It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon


Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

We had a lovely family lunch on the weekend to celebrate Mother’s Day, my eldest sons 17th birthday last week, and my eldest daughter’s 25th birthday which is this week.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


The Dressmakers of Yarrandarrah Prison by Meredith Jaffe

Take Me Home by Karly Lane

Lost Property by Helen Paris

Vanished by James Delargy

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New Posts…


Guest Post:
Reading, Rioting and Libraries {The Dressmakers of Yarrandarrah Prison} by Meredith Jaffé

Review: The Dressmakers of Yarrandarrah Prison by Meredith Jaffe

Review: How To Mend A Broken Heart by Rachael Johns

Review: Take Me Home by Karly Lane

Review: China Blonde by Nicole Webb

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?

When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?

Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven’t been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no-one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.

Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?

Perfect for fans of C.L. Taylor, Lucy Foley and Lisa Hall, You Had It Coming is a thrilling tale of suspense and dark secrets.

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Revenge doesn’t wait for permission.

Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned by her single mother that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected her mother’s fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of: a loving lawyer husband, two talented teenage daughters, a new baby boy, a gorgeous home, and every opportunity in the world.

Until the day she awakens and sees a witch peering into her bedroom window—an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.

Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daugh­ters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly—Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow.

The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It’s her child.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price, making her complicit in a tangled web of tragedy and shocking secrets that could destroy everything she loves. It is the beginning of an odyssey that will lead Bree to dangerous places, explosive confrontations, and chilling truths.

Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart?

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The astonishing story of James Hardy Vaux, writer of Australia’s first dictionary and first true-crime memoir.

If you wear ‘togs’, tell a ‘yarn’, call someone ‘sly’, or refuse to ‘snitch’ on a friend then you are talking like a convict.

These words, and hundreds of others, once left colonial magistrates baffled and police confused. So comprehensible to us today, the flash language of criminals and convicts had marine officer Watkin Tench complaining about the need for an interpreter in the colonial court.

Luckily, by 1811, that man was at hand. James Hardy Vaux – conman, pickpocket, absconder and thief, born into comfortable circumstances in England – was so drawn to a life of crime he was transported to Australia … not once, but three times!

Vaux’s talents, glibness and audacity were extraordinary, and perceiving an opportunity to ingratiate himself with authorities during his second sentence, he set about writing a dictionary of the criminal slang of the colony, which was recognised for its uniqueness and taken back to England to be published.

Kel Richards tells Vaux’s story brilliantly, with the help of Vaux’s own extraordinarily candid memoir of misdeeds – one of the first true-crime memoirs ever published. Kel’s book combines two of his favourite subjects: the inventiveness, humour and origins of Australian English, and our history of fabulous, disreputable characters.

With echoes of The Surgeon of Crowthorne as well as Oliver Twist, Flash Jim is a ripping read – especially for those who appreciate the power of words and the convict contribution to our idiom.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

Honestly, this past week seems to have evaporated.

We celebrated my son’s 17th birthday. I made him a ‘castle keep’ to take to his regular D&D game but I should have just gone with a cave 🙂 It had four tiers of chocolate cake, and I cut a hole in the top layer that I filled with coloured chocolate pieces to represent the jewel hoard the dragon is protecting. It was a bit of a disaster because apparently half of the ‘stonework’ – honeycomb chocolate squares – fell off during transport, though I’m assured it still tasted good. I added a happy birthday banner to the front too but forgot to take a photo with it on.

Mother’s Day was uneventful in the end because we made plans for a family lunch at a local tavern this coming Saturday to combine celebrations instead (we don’t have any COVID restrictions except for check in’s because our region doesn’t have any local cases and hasn’t for over a year).

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss

How To Mend A Broken Heart by Rachael Johns

China Blonde by Nicole Webb

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New Posts…

 

Review: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Review: Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss

Review: How To Mend a Broken Heart by Rachael Johns

Motherhood in Fiction

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

Can a wedding dress save a bunch of hardened crims? The Full Monty meets Orange is the New Black in a poignantly comic story about a men’s prison sewing circle.

Derek’s daughter Debbie is getting married. He’s desperate to be there, but he’s banged up in Yarrandarrah Correctional Centre for embezzling funds from the golf club, and, thanks to his ex-wife, Lorraine, he hasn’t spoken to Debbie in years. He wants to make a grand gesture – to show her how much he loves her. But what?

Inspiration strikes while he’s embroidering a cushion at his weekly prison sewing circle – he’ll make her a wedding dress. His fellow stitchers rally around and soon this motley gang of crims is immersed in a joyous whirl of silks, satins and covered buttons.

