Book Connections

Anticipated TBP Books for 2020

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I always like to check up on favourite authors and what they might be publishing next. These five I plan on buying.

My biggest lookout would be the one coming out in June by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She doesn’t write a book every year so I always look forward to the year she does. It doesn’t have a cover yet so here is the place holder. I have already pre-ordered a hard copy from Amazon! Right now it is cheaper than the paperback and the same as the Kindle price!

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When life throws her one setback too many, midwife and young widow Tess Hartsong takes off for Runaway Mountain. In this small town high in the Tennessee mountains, surrounded by nature, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal. 

Another author I’ve come to like is Sarah Morgan and her next one comes out in April.

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I couldn’t find any information about what it is about, but that’s okay. It says on the cover “Who says you can’t choose your family?”  Good enough for me. Will pre-order from the Book Depository.

K. A. Tucker – a Canadian author has become a favourite of mine in the last few years. This one is the continuation of her previous book The Simple Wild.

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Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.  
But! It sounds like it’s not all a bed of roses.  Publishes in March. Again will pre-order from the Book Depository.

Fiona Lowe is an Australian author and I really liked her book Home Fires, so I have had my eye on her next one. It publishes in February. I’ll buy it locally, I resisted requesting it for review. I want the actual copy to read and put on my book shelf.

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Australian author Fiona Lowe returns with a juicy family saga, set against the backdrop of Victoria’s high country, about unforgettable characters tangled together by a wealthy inheritance, secrets and betrayal.

Lastly one from Anne Bogel. I’ve already pre-ordered this from the Book Depository.  It publishes in March.

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We’ve all been there: stuck in a cycle of what-ifs, plagued by indecision, paralyzed by the fear of getting it wrong. Nobody wants to live a life of constant overthinking, but it doesn’t feel like something we can choose to stop doing. It feels like something we’re wired to do, something we just can’t escape. But is it?

Anne has some strategies for us in making the small and large decisions.  I predict it will be worth reading.

I am sure very soon I will have another list of five publishing this year that I want. Do you make a list of authors you keep an eye on, for what they are publishing next?

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Book Connections

Five Books on my Kindle Waiting…

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I tend to ignore my Kindle books a little, so I am taking a look at all the ones waiting and picking out five books I need to remind myself to read sooner rather than later! It says that I have 540 unread, but I am sure that’s a fib, I really need to check, because if even left at 98% I think it doesn’t recognise it as read! I need to do a bit of a sort to obtain the real count.

These ones are more recent additions… I haven’t gone deep into the basement yet.

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This is a recent one, that was recommended by a couple of people with whom I have similar reading taste.  It’s Little Women inspired, and is about family and sisterhood I think. By the way have you been to the new movie Little Women? I haven’t but would quite like to, although just over 2 hours.

 

book coverThis one is from a teen favourite author and I didn’t read all her books, or if I did I’ve forgotten them. They have somewhat updated covers! This one is about a young nurse starting out. Many of these books have been published recently in Kindle format and I have been buying them all up! But I need to read them!

Book cover Bought back in July 2019. I think it was on a deal and a few people have recommended it. It may be a Rom Com which isn’t my preferred reading but will give it a go sometime.

 

book coverBought this back last year in July too and its historical romance, #3 in a series and I enjoyed the first two. I need to get to it! It’s a marriage of convenience trope.

 

Book CoverAnother July ’19 purchase! Again a deal I think and maybe a recommendation from Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs Darcy blog.  The blurb says ………………… A searing debut novel from the award-winning author of You Know When the Men are Gone, about jealousy, the unpredictable path of friendship, and the secrets kept in marriage, all set within the U.S. expat community of the Middle East during the rise of the Arab Spring.

 

Kindle books tend to be out of sight, out of mind! How about you? Are you all clear or is there a pile up?

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Book Connections, Review

Five Books with Connections to Self

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Connect Five Friday.  A Friday link up that can be joined in on any day and begins again the next Friday. Post about a list of five bookish related topics/lists of your choice. Be creative and enjoy the process. If you want to know a little more read the introduction to it here.

When I was teaching one of this ways we helped young readers comprehend was to make connections to our own lives from the books we were reading. When I came across the first book in this list of five I realised how my own experience was helping me understand Anthony so I decided to look for some more connections to self in the books I read.

book coverIn this novel we meet a writer hiding ashamed from  one big mistake he made – he plagiarised from a little known author and he was dobbed* in by an “unknown source”. I know, immediately we judge him as a reader, we don’t like plagiarising, we see how it affects authors. But… suddenly I found myself remembering a little plagiarising I did myself as a thirteen year old. We had to write a description, I was under pressure just like Anthony, and I picked up a description of a cowboy from Zane Grey. Thank you Zane! Anyway of course the teacher didn’t buy it, I mean I am and was no Zane Grey. But I do remember the shame and I was cured of plagiarising! Of course as a teacher many years later I’d come to realise the value of mentor texts and how we can learn and model our writing on those writers who write wonderful sentences and descriptions! Anyway my small life experience brought to me some sympathy for this character Anthony and it turns out it wasn’t misplaced.

