Waiting On: Return To Stringybark Creek (The Callahans of Stringybark Creek Book 3) by Karly Lane

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Karly Lane is one of my all-time favourite authors and a Unicorn author at that. I’m still in shock that I meet her! Despite being a book behind in this series still, I am soooooooo looking forward to this release.

Published by: Allen & Unwin Australia

Expected Publication:3rd December 2019

The Callahans of Stringybark Creek – Book 3

When Hadley Callahan returns to Stringybark Creek without her husband, Mitch Samuals, she plans to tell her parents one major piece of news while determinedly hiding another even more explosive secret.

For Oliver Dawson, the Callahans’ neighbour, Hadley’s celebrity wedding two years ago had killed any hopes he’d nurtured that one day they might end up together.

With Mitch putting pressure on Hadley and the secret she’s keeping causing her great anguish, Hadley’s developing feelings for Ollie take her by surprise. But with her life thrown into so much chaos at the moment, what future could they possibly have together?

Return to Stringybark Creek concludes the Callahan family trilogy with a delightfully irresistible story of loyalty, hope and the importance of staying true to yourself.

REVIEW: The Dry by Jane Harper

Published: 31st May 2016

Publisher: Pan Macmillian Australia

Pages: 352 or 9 hrs 37 mins (audio)

Format: Audiobook

RRP: $ 32.62 (Audio book)/

4.5/5 Stars

A small town hides big secrets in this atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

In the grip of the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily when three members of a local family are found brutally slain.
Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend, loath to face the townsfolk who turned their backs on him twenty years earlier.
But as questions mount, Falk is forced to probe deeper into the deaths of the Hadler family. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret. A secret Falk thought was long buried. A secret Luke’s death now threatens to bring to the surface in this small Australian town, as old wounds bleed into new ones.

The Dry by Jane Harper … I am still so much in awe with, and fascinated by, this book. Despite being Harper’s debut novel, and the first in her Aaron Falk series, this book absolutely blew me away.

Set in a small outback town during the worst drought the country has ever seen, Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns home for the funeral of his childhood best friend and finds himself amid a cesspit of boiling tensions, suspicions and allegations. With the drought crippling everyone financially, emotionally and mentally, tensions are high in the town of Kiewerra.

Right from the start this book grabbed my attention and held me captive right to the very end. Although I guessed some of the events before they happened, I was constantly guessing motivations and potential criminal masterminds for the two crimes the book focuses around (the present murder of an entire family in cold blood and the past murder of one of the town’s teenagers some thirty years prior).

Despite being her debut book, Harper has cleverly and masterly crafted an edge-of-your-seat criminal/mystery thriller that leaves you guessing and suspecting everyone. With expert storytelling, she weaves the reader through a story of deceit, lies and scandal some thirty years in the making. What’s more, she reveals only the barest of facts at the crucial moment for the story, leaving the readers and characters hanging for more information as their world is rocked from under their feet time after time.

Her characters were on point with small towns and the Australian outback setting was the most perfect background for this novel. The setting is uniquely Australian and strangely universal all at once, and tensions and conflict explored in this book are both uncomfortable, devastating and intriguing, making you both disgusted by the actions, but unable to look away. Jane Harper deserves all the praise she gets (and more!) for this murder mystery and I’m stunned that it’s taken me so long to devour this. Because devour it, I did.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Steve Shanahan, and his voice was perfect for this story. Ironically dry, his voice conveyed the exact emotion and tone for this narrative, that I seriously could not imagine a better person suited for the book. I found his performance enthralling as much as the book was, and binge read as much as I could as fast as I could!

I highly recommend The Dry if you like thriller and mystery books. It’s not a police procedural by any means, so if that’s not your cup of tea, you really should give this book a go. Devastating, this book captures a wide range of emotions and the human psyche, bringing the best and worst of mankind to the readers forethought.  I’m not ashamed to admit, I cried during this book, I felt sick to my stomach and completely shocked by the events that unfolded. It was brilliant!

I can see myself singing The Dry high praise for a long time to come and can’t wait to get stuck into the second book in the series, Force of Nature, and her latest standalone The Lost Man.