But as time runs out and tensions rise both inside and outside the prison, the wedding dress project takes on greater significance. With lives at stake, Derek feels his chance to reconcile with Debbie is slipping through his fingers …

A funny, dark and moving novel about finding humanity, friendship and redemption in unexpected places.

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Lorcan and Naiyana are desperate to move their young family far away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life.

The abandoned town of Kallayee seems like the perfect getaway: no one has lived there for decades. It will be peaceful. Quiet. Secure.

But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope. Lights flicker at night. Car tracks appear in the dust even when the family hasn’t driven anywhere. And six-year-old Dylan is certain he can hear strange sounds.

Lorcan and Naiyana refuse to leave. No one can talk sense into them.

And now, no one can talk to them at all.

They’ve simply vanished.

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Dot Watson has lost her way.

Twelve years ago her life veered off course, and the guilt over what happened still haunts her. Before then she was living in Paris, forging an exciting career; now her time is spent visiting her mother’s care home, fielding interfering calls from her sister and working at the London Transport Lost Property office, diligently cataloguing items as misplaced as herself.

But when elderly Mr Appleby arrives in search of his late wife’s purse, his grief stirs something in Dot. Determined to help, she sets off on a mission – one that could start to heal Dot’s own loss and let her find where she belongs once more…

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A chilling police thriller set in a small coastal town on the Mornington Peninsula, where the discovery of human bones on an isolated beach has reawakened a twenty-year-old cold case…

On the evening of September 22, 1998, three teenage girls venture out for a night of mischief in the coastal town of Blairgowrie. But only two return . . .

For over twenty years the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Cecilia May remains a baffling cold case – until human bones are discovered on an isolated beach.

Now it’s up to Detective Emmett Corban and his team to dig up decades of trauma, and find the missing piece of an investigation that’s as complex as it is tragic.

Does the answer lie with the only suspect, a registered sex offender who confessed, then immediately provided a rock-solid alibi? Or with the two teen survivors – neither of whom can keep their story straight?

But the police aren’t the only ones hunting for the truth: someone else has arrived in the seaside town. And she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to find her own version of justice…

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Thanks for stopping by!

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life Update…

My youngest daughter has gone back to university, it was no easier to say goodbye this time than the last. It’s now a long four months til she’ll be home again for the mid year break.

My youngest son is delighted to be going back to work this week, the restaurant where he has a part time job is finally reopening after the floods.

My husband was also glad to return to Archery this past week. The club is in the middle of a state forest which has been closed since the floods, but they’ve just been given an exemption to operate. Thankfully they didn’t experience any flood damage, given they are still rebuilding after the fires destroyed it last year.

It’s my eldest son’s 17th birthday this week, I’m going to attempt to make him a medieval stronghold tower cake to take to his Dungeons & Dragons game.

My eldest daughter is keeping herself busy with work and friends. She’ll be turning 25  in two weeks.

It’s Mother’s Day this coming weekend but we haven’t made any plans yet. To be honest I’d sort of forgotten about it (sorry Mum), but I expect we’ll have lunch or something with my parents. Do you have plans?

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Learning To Talk To Plants by Maria Orriols

Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

House of Hollows by Krystal Sutherland

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New Posts…

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Review: Learning To Talk To Plants by Maria Orriols

Review: Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee

2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #4

Review: The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

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What I’m Reading This Week…


Gundagai, 1852

The powerful Murrumbidgee River surges through town leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is a stark reminder that while the river can give life, it can just as easily take it away.

Wagadhaany is one of the lucky ones. She survives. But is her life now better than the fate she escaped? Forced to move away from her miyagan, she walks through each day with no trace of dance in her step, her broken heart forever calling her back home to Gundagai.

When she meets Wiradyuri stockman Yindyamarra, Wagadhaany’s heart slowly begins to heal. But still, she dreams of a better life, away from the degradation of being owned. She longs to set out along the river of her ancestors, in search of lost family and country. Can she find the courage to defy the White man’s law? And if she does, will it bring hope … or heartache?

Set on timeless Wiradyuri country, where the life-giving waters of the rivers can make or break dreams, and based on devastating true events, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams) is an epic story of love, loss and belonging.

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Summer in New Orleans means hot days, long nights, spooky stories and surprising new beginnings.

Felicity Bell has struggled to move on after her marriage broke down. Her ex has found love again, her children have their own lives, and it’s beginning to feel like her only comfort comes from her dog and her job as a taxidermist. So when Flick gets an offer to work in New Orleans for a few months, she’s drawn to the chance to make a fresh start.

Zoe is ready to start a family with her husband, but when he betrays her, she’s left shattered and desperate for a change of scenery. Joining her mother on the other side of the world to drown her sorrows seems the perfect solution.

