Saturday, 30 April 2016

Review: Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt

Patrick DeWitt's latest novel is a trifle dark, a trifle funny, a trifle profane and a trifle pretentious. Which should tell you everything, and nothing at all, about this book.

A gothic coming of age tale, Undermajordomo Minor tells the story of Lucy, a misfit in his home and his town, who travels some distance away to take up a somewhat underwhelming position at a run down castle and finds himself surrounded by some dysfunctional people and some rather peculiar situations. And somehow, in between the clever prose and dark comedy, the author manages to tell a coming-of-age story of a young man away from home for the first time and his love for a young woman named Klara.

And that's really it.

Readers will need to be in a certain mood to appreciate this one--I think anyone who catches on to the humour will love it, whilst others will probably be left starting at this one and wondering what the fuck it is that they have just read. Anyway, I discovered this one a few months back at Adelaide Writers' Week after catching the second half of DeWitt's session. The book was about what I expected it to be, which was as enjoyable as it was irritating.

Oh, and that orgy in the ballroom scene is really something. I just don't know what that something is. (And maybe I am not supposed to.)


Friday, 29 April 2016

Friday Funnies

Yep. I've worn that face a few times, lol.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Review: The Other Side of the Season by Jenn J McLeod

In The Other Side of the Season Australian author Jenn J McLeod takes us to Watercolour Cove, a small seaside town where the choices, and tragedies, of one generation will impact on the lives of the next. In 1978 David, Matthew, Albie and Tilly are living on neighbouring banana plantations on the top of a town that is known as Dinghy Bay. David and Matthew are brothers, while Albie and Tilly are the adopted children of the couple who own the plantation next door. Life is simple and fun, until adult problems start to get in the way. Aspiring artist David wants to go to university,  with him, Matthew is jealous of David and Albie is perhaps not-so-secretly besotted with his adopted sister. As for Tilly, her heart lies with David, and she knows that one day she is going to leave the small town that she hates, and pursue her love of art. Anyway, a series of events, each one worse than the last, has some pretty serious consequences and will shape the lives of David, Matthew, Albie and Tilly.

In a parallel story set in 2015, thirty-five year old Sidney (named after artist Sidney Nolan,) and her brother Jake visit Watercolour Cove, a small town that was once home to the grandfather that they never knew. They stumble upon an art gallery at what was once a banana plantation, and Sidney soon makes a friend out of its owner, David. It is probably a generational thing, but of each of the characters, I found Sidney the easiest to identify with. I felt a lot of empathy, and admiration, for her--she was a woman who chose her principles, and her unborn child, over a man and had the strength of character to see it through with no regrets. (One central character, I suspect, is far prouder of her than what she lets on.) 

The author cleverly drip feeds information to readers, allowing them to piece the story together bit-by-bit and to discover each side of the story. I struggled with Natalie's character at first, feeling anger and contempt at some of the decisions that she made, but by the end of the story, I had a strong understanding of how her early years had been shaped by events that were out of her control, and that in turn had shaped her as an adult. And, of course, its easy for people to make mistakes and poor choices when they are young, especially when they do not have much guidance.

We also see how Natalie works to right the wrongs of the past, and I found myself admiring her tenacity. As the cover suggests, there is always more than one side to a story, and author Jenn J McLeod handles her characters with a very real and genuine respect.

I also admired the courage that Sidney had, choosing her baby over her partner, and I found myself wishing that the ratbagish (but fun) Jake featured a bit more within the narrative. The ending was a bit tearful, but entirely appropriate. 

A wonderful story of Australian people with a dash of Australian art. Recommended. 

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my ARC.

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2016

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Writers on Wednesday: Dean Mayes

Welcome to another great Writers on Wednesday post. This week, I am chatting with Adelaide based author Dean Mayes, whose third novel, the recipient will be released on May 1. Dean is currently the writer in residence at the South Australian Writers Centre. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this interview and I hope that you do too ...

Tell us a bit about yourself …

So I'm an author and Intensive Care Nurse living in Adelaide, Australia with my wife Emily, my children Xavier and Lucy and my spaniel Sam. I have a pretty full life with work with my writing commitments while juggling family, school runs and junior sports commitments but, somehow, I manage to make it all work. Oh - I'm also a massive Star Wars fan. I guess you could say that it was Star Wars that is chiefly responsible for my love of story telling.

