Aussie Author of the Month #review # Giveaway- Col Elliott

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Title: In between the Laughter

Author: Col Elliott

Genre: Memoir

Source: With thanks from Author

Release Date:  March 2014

Add to Goodreads

Buy now on Amazon.com.au For only $9.57 (correct at time of posting)

Col Elliott has become one of Australia’s favourite entertainers.

Most know him from his many albums, television appearances, live work and DVD’s… However, there is a whole lot more to this man, who’s own life story will surprise and delight!.

From a ten quid Pommie, to a life in poor working-class Melbourne…

In the stables at 14, to the Navy at 16, and sent to vietnam at 17 … old enough to serve, yet too young to vote or drink. He writes a graphic account of gun-line operations in North Vietnam. Still a kid, surrounded by danger, and under fire. .

Life before show business, was as a Navy Sonar Operator and eventual Instructor.

He spent his 18th birthday in Vietnam, as part of the rescue team, when the USS Forestal lost 134 brave souls.

At 19, he was part of the rescue team that operated when the ‘Melbourne’ cut the ‘U.S.S. Frank. E. Evans’ in half … 74 men died that morning.

Col’s early life is related with much humour and honesty.

And throughout the book, you continue to follow his journey, as he and a rag tag bunch of unlikely heroes travel to exotic and often dangerous ports, as a rough and ready band of wandering minstrels.

Through all of this, humour plays an integral part… This is a story of survival and as a reader, Col gives you an insight into his battles with depression, alcoholism and at just 37, a major heart attack. He regroups and emerges unbeaten.

It tells of his rise through the tough ranks of Aussie comedy…

Many long and wonderful, event filled years of marriage.

When Asked, his wife (Karen) states” it has never been boring” !!

Three daughters, several granchildren and growing.

This is an Australian story that covers all bases. Belly laughs, Aussie humour, adversity , pathos , mate-ship , action and adventure. Col Elliott’s story will surprise many … An enthralling read.

 

My Thoughts

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In Australia we have a habit of making our criminals our heroes, Ned Kelly and Mark Chopper Read are just a couple, But after reading this book, My New Australian hero is Col Elliott, For someone who had defended our country, risking his life and saving others, Keeping us entertained and brave enough to admit to his flaws in this amazing Memoir, Col is truly an Aussie Icon and Hero.

I grew up hearing about Col Elliott he is a favorite of my parents, although I may have been too young to understand his jokes, those I were allowed to watch anyway he was still a house hold name growing up.  As I got older only then did I understand the brilliance of this man’s unique brand of Comedy.

Col Elliott has a fantastic way of making the audience feel involved in his skits, and with his Aussie humor and adult jokes, you can’t help but laugh throughout his performance.  What I didn’t hear though is what started his comedy career and what was going on off stage in his life.  In Between the Laughter you get and Inside pass too his life from when he joined the Navy at a really young age to his honest account with his battle with Alcohol. although the book has some strong subjects like war and Alcoholism, it does not stop you from laughing at his stories and feeling touched about the positive points in his life.

When I picked up this book I thought it would be like every other Memoir I have read, a long-winded dark and drawn out story reliving the dark days of his career, like you get with a lot of Memoirs these days, I was pleasantly surprised though when I started reading and It was nothing like that at all.

We have a tradition in Australia, that when we have BBQ’s and no we don’t eat Shrimp on a Barbie, The men mostly will drift off and spend the night drinking and talking about funny events in their lives, basically Talking Shit.  This is what It felt like too me, Short wonderful stories, still in chronological order, from Col Elliott’s life.

I found his stories, to be entertaining, funny and human, I particularly loved reading about his exploits in the Navy.

Overall I loved this book and I am giving it 5 Stars, In between the laughter kept me up at night reading and laughing at his exploits, as well as feeling emotional when he talks about his family and his problems with Alcohol. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting a lighter memoir to read, or even if you are just up for a laugh, grab this book you won’t be disappointed, I know I wasn’t .

Click on link for Giveaway!

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This is a pretty tame clip from Col Elliott, but if you want to see the more Adult clips just do a quick search on YouTube.

It’s Monday What are You Reading?

Silver shadows by Richelle Mead

 

 

 

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

 

 

The Sunday post #24

vectorstock_43821-1-1The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I didn’t get much done this week in regards to my blog sorry about that but I have a great week coming up, Including an awesome giveaway from this months Aussie Feature Author.

 

It’s Monday what are you Reading?