Although both mother and daughter are wary of risking their hearts to love again, Theo, a jazz bar owner, and Jack, a local ghost hunter, offer fun, friendship and distraction. But all is not as it seems in New Orleans…

A chance meeting with Aurelia, a reclusive artist who surprises them with lessons from her life, prompts Flick and Zoe to reassess what they want too. Can all three women learn from the past in order to embrace their future?

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When Elle Kinnaird takes the plunge and travels from her rural small-town life to the misty legends of her ancestors in the Scottish highlands, she finds that it’s a big world after all. A heartwarming novel about new beginnings, from the bestselling author of Fool Me Once.

It was a straightforward request. Take her gran home to her beloved Scotland.

In the space of a few days, Elle loses her job and her home and faces moving back in with her parents-where she knows she’ll hear a lot about how she is wasting her life, unlike her three siblings . . .

Then Gran’s will is read and everything changes.

It seems simple: a road trip across Scotland, a country Gran loved, to locate the family castle; meet some long lost cousins; oh, and work out what she wants to do with the rest of her life before returning home. Not a problem.

That is unless the family castle is a ruin that has pretty much been lost in time; the family Elle has never met seem to be hiding a mysterious secret; her over-achieving parents are breathing down her neck, and she’s running out of time to make a decision about her future.

Take Me Home is a glorious lesson in life, love and finding your true destiny.

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This is not just another novel about a dead girl.

When she arrived in New York on her 18th birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe, an unidentified murder victim.

Ruby Jones is also trying to start over; she travelled halfway around the world only to find herself lonelier than ever. Until she finds Alice’s body by the Hudson River.

From this first, devastating encounter, the two women form an unbreakable bond. Alice is sure that Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her life – and death. And Ruby – struggling to forget what she saw that morning – finds herself unable to let Alice go. Not until she is given the ending she deserves.

Before You Knew My Name doesn’t ask whodunnit. Instead, this powerful, hopeful novel asks: Who was she? And what did she leave behind? The answers might surprise you.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon


Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

Good things:

*My youngest daughter is home for a whole week! I can’t express how full my heart is with everyone at the dinner table again.

*A zoom author talk with Tabitha Bird and Josephine Moon

*Two great TV shows, both of which were recommended on blogs I browsed last week (though I can’t remember whose). The first is The Irregulars, which my son and I enjoyed, and the second is Debris, which my husband and I are watching. I plan to binge Shadow and Bone with my daughter while she’s home this week.

It’s the last Monday of the month so time for a challenge update!

Nonfiction Reader Challenge 5/12

Australian Women Writers Challenge 34/50

Aussie Author Challenge 9/20

Historical Fiction Challenge  10/25

Books In Translation Challenge 1/4

What’s in a Name Challenge 4/6

Cloak and Dagger Challenge 10/25

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


The Rose Daughter by Maria Lewis

The Chase by Candice Fox

Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke

The Jam Queens by Josephine Moon

Learning to Live with Plants by Marta Orriols

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New Posts…


Review: The Rose Daughter by Maria Lewis

Review: The Chase by Candice Fox

Review: Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke

Review: The Jam Queens by Josephine Moon

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What I’m Reading This Week…


Spring of 1620 in a Lancashire fishing community and the memory of the slaughter at Pendle is tight around the neck of Sarah Haworth. A birthmark reveals that Sarah, like her mother, is a witch. Torn between yearning for an ordinary life and desire to discover what dark power she might possess, Sarah’s one hope is that her young sister Annie will be spared this fate.

The Haworth family eke out a meagre existence in the old plague village adjoining a God-fearing community presided over by a seedy magistrate. A society built upon looking the other way, the villagers’ godliness is merely a veneer. But the Haworth women, with their salves and poultices, are judged the real threat to morality.

When Sarah meets lonely farmer’s son Daniel, she begins to dream of a better future. Daniel is in thrall to the wild girl with storms in her eyes, but their bond is tested when a zealous new magistrate vows to root out sins and sinners. In a frenzy of fear and fury, the community begins to turn on one another, and it’s not long before they direct their gaze towards the old plague village … and does Daniel trust that the power Sarah wields over him is truly love, or could it be mere sorcery?

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Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in the north of Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with three hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly… is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

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Iris Hollow and her two older sisters are unquestionably strange. Ever since they disappeared on a suburban street in Scotland as children only to return a month a later with no memory of what happened to them, odd, eerie occurrences seem to follow in their wake. And they’re changing. First, their dark hair turned white. Then, their blue eyes slowly turned black. They have insatiable appetites yet never gain weight. People find them disturbingly intoxicating, unbearably beautiful and inexplicably dangerous.

