The last song by Nicholas Sparks

This book is by another one of my favourite authors. But it was not my favourite offering by Mr Sparks.

Having said that, there has not been one book, written by Nicholas Sparks, that I have considered a waste of time reading.

I think my problem was that initially “The Last Song” felt a more suitable read for younger people than myself. It followed the journey of a young woman, Veronica Miller “Ronnie” as she rebelled against her divorced parents and her situation.

However, as the story progressed, Ronnie was faced with some real issues. At that point the book became more suitable for a mature reader.

Did I enjoy “The Last Song,” yes. Definitely a beach type read and a well constructed love story. I would not expect anything less from Nicholas Sparks

Now available as a box set

“Beach and Beyond” Box set Romantic Suspense

“Crumbs to Caviar” (Book one)
Shona and her husband take time to recover at their beachside holiday home after the accident that shattered their world. But what should have been a fresh start for the young couple begins a chain of events that will turn their lives upside down. Shona is forced to face the ghosts of her past with tragic consequences.

An ocean away, Blake Coleman lives the celebrity lifestyle. Numerous women pass through his life. But Blake has no interest in committing again. Caring for his disabled brother and his corporate empire his life is full, yet empty.

A twisted tale of a life shattered by betrayal and dangerous obsession, beachside holidays and a love that could change it all.

“The Cost of Caviar” (Book two)
Building a new life beside magnificent Teal Lake should have been easy. After all, Shona McGuire wasn’t asking for much. A return to the ordinary life, security for her son and a man to love. But when tragedy strikes, and a stranger seeking solitude arrives at the lake, everything is thrown into turmoil.

“The Cost of Caviar” continues the story of Shona McGuire and Blake Coleman started in “Crumbs to Caviar”.

This bundle contains both Book one and Book two of the “Beach and Beyond” series. “Crumbs to Caviar” and “The Cost of Caviar” are also available individually on Kindle.

The author of this book resides in New Zealand. If you are a reader from the United States, the spelling of some words may differ slightly from what is familiar to you. A glossary at the back of the book provides insight in to the New Zealand terms.

This is It, by Jackie Parry

This is a totally absorbing read.

I have just finished reading Jackie Parry’s book “This is it.” Having read her previous stories, “Of Foreign Build” and “A Standard Journey,” I was not convinced the latest offering would be able to maintain the same entertainment value as I had previously enjoyed. I need not have worried.

Following on from her adventures on Mariah, Jackie swept me up on another fabulous journey of escapism. Together with Noel, her husband, they negotiated and purchased Pyewacket, (as with most things in their lives this was not such an easy feat!) a fifty-one-foot vessel and embarked on another nail biting adventure.

I am not as a rule, a huge fan of non-fiction/memoire genres. However, I do make an exception when I come across a book by this author. Jackie Parry has a way of entertaining while passing on practical information. She draws pictures with her words of exotic locations, colourful people and the harsh, often life threatening conditions they encounter while sailing offshore.

I look forward to seeing where this adventurous lady takes us to next.

http://www.amazon.com/This-hemispheres-people-Jackie-Parry-ebook/dp/B01BHW58LU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1461520571&sr=1-1&keywords=this+is+it+jackie+parry

Good coffee and burnt muffins

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New Zealand Tui, native to New Zealand. Seen here in one of its favourite places the Kowhai tree.

As the title suggests my latest attempt at being awarded the title of domestic goddess has failed, and it has failed spectacularly.  But as we washed down blackened berries with strong caffeine this page has been steered in to a logical format.    Welcome to my new look blog.

I would like to share a few of the images that have been included in previous posts.  I hope you enjoy these glimpses of New Zealand through the eyes of some of my talented friends.

If you have been following my blog you will know a friend has recently been diagnosed with bone cancer.  I am happy to say that he is in good spirits and an auction was held yesterday.  It has raised considerable funds towards his treatment.  Great to see so many generous people  donating and bidding.  Mike is a wonderful man, and for another three weeks we will continue to donate proceeds from The Quilt, Unravelled to his on-going treatment..

