Rereading Tammara Webber

Every so often I pick up one of Tammara Webber’s books to read again. She writes smart New Adult and Young Adult books without the bad, often sexist stereotyping the genres often falls victim to.

Easy is such an important read in the New Adult genre. It deals with sexual assault and rape on an American college campus, victim-blaming, fraternities, and female friendship. It has a hero (who is almost to good to be true), who might have some of the tattooed bad boy stereotype about him, but who is very much a feminist.

In this current climate, with women standing up and saying they’ve had enough of sexual harassment and abuse, and enough of people doubting and blaming the victim, it was a good book to read again.

Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy by Tammara Webber

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life. Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night – but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound. When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

The Week: 20th – 26th November

Canberra Australia Spring Sunset #2 Sonya Heaney Tuggeranong 19th November 2017 Sky Clouds Nature

Canberra Australia Spring Sunset #1 Sonya Heaney Tuggeranong 19th November 2017 Sky Clouds Nature

Spring skies in Canberra

End of Spring Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia Sonya Heaney Sunny Warm Afternoon Blue Sky Garden Flowers Nature 22nd November 2017

Blue sky and sunshine at the end of spring…

Canberra Braddon Rainbow Roundabout Gayest City in Australia Most Gay-Friendly Andrew Barr Marriage Equality November 2017

What we did in Canberra this week. With far and away the highest “yes” vote for gay marriage of anywhere in Australia, we (it was actually already planned) painted a roundabout in one of the main restaurant streets in the city rainbow colours.

Garema Place Marriage Equality Gay Marriage Canberra Australia Andrew Barr November 2017

This follows on from the commissioned street art in one of our main squares, that was painted the afternoon of the result of the vote.

^^^^

Our latest idiot cat. Hannibal, an overly friendly Burmese cat (all Burmese cats are super-affectionate) being looked after by our neighbour for several months. If there’s anything higher than him, he MUST go to the top of it (it’s a good thing he has a bell)! He basically lives over here, and gets lonely and terrorises the house at all hours of the night. (They are actually two different photos, not me zooming in. He was standing there for ages!)

#Russian terrorists in #Ukraine. 5th April 2015.

This week, while the world was watching Zimbabwe (I must have watched a day’s worth of live coverage from Harare on Al Jazeera, BBC etc. – though it’s good to see Africa get some attention for once), Russia did one of the weirdest things yet.

The Russians running one proxy republic in the east of Ukraine invaded another proxy Russian-backed “republic” in Ukraine. All the while Russia says they’re not invading anyone. It has been called the most stupid invasion in history – and it may well be.

However, it’s looking more and more like Putin is going for a full-on invasion while his “useful idiot” in the White House distracts the media. Once he joins all his fake republics up, there’s a massive part of Ukraine both gone and filled with Russian troops. The rest of Europe should be very, very worried.

I have family in Donetsk – the most important city the Russians invaded three years ago. That nobody cares – even though it’s in Europe, and allegedly the world cares more about Europe than elsewhere – makes me frustrated, angry, and upset on a daily basis.

This week a tiger was shot after escaping a circus in the centre of Paris. I am shocked and horrified most people in the world (including most of Australia) still allows wild animals in

This week a tiger was shot after escaping a circus in the centre of Paris. I am shocked and horrified most people in the world (including most of Australia) still allows wild animals in circuses. We banned them in Canberra in 1992!

One Month Until Christmas

christmas-decorations-sonya-heaney-canberra-australia-1st-december-2016

My review of Twelfth Night with the Earl (The Sutherland Sisters #3) by Anna Bradley

Twelfth Night with the Earl (The Sutherland Sisters #3) by Anna Bradley

My review of When in Rome (Heart of the City #4) by C.J. Duggan

When in Rome (Heart of the City #4) by C.J. Duggan

Coming Up for Joanna Shupe

A Scandalous Deal (The Four Hundred Series #2) by Joanna Shupe

Cover Love

Valerie Bowman The Right Kind of Rogue 2

Literary Coin Purses

Wuthering Heights Purse Clutch. Kisslock Bag Quote Whatever Our Souls Are Made Of His And Mine Are The Same Bronte Bridal Wedding Bridesmaid

When in Rome (Heart of the City #4) by C.J. Duggan

When in Rome (Heart of the City #4) by C.J. Duggan

What’s the saying again . . . when in Rome, do a Roman?

