All posts by Narrelle

Quintette of Questions: Shona Husk

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Shona Husk

outofplaceFinal1.     What’s the name of your latest story – and how hard was it to pick a title?

Out of Place is book 2 in the Face the Music series, it was decided early on that all the books would be ‘Out of…’ so it was just a question of deciding what worked for each book. In this book, Ed and Olivia aren’t quite getting in synch.

2.     If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest story?

I don’t know…casting is one of those things – everyone’s idea of sexy is so different. Not only that, but sometimes someone who doesn’t automatically jump to mind could actually be perfect because they bring a certain something.

3.     What five words best describe your story?

Sexy, summertime, romance with angst 🙂

4.     Who is your favourite fictional couple?

Tricky…I don’t know that I have one. Maybe John Crichton and Aeryn Sun from Farscape.

5.     What song always makes you cry?

I don’t think there are any songs that make me cry, but there are some that I find terribly romantic like Dance With You by Live, and Never Seen Anything (Quite Like You) by The Script.

Dance With You

Never Seen Anything (Quite Like You)

About Out of Place (Face the Music 2)

Every band is desperate for that first big break – but what happens after that?

Ed Vincent, front man of Selling the Sun, has a really bad case of second album jitters. Nothing he writes measures up to the expectations placed on him after the success of the first album. The tensions between band members are rising and everything seems to be falling apart just as they get started. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be: not every band gets to write their name on the pages of history. But the band has always been Ed’s dream, and if Ed gives up, will he have any dreams left?

Chasing dreams is something that other people do. Olivia Doyle put her life on hold after a car accident killed her fiancé and nearly claimed her life. Now with a three-year-old son and a part-time job, she knows she is stuck in a rut, but has no idea how to climb out. Then she meets Ed.

He can’t have the distraction of a relationship, and she has no time for anything casual. On the surface, they’re in completely different places, but love has a way of finding middle ground.

About Shona Husk

Shona HuskShona Husk is the author of the Shadowlands, Court of Annwyn and the Face the Music series. You can find out more information about Shona and her edgy romances at the sites below or join her newsletter.

Buy Out of Place (Face the Music 2)

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The Books of Love: The Apothecary’s Garden by Julie Bozza

Reviewed by Minion Beck


Hilary Kent, a Londoner all his working life, retires to Wiltshire after an estranged cousin unexpectedly leaves him an inhabitable tower surrounded by an overgrown physic garden – and that’s when graduate student Tom Laurence suddenly erupts into his life, convincing him that together they can restore the ancient garden to its former glory.

Tom’s cheerful friendship is the best thing that’s ever happened to Hilary and he’s perfectly content with that until, to his astonishment and confusion, it seems that Tom’s affection for him is beginning to grow into something more … something he feels he probably shouldn’t allow …

The review…

When I was sixteen, my favourite movie of all time was released: A Room with a View with Maggie Smith (does that woman ever age?) and Helena Bonham Carter. It was a rich adaption of the book written by E.M. Forster and I was enchanted. It wasn’t a popular film and was quickly pushed to the independent movie houses. Every week while the film ran, I’d catch the train into the city, walk up to the Forum Theatre on the corner of Flinders and Russell Streets and I’d watch every viewing surrounded by the opulence of Grecian statues, gargoyles and a surprisingly realistic fake night sky.

I became obsessed with this film. Once it was out on video, I bought it. Even though I was too poor to own a video player. I also bought the DVD and blue ray versions as soon as they were available, despite not being able to actually watch them on any device I owned. Like Gollum, I would caress and cosset; I’d stroke the cases and whisper “precious”.

Every now and then, I’d find someone interested in seeing what all the fuss was about and I’d let them borrow my precious so they could watch the Best Movie Ever. Inevitably, they’d come back with a pensive look on their face and say, “Nothing actually happened!”

Now I will freely admit that I may be slightly biased about this movie, but when people say “Nothing actually happened!” I usually suffer a wee break with sanity. Because this is a real review for a blog and shit, I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say, I wail; I develop a vocabulary that would make Rosanne Barr blush; and I have been known to tear at my hair as I scream “OF COURSE NOTHING HAPPENED YOU NIMROD … THAT’S THE WHOLE (NASTY WORD) POINT!”

This book, The Apothecary’s Garden, gave me the same feeling as my first viewing of The Best Movie Ever. I was instantly enchanted.

I usually read a book of this size in a few hours, but I didn’t want it to end and managed to drag the experience out over 4 days. This story of unconventional love is whimsical and almost magical in its purity. I cried, not because of the ending, but because it ended.

Nothing actually happens yet everything happens. A man who has merely existed for 65 years is given the chance to actually live for the remainder of his life. A man who grew up in an era where the act of loving another man was illegal, was able to find acceptance for his irregular relationship; and in that acceptance, could grow into his loving potential. Tom brought energy, vitality, passion and love into a barren existence and just as he nurtured the garden; he nurtured Hilary.

This book won’t be for everyone. It is sweet and romantic. Languid in pace. The language is quintessentially English and there is a lot of tea.

I spent seven years living in England and I love the whimsy and fussiness of the over-regimented society. No, I couldn’t live there anymore, but reading or watching an enchanting, gentle story that captures the essence of the beauty that can be England and its people; that makes my heart happy.

Julie Bozza has become an author I will automatically buy and be warned, dis her, or this book, and I may just frighten you with my response.

In summary … Just wonderful and highly recommended.

Buy The Apothecary’s Garden

See more at Manifold Press

About Minion Beck

minon beckMinion Beck is an irreverent middle-aged woman with an extremely warped sense of humour and an inability to sit still. She is a mother, an author and now, a minion for all things literary. With a penchant for reading erotic romance and out-of-control caffeine addiction, you can usually find her bouncing around sprinkling fairy dust and joie de vivre … unless it’s before her first cup of coffee … in that case she bears a startling resemblance to Voldemort and should be approached with caution.

The Books of Love are romance book reviews of both new releases and old favourites.