Pass The Word #4

Pass the Word is a Meme hosted by me featuring some great books that I have either read and not had time to review or have not had time to read at all.

Well, it sure has been a while. Over the last few months you may have noticed that I haven’t been so active on the blog and my Facebook (or Twitter for that matter) and that’s due to this roller coaster thing called life - I really have been feeling a bit like that hamster on its wheel!!

Between being placed in a higher position at work, Soccer season with my son and TRYING to get my new blog up and running, there hasn’t been much time to dedicate to my “hobby” – but let’s just blame it on the shorter days - and April especially wasn't a good month!

Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from reading and, although many fantastic books have found their way to my doorstep and onto my bedside table, it’s absolutely impossible to read and review all of them (so be prepared for this to be a long one).

One of the reasons why I started this Meme was to take the opportunity to introduce you, dear followers, to some of these books as I believe they do deserve to be read, but by featuring these books, it's also my way of thanking the many publishers that support my blogging by providing me with both electronic (via NetGalley) and hard copies (via mail) and letting them know that I am getting the word out there.

And, isn’t it just so easy these days to grab an electronic version for your Kindle, no matter when the book was published?

In the words of Arnold Lobel,“Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.”

Happy reading everyone!

NB: Please note that covers may vary depending on where you purchase from.

"LOVE. BETRAYAL. NEW BEGINNINGS. A young English war bride makes a new life in Australia in this romantic story set on the stunning coast of Sydney, by the author of THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.

January, 1920. Young Englishwoman Margaret Dalton is full of excitement as she arrives to begin a new life in the warm, golden land of Australia. She leaves behind the horrors of WWI and can't wait to see her husband, Frank, after two years' separation. But when Margaret's ship docks, Frank isn't there to greet her and Margaret is informed that he already has a wife . . . Devastated, Margaret must swap her hopes and dreams for the reality of living and working in a strange new city. And just as a growing friendship with army sergeant Tom McBride gives her a steady person to rely on, news arrives that Frank may not have abandoned her. Where should Margaret's loyalties lie: with the old life or with the new?

Inspired by the true stories of war wives who arrived in Australia, THE WAR BRIDE is a gorgeously romantic story by the author of THE SOLDIER'S WIFE."

Published by Hachette Australia in March 2016
Genre: Historical, Romance

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"You don’t have to believe in ghosts for the dead to haunt you.
You don’t have to be a murderer to be guilty.

Within six months of Pen Sheppard starting university, three of her new friends are dead. Only Pen knows the reason why.

College life had seemed like a wonderland of sex, drugs and maybe even love. Full of perfect strangers, it felt like the ideal place for Pen to shed the confines of her small home town and reinvent herself. But the darkness of her past clings tight, and when the killings begin and friendships are betrayed, Pen’s secrets are revealed. The consequences are deadly.

‘This is about three deaths. Actually more, if you go back far enough. I say deaths but perhaps all of them were murders. It’s a grey area. Murder, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. So let’s just call them deaths and say I was involved. This story could be told a hundred different ways.’Your secrets define you, don’t let them kill you."

Published by Simon & Schuster Australia in March 2016
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller

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"Best friends Isla and Sophie made each other a promise a long time ago: to never let life pass them by. Years later, Isla is in love, living abroad and fulfilling her dreams. But for Sophie, things haven't turned out the way she was expecting and she hasn't achieved any of the things she and Isla talked about.

And then, in one sudden moment, life irrevocably changes for both women.

Isla and Sophie have hard decisions to make but above all else they must face up to the uncertainty that lies ahead. It's only when they realise that this is easier together, two friends standing side by side, that each woman can embrace whatever the future holds for them.

Emotional, poignant and uplifting, The Little Pieces of You and Me is a story about old friends, new beginnings and what happens when being strong is your only choice. It will take your breath away."

Published by Hachette Australia in April 2016
Genre: General Fiction

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"Moving from Blitz-torn London to the Siege of Malta, this is a story of passion, loss, prejudice and incredible courage. This is the novel Chris Cleave was born to write.

When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.

Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss - until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided.

Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she'd be a marvelous spy. When she is - bewilderingly - made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.

Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

In a powerful combination of both humour and heartbreak, this dazzling novel weaves little-known history, and a perfect love story, through the vast sweep of the Second World War - daring us to understand that, against the great theatre of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs, that change us most."

Published by Hachette Australia in April 2016
Genre: Historical

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"With her heart in tatters after a relationship break-up, Rose Bennett swaps her hometown of London for the sunny shores of Australia – but she arrives to find the Shingle Valley shrouded in winter.
As the weather improves, Rose starts to unlock the secrets of the valley – from bonfire ceremonies and wine-making traditions to eccentric locals and their histories.

And despite herself, Rose starts to fall in love: with the valley, the wines, the two children she's helping to look after – and with the handsome and brilliant Mark Cameron, owner of the troubled Kalkari Wines estate.

What will happen when Mark's estranged wife, the tempestuous Isabella, returns? Will Rose find a future in the Shingle Valley, or will she be forced to leave?"

Published by Penguin Books Australia in April 2016
Genre: Romance

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"THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY by Monica Wood is for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and think about how extraordinary ordinary life can be. Not to be missed by readers who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, ELIZABETH IS MISSING or THE SHOCK OF THE FALL. 'A lovely, quirky novel about misfits across generations' Daily Mail

The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don't they teach you anything at school?

So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who's been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she's confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.

