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.

What I Read Last Week:


What I’m Reading at the Moment:


Up Next:



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.

What I Read Last Week:



What I’m Reading at the Moment:


Up Next:



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.

What I Read Last Week:




What I’m Reading at the Moment:


Up Next:

Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 21/11/16

As of today I have a few days off, but it might be spent catching up on sleep! I’ve learned that there is a limit of 14-16 hour days I can do in a row, but I had a load of fun. I only read about 22 pages a day last week, so I didn’t finish any books. This week I also hope to take advantage of the various summer reading guides and discount days of bookshops.

Some fantastic people sent me some books to enforce proper R&R, which was a lovely treat. Thank you!

Paris Lights by C.J. Duggan was a surprise from Hachette. This book is out in December and looks brilliant as a summer (or any time, really) read. It’s about Claire who gets dumped in Paris but decides to take fate in her own hands by getting a job in a hotel restaurant. There she finds the slightly terrifying Louis Delarue, who isn’t going to be a flash in the pan…

The Slow Waltz of Turtles by Katherine Pancol (translated from the French by William Rodarmor) is the sequel to The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles. Josephine is divorced after her husband ran away to start a crocodile farm, but if that’s not enough, her sister has her entangled in some messy lies. Plus her neighbourhood is getting weird and creepy – but Josephine will push on, just like a turtle. Many thanks to Allen & Unwin and Bookstr for the ARC (available January 2017).

Daintree by Annie Seaton (released 29th November) is set in the rainforest of Queensland. Doctor Emma Porter has made a quiet life up north, which is disrupted when her first love comes to town. Add in people looking to exploit their peaceful world, and there’s going to be some drama! Thanks Pan Macmillan!

The Liberation by Kate Furnivall (out January 2017) in set in Italy, 1945. The country is devastated post war, and life is tough for Caterina in Naples. After her father is accused of treason, she will do anything to clear his name. It seems like there are just as many enemies after the end of hostilities… Thanks to Simon & Schuster.

Christmas Under the Stars by Karen Swan (released 29th November by Pan Macmillan) has a perfect Christmas setting, the Canadian Rockies. Meg and Mitch are planning their wedding in the snow but devastating events mean that Meg’s future changes in an instant. A voice on the radio seems to know her better than her friends, but how is this possible?

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.

What I Read Last Week:


What I’m Reading at the Moment:



Up Next:

So many options! One of these or one of the library books I borrowed.

Guest Post: Fleur McDonald, author of Sapphire Falls, talks Christmas traditions

Today I’m delighted to welcome Fleur McDonald to Sam Still Reading. Fleur is the author of Sapphire Falls, which I would have read by now had I not shown it to my mother, who promptly took off with it to read. (She says it’s brilliant with unexpected twists and turns by the way). Fleur is talking about Christmas traditions today, so I’ll stop typing and let her take over. Many thanks Fleur!

Christmas Traditions

By Fleur McDonald

Well here we are at that time of year again… The Festive Season. Or is does this line make you want to scream?

My local supermarket has been decorated with tinsel and Santa’s for the last three weeks – much to my horror. Has anyone got ANY idea HOW much I have to do between now and Christmas? I’m sure you’re all the same.

Then there’s the dreaded Christmas present shop… What to get everyone, do you put a price limit on so on and so forth.

We all live in such an instant society I think the Christmas Wish List we had when I was a kid, is a thing of the past. Especially when I ask my kids what they want and they can’t tell me.

I always had a huge Christmas Wish List. It consisted of… wait for it, I’m sure you’ll die of shock!

Books and Earrings.

True! That’s all I ever wanted. Father Christmas would load my sack up with around four or five books every year, plus a few little incidentals like blank tapes so I could record music from the radio (yes, that’s showing my age isn’t it!) Then under the tree would be a small parcel that contained earrings.

*Sigh * Happiness abounds!

I’m still really easily pleased – books. Although I have so many earrings now, I don’t need any more!

My Christmas wish list is the new Michael Connelly and Lee Child books. Do you have books on your list?

