Categories
Book launch

#TuesdayBookBlog HULLABA LULU Book Launch. Dieselpunk in the Jazz Age by Teagan R. Geneviene (@teagangeneviene)

Hi all:

Today I bring you a treat. I know many of you are fans of Teagan Geneviene’s blog and her books. For those who don’t know her yet, she is a true magician! She starts with the germ of an idea for a story (sometimes a character and a historical era, a scene, a song) and then asks the readers of her blog to participate and suggest objects, ingredients… whatever might be relevant, and “Abracadabra” the magic is served and an incredible story is born.

Many of her readers (I included) had been asking her to turn these stories into books, to be able to enjoy them more fully and keep them in our collections. After some insistence, she finally agreed, and now some of her stories have become books. And she has done it again! Here she brings us a fantastic (in more ways than one) story with some of my favourite characters (not all human either)! So, you’re all invited to the book launch party!

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Oh, and she asked me to choose one of the Real World things, and being a psychiatrist, I could not resist and had to choose Carl Jung’s mysterious Red Notebook. Jung was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst born in the XIX century (1875). At first, he was a close ally of Freud but later he moved away from psychoanalysis and founded analytical psychology, which caused a rift between them. He introduced many psychological concepts that have become well-known, like archetypes, the collective unconscious, introversion and extraversion, synchronicity, and the notion of the psychological complex.  And that’s enough from me. Here comes Teagan Geneviene and Hullaba Lulu.

Lulu and Friends by Teagan R Geneviene

Lulu and Friends by Teagan R Geneviene

Hi, Olga – it’s wonderful of you to host me to announce my novella, Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure.

Since you followed this story in the serial version, you know this is a “dieselpunk” story. It has a 1920s aesthetic with retro futuristic technology, a dash of magic, and some creepy settings, along with a crew of misfit characters. Lulu is a snarky, but good-hearted flapper. She and her friends get into all sorts of trouble (often due to Lulu’s clumsiness). They travel on a magical train to a lot of “sideways” places.

At the back of the novella, I included a list of Real-World Things. You chose Carl Jung’s Red Notebook. So, I’m sharing that entry and a related snippet from the novella.

Real-World Thing

Carl Jung’s Red Notebook, also known as The Red Book, is a red leather‐bound folio manuscript written by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung between 1915 and 1930. It comments on his psychological experiments and is based on manuscripts first drafted by Jung in 1914–15 and 1917. Despite being nominated as the central piece in Jung’s body of work, it was not published or made otherwise accessible for study until 2009.

Jung's Red Notebook displayed on his desk. Wikipedia
Jung’s Red Notebook displayed on his desk. Wikipedia

Snippet

The Red Notebook comes into the story not long after Lulu meets the mysterious Valentino. Here’s a snippet:

The right-side page bore a hand drawn map. I gazed at it in sudden inspiration. I grabbed the notepad where I penciled the letters of the Ouija board to which the planchette pointed moments before, Y, T, I, C, C, I, T, N, A, L, T, A. My eyes went back to the map. I spat out the piece of saltwater taffy that as still in my mouth.

Valentino reached the desk in a single step. He didn’t even flinch at putting his hand into the aura. He picked up his travelogue. He snapped it shut and the nimbus burst. The noise of tiny pops repeatedly assailed my ears, like a string of lady finger firecrackers. Bits of ectoplasm showered down in sparks.

I tried to take the book from him, but he held it tightly to his chest. He gave me a derisive look that was probably meant to make me stop. I desperately wanted to get another look at that page. The only thing I had been able to make out in the handwriting was a name. Lauren.

“Lauren was my mother’s name,” I hissed into his ear, not wanting Gramps to hear.

“I know, but save it for later,” he whispered back as he twisted away from my hands.

***

Video Book Trailer

Olga, thanks again for letting me visit. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

Here’s the rest of the information for Hullaba Lulu.

Cover and Blurb

Hullaba Lulu cover by Teagan R. Geneviene
Hullaba Lulu cover by Teagan R. Geneviene

Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure is a wild and wooly 1920s fantasy story. Lulu, the heroine is inspired by the song, “Don’t Bring Lulu,” from 1925 ― so are her pals, Pearl and Rose. My Lulu loves to dance, and freely indulges in giggle water. She snores and burps and says whatever she wants. Lulu is a snarky but good-hearted flapper. The song’s inspiration stops there, but the story is just beginning.