But now, ten years later, seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow is doing all she can to fit in and graduate high school on time – something her two famously glamorous globe-trotting older sisters, Grey and Vivi, never managed to do. But when Grey goes missing without a trace, leaving behind bizarre clues as to what might have happened, Iris and Vivi are left to trace her last few days. They aren’t the only ones looking for her though. As they brush against the supernatural they realise that the story they’ve been told about their past is unravelling and the world that returned them seemingly unharmed ten years ago, might just be calling them home.

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From being a TV newsreader in Sydney to a hotelier’s wife in the heart of China – this is a true story of reinvention, love and finding your place in the world.

Nicole Webb and her husband, James, are always up for an adventure, so when James is offered a job in the ancient city of Xi’an in north-west China, they jump at the chance. Nicole, James and three-year-old Ava fly into a world they know nothing about ¬– a place where they know no one.

Touching down, culture shock hits Nicole head on. It feels as if all eyes are on her and Ava, the only blondes in the jam-packed arrivals hall, two foreigners so far from home.

With honesty and humour, Nicole takes us on a journey of daily life in the Middle Kingdom at a time when the whole world is looking towards China.

We follow her search for friendship and acceptance where she discovers, no matter what your culture or background, we’re connected the world over by the common thread of humanity.

CHINA BLONDE gives us a very personal insight, told with a journalist’s eye view, into the lives of those who embraced Nicole with open arms. Her experiences along the way will resonate with anyone who’s ever built a life in a new home – be it across the city or across the world.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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Thank you for all the birthday wishes.

I didn’t cook dinner so that was a win! I was also spoiled with a gift voucher for my favourite clothing store and a caramel mud cake. The best present was my younger daughters virtual presence via FaceTime. We all chatted for a couple of hours, with the iPad propped up on the coffee table, we even watched an episode of Beat Shazam together. It was almost as if she was actually here, which she will be in a week!

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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All We Have is Now by Kaneana May

We Are Watching Eliza Bright by A.E. Osworth

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Autopsy by Ryan Blumenthal

The Rose Daughter by Maria Lewis

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New Posts…

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Review: All We Have is Now by Kaneana May ★★★★

Review: We Are Watching Eliza Bright by A.E. Osworth ★★★

Review: Autopsy by Ryan Blumenthal ★★★1/2

Review: Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne ★★★★

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


Once a social worker specializing in kids who were the victims of violent crime, Elle Castillo is now the host of a popular true crime podcast that tackles cold cases of missing children in her hometown of the Twin Cities. After two seasons of successfully solving cases, Elle decides to tackle her white whale—The Countdown Killer. Twenty years ago, TCK abruptly stopped after establishing a pattern of taking and ritualistically murdering three girls over seven days, each a year younger than the last. No one’s ever known why—why he stopped with his eleventh victim, a girl of eleven years old, or why he followed the ritual at all.

When a listener phones in with a tip, Elle sets out to interview him, only to discover his dead body. And within days, a child is abducted following the original TCK MO. Unlike the experts in the media and law enforcement who have always spun theories of a guilty suicide, Elle never believed TCK had died, and her investigation was meant to lay that suspicion to rest. But instead, her podcast seems to be kicking up new victims.

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Award-winning jam maker Aggie is determined to take her Barossa Valley cafe to new heights. She has put the pain of unsuccessful IVF treatments and a broken relationship behind her, and is focused on the many wonderful possibilities life still holds in store.

When an invitation to travel across Australia on the Ghan for her mother’s seventieth birthday comes her way, she is at first apprehensive. But the trip offers a precious opportunity to spend some quality time with both her disgruntled mother, Valeria, and her distant daughter, Holly, as well as her meddling great-aunt, Myrtle. The four generations of the family, all single women, will be reunited at last.

As the iconic train chugs its way beneath majestic desert skies, Aggie’s difficult past resurfaces, her business comes under threat, and long-held family rifts reignite. To complicate things further, she’s distracted by the attentions of a handsome younger man on his own search for meaning in some of the country’s most remote and magical places.

By the bestselling author of The Cake Maker’s Wish, this is a sweet and soulful story about women being there for each other through the stickiest situations. It celebrates the joys and sorrows of life, and reveals the essential ingredients of the true recipe for happiness.

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When more than 600 of the world’s most violent human beings pour out from Pronghorn Correctional Facility into the Nevada Desert, the biggest manhunt in US history begins.

But for John Kradle, this is his one chance to prove his innocence, five years after the murder of his wife and child.

He just needs to stay one step ahead of the teams of law enforcement officers he knows will be chasing the escapees down.

Death Row Supervisor turned fugitive-hunter Celine Osbourne is single-minded in her mission to catch Kradle. She has very personal reasons for hating him – and she knows exactly where he’s heading . . .

