Post Script: Blood Lines – Angela Marsons

blood-lines

Blood Lines (D.I. Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 5)

Angela Marsons

Bookouture

ISBN: 9781786810984

 

Description:

How do you catch a killer who leaves no trace?

A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

 

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

 

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

 

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

 

A totally gripping thriller that will have you hooked from the very first page to the final, dramatic twist.

 

 

My View:

A superbly satisfying read!  

Yet again Angela Marsons has written an extremely taut, fast paced and exciting episode in the D.I Kim Stone series. Kim’s nemesis is back in play and lives are manipulated again, mere pawns in Dr Alex Thorne’s bigger plan. Connect the dots…see if you can work out the mysteries here.

 

There are some fantastic plot twists here – you will be surprised!

 

My only question is – where to now DI Kim Stone? This kind of felt like a wrap up to me, but I will be happy to be proved wrong if another episode is written Angela Marsons.

 

 

 

 

The Australia Day Big Book Giveaways Winners

Thanks you all for the wonderful response to my Australia book giveaway. I have drawn the winners and will be in  contact soon by email, please respond with your postal address ASAP so I can arrange for the publishers to post the books directly to you.

 

Dark Heart – Penelope

Delicious Every Day – Valerie

The Golden Child – Suzanne

Mystery/Thriller Pack – 3 Sisters Abroad

The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte – Helena

Romance  – Southern Ruby – Pamela007

Fantastic 4 Giveaway – Kathryn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let Them Eat Cake – Guest Post by Lesley Truffle

Let them eat cake    


by Lesley Truffle

I discovered the joy of cake early in life. It was a rare treat and cake recipes were sacred texts, especially Winston Churchill’s 80th birthday cake recipe. These fruit cakes were baked in advance, stored in our antique sideboard and fed a bottle of brandy. No kidding, those cakes really liked to drink. Size wise the cakes were heifers and could only be handled by my mother. I watched in awe, as over the course of several days she drizzled brandy over the cakes. The heady aroma of drunken fruit cakes meant Christmas was about to be unleashed.

My mother was devoted to the late Winston Churchill. He was right up there in her pantheon of gods that included Napoleon Bonaparte and the infamous poet, Lord Byron. Framed reproductions of Napoleon’s portraits graced our dining room. It was disconcerting – when I was on the telephone being sweet talked by some randy schoolboy – to find myself eyeball to eyeball with Napoleon. He had a suspicious stare, especially in his baby portrait. Even when I looked away, I could still feel Napoleon’s cold baby blue eyes boring into the back of my skull.

In our house birthday cakes were usually sponge cakes. If time was short, plain sponge cakes were purchased and the packaging hidden deep in the kitchen bin. These shop bought sponges were disguised with fresh strawberries, jam and whipped cream. For adult birthdays, the sponges were slathered with coffee icing, whereas for children it was chocolate or pink icing.

I’ve never managed to master the creation of sponge cakes. I recently consulted a clever woman known for her sumptuous sponges and delectable baked goods. Glenda maintains that one must sift the flour at least three times, or you’re not really trying. Apparently it is air that gives the sponge its lift – or as dedicated pillow plumpers put it – its loft.

My Yorkshire puddings have been known to lie down and take a kip. Glenda suspects that I’ve been a bit heavy handed mixing the batter. Furthermore, you must handle scones with featherlight fingers, and never overwork any dough or it toughens up. I should have learnt these rules in high school cookery classes but I didn’t. We had a draconian cookery teacher who stalked the kitchen, hovering over our shoulders, as we nervously rubbed butter into flour for shortcrust pastry. Mrs Sullivan assessed our efforts, ‘No. Too much’… ‘No, no. Not enough’. It was humiliating when she raised her voice, ‘You. Weren’t. Listening. Were you?’

She was right. I wasn’t. I loathed her classes because she’d sucked all the joy out of messing around with flour, butter and eggs. To make matters worse I hadn’t confessed that the embroidered name on my starched kitchen cap wasn’t mine. There’d been a mix up in the needlework class and the teacher had pencilled the wrong name on my cap. I was an unassuming child raised in the English manner and rather than make trouble, I’d dutifully embroidered the cap. I then spent the following year inadvertently snubbing Mrs Sullivan when she called out my supposed name. My inattention resulted in mediocre grades for Cookery.

Nigella Lawson is the antithesis to Mrs Sullivan. Licking a wooden spoon in Mrs Sullivan’s class was a heinous crime, whereas Nigella believes in the bacchanalian joy of food. She likes nothing better than licking mixing spoons. Nigella not only licks, she purrs. For many years, we’ve lived in a world of celebrity chefs promoting carb laden cuisine.  Bacon ice-cream anyone? At the same time, muscular ‘reality’ TV weight loss trainers sagely advise the contestants, ‘Treats are for dogs.’

Glossy fashion magazines frequently pose the question, ‘Why don’t French women get fat?’ There’s an entire diet book industry built around this dodgy question. After all, French cuisine is lauded for its exquisite gateaux, pastries and national dishes that rely heavily on butter and full fat cream. Interviews are regularly conducted with fashionable Parisian women, who swear they owe their petite figures to portion control. Treats are strictly monitored: a tiny piece of Camembert, one petite madeleine or a whisper of chocolate gateau. Strangely enough – even their dogs look lean.

