Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 20/2/17

Mondays are coming around quickly this year! I had a busy week, followed by a jam packed weekend. What was great though was that I got a parcel delivered on a Sunday! (Australia Post generally don’t deliver on weekends, unless it’s nearly Christmas). I had planned to get to a bookshop, but it was so hot and I was so tired that it didn’t happen. Maybe next weekend…

Here’s what arrived in my letterbox over the last week:

The Last McAdam by Holly Ford (out Wednesday) was from Allen and Unwin. It’s a rural novel set on the sheep and cattle station of Broken Creek. Like its name, the station is fading fast and Tess is sent in to fix it after the sale of the property to a global company. But Tess finds out she knows the head stockman who was meant to inherit the property, which makes things awkward… Do look out too for a guest post from Holly on the blog soon.

Daughter of Mine by Fiona Lowe (released today!) arrived from Harlequin. This book is also set on a large rural property, but in the west of Victoria. The three Chirnwell sisters are very different – one successful, one chaotic and one away from home but when a party brings a shock, the dam wall breaks. Accusations fly, secrets come to the fore and one of them hits crisis point. Can the sisters depend on each other?

The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth (out March) came from Pan Macmillan. It’s about Alice, who has a close relationship with daughter Zoe. In fact, they’ve never needed anyone but each other. But Alice gets sick and reaches out to members of the oncology team – nurse Zoe and Sonja, her social worker to try to find stability for Zoe. The lives of the three women become entangled, forcing them to face their fears and secrets.

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 13/2/17

Last week was odd in terms of weather! It’s meant to be summer, but we’ve had record rains, flooding and winter temperatures! Meanwhile, the rest of Australia is super-hot and dry. This week it looks like we will return to sunny and warm days. In a way, the unseasonal weather was great for reading.

I received several books in the mail over the last week (all lovely and dry!), many thanks to those who sent them:

The Shape of Us by Lisa Ireland was from Pan Macmillan and the author. I love Lisa Ireland’s books, so I’m excited to get an early copy of her latest (out April). It’s about four women who bond on an online forum weight loss. Each of them has her own problems but are bonded by friendship as they realise that weight loss is not the key to happiness.

The Midsummer Garden by Kirsty Manning was a win from Bookstr and Allen & Unwin. Out April, it’s a novel with a dual timeline (1487 and 2014) across France and Tasmania. Artemisia is in charge of the kitchens at a large chateau, but her dreams are outside its walls. Who can she trust with her secret? Pip is trying to finish her studies and avoid making plans, but the gift of old copper pots joins her story with that of Artemisia’s.

Storm and Grace by Kathryn Heyman was a win from Allen & Unwin. It’s described as a literary thriller as a smitten Grace follows Storm to his Pacific Island. He teaches her to be a diver like him, but as Storm pushes Grace, she resists. What is she hiding?

(Not pictured – a copy of 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster. Thanks Allen & Unwin!)

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 6/2/17

Last week was pretty busy and I didn’t as much reading as I would of liked (turned off and played Candy Crush Soda – do not start playing that game!). Now I have a busy week coming up and I’ll probably want to read more than my schedule allows…

I spent some birthday vouchers at Dymocks and also received one book in the mail this week:

Spindrift by Tamara McKinley (out March) is a historical fiction novel set between Tasmania and the Isle of Skye. Christy’s past is complex and on her return to Skye her daughter and granddaughter will be part of unearthing the memories. I’m really looking forward to this, thanks Hachette! Tamara also writes novels under the name Ellie Dean, which are set in World War II England (i.e. my crack). If you use iBooks Australia, Tamara’s novel Lands Beyond the Sea is free this week.

My purchases were highly influenced by social media and blog raves:

The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang is set during the GFC and Charles has one last plot to try to get some cash – claiming his ancestral lands in China. But first, there’s a road trip across America to collect his family, a disparate group of characters with their own suspicions.

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster sounds like a fascinating plot – Archibald Ferguson is born in 1947, but his life will take on four simultaneous and independent paths. How will each boy take on mid-century America?

I’m not normally a person for short stories, but I’ve come back to look at A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin again and again. The stories are rich in their description of life, emotions and making the everyday sparkle. (Plus, that cover!)

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 30/1/17

Wow, the last Monday of January and summer has definitely arrived! It has been incredibly hot over the last week. Hopefully we should have some cooler weather this week. I didn’t receive any books in the mail this week, but I did buy a few more of Jojo Moyes’ backlist:

The Peacock Emporium finds Suzanna seeking refuge in her mother’s shop, The Peacock Emporium. She can escape from her own problems, but there is still her mother’s wild past to contend with. She must meet it head on to move into the future.

Foreign Fruit is set in the small seaside town of Merham. In the 1950s, local girls Lottie and Celia were tempted by a group of Bohemians living on the seafront with devastating consequences. Fifty years later, that house is being renovating, which brings the old memories and secrets to light.

