Category Archives: General

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew

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Meet Tannie Maria: She’s fifty-something, short and soft (perhaps a bit too soft in the wrong places) with brown curls and untidy Afrikaans. She is also the agony aunt for the local paper, the Klein Karoo Gazette. One day, her life takes a sinister turn when a woman in the area is murdered and she becomes entangled in the investigation… to the intense irritation of a handsome local policeman.

But what else will this amateur detective uncover in a small town marinated in secrets?

Warm, poignant and entertaining, Sally Andrew’s delightful heroine blends together intrigue, romance and cooking in this irresistible new mystery, complete with a few mouth-watering recipes.

About the Author

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Sally Andrew lives in a mud-brick house on a nature reserve in the Klein Karoo with her artist partner, a giant eland, and a secretive leopard. She also spends time in the wilderness of southern Africa and the seaside suburb of Muizenberg. She has a master’s in Adult Education from the University of Cape Town. Before settling down to write full time, she was a social and environmental activist. Recipes for Love and Murder is her first novel.

View Sally‘s website HERE

View Sally‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Umuzi (An imprint of Penguin Random House)

ISBN: 9781415207574

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Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

The first book in the incredible new series from the author of Percy Jackson, the Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus.

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Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits.

One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met – who tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

About the Author

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Rick Riordan is a teacher and a writer, and has won many awards for his mystery novels for adults. He says that the idea for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief first came to him while he was teaching Greek mythology at middle school in San Francisco. But rumour has it that Camp Half Blood actually exists, and Rick spends his summers there recording the adventures of young demigods. Some believe that, to avoid a mass panic among the mortal population, he was forced to swear on the River Styx to present Percy Jackson’s story as fiction. Rick lives in Texas (apart from his summers on Half Blood Hill) with his wife and two sons.

View Rick‘s website HERE

Like Rick‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9780141342429

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Saving Sophie by Ronald H. Balson

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From Ronald H. Balson, author of Once We Were BrothersSaving Sophie is the powerful story of the lengths a father will go through to protect his daughter and an action-packed thriller that will take you on an unforgettable journey of murder and deception, testing the bonds of family and love.

Jack Sommers was just an ordinary accountant from Chicago-that is, until his wife passed away, his young daughter was kidnapped, and he became the main suspect in an $88 million dollar embezzlement case. Now Jack is on the run, hoping to avoid the feds long enough to rescue his daughter, Sophie, from her maternal grandfather, a suspected terrorist in Palestine.

With the help of investigative team Liam and Catherine, and a new CIA operative, a secret mission is launched to not only rescue Sophie but also to thwart a major terrorist attack in Hebron. But will being caught in the crossfires of the Palestine-Israeli conflict keep their team from accomplishing the task at hand, or can they overcome the odds and save countless lives, including their own?

About the Author

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Ronald H. Balson is an attorney practicing with the firm of Stone, Pogrund and Korey in Chicago. The demands of his trial practice have taken him into courts across the United States and into international venues.

An adjunct professor of business law at the University of Chicago for twenty-five years, he now lectures on trial advocacy in federal trial bar courses.

Travels to Warsaw and southern Poland in connection with a complex telecommunications case inspired Once We Were Brothers, his first novel.

View Ronald‘s website HERE

Like Ronald‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781250065858

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Crashed by Melinda Ferguson

To celebrate her 14-year clean and sober birthday, Melinda Ferguson organises to take a R3.2 million Ferrari California out on a test drive for the day. Twenty minutes before she returns the car, she is involved in a spectacular car crash, during which she experiences a near-death collision.

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The crash is a catalyst for a series of life-changing events. Over the following months her long-term relationship implodes in a heart-ripping showdown of betrayal and deception. She is faced with a litany of legal and financial nightmares as a result of the Ferrari being written off, while certain members of the dog-eat-dog motoring journo industry relish in her downfall.

“The thing is that any fool should have been able to see that I was traumatised. Finding a Dutch lesbian in your man’s bed, writing off a R3.2-million Ferrari, hardly sleeping for a year, facing the chop at work, watching your recent Ex-Boyfriend’s penis snap, plus writing a book about a stump-legged, murder-accused athlete … Well, hello! Who wouldn’t feel a tad fucking out of control?”

After she admits herself to a clinic to address her meltdown, in her trademark gritty tell-it-all and often hilarious style, she interrogates the controversial pharma-whore psychiatric industry as she is diagnosed and medicated over her three-week stay.

Ultimately Crashed sees Ferguson slowly coming to grips with the meaninglessness of outward material success as she embarks on a painful journey of introspection in search of intangible inner peace and self love in a crazy out of control world. It’s South Africa’s very own The Girl (Monk) Who Crashed (Sold) her (his) Ferrari.

Crashed is the highly anticipated final of the 3-part memoir trilogy, following in the steps of her South African bestsellers Smacked (2005)  and Hooked (2010).

About the Author

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Melinda Ferguson began life as a nice, talented middle-class girl, becoming a prefect in high school in Johannesburg, excelling academically and being singled out as one of the most promising students.

After graduating from UCT drama school in 1988, she began performing and directing on the alternative theatre scene in Joburg. In 1993 a casual, experimental hit of heroin led her into a seven-year journey to drug hell, where she found herself in 1999 at the end of the dark and horror-filled road of crack cocaine and heroin addiction.