How did a self-orchestrated gap year turn into a less-than-enthralling lifestyle as a couch potato at her parents’ house? Determined to get motivated and join life again, Sammi Shorten books a budget Bellissimo Tour to Rome, the Eternal City. What she hadn’t signed up for was being stuck with an eclectic group of binge-drinking foreigners in a bed-bug-infested hostel from hell. Things in Rome really couldn’t get much worse . . . could they?

When plans go completely awry Sammi’s left with only one place to turn, and it’s the one place Sammi really doesn’t want to turn – to the man who might very well get her into the worst trouble of all: the gorgeous local tour guide, Marcello Bambozzi.

WHEN IN ROME is the fourth standalone book in CJ Duggan’s sassy, sexy new adult series, Heart of the City.

When in Rome (Heart of the City #4) by C.J. Duggan

I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy in recent years, so of course I was going to read this book!

When in Rome is what I guess you might call a romantic comedy: heroine books her “trip of a lifetime” to Italy, only to land smack-bang in the middle of a disaster. Nothing is how she expected it to be – but there’s a man…

I have never had a travel experience quite like Sammi’s, but anyone who has travelled a bit (or ever been on a tour) will appreciate some of the scenes and situations.

This is very much a “new adult” book as it should be. It’s young; it’s about a woman still in her backpacking, budget-holiday years. This is the real “new adult” experience – so different to all those billionaires and businesspeople.

As a comedy, there are some characters stereotypes, but they’re not over the top (but PLEASE, world, can we dump the “mean girl”?).

This is an easy, travel-themed read. The kind of thing you pick up knowing you’ll have fun. I’ll have to check out the other books in the series.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 15th – 21st August

Hotel Hotel Canberra Australia Foyer Entrance Sonya Heaney 17th August 2016

Award-winning foyer of award-winning(!) Hotel Hotel in Canberra for lunch with Ukrainian embassy friends on Wednesday.

Parliament House and Science Week Flags Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 17th August 2016

Science Week flags on the way to Australian Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Battle of Long Tan Fiftieth Anniversary Commemoration Christopher Heaney Sonya Heaney 18th August 2016 Canberra Australia Anzac ParadeDSCN8164Battle of Long Tan Fiftieth Anniversary Commemoration Christopher Heaney Sonya Heaney 18th August 2016 Canberra Australia Anzac ParadeDSCN8208

(My father’s view.)

Thursday was the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. Here in Canberra we had the national ceremony, on Anzac Parade near the Australian War Memorial.

  canberralongtanflover

One of the military planes that came straight over our house. X

My father attended, and then when he was going out to lunch with another veteran afterwards, someone saw their medals and paid for their lunch without them knowing about it!

Australia didn’t win anywhere near as many medals as expected at the Rio Olympics (considering how much money we pour into sport), but we just won the women’s Modern Pentathlon.

Australia's Chloe Esposito wins shock gold at Rio Olympics in modern pentathlon

(Notice all the empty seats in the background.)

Chloe Esposito pictured after her swim.

I actually saw this event at the Sydney Games in 2000, and even though it gets NO attention, it’s pretty amazing. The athletes have to compete in fencing, swimming, horse jumping, shooting and running – that’s five sports, not just running or swimming in a line for a few seconds and then getting multi-million-dollar endorsements!

It’s sad nobody gives them any notice.

But what an odd Olympics in general. The cheating. The idiotic behaviour of some athletes. The locals moving non-Brazilian athletes to tears in many sports because they boo everyone like it’s all so much fun. Not exactly the Olympic spirit!