To purchase a copy of The Dry, visit the following online retailers:

Audible Australia | Amazon AUS | AMAZON US | ANGUS & ROBERTSON | BOOKTOPIA | BOOK DEPOSITORY | DYMOCKS | PAN MACMILLIAN AUS | QBD

To learn more about Jane Harper, visit the following social media pages:

Jane Harper’s Website | Instagram | FacebookTwitter

 

REVIEW: The Roadhouse by Kerry McGinnis

Published: 2nd July 2019

Publisher: Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia

Pages:329

Format: paperback (courtesy of the publisher for review)

RRP: $32.99

When aspiring actress Charlie Carver learns that her cousin Annabelle has died, she immediately leaves Melbourne to fly home to the remote family roadhouse east of Alice Springs. It has been years since her last visit and her relationship with her mother, Molly, is strained but Charlie is determined to patch up their differences.

The reunion, however, is interrupted when Molly suffers a heart attack. With her mother airlifted out for life-saving surgery, Charlie is left to take the reins of the struggling family business, alongside friends old and new, including the captivating local stockman Mike.

The authorities declare Annabelle to have taken her own life, but when a woman’s body turns up at an abandoned mine site, Charlie begins to wonder what else is being covered up, and why.

Beginning a search for the truth, a perilous bush chase unfolds that threatens her own life, causing Charlie to wonder whether she ever knew Annabelle at all …

From the bestselling author of The Heartwood Hotel comes the suspenseful new outback mystery from Australia’s authentic rural writer and beloved voice of the bush.

The Roadhouseby Kerry McGinnis was a book that surprised me. I’ve read a few of Kerry McGinnis’ backlist by now, and I naively thought I knew what I was getting myself into with this novel. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

There is a lot to unpack in McGinnis’ 2019 new release, The Roadhouse. I could seriously talk your ear off about: how expert the writing is; how full of life and delightfully flawed her characters are; how familiar and foreign the isolated setting is; and how bloody Australian the book is.  I couldn’t get enough of any of it as I raced through the books 329 pages, anxiously trying to guess outcomes and wishing for a Happily Ever After (HEA) for poor Charlie.

Continue reading

GUEST POST: The Relationship Between Research and Country by Kerry McGinnis

Today I am ecstatic to share with you all a guest-post Kerry McGinnis wrote to celebrate the release of her new book The Roadhouse. The following post has been supplied by Kerry McGinnis and Penguin Random House Australia through their bookclub LOVE BETWEEN THE PAGES. Don’t forget to check out my review for The Roadhouse by Kerry McGinnis that will be posted at 4pm today.

Kerry McGinnis was born in Adelaide and at the age of twelve took up a life of droving with her father and four siblings. The family travelled extensively across the Northern Territory and Queensland before settling on a station in the Gulf Country. Kerry has worked as a shepherd, droving hand, gardener and stock-camp and station cook on the family property Bowthorn, north-west of Mt Isa. She is the author of two volumes of memoir, Pieces of Blue and Heart Country, and the bestselling novels The Waddi Tree, Wildhorse Creek, Mallee Sky, Tracking North, Out of Alice, Secrets of the Springs and The Heartwood Hotel. Kerry now lives in Bundaberg.

 

The Relationship Between Research and Country by Kerry McGinnis

My novels might be fiction (or as my then five-year old nephew put it (his moral sense was very strong) when I attempted to explain the difference between imaginative and factual writings, ‘But it’s all lies if you just make it up, Aunty.’ However the localities of my stories are as real as you can get.

Some of the settings of my novels — Central Australia and its deserts for instance, the locale for The Waddi Tree, Out of Alice, and The Roadhouse — I knew as a child, while the Gulf Country with its battering monsoons was my home for forty years. It was, therefore, an easy setting to write for Wild Horse Creek, Tracking North and The Heartwood Hotel. Such intimacy with country means that the very smell and taste and feel of the land leaches into one’s soul. A phrase can recreate it; the scent of rain, the taste of dust, or the coruscating light of a droughted landscape is forever waiting in the wings of the mind ready to be to given life again.

Continue reading

Waiting On Wednesday: The Wrong Callahan by Karly Lane

Weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Published by: Orion Publishing

Expected Publication: 28th November 2018

It had been two long years since Lincoln Callahan had found himself in front of the gates to Stringybark Creek. He was in the army then – a lifetime ago. Linc had always been the unsettled Callahan, looking for danger, the one who couldn’t wait to leave the family farm.

