Dying for Cake

Dying for Cake is Brisbane author Louise Limerick’s first novel and has The Australian Women’s Weekly Great Read sticker on the front.

And a great read it was!  The title caught my attention straight away and I couldn’t put it down.

Here’s some of the blurb:

“Life has taken an unexpected turn for the women in a mothers’ coffee group. Baby Amy has disappeared, and her mother, Evelyn, broken and distant in a psychiatric hospital, won’t utter a word.

Joanna is dying for cake.  Clare is longing to paint again.  Susan wants to claw back all the time she’s lost.  Wendy is trying to forget the past.  Then there’s Evelyn.  Nobody knows what Evelyn wants.  But how can she not want her baby back?”

All of the characters where intriguing and each had their own problems to deal with as well as trying to help Evelyn out of her trance so she would open up about what had happened to her baby.

Plenty of twists and turns and an interesting ending!

 

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Book Club – The Rosie Project

While away on a long weekend in Noosa visiting my husband’s sister and her family from London I managed to finish my book club book -The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

I loved it. It’s a light, humorous, easy to read story about Don Tillman, an awkward and straight to the point genetics professor and Rosie Jarman, a barmaid who is on a quest to find her biological father.

Here’s a bit of the blurb:

Don Tillman is getting married.
He just doesn’t know who to yet.

The Wife Project will solve that problem. He has designed a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker,a drinker or a late-arriver.

Rosie Jarman is all of these things. She is also fiery and intelligent and beautiful.

All the characters in the story have their own funny mannerisms and I laughed the whole way through, especially at Don’s inappropriate comments and awkward moments.

I hope the movie goes ahead – would be great to watch.

I’m not sure what our next book will be – possibly “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

What’s everyone else reading at the moment?

The Write Book Cover – Little Bee

I was reading Izzy May I: The Write Book Cover over on the blog, Izzy Grabs Life. She asked the question: What makes a book cover grab your attention? I straight away thought of Chris Cleave’s powerful and heart-breaking story, “Little Bee”.

IMG_4659

Everything about this book attracted my attention: the intriguing title, the swirly font, the front cover’s striking silhouette on bright yellow, the blurb on the back and my sister saying, “You’ve got to read this book! It’s brilliant!” And, she was right. I couldn’t put the book down. I had to find out what happened.

Here is the blurb: IMG_4660

The Birdwatcher

In December 2013 actor/author William McInnes came to the Redcliffe library to talk about his latest book at the time, “The Birdwatcher”.  I booked tickets for my sister and I and we enjoyed a lovely evening at the library drinking wine and eating nibbles while sitting in the front row listening to a hilarious William McInness.  He is a natural storyteller and told us all about his life growing up in Redcliffe. We couldn’t stop laughing. At the end of the talk we lined up to get a photo with William and he signed our books. Such a nice guy!

I have just finished reading “The Birdwatcher” and loved it. As I read the book I pictured William playing the main character, David and read his dialogue using William’s voice. I think it would make a great movie, starring William McInnes or course! This is the first book of his that I’ve read and I’m keen to read more.

Here’s a bit of the blurb:

“It’s part love story, part Hot Diggity moments of discovery, whether they happen in a rainforest or while sitting on a verandah, or in somebody’s heart.”

Just recently I read that his new book called “Holidays” is all about his life in Redcliffe. That would be a good one to read.

He spoke at the Redcliffe library last December too but unfortunately I was unable to go. Maybe he’ll return at the end of this year and I’ll get front row seats again!

Happy Reading everyone.

Welcome Back

Hello. It’s nice to be back, finally!  Had a few busy months there and didn’t have time to blog.

I really enjoyed participating in NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) last year.  It pushed my boundaries and made me focus.  It was fun, as well as a bit stressful, trying to get the word count every day.  Unfortunately, due to work commitments, house duties and family dramas etc, I didn’t get to complete the 50 000 words but I was very pleased with the effort I put in to get my 25 000 word count. I also have lots more ideas of where my story is going to go so will continue to work on it during the year.

I’ve just finished reading Marian Keyes’ “The Women who Stole my Life” (I bought it for a friend but had to read it first!!  :)) and it was excellent.  She’s one of my favourite authors and I’ve read most of her books.  If you’re looking for a bit of a pick-me-up, this book is for you.  It’s lots of fun with some drama and romance too.  Marian Keyes has a way with words and can make something totally non-significant into something very funny.  Her characters are engaging and say the funniest things. I was laughing out loud.

Here’s a bit of the blurb:

“One day, sitting in traffic, married Dublin mum Stella Sweeney attempts a good deed.  The resulting car crash changes her life.  For she meets a man who wants her telephone number (for the insurance, it turns out).  That’s okay.  She doesn’t really like him much anyway (his Range Rover totally banjaxed her car).”

