Simmering Season by Jenn J McLeod

Try some new Australian Fiction and read Simmering Season….

simmering season

Maggie Lindeman is back in Calingarry Crossing with her teenage son to sell the family pub. Trouble is, the bright girl people once called Magpie is so busy she has no idea a perfect storm is heading her way.

Maggie’s past includes a schoolgirl crush on Dan Ireland, once the town bad boy. Dan has ample reason for not going home for the town’s upcoming school reunion, but one very good reason why he should – Maggie Lindeman.

Maggie’s current life includes a restless seventeen-year-old son, a father with dementia, a fame-obsessed musician husband, a dwindling bank account and a country pub that just won’t sell. An unexpected arrival is a houseguest for the summer – Fiona Bailey-Blair blows into town hoping to find her father – and it seems the school reunion is a good place to start looking.

Reserve ‘Simmering Season’ here



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Some new christian fiction to read……

Driftwood Lane  (A Nantucket Love Story) by Denise Hunter

driftwood laneMeridith believes she is capable of weathering any storm. But she’s never experienced a love powerful enough to uproot her…until now.

Meridith Ward has crafted a carefully ordered life to make up for the chaos that plagued her childhood years. But one phone call upsets all that. Within the span of several minutes, Meredith learns that the father who abandoned her is dead and she’s been named the sole guardian of his other three children. She nervously heads to Nantucket to care for the siblings she’s never met with plans to stay until their uncle returns from his trip before relinquishing guardianship to him. She arrives to find the children living in Summer House, a Bed & Breakfast that’s falling apart around them. Meridith wants to move on as soon as possible, but the inn will never sell in its dilapidated condition. Then an itinerant handyman, Jake, shows up with an offer she can’t refuse. Much like the powerful ocean just a short walk from her deck, Jake appeals to Meridith. But she senses he is also capable of pulling her under in a heartbeat. What if the thing she fears the most is exactly what she needs? Can she trust God with the details and relish the adventure?

Reserve ‘Driftwood Lane’


The Last Bride by Beverly Lewis

the last brideCome home to Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania–the beloved setting where Beverly Lewis’s celebrated Amish novels began – with new characters and new stories of drama, romance, and the ties that draw people together.

Of her Old Order parents’ five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie’s father opposes the match. Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they’ll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?

Reserve ‘The last Bride’


And here are two new books from the author Lisa Wingate

Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate

talk of the townThe show American Superstars is the hottest thing on television, but its associate producer, Mandalay Florentino, is worried. She’s just arrived in the tiny town of Daily, Texas, to arrange a surprise “reunion concert” for hometown finalist Amber Amberson. Only it turns out everyone in town seems to know the secret. And paparazzi are arriving. And word from Hollywood is that Amber has disappeared with a “bad boy” actor. Can anything go right in this tumbleweed town?

Imagene Doll loves her town of Daily, Texas, but things are lonelier without her beloved husband. Life seems dull. At least until that fancy-dressed woman pulls into town, looking terrified and glamorous all at once. Soon life’s not the least bit boring as Imagene, and the rest of Daily find themselves at the center of a media maelstrom…with a young girl’s future on the line.

 Reserve ‘Talk of the Town’

 Word Gets Around by Lisa Wingate

word gets roundLauren Eldridge had avoided returning home to Daily, Texas, until her father confesses to being in over his head. Paying back an old favor, he’s invested in a horse that’s supposed to be the star of a new Hollywood movie. Only the horse won’t behave. And Lauren is the best trainer in the state. Convinced to return, she soon finds more than she bargained for when the movie’s screenwriter turns out to be leading-man handsome.

This movie may be Nate Heath’s last shot at turning his career around. He didn’t have high hopes at first, but the town of Daily may be just what everyone needs to find hope and healing. And maybe even a little romance.

Reserve ‘Word Gets Around’


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Losing Kate by Kylie Kaden – Book of the Week 15-09-2014

losing kateThis mesmerising debut is part love story, part mystery, telling the captivating story of two lovers torn apart by tragedy and the secrets they kept of one devastating night buried all those years ago the guilt, the love and the pain – resurface.

