Review

The Cliff House RaeAnne Thayne

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 26th March 2019
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Source:  Litte Bird Publicity via NetGalley

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The Cliff House is a really wonderful read – I think my favorite from this author. It abounds with love and family and care for the wider community.

Stella is a middle school teacher, a “mother” to her two nieces and a beloved foster mother to many another child. But… she is only forty and she hankers for her own child.

Her two nieces are now grown women, a credit to her and themselves – yet some things are not yet sorted. Bea is a great mother to Mari, born of a marriage to a rock star, that has long since ended and she is so ready to move on.   Daisy is a talented financial advisor and accountant, but a little tight and buttoned up. She carries some secrets and surprises though.

The story explores the issues of the importance of foster care, and for each of the women a second chance at becoming firstly more themselves  and secondly a relationship for each of them that promises to be very fulfilling.

It was a story I just kept reading, there is an adorable dog or two, women who care about each other and men who each have their strengths and abilities to be there for the women they have come to love. A secret here and there, past mistake, some tension and loss, and some big hearted giving.

This stand alone book is RaeAnne Thayne’s first ever book in hardcover and it is certainly worthy of it.

 

 

#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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I didn’t get a lot of reading done this week as I wasn’t feeling well. However I am coming right and that is something I really appreciate! Also I wasn’t feeling like visiting blogs but now up and active again!

The weather has been glorious although I think due to break. I walked on the beach the last two days and it felt like paradise.

What I read last week:

I finished The Sound of Glass – one that I really liked, definitely one for my keeper shelf. I know this one was well received when it published but I waited for the paperback to arrive as the hardback was too expensive!

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What I am reading now:

Still listening to Come from Away by Genevieve Graham. I was happy to hear that it continued on with the next generation from the previous book of hers that I had listened to.

I am still reading this one but should finish it today or tomorrow. It’s one that was written in the 1920’s and is rather fascinating.  Four women on holiday in Italy for a month, all quite different.

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Up next:

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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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Well there have been some dark days here in my country, New Zealand. My heart goes out to all those who were so brutally murdered by the terrorist in Christchurch.  The families – what an experience to have to cope with. Almost every New Zealander grieves with our Muslim community.  I say almost because there are a few who choose to hate.  I have never seen my country so sombre.

What I read last week:

A review book and one from the TBR shelf.

What I am reading now:

Loving this one off my TBR shelf.

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And listening to .. well I do need to start!

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Up next:

A little dubious with this one – it is a Modern Mrs Darcy read and one for a reading challenge or two!

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Last Week’s Posts

Home At Last Meredith Appleyard

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Review

Home at Last Meredith Appleyard

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Published: Mira   Australia
Date: 18th March 2019
Format:  e-ARC
Pages:  416
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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I chose to read this book because I’ve always had a fascination with the Flying Doctor Service in Australia. I think it goes back to the years of radio when when there’d be stories that involved this incredible service.

Anna comes back to Broken Hill as a pilot for the FDS. I loved that gender roles were reversed in this novel. Anna is a very competent pilot, has had a challenging life but always seems to make something work.

She meets up with one of the FDS nurses – Nick and a relationship develops. However for both of them there are issues especially that of trust that makes things rough going for awhile. Nick has his own baggage and it all takes some time to be worked out.

The flying doctor service aspect did not disappoint, the author’s own experience of nursing with the FDS made for very authentic situations. I loved the Australian rural setting, a couple of the minor characters added some fizz to the plot.

The story deals with issues of parenthood, ageing parents, having work that is satisfying and of course working out a relationship. A good read.

#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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Hope you are all well. We had some very welcome rain this week and may get some more later this week. I enjoyed my reading although going a little slow at the moment, but I guess I’ll gather momentum again as we do!  Sometimes there is plenty of time for reading and sometimes the pleasure of others company plus chores and other hobbies take precedence!

What I read last week:

The Susan Wiggs book was an okay book, The Cliff House is for review and I did enjoy it. The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Irish author Carmel Harrington was a riveting listen and covered both domestic abuse and a world disaster in 2004.

What I am reading now:

From my TBR stack from this Australian author…

And about to start listening to…

From this Canadian author

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Up next:

A review book….

