Book Connections

Five Series of Books I Really Enjoy.

I love finding a series of books I really want to read when each new book comes out. Most of these I will buy or seek at the library as soon as they publish.

book coverThe Psy Changeling series by Nalini Singh. It’s paranormal and has great characters with really interesting backgrounds. I didn’t think I’d really like books by this but I was soon hooked. The next one to publish is in July. I will pre-order!

The Fatal Series and now First Family.

book coverThere was 16 books in the Fatal series telling the story of police dectective Sam and her political husband Nick. Each book progressed the story of family and various cases, some of which were ongoing through a couple of books. Now it has morphed into a new series which promises to be every bit as good. I loved the first one and have pre-ordered #2 for December.

The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley
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So far we have had the story of six of the adopted sisters. Pa Salt has adopted them and now they find out about where they came from. This book coming out, #7  later this month is about Merope, the missing sister so we have not come across her yet. It was announced there is going to be one more book – more Pa Salt’s book, so another one to look forward to.  These books are long and I have found they are rather good on audiobook.

Romantic Suspense Series by Karen Rose

Ibook cover haven’t read all the books in this series but I have tended to keep up with the latest ones.  It is usually set over a few days, hour by hour and a murder of some kind is involved. I love the characters and of course the romance relationship that develops.  They are usually about 500 pages but I read them in a couple of days.

When this comes out in August I’ll buy it. It is set in Sacramento and is #3 in that part of the series.

Any Series by Jenny Colgan!

book coverI have really loved some of Jenny Colgan’s series and plan to read one I haven’t yet started. One of her series that has a new book this year is The Little Beach Street Bakery Series. The new one set in Cornwall comes out next month.

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Book Connections

Women’s Contribution in War Times

Last weekend in New Zealand and Australia we had remembrance day for all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers. ANZAC  Day. This year the special focus was on the role of women. So I thought this Friday I would connect with some of the books that have helped me appreciate the role of women in war.

While I sometimes feel like every second historical book is set in one of the wars, when I looked back over the last couple of years reading to find books, I hadn’t read that many!

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I was drawn to this book because of the bookshop aspect, however Grace not only looked after a bookshop during the war.

At night she helps out patrolling the streets, putting out fires and helping injured people. Her kindness and compassion changes hearts and inspires the ordinary person in the neighbourhood to keep going.

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In this story we meet Louise who becomes a Gunner girl.  Her role was to identify German planes. The women were not allowed to actually fire the gun to shoot the plane down. Their male companion did that!

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While this book is not set in war time we do meet a woman who worked for the Secret Service from London.  She carried out missions into Europe that were dangerous and she stands for many women who were spies and carried important messages. Mind you soon as the war was over she was ousted out of the secret service. An example of the prejudice of the time.

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In The Last Correspondent Soraya M. Lane gives us a graphic portrayal of what it was like for women correspondents to do what they so strongly felt called to do. Report what was happening at the front of World War 2.

In Danni and Ella we meet very gutsy women. Danni a photographer and Ella a writer. They see and deal with life threatening circumstances.

And of course they have to use devious means to get to where the war is happening because they are not “allowed” by the men to go to such places.

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Nina is Russian and grew up in harsh conditions, survived and became a pilot in the Russian army, in a women’s division known as the Night Witches. What a character she is. She Is hard bitten and tough, a razor wielding vixen. But look closer and just maybe there is a softer side to her. I have to say I came to adore her.

The planes they flew were the worst but these women were skilled and brave.  This book would be my top book out of these five.

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Sorting my TBR April: Stay or Go

I have about 100 actual books on my bookshelf that I haven’t read. Do I still want to read them with all the new books being published and its challenging enough to keep up with them. Besides if I move some on, then I have an empty space on my bookshelf and it awaits something new.

I didn’t do that well, however taking five out and looking again at them, at least puts them in my thoughts and the likelihood of picking them up reasonably soon to read. By read I mean I’ll give them the first twenty five page test to see if I want to continue.

Making your mind upI like Jill Mansell but this one just feels old in terms of condition and I don’t think I’d enjoy reading it for that reason. So out it goes. I got it at a book fair so no loss. I have enjoyed some of Jill Mansell’s books before.