*British informal. [dob someone in] to tell someone in authority about something bad that another person has done.

book coverThis is the first book written by British author Lucilla Andrews – written in 1954. It is less a romance and rather a fascinating look at hospital nursing life in this era. It will be interesting to see how her writing develops as I read through her books in the order they were written. Who knew that prem babies were fed breast milk with a little brandy! Very realistic and worth reading although a little too much description. I connected to it because way back in the ’60’s I spent a year as a nurse aide in a maternity hospital. It was fascinating to see how things had moved on since 1954. For example after giving birth the women were carried down stairs on a stretcher to the ward after giving birth. At great cost to those carrying.  In my day of course they were wheeled back in a bed. Nowadays if they are at a hospital they are often on their way home a few hours later!

book cover Rival’s Break is a suspenseful cozy mystery sort of book, but what I connected to were the characters and the fact that some of them had quite Catholic connections and some Irish. Emma Sharpe one of the main characters – an FBI member and art expert once belonged to an order of nuns, and there is a Father Finian who became a priest after losing his wife and daughters in an accident. So with my own Catholic upbringing and a good dose of Irish in me I felt very at home in the book!

 

Book coverAs soon as I started The Country Guesthouse I was making connections. I was thinking of all those times we did things as a staff to build rapport and trust etc. The fall back the heroine had to make  to someone who couldn’t be trusted at work ( and she wasn’t caught!) I hated those team build times as much as Hannah. And then 5 year old Noah has lost his mother and doesn’t want to forget her. It reminded my of my nephew Max and the hard time he had and still does at the loss of his great grandpa when he was 5. And I loved and could identify with Owen’s love of a quiet life in a less populated area. Already I’ve stopped in the early parts of the book to reflect. So much so, my Kindle has turned off a few times while waiting for me to go on!

book coverMany readers I follow enjoyed this author and book so I wanted to try it out. I am growing in years and the characters in this book are experiencing many of the things I know about. They are a bit older than me, but not much and so their thoughts and feelings I can really identify with and it makes me stop and think, and admire their struggles and kindnesses, and their knowing that life is still for living and the great choices they make.  I really admired Frank and Lucille’s honesty with each other in this story and their acceptance of each other and the love and friendship they had for each other. Never too old! And I totally identify.

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Book Connections

Five Books From my Bookshelf I’ll Priority Read in 2020

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Welcome to the first Connect Five link up. A  Friday link up that invites you to join in posting about a list of five bookish related topics/lists of your choice. Be creative and enjoy the process. If you want to know a little more read the introduction to it here.

Here are five books I bought in 2019 and want to give priority to reading from my TBR in 2020. I have no plan for when, but I am going to group  them together on my shelf to remind me to pick them up soon.

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They had a bond, until a sudden tragedy thrust them apart. Now, each of them  at a crossroad in her own life, two sisters paths are about to intersect.

I forget where I heard about this but I want to read it soon

 

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Over worked and under appreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when her guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shoe up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts and escapes to New York.

Yes another I want to read soon. It has books on the cover and what else is over due but books so it has to be connected.

book coverMalcolm Postead’s Oxford life has been one of routine, ordinary even. He is happiest playing with his dæmon, Asia, in their canoe La Belle Sauvage. But now as the rain builds, the world around Asta and MalcoIm , is, it seems, set to become increasingly far from ordinary. I bought this on spec! I enjoyed a long time ago his dark materials series and so I thought I’d give this one a go.

book cover After a divorce request second baseman Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men.

I’ve seen some good reviews for this book plus its been rated well on some of the book podcasts I listen to, so I am hoping I’ll enjoy it.

book cover Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm’s length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by two young brothers who desperately need their help it seems they might be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

This is one I’ve wanted to pick up for awhile, I bought it the day it hit the local bookshelves, but… books got in the way. It’s time for what I know will be a fast paced thrilling romantic suspense. And even though it has just over 500 pages it won’t seem like that.

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Book Connections

Introducing Connect Five Friday Link Up

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Last year I did connect five as a challenge, for 2020 I am going to host it as a link up or meme on a Friday. I didn’t want to lose the concept but I am not getting  involved in reading challenges for 2020.

