#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 doing well. We have had some great summer days and nice and hot. I heard February is Ice Cream month in NZ. I can go with that for sure. We eat an enormous amount per person evidently!

It is also a long weekend as it is our national holiday, Waitangi Day. The day our founding document was signed between the government and the local Maori people in 1841.  I am just quietly enjoying it, I think the main celebrations at Waitangi ( way up north) took place on Saturday, as that was the actual day, but all our holidays are being Mondayised! So that workers have a long weekend.

What I read last week:

Both books I very much enjoyed.

What I am reading now:

A spin off from P&P. What happened to Charlotte?

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Up next:

This is a possibility. I have it on my Kindle and got free last year. Has some very mixed reviews so it may be a take a look and delete, but in the aim of reading more on my Kindle TBR I am trying it out. The cover works though!

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Review

The Debut Books of Friends and Fiction Authors

Do you ever go back to the debut books of authors who are already well established and their new books are usually read by you?

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Mary Kay Andrews first book was written as Kathy Hogan Trocheck. She went on to write a number of books in this series. I only read the first one as these are cozy mysteries and I wasn’t really into that genre then.

Callahan Garrity is the owner of house mouse, a cleaning service that tidies up after Atlanta’s elite. She’s also a former cop and a part-time sleuth. She and her coterie of devoted helpers can ransack a house for clues faster than it takes a fingerprint to set.

As it happens I have read this book back in 2015.  I say… Enjoyed this older story published in the ’90’s in it’s first edition. Callahan is the head of a cleaning company along with her mother Edna. Callahan is also a part time PI and finds herself caught up in a murder and some shady business dealings. Full of quirky characters, and humour.

book cover This is Patti Callahan Henry’s debut novel. Amy Reynolds is stunned when her first, great love suddenly reappears. A happily married mother of two, she wants nothing to do with him. But then-needing to know why he was ripped from her life without explanation-Amy becomes obsessed with the idea that maybe they really were meant to be together…

I haven’t read this one published in 2004. I don’t know if I will but there are others of her backlist I do want to catch up on. Readers who reviewed this one mention the bittersweet – cry your eyes out ending. So not so sure I want something like that at present.

book cover Mary Alice Monroe‘s debut novel published in 1995. Still reeling from the shock of her estranged husband’s suicide, Nora MacKenzie is hit with the news of the Wall Street power broker’s debts. Left only with a small farmhouse in Vermont and his secret journals, Nora begins to sort things out–until a ruggedly handsome farmhand shows up to greet her.

As it happens I listened to this on audiobook in 2014 and it was my first introduction to this author. It was narrated by Sandra Burr and I actually really enjoyed it. I remember very little about it now, but I do remember being deeply satisfied by it. Maybe a re-listen could be on the agenda. I’ve gone on to read quite a few of her books.

book cover Kristy Woodson Harvey had her first book published in 2015. One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.

Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…

4.5 stars. I first noticed this book when I read a review by Kristin at Always With a Book, I made a note of it to read sometime in the future. When I was browsing our local library shelves there sitting facing me was a pristine copy of the book, so I felt the time had come to read it. The library rose a few more degrees in my esteem, for already having it on its shelves here in New Zealand! Published 2015 and read in 2015! I’ve gone on to read everyone of her books since.

Jodi Thomas says on the cover – “Characters with rich, complicated lives…. Beautifully shows how a family comes to be”. As Jodi Thomas is a favourite author of mine, I needed no further incentive to read.

book cover Kristin Harmel is an author I have not read – yet. She now writes historical fiction which I real less of than contemporary fiction. She is probably best known for her recent The Book Of Lost Names.

When Claire lands the plum assignment of interviewing Hollywood’s #1 hottie, she knows better than to mix business with pleasure, yet the next morning she wakes up in his bed–without her clothes. The tabloids pick up the story, and she learns that not everything printed is true.

I probably won’t read her debut novel but I think I will sample her writing with the book The Sweetness of Forgetting which I had already marked to read. It does sound sad and seems to have a dual time line but I’ll give it a go.