Tell us about your most recently published book?

The Recipient is my upcoming novel (out May 1st) which will be my third published novel for Central Avenue Publishing. The Recipient follows a young heart transplant recipient named Casey Schillinge who, after receiving her life saving surgery, begins to have horrible nightmares about being violently attacked and murdered. The nightmares have become so bad that they are slowly driving her mad. In desperation to learn why she is having them, Casey makes a terrifying discovery about the fate of her donor and this leads her on a desperate search for answers. The further she delves, Casey finds herself at the centre of a deadly conspiracy that will threaten her life all over again. 

Set in Melbourne, Australia, The Recipient is described as a tense psychological thriller in the tradition of Girl on a Train and Dark Places.

Tell us about the first time you were published?

I was discovered by my publisher who spotted my blog back in mid 2009. At the time, I had given up on the idea of ever being published but I had this story I wanted to tell so I thought why not blog it. Unexpectedly, the blog took off, attracting upwards of 3000 visitors per month who were tuning into this story of mine about a young man search for his lost love on both sides of mortality. One of those visitors to that blog was Michelle Halket of Central Avenue Publishing. She saw enough potential in my story that she signed me to an initial two year agreement and my blog eventually became my debut novel, "The Hambledown Dream".

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

Probably the publication of my second novel "Gifts of the Peramangk" in 2012. This was a story about an Aboriginal family living in abject poverty in Adelaide, South Australia - at the heart of which is a child prodigy in 8 year old Ruby Delfy, who has been taught to play violin by her ageing grandmother Virginia. Across two time periods - 1950's Australia and the modern day - I told this coming of age story that was part triumph over adversity and part cinderella story. I'm proud of that story because I'm not an Aboroginal Australian and I poured roughly a year of pure research into the novel. I wasn't sure how the novel would be received but it has since gone on to be my most critically acclaimed work to date. I'm very proud of that story.

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

I am currently engaged as the Writer in Residence at the South Australian Writer's Centre here in Adelaide which is a great opportunity for me to develop a new project called 'Walhalla' which is a return to my romantic roots. Walhalla will follow the story of a young Adelaide doctor who, in the aftermath of the collapse of his marriage, returns to his childhood home in the Victorian high country. There he reconnects with an eclectic group of people who help him to get through his grief and he encounters a childhood nemesis with whom a potential romance may develop. It's an old school romance which I have a great fondness for.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

I'm not really opposed to either. For me, as a writer, they offer opportunities to access two different segments of the reading market. As a reader, ebooks offer a library of really talented writers who I might not have otherwise discovered, so I'm grateful to have both.

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?

Well, I'm traditionally published so I'm biased I guess. However, quality indie publishing is just as valuable - especially where authors have invested time and commitment to ensuring a quality product.

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

Anything the fires your imagination and encourages you to read more and widely. There are so many titles out there that it would be a little arrogant of me to declare that you *must* read such and such a title. One of my favorite books is a really quirky title called "The Map That Changed The World" by Simon Winchester. It's a nonfiction account of the first geological survey map ever drawn by an amatuer geologist named William Smith back in 1802. Geology was such a nascent field of study then and it had alot of detractors - most notably religious elements who saw it as a threat to their orthodoxy. The story of William Smith has the potential to be a droll piece but Winchester tells the story with such flair and affection that it's impossible not to be captivated by it. For me, it is a perfect marriage of history and narrative story telling.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

I am appreciative of those people who have supported me and championed my work both here in Adelaide and around the world. Without their support, I doubt I could have achieved as much as I have.


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Review: Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Author Caroline Kepnes follows on her deliciously terrifying stalker tale YOU with Hidden Bodies a black comedy that follows psychopath Joe Goldberg from New York to a terrifically shallow version of Los Angeles. In LA Joe meets his newest obsession, Love, but not before he leaves a string of dead bodies behind him.

The novel opens with a shift in narrative (first person instead of the iconic second person narrative that we saw in YOU,) and has Joe romancing (or so he thinks) the crazy and somewhat unhinged Amy. That all comes unstuck when Amy wrongs Joe, and he follows her to LA with the intent of teaching her a lesson, but then he, quite literally, finds Love, instead. As quirky as Bek and Amy, Love comes from a wealthy family and lives a somewhat privileged existence, along with her bitter twin brother, Forty. In many respects, Love feels like the selfish and deep thinking Joe's opposite, but she could also be his perfect match.

