Monday, 3 August 2015

Around Adelaide (Street Art)

This is one of many murals that sits on the upper level of Noarlunga Interchange. I like this one, as it reminds me of many the childhood trips to the city, usually taken during the holidays or on a day that my parents deemed special enough to allow me to skip during school--and usually on a rattly old Red Hen! Anything else, such as a Super Train (aka Jumbo,) or the shiny new 3000 class trains was rare on the Noarlunga Line until the mid-1990s! 

If you look closely, in the window in the background, you can see another mural from the station.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Friday Funnies: Anyone For Tennis?

Nice game.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Review: Harry Mac by Russell Eldridge

South Africa in 1960 is the setting of this coming-of-age tale written by South African born but now Australian citizen Russell Eldridge. Tom lives in a quiet street with his family, which includes his dad, a controversial and outspoken newspaper editor. When Tom overhears a conversation between his father and another man, plotting to assassinate the prime minister, he begins to question everything he knows about his father, and with the help of his childhood friend Millie, and her father, the peace loving Sol, he begins to ask questions about the scary world of South African politics--where everyone has a secret and an agenda--that is unfolding in front of him.

More of a backdrop for showcasing a shocking time in South African politics--where people were separated based upon their ethnic background (or even their perceived ethnic background,) than a story of a young boy, Harry Mac is entertaining and frightening in equal parts. The author does well in showing that there may be more to a person than what appears on the surface (at least one key character is keeping a surprising secret,) and that the truth may not always be obvious.


Thank you to Allen & Unwin and The Reading Room for my copy.

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2015.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Writers on Wednesday: Dianne Maguire

Welcome to another great Wednesday author interview. This week I am lucky enough to be chatting to South Australian author, Dianne Maguire ...

Tell me a bit about yourself

My name is Dianne Maguire and I write contemporary fiction inspired the strength and resilience of the children I have met over more than twenty years as a social worker in child welfare and protection. My husband and I are parents to an adult son who works as a criminal lawyer. Since he left home a few years ago, we have dealt with empty nest syndrome through humanising our dogs, Millie and Sophie whose status in our household is akin to that of particularly gifted children –which indeed they are –gifted I mean. Although I live in South Australia’s capital city we have a small fibro on the Fleurieu Peninsula –our own slice of paradise –where I do most of my writing.

Tell us about your most recently published book

‘What Matters Most,’ released by HarperCollins on eBook in April 2015, is the book I have wanted to write for six years. It is the story of paediatrician Mia Sandhust and her patient 15 year-old Rachel Hooper, both fighting to survive their own form of  betrayal. A story of love, family, misplaced loyalty and how our choices shape our lives, ‘What Matters Most’ is of course, set on the magnificent coastline of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.

Tell us about the first time you were published

In 2008 I wrote a 600 word memoir for a column titled ‘This Life’, in Australia’s national newspaper. It was about how my first love jilted me when I was 17 and how I carried him in my heart like a sacred hero until I met him again 25 years later.  Almost a year after I submitted the piece I received an e-mail saying it would be published. I’m sure newspaper sales doubled that weekend because my friends and family all bought copies.

As a writer what has been your proudest achievement so far?

First I have to warn you about the creepy degree of adoration I hold for fellow writer Fiona McIntosh, protégé of Bryce Courtenay and astoundingly good writer and person in her own right.  My proudest moment was when I received the offer of a publishing contract from major publishing house HarperCollins for ‘What Matters Most’. Then there was the thrill of first laying eyes on the beautiful cover and finally buying a tablet so I could read my own book. None of this would have happened if Fiona’s McIntosh hadn’t taught me through her Masterclass how to give my story the appeal a major publishing house and of course it’s readers are looking for.

What books or projects are you currently working on

I am writing my second novel, also set on the Fleurieu. Like ‘What Matters Most’, it is contemporary family drama come psych thriller come mystery.  (What’s in a genre anyway?) When I am not learning how to be tech savvy to promote my novel, I am writing, or consulting with a female Detective Sergeant as well as a Psychologist for my next book.  I’ve lost count of the times reviewers have called ‘What Matters Most’ a page-turner... but wait till you read the next one.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or paper books and why?

