Archive for May, 2014

escap Cover

For Jess Townsend, life is about to get complicated.

Following on from her split with Josh two months ago, Jess has thrown herself into her work full throttle, making sure that the one good thing in her life remains the same.

Suddenly she is called into an important meeting at work. Absolutely petrified that she is about to lose her job, she does the only thing she knows how. Panic on the inside and walk through it with her head held high on the outside.

Jess soon discovers she is being offered a once in a lifetime opportunity but will she take it?

After dealing with an ex who can’t let go and a broody mysterious Adonis who won’t accept no for an answer, maybe the opportunity of an escape has arrived at the perfect time.

What does fate have in store and what obstacles will be thrown her way?

Author bio

Welcome to the crazy and hectic life that is me… A fun, loving mum of one special little boy, girlfriend (I’m sure it should be wife by now!!) and an overall crazy, happy go lucky girl from England.

I have always had a passion for reading and writing. Wherever I am, my book reader is never far behind along with a mug of coffee.

I found myself wanting to write from a young age, I have quite a few hidden stories on my computer somewhere, maybe I will have to dig them out and play around with them at some point.

I decided to make the very exciting but also very nerve wracking decision to release my debut ‘Escape down under’ at the end of 2013 when the ideas in my head got too strong and just wouldn’t leave me alone.

So as a result of my imagination working overtime, Escape Down Under (Down under #1) will be released in July 2014.

Come and say hi…

escape Teaser


World War One started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The story of the assassin, Gavrilo Princip, is often summed up in a few lines, or less. Tim Butcher redresses this imbalance by exploring the journey of Gavrilo in a book that is part biography, part history and part travelogue. And he shows how Gavrilo’s vision for Bosnia was arrived at and destroyed.

The story starts with Butcher examining the tomb of Gavrilo in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war of the 1990s. During the siege of Sarajevo it was being used as a public toilet. This surprised Butcher, who was in Bosnia as a war correspondent. Butcher grew up in a quiet Northamptonshire village that honoured its war dead and, after leaving his journalism career, he wanted to seek answers to what drove Gavrilo to assassinate Franz Ferdinand, thus precipitating a war that claimed Butcher’s great uncle and several million besides. To do this he sought to recreate the journey of Gavrilo from his home village in Bosnia to Sarajevo, Belgrade and back to Belgrade.

Gavrilo family were poor peasants living on the western margin of Bosnia, an Ottoman province administered by the Austrian empire. The Austrians proclaimed they were bringing civilisation to the poor oppressed peoples of the central Balkans, but apart from a few public works, nothing much changed, just the religion of the foreign occupier. Serfdom and crippling taxes continued. Gavrilo was a quiet, bookish child who stood up to bullies, whether he was the victim or not. He did well at primary school, and his older brother convinced his parents to send him to Sarajevo for secondary schooling. This meant leaving his Bosnian Serb village and living as a boarder in predominantly Muslim Sarajevo. He and his father also had to walk for several days to the nearest train to take them to Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital. Gavrilo was a model student, but then things began to change. His grades got worse, he needed to repeat some exams, he moved to Belgrade for two years, all the while his passion to rid Bosnia of the foreign occupier growing. Finally, Gavrilo and friends return to Sarajevo to commit the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The final chapter is the sad story of Gavrilo post-conviction, a criminal too young for Austrian capital punishment.

Butcher begins the journey with an émigré Bosnian Muslim in Obljaj, Gavrilo’s home village and still home to some of his relatives. He explores what Gavrilo and his legacy – WWI, Yugoslavia, WWII, Tito’s Yugoslavia and the Bosnian War – meant to them and to the various people he meets on the way. For some it is a personal matter, such as his family living with the ghost of the man who fired the shots that started the Great War. For others, it is a collective matter, and Bosnian Serbs, Muslims and Croats reacted differently at different times. To the Yugoslav states, he was a hero and martyr.

