Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mob Rule by Hannah Evans ★★★★★

Reviewed by Mel Hearse

You know you've joined the MOB when you hear...

'My, are they all yours?'
'Bless you!' (Occasionally)

'Poor you!' (Frequently)
'Lucky you!' (Once)
And of course, the ultimate: 'So... are you going for a girl?' 

          I rarely say this, being aware that we all have our own tastes, but Mob Rule is a hands-down, must-read for all mothers of boys (MOB). Fellow MOB-er, author Hannah Evans, manages to make you spit your morning coffee in laughter at her tales of the high jinks and hilarious antics of life as the sole female in an otherwise all male family. Being in the same boat, and having read on the topic before, I was prepared for something clich├ęd and self aggrandizing, but Evans has created a book that is fresh, funny and something that’s as good for a MOB as a solo weekend at good hotel.
           If you’ve ever done the long haul driving holiday (why do we think this will work?) this is the book for you. If you’ve ever questioned your femininity based on your fallback wardrobe of boots, trackies and pull on jumpers, then this is a must read. And if you’ve ever found your house…well, just impervious to any kind of cleaning, then this is a sanity saver – going on the philosophy that laughter is the best medicine.
I gave it 5 stars – and I’m as surprised as you are.

My review copy of Mob Rule thanks to the publisher who rules
My very own paper copy to love and treasure from the very deep but fun people at Bloomsbury Australia

Release Dates:        February, 2013
To purchase:           click here
Author’s Site:

           Hannah Evans has three small boys. In her world, farting is so much more interesting than phonics, dam-building trumps damsels in distress any day and, astonishingly, she now instinctively knows the difference between a Frontloader and a JCB. It's a world of mud - and just occasionally blood - sweat and tears. It is also a world of indescribable joy.
           Often light-hearted, always engaging, she specialises in researching and creating VIVID and EMOTIVE features, that delve into the idiosyncrasies of the human race. 
MOB Rule is the funny, honest and eye-opening account of Hannah's experiences as a Mother of Boys. Supplemented by recipes, quizzes, mnemonics and mysteries, it is the indispensible book for anyone who finds themselves adrift on a sea of testosterone, wondering when the lifeboat is going to show up.
           You may be outnumbered, your face may be frazzled and your toe-nails black and bare, but know that, far from being alone, you're part of a very special club. Welcome to ... the MOB!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dust by Hugh Howey ★★★★★


WOOL introduced the silo and its inhabitants.
SHIFT told the story of their making.
DUST will chronicle their undoing.
Welcome to the underground.

          The conclusion of a great series brings great sadness for the fans. Hugh Howey’s “Wool” saga only came into existence just over two years ago. So it’s been quite a whirlwind ride for fans and the author until now the release of Dust brings us the finale.
          Howey leapt from self-published author to New York Times bestselling novelist in record time. On the way, he changed the way authors and the publishing world did business by refusing to relinquish his e-book rights for seven figure publishing deals. He finally signed a historic deal with Simon & Schuster who received only paper-book distribution while Howey kept his lucrative e-book rights.
           With the publication of “Dust,” our visit to the Silo has ended. If you haven’t read “Wool” and “Shift” (the second book), then stop reading this review, and immediately purchase these two. You won’t regret it, and you will join the millions of fans who can’t get enough of this world.
It’s impossible to review “Dust” and not reveal spoilers for the original two, so I will give only a general outline of the world. “Wool” fans this is a brilliant continuation directly from “Shift” and finds the lead characters still embroiled in the politics of the Silo.

           The silo, which consists of nearly two-hundred below-ground, concrete levels, is filled with thousands of survivors from an event occurring over 60 years before. The unremembered event left the outside world uninhabitable with toxic air. Inhabitants who breach the strict Silo laws are sent outside to clean the one screen which gives the occupants a view of the desolate world; their last act before death by the poisonous fumes.
          The silo is segmented into class structures from I.T. on top, through to the middle levels, to the lower class “down deep.” From the “down deep” a hero, Jules, arises. She begins to question their world at a perilous risk to her and, also, the silo.
          “Dust” is an exciting adventure ride introducing new characters and new challenges for those we have come to love. Some will live, and you will be surprised by those who die. It is a satisfying conclusion to one of the greatest science-fiction worlds created in modern literature.

