17 May 2017

Norway, AD785. A wild place, a place of blood...

Fighting in Sweden for an ambitious warlord, Sigurd Haraldarson and his small but loyal band of oathsworn warriors are winning fame and reputation. But Sigurd knows that to take on his hated enemy, the oath-breaker King Gorm - the man who betrayed his father, a man Sigurd has vowed to kill - he must earn riches enough to build an army.

Many believe Sigurd to be Ooin-favoured, but his exploits have drawn the eye of another god, too: Loki the Trickster, and when a daring assassination attempt goes wrong, Sigurd finds himself a prisoner of the powerful Jarl Guthrum. Bound like a slave, his luck having seemingly deserted him, Sigurd is taken to the sacred temple at Ubsola, a place where the blood of human sacrifice flows to appease the gods. 

It is at Ubsola that Sigurd will face the sacrificial knife. And it is here that he will find a powerful relic, the great spear that was said to have once belonged to Odin himself. With such a spear in his possession Sigurd might now assemble a host strong enough to challenge King Gorm and wreak the revenge he craves.

16 May 2017

Sarah reviews...

This book was horrifyingly gripping. Don't pick it up if you have other things you should be doing! You will be intrigued and puzzled by Milly.
The characters are well constructed and utterly believable and their dilemmas are all too real.

The blurb: Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother's daughter...

15 May 2017

Northumbria, 859

In England before the Norman Conquest, a land ruled by rival kings, Radmer of Donmouth is guardian of the estuary, the gateway to Northumbria. When his king sends him on a mission to Rome, Donmouth is left in the safekeeping of Radmer's only daughter, Elfrun.

But powerful conspiracies are being woven, and deadly rivals are circling, ready to take advantage of Donmouth's young and inexperienced new ruler.

In England before the Norman Conquest, a girl usually had only two choices - to marry, or to take the veil. But Elfrun of Donmouth in Northumbria is no ordinary girl. She is the only living child of the charismatic and fearless feudal lord, Radmer, whose wife and two sons have died.

When the king sends Radmer overseas on a mission to Rome, Elfrun is left to hold the fort, to lead her people out of danger from marauding neighbours and to protect herself. All around her predators are circling, waiting for their chance to seize her lands, her people - and her. Will her father return in time to save both her and the people of Donmouth? Or can Elfrun find the strength to take matters into her own hands?

12 May 2017

The Treaty Times Thirty

2016 marked the 30th anniversary of the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters. To celebrate, over 150 volunteer translators, reviewers and editors worked together to translate Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ the Treat of Waitangi into 30 different languages. This book is the product of their work.

The Treaty Times 30 project celebrates the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand, this country's increasing diversity, and the role and importance of professional translation in today's multilingual society. The translations contained in this book will help migrants to Aotearoa New Zealand and members of the international community gain a better understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi.

11 May 2017

The first wave of spiders is dead...

Tens of millions of people around the world are dead. Half of China is a nuclear wasteland. Mysterious flesh-eating spiders are marching through Los Angeles, Oslo, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and countless other cities. According to scientist Melanie Gruyer, however, the spider situation seems to be looking up. 

Yet in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack gives a shocking preview of what is to come, even as survivors in Los Angeles panic and break the quarantine zone. Out in the desert, survivalists Gordo and Shotgun are trying to invent a spider super weapon, but it's not clear if it's too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: 

The Spanish Protocol. America, you are on your own

10 May 2017

Every game has rules. He's about to break them...

Since becoming a major league baseball player, I've learned a few hard lessons. Like never give out your home address on social media (sorry, Mom). Never shoot your mouth off without thinking . . . and never, ever let your personal life interfere with your game. But then I saw her - sitting alone behind the enemy dugout, watching me - and I just had to meet this girl.

Now I know that Daisy Robinson has her secrets, but there's something about her that drives me crazy. Maybe it's her innocence, her absolutely amazing knowledge of baseball, or just the fact that she is so unbelievably beautiful. I have to take it slow. Prove to her that the rumors about me are just that - rumors.

Daisy might be my ultimate lifetime win. . . if I don't get hit by the curve-ball that's coming my way.

09 May 2017

Letters to the Lost

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. 

When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

08 May 2017

How far would you go to keep a secret?

Alice has a perfect life. A cool job, great kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night. The phone rings and then goes dead. Unexpected gifts appear. Something isn't right.

