Tag Archives: books

Filling Time

“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another
“What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I’ve walked, I’ve read, I’ve cooked and I’ve brought out the vacuum cleaner and rapidly replaced it.  Now, what to do?  My sister Christine has the word “noodling’ which she uses to describe moving around on the internet, just looking and maybe learning something new.

So noodling was what I have been doing this afternoon.  Merriam Webster is, of course, a favourite site as I am a Word Junkie (the description my DYS gave me so many years ago). Today I found this on the site.  Go and see what the staff are reading under the heading

M-W Picks: Books for When
You’re Hunkered Down
You too can read like a dictionary staffer.

There’s a good selection and I am sure you will find something to your liking. A new author or protagonist perhaps?

My first pick is from Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor. She chooses – Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
“This is a psychological thriller about a young woman from London who decides to trade apartments with a distant cousin in Boston. When she arrives at her cousin’s apartment building, she discovers his neighbor has been murdered. There are some huge and unexpected plot twists that kept me completely hooked until the end. Without giving away anything, I’ll just say this book is super murdery, and if that’s your thing, I can’t recommend it enough.”

I can’t get to a bookstore and deliveries of books are on hold, so I went to the local library online, and joy, it’s available in both hard copy and ebook. The library is, of course, closed so the ebook is now downloaded and on my TBR list.

She also recommends The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent and The Deep, Deep Snow by Brian Freeman. Both are added to my want to read list.

I am sure I will go back again during this locked-down time to refresh and just to see what others are reading.

Neil Serven, Associate Editor offers The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai.
‘This novel was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2018, and feels relevant at time when the specter of contagion casts a shadow over us and fear and uncertainty inflame our discourse. The disease in this book is AIDS, and the story concerns its impact on Chicago’s gay community in the 1980s, as well as its lasting impact on the survivors of that community thirty years later.
At the center of the story is Yale Tishman, a young gallery worker who is close to making a major advance in his career by acquiring a valuable collection of art from an elderly, eccentric prospective donor. Yale’s friend Nico has just died of AIDS-related illness, and other friends within their circle are becoming infected. Yale’s strongest support comes from Nico’s younger sister, Fiona; in an interwoven narrative, we follow Fiona thirty years later as she tracks down her estranged daughter in Paris.”

And On the Beach by Nevil Shute. Of this book, he says “When I read this book for the first time, I was a high schooler laid up with my own serious illness, so perhaps I have always associated it with infirmity. I decided to read it again last year, before the thought of being confined against a scourge became reality.
What is striking about this book is how the characters strive to live as though things are normal. Even as fate comes knocking, there are attempts to cultivate relationships, and efforts to live in the hopes of seeing lost loved ones who are almost certainly dead. The story reaches a mood of strange and patient optimism even in the face of annihilation.”

So when you find yourself with nothing left on your To-Do list, take a look at this site. I hope you find something to amuse you while we all stay home and safe

“I have to be alone very often.
I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning
alone in my apartment.
That’s how I refuel.”
Audrey Hepburn: Many-Sided Charmer, LIFE Magazine, December 7, 1953.

LOCKED IN

We talk about being locked-in but are you aware there is a medical condition of being locked in?

Medically known as Pseudocoma, “it is a rare neurological disorder in which there is complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles except for the ones that control the movements of the eyes. Individuals with locked-in syndrome are conscious and awake but have no ability to produce movements (outside of eye movement) or to speak (aphonia). Cognitive function is usually unaffected.” NORD (National Organisation for Rare Disorders

I first came across this disorder while reading The Diving Bell and the Butterfly the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby the editor-in-chief of French Elle and the father of two young children, At the end of 1995, he was the victim of a rare kind of stroke to the brainstem and after 20 days in a coma, he awoke and found his body had almost stopped working.  One eye only was still functioning.

This is a book showing man’s desire and ability to overcome almost anything.  It’s well worth a read. I am going to reread it while sitting in so-called locked-in.

Interestingly, again according to NORD

“The first description of the locked-in syndrome can be found in The Count of Monte Cristo authored by Alexandre Dumas. To describe a patient with a locked-in syndrome, the author used the following words:

‘Sight and hearing were the only senses remaining…. It was only, however, by means of one of these senses that he could reveal the thoughts and feelings that still occupied his mind, and the look by which he gave expression to his inner life was like the distant gleam of a candle which a traveler sees by night across some desert place, and knows that a living being dwells beyond the silence and obscurity. In his eyes, shaded by thick black lashes, was concentrated, as it often happens with an organ which is used to the exclusion of the others, all the activity, address, force, and intelligence which were formerly diffused over his whole body; and so although the movement of the arm, the sound of the voice, and the agility of the body, were wanting, the speaking eye sufficed for all’.

