Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Wind-Up and Stella Makes Good



This week was my birthday :) And my boys made the most beautiful birthday cake EVER. Okay, maybe it was the type of cake that only a mum could love (they decorated it) but it was truly delicious (Granny helped them with the actual baking). My hubby gave me the most lovely card and told me to enjoy myself in Sydney (aka spend/buy whatever I like) when I go to the ARRA Awards in a couple of weeks. My Mum gave me my Kindle (which I got a few weeks back). All in all, it was a lovely day!

This week I also took a break from JILTED edits (while waiting for next round) to write more of MAN DROUGHT. Am loving this book and just hope I can do the story and characters justice.

In the waiting stakes, I'm three weeks into the wait on my revised full of HOLLYWOOD HEARTBREAK. So pray the eds at Carina love it and you all get to meet the sexy Nate and gorgeous Holly!

And, almost best of all, I managed to finish reading another book this week. I've been so slow with reading lately, focusing on writing and edits, that each time I finish one now I feel like throwing a little party.

So, this is my SECOND review in the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

STELLA MAKES GOOD by Lisa Heidke



I'm a great fan of Lisa's books - Claudia's Big Break was one of my fave reads of 2011 and Stella Makes Good did it for me too. I find it hard to pin point exactly what I like about a book. This one had a fabulously quirky start - cringe-worthy (in a good way) in fact with the famous sex party Lisa has been blogging about. I don't want to give too much away but the events that spiral from this one party make this book into a truly emotional and enjoyable read.

The characters (Stella and her three friends) are very REAL. They could be your own group of girlfriends and their lives are believable. I like that. And some of the writing is just down-right brilliant. There's a conversation between Stella and her mother-in-law June about marriage and how in the good old days, if you were unhappy you either put up with it or died. That cracked me AND my husband up (yes, this was the type of book where I had to read out certain lines to him)!

The story is also somewhat realistic. It is about marriage and how some can be worked on during tough spots and others are over when they're over. It's about knowing whether to fight or concede and it's about women over-coming difficulties and disappointments to become strong and happy again. It's about female friendship and celebrating these precious bonds.

All in all I found STELLA MAKES GOOD a VERY GOOD read and I can't wait to read Lisa's next book.

Also I'd like to announce the winner of Veronica Scott's blog contest earlier this week - Veronica used a random winner generator and the lucky number belonged to Leah Ashton. Congrats Leah. Veronica will be in contact with you shortly  regarding your prize!


25 comments:

Megan said...

That cake looks so yum... Happy Birthday!

Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

Michelle Dennis Evans said...

Happy Birthday!
thanks for the review x

Lisa H said...

Happy Birthday again...and thanks so much for your lovely words about Stella and her friends! Reading lines out loud to your husband? Bonus!

Jenn J McLeod said...

HB2U lovely Rach. Great cake. Great review. I love Lisa's books. I've already told her what a difference she made to my world - as a writer - after reading What Kate Did Next. (and I'll be telling her again soon). The lovely thing about her books is....they are sooooo Lisa. (Although as I have not had the pleasure of the sex party - reading it that is - I best not say that too loud. LOL

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks Megan - the cake was VERY yum and I've still got some left :)

Thanks Michelle! Loved the book so was a pleasure doing the review!

Lisa - there's not many books I read aloud lines to my hubby because he doesn't really love it, so I save the best for him :)

Jenn - I loved What Kate Did Next too! Thanks for the b'day greetings!

Lisa H said...

Hi Jenn,
Thanks for your lovely comments about Kate! I think I get what you're saying about my books being 'sooo Lisa' though I have to say once more that I DID NOT attend any sex parties while researching Stella!
xxx

Stephanie @ Read In a Single Sitting said...

That is one mega cake!

I've been dying to read Lisa's book--so great to see so many positive reviews.

Coleen Kwan said...

Belated happy birthday. That cake looks too good to eat.

Shawna Thomas said...

Happy belated birthday! My daughter was in the room when I clicked on your blog. She asked me about the cake and then reminded me that she wants me to buy one of those cake pans. LOL She's so competitive.

Shelleyrae said...

Happy belated Birthday! I love the cake.

A great review as well
Thanks for sharing your review for the AWW challenge

Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

Jill in a Box said...

This book sounds great. Sounds like fun with substance. I'm tweeting the review as part of Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012 comment Wednesday.

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