Travel with Lulu and her friends on a magical, dieselpunk train that belongs to the smolderingly handsome and enigmatic man known only as Valentino. They get into all sorts of trouble, usually due to Lulu’s clumsiness. It’s an intense ride through a number of pos-i-lutely creepy settings, including “sideways” versions of Atlantic City and the Cotton Club. At every stop and in between, Lulu ends up creating chaos. There’s no telling where they’ll end up. No, Lulu! Don’t touch that!

Lulu’s the kind of smarty, breaks up every party,

Hullabaloo loo, don’t bring Lulu,

I’ll bring her myself!

Purchase Links

Throughout October, Hullaba Lulu is at an introductory price. The eBooks are only 99¢. For those who boycott Amazon I made a Kobo eBook too.

Kindle: Click this universal link

Paperback: Click this universal link

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hullaba-lulu

Hullaba Lulu promo image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Hullaba Lulu promo image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Also…

While it is not exactly a companion volume to any of my Roaring Twenties stories, I’ve written a 1920s slang dictionary. I’m careful to use slang in a context that makes it understandable, but you might enjoy having Speak Flapper. It debuted at #1 in its category at Amazon. Here’s a review from Annika Perry at Goodreads.

Speak Flapper, Slang of the 1920s by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
Speak Flapper, Slang of the 1920s by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Author Bio

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest (of the USA). Teagan most often writes one kind of fantasy or another, including the “Punk” genres, like steampunk, dieselpunk, and atompunk. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or an urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. There are no extremes in violence, sex, or profanity.

Her talents also include book covers and promotional images. She makes all of her own. Teagan is currently exploring the idea of offering that service to others.

All of the books by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene are available at her Amazon Author Page.

Amazon Author Page Universal Link

Her latest release is from the punk genres, Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure.

Social Media Links

You can also visit me at:

Blog: www.teagansbooks.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene/


The whole tour has been wonderful, so I recommend it to check the rest of the posts, but just in case you’ve missed them, I’m including here Robbie Cheadle’s post as it also includes her fantastic review (and as I belong to one of her review groups, I know how good her review are). Thanks, Robbie!

Hullaba Lulu Launch – Ouija Board and book review

Thanks so much, Teagan, for this opportunity and for this wonderful post! Good luck with the launch! And of course, thanks to all of you for reading, liking, sharing, clicking (you have no idea what you’ll be missing if you don’t), reviewing, and remember to keep smiling and, above all, to keep safe!

Oh, and don’t forget to have a bit of cake!

Photo by Thomas AE on Unsplash
Categories
Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview ALL THINGS GEORGIAN: TALES FROM THE LONG EIGHTEENTH CENTURY by Joanne Major and Sarah Murden (@penswordbooks) A beautiful gift for anybody who enjoys Georgian history and art #non-fiction

Hi all:

I bring you a book for those of you who love beautifully illustrated books and the Georgian period.

All Things Georgian: Tales From The Long Eighteenth Century by Joanne Major and Sarah Murden
All Things Georgian: Tales From The Long Eighteenth Century by Joanne Major and Sarah Murden

All Things Georgian: Tales From The Long Eighteenth Century by Joanne Major and Sarah Murden

Take a romp through the long eighteenth-century in this collection of 25 short tales.

Marvel at the Queen’s Ass, gaze at the celestial heavens through the eyes of the past and be amazed by the equestrian feats of the Norwich Nymph. Journey to the debauched French court at Versailles, travel to Covent Garden and take your seat in a box at the theatre and, afterwards, join the mile-high club in a new-fangled hot air balloon.

Meet actresses, whores and high-born ladies, politicians, inventors, royalty and criminals as we travel through the Georgian era in all its glorious and gruesome glory.

In roughly chronological order, covering the reign of the four Georges, 1714-1730 and set within the framework of the main events of the era, these tales are accompanied by over 100 stunning color illustrations.

https://www.amazon.com/All-Things-Georgian-Eighteenth-Century/dp/1526744619/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/All-Things-Georgian-Eighteenth-Century/dp/1526744619/

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/All-Things-Georgian-Hardback/p/15786

Joanne Major and Sarah Murden
Joanne Major and Sarah Murden

About the authors:

About Joanne Major

Joanne is Lincolnshire born and bred. Originally from the north of the county, she now lives in a village to the south of Lincoln where she happily spends most days half in the present and half in the Georgian era, with an occasional foray into the world of the Victorians. A genealogist of 25-years standing, Joanne, together with Sarah, became distracted from the people she was researching and stumbled accidentally into the path of an eighteenth-century courtesan. Life hasn’t been the same since.

https://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Major/e/B01AY78JWO/

About Sarah Murden

Sarah was living in Hampshire when she first met Joanne via an online genealogy forum. Sarah is slightly more of a ‘nomad’, originally from Nottinghamshire, then moving to the Peak District where she lived for over 20 years, followed by Hampshire for 12 years, she now enjoys the quiet life in a small village in rural Lincolnshire. Having studied Humanities but focusing mainly on history, Sarah has a passion for the eighteenth- and nineteenth centuries and could quite happily have lived in the eighteenth-century (only if very wealthy of course!). Together with Joanne she is the joint author of these compelling biographies, the two brought together through their shared passion for history and genealogy.

