Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Waiting on WWW Wednesday

Waiting on WWW Wednesday

The good thing about living in Australia is that we are ahead of the rest of the world by a big margin (apart from New Zealanders who are ahead of us by a couple of hours)! So this means we get to celebrate Christmas and New Year first each year but it also means that when I post day specific stuff, such as today’s Wednesday post – it is MY Wednesday – but some of you haven’t even gone to bed on your Tuesday yet so think I am mad!!! Well on second thoughts, I am probably mad – but that is not what this post is about!

This post is a combination of two memes, which are WWW Wednesdays which is hosted by Taking on a World of Words and Waiting on Wednesdays which is hosted by Breaking the Spine, so the name has been changed to waiting on WWW Wednesday to reflect this combination.

The Three Ws of WWW Wednesdays are: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

While “Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, which spotlights upcoming releases that people are eagerly anticipating.

What am I currently reading?

I am currently reading Skin by Ilka Tampke, who is an Australian writer and this is her debut novel. Set in Iron Age Britain around AD 43. Britain is poised on the brink of Roman invasion and in the village of Caer Cad the locals look to their ancient rituals in order to guide them through the expected invasion. Ailia a fourteen-year-old girl who is on the brink of womanhood. Abandoned at birth, parents unknown, Ailia has no skin, or totem, as she had no known mother to pass one down to her. She is lucky though, taken in by the Cookmother who found the baby on her freezing doorstep, so now Ailia is working in the kitchens of the Tribequeen. I am only a little way into the story, but Ailia is now fourteen and she is preparing to join her first Beltane festival. Her lack of skin dictates she can’t be part of the rituals, and she is not allowed to learn – but for some reason she can join the Beltane ritual, and she is being taught about healing herbs by Cookmother. I am reading on to find out why.

What did I recently finish?

I have just finished The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki. It is the story of Elizabeth – mostly known as Sisi – Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary in the late 1800s. I am going to be visiting her palaces in Vienna and Budapest very soon so was very curious as to her history. Sisi was the daughter of a Bavarian duke, who allowed his daughters to roam around outside, ride horses, and partake in other "un-lady" like activities. The story opens as her older sister, Helene, is summoned by their Aunt Sophia to the Hapsburg Court in Vienna to marry her son the Emperor Franz Joseph. But Helene is not interested in becoming an Empress. She is shy, a bookworm, and wants to be a nun. Against her will Helene is taken to Vienna along with Sisi and their mother. The girls soon find out that Aunt Sophie is the power behind the throne and is overbearing, opinionated and controlling. Uncharacteristically Franz temporarily emerges from his mother’s control and falls in love with the vivacious, unconventional and charismatic Sisi, and insists on making her his bride, much to his mother’s dismay.

Once the wedding takes place though, Sisi is gradually suffocated by the rigid unyielding protocols of the imperial Hapsburg court. She realizes that the rebellion of marrying her is the only rebellion Franz is going to be allowed to get away with. He is firmly controlled by his mother. Her children are taken away from her at birth by Sophia, and Sisi is thwarted at every step to access them on a permanent basis. Franz takes on mistresses and one of them passes on a disease to Sisi and she almost dies, once she recovers she is never the same health wise and becomes obsessed with being thin. Gradually Sisi takes control of her own life – but it is one away from the court. Strangely once she takes this step of independence Franz learns to appreciate, and listen to, her political strategies and the story ends as he gives her permission to remain in Hungary while he returns to Vienna. There is a second book about Sisi and the second half of her life. But for now I am content with what I have read and will visit these palaces with interest seeing where she lived, and suffered.

What will I read next?

I have a few lined up to read, all needed for various reading challenges I am on:

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – the second in the Magisterium series

Sweet Inspiration by Penny Watson – It has elves in it – I need elves!!!

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman

What am I waiting on?