In this way, he brilliantly highlighted the potential that these patients have to maintain a meaningful life despite their extreme disability.

It is amazing where our mind goes when we are looking for things to occupy us.

FullSizeRender-88

Even More to Think About

Those of you who have followed my blog know that I was fortunate to be brought up in a a caring, loving family where domestic violence wasn’t even hinted at. In fact, it wasn’t until I started to post on my blog that I found so many of my followers/readers hadn’t been so lucky.

And in reading others’ blogs and the daily news reports I know that domestic violence is prevalent in our society, and to my mind, more of a threat than even terrorism.

Some years ago, visiting one of my mother’s many aunts, she told us of her daughter who was stabbed by her husband, and left to die, alone on the kitchen floor. So in some way, it does impinge on all of us.

Today I received the advance copy of Charlie Gallagher’s latest Book –

He Will Kill You.

I haven’t started to read it, but with Charlie’s agreement, I am posting his author’s note here.

“There is a strong theme of domestic violence throughout this book. Some scenes describe actions that are brutal, inexcusable and shocking, and may be harrowing or traumatic to read.

They are based on unequivocal fact. Two out of three murder victims in the UK are killed by an intimate partner. Most victims of domestic violence take years to seek help, if at all.

This book carries a message; if you recognise even a small part of your situation or yourself in these pages, any part of it, then know that you don’t have to suffer it; you don’t have to live it. You’re worth so much more.

Tell someone. Tell the police or a mate or one of the many domestic violence charities that can be found on the internet, or whoever you can.

Get yourself safe.”

Charlie is a serving, front-line police detective. He obviously, comes into contact with victims of domestic violence more often than most of us. He doesn’t appear to have a website but tells a little about himself – https://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/charlie-gallagher-bodily-harm-1027718.html.

Apologies. I’m now told by Charlie that he has a website – http://www.writercharliegallagher.com.

The book – He Will Kill You will be published on March 15 and is currently available to preorder on Amazon .

Look out for my review in the next couple of days on my other site – https://booksandmorebooks2017.wordpress.com

 

Tis Christmas, Again!

I had a lovely surprise today. A parcel arrived bearing three books from one of my proofreading clients, Evan Graver. Thank you, Evan.

I haven’t reviewed any of them as I hadn’t read the final copies. I shall do soon and review each of them. But from what I read while proofreading, Ryan Weller is a protagonist well worth following.

Go over to Evan’s website – www.EvanGraver.com to sign up for his newsletter and receive a free Ryan Weller short story. And the books are of course, available on Amazon.

Receiving the parcel by mail, which is very unusual for me these days, took me back to when we lived in Scotland. The mail was delivered every day except Sunday and at this time of year, there were two deliveries each day. Parcels were delivered separately, again every day, Now, here in New Zealand, we get three deliveries a week. Well, of course, many moons ago when I was a young wife living in Scotland, there was no internet, no emails and everybody sent Christmas cards and presents. And when I came to live here in NZ, we had to post mail early in November to be assured that it would arrive on time. Now mail and the odd parcel take days instead of weeks.

Pohutakawa tree

Pohutakawa tree -Image via Wikipedia

And here in the southern hemisphere, it is, of course, summer. And once again, I am showing our NZ Christmas tree, the Pohutakawa. Isn’t it lovely? At this time of year, it is in full bloom. It lines the streets around our neighbourhood and the main thoroughfares in town. And while we enjoy summer days I know that many of you are ‘enjoying’ snow. But then, you have a real Christmas with all the trimmings. We enjoy barbecues and swims in the pool.

So on this day, three days before Christmas, may I wish you all a very happy Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice or in whatever way you celebrate this time of the year. And may you have a healthy and joyful New Year.

 

A Blog Tour

Those of you who have followed my blog for some time, know that I am a fan of Zoe Sharp,  and particularly her protagonist Charlie Fox. Well, now Zoe has created and published a stand-alone novel, “Dancing on the Grave” If you would like to read an excerpt from the book, click here.

Dancing on the grave

I looked forward to reading this book and must thank Ayo Onatade for inviting me to join the tour and to Zoe for providing an advance copy of the book for review

There are 11 other bloggers in the tour. Here’s the programme.

ZoeSharp-DotG-blog-tour-2018

All of these bloggers are new to me, but won’t be for long. What a good group Zoe and Ayo have put together.