_90815521_lavllenie_nowwordstweetPole-vaulter Renaud Lavillenie consoled by Thiago Braz and Sergei Bubka after he was booed at medal ceremony.

The gymnastics equipment from Rio is being donated to Ukraine at the end of the event. Many of history’s most successful gymnasts – including the most successful woman in Olympic history, in any sport – have been Ukrainian or Belarusian (though the world refers to all people from the USSR as “the Russians”!), but now with the invasion Ukraine has NO money for the sport. They still managed a silver and a gold this time.

My review of Shelter Me: A Shelter Novel by Stephanie Tyler

Shelter Me A Shelter Novel by Stephanie Tyler

My review of Here Without You by Tammara Webber

here-without-you-by-tammara-webber

Newest by Tammara Webber

Brave (Contours of the Heart #4) by Tammara Webber

Newest by Tammara Webber

After falling in love with New Adult author Tammara Webber’s writing, I backed off from the genre a few years ago, and never really went back.

In the subgenre, Webber stands out as one of the few who shows respect for women, and for dealing with realistic characters – even when they’re in extraordinary situations.

So I will be checking out her books Sweet (already out), and the newest instalment in her Contours of the Heart series: Brave.

Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3) by Tammara WebberBrave (Contours of the Heart #4) by Tammara Webber

Here Without You by Tammara Webber

here-without-you-by-tammara-webber

Everyone has secrets. Some are buried so deep, their existence is forgotten. But a secret never told can turn into a lie. And in love, a lie is one thing: Poison. Reid is in love with Dori, though she hasn’t told her parents she’s fallen hard for the guy they’d forbidden her to see. Now she’s leaving for college, and Reid’s promise not to push her to go public is wearing thin, especially when she can’t – or won’t – return those three important words he wants to hear. Five years ago, Brooke and Reid were a Thing. That relationship is long gone, detonated amid allegations of cheating – but they still share a secret that would stun everyone they know and alter public perception of them both if it ever comes out. And it’s about to do just that. Here Without You is the fourth, final instalment in the Between the Lines series, which includes: Between the Lines, Where You Are, and Good For You.

Here Without You by Tammara Webber

*This is an unedited review from a few years ago. I will be revisiting this series soon.*

So, the Between the Lines series is complete. I read the books so closely together that I feel like I’ve made a bunch of friends – only to lose them! This series is definitely NEW Adult. I’m not sure it’s the kind of book you’d be handing off onto younger readers. Not so much because of the content, but because the characters are definitely past the average school year dramas and sailing straight through into full-on adulthood.

Across four books, two main relationships and five major characters, there’s no way book four should be read on its own. But it should be read! Who would have thought characters who seemed so genuinely unlikeable a few books ago could end with so much depth and so many layers and motivations behind their actions.

I was quite surprised to see a few passages narrated by River, the little boy in this story, but actually it turned out to help a lot with understanding how he fit into the situation.

This series is about love, about celebrity, about having too much too young. It’s also about regular people in their late teens discovering that a life of excess might not always be as great as it seems.

Yet sometimes it is.

The week: 25th – 31st July

Winter Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 30th July 2016 Sky Clouds Nature 1IMG_0518

Saturday sunset in Canberra.

Winter Lake Burley griffin Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Seagulls Telstra Tower Black Mountain Sun Nature 30th July 2016

On Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra yesterday afternoon.

Friday Winter Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 29th July 2016 Sky Clouds Nature

Friday’s sunset in Canberra – taken on my blurry old camera.

Queanbeyan to Canberra Australia Winter Sky Clouds Driving Sonya Heaney 29th July 2016 Nature

The sky two hours before the sunset above!

Flags fly at half-mast at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics after two were killed and 111 injured in a bombing for an anti-abortion and anti-gay agenda.

This week marked the twentieth anniversary of the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics – when a man went and blew up Olympic Park because he didn’t want women to have abortions. Seriously. Ugh.