Most of the story reads like a amusing take on Hollywood, and there is not quite as much tension, or intensity, as the novel's predecessor. I found my interest shifting--the novel gets off to a strong start and the prose is addictive, but the story goes downhill and seems to drag after Joe moves to LA, picking up again only in the final parts of the novel. Joe, of course, is a character who is able to justify every disgusting act that he has committed. He is, after all, a narcissist who considers himself to be an avenging angel, rather than a serial killer. The fact that this left me, as a reader, cheering for him (when in real life I would find such a person disgusting,) showcases Kepnes talent as an author.

A terrifying but amusing satire. Recommended. 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Apple Paperback Review: Report to the Principal's Office (School Daze #1) by Jerry Spinelli

On select Sundays I will be reviewing some of the old Apple Paperback titles from my childhood. These titles were published, or republished by Scholastic during the 1980s & 1990s and were written and set in the United States. In Australia, these books were typically only available from libraries or could be ordered through catalogues that were distributed through primary schools. Most of these titles are now long out of print or have been updated and republished for later generations ...

School Daze was a four book series set in the newly built and established Plumfield Middle School. It centred around four very different kids from the sixth grade (two boys and two girls) and their quirky new principal Mr T. Charles Brimlow. I still have my original copy--the one that my parents bought me for my eleventh birthday. I'm pretty sure that at one stage I had the full set, but I have no idea what happened to the other three books. In fact, I can't even really remember the other three books at all, but for the fact that one of them featured a giant skateboard.

Anyway, Report to the Principal's Office is a quirky story that introduces the four main characters and sets the scene for the rest of the series. There is Sunny, who is, ironically a grouch, and who is currently refusing to shower until she gets transferred to the neighbouring middle school so that she can be with her best friend. Next is the Eddie, a shy, nerdy kid who falls prey to a bunch of bullies and who isn't sure that he can cope with the pressures of middle school. Third is Salem, a boorish aspiring writer who tries to turn everything in to a special occasion. And finally, there is Pickles, a quirky 'cool' kid who rides a green skateboard and who likes inventing things. Anyway, the kids meet after they are all invited to have lunch with the principal, who wants to have a meeting with a few kids from each grade, the ones that he considers to be special and interesting. 

Through some quirky adventures during the first couple of weeks, the kids find their place at the school and bond after a surprising adventure involving the school mascot. 

This one was a lot of fun to re-read.

The School Daze series has twice been reissued and republished by Scholastic--in 1999 and 2008 and is currently out of print.
About the author: Jerry Spinelli was the author of a number of children's books, some of them published by Apple Paperbacks. His novels include the award winning book for children, Maniac Magee.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The Grownup is a short, deliciously chilling and twisty tale of a sex-worker turned amateur clairvoyant who gets a bit more than she bargained for when a concerned stepmother comes to her asking for help.

The unnamed protagonist is about thirty years old and makes a living by pretending that she can read auras. She thinks that her latest client, who is concerned about her wayward stepson, will be easy money and happily sets about performing cleansing rituals at the old mansion where the family lives. However, twist upon twist at the end of this short tale leaves our protagonist (and most importantly, the reader,) wondering who, or what, is the real villain and who is the real victim. Flynn's writing style remains as macabre as ever. 

My only real complaint about this one is the price, which felt a little excessive for a short story that was read in the space of twenty minutes. 


Friday, 22 April 2016

Friday Funnies

You did, didn't you?

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Aussie Actress Isla Fisher Pens Children's Book Series

After a twenty year writing hiatus, Australian actress Isla Fisher is releasing another book--and it is to be the first in a three book series. As I revealed on this blog a few years ago, I had quite the crush on Isla Fisher while I was in my teens and I eagerly read both of the teen romance books that she co-wrote with her mum Elspeth Reid. This time around, Isla has penned a humorous children's book Marge in Charge which is about a very naughty and very, very quirky babysitter. According to this article in he Bookseller the author thinks that books are an important part of childhood and she hopes to introduce Marge to as many bedtimes as possible.