This time he was back for his little sister, Hadley’s, wedding. From far and wide, the Callahan relatives were streaming toward Stringybark Creek.

Linc’s little brother, Griffin, was the steady son, the one who stayed at home, the one who did the right things. And now, the one who had feelings for city-girl, Cash Sullivan.

For Cash, the offer to manage her best friend’s luxury beauty spa tucked away in the country had come at the right time. She knew she needed to make smarter choices in her life, starting with the men she dated, and an enforced break in the country seemed the right way to consider her options.

When Linc sets eyes on Cash at a family dinner, their swift attraction floors him. But Cash is his brother’s girlfriend…what was he thinking?

As Linc, Griff and Cash form an uneasy triangle, each of them have personal demons to face before they can open their hearts.

 

 

Author Signing: Heart Of The Town Book Signing

To celeberate the release of their new rural bindup collection, S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine are having a local book signing and they would love for you to come!


WHO: S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

WHERE: Big W Charlestown

WHAT: Book Signing

WHEN: Saturday 28th July at 10 am

 

Come along on Saturday 28th July at 10 am and say hello to S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine and get your book signed.

 

Author Event: Heart Of The Town Book Signing With S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K McKellar and Lee Christine

To celeberate the release of their new rural bindup collection, S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine are having a local book signing and they would love for you to come!


WHO: S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

WHERE: Big W Charlestown

WHAT: Book Signing

WHEN: Saturday 28th July at 10 am

 

Come along on Saturday 28th July at 10 am and say hello to S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine and get your book signed.

 

Local Book Signing: S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

To celeberate the release of their new rural bindup collection, S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine are having a local book signing and they would love for you to come!


WHO: S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

WHERE: Big W Charlestown

WHAT: Book Signing

WHEN: Saturday 28th July at 10 am

 

Come along on Saturday 28th July at 10 am and say hello to S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine and get your book signed.

 

REVIEW: The Long Paddock by Alissa Callen

Published: 23rd January 2017

Publisher: Harlequin Australia

Pages: 352

Format: Ebook courtesy of the publisher & netgalley

RRP: $29.99 (paperback)/ $9.99 (Ebook)

5/5 Stars

A captivating love story about community and second chances.

Country-girl Cressida Knight fills her days with her farm, a mischievous pet bull called Reggie and her volunteer emergency services work. The busier she keeps, the less she thinks about the cowboy who left her behind. She’s convinced the small-town Woodlea grapevine that she’s moved on, but now it’s time to move on for real. 

Champion bull rider Denham Rigby shares Cressy’s deep love for the land and all he’s ever wanted was to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Cressy through life. But three years ago a dark family secret left him no choice but to run. Now family duty gives him no choice but to return to the bush.

What Denham hasn’t come home to do is to hurt Cressy by rekindling their relationship. He’s nothing but a liability and the beautiful, self-reliant cowgirl has to stay off limits. But when faced with Cressy’s desperation to save her drought-stricken farm, he can’t keep his distance. He joins her out droving on the long paddock. Then when Woodlea is hit by more than just rodeo fever, they are further thrown together and Denham loses the battle to lock down his emotions.

But has he left it too late to stop running? And will the woman he’s always loved be prepared to risk her heart for a second time?

Set in the heart of Australia,The Long Paddock is the story of Cressida ‘Cressy’ Knight and Denham Rigby, two neighbouring farmers who have shared more than the odd drought season together. Fighting unresolved chemistry and feelings for one another, the pair are put through their paces time and time again as life in the country throws everything it has at them. What ensures is a book of remarkable character, strength and heart. One I couldn’t put down.

Giving a voice to some pretty serious, and often taboo / rarely spoken about topics, Callen doesn’t shy from representing all aspects of rural life in Australia, nor from revealing the often fatal and unfortunate toll our beautiful sunburnt country can and does sometime inflict on its inhabits. Each of her characters reflect various attitudes and standpoints of Australia, and in fact most small towns, that its often hard to look away. These characters and the situations/conflicts they endure, could easily be anyone of us. It’s heartbreaking, but incredible to witness and seeks to remind us all of what we stand to loose if we do not act.

Callen absolutely nails the Australian dialect in this book, so much so that you can totally hear the characters talking to each other as you read the book. When you combine this with her vivid imagery and larger than life characters, it’s no wonder the book swept me away.

