Jamieson_Day Boy CoverTrent has never steered me wrong with his books, so I rushed to get my hands on his new book, Day Boy, on the day it came out. I begged the sales guy to un-box my copy so I had the first one sold in that store. I was a just a little excited, and now I am very satisfied.

This book dances to the beat of its own drum. It comes waltzing into your life and leaves footprints on your heart.

Midfield is a small town in the middle of nowhere, reached by long rides on horseback or a mysterious journey on the Night Train. Monsters rule the town. They come out at night and feed on willing townsfolk. In return, crime is low and the Day Boys are sent to see to odd jobs once the sun rises.

Mark is the Day Boy for Dain, but not for much longer. It is his moment to decide if he’s man enough to become one of the Monsters, or if he’s monstrous enough to remain a man.

The ‘V’ word (Vampire) is never uttered, though the legend stays pure.

I love the oldy worldy feel of Midfield yet I’m pretty sure it’s set in the future. The characters pull at your heart strings, and you can’t help being sucked in to cheering for Mark.

A one of a kind story you’d be foolish to miss.


Paperback, 309 pages

Published June 24th 2015 by Text Publishing (first published 2015)

ISBN13 9781922182838




carman-dark edenFifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden? Patrick Carman’s Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.

Hardcover, First Edition, 336 pages Published November 1st 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN  0062009702 (ISBN13: 9780062009708)

Characters:  We are introduced to Will through sessions with his therapist. We learn he is an introvert who spends most of his time thinking about being at home with his little brother. However, he develops an interest in the other patients and sneakily begins taking files from the therapist’s computer.

Originality:  I found this story to be very unique; the seven kids are taken to a “summer camp” which is a place for them to face their fears. The therapist tells Will that there is some connection between all of them and that this treatment facility will be the only thing that can finally cure them because the therapy sessions for this group haven’t been working.

Plot: Will soon realizes that the “summer camp” is not what he originally thought and becomes paranoid. He breaks off from the group upon arrival and hides in a basement room where he watches the other kids become “healed”, one at a time, through a camera security system. He falls for one of the other patients and wants to try to warn her about what he’s been seeing before she goes to her final “healing” session. But that means coming out of hiding.

Writing:  While I really enjoyed how the story ended (it had a great twist), it took me a while to get through this short book because of the slow pacing.  The story kept a mysterious overtone, but I couldn’t feel a connection to the main character who spent all of his time hiding in a room watching a camera and hypothesizing about what he was seeing, instead of being part of the action.

Krista’s Rating:  It’s definitely a book that I was glad that I stuck with. It’s always nice to be surprised at the end of a story, and this one sure did that!

Belinda_kisses_tnSince Marianne is on a sugar fee-ish kick, I have a cottage cheese pie recipe I’d like to challenge you with Mandy (and I think it’s gluten free). It’s about the only recipe I make that people outside my family actually enjoy. It could make a snack for the Wrangles troops.



1/2 cup white rice

2 tblsp snipped chives (optional)

30g melted butter

500g cottage cheese

6 eggs

6 rashers of bacon (diced)

5 spring onions (snipped finely)

1 spanish onion (diced)

pinch of salt



Cook rice and allow to cool

Sweat off the bacon, onion, spring onion and allow to cool

Preheat oven to 200c

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix gently until combined

Pour mix into a greased pie dish

Cook until set and is a nice golden colour

*use a fork to stir the pie gently every 15-20 minutes during the cooking process


Joelene_tnTomorrowland reviewed by Joelene Pynnonen


tomorrowland-movieThe world is hovering on the brink of crisis. Wars are escalating, climate change is an ever increasing threat, and too few people are doing anything to combat it. For Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) letting the world fail around her is not an option. She has high hopes for the future and is willing to break the law to see them realised.

When Casey is bailed out of jail, the unfamiliar ‘60s pin she finds in her effects seems innocuous enough. It’s only when she touches it that she realises that it is like nothing she has encountered before. When against her skin, the pin transports her to an advanced and beautiful world; the kind of world that she can’t help but want to be a part of.

Tomorrowland is a wonderfully hopeful movie about the future – especially given how many gloomy dystopias have been popping up lately. I mean, I love a solid dystopia as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s nice to think of the world in terms of positives as well.

There’s quite a lot to see in Tomorrowland. The special effects are terrific, the storyline is solid – if simple, and the scenery and cinematography is stunning. It’s the characters that kept me riveted though. They’re by turns funny, admirable and compelling. Athena (Raffey Cassidy) is a robot who is amazing at finding people with vision and integrity and is pretty handy in a fight but lacks the ability to understand the emotions of those she recruits. Casey is a visionary – a dreamer who will do what it takes to make the world something better. Frank (George Clooney) is jaded after being rejected by Tomorrowland and finding himself unable to fit back into the real world. On their own these characters are interesting, but together they have a dynamic that is difficult to ignore.