The Horse Dancer is about Sarah, learning life on a horse with her grandfather. But when disaster strikes, teenage Sarah has to fend for herself. But when paths cross with Natasha, she’s determined to put things right. But Sarah has big secrets…

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 23/1/17

So this week I celebrated summer by getting a shocker of a cold…but it did mean that I could huddle under blankets and read. Lucky that this week I have to share with you my birthday books as well as some that the postie kindly brought to the door. The top row are arrivals via the letterbox and the second row books I bought with my birthday vouchers.

I’m really excited about Pamela Hart’s A Letter From Italy as she’s one of my favourite writers for relatable Australian historical fiction. This book is inspired by the true story of Louise Mack, Australia’s first female war correspondent during World War I. Rebecca has followed her husband to the battlefields in Europe as a war correspondent in Italy. She’s working with Alessandro Panucci, and soon she has a battlefield of her own – the human heart. The book is released on March 14, thanks to Hachette for the ARC.

I read an article about Penelope Janu recently and immediately added her romantic comedy debut, In at the Deep End to my wish list. The book has it all – a female explorer in Harriet, whose ship sinks in Antarctica. Unfortunately, she’s rescued by Commander Per Amundsen, real life action hero and part of the Norwegian navy. It’s not love, nor like at first sight but the pair have to cooperate and face their fears in order to get what they want. Many thanks to Harlequin for reading my mind and sending the ARC! The book will be out in February.

I’ve never read Lucy Diamond, so when I was offered the chance to read and review her latest book, The House of New Beginnings, I thought I should seize the opportunity (thanks Pan Macmillan!). Out at the end of the month, the story revolves around the occupants of 11 Dukes Square, Brighton. Rosa has fled from London to a menial job, but will others challenge her to spread her wings? Georgie has a new career after following her childhood sweetheart to town, but it doesn’t take long for her to get into trouble. Charlotte is plodding along after a loss, but Margot is determined for her to return to the outside world. They say new house, new beginnings and it’s certainly true for these ladies.

I decided to give Nell Zink another go after the intriguing strangeness that was Nicotine. The Wallcreeper comes highly recommended, a novella of the highs and lows of marriage (with some birds involved it seems).

Food Whore by Jessica Tom sounded intriguing, not least because Jessica is a food blogger and writer herself. It’s the story of Tia, who ghost-writes restaurant reviews for a legendary food critic. But he gets the glory and she gets the food – is this what she truly wants?

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub has been on my wish list for some time, so I decided a birthday is a good time to indulge. It’s about three college friends, now grown up and living in the same neighbourhood. But now their children are teenagers and with all those troubles, their adult lives seem to unravel as the truth comes out.

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 16/1/17

Everything seems to be back almost in full swing after the holiday break – traffic is heavy, car parks are scarce and work is piling up! I didn’t receive any books in the mail, nor buy any (the shelves are still pretty bare). Luckily, here are the last books of my Christmas haul. (Birthday books are still to come).

Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci is a fun romance about Avery, wounded from the end of her marriage, spending the summer in Rome. But Rome is also home to Marcello, the man who got away. Gelato by day, Marcello by night – is it a summer fling or the start of a new life?

Daughter of the Murray by Darry Fraser is historical fiction, set on the beautiful Murray River. Georgina’s not happy with life with her foster family in the 1890s, especially when prodigal son Dane returns. She flees on his prized stallion, crossing paths with Conor Foley, a businessman with a proposition for Georgina. Where does her heart lie and how will things turn out in the changing political landscape?

Outback Emergency contains three stories (The Doctor’s Rescue Mission by Marion Lennox, Pregnant on Arrival by Fiona Lowe and A Baby for the Flying Doctor by Lucy Clark), all medical romances set in the Australian outback. There’s a tidal wave, flying doctors and love in the air!

The Doctor by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is non-fiction, where Dr Karl discusses quirky, interesting science in fun chunks. Why do people talk louder when they’re drunk? Why don’t you sleep well in an unfamiliar bed? Why does streaming videos use more power than your fridge? Is caffeine now a good drug? I love Dr Karl and I love that I can always find out more through his detailed references.

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 9/1/17

I guess we could say we’re in the middle of summer now in Australia – the weather is certainly telling us so! It’s gone from nice to stinking hot to nice again in the space of a week. So first of all, I’d like to say thank you to my postie who returned from holidays to deliver the first three books here, all on the same day (totally worth it). I’ve also included three more of my Christmas books – there’s more to come, plus birthday books!

The top three books are absolute corkers from Hachette – thank you! Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell is set in the seaside town of St Carys, but the people who live there are very good at keeping secrets, especially about love. What happens when the truth reveals itself?

New York Nights by C.J. Duggan (out February) is the second book in the Heart of the City series. Sarah’s an Aussie living in New York as an au pair; her charge Grace is a cutie, but her father is secret and distant. Sarah will care for Grace as best as she can, while facing the challenges set by the highly complex Ben Worthington. I loved Paris Lights, so can’t wait to read this next!