(At the risk of being VERY forward, Sapphire Falls will be out in time to make a great Chrissie present!)

The best thing about books, as any mum will know, is they don’t require batteries. Now there’s a whole different topic! Am I the only one who, when my kids were small, went to the shops before the big day and bought different types of batteries in anticipation of the noisy, ridiculous presents that people WITHOUT kids give to our children? The kids have a fabulous time ripping off the wrapping before ending in tears because there are no batteries with the present and it can’t make as much noise as it has the potential to…

Well, as December bears down on us, my wish for you all during this time is that you all experience love and laughter. You enjoy your family, the traditions you’ve made. Maybe even make some new ones.

Wishing you all a Merry (reading) Christmas and wonderful, safe, healthy and happy 2017.

Sapphire Falls by Fleur McDonald is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.

You can find Sapphire Falls for purchase here:

And please drop by some (or all) of the other stops on the blog tour!

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Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 17/10/16

And another Monday rolls around…I’m looking forward to some warm weather! Last week wasn’t super exciting but I did manage to read nearly two books. That’s pretty good for me at the moment!

I received two books in the mail which both look great – should sustain me while I don’t have time for shopping. (Plus, the library is refusing to reserve any books for me online until I present myself physically to prove I exist!)

Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the beautifully wrapped copy of Fleur McDonald’s
Sapphire Falls
(out 26th October). This is a rural Australian story about Fiona, who is devastated after the loss of her husband and his mate. But when a detective arrives in town, he finds there may be more to it as Fiona deals with a number of issues on the farm. Will they both get what they want?

The cute cover belongs to We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk (thanks Harper Collins). This story looks fun as Adam and Liv battle through an accidental break up – how does this differ from a split? Can they see other people? Do family and friends have the right to offer their opinions? But most importantly, what do Liv and Adam want?

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.

What I Read Last Week:



What I’m Reading at the Moment:



Up Next:


Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 26/9/16

Yay, it’s a public holiday here today! A good thing, because I’ve been too busy to write my post on Sunday like I usually do. I went to the Perth Royal Show, which was fun. I ate a lot, but didn’t buy any show bags. I also had a good time checking out the exhibits (which involved a bit more food). One of my birds was also sick, but he’s hopefully on the mend now. He had us worried!

I didn’t do any shopping this week, so I’m thankful for the books that arrived in the mail over the past week.

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church was a prize from Harper Collins. The birds on the cover mean this book was made for me! The main character, Meridian studied ornithology in the 1940s and fell in love with a physics professor. When he is recruited to Los Alamos, her plans fall awry as she becomes a wife rather than a scientist. But over the years, she struggles to become free, even though it will make enemies…

Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz was a prize from Harlequin Australia and Goodreads. I was struck by the map of Australia on the cover. It’s a YA novel about Jasmine, who does her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is on her way to receiving a full college scholarship. But then it’s revealed that her parents arrived in the country illegally and that the whole family could be deported.

I also received a final copy of Goodwood by Holly Throsby from Allen & Unwin. I can’t wait to read this small town story where two people disappear suddenly. Secrets rise to the surface as the town speculates as to what has happened.

Thank you all!

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.

What I Read Last Week:



What I’m Reading at the Moment:


Up Next:

I think I will be guided by my mood…

Guest post: Jessica Whitman, author of Wild One and giveaway

Jessica Whitman is the author of new release Wild One (Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, now available), second in the Polo Season series. (The first book, High Season, has received rave reviews). It’s a fun and sexy story about following your passions and finding love. Today, I’m pleased to welcome Jessica to Sam Still Reading to talk about when she knew she wanted to be a writer. Thanks Jessica!