There could have been more depth to the world of Tomorrowland. We see very little of it in the movie and there is so much anticipation of it that it is a little of a disappointment. That said there are some really inventive scenes involving contraptions made by Frank, which makes up for a lot of that.

Tomorrowland is everything that the teaser trailer promised – a fantastical journey through a visually stunning landscape. It is adventure at its best with wonderful characters, a lashing of humour and vibrant visuals. It’s a refreshing break from all of the dismal futuristic visions out there.

Mandy Wrangles_2_tnMandy Wrangles – sometimes known as Amanda – has lived by the beach on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula most of her life. She likes to grow food and bake cupcakes and write about murder and monsters and steampunk ships. She likes big action superhero movies, and movies that make you cry. Her home is filled with boys, dogs, skateboards and books. Lots and lots of books.


MandyHow long have you been writing for MDPWeb, why did you join the group, and what do you like about being part of it?

I’ve been with MDPWeb since late 2010. I think?

I love being part of such a like-minded group, and have made some cherished friends from the team over the last few years. We’re a really eclectic mix of people, all with different areas of specific interest, but we all share the same passion – great stories.

Also having the opportunity to read and meet some of my all-time favourite authors has been pretty amazing…did you hear about the morning I had breakfast with Charlaine Harris, creator of Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood? Yep. For real.

What creative piece are you working on, and which author would you liken your work too?

I’m currently working hard on a couple of short stories for competition, so can’t say anything about them right now. I’ve also recently dived back into a SF novel that’s been burning away in my bottom drawer – and my heart! – for a couple of years. Thanks to awesome feedback and encouragement (you rock, MDP and AG) I think it might actually get finished this year.

I don’t know who I write like!? That’s a really tough question. I do know my style has changed a lot over the last couple of years to be more lyrical than it used to be. I’m influenced by a bunch of incredible Australian authors: Alison Goodman, Margo Lanagan, Isobelle Carmody and of course our own Marianne de Pierres.

Lanagan_Sea HeartsWhat book have you most enjoyed reviewing for MDPWeb?

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan.

It was a difficult book to review – quite daunting actually – it’s just so beautiful. I always worry if my reviews can ever do a book like that justice. Sea Hearts is one of those books I just can’t get out of my head. It’s breathtaking. Read it!

What’s your favourite thing to do in your downtime?

With three sons, I rarely get downtime. As well as being a hairdresser and dive master, I’m a qualified bookbinder, so I used to spend a lot of time in my art studio making leather-bound journals or painting in oils to chill out. These days, most afternoons and weekends you’ll find me by the bowl at one of Melbourne’s skateparks, watching my boys do their thing. I love it. I also really enjoy growing edible plants and baking – but again, more time sitting at skateparks than anything else lately!

Is there somewhere else online/in bookstores we can find your work?


You can find me – and lots of yummy food – over at www.mandywrangles.com and on Instagram where I go by mandy_wrangles.

I’m also one half of writing duo A.K. Wrox, with Kylie Fox. Our novel, fantasy spoof ‘Arrabella Candellarbra & the Questy Thing to End All Questy Things’ can be found at  http://www.clandestinepress.com.au/paperback/arrabella-candellarbra

It’s available as both paperback and ebook.

You can find A.K. Wrox on Facebook and sometimes Twitter.

Clan Destine Press also publish ‘Scarlet Stiletto – The Second Cut – Award Winning Thrillers’ where my Scarlet Stiletto winning short story ‘Persia Bloom’ appears. Again, pb and ebook available at http://www.clandestinepress.com.au/paperback/scarlet-stiletto-second-cut

My short crime story ‘Plotting Jasper/A Forgiving Kind of Nature’ is published in ‘Hard Labour’ by Crime Factory. You can get your copy here:


aiden turnerAll these books should also be available through Amazon etc, your local library or bookshop. If not – you could always order them in :-) I also have a couple of things on the horizon – an ebook collection of my short crime stories, and an appearance in an upcoming Spec Fic anthology.

What’s your favourite TV series?

Of all time? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, without a doubt. I was with Buffy and the Scooby Gang right from the start, and still watch the entire series at least once a year. It’s like comfort food for my brain. More recently, Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead.

 Who or what is your current crush?

I don’t think I’ll ever lose my crush on Joss Whedon’s brain. I’ll also happily watch anything with Charlie Hunnam in it. Or Aiden Turner.

Shout out to big-time Hollywood blockbuster producers: Can you please organise a Whedon/Hunnam/Turner mega-project in the near future? Yeah? With Jessica Morais as a fabulously strong, intelligent lead? Thank you.


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