February 12, 2016

Another Love. Amanda Prowse

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Another Love
Amanda Prowse
Published: Head of Zeus
Date: February 11th 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 368
Genre: Fiction
Source: Thanks to Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars                      Add to Goodreads
Romilly had worked hard for her stunning, modern house in one of Bristol's most fashionable suburbs. She adored her gorgeous, gap-toothed daughter and her kind and handsome husband. Sure, life was sometimes exhausting - but nothing that a large glass of wine at the end of the day couldn't fix.

But then, as deep-buried insecurities surfaced, everything started to unravel. A glass of wine became a bottle; one bottle became two. Once, Romilly's family were everything to her. Now, after years of hiding the drinking, she must finally admit that she has found another love...
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Romilly - wife of David, eventually mother of Celeste has it all, yet there is an insecurity to her. She is beautiful and intelligent, and an etymologist. In spite of having what seems like everything, she finds Another Love.  In this story Amanda Prowse explores the depths of where a woman can descend when her life becomes ruled by the need to reach for alcohol. Whenever something triggers her anxiety or insecurity Romilly reaches for the bottle.

For some time she manages to keep her family life and work ticking over, however there comes a time when her friends and husband call her on her drinking. Yet Romilly is not ready to face the problem, as far as she is concerned she is not an alcoholic. The woman who moves into the next door house is no help and often leads Romilly off on a drinking binge.

This is not an easy book to read. Prowse does not spare us in the details of the aftermath of a drinking binge. Those details are raw and saddening. She shows us what can be lost when the ravages of alcoholism are rampant. Anyone who has seen a family member go beyond them into the ravages of drugs or alcohol, will know the anguish, anger and powerlessness that family members feel as they see their loved one claimed by the addiction.

The story is told mostly in the third person but from the point of view of Rom. Interspaced with this are short first person accounts by Celeste her daughter. From her viewpoint we see what it is like for the child of an alcoholic parent.  Heartache for both her and Rom, the mother/daughter relationship damaged. Will it every be restored in any way?

There is loss and much heartache. There is moving on. There is hope and the possibility of redemption. With support and grit, Romilly takes steps to claim her life back for herself. Paying the cost along the way. A moving and powerful story.

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February 10, 2016

Who's Afraid. Maria Lewis

book cover  Who's Afraid by Maria Lewis
Who's Afraid
Maria Lewis
Published: Piatkus/Hachette
Date: January 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 340
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Thank you to Hachette NZ
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This is the story of Tommi, a young Scottish woman living an ordinary life, who stumbles violently into her birthright as the world's most powerful werewolf. The sudden appearance of a dark, mysterious (and very attractive) guardian further confuses her as her powers begin to develop and she begins to understand that her life can never be the same again. The reader will be swept up in Tommi's journey as she's thrown into the middle of a centuries-old battle and a world peopled with expert warriors and vicious enemies - this is the start of a series - and a world - you will fall in love with.
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A new urban fantasy series begins with Who's Afraid, and it's not quite like any other urban fantasy  I have read to date. Tommi is a smart, sassy young woman in her early twenties who is on her way to being a very powerful werewolf. Not that she knows that as she leaves her home of Scotland for a visit to New Zealand, where she hopes to meet the father  she has never known. However once she arrives there and visits a small settlement outside Rotorua she finds far more than she bargains for. That's where she comes face to face with her heritage, and its tough.

Returning to Scotland under the care of Lorcan, a somewhat mysterious carer and saviour, she returns to her apartment. It turns out Lorcan has been sent by the powers that be to counsel and guide her through the transition of becoming what might be a very powerful female werewolf. As she trains, an attraction builds between herself and Lorcan, but can it go anywhere and who is Lorcan? What else must Tommi face? 

The world building takes place gradually, the reader learns along with Tommi what it is all about. It is all nested in the ordinary every day life of Tommi and her friends. As Tommi narrates the story I not only came to invest in her but her friends as well. Will they ever know what she really is? Can she continue to exist in the world she has known up until this?

There is definite danger, someone is out to attack Tommi if they can and you know for sure they will. Yet this book is more about Tommi finding herself, who she is, what she can do. How her life is changing. She often astounds Lorcan with her abilities, what might have been expected to take months, Tommi achieves quickly. As the story moves along I just can't help but really like Tommi with her blue hair and quick thinking tongue. 

