Kids Bike Path in Kawana

kawana(This is my first entry in a new series of articles about things to do around the Sunshine Coast. Future entries will be listed under Blog / News > Weekend & Holiday Adventures.)

This is a great park for kids who are learning to ride bikes. There is a playground in the middle, in the shape of a boat, and a winding path complete with miniature road signs and petrol station around the outside. My five year old loved it, considering he has only been riding without training wheels for a few months. My two year old preferred to play in the boat and on the swings.

It is also quite close to Kawana Shopping World, so we went to Guzman Y Gomez for a Mexican lunch and then Yogurtland for dessert! The perfect kids outing!

boatHow To Get There
The park is next to Kawana Library, so head towards Kawana Shoppingworld, turn left into Point Cartwright Dr if you’re coming from the north and then turn right into Nanyima Street. You should then see the park on your right.

Cost
Free!

Playground Rating (judging by how long it kept the kids interest)
8/10

Other Info
There are public toilets nearby and lots of grassy areas if you want to have a picnic.

Horns

A couple of my writer friends and I have formed an unofficial book club. So far, we have read Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid (an awesome Sliding Doors type story), Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (sorry, I just couldn’t finish it!) and now Horns by Joe Hill.

I read a lot of horror and thriller when I was younger, but I seemed to have forgone them in recent times for more light-hearted stuff. So when I first saw that Stephen King’s son was the author of our newest read, I was a little scared.

And I had a right to be so.

Joe Hill has a knack of lulling you into a false sense of security, making you think everything’s OK (despite the fact that the protagonist has newly developed horns growing from his head), and then bam! You’re suddenly sympathising with people exhibiting the darkest elements of human nature.

The interesting thing about this book was that as events unfolded, it became harder and harder to tell who the ‘bad guy’ was. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, so I’ll just say that not everything is as it seems, and it does make you question traditional religion in a way you might not have considered previously.

I felt like there was a bit of a Devil’s Advocate vibe throughout. Also Fallen – with its Rolling Stones’ references. Joe Hill’s descriptions were perfect at creating a grungy, small town feeling and a sense of bleakness to the environment. There was also just the right amount of confusion and dream-like quality to keep you from being pulled out of the story, even as things got as unbelievable as it’s possible to get.

I was really impressed with this book, and binge-read the last 40% in one morning.

Anyone who is a fan of Stephen King should really appreciate this book.

Finding Harmony (Katie & Annalise Book 3)

The third book in this series contained an incredibly tense plotline that kept me zooming through the pages so I could find out what happened next.

I both love and hate suspense, especially when it’s done well, because I can’t concentrate on anything else until it’s resolved. This book definitely did it well. A big part of the story opened up a whole other side of the island Katie calls home – and a sinister one at that.

I’m not sure how much I can reveal without giving anything away, but it concerns a missing person and Katie’s attempts to find them.

The only thing I had concerns with was that Katie had slightly odd priorities that I’m not sure I agree with as a mother. And I also found myself not liking Nick much this time around. But then one of Pamela’s talents is creating realistic characters who behave in realistic ways, so this was a testament to her ability.

There is a huge reliance on the supernatural in this book – moreso than the other two books – so if you weren’t a fan of that angle earlier, you will probably like it even less here – but I thought it was clever the way it was used to help Katie solve the case.

Overall, this series was awesome and I will be checking out some of Pamela’s other stuff soon. Her way with words is unique, and she has inspired me to strive to be the best author I can be.

Thanks Pamela! You rock!

Leaving Annalise (Katie & Annalise Book 2)

I actually started thinking about how much information I prefer to know about a book prior to reading, and I’ve decided all I need is the blurb (the shorter the better) and the average star rating. I actually really like reading full reviews after I’ve read the book to see if people agreed with certain aspects of the story to me.

Although with this one, I didn’t even need the blurb or star rating before I started. I bought Leaving Annalise because of the Nick factor from the first book. And thankfully all questions were answered very quickly in the first few chapters.

Then there was a rather sentimental chunk of the story that while written well, wasn’t quite my cup of tea… but then it got back into the drama and intrigue that we all know and love from the first book. I read all three of the books in this series very close together, so I’m having a hard time separating the events in my brain, but there was definitely enough going on in this second instalment to make me move straight onto the third.

I still love the author’s ‘voice’ and all her descriptions of the location and its characters. Rashidi was one of my favourite people, and I would love to see a whole book about him!

For anyone who loves a bit of a mystery mixed in with their romance and set in an exotic location, this is your book.