The last book is a proof of Natasha Lester’s new novel, Her Mother’s Secret. A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald was one of my favourite books of 2016, so this is another book that I can’t wait to put my nose into! Out April, it’s set in the 1920s and 1940s and involves cosmetics (i.e. my crack). Leonora makes cosmetics in her father’s pharmacy until tragedy strikes, and she moves to New York to make her dreams come true. Years later, Everett Forsyth’s daughter receives an invitation to star in a set of advertisements for cosmetics – but why are her parents against it?

The last three books were Christmas presents. The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley is a historical fiction novel of real life artist, Elizabeth Gould (wife of John Gould). She’s not just an artist, but a wife, mother, lover and adventurer in discovering Australia’s birdlife. The end pages of this gorgeous hardcover have Elizabeth’s bird prints.

Miss You by Kate Eberlen is a book I saw popping up on several ‘best of 2016’ lists. The blurb reminds me a little of One Day (in a good way, I adored that book) as Tess and Gus meet in Florence one day before they are both due back home in England. Over the next 16 years, they are separated by different challenges – will they ever meet properly?

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory continues the Tudor series, focusing on Katherine of Aragon, Margaret and Mary – queens of England, Scotland and France. They are set against each other in the greatest of ways, involving war, marriage, love and loss.

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 2/1/17

Happy New Year! I hope everyone got a break and some time to have fun. As promised, here is the first of my Christmas haul, tentatively titled ‘The Ones That Kept Popping Up in My Social Media’.

As you can see from the above, I am Lego building again. The haulpak is just part 1 of 8 of my next build!

Bridget Jones’s Baby by Helen Fielding should need no introduction, given that it’s; a) Bridget Jones and b) there was a movie of the same title in 2016. I’ve read this and loved it – but fans of the movie take note, the potential dads involve Daniel Cleaver!

The Girls by Emma Cline has a cover that screams summer! In 1969 California, Evie wants to be part of the girls. But at the centre is Russell, who could be more than just one of the gang…

I also received one book from the lovely people at Penguin, Fiona McArthur’s Heart of the Sky (released 30/1/17). It’s about Flying Doctor Tess Daley and pilot Charlie Fennes in the small rural town of Mica Ridge. But Tess is seeking a change after a past accident and Charlie has a secret that will rock the station house where they live.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue is set in New York City 2007. Clark is a partner at Lehman Brothers and Jende, recently arrived from Cameroon, is his new driver. His wife Neni gets work with Clark’s wife Cindy and everything looks like it could be happening. But secrets and the financial crisis mean that both couples need to rethink their dreams.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett is another book with a gorgeous cover about family. It starts in 1964 when Bert kisses Beverly at a christening party for Franny – but he’s not her husband. 24 years on, Franny meets a famous author while working and starts to tell him her family’s story…

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 26/12/16

So Christmas is over for another year and next week we will be talking about New Year resolutions! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. I was very lucky to receive several books as Christmas present, but as I’m feeling lazy (it’s Christmas Day afternoon) they can wait until next week (postal service is only two days this week). Here’s what I received in the letterbox:

(The air conditioner is blowing these about a bit in the pic).

The Daughters of Henry Wong by Harrison Young was from Ventura Press. I loved Nantucket, so I’m looking forward to see how Jonathan Lee handles things when his easy life goes awry when his father in law goes missing. Can he deal with blackmail, a run on the bank, takeovers and assassins?

I won Hartley’s Grange by Nicole Hurley-Moore in a Goodreads giveaway thanks to Allen & Unwin. It’s set in country Australia, where Lily flees to after her city life ends up in a mess. But it’s not an easy ride, as Lily encounters Flynn Hartley before she even arrives. Flynn wants more, but Lily doesn’t want a bad boy in her life again – can Flynn convince her he’s changed?

True Colours by Kristin Hannah was from Pan Macmillan. The heroines are the three Grey sisters, who have always looked after each other, until Vivi Ann decides to follow her heart. Now, the sisters are against each other and soon the whole community is involved…

Many thanks for these books – with a few days off, I look forward to doing more reading!

If you want to look at other books received, do visit the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Book Date. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 19/12/16

Busy busy busy! So many things on this week and then I decided to start a baking project on Sunday afternoon, plus there’s a TV show I want to watch on soon…

Two lovely books in the mail this week – I didn’t get to the shops but I’m planning on a bookshop adventure before the new year.

To The Sea by Christine Dibley (out January) was from Pan Macmillan for a blog tour next month. Thanks for the lovely note! It’s set in Tasmania as a girl has vanished. Four people have their version of truth to tell the detective, but he wants facts. But in this area, its myth and history that blend together to give the truth…

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor) was a surprise from Simon & Schuster. I’m not sure how I missed this tale of Hannah’s life in Nazi Germany and going to Cuba aboard the SS St. Louis, woven with the present day life in New York City. Armando will be coming to Perth (yay!) and Adelaide Writers’ Festivals, so mark your diary.

If you want to check other bookshelves, do drop by the Mailbox Monday blog for links to everyone’s mailbox goodies. Overseen by Vicki (I’d Rather Be at the Beach), Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) and Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit), I’m sure you’ll find many books for the wish list!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Book Date and formerly by Book Journey and J Kaye. Click on the pictures to read more about the books.

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Hopefully a book gift!