Exciting news! If you are in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, on the 8 September (next Saturday!) You could come along to the Salamanca Arts Centre and hear a snippet from my novella ‘What the Tide Brings’, alongside a wonderful tale from Isabel Shapcott’s collection of re-woven fairytales, and one of Pearl Maya’s short stories, many revolving around life in Outback Australia.
In a bucolic English summer at the end of the 1960s, a young girl witnesses a shocking crime. Fifty years later, she sets out to find out the truth, uncovering layers of mystery and deception. Moving from London during the Blitz to the present day, this is classic Kate Morton: a compulsively-readable, entrancing mystery with a long held secret to be uncovered at its heart.
1961: On a sweltering summer’s day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can’t wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything.
2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds – Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy – who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatefully entwined.
Shifting between the 1930s, the 1960s and the present, The Secret Keeper is a spellbinding story of mysteries and secrets, theatre and thievery, murder and enduring love.
Doesn’t it sound fascinating!!
The Secret Keeper is published by Allen & Unwin and is due for release in Australia and New Zealand in November, but is already available in the UK and US.
And click the link below to see Kate Morton’s take on finishing The Secret Keeper!
For a chance to win one of 4 copies of this brilliant book, be sure to comment on my blog over the coming weeks. During the next month I’ll be sharing my experiences as I take part in my 5th Nanowrimo, (my 7th if you count Camp Nano!!), novelling alongside my son who is taking part in the Nanowrimo Young Writer’s Program. I’ll be giving away 1 book each week to a random commenter from that week. So come say hello, and tell me all about your own writing and/or reading experiences.
I have had amazing luck winning books from Allen & Unwin’s Facebook page! (https://www.facebook.com/AllenandUnwinBooks)
This month it was Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith.
Now, to be completely honest – I thought it was a book about vampires. My reason for this is that part of the prize was a movie ticket to see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (haven’t seen it yet, still trying to organise babysitters), and I assumed that Unholy Night was the next in the series. Not so.
Unholy Night is the story of Balthazar, one of the Three Wise Men who were present at the birth of Jesus. Balthazar is a man of no religion and a thief. Balthazar’s presence at Jesus’s birth (or shortly thereafter) is purely by chance – after escaping certain death by execution – and saving two other men, Gaspar and Melchyor, in the process – Balthazar is simply looking for a place to hide. He brings Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold – but not as gifts for Baby Jesus, rather they are items he has stolen so he might have coin for the coming days as he tries to escape the fury of Mighty King Herod.
Balthazar’s intentions are to abandon Joseph, Mary and Jesus the next morning, after he and his companions have managed to get some rest. In the meantime however, Herod has learnt that the ancient prophecy has come true – as a star larger than any before seen lights up the Eastern sky, signifying the birth of baby Jesus. He flies into a rage and demands that all boys under the age of 2 be killed. The soldiers ride into Bethlehem, and begin slaughtering children before Balthazar’s eyes. For something as terrible as this Balthazar cannot sit idly by, and he, Gaspar and Melchyor fight the soldiers and help Joseph and Mary escape Bethlehem.
The story continues with the unlikely companions travelling together towards Egypt – while Herod and Pontius Pilate work together to bring in the infant and the theif. They face major adversity, and on several occasion seem to face certain death. During the story we learn more about Balthazar, and the event from his past that will not let him leave baby Jesus to the Romans
Seth Grahame-Smith has woven a marvelous tale – I believed every word of it.
If I had one wish, it would be for the ability to freeze time as I pleased so that I might stop and enjoy a book – whether an old friend or new adventure – whenever I felt the urge.
I compiled a list of my most beloved books to add as a page here on my blog. I imagined it would be a brief list, but I found I couldn’t pick favourites! In the end I have come up with three lists: Most Beloved Books, Other Favourites, and Favourites from my Children’s Collection. But in the process of browsing through my bookshelf I found I wanted to read them all again! And I still have an ever growing list of books I haven’t yet read once! And lets not forget the stories I have simmering away inside me, waiting to be written! People say they would not like to live forever! How else will we have time for all these stories, if we don’t ! (Note: anyone out there with either the secret of immortality or the ability to pause time, feel free to contact me!)
And before I forget. I have also added a new page (a few weeks ago now) of my publications. It’s only very short at present – with a bit of luck it will soon grow!