Alice nees to know what's going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brual choice.

And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it's better not to know...

05 May 2017

D.J. and Gina are totally ordinary kids. But Hilo . . . isn't.

He's an alien robot from another world!

Hilo is just settling into life on Earth (Bowling? Knock-knock jokes? Outstanding!) when strange portals begin opening up all over town and even stranger creatures are coming through them! But it will take more than a giant mutant chicken, a viking hippo, a magical warrior cat, or even a few million killer vegetables to stop Team Hilo.

Er, won't it . . . ?

Can Hilo, D.J. and Gina figure out how to send these creatures back to their own worlds before they destroy the earth? Find out in Hilo- Saving the World Wide World.

Hazzah! Hilo and his friends must save the world from monsters from another dimension.

02 May 2017

Maria reviews...

As a fan of this author I was delighted to see a new book out as other books I have read by her have given me a good chuckle and left me feeling lighthearted.  This isn't that kind of book and I suggest if you read it, you're feeling in a steady mood and have a box of tissues handy.

Sinead Moriarty gives us a powerful and emotional story making us laugh and cry and becoming part of this family who end up being torn apart when twelve year old Jess is diagnosed with cancer. Not many authors have the kind of talent that blends such an emotional rollercoaster and gives each character such an incredible voice.

I found myself easily relating to all of the family but the parts where young Bobby writes in his diary are the most powerful parts of the story even though the entries are not very long.

If you can get through this book without firmly planting your feet in the shoes of Kate, the mother who has a decision to make that no mother ever hopes to be faced with, you would be doing a lot better than I did.  However, the moments of pure emotional beauty and peace woven into this story makes it worth every tissue and every tear.

01 May 2017

Kenya 1952

Kenya, 1952, a colony on the edge. Settlers drink sundowners on the veranda but the servants can't be trusted. Beyond manicured lawns, in the dark of the forest, freedom is stirring. Johnny Seymour has seen too much war and seeks solace photographing East African wildlife. But when isolated white families are slaughtered by Mau Mau gangs, the British respond brutally and Johnny is reluctantly pulled into the horror. 

After his African driver Macharia disappears, Johnny is forced to confront shocking truths about his own country and ask how far he'll go to help a friend. Nearly sixty years later, disgraced young barrister Sam Seymour knows nothing about her grandfather. Even his name is taboo. 

All she understands is that Johnny did something so awful that his only son - her father - had to be rescued from Kenya. 

Now as veteran Mau Mau fighters demand reparations for past sins, she's been offered a chance to unpeel history and discover why. In a twin narrative spanning the generations, White Highlands follows Sam and Johnny as they confront the might of the British state. One man stands in both their way - Grogan Littleboy, a ruthless colonial survivor who'll do anything to defeat Mau Mau, past and present. A literary thriller and epic love story, White Highlands sheds powerful light on the murky and violent history of imperialism

28 April 2017

Monster High Electrified!

When the ghouls discover Clawdeen Wolf's big dream of opening a salon for monsters and Normies alike, they can't wait to make it a monstrous success! 

But while the ghouls are preparing their electric styles, Twyla, the daughter of the Boogey Man, spots Moanica D'Kay working on a shocking plan of her own. And with Frankie Stein's latest invention--a superpowerful battery--in Moanica's hands the whole Normie World could be in high-voltage danger! 

Can these ghoulfriends save the Normies and make Clawdeen's dream a clawesome reality? Only one thing's for sure--it's going to be electrifying!

26 April 2017

Sue reviews...

Not many authors can tempt me to put on hold a great Zombie series, but the latest Stuart MacBride offering titled "A dark so deadly," had me captivated.

The library has the book both in print and downloadable as an ebook via the BorrowBox platform.

In the true tradition of Stuart MacBride, the story centres around a group of misfit police officers, forced together because of their ineptitude or misdeeds.  When mummified corpses start turning up, it becomes apparent a serial murderer  is on the loose. The team must come together to hunt the killer down.  A couple of familiar characters appear along the way which binds this novel to both the Ash Henderson and Logan Mcrae series'. There’s a twist in this tale though, so don’t go thinking you’ve guessed who the killer is!

While I missed the characters of Logan Macrae and DS Steel, this novel still contains all the sarcastic wit, quick one liners and laugh out loud humour that peppers MacBride's pervious novels. If you're a fan of Scottish crime, then this is a must read.

