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Apples Never Fall By Liane Moriarty

Apples Never Fall‘Apples Never Fall’ is the latest book by Liane Moriarty.

The Delaney family love one another dearly – it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other. Joy Delaney and husband Stan have done well. Four wonderful grown-up children. A family business to envy. The golden years of retirement ahead of them. So when Joy Delaney vanishes – no note, no calls, her bike missing – it’s natural that tongues will wag. How did Stan scratch his face? And who was the stranger who entered and suddenly left their lives? What are they all hiding? But for the Delaney children there is a much more terrifying question: did they ever know their parents at all?

I actually read this book back at Christmas and it was another great thrilling story from one of Australia’s greatest authors and in true, Liane’s style, the story starts right at the pivotal moment of major change in the Delaney family’s lives.

The story is written in and past present tense and is seen through the narrative of Joy Delaney and her children, Brooke, Amy, Troy and Logan and how their lives dramatically changed when a stranger called Savannah appears in their parents lives and fits seamlessly and replaces them. One day, both Joy and Savannah disappear and Savannah’s husband Stan is seen as the main culprit in her disappearance despite his protests.

I loved this story, the multiple narratives and dual tenses made for gripping reading. I found Savannah to be a fascinating character, she appears in Joy’s and Stan’s lives one evening in complete distress and they take her in knowing nothing about her. Joy treats her Savannah like the daughter she never had as her relationship with her own daughters is quite strained at times, as they were brought up in a competitive family and this upsets both Brooke and Amy and are immediately suspicious of Savannah.

The Delaney family are a complex group of people. Both Joy and Stan are tennis instructors and their children were brought up to be tennis champions but sadly that wasn’t the case and that’s left a sour taste in Stan’s mouth and this causes friction in the family. They try to live up to their father’s high standards but are constantly letting him down. Stan is a petulant man with a temper and is prone to leaving when the going gets tough. All the children, now grown ups have their own issues in their lives, separation, mental health as well as fertility and their troubles make for relatable reading.

Joy is at a standstill in her life, she has spent her years coaching and bringing her children up and now Savannah has come into her live and exudes excitement and mystery, but she also shows an interest in Joy, something that she’s been missing for years.

The present tense are seen through the narrative of the police investigating Joy’s disappearance, her friends and children as they all wonder about the mysterious Savannah and what caused Joy to disappear.

‘Apples Never Fall’ is another rollercoaster of a suspenseful domestic noir from Liane, packed with drama and intrigue from the first mysterious text from Joy to her children to the final scene that hooked my attention throughout. Cleverly and wittily written, ‘Apples Never Fall’ is an observational story about family dynamics and mishaps, that was a complete guessing game!

You can buy ‘Apples Never Fall’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

A Mrs Miracle Christmas By Debbie Macomber

A Mrs Miracle ChristmasOn the book tour for Debbie MacComber’s latest festive story called ‘A Mrs Miracle Christmas’, enjoy an extract from the story.

“Caring Angels sent you?” Laurel asked, coming out of the kitchen after she had overheard the initial exchange.

“When I called earlier, I was told no one was available.”

“The office hadn’t been informed that I was free to accept another assignment. When I heard your situation was urgent, I came as quickly as I could. I trust I haven’t arrived at a bad time?”

“No, of course not. Please come in.” Looking relieved and grateful, Laurel quickly brought the older woman into the house. Helen sat quietly, observing the arrival of this stranger.
She sensed an immediate connection to this woman who had entered her home, yet she couldn’t understand why. It appeared that she and this Mrs. Miracle weren’t far apart in age. Somehow, though she couldn’t explain it, Helen instinctively knew that this woman had a warm heart, and that the two of them would get along famously.

“The agency said that you sounded quite desperate. The instant she discovered I was free to take on a new client, she gave me the referral. I hope I’m not interrupting your dinner.”

“No, no,” Laurel quickly reassured her. “We are all finished.” Laurel offered Mrs. Miracle tea or coffee, which she politely refused.

“You’re an answer to our prayers,” Helen said, still seated in her chair.

“I’m often told that,” Mrs. Miracle said. “But really, being a Caring Angel is my privilege. I enjoy the work.”

Helen could see the relief in her granddaughter’s eyes. She felt dreadful for causing such concern recently for Laurel and Zach and was determined to do everything she could to keep things straight. No more police, and no more getting lost, that was for sure.

