Novels I'm Looking Forward to Reading #1

Here are a few novels I'm looking forward to reading over the course of the coming months. Some have already been released, others are yet to hit the library shelves and book stores.

Sweet Wattle Creek by Kaye Dobbie

Kaye Dobbie is one of my favourite Australian authors. I've followed her since she wrote as Lilly Sommers. Under this pseudonym she has written some straight historical novels and some dual time frame narratives with a touch of the supernatural, all with Australian settings. As Kaye Dobbie she continued this pattern with Colours of Gold, set in the present day and on the Australian goldfields of the mid 19th century. Sweet Wattle Creek was released by Harlequin Australia in September and is receiving excellent reviews.

The chance discovery of an antique wedding dress weaves together the fascinating stories of three women from different eras: Sophie, in hiding from a troubled past; Belle, who must lose everything to learn what really matters; and Martha, forced to give up those she loves in order to avoid exposure. It’s 1931 and Belle Bartholomew has arrived in rural Sweet Wattle Creek to claim her inheritance – a run-down grand hotel formerly owned by Martha Ambrose. Determined to solve the mystery of her birth and the reason why she was bequeathed the hotel Belle runs into difficulties with the townsfolk and their desire to keep their secrets safe. Sixty years later Sophie Matheson is on a quest to find Belle and her family after discovering the wedding dress. The Sweet Wattle Creek Centenary brings more challenges when her past catches up and she must fight for all that matters to her. Who were Belle and Martha and what links their lives together?

The Lake House by Kate Morton

Kate Morton is another favourite Australian author, with many fans world-wide. Her fifth novel, The Lake House, was released this month and, like Kaye Dobbie's Sweet Wattle Creek, the reviews are excellent. I love the three very different book covers.

A missing child...June 1933, and the Edevane family's country house, Loeanneth, is polished and gleaming, ready for the much-anticipated Midsummer Eve party. Alice Edevane, sixteen years old and a budding writer, is especially excited. Not only has she worked out the perfect twist for her novel, she's also fallen helplessly in love with someone she shouldn't. But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night skies, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great that they leave Loeanneth forever.

An abandoned house...Seventy years later, after a particularly troubling case, Sadie Sparrow is sent on an enforced break from her job with the Metropolitan Police. She retreats to her beloved grandfather's cottage in Cornwall but soon finds herself at a loose end. Until one day, Sadie stumbles upon an abandoned house surrounded by overgrown gardens and dense woods, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace. 

An unsolved mystery...Meanwhile, in the attic writing room of her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane, now an old lady, leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes. Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family's past, seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape...

A Tattooed Heart by Deborah Challinor

From New Zealand author, Deborah Challinor, comes the fourth and final book in her Convict Girls series. I read the first three books (Behind the Sun, Girl of Shadows, The Silk Thief) last year and have eagerly awaited the conculsion to the girls' story. A Tattooed Heart is due for release in November from Harper Collins.

1832: Convict girls Friday Woolfe, Sarah Morgan and Harriet Clarke have been serving their sentences in Sydney Town for three years. For much of that time they have lived in fear of sinister and formidable Bella Jackson, who continues to blackmail them for a terrible crime. Each of them has begun to make a life for herself, but when Harrie's adopted child Charlotte is abducted and taken to Newcastle, the girls must risk their very freedom to save her. But is Friday up to the task? Will the desperate battle with her own vices drive her to fail not only herself, but those she loves and all who love her? In this final volume of a saga about four convict girls transported halfway around the world, friends and family reunite but cherished loved ones are lost, and an utterly shocking secret is revealed.

House of Shadows by Pamela Hartshorne

I discovered Pamela Hartshorne earlier this year when I picked up two of her three novels, The Edge of Dark and The Memory of Midnight. I am currently reading her third, Time's Echo. These dual time frame novels are set in the present and 16th century York, England. House of Shadows is due for release in December from Pan MacMillan UK.

When Kate Vavasour wakes in hospital, she can remember nothing about the family gathered around her bed, or of her life before the accident. The doctors diagnose post-traumatic amnesia and say the memories should start returning. Which they do ...but these memories are not her own. They belong to Isabel Vavasour, who lived and died at Askerby Hall over four hundred years earlier ...Returning to Askerby Hall to recuperate, Kate finds herself in a house full of shadows and suspicions. Unable to recognise her family, her friends or even her small son, she struggles to piece together the events that led to her terrible fall. Life at Askerby, it seems, is not as illustrious as the Vavasours would have the public believe. But before she can uncover the mysteries of the present, she must first discover the truth about the past ...Was Isabel's madness real, or was her mistake trusting the one person she thought would never betray her?

The High Flyer: An Aviation Mystery by Elizabeth Darrell

Also due for release in December, from Severn House UK, is a new mystery from Elizabeth Darrell and perhaps the start of a new series. She also writes historical novels, some previously under the name of Emma Drummond, set in the 19th century, World War I and World War II.

Twelve years after World War I, former Flight Sergeant Ben Norton must discover the truth behind his wartime colleague's death. 1930. The Lance family, major shareholders in Marshfield Aviation, watch in horror as their prototype fighter fails to pull out of a dive during a display before government and military VIPs. At the pilot's funeral, a man introduces himself to the widow as Ben Norton, a close friend of her husband during war service with the Royal Flying Corps. Ben becomes Marshfield's new Test Pilot, determined to refute worldwide press claims of a faulty aircraft design. Convinced that deliberate sabotage was behind the crash, the young flyer vows to uncover whoever was responsible. But who is Ben Norton? And why is it that the man he claims to have been his close wartime colleague had not once mentioned Ben to his wife during eight years of marriage?

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