Online book launch and giveaway

Did I hear someone say BOOK GIVEAWAY??

J.M. Peace

Tomorrow, I can take4 out my bucket list and tick something off.

“Have a book published” has been a life ambition since I was a teenager. And on the 1st of July 2015 my debut novel A Time To Run is officially released by Pan Macmillan. So close now…

To celebrate, I’m having an online launch through Facebook on Thursday 2 July. Everybody is welcome. Due to my double life/ assumed identity issues, I won’t be doing anything in person. Instead I’m going to hang out online and give away some books.

So drop by my author page ‘JM Peace Author’ on Facebook between 7:30pm and 9pm EST. There’ll be competitions and guests. You can wear your pyjamas and ugg boots. I know I will be.

Then stay tuned here for my ongoing blog tour. Exciting times.

View original post

Advertisements

Post Script: Cobain: Monatge Of Heck – Brett Morgen with Richard Bienstock

A montage of life’s noise.

Cover Cobain Montage of Heck

Cobain: Montage of Heck

Brett Morgen with Richard Bienstock

Hachette Australia

An Insight Editions Books

ISBN: 9780733634468

 

Description:

The riveting companion book to the highly anticipated documentary about the life of Nirvana frontman and grunge legend Kurt Cobain, featuring expanded exclusive interviews with the family and friends who knew him best and never-seen-before photographs and artwork.

More than twenty years have passed since Kurt Cobain took his own life in April 1994. Today, his legacy continues to fascinate, inspire, and haunt us. This riveting chronicle, which accompanies award-winning director Brett Morgen’s highly anticipated documentary, paints an illuminating and honest portrait of the Nirvana frontman, capturing the contradictions that made up his character: he could be sincere and sentimental and also ironic and sarcastic, was sweet yet sour, and was both serious and very funny.

This book – the only book about Kurt that has been produced with the cooperation of his widow, Courtney Love, and the Cobain Estate – includes interviews with numerous family members and friends, many of whom speak publicly about their relationship with Kurt for the first time, along with animation stills from the film, never-before-seen photographs, and other artefacts, offering revealing new insights into the life and character of Kurt Cobain. It is the ultimate book for fans of Nirvana, whose popularity continues to endure, and of Kurt, who remains a fascinating icon of popular culture.

My View:

“Montage Of Heck” is a collage that Kurt Cobain assembled with a 4-track cassette recorder around 1988. It features sounds from Kurt’s extensive and bizarre record collection, manipulated recordings of the radio, elements of Nirvana demos, and sounds created or recorded by Cobain.” (http://www.livenirvana.com/digitalnirvana/songguide/body7fd4.html?songid=60) I think this quote/summary sums up the memoir/companion documentary of the same name/life of Kurt Cobain as reported in the media perfectly- Kurt Cobain – a montage of life’s noise; the drama, tragedy, illness, love, loss, pain, creativity, addiction and suicide. From janitor to mega star – what a life, what a death!

Any fans of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain will love this book! Or indeed anyone who has enjoyed popular music in the 80’s and 90’s will appreciate this book. And the production values are massive! The images and the prints from the animation stills from the documentary used in this book are extraordinary; the quality is fantastic. This is the noise of Kurt Cobain’s life.

PS My adult daughters said the documentary was awesome.

 

Post Script: The Bones of You – Debbie Howells

 The perfect example of domestic noir.

Description:
I have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft‑petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.
Children who don’t die before their parents.

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.

Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.

 

My View:
The perfect example of domestic noir.

After I finished reading this book I sat back and went WOW and then went to bed exhausted, it was after all past 1.30am but I could not put this down till I had read every single last word. I devoured this book. I savoured the words. This intimate portrait of manipulation and domestic violence – physical, emotional and psychological, is intense and accurate and is handled superbly and gently – which I think is a very effective way to treat the power imbalances here (I have worked in women’s refugees in a past life and know of how destructive these kinds of control/behaviours are and how realistic these examples are). In this novel we mostly we learn of these “truths” after the events, some almost a lifetime after…the voice from the grave is very effective; haunting, poignant, powerful.

I loved hearing Rosie’s voice, her memories. Her observations are powerful, painful and mostly joyless and so so sad, never have flash backs worked so evocatively. The anecdote regarding a pink TV is just heart breaking. (No spoilers here.)

Rosie’s story begins like this “It’s true, what they say about when you die. In the final, terrible seconds of my life, eighteen years flash before my eyes.” Yet this is not a dreary, weepy melodrama, the truths delivered via Rosie’s voice from the grave are relayed matter-of-factly, merely observations of a past life, made without judgement, what a great device. As Rosie recounts her life story the author allows the reader to make their own judgements and as I sat reading I clenched my teeth with rage at the harshness and injustices here and for all victims of family violence.

The theme that leapt out from the pages to me was about the power of truth. Truth can hurt, can see you free, truth can be harsh and hard to accept, and even harder to identify. Howells comments “…we can use all out skills, our experience, observe body language, read between as many lines as we choose, but we see mostly what we want to see. And if someone wants to hide the truth we may never know.” All we have is our own interpretation and understanding of the world and people. Intuition is something that should not be discarded.