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Paula’s partner has died in a car accident – but no one knows her true grief. Only hours before his death, Mauro revealed that he was leaving her for another woman.

Paula guards this secret and ploughs on with her job as a paediatrician in Barcelona, trying to maintain the outline of their old life. But all of Mauro’s plants are dying, the fridge only contains expired yoghurt and her mind feverishly obsesses over this other, unknown woman.

As the weeks pass, vitality returns to Paula in unexpected ways. She remembers, slowly, how to live. By turns devastating and darkly funny, Learning to Talk to Plants is a piercingly honest portrayal of grief – and of the many ways to lose someone.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Bookshelf Bounty

Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

This month I’m linking up with Mailbox Monday

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)

(My thanks to the respective publishers)

  E2C92D27-672F-4048-8092-F6EA61EC3BAB

 

For Review (ebook)

(My thanks to the respective publishers)

FCC18BB6-8108-4086-A96E-BAB404669238

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon


Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

The past week has been uneventful, the next week is likely to be more of the same, though it’s my birthday midweek. My guess is no one will remember until they get hungry, it’s the one day of the year I refuse to cook. I have left them a clue – our menu board says SURPRISE ME! for Wednesday’s dinner 🙂

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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How To Fake Being Tidy by Fenella Souter

Something to Hide by Fleur McDonald

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane

You Need To Know by Nicola Moriarty

All We Have is Now by Kaneana May

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New Posts…

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Review: How To Fake Being Tidy by Fenella Souter ★★

Review: Something to Hide by Fleur McDonald ★★★★1/2

Review: Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane ★★★★★

Review: You Need To Know by Nicola Moriarty ★★★★

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

From the bestselling Australian author of The Hating Game comes the clever, funny and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two elderly women – under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager

Distraction (n): Something that turns your attention away from something you want to concentrate on. See: Teddy Prescott.

Ruthie Midona is twenty-four (going on ninety-four) and fully committed to her job at a luxury retirement village. Keeping herself busy caring for the eccentric residents means that Ruthie can safely ignore her own life – what little there is of it.

Teddy Prescott is practically allergic to a hard day’s work. When he rocks up as the retirement village’s newest employee, Ruthie is less than impressed. The last thing she needs is a distraction as irritating (and handsome) as this selfish rich kid.

Lucky for Ruthie, her favourite pair of mischievous residents need a new assistant to torture . . . so she hands over Teddy, ready for them to send him running.

Except Teddy may be about to surprise her – not just by surviving the old women’s antics, but by charming Ruthie so much, she starts to remember that there’s more to life than work . . . Could Teddy be far more than simply an unwelcome distraction?

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As a medical detective of the modern world, forensic pathologist Ryan Blumenthal’s chief goal is to bring perpetrators to justice. He has performed thousands of autopsies, which have helped bring numerous criminals to book. In Autopsy he covers the hard lessons learnt as a rookie pathologist, as well as some of the most unusual cases he’s encountered.

During his career, for example, he has dealt with high-profile deaths, mass disasters, death by lightning and people killed by African wildlife. Blumenthal takes the reader behind the scenes at the mortuary, describing a typical autopsy and the instruments of the trade. He also shares a few trade secrets, like how to establish when a suicide is more likely to be a homicide.

Even though they cannot speak, the dead have a lot to say – and Blumenthal is there to listen.

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She never meant to be a hero…

In fact, Dreckly Jones has made a point her whole life to be exactly not that. The daughter of a forbidden union between an earth elemental and a selkie, her rare powers have meant she has always had a target on her back.

So Dreckly – a 40-something oyster shucker according to her fake documents, 140-something sprite if you’re going to get all nit-picky about it – has become an expert at many things. Chief amongst them: hiding.

When she meets a determined group of rebels who desperately need her help, she finds herself wanting to stick her neck out for the first time in a long while. Yet is she ready to be noticed? Is Dreckly willing to use her powers to stand up when it could cost her everything?

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon


Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend, whether you observed the Easter rituals, or simply spent it with with family and friends. We had a lovely lunch with family on Sunday, (I really should remember to take photos), but otherwise we’ve done very little.

Last Tuesday I zoomed into a virtual author event held by my library with Ali Sinclair, author of Codebreakers, and Meg Bignell, author of Welcome To Nowhere River, which I enjoyed.

The only other excitement this past week is that my eldest daughter finally took delivery of her (new-to-her) car. It’s nothing fancy, given she actually hasn’t even got her full licence yet, but it’s a step in the right direction to independence given she’ll be 25 next month.

School holidays have started so my boys will be home for the next two weeks. Just as they go back, my daughter will be able to come home from uni for a week. I can’t wait to see her!