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Month in Review

January Reading Wrap

Total books read this month: 11

New to me authors:

Farid Almed

Top Book for January

Every read was really good. All books that are “me”.  Hard to choose a top book but for its exploration of heart transplant issues and a good story with great characters this one just tops the others.

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2021 Reading Intentions  January Update.

Read What I Truly Enjoy. Enjoyed every book and only read what I wanted to read.

Use the Library and only buy when I need to. Library : 5

That is a satisfactory amount. I did buy some for later reading because the library doesn’t have them. The Residence was one on Kindle that I bought – forgot to check if the library had it.  Oops that would be 5 books bought!!
Read Own print and Kindle shelves:  3 paperbacks off my own shelf which is good. Would have liked to read at least one Kindle one!

Incoming Books for January

Purchased

From NetGalley

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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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 last week was Australia Day and inadvertently I read a book by an Australian author and also have one planned coming up.  I always say there are outstanding Australian authors. I guess being a more populated country than NZ it makes it viable publishing  wise.

What I read last week:

Josephine Moon’s book was great, loved it and the cozy mystery was fun.

What I am reading now:

This one is a recommended read and glancing down at Goodreads I see lots of other readers I follow agree, so into this one from the library.

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Up next:

A review book by a big favourite Australian author.

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Last Week’s Posts

Debut novels 2020/21

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Book Connections

Debut Books of 2020/21

I’ve become an avid fan of the Friends and Fiction podcast, mainly because its by authors I enjoy and just about always auto buy. So therefore I figure they are going to be talking about books I might enjoy. Recently they introduced us to five new authors, and their debut novels. Two of them published in 2020 and the others come out this year. So I had to take a look at them to see if they might hold promise for my reading life.

book cover In this compelling coming of age story, culture, family, friends, bullies, and lovers propel two young people to unite to guard each other in a world where love, hope, and connectedness ultimately triumph.  Published March 2020 by Mercer University Press.

And yes I think that’s a possible read I’d like to try. So adding to my TBR

book coverThis one involves a terminal cancer diagnoses for Tommy the partner of Alexis which throws them into turmoil and for their teenage daughter Cece.  Published April 7 2020. William Morrow.

Sounds a bit heavy and sad, probably heavy on tissues, so its a maybe… possible…. read.

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The Kindest Lie examines the heartbreaking divide between black and white communities and plumbs the emotional depths of the struggles faced by ordinary Americans in the wake of the financial crisis. Nancy Johnson’s debut novel offers an unflinching view of motherhood in contemporary America and the never-ending quest to achieve the American Dream. Will be published Feb 2021 by William Morrow.

Could be a possible read, putting it in my TBR and might give it a try if its at the library.

book coverThis one seems to be dual time line and has to do with an apothecary who dispenses poisons to women who want to get rid of men who have wronged them. This one comes out in March by Park Row.

While not fond of dual time lines, I may look at this. Elizabeth from Silver Reviews is reading this so will certainly read her review and be informed by it. Love the cover.

book cover This one is about a brother and sister returning home after their mother dies.

But as they uncover more about Geneva’s death, shocking truths are revealed that overturn the family’s history as they know it, sending the pair on an extraordinary journey to chase a truth that will dramatically alter the course of their lives.

Could be a read I’d like, it’s Southern fiction and Susan Wiggs says it will appeal to fans of When the Crawdad Sings. I didn’t particularly like that one, but will still give it a look.

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#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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Well what a week. I enjoyed watching the pomp and pageantry of the Inauguration of the 46th President of the USA. It was on early morning in my time zone, and while I usually wake early, that day I was so annoyed to wake later than usual and just miss the swearing in of Kamala Harris but got there for Joe Biden. Because I’ve read books by both of them I felt I knew a little about them.

After all that and jumping out of bed out of sleep I was rather dopey for the rest of the day and didn’t get much done!  I had lots of favourite parts but especially loved that gifted young woman poet.

I did get quite a bit of quilting done this week even if my reading was slight!