I KNEW I WANTED TO BE A WRITER WHEN…

By Jessica Whitman

I was an early and voracious reader when I was a child. The kind of kid who used to bump into telephone poles walking home from school because I couldn’t put my book down long enough to even make it from point A to point B. One day, I found myself staying with my grandmother, who lived in a tiny town and had a rather limited library in her home. This was, of course, pre-Kindle, pre-internet, pre-everything. I had read and re-read all her Reader’s Digests, and I was bored and desperate. So I decided to write my own story. Something I would like to read. Because I couldn’t stand the idea that I was out of words. And, being an adolescent girl, I chose to write a love story. It all started there…

Thanks Jessica! I’m very glad that you grew up pre-internet and Kindle, otherwise we may not have your books to keep us readers going! If you’re interested in learning more about Wild One, you can check it out via these retailers:

You can also connect with the publisher, Allen & Unwin via many forms of social media:

Twitter: @AllenAndUnwin

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/AllenandUnwinBooks/

WordPress:
www.thingsmadefromletters.com

Instagram: @allenandunwin

for book talk and book pics.

Giveaway Time!

Thanks to Allen & Unwin, I have two copies of Wild One to giveaway! Winners must live in Australia and provide a name and street address to receive their book. Just leave a comment on this post about the last book that had you so engrossed that you couldn’t put it down. Entries will close on 17th September at 11:59pm GMT +8. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply with their name and street address otherwise another winner will be drawn. Copies will be sent by the publisher. I am not responsible for lost books in the mail.

And finally, do drop by some of the other blog tour posts-

Blog Tour for Jessica Whitman’s Wild One

Just a quick post to tell you all about the blog tour that’s coming up for Jessica Whitman’s Wild One in conjunction with the kind, cake-eating people at Allen & Unwin (seriously, check out their Instagram and Twitter for cake goodness!) The book is now available (released on the 24th August, RRP $29.99) and has the approval of the hottest polo player on earth, Nacho Figueras. So while you’re waiting for my post on the 10th, why not drop by some of the other blogs?

Or, you can read more about the book here. If you like Jilly Cooper, polo or romance, this is a great book.

Mailbox Monday and What I’m Reading 22/8/16

I didn’t have much time for book shopping last week (and looking at my diary, not much time coming up in the next fortnight) so I was super happy to get book love in the mail this week! Every single one of these books looks fantastic and I’m desperate to get to them. (I may not have done much reading this weekend due to close following of the Romance Writers of Australia’s conference on Twitter – #RWAus16).

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne has had rave reviews from everyone I know who had read it. It’s a love-hate work relationship between Lucy and Joshua but there is no way Lucy is going to lose any of these games. Now it’s time for the biggest game but maybe it’s not hate, but something else… Thanks to Hachette Australia for the copy.

The Fence by Meredith Jaffe is about neighbours and the turf wars (or in this case, fence wars) that can arise. Gwen is up for war when new resident Frankie suggests a fence between their properties that would destroy Gwen’s perfect yard – there’s nothing neighbourly in this feud. Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the book, which is released on 30th August.

Thanks to Allen and Unwin for the following four books, all released this Wednesday. I adore Maggie Joel’s books, so I am thrilled to see she has a new book out. The Safest Place in London takes place during World War II as two mothers and their daughters shelter in a tube station. During wartime, everyone is looking to keep them and their loved ones safe, even at the expense of others.

People tease me for my love of Japanese fiction in translation, but who could resist the cover of The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami (translated by Allison Markin Powell)? Hitomi takes a job at Mr Nakano’s shop to find that not only does every piece have meaning, but that it’s home to many characters.

Finding Sanity: John Cade, Lithium and the Taming of Bipolar Disorder by Greg De Moore and Ann Westmore is how John Cade, recently returned POW and doctor worked on treatment for bipolar disorder in a disused kitchen. There, he discovered lithium – which is still commonly used today. I’m kind of ashamed that I didn’t know that lithium treatment was discovered by an Australian prior to this.

Jessica Whitman’s Wild One is a sexy, scandalous novel set in the high glamour world of polo. Kat Parker is a former Hollywood It Girl who meets Sebastian Del Campo, star polo player who doesn’t have his heart in the sport. Together, they decide that Seb’s grandmother’s story is perfect for a Hollywood screenplay. But will their connection make or break their careers? This book is part of the Polo Season series (introduced by Nacho Figueras).

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.

What I Read Last Week:


What I’m Reading at the Moment:

Up Next:

One of the above!