But you only have to leave the epicentre of fashionable Paris, and take a train to the outer suburbs or the provinces, to realise that not all French women are fixated on being Greyhound lean and hungry. Curvaceous French women can be seen dining in public, enjoying flavoursome creamy, garlic laden dishes and recklessly swilling down champagne and cocktails. For lunch, they publicly indulge in tasty charcuterie and chunks of Brie cheese. And at breakfast, the ladies aren’t shy about adding extra butter to their croissants.  The sinful lusciousness of it all – sugar, carbs, alcohol, chocolate, butter and cream. Vive la France!

 

 

‘Lesley Truffle’s new book, The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte, is published by HarperCollins Publishers and available now – http://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460751442/the-scandalous-life-of-sasha-torte/#sm.00008ghxp0glwfs5r7510ylxwi26l.’

 

 

Lesley Truffle credit Tanja Ramljak.jpg

Lesley Truffle credit Tanja Ramljak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Script – The Scandalous Life of Sacha Torte – Lesley Truffle

the-scandalous-life-of-sasha-torte

The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte

Lesley Truffle

HarperCollins Publishing Australia

ISBN: 9781460751442

 

Description:

Revenge, redemption … and pastry. The witty new novel from the author of Hotel du Barry, for fans of Jonas Jonasson.

 

In the winter of 1912 on the wild West Coast of Tasmania, Wolfftown’s most notorious heiress and murderess, Sasha Torte, tells the tale of her own spectacular downfall.

 

Forsaken by her parents and raised by criminals and reprobates, Sasha becomes a world-famous pastry chef at the tender age of seventeen. Entanglement with the disreputable Dasher brothers leads to love, but also to a dangerous addiction.

 

Behind bars in Wolfftown’s gaol, Sasha sips premium champagne as she recalls a life of seduction, betrayal, ghosts, opium and an indiscreet quantity of confectionary – and plots her escape.

 

The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte: revenge, redemption and pastry, is a novel of dastardly deeds, intrepid protagonists, dark villains, wild gangs, luxurious hotels … and murder.

 

My View:

A captivating/fun/ribald/honest read…and educational 🙂

 

Open the pages and catch a glimpse of colonial Australia, in particular the Wild West coast of Tasmania to a narrative set in the fictional township of Wolfftown.  The reader is privy to the extreme vagaries of the rich and the devastatingly poor – the contrast is extreme.  Those familiar with the history of the Australian penal settlements and mores of the time will be aware of the huge role alcohol played in society – indeed it was even deemed currency – actual as payment for labour and social currency – snobbery and elitism abounded.

 

Thus we have the perfect introduction to a new (to me) description that appeared in this witty narrative – crapulous! What a fantastic word! Now at this point I must admit to you that I read along thinking…hmm…a little of the authors own colloquialism here…however at some stage in my reading of this novel I decided to see if such a word did exist – and to my surprise it does! Crapulous – what a fabulous word!

Word Origin and History for crapulous

adj.

 

1530s, “sick from too much drinking,” from Latin crapula, from Greek kraipale “hangover, drunken headache, nausea from debauching.” The Romans used it for drunkenness itself. English has used it in both senses. Related: Crapulously; crapulousness.” Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

 

What a perfect description – concisely and succinctly describes some of the themes covered in this novel – drunkenness, debauchery but …alcohol and addictive behaviours provide both the backdrop and the impetus for so much that happens in this novel – destructive behaviour that time has not changed. Truffle touches on issues of mental health, family violence and all manner of social issues directly related to crapulous and addictive behaviours.

Yet this is not a depressing book – written with wit and humour and with an outlandish cast of fops and conceited, talented and not so talented, corrupt and powerful individuals juxtaposed against a cast of world weary chancers and survivors… and a wonderful wonderful gutsy determined (in everything) talented, liberal, liberated and resourceful female protagonist – this is a riotous read.

 

At is core it is a mystery – the narrative introduces Sasha – who has been convicted of murder and who fears – like so many do – that she is turning into her mother (p. 11). The hook gleams – we want to know the what, why and how she is guilty of murder…and so the intriguing and entertaining story begins.  Sasha is incarcerated and we hear (via the memoir she is writing ) her history, a great device for allowing the reader to travel back in time to the beginning of her story and the prefect way to understand Sasha’s spectacular rise and fall and rise again…  but no spoilers here – you must read this yourself.

 

A little history, a little romance, a lot of crapulous behaviour, sex, alcohol, drugs, murder, cakes, baking and sugar syrup! A delightful read.

 

 

 

 

 

Last But Not Least – A Fantastic Four Book Give Away

I think you will agree that I have had some very special giveaways listed on my blog today, but they represent just a small sample of the talent that is Australian writers!  Next time you are selecting a book to read – at a bookshop, library,  airport news agency, online or in person, as a gift or for yourself consider Aussie authors – there is so much choice, so much talent in this country.