In a businesslike fashion, Mrs. Miracle got right to work. “I understand you both have jobs outside of the home, so I brought the paperwork from the agency for you to sign.” Zach reached for the folder the caregiver handed him.

“No need for you to take time off work to come downtown to meet anyone, as you’ve already been introduced to Caring Angels over the phone. Once the paperwork is signed, I’ll hand it off.”

“Thank you. That’s thoughtful of you,” Laurel said. Mrs. Miracle looked toward Helen and winked. They shared a smile, and Helen was left to wonder what the wink was all about. She couldn’t keep from smiling and winking back at her new caretaker.

Zach looked up from the paperwork, his eyes full of surprise and relief. “This is far less expensive than we’d anticipated.”

“It’s the holiday special,” Mrs. Miracle explained. “Oh— and before I forget—
I brought you a little something.” She set her basket on the coffee table and removed
the red-checkered cloth covering it. “I like to bring a homemade item to my new clients on my first in‑​home visit. I enjoy baking and have several wonderful holiday recipes.”
Helen leaned forward to peek. “You brought us cookies?”

“These happen to be my personal favourites,” Mrs. Miracle said. “I dare not keep them around, otherwise I’d be tempted to eat the entire batch myself.”

Helen removed a large plate of snickerdoodles.

“Snickerdoodles,” Laurel said, a bit taken aback. “You brought us snickerdoodles? Nana was right. You are an answer to our prayers.”

You can buy ‘A Mrs Miracle Christmas’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lisa Jewell Talks About My Independent Bookshop

My Independent Bookshop

On a recent adventure to London, I was fortunate to meet one of my favourite authors, Lisa Jewell and got the opportunity to talk to her about her involvement in the exciting new venture, My Independent Bookshop. Lisa was one of the first authors to be involved with the project and here’s what she had to say about it.

Lisa Jewell ©Jascha“I was having breakfast with my publishers to celebrate our new contract and Najma [Lisa’s publicist] mentioned that they were about to launch a new on line bookshop; a virtual translation of that moment in all readers’ lives where someone says they’ve read this amazing book, that you must read it and the handing over of it. I do this with my sister, I turn up with a pile of books and then she gives me a pile of books in return. Obviously you can use Twitter or Facebook to shout about great books, but then you are assuming that somebody has seen it and that they make the effort to check it out. So the concept behind my Independent Bookshop was to find a way of recommending incredible books that went much wider than your sister and your circle of friends and followers on Twitter.

“Najma explained that My Independent Bookshop would be like a virtual street of bookshops and I was so enthusiastic about it, I said; “This sounds absolutely wonderful and exactly what the internet needs” and about two days later she sent me an email saying “Since you were so enthusiastic about the idea, would you like to open one of the first shops?”

“So yes, I had to work very very quickly because there wasn’t much time. I had to choose twelve books that I loved, based around a loose theme of domestic thrillers which is obviously the hot genre of the moment and I wrote a little review for each one and then it launched.

“It’s a beautiful bookshop with a stunning selection of handpicked books, that you want everybody to read and to talk about. As an idea, it’s miraculous, as everyone is always looking for recommendations”

My independent Bookshop is an interesting new website which was created by Penguin Random House in collaboration with Hive. Designed entirely for book lovers, the website gives people the opportunity to share their love of books and to create their own bookshop. Simply pick twelve of your favourite books, upload a photograph with a brief review and then voila! You can pass your recommendation onto all your book loving friends.

Founded in 2011, hive proudly support a network of hundreds of independents from across the UK’s book-selling community. Their mission is to help raise the awareness of high-street bookshops amongst internet shoppers, by attracting those people who want to shop locally in their hometown – but who also enjoy the convenience of shopping online. Hive help to bring these two worlds together. With hive, every time you make a purchase, you’re also supporting a local independent bookshop by continuing to do what you love – buying your books and eBooks, online.

Check out the Facebook site www.facebook.com/myindiebookshop to see a wide selection of books, follow @myindiebookshop to see the news of what well-loved authors have chosen and why not consider setting up your own shop to share your some of your favourite books?

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell is out now (Century Hardback £12.99) @lisajewelluk. Check out my review and if you’re quick there’s a special offer on the ebook where you can buy The Third Wife for just £1.99