An awesome addition to the series.

Saving Grace (Katie & Annalise Book 1)

This was my first book from Bookbub and it didn’t disappoint. Saving Grace is set in the Caribbean and features an attorney named Katie who likes to drink. It’s romantic mystery, but there actually isn’t a lot of romance in this first book. At least not reciprocated romance. Katie is hung up on Nick, a private detective she works with, but he’s going through a divorce and isn’t forthcoming with his feelings towards our heroine.

After several issues at work, Katie heads to Saint Marcos and puts an offer in on a beautiful old mansion complete with jumbie (or ghost for those who don’t know Caribbean lingo).

I absolutely loved the author’s ‘voice’ and her clever way with words. This was a very funny book, despite dealing with the serious issues of death and loss.

The supernatural aspect might not appeal to everyone, but I think it worked well mixed in with the ‘voodoo’ vibe of the story. I haven’t been to the Caribbean, but I found myself reminiscing about a trip I went on to Vanuatu a few years ago and its wild tropical beauty. The setting is a character all on its own, and it carried the story when the plot slowed down a bit mid-book.

Not all loose ends are tied up by the end, so of course I had to get the second one straight away. I think I would have preferred one of the major plot lines to be wound up in the first book, but I was going to buy the second one anyway.

It’s been a while since I’ve read something that I couldn’t put down. And while I’ve enjoyed the last few ‘straight’ romance books I’ve read, the funny stuff is much more up my alley.

Highly recommend :)

Bookbub

I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes I struggle to find something new (and good) to read on Amazon. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me to use my writer’s knowledge to solve this problem. While searching for ways to promote Dismissed, I came across Bookbub. It is the one site that I hear spoken of highly (consistently) amongst independent authors. As a writer, you apply to have your book advertised with them when you are running a special or a freebie, and they promote it on their site and through a daily e-mail to their subscribers. This almost always translates into higher Amazon rankings and more paid sales afterwards.

The reason this site is so successful is because they only advertise a small percentage of the books that are submitted. Only the decent ones make the cut.

While I haven’t yet applied to have my book listed, I decided to sign up as a reader and see what kind of stuff is on there.

So far, it’s been really good. I’ve received four of the daily e-mails and downloaded four books already – a couple of them free and a couple discounted to 99c. I’m part way through my first one and loving it (review to come). Some of these books have insane numbers of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, which makes me wonder why they need more exposure, but I’m not complaining.

So next time you’re looking for something new to read, check out Bookbub. And let me know if you find an awesome story that you’d like to recommend!

 

What Janie Wants


This was a fun and easy escapist read. Set in a Mexican resort with a nudist beach out the front, I was actually expecting a quirky and funny story. This turned out not to be the case, but it was still an enjoyable book.

The plot itself was pleasant enough – older woman meets younger man for a holiday fling that has potential to go beyond the holiday – and it was definitely written and paced well.

There was a lot of sex, which I am not normally used to reading (although it seems to be all the rage these days!) but it was done pretty well. For some reason, I did feel a bit detached in parts, but that might just be because from the handful of erotic fiction novels I have read, the sex, while imaginative, seems to read the same after a while.

That is probably just my bias, so I haven’t marked the story down because of this.

I quite liked Zade and Janie together, although I got frustrated that Zade kept reverting to caveman speak every time they were in the bedroom. I understand the whole attempt to be primal and passionate, but for me he just ended up sounding like Encino Man. I did quite like his physical description though!

And really, the only other thing that I was disappointed by goes back to the blurb talking about a nudist beach, which is barely mentioned in the story. I had assumed there would be some climatic scene (pun intended) featuring some exhibitionism on the beach. But it never eventuated.

Overall though, I think romance readers (who enjoy a little spice in their books) will be quite happy with this offering.

Take Off Your Pants…


No, this is not the name of a new erotic fiction novel. It’s a great little book by Libbie Hawker about outlining a novel. I’m in the process of reworking my latest project using this formula, so I’ll let you know if it does in fact make the whole writing task easier. But I’m pretty happy with what I’ve read so far. If you want to grab a copy, click here!

Rematch by Rachael Slate – Mini Review


This is my second Rachael Slate book, and I loved revisiting the world she created in Trancing The Tiger. It is a much shorter story, so faster paced, but it still has depth and awesome characters. Wen and Li were great leads, the storyline was fun to read, and it was nice to see a cameo from Sheng and Lucy from the first book. I wasn’t sure if I would be a permanent convert to this genre, but I think I’ve changed my mind, and I look forward to the next installment!