Jessica - Bryce Courtenay


I have a special section in my bookcase for my collection of Bryce Courtenay books, but 'Jessica', has pride of place. I became a fan of Bryce Courtenay after reading, 'The Power of One', but it was Jessica's story, based on a true story of an Australian girl and her struggle for justice against incredible odds, which became a significant moment in my writing journey. I was so inspired by Courtenay's story and writing, I began writing my first Australian novel shortly after reading Jessica.

Bryce Courtenay, AM (14 August 1933 - 22 November 2012) was a South African novelist who also held Australian citizenship. He is one of Australia's best-selling authors. His novels are primarily set in Australian, his adopted country, or South Africa, the country of his birth. Reading his biography, it is clear to see he was no stranger to hardship in his early life, and it is easy to believe he used the essence of those experiences in his writing, to great advantage.

Jessica (early 1900's), is a young Australian girl, working alongside her father on the family farm in the bush. She is the son he never had, and he is her only source of love, albeit tough-love. Her sister, Meg, and her mother, despise her. Her mother rules the family and will do anything to prevent Jessica from thwarting her plans for herself and Meg, the apple of her eye. There can be no greater treachery than that from family and Jessica learns this lesson all too well. However, despite it all, Jessica has the spirit and courage of a survivor, and Courtenay prepares the reader at the beginning of the book, with the quote: 'If you lose your pluck, you lose the most there is in you - all you've got to live with.' A very applicable quote for - Jessica. Jessica's story is brutally honest, heartbreakingly believable, and without doubt - unforgettable!

Other books of Bryce Courtenay, in my bookcase, include: The Power of One, Jack of Diamonds, Sylvia, Tandia, The Potato Factory, Tommo & Hawk, and Solomon's Song. However, Jessica will always remain one of my most cherished books.

Jessica (Amazon)

~ Jan


Out of Time - Deborah Truscott

Love Transcends Time

The story of two lost souls from different centuries, who find each other, and themselves in the process. It is a charming story, depicting that time holds no barrier when it comes to love, and I imagine many readers of romance would enjoy the ‘knight in shining armour, coming to the rescue’ approach, or ‘soldier’ in this case. The author skilfully added the necessary historical and scientific information in the dialogue of the two main characters. I found that particularly important because I was able to remain focussed on their journey together. I have actually read this book twice (over a few years), and look forward to more from this author.

Out of Time (Amazon)

~ Jan


Saving Rachel - John Locke

Undeniably different!

Sam Case, the protagonist, is having a really bad day! He is hiding over nine billion dollars for the world's criminals, and now someone wants to take it from him, and you won't believe what they are willing to do to get it. Seem straight-forward? Well that's about all you'll find that's straight-forward about this story, but it doesn't matter, because that is what makes it so mysterious, suspenseful and undeniably - different!

It is not surprising that John Locke is the international best-selling author of twenty-eight books in six different genres, as well as being the eighth author in history to have sold one million eBooks on Kindle, which he achieved in only five months. He has also had four books in the top ten at the same time, including #1 & #2 of the Donovan Creed series. 'Saving Rachel' is #3.

I have yet to come across a faster moving story! Sam may feel like he is on some sort of mind trip, but the reader has no other choice than to share it with him. A crime mystery, action-packed and mentally stimulating, you won't have a chance to work out where it is going, so many twists and turns - but you won't care, because you just want to keep reading to see where it ends. I read it in one sitting, because I just had to know how it ended.

Saving Rachel (Amazon)

~ Jan


Foreign Deceit - Jeff Carson

I read the entire David Wold series

Foreign Deceit, is the 1st book of the David Wolf series (8 in all). I confess I read the 4th of the series, first, but I then bought them all and read them in order. That should indicate how much I enjoyed Jeff Carson’s writing.

The protagonist, David Wolf, is a Deputy Sheriff from the small ski resort town of Rocky Points, Colorado. As the author writes at Amazon – ‘Wolf has a good heart, and a pair of fists to match.’ He begins investigating the death of a youth from the town, but suddenly finds he has to fly to Italy to investigate the apparent suicide of his brother. This all happens a few days before he is to find out if he has been elected as the new Sheriff of Rocky Points.

If you enjoy reading mystery, suspense, action and adventure, I can’t imagine you would not enjoy the David Wold series, and with a 4.3 out of 5.0 star average rating, and 599 reviews (counting mine), at Amazon, apparently many other readers have enjoyed this series also.

Foreign Deceit (Amazon)

~ Jan