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Nine Perfect Strangers By Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ is the latest book by Liane Moriarty.

The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages. Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other. Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined. For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them.

I read this book a while ago and it’s taken until now to finally write down my thoughts.

Liane Moriarty has become one of my favourite authors, after reading ‘The Husband’s Secret’, I had to read every book by her and her latest book was just as addictive, so much so that Nicole Kidman has brought the rights to the book to bring it to screens.

As per Liane’s style of writing, the book starts just at the moment that something major has happened and the story then flashes back to the key moments leading up to the event.

The narrative is seen through the narrative of nine guests who have come to Tranquillum House, hoping to have a relaxing time and an escape from the problems that have been affecting them. Masha, the owner of the resort, using alternative medicine, treatments and her unique personality will help the people face their demons, but in true Liane’s style twisted way of writing, nothing is ever straightforward for the unfortunate characters.

There’s a great mix of personalities in this story, from the eccentric Masha, Francis the struggling author who has fallen in love with the wrong man, whilst Napoleon and his wife and daughter are grieving the sudden death of their son. All the people who have signed up to this retreat, are hoping the programme will change their lives for the better.

A claustrophobic tale riddled with uncertainty and suspense, ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ is a tense page turning thriller that gets even more dramatic with every line!

You can buy ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Truly Madly Guilty By Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty‘Truly Madly Guilty’ is the latest book by bestselling author, Liane Moriarty.

Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think. For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again. But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them. Which is how it all spirals out of control.

Just like Liane’s previous books, ‘Truly Madly Guilty’, begins right after an unfortunate incident occurs at a barbecue.

The story is seen primarily through the eyes of childhood best friends Clementine and Erika and deals with the after effects from the barbecue.

Clementine and Erika have best friends for years, Clementine was always there for Erika and was the sister that each other never had, so when Erika asks for her help, to help give her the one thing she has longed for, Clementine begins to wonder about their relationship, as well as question her own marriage, as her and her husband Sam drift apart.

Erika is a calm and controlling force, having had a mother who hoards, she likes to keep a strong grip on her life but sometimes things don’t work out and you have to look for help. As she turns to Clementine, the balance of their friendship changes and having to deal with this shift as well as come to terms of the barbecue, things are strained between the friends.

The story flows between the past and present and sets the story up perfectly for the big reveal of the barbecue, as the vagueness and the intensity of the situation did make for quite gripping reading.

I’m a huge fan of Liane’s books, she’s a fantastic storyteller and has a clever style of writing engaging and compelling books with interesting characters with a plot line that constantly keeps the reader interested.

There’s a great mix of characters in this story, from the strained relationship between Erika and Clementine and Erika’s neighbours Tiffany and Vid who add an injection of humour to the tale, there’s also plenty of small sub stories throughout the book that all tie up neatly at the end.

An insightful and suspenseful tale with an intricately written plot line that keeps the reader engaged, ‘Truly Madly Guilty’ is another genius of a story from Liane.

You can buy Truly Madly Guilty from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Last Anniversary By Liane Moriarty

The Last Anniversary‘The Last Anniversary’ is by Liane Moriarty.

Over seventy years have passed since sisters Rose and Connie Doughty found an abandoned baby near their home on the island Scribbly Gum. With no one to take care of it, Rose and Connie took the baby in as their own. Since then the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ has brought fame and fortune, putting Scribbly Gum on the tourist map, especially for the island’s annual celebration. But now, with Connie dead and outsider Sophie Honeywell about to move into her home, Rose begins to wonder if they made the right decision all those years ago. How much longer can they cover up the lie that has sustained their community for generations? And what other secrets are about to be revealed?

Liane Moriarty has become one of my favourite authors over the last couple of years. So when, I received a copy of ‘The Last Anniversary’ I was eager to get stuck in but upon finishing it, I was disappointed to see that it lacked her usual hook that pulled the reader in, instead I found the book travelled at a slower pace and dragged along.

The story is a strange one and has the potential to a gripping tale with the strange island with few habitats and the mystery of the disappearing couple who left their baby behind, but the book failed to delivered.

Seen from the perspective of the women of island after the death of Connie, a strong and well respected woman. Over seventy years ago, herself and sister, Rose discovered an abandoned baby who they called Enigma. The little baby attracted a lot of attention and became the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ bringing tourists and trade to the small island, to hear the tale of Enigma and to visit the house she was left behind in.

After Connie passed away, she left her house to Sophie, an outsider who broke her nephews heart much to the disgust of other family members who think they deserve the house more. The story follows on through the eyes of Sophie, Rose and Grace, Connie’s niece on the lead up the annual anniversary of the Munro Baby Mystery, which is day and night of festivities where Enigma becomes the centre of attention and recall her memories of that farewell day.

I think one of the reasons I didn’t particularly enjoy this book was the characters, the majority of them I disliked. Sophie played quite a big part in the book, having been left the house with an opportunity to start her life over but she is obsessed with love and not becoming an old spinster and it seems that she will stop at nothing. But it’s when her attentions begin to focus on a married man, I began to dislike more. Although she battled with her emotions, it was very evident her attractions for Callum. Callum’s wife, Grace was the only character that I liked in this book and that was because I felt sympathy and a sense of protection towards her as she battled with self worth and post natal depression. And finally there is Enigma, the principal character of the story, having lived a life of being the centre of attention, she sees herself as a celebrity who everyone wants a piece off and unfortunately, I just found her annoying and self absorbed.