Butcher explores Gavrilo’s motives for the assassination, reaching the conclusion that once more it was the boy standing up for the victims of a bully. Butcher also notes the changing nature of the portrayal of the assassins, morphing to suit the political needs of the portrayers. Along the way he mixes in incidents from his time in Bosnia during the Bosnian War and snippets from history. The result is book that is readable, informative, and provoked a desire in me to recreate Gavrilo’s peregrination, or some major portion of it. I thoroughly recommend this book to all with an interest in history and biography.

Chatto & Windus

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Steve

PSS Banner 7 EDIT

The PSS Chronicles is the acclaimed young adult paranormal thriller series written and self-published by award-winning author Ripley Patton. 

If you’re already familiar with the series, you know how great these books are. They are true paranormal thrillers and almost impossible to put down.


Book One, GHOST HAND, was a semi-finalist for the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards and it was a 2013 Cybil Award Nominee. It has over 200 reviews on Amazon with a 4.4 overall rating.

GHOST HOLD has been just as well received with over 40 reviews, only one under 3-stars. Readers often comment that is is even more compelling than the first book.

And NOW, Ripley Patton is gearing up for the release of the third book in this series, GHOST HEART, by running a Kickstrater Project HERE.

All Ripley’s books have been funded successfully through Kickstarter, which allows readers to pre-order the books in e-book and paperback format, in addition to ensuring she can publish them to the highest quality. Plus, its just fun to be a part of the amazing process of making a book a reality.

This time around, Ripley has something special going on. Backers of the project will actually be helping unveil the GHOST HEART cover, one piece at a time, as the funds for the book are raised. To whet your appetite, she’s already let one little corner show here. Just a hint. Just a tease. The rest is up to you and all the backers of the GHOST HEART KICKSTARTER PROJECT. But I really hope it doesn’t take too long because I’m dying to see that cover.


If you’re new to The PSS Chronicles, never fear. The GHOST HEART Kickstarter Project has reward options to purchase all the books, both in e-book and signed paperback format for some amazing prices.

Not only that, but if you want to test drive the series before committing, Ripley is currently offering the first book of the series, GHOST HAND, FREE on Amazon and Kobo, and for only 99 cents on B&N.


Run over to Ripley’s Project now and back GHOST HEART. Tell your friends and family and fellow booklovers. Share the project on social media and help Ripley unveil that cover and blow this Kickstarter Project up.

And to find out even more about Ripley, you can check her out on her WEBSITE, on FACEBOOK, on TWITTER, on GOODREADS, and on GOOGLE +. She’d love to connect with you and talk about books, writing, movies, or whatever strikes your fancy.

the princess and the foal

Haya is a princess of Jordan, her father is the king. After suffering the loss of her adored mother, she is tremendously quiet and sinks into a depression and doesn’t show any joy in life. Desperately worried her father   searches for a way to make her smile again, and gifts her a two day old foal for her birthday. Haya is responsible for the foal and if she lives or dies which she takes seriously, sleeping in the stables to give her nightly feeds. The foal thrives on her attention and Haya names her Bint Al-Reeh, Daughter of the Wind in Arabic, Bree for short.

Haya spends the next few years learning to ride so that when Bree is broken in she is ready to teach her. Finally the day comes and they love being with each other. Then Haya learns she is being sent to England to continue her schooling, leaving behind her beloved home, family, and Bree. At first desperately lonely, Haya makes friends and learns to showjump, showing a natural talent for it. After her grief at her mother death finally shows she is sent back home where she is determined to win The King’s Cup.

Based on the life of Princess Haya of Jordan, an international showjumper who represented Jordan in the Olympics, this book is a must read for any pony-obsessed girl. There is a triumphant ending and lots of horsey speak, and a young girl beating macho mean. It’s good to see how Haya made her own rules in a male-dominated society and her father, the king, obviously adored her. An awe-inspiring woman.

