Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mrs. Perfect

I like Jane Porter books. They are more complex than romances and less depressing than literary novels. Somehow, they manage to strike the balance between being issues-driven and character-driven. Perhaps it's because they discuss issues so close to the heart of women married with children, but I find myself reaching for Jane Porter books the way one reaches for a box of finest Swiss chocolates. And it's not the gourmet 99% dark chocolate that you're supposed to oooh and aaaah over - her fiction is the lovely smooth milky chocolate that really hits the spot. (see footnote)

MRS PERFECT is the sequel to ODD MOM OUT, and I love the way we now root for the woman we disliked in the first book. Turns out it's all a matter of perspective, and it's a lesson well worth remembering in real life.

Other issues I found memorable include:
  • women who love designer labels may be deeper than I give them credit for
  • juggling a job and motherhood sucks
  • the job market doesn't appreciate experience or real-life skills
  • money doesn't buy happiness (ok, I knew that, but it's nice to have it confirmed).
Oh, and it's fabulous to read a "married couple" love story.

Footnote: I loved the way the author pokes fun at book clubs in MRS PERFECT. Having tried book clubs myself, I know how the heroine feels about the highbrow award-winning novels....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eve Summers Strikes Again!

Red Rose Publishing is about to release the second book in the Cruise Ship Adventures Series by Eve Summers. Following on the hot sales of "Dance Like Everyone Is Watching", "Elevator With A View" offers a unique (if spicy) view of cruising.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Intensive care unit in the sky

Creative Learning is a proud sponsor of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, a New Zealand accident and emergency rescue and transport service operated.

They provide a dedicated 24-hour, seven day a week service. This service often makes a life or death difference for thousands of New Zealanders. A Rescue Helicopter is necessary when:
  • a patient is very sick or badly injured
  • medics think getting to hospital quickly will make a big difference
  • an accident has occurred in a difficult location.
The Rescue Helicopters are like a fully equipped intensive care unit in the sky. From a defibrillator for a premature baby to full life support systems, they can deal with any situation.

The Auckland Trust operates two helicopters and they do a total of about 2,000 missions per year. The aircraft and crew are trained and equipped to operate day and night, their missions range from emergency/accident casualty transport, to medical transfers/medevacs to rescue searches and airlifts.
 
The Trust does school visits on request, complete with landing the helicopter in the school grounds and telling the children about the rescue missions.
 
To support the Helicopters, please click here.
 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Stieg Larsson and I

Way back before the world had heard about "The girl with the dragon tattoo", I read about Stieg Larsson in Crime Writers' Asssociation newsletter. The article mentioned his death and the three unpublished manuscripts, together with a fourth one, 75% completed. I found the image poignant.

Since then, I learned that his partner wants to finish writing the fourth book, and that his translator is capable of writing in Larsson's style but has no ideas. It made me wonder what would happen to my work in progress if I suddenly was no longer here to complete it. A small thing to worry about, but it made me feel a flicker of comeraderie for Stieg Larsson. So I looked him up on Wiki and here are some facts I found interesting:
  • He was the editor of Echo, a controversial newspaper. Mikael Blomkvist, anybody?
  • Larsson's first name originally was Stig which is the standard spelling. In his early twenties, he changed it to avoid confusion with his friend Stig Larsson, who would go on to become a well-known author well before Stieg did.
  • Larsson's first fiction writing efforts were not in crime fiction, but in science fiction.
  • He was the second best-selling author in the world in 2008, behind Khaled Hosseini. By March 2010, his "Millennium series" had sold 27 million copies in more than 40 countries.