And speaking of talent, if you are not lucky enough to win this awesome book pack generously provided by Echo Publishing, you owe it to your self to seek out a copy of these contemporary eclectic reads.  And by the way – what do you think to these covers?  Magnificent aren’t they ? For your chance to win this 4 pack book treat, it is so simple, in the comments tell which cover art displayed here, speaks to you.

****Giveaway open to Australian residents only. Giveaway ends midnight 28 January 2017.

le-chateau

Le Chateau

Description:

When Charlotte regains consciousness after an accident, she finds herself living a stranger’s life. The previous five years are a blank, and her husband, Henri, and daughter, Ada, are strangers. Arriving at their family chateau in southern France, she hopes to regain her memories. Instead, she feels isolated and unsettled. Strange events hint at underlying darkness and menace. Charlotte doesn’t know who to trust.

Did she really have an affair with their charming Irish neighbour, as her enigmatic mother-in-law suggests? And what of Henri? He seems loving and kind, a good parent, but Charlotte is wary. Then there is Ada, a little girl who just wants her mother back.

With the help of her friend and fellow Australian Susannah, Charlotte starts to piece together events, but her newfound confidence is shaken with news that puts a deadline on her quest…

 

resurrection-bayResurrection Bay 

Description:

Caleb Zelic, profoundly deaf since early childhood, has always lived on the outside – watching, picking up tell-tale signs people hide in a smile, a cough, a kiss. When a childhood friend is murdered, a sense of guilt and a determination to prove his own innocence sends Caleb on a hunt for the killer. But he can’t do it alone. Caleb and his troubled friend Frankie, an ex-cop, start with one clue: Scott, the last word the murder victim texted to Caleb. But Scott is always one step ahead. As he delves deeper into the investigation Caleb uncovers unwelcome truths about his murdered friend – and himself.

 

 

skin-deep

Skin Deep

Description:

When washed up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out.

When more tattoos appear — accompanied by visions of war-torn Afghanistan, bikies, boat people, murder, bar fights and a mysterious woman — he begins to dig a little deeper.

There’s a federal election looming, with pundits tipping a landslide win for opposition leader Andrew Cardinal. Harry knows there’s a link between these disturbing visions and Cardinal’s shadowy past, and is compelled to right wrongs, one way or another.

Skin Deep is the thrilling, layered, genre-bending debut novel of Brisbane author and journalist Gary Kemble.

 

ida

Ida

Description:

How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

Ida is an intelligent, diverse and entertaining novel that explores love, loss and longing, and speaks to the condition of an array of overwhelming, and often illusory, choices.

 

 

 

 

Australian Romance Writers Are World Class

Australia has world class romance writers: rural romance writers/contemporary romance writers/cosy romance writers/cozy crime fiction writers/romantic suspense writers,romantic comedy writers, historical romance writers…writers of women’s fiction and life lit, have I missed any one out? If romance is your go to read then enter to win a copy of best selling author Belinda Alexandra’s Southern Ruby.   In the comments section of this post tell me what Belinda is referring to when she asks “…is this naughty or nice?”  Thanks once again to HarperCollins Publishers Australia for providing this generous giveaway.

 

****Giveaway open to Australian residents only. Giveaway ends midnight 28 January 2017.

Southern Ruby cover imageDescription:

Forbidden love. Family secrets. A twist of fate. The stunning new generational saga from Belinda Alexandra, bestselling author of TUSCAN ROSE.

In New Orleans – the city of genteel old houses and ancient oak trees covered in Spanish moss, of seductive night life, of Creole culture, voodoo and jazz – two women separated by time and tragedy will find each other at last.
Amanda, orphaned as a child and suffering the loss of her beloved grandmother, has left Sydney in search of a family she never knew.
Ruby, constrained by the expectations of society and class, is carrying a lifetime of secrets. Amanda’s arrival sparks revelations long buried: a double life, a forbidden love, and a loss that cannot be forgotten.
Southern Ruby is a sweeping story of love, passion, family and honour. Alternating in time between the 1950s and the eve of Hurricane Katrina, it is also a tribute to a city heady with mystery, music, and superstition, which has borne the tumults of race and class and the fury of nature, but has never given up hope.

 

EDIT** News just in Belinda Alexandra has been voted #50 in Booktopia’s Australia’s favourite author of 2017  http://www.booktopia.com.au/australia-s-favourite-author/promo1140.html

 

Mostly Healthy Always Tasty…Win a Copy of Anna Gare’s “Delicious Every Day”

Delicious Every Day is a book I highly recommend. I have this book and regularly make dishes from the recipes here. And now you have a chance to own this book too courtesy of the lovely people at Murdoch Books Australia.  For your chance to win simply tell me  in the comments of this blog post, the very appropriately named band that Anna belonged to – hint – look here  https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/cooking-food-drink/quick-easy-recipes/Delicious-Every-Day-Anna-Gare-9781742663906

 

delicious-every-day

 

****Giveaway open to Australian residents only. Giveaway ends midnight 28 January 2017.

 

*Many thanks to the supportive people at Murdoch Books Australia for providing a copy of this book for the giveaway.