Review

It’s Monday!What are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Welcome all, hope you are all okay and keeping well. I had a good week and summer stayed around.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

Go tell the Bees That I am gone

And I am doing a reread by listening to the book this time.

Seaswept

Up next:

Go Tell the Bees will take me awhile – lots of pages so not making any plans for another book, if it happens okay, but most likely not. Almost 900 pages should keep me reading. 

Last Week’s Posts

Peaks and Valleys Emilie Richards

Five Books read from my Shelf in January

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Book Connections

Books Read from my Shelf in January

I set out to read five book off my print TBR shelf each month and I have accomplished this for January. It feels good to see them being read. And of course I have given myself incentive, because for every three I read, I will allow myself to buy a new print book! At present I am actually fitting in a sixth off my shelf because I want to buy another book! I was so tempted to break my own rule and buy the book, but how could I break the intention in January!!

  1. How to Stitch An American Dream by Jenny Doan. A memoir that gives insight into Jenny’s early life, especially as she starts off into married and family life. I come from a large family and it was interesting to compare. I loved how when her children were adults they all worked together to form an amazing quilting company that now is a mega quilting shopping complex in Hamilton Missouri. Jenny Doan is well known through her quilting videos. I have learned from them and I may have shopped via international shipping from time to time!  Really liked the book.
  2. Have You Seen Her by Karen Rose.  A romantic suspense/thriller. Fast paced and full of action as all her books are. This is #2 in her series. It takes place in North Carolina. There are chilling abductions and murders. It kept me reading. I loathed the sickening crimes, I loved the main characters, who contrast so well with the evil. These good characters have issues but inherently they move the world to being a better place.  Great reading, but I hated the crime parts. Of course I take another and read #3 at some point.  Well actually I reading #3 right now and so good!
  3. Meet Me in Scotland by Patience Griffin.  #2 in the Kilts and Quilts series. Set in Scotland of course! Most likely can be described as romance. I liked the main characters, and Deydie the crusty old woman and the main quilter was her usual delightful self. However I wanted to see more of a link with the last book’s characters. Not enough. I enjoyed the book but I am not sure I will continue with the series.  Sometimes with a series like this, its kind of the same story but with different characters! Maybe at some point I might borrow one from the library.
  4. The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle would be termed Women’s Fiction I think. It was a sweet, inspirational story with an older woman and a woman dealing with the death  of a husband and her care for her children. A friendship develops between the two women and both of them are enriched. Loved the shells that are found on the beach with sayings that a person needs at that time of picking it up. My first book of the year and worthy of it.
  5. The Moon Over Kilmore Bay by Carmel Harrington was on the whole a good read, but I would have to say was the one least liked by myself by this author.  Well written and plotted, however what happens to the main character just put me off. Probably if I had realised I wouldn’t have read it, but no warning! Just in case you read it, you probably won’t but still, I will not give away the major plot point! But of course I’ll read everything else she writes.

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Review

Peaks and Valleys. Emilie Richards

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Published: by Emilie Richards
Date: 1st January 2021
Source: Author

The quilters of the Shenandoah Community Church Bee are busy. Not only are they finishing a new quilt, Peaks and Valleys, for a charitable fundraiser, but together and individually they are working on other quilts, too. As always, each quilt tells its own heartwarming story.

Peaks and Valleys contains three novellas that centre around the Shenandoah community in Toms Valley.

The first story is Steps to the Altar – which I thoroughly enjoyed. Rebecca and Connor were to be married, however Connor calls it off at the last moment. So what to do with the Steps to the Altar quilt that the quilters have gifted them. Would the quilters take it back? Would one of them keep it? Or might there be a way to step back to each other and actually put that quilt on their bed? It’s a novella but it felt like a full, satisfying story.

Woven Paths is the second story, centred on twin sisters. Kate is now responsible for Bejoy since their mother’s death. It’s a journey for sure, a surprising and heart warming one. Emilie Richards explores this situation wonderfully well. Both women found a place in my heart. And a second quilt pattern I hadn’t known about. Again a novella that felt very complete.

Peaks and Valleys the third novella is The Contrary Wife. Cathy is the president of the quilting group – perhaps not the best quilter among them, but certainly she has great organisational skills. Alf her husband is retired but undergoing a kind of crisis where upon he wants to go back to the high powered life he left to be a gentleman farmer. The way Cathy conducts herself through all this was delightful. Alongside this couple is a younger couple – Molly and Zach, with a history of their own and who are yet to find their feet. Another totally engrossing story.