Note – If you are having problems reading the sites, here’s a link to Zoe’s site where the blog tour is listed.

My review of the book will be available on July 20 my other site, Books&morebooks.

Meantime, because I have a need to know, I asked Zoe a few questions about this book and some other things.

JB        Hello Zoe, and thanks for agreeing to answer my questions. I hope they are not too intrusive.

After the series on Charlie Fox, was it time to take a break and write another stand alone?

ZS        Well, this is not so much ‘after’ as ‘in between’. I’m currently writing the next Charlie Fox, which will be book #13 in the series. Plus, I have the prequel waiting in the wings, so Charlie Fox is still very much alive and kicking. But, it certainly makes you appreciate the familiar more when you take a break from it, I think. It’s been lovely getting back inside Charlie’s head. She has a dry, somewhat laconic sense of humour that makes her voice so distinctive for me as I’m writing.

All the Charlie Fox books, with the exception of a couple of the short stories, are told from first-person Point Of View. Being able to get inside the heads of other characters to tell the story from another perspective is very appealing at times. There are quite a few stories percolating through my brain that can’t be told within the framework of the series, so for those I need to step outside. I couldn’t have told Kelly Jacks’ story in THE BLOOD WHISPERER any other way than third-person POV, and although having a sniper on the loose might have worked very well as a threat for Charlie Fox to face in her capacity as a bodyguard, I would certainly not have been able to go into the mind-set of the peripheral characters as deeply as I’ve been able to do in DANCING ON THE GRAVE.

JB        You have said that you were intrigued by the so-called Washington Snipers’ attacks; what motivated you to use these actions or similar actions as the basis for your story?

ZS        What always intrigues me most about true crime stories is how rarely most of us get to hear the whole story. Sometimes the snippets we do hear linger in the mind and the only thing you can do, as an author, is to write your own ending or fill in the blanks. I think most writers find the basis for their ideas in fact, which they extrapolate to the nth degree. I love to take an idea and go, “Well, what if…”

I was fascinated following the news reports of the sniper attacks in the States—indeed, at one point I was over there in that area while they were taking place. Snipers provoke a particular kind of fear in people. The fear of being watched, of being preyed upon, of never knowing who’s next, or where death is going to strike. It’s why they are such an effective weapon in war. As much for the psychological effects on the population as the physical effects.

But at the same time, I wanted to explore the psychological fallout for the sniper, and what happens when the Powers That Be decide that they’re no longer an effective tool. How do you simply switch off that skill, that training, and return to civilian life? We are very bad at re-acclimatising our ex-army personnel in the UK, particularly those who have fallen foul of the military system. There doesn’t seem to be an effective safety net and many simply fall through the cracks. I wanted to look at what might happen to one of those people.

JB       Can you tell me why you chose to set this story in such a peaceful and lovely area of Britain? No doubt no area is totally free of horrendous crime, but this seems to be an almost idyllic area.

ZS        Having lived and built a house in the English Lake District, I can vouch for the fact it can be idyllic. At the time I first conceived the idea for this book—shortly after the Washington Sniper attacks in 2002—it probably was almost unthinkable that something of that nature could happen there. But then a man called Derrick Bird ran amok in the west of the county in 2010. He shot twenty-two people, thirteen of whom died (including himself, last of all). Suddenly the unthinkable was not only possible, but a reality. It made me put the book aside for a long time. When I picked it up again and began a rewrite, I included references to the Bird case. It would have been unnatural for the police characters involved not to think of it, as soon as the first victim is killed.

And sometimes the contrast of gritty crime in a rural setting can be very effective. Just because something is beautiful on the surface, it doesn’t mean there isn’t vast ugliness lurking beneath the skin. Besides, I’ve always liked playing with the reader’s perceptions in a story. I’ve done it throughout the Charlie Fox books, and it felt natural to continue doing so here.

JB        As I said to you earlier, the characters in the book are totally believable, in particular, the two leads, Nick and Grace. May we expect to hear/read more of these two?

ZS        Well, having said at the outset that DANCING ON THE GRAVE was a standalone, the overwhelming reaction to the book so far is that it should be the start of a new series. I confess that I do have several other plotlines worked out for Grace and Nick, most of which are specifically linked to the Lake District. I’ve always thought a plot is stronger if there is a definite reason for it to take place where it does. That way, the location becomes almost another character in the book. So, yes, there is the possibility of more from those two, although there are other stories I’d like to tell first…

JB        And what a great character Edith is. Did you have a certain person in mind when you started writing about her? Is she based on someone you read about or knew, even remotely?

