Review: Heart of the Country


Heart of the Country by Tricia Stringer

five-stars 5 stars

Read from 23-24 April, 2017

Synopsis: Heart of the Country is the first book in an epic historical saga of three Australian families. Spanning several generations, this epic tells the story of the Baker, Smith and Wiltshire families forging their paths in a land both beautiful and unforgiving.

Lives are intertwined by love and community then ripped apart by hate and greed but remain always bound to the land they love…

1846. Newly arrived from England, Thomas Baker is young, penniless and alone. Eager to make his mark on this strange new place called South Australia, he accepts work as an overseer on a distant sheep property, believing this will be the opportunity he seeks. But when Thomas’s path crosses that of ex-convict, Septimus Wiltshire — a grasping con man hell bent on making a new life for himself and his family at any price — trouble is on the horizon.

But Thomas is made of stern stuff and his fortunes take a turn for the better when he meets spirited farmer’s daughter Lizzie Smith, and soon he envisages their future together.

But this land is like no other he has encountered: both harsh and lovely, it breaks all but the strongest. When his nemesis intervenes once more and drought comes, Thomas finds himself tested almost beyond endurance with the risk of losing everything he and Lizzie have worked for… even their lives. Continue reading

Review: The Veil


The Veil by Megan Chance

3 stars

Read from

Synopsis: Great stones crack and split. Storms will tell and the world is changed…

Seventeen-year-old Grace has found the archdruid who can teach her to use her power as the veleda—the priestess prophesied to save Ireland. But nothing is as it should be. The archdruid is a dangerous fairy, and Grace can’t learn the spells, no matter how hard she tries. Something is wrong…but what?

Meanwhile, gentleman Patrick Devlin and warrior Diarmid Ua Duibhne both struggle with their love for Grace, their duty to their warring brotherhoods, and their support of Ireland. And New York City is in chaos with protests, immigrant gangs, and police crackdowns. The only hope for the future is the ancient ritual, just weeks away, in which Diarmid must take the life of the girl he loves.

Secrets, legends, and prophecies collide in an explosive finale that will save the world—or destroy it. Continue reading

Review: The Web


The Web by Megan Chance

3 stars

Read from April 16-18, 2017

Synopsis: In Victorian New York, seventeen-year-old Grace Knox is tangled in the web of an ancient prophecy.

The Fianna, legendary Irish warriors, have been magically called from their undying sleep to aid Ireland in its rebellion against Britain. But the Fianna have awakened in New York alongside their bitter enemies, the Fomori. A prophecy demands that a Druid priestess—a veleda—must choose between these two sides. Grace is this veleda.

But being the veleda means she must sacrifice her power—and her life—to her choice. On one side are her fiancé, Patrick Devlin, and the Fomori. On the other are the Fianna—and the warrior Diarmid Ua Duibhne, with whom Grace shares an undeniable connection. Patrick has promised to find a way to save her life. In three months, at the ancient ritual, Diarmid must wield the knife that kills her.

Grace doesn’t know whom to trust. As dark forces converge on the city, she struggles to discover the truth about her power. Can she change her own destiny? Can she escape the shadows of the past and reach for a future she could never have imagined? Continue reading

Reblog: #AWW2020 Book Review: “Greythorne” by L. M. Merrington — A Keyboard and an Open Mind


Title: Greythorne Author: L. M. Merrington Genre: Historical fiction/Gothic novel Target audience: Adult Date Read: 08/05/20 – 12/05/20 Rating: ★★★★ Review: I’ve had a copy of Greythorne for quite some time and I’m finally getting to it now that I am actively aiming to read the Australian books I own. Merrington draws on the Gothic tradition, as you can […]

via #AWW2020 Book Review: “Greythorne” by L. M. Merrington — A Keyboard and an Open Mind

Review: The Shadows


Read from February 23rd – March 1, 2017

Synopsis: Grace Knox is about to turn seventeen, and the world of Victorian New York society should be opening to her—a time of dances and parties and boys vying for her heart and her hand. Instead, Grace’s world is closing in: the family business is gone; her brother is drinking and gambling away whatever is left; her widowed mother cannot cope; and her grandmother is slipping into madness. And now Grace is having disturbing dreams of ancient battles.

Grace’s only hope is to marry Patrick Devlin and let his fortune save them all. But she isn’t sure she loves Patrick, and she doesn’t share his passion to free Ireland from British rule. Why look to Ireland when there is so much poverty and despair here?

Then Grace meets Diarmid, an Irish stableboy. Being with him means losing everything. But the secrets and mystery surrounding him are too compelling to ignore. Soon Grace is drawn into his world of legend and heroes, magic and prophecy—the world of her dreams—where her own choice between faith and fear holds the greatest power of all. Continue reading

Review: One Hundred Days


OneHundredDays

2 stars

Read from January 10th – 17th, 2017

Synopsis: In 1917, the mud of Flanders soaked up the blood of a quarter of a million men. If the war continued like that, the Allies would lose. One battle turned that around and was the beginning of a hundred days of advances to victory. This is a story about how that was done.

Two Australian soldiers experience the last two years of the Great War. Martin Ward is a lieutenant working alongside Major-General John Monash, and he sees the transition from slaughter at Passchendaele to breaching the Hindenburg Line. Alec Morey is a gunner severely injured in Flanders, and he returns to Australia to watch on in amazement as the Australian Imperial Force plays the major role in victory.

This is a fictional account of a story not well known; using real events, fictional characters and real-life characters to tell the tale of how the Great War was won. Continue reading