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Blogger Blackout…

blogger blackout

Write Here is participating in a blogger blackout until Monday October 27. This is in response to an author stalking a book blogger who gave her a negative review. As a blogger, this is unacceptable!

You can find lots of info, from the original post to the media responses here (thanks to Kat at Book Thingo for posting everything in one place)

I feel it’s very important for bloggers to stand together now because what this woman did…and bragged about……is really, really scary.

Flick x

Book Review: Heartland

 

heartland

 

Author: Cathryn Hein

333 pages

Published by: Penguin Books Australia – Thank you to the publishers for my copy of this book

Available: Now

 

‘  When Callie Reynolds arrives at Glenmore, the property she’s recently inherited, the last thing she wants is to be saddled with a warty horse, an injured neighbour and a mad goose. Haunted by her sister’s death and her fractured family, all she wants is freedom.

But Callie hasn’t counted on falling for Matt Hawkins, an ex-soldier determined to fulfil his own dream of land and family. Nor could she predict the way the land, animals and people of Glenmore will capture her heart.

Callie is faced with impossible choices. But she must find the courage to decide where her future lies, even if it costs her everything she holds dear ‘

 

Callie Reynolds is running. Devastated and guilt ridden over the loss of her beloved older sister Hope, Callie abandons her shattered family to hide among strangers. And where better than a small coastal town in Queensland’s glorious Whitsunday region with its largely transient population of holidaymakers and foreign backpackers.

But a letter arrives advising Callie that not only has she lost her grandmother…… but her paternal family’s property of Glenmore is now hers. She has wonderful childhood memories of Glenmore and the nearby town of Dargate, where she and her sister escaped their big city hometown of Melbourne and indulged all manner of childhood passions such as fishing, horse riding and long, lazy days being spoiled by adoring grandparents.

A few days drive later Callie arrives at the property, intent on cleaning the place up and putting it on the market. Then it’s back to Airlie Beach to settle back into her life of empty anonymity.

But a grumpy old man, a handsome young ex-soldier, a warty horse, a goose and a broken young girl have other ideas.

Callie was never going to make a quick escape from Glenmore….. and aren’t we glad she didn’t. This book is why I miss reading. It’s why I should make time for my books once again. It’s why I am now going to return to being one of those people who is always reading a book.

The author has perfectly captured that feeling of a modern rural town. Small enough to be a small town but within driving distance of a major city. Some locals lament the ever closer inching of the suburban sprawl with its influx of hobby farmers and property developers. In fact, the sale of Glenmore may well end in its demise as a single property and see it sub-divided and sold off as lots. This thought weighs heavily on Callie’s mind.

But it is her burgeoning relationship with the hunky ex-soldier neighbour, Matt Hawkins, that tests Callie’s resolve to leave. The pair, once childhood friends, get off to a rocky start but with Callie simply being in need of the help of  ‘an attractive, capable man’, what else can a girl do but get caught up in the moment.

The flirting that goes on between Callie and Matt is a delight to read. I found myself smiling and resisting the urge to flip through the pages to see how it all ends as this pair did that most delicious of emotional dances….falling in love. Matt falls hard and fast and has no problem wearing his heart on his sleeve. Callie is more reticent, reminding Matt that she will be leaving Glenmore once she sorts everything out.

The language and emotion are real and can be seen and overheard in any city, town, pub, bus, workplace …… basically anywhere two people can meet and flirt and potentially fall in love. There is a smattering of swearing which is just so natural and just so perfectly right that I mentally high-fived the author for allowing her instincts to flow into her words.

This is a love story for the modern woman. It is natural, wonderful and engaging. Callie is neither a victim nor a hero…..just an ordinary girl who has to deal with difficult issues and goes about it the best way she knows how. She has hardened her heart to protect herself and it is lovely to watch her opening up to her new friends. Her patience with a local girl, distraught and terrified of her own horse after a terrible accident, is the key to Callie’s character and perhaps her salvation.

So does Callie stay with the attractive capable man? Does she give in to those deeply buried desires for home and hearth? Or does she run back to her fun and happy yet emotionally devoid life in Queensland?

I thoroughly recommend you buy the book and find out…..