There was just one part of the story I hated! It's dark! But then again I don't think Tommi liked it either.

I really liked Lorcan too, he is an ex Praetorium Guard (a warrior) and now he is a custodian. He has been sent by the Treize - the rulers to be a guide to Tommi in her new life. He is so human but so other as well. And there is beautiful attraction between himself and Tommi.

Enough let the author herself explain a little about this book. She's every bit as wonderful as her Tommi!  Who's Afraid has been released in Australia and New Zealand and will be out worldwide in July.
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About the Author:
New Zealand born Maria Lewis got her start covering police rounds in a newsroom as a teenager and has been working as a professional journalist for the past 10 years. Her work has appeared in the New York Post, Empire Magazine, Huffington Post, The Sydney Mail, Junkee and Buzzfeed to name but a few. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

I loved this interview with Maria Lewis. Even if you don't read the book listen to this articulate, vibrant young woman.


February 8, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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I made my goal of 55000 steps for the week by a couple of thousand. It has been so hot here, I need to get up early to beat the heat. I love the sun, but sometimes a little rain would be nice. 

I had a quiet week, recovering from all the redecorating from the week before. Still waiting for the handles for the cupboards to arrive. Found the car keys on Tuesday - to both my horror and delight. I'd caught them up in newspaper and put it in the garage. Phew!

However now I don't want to drive my sister's car so only go for groceries. I do not want anything to happen to it! They'll be back next week with mine. They had a bad ride back to Rotorua in it - it's a bit slow you know. But guess what, my bro-in-law is a mechanic. Think it might be in better shape coming back! My sister just texted me to say my car was vacuumed and cleaned too and that The Book Thief was very sad. (Loaned it to her). I am not cleaning their car!!

At present there is a book giveaway on my blog. Do enter while you are here. Only take a short minute. One entry only for each person. New Zealand Book Giveaway  Open internationally.

For those book bloggers who are into crafts as well would like to draw your attention to this newly started sporadic meme started by a group of book bloggers.
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Click on the badge for find out more. I endeavoured to take part although made a total hash of linking. You can't do worse than me!

What I read last week:

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I know six sounds a lot, but I was very close to finishing the Susan Lewis audiobook, and then I flew through Shonda Rhimes audio. Both audiobooks - great. All the others were satisfying reads as well. Reviews will follow, except for Promises in Death. And if you read J. D. Robb you know it's always a reliable read.

What I am reading at present:

Listening to:
Wanted to try this author so picked this one up of my wish list from Audible.
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Up next:

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelly Rowley.

Posts from the last week:

The Edge of Lost  Kristina McMorris
Three Promises    Lily Everett
Missing Pieces    Heather Gaudenauf
My Books and Crafts Post - Quilting

New Zealand book giveaway

February 6, 2016

International New Zealand Book Giveaway

Every year on February 6th we have a national holiday (Waitangi Day) and celebrate who we are and where we are at as a country. Last year I gave away a New Zealand book and this year I am doing the same.
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I am using our possible new flag. The country votes in March. I like this one, but as there is a well of antipathy against it, which I am disappointed about, I am using it for at least once! So many want the one with the British Union Jack on, which I believe no longer represents us, but we're a democracy!

So any New Zealand book and by any New Zealand author so long as it is purchasable! Open internationally.

  • If the author was born and raised in New Zealand but lives elsewhere now, that counts. 
  • If the author was born and raised elsewhere but now lives in New Zealand that counts too. 
  • Or if the book is set in New Zealand that counts.
  • And of course if the author was born and is still living in NZ that obviously counts as well!

While you many not know of any authors or books I will help the winner to track down the genre/type of book they would like to read.

In the meantime I am sharing just a small sample of what is available. The choice is wide open.

Some book covers are linked to Goodreads.

Food, Health and Well Being
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About New Zealand:
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Children's Books
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Where you can find lists of books
Goodreads List One
Goodreads List Two
Kiwi YA and MG books list

Begins 6th February (NZ Time) and closes 10th February (NZ time)
One entry per person. Open to New Zealand and International Readers.
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