Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Australia, fiction, Review on September 11, 2013



Beth Carter is a psychologist to many and a single mother to four unruly boys. Patients might almost be manageable, but her boys aren’t. While the household lurches inevitably from one catastrophe to another, Beth finds herself barely managing to hold onto the vital threads of sanity whilst leading her often complex patients through their own remarkable journeys.

Beth finds it to be a lonely venture, leading her to look for love—but in all the wrong places.



This book is about one dysfunctional family!  Beth runs her psychology practice from her home and is mother to four boys, who can be out of control especially the older ones!  She has some quirky patients, most in denial (but then it wouldn’t be a psychology practice would it?!) but offering interesting perspectives on life.  I’m not sure how Beth didn’t go crazy as much as the boys put her through.  I thought it was funny how the baby of the family (who was called Baby) didn’t have a proper name until he was about 4 and then it was a group decision.  All of the characters lend themselves to rounding out the story from the inane and insane to the somewhat serious moments.  You do find yourself rooting for Beth that she manages to find love but not in the wrong place.

Overall we give it 3 1/2 paws.  It was enjoyable and an interesting read.


About the Author:

jcallahanJoan Callahan is a clinical psychologist practicing in Melbourne, Australia. She commenced her career teaching English and history at the prestigious Melbourne High School and later retrained in the field of psychology. Joan set up her own private practice and has a heavy forensic caseload, while providing consultancies to commerce, industry, and government. She also enjoys several mediation contracts. She particularly likes working with anxiety disorders, couples, and the full spectrum of psychological disorders.

Joan is the divorced mother of three boys, has three brothers, and three grandsons—not to mention that she taught only boys at Melbourne High School. By her sheer survival as teacher, mother, and psychologist, she considers herself something of an expert on boys. Joan loves her job, going to the gym, making bread, (boring, boring, boring. Next it will be romantic fireside chats and long walks on the beach at sunset!), socializing widely, and traveling around the world as often as she can with the love of her life. Her vast travels around the USA have provided fodder for the third book in this series as the inimitable Carter clan enjoy the wilds of Yeehaw Junction.

Life remains wonderfully hectic. Any similarity between Joan’s life and Beth’s is not purely coincidental.  Beth’s patients are pure fiction; her dogs are not. Her boys? Close!

Author Page on TWCS * Facebook  * Amazon * TWCS


The Giveaway:

Enter to win 1 of 5 ebook copies of this book!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



**I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Comments Off on Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Trust Me by Joan Callahan #giveaway
Posted in Australia, contest, fiction, Giveaway, mystery on September 7, 2010

John Howard Reid is a prize winning author and writing contests judge.  He has also worked as a publisher, editor, critic and bookseller.  As a fiction writer, Reid first achieved fame in England and Australia for a series of detective novels, all featuring a Miami police sergeant named Merryll Manning, who made his debut in “Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island” set in the Florida Keys.

John was once again kind enough to send me copies of this book to read and giveaway here on my blog.  Thank you John!

He also agreed to a mini interview.  John has quite the background so I wanted to know more about that part of his life.

SBR:  You seem to have done a myriad of jobs within the publishing world, was there any one that stood out (good or bad)?

JR: The lower you are on the publishing ladder, the more frustrating your job. You recommend manuscripts, you go to bat for authors, but all your recommendations seem to fall on deaf ears. So the higher your position, the more influence you have. Readers are on the bottom rung. Editors have more say. But when all’s said and done, the Publisher has the final word.

SBR: You have written a variety of books, is any one type your favorite?

JR: At heart, I’m a film buff. I like to write thrillers, but I enjoy watching movies more!

SBR: What made you choose Australia for the scene of this novel since Meryl is from Florida?

JR:  I started to write the Merryll Manning thrillers 30 years ago. At first the setting was one of my own invention. Under the influence of a certain TV show, I changed the locale to Miami. Yet still no-one showed any interest. Then I had a lucky break. I was working for an Australian company. They had signed a well-known British author for a series of thrillers. At the last moment, however, the author’s agent switched to a rival publisher. I told the Board, I would fill the breach myself. They accepted my offer, but insisted I change the setting. I couldn’t do it for the first novel, but I could make the change to Australia for “The Health Farm Murders”. In fact, it would be a big advantage, particularly if I researched the area thoroughly. So that’s what I did.

SBR: There are currently 3 Meryl Manning novels, do you have plans for more?

JR: Right now, I’m re-writing “Merryll Manning On the Rim of Heaven”. This is set in a small town called Tenterfield in the north of New South Wales. This will be followed by “Merryll Manning Has His Price”, set in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. Then we are back for good in the U.S.A. in “Merryll Manning’s Brush with Death”. There are actually 14 novels in the series, of which 13 were published in a wide variety of editions (hard cover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, Large Print) in England, Australia and other British Commonwealth countries. But not until now in the U.S.A. See this webpage for complete details.

SBR: What books are currently on your nightstand?  (or what are you currently reading?)

JR: My current nightstand books: “Leonard Maltin’s 2010 Movie Guide”, “Fat Ollie’s Book” by Ed McBain, “Biblia de Jerusalen Latinoamericana”, “El Sobrino del Mago” (The Magician’s Nephew) by C.S. Lewis, my own “Mystery, Suspense, Film Noir and Detective Movies on DVD”, and the latest issue of “Scarlet: The Film Magazine”.

SBR: You sponsor a writing contest, do you see a lot of potential in these writers and have any gone on and continued writing/publishing?

JR: Many of our contest winners have gone on to carve out significant literary careers. I’d particularly mention Susan Keith, Debbie Camelin, Helen Bar-Lev, Johnmichael Simon, Elaine Winer, Guy Kettelhack, Judith Goldhaber, Marie Delgado Travis, Noble Collins, Ned Condini, Fred McGavran, Laurie Gough. Many others!


Merryll Manning has traveled to Australia for some R&R at a health farm in a small town.  There are only men there during this week and they start dropping like flies and only Merryll seems to be able to get to the bottom of the situation and reveal the murderer for who they really are before someone else loses their life.

The book review:

I had read the first Merryll Manning book so I knew that this one had to be similar, characters running around and many red herrings that led me down many wrong paths in trying to guess the killer.  Trust me when I say it was the last person I expected!  I am very glad to have the list of characters in the front because I couldn’t keep them straight…they were in and out of the storyline fairly quickly and the list is very helpful.

This was also interesting because the cast of characters was all men save the policeman’s daughter and the proprietress of the health farm.

While it is good to read the first Merryll Manning book, it isn’t necessary to enjoy this book and the twist and turns you will encounter.

The Giveaway:

I will be giving away 3 copies of this book.  To win, just leave a comment.  This is open to US & Canadian residents and the contest will end September 19th.