Where do the days go? I’m sure it was just New years last week and now the children are back at school and I can find a little time to get stuff done.
I seem to have fixed my technology problems but I am having a few image issues so I’m going to keep this short and sweet, just get you the info on the books and get the callout sent so we can start working on book club lists.
February sees us with a much larger list, and a nice range of reading material so have fun making some choices.
All The Tears in China – Sulari Gentill
Pantera Press – Historical Crime/Mystery Fiction
This is part of a series.
Book 9 in the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries
Shanghai in 1935 is a twentieth-century Babylon, an expatriate playground where fortunes are made and lost, where East and West collide, and the stakes include life itself.
Into this, Rowland Sinclair arrives from Sydney to represent his brother at international wool negotiations. Rowland is under strict instructions to commit to nothing… but a brutal murder makes that impossible.
As suspicion falls on him, Rowland enters a desperate bid to find answers in a city as glitzy as it is dangerous, where tai-pans and tycoons rule, and politics and vice are entwined with commerce.
Once again, the only people Rowland can truly trust are an artist, a poet and a free-spirited sculptress.
Amelia Chamelia and the Birthday Party – Laura Sieveking
Puffin – Children’s Chapter Book
Amelia’s eighth birthday is just around the corner and she is SO excited. She’s going to have the best party ever – even if she does have to invite her troublesome twin cousins. But then something strange and magical happens . . Now Amelia has a very big secret.
Will Amelia be able to keep her chameleon powers hidden, even when disaster strikes and the party bags go missing?
Lady Smoke – Laura Sebastian
Pan Macmillan – YA Fantasy
This is book 2 in the Ash Princess series
The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took her country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess – a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenceless. He didn’t realise that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.
Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage – Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.
To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.
Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.
Lawson’s Bend – Nicole Hurley-Moore
Allen & Unwin – Romantic Suspense
For a long time Lawson’s Bend had held little for Henny. Almost ten years ago she’d got out and vowed never to come back. But sometimes things change . . .
In the hot summer of 2008, Henny Bolton loses her best friend on a night they should have been celebrating their futures. It’s a loss about which she remains grief-stricken.
Right after the accident, Henny flees the small country town and true to her word, she’s not been back.
Stephen Drake never left Lawson’s Bend. He once had ambitions for a different life but staying close to family became more important after that tragic night.
But when Henny’s mother dies suddenly in a fall near the old quarry, and Henny is forced to return to Lawson’s Bend, it’s apparent that questions need to be asked. Was it really an accident?
Her plan was to get out of town again as quickly as possible. But then there is Stephen . . .
Slayer – Kiersten White
Simon & Schuster – YA Fantasy
This is the beginning of a new series. Set in the World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Into every generation a Slayer is born…
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers – girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One – she’s the last Slayer, ever. As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested – because someone she loves might be next.
One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.
The Homestead on the River – Rosie MacKenzie
Harlequin Mira – Historical Fiction
In stark contrast to her own childhood during the last days of the Raj in India, the spectacular beauty surrounding their home, Rathgarven in Ireland has proven to be a happy place for Kathleen O’Sullivan and her husband, James, to raise their four children. But Kathleen is no stranger to heartbreak, and when the family is faced with losing everything, she knows they will need to adapt to survive. Even if that means leaving their beloved home and moving to Australia to start afresh.
Lillie O’Sullivan knows that her mother and father haven’t been entirely truthful about the reasons for their move to Australia. But as they settle into their new home in rural New South Wales she is willing to give it a chance. That is, until the secrets her parents have kept for so long finally catch up with them.
Secrets that have the power to destroy their family and ruin their future.
The Last of the Romanov Dancers – Kerri Turner
HQ Fiction – Historical Fiction
Valentina Yershova’s position in the Romanovs’ Imperial Russian Ballet is the only thing that keeps her from the clutches of poverty. With implacable determination, she has clawed her way through the ranks, relying not only on her talent but her alliances with influential men that grant them her body, but never her heart. Then Luka Zhirkov – the gifted son of a factory worker – joins the company, and suddenly everything she has built is put at risk.