I have no news on an Australian release date, but understand that in the UK the books will be published by Picadilly, the same publisher who recently acquired the rights to Frogkisser by Australian author Garth Nix. 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Not Another Teen Book Review: Best Friends by Alice Adams (Dolly Fiction #52)

Not another teen book review is a semi-regular feature on this blog that comments on mass market fiction from the 1980s & 1990s that featured teenage characters and teenage themes ... and were lapped up by eleven year olds. This time around I am talking about Dolly Fiction, a series from the early 1990s.

One example of a daggy
Dolly Fiction cover
In the late 1980s/early 1990s Dolly Magazine loaned its name to a series of teen romance novels published by Greenhouse (now Pan Macmillan), one that rivalled the popular Sweet Dreams romance series that had come out of the United States, but with a uniquely Australian bent. The series focused on teens, social dramas and of course, puppy love. The series was popular enough to last until December 1993 and over one hundred titles were published under the imprint. I read a few of these as a pre-teen, mostly I borrowed them from the local library or purchased them from secondhand book stores--at first they were always a bit secondary to my beloved Sweet Valley books, later on, they just seemed a bit daggy, also once a title was sold out it was never reprinted. The series has copped some criticism for the fact that no heroine was ever left without a partner. (Find more information here.)

Best Friends is about computer nerd Rachael who falls out with her three best friends after she wins a computer competition at school, wins the affection of popular Jeff but finds herself falling for Luke, a boy from her computer club. The whole thing is standard teen fare, set during an era where computers were still new and scary, and no one had mobile phones or the internet. There is a strong focus on the importance of friendship and embracing each other for their differences, which adds a bit of depth to the novel.

About the Author: Alice Adams wrote multiple titles in the Dolly Fiction series and as there is no information about the author available, it is likely that the name is a pseudonym. There is a slight possibility, however, that this author is the same person.

Random Trivia: The covers of the books featured models who had appeared in Dolly Magazine. Somehow, the same model and photo ended up on She's a Rebel Dolly Fiction #8 and Chasing Fame Dolly Fiction #111. See photos below:

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Review: The Fat Girl by Andre Dubus

The Fat Girl is a short, contemporary story that examines themes of self-acceptance versus the need to be accepted by those around us. The protagonist, Louise, is chubby and is accepted by few (her father is a notable exception,) until with the help of her friend Carrie, she loses weight. After the birth of her first child, she gains weight again, much to the disapproval of her husband who seems to understand little about her. 

Utterly depressing, this story highlights the conflicting nature between what is good for the self versus what will allow a person to be accepted by others. Louise is happy with her weight, and is unhappy while she is thin, though she gains acceptance and approval at this time. The story ends with her deciding that she will do what makes her happy, and stay true to who she is, even if it means losing her husband and the approval of others.

I cannot say that I enjoyed this one, so much as I was intrigued by it.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Friday Funnies: The Wrong Gift

Hmm. It looks like Cookie Monster's latest relationship could be in trouble ... 

Saw this one recently and got a laugh out of it, thought that you all might too.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Review: Maestra by L.S. Hilton

Maestra will always, I suspect, be remembered by readers as a shockingly bold move--a book that is one part an erotic novel and another part a thriller set in the art world of Europe. Writing--and publishing--this book was a huge risk for all concerned, especially as the novel was to launch a brand new imprint for Bonnier a UK based publishing house. And like all risks, some of them just do not work out. There is little to be enjoyed in this tale narrated by Judith, a thirty-something sociopath who works as a lowly assistant in an art gallery during the day, and as a hostess at a kinky bar in the evenings. A scandal in the art world barely keeps this novel together, the sex is more shocking than sensual, and by the time I reached the cliffhanger ending, I found myself not caring when or if a sequel may be available. 

Not really recommended.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Imagine being in a place where you must choose whether you live or die. You are seventeen years old, you're facing some pretty big life choices already and your parents and brother have died in the same accident that has left you seriously injured. You watch, just outside your body as the drama unfolds. Do you choose to stay and be with the family and friends who have rallied around, knowing that things will never be the same? Or do you choose to die? That is the premise of If I Stay, a young adult novel that has barely fallen off the best seller lists since it was first published in 2009 and later became a feature film. 