If you would like a chance of winning a free copy of The Quilt, Unravelled please click on this link.  The competition is running for a further 10 days and is open to readers from all eligible countries.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/124678-the-quilt

If you would like to download a copy of The Quilt, Unravelled or purchase it as a paperback please click on this link.  All proceeds will help Mike Shaffer battle bone cancer.

http://goo.gl/yrnj5L

The Quilt, Unravelled

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Auckland City, New Zealand.

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Waiheke Island, North Island, New Zealand. Home of The Quilt, Unravelled.

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The spectacular South Island, New Zealand. Photo Des Clegg.

“GIVEAWAY”

Missed out on the last Giveaway?  Another copy of The Quilt, Unravelled is available.  Click on the link for a chance to win.  Open to all eligible countries https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/124678-the-quilt

Tragedy brings them together.  The past drives them apart.  Their choices change the future.  An epic story of love against the odds.

For one month all proceeds from The Quilt, Unravelled (both Kindle and paperback) will help a wonderful man battle bone cancer.

The Quilt, Unravelled

The Quilt, Unravelled

WRAP UP IN THE QUILT

A little advanced news.  Another Goodreads giveaway will start on the 30th of January.  Enter and have a chance of winning a copy of this novel.  Open to all eligible countries.

I would like to share with you the latest review of The Quilt, Unravelled.  5 stars and the description below is beautifully written!

“A POWERFUL FAMILY SAGA WELL TOLD”

A single thread is fragile, as is life. But as more threads are woven together, the fabric strengthens. Now those individual threads may represent major themes of the human condition–both good and bad: the fragility of health, betrayal of family, careers terminated, sociopathic cruelty — or, on the other hand, there’s the kindness of strangers, selfless loyalty, a purpose driven life, the damp muzzle of loving dog, natures splendor and the possibility of true love. All these threads come together in bold colors and powerful strands in Rochelle Carlton’s compelling novel “The Quilt: Unraveled” to render vividly life’s harsh realities in a story that is both personal and intimate. This multi-generation family saga is immense in scope (and intense); but the author finds balance by placing the majority of the action in New Zealand (such a refreshing change from typical book backdrops). By the end, I found I cared profoundly about the characters Ms. Carlton had created, and that is the essence of what a good story is all about. I’m now waiting on her next book!

Review by author Mark Fine The Zebra Affaire

The Quilt, Unravelled

The Quilt, Unravelled

A SUNNY DAY IN AUCKLAND

The New Zealand summer is turning on a show for Auckland’s Anniversary day.  Auckland is nestled between harbours.  A narrow neck of land, with leafy, sprawling suburbs accommodating over 30% of the countries total population.  Today we celebrate, many of us on the water and a few, myself included,  mowing lawns, working on the new novel and feeding horses.

Excerpt from The Quilt, Unravelled.

The soft hint of daybreak sent a milky glow across the water’s surface. They stopped to watch the river turn into a scarlet ribbon and the first shards of light break through the leaves and cast dapples on the damp grass. Paul poured another cup of rich bitter coffee from his flask and skipped the flat stones across the water’s surface for Jess to chase.

Jess jumped on to the back of the quad, refreshed by a cool drink from the mountain-fed river. They picked their way through a stand of untouched native bush protected years ago from stock by a secure fence. Tiny fantails darted in and out of the canopy above, catching small insects and dancing to a chorus of tuis and woodpigeons.

They opened a gate, and turned away from the river that had now doubled in width, after a branch flowing through the Kean property had joined its progression. A rainbow trout erupted from the crystal clear water leaving behind a circle of ripples.

Steep hills rose in front of them forming a tapestry of large, orderly paddocks divided by neat, wire fencing. The pasture was covered in a lacework of sheep tracks worn away over the years by thousands of hooves. At the top Paul hesitated to admire the soft folds of countryside that formed creases enveloping the network of rivers below. Small pockets of stubborn morning fog hung like cotton wool in the deep gullies.

http://goo.gl/yrnj5L The Quilt, Unravelled. Tragedy brings them together.  The past drives them apart.  Their choices change the future.  An epic story of love against the odds.

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Auckland City, New Zealand. Sky tower.

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Auckland City, New Zealand.

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Happy Anniversary Day, Auckland City.