Joanne and Sarah share a blog, All Things Georgian, where they publish twice weekly with a wide remit of writing about ‘anything and everything’ connected to the Georgian era. Expect everything from extra and exclusive information relating to their biography to articles about false bums and tums (fashion victims are nothing new!) and local murder mysteries. If it grabs their attention, then they hope it will interest their readers too. Nothing is off limits!

https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Murden/e/B01AY6NUZ6/

And here you can find their blog, All Things Georgian:

https://georgianera.wordpress.com/

My review:

Thanks to Rosie Croft, from Pen & Sword, for providing me a hardback copy of this book, which I freely chose to review.

This book would make a perfect present for anybody who loves history and historical anecdote, especially from the Georgian era. There are elements that make it useful for reference (it includes family trees for the Hanover House and for the Stuarts, who were also pretenders to the crown; there is a timeline of the main events, covering the whole era [from 1714, when George I’s reign began, to 1830, when George IV died], a map of the UK highlighting all the towns and locations later mentioned in the book, and a detailed bibliography at the back of the book, listing the sources the authors have used to compile each one of the 25 chapters). This is a beautiful book, full of colour illustrations, that would delight art lovers (there are landscapes highlighting the settings of many of the stories and also, portraits of public figures, aristocrats, and other people who are the protagonists of the stories, some by famous artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds), as well as drawings and cartoons of the period, which help set the stories in their context.

As the authors explain in the introduction, the period has long fascinated people, and not only historians, because it was a quickly evolving era and many events that would change the world took place around this time: the French and the American Revolutions, Napoleon’s rise and fall, technological advances and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, and many scientific discoveries as well. The book does not cover the whole era in detail, as it would be impossible, and instead choses to pick up some specific events and historical figures that help highlight different aspects of the time, and manage to create a good picture of the era as a whole.

Although the content of the book mostly centres on events in the UK, there are also a couple of chapters dedicated to French characters (notably one to the attempted escape by Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI, to Varennes), and the protagonists do range far and wide, including people from all walks of life. To my delight, there are many episodes dedicated to women (we have male impersonators [probably!], smugglers (high-ranking, as it seems that attempts at keeping the purchases of fine clothing limited to British manufacture made ladies turn very resourceful), actresses, jockeys, astronomers (Caroline Herschel’s story is fascinating), ladies taking to the air in balloons (I have a book on the subject, and I can’t wait to read it), a female bonesetter, a con woman…  There are plenty of men as well, of course, and curious episodes, like that of the Brighton’s travelling windmill, or Queen Anne’s zebra, and some darker happenings, like the assassination attempts on the king’s life, or the trade in dead bodies the resurrection men were involved in.

The authors, who are clearly experts in the subject (and, as mentioned above, have a blog called All Things Georgian, as well), write in a conversational style, and as we read the chapters, it feels as if they were talking about people they knew personally (the same way others would talk about their relatives, or current celebrities), adding titbits of information and connections to other relevant characters as they spin their tale.

I recommend this book to anybody interested in the Georgian era, even if the interest is only in passing. The illustrations are an added bonus, and the stories are so varied that most readers will find topics to their liking that will merit further research. This is not a book that will solve the doubts of people wanting to learn everything there is about the Georgian period, but it is a great appetizer, and will provide hours of entertainment and plenty of material for conversation. Don’t forget to check the authors’ other books if you are interested in the subject.

Thanks so much to Rosie and to the authors, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and always keep smiling!

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog TALES FROM THE IRISH GARDEN by Sally Cronin (@sgc58) (@DonataEZawadzka). #fairytales A magical book for readers young at heart.

Hi all:

Today I bring you a review for a book written by an author who is a great favourite with many of us, Sally Cronin. She has a fabulous blog where she shares her knowledge of all things and also features writers, musicians, illustrators… She is always cooking up new schemes to help readers find independent books, and if you’re a reader, a writer, or anybody, you have to check her blog.