This is a tightly plotted, very well executed, multiple viewpoint narrative that explores some very dark topics that are handled with a sensitivity that doesn’t beat the reader into a particular position – rather it allows the reader to form their own views and make their own guesses as to who is responsible for causing so much sorrow and pain in this narrative. As I delved deeper into the novel I made several unsuccessful guesses and only in the last few chapters did I understand who had murdered Rosie and their motives. This is an excellent example domestic noir.

More Definitions Of Domestic Noir

I am pleased to see this sub genre is getting a bit of press recently.  Hachette Australia recently added this qualifier to their f/b site about the genre;

 ” ‘Domestic Noir takes place primarily in homes and workplaces, concerns itself largely (but not exclusively) with the female experience, is based around relationships and takes as its base a broadly feminist view that the domestic sphere is a challenging and sometimes dangerous prospect for its inhabitants’ – Julia Crouch.”

Maybe it is the feminist aspect that is calling to me? An interesting thought.

Domestic Noir Reads

Have you read any of these? So far What Came Before by Anna George remains one of my all time favourite reads.

Post Script: The Gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan – Audio Book

Cover The Gracekeepers

The Grace Keepers

Kirsty Logan

Bolinda

Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9781101890585

9 hours 19 minutes

Description:

For readers of The Night Circus and Station Eleven, a lyrical and absorbing debut set in a world covered by water

 

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

 

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland (“landlockers”) and those who float on the sea (“damplings”), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives–offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

 

Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

 

 

 

My View:

Dystopian, fantasy, Scottish myths and fairy tales – this audio book narrated by the author is lyrical, poetic and mesmerising. For me the greatest quality of this book was the narration – I could listen to Kirsty Logan read her works for ever. The accent, the gentleness, the gracefulness of her voice had me mesmerised. I have read reviews of the physical book and the reviewers has suggested listening to the audio book first – and I can understand why, Kirsty Logan’s voice adds a magical touch to this Celtic fairy tale.

 

Listen to an excerpt here: http://www.bolinda.com/audioexcerpts/9781486289295.mp3

 

Post Script: Time Of Death – Mark Billingham

She’s not Poppy anymore…now she’s somebody else.”

Cover Time of  Death  Mark Billingham

Time of Death

A Tom Thorne Novel

Mark Billingham

Hachette Australia

Little, Brown

ISBN: 9781408704820

 

Description:

 

The Missing

Two schoolgirls are abducted in the small, dying Warwickshire town of Polesford, driving a knife into the heart of the community where police officer Helen Weeks grew up and from which she long ago escaped. But this is a place full of secrets, where dangerous truths lie buried.

The Accused

When it’s splashed all over the press that family man Stephen Bates has been arrested, Helen and her partner Tom Thorne head to the flooded town to support Bates’ wife – an old school friend of Helen’s – who is living under siege with two teenage children and convinced of her husband’s innocence.

 

The Dead

As residents and media bay for Bates’ blood, a decomposing body is found. The police believe they have their murderer in custody, but one man believes otherwise. With a girl still missing, Thorne sets himself on a collision course with local police, townsfolk – and a merciless killer.

Tom Thorne returns in a chilling mystery that will keep readers guessing until the final page. Time of Death is Mark Billingham’s most timely, atmospheric thriller to date.

My View:

Billingham goes to great lengths to immerse the reader in this novel – the settings are so vivid you can imagine yourself walking down the main street of the small town of Polesford. You can sit yourself at the café or pub and look at the menu, order your pint/coffee, nod your head in a silent hello to the locals. You are sitting at the next table to Hendricks and Thorne overhearing them discuss bugs and death and missing girls. Cleverly you have become a bit player on this large stage and therefore have a vested interest in discovering the truth. Well done Mark Billingham.

I love the characters of Helen, Thorne and Hendricks and have become very comfortable with these characters, their banter, their humour, sarcasm and intelligence…the dialogue is exceptionally natural and believable and the characters develop and grow with each new novel.

The plot is complex and there are a few red herrings to keep you on your toes. There are a couple of story arcs and I particularly liked where Helen is heading (no spoilers here), the issues she brining to our attention are contemporary, dark and unfortunately prevalent in our modern society and I am pleased she has found the strength to deal with this issue. Her story may embolden others. Billingham has told us enough but not all of the details of this thread and leaves the reader wanting to know more. The issue is handled sensitively without sensationalism.

In Time of Death Mark Billingham has provided the reader with another well written, complex narrative that speaks to issues that we can all empathise with. The plot is tense, the scenarios realistic, the political environment of the workplace is familiar, the characters are finely drawn and three dimensional and feel like people you know. The ending….is almost satisfying, the original case of the missing girls is cleared up but there is more happening that reaches beyond the last page of this novel; I was disappointed when it came to the end, I wanted more!