Friday, 27 November 2015

BookTuber of the month

Calling all BookTubers!  Would you like me to check out your channel?  Then leave a comment below and let me know about you.  Each month I search the world of BookTubers to see what is happening in the book review world.  There are the ones that I have watched for a long time, but what about all you new people out there.  It would be nice to highlight some of the newbies,  we all deserve a chance when we are starting something new.  So here is your chance.  Flick me a comment and your link and I will take a look.  You never know, you may just make it onto my BookTuber of the month list.
This month I have chosen Riley Marie.  I have no idea how long she has been doing her reviews for but she looks fresh and young.  Good on Riley for telling us all about the books she has been reading.  I enjoyed her honesty and her reasoning's.  Keep on reading and reviewing, Riley.

Youtube link:

Happy Reading!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Worthy of Repeating

Hi everyone

This week I would like to share a quote from that touched me.  I have led a good life.  I have little regrets.  I have tried more than my best at most things in life.  Good friends and great family are ever present around me. 

Does this mean that I will be happy when my life flashes before me?   It got me thinking about the things I don't do and the things I never got to say.  Maybe my biggest problem is being too busy.  I miss the things I would like to see flashing over and over before my eyes.  The gentle smile of the friend I never took the time to say hello to.  This is partly because I was shy at the time, partly due to being tied up in my world and then there is the speed of life.

It is the unspoken things that I think I will regret the most.  The friendships I missed just because,  and the phone calls I didn't make when a text was quicker.

Quotes are good for getting you to think.  What will flash before your eyes?  Will it make you smile or will it just scare you?  We never look at ourselves but maybe one day we will.  I want to be happy with the picture painted of me in time to come.  I want to make a difference in the lives around me.  I would like to think I have inspired someone in just a little way.

Go on, make a difference today.  Make someone smile.  Inspire and uplift someone.  You will feel better for it, and you will like the picture painted of you one day when you get no say in what someone else thought of you.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Valley of Chaya

Valley of Chaya
Author: Tracey Hoffmann

Hi everyone,
When I first got this book I was only able to find this book in Ebook format.  I am so pleased to see that it is now available in print.  I have this on my Kindle shelf, but it needs to be lined up on my bookcase too.  This is the best book I have every come across addressing the issue of human trafficking.  The lengths the family goes to, to find Charlotte makes one want to cry.  The bond that Charlotte makes with one little girl is immense.  The result of the abduction brings an ending that will challenge your moral thinking.  If you have an e-reader then add it to your wish list, or better yet get it. 
I have a problem now.  I have just noticed that there is a second book in this series.  Eli: Valley of Chaya - Book 2, has been added to my Kindle.  Now I need more reading time!  Roll on Christmas holidays and summer, I am going to sit in the long awaited sun with my Kindle in hand.
The best way explain what this book is about is by reading the blub:
Deceit, corruption and forced prostitution are words that never crossed Charlotte's mind as she finalized arrangements for a trip to India. Her travel partner pulls out at the last minute and Charlotte's father steps in forbidding her to leave alone. Failing to persuade her brother Eli to join her, Charlotte slips away under the cover of night setting off a chain of events that would change her life forever. Snatched from her world on the streets of Mumbai young Shanti now faces unspeakable horrors. Her short life had always been one of hardship but she'd always felt protected and loved by ten-year-old Ashok, her only family. Where was Ashok now? Would he come for her? Why was this happening? Eli and Ashok are determined to rescue their sisters from the dark world of human trafficking. Will their courage and love be enough to bring them home or will they find more than what they were looking for?
Happy reading.
This was available from: Amazon, Fishpond and Book depository

Monday, 16 November 2015

Worthy of Repeating

Hi everyone,

I joined in with some authors and publishers today in a writers panel.  It was awesome to meet these great people.  It was interesting to hear their journey's through the publishing world.  The dynamics of publishing ebooks, printed books, family reunion books and blogs.  The view from the publishes side of the printing and all the extras people don't always take into account before seeking publishing.  It was also interesting to hear how each person set out to write their books.  I teach children how to write and there seem to be so many rules and structures to learn.  Then you listen to authors and their writing follows passion, character formation, instinct and the enjoyment of the journey.