How Hard Can it Be? How Hard Can it Be?  is a Maybe, so back on the shelf. It’s about a fifty year old finding herself. It may have a rom comedy aspect, not sure and if I don’t like it after twenty or so pages I’ll send it on.  I’ve never read Allison Pearson. I picked this one up cheap at the bookshop.

Dune RoadI like the blurb on the back of Dune Road, its set in Connecticut and is about someone with new lease of life after divorce. I will certainly give this one a good go. I did get it at the book fair, but still in reasonably good condition. I have liked some of Jane Green’s books previously.

It's the Little ThingsIt’s the Little Things about three people who survive the Boxing Day tsunami and the years that follow. Another book fair buy. I will give this one a read as well. I don’t think I have read an Erica James book before, not sure.

The PossibilitiesThis is one I picked up at the bookshop, has a $34.99 price tag!  Why did I buy it? No idea! It’s about a woman who has lost her son in an avalanche. I’ll try this one too, the money outlay is enough to persuade me, but the story itself sounds readable.  I haven’t read this author before.

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Book Connections

Recommended (or Not) Reads by Other Readers

My goal this year is to note who I got the recommendation from that interested me in a book. That is… most likely I read their review and fell for it.

book cover From Mary from Bookfan is where I heard of this book. Then as I marked I was reading it on Goodreads I looked down the list of readers I follow,  and so many of them had loved it. So into it I put my reader’s nose.

Really enjoyed this heart warming story of family and a small town. Some magical realism which was downright delicious. Loved the characters, didn’t want the story to end. Would read anything more that Heather Webber writes in this kind of genre – magical realism, southern fiction.

book coverCharlotte by Helen Moffett comes recommended by Shelleyrae from Book’d Out. It is a spin off from Pride and Prejudice and takes up Charlotte’s story as Mrs Collins.

It is very well written and stays reasonably true to Jane Austen’s world. However there are inclusions that maybe Jane would have left out! I liked how Charlotte’s story was developed, quite realistic and possible. 

book cover Wrong Alibi is by Christina Dodd and I picked it up because Susan Elizabeth Phillips recommended it. And it didn’t hurt that Elizabeth from Silvers Reviews liked it a lot as well.  It is suspense and a wrong accusation set in Alaska.

This was a good read, it hooked me in straight away. I loved the main character Petie who had so many challenges to face and who grew up fast. Some murder, a little surprise here and there and some family regrouping. Will certainly want to try the next one. This one published at end of 2020 so guess its a little way away!

book coverThis Side of Murder wasn’t exactly recommended but the second one in the series was loved by Katherine from I Wish I lived In a Library. To read that one I wanted to start with the first one in the series.  I have since read the second one and it was really very good.

Set in England in 1919 on an island a group of people meet for a celebration. Or is it! Verity Kent lost her husband in WW1 and she is among some of his fellow officers and soldiers. It is full of intrigue and murder. It was a little slow getting into it, but that could have been my tiredness rather than the book. It sure builds to a climax and we eventually find out who is behind treason and murder. A series to follow up on.

book cover The Four Winds is the most recent book by Kristin Hannah.  It’s set in the 1930’s and explores the Depression era in the Great Plains on a farm.

I thought this might be a bit too sad reading for myself but I did buy the audiobook for one of my sisters who reads much more challenging books than I.

However I was rather shattered by her verbal, might I suggest brutal review. It was not a book for her!  So now I think I’d better take it back and see for myself. She said

Rather Mills and Boonsy, and nothing happens and I just couldn’t go any further than Chapter 20. And I wouldn’t even listen to the end to see what happens to her because I just couldn’t care about her!

 I look non plussed at all the four and five star reviews on GR of people I follow. 55 users even tag it literary fiction.  So Mills and Boonsy ( = Harlequin) doesn’t seem to have any tags. So I am putting it back on my TBR although it will be down the track as have others in my line up.

Have you read it?

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If there is Book Club in the Title!

I could list five books I am sure that I have already read with Book Club in the title. However I decided to look at possible new reads with those two words somewhere in the title!  Because like many readers I can’t resist a title with book club in it!

In a Book Club Far Away I heard about this book on a podcast and decided I’d give it a go, so have put a request for it at the library. It is only just published this month.

Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden used to be best friends. As Army wives at Fort East, they bonded during their book club and soon became inseparable. But when an unimaginable betrayal happened amongst the group, the friendship abruptly ended, and they haven’t spoken since. But then two of them get a call asking for help for the third, so putting differences aside they meet up again.

