Monday, 7 January 2019

Mailbox Monday - Jan 7th




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.





I received this gorgeous boxed set of Advanced Reader Copies from Simon & Schuster, due to be published in February 2019. The set are uncorrected proof copies and come with proof covers (not the final covers to be released in the shops). I adore proof covers they are always so stunningly simple but draw the eye. These three are no exception. Below are the published covers.



Back cover blurb

Germany, 1943: Twenty-six-year-old Rosa Sauer's parents are gone, and her husband Gregor is far away, fighting on the front lines of WWII. Impoverished and alone, she makes the fateful decision to leave war-torn Berlin to live with her in-laws in the countryside, thinking she'll find refuge there. But one morning, the SS come to tell her she has been conscripted to be one of Hitler's tasters: three times a day, she and nine other women go to his secret headquarters, the Wolf's Lair, to eat his meals before he does. Forced to eat what might kill them, the tasters begin to divide into The Fanatics, those loyal to Hitler, and the women like Rosa who insist they aren't Nazis, even as they risk their lives every day for Hitler's.

As secrets and resentments grow, this unlikely sisterhood reaches its own dramatic climax. What's more, one of Rosa's SS guards has become dangerously familiar, and the war is worsening outside. As the months pass, it becomes increasingly clear that Rosa and everyone she knows are on the wrong side of history.

Back cover blurb

In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first year student stumbles into her bedroom, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. 

She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital.

Then a second girl falls asleep, and a third, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. 

As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned. 

 Back cover blurb


What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?

How far would you go to save someone you loved?
 
These are just two of the fateful choices a woman must face in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.

At the core of the enigmatic Stella’s story, past and present, is a mystery she is compelled to solve, a beautiful young woman who went missing fifty years ago – and a tragedy much closer to home she must try to prevent.

As Stella unravels the dark secrets of her family's past and her own, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make every day can change our future irrevocably.

This utterly original, gripping and mind-bending tale will stay with you long after the last page.



 What's arrived in my inbox this week

I  received this eBook through Rachelle's newsletter. She often offers free and discounted books to her newsletter subscribers. You can subscribe on her website https://rachellechristensen.com/

Back cover blurb

When Lexi Burke escaped the remnants of a cold winter in Chicago for the beaches of Kauai, it wasn’t a random vacation. She left the hectic pace of Burke Enterprises behind with enough money to retire at age thirty-two, intent on settling into the idyllic existence of island life. Until she met local photographer Derek Mitchell—a talented man with a grudge against rich tourists.
From art night to snorkeling lessons, hiking, and chopping coconuts, Lexi can’t talk herself out of spending time with the handsome, hardworking man who knows the value of every dollar. She also can’t find a way to tell him the truth about herself. But then Derek is selected to help in a benefit at a masquerade ball as one of the eligible bachelors up for auction. Lexi must decide whether to wear a mask or unveil her true self and risk losing Derek’s trust and a chance at love. 

 What I'm looking forward to reading:
This week I've picked At the Wolf's Table. I love anything WWII and this book looks like it is filled with danger, intrigue and heartache.

Is there anything here that has caught your fancy and will be added to your TBR list?






Saturday, 5 January 2019

Book Club Book Review: The Wrong Callahan (Rural Romance)

Book Bingo 2019 'A book written by an Australian Woman' 






      The Wrong Callahan
by
Karly Lane 


Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: 28th November 2018
Pages: 326
Format Read: Trade paperback
Source: Publisher via Beauty & Lace book club.


It had been two long years since Lincoln Callahan had found himself in front of the gates to Stringybark Creek. He was in the army then - a lifetime ago. Linc had always been the unsettled Callahan, looking for danger, the one who couldn't wait to leave the family farm.

This time he was back for his little sister, Hadley's, wedding. From far and wide, the Callahan relatives were streaming toward Stringybark Creek.

Linc's little brother, Griffin, was the steady son, the one who stayed at home, the one who did the right things. And now, the one who had feelings for city-girl, Cash Sullivan.

For Cash, the offer to manage her best friend's luxury beauty spa tucked away in the country had come at the right time. She knew she needed to make smarter choices in her life, starting with the men she dated, and an enforced break in the country seemed the right way to consider her options.

When Linc sets eyes on Cash at a family dinner, their swift attraction floors him. But Cash is his brother's girlfriend...what was he thinking?

As Linc, Griff and Cash form an uneasy triangle, each of them have personal demons to face before they can open their hearts.