HarperCollins Children’s Book

Supplied by HarperCollins New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan


bad blood

Bad Blood is Arne Dahl’s second book about A Gruppen or, if you prefer the English the Intercrime Group and was originally released in Sweden in 1998. That small piece of data is important because until I had checked the fine print inside the fly leaf I was suffering not a small amount of confusion as to time and place for the action of the story – as so much has changed in the fifteen years that passed before this book was translated into English.

The novel is a police procedural about a serial killer newly landed in Sweden from the United States of America. But there is something very unusual about this killer, he went quiet for fifteen years before starting up again and no one knows why. The members of A Gruppen were assembled to solve a series of murders a year ago and have grown rusty and restless since the dust settled on that investigation. Now there is a new case to reinvigorate the team. And so it goes.

Besides the dislocation caused by reading something I hadn’t released was a bit dated I found this book difficult to warm to. It is written in a very tele-visual style that would lend itself to easy translation to the small screen (which has already happened to five of the books in the series) but can make for a disjointed reading experience. And because A Gruppen is a team of investigators each member has his or her chapter or three as lead character – not in itself a bad thing but just when I was warming to a character they would fade to the background as spotlight shifted to another team member. But around halfway the action and the interest picked up and Bad Blood developed into a real page turner.

In some not something I would whole heartedly recommend, but not an author I would shun either. And next time I shall check the original publication date so I don’t start wondering about the author’s use of anachronisms.

Harvill Secker

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Simon

a perfect moment

“When life threatens perfect, it’s time to step up and kick life in the balls.”

Ella’s perfect moment was taken from her is the worst possible way. Humiliated, heart broken and absolutely determined not to allow her heart be destroyed for a second time, she builds an ice wall around her heart.

Preston has known that he was in love his big sister’s best friend since the age of fifteen. Over ten years on, and an opportunity to be her knight in shining armour is too good to miss. Putting his heart on the line, he’s on a mission to show Ella that the perfect moment is possible.

Ella’s instinct is to run when she realises her feelings for her bestie’s little brother may just run a little bit deeper than just friends. But if she can’t run, she’ll try every trick in the book to shake off his affection and realign his feelings.

She already had her perfect moment, and there is no chance she’ll let her heart thaw for Preston. No matter how good he looks in the firefighter’s Christmas calendar.

*** Contains steamy-hot moments, romance, friendship and a bulk load of swearing – non explicit sex scenes. ***

Amazon links:

 About the author

Spending the last few years near the Queensland coast, Becca is rarely out of the sea or off the beach. Dragging her long board with her and her overworked Kindle Fire, Becca enjoys her three addictions: reading, surfing and ogling surfers, one of whom is her husband of ten years.

She can still be found regularly on the beach with her family. Becca tends to leave the surfing to her boys; she’s far too busy immersed in her own writing or, of course, with her head still buried in a new read.






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speed freak

Archie is a top go-kart driver, aiming to win the Challenge series and go to Europe to race. His dad help with the kart, and he has a lt of family support for his racing. Then his dad’s girlfriend, who hates any type of motor racing, moves in with her son Felix. She forbids Archie to get her son involved in racing but Felix has other ideas. Archie is chasing a sponsorship deal for his racing, keeping up with school, work, training, and friends. So he’s bit busy but makes time to be a big brother to Felix.

Silver has recently returned to racing and drives like there’s a demon inside her, proving dangerous to other drivers. Kyla is a fellow driver and Archie finds he likes her in a different way than his other driver mates.

Craig is Archie’s main rival in the Challenge and is competing for the same sponsorship deal. Having a rich father, he doesn’t really need itbut he likes to win. How far would he go though?

Fleur Beale has a talent for making me absorbed in a story about something I have no interest in – go-kart racing this time. I couldn’t put it down, reading it in one sitting. The plot has lots of action, a tiny bit of teenage romance, and likeable characters you want to succeed.   There’s a range of issues that teens deal with in the story; blended families, friendships, girl/boyfriend, how to deal with pressure. This book will appeal to both boys and girls, as well as anyone who appreciates talented writers.

Random House

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan