05 February 2016

Review and Giveaway of Missing by Melanie Casey is today's Friday Freebie

* Copy courtesy of Pantera Press

Missing by Australian author Melanie Casey is the third in the Cass Lehman series based in Adelaide and I've been waiting for it to come out for what seems like a-g-e-s.

I easily slipped straight back into the lives of Cass and Detective Dyson and the novel can easily be read as a standalone for those new to the author. 

The case Dyson was investigating piqued my interest and the dialogue between those on the case (especially Dyson's supervisor Crackers) is often laugh out loud funny. Combine this crime plot with the overarching relationship between Cass and her family (mother and grandmother) and Cass and Dyson, add a dollop of suspense and a pinch of psychic power and you have a ripping read.

Sometimes a crime series can run out of steam or lose it's original shine after a while however this is definitely not the the case here; in fact, I didn't want it to end. The characters in Missing are familiar but not predictable and just to prove it, the ending made me exclaim out loud in surprise. It's not a 'twist' in the way of a psychological thriller, just something I never saw coming and had to go back a few chapters to enjoy again.

My only gripe is that author Melanie Casey indicated in her acknowledgements at the end of Missing that she's saying goodbye to the series for a while in favour of writing something else. All I can say to that is: nnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I need to know what Cass does next, so my fingers are tightly crossed she comes back to this series in the future.

Missing was released last week and is now available in stores. Or you can enter my giveaway below to WIN a copy.


My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!

Click here to read a FREE extract of Missing by Melanie Casey.

Giveaway


02 February 2016

Blog Tour & Review: All That Is Lost Between Us by Sara Foster

Available February 2016
* Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster *

11 Ways to Read a Book: All That Is Lost Between Us Blog Tour

About the Book
Seventeen-year-old Georgia has a secret – one that is isolating her from everyone she loves. She is desperate to tell her best friend, but Sophia is ignoring her, and she doesn’t know why. And before she can find out, Sophia is left fighting for her life after a hit and run, with Georgia a traumatised witness.

As a school psychologist, Georgia’s mother Anya should be used to dealing with scared adolescents. However, it’s very different when the girl who needs help is your own child. Meanwhile, Georgia’s father is wracked with a guilt he can’t share; and when Zac, Georgia’s younger brother, stumbles on an unlikely truth, the family relationships really begin to unravel.

Georgia’s secret is about to go viral. And yet, it will be the stranger heading for the family home who will leave her running through the countryside into terrible danger. Can the Turner family rise above the lies they have told to betray or protect one another, in order to fight for what matters most of all?

Set against the stark, rugged beauty of England’s Lake District, All That is Lost Between Us is a timeless thriller with a modern twist.

My Review
Australian author Sara Foster has given us a suspenseful and emotive read in All That is Lost Between Us, set in the evocative landscape of the Lake District in England.

The Turners (Georgia, Zac, mother Anya and father Callum) are an average family trying to deal with their own personal problems and issues while doing a somewhat poor job of being united; instead seemingly isolated from each other.

The dialogue between the characters was realistic and very contemporary, and the unique use of mobile phone conversations to progress the story and deliver some of the key plot lines was fresh and entertaining. Told from different character's points of view, the reader gains a deeper understanding of the motives of each family member and how quickly things can go wrong.

There's a hit and run mystery begging to be solved, Georgia's secret begging to be revealed and the reader hoping Callum and Anya will work through their estrangement in time to save their family.

All That is Lost Between Us is a suspenseful tale about family dynamics, love, lies and trust and to celebrate this blog tour, I've created a Pinterest board so feel free to check it out before and after you read the book and let me know what you think. (I had fun putting it together for the blog tour).

My rating = ***1/2

Carpe Librum!
Check out some of the other stops on the blog tour.

30 January 2016

Winner of the 2016 Australia Day Book Giveaway Announced

I had a great response to my Australia Day Book Giveaway this year, so thanks to everyone who entered and Shelleyrae from Book'd Out for organising this great bookish event. 

I loved reading through your entries with a total of 57 different books mentioned and 77 entries received. Bruce made me laugh with this cheeky entry: I will be reading the Boomerang Books website in anticipation of winning $50 to spend! Thanks for the giveaway :D

Nevertheless, there can be only one winner, so congratulations go to:

Danielle Burns

Congratulations Danielle, you've won a $50 book voucher from Boomerang Books and you'll receive an email shortly advising of your win.


Thanks to Boomerang Books for sponsoring this giveaway and to you for your support. I hope 2016 is full of great books, new discoveries and captivating stories.

Carpe Librum!

28 January 2016

Review: Milk Eggs Vodka - Grocery Lists Lost and Found by Bill Keaggy

Milk Eggs Vodka - Grocery Lists Lost and Found by Bill Keaggy is just that, a book containing all kinds of shopping lists that have been found in shopping trolleys, shopping centres and car parks all over the USA.