After losing everything, including her two sons, marriage, home and career, Ferguson cleaned up in September 1999. A long and challenging climb back to “normalcy” followed. In 2005 her bestselling memoir, Smacked, was published to critical acclaim.

Today she is reunited with her boys and is an inspirational speaker.

Like Melinda‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN: 9781431422715

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The Sense of an Elephant by Marco Missiroli

A prize-winning story of paternal love and powerful secrets.

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Pietro arrives in Milan with a battered suitcase full of memories, to take up a new job as concierge. Living in his palazzo are lost and eccentric souls: Poppi, a lawyer; Luciana and her son; and Luca, a doctor, whose wife Viola holds a secret that could destroy their marriage.

Right from the start Pietro has a special interest in Luca and his family, and soon he’s letting himself into their apartment while everyone is out.

As his story emerges in snatches and flashbacks, each prompted by his case of treasures, we begin to find out what has brought him to be guardian here, so late in his life . . .

For readers of The Elegance of the Hedgehog and The Yacoubian Building, this is an atmospheric and unforgettable novel about the ties that bind.

About the Author

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Marco Missiroli was born in Rimini, Italy. He is the author of the prize-winning novels Senza Coda, Il Buio Addosso and BiancoThe Sense of an Elephant was awarded the prestigious Campiello Prize in 2012. Marco writes for the culture pages of Corriere della Sera, and for Vanity Fair.

View Marco‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447241942

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The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

By the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the Starz original series The White Queen, a riveting new Tudor tale featuring King Henry VIII’s sixth wife Kateryn Parr, the first English queen to publish under her own name.

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Why would a woman marry a serial killer?

Because she cannot refuse…

Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives – King Henry VIII – commands her to marry him.

Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn’s trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent.

But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry’s dangerous gaze turns on her. The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy – the punishment is death by fire and the king’s name is on the warrant…

From an author who has described all of Henry’s queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power, and education at the court of a medieval killer.

About the Author

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Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds an honorary degree from Teesside University, and is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff.

View Philippa‘s website HERE

Like Philippa‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781471132988

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After You by Jojo Moyes

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Lou Clark has lots of questions. Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar? Whether her family can ever forgive her? And will she ever get over the love of her life? What she knows for certain is that something has to change. Then it does. But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for? Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe. Open it and she risks everything. But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in…

About the Author

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Jojo Moyes was born in 1969 and grew up in London. After a varied career including stints as a minicab controller, typer of braille statements for blind people for NatWest, and brochure writer for Club 18-30 she did a degree at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London University. In 1992 She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to attend the postgraduate newspaper journalism course at City University, and apart from 1994 when she worked in Hong Kong for the Sunday Morning Post, she worked at The Independent for ten years, including stints as Assistant News Editor and Arts and Media Correspondent.

She has been a full time novelist since 2002, when her first book, Sheltering Rain was published. She lives on a farm in Essex with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, and their three children.

View Jojo‘s website HERE

Like Jojo‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9780718177010

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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert.

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Now, this beloved author digs deep into her own life to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and generosity, she ponders the mysterious nature of inspiration, asking us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether we are looking to create art, address challenges in our work, give ourselves permission to embark on a dream long deferred, or simply to infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

About the Author

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Elizabeth Gilbert is the Number One New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and several other internationally bestselling books of fiction and non-fiction. Her story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her follow-up memoir to Eat Pray LoveCommitted, became an instant Number One New York Times bestseller. She has published two novels, Stern Men and The Signature of All Things, which was longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize. She lives in New Jersey.

View Elizabeth‘s website HERE

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Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781408866740

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The Magistrate of Gower by Claire Robertson

‘In the end, you could choose to say no more than this: that in the high summer of 1938, in a courtroom in the town of Gower in the Union of South Africa, a case of arson came to an abrupt and irregular end, confounding those who had followed the matter and prompting speculation that approached, but did not quite deliver, scandal…’

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When an illicit affair in British Ceylon comes to light in 1902, seventeen year-old Boer prisoner-of-war Henry Vos is disgraced. Months before, a short film made his face widely recognisable, but now he is shunned by Boer and Brit alike.

Three decades later, Henry is the magistrate of Gower, a small inland town in the Union of South Africa, where he makes friends with young newcomer Adaira van Brugge. Adaira’s story will start to echo Henry’s when she takes a secret lover: Ira Gevint, a Jew who fled Europe only to wind up in a town ready to experiment with its own kind of persecution.

As events threaten to unravel the careful life Henry has created for himself, desire surfaces alongside nationalist fervour in Claire Roberston’s arresting new novel about the courage to choose love over fear.

About the Author

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Claire Robertson is the author of The Spiral House, winner of the 2014 Sunday Times Fiction Prize and a South African Literary Award, and shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize. She lives in Simon’s Town.

View Claire‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Umuzi (An imprint of Penguin Random House)

ISBN: 9781415207642

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When the Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi

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Mahmoud’s passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she’s ever known. But their happy, middle-class world – a life of education, work, and comfort – implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.

Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister’s family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.

Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe’s capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.

About the Author

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Nadia Hashimi is an Afghan American pediatrician living in suburban Washington, D.C. She is the author of the international bestseller The Pearl That Broke Its Shell.

View Nadia‘s website HERE

Like Nadia‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9780062411198

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