For the purposes of this challenge ‘general fiction’, is defined as fiction set post mid 1900′s, which does not fit neatly into a specific literary genre.


Season of Shadow and Light by Jenn J McLeod


“Sometime this season…The secret keeper must tell. The betrayed must trust. The hurt must heal.  When it seems everything Paige trusts is beginning to betray her, she leaves her husband at home and sets off on a road trip with six year old Matilda, and Nana Alice in tow. But stranded amid rising floodwaters, on a detour to the tiny town of Coolabah Tree Gully, Paige discovers the greatest betrayal of all happened there twenty years earlier. Someone knows that truth can wash away the darkest shadows, but… Are some secrets best kept for the sake of others?”

“A beautiful Australian narrative full of larger than life characters, wild and glorious countryside, horses, romance, secrets, love, connections , family and a fantastic message about acceptance – there is a little something in this book for all to enjoy.”, writes Carol from Reading, Writing and Riesling. SamStillReading shares, “I raced through the last 150 pages of this book – the story is that compelling.”


The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner


Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, traces the past for a living. But suddenly, truth and certainty is turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair. Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There’s too much at stake – her love, her work, her family. But on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen goes swimming and doesn’t come back. In a swirling daze of panic and fear, Rebecca is dealt with fresh allegations. And with time against her, she must uncover the dark secrets that stand between her and Stephen, and the deceit that has chased her halfway around the world.”

Elizabeth of Devoted Eclectic writes,“With a first-person narrative, if you’re a thriller reader, you’re primed to suspect an unreliable narrator. Turner does a good job of laying seeds of doubt as we follow Rebecca’s story as she faces more than one mystery that threatens her happiness.” Carolyn praises Turner’s descriptive skills, “The settings were beautifully described, first the rugged Victorian coast and idyllic beaches and then the Amalfi coast including that horrendous coastal road that is every bit as scary as described.”. “Tense and gripping, the pace was incredibly fast – it was hard to put down.” says Brenda


The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon


Christmas Livingstone has 10 rules for happiness. Nurturing the senses every day, doing what you love, and sharing joy with others are some of the rules but the most important for her is number 10 – ‘Absolutely no romantic relationships’. Her life is good. In her enchantingly seductive shop, The Chocolate Apothecary, she tempers chocolate and creates handmade pieces; her friends and family surround her; and her secret life of wish granting brings joy to herself and others. She doesn’t need a handsome botanist ace who knows everything about cacao to walk into her life. One who has the nicest grandmother intent on interfering, who’s adopted a gorgeous rescue dog, and who needs her help to write a book on her passion, chocolate. She really doesn’t need any of that at all. Or does she?”

“I delighted in the settings, a small town in Tasmania with ‘period’ tourist appeal, the Chocolate Apothecary sounds like a pretty store and I could easily imagine the tempting treats gracing the shelves and the rich smell of molten chocolate. Francophiles will enjoy Christmas’s sojourn in France touring the countryside exploring lavender farms in Provence, and whipping up treats like a champagne and vodka chocolate ganache to coat fresh raspberries in Aix.” writes Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out.  “A really good read for anyone who enjoys commercial women’s fiction and chocolate… of which there is a 100% overlap.” summarises Reidstrap from Write or Wrong.


What Matters Most by Dianne Maquire


Paediatrician Mia Sandhurst and teenager, Rachel Hooper come together as doctor and patient, both hostages to people they love. Mia comes to terms with her husband’s cheating, while Rachel is deliberately shielding someone who deserves to be named and shamed. Tim Hooper has his suspicions about his sister’s persistent silence and, together with Mia’s clinical know-how, sets out to uncover the truth, but the truth is more complex than either of them might have imagined. Set on the coast of the magical Fleurieu Peninsula, What Matters Most is a frank portrayal of self-discovery in middle age coupled with an unvarnished depiction of the mysteries of child abuse.”

“Written with compassion, nevertheless it is gut-wrenching and sad, yet it didn’t drag me down. There is hope and an abundance of love from the people who care as well. I will be looking at more from this author, and have no hesitation in recommending What Matters Most very highly.” writes Brenda.


bookdout_squarebadge_webAbout Me

My name is Shelleyrae Cusbert I am a mother of four children, aged 8 to 18, living in the mid north coast of NSW. I am an obsessive reader and publish my thoughts about what I read at my book blog,  Book’d Out.  In 2012 I read and reviewed a total of 109 books for the AWW Challenge and in 2013 a total of 117 and 2014 a total of 102. I juggle caring for my family with a part time job and volunteer at both the town’s local library and the children’s school library.