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Lady With the Gun Asks the Questions by Kerry Greenwood

The Best Things by Mel Giedroyc

The Plague Letters by V.L. Valentine

How To Fake Being Tidy by Fenella Souter

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New Posts…

Review: The Emporium of Imagination by Tabitha Bird

Review: The Last Reunion by Kayte Nunn

Review: The Lady With the Gun Asks the Questions by Kerry Greenwood

Review: The Best Things by Mel Giedroyc

2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #3

Review: The Plague Letters by V.L. Valentine

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What I’m Reading This Week…


Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction…

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

Xxxxxx

The holidays are here. The extended family has gathered. The cars are packed and the convoy sets off. The cottage is a few hours’ drive – but not everyone will live to see it …

For Jill, her three sons, their wives and children, a terrifying road crash will tear apart their family.

The crash will be an accident but the shattering that follows has been long coming.

Because at the heart of this family lies a secret – concealed, wrestled with, festering and harmful – and nothing now can stop it coming out.

But will any of them survive it?

xxxxxx

Healing others is their calling, but what happens if they can’t fix themselves? A richly nuanced and empathetic examination of life, loss and courage from a talented new Australian author.

Health and wellbeing brought Olive, Elsie and Bree together. After five years, their bustling wellness centre is demanding expansion. A beautiful federation house nestled among the picturesque backdrop of their small town is the perfect place to grow their business. But they don’t count on their personal lives getting in the way.

Practical and pragmatic, Olive keeps her past hidden from her friends. But when an old high-school flame shows up, the secrets she’s worked so hard to bury threaten to tear her carefully constructed world apart.

Bree is the fun-loving one, although family tensions lurk behind her free-spirited facade. The reappearance of her troubled sister Winnie brings Bree’s priorities into sharp focus. Will she have to shelve her own happiness to save her sister?

Kind and maternal to all those around her, Elsie’s role as the practice’s counsellor comes naturally. But when tragedy strikes, her world tumbles down like a house of cards.

With everything they’ve built in disarray, their friendship is on the line.

xxxxxx

Eliza Bright was living the dream as an elite video game coder at Fancy Dog Games when her private life suddenly became public. But is Eliza Bright a brilliant, self-taught coder bravely calling out the toxic masculinity and chauvinism that pervades her workplace and industry? Or, is Eliza Bright a woman who needs to be destroyed to protect “the sanctity of gaming culture”? It depends on who you ask…

When Eliza reports an incident of workplace harassment that is quickly dismissed, she’s forced to take her frustrations to a journalist who blasts her story across the Internet. She’s fired and doxed, and becomes a rallying figure for women across America. But she’s also enraged the beast that is male gamers on 4Chan and Reddit, whose collective, unreliable voice narrates our story. Soon Eliza is in the cross-hairs of the gaming community, threatened and stalked as they monitor her every move online and across New York City.

As the violent power of an angry male collective descends upon everyone in Eliza’s life, it becomes increasingly difficult to know who to trust, even when she’s eventually taken in and protected by an under-the-radar Collective known as the Sixsterhood. The violence moves from cyberspace to the real world, as a vicious male super-fan known only as The Ghost is determined to exact his revenge on behalf of men everywhere. We watch alongside the Sixsterhood and subreddit incels as this dramatic cat-and-mouse game plays out to reach its violent and inevitable conclusion.

This is an extraordinary, unputdownable novel that explores the dark recesses of the Internet and male rage, and the fragile line between the online world and real life. It’s a thrilling story of female resilience and survival, packed with a powerful feminist message.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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It’s extraordinary how quickly the flood waters can recede, but it really leaves a lot of mess behind. The Australian Defence Force has joined the SES in my town helping clean up the mud and debris. There has been quite a lot of property damage and loss, livestock and crops too since we are surrounded by farm land. It was Wednesday before supermarket food trucks etc could gain access to town, however the main access is still closed as they assess damage to the bridge, so we are left with just one way in and out, which means a lot of traffic congestion during peak hours. My husband is back at work and the kids are back at school but due to the traffic issues, about a third of the students don’t make it til mid morning. Luckily this is the last week of term with two weeks of Easter school holidays to follow.
The two top pictures below are of the restaurant my son works out – the water reached about 1/2 a metre inside – about half a metre above the dark blue paint.

Of course it wasn’t just my area that were affected, flooding extended north into Queensland, and south to Sydney. In all over 18,000 people were evacuated, more than 1000 rescues were performed, and sadly there were 5 deaths. There are still areas covered by floodwater, and some remain cut off because roads and bridges have been washed away or affected by land slips.

We’ve had four days of sun but it started raining again today, and is expected to do so for most of the week.