Women’s fiction so should be something I’d like, but a library loan is a good way to try out a book.

book club I recently mentioned this one as one I want to read. It publishes in May. Women’s Fiction

With the help of books, laughter, and the joy of ever evolving friendships, Jazmine, Judith, Erin and Sara find the courage to navigate new and surprising chapters of their lives as they seek their own versions of happily-ever-after.

book coverThe Single Mum’s Book Club published at the end of last month. It sounds more like romantic comedy which I don’t really like that much so probably will pass on this one. But it has had good reviews on NetGalley if this book is your kind of jam.

book coverLowcountry Book Club is a cozy mystery and its one I have the first one to read so no doubt this one will be on the horizon when I reach it. Published in 2016. It’s #5 so a little way to go before I reach it, but nice to know its there.

book cover This one is part of a series but I think it could be read as stand alone. Its an older one published in 2013. Sounds like a second chance for someone who is starting out again in a new town. It’s a possible read.

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Listening is Reading.

I like to listen to books, and have quite a library of them now. Recently I have been making use of some of the series sale at Audible, which means I have more than I can listen to at the moment. I seem also to be gathering cozy mysteries this way. Maybe 2021 is the year of the Cozy Mystery for me.

Cruel Winter This is #5 in a series. No I haven’t read any others and I won’t listen to this one until I come to it most likely.  It is set in County Cork.

This isn’t one I bought, part of the Included, which means I can borrow it for as long as I like. So there is time to reach it.

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This is #6 in the Royal Spyness series and I have listened to the previous five. They are good fun and generally have a good mystery. Also lighthearted.

book cover Another series I haven’t tried and this is #1 in the Liz Talbot series. Set in South Carolina. 

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This is #1 in the Fixer Upper series. A High End Finish by Kate Carlisle. This is the one I will start with.

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And this one is #1 in a series by the same title as the book. Nora the owner of a bookshop can prescribe the right book for a person evidently. 

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Recent Books for Review

While I am endeavouring to keep review books to a minimum, if they are already on my 2021 list to read then it’s not easy to say no to them. And for these ones of course I said yes!

book cover The latest women’s fiction book from Rachael Johns – Australian author.  Published early May.

Felicity Bell has struggled to move on after her marriage broke down. Her ex has found love again, her children have their own lives, and it’s beginning to feel like her only comfort comes from her dog and her job as a taxidermist. So when Flick gets an offer to work in New Orleans for a few months, she’s drawn to the chance to make a fresh start.

I always enjoy her books so looking forward to reading it.

book coverThis is by Emilie Richards and publishes in July.  Its about two families, two women and lots of secrets. I don’t need to know anymore, Emilie Richards is an automatic read for me and I was delighted to have this copy as part of a blog tour.

book coverAnd a new book by Sarah Morgan and this one publishes in June. And of course I am very happy to read it for a blog tour. I like her books.

Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.

book coverI’ve listed this book before, it was already on my reading list for 2021 and so when I got an invite for the blog tour for The Clover Girls I might have danced a little inner jig.

It is about four women and their stories as they meet up again after knowing each other years before.

book cover I haven’t really read this author but the title has “quilting” in it so of course it was hard to resist, and I didn’t.

When Lark Ashwood’s beloved grandmother dies, she and her sisters discover an unfinished quilt. Finishing it could be the reason Lark’s been looking for to stop running from the past, but is she ever going to be brave enough to share her biggest secret with the people she ought to be closest to?

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Picking Through NetGalley

While I might not be eligible for many books on NetGalley, I do like to keep an eye on what is publishing that I want to read.  Next week though I’ll be sharing five of the books from NetGalley that I do have to read and review and I am very excited to do so. Authors I love to enjoy.

book clubPublishes 18th May.

Wendy Wax pretty much an automatic read any book by this author. Will most likely buy it.

On paper, Jazmine, Judith, Erin and Sara have little in common – they’re very different people leading very different lives. And yet at book club meetings in an historic carriage house turned bookstore, they bond over a shared love of reading (and more than a little wine) as well as the growing realization that their lives are not turning out like they expected.

book cover Publishes 25th May

It’s about step sisters years on and putting aside differences. I usually enjoy Susan Mallery’s women’s fiction books so will be watching out for this one, maybe at the library.

book cover Publishes in July.

