NOT BAD PEOPLE, a contemporary Australian drama by debut author Brandy Scott @HeyBrandyScott

My first completed book of February is the slow-burning contemporary drama NOT BAD PEOPLE by debut author, Brandy Scott. The novel is set in the fictional country Victorian town of Hensley. My own hometown, the Mornington Peninsula, gets a brief mention, so I thought it was fitting to take my copy on a trip to my local beach. It was a lovely beach read!

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NOT BAD PEOPLE by Brandy Scott

“Three Friends. Too many secrets. Honesty is the best policy. Usually.”

Paperback, 464 pages

Published: January 29th 2019 by HarperCollins – AU

ISBN: 1460756177 (ISBN13: 9781460756171)

Source: HarperCollins – AU

 

“A clever, compelling debut novel with a unique premise of what happens when three best friends engage in what seems to be a harmless act, but instead results in tragedy, leading the women to confront buried resentments, shattering secrets, dark lies, and the moral consequences that could alter their lives forever.

Three friends, thirty years of shared secrets, one impulsive gesture…and a terrible accident.  

It’s New Year’s Eve, in a small town in the rich wine country outside Sydney. Thirty-something Aimee, Melinda, and Lou are best friends reveling in the end-of-year celebrations. And what better way to look ahead to the coming year than to let off Chinese lanterns filled with resolutions: for meaning, for freedom, for money? The fact that it’s illegal to use these lanterns is far in the back of their minds. After the glowing paper bags float away and are lost to sight in the night sky, there’s a bright flare in the distance. It could be a sign of luck—or the start of a complete nightmare that will upend the women’s friendships, families, and careers.

Aimee is convinced their little ceremony caused a major accident. The next day, the newspapers report a small plane crashed, and two victims—one a young boy—were pulled from the wreckage. Were they responsible? Aimee thinks they are, Melinda won’t accept it, and Lou has problems of her own. It’s a toxic recipe for guilt trips, shame, obsession, blackmail and power games.
They’re not bad people. But desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Amazon AU I Amazon UK I Amazon US

There are three main characters in NOT BAD PEOPLE. Lou is a feisty single mum whose teenage daughter is causing almost as much trouble as she did when she was a teenager. Aimee has a seemingly perfect husband, children, winery, and life. Melinda is successful single businesswoman who has recently moved back to small-town Hensley from the big city.

The three thirty-something woman have been best friends since childhood, mostly because they are related to each other and their parents were friends with each other, just like most small town friendships are formed. Their lives begin to fall apart when an innocent incident on New Years Eve appears to cause an accident and now they are forced to deal with the consequences.

This is made far more complicated by living in small country town where no secret is ever truly safe and resentments have been left to fester for years, generations in some cases.

I really enjoyed NOT BAD PEOPLE and I felt that Brandy Scott set the scene of a small country town – quite similar to the one I grew up in –  perfectly. The characters were extremely well-developed and I found myself able to relate to all of the three main characters at different times.

I did find some of the longer chapters would have flowed better for me if they had just focused on one characters at a time rather than going back and forth between all three main characters, but that’s probably just a personal preference of mine.

NOT BAD PEOPLE is a delightful novel, perfectly encapsulating the way small towns react to drama, and hold onto their secrets and resents. I especially loved the dynamics between the three friends and the slow-burning pace of the action.

Perfect for fans of the Moriarty sisters and for relaxing with a nice glass of wine. 4 stars!

nbp
NOT BAD PEOPLE by Brandy Scott and a lovely bottle of wine 

 

2015 Review

abfab

Happy New Year to all my bloggy friends from all corners of the world. I hope you all saw in the New Year in style and wish you all an absolutely fabulous 2016!

Due to some unforeseen circumstances I spent New Year’s Eve watching Netflix at home with my boyfriend and our cat, but it was actually quite nice to have a quiet one for a change. I think I must be getting old!

2015 has been a bit of a strange year for me. I’ve had some tough times, but there were plenty of good times as well. I’ve moved house which is never much fun, but I am loving my little sea change now Summer has arrived.

I’ve worked incredibly hard at university, but all that hard work is finally starting to feel like it’s paying off. I’m now well over half way through my BA in Internet Communications! I am currently enjoying a well-deserved break until March and am doing a very good job at catching up on my naps and Netflix.

And, finally, my blog has been so rewarding over the past 12 months. I have ‘met’ so many kind, clever and caring people through this humble little blog. It’s hard to believe that Scatterbooker started out as an assignment just over a year ago. I’ve learned a lot about myself and an untold amount of bookish and social media things in 2015 and it’s all thanks to you guys.