ZS        As far as I’m aware (and I freely admit my subconscious could be playing tricks on me here) Edith isn’t based on anyone I know or have ever met. She was simply one of those characters who appear out of nowhere and utterly own the show. For me, she stepped onto the page, fully formed, in much the way Charlie Fox did originally. All I had to do was write down what she did and what she told me. Although, in Edith’s case, you can take much of what she says with a pinch of salt. The most important lies are the ones she tells herself.

JB         The story touches on fame in today’s society. Do you think many young people are looking for a way or ways to become famous?

ZS        Absolutely, I do. Not only are people looking for a way to become a ‘celebrity’ however you interpret the meaning of that word, but they’re looking for the easiest, fastest way to get where they want to go. I mean, everybody knows, deep down, that the only way to successfully lose weight and to keep it off is to reduce your food intake below the level of your energy expenditure, and to maintain that balance over time to make slow and steady progress. That doesn’t stop the proliferation of books and articles offering myriad ways to ‘Halve Your Body Size in a Month!’, ‘Lose Weight Without Dieting!’, ‘Get Six-Pack Abs Without Ever Leaving Your Couch!’, ‘Drop Three Dress Sizes by Tomorrow!’ Nor does it dent the popularity of such advice. Everybody wants a shortcut. In the book, Edith dreams of fame and fortune but has no idea how to achieve it, until fate apparently steps in and offers her what she believes she’s looking for.

JB        What is the best time for you to write?

ZS        Er, when I’m awake. Seriously, I tend to work any time of the day now. When I first started, and it was very much a case of working around the cracks of the day job, I used to get up early in the morning to write, but these days I can often work late into the evening and into the following morning again. The only problem I face is actually falling asleep at my keyboard. I can tell when I’ve done this, as the next time I open up the file, the last paragraph or so will be utter nonsensical gibberish.

JB        Where do you call home these days?

ZS        Good question. I do officially own a house again after a gap of about four years, but I’m not actually living in it at the moment. Instead, I’ve been moving around, house and pet-sitting or travelling. I spend the winters in an old stone farmhouse in the Derbyshire Peak District, stoking the wood-burning stove and minding a couple of very demanding cats while their owner goes to Italy to escape the British weather and work on his latest novel. As I write this, I’m cat-sitting in the south of France. So, where do I call home? Anywhere I can plug in a laptop and access the internet. Animal company preferred.

JB        I know you can write anywhere, is it in longhand initially or straight on to your computer?

ZS        I like to rough out a scene in pencil using what I laughingly call my neck-top computer, (still haven’t made the leap to an iBrain) maybe the bones of the dialogue, or the run of the action, then I go to my laptop. As I write up my notes, everything gets filled out and expanded. I experimented with dictation software, but to be honest I fiddle around quite a bit as I put the words on the page and, because I touch-type, it was quicker just to do it manually.

JB         I’ve always thought it must be particularly hard, if fun, to write about a crime scene investigator’s role. Do you have a friendly CSI to help you?

ZS        I was lucky enough to spend some time with CSIs from Cumbria Constabulary when I was first planning and writing the book, and I also talked to their Firearms officers, did a ride-along with one of the Motorway Patrols, and talked to Special Constables—part-time volunteers, now called Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). I read extensively, of course, including the textbooks that are used to train crime-scene technicians in the UK, and went over to see Ian and Helen Pepper, a husband and wife team of former CSIs who now write and teach on the subject.

It was helpful for Grace’s character, as well, that I spent twenty-five years as a photojournalist, so the photography side was second nature to me. As is always the case, though, you do a LOT of research and then leave the majority of that information out of the book, otherwise it reads more like a textbook or travel guide than a novel. Having said that, everyone likes to feel they’ve gleaned a piece of inside info, a trick-of-the-trade, a secret that only those in the know might know. It’s a fine balance.

I write first and foremost to tell a good tale—to allow a reader to make a journey inside their own head that they might never make otherwise, to take them out of themselves. If I manage to sneak in a few valid points about the state of modern society, and people absorb those elements as a contextual part of the story and—just maybe—agree with me, then that’s a bonus, isn’t it?

JB       Thank you Zoe for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions. Enjoy your time in France and I look forward to the next book.

Zoe is currently on holiday in France, house/cat-sitting for a friend. She sent this photo of the cats, Inky and Spatz, to share with you.