For Luka, being accepted into the company fulfils a lifelong dream. But in the eyes of his proletariat father, it makes him a traitor. As civil war tightens its grip and the country starves, Luka is torn between his growing connection to Valentina and his guilt for their lavish way of life.
For the Imperial Russian Ballet has become the ultimate symbol of Romanov indulgence, and soon the lovers are forced to choose: their country, their art or each other…
A powerful novel of revolution, passion and just how much two people will sacrifice…
The Lost Girls – Jennifer Spence
Simon & Schuster – Suspense
A haunting tale of love and loss that will make you think twice
What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?
How far would you go to save someone you loved?
These are just two of the fateful choices a woman is forced to grapple with in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.
At the core of the enigmatic Stella’s story, past and present, is a mystery she is compelled to solve, a beautiful young woman who went missing fifty years ago – and a tragedy much closer to home she must try to prevent.
As Stella unravels the dark secrets of her family’s past and her own, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make every day can change our future irrevocably.
The Orchardist’s Daughter – Karen Viggers
Allen & Unwin – Popular Fiction
Sixteen-year-old Mikaela has grown up isolated and homeschooled on an apple orchard in southeastern Tasmania, until an unexpected event shatters her family. Eighteen months later, she and her older brother Kurt are running a small business in a timber town. Miki longs to make connections and spend more time in her beloved forest, but she is kept a virtual prisoner by Kurt, who leads a secret life of his own.
When Miki meets Leon, another outsider, things slowly begin to change. But the power to stand up for yourself must come from within. And Miki has to fight to uncover the truth of her past and discover her strength and spirit.
Set in the old-growth eucalypt forests and vast rugged mountains of southern Tasmania, The Orchardist’s Daughter is an uplifting story about friendship, resilience and finding the courage to break free.
The Round Yard – Alissa Callen
Harlequin Mira – Contemporary Romance
This is A Woodlea Novel, Book #4
For only child Neve Fitzpatrick, family is everything. When she loses her mother, she heads to the bush to rent a farmhouse near her grandmother’s family home. To keep herself busy and her grief at bay, she offers to look after two little redheaded cowgirls and adopts a sassy pony and shaggy donkey in need of a refuge.
Drover and horse trainer Tanner Callahan may have just found his mother, but he’s resolved never to let anyone too close. Abandonment has cursed him all his life, and he won’t let it happen again. Only two things unnerve him: children and small–town matchmaking. Then he meets occupational therapist Neve. Warm–hearted and unforgettable, she represents all that Tanner feels will forever remain out of reach.
But when an old iron key unlocks family secrets from the Second World War, Neve needs help only Tanner can give. As the threads of the past unravel, and locusts threaten to suffocate the land, Neve and Tanner must make a choice. Will fear keep them running or is the home each yearns for already within grasp?
The Scholar – Dervla McTiernan
Harper Collins – Crime Thriller
This is a Cormac Reilly novel
Being brilliant has never been this dangerous …
When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit and run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.
A security card in the dead woman’s pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics. The multi-billion-dollar company, founded by her grandfather, has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy – it has funded Emma’s own ground-breaking research. The enquiry into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.
As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but as his running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question his own objectivity. Could his loyalty to Emma have led him to overlook evidence? Has it made him a liability?
A huge thanks goes out to the publishers without whom we could not offer such great reads. Allen & Unwin, Harlequin, Harper Collins, Pantera Press, Pan Macmillan, Penguin Randomhouse and Simon & Schuster. We are so grateful for the support you show us, we couldn’t do it without you.
If you aren’t yet a member of the Beauty and Lace Club there is still time to join, head over to the signup page and take a look: yoursay.beautyandlace.net.
Happy Reading, have fun selecting preferences and we look forward to hearing what you think.