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Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review - Twinmakers #2 Crash by Sean Williams

Crash (Twinmaker, #2)Crash by Sean Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book. Crash is due out November 2014

We pick up basically straight off the where the first book left off. Claire and Jesse are on the run still and they have picked up a couple of PK's (Peace Keepers) as companions. Being hailed as the "Girl Who Broke D-Mat" is racking Claire as she wants it fixed. People are stranded around the world, they can't get to hospitals or they are trapped in unusual places. Claire's friends are not talking to her and there are different groups of people who are after her. What Clarie needs is a safe place to hide so she can figure out what is next.

Claire and her companions are on a mission to find Q and to find out who keeps targeting her. They team up with RADICAL and WHOLE (Two opposite groups) and it is a race to find out the information she needs to fix the world before it ends.

I really liked reading this series. There are some slow parts where I skimmed a few passages, but those are few and far between. The world the author has created can be a little low on background detail of the world itself. Sometimes it feels like it is set in the far future and then it's like it's now, except with teleportation. These nit picks are tiny though, the story kept me reading right to the end and I know want to find out in the conclusion. The ending was so fabulous that you really didn't know how it was going to end.

I would recommend reading this series and if you find it hard going, keep at it! The characters develop and the storyline grows. A fantastic tale by a brilliant author.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Buckwheat Pancakes topped with Orange and Honey - My Petite Kitchen Cookbook - Eleanor Ozich

You have to try these wonderful buckwheat pancakes topped with orange and honey and let us know what you think! They are from Eleanor Ozich's new cookbook 'My Petite Kitchen' which is only $39.99 and filled with delightful treats for your stomach.
 Healthy cooking at it's finest.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Review - Girl with All the Gifts - M.R Carey

The Girl with All the GiftsThe Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very interesting take on the Zombie apocalypse.

Melanie is a special girl in a very damaged world. Knowing little other than long dead facts about life which has been destroyed, Melanie is certain of only one thing. She loves Miss Justineau, her teacher. She loves her like a daughter would, she would do anything for her.

Using this as a basis for the start of the story, we get started on an action packed journey to Beacon when the military base they are on goes haywire.

I like how were grow to love and hate the characters. We understand what Dr Caldwell is doing while hating her for her methods. We love and yet feel scared for Melanie as we go through with her the trials of awakening. Miss Justineau, is forced to face facts on everything she has done, while combating her growing protectiveness and love for Melanie.

The struggle to survive and the horrifying consequences of letting your guard down is shown in great detail and the end result of all this madness is a shocking twist.

Very good read, highly recommended!

View all my reviews

CBCA Book of the Year 2014 Shortlist

CBCA Book of the Year 2014 Shortlist accounced
Older Readers:
  • The Incredible Here and Now Felicity Castagna (Giramondo)
  • Life in Outer Space Melissa Keil (HGE)
  • The First Third Will Kostakis (Penguin)
  • Fairytales for Wilde Girls Allyse Near (Random House)
  • Wildlife Fiona Wood (Pan)
  • The Sky so Heavy Claire Zorn (UQP)
Younger Readers:
  • Violet Mackerel's Possible Friend Anna Branford, illus by Sarah Davis, (Walker Books)
  • Song for a Scarlet Runner Julie Hunt (A&U)
  • A Very Unusual Pursuit Catherine Jinks (A&U)
  • My Life as an Alphabet Barry Jonsberg (A&U)
  • Light Horse Boy Dianne Wolfer, illus by Brian Simmonds (Fremantle Press)
Early Childhood:
  • I'm a Dirty Dinosaur Janeen Brian, illus by Ann James (Viking)
  • Baby Bedtime Mem Fox, illus by Emma Quay (Viking)
  • Banjo and Ruby Red Libby Gleeson, illus by Freya Blackwood (Little Hare)
  • Kissed by the Moon Alison Lester (Viking)
  • The Swap Jan Ormerod, illus by Andrew Joyner (Little Hare)
  • Granny Grommet and Me Dianne Wolfer, illus by Karen Blair (Walker Books)
Picture Book of the Year:
  • The Treasure Box Margaret Wild, illus by Freya Blackwood (Viking)
  • King Pig Nick Bland (Scholastic Press)
  • Silver Buttons Bob Graham (Walker Books)
  • Parachute Danny Parker, illus by Matt Ottley (Little Hare)
  • The Windy Farm Doug MacLeod, illus by Craig Smith (Working Title Press)
  • Rules of Summer Shaun Tan (Lothian)
The winners of this year’s awards will be announced in Canberra on Friday 15 August ahead of Children’s Book Week on 16-22 August. The theme for this year’s Book Week is ‘Connect to Reading’.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Complete Slow Cooker by Sally Wise

Who here loves a nice warm meal that you didn't have to slave over a hot stove for? I know I do! A few years back my sister gave me a slow cooker for my birthday. I used it a few times, but ultimately is sat on the counter gathering dust. I could never find ANY recipes that I liked or worked properly. Now I am a fan of Sally's books generally as I make a lot of jam and preserves from her 'A Year in a Bottle' I was still heartily disillusioned by my lack of success I wasn't expecting much when I bought a copy of Sally Wise's book 'The Complete Slow Cooker' 

RRP was $24.99 Our Price $9.99
It is the best cook book I have in my collection! So far I have made three recipes from this book (I only got it on Thursday) and ALL have worked out AND are so mouth watering tasty it isn't funny. Like any home cooking mama, I added more vegetables to my dishes but the general base was the same as what the recipe called for.


