Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant – Review

Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant – Review

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Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant walked the fine line between an entertaining memoir and a bitter hatchet job on an ex employer, and for the most part it walked that line well. It’s a chatty and interesting look into a fascinating world, and how that world has changed.

Owen Beddall was a Qantas flight attendant for 15 years before a work injury saw the company he loved turn on him. He lifts the lid on the flight attendant lifestyle: the exotic destinations and five star hotels; the parties, drugs and celebrity gossip.

As a traveller, I found the different routes fascinating; I loved reading about the countries Owen based himself in and the hierarchy for different flights. It’s clear this is Beddall’s revenge on Qantas, and at times that’s a little uncomfortable, but mostly I enjoyed reading about the company ethics, workplace politics and what goes on in the galley while we passengers are belted into our seats.

Reading Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant was like sitting down with a gay friend and a bottle of Chardonnay as he related all his fabulous tales to you. When I saw the thanks to the ghost writer in the acknowledgements I wondered if that’s what actually happened—she just transcribed what Beddall said over a bottle of vino. It had that flow to it. It was conversational and reeled you in.

There were bits I skipped over, and I would’ve liked to read more about Beddall’s background, but overall it was a thoroughly entertaining read.

I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

5 stars from Mad About Books

5 stars from Mad About Books

This one from Mad About Books put a big smile on my face.

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I love all Jane Tara’s books and the world of the Shakespeare Sisters with this being another fabulous branch of it.

Rhi has always down played her childhood fame as being a Dee Witch but it’s hard to move on when your trying to establish a career where your parents are a household name and your stuck in a niche market. Fed up of her notoriety and heartbroken from a betrayal she leaves New York in search of something more, little did she know that someones been waiting along time for her.

This book was such a fun step out of reality and had me hooked with it’s upbeat feel that makes it hard not to be sucked into the fantasy and romance.
Rhi is a great leading lady in every way, very realistic and easy to connect with.
Tad and Kip are a surprise to come but their tale and connection is tragic but utterly amazing for this story.

As it’s part of the Shakepeare Sister’s stories there are similarities with characters, Taran is featured in this tale before he has his leading role in Trouble Brewing. I read this after but it really doesn’t matter in which order their read.

Overall if you want a fun lighthearted romance with a little magic and whit then this book and all Jane Tara’s others are for you. Embrace the Goddess!

5 Star Review–Hamlet’s Ghost

5 Star Review–Hamlet’s Ghost

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The wonderful site My Little Avalon has reviewed Hamlet’s Ghost.

I expected a unique book, and that is exactly what Jane Tara delivered. Well written, in a modern and fun voice, that made this one of the better reads of the year, Jane managed to grab my attention from the beginning, and never let it go. A light-hearted romance that is a part of the Shakespeare Sisters Series, but can be read as a standalone book (but why would you? This book will make you want to read all of them!) Jane Tara is a fresh voice in the sometimes stuffy world of romance. Well done!

Celebrate!

 

Desert Queen: the many lives and loves of Daisy Bates

Desert Queen: the many lives and loves of Daisy Bates

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Daisy Bates in not an easy biography subject. The woman built a web of lies around herself when she was younger, and later in life burned all her personal papers. Susanna de Vries has done a solid job researching, unraveling and telling the story of this fascinating woman. Desert Queen isn’t a great biography, but it’s highly readable and you can’t really go wrong with the subject matter.

Daisy Bates emigrated from Ireland to Australia in 1883. Aware that her prospects were dim, she lied about her family and background, in the hope of securing herself a favorable marriage. Instead, she briefly married Breaker Morant, followed by two bigamous marriages, and had her only child, Arnold. She became a journalist, and later an anthropologist, albeit an unrecognized one in academic circles.

It was her work with Australia’s indigenous people that set her apart from other women of her time. She lived in a tent in harsh conditions and spent years writing down their stories. She recorded hunting territories and boundaries, and these records are used today in land rights claims. She nursed and fed sick aboriginal people, using her time with them to gather information about their cultural practices and languages. Her work remains controversial. She self-funded all her work, often writing pieces about aboriginal cannibalism, knowing it would sell, but which ultimately harmed her anthropological reputation.

