Monday, 15 July 2019

Mailbox Monday - July 15th

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!

It's going to be a quick update this week as things have been busy in the Burgeoning Bookshelf's household.
I had a special Nana day with Ditto. Every few weeks I just take one grandchild out to get some special one on one attention. This time it was Ditto's turn. We went on an adventure to the local wildlife park. It was the perfect venue for him as the animals are used to kids and there was plenty of room for him to run and run ( and he did plenty of that). 
I've also been out to dinner with a friend that just returned from a three month cruise (just imagine the luxury of that) and my usual shopping days with my daughters.
Ditto celebrated his third birthday this week so we took him on a train ride. He held on tight as the train took off and exclaimed "wow" and "cool".
Yesterday was a beautiful sunny winter's day and we went on a family picnic. Then home for cake for Ditto's birthday. 

Books  received during the past week.

Tidelands by Philippa Gregory
Publication date: 20th August 2019

England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . .

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of a civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast.

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead, she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbors. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Publication date: 7th may 2019

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

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, 14 July 2019

Storybook Corner Book Review: Don't Let the Beasties Escape This Book (Children's Picture Book)

Don't Let the Beasties Escape This Book
Julie Berry
Illustrated by April Lee

Publisher: Getty Publications
Expected Publication date: 10th September 2019
Pages: 36
RRP: $17.99US
Format read: Hardcover
Source:  Courtesy of the publisher

Beware strange and magical things can happen when you peek inside a Book of Beasts.

Young Godfrey and his family toil for the lord and lady of the castle. But  when Godfrey stumbles upon an unfinished Book of Beasts, it's spectacular pictures of animals make him forget his chores. He invents the story of a brave knight, Sir Godfrey the Glorious, who battles ferocious creatures.

But who's doing the work while Godfrey daydreams? Who feeds the chickens, spreads the straw, harvests the pears, rakes the leaves and sets the supper fire ablaze?

Julie Berry takes us into the heart of thirteenth century medieval England where young Godfrey sits in the yard surrounded by the castle walls. His mother, a maidservant, tells him he will need to help out with chores. Godfrey is known to forget his chores while he drifts off into his own imaginative world with the noble knight Sir Godfrey.

An artist is in residence painting a Book of Beasts for the lady of the castle. Godfrey spies the book and decides to look through the paintings as he tells a fanciful story about the beasts in the book and how his imaginary Sir Godfrey battles them. It just so happens this is a magical book and when Godfrey names the beasts (lion, unicorn, dragon etc) they come to life from the pages. As Godfrey continues his story each beast escapes and gets up to mischief behind Godfrey’s back. As they play they inadvertently complete Godfrey’s chores for him.
The story ends with all the beasts hiding in Godfrey’s home until the artist comes and zaps them all back into the book.

This is the most adorable introduction to medieval beasts I have seen. It arrived in my mail box at a very fortuitous time as Dot, who generally loves all things scary, has recently become concerned about monsters being real. Reading Don’t Let the Beasties Escape This Book was the perfect opportunity to explain how these beasts were made up from people’s imagination and altered information. There was no internet back then and a lot of people couldn’t read or have the opportunity to travel so it is easy to see how a sighting of a rhinoceros in Africa could morph into a Unicorn by the time the news got back to England.

The story portrays the beasts in a fun and whimsical way as they get up to mischief behind Godfrey’s back. The illustrations are a story within themselves and bring a new element of entertainment to the story as we see the yard animals reactions to the beasts arrival.

I would recommend this book for any child 3+years. Dot was enthralled by the whole story whilst Jay age 3 was more interested in the vivid illustrations and loved the hide and seek with the beasties at the end.

The book also contains engaging backmatter with information on life in the Middle Ages and a mini-bestiary drawn from original 13th Century manuscripts along with typical legends and lore.

A big thank you to Getty Publications for my hardback copy.  I am sure this will become a treasured addition to our home library.


 Rated by Dot & Jay   5/5

After my fourth son was born, I decided that since my family dreams were now well underway, it was time to pursue writing novels. I went back to school and earned an M.F.A. in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of the Fine Arts, where I learned from many talented and committed writers for young people. My first novel for young readers was published in 2009.  All the Truth That’s In Me, my first YA novel, was named a 2013 Horn Book Fanfare title, a School Library Journal Best of 2013 book, and a Kirkus Best Teen Read for 2013. It has been named a Junior Library Guild Selection and has been nominated for a Carnegie Medal and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults award, and will be published in 14 countries internationally. My next novel, a middle grade titled The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, was published September 2014 in the US by Roaring Brook, and also in Germany, the UK, Japan, Brazil, and Viet Nam. It won an Odyssey Honor from the American Library Association, and was named a Best Children’s Book of 2014 by the Wall Street Journal, and was named to the Dorothy Canfield Fisher list. My next novel, The Passion of Dolssa, published by Viking Children’s Books, won a 2017 Printz Honor from the American Library Association, was a New York Times Notable title, was nominated for the Los Angeles Book Prize, earned five starred reviews, and earned a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten award. My next novel, The Emperor’s Ostrich, released June 2017 from Roaring Brook Press, and my upcoming novel, Lovely War, releases in spring 2019 from Viking children's books.

About the illustrator: 
April Lee is an illustrator, character animator, and 2D special effects animator who works for several major television and film studios. Her animated e-book The Dragon and the Pixies earned honorable mentions at the London Book Festival and the Los Angeles Book Festival.   


Thursday, 11 July 2019

Book Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The Chain
Adrian McKinty

Publisher: Hachette Aus
Publication date: 9th July 2019
Pages: 355
RRP: $32.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop.
A panicked stranger calls your phone.
Your child has been kidnapped.
The stranger then explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger.
The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child - within 24 hours.
Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child.
And most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered.