This collection isn't for everyone, but it does give the reader a unique glimpse into the minds of shoppers. Some of the spelling mistakes made me laugh out loud (burd fude anyone?) but I also enjoyed the categories Keaggy sorted his lists into.

Some of the chapters included:
- Paar-ty!
- Sad Grocery Lists
- Badd Spellrs
- Organized Lists
- Healthy (and Hygienic) Lists

The strange combination of items together on the same list were interesting, although the novelty does wear off by the end.

This is a good book to read while watching TV; or in my case, during the ads while watching the Australian Open.

A book to flick through at the library but not one to buy.

My rating = **

Carpe Librum!

24 January 2016

Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop 2016

It's Australia Day soon and I'm participating in the 2015 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop for the fourth year in a row.

The event is being hosted online by Book'd Out, and there are currently 35 Aussie bloggers, authors, booksellers and publishers offering great Australian themed giveaways and FREE stuff!

Boomerang Books is generously sponsoring my blog hop this year to give you the chance to WIN:

A $50 gift voucher from Boomerang Books.

To Enter: leave a comment in the form below and tell me what you're reading this Australia Day. 

Eligibility: open to those with an Australian postal address only and entries close at midnight, Wednesday 27th January 2016.

Winner: will be chosen by random.org and announced within 5 days and notified of their win via email. The winner will also be announced here on Carpe Librum in a follow up post.

Once you've entered, please click here to find other exciting Aussie giveaways on offer.

Happy Australia Day and Carpe Librum!

Giveaway

20 January 2016

Review: 438 Days - An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea by Jonathan Franklin

* Copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia *

Experienced fisherman Salvador Alvarenga was lost off the coast of Mexico on 17 November 2012, and while many of his colleagues and friends were in disbelief about his disappearance, none could have imagined he would survive 438 days at sea and drift all the way to the Marshall Islands.

438 Days - An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea is a story of extreme survival, at times awe-inspiring and full of hope but also full of desperation, depression and grief.

If you want to know what Salvador eats to survive and how his body copes with severe dehydration and starvation, you'll find it here. You'll also discover how he copes with the isolation, loneliness, the endless hours and emotional strain of his ordeal.

This novel also highlights just how much rubbish is floating in the ocean and how Salvador used everything he could find to aid his survival, creating his own little eco system around his boat.

438 Days covers the mental, physical and emotional toll on Alvarenga's body, including his terrifying rescue and seeing another human being for the first time in more than a year.

Moving and inspiring, author Jonathan Franklin has really delivered on this one.


My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!

18 January 2016

Guest Post: What We Remember by Australian author Sally Hepworth

Australian author
Sally Hepworth
Very pleased to have Melbourne author Sally Hepworth on the blog today, as part of her blog tour for the release of The Things We Keep. She's here today to talk about memories.

What We Remember
What if everything that had happened in your life was suddenly wiped out? Literally, through a case of amnesia, or figuratively, if you found out something you valued was a lie?

I’ve thought about this a lot. While watching the news, I’ll see the wife of a politician who couldn’t keep it in his pants, or an ex-cult member escaping a life she was born into and think … how do you go on now? 

Who are we without our fundamental beliefs, beliefs created over a lifetime? 

A few years ago, my friend’s father had what their family now calls an ‘episode.’ His assistant found him wandering around the office, disoriented and agitated. When his family arrived and tried speaking to him, he asked them: “What day is it?”
“Tuesday, dad,” they told him.
“Tuesday,” he repeated, frowning deeply. “Did I play golf this morning?”
“Yes.” 
A coy smile. “How’d I play?”

It was funny, the first time. But over the next twelve hours they had the same conversation a hundred times. Verbatim. Same deep frown, same coy smile. 

My friend’s father’s ‘episode’ was Global Transient Amnesia. Thankfully, the transient part meant that by the next day, he was back to normal.

The interesting part for me was that for twenty-four hours, his short-term memory was less than a minute long. Yet, every time he asked the same series of questions. The exact same series. It spoke to me about memory and its role in who we are. It led me to wonder if maybe, memory isn’t as important as we think.

The Things We Keep
by Sally Hepworth
published January 2016
In my novel, The Things We Keep, three women find they can’t trust their memories. For Anna, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at age 38, it is learning that all of her memories are being sucked out faster than she can create them. For Eve, once happily married, it’s coming to terms with the fact that her husband wasn’t the person she thought he was. For Clementine, Eve’s daughter, it is trying to grieve for her ‘hero’ father while dealing with the realization that he wasn’t a hero at all. 

Each woman is faced with a reality she didn’t expect. And with nothing but unreliable memories to lean on, Anna, Eve and Clementine are going to find out who they are and what they stand for.

What about you? If you lost your memory, do you think you would you be the same? And what conversation would you be having over and over?

Sally Hepworth