It’s the last Monday of the month so time for a challenge update!

Given recent events I’m behind again, which is annoying because I’d just caught up before all this palaver.

Nonfiction Reader Challenge 4/12

Australian Women Writers Challenge 25/50

Aussie Author Challenge 6/20

Historical Fiction Challenge 7/25

Books In Translation Challenge 0/4

What’s in a Name Challenge 4/6

Cloak and Dagger Challenge 8/25

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Nowhere River by Meg Bignell

The Last Reunion by Kayte Nunn

The Emporium of Imagination by Tabitha Bird

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New Posts…

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Review: One Last Dance by Emma Jane Holmes

Review: Wonderworks by Angus Fletcher

Review: Nowhere River by Meg Bignell 

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What I’m Reading This Week…

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The Best Things


Warm, funny, life-affirming and true, The Best Things is the joyous debut novel from much-loved comedian, writer, actor and presenter Mel Giedroyc.

It’s the story of a family who lose everything, only to find themselves, and each other, along the way.

Sally and Frank Parker have it all. Then one day, because of Frank, they don’t.

As the bailiffs move in and the money runs out, Sally realises that she and her children don’t have a clue about how to survive. Or do they?

The Parkers are about to discover that the best things in life aren’t things at all.

xxxxxx

My mother wasn’t much of a housekeeper. She wasn’t much of a cook either, although she tried. She longed to live a more unconventional life. Admirably high-minded, but it meant I never learnt to fold a towel.

In these funny, sometimes poignant, stories, award-winning feature writer Fenella Souter celebrates the highs and lows of domestic life – from her attempts to run the house like a grown-up, to lessons in good cooking; from accidentally killing her wisteria, divorcing the cat and shirt-fronting bossy tradies, to wondering if the ‘hostess gift’ is still a thing or why some people have impeccable taste.

With their distinctive wit, they will leave you smiling with recognition at the everyday dramas and dilemmas that can make or break friendships and marriages, turn a house into a home, or let chaos get the upper hand.

xxxxxx

With the sickening realisation that his cover has been blown, Detective Dave Burrows knows his family is in serious danger from the vicious stock thieves and murderers, Bulldust and his brother Scotty.

Devastating news brings Dave back to Barrabine, where circumstances force him to question his determination to stay in the police force. How could he live with himself if anything happened to Mel and the kids?

Mel, understandably frightened, must decide who she’ll listen to. Can she trust Dave to handle this threat hanging over their family, or is her father right to argue that she should leave her marriage immediately?

With her acclaimed skill for tension and drama, Fleur McDonald has delivered another richly compelling story in Something to Hide.

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WHAT IS ONE MORE CORPSE, WHEN ALL AROUND YOU ARE DYING…

London, 1665. Hidden within a growing pile of corpses, one victim of the pestilence stands out: a young woman with a shorn head and pieces of twine delicately tied around each ankle.

Symon Patrick, rector of St. Paul’s Covent Garden, cannot say exactly why this corpse amongst the many in his churchyard should give him pause. Longing to do good, he joins a group of medical men who have gathered to find a cure for the plague, each man more peculiar and splenetic than the next. But there is another – unknown to The Society for the Prevention and Cure of Plague – who is performing his own terrible experiments upon unwilling plague-ridden subjects.

It is Penelope – Symon’s unwanted yet unremovable addition to his household – who may yet shed light on the matter. Far more than what she appears, she is already on the hunt. But the dark presence that enters the houses of the sick will not stop, and has no mercy…

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

I’m afraid I’ve been terribly distracted since the latter half of the week. Last year it was fire, this year it is flood. We are currently surrounded by floodwaters with access to and from cut, essentially rendering us an island. Thankfully my house is above the flood line, though we did have an indoor waterfall feature for a few days because the guttering couldn’t cope with the sheer amount of rain, and it found its way inside to run down the glass sliding doors that lead out from our lounge room. We’ve had to drill holes in the roof of our verandah which seems to have solved the issue for now. Electricity and internet services have also been a little erratic, and we are expecting more rain for the next two-three days. Schools have been closed, and my husband can’t get to work.

The images below shows part of my town, Taree in NSW, and the tiny red dot in the larger photo shows approximately where my house is. Though we are less than 100m from the river edge, we are on the high side. The first photo in the collage shows my son’s workplace, the others around the main town streets, the last two show the bridge into town that usually sits around 4m above the river, it went under at the floods peak which was 5.85m. That mightn’t sound high but Taree sits in a valley, but a minor flood warning is issued at 1.5m, a moderate warning at 2.4m and a major flood warning at 3.7m.