It will be open for the week. You might like to do your Connect Five on another day. A link will close on Thursday and a new one will open on Friday.  Your five might be just one section of a post and that’s quite okay. You might just make a post on Instagram and link it if you want.

So the five can be connections of any kind. Books can have been read last year or any year. Books can be used more than once.They may not have been read yet. They might be ones you just bought or want to buy.  It can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Maybe it’s not a list of actual books, but things connected to books – e.g. favourite book shops, recipes etc. It might even be five movies related to books or five poems or five poets or five bookish moments, five thoughts about reading – be creative!

While I am challenge free for 2020,  you might still want to take this on as a challenge so do it!

I hope you can join in some weeks. I look forward to your ideas.

Hashtag #connect5books

Starts first Friday in January 2020.  Now that’s pretty soon!

Book Connections

Five Christmas Book Reads

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A Christmas book is usually uplifting and enjoyable – not too much angst, and who doesn’t need a book that takes us out of the everyday humdrum.

book coverEvery Time a Bell Rings is a perfect Christmas season book, which of course can be read at anytime of the year as well. It explores fostering children and the difference it can make to young people’s lives. Belle and Jim are such children and grow into people who in turn become foster parents. Yet they hold special wounds that need healing and love is the answer. Long, patient love. The book has a link to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” which I haven’t seen but will look up. However it did remind me a little of Scrooge’s adventures in parts. A very satisfying, heart warming read. If you haven’t read an Irish author Carmel Harrington book you are missing out. No, I haven’t found her in NZ shops, but the Book Depository UK is where I go when I want a book from that part of the world.

book cover Coming Home for Christmas was a really delightful read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A mother returns home finally after many years of mysteriously disappearing. Her husband Luke does not know what had happened to her and thinks possibly she is dead. The story of her re-appearance is  both hard and wonderful at the same time. I loved both the characters and the story. Perfect Christmas read.

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Christmas in Winter Vally is set in Texas and told with all the panache of a master storyteller. I loved this story by Jodi Thomas and it was also a delightful read for leading up to Christmas. It has a whole cast of characters that are very loveable and made for great reading. A favourite.

book coverChristmas From the Heart  is a very focused Christmas story and does centre around Christmas and the idea of giving.There is a Scrooge like business man and a rather pushy generous Christmas woman determined to bring Christmas cheer to those around. It was my least favourite Christmas read. It just felt a little too forced and the love triangle a little unreal. However those who love to revel in a Christmas Hallmark movie most likely will enjoy it.

book cover This book has a wonderful Christmas setting. I wanted to be there in a tree house among the snow and trees in Aspen – all warm and cosy looking out. That’s where the White family end up at Christmas time. Daughter Rosie is planning on a Christmas wedding – a little rushed according to sister Katie who would like to possibly see it stopped. And then their parents are considering divorce, only the girls don’t know that – yet. Its a wonderful, warm Christmas story of family with a fabulous setting.

Book Connections

Connect Five Books – November/December

BannerJoin me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

 

Congratulations to Bev at Beverley Baird  for Sept/October. She’ll be choosing her book soon.

The last couple of months here are some of the connections readers made.

This month readers linked up via blogs, twitter and Goodreads. Which was so cool and readers – so simple!

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 day of December.

#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.

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.

Please remember to link to the actual post/place where you have the five connections.

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Book Connections, Review

Five Diverse Books I’ve Read in 2019

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Reading can take us beyond what we experience from people and events and culture immediately around us. These books did that for me. I think after the mass shooting we saw happening in the mosques in Christchurch New Zealand, I challenged myself to be more aware of picking up books that helped me explore the wondrous diversity existing in our world.

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Ayesha at Last is set in Toronto, Canada and is about Ayesha and Khalid, both belonging to a Muslim community. It’s a romance that is full of twists and turns, has humour and a tad bit of revenge which I always enjoy when a baddie gets his desserts. Ayesha and Khalid have a love/hate thing going on, plus interfering relatives to add to it. I loved the diverse aspect of the Muslim religion, how they live and what’s important to them. Not everything in the story is completely wrapped up for every character, which really just made it feel more real. I’ll certainly want to read another book from this author – this is a debut novel, with flavourings of pride and plenty of prejudice.

book coverPride Prejudice and Other Flavors is set in California, however it involves a high ranking Indian immigrant family and DJ Caine a chef who is a mix of Indian/African. While the two main characters have their share of pride and prejudice, the book also touches on the prejudices white people have towards those with darker skins. The many tasty flavours of Indian cooking is a large component. I enjoyed this read, it explores the roles in family, sibling relationships, illness (Trish the heroine is a neurosurgeon) and betrayal. It does have romance but its more mainstream than outright romance. My kind of read.

book coverThe story of three sisters, who visit India, in response to their dead mother’s request. Each has a secret or challenge they are hiding from the others. While they have not been that close, due really to growing up circumstances, the trip eventually bonds them together. I liked the Indian setting and the cultural values shown. Some very shocking from my viewpoint. I liked though how the book highlighted and dealt with the issues raised. The only question I still wonder about is the sore ankle the eldest sister had. It went nowhere. Excellent on audio -the narrator did a very good job on the whole and added to my enjoyment of the book.

