Book Review: Arafura – Blood, the Wet and Tears

arafura 1My attention to this book resulted from visiting the author’s blog. I  followed up with a visit to  Amazon to take advantage of the  handy ‘look inside this book’ function.  Arafura – Blood, the Wet and Tears, written by Susan Lattwein, hooked me from the start.

Since I couldn’t leave this first Arafura novel unread, I eventually purchased myself a version, after I worked out how to get the Kindle for PC to work with the Linux on my laptop. I couldn’t think  of anything worse than trying to read a novel on the PC itself, though I have no trouble spending all day reading blogs!

This is the product description on Amazon …

Nobody said the build-up would be easy.
No body….

Sensible schoolteacher Kat is planning to marry when her long-term fiancé finds the time.
When the mysterious and damaged Adam arrives in town, Kat is jolted well out of her comfort zone. Despite her loyal intentions, a dead body and enough pre-monsoonal weather to strangle a Kat, she must wrestle with an instant attraction that is emotionally risky and absolutely, definitely fraught.
Arafura will appeal to female and male readers who enjoy quirky, witty suspense with dark edges.

Well, that seems a fairly apt description. The ‘build-up’ is the building up of the weather in the top-end of Australia. Apparently, it sends people crazy.  Add a dead body into the mix and things really heat up.

I do have to read this novel again, as some parts  went over the top of my head. Perhaps the foreshadowing was a bit too subtle: I was confused. I feel some of this will make more sense in Book 2. I felt the opening scene lead me to expect a different type of story, and it was only when the book ended that I found out the next scene was actually a dream sequence. When Kat woke up, I thought it another day ( I’m not sure it is the author’s fault.)  I’m still puzzling over the bikini top scene and wonder what the later scene in the petrol station was all about. I’m hoping the second reading will clear that up.

See, I couldn’t put it down and I read too fast. I devoured the 243 ‘real’ pages over two nights.  I shouldn’t keep reading when I’m tired.

Good points. It’s a great story, I love the romance triangle and the unresolved mystery, too. The main characters were believable, and that’s the main thing.

I am happy with the ending – another benchmark – and I love it enough to buy Arafura 2: Unfinished Business.


Edited later:
I’m a dill.  Pictured the second  Arafura up top, instead of the first. [blush]

A Children’s Book: Lily’s Wish

Cover image from the publisher's website
Cover image from the publisher’s website

My copies of Barbara’s wonderful children’s book, Lily’s Wish, arrived in todays mail. Naturally, I read it but it caught me out  because I read it like an adult. I didn’t take the time to drink in the delightful pencil and watercolour drawings on that first pass, as a child would.  Reaching the last sentence, I realised I had missed something important and I had. I had overlooked the very thing that makes this book so special – Lily’s gift to her grandma.

This is what Barbara’s publisher, New Frontier Publishing, has to say about Lily’s Wish.


Lily’s Wish
Written by Barbara Pyett and illustrated by Serena Geddes
ISBN: 9781921042829
32 pages
Reading Age: 4 – 8
Release Date: January 31, 2012

Lily has a special Christmas wish, but only one person can make her wish come trye [sic: that’s a worry!]. She writes him a letter and another and another. He writes back, but will he grant her wish? Do you believe he can? Barbara Pyett’s magical Christmas tale about a selfless young girl and her inspirational wish is brought to life by Serena Geddes’ delightful illustrations.

Here is a peek inside – I think I’m allowed to do this for the purposes of reviewing, even in my poor fashion.

lilyIgnore all the shadows on the page – that’s just me – and I didn’t want to squash the book flat, and risk spoiling the brand new look. But you get the idea, the illustrations are gorgeous, all pink and pretty.lily2
Lily’s Wish can be purchased from the publisher ($9.99 plus postage) or online book stores such as Fishpond ($14.95, free postage Australia)

I love Barbara’s dedication to her grandchildren, and to all grandchildren separated by distance from their grandmothers. If you have children in the reading age range (4 – 8) then you can’t go past this as the perfect Christmas present, either in its own right or as a stocking-filler.

[Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in Lily’s Wish, its publisher, or Fishpond.]

Book Review

This delightful story from Helen Meikle is told from an omniscient point of view, and is set in the Sydney area. The author’s voice reflects her Australian background, and her well written words evoked many images from my own life.

At first, I found the view-point disconcerting, but that eased once I realised it was the writing style – not accidental head hopping.

This is the first time I’ve read a digital novel. I became so engrossed in the story, that I didn’t notice the page numbers whipping by (106 pdf pages on my laptop) and it seemed to end suddenly. I wanted more!

In my honest opinion, any book which reduces me to tears is a good book. I have no hesitation recommending it to you. I would happily pay for any future novels by Helen Meikle. I would pay for this one.

helen meikle's scribblefest


You might think you have your future neatly laid out, but what happens when other people trample across your plans? Meg, Joey, Angelique and Caitlin are different ages, have different lives and different plans for the future, but by the time their paths cross, each of them has found that events have no respect for planning. This is a story about choices and relationships.

Yes, I’ve done it!

After several threatened meltdowns and innumerable cups of coffee, my book is now on Smashwords, Kindle etc, thanks to my daughter who knows far more than I do.

I’d love you all to review it (you don’t have to be polite) but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (women’s fiction/relationships/light ent) so it’s up to you!

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