De Vries does a solid job at capturing both the fascinating and frustrating aspects of this complex character, but I had some problems with the book. I didn’t like how she regularly assumed to know how Daisy felt, despite there being no record of that moment. Also, she puts forward a couple of pretty outrageous theories as if they are fact. And the final part of the book, which tells of Daisy’s spiral into dementia might as well be fiction. Daisy was never diagnosed with dementia.

This aside, it’s an interesting tale about a fascinating woman. I do love my female traveller tales, and Daisy’s story is a good one, and Desert Queen a decent telling of it.

The Fault in Our Stars review

The Fault in Our Stars review

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I bought The Fault in Our Stars for my stepson for his birthday. Fortunately he’s a fast reader and I didn’t have to wait long to get my hands on it.

This is a beautiful book. John Green has delivered a touching, wise tale. It’s smart, and pulls all the right strings emotionally. There was nothing groundbreaking about the book, but it is a lovely story, well told.

16-year-old Hazel meets Augustus Waters at a cancer support group and they fall in love. Together, they search for the author of a book she adores, and when they find him living in Amsterdam, they use the equivalent of the Make A Wish foundation to travel there to meet him.

I’d heard and read quite a lot about The Fault in Our Stars before reading it, and it certainly lived up to my expectations. However, a lot of people I know talked about how much they cried at the end of this book, and considering I’m a huge sop, I had the tissues ready. I shed a few tears throughout, but to me the end wasn’t sad. It wasn’t happy either. It just was… It didn’t tear me apart… instead, the story, and the characters linger.

I loved the idea that these characters track down an author because they need to know what happened to the characters from their favourite book, after the story had ended. I’m curious to know how these characters fare after this book ends. (Especially Hazel’s parents.) But I’ll refrain from asking John Green.

A wonderful read. With Hazel travelling to Amsterdam, the book even falls into the Roadmance category.

I’m now looking forward to the movie.

 

Review for All Good Things by Sarah Turnbull

Review for All Good Things by Sarah Turnbull

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All Good Things is Sarah Turnbull’s long awaited follow up book to her bestseller, Almost French. I adored Almost French. It was a rather rollicking read, where love and Paris and adventure dripped from each page and made me want some of it myself. So I was excited to hear she’d released another book, about her and her husband Frederic’s move to Tahiti.

All Good Things is very different. Not worse, but different. She’s different. Older, wiser, perhaps more damaged by disappointment. I downloaded this book expecting a Take Two type of read, only this time set in Tahiti, but instead found myself immersed in the story of a woman who was battling fertility treatments and the unfulfilled desire to be a mother. And yes, the couple moved to Tahiti during this time, so the book was also about that, and the isolation she felt while she was there.

Despite these more serious themes, once again it’s well written and I read it in a day, wanting to know how this journey, both geographically and internally, turned out for Sarah. I won’t give away too much, but I cried.

Not quite what I was expecting, but a lovely read all the same. Definitely a Roadmance read.

3.5 stars.

Guest post and a 5 star review

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Andrea from Love is said this about my novel, The Happy Endings Book Club:

*ARC courtesy of Momentum Books on Netgalley.*

I LOVED this book! Jane Tara pulled me in right away, with her amazingly different characters. I read it in less then a day, because I couldn’t put it down! I felt like you got to know some better then others, but I still felt connected to them all. Your still pulling for them all to get their happy ending. This book made me laugh out loud, (a few times) & really made me think. Which is something I don’t think you find in many books. I truly enjoyed it & will differently be reading more Jane Tara books in the future!

Check out her wonder Love Is blog here… and read my guest post.

I’m not sure when I started disappearing. One minute I was clearly visible, with the confidence of a woman who knows that. The next… something had shifted. I felt invisible. More than that… I quickly expected that others wouldn’t see me either. 