There was the argument of ebooks verses print, as everyone has their own a view on what's best.  I like to have the option of both.  There is nothing like a new book, a coffee, chocolate and a lie in on a day off.  Then again, when you are delivering children from after school activity to the next event, there is a place for the kindle to be tucked quietly inside my handbag.  The kindle enables me to take the characters everywhere I go.  They travel quite happily never complaining (out loud anyway).

I now have a few extra books on my 'to be read list'.  I am especially awaiting the arrival of Syd and Max Head to Bluff.  This book is connected to my family in just a little way and will have to gain a place on my bookshelf.  Syd and Max books is a series of picture books based around the Southland area in New Zealand.  If you can get your hands on Snail Mail then you are in for an artistic treat inside a children's book.  These books will be added to The Ship of Sight and the Hand of Shadow, that Brydie Walker Bain has kindly sent me a copy of.  Keep checking in so I can let you know about each one as I read them.

Anyway, this lead me to this weeks Worthy of Repeating.  I found this over at  There are lots of quotes on their site, free and able to be used for wallpaper on your PC.  As I enjoy poetry and quotes I couldn't resist this one.  We spend far too much time dwelling on the past rather than writing the next chapter.  After all what is it that you want to be remembered for?  Why keep reminding everyone of the things we cannot change rather than showing them the greatness we all hold somewhere inside.  Start writing the next chapter and make it greater than the last... your worth it.


Friday, 13 November 2015

Hello from the Gillespies

Hello from the Gillespies
Author: Monica McInerney
ISBN: 978-1-921901-81-2
Pages: 518

Hello from the Gillespies
Every year Angela sends out a letter to a hundred friends and family.  Every year the letter tells of all the shining events her family has encountered.  Now, come on... we have all received these shining portrayals from friends and families over the years.  Now we received them everyday over Facebook.  Well, this year all goes wrong.  Angela has been suffering from headaches and has the burning desire to tell the truth.  And the  truth she tells.  Upon reading her email she decides to delete it and start again.  That's when it all happens!  The email doesn't get deleted and her husband kindly sends it (without first reading it). 
The book is based on the email and the events documented within.  It made me laugh to imagine the whole situation.  I know I should have been open mouthed but sometimes you just have to giggle.  What a stupid thing to do in the first place.  The lives of each character carries events that make the book readable and enjoyable.  I liked every character, connecting in different ways with each situation as they grew through the moments. 
I enjoyed the way the blurb twisted the events.  I thought.... but ... (cant tell).  If you want a book for the holidays, that are fast approaching us again, then this is a good choice.  It's light hearted and enjoyable.  It's long but  not hard to read.  Check it out.
Here is the blub:
For more than thirty years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-year letter titled 'Hello from the Gillespies'.  It's always been cheery and full of good news.  This year, Angela surprises herself - she tells the truth...
The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be.  Her husband seems to be having a mid-life crisis  Her grown-up twins are having career meltdowns.  Her third daughter, badly in debt, can't stop crying.  And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.
Without Angela, the family would fall apart.   But when Angela is taken from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together - and pull themselves together - in wonderfully surprising ways..
From the best selling author of 'The house of Memories' comes a funny and heartfelt novel about miscommunication and mayhem in a family like no other.
This was available from:  Fishpond, Book depository and Amazon

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Writers talk...

Hi Every one

An opportunity to come meet me.  I will be part of a writers panel event in Winton, New Zealand on 17 November.  There is a range of writers from authors to bloggers and I have been asked to join them.  I would love to meet some of my followers, so if any of you are in the area, come introduce yourself. 

While you are in the area, I highly recommend you take a look in Country Matters and With Grace.  They are two of my favourite shops.  Reading and shopping... now there is a good day for any girl.

Happy reading.