I’ve had some periods where life and uni got the better of me last year and that meant I wasn’t able to blog as much as I would like. So, the only thing close to a resolution I will be making this year is: spend more time blogging. Besides from that, I will continue to be just as fabulous as I was last year.

Thank you all for being your fabulous selves!

 

Twitter Tips for Readers and Writers

I often have people tell me that they find Twitter difficult and confusing to use. I can understand that it can seem a bit intimidating at first, but it really is a fantastic platform to connect and network with other like-minded people once you get the hang of it. It is the number one social media platform I use to drive visitors to my blog posts and find interesting people to connect with.

Hashtags

The number one concept Twitter newbies need to get their heads around are hashtags. Make sure that you use them and make sure that they are relevant. Unlike Facebook, hashtags are expected and highly useful on Twitter. All you need to do to create a hashtag is add the pound symbol (#) before the tag you are using. E.g. #hashtag

To search for tweets that include hashtags that you are interested in, just enter your hashtag in the search box and you will see every tweet in Twitter about your topic. Make sure you retweet any that grab your interest!

I’ve put together a list of hashtags that all readers and writers should check out:

General

#amreading

#amwriting         hashtag

#amediting

#books

#reading

#novel

#bookboost

#bookworm

#mustread

#greatreads

#writechat

#selfpub

#selfpublishing

#indieauthors

#indiepub

#writerslife

#booknerd

#promotip

#writing

#writingprompt

#amazon

#ebook

#bookbuzzr

#pubtip

#ereaders

#epubchat

#bookquote

#bookbuzz

#kindle

#kindlechat

#whattoread

#currentlyreading

#wip (Work in progress)

#writetip

#writingtip

#storystarter

#bookgiveaway

#giveaway

#free

#freebie

#shortstories

#shortreads

#paperbacks

#bookwormproblems

#writerproblems

#bookmarket

#TBR (To be read)

#readinglist

Genres

#fiction

#nonfiction

#biography

#YA

#romance

#crime

#mystery

#suspense

#thriller

#horror

#scifi

#clifi

#litfic

#histfic

#womensfiction

#paranormal

#dystopian

#contemporary

#history

#urbanfantasy

Hashtag Days

Hashtag Days are an incredibly effective way to connect with new people. Make sure that if you add a Hashtag Day tag to your tweet that you read and retweet other people’s tweets as well.

EDIT 10/12/15 Before you post on a hashtag day, please take the time to read what you can  and can’t tweet on each day. I’ve included the links to all of the hashtag day’s rules, as well as the Twitter accounts that host each day.

EDIT 16/12/15 Thank you Paula Reed Nancarrow for providing the link for Archive Day! You can find Paula on Twitter @prnancarrow

Monday: #mondayblogs Rules Twitter Account: @MondayBlogs

Tuesday: #tuesdaybookblog Rules Twitter Account: @rosieamber1

#teasertuesday Rules Twitter Account: @ADailyRhythm

Wednesday: #wwwblogs Rules Twitter Account: @Womenwriterblog

#ww (Writer Wednesday)

Use the @ to mention writers that you appreciate on Twitter

Thursday: #indiethursday Rules Twitter Account: @IndieThursday

Also #indiebookstorelove

Friday: #fridayreads Rules Twitter Account: @FridayReads

#ff (Follow Friday)

Similar to #ww. Mention any Twitter people you enjoy following.

Saturday: #archiveday Rules Twitter Account: @SingleMAhoy

Sunday: #sundayblogshare Rules Twitter Account: @SundayBlogShare

This is by no means an exhaustive list of bookish Twitter hashtags, but there are plenty to get started with.

My final piece of advice on getting the most out of Twitter is please make sure that you interact and engage with other people. If you see an interesting link or blogpost, retweet it. Or use the @ feature to let them know you though it was great.

I always follow back bookish people and am happy to assist Twitter newbies.

You can find me on Twitter at @scatterbooker

My other social media handles:

Facebook: scatterbooker

Instagram: scatterbooker

Pinterest: scatterbooker

Google+: Jade St Clair Scatterbooker

LinkedIn: Jade St Clair

The Edge of Dark by Pamela Hartshorne #BookReview

the_edge_of_dark

The Edge of Dark is mysterious time slip novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. The novel is centred around the enigmatic Elizabethan home, Holmwood House, in York in the 1500s and present day.