My review copy of Dust thanks the wonderful and generous HUGH HOWEY
My very own paper copy to love and treasure from the very deep but fun people at RANDOM HOUSE Australia.


Release Dates: 17th August, 2013
To purchase from Hugh direct: click here
Australia and New Zealand: September 2013
To purchase:   click here


          Hugh Howey is the author of Wool, a bestselling novel that has appeared in the top 5 of science fiction on Amazon. He is also the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga. He lives in Boone, N.C. with his wife Amber and their dog Bella.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Watching You by Michael Robotham ★★★★


Last year, Michael Robotham’s book, “Say You’re Sorry” was the must-read book
among my friends. Many of them stopped their lives for a few days while they read it, and some reading it in one sitting. It was so good that Stephen King named it in his top three reads for 2012. I wholeheartedly concur with the master of suspense. This is all to say that Michael Robotham comes highly recommended and writes a great story.
He writes dark killer thrillers and “Watching You” is classic Robotham. He really puts his protagonists through the wringer, and again we meet another poor character who is dealing with great adversity. Robotham brings back our favorite psychologist, Joe O’Loughlin, who is also dealing with his own personal physical and emotional adversity, .
Marnie Logan has good reason to be depressed and in need of O’Loughlin’s services. Her husband disappeared over a year ago, without a word, leaving her a poverty-stricken single mother. She has been forced into prostitution in order to pay off her husband’s debts to a money-lender. And she, also, has this strange feeling she is being watched.
When a book of Marnie’s life is discovered which includes pictures, interviews with friends and old teachers, and other people from her past, she believes her husband was creating a birthday surprise. But something is not right. In order to help Marnie, O’Loughlin interviews some of the people from her past, and discovers their stories of Marnie seem to be of a darker and entirely different person.
Robotham writes suspense with the best, and he weaves the story of Marnie’s misaligned past beautifully with the added tension of an unknown stalker. Who is the stalker and, in fact, who really is Marnie?
“Watching You” is another thrilling book in the O’Loughlin series, and while “Say You’re Sorry” is still my favorite. You cannot beat a Robotham thriller.

My review copy of “Watching You” supplied by the very nice people at Hachette Australia

Read my review of "Say You're Sorry"


Australia & New Zealand: August 2013

USA: Hardcover March 11 2014
For more information about this book: Click HERE 
Read a sample: First Chapter
Visit Michael Robotham’s Website: Click HERE

Born in Australia in November 1960, Michael Robotham grew up in small country towns
that had more dogs than people and more flies than dogs. He escaped in 1979 and became a cadet journalist on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney.
For the next fourteen years he wrote for newspapers and magazines in Australia, Britain and America.
In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and show business personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were bestsellers with combined sales of more than 2 million copies.
His first novel 'The Suspect', a psychological thriller, was chosen by the world’s largest consortium of book clubs as only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries. It has been translated into twenty-two languages.
His second novel 'Lost' won the Ned Kelly Award for the Crime Book of the Year in 2005, given by the Australian Crime Writers Association. It was also shortlisted for the 2006 Barry Award for the BEST BRITISH NOVEL published in the US in 2005.
Michael's subsequent novels 'The Night Ferry' and 'Shatter' were both shortlisted for UK Crime Writers Association Steel Dagger in 2007 and 2008. 'Shatter' was also shortlisted in the inaugural ITV3 Thriller Awards in the UK and for South Africa's Boeke Prize. In August 2008 'Shatter' won the Ned Kelly award for Australia's best crime novel. More recently, 'Bleed for Me' – Michael's sixth novel – was shortlisted for the 2010 Ned Kelly Award. His latest novel 'The Wreckage' has won universal praise and was described by Nelson De Mille as 'one of the best novels to come out of the chaos of Iraq.'