Although the book was written in the authors sharp concise style and had an interesting twist at the end. I felt the story lacked pace and Liane’s usual page turning intensity. Regrettably, ‘The Last Anniversary’ was not as enjoyable as her other two books, but as Meatloaf says “two out of three ain’t bad”.

You can buy The Last Anniversary from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Win A Copy Of Little Lies By Liane Moriarty

'Little Lies?I am delighted to be having a giveaway on the website where I am giving one lucky reader an opportunity to win of my favourite books of 2014 and that is Liane Moriarty’s new book ‘Little Lie’s.

I first became aware of Liane last year with her other book ‘The Husband’s Secrets’ which was the winning book of Richard and Judy’s Autumn 2013 Bookclub.

The story behind ‘Little Lies’ is –

Jane hasn’t lived anywhere longer than six months since her son was born five years ago. She keeps moving in an attempt to escape her past. Now the idyllic seaside town of Pirriwee has pulled her to its shores and Jane finally feels like she belongs. She has friends in the feisty Madeline and the incredibly beautiful Celeste – two women with seemingly perfect lives . . . and their own secrets behind closed doors.

But then a small incident involving the children of all three women occurs in the playground causing a rift between them and the other parents of the school. Minor at first but escalating fast, until whispers and rumours become vicious and spiteful. It was always going to end in tears, but no one thought it would end in murder . . .

Wonderfully intriguing, this book is a compelling read that I was unable to put down!

To be in with a chance of winning this book, simply answer the question below by leaving your answer in the comment box.

Which book club did ‘The Husband’s Secret’ win?

The lucky winner will be revealed on Wednesday 1st October. Good luck!

Zoé Miller Talks About The Writing Process: Plot holes… And How To Get Out Of Them

Zoe MillerOn day one of the tour for Zoé Miller’s new book, ‘A Husband’s Confession’, Zoe talks about the writing process: Plot holes…And how to get out of them!

What is a plot hole? For me, it’s when you think you’re motoring along quite nicely with your story but quite suddenly you stumble, grind to a halt, and find yourself falling into a deep, dark crevasse with no way out, because someone or something has pulled the guts of the story out from under you.

When I was two-thirds of the way through writing A Husband’s Confession, with the deadline looming on the near horizon, I fell into a plot hole and, believe me, it was quite a scary place!

Some writers wing it by the seat of their pants – they sit down to write a book without an ending in mind, throwing their characters onto the page and seeing where they take them, enjoying the process of letting the story come together in a very organic way. Other writers find this method quite terrifying. They plan meticulously, not only knowing the beginning, middle and end of a book, but all the individual chapters and plot points that will take them there.

'The Husband's Confession

I fall in somewhere in between. I know where the characters are at the start of the book and how their story is going to end. I might not know all the nitty-gritty details in between, but I usually have some fun finding out. I could tell you what they like for breakfast, the name of their favourite movie and much-loved childhood toy, but I only discover my characters’ true colours by the actual process of writing about them.

When I was about two-thirds of the way through writing A Husband’s Confession, I came to know one of the characters so well and empathised with them so much that I realised my planned ending for that character just wasn’t going to work. It didn’t fit with the person, never mind the story or the other people around them.

Aaargh! My first major plot hole.

Then, at around the same time and despite copious hours researching a technical detail on the internet, a last-minute, spur of the moment (and very serendipitous) phone call to an expert informed me that what I had actually planned to happen wouldn’t happen in reality.

Time to press the panic button…or was it?

After the shock of juddering to a halt, with the rest of my story effectively derailed, I allowed myself a day or two of wallowing in writer’s block. There was comfort eating. There was wine. Even some television. There was distance and space from the script. Then, conscious of the deadline on the near horizon, I took myself, my laptop and a large blank notepad away for a few days, to a hotel by the sea.

There were no interruptions at all, no internet either, just hours and hours of time in which to think, imagine, and reflect. From early in the morning until late at night, apart from sparse texts home to make sure everyone was still alive and the house hadn’t gone on fire, I became totally immersed in the story and living in the world of my characters.

My personal writing retreat worked. By the third day, I had the plot re-jiggled in my head, and a bare outline of the remaining chapters prepared.

Plot holes are writer’s friends, even if they don’t feel like that at first; they mean the story and characters have come alive in your head. They allow you to correct the story to ensure the resolution is consistent with your characters and their motivations. Always, in climbing out of them, albeit with grazed knees and scratched shins, you make the story even better.

Zoë Miller is the author of six contemporary women’s fiction novels published by Hachette Books Ireland, including the newly released A Husband’s Confession. Her books are a blend of drama, romance and intrigue. When Zoë’s not escaping into her writing she juggles her time between her family and her day job in training and development.

You can find out more at www.zoemillerauthor.com, Facebook/zoemillerauthor, or follow her on twitter @zoemillerauthor

Follow the tour for reviews and features below.

The Husband's Confession Book Tour