One Saturday, he doesn't show up. Ona starts to think he's not so special after all, but then his father Quinn arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son's good deed. The boy's mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that even at her age the world can surprise you, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find yourself again."

Published by Hachette Australia in April 2016
Genre: Contemporary

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"Imagine swapping your house for a stay in an Italian villa... and falling in love with the owner's life...

Stella has life under control - and that's the way she likes it. For twenty-five years, she's been trusted assistant to a legendary fashion designer, but after her boss dies suddenly, she's left with nothing to do apart from clear the studio.

It seems as though the life she wanted has vanished. She is lost - until one day she finds a house swap website and sees a beautiful old villa in a southern Italian village. Could she really exchange her poky London flat for that?

But what was intended as just a break becomes much more, as Stella finds herself trying on a stranger's life. As the villa begins to get under her skin, she can't help but imagine the owner from the clues around her. She meets his friends, cooks the local food he recommends and follows suggestions to go to his favourite places. But can an idea of someone ever match up to the reality?

As Stella wonders if she can let go of the safety of her past, perhaps there's a chance for her to find a way into her future..."

Published by Hachette Australia in April 2016
Genre: Romance, Women's Fiction

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"Paul Starr, Ireland's leading cardiologist dies in a car crash with a pregnant young women by his side.

United in their grief and the love of one man, four women are thrown together in an attempt to come to terms with life after Paul. They soon realise they never really knew him at all.

The love they shared for Paul in his life and which incensed a feeling of mistrust and dislike for each other, in his death turns into the very thing that bonds them and their children to each other forever.

As they begin to form unlikely friendships, Paul's deaths proves to be the catalyst that enables them to become the people they always wanted to be."

Published by Aria Fiction in May 2016
Genre: Romance, General Fiction

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"A wonderfully warm novel to curl up with about family loss, hidden secrets and new beginnings. Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley.

Alice finds herself suddenly widowed in her early forties, leaving her with an empty house and a lonely heart. Laura and Evie, her twenty-something daughters announce their separate and unexpected news, which ploughs Alice straight out of grieving and into the prospect planning a wedding and becoming a reluctant - yet glamorous - granny.

Frank, an old family friend returns to give his godchild Laura away at the wedding. A whole host of secrets unfold that rock the family's foundations and set Alice free to begin a new, exciting chapter of her life."

Published by Harper Collins Australia in May 2016
Genre: Romance, General Fiction

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"Welcome to the most intriguing mystery you'll read this year.

Welcome to Midnight, Texas.

At Midnight's local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves-only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town.

Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There's a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place.

And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose-which just might happen-it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be..."

Published by Hachette Australia in May 2016
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

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All the world forgets me. First my face, then my voice, then the consequences of my deeds.
So listen. Remember me."

My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. We've met before - a thousand times. But I am the girl the world forgets. 

It started when I was sixteen years old. A slow declining, an isolation, one piece at a time.

A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher who forgets to chase my missing homework. A friend who looks straight through me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the people I hurt, the crimes I commit - you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life tricky. But it also makes me dangerous . . .

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of the girl no one remembers. But this gripping story - of love and loss, of hope and despair, of living in the moment and dying to leave a mark - is novel that will stay with you for ever.

Published by Hachette Australia in May 2016
Genre: General Fiction

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"From the author of Currawong Creek and Turtle Reef comes a beautiful story of family, friendship and the healing power of love.

When Sydney botanist Kim Sullivan and her husband inherit Journey's End, a rundown farm high on the Great Eastern Escarpment, they dream of one day restoring it to its natural state. Ten years later, however, Kim is tragically widowed. Selling up is the only practical option, so she and her children head to the mountains to organise the sale. The last thing Kim expects is for Journey's End to cast its wild spell on them all. 

The family decide to stay, and Kim forges on with plans to rewild the property, propagating plants and acquiring a menagerie of native animals. But wayward wildlife, hostile farmers and her own lingering grief make the task seem hopeless. That is, until she meets the mysterious Taj, a man who has a way with animals. Kim begins to feel that she might find love again. But Taj has his own tragic past – one that could drive a wedge between them that can not be overcome . . ."

Published by Penguin Books Australia in June 2016
Genre: Women's Fiction, General Fiction

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"By the bestselling author of The Lost Swimmer, a tense, eerie thriller set in the icy reaches of Antarctica.

When environmental scientist Laura Alvarado is sent to a remote Antarctic island to report on an abandoned whaling station, she begins to uncover more than she could ever imagine.

Reminders of the bloody, violent past are everywhere, and Laura is disturbed by evidence of recent human interference. Rules have been broken, and the protected wildlife is behaving strangely.

On a diving expedition, Laura emerges into an ice cave where she is shocked to see an anguished figure, crying for help. But in this freezing, lonely landscape there are ghosts everywhere, and Laura wonders if her own eyes can be trusted. Has she been in the ice too long?

Back at base, Laura’s questions about the whaling station go unanswered, blocked by scientists unused to outsiders. And Laura just can’t shake what happened in the cave.

Piecing together a past and present of cruelty and vulnerability that can be traced around the world, from Norway, to Nantucket, Europe and Antarctica, Laura will stop at nothing to unearth the truth. As she comes face to face with the dark side of human progress, she also discovers a legacy of love, hope and the meaning of family. If only Laura can find her way . . .

Out of the ice."

Published by Simon & Schuster Australia in June 2016
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

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