We can’t keep running away from the past and to move forward we have to know what really happened to Kate

Reserve ‘Losing Kate’

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Thirst by Kerry Hudson

thirstThe beginning of a relationship is usually all about getting to know each other, sharing stories far into the night, comparing experiences, triumphs and heartaches, until we know one another inside out.

Not so for Dave and Alena. He’s from London, she’s from Siberia. They meet in a sleek Bond Street department store in the frayed heat of high summer, where she’s up to no good and it’s his job to catch her. So begins an unlikely relationship between two people with pasts, with secrets, they’ve no idea how to live with – or leave behind. But despite everything they don’t have in common, all the details they won’t and can’t reveal, they still find themselves fighting with all they’ve got for a future together.

You can reserve ‘Thirst’ here

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Tea fit for a Queen – recipes and drinks for afternoon tea

Want to have a fancy tea party with friends, feeling the need for some sophisticated entertaining or high tea? then this is the book for you…..

teas fit for a queenFilled with recipes that have stood the test of time as well as fascinating anecdotes and tales, Tea Fit for a Queen reveals how the tradition of afternoon tea started in royal Britain.

Over 40 charming recipes include everything from delicate finger sandwiches to Victoria sponge cake, Chelsea Buns and a Champagne Cocktail. In these pages learn about the infamous royals and their connection to the history of tea; why jam pennies were Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite tea time treat and how mead cake came to be served during Henry VIII’s reign. Discover what cake William and Catherine selected for their wedding and hear why orange-scented scones became a royal tradition at Kensington Palace. Tea Fit for a Queen presents a taste of palace etiquette to take home.

Reserve ‘Tea fit for a Queen’ here

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Mad River by John Sandford

Mad riverAs the crime spree of three teenagers cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on their cell phones and sent to a local TV station.

The first person they kill was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going?

Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn’t realise what’s about to happen next.

You can reserve the latest novel from John Sandford here

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Time to get Digging……

The weather is getting warmer, which means your soil is warming up, time to get your gumboots on and get out in the garden.

Spring is such a vital time in the garden…..

  • Time to get  your compost back into shape after a winter slow down.
  • Get mulching.
  • Prune, snip trim and dead head to encourage all that new spring growth.
  • Plant pretty summer flowers like Alyssum, California Poppies, Petunias and Lobelia.
  • Decide where you’re going to plant those amazing Dahlias.
  • Get your Summer vegetable patch off and flourishing.
  • Time to get those seed potatoes in – the delight of digging your own new potatoes on Christmas Day
  • Plant Strawberries and Raspberries, don’t forget to feed them well for a bumper Christmas crop.

So I have chosen a few of my all time favourites from our gardening section to give you some inspiration……

Back to the Land – A Year of Country Gardening by Lynda Hallinan

This is currently my all time favourite. Above all else because of it’s practical NZ content. Also it’s just downright gorgeous and full of wonderful recipes for all the abundant produce your garden will magically grow after reading this book :)  I’m insistent that one day I will make the very intriguing Zucchini Jam on Page 185

at home in the gardenGardening guru Lynda Hallinan shares a full year of her gardening exploits. Peppered with practical advice and more than 60 recipes for making the most of her harvests, Lynda’s monthly accounts of country life reveal her unstoppable energy and down-to-earth enthusiasm for living off the land.

Having met a man with land, she’s now happily ensconced with her husband, Jason, and young son, Lucas, on a 20-hectare property at the foot of the Hunua Ranges, with a pantry full of preserves, a shed full of home brew, 26 cattle, 12 ewes, a geriatric ram called Rambo, 13 chooks, three ducks, four cats and two dogs. She’s ditched her high heels for gumboots, high street shops for online seed catalogues and mail-order nurseries, and has let her gardening talents loose creating a country-sized vegetable garden and heritage fruit orchard.

Reserve ‘Back to the Land – A Year of Country Gardening’

Native by Design – landscape design with New Zealand plants                         Edited by Ian Spellerberg and Michele Frey

This is the book to grab if you want to go all out native. It’s full of great design ideas and the photography shows you just how striking NZ native gardens can look….

native by designTwenty of New Zealand’s top landscape architects and designers offer their wisdom and advice on the subject of landscaping with native plants in this extraordinary book.