Engaged at the Chatsfield Review

Books Received this Week:

 

 

Netgalley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engaged at the Chatsfield by Melanie Milburne #Review

Title: Engaged at the Chatsfield

Author: Melanie Milburne

Series: The Chatsfield

Publisher: Harlequin

Source: With thanks from Netgalley and publisher

Release Date:  May 2014

Add to Goodreads

The Synopsis

Introducing The Chatsfield in this fantastic prequel, USA TODAY bestselling author Melanie Milburne invites you to step inside the world’s most exclusive luxury hotel empire!

Where secrets lurk behind every door…

A whisper, a rumor, a scandal!

Glitz, luxury and decadence—Juliet Montague should be having the time of her life. Her friend’s hen party is being held at the extravagant Chatsfield Hotel, London, but when she is surrounded by perfect, ultra-stylish women, each with rings on their fingers, a fake fiancé seems her only defense.

Until that very same fake fiancé arrives at the party! Now she must persuade Marcus Bainbridge, her older brother’s gorgeous best friend, not to give the game away. But as the charade deepens, will the lines between what’s real and what’s fantasy start to blur?

Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!
Collect all 8 fantastic titles
May–December 2014

My Thoughts

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What a great start for a new series from Harlequin!  I love it , all the glitz, glamour and drama you need in one short story.

Juliet is invited to a hens night at the magnificent Chatsfield Hotel, where all the rich and famous stay. Juliet is the black sheep of the group, single and never really fit in, after a friend asks if she is seeing anyone, Juliet panics and mentions that she is engaged to her brothers best friend who is luckily in the middle east somewhere and not likely to find out about her little white lie.

Juliets weekend all comes apart when Marcus her unsuspecting fiance walks in and stays at The Chatsfield Hotel, now she is caught in her lie and has to convince Marcus to play along for her prides sake, which leads to an embarrassing, funny and romantic weekend that they will never forget.

A great romantic, swoon filled read, although short it is definitely a precursor to more exciting trysts at The Chatsfield Hotel, and I can’t wait to read more.  I loved Juliet she is not famous, special or rich, she is just herself and she is wonderful, who doesn’t freak out when all your friends are getting married and expect you to have settled down with the rich sexy husband.  Just as well Marcus did show up because I think they make a awesome couple.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to escape to the ritzy Chatsfield Hotel for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Monday What are You Reading?

The Chatsfield Novella Box

 

 

Step behind the hotel room doors of The Chatsfield, London, for five fabulous novellas full of style, sensation…and scandal!

In The Soldier in Room 286 by Abby Green, soldier turned international actor, Salim Segal, has one night at The Chatsfield to convince beautiful Natalja Jordan that, despite the pains of the past, they have a future worth fighting for.

Ben treats girlfriend Joely to a luxurious birthday night at The Chatsfield, intending to propose, in Proposal in Room 309 by Joss Wood. But nothing’s going according to plan…. Who’d have thought being walked in on by a stranger–while naked!–would lead to happy ever after?

For The Couple in the Dream Suite by Marguerite Kaye, it’s 1921 at The Chatsfield–London’s glamorous new hotel–and disillusioned soldier Justin York is unexpectedly entranced by a socialite, Miss Vera Milton-Kerr. Can Justin’s dark-eyed gaze melt the ice running through Vera’s veins?

Libby Lancaster finds herself roomless at The Chatsfield and decides that one night of not being good-girl Libby with sexy Prince Lucaj might be just what she needs! But will her one-night fantasy end when the clock strikes twelve? Find out in The Prince in the Royal Suite by Susan Stephens.

In The Doctor in the Executive Suite by Tina Beckett, Doctor Chelsea Serrano is called upon to save the life of a guest while dining at The Chatsfield’s fabulous restaurant–a great excuse to escape her less-than-fabulous date. And who needs dessert when you can have a mouth-watering bodyguard to help instead?

Will they find love in London? Find out in volume one of The Chatsfield novellas!

 

Mini Bloggiesta!

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Wow it is this time of the Year again, I really love the Bloggiesta Challenges, It gives me the chance to fix up a few things on my blog and learn some great new tricks from other more established bloggers.  I highly recommend any blogger to jump in and join up, it is lots of Fun.

 

My To Do list this Bloggiesta are:

  • Tidy up all links
  • Make sure all Challenges are updated
  • Schedule Posts
  • learn as much as I can from fellow bloggers
  • update my sidebar

So far so Good I will add some more If I think of it, but since it is being held over the weekend of my Husbands and Fathers Birthdays I am going to try my best to stay involved all weekend.

 

The Sunday post #23

The Sunday Post is a weevectorstock_43821-1-1kly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I have had a pretty good week this week, lots of work and last days of school holidays for the kids, I love them lots but thank god they go back to school tomorrow. 