You are now part of The Chain.

Make sure you have plenty of free time before you start reading The Chain as this is one book you won’t be able to put down!

The premise of the story was intriguing. Ordinary people pulled into a web of kidnapping and murder. How far would you go to save your child?

McKinty has put a deadly twist on the chain letters of the 70’s combining them with the spate of Mexican child abductions, throw in society’s unstoppable need to share their lives via social media and we have a plot that is spine-chillingly real.

Rachel gets a phone call that her daughter has been kidnapped. She must follow a set of rules; pay a ransom, kidnap another child, pass the rules on to their parents, and so the chain continues.

The character development is superb. To really want Rachel to succeed we need to have empathy for her and McKinty builds the attachment well. Rachel’s husband has left her for a younger woman, her breast cancer has returned, she’s had to hold down dead end jobs to survive and now her daughter has been kidnapped.
Rachel fights for her daughter’s life as the demands get higher and the schedule gets tighter she enlists the help of her brother-in-law, a flawed character but with a heart of gold.

The plot is quite intricate with victims, potential victims and victims of victims. There is a large cast of characters.

The first part of the book is all about The Chain; phone calls, threats, kidnappings. The second part is how Rachel and her daughter try to cope after the ordeal. The knowledge that they are always part of The Chain is tearing them apart. Rachel is determined not to stop until the instigator of The Chain is uncovered.

The Chain is an adrenaline filled roller coaster ride of breath-holding, heart-stopping action and suspense.


 My rating  4/5

Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s and 1980s. His father was a boilermaker and ship's engineer and his mother a secretary. Adrian went to Oxford University on a full scholarship to study philosophy before emigrating to the United States to become a high school English teacher. His debut crime novel Dead I Well May Be was shortlisted for the 2004 Dagger Award and was optioned by Universal Pictures. His books have won the Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award and have been translated into over 20 languages. Adrian is a reviewer and critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Irish Times and The Guardian. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.


Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Spotlight: Trails in the Dust by Joy Dettman

Trails in the Dust
Joy Dettman

Publisher: Pan Macmillan 
Publication date: 25th June 2019
Series: A Woody Creek Novel #7
Pages: 368
RRP: $32.99AUD

After many tumultuous years spent grappling with the past, Jenny Hooper might have expected her latter years to be the best of her life, and they are - until tragedy strikes. Left floundering in a house full of memories, not all of them good, Jenny knows a reckoning is in order.

But it won't be easy. History is beginning to repeat itself for Jenny's adopted daughter, Trudy, who finds herself trapped in an abusive relationship. Jenny and her older daughter, Georgie, can only stand by and watch as Trudy's life implodes.

Meanwhile, half a world away in the UK, Cara and her husband Morrie nurture a devastating secret that keeps them at arm's length from Jenny.

But most of all, Jenny wants to renew contact with the beloved son she lost decades before when she was at her lowest ebb. Only that, and having the chance to tell him the truth about what happened, will give her peace. But is it too late?


Joy Dettman was born in country Victoria and spent her early years in towns on either side of the Murray River. 
She is an award-winning writer of short stories, the complete collection of which, Diamonds in the Mud, was published in 2007, as well as the highly acclaimed novels Mallawindy, Jacaranda Blue, Goose Girl, Yesterday's Dust, The Seventh Day, Henry's Daughter, One Sunday, Pearl in a Cage, Thorn on the Rose, Moth to the Flame, Wind in the Wires, Ripples on a Pond, The Tying of Threads, and The Silent Inheritance.

Tracey@CarpeLibrum currently has a giveaway running for a copy of Trails in the Dust. You can enter on her blog 
 Giveaway closes 14th July 2019. 


Monday, 8 July 2019

Book Review: The Ex by Nicola Moriarty

The Ex
Nicola Moriarty

Publisher: Harper Collins 
Publication date: 17th June 2019
Pages: 400
Format read: Paperback
Source: Own purchase

She wants him back. She wants you gone.

Luke is The One. After everything she's been through, Georgia knows she deserves someone like him, to make her feel loved. Safe.
The only problem is his ex-girlfriend. Luke says Cadence is having trouble moving on. She texts Luke all the time and leaves aggressive notes on Georgia's car.
Georgia starts to feel afraid. But she decides to confront Cadence ... and that's when things get interesting.

The Ex is a suspense filled story of love and revenge.

Georgia is finally getting her life back on track. She has a nursing job that she loves and is looking forward to a date she has arranged through a dating app. When her date stands her up she is about to head home when she is harassed by two men that have had a little too much to drink. Luke comes to her aid and moves the men along. Georgia is enchanted. He is not only good looking, he is charming and attentive. They start to date and Luke explains that his ex-girlfriend is in denial, she will not let him go. Georgia starts to get threatening texts and notes left on her car. She feels like she is being followed.
Georgia had finally found the perfect guy and she wasn’t going to let a clingy, psycho ex spoil it for her.

If you like suspense, if you like books about weird-ass stalkers, this book is for you!

I did think I knew where this story was going but I never guessed just how crazy and out of control it would become.

Moriarty includes themes of mental illness, self harm, depression, suicide and vulnerability.

There is also a heart-felt side story of Georgia’s job as a nurse and her attachment to one elderly patient.

Highly recommended for thriller fans!


My rating:     5/5

*this review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
and book #24 in the Australian Women Writers challenge


Nicola Moriarty lives in Sydney's north west with her husband and two small daughters. She is the younger sister of bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Jaclyn Moriarty.

In between various career changes, becoming a mum and studying teaching at Macquarie University, she began to write. Now, she can't seem to stop.