In the 21st century Holmwood House is being meticulously restored to its former glory by the pompous Sir Adrian, whose family is descended from the home’s original owner. The story begins when he hires London based Events Director, Roz Acclam from London, to oversee the grand opening and future events.

Roz has no memories of her tragic childhood history in York and jumps at the chance to work at such a beautiful historic home, despite her Aunt’s warnings to stay away from the area. She has been having relationship problems and thinks some time apart from her partner is just what she needs.

Things start to get strange as soon as Roz arrives in York. She begins to have vivid dreams about Jane, who lived at Holmswood House in the 1500s. At first Roz thought she was having some kind of adverse reaction to being back in York, but she eventually comes to believe that Jane is real and has been trying to send her an important message.

But what is Jane really trying to tell her? Will the dark forces of Holmswood House claim another victim? And what really happened to Roz’s family when she was a child?

The answers to these questions and more are skilfully revealed, and I was certainly surprised by the climatic ending. Pamela Hartshorne has mastered the art of the time slip novel and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

Details

Title: The Edge of Dark

Author: Pamela Hartshorne

Published: January 27th 2015 by PAN MacMillan Adult (first published November 1st 2014)

ISBN: 1447278534 (ISBN13: 9781447278535)

Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Slip

Source: Library

Rating: 5/5 stars

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads

So, Why Am I So Interested In Self-Publishing?

Source: Maria Elena https://www.flickr.com/photos/melenita/9689712379
Source: Maria Elena https://www.flickr.com/photos/melenita/9689712379

Before I began my book blog I didn’t know much about the self-publishing industry at all. When I first began my great love affair with books, reading such classics as The Babysitter’s Club  and Sweet Valley High, there was only one way to read them. This meant that I never had enough new books because I got through them before my parents were prepared to take me to the shops or library for a new one.

While I was growing up, though, the world was starting change. Throughout my teens and twenties the world was rapidly becoming more and more digitized each year until the point that we’re at right now, in 2015, where almost any form of entertainment that you can possibly imagine, including books, is available online.

I am now a student of Internet Communications and over the course of my studies we talk a lot about the effects that digitization and also convergence have had on many different industries. A very clever man called Henry Jenkins describes what convergence means best, so I will let him explain it to you.

By convergence, I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who would go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they wanted. Convergence is a word that manages to describe technological, industrial, cultural, and social changes, depending on who’s speaking and what they think they are talking about. In the world of media convergence, every important story gets told, every brand gets sold, every consumer gets courted across multiple media platforms. Right now, convergence culture is getting defined top-down by decisions being made in corporate boardrooms and bottom-up by decisions made in teenagers’ bedrooms. It is shaped by the desires of media conglomerates to expand their empires across multiple platforms and by the desires of consumers to have the media they want where they want it, when they want it, and in the format they want…. – See more at: http://henryjenkins.org/2006/06/welcome_to_convergence_culture.html#sthash.Mc0bZbpa.dpuf

I’ve read many interesting and informative articles and participated in many lectures about the effects of digitization and convergence on the television, film, and gaming industries, but there really isn’t much out there about the publishing industry. And when self-publishing gets mentioned, most people’s impression is that all self-published novels are terrible, full of typos and unprofessional, a legacy from when the only option for self-publishing was through a Vanity Press.

I may have even believed the same thing myself if I wasn’t lucky enough to have stumbled upon so many fabulous self-published authors this year! I have to admit that some of the self-published novels that I’ve read have been pretty terrible, but this is the case in any participatory culture. Just because everybody is able to be an author doesn’t mean that everybody should be an author, but I have also discovered an increasing amount of absolutely amazing self-published authors who go to an incredible amount of effort to publish their books.

So, I’m going to use Self-Publishing Talk as a space to discuss my thoughts on digitization and convergence and the ways that writing, distributing and consuming books are changing. I’d love to hear your thoughts and you can check out my latest book reviews, including some great self-published novels, on the main blog page.

This post was originally posted as a page. I have decided to edit and repost Self-Publishing Talk as standard blog posts.

 

Self-Publishing Talk

This section is dedicated to discuss the self-publishing industry. Digitization and Convergence have had an enormous impact on the entertainment industries, but most of the academic research is focused on the television, film, and gaming industries. As an avid reader, book blogger, and student of Internet Communications, I am fascinated by the ways that the production, distribution, and consumption of books are changing and the current state of the self-publishing industry. Self-Publishing Talk is an outlet to combine three of my greatest passions in the one place.