I have a few books on pre-order at the moment that I am on the edge of my seat waiting to come out, all by authors who… well let’s just say that I’d buy their shopping list if it was published:

2 Australian Authors:

Outback Sisters by Rachael Johns – release date 01/03/16

Dastardly Deeds by Ilsa Evans – release date 10/03/16

2 non-Australian Authors:

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs – release date 08/03/16

Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman – release date 05/05/16

(also posted over at Book Charmers)

Title: Their Fractured Light

Author: Aime Kufman and Meagan Spooner

Genre: YA/Romance/Science Fiction

Opens: The dappled sunlight through the grass is beautiful, though I know it’s not real

Blurb: A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the centre of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

My Thoughts: THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT is the third and final book in the Starbound Series and while it gathers all the threads started in the two previous stories and brings them all to an explosive ending, I couldn’t help but feel I wanted more out of it.

Set on the planet, Corinth, where the doomed space ship Icarus from THESE BROKEN STARS was launched and the trilogy commenced, we meet the final two players – Gideon and Sofia. Both characters have apparently appeared in the previous books, but to be perfectly honest I couldn’t remember them – but that didn’t matter as enough background is given to understand what drives them. Their paths cross at the headquarters of LaRoux Industries where they have both infiltrated a shindig – they both have a goal to kill Monsieur LaRoux. Of course something goes wrong and they join forces to escape. The escape is not 100% successful though as they are soon being hunted and as they flee to various safe havens something happens at each location to make them less than safe and they have to move on. Eventually the intrepid due decide to make another effort to kill Monsieur LaRoux and all six characters meet up.

For me, this is when the story started to bog down and I lost interest to a certain extent. I think this might be because of the romance side of things. In each of the previous books the romance that developed between the two main characters got 100% of the focus. In THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT Gideon and Sofia had only half the book to develop because once they meet up with the other four they had to share the reader’s attention with Tarver, Lilac Flynn and Jubilee. In fact they almost seemed to disappear into the background, which I felt was to their disadvantage. They just never developed their full potential as characters for me.

I am glad that the series has now been finalised – that there is closure – an end; and it was a very good ending as well. But I think I should have stopped at the first book as it was an ‘A’ read for me, while THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT is an above average ‘C’ read – I’m sorry but it came over as just being written to finish things off – the heart had gone and the authors maybe moved on to new characters. Loved the first half but by the three quarter point I was skimming to get to the end.

For more about the author Amie Kaufman Click Here and then Click here for Meagan Spooner.

C – Above average – was very readable and I really liked it but was easily able to put it down and walk away for a while..

With thanks to Allen & Unwin and the author for this copy to read and review. Allen & Unwin recommended retail price is $18.99

Title: Murder on the Island

Author: Brian Kavanagh

Genre: Mystery

Opens: “…’Mark, I would say dear Mark but since your recent attitude and behaviour, I think not’…”

Blurb: Belinda travels to the island of Guernsey to meet up with her fiancé Mark and his mother Lady Melba Sallinger to make plans for the upcoming wedding. Her best friend Hazel is at her side. When they arrive there are other guests in residence – Belinda’s parents, who are expected, along with some additions – a handsome interior designer, a Jesuit priest, and Catherine, a writer who is researching the German occupation on Guernsey.

My Thoughts: MURDER ON THE ISLAND is the 6th in the Belinda Lawrence mystery series, and is every bit as good, if not slightly better, as its predecessors! There are some really spooky shenanigans going on this time. Belinda is infuriated when her future mother-in-law starts taking over the wedding plans – insisting on a huge society wedding against Belinda’s wishes. Expecting some support from Mark, she is very upset when he scampers off to the USA for an important ‘business trip’ leaving her alone to face his mother. Thankfully Hazel is with her and she and Belinda soon get distracted by the feeling that something is amiss with some of the other guests. For a start the writer didn’t seem to be doing much research into, or write about, WWII which she was there to do. The priest doesn’t seem to know very much about Catholic sacraments, but is very knowledgeable about the island’s history. He tells the story of the Guernsey Martyrs, who burned alive in 1556 for theft and the baby of one of the martyrs was thrown alive into the fire as well. The next day the skeleton of a baby is found in the garden where some earth has washed away – Hazel insists on reporting the find to the police and Mark’s mother is horrified. That night guests are pondering on the story they have been told by the priest and the discovery of the child – cue scary scene with a storm hitting the island – wild winds and torrential rain lash the house, trees come down, the power goes out and a scream is heard outside! A body of one of the staff members is found, and next to the where the baby’s skeleton was found.