Other books by Marian Keyes:  Sushi for Beginners, This Charming Man, Angels, Rachel’s Holiday, Lucy Sullivan is getting Married.

What books have you read recently?

Day Two

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo and already I’m behind schedule (736 words).  It’s a bit tricky when you have visitors come to stay for the weekend!  But I did manage to plot a time line and scribble down some notes yesterday morning and then stay up past midnight to get parts of it typed up.  I think perhaps I need to just type and not edit so much as I go along??

How’s everyone else going with their story?

National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month.  I just signed up and am a bit nervous as the longest story I’ve written is a junior fiction chapter book with a total of 7300 words.  I’ll need a stack more ideas/action/dialogue to write a 50 000 word novel in 30 days.  That about 1667 words per day.  I’m not really sure how I’m going to fit that much writing in around work, kids, after school activities, cooking and cleaning (think I’ll ditch the housework!) but, I’m going to give it a try anyway.

The official NaNoWriMo website has lots of helpful information on what to do and how to sign up.  Click here to check it out. Once you sign up, if you enter where you’re from you will receive messages about upcoming activities and events.  You can also visit a writer’s website and add them as a writing buddy. Furthermore, there are forums on which to chat about your novel and get help from fellow writers.

Has anyone taken up the NaNoWriMo challenge in previous years?  I’d love to hear how you went and if you have any tips or suggestions.

Who else is entering for the first time?

Wish me luck!  I start tomorrow.  🙂

We Need To Talk About Kevin

A couple of weekends ago all the book club ladies met at my place to chat about “Kevin” and boy was there a lot to discuss! “We Need to Talk About Kevin” is a novel by Lionel Shriver about a fictional school massacre, although, the way she told the story I kept thinking it was based on a true story. The novel is written from the perspective of the killer’s mother, Eva Khatchadourian, and documents her attempt to come to terms with her son Kevin and the murders he committed. Although told in the first person as a series of letters from Eva to her husband, the novel is full of suspense and twists and turns (which I did not see coming). This is Shriver’s seventh novel and won the 2005 Orange Prize, a U.K.-based prize for female authors of any country writing in English. I didn’t realise this novel was made into a film (in 2011) until I saw Tilda Swinton on the front cover. I’ll add it to my list of movies to see.

Have you read the novel or seen the movie? What did you think?

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Before the September school holidays my book club met to discuss “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. I loved this story from start to finish, full of drama, suspense, time travel and love. I’m adding it to my top 5 list of favourite novels, alongside “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak (by the way, I still haven’t seen the movie).

The Time Traveler’s Wife is about Henry (a librarian) who meets Clare when he is thirty-six and she is six and marries Clare when he is thirty-one and she is twenty-three. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder and is able to travel back and forth in time. Henry’s disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, but from an early age he is taught (by an older version of himself) how to deal with his disorder. The Time Traveler’s Wife is a moving love story about two people trying to lead normal lives in a highly unusual situation.

During our book club meeting we had the movie playing in the background so it was really interesting to compare the book to the movie. Even though I do love Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, the movie was a little disappointing but I guess that’s usually the way when you’ve read the book first!

Have you read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” or any of Niffenegger’s other novels? What did you think?

Our next book on the list is “We need to talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. I requested this one and the books took longer than we thought to come in to the library so I’m really excited to finally be able to read it!

Happy Reading 🙂

CYA Writing Competition/Conference

It’s that time again! Entries for the Children’s and Young Adult Writers and Illustrators Competition are due on 30 April so send in your fabulous picture books (fiction and non-fiction), chapter books, YA novels and illustrations as soon as possible.

The ninth CYA Conference program will be held in Brisbane on Saturday, 5th July 2014.

Here’s a little bit about the conference and the line up of amazing speakers attending the conference: “This conference is aimed as professional development for new and established writers and illustrators of Children’s and Young Adult literature. Master classes and workshops will be conducted by Wendy Orr, Sue Whiting, Aaron Pocock, Isobelle Carmody, Terry Saleh, Pamela Rushby, Rebecca Timmis, Karen Tayleur and Peter Carnavas.”

Editor and agent appointments as well as website development critiques are also available. These are one-on-one 15 minute meetings whereby your work has already been read. Editors onsite include: Sue Whiting,(Walker Books), Karen Tayleur (Five Miles Press), Leonie Tyle ( Tyle & Bateson Publishing), Suzanne O’Sullivan (Hachette Australia), Katrina Lehman (Penguin, Australia) and Agent: Alex Adsett and web designer: Rebecca Timmis.

For more details about the CYA competition/conference visit the CYA website.

I went last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can read all about it here. Happy writing and illustrating and hope to see you there!