The appeal of the book is obvious--If I Stay is about choices, and the choice between life and death is a metaphor for other choices that we must make as we go through life, and the heroine seems very adult for a teenager. We also see through flashbacks the choices that Mia's parents made, and the choices that she faces in her relationship with Adam, a young man who, at first glance, seems like her complete opposite. The flashbacks often feel like a metaphor for the experiences and feelings that Mia has as she watches her own body. The fact that the book had come with so much hype made it difficult for me to read this short and (at times) morbid novel, and there were some cringeworthy moments that were difficult to read (Adam and Mia playing each other like musical instruments,) and I felt that it could have had more depth. That said, If I Stay does everything that it sets out to and tells an interesting story about choices, and includes a slew of carefully selected musical references.

Recommended, though you've probably read it already.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Around Adelaide (Street Art)

With upgrades recently completed on Moseley Square at Glenelg, we said a sad (and in my opinion, unnecessary) farewell to the old anchor that has sat proudly on the edge of the grass for many years. In it's place though, a little closer to the beach, is a brand new memorial that pays tribute to those who have sadly lost their lives on this beach. It's no secret that Glenelg Beach is not the safest of swimming beaches with its many rips, and a tide that can come in bloody fast. Let's hope this memorial serves as a reminder to everyone to be careful.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Mini Review: Zac the Zombie: Back from the Dead by Darrin Mason

Amusing gross out tale about ten year old zombie Zac who goes in search of his late dog who was hit by a car. Not for the squeemish, prudish, easily offended or just plain old nitpickers who need to get a life. Kids, especially boys, will love the clever turns of phrase, cartoons and gross out humour. 


Friday, 8 April 2016

Friday Funnies

I post this ... next Friday.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Advice for Authors: What's in a Name?

On Friday afternoon, I opened Twitter and Facebook and was shocked to see posts on both from a popular and top selling Australian author who had just received a very unpleasant, and unwelcome, shock. This author had discovered that on Amazon a poorly written and put together book was for sale by someone who had the same name as her, was passing itself off as being the same genre and, to add insult to injury, was linking to the popular Australian authors books on both Amazon and Goodreads. My first thought? Ouch. I can completely understand why this author was upset. As authors, our names are our brand. They are what make us identifiable to the reading public. If someone has read one of our books and loved it, then there is a good chance that they might be willing to pick up another one, especially if it is aimed at the same audience. 

The only thing is, none of us can copyright a name.

In the United States, anyone serious about wanting to work as an actor at anything beyond amateur level registers their name with what is, essentially, their trade union. The rules are pretty simple--only one name can be registered once. That's a big part of the reason why there are so many stage names, and may possibly explains why Australian actor Simon Denny changed his name to Simon Baker when he moved to the United States--because there was already somebody, famous or not, working with that name. There is no union or similar system for authors. For example, I am not the only author out there named Kathryn White. There is also Kathryn White, a children's author from Bristol in the UK, Kathryn White a journalist and author of chick-lit from South Africa, Kathryn White an academic and literary critic with a keen interest in the works and lives of the Bronte Sisters, Kathryn White who designs crochet pattern books, Kathryn M White who writes thrillers, and Kathryn V White whose books have a spiritual and artistic bent, and who also works as an artist. Then, of course, there is also an American artist named Kathryn White and someone who is quite high up in Richard Branson's Virgin group of companies. Anyway, none of these other Kathryn Whites have ever bothered me in any way, or at any times made me feel as though my own work has been compromised in any way. And so far as I know, I do not bother them. In fact, I actually wouldn't mind reading Emily Green and Me, which is by Kathryn White of South Africa and the only thing stopping me is the fact that it is not currently available in Australia. But it is also true that most of these Kathryn Whites have separate Amazon and Goodreads pages, and work to maintain them. Any work that has been wrongfully attributed to my page has usually been corrected, just as I have always tried to work any accidental corrections to mine, and I always ensure that at least some biographical detail is available that separates me from the other authors.

And perhaps that is the real source of the problem that the popular Australian author experienced last week. In the Amazon profile for the book (before it was removed,) the about the author section was completely blank. Apart from a name, there was nothing to tell readers anything about who was the author of this book. At best, it may have been an ignorant move by someone who knows little about book promotion, at worst, it could have been a calculated attempt to cash-in on the name of a successful author, thus exploiting fans.

So what can we authors do if we find ourselves in the situation where another's work is linking back to yours on Goodreads and Amazon? 