And if you're a fan of Zombie novels the series I have put on hold is Arisen by Glynn James and Michael Stephen Fuchs.  Series narrated by R.C. Bray. Available from Audible.com or as eBooks from Amazon.com

25 April 2017

Wonderful feels like this

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=165569The Elegance of the Hedgehog meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower in this novel celebrating being a little bit odd, finding your people, and the power of music to connect us...

For Steffi, going to school everyday is an exercise in survival. She's never fit in with any of the groups at school, and she's viciously teased by the other girls in her class. The only way she escapes is through her music - especially jazz music...When Steffi hears her favorite jazz song playing through an open window of a retirement home on her walk home from school, she decides to go in and introduce herself. 

The old man playing her favorite song is Alvar. When Alvar was a teenager in World War II Sweden, he dreamed of being in a real jazz band. Then and now, Alvar's escape is music - especially jazz music...Through their unconventional friendship, Steffi comes to realise that she won't always feel alone. 

She can go to music school in Stockholm. She can be a real musician. She can be a jitterbug, just like Alvar...But how can Steffi convince her parents to let her go to Stockholm to audition? And how it that Steffi's school, the retirement home, the music, and even Steffi's worst bully are somehow all connected to Alvar? Can it be that the people least like us are the ones we need to help us tell our own stories?..

24 April 2017

The songbird sisters

Finally back together after more than a decade apart, the country-singing sisters The Darling Songbirds are back in harmony, and finding love, in this sparkling rural rom-com. When their world-famous country band The Darling Songbirds split up acrimoniously, sisters Adele, Molly and Lana went their separate ways. 

A decade on, Adele and Molly have finally reconciled. However Lana has remained stubbornly estranged - until now . . . Lana Darling has got royalties pouring into her bank account, thanks to the song she sold to another singer, but she's never made it as a solo artist. 

Perhaps now it's time to give up the music industry for good . Yet when she heads home to Darling Bay, she has hunky country music star Taft Hill hot on her heels. He's not prepared to let her call it quits - especially when he needs new songs for his album . . . 

Lana and Taft have a history - and both have secrets to hide. But when events take an unexpected turn, will Lana choose her career? Or Taft? Or the long-awaited chance to get back in harmony with her songbird sisters?

21 April 2017

On second thought...

Ainsley O'Leary is so ready to get married--she's even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn't anticipate is for Eric to blindside her with a tactless break-up he chronicles in a blog...which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her half-sister, Kate, who's already struggling after the sudden loss of her new husband.

Kate has always been so poised, so self-assured, but Nathan's death shatters everything she thought she knew--including her husband--and that sometimes the people who step up aren't the ones you expect. With seven years and a murky blended family dynamic between them, Ainsley and Kate have never been overly close, but their shared sorrow dovetails their faltering worlds into one.

Despite the lifetime of history between them, the sisters must learn to put their differences aside, open their hearts to the inevitable imperfection of family--and the possibility of one day finding love again.

20 April 2017

Maria reviews..

Dark, atmospheric and spooky with a twist! I am very picky about books that are told in alternating chapters between characters and was delighted to find that Claire Douglas does this beautifully.

A good time was had by me trying to pick which character had 'dunnit' and the two sharp twists at the end took me totally by surprise as a good suspense book should.  

If you are a fan of S J (Sharon) Bolton, Claire Mackintosh, Sabine Durrant, C.L. Taylor, Val McDermid, Lisa Jewell or Catherine Ryan Howard - I suspect you will enjoy Claire Douglas. It is a very gripping 'don't put it down' read.

The blurb:

Twenty years ago
21-year-old Sophie Collier vanishes one night.
She leaves nothing behind but a trainer on the old pier -
and a hole in the heart of her best friend Francesca.

A body's been found.
And Francesca's drawn back to the seaside town she's tried to forget.
Perhaps the truth of what happened to Sophie will finally come out.
Yet Francesca is beginning to wish she hadn't returned.
Everywhere she turns are ghosts from her past.
The same old faces and familiar haunts of her youth.
But if someone knows what really happened to Sophie that night then now's the time to find out - isn't it?
Except sometimes discovering the truth can cost you everything you hold dear - your family, your sanity and even your life . . .