This post was originally posted as a page. I have decided to edit and repost Self-Publishing Talk as standard blog posts.

A New Hashtag Day for Book Bloggers: #TuesdayBookBlog

Attention all book bloggers and authors. Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team are introducing a brand new hashtag day, #TuesdayBookBlog, beginning today, Tuesday, November 3rd.

You can read all about it on Rosie’s blog:

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/announcing-a-new-bloggers-bookreview-hashtag-for-twitter-tuesdaybookblog/

And below are the main guidelines to stick to when posting.

Img Source: Terry Tyler Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerryTyler4/status/661497707085889537
Img Source: Twitter

Since I have so many interesting books on my TBR list I’ve compiled a list of a few books that are coming up soon on Scatterbooker for my very first #TuesdayBookBlog post:

The Edge of Dark by Pamela Hartshorne

Img Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23311224-the-edge-of-dark?from_search=true&search_version=service
Img Source: Goodreads

Jane believes in keeping her promises, but a deathbed vow sets her on a twisting path of deceit and joy that takes her from the dark secrets of Holmwood House in York to the sign of the golden lily in London’s Mincing Lane. Getting what you want, Jane discovers, comes at a price. For the child that she longed for, the child she promised to love and to keep safe, turns out to be a darker spirit than she could ever have imagined.
Over four centuries later, Roz Acclam remembers nothing of the fire that killed her family – or of the brother who set it. Trying on a beautiful Elizabethan necklace found in the newly restored Holmwood House triggers disturbing memories of the past at last – but the past Roz remembers is not her own . . .
A dark and twisted tale from Pamela Harshorne, author of The Memory of Midnight and Time’s Echo, and a perfect read for fans of Kate Mosse and Barbara Erskine.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Future Perfect by Katrina Mountfort

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. Following a bio-terrorist attack, the population now lives within comfortable Citidomes. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall thin androgynous appearance, and looks are everything. This first book, Future Perfect, tells the story of Caia, an intelligent and highly educated young woman. In spite of severe governmental and societal strictures, Caia finds herself becoming attracted to her co-worker, Mac, a rebel whose questioning of their so-called utopian society both adds to his allure and encourages her own questioning of the status quo. As Mac introduces her to illegal and subversive information she is drawn into a forbidden, dangerous world, becoming alienated from her other co-workers and resmates, the companions with whom she shares her residence. In a society where every thought and action are controlled, informers are everywhere; whom can she trust? When she and Mac are sent on an outdoor research mission, Caia’s life changes irreversibly. A dark undercurrent runs through this story; the enforcement of conformity through fear, the fostering of distorted and damaging attitudes towards forbidden love, manipulation of appearance and even the definition of beauty, will appeal to both an adult and young adult audience.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Fetish by Tara Moss

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

Description:

Mak is young, beautiful- and in grave danger. An international fashion model, she arrived in Australia on assignment, only to find her best friend brutally murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer with a very deadly fetish. Before she knows it, Mak herself is caught up in the hunt for the killer and trapped in a twisted game of cat-and-mouse. Who can you trust and where can you turn when you are the dark obsession of a sadistic psychopath?

Tara Moss began modeling at fifteen and worked as a top model around the world for the years before becoming a full-time crime novelist.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

Description:

Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.

As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change.

Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

Goodreads

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blonde Eskimo by Kristen Hunt

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

Description:

Part Viking, part Eskimo, Neiva Ellis knew her family’s ancestral home, the island of Spirit, Alaska, held a secret. A mystery so sensitive everyone, including her beloved grandmother, was keeping it from her. When Neiva is sent to stay on the island while her parents tour Europe she sets out on a mission to uncover the truth, but she was not prepared for what laid ahead.

On the night of her seventeenth birthday, the Eskimo rite of passage, Neiva is mysteriously catapulted into another world full of mystical creatures, ancient traditions, and a masked stranger who awakens feelings deep within her heart. Along with her best friends Nate, Viv and Breezy, she uncovers the truth behind the town of Spirit and about her own heritage.

When an evil force threatens those closest to her, Neiva will stop at nothing to defend her family and friends. Eskimo traditions and legends become real as two worlds merge together to fight a force so ancient and evil it could destroy not only Spirit but the rest of humanity.