If you are wanting a most excellent slow cooker book, then look no further. This is the only one you will ever need. There is 416 pages of recipes - soups, meats (chicken, beef, lamb, pork, fish/seafood) vegetables and vegetarian, desserts, breads and preserves. Yes, you read that right, preserves and desserts are included. 

I will give you my take of Sally's Thai Chicken Curry (if you want the original recipe, you will have to buy the book)


2 chicken drumsticks (skin taken off)
2 tbsp ground ginger
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoon ground coriander 
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 teaspoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons raw sugar
1 small chilli, finely chopped
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup roughly chopped swiss chard
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated pumpkin
1 cup grated zucchini


Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker and combine well. Place lid on SC and cook for 4 hours on high, then add salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce isn't thick enough for you, then add a paste of cornflour to the mix and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Do yourselves a favour my friends and buy a copy of this book! Trust me when I say it will be used over and over again during those cold winter months that are coming.
Only $9.99 down from $24.99

Carla Caruso Author Event

Monday, April 7, 2014

One Book To Keep

There is that one book on your shelf that defines you. One book that, while you may not have read it for awhile, makes you gasp in horror if somebody mentions you might want to let it go. We all have one and it is mind blowing to make the choice of which one is your favourite.  I have asked a few people in the book industry, what is that special book is for them and the response has been quite interesting.
You know this is just a fancy way of asking "if you could only have one book..." and those questions are IMPOSSIBLE! I shall go with sheer sentiment and say Diana Wynne Jones's 'Charmed Life'. That was my first DWJ novel and I think it's the most reread book I own. It's one of the books that got me properly into fantasy/speculative fiction and probably the book that made me realise I wanted to spend my life working with books and words and fictional worlds.

Alan Baxter – author of the upcoming martial arts/fantasy book Bound
Oh, man, that is almost impossible to answer! One book? The horror! Errr. first that comes to mind is Clive Barker's "Cabal". And his book "The Great and Secret Show". And Le Guin's "A Wizard of Earthsea". And and and... I can't just pick one!

Michael Pryor, Author of the Law’s of Magic series and the new Machine Wars.
“The hardback copies of 'Lord of the Rings' I got when I was thirteen”

Kim Wilkins, author of Rosa and the Veil of Gold and winner of an AUREALIS Award.

Jason Fischer, author of the Tamsyn Web series and the short story collection Everything is a Graveyard.
” Definitely Mary Stewart's "Crystal Cave", beautiful piece of Arthurian storytelling.

Karly Lane, author of Northstar
“Mine would be Cross stitch by Diana Gaboldon . I think it's called Outlander in the US. Best. Book. Ever!”

Pamela Freeman, author of the Princess Betony books
“So many... the poems of WB Yeats. Or Lord of the Rings. Tough to decide.”

Fiona Palmer, author of Outback Heart
“Vampire Academy series. It's my big escape

Fiona McIntosh, author of the Quickening series and Tailor’s Girl
“Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay”

Carla Caruso, author of Catch of the Day
“Mine would be 'Looking for Alibrandi' by Melina Marchetta - I read it when I was an Italian-Australian teenager, like the main character, finishing high school and wondering what the heck I was going to do with the rest of my life. It still resonates! 'The Undomestic Goddess' by Sophie Kinsella is also a feel-good, comfort read I love dipping into again.

Jacqueline Harvey, Author of the Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series.
“The Book Thief with a beautiful inscription to me from Markus.

What is even more interesting is the fact the genres that these author’s write does not always reflect what they love to read. A lot of people assume that just because you write in a particular genre then that is all you will read. This goes to show that is not the case at all.
For myself, I don’t have favourite books. I am like most people who, when they are asked this question recoil in horror at picking just one book. It is simply a hard question that can make your mind go blank when you are trying to pick a title. If I had to choose on the basis of a book that I read the most, then I would have to choose Tamora Pierce’s ‘Song of the Lioness #1 Alanna the First Adventure’. I re-read that book (which leads into 20 others in the series all following the same characters for about 30 years) at least once a year. I’m not sure why that series draws me to it, but I love the relationships of the characters and I think it is one of the books that really cemented it for me that I wanted write.  Also there is Patricia C Wrede’s Lyra books.  I loved the grittiness and emotion found in that series.
A big thank you to everyone that participated in my post and I hope you all go and check out these wonderful authors and their many books and you may find that one book you can never get rid of!

What is your One Book?
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