She has featured most of my books, if not all, and has kindly included me in many of her campaigns and blog parties. I was also privileged to translate the first book in this collection into Spanish. If you know anybody who might enjoy the Spanish version, you can read all about it here.

And after so much blah, blah, here is my review. I thank Sally for allowing me to feature one of the wonderful illustrations by Donata Zawadzka as well.

Tales From the Irish Garden by Sally Cronin  (Author), Donata Zawadzka (Illustrator)
Tales From the Irish Garden by Sally Cronin (Author), Donata Zawadzka (Illustrator)

Tales From the Irish Garden by Sally Cronin  (Author), Donata Zawadzka (Illustrator)

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun-filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.

Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.
As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.

This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians.

Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG/

Author Sally Cronin
Author Sally Cronin

About the author:

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

REVIEWS are so very important for an author and I am very grateful for the feedback that my books receive. If you have purchased or been gifted one of my books I would love to hear what you think about it.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

My blog is https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

And for more information on my books listed here at Amazon please visit
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

My review:

I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher, and I freely decided to review it.

I have followed the author’s blog Smorgasbord Invitation for quite a while. She is an expert on many topics, including health, media, publishing, and she is a great supporter of other writers and artists. She has also published a large number of books, non-fiction and fiction, and she has shared many of her short stories in her blog. I read and reviewed her book Tales from the Garden a while back (you can check my review here) and had been looking forward to this book since I heard about it.

While the original book contained pictures from the author and her relatives’ gardens, for this book she counts with the collaboration of talented illustrator Donata Zawadzka, who provides a black and white ink illustration for each one of the stories/chapters of this enchanting book. The style of the illustrations suits this wonderful realm perfectly, and the images helped bring the stories to life more fully.

Jeremy the baby donkey, illustration by Donata Zawadzka
Jeremy the baby donkey, illustration by Donata Zawadzka

The book follows on from the stories of the fairy realm of Magia. Queen Filigree and her subjects have to leave their garden in Spain due to a new property development. Although some of her stone guardians cannot follow to the new location, in Ireland, we get to meet some fantastic new characters, like the Storyteller, a man with his own magic, who helps our friends in need. We have a prince charming for the queen, magical dressmakers; we also learn more about how the palace works, from the royal pigeons and their carer, to the magical spiders, Queen Bee and her subjects, and the frogs who also help with pest control and building work. Some of our old acquaintances are up to no good, and we also learn more about the queen’s daughters (pretty but not always wise).

The stories follow the seasons of the year, and we have many occasions to join in their celebrations, with new musicians and banquets, and we can enjoy stories set in particular times of the year, from local fairs to Halloween. I cannot choose a favourite because I enjoyed them all, from the piglet races to the touching story of the Storytellers’ daughter.

The style of writing is accessible, fluid and suitable to all ages. These fairy-tales contain gorgeous descriptions of places, costumes, foods, and also characters that go beyond the standard cardboard cut-outs we have come to expect. We have witches suffering from age-related aches and pains, princesses who care for each other but can get into serious trouble, fairy queens concerned about their age, foxes that refuse to kill other animals, jealous bulls… Only some human beings are allowed into the magical realm, and I felt privileged to be one of them.

Another magical book from this author, suitable for anybody who is a child at heart and needs a little inspiration to recover the sense of wonder. Queen Filigree has a magical fountain, and we have Sally Cronin’s books to ensure our imagination keeps us forever young. Highly recommended to everybody.

Thanks to Sally for her book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and keep smiling!

Categories
Book review Book reviews

#TuesdayBookBlog FORCE OF NATURE by Jane Harper (@janeharperautho) (@LittleBrownUK) (@kimberleynyam) Steady-paced, beautifully written, and morally ambiguous #ForceOfNature

Hi all:

I am very pleased to take part on the blog tour for the book Force of Nature by Jane Harper. This is the follow-up of a book that got a lot of attention, especially as it was the debut novel of the author (The Dry). And although I had not read it, I remembered the reviews and could not resist…

Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Force of Nature: by the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, The Dry by Jane Harper

The gripping new novel from the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, Waterstones Thriller of the Month, Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month, and Simon Mayo Radio 2 Book Club Choice, The Dry.

FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK…

Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice’s welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Force-Nature-Jane-Harper/dp/B071P6W7D9/

https://www.amazon.com/Force-Nature-Jane-Harper/dp/B071P6W7D9/

Editorial Reviews

I loved The DryForce of Nature is even better. Brilliantly paced, it wrong-foots the reader like a rocky trail through the bush. I adored it (Susie Steiner, bestselling author of Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown)

I loved The Dry by Jane Harper, I thought it was magnificent, like everybody else did…Fabulous! And her new book Force of Nature…such brilliance. From the first paragraph I was hooked – you just know you’re in the hands of a master. She’s such an excellent writer and the sense of place is so powerful (Marian Keyes)

Lord of the Flies in the Australian outback, with grown women in place of school boys. I loved every chilling moment of it. A blistering follow-up to The Dry from one of the best new voices in crime fiction (Sarah Hilary, author of the bestselling DI Marnie Rome series)

A major voice in contemporary fiction. Like Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series and Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels, Jane Harper’s deftly plotted mysteries double as sensitive inquiries into human nature, behavior, and psychology. And like The DryForce of Nature bristles with wit; it crackles with suspense; it radiates atmosphere. An astonishing book from an astonishing writer (A.J. Finn, bestselling author of The Woman in the Window)

Harper’s debut, The Dry, was The Sunday Times crime novel of 2017 and won the CWA Gold Dagger award. That makes this second outing from the Australian a very hot ticket indeed(Sunday Times, Books of 2018)

The Dry was one of the standout crime debuts of 2017; Australian author Harper follows it with a story of women hiking in the bush – five go out, but only four come back (Guardian, Books of 2018)

Once again, Harper manages to touch on something mythic in the Australian experience of the land…From Frederic McCubbin’s mournful painting…Lost, to Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock…getting lost in the bush was for a while every non-Indigenous Australian’s worst nightmare. Force of Nature plays on this fear and then some. Ratcheting up the sense of threat is the shade of a notorious serial killer lurking in the undergrowth (Sydney Morning Herald)

Force of Nature proves Jane Harper, author of The Dry, is no one-hit wonder. Its premise is instantly gripping (Herald Sun (Melbourne))

As thick with menace as the bush that seems to swallow the difficult Alice…Force of Nature cuts between past and present, corporate and domestic, and cements its author as one of Australia’s boldest thriller writers (Australian Women’s Weekly)

The narrative is finely constructed, with perfectly measured pace and suspense. So much so that it reminded me of another master of form, Liane Moriarty…Harper has also harnessed what captivates the Australian psyche – the landscape. The Dry is set in a small country town in drought, and this time she takes us into the bush. There are echoes of Picnic at Hanging Rock and Lord of the Flies as any appearance of civility slips away and the women lose direction in a hostile landscape. So does Harper’s new book live up to the first? I was thrilled to find that it does. The novel delivers and Harper writes like a dream (The Saturday Paper, Australia)

The best in compulsive literary crime, from the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, The Dry.

Author Jane Harper
Author Jane Harper

About the author:

Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year, the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award and the CWA Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 2017. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Harper/e/B001KI8MCE/

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley and to Little, Brown Book Group for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

I had not read Harper’s first acclaimed novel The Dry when I read her second novel (although I had acquired it after reading many good reviews of it) and although it seems that most people who have reviewed it so far have read the first, I can confirm that it can be read independently and you will not feel that you are missing a fundamental part of the story. Yes, there are brief allusions to events that you suspect might refer to the first novel, but the case itself is self-contained. I must confess I felt curious about the first novel after reading this one, in part because of the main character, but also in part because of the comments by the reviewers.

If you have read the first novel, you will know that the setting is Australia. This time, rather than a draught and dry landscape, the case Aaron Falk gets involved in takes place in a wet and cold area at that time of the year, the Giralong Ranges. Two teams from the same legal firm (one male and one female) have gone for a weekend hiking, as part of a teambuilding exercise. The two teams take different routes and on Sunday, when they are all supposed to meet, one of the women does not turn up. Aaron Falk, who is a federal investigator dealing with financial crimes, and his partner, Carmen Cooper, knew the woman who had gone missing, Alice Russell, because she was helping them (not without a certain degree of pressure/coercion) investigate the firm. At first, they wonder if her disappearance might have something to do with her undercover activities, but there are many mysteries, lies, and intrigues at play, the red herrings abound, and emotions run high.

The story is told in the third person, but each chapter is divided into two time frames, one following the actual investigation of Alice’s disappearance, from Falk’s point of view, and the other following, in chronological order, the events during the hiking trip, from the alternate points of view of the women who accompanied Alice (and, very briefly, of Alice herself).  It is an interesting technique, as it makes us compare the conjectures of the investigating team, with the reality, and it provides us an opportunity to learn more about the characters from their own perspective. The author excels at her descriptions of the landscape, the weather, and the psychological state of the women (and of the male investigator). Although the story develops slowly and I would not call it fast-paced, it has twists and turns, and enough clues to keep us hooked and intrigued. Also, although understated and not emotionally open, we are also intrigued by how personally challenging this case is for Falk, who carries his father’s rucksack and his legacy with him and learns a lot more than the expected about family relationships throughout the book.