The Wrong Callahan’s setting is Stringybark Creek, a family farm in Rankins Springs, in the heartland of the NSW Riverina. A small rural town where everyone knows everyone’s business and you can’t make a move without everyone knowing about it. This comes as a bit of a shock to city girl Cash Sullivan who is in town to help out at best friend Savannah’s Day Spa. Cash has always kept to herself but the friendly and welcoming neighbours, the Callahans, soon have her wondering what it would be like as part of a real family.



Cash has always been attracted to ‘bad boys’ and it has always left her heartbroken. Maybe the reserved Griffin Callahan is just who she needs in her life and it’s hard not to spend time with him when the matchmaking Callahan women keep pushing them together.

Linc hadn’t been home to Stringybark Creek since he left the army, two years ago. He was the son that couldn’t get away from the farm fast enough but has returned a hero in everyone’s eyes.
As soon as Linc sets eyes on cash he feels a strong attraction. An attraction that he is finding difficult to resist.

Lane has delivered exactly what the genre promises; a rural romance with all the feels and characters to fall in love with (a whole family of them) but not all squeaky clean.  Cash has a past she would rather keep hidden but she has turned her life around and is determined not to follow in the footsteps of her parents.

Lane raises the question; do you have a type when it comes to relationships and can this be changed?

The whole Callahan family is back home for Christmas and one of the siblings, Hadley’s New Years Eve wedding. I love the Callahan family but they aren’t as perfect as they seem when you dig a little below the surface.

Behind the romance the story has themes of sibling rivalry, close knit families, the silent but catastrophic PTSD and the all consuming trauma of a war zone.

All the way through this story I was thinking how much I wanted to read Griff’s story and yes!! I find out it is book 2 ‘Mr Right Now’. And what’s with Harmony? Will Hadley’s marriage last? So many questions I can’t wait for the rest of this series.
The story pulled me in from the start and wouldn’t let go until the very last page.

Content:  Some steamy scenes but the sex is behind closed doors.

My rating    5/5      🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 


*This review is part of the Beauty and Lace book club. You can read the original review here
The Wrong Callahan is book #1 in the Australian Women Writers challenge 
and part of the Booklover Book review Aussie author challenge 
Book 'W' in the AtoZ challenge 
#BookBingo2019

 


Karly Lane lives on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW in Australia. A certified small town girl, she is most happy in a little town where everyone knows who your grand parents were. She writes women’s fiction – everything from romantic suspense to family sagas and life in rural Australia.

You can connect with the author at the following sites:
  Facebook  || Twitter  





Tuesday, 1 January 2019

My 2019 Reading Challenges


I love reading challenges and can’t resist every new challenge I see. I’m amazed at how many different and diverse challenges are available to participate in.
A few I participated in during 2018 were find the name challenge (finding a list of 400 names in the books you read), favourite author challenge (read books that start with the first letter of your favourite authors name, a few different book cover challenges (find objects on the covers of books you read + colour of the cover), Booklover Book Review Aussie author challenge (read my wrap up for the challenge here) and the Australian Women Writers challenge (wrap up post here).


So on to 2019 challenges

I will again be joining the Booklover Book Review Aussie author challenge.
I will be attempting Kangaroo level.
 
KANGAROO
Read and review 12 titles written by Australian Authors of which at least 4 of those authors are female, at least 4 of those authors are male, and at least 4 of those authors are new to you; Fiction or non-fiction, at least 3 different genre.




Another favourite of mine is the Australian Women Writers challenge which I will be participating in again in 2019. 
I chose to nominate my own goal to read and review 30 books.



You can find the full details and sign up links here http://australianwomenwriters.com/sign-up/

You don’t have to be Australian to join these challenges you just need to enjoy reading books by Aussie authors. There are so many brilliant books to choose from.

New challenges for me this year are..

Ginger Mom and Company A to Z challenge
Read a book starting with each letter of the alphabet.



2019 Book Bingo challenge.
This is a collaboration between Mrs B’s Book reviews & Theresa Smith Writes. However these lovely bloggers are more than  happy for other readers to join in.
Fill one square on the first and third Saturday of each month.



This one may be a struggle for me because I’m not an organised person but I will give it my best shot.

To find out more details visit Mrs B's Book Bingo post https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/book-bingo-2019-launch-day/

And my last is the Aussie Readers Goodreads group 2019 colour challenge.



Read books during 2019 with certain colours on the covers.
2 x Yellow
2 x Green
2 x Blue
2 x Purple
2 x Orange
2 x Red
I’m going for the easy level of 12 books but I may increase it. I’ll see how I go.