The book finishes with an epilogue that has us at the fair that raffles the Peaks and Valleys  quilt that they have been working on and has been a theme through each story. It plays out perfectly with a little surprise at the end.

I fell in love with all the characters – some already known, some new. It is not often I even read a novella and very rare for me to fall for three in a row and award five stars at the end. A winner. Shenandoah series fans will love this one and even if you have never read that series, this is quite a stand alone, so go try a sample of life in Toms Valley.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Greetings to you all. I so enjoy hearing what you are all reading and how you all are. My concern goes out to those of you who are struggling with your own health issues or those of loved ones. I think of you often.

For me, sun filled days at the moment. I have booked a Covid booster shot for this afternoon. Just after this post goes live.  I think Omicron has just found its way in through our border so better to be as ready as possible. Today marks when they start doing children 5 – 11 years. We are up to at least 90% of rest of population double dosed I think.

In other news the volcano near Tonga certainly sent shock waves around the world. Just waiting to see how the people of Tonga are doing.

And hello Australia. This time fully behind your actions in regards to a certain ejection from your country!!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

A review book.

Goodbye Again

And audiobook.

Promises and Primroses

Up next:

I think it will be this library book I picked up off the shelf when I went to return a library book. It was my first place I had to show my vaccine pass to get in. As well as mask up of course.

This was published in 2007 and is a backlist book of an author I enjoy.

book cover Last Week’s Posts

Jill Shalvis The Family You Make

Books on my Buy List

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Book Connections

Books on my Buy List

While I am wanting to cut back on my buying – I will still buy some, one for each three I read off my shelf! I have already read the first three, so naturally I am thinking of what I might buy to read.

A Place to Hang the MoonThis is a middle grade book – historical fiction.  I heard about it on the Currently Reading podcast. It was one of Meredith’s favourite books of 2021. Children in London are sent to the country, but unbeknown to the adults they are looking for a forever home. Meredith described it as a “swing up” book, it starts of hard but moves to sweet and is heart warming.

I can only get it in hardback at the moment so might wait to mid year to the paper back comes out. And I might cave and buy the hardback!

A court of thorns and roses

They also discussed this series by Sarah J. Maas.  The third book was the one Meredith loved but I’d have to go back to the beginning of the series so I think I will.

The advantage of this book is that it has been out for awhile and I should be able to buy it locally. So it may be my first buy or close to it.


With Love from London
Well I haven’t read a Sarah Jio book for awhile and seemingly this should publish in February.  It is set in London and includes a bookshop and a woman who needs to start over.

This will be an early buy too.

The Wedding Veil

The latest book from Kristy Woodson Harvey that is to publish at the end of March so that is well in my sights for the first quarter of the year.

It has to do with a wedding veil and four generations of women linked by it.

The Sweet Taste of MuscadinesThe Sweet Taste of Muscadines was on my radar last year, but at $52 for the hardback I decided I needed to wait for the paperback and I see that should be out in early March so this will have a place in this planning list as well.

It has some really good responses to it – a debut novel. Women’s fiction with some mystery and suspense.

Want to find out more? The cover will take you to Goodreads to read the blurb.

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Review

Jill Shalvis: The Family You Make

The Family You Make
Published: William Morrow
Date: 11th January 2022

Source: Publicist via NetGalley

During the snowstorm of the century Levi Cutler is stranded on a ski lift with a beautiful stranger named Jane. After strong winds hurl the gondola in front of them into the ground, Levi calls his parents to prepare them for the worst…but can’t bring himself to say goodbye. Instead, wanting to fulfill his mother’s lifelong wish, he impulsively tells her he’s happily settled and Jane is his girlfriend—right before his phone dies.

But Levi and Jane do not.

Now Levi’s family is desperate to meet “The One.” Though Jane agrees to be his pretend girlfriend for just one dinner, she’s nervous. After a traumatic childhood, Jane isn’t sure she knows how to be around a tight-knit family that cherishes one another. She’s terrified, and a little jealous. But an unexpected series of events and a host of new friends soon show Jane that perhaps this is the life she was always meant to have.

Right on the first page of The Family You Make Jill Shalvis engages us with action. Serious action as two people face that they might not come out of a dangerous situation alive.

