable.  Intelligent and at times humorous, Inspector Van In is an anti hero by European standards – he is not dashingly/ruggedly good looking or attractive – he is ordinary, with a history of a failed marriage, a house and crippling mortgage and common sense.  He works in the real world – a world of politics and manipulations, of bureaucracy and subvertise office behaviour.

Aspe understands that “a professionally spread rumour usually does more damage than a court case.” (p.120I see so many connections to the way politics operates in Australia and to the recent change of Prime Minister…rumours, unsupportive behaviour… the niggling back biting that cannot be challenged because it is not spoken openly… This story is so relevant to contemporary mores and politics – personal and public spheres.  I liked how Aspe acknowledges the existence and relevance of such behaviour in this novel.

All in all a refreshingly good narrative – emphasis on the narrative. I look forward to reading more of the Inspector Van In series.

Meet Pieter Aspe on this youtube video.