Caravaning Company

Travel = husband, dog, 5th wheeler caravan, beautiful scenery,  wild dolphins and books:)

Augusta-2017 Garry & Bob

Bob the Dog enjoying the sites and smells of holidays.

Dolphins

Dolphins playing in the river – you had to be there to appreciate it 🙂

The Animators

The Animators – Five star reading

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman – a fabulous read.

The Unfortunate Victim

The Unfortunate Victim – a great Australian historical crime fiction read.

What more could you want?

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your Favourite Cake, Dessert or Pastry?

My first giveaway in my Australia Day, Aussie Author Giveaway!

Share with me in the comments section your favourite dessert/pastry/cake and be in the running to win a copy of the fun, decadent, riotous, witty and delicious historical romp set in the colonial days of  Tasmania “The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte.” by Lesley Truffle ( review coming soon)   **Giveaway open to Australian residents only. Giveaway ends  midnight 28 January 2017. Winner will be randomly selected.

the-scandalous-life-of-sasha-torte

 

Description:

A wild romp of dastardly deeds, intrepid protagonists, dark villains, wild gangs, luxurious hotels…and mouth watering treats.

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.

 

 About Lesley Truffle:

London-born Australian Lesley Truffle has travelled extensively and worked in London and Japan. At present she’s living in a garret in Melbourne. She’s worked as a secondary teacher, photographer, hotel maid, fringe actor and in art galleries, bars, nightclubs and other jobs too ghastly to mention.

While exhibiting her art photography in Melbourne galleries Lesley realised she wanted to create imaginary stories and interior monologues, and returned to writing.

Her fiction piece ‘A Man of Fashion’ was published in ‘Scarlet Stiletto:The Second Cut’ in 2011, and ‘Memoir of a Trollop’ was performed by Baggage Productions: Madwomen Monologues in 2013. ‘Memoir of a Trollop’ will be performed again as part of the Madwomen Monologues retrospective in November 2016.

Lesley’s first novel, ‘Hotel du Barry’ was published in 2016 and ‘The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte’ was published by Harper Collins January 23 2017.

 

**Thanks to HarperCollinsPublishers Australia and Lesley Truffle for generously providing this book for the giveaway.

 

 

Post Script: I Don’t Know What To Call My Cat – Simon Philip and Ella Bailey

i-dont-know-what-to-call-my-cat

I Don’t Know What to Call My Cat

Simon Philip and Ella Bailey

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781471124129

 

Description:

When a cat unexpectedly arrives at her house, a little girl takes him in and tries to find the perfect name. Kitty? Rambo? Mr. Maestro? None of these is quite right. Cat owning is harder than she imagined, and then the cat disappears! Good thing her next pet arrives so unexpectedly—and he’s easy to name, even if he is a bit naughty. But when Steve the Gorilla proves to be much too mischievous to be a pet, the missing, nameless cat just might turn out to be a hero!

 

 

My View:

A really fun read that children will love (and adults will smile as they read it too).

 

Cute, colourful and laugh out loud funny this little story and the images that accompany it are delightful.  This book has a lot to offer the early reader – plenty of locations to spark discussions eg the Vet, the zoo, home, cafes, and activities to discuss. Colour and more colour floods the pages with plenty of opportunities for caregiver/reader and child to enjoy the silliness. A delight to read and share.

 

Post Script: Pounce – Seth Casteel

Once you see this cuteness you cannot un-see it!

pouncePounce

Seth Casteel

Little Brown and Company

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780316349222

 

Description:

Photographer Seth Casteel’s underwater photographs of dogs and babies have captivated an international audience. Now, Seth has found the perfect way to capture our other best friends: cats!

 

A beautiful, funny gift book with more than 70 previously unpublished photographs, Pounce reveals adorable cats and kittens as they pounce and jump through the air, arms outstretched — all in Casteel’s signature up-close, mid-action style.

 

 

My View:

Once you see this cuteness you cannot un-see it!

 

This is the prefect book for all cat lovers. When you look at these playful, sometimes intense, cute pictures you cannot help but be charmed and smile and smile.  I know a special someone who would love this book – for a birthday, for Christmas – for any time actually!

 

 

Pop over to Tracey’s blog for a chance to win a copy of Pounce  http://www.carpelibrum.net/2016/11/friday-freebie-to-win-copy-of-pounce-by.html
Entries close midnight Friday 25th November 2016

 

 

 

Post Script: I am Doodle Cat – Kat Patrick and Lauren Marriott

Vibrant, fun and inclusive – this children’s book has a lot to offer.

I am Doodle Cat

I am Doodle Cat

Kat Patrick & Lauren Marriott

Scribble

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781925321258

 

Description:

I Am Doodle Cat and I am one very proud drawing. I’m red like a really ripe tomato. Sometimes I find it hard to choose between dancing and clawing the rug so I just do both at the same time. I make long lists of the things I love because it’s important to remember what makes you happy. I’ll help you spot the magic in silliness and the greatness in pretty much everything. Also, my best friend is a pangolin. Let’s be pals.

 

 

My View:

Vibrant, fun and inclusive – this children’s book has a lot to offer.

 

“I am Doodle Cat is a children’s’ book here to encourage imagination, celebration of all things you love, and finding the magic in silliness.” (Scribe Publications).

 

The vibrant red Doodle Cat is a fan of so many things that children adore including: making noise, dancing, ice cream, farts, friends, trees, lentils, and his onesie. (I love the illustration that goes with the declaration, “I Love my Onesie”). Read aloud to your toddler or perhaps read with your pre-schooler – so much fun and many opportunities for discussion.  In the last pages Doodle Cat states – “I am Doodle Cat, I love me!” And asks “What do you love?”  “It’s very important to love you. Because really you are pretty great…” (What a great way to boost/build self-esteem)   The last few pages have more of these helpful ways to begin discussions with your child, for example “I Love Fractals – A fractal is a…..” or “I love difference – Difference keeps us interesting….” helpful hints for grandparents, parents and teachers alike! Children will just love it for the fun and the playfulness.

I love Doodle Cat, I am sure you will too!

 

 

 

Post Script: Death By Sugar – Helen Goltz

Great Australian talent and a read that will leave you with a smile on your face.

Death By Sugar

Death By Sugar

Jesse Clarke #1

Helen Goltz

Atlas Productions

ISBN: 9780980753219

 

Description:

Private investigator, Jesse Clarke, thought sugar was such a friendly substance, until it appears in two of her cases for all the wrong reasons. Traces of sugar were connected to a bomb that blew up her client’s Mercedes. Was the bomb meant to kill or was it just a warning of what is to come? And could sugar have duped the immune system of a client’s mother over thirty years ago, resulting in death? Juggling the two cases-one in the present and one in the past-Jesse finds herself talking to the living and the dead to get results.

 

 

My View:

Looking for an enjoyable way to escape the everyday? Then this book is for you! Fun, entertaining with a sparking dialogue and great easy interaction between the protagonists – this book was a delight to read. There are a couple of mysteries to solve; one cold case that has some interesting science behind it, one current case full of larger than life characters, there is a business to run and boyfriend to placate and dog. (Every good read needs a happy, playful dog in the story). This little book (216 pages in all) has a lot to offer.

 

If you are a fan of Kathryn Ledson or Janet Evanovich (though Jesse Clarke is a lot more reliable, sensible and doesn’t over share her personal life as does Stephanie Plumb) you will love unravelling the mysteries in the Jesse Clarke series.