Oh I SO loved this atmospheric chapter. Because of the storm communication is cut off and Belinda and Hazel decide to investigate the baby’s death as well as that of the staff member until the police can get there. I had to confess while I was reading no-one was above suspicion. From creepy housekeepers, a child crying in the night, cooks who couldn’t cook and the haughty Lady of the realm who is furious because she just wanted to bury the child again and not report its discovery. Then there was a scruffy bookstore owner who rocked up in the middle of the storm and an interior designer who knows little about house interiors – as you can see there were quite a few possible suspects.

MURDER ON THE ISLAND is a quick and extremely enjoyable read. I loved the plot and the setting and the tension ensured I staid glued to the pages until it reached its conclusion. You can read it as a stand-alone – but I strongly recommend that you do yourself a favour and read the previous 5 books/

For more about the author – Click Here

B – Great – I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.

With thanks to the author for my copy to read and review

Title: The Lake House

Author: Kate Morton

Genre: Mystery

Blurb: It is 1933 and in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who is experiencing her first crush. She loves to write mystery stories, but the one she has written is no match for the mystery her family is about to endure! On midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the house by the lake has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. Seventy years later, Alice is living in London and Theo’s case has never been solved. Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out running one day, she stumbles upon the old house—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity about the missing child is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.

My Thoughts: I only discovered author Kate Morton a few years back and have loved every book she has written, THE LAKE HOUSE was no exception. An atmospheric and multi-generational story, it is not fast-paced, but is utterly riveting as bit by bit the story is revealed. Told from a few points of view it is never confusing and each point of view moves the story forward and fills in a few of the gaps.

Alice is an elderly woman now and a renowned mystery writer; she inherited the house after the death of her mother, but never goes there. Sadie, on forced disciplinary leave from the London police department after getting too involved in a child-abandonment case, comes across the deserted house on her morning run; she later hears about the missing child.

More than just a story of a stolen child THE LAKE HOUSE is about family secrets, misunderstandings, guilt, love and, of course, finding out the truth. Each of the family members has reasons to feel guilt over the child’s disappearance, but whose guilt is the correct one? Alice and Sadie are gradually drawn together to find out what happened. Sadie has her own issues to deal with so the distraction/obsession over finding out just what happened helps her to deal with events in her life.

I changed my mind about the fate of the baby boy several times during the course of the story – but in my wildest dreams I didn’t guess the ending. But I loved it – for me it was perfect. I see that some people weren’t happy with the ending, or felt the ending let the story down, but I completely disagree. The characters were real – warts and all – they all had a reason to be in the story and their actions added richly to the book. Reading the story was like exploring the old house – following a thread down a dark and dusty passage only to discover there’s a dead end there, so going back only to follow another thread down a different passage until eventually everything has been found, the truth revealed. Not one thread was dropped, there were no loose ends.

For more about the author – Click Here

A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night. If this author has more work, I will certainly read it.