It’s Monday what are you reading? – No Limits Lori Foster

Top Ten Tuesday

Reckoning Review

discussions T.V / Movie adaptions

Scorched Review

Don’t forget to check out this months Aussie Author of the Month

Aussie Author of the Month Col Elliott

 

 

 T.V I am obsessing Over this week

True Blood Again.  sorry for non fans of the show.   But Seriously is no one safe this season? WHY??? But you know you have a good husband when he will give you a cuddle because your fictional boyfriend was just killed lol. Thanks Hubby.

Books Received this Week:

 

Netgalley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Brought From Kobo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scorched by Erica Hayes #review

Title: Scorched

Author: Erica Hayes

Series: Scorched #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Source: With thanks from Netgalley and publisher

Release Date:  May 22 2014

Add to Goodreads

Buy from Amazon

The Synopsis

In a world where everyone wears a mask, you can’t trust anyone… not even yourself.

Verity Fortune was once Sapphire City’s top crime-fighter, wielding her powers of telekinesis to battle the city’s most despicable villains. Now, she’s consumed by a single burning desire: revenge. Against those who took away her mask, her memory, and nearly her life.

Having escaped from the asylum they left her to rot in, Verity dons her mask once again and becomes the Seeker, a vigilante warrior for truth.

But when she unwittingly uncovers an evil conspiracy deep within her own family, she’s suddenly on the run, alone and hunted by those she thought were on her side…

My Thoughts

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Scorched is an Urban Fantasy, that centers on the whole Good vs Evil plot line,  however when everyone wears a mask, how do you know who is good and who is evil.

We meet Verity in a mental Institution undergoing test/torture treatment, After she manages to escape she goes to her family for help where she finds that nothing is like she remembers.  Her father who owns a multimillionaire dollar company, is dead and in his place her uptight sister is now head of the company and running for Mayor.  Their company however is just a front for their hidden talents, they are a crime  fighting family, who wear costumes and keep their town safe.

Since Verity has been missing, Law and order has gone down the drain, with the Super Villains Razor fire and the Gallery taking over and making everyone’s life hell.  Verity can’t just sit and watch everything her family has worked for go to hell so she decides to go against her family and go after the villains.

At the beginning of Scorched I felt a bit lost it was like I was picking up the second book of the series, as it just jumps straight into the story, after I worked out what was going on I was hooked, Verity has no Idea who she can trust after someone betrays her and lets the hospital know where she is after she goes to her family for help. Verity has nothing, the clothes on her back no money nowhere to go but she can’t stay with her family where it is not safe.

I love how it is not a straight up and down Good Vs Evil fight, that it shows just what humans are capable of and that anyone can be hiding a bad side. Scorched really kept me in suspense because even though you think the plot would be predictable it really isn’t, It is enough to keep you turning page after page.

The secondary characters are just as dimensional as the main characters, I particularly liked Glimmer, her accomplice and friend/love interest, he is there for her when she can’t trust anyone and he wants to destroy Razor fire the bad guy just as bad as what Verity does.  He helps her to discover who is the bad guys and who are the good guys.

Everyone has their own special powers, and as geeky as that sounds it is not like a comic book. I would compare it more to a show like Arrow where the heroes are not stuffy stuck up snobs and the bad guys are the ugly twisted creatures.  Both good guys and bad guys are normal people with special powers, that also manage to hide themselves well to fit in with society. Scorched also has a more updated feel to it with the use of technology to track people and the use of weapons. 

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys watching Arrow or Lost girl, I am not sure about any books that it may compare to since I have never read ones like it. So if you have any recommendations let me know.

 

Book Discussions – Books Vs Tv/Movies

book descussions

 

I am one of those annoying people that will read a book before I watch the T.v or Film adaption, then sit through the show and yell out, “That’s not what happened!”  here is why I love to read the book first.

Characters

I love when my favorite books get adapted to screen, but I will always try to read the book first, mostly because you get a deeper emotional connect and information about the characters, you can get inside their heads and feel what they feel. Screen adaption can be one-dimensional you see them and how they are reacting but you really don’t get that connection and depth that comes from a book.

It is disappointing though when you have a character so clear in your head that when the adaption is made but the Actor doesn’t fit your description. I found this particularly true for City of Bones, In my head the actors were completely different to how I imagined them to look, but even though I had trouble seeing them as who they were suppose to be, I totally loved the movie. This is also a problem for me when they do completely change the characters, for example on The Vampire Diary’s Bonnie, In the book she is an annoying red-head, but has a cute thing going with Daemon. The T.v Bonnie is nothing like insecure book Bonnie.