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Discussion, Reading challenge

What! The Books I Mostly Read are Pigeonholed “Trash”!

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More and more I hate it when readers refer to popular fiction books as

  • Trash
  • Fluff
  • Frivolous
  • A Guilty Pleasure
  • Brain Candy

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And even beach read or comfort read while not as bad, (and I’ve used those terms myself) have a certain ring to them. Literary fiction or classic literature is seen as ” what the discerning reader” picks up to read. Really!  That annoys me. Mostly because it’s said with a certain tone or attitude as well. Said without attitude, then maybe I could accept it.

 

If they were to say “I prefer to read classic or literary books” or “I like a mix of classic and popular fiction” – no judgement in tone – fine!

One reader’s trash might be another person’s treasure!  And I’ll just whisper this! Sh! I am more likely to put literary books in the DNF basket! Well I find them boring or so uninspiring … it  takes the pleasure of reading away from me. But if its for you – go ahead, enjoy it. Just don’t go all snobby on me.

Ah yes! I have read trash – believe me! From 8 or 9 year old boys, who bored me silly with stories that go on page after page of guns and fighting. What is that! Or one boy who insisted on calling every character in his story Bob and wouldn’t shift! Well his family shifted away – thank goodness!  That was in my early days of teaching, I soon learned to steer students away from writing more trash than I could bear!

Popular fiction sells! So there must be others out there like me who want to get lost in a book that they enjoy. I read for entertainment – sure. But in the books I read I am not only entertained. I am made to think, and to experience so many diverse points of view, I love the values that are embodied. Often my heart is opened in compassion.

The struggles of characters and the challenges they face engage me. The hope popular fiction brings, the way goodness is valued.  I love the imagination and creativity that an author brings to writing popular fiction. These authors are writing excellent novels in their own right. Such talent. Their voice rings out. Maybe one author’s voice appeals to me, another to you. Whatever! I respect them whether its to my taste or not. You love a cozy mystery, someone else appreciates a thriller and  I love a good romantic suspense.

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I’ve always had a penchant for a satisfying romance novel. Maybe a discussion another day on that genre, it  warrants a discussion all by itself.

Maybe I’m a bit too sensitive. Perhaps I fear being “looked down on”. No – I know I do! However that acknowledged I believe popular fiction is not given the respect its due. Smart, intelligent people write these books and as a reader I’m not lacking in intelligence either. One author whose work I love and respect was told by a good friend that her books were good and she’d probably be able to write a real novel if she tried!! A backhanded compliment but this author already writes real novels.

Your viewpoint? Your experience?

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I am linking up with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight. Check out all the discussions for March.

Book Connections, Reading challenge, Review

Women Growing into Themselves

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book coverMarilla of Green Gables Sarah McCoy.   Historical fiction.
Marilla is loyal to the family and the farm. While she loses the love of her life she does not let it embitter her. She finds meaning in helping out in the community and even being part of the underground railway.

 

Book CoverBecoming Mrs Lewis   Patti Callihan   Historical fiction.
Joy Davidman was a woman of courage who had to make difficult choices and she did. Choosing what felt right to her and would give her fulfilment and joy.  She chose her children, her writing and her relationship with C. S. Lewis. She left her homeland and journeyed to live in a new country. In spite of many difficulties she hoped and loved.

book coverTrue Places   Sonja Yoerg      Contemporary fiction.
Suzanne after an incident in Africa becomes anxious and fearful. She settles for being a wife and security. When a young woman arrives in her life it awakens in her the need to be strong and to be herself.

book coverAmerican Duchess – Karen Harper  Historical fiction.
A young woman, Consuelo Vanderbilt,  is forced by her mother to marry a Duke. After a unsatisfying marriage and two children, she finds the strength to claim a life of service and to be with the person she truly loves.