Cat missing for eight years found 280 miles away in Paris Cat missing for eight years found 280 miles away in Paris Moon Uint

My favourite story of the week. This cat went missing in London eight years ago, and turned up as a stray in PARIS.

Now Google is on Putin's payroll. They have redone Google Maps to change Ukrainian place names into the Russian names. Crimea.

Now Google is on Putin’s payroll. They have redone Google Maps to change Ukrainian place names into Soviet Russian names. This is just… sickening. Is there anyone Moscow isn’t capable of buying? If it was anywhere other than Ukraine, the world would care.

Ukrainian GYmnast Lilia Podkopayeva 1995 World Champion 1996 Olympic Champion

Back when gymnastics was gorgeous! Actual artistic gymnastics. That’s the 1996 Olympic champion.

I am not at all excited about the upcoming Olympics. So many drug cheats. So many other issues with the venue. The Australian part of the athletes’ village just caught on fire, and then they were robbed while they were being “saved”!

The maintenance staff were smoking (the village is allegedly a non-smoking location). The Brazilian officials turned off the fire alarms, so…

And the sport I have been following (and was for a while, very closely involved with) my whole life – gymnastics – I am not that interested in anymore. The sport is supposed to be artistic gymnastics, but now it’s just not. This former ballet dancer thinks gymnastics is an ugly, messy sport these days (thank you, new scoring system that pushes big, poorly executed tricks over technique or finesse!).

Anyway, I thought I’d get my Olympics-related rant out now, before the competition begins! 🙂

The anniversary of Pride and Prejudice

PrideundprejudicePoster for the 1940 film Pride and Prejudice.

So – how did they go?

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

My review of Willow Springs (Destiny Series #5) by Toni Blake

Willow Springs (Destiny Series #5) by Toni Blake

My review of Good For You by Tammara Webber

good-for-you-by-tammara-webber

My review of Taming the Highland Rogue (The MacLerie Clan #4.6) by Terri Brisbin

Taming the Highland Rogue (The MacLerie Clan #4.6) by Terri Brisbin

Good For You by Tammara Webber

good-for-you-by-tammara-webber

Reid Alexander’s celebrity life is an open book. Every relationship, every error in judgment is analysed by strangers. His latest mistake totalled his car, destroyed a house and landed him in the hospital. As his PR team works overtime to salvage his image, one thing is clear: this is one predicament he won’t escape without paying for it.

Dori Cantrell is a genuine humanitarian – the outward opposite of everything Reid represents. When his DUI plea bargain lands him under her community service supervision, she proves unimpressed with his status and indifferent to his proximity, and he soon wants nothing more than to knock her off her pedestal and prove she’s human.

Counting the days until his month of service ends, Dori struggles to ignore Reid’s wicked pull while challenging him to recognize his own wasted potential. But Dori has secrets of her own, safely locked away until one night turns her entire world upside down. Suddenly their only hope for connection and redemption hinges on one choice: whether or not to have faith in each other.

Good For You by Tammara Webber

*This is an unedited review from a few years ago. I will be revisiting this series soon.*

This is the third book in Tammara Webber’s excellent Between the Lines series, and it definitely shouldn’t be read on its own.

Webber is still my favourite New Adult author. She manages to write about young adults without the horrific misogyny and stupidity that is all too common in the genre, and she manages that at the same time as writing about celebrities! There is an incident in this book that completely blindsided me, and the book transformed from “good” to “oh, wow, a secondary character made me cry like it’s real life!”. It was some of the most powerful writing I’ve read in ages.

I was worried when I started this one, as the too good to be true heroine was everything biblical and conservative, talking about Bible camp and everything. I was not sure about a heroine like this, and didn’t want to read something slut-shaming and sexist.

Of course, I shouldn’t have worried, because Webber is the least misogynistic author you’ll find, and also doesn’t construct her heroes and heroines to be clichés. There were so many layers to Dori’s character, and I was also able to believe Reid, the rather disastrous celebrity hero, would fall for her.

There is one more book in this series.