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In addition to all of that, the area where my in-laws and daughter are living in the Hawkesbury region of NSW are also experiencing record flood levels. My sister in law and her family have had to evacuate tonight, my mother-in-law and other SIL and her family are on a warning, as are my nephews and their family’s. My daughter is safe on campus so far, and we are hoping evacuation won’t be necessary for her, but no one is sure yet how bad it will get…. they have used that terrifying word -unprecedented.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa

One Last Dance by Emma Jane Holmes

Wonderworks by Angus Fletcher

Nowhere River by Meg Bignell

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New Posts…

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Review: The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair

Review: Tipping by Anna George

Review: The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

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The Best Things


Warm, funny, life-affirming and true, The Best Things is the joyous debut novel from much-loved comedian, writer, actor and presenter Mel Giedroyc.

It’s the story of a family who lose everything, only to find themselves, and each other, along the way.

Sally and Frank Parker have it all. Then one day, because of Frank, they don’t.

As the bailiffs move in and the money runs out, Sally realises that she and her children don’t have a clue about how to survive. Or do they?

The Parkers are about to discover that the best things in life aren’t things at all.

xxxxxx

The last reunion

Five women come together at a New Year’s Eve’s party after decades apart, in this thrilling story of desire, revenge and courage, based on a brave group of Australian and British WWII servicewomen

Burma, 1945. Bea, Plum, Bubbles, Joy and Lucy: five young women in search of adventure, attached to the Fourteenth Army, fighting a forgotten war in the jungle. Assigned to run a mobile canteen, navigating treacherous roads and dodging hostile gunfire, they become embroiled in life-threatening battles of their own. Battles that will haunt the women for the rest of their lives.

Oxford, 1976. At the height of an impossibly hot English summer, a woman slips into a museum and steals several rare Japanese netsuke, including the famed fox-girl. Despite the offer of a considerable reward, these tiny, exquisitely detailed carvings are never seen again.

London and Galway, 1999. On the eve of the new millennium, Olivia, assistant to an art dealer, meets Beatrix, an elderly widow who wishes to sell her late husband’s collection of Japanese art. Concealing her own motives, Olivia travels with Beatrix to a New Year’s Eve party, deep in the Irish countryside, where friendships will be tested as secrets kept for more than fifty years are spilled.

Inspired by the heroic women who served in the ‘forgotten war’ in Burma, The Last Reunion is a heartbreaking love story and mystery by the international bestselling author of The Botanist’s Daughter and The Silk House. It is also a tribute to the enduring power of female friendship.

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Stealing Time

They’ll kill to get more time. She’ll die to stop them.

In a world where each person’s life span is limited by law, time is a lucrative commodity that some people will do anything to get more of.

Fourth-dimension physicist, Dr Varya Galanos, invented the technology that time thieves used to murder children by stealing their remaining years of life. Although it was destroyed 10 years ago, and the thieves brought to justice, she still suffers from the burden of guilt.

Masquerading as a lowly lab technician at the Minor Miracles Foundation, Varya finds a certain peace searching for cures for rare childhood diseases, like the one which took her 4-year-old son, Kir, away from her.

The Foundation is secretly funded by Varya and her employee and confidante, Marisa Volkov, by selling illicit time tabs to wealthy patrons. When dissolved on the tongue, a single time tab grants a person four extra hours in their day.

The time tab technology is highly valued – and highly illegal – in a society where Time Chips are inserted into each child’s brain stem at birth. Lives are limited to just sixty-five years to conserve the planet’s ever-dwindling resources.

Varya’s tenuous peace is shattered when children start disappearing again. She fears the worst – that the time thieves have returned and have somehow resurrected the technology to steal precious years from children.

Varya is the only one who can find a way to reverse the time drains and save the returned children. But doing so could cost the lives of those she holds dearest.

When her best friend’s son becomes a victim, returned with just hours to live, she is faced with an impossible choice.

xxxxxx

The emporium of imagination

Welcome to The Emporium of Imagination, a most unusual shop that travels the world offering vintage gifts to repair broken dreams and extraordinary phones to contact lost loved ones.

But, on arrival in the tiny township of Boonah, the store’s long-time custodian, Earlatidge Hubert Umbray, makes a shocking realisation. He is dying . . .

The clock is now ticking to find his replacement, because the people of Boonah are clearly in need of some restorative magic.

Like Enoch Rayne – a heartbroken ten-year-old boy mourning the loss of his father, while nurturing a guilty secret.

Like Ann Harlow, who has come to the town to be close to her dying grandmother. Though it’s Enoch’s father who dominates her thoughts – and regrets . . .

Even Earlatidge in his final days will experience the store as never before – and have the chance to face up to his own tragedy . . .

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Thanks for stopping by!

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