They didn’t. Heads failed to turn. I was often overlooked in a queue. But it was more than that. Suddenly my quirky collection of vintage clothing seemed ridiculous. I would enter certain restaurants or bars and feel like a dinosaur. Women around me were getting work on their face. For some it is subtle, but others look ridiculous. Surely that isn’t the alternative to my wrinkles? 

It was an internal shift as well, not just physical. At a point in my life when I really knew myself, I wasn’t sure what to do with that hard earned wisdom. It wasn’t valued. Youth is celebrated, embraced, feted. Women my age often feel… invisible.

Welcome to womanhood in the forties. Not everyone feels invisible, but many do. I know. I’ve discussed this with countless women: friends, acquaintances, and strangers at parties. It’s something I experienced myself, with mounting dismay, until earlier this year I was handed a gift: 

Read the rest of this post at Love Is.

 

A 5 star review of Happy Endings

Ann from DNS Media called my novel ENCHANTING!!!

YES! A great review!!!!!
YES! A great review!!!!!

This is a delight of a book consisting of a number of loosely linked stories about important moments in the lives of several women who have an issue to resolve – as you can guess from the title, all the stories have happy endings although they are not all what you might imagine.

Despite the title, books and a book club play no part in the stories – it is merely an artificial device to join the stories. The only time that the book club meets is right at the end, in a rather cheesy couple of paragraphs designed to tie up all the loose ends.

All the stories are individually told but some are told in installments, interspersed with other, shorter, episodes. The author’s premise is that these women all need to change something in their lives, often their perception of things, and that a small change will make a huge difference. Each story is touching and often amusing. Most of them are about very small things in people’s lives but they touch on big issues such as aging, bereavement, forgiveness, abandonment and abuse. Some of them have a mystical, whimsical tone (there are fairies here) but it is very well done and creates a fairy tale air about the book. In at least one of the stories there is some detailed description of sex so this is not just about romance in the abstract – I thought that it didn’t go too far.

I was hooked on these stories and wanted to see these ordinary women experience something new in their lives. I identified with them and rejoiced when they got that happy ending. This is feel-good writing at its best. I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley but I shall seek out future writing by this author. I also (ironically considering the title) highly recommend this book for a book club choice as it is light reading but there would be lots to discuss about each story and what makes the happy ending.

Great review of TB from the Blushing Reader

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A lovely review from the Blushing Reader. Drop by the fabby BR blog and check out the giveaway. Here’s the review:
When I was a little girl and just starting to read chapter books I stumbled upon a series about a funny witch and all these years later I am a sucker for a book with witches and magic.  Trouble Brewing did a great job blending magic, wit and love into one great story!Trouble Brewing is book #2 in the Shakespeare sisters series, and even though I haven’t read Forecast (book #1) yet and I was able to enjoy, and understand Trouble Brewing just fine as a stand alone book!

I loved reading about Calypso   Her magic is in creating the perfect potions to help others let go of things and move on.  She is funny, care-free (on the surface), loyal and easy to like.  Calypso is different that your typical female lead in a story, she is independent, confident and satisfied with her lot in life.  Her gypsy like ways of collecting friends (and lovers) all over the world was a nice change and made it more enjoyable to watch her fall for Taran.

Taran is a man that knows how to get the ladies and they usually flock to him until he decides it is time for them to go.  Then he meets Calypso and everything changes.  How can he not chase after the one woman he can’t forget?

I really enjoyed Trouble Brewing, it was a fun, light-hearted, emotionally charged story, with the perfect touch of magical whimsy.  The secondary characters were very engaging and enjoyable to read that at times I wanted the story to expand and tell me more about them.  (I can’t wait for Nell’s story).  Jane Tara does a wonderful job creating a world where you believe in magic and destiny and all the wonderful (and crazy) things that go along with it.Trouble Brewing is a great book to get lost in for a few hours.  This was my first Jane Tara book and I will be anxiously awaiting more from this author.  If you like a bit of magic with your love stories then this is the perfect blend for you to 1-click away!