Book coverMeet me at the Museum  Anne Youngson.
Tina Hopgood has been a farmer’s wife for forty years. She has cooked and cleaned and made life comfortable for her husband and children. But… she has neglected her own needs. In writing to a man in Denmark she comes to understand herself and what has happened to her. Through this she grows and when the crunch comes, is strengthened to take steps that will lead to growth for her.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
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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I had a great week of reading. The Rosie Result was very good listen and I loved how it all worked out. The House of Second Chances by a new to me author turned out to be a worthwhile read. And the review book The Things We Cannot Say – excellent. I am not a big fan of dual time lines but have to say I was won over eventually by the book.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

I am listening to…

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And off my TBR shelf

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Up next:

A review book

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Month in Review

February Reading in Review

So February turned out to be a better month than I expected reading wise – a short month but I still read a good number. And The Moon Sister was over 20 hours long!

Total books read this month: 15

New to me authors:

Karen Harper
Fiona Lowe  *
Anne Youngson
Sandi Docker
Eithne Shortall
Esther Campion *
Meredith Appleyard

*Authors I’d read again

Reading Club Update:

I read Meet Me at the Museum which is a Modern Mrs Darcy book club read for February. It is an epistolary novel and I liked it. The discussion of the book brought out more about the book for me and hearing Anne Youngson being interviewed was an added bonus.

I read The House of Second Chances I read for the Books with Heart Facebook group. Really enjoyed it.

I didn’t read the Rachel Johns’ book club book because it was a DNF for me and didn’t want to give any more time to it.

Top Book for February

I had two books I gave five stars and they are both keepers

Looking forward to reading in March

These are two books I have for review I’ll read in March. I have never read either of these two authors, but if its a library or books well I am hopeful!

Main Reading Goals for March

  • read the 7 books I have for review
  • keep up and read for book clubs online I belong to
  • start a long ongoing book that I’ll read over a few months – haven’t decided which one yet.

Incoming Books for February…

Books Purchased

Library Books

From NetGalley or Edelweiss

Audio Books Purchased

I am linking up with Nicole and Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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Book Connections, Reading challenge

Connect 5 Books March/April

 

BannerJoin me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

Congratulations to the giveaway winner for the first link up. She linked five books with neuroatypical characters.  Funnily enough the very next book I opened and am reading has such a character in it too. So its given me ideas for a connection of my own!

She says:

1) All the Bright Places: one character has bipolar disorder
2) I Was Born For This: one of the MCs has Anxiety.
3) The Vanishing Stair: MC is in treatment for Anxiety.
4) Solitaire: MC suffers from Depression.
5) Eliza and Her Monsters: MC suffers a panic attack and other (spoilery) things.
It was very interesting to see how successfully or not (in my opinion, of course) they portrayed these issues, how they were incorporated into the narrative and the characters’ personality, as well as the weight they had in their stories.

Remember you didn’t need to sign up for this challenge you can just join in as you see you have five connections.

When you have five that connect in whatever way you are able to group them then link up. How might you do this?  One of these ways is good.

  • Write and link up a blog post
  • Share the five books on Instagram and link up
  • Have a Goodreads shelf and link that up – this may be a little different but maybe use it in combination with a comment would be helpful.
  • Or… if you belong to none of these places, share five books in a comment.

What’s the Challenge?

To look for connections between books you read. There will be  many connections that just float over our awareness. Let’s see can we raise that a bit, whether its fairly surface level or something deeper.

If you need some guidelines for this then see the original post. Connect Five Books.

Remember:

  • A book can only be used once for this challenge in the year.
  • The books must be read in 2019.
  • Books can be carried over until you have five of something. It may take a few months to gather five of something.
  • You may have  many connections of five to link up . So if you have two groups of five then you can link up twice and so on within a month.
  • You may just link one group of five during the year, or many each month. It depends on how many connections you come across!
  •  Use the hashtag  #connect5books2019 if sharing on social media.

When?

Every second month I will post a link up on the last Wednesday of the month. This one will finish on the last Wednesday of April.  (I have changed this, I was going to do it every month, but every second month is going on trial!)

#connect5books2019

A Giveaway

For those who have a five book connection and link up there will be a random prize draw for one reader who will win a book of their choice for that month from the Book Depository. The last link up will be posted in November and go through December. At the end of the year there will be one draw as well for all those who have participated during the year, –  a book of choice from the Book Depository up to the value of $18 U.S.

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