#6Degrees Of Separation Book Challenge From Where The Wild Things Are To The Heretic Heir

My July #6 Degrees Challenge

Hosted by Kate from Books Are My Favourite And Best The idea is to start at the same book as other readers, then find themes that link six books, and see where you end up!

The starting point for July is Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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A classic children’s book.

One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing’ and sends him to bed without his supper. 

That night a forest begins to grow in Max’s room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are.

Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rumpus begins!

But when Max has sent the monsters to bed, and everything is quiet, he starts to feel lonely and realises it is time to sail home to the place where someone loves him best of all.

My first link is to another book where a child visits another world to escape reality.

Children’s fiction The Greying by Dallas Sutherland

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Landland cries out for a saviour… 

Upon the death of her mother, Meah is pulled across the boundary that separates this world and another time and place where the dog-like Firbog have brought the mists of the greying. Under the evil Queen Berilbog they threaten to claim all the lands.

With her Mother dead and her Father missing – she is on her own! Can Meah learn how to use the power of the thinking? Will there be enough time to save both Landland and herself? Will Meah ever find her way home again?

My next link is from the thinking and I chose,

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, because one of my favourite parts was the ‘eat me, drink me food and drink that Alice had to really think about.

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After a tumble down the rabbit hole, Alice finds herself far away from home in the absurd world of Wonderland. As mind-bending as it is delightful, Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel is pure magic for young and old alike.

Which leads me to my third book and a twist on the classic and a young adult fantasy

Death Of The Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper

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Never in my wildest dreams did I consider the possibility that I could fall for the boy with the girl’s name. Why couldn’t Ryley have bacne, chronic case of nose bleeds, genetic baldness, or uncontrollable gingivitis? Oh no, he had to be perfect in every way. And, that body… Nuff said. It was all I could do to convince my knees not to weaken at the sight of him. Forming coherent words when he spoke my name was dang near impossible.

Perhaps if his frontal lobe was a teensy weensy smaller, I might have been able to convince myself that he wasn’t so intellectually stimulating. But, he was stimulating,in more ways than one; there was no denying that; no matter how badly I tried to hate him, I couldn’t. That made what I was about to do so delightfully horrible that even the wicked Queen of Hearts would be impressed–Alice Mae.

My next link is to a wicked queen and an urban fantasy series.

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Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price is book #6 of the Alex Craft series and if they interest you I would recommend reading he books in order. However, for this challenge book six fits well. Alex is a grave witch, she speaks to the dead. In this book she must endure the wrath of the Winter Queen of the fae courts while she investigates a politically sensitive murder.

My fifth book link is to sensitive politics and a genre leap to historical drama.

Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler is a modern take on the life of Henry VIII

Kings And Queens (Lanchester Book 1) by [Tyler, Terry]

Spanning the years 1971 – 2007, with an unusual echo from history …

“KINGS AND QUEENS” tells of the life and loves of charismatic Harry Lanchester, which just happen to mirror the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. All the passion and suspense of the Tudor court, but set in modern times.

Harry’s realm is his South of England property developing company, Lanchester Estates, while his ‘wives’ are the twentieth century sisters of their historic counterparts: Anne Boleyn is reincarnated as the equally intriguing Annette Hever, and Henry VIII’s fifth wife with the risqué past, Catherine Howard, lives again in 1999 as Keira Howard, a former lap dancer.

The saga is narrated by each of the six women, in turn, interspersed with short chapters from the point of view of Harry’s lifelong friend, Will Brandon.

Don’t worry if you know nothing of this period in history – “Kings and Queens” can be enjoyed as a contemporary family drama, very much in the vein of Ms Tyler’s previous novels. Readers with an interest in the Tudors, though, will pick up on many similarities, references and metaphors, some quite amusing.

My final link stays with historical fiction and the Tudors and is for The Heritic Heir by G. Lawrence

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February 1603, the last of the Tudor monarchs is dying, but Death must wait for Elizabeth of England to finish her tale…

As The Bastard Princess, Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, has fought through a childhood of intrigue and peril to her place as the heir to the English throne. But as her sister, Mary I, the first anointed and sole Queen of England takes the crown, Elizabeth must face her most dangerous challenges yet… for Mary I is determined to return England to the Catholic faith, and will have none stand in her way.

Protestant Elizabeth knows that she must survive the suspicions and distrust of her sister, in a reign where rebellion and war freely stalked the lands of England.
To survive, this heretic heir must hone her skills in survival, wit and wile, in order that she may one day… become Queen.