Goodreads

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book Review: ‘Chasing Chris Campbell’ by Genevieve Gannon

Title: Chasing Chris Campbell                                         gen

Author: Genevieve Gannon

ISBN: 9781460704714

Published: June 1st 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers Australia

Genre:  Romance, Chick Lit

Source: I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Description:

The hilarious and charming second novel from the author of Husband Hunters. For fans of The Rosie Project, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and all good rom-coms.

Violet is saving money: living on rice and beans and denying herself chocolate eclairs all in the name of saving for a home deposit. Once they save enough, she and Michael can buy a house, settle down and live happily ever after. But when Michael does the unthinkable, Violet is forced to rethink her life choices.

A chance encounter with Chris Campbell (first love, boy-next-door, The One That Got Away) spurs her into travelling to exotic locations she never dreamed she’d explore – Hong Kong, Vietnam, Varanasi – on a quest to catch up with Chris and lead a life of adventure. Armed with hand sanitiser and the encouraging texts of her twin sister Cassandra, will Violet find true love before it’s too late? Or will the nerve-wracking experience of travelling send her back to Melbourne in search of safety and stability? Can she work out what she really wants before she is left with nothing?

My Thoughts:

Chasing Chris Campbell is Genevieve Gannon’s second novel which is just as fun to read as her debut novel, Husband Hunters. When Violet breaks up with her penny-pinching fiance`, Michael, her life seems to be at a bit of a cross-roads. She hates her job and doesn’t really seem to know what to do next. Until her high school sweetheart, Chris Campbell, enters the scene again.

Violet decides to follow Chris on his never-ending overseas adventures, but she needs to catch in the right country first. He always seems to be one step ahead of her and incredibly vague about making arrangements. Nevertheless, Violet decides to put aside her fussy germophobe tendencies to follow Chris from Hong Kong to Vietnam, and then to Varnassi, all in the name of love.

Chasing Chris Campbell is a fun, lighthearted read and I particularly enjoyed reading about all of the different places that Violet and Chris visited. This is the perfect novel to take along and read at the beach. Yay for Summer and sunny days ahead!

Amazon

Goodreads

Genevieve Gannon wrote a particularly interesting article Executive Style titled Chick lit: men might just love it which challenges male readers to give the chick lit genre a try sometime. I know that there are lot of male readers and writers here on WordPress so I’m wondering, how many male readers are out there who enjoy a good chick lit novel?

http://www.executivestyle.com.au/chick-lit-men-might-just-love-it-gjx6uo

 

 

 

Book Review: ‘Love at First Flight’ by Tess Woods

Title: Love at First Flight                                                   tess

Author: Tess Woods

ISBN: 1460705416

Published:  April 1st 2015 by HarperCollins Australia

Genre:  Romance, Chick Lit

Pages: 336

Source: I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Description:

Looking back on it now, I can see it was instant. The second we locked eyes. Boom. Just like that. The me I had spent a lifetime perfecting began its disintegration from that moment. And despite the carnage it brought to all our lives, I still don’t regret it.

What would you risk to be with the love of your life? And what if your soul mate is the one who will destroy you?

Mel is living the dream. She’s a successful GP, married to a charming anaesthetist and raising a beautiful family in their plush home in Perth. But when she boards a flight to Melbourne, she meets Matt and her picture perfect Stepford life unravels as she falls in love for the first time ever.

What begins as a flirty conversation between strangers quickly develops into a hot and obsessive affair with disastrous consequences neither Mel nor Matt could have ever seen coming. Mel’s dream life turns into her worst nightmare.

Love at First Flight will take everything you believe about what true love is and spin it on its head.

My Thoughts:

Love at First Flight is the thought provoking debut novel of Australian author, Tess Woods. To an outsider, Mel appears to have the perfect life. She has a successful career as a doctor, an attractive husband, two kids, and a beautiful house near the beach in Perth. But when she crosses paths with a handsome stranger on the way to Melbourne for a girly weekend with her best friend, she embarks on an obsessive affair which has the potential to ruin her perfect life.

I’m not normally a big fan of instant love stories, however, Love at First Flight is much more than a typical ‘girl meets boy, there is some barrier keeping them from being together, but it all works at in the end’ kind of love story. The author explores the relationships and consequences of Mel’s affair in a way that allowed me to understand each and every character’s perspective.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that Love at First Flight was a uniquely Australian novel without being too over the top about it. The description of Perth made me remind myself that I need to add Perth onto my list of places that I need to visit and the author clearly loves our hometown of Melbourne just as much as I do. I’m looking forward to reading Tess Woods’ next novel already!

Amazon

Goodreads