Monday, 9 November 2015

Worthy of Repeating

Hi everyone

This weeks Worthy of Repeating came to me through social media.  This one spoke to me loudly.  I explain and apologise for everything.  Now, I do mean everything!  Never on earth, could it be someone else that should come to me to do the talking.  No.  I explain far to much to keep everyone happy.  For goodness sake it may just be time to stop and let someone else do the explaining.  Maybe that way we all get to not only talk, but also think and listen. 

Yes listening, now that is another subject.  How much do we all really listen.  Not just have a coffee and hear what we want.  I mean really listen.  There are so many people out there suffering from depression.  What if someone listened, really listened, before depression set in?  The world seems to be in such a hurry.  There is family, friends, work, study, social media...  No wonder we feel there is need to explain every action, when we are connected to everything, yet nothing all at the same time.

Now stop and think.  Why do you explain so much?

Then stop and think.  Are you hearing what others have to say?  People in your life are important.  Love them and care for them.  Listen not just to what you want to hear.  Try it, maybe even for just one day.  Consider it a challenge.

Keep smiling


Friday, 6 November 2015

The girl on the train

The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
ISBN: 978-0-857-52232-0
Pages: 320
The Girl on the Train
Ever thought of who might be watching you?  That innocent person passing by each day, what do they know of you?  What kind of life do others see in you actions, while not knowing you?
Each day we look into other peoples worlds.  These are the worlds they want us to see.  What world are they actually living beyond what they want us to know.  We put on faces when we open the door to the outside world.  Us women are really good at it.  We put on a pretty dress, shoes from the growing platform in our wardrobes, and make up to cover every blemish.  We smile and know just the right things to say.  We are socialised this way from infancy.  Schools mould us.  Friends influence us.  Work places structure us.  Then we enter our world at home, where we take of the makeup and shoes and relax with a book. 
This book shows the secrets behind three families, linked in ways that will twist your mind.  The girl on the train sees the perfect side, from the safety of the carriage.  She hides her own misfortunes and drinks away the pain.  Lost is her perfect world, as her ex-husband lives with his new family covered with smiles and beauty.  The couple viewed from the train, are her vision of perfect.  She creates their world, through the window of the train and her imagination.  All is a shattered as the train stops, for just an instance, and she sees... (SPOILER!)

This book is written as a diary, of all three homes.  It took me a while to get into the structure of this one.  I have to admit the first few entries confused me, as it skipped from one person to the next.  Then I realised each person was writing their own diary entry.  It is not just one persons entry.  Once I got head around this idea, the book was really good.  The twists and turns; the annoyance I developed for each character along the way; the sorrow I felt for them also grew.  Then, I had to keep reading to find out the connections and answer all the questions.  So many questions were needing answered by the end of the book, there was no way I could put it down. 

If you pick one up off the shelf, keep reading.  I was tempted to put it down, but I'm glad I didn't.

Here is the blurb:

To everyone else in this carriage I must look normal; I'm doing exactly what they do: commuting to work, making appointments, ticking things off lists.  Just goes to show.

Every day the same

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning.  She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens.  She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses.  'Jess and Jason', she calls them.  Their life - as she sees it - is perfect.  If only Rachel could be that happy.

Until today

And then she sees something shocking.  It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough.  Now everything's changed.  Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar.  Now they'll see she's much more than just the girl on the train.

This was available from: Fishpond, Book depository and Amazon

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Worthy of repeating

After a week of exams, I had to have a laugh at this one.  It gives one point to the boys and one point to the girls.  It is always interesting to see the impact punctuation can make.  Thanks to the friend that sent this one through to me.

Well exams are through for this semester.  I am redecorating the house this week.  I enjoy decorating and craft, so I am going to grab the chance while I take the next couple of weeks for a bit of relaxation.  There will be more time to finish some of my TBR pile, keep looking in and I will keep you informed with what is being read.  I also have a speaking event coming up which I will put the details up for, so if any of you out there are in the area you can come meet me.

Happy reading and keep smiling