RecentlyI read Heather Webber for the first time and now I want to read more!

Sadie Way Scott has been avoiding her family and hometown of Sugarberry Cove, Alabama, since she nearly drowned in the lake just outside her mother’s B&B. Eight years later, Sadie is the host of a much-loved show about southern cooking and family, but despite her success, she wonders why she was saved. What is she supposed to do?

book cover Publishes in May.  Another romantic suspense from Nora Roberts. I like to keep up with them! Maybe an audiobook listen for this one. I did mention this in another post, but keeping it in view!

book coverPublishes in June. Kristan Higgins is an automatic read and buy. Her most recent books have been delving into some tough issues.

Every month, a letter. That’s what Lauren decides to leave her husband when she finds out she’s dying. Each month, she gives Josh a letter containing a task to help him face this first year without her, leading him on a heartrending, beautiful, often humorous journey to find happiness again in this new novel from the New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins.

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Middle Grade March

I found out it’s considered Middle Grade March!  I am not a big middle grade reader but I did read some while teaching that age group. It’s how I fell in love with one book Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. Okay for Now was a book push on the Currently Reading podcast this past week, which made me think of it.

So my Friday Connection today is for five books by Gary D. Schmidt. I haven’t read all of them but I do own four of them.

I have linked the books to Goodreads in case you want to find out more as I haven’t given the blurbs of the books.

book coverI’ve read Okay for Now a couple of times – once aloud to a class. It has Doug as its main protagonist along with Lil. They form a wonderful friendship. Doug has just arrived in a new town and has a hard life at home. Eventually he finds some very good relationships, but… let’s just say tissues were needed.

I really need to reread this one as its now a good eight years since I read it last. I have a copy!

book coverThe Wednesday Wars has a wonderful character called Holling Hoodhood, a seventh grader. He too has things to deal with. I loved how he grew in this book. It was another winner for me.

book coverJust Like That is the latest one published in January 2021. It’s one I am about to read. I’ve heard we say good bye to a character I love in this one so feeling a little cautious. This time it’s about a girl who goes off to boarding school and Matt who is in ownership of a pillowcase full of money.

book coverPay Attention Carter Jones is about someone called Carter who has a burden of grief and anger and has to deal with a butler who turns up on his doorstep. I need to read it, its awaiting me.

book coverAnd another one awaiting me. The blurb says it’s a tender heart breaking book. I have it but might be the last one I read. Orbiting Jupiter.

I’ll have to be needing to read a sad book when I get to it by the sounds of it.

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Eyes On These Romantic Suspense Books

These are all books I want to read in 2021. As I was sorting books out that I want to read I realised these ones all have a large element of romantic suspense. A genre I enjoy.

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At the very top of my list is State of Affairs. This is a “new” series by Marie Force but with her characters all from her Fatal series – which is romantic suspense. It’s probably my top addictive series read. These books have plenty of police procedural, murder and other horrible things happening. But as well it is so full of family and feel good aspects.

I pre-ordered this book on Kindle soon as I finished the last book in the Fatal series. April 20th. Don’t care what I will be in the middle of reading I’ll stop and read this one straight away.

bookcover Mary Kay Andrews always writes a good story and I like to either read or listen to them. I’ve only just read her last one, but if I’ve got it then I can pick it up when I need this kind of  read. This one seems to involve a murder, someone on the run, the sister and her young niece. Escaping the murderer it seems. Has enough promise there.

book cover Legacy  publishes in May and most likely needs no introduction. It will be romantic suspense as well. May listen to this on audiobook. Will see who the narrator is.

book coverAnother series I really like. #3 in the Sacramento series.Say Goodbye.  It will be a continuing story of a cult group and the FBI group that are working to find and end it. These books are always very fast moving and take place over a short time. There are a lot of pages but they go so fast. This one doesn’t come out to August. But it will be an automatic buy!

book coverThis one came out in December 2020 and is set in Alaska where a young girl is accused wrongly of murder. It is #1 in a series so a good place to begin. I haven’t read much Christina Dodd, only one other I think. So looking forward to finding out if I get hooked. I’ll know very soon because this one just came in from the library and I plan to read it very soon.

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