Tuesday, 11 April 2017

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Gail Schimmel: The Park | Blog Tour | Pregnant musings from a swollen belly...Reading about Rebecca

Early in Rebecca's pregnancy,  she finds herself enjoying a routine of procrastinating, drinking tea and stroking her belly. That pretty much sum's up my existence over the past few months.
Just like our protagonist, I'm expecting a bundle of (grief? angst? hysteria?) joy in the next few months and as I read about her exploits from the comforts of my highly pillowed bed, I found myself frowning through her anxieties, admiring her never-ending maternal juice and practically sighing in exhaustion on account of her overall busyness. She may then, have provided a book-realm crash course in what can be expected in the next few months. The unyielding defense for her (adopted) daughter; the desire to connect with similar situation moms and a potential for a supernatural compassion so powerful that it may attract curious types people with needs that are too big to voice out loud.
Like Rebecca, I too have a 'Sean' who colours my days with husbandly charm that will soon extend into the realm of fatherhood. And like Rebecca, I appreciate him and cannot imagine the struggles that the Lilith's of the world have to go through in terms of enduring abuse in a pregnancy and then raising a child alone. I've known incredible women who have been abandoned with their swollen bellies either through fate or someone's choice and I cannot sing the praises of these unsung heroes enough. You never quite realise the sacrifice and sense of overwhelming that goes into bringing life into the world until you have to see it through your own eyes. So as a reader you cannot help but develop a macabre compassion for the choices that Lilith has made.
So here's to the Amazon's that we walk amongst everyday, the ones who scuttle about with swollen bellies to make the lives of those around (and inside of) them work. And, especially to those who don't have the support to get up and say "Ok, lets do this" for yet another day.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

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Coming soon.....

I'm excited to announce a new venture with Pan Macmillan, coming to the site on the 11th April!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

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The Park - Gail Schimmel

Well written and sometimes witty is how I'd some up this book. Gail Schimmel certainly conveys a tone of motherly experience in this domestic-focused work. At times distracting a reader with the mundane daily domestic details that contribute to the tone of  Rebecca's overall situation, the book is divided into chapters titled with a 'good mother' checklist that we later find out was the little audit list of her troubled friend Lilith. After meeting Lilith and her daughter Ruby-Mae in the park with her soon to be ex-friend Rose, Rebecca and husband Sean's life slowly become affected in ways that they could not dream about. Without giving away too much of the book, I did find myself waiting through the first few chapters for something big to happen - the writing builds up the precipice of a juicy drama really well, and leaves you somewhat hanging until much later on. A great light read that would certainly appeal to the 30-50 year old mom target market.
*Book sponsored by Pan Macmillan

Monday, 27 February 2017

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Passenger - Alexandra Bracken

In an ode to the ending month of love and all that, the long overdue review of Alexandra Brackens' Passenger has finally been posted. I liked Passenger for 2 reasons:
1 - It deviates from the usual dystopian/vampire/coming of age literature we've seen in the young adult category over these past few years and, 2 - The male protagonist and love interest is a person of colour. Two pioneering thumbs up here.
In a rather unfortunate way, Etta (our heroine) travels - or is hurled really - for the first time from the present day to 1776 where a series of events unlocks her true lineage as a traveler and her connection to the powerful Ironwood family. Cue the introduction to handsome Nicholas Carter who would become her companion throughout the twisted adventures spurred by Ironwood.
I'm tempted to compare the book to other more well known time travelling books, but I think Passenger more than holds its own.
*Book sponsored by Pan Macmillan

Friday, 3 February 2017

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Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake

The lauded author of Anna Dressed In Blood, Kendare Blake's Three Dark Crowns captured me from the first page. describing the advisers who prod the wasting body of the poison Queen Katharine who, is one of the three sisters vying for the crown on Fennbirn. Sisters Mirabella - the elemental queen - and Arsinoe - the naturalist - too have their advisors skilled in that specific talent who plot and plan from their separate sections of the island to claim the throne after the festival of Beltane where each queen must display their talent to prove their strength. And then plan to kill the rest of their sisters - as you do, in every generation of triplets born from the former queen of the island.
With the sisters separated from a young age, they're conditioned to accept that to be queen, you need to kill off the siblings that pose a threat - or you'll die yourself. Unique in character. personality and surroundings, the queens face similar manipulations from those who provide their council, and who seek to further the interests of their own kind.
I was surprised to find that for this book, three covers are available and themed according to each queens talent. I had the pleasure of reading from the beautiful rose gilded crown cover (representing naturalist Queen Arsinoe I assume?) and found it riveting. Itching to read the sequel, One dark Throne.
*Book sponsored by Pan Macmillan


Monday, 31 October 2016

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Beauty's Kingdom - Anne Rice, written as A.N. Roquelaure

It had been a while since I had read an Anne Rice novel, so I was quite excited when I picked up this beautifully gilded covered book, and boy, was I surprised. Being a Rice fan of many years, I've come to expect and appreciate the sumptuous and rich writing that is part of the artistry and mastery that is Mrs. Rice, however this, this I was not expecting. The first novel of the Sleeping Beauty series that I have read, this book is apparently written twenty years after the trilogy was introduced to humankind, before darker, ahem, pleasures became as commercial as it is today. Yes, flashbacks of you know what movie I'm talking about, however this would on another -ahem, ahem - licentious and dissolute level, making you know what seem almost chaste. Now I supposed one wholly expects this level lasciviousness from a cover that promises 'provocative and stirring', and by all means does it deliver with strong and unabashedly lewd versions of fairy tale characters such as Sleeping Beauty & King Laurent. Perhaps the pseudonym that this book is written under provides the reader with more than a literal indication of the change in the writers mind-frame. As with all Rice's books, the plot unfolds on a rich tapestry of dramatic characters and scene descriptions with a writing style that creates a special realism for a reader in the scenes -  feeling the warmth of flickering candlelight and stroking crimson velvet curtains. While the book theme is not what I'd call my cup of tea, I do as always, appreciate the richness of her writing and the complexity she invests into each character.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

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The Square Root of Summer - Harriet Reuter Hapgood

This is the story of Margot or Gottie, who comes of age by means that sounds like either severe anxiety or,  access to time- morphed of wormholes that only she can see.
Little Gottie and Thomas are best friends until he moves away with his family and they lose contact. Gottie belongs to a rather eccentric family and worships her grandfather, Grey. She grows up in this eccentric family - bell-bottom lip stick wearing singer brother, spaced out father, and then of course there was the uber cool Grey - and becomes a teenager. And as teenager girls do, she falls in-love with the rather cad-like Jason, her brothers band mate. Cue Grey's death, and a string of disappointments turns once normal Gottie into a worm-hole seeing recluse. But as good fortune would have it,the wheel of fate turns and results in the return of Thomas.
This is a great read for the teenage target market, turning the typical heart break story into something more substantial with a lot of science and an interesting and intelligent heroine, Gottie.
* Book sponsored by Pan Macmillan