Levi and Jane meet in a scary gondola, buffeted by a storm. Well obviously they do come out of it but one thing leads to another and this pair are falling for each other, in spite of what they both espouse. Jane never stops long in one place, her family history is one of what she experiences as rejection. Levi does have a warm hearted family, but he too has escaped as he was that bit different and felt he wasn’t understood.

As well we have Charlotte and Mateo, two doctors who work at the local hospital. Both fantastic people who are finding their way to each other. Charlotte is working at letting Jane know she has a home with her. At the moment Jane sees herself as a guest renter, but Charlotte is showing her otherwise. Part of the book’s appeal is the journey that Jane makes from “no family” to plenty of “found family”.  Charlotte herself has a past history that makes her hold back with Mateo, and so she too has a journey to make.

There is plenty of romance, delightful characters, a quirky family and a Cat that knows its place. A book for those who like an engaging read with these kinds of ingredients.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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What I read last week:

A quiet week, I’ve had a sore throat and bronchial thing which meant I stayed close to home so that I don’t pass anything on. Ready to get out though now. So I spent the week reading and sewing and joining more quilt alongs than I had intended!

What I am reading now:

A memoir.

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Listening to…

The Whispered Word

Up next:

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Month in Review

December Reading Round Up

Total books read this month: 14

New to me authors:

Josi Kilpack
Julie Cantrell
Gill Hornby

Top Book for December

Okay so I am biased! So what!

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Looking forward to reading in January

I don’t have any big “must read” publishing books for January that I know about. I am planning to get started on my goal of five books off my actual print shelf per month. One book I do have in mind is a memoir that published in 2021. A very interesting story of a woman and family who started a big quilting business in Missouri. I learned so much about quilting from her via her videos. And well… I might have bought quite a bit of fabric from her shop online!!book cover

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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Review

Reading Goals for 2022

  1. Read five books a month from my actual TBR print shelf.
  2. Keep some series going that I have started  So ….                                                                     the Karen Rose romantic suspense series, the Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness series,                      Ellery Adams Secret Scone and Book Society and the Patience Griffin series set in Scotland. There are a couple of other cosy mysteries that I’d like to read one in to see how I like them.I also want to try a Sarah Maas fantasy series.  Of course there are other series where a new one will come out and I’ll read those of course.
  3. I want to cut down on my book buying so that I don’t end up with lots of books waiting to be read. So I have decided I must read three from my print TBR before I buy a new print book. According to my maths calculation that is a ratio of 3:1 and my TBR shelf should shrink a bit over the year! As well, for every new book I buy one has to go from my shelf into a box to be donated, either from the read section or the TBR section.
  4. Read the back lists of authors I like or newly discovered and want to try another, can be any author but thinking Roisin Meaney, Julie Cantrell, Josi Kilpack, Steven Rowley, to name a few.
  5. Reread some books. I like the idea of rereading but never do. So I am just going to say about six and it can be via audiobook as one way of doing that.

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Review

Anything Could Happen. Lucy Diamond

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Publisher: Quercus Books
Date: 6th January 2022
Source:Publisher via NetGalley

For Lara and her daughter Eliza, it has always been just the two of them. But when Eliza turns eighteen and wants to connect with her father, Lara is forced to admit a secret that she has been keeping from her daughter her whole life.

Eliza needs answers – and so does Lara. Their journey to the truth will take them on a road trip across England and eventually to New York, where it all began. Dreams might have been broken and opportunities missed, but there are still surprises in store…

In Anything Could Happen by Lucy Diamond, the main characters – Lara, Ben and Eliza find that indeed anything just could happen!

Lara and Ben met one day in New York while they were both there on holiday as young twenty somethings. Then life – well anything could happen and it did.

About eighteen years on, back in the UK,  we find Lara and Ben into their forties and Eliza – Lara’s daughter determined to find out who her mystery father is. And she is determined to find out. In so doing she unearths a few secrets and hidden truths. In those eighteen years Ben has married Kirsten and Lara has raised  a young woman – Eliza.

I enjoyed all the characters. They are very realistic, imperfect and yet willing to take an honest look at things and eventually make decisions that will affect their lives going into the future. I liked that we got the viewpoint of Ben’s wife – Kirsten, as it added to the 360 degree viewpoint.

I liked this book although I didn’t fall totally into it. It kept me reading to the end though and I enjoyed the final epilogue scenario.