Inky-and-Spatz

And don’t forget my review of Dancing on the Grave will be available on my other blog, Books&morebooks on July 20. Meantime, enjoy some of the other bloggers take on the book.

********

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zoë Sharp was born in Nottinghamshire but spent most of her formative years living aboard a catamaran on the northwest coast of England. After a promising start at a private girls’ school, she opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve in favour of correspondence courses at home.

Sharp went through a variety of jobs in her teenage years. In 1988, on the strength of one accepted article and a fascination with cars, she gave up her regular job to become a freelance motoring writer. She quickly picked up on the photography side of things and her photojournalism took her as far afield as Japan and the United States, as well as work all over Europe, Ireland, and the UK. She is now a full-time fiction author and creator of the Charlie Fox series of crime thrillers.

Sharp wrote her first novel when she was fifteen, but success came in 2001 with the publication of KILLER INSTINCT—the first book to feature her ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox. The character evolved after Sharp received death-threat letters in the course of her photojournalism work.

As well as the Charlie Fox novels, Sharp has written several standalones, including collaborations with highly regarded espionage thriller author, John Lawton. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines, and have been shortlisted for the Short Story Dagger by the UK Crime Writers’ Association. Her other writing has won or been nominated for numerous awards on both sides of the Atlantic, been used in Danish school textbooks, inspired an original song and music video, and been optioned for TV and film.

A keen library supporter and public speaker, Sharp blogs regularly on her Blog page. She also witters on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fools about on Facebook (ZoeSharpAuthor). She was formerly a long-term contributor to the acclaimed Murderati blog. She’s a regular blogger at MURDER IS EVERYWHERE and also has a presence on goodreads.

Zoë Sharp leads a somewhat peripatetic lifestyle. When she isn’t crewing yachts, renovating houses, or improvising weapons out of everyday objects, she can often be found international pet-sitting in various corners of the world.

 

New Books

I have recently finished two great books, both by authors new to me.

The Third Rule is a gripping story of murder, deceit and absolute power.  Shades of 1984 here.

The Woman in the Window is a captivating tale of a woman living as a recluse following a major accident. This is pure Hitchcock.

Why not go over to my other site, Booksandmorebooks. Maybe you would like one or both of them.

A David Bishop Weekend

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again,
there is no use in reading it at all.” 

― Oscar Wilde

A winter weekend with nothing planned.  The family was all away and my son and his family had the dreaded lurgy, so what to do but settle down and read.

I decided to reread some of David Bishop’s books, in particular, the Linda Darby series.  I was introduced to this author last year when recuperating after my Adventure, and since then have read several of his books.  Isn’t it great how when you reread a book even one year later, you decide you like it even more than the first time round?

I won’t review these three books here but will do so on my other site in the next few days.  But as a taster – 

In the first book The Woman, we meet Linda Darby, a 30 something single woman.  She has been married to and divorced from a scoundrel about whom we know very little. She subsequently meets and marries her second husband who, unfortunately, is killed while on a secret operation somewhere.  

In an attempt to get over this loss, she settles in a small seaside town on the Oregan coast and here her adventures begin.  She is a day trader and this allows her to work from anywhere.  She keeps to herself and her only real friend in this town is an elderly widowed woman who runs a consulting business, which we later find out, has no visitors, is not listed in the phone book and sends and receives missives only by courier.  

Linda’s quiet uneventful life is disrupted when one night out walking she is attacked by two men but is saved by the intervention of a third man.  This third man disappears and the next day the newspaper reports the murders of the two men.   And then the day after that she learns that her close friend has been tortured and killed, leaving a letter for Linda that will change her life and her whole being, making her think and act in a completely different way.

And through it all,  she is helped, rescued and protected by the mystery man, Ryan Testler.

This is a fast moving and intriguing book, that makes one (or at least me) want to read more of this woman and her adventures.

The next book in the series is Hometown Secrets and it is followed by The First Lady’s Second Man.

I hope I have encouraged you to read some of Bishop’s stories.  There are two other series I have read – The Matt Kile Mysteries and Jack McCall Mysteries.  But I shall leave them to reread on another weekend with nothing planned and nobody home.

PS, Of course, all of these books are available from Amazon.  They are one-sitting reads and so good for a lazy weekend.

And I found this on Pinterest.  Thought Baldacci was spot on.

 

Thanks to pinterest.

PPS  We’ll get back to The Murderer and The Detective just as soon as I have worked out where to from there.

Missing Letter 2.