Book coverField Notes on Love has  two delightful main characters who come from diverse backgrounds. Hugo is bi racial and has throughout his life had to put up with slurs, but with the support of his siblings (one of sextuplets) Hugo has come through it well. Mae is the wonderful daughter of two Dads and with the side support of a special Nana she too is a well balanced individual. They both have dreams and throughout a week long train trip they will discover what that really means. It is YA and I loved the read.

Book CoverThe Stationery Shop of Tehran is partially set in Iran and shares the story of the coup of 1953. A prime minister who had been elected democratically was ousted by the Shah,and foreign powers! All because of oil! This story gives insight into a family life and the love of two people whose lives are disrupted by this event. It’s sad because two young people who love each other are separated by others. Who? Well it will take them many years to realise. In the meantime they have lived good lives but what might have been? I liked this story even though it was a little outside my usual.  I especially liked the insight into Persian life and cooking.

Book Connections

Connect Five Books – August to October

BannerJoin me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

 

Congratulations to Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction, Nicole was the winner of the previous link up for June – August.

The last couple of months here are some of the connections readers made.

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 October.

#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

Please remember to link to the actual post/place where you have the five connections.

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Book Connections, Review

Five Favourite Author Books in 2019

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Favourite authors are authors I’ll always buy their books, or most likely pre-order them so they arrive soon after publishing date. Most of them don’t appear in our shops at all or take a week to get there. I did win Under Currents which was very nice. I love a win, who doesn’t! However Nora won’t lose out because I’ll buy the audiobook for my sister as she is a fan too.

Book Cover Nalini Singh is one of my favourite authors from recent years – like the last decade! Her Psy/Changeling paranormal series is the one of hers I enjoy the most. Wolf Dance takes us back to San Francisco and the wolves den, plus the emergence of a new kind of E Psy. I loved the warmth and wit, the catch up with past characters, and the dual between darkness and goodness. Plus two new main characters who were such fun and of course had good sparks flying between them. Memory is one gutsy heroine and I loved her nose to nose encounters with Alexei the wolf changeling. Five stars from me of course. Ouch I want the June 2020 book now. Thinking I might go back and start rereading this series via audio.

book coverThere is no doubt about it – Nora Roberts knows how to write great romantic suspense. There are times of intensity and times of a wonderful family, friendships blossoming and gardens getting big time makeovers. I loved how both Darby and Zane overcome the awful things life has dealt them. Darby’s ninja skills especially were something to admire for sure. Zod the dog – what a darling. Britt – Zanes’s sister, another strong woman. So much to love and cheer for, so much to be sad about. Five stars from this reader.

book coverOne sister disappears, the other – Ryan, is called upon to take care of two girls – seven and five, who seem shell shocked and withdrawn. Add in one parent who is working out on a submarine and rarely heard of. The grandparents have their own stress with Ryan’s dad having had a heart operation. The sister who has disappeared seems to be key to the whole family situation.  A mystery that slowly unravels and a family that eventually realigns itself. Very engaging read.

book coverAh, Kristan Higgins can sure write a book! Such a mix of characters, some strong – some weak. What a great mother Emma is, Riley such a delightful teen. And yes to Tess! I think she is a rampaging 2/3 year old. What havoc she caused, would love to see her as a teen and young woman! For another character – what is it like to carry a secret that scars for life? We see what it is to be a great Dad, and a terrible Dad. Great story, full of emotion, sadness and joy, some humour – the trademark of KH. And by mistake I ordered two of these books – just too overly keen!

book cover I enjoyed this latest novel of Wendy Wax. I liked the author angle, showing the tough world of publishing and having to produce. And then there is  the angst of falling out with your best friend. That happens!  Mother / daughter relationships also feature. They too have a wonderful relationship but what about if there is a secret lurking in there? All the main characters are flawed, in a very realistic, relatable way. There is struggle, and  forgiveness is not easily extended. And I loved the photo at the front of the book of Wendy Wax’s aunt in a stunning wedding dress. I can see how a story needed to be written!