None of the characters (except, perhaps Falk and Cooper, and maybe the girls) are particularly lovable or even likable but we get to understand their motivations and why they do what they do. I know there are readers who prefer books where there are characters we should clearly like or dislike, but life is a bit more complex than that, and this novel abounds in morally ambiguous characters that not intentionally all good or bad. (Personally, I have a soft spot for Beth, one of the twin sisters). Alice is perhaps one of the least likable of all the characters, although she, like the rest, has redeeming qualities. It is also true that she is a character we don’t get much of an insight into, as she does not get a voice, and we mostly reconstruct her personality and character based on other people’s judgements and takes on her. I noticed that the characters seem to be paired-up (there are two twin sisters, that at first seem to be complete opposites but we learn there are more similarities in their life-experiences than they realise; there are two childhood friends whose lives and even daughters seem to follow parallel paths; the CEO of the company has difficulties with his son, and there are other father-son relationships highlighted throughout the novel, including that of Falk with his father, and also that of a serial killer who was infamous for his murders in the area and his son) and family relations are at the heart of the story.

For some reason this novel made me think of the label “domestic noir”, because although most of the story develops outdoors, it is also about families, strange relationships, and twists and turns. It also reminded me of Liane Moriarty’s Truly, Madly, Guilty that I reviewed a long while back (you can check my review here), not only because the author is also Australian, but because the mystery at the heart of the book (that in that case, we don’t discover until quite late) shakes and transforms deeply the lives of people who seemed to be getting on perfectly well, undisturbed in their domestic lives until they realise it was all a very thin veneer of normality. (After writing the review I noticed that one of the editorial reviews pointed at that too. Great minds…) Although it is true that the women get into survival mode when things get difficult, the comparison to Lord of the Flies is too extreme, in my opinion, as the characters’ motivations go beyond pure survival and are more complex and nuanced even when things get extremely ugly.

I enjoyed the book. Harper writes very well and can truly flesh out situations and landscapes, making us feel as if we were there with the protagonists. I agree with the reviewers who query some of the details of the story (yes, the organisation of the adventure does not seem to be very well-planned, for example), and I felt that some of the red-herrings and clues suggested more interesting directions than those finally explored (the previous murders committed there keep being hinted at but are not fully explained), and some I feel are possibly left open. The ending… Well, let’s say the resolution of the case itself is not a huge surprise, but I enjoyed the overall ending.

And after reading some of the reviews and the comments about Harper’s first novel, I have started reading it, so I’ll let you know what I think.

An author who’s made a deserved great impression and a mystery for those who prefer a slower pace and great writing, rather than a thrill a minute. Definitely recommended.

Thanks to NetGalley, to Little, Brown Books Group and to the author, thanks to all of you for reading and remember to like, share, comment, click and REVIEW!

[amazon_link asins=’1250105625,1786572370,0425274861,0451490045,B015MR0UJG,0425247449,B01N5P2FOT’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’wwwauthortran-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’753d84e8-042f-11e8-bbe6-c96065688b29′]

Categories
Reblogs Uncategorized

Meet and greet a great selection of blogs at Sally Cronin’s Watering Hole

via Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – At the Watering Hole this week – Hugh W. Roberts, Rosie Amber and The Story Reading Ape

Categories
Book launch book promo

#Booklaunch MURDER AT THE BIJOU. THREE INGREDIENTS 1 by Teagan Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) A delicious new adventure for those who love recipes and historical fiction with a difference. #Iamreading

Hi all:

I have great news! One of my favourite authors and bloggers has just published her new book! Teagan Geneviene has the most amazing blog, where she writes serials including elements contributed by her readers. After much insistence, she has started to collect all this posts and is publishing these fantastic serials to the public at large, so they can read them all in one go. But I’ll let her explain it all. Oh, and if you want to read my review of her previous serial, you can find it here.

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.

Bijou front only 2

Yes, that’s the cover. (I love making covers!) I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise. I asked friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space. If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device. The purchase links are below. But first, here’s a snippet.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer
In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me. I’m not sure which. I opened my eyes to complete darkness. There was no light, no sound. The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean. It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else! Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily. The sound of a cricket came to me. Good. The utter silence had been very disturbing. I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses. My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark. Bare ground was beneath me. The air had a musty odor. A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound. Still sitting, I turned. My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness. When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away. I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was. I felt a burlap bag and round lumps. Rutabagas? I felt around and found another bag. That one felt like potatoes. I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape. Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar.