2018 Aussie Author Challenge and Australian Women Writers Challenge Completed





I was so pleased with my results of my first year joining in on the Aussie Author challenge hosted by BookLover Book Reviews 
The challenge had three levels to strive for:
 WALLABY
Read and review 3 titles written by Australian authors, of which at least 1 of those authors are female, at least 1 of those authors are male, and at least 1 of those authors are new to you; Fiction or non-fiction, any genre.
WALLAROO
Read and review 6 titles written by Australian authors, of which at least 2 of those authors are female, at least 2 of those authors are male, and at least 2 of those authors are new to you; Fiction or non-fiction, at least 2 genre.
KANGAROO
Read and review 12 titles written by Australian Authors of which at least 4 of those authors are female, at least 4 of those authors are male, and at least 4 of those authors are new to you; Fiction or non-fiction, at least 3 genre.
I obtained kangaroo level and read a total of 40 books
30 Female authors
8 Male authors
2 both Male & Female authors
10 different genres
23 authors new to me

1. Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra
2. Assassins Hunted by Rachel Amphlett
3. Don't Ever Look Behind Door 32 by BCR Fegan
4. The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein
5. You Wish by Lia Weston
6. Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer
7. A Place to Remember by Jenn J McLeod
8. Little Gods by Jenny Ackland
9. The Art of Friendship by Lisa Ireland
10. Birthright by Fiona Lowe
12. If Kisses Cured Cancer by TS Hawken
13. The Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning
14. A Kiss a Dance and a Diamond by Helen Lacey
15. The Book NInja by Ali Berg
16. Lonely Girl by Lynne Vincent MCcarthy
17. The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins
18. Hive by AJ Betts
19. Who Killed the Movie Star by Lily Malone
20. Burning Fields by Alli Sinclair
21. Return to Roseglen by Helene Young
22. The Honourable Thief by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
23. The Artisan Heart by Dean Mayes
24. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
25. The Gaslight Stalker by David Field
26. The Night Caller by David Field
27. My Polar Dream by Jade Hameister
28. The Lost Valley by Jennifer Scoullar
29. Treasure Hunt at Pirate's Paradise by Mahima Kalla
30. Dressing the Dearloves by Kelly Doust
31. No Place Like Home by Bronwyn Jameson
32. Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat by Various
33. The Year of the Farmer by Rosalie Ham
34. The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell
35. Scrublands by Chris Hammer
36. Kat: The Legend of Gnawbonia by Nick White
37. Laugh Your Head Off Forever by Various 
38. On the Same Page by Penelope Janu
39. Table for Eight by Tricia Stringer
40. Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

Links to reviews can be found on my A-Z Title page


This challenge had four levels and I chose to nominate my own goal
  • Stella: read 4 – if reviewing, review at least 3
  • Miles: read 6 – if reviewing, review at least 4
  • Franklin: read 10 – if reviewing, review at least 6
  • Create your own challenge: nominate your own goal

For the Australian Women Writers Challenge I pledged to read and review 20 books. I am happy to say I surpassed this pledged amount by reading a total of 34 books for the challenge.

1. Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra
2. Six Ways to Sunday by Karly Lane
3. The Last Days of Us by Beck Nicholas 
4. Assassins Hunted by Rachel Amphlett
5. The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein
6. Esme's Wish by Elizabeth Foster
7. Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer
8. Jenna's Truth by Nadia L King 
9. A Place to Remember by Jenn J McLeod
10. You Wish by Lia Weston
11. Little Gods by Jenny Ackland
12. Birthright by Fiona Lowe
13. The Art of Friendship by Lisa Ireland
14. A Kiss, a Dance and a Diamond by Helen Lacey
15. The Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning
16. The Book Ninja by Ali Berg
17. Lonely Girl by Lynne Vincent McCarthy
18. Hive by A J Betts
19. Who Killed the Movie Star? by Lily Malone
20. Burning Fields by Alli Sinclair
21. Return to Roseglen by Helene Young
22. The Honourable Theif by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
23. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
24. P I Penguin series (5 Books) by Bec J Smith
25. My Polar Dream by Jade Hameister
26. The Lost valley by Jennifer Scoullar 
27. Treasure Hunt at Pirate's Paradise by Mahima Kalla
28. No Place Like Home by Bronwyn Jameson
29. Dressing the Dearloves by Kelly Doust
30. The Year of the Farmer by Rosalie Ham
31. The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell 
32. On the Same Page by Penelope Janu
33. Table for Eight by Tricia Stringer
34. Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

Links to the reviews can be found on my A - Z title page.

I will be signing up to both these challenges again in 2019 and a couple more. My 2019 challenge post will be up today.