 

A very interesting challenge from Tara at Thin Spiral Notebook this week.
We are challenged to write 100 words without using the letter A.
Could you meet the challenge?  Why not try.
Go over to Tara’s site and get the rules and then let’s see what you come up with.

But I misread the Challenge.  I thought you had to write 100 words without using the letter A.
In fact, it was without using the letter N.  Hence, the second post.

She woke up to see that she forgot to put the clocks back the hour at the close of summer time before sleep yesterday.

What to do with the extra hour before her?  So she thought she would use this hour either to read posts from those writers she followed or should she read the book she started the day before.  The book by a fresh author, the story that had completely riveted her from the start?

The book of course.  So back to her bed, book and T-cup close by, she settled to read, for just the allotted time.

I found this on Pinterest. I hope I’m not impinging on anyone’s copyright.

A New Day Dawns

Today I waved goodbye to my youngest grandson.  He’s on the way to University in Christchurch in the South Island and on the way to the next stage of his life.  I can hardly believe that little boy who wasn’t even born when his grandfather died, is old enough to strike out on his own.

His mother and I shall miss him and his older brother will be lost without him, although sometimes one could imagine that they don’t even like each other.

So good luck Darling No. 4.  He is the last one to leave school and start at University. What a great time he is going to have and as Dr Seuss says:

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting
So..get on your way!

Two years ago the 13th February was a Friday and I wrote about superstition and then went on to write about my day; a beautiful sunny day in Ohope on the east  coast of the North Island of New Zealand.  On days like that, this certainly is Godzone.  And what was I doing?  I was Watching.  Here’s part of that blog post:

Today I am watching

Judith & Alice

  • The way a newly born baby attracts people and noticing the joy of being allowed to hold her
  • The huge waves rolling onto the beach; they are quite magnificent in their power
  • Surfers battling these waves and some succeeding in standing up
  • Children paddling in the surf
  • Two older couples just enjoying the sunshine, sand, and the water’s edge
  • Puffs of smoke emanating from White Island – New Zealand’s most active cone volcano.  It’s very close only 48kms/30 miles from shore.  It’s puffing away merrily today.
  • And strangers interacting as they meet on the beach
  • A couple walking their dogs
  • A small child clambering onto a tyre strung up to make a swing
  • My partner stretched out on a lounger contentedly reading
  • Teachers from the local school rounding up the pupils
  • A group of teenagers enjoying their lunch on the beach
  • The same group chasing each other and generally having fun
  • The brilliant sun shining down onto our part of the world that we call Paradise.”
So different from today  Again, it raining and windy – oh where has summer gone?
 But some summers are brilliant.  And as a reminder, here’s a photo of the beach in front of our house in Ohope.
Ohope beach
“Abundant sunshine, warm waters and safe swimming make Ōhope Beach the perfect summer holiday destination. Maybe that’s why it was voted NZ’s Most Loved Beach—with 11 km of easily walkable white sand beach from the Ōhiwa Harbour entrance all the way to West End.”  Whakatane.com  Information.
And have you had a chance to look at my new blog, Books&morebooks where I review the books I have read.?  Maybe there’s a book that appeals to you.
..
 

Deadly Lies

deadly-lies

Well, I just finished reading Deadly Lies by Chris Patchell.  This is her first book and what a good book it was.  I couldn’t put it down – well couldn’t put down the iPad and read well into the night.

The book has it all.  Office politics, adultery (both literally by the wife and thinking by the husband), kidnapping, date rape, sexual abuse and murders, 4 in all and only one was not premeditated.

Alex is a Seattle PD Detective and his wife Jill is climbing the corporate ladder. From the outside, all looks well with their marriage.  Things really begin to go wrong when Alex is called by an ex-girlfriend to find her missing sister.  Meantime Jill is breaking all the rules.  She is committing adultery and with the man to whom she responds.  When he reacts in the expected (by us but not by Jill) manner she is devastated and vows revenge.  His accidental death occurs, or is it her first murder?    She then goes on to meet a newspaper reporter and after his interviewing her she experiences date rape and all her hidden past comes rushing to the fore.  She cannot allow this man, or his awful cohorts to get away with this unharmed and goes on to commit more murders.

Meantime, Alex is searching for the kidnapped girl and finds her murdered.  His life takes an unexpected turn when he is called upon to assist a fellow detective in San Francisco who has two unsolved murders to solve.

This review doesn’t really describe how good this book really is.  You just have to read it for yourself.

Oh and I did receive a free copy of this book but am under no obligation to review it.  I just thought it was so good I wanted to share.

For reviews of more books, visit my new blog Books&morebooks.