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Categories
Miscelánea

Noticias blogueras. Volvemos a las andadas de vez en cuando

Hola  a todos:

Como recordaréis, después de desearos un feliz año (¡ya estamos en febrero del 2017!) os dije que me iba a tomar un descanso del blog para pensar qué iba a hacer.

Lo cierto es que he aprovechado el descanso para leer otros blogs, ponerme al día con mis traducciones, mis proyectos de escritura (que van para largo), y seguir leyendo.

Al principio había pensado volver con muchas novedades, pero me he dado cuenta de que prefiero seguir leyendo y compartiendo reseñas de libros cuando las tenga disponibles (tengo más demanda en inglés, pero tengo varias lecturas en español en mi lista), y de vez en cuando traeros alguna novedad. (Como sabéis os he hablado en varias ocasiones de la Sociedad Cooperativa de Escritores Independientes y estamos planeando un Festival de la Lectura, Literania 2017, que va a ser fantástico, y os tendré al día con novedades sobre el tema).

Literania 2017 festival de lectura organizado por la Asociación Internacional de Escritores INdependientes y la Cooperativa
Literania 2017 festival de lectura

También he aprovechado para poner al día mi otro blog http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com que nunca borré, que se niega a morirse (como mi Cactus de Navidad, que cuando llegué a mi casa en Inglaterra, después de tres meses de no estar y de que no lo regara nadie, estaba en flor. Me encantan los plantas con ganas de vivir) y la gente descubre de vez en cuando. Y como allí puedo hacer reblogs, pues aprovecharé para compartir cosas interesantes que encuentre, pero he bloqueado los comentarios porque es preferible que comentéis en el artículo original.

Si se me ocurre algo de lo que escribir, no dudéis en que os daré la lata, pero no os preocupéis si no me véis tan a menudo como antes. Estaré haciendo otras cosas.

Y antes de irme, comparto un par de trailers de películas que he visto recientemente y me han gustado.

La ciudad de las estrellas (La La Land)

Figuras ocultas

Gracias a todos por leer y por si os habéis olvidado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced clic!

Categories
Miscellaneous

Blog update #Bookreviews and a bit more

Hi all:

You might remember that after wishing you a Happy New Year (February 2017 already!) I decided to disappear for a while and try and see what I would do with the blog.

Well, you’ll wonder if I’ve come to any conclusions. I’m afraid not that many. Before I left I had been thinking about coming up with an elaborate schedule sharing a variety of things every day. After having some time to think and realising I enjoyed the freedom of not blogging so regularly (and also of being able to dedicate a bit more time to reading what others were saying), I’ve decided not to do that. I enjoy the interaction blogging allows, but I can get that from blogging less regularly and from commenting on other people’s blogs. I do enjoy writing, but I’m not a great improviser (one of the reasons why I admire people who join in writing challenges but I usually don’t), and I prefer to have a bit more time for my translations and my writing projects. I might eventually use more platforms such as Wattpad that seems less plagued with constant changes of settings and where the emphasis is mostly on the writing (but we’ll see).

I know book reviews are very useful to authors and readers alike, and I love reading and belong to several review groups, so I’ll continue to share reviews. I have quite a few to catch up, but after that, I’ll share as I finish the books and have an occasion. I have many great reads lined up, so I hope you’ll keep visiting for that.

I might do the odd post about other things as my inspiration strikes me or if there’s something that particularly calls to me. Yes, I’ll keep you informed of my own projects as they are ready and I’ll thank you for your support spreading the word and if I have any promotion of my translation work or my books I’ll let you know too.

I’ve taken the chance during this time away to update a bit my old blog at http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com I never deleted it and people keep finding it every so often and following it, although at the moment it consists mostly of links to my new posts in this blog. As it resisted all attempts at terminating it (a bit like my Christmas cactus that was flowering when I arrived back in the UK last Friday although I hadn’t watered it or tended to it since I left on the 30th of October) I’ve decided it deserves to live and I’ll use it to reblog (as I can’t do it here) interesting posts I see. I don’t have the comments open there, but please, feel free to comment on the original post. That will be another way to share content I enjoy. I haven’t changed what it looks like, because to be absolutely honest with you, as much as I enjoy pretty things when I’m reading something I don’t care that much about fancy stuff around it that I sometimes find distracting. (I know a Spanish poet whose blog has hearts dropping from the sky, bubbles going up and down, music playing… I told him I found it impossible to read anything with all that going on and he told me people enjoy it. Well, it’s not me.) And it might be that if I don’t find a better use for this blog, I’ll end up just going back to the old one.

