Friday 31 May 2019

Book Review: Flight Risk by Michael McGuire

Flight Risk
Michael McGuire

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: 1st January 2019
RRP: $29.99 AUD
Pages: 304
Format Read: Uncorrected proof paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

Disgraced former pilot Ted Anderson works for a top-secret government organisation set up to investigate terror-related incidents. Sent to Jakarta to find out as much as he can about the pilot of a vanished Garuda flight, he discovers a flight simulator in the pilot's apartment.

When the investigation turns sour, Ted escapes to New York as further disaster strikes.

Another plane disappears from the sky. Then another. Three planes and hundreds of passengers and crew, vanished, without a trace. Panic is widespread and the world is teetering on the brink.

Still no one has come forward to claim responsibility.

At an eerily deserted JFK airport trying to get a flight back home, Ted witnesses a suspicious exchange between an airport cleaner and a nonchalant airline pilot. He follows the pilot to his destination: a Ukraine International Airlines flight, due to leave in an hour.

All his instincts tell Ted that this is the next plane to go down. But what on earth can he do? Take the flight and face almost certain death? Or fly back home and wait for the news headlines?

He does the unthinkable and gets on the plane.

Flight Risk is an action packed and thought provoking thriller.

Ted Anderson had all the makings of the perfect Secret Service Agent; self loathing, dead wife, estranged child, inflated ego, ex alcoholic, disregard for authority and breaker of rules. I knew straight away this guy was going to make dangerous decisions and put his life on the line.

A plane travelling from Sydney to Jakarta goes missing, disappears off the face of the Earth as far as satellite and radar reading are concerned.
Ted is sent to Western Australia to investigate but not happy with waiting around while official channels are searching for crash refuse he heads to Jakarta to search the home of the pilot.
This triggers a roller coaster of events that see Ted in life or death situations on more than one occasion.

The danger and the tempo heats up as Ted fights for his life and the lives of thousands of people around the world.

I really enjoyed this novel from the building of the mystery to the adrenaline filled suspense and danger to the laugh out loud humour.
The character of Ted Anderson was wonderfully drawn from his dry sense of humour and disrespect for everything and everyone to his emotional remorse over his wife’s death and the estrangement of his daughter.

I had some of the best quotes pulled from the book but as I read an uncorrected proof copy these quotes are unquotable. :( So I recommend you buy a copy and have a laugh, hold your breath, close your eyes and be amazed by the sheer courage and endurance of Aussie spy Ted Anderson.

Flight Risk is a riveting read! I’m looking forward to more adrenaline filled reading from Michael McGuire and hope to see Ted Anderson back on the page again.

My rating  4/5

*this review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
and Letter 'F' in the 2019 A-Z challenge

  Born in Glasgow in 1971, Michael McGuire moved to South Australia with his family at the age of 10.

Michael has worked as a journalist in Sydney and Adelaide for The Australian, The Sunday Mail and The Advertiser, with a couple of forays into the state and federal politics as an advisor.

Michael is married to Rachel and they have two children, Tom and Ruby. Never a True Word, his first novel, is a satire about politics and was published in March 2017 by Wakefield Press.



Monday 27 May 2019

Mailbox Monday - May 27th

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog. Head over and check out other books received during the last week. 

Happy Monday! 

We decided to go on a bush walk yesterday to get out in nature and enjoy some time away from technology (and books).
It was a beautiful warm autumn day and we walked three trails, one easy and two moderate, which was a total of two hours walking time.
The  40 hectares of land was dedicated as a state forest in 1939. This land is right in the middle of high density population only 15 minutes drive from my home and we are so lucky to have these areas to roam and connect with nature. The land also has a plant nursery and a cafe. So naturally we had to stop for lunch.


The food was quite interesting with black sourdough bread accompanying my soup and a black burger bun but it was all quite tasty.

Books  received during the past week:

Received through Beauty & Lace Book Club

Mr Right Now by Karly Lane

Griffin Callahan and Olivia Dawson were inseparable. Everyone in town knew it. But when Griff went off to Ag College, Liv told him it was over and fled her family's farm to study law. Griff had never understood her reasons but eventually accepted that first loves don't last. Until now.

Currently back on the farm to help her twin brother with the harvest, Liv is the same gorgeous, laughing, hazel-eyed girl he'd always loved. Yet Griff can sense a difference, an uncertainty playing beneath the surface that wasn't there before.

Amidst crossed wires, drunken declarations, and families on a mission, will Griff and Liv finally have a second chance? Or will the old saying - If you love someone set them free - become their reality?