With photographs capturing the uniqueness and splendor of each location–from Kaeo in the Far North to Queenstown in the south–this account is a forum by which the experts communicate their vision, passion, experiences, and challenges while imparting their knowledge unto present and future gardeners.

Reserve ‘Native by Design’

The Kitchen Garden Companion by Stephanie Alexander

This compendium of garden delights lists nearly every known garden like ingredient, A-Z from  from Amaranth to Zucchini. And as stated on the cover will teach you how to dig, plant, water, grow, harvest, chop, and cook. Each chapter covers the growing of each ingredient and is then accompanied with a selection of yummy recipes using that ingredient. At over 750 pages this book is officially a brick, but a fabulous one at that……

alexanderIf you have ever dreamed of picking fresh salad for the evening meal, gathering vine-ripened tomatoes or pulling up your own sweet carrots, this is the book for you. Follow in the footsteps of one of Australia’s best-loved cooks and food writers as she reveals the secrets of rewarding kitchen gardening.

Be encouraged by detailed gardening notes that explain how adults and children alike can plant, grow and harvest 73 different vegetables, herbs and fruit, and try some of the 250 recipes that will transform your fresh produce into delicious meals. Whether you have a large plot in a suburban backyard or a few pots on a balcony, you will find everything you need to get started in this inspiring and eminently useful garden-to-table guide.

Reserve ‘ Stephanie Alexander’s ‘Kitchen Garden Companion’

The Grow it Yourself New Zealand  series of books by Andrew Steens

Andrew Steens is a well know NZ horticultural GURU, and these are bibles to growing NZ fruits and vegetables. I love how in the vegetables book it clearly states when to sow and when to harvest.

gifvegetablesA down-to-earth practical guide to growing vegetables for you and your family. Internationally best-selling author and industry-acclaimed gardening guru Andrew Steens is your right-hand man in the vege patch, and here he gives expert advice that will inspire you to give it a go and grow it yourself. Includes an A¿Z of the vegetables best suited to New Zealand gardens, with quick-reference to sowing and harvesting for each of the 33 crops. Plus, handy sowing and harvest charts by climate zone give detailed information about what grows best where and when, along with tips on companion gardening, green crops, planting by the moon and weed control

gif fruitsAnother down-to-earth, practical gardening guide from best-selling author Andrew Steens – a companion volume to Grow it Yourself Vegetables. Packed with sound advice and information, Andrew Steens and his new book, Grow it Yourself Fruit & Nuts are your first port of call when planting a new orchard, or looking for guidance on how to care for your fruit crops. With space-saving new dwarf varieties for today’s smaller gardens and multi-grafted trees that are more resistant to pests and diseases now available, growing fruit in the home garden is becoming increasingly popular

Reserve either of the Grow it Yourself books here

And finally but in no way least

Common Lives by Janice Marriott & Virginia Pawsey

Of course this book gets a big thumbs up because of its local links, and I really enjoyed the first two of their books ‘Common Ground and ‘Common Table’.  This beautiful hardcover its full of correspondence regarding the authors everyday lives, as they discuss developments in their gardens, kitchens and general everyday snippets. The sprinkling of recipes are a bonus….

common livesJanice Marriott and Virginia Pawsey went to Gisborne Girls’ High together and met again after thirty years at a school reunion. They rekindled their friendship and began writing, discovering in the process a shared passion for gardening and cooking – despite having lived very different lives. In their first book, Common Ground, they wrote about their very different gardens and lives. In their eagerly received second book, Common Table, their wise and witty letters traced a seasonal journey through their kitchens. Now the best of both books is brought together in Common Lives.

Their correspondence tells the stories of their lives, their gardens and their kitchens, as well as their loves and their losses. Beautifully written, their letters are funny, poignant, clever and perceptive, as two wise women provide a delightful insight into a wonderful friendship.

Reserve ‘Common Lives’ by Janice Marriott & Virginia Pawsey

I still have a pile of others I want to recommend but don’t want to ramble :) I will display them on a table in the library. Pop on in and check them out.

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