If you’d like to join this challenge the starting book for August 3rd is a wild card – start with the book you’ve ended your July chain with (for those playing for the first time, start with the last book you finished reading).

#6Degrees Of Separation Book Challenge From The Dry To Convicts In The Colonies

My May #6 Degrees Challenge

Hosted by Kate from Books Are My Favourite And Best The idea is to start at the same book as other readers, then find themes that link six books, and see where you end up!

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The starting point for May is The Dry by Jane Harper.

The Dry is a crime thriller set in Australia.

Aaron Falk, a federal police officer, arrives in Kiewarra, a drought stricken rural town, for the funeral of his school friend. It has been twenty years since Aaron left. The heat is oppressive, the land dry as tinder and the people are angry about the effects of the drought on their lives.

This book has been on my TBR list for a while, so I was pleased to move it up to the top in readiness for this month’s challenge. What drew me in to the story most, was the vast dry land and how it moulded the lives of those who tried to survive in it.

It made me think about this next book, one I’ve yet to read but it has come highly recommended. My link is small-town life.

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The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat. Set in 1970s small-town Australia it centres on Tanya – an unhappy child, overweight, bullied at school and trying to cope with her mother who has been devastated by a series of miscarriages. Her father loves her, but he doesn’t cope either, seeking solace far too often in the local pub, and her grandmother, Nanna Purvis, is a hard woman, although her kindness shines through as the novel progresses.

Tanya’s life gets better when she meets an uncle she didn’t know she had. He tells her she’s beautiful and could be a model. Her family refuses to talk about him. But that’s okay, it’s their little secret.

Then one blistering summer day tragedy strikes, and the surrounding mystery and suspicion tear apart this fragile family web.

Family secrets keep my books linked as we move on with my next choice and one I’m sure you’ve all heard of.

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The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. A saga spanning three generations of a family who survive in the harsh Australian outback. Mixed with it are the loves and losses of many of the characters, including a long and forbidden love for a beautiful Catholic priest.

If you can recall the story, there is a part of it that takes place in Queensland’s sugar cane plantations, and I thought about that when I chose my next book.

My third link is to the sugar cane industry.

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Sweet Bitter Cane by G. S. Johnston. This is an historical family saga.

The story begins in Italy during 1920. Amelia is getting married but her brother stands in as proxy, because Amelia’s husband lives in Australia. Wishing to escape from the limitations of village life, Amelia agrees to set sail for Queensland as a mail order wife. Upon her arrival in Brisbane, Amelia is disappointed when Italo, her new husband, is not there to meet her. This is her first experience of being second-place to the mighty sugar cane crop. The author paints a great picture of the landscape and the hardships of the times. I thought the characters were well-written with a depth which made them believable.

The story was a memorable one, once more showing man’s fight for survival, in a land which still draws new comers. This brings me to my next book.

For my fourth book I chose emigration and The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett.

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The Tides Between is a young adult historical fiction novel. Set in 1841 it is about Bridie and her family who are emigrating to Australia from London. The story takes place on The Lady Sophia, a ship bound for Port Phillip near Melbourne. Fifteen year old Bridie, her pregnant mother and her step-father travel in steerage (low cost travel for the poor), where they meet others looking forward to a new life down under.

Bridie’s father died less than a year ago; her family believe Australia will offer new opportunities for employment and a better life than the one they lived in London. But Bridie is frightened and sad about how easily they can leave the memories of their old life behind. Others on the boat are also hoping to escape the past; Welsh couple Rhys and Sian have their own secrets. Natural storytellers, they offer Bridie friendship and understand the stories her father once shared.

It was a book full of hope with brave people heading to the unknown. Which brings me to my next choice, a book with more of a recent setting, but still in Australia.

My fifth book has three more travellers heading to Australia. Red Dirt by E.M. Reapy.

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Red Dirt is the tale of three young travellers who have gone to Australia to escape the Irish recession. They are full of hope, wanting to experience a better life, but reality throws obstacles in their way. Plus they face temptations and events which cause acts of desperation.

That desperation follows some of the characters found between the pages of my last book. Men, women and children sent to Australia as punishment for crimes they had committed.

My final book is Convicts in the Colonies: Transportation Tales from Britain to Australia by Lucy Williams.

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A non-fiction book, it covers the eighty year period from 1787 to 1868 when 168 000 convicts from Britain and Ireland were sent to Australia. This is a collection of tales about those transported; their reasons for transportation, their journeys and whether they died, survived or thrived in the harsh environment.

If you would like to take part, the starter book for June (Posting June 1st) is Murmur by Will Eaves