Received from the publisher for review:

 Devil's Lair by Sarah Barrie

After the violent death of her husband, Callie Jones retreats to a cottage in the grounds of an old mansion in Tasmania. The relative remoteness of the place and the wild beauty of the Tasmanian landscape are a balm to her shattered nerves and the locals seem friendly, particularly horseman Connor Atherton and his siblings at the nearby property, Calico Lodge.
But all is not well: the old mansion has a sinister past, one associated with witchcraft and murder. As Callie is threatened by odd events in the night and strange dreams overtake her sleep, she begins to doubt her own sanity. What's really going on beneath the surface of this apparently peaceful town? Are her friends and neighbours really who they seem? As events escalate, Callie starts to realise that the mansion may hold the key to unlocking the mystery, but the truth might have as much power to destroy as it does to save.

Wild and Crazy Guys by Nick De Semlyen

Wild and Crazy Guys is the larger-than-life story of the much-loved Hollywood comedy stars that ruled the 1980s.

As well as delving behind the scenes of classic movies such as Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places and dozens more, it chronicles the off-screen, larger-than-life antics of Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, John Candy et al. It’s got drugs, sex, punch-ups, webbed toes and Bill Murray being pushed into a swimming pool by Hunter S Thompson, while tied to a lawn chair.

It’s akin to Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, following the key players through their highs and lows, and their often turbulent relationships with each other. Nick de Semlyen has already interviewed pretty much all the big names for Empire, as well as directors such as Walter Hill, John Landis and Carl Reiner, and is sitting on lots of unseen material.

Taking you on a trip through the tumultous ’80s, Wild And Crazy Guys explores the friendships, feuds, triumphs and disasters experienced by these iconic funnymen. Based on candid interviews from the stars themselves, as well as those who entered their orbit, it reveals the hidden history behind the most fertile period ever for screen comedy.

What Books did your postman deliver, or you downloaded, this week?

Post a link to your Mailbox Monday or simply list your books in the comments below.


Sunday 26 May 2019

Storybook Corner Book Review: Jacob's Toys (Children's Picture Book) + related children's craft

Jacob's Toys
Claudia  Woods

Publisher: Harbour Publishing House 
Publication date: 1st May 2018
Series: #1 The Big Backyard Adventure 
Pages: 32
RRP: $16.99 AUD
Format read: softcover
Source: Courtesy of the author

First to flee were Ted and Dupree, then Tessa Turtle, Poncho and Mousy Dundee. Not far behind was the smallest of all, the teeny tiny reindeer that Jacob called Paul.
Jacob tells his mother that he is too old for soft toys and he wants to give them away. His mother washes them and hangs them on the line to dry. But wild weather sets the toys free and sends them on an exciting adventure across the garden.
What will become of the toys? Will they make it to their new home safely? Will Jacob realise he will never be too old for his soft toy friends?
Celebrating the concepts of friendship and loyalty, Jacob’s Toys is a heart-warming story for both young and old, which reminds us of the magic of childhood. The simple rhyming text encourages early readers’ efforts and makes it ideal for reading out loud to pre and early readers. It features stunning illustrations that bring the story to life.

Jacob’s Toys is a gorgeous collage picture book for ages 2+

Jacob decides he is too big for his soft toys so before finding them a new home they are washed and hung on the clothes line. A storm blows up and the toys are blown off the line.
We follow the toys, in a melodic rhyme and repetition of the six toys names, as they go on a wondrous adventure.
Each page is beautifully depicted in colourful collage materials and hiding on each page is a special insect to find.

Woods manipulates the text to emphasise the story using variations in size, colour and special effects to match the meaning of the word and in turn encourages the reader to change expression according to the text (loud and bold or tiny).

At five, Dot is the perfect age to understand the meaning behind the story and enjoyed the toys adventure and the added bonus of the look and find throughout the pages.

My favourite children’s picture book is Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker and I am happy to say that Jacob’s Toys is up there with this brilliant book.

We have read this book many times over the last few weeks and sometimes just enjoyed looking through the pictures. We are eagerly looking forward to the second book in the Jacob’s Toys series.


Rated by Dot & Jay   5/5

*this review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
and book #20 in the Australian Women Writers challenge
Letter 'J' in the 2019 A-Z challenge

Dot's favourite page was all the toys hanging on the clothes line. There was Ted, Dupree, Tess Turtle, Poncho, Mousy Dundee and teeny-tiny Paul.  

We decided to recreate the scene with our own collage materials that we collected from the backyard and the craft box. 

Dot thought she might add a few more artistic elements to finish it off. 

Claudia resides on the South Coast of NSW with her partner Peter. Drawing and creativity have always been an important part of her life. 

Claudia first became interested in writing and illustrating children’s stories whilst studying Primary education at university, with one of her early assignments being to write a children’s story. She enjoyed the creative process so much that she knew from that time, she wanted to have her own work published. For the past nine years Claudia has worked as an Early Childhood Educator where she loves sharing stories with the children and seeing them captivated by beautiful illustrations. 

The adventure of Jacob’s Toys was inspired by Claudia's son Jacob. Claudia is currently working on the next book in the Jacobs toys series.