Cathryn, who once called Newcastle home, has graciously agreed to an interview in the very near future. Keep an eye out for it on Social/Life Magazine

Please visit the author, Cathryn on her website

Cathryn Hein

Cathryn Hein

Book Review: Jilted by Rachael Johns

 

 

Jilted

Author: Rachael Johns

355 pages

Available: Now

‘The heartbreaker of Hope Junction is back…. ‘

 

 

Ellie Hughes is Australia’s favourite soap star. Young, beautiful and talented, she is adored by everyone except Flynn Quartermaine, the high school sweetheart she left standing at the altar some 10 years ago. Having fled the small country town of Hope Junction and leaving behind the handsome and rich small town hero Flynn, Ellie is understandably nervous about returning for the first time. But she has no choice as her adored god-mother, Matilda, is ill and needs her. So back to Hope Junction she goes, hoping her visit will be uneventful, perhaps even un-noticed by the locals. Alas, this is not to be.

Once back in town and en route to collect her currently hospitalised god-mother, the drama begins. As the story progresses, Ellie encounters old friends, old enemies, new friends, new enemies, people who know all about what happened 10 years ago and people who know nothing about it at all. The town is abuzz that not only does it have a genuine celebrity in it’s midst, but that celebrity comes with ties to the small town and most importantly, ties to it’s dashing, handsome and all round good guy, Flynn.

But what will Flynn make of Ellie’s return? Will he be angry or forgiving? Will he be married or pining away for her return? Will he be handsome still or a shadow of his former self? Will he even speak to her.

At this point I think I should mention that I bought this book to support the author, Rachael, who I have become friends with via the internet. As you know, I am a great supporter of all Aussie talent and felt this should include Aussie authors. So putting my money where my mouth is, I skipped off to buy myself a copy of Jilted (I found mine at Big W). The aisle where I found this book is one I usually avoid as this type of book really isn’t my thing. Chick lit, sometimes yes, but this? And it was a Harlequin romance to boot *sighs*

What had I done?? I had no choice.

I started reading.

Now obviously it has been some time since I picked up a romance novel because where is the bodice ripping? Where is the fade to black as they tenderly kiss? Where is the outdated, PG and a tad boring storytelling? This was not what I remembered. Once I stopped thinking and started reading, I was hooked.

This is a genuine old fashioned love story with a contemporary edge.  Ellie is real. She is not the most beautiful woman ever created, nor is she perfect with no flaws or issues. She is not waiting to be saved nor is she a heartless bitch who is broken beyond repair. Flynn, too, is very real. Handsome and rugged but with his own failings. Neither is the victim nor the hero. As the story progresses, there is no right or wrong, no black or white. It’s all so…..modern.

But it is the writing style that hooked me. There is nothing forced or studied here. The author clearly lives what she writes or at the very least, knows what she is talking about. The language is fresh, modern and colloquial enough to be instantly recognised as contemporary Australia. There is not the heavy handed ‘g’day mates’ and intimated slow drawls so often appropriated to anyone who lives beyond the urban sprawl.

The residents of Hope Junction and neither slow, timid or simpleminded. They may enjoy the simple pleasures of life and have a sense of community that is lacking in modern suburbia but there is nothing small town about any of the characters we encounter. Okay so I did chuckle at the Cranky Women’s errrrrrr I mean Country Women’s Association and the prayer tree. Forget the interwebs, if you want to know gossip in a small town, join the CWA. You know it’s true!

This story of love lost is exactly what it says it is. A love story with interesting, engaging characters that moves along at a steady pace offering a few surprises along the way. There are moments of suspense that are written to perfection so you are neither frustrated nor uninterested in what will happen next. This story is engaging from beginning to end.

It was a real joy to read this novel for a few reasons. It really is cool ‘knowing’ the author (thank you Twitter & Facebook) so for that reason alone, I am really glad I liked this book. It’s great to see modern Australia so well represented in such a positive, non-patronising manner.  I may have to give these books, previously ignored by me, a second look.

It was wonderful to read a good book. A well written, well thought out story that wasn’t just fodder for the seemingly dumb downed masses.  Novels such as this give me hope that good storytellers with original stories can still have their voice heard and their books published.

I look forward to and will be first in line for Johns’ next novel, which I believe she is writing as I speak.

Visit Rachael at:

http://www.rachaeljohns.com/

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachael-Johns/260103224001776

 

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