  • Check for biographical information. Is there a short biography of the author that would help identify them and their work? Does the author have a website that clearly identifies them and their work? Are you able to contact the author and talk to them direct?
  • Contact Amazon, it usually takes less than a day for them to act on any reports.
  • Contact a goodreads Librarian. You can even post links in the goodreads librarian group. Most of the people there are knowledgable and super helpful, and can separate your work from the ones by a different author. They can even create the other author a new goodreads page.
  • If you are certain that the other person is trying to pass themselves off as you, then report via all proper channels, and follow those reports up. 
  • Speak with your publisher, and your agent if you have one. 
  • In serious and obvious instances of fraud, seek legal advice.
  • Publicly accuse the other person of fraud. It's okay to state that this is not your work, but always stick to solid, concrete facts. (The kind that cannot land you in court, or leave you looking stupid later on.)
  • One star the work, unless you've read it and it reflects your clear feelings about the work. 
  • Ask others to one star the work, to publicly accuse the author of fraud or do anything that might be classified as cyberbullying. Not cool, ever. Fraudsters aren't going to care, and if it is a genuine mistake, then the other person could end up very hurt.
At the end of the day, authors cannot copyright a name. There is nothing to stop anyone from self-publishing and releasing a book under the names JK Rowling, Enid Blyton or EL James, apart from the fact that the majority of retailers would probably refuse to stock it, and that the likes of Amazon, Smashwords and CreateSpace would probably refuse it, or should it slip through, remove it from their catalogues as soon as it was reported. 

As for the author concerned, I'm sorry it happened to them. It must have been a rude shock. However I was also very, very disappointed with how they handled the situation in public, and not only the request that author made to their fans, but the way it was followed through with only one of two people stopping and asking the possibility of it being a mistake. Because if it was, someone out there is probably hurting right now ...

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Writers on Wednesday: CL Hunter

Welcome to another great Writers on Wednesday post. This week, I am chatting with C.L. Hunter, author of Your Soul Was Made For Mine ...

Tell us a bit about yourself …

Hello I'm C. L. Hunter. I love to write love story's with a twist and a turn. I live in Florida with my husband and autistic son named Dakotah and my Irish water spaniel Brody. I have two grown daughters and two granddaughters.

Tell us about your most recently published book? 

My first novel is called "Your Soul Was Made for Mine."

Tell us about the first time you were published?

My first book was published Sept of 2015

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

So far, it has been publishing Your Soul Was Made for Mine.

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

I am currently working on the second book in the series called, "My Soul Belongs to you."

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

I love all and any way to read... I've loved reading books since I was very young.

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing? 

I opened a publishing company and self published. Again, it was a big achievement.

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

That is a tough question. Me personally, I love Diana Gabaldon series that starts with Outlander.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

I have never been to Australia, but it is absolutely on my Bucket list... And , I love and adore your accents...


Amazon UK:
Amazon Canada:
Amazon Australia:
Amazon France:
Amazon Germany:
Amazon Paperback:


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Review: Who's Afraid by Maria Lewis

Meet Tommi. She's a blue haired Arts graduate from Dundee--who is about to receive a life changing surprise when she travels to New Zealand to learn more about her father. Tommi is a werewolf and her family may be not be her allies ... or very nice. 

And she may just turn out to be the most powerful werewolf in the world.

This one was an action packed tale filled with young characters and the odd bit of self-depreciating humour that was pleasing at times and a bit annoying at others. It will probably be appreciated more by readers in their late teens and twenties, particularly those who not seen it all done before (and with more bite,) in Martin Millar's Lonely Werewolf Girl. That said, there is plenty to like in this story of family and ... changes.


Monday, 4 April 2016

Around Adelaide (Street Art)

I spied this bright and colourful Stobie Pole near the Christie Downs Railway Station a few weeks ago. It is part of a larger project that has been undertaken by Christies Beach High School to give a unique touch to an otherwise drab piece of infrastructure. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Mini Review: Moving On by Rachelle Ransom

Moving On consists of two flash fiction pieces that deal with grieving, loss and the eventual realisation that one must move on. In the first piece, a couple are suffering after a miscarriage and have conflicting views on what to do next, while in the second, an old woman is selling a much-loved vehicle that has been an important part of her life with her husband.

Well written, though you may wish to have some tissues handy.