With thanks to Allen & Unwin and the author for this copy to read and review. Allen & Unwin recommended retail price is $32.99

Title: Karma’s a Killer

Author: Tracy Weber

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Quote: “…For the record, telling your boyfriend that your not-as-dead-as-you-might-have-implied mother has been arrested for murder doesn’t go over well…”

Blurb: Yoga instructor Kate Davidson is about to discover that when it comes to murder, there’s no place like home. When she agrees to teach doga—yoga for dogs—at a fundraiser for Dogma, a local animal rescue, Kate believes the only real damage will be to her reputation. But when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning, a few downward-facing dogs will be the least of Kate’s problems…

My Thoughts: KARMA’S A KILLER is the third in the series – and I’m now settling in to them to the extent that when I open to page one I have the relaxed feeling that I am meeting old friends. In this story we learn about animal rescue, crazy animal liberationists and doga. What’s doga I hear you ask – it is yoga for dogs!!! No really, and it is supposed to be very good for owner/pet bonding – here is more information: http://www.dogamahny.co.uk/

Kate’s class is to raise funds for one of the local animal rescue centres. She is not sure how opening a class to all and sundry is a good idea – even more unsure when a woman turns up with a rabbit. This reader just knew a rabbit in a class of dogs is not going to end well. Kate may have got away with bunny yoga, but when animal liberationists start setting fire to the goat shed, and yelling and screaming and frightening the very creatures they are supposed to want to protect, mayhem ensues. Once the dust has settled an activist has been murdered and Kate’s supposedly dead mother has been arrested for the murder.

KARMA’S A KILLER is a very funny story, but within the humour are some serious issues – especially in animal rescue/protection and rights. It gently brings out the problem that sometimes activists do more harm than good when they run off half-cocked only hearing what they want to hear and not taking in the whole picture and considering any extenuating circumstances.

As the investigation burbles along, Kate learns more about her childhood – things she had forgotten – finds letters that had been hidden from her which reveal secrets kept from her. All the familiar characters are back – the ever patient pet shop owner boyfriend; sulky teen pet shop assistant; Kate’s, now very pregnant with twins, best friend Rene; and her friendly goat breeder lawyer. Lastly, but by no means least, there is larger than life Bella, a dog with a lot of medical issues, a lot of character, and a hatred of dogs and many men.

The great news to console me about finishing book 3 is that I have discovered that Tracy Weber has signed a contract with her publisher Midnight Ink for 3 more books in the Downward Dog Mystery series! Woo Hoo! More Kate and Bella adventures to come, can’t wait to see what happens!

For more about the author – Click Here

B – Great – I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.

With thanks to Midnight Ink Books and the author via Netgalley for my copy to read and review

Title: Treasured Lies

Author: Kendall Talbot

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Opens: “…Nox’s eyes stung…”

Blurb: The discovery of The Flying Seahorse, a 13th century shipwreck, nearly killed Archer’s two best friends. Now, with their recovery assured and his fiancée back at his side, Archer can finally hunt for the treasure that has haunted him since his father’s death years before. Rosalina learned things about herself that she didn’t expect: her capacity to love, her capacity to forgive and her capacity to do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves. Shooting Nox with a spear gun saved Archer’s life, and brought them back together — this time forever. Now she’s with her fiancé, in the beautiful Mediterranean, with a real chance of ending the guilt that’s tortured Archer for two decades. But Nox isn’t dead, and he hasn’t given up. Archer and Rosalina may believe that they are safe, but nothing could be further from the truth. What once was about treasure is now about revenge — and it’s very, very personal.

My Thoughts: TREASURED LIES is a sequel to the edge of the seat adventure Treasured Secrets which I read and enjoyed mid last year. That story was based around the romance between Rosalina and Archer as they sorted their lives out and did battle over treasure with the villain of the story, Nox – a vile, horrible, evil, creepy and truly unlikable person. This story picks up a few weeks after Treasured Secrets finishes and it turns out from the opening line of TREASURED LIES that this odorously malevolent human being is not dead after all. But I have to confess though for a very small while (a couple of pages) I actually felt sorry for everything that author Kendall Talbot threw at Nox – I mean he really deserved it he is a very nasty person, and at first I cheered the author on as she really went to town on him (reminder – never write a bad review for this author – she knows how to punish) but yes, there was this one brief time that I though poor Nox – the sympathy didn’t last long!! It just demonstrates the writing talent that Kendall has that enables to enables me to feel any sympathy for a very horrible person.