And now, I thought I’d leave you with a couple of trailers for movies I’ve really enjoyed.

La La Land

Hidden Figures,/strong>

Thanks for reading and just in case you’ve forgotten, please like, share, comment and click!

Categories
Miscelánea

#Felizañonuevo. ¡2017, pórtate bien!

Hola a todos y feliz año nuevo.

Como os he comentado, estoy planeando hacer algunos cambios en mi blog, así que me voy a tomar un respiro. Empecé a publicar un blog hace algo más de cuatro años (http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com) con la idea de darme a conocer y promocionar mis libros. En ese tiempo he conocido a muchos blogueros maravillosos que se han convertido en amigos y parte de la familia (ya sabéis quiénes sois y estoy segura de que se irán añadiendo más) pero como estrategia promocional no me ha funcionado, así que me toca repensarme qué voy a hacer. Puede que haya cambios drásticos, o puede que me lo tome con mucha calma. Ya veremos.

Mientras lo pienso, seguiré compartiendo reseñas cuando las tenga, y me encanta compartir nuevos libros, así que si tenéis alguno, no dudéis en poneros en contacto conmigo.

Y mientras tanto, os dejo unas fotos, ya que fui a dar una vuelta por Barcelona el día de Navidad.

Barcelona, swim across the harbor on Xmas Day

Travesía tradicional nadando el puerto de Barcelona
Floating sculpture in Barcelona's Harbor
Escultura flotante en el puerto. Yo también me siento así de vez en cuando, y además va muy bien para estirar el cuello después de tantas horas sentados delante del ordenador
Christopher Columbus statue in Barcelona
Cristóbal Colón, que nunca se cansa de señalar, aunque no sepamos exactamente a qué. Últimamente las palomas y gaviotas no se acercan…
Carmela de Jaume Plensa
Escultura de Jaume Plensa delante del Palau de la Música Catalana.
Representa una niña de Barcelona, y se llama Carmela. Aquí os explica un poco más.

Gracias a todos por leer, a ver si el 2017 se porta un poco mejor, y ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y sobre todo que tengáis un muy buen año!

Categories
Cooperativa SCOOP Ediciones Proust

Entrevista a Fernando Gamboa (@Gamboaescritor) en el blog de la cooperativa. @EDICIONESPROUST Y gracias a @BlancaMiosi por su entrevista

Hola a todos.

Como recordaréis os he hablado de la Cooperativa Internacional de Escritores Independientes, y de su blog en varias ocasiones. Os recomendé que no os perdiérais las entrevistas, y hoy quería avisaros de que Jordi Villalobos ha publicado su entrevista a Fernando Gamboa.

Autor Fernando Gamboa
Autor Fernando Gamboa

Para daros una idea, aquí está el principio:

En los últimos años te has ganado la vida como submarinista, profesor de español, empresario, jugador de póker, guía de aventuras y escritor. ¿En cuál de estas profesiones te sientes más cómodo y en cuál menos? ¿Hay alguna profesión que no has probado en la que tienes puestas tus miras?

Todas tienen sus pros y sus contras, su parte divertida y la que no tanto. De momento, la profesión que me ha hecho disfrutar más es la de escritor y por eso sigo en ella. No solo es la que me da más libertad y me permite llevar el tipo de vida seminómada que me gusta, sino que además me permite conocer a miles de lectores y compartir aventuras, viajes e ideas con ellos. Si en tus planes no entra hacerte millonario, esta es una buena manera de ganarte la vida.

En el futuro no tengo ni idea de lo que haré. Me atrae mucho la exploración espacial y siempre he querido ser astronauta, pero no sé si todavía estoy a tiempo de sacarme la licencia para pilotar cohetes.

Y para que no os quejéis, aquí os dejo el enlace:

http://edicionesproust.com/entrevista-con-fernando-gamboa/

Y ya puestos a compartir entrevista, la maravillosa Blanca Miosi me entrevistó en su programa La Hora Amazónica. Aquí os dejo el enlace:

http://www.spreaker.com/user/emotionalhealth1/lha-74-olga-nunez-miret

Gracias a Jordi y a Fernando por la entrevista, a Blanca por su amabilidad, gracias a todos vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC!

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