I know I’ve mentioned it a lot lately, but this book is the King of slow burns. When the book opens we already know that Cressy and Denham have had a romantic past, but we don’t know the reasons for why they aren’t together now; a point of intrigue and conflict since it’s clearly evident to the reader that they were made for each other. Throughout the course of the novel we get to glimpse both characters heartaches and longings as they learn to navigate the hardships that life continues to throws at them. Both characters grow exponentially throughout the course of the novel because of this, and the fragile relationship they build together is not only a beautiful sight to behold, but one of the most magical and honest thing one can hope to witness.

The Long Paddock is a delightful and inspiring rural novel that hits all the right boxes: an alpha male and he’s equally stubborn childhood sweet heart, a rather cheeky bull with a carrot addiction, a cattle dog with swinging loyalties and bucket loads of mystery, small town gossip and a good dash of romance thrown in as well. More importantly though, The Long Paddock has so much heart and soul that it is sure to grip the reader until the very last page. Perhaps, if you are like me, even longer than that!!

So far 2017 has been a top notch reading year for me personally, and this latest addition from Aussie Author Alissa Callen is no exception. Full of mystery and intrigue and a good dash of romance, it’s the kind of book that is going to demand the readers attention and never let them go. Dealing with some heavier topics – alcoholism, mental illness, suicide and drought – it’s the kind of book that I find myself often returning too for it is unmatched in heart and soul. It’s brilliant and one page turner that you won’t want to miss this Summer.

 

To purchase a copy of The Long Paddock, visit the following online retailers:

Booktopia | Harlequin Australia | Dymocks | ibooks Australia | Amazon AUS | Amazon US | Google Books | Kobo |

 

To learn more about Alissa Callen, visit the following social media sites:

Author Website | Goodreads | FacebookHarlequin Australia |

aww2017-badge

 

REVIEW: Red Dust Dancer by Eva Scott

Published: 25th September 2016

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Pages: 310

Format: Ebook

RRP: $4.99

4/5 Stars 

Everyone deserves a second chance—and another dance.

Tamsin Cooper’s career as a Parisian showgirl is coming to an end. Nearly thirty, with no boyfriend and no prospects of a family of her own, she decides to take up her inheritance—her Uncle Ted’s cattle farm in Queensland.

Farm life seems to be suiting her until Tamsin discovers that Uncle Ted had a secret—and her sexy neighbour Angus Walker helped him keep it.

Faced with losing her farm and her heart, Tamsin returns to what she knows best, dancing, and starts teaching the residents of Elliott’s Crossing how to get in touch with their inner showgirl.

She may have the dance moves, but can she shimmy past a forty-year-old lie and a betrayal of lost love to find her place—and rediscover love—in this country town?

As a dancer, Red Dust Dancer had all the makings of a perfect book for me: dancing, a good dash of romance, an Australian setting, mystery and intrigue.

Red Dust Dancer was the first of Eva Scott’s books that I’ve read and on the whole I really enjoyed it. Scott’s writing is full of beautiful description and vivid imagery that If I stopped for a second and closed my eyes, the story could literally dance its way across my eyelids. Her characters were honest and easy to relate too. The chemistry between the two leads – Tasmin and Angus – was sizzling and their romance combustible.

Scott has effortlessly contrasted and balanced the glitzy high life of Paris and the Moulin Rouge with a small country town in Red Dust Dancer, something I’ve seen few (if any) do well. The difference between Tasmin’s two lifestyles made excellent fodder for the narrative and made sure she butted heads with Angus Walker, her neighbour and on-and-off-again lover.

Personally I loved Tasmin’s stubbornness and her kind hearted nature (and the naming and protection of her animals) and I really admired her strength and go-get-them attitude that meant she never gave up, no matter how high the mountain she was facing seemed.

Likewise I loved the mystery and intrigue element of the story and kind of wished this was developed a bit more especially towards the end of the novel where it seemed slightly rushed and easily wrapped up.

All in all Red Dust Dancer was an exciting read about big personalities in small towns and learning to find your place in a world you are unfamiliar with.

 

To purchase a copy of Red Dust Dancer, visit the following online retailers:

Escape Publishing |  iBooks AUS | Amazon AUS | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Booktopia | Google Play |

To learn more about Eva Scott, visit the following social media websites:

Eva Scott’s Website |  Goodreads | Twitter | Escape Publishing |

2016aww