I love good stories and good books –I don’t mind what form they take. To be honest though, there was a time when I would never have chosen an eBook over traditional print. Now, I continue to love browsing and buying in bookshops. But it’s also pretty awesome to finish a book any time and to be able to download another in minutes – at a fraction of the cost as well. I believe eBooks are the way of the future but we will continue to enjoy both worlds for a while yet.

Indie Publishing or Traditional Publishing?

Who cares? If it’s your dream to be published –just get published... But be careful about paying for it.

Aside from your own books of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?

There are so many. But I’ll choose the one I’m currently reading which is ‘Orphan Train’ by Christine Baker Kline –a beautifully told story about child   abandonment in the early 1900’s with a contemporary parallel story. This is a heart-warming depiction of the power and goodness inherent in human nature.  Next on my list is a new Aussie author – also a social worker, Eliza Henry-Jones and her debut novel, ‘In the Quiet’.

To my readers in Adelaide South Australia

Celebrate! We live in one of the best places on this earth –especially our gorgeous amazing wonder-filled Fleurieu Peninsula.

To everyone..... I’m not usually interested in numbers but FB has changed all that...   Please make my day and Like, even Share, my Author’s page on You may see someone you know or something you like on there.

And my web-site should be ready soon. Take a peek on at my book trailer (by the talented Gordon Napier) and lots of information about my current writing journey, my books, nature, kids, all things French, the Fleurieu Peninsula...  and much more.

‘What Matters Most’ is available now from HarperCollins, iTunes, Google Books, Amazon, and all good eBook stores.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: Lead by Kylie Scott

Lead the third novel in Brisbane author Kylie Scott's Stage Dive series is a smoking hot roller coaster ride filled with sexy rock stars and one very sassy heroine. Lena has been hired by the band to perform a difficult task--to keep an eye on Jimmy, the baddest of all of the Stage Dive boys. Fortunately Lena is no fool and not about to take any shit from the rude and emotionally distant Jimmy. But when Lena realises that she might just be falling in love with Jimmy, things begin to change ...

While Lead lacks some of the humour that made Play such a hit with me, it was still a sexy and enjoyable escapist romp. The sexual tension was sizzling and at times I wanted to bang Jimmy and Lena's heads together and force them to kiss, so kudos to author Kylie Scott for creating a romance that I felt emotionally involved in. Although they were not always perfect or likeable, it was obvious from page one that Jimmy and Lena were perfect for each other ... though they could not see it.

There were also some pleasing updates from the lead characters from the other novels in this series and we get a glimpse at how Dave and Ev, and Mal and Anne are each enjoying their happily ever afters. Also, parts of the novel hinted at a potential romance between Lizzie and Ben, which will be the subject of the final novel in the series, Deep.

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2015

Monday, 27 July 2015

Around Adelaide (Street Art)

This strange monument sits in Elder Park, just near the stairs that lead down from the Festival Theatre. I'm not quite sure what it is meant to represent ...

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Review: The Hand that Feeds You by A.J. Rich

How much can you really trust another person? That is the question at the heart of The Hand That Feeds You, a new psychological thriller by A.J. Rich. Morgan has escaped a troubled childhood to find success in New York. She is studying psychology and she is currently researching how predators select their victims, though she seems to be surprisingly unaware of her own history of high-risk behaviours which have landed her in some dangerous situations in the past. Recently, she has started adopting dogs from the local animal shelter and has become engaged to Bennett, a mysterious charismatic man whom she met online. When Morgan finds Bennett dead in her apartment, savaged to death by her dogs, a number of deeper mysteries begin to unravel. Who was Bennett really and why did he lie to Morgan about his past? And how many other women are out there that he has also lied to?

The Hand That Feeds You takes twist after twist as Morgan slowly unravels the mystery that was Bennett and discovers deeper, darker and deadlier secrets, all of which eventually lead toward an unlikely predator. This not only leaves Morgan fighting for her life, but questioning everything that she knows about the profile of a predator and that of a victim. 

I found The Hand That Feeds You to be an enjoyable, fast-paced read that surprised me on a number of occasions. At times, I felt that the story could have delved deeper into the characters and their situations, as Morgan seemed to take everything at face value (except when it suited her,) and there were a lot of jumps--the big reveal at the end of the book happened a bit too quickly for my liking, without allowing me to have the fun of wondering "are-they" or "aren't-they". Still, this was a lot of fun to read on a cold afternoon by the fire and I think that many readers will enjoy this one of its believable plot twists and fast storytelling. 

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my reading copy.