TREASURED LIES is less about the relationship between Rosalinda and Archer and more on Treasure Hunting – and just how cut throat it all is. The setting is fantastic, wafting over the Mediterranean Sea on a yacht with good food and wine. Then leisurely diving in clear waters and carting treasures back to the surface. You would think that with Nox busy elsewhere all this treasure hunting should be a doddle! Not so, there is another evil treasure pirate in the area, Ignatius, and he is rich, brutal and doesn’t play fair!!

Summed up, TREASURED LIES has everything that you need in a good book, romance, suspense, adventure, conflict, laughter, explosions and drama, I am looking forwards to seeing what happens next as the ending is obviously open ended.

For more about the author – Click Here

B – Great – I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.

With thanks to Escape Publishing and the author via Netgalley for my copy to read and review

Books around the Web: Chick Lit

Around the middle of each month I am going to post about interesting book related links I’ve found around the web. Sometimes they will be all bunched under a theme – at other times the only things they have in common is that they are about books, readers of books, mentions of books. Like my reading the posts will be eclectic and mood driven.

My first post is themed around one of my favourite genres – Chick/Hen’s Lit.

So what is chick lit? Well it is not romance. Like Chick lit, romance is mostly aimed at women, but were they differ is that romance is about when a woman meets a man, there are a few misunderstandings, hurdles to overcome, before they can finally fall in love – and it is all wonderful and the story ends on a blissed out high. Chick lit is more than that – in fact finding a man is not the main objective, although there may be a sort of a romance going on at some stage, often the intrepid heroine is recovering after a nasty breakup or divorce, and so surviving life without a man is often the main objective. In chick lit humour is an overall must have. The relationship with family and friends is just as important as romantic relationships for our heroine, and there often is a new man in the heroine’s life who has to overcome all her issues before he can even make first base. Learning to cope alone after being so dependent, or not allowed to be dependent, is another common theme.

I’ve heard of Chick Lit – but what the heck is Hens Lit?” I hear you ask. Well Hen’s Lit is chick lit for the older women; I have also seen it referred to as granny lit, matron lit and lady lit. Not sure I like the descriptor Matron lit personally. However, whatever term used, they are books that are aimed at the older women in our society – the women who deal with the gritty subjects of hot flushes, aging bodies, widowhood, empty nest syndrome and sexual needs (yes older women like sex too) and who want books to reflect that. Like Chick lit, Hens lit books cover those subjects in a humorous way that older women can relate too. Hens lit is almost the next stage after romance – set once widowhood has arrived – or divorce – and the intrepid heroine has to start over.

Despite being one of the biggest selling genres after romance, many female readers turn their noses up at chick lit and say that Chick lit is derogatory to women. I say poppycock – I am a woman, I am not going to insult myself, I don’t think they are offensive. I am an educated and intelligent woman and I love the genre – so there!

Australian comedienne, Wendy Harmer, explains Chick lit:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/books/putting-the-chick-into-lit/2005/08/11/1123353432397.html

Is chick lit dead? Or has it just morphed?

https://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/whatever-happened-to-chick-lit

And this link will take you to information on Hens lit:
http://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/2005…

It is good to have older heroines:

http://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/2005/09/matron_lit.html

Finally Cindy Roesel from Chick Lit Central says that we are all chicks regardless of whether we are 18 or 108:
http://www.chicklitcentral.com/2013/0…

You know, I think she could just be right – I’m a Chick and proud of it!!!

Lists of chick lit books:

Chick Lit’s Top 100:

http://www.chicklitclub.com/ultimate100.html

Goodreads lists:

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/chick-lit

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/402.Favorite_Chick_Lit

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/11239.Best_Chick_Lit_I_ve_Ever_Read

This post can also be found over on the Book Charmers blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 314 other followers