Story lines

This is a big one for me that will usually turn me off the t.v/ movie, although I am becoming use to it.  One of my all time favorite books is Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice, it is amazing and vivid story, that I could not get enough of, I was so excited when it was being adapted, I could not wait.  Then came the day I actually saw it, and I was like WTF?  where did the plot go?  The book is nothing like the movie, it is a completely different story.  I highly recommend the book though it is so much better.

True Blood is also a favorite of mine as is the Southern Vampire Mysteries books, Yet after the 1st season the plot took a completely different turn to the books, and hasn’t come back.  At first I had a big problem with the story line changes, because the stories are so Amazing. Although some of the seasons have been a disappointment, I must admit I have enjoyed the T.V show, now I get to enjoy the books and the T.V show as two different worlds but the same characters, and I admit I enjoy not knowing what is going to happen.

Movies out shine the books

OK I can here you all thinking What? Never!  but this has only happened to me once and that is for Beautiful Creatures, I may be the minority here, but I did not like this series, I found it slow and boring. The movie however had all the boring bits cut out, so It was so much better.

My Favorites So Far

Harry Potter Series of Course!

Tomorrow when the War began

Twilight

City of Bones

True Blood

The Vampire Diaries

Enders Game

The Hunger Games

The Princess Bride

 

What are your thoughts or Favorites?

 

 

Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson #review

Title: Reckoning

Author: Kerry Wilkinson

Series: Silver Blackthorne #1

Publisher: St Martins Press

Source: With thanks from Netgalley and publisher

Release Date:  July 1 2014

Add to Goodreads

Buy from Amazon

The Synopsis

One girl. One chance. One destiny.

In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorne takes the Reckoning. This coming-of- age test not only decides her place in society – Elite, Member, Inter or Trog – but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor.But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide?Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . . The heart-stopping first book in a new trilogy by UK author Kerry Wilkinson,Reckoning is the story of one girl’s determination to escape the whims of a cruel king, and what she must do to survive against all odds

My Thoughts

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Reckoning is a cross between Divergent and The Selection,  In other reviews I have seen it compared with the Hunger Games but I really don’t get that connection.  Once a Child turns sixteen they have to undertake a test called Reckoning, where depending on the outcome of the results, The Teens will be placed in different Social Groups that Comprise of: Elite, Member, Inter or Trog.  Silver has always been fascinated with technology and where she lives there is a technological wasteland just past her town, where she loves to scavenge for old outdated pieces of technology and make them run or pull apart her technology pieces and tweak them.  She considers cheating for the test, but the King does not look down favorably if a cheat is caught and the consequences are not worth the risk.

Each year Thirteen Teens are chosen to be offerings to the King, this is highly sought after position as the families will be offered a large compensation for their child being an offering, the catch? no offering is ever seen again.

Silver is chosen as an Offering to the King her mother gives her a special dress to wear and tearfully tells her goodbye.  Silver from the start sets her self apart from the other offerings, growing up surrounded by boys, she is tough and knows how to look after herself, after a bunch of higher up offerings start teasing a Trog on the train, Silver steps in to protect him, which makes her the outcast from all the other offerings from her area.  To me though this just gives the impression that she is a Tough chick that won’t take shit from anyone, but has a heart of gold to step in and protect someone who is classed lower in society to her.

The world building is great, set in the UK, The King is seen as a savior and loving King to the public, but once the offerings turn up to the Castle they find that he is nothing like he is portrayed on T.V.  Fair warning this becomes a violent battle for survival for the offerings, including rape, violence and torture.   Although I would not say that it is in league with The hunger Games, It is more psychological, where especially the rape is hinted at but not graphically talked about which I really appreciated.

The only part I disliked about the Story line was that it was a little too predictable, not so much that it was hugely detrimental to the story but sometimes I got frustrated with it.  I do belive though that the small twists and turns that are thrown in, as well as the growth of the Teenagers really bring something special to the story.  I loved seeing how Elite offerings thought of themselves better than everyone else, began to work together with those lower caste than them to aid everyone is survival.

The romance was a little flaky though to be honest, although I could see the stress of the situation would lead to wanting comfort, especially when you don’t think you will survive, I think that Silver had a lot more to think about than romantic intentions when her life and possibly everyone she loves lives are on the line.

All up I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the Y.A dystopian Genre, although the story line was a little tired it still had enough emotions, thrills and action to keep you keen to see it through. I can’t wait for the next Installment.