Friday, 31 May 2019

Book Review: Flight Risk (Suspense/ Thriller)

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

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.


Blog Tour Author Guest Post: Rina Z Neiman

Born Under Fire

Today's guest on The Burgeoning Bookshelf is author Rina Z Neiman. Rina's debut novel Born Under Fire was published in 2018 and here she tells us why she decided to blend her mother's biography into a fictional tale and when to dramatize real events.

Guest post:

My novel, Born Under Fire, is based on the life of my mother, Shulamit Dubno Neiman. She was born in Israel in 1928 when the area was under the British Mandate of Palestine. Unfortunately, she died when I was 11, so I was never able to ask her detailed questions about the stories of her life. And sadly, by the time I was born, her whole immediate family was gone.

At first I tried for a true biography, but when it proved to be too difficult to find and verify the facts, I decided to go the fiction route. It also gave me the opportunity to tell a larger story, that of the steps that led to establishment of the State of Israel, and the unique Sabra generation, of which my mother was one.

Writing historical fiction gave me the opportunity to dramatize real events that illustrated the story that I wanted to tell, and choose specific events that worked with the character’s storylines.

For example:
·         The famous Exodus ship loaded with hundreds of refugees was in port in July 1947. This particular ship and the incidents surrounding it were important in turning world opinion in favor of the Jewish settlers, and the founding of the State of Israel. I knew that the main character and her brother were traveling at that time and learned that the boat was not visible from the harbor, when one of the characters goes by. Not seeing a boat is not that interesting, so the story of the Exodus follows them through their trip.

·         The bombing of the ship the Altalena was another turning point in the historical timeline, so I placed the main character experience in the aftermath of the devastating news. 

·         The great composer and conductor, Leonard Bernstein, played a concert in the desert that was incredibly dramatic. I have my character, also a musician, attend the concert, and that experience solidifies her path in life.

Historical fiction provided me with a clear framework and timeline of events. The biographical information that I had gave me a path for the characters stories. In each case, I picked events that would dramatize the journey of both the main character and the historical period that I wrote about. 

About the author:

Rina Z. Neiman is a writer, event producer and public relations professional. Born Under Fire is based on the true story of her mother, Shulamit Dubno Neiman, a Sabra, a musician and one of the first generation of modern-day Israelis. Rina lives in Marin County, California with her husband and son. This is her first novel.
You may find out more about the author and her book by visiting the website Also, you may find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

About the book:

Born Under Fire is a historical novel that tells the story of a girl coming of age and her drive to excel despite the devastating effects of long-term war. Born in Jerusalem under British rule in 1928, Shula grows up in a world in turmoil as Hitler rises to power and nations enter into war. Amid a landscape of ancient stone ruins next to modern Bauhaus architecture, and desert scrub ending at newly verdant farmlands, Shula grows into her independence as the State of Israel is born. Based on historical documents and events, Born Under Fire is also about the context surrounding the founding of the State of Israel, as well as the horrors and dangers of growing up in a conflict zone. Shula battles grief and depression due to the shattering events affecting her, her family, and the entire world. Despite this struggle, her resilient spirit enables her to reach great heights as a concert pianist..

Print Length: 258 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-13: 978-1986349147
ISBN-10: 1986349144

Born Under Fire is now available to purchase on AmazonBarnes and Noble,

Blog Tour Dates

May 20th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin! So, grab your coffee and join us today as we celebrate the launch of Rina Z. Neiman's book Born Under Fire. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

May 21st @ Karen Brown Tyson Blog
Make sure you stop by Karen's blog today where you can read Rina Z. Neiman's guest post about how to manage time and distractions during the book writing process. If you are writing a book - or thinking about writing one - this one is a post you don't want to miss!

May 22nd @ Coffee with Lacey
Grab some coffee and visit Lacey's blog today where you can read her review about Rina Z. Neiman's book Born Under Fire.

May 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey
Stop by Lacey's blog again where you can read the author Rina Z. Neiman's guest post about why researching primary sources is so effective.

May 23rd @ Bri's Book Nook
Looking for a new book? Make sure to stop by Bri's Book Nook and find out why you need to add Rina Z. Neiman's book Born Under Fire to your reading list.

May 24th @ One Sister's Journey
Today is a can't miss review by Lisa over at One Sister's Journey blog. She's sharing her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman's historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

May 26th @ Reading Whale
You won't want to miss today's stop at the blog Reading Whale where you can read this Rina Z. Neiman's guest post about when you can finally start writing your book after all that research.

May 27th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf
Fill your bookshelf with good books! Stop by Veronica's blog and read author Rina Z. Neiman's guest post about writing biographical fiction and when to dramatize real events.

May 28th @ Helen Hollick's World of Books
Join Helen Hollick's Tuesday Talk over at her blog and read Rina Z. Neiman's guest post about how videos can reinforce your historical novel.

May 28th @ Book Collab Blog
Make sure you stop by Morgan's blog Book Collab where you can find out what she has to say about Rina Z. Neiman's historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

May 29th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
If you love historical fiction, make sure you visit Anthony Avina's blog today where he features author Rina Z. Neiman's blog post about how she researched her historical fiction novel Born Under Fire. You won't want to miss this!

May 31st @ Jess Reading Blog
Are you interested in writing history for young adults? If you are, you will absolutely want to visit Jess' blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman talks about writing history for young adults and what grabs them and what loses them.

June 1st @ The World of My Imagination
Come by Nicole's blog today where you can read her review of Rina Z. Neiman's book Born Under Fire and enter to win a copy of the book.

June 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Can't resist a good book? Visit author Anthony Avina's blog today when he reviews Rina Z. Neiman's incredible historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

June 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Looking for your next great read? Make sure you stop by Bev's blog today and catch her opinion on this fascinating historical fiction novel Born Under Fire.

June 4th @ Amanda Diaries
Today's stop is at Amanda's blog where you can read what she thinks about Rina Z. Neiman's historical fiction book Born Under Fire. 

June 5th @ The Frugalista Mom
Visit Rozelyn's blog today where you can not only read her review of Born Under Fire but also enter to win a copy of the book!

June 7th @ Bookworm Blog
Feeling bookish today? Make sure you stop by Anjanette's Bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman's powerful historical fiction book Born Under Fire plus read an interview with the author.

June 8th @ Jessica's Reading Room
Today's tour stop is a fantastic guest post written by author Rina Z. Neiman about how to make stories interactive. A must-read for all the writers out there!

June 9th @ Jess Bookish Life
Need a new book in your life? Stop by Jess' blog today where she shares her opinion about the historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

June 10th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Are you doing research for your novel? Make sure you visit Bev's blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman is talking about top 5 ways to research secondary sources.

June 12th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Get to know author Rina Z. Neiman at today's stop over at author Anthony Avina's blog where he interviews the author.

June 14th @ Bookworm Blog
Visit Anjanette's blog today and read a guest post by the author who talks about making your story interactive and why adding music is so effective.

June 15th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi's blog at Strength 4 Spouses where you can read Rina Z. Neiman's guest post about the importance of writing during deployment.

June 17th @ 12 Books
Visit Louise's blog over at 12 Books and find out her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman's book Born Under Fire.

June 21st @ Choices Blog
Interviewing someone for your book? Make sure you visit Madeline Sharples' blog today where Rina Z. Neiman talks about how to conduct interviews with people who are (and who are not) willing to talk with you.

June 23rd @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog
Need a new book? Make sure you stop by Wendi's blog where she reviews Born Under Fire by Rina Z. Neiman.