What I read last week:

I finished listening to an audiobook and read one review book. Slow reading week!

What I am reading now:

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And I’ve just started listening to Barack Obama’s book A Promised Land.  It will be a long haul but enjoyed the first few  hours so far.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Heart Gifts.

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Book Connections

Heart Gifts.

The next read I have lined up for myself is one about someone dealing with a heart transplant. One of the reasons I read is to explore through book characters what its like for people to deal with such life changing events. I decided to look at other books with this theme running through them.
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The Gift of Life.   Josephine Moon

Gabby McPhee is the owner of The Tin Man, a chic new cafe and coffee roasting house in Melbourne. The struggles of her recent heart transplant are behind her and life is looking up – until a mysterious customer appears in the cafe, convinced that Gabby has her deceased husband’s heart beating inside her chest.

book coverIf I Should Lose You Natasha Lester

As it turns out another Australian author. And… I have this one already waiting on my bookshelf, just haven’t so far got to read it, but now my interest is re-awakened.

Camille is a nurse specialising in supporting families through the difficult decision to donate the organs of their dying loved ones. Camille’s mother is a gifted but uncompromising transplant surgeon determined to make it in a man’s world until her own life falls apart. And Camille herself is a mother to Addie – five years old, critically ill and in desperate need of the very organs her mother and grandmother work with.

Tiny Pieces of Us Nicky Pellegrino. book coverI had this one on my radar by a New Zealand author but wasn’t too sure, however now I am reconsidering. I think it could still be in the shops, if not will look at the library.

Vivi Palmer knows what it’s like to live life carefully. Born with a heart defect, she was given a second chance after a transplant, but has never quite dared to make the most of it. Until she comes face-to-face with her donor’s mother, Grace, who wants something in return for Vivi’s second-hand heart: her help to find all the other people who have tiny pieces of her son.

book coverThe Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae.   Stephanie Butland 

Another one I may consider reading. I’ve read one Stephanie Butland and I suspect I’d find this one on Kindle.

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.
She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure.

book coverChange of Heart Jodi Piccoult

I am not sure if I’ll read this one. Mixed reviews by readers I follow. It will have a lot of angst I know as a mother struggles to accept the offer of a heart for her daughter from a man she cannot forgive!

I might still have a change of heart over reading this one!

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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 doing well. We had a very sunny week, but this week looks like the weather is going to be windy and wet mostly. Most people go back to work here as the country gets back to normal after the summer break. Of course as I am retired it doesn’t really mean too much to me, although its nice to have everything back.

What I read last week:

Enjoyed them all. Two were almost finished as I began the week so that gave me four for this week!

What I am reading now:

One for review.

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Up next:

Time to take one of my print TBR.

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Last Week’s Posts

Gone but Knot Forgotten.  Mary Marks

Cozy Series I am Reading

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Book Connections

Cozy Series I Am Reading

I haven’t given much attention to Cozy Mysteries but I am finding more time for them in my reading life. These are the ones I am enjoying and catching up on at the moment. I’ll try not to get into any more until I’ve read through some of these. I like starting from the beginning of a series. Just one of those things!

Her Royal Spyness Series

I am on #5 of this series and so far have listened to them on audio.  Georgie the heroine is about 30 something in line to the throne in England. She is a very poor member of the aristocracy, but that doesn’t stop her from becoming involved in solving murders. I see it goes up to #15. Not sure if I will get that far!

Kat Holloway Mysteries.

book cover Murder in the East End was the last one I read – it’s #4. Again its set in England and has an Upstairs/Downstairs feel to it. Kat Holloway is the cook, quite young and very astute.As well there is Daniel McAdam who turns up every so often and is a bit of an enigma. They solve murders though! The next one comes out in July 2021.

The Haunted Library Mystery series by Alison Brooks

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Read and Gone is #2 in this series and is set in a small town, USA. Carrie is the events planner at the local library, where we also have a ghost that chats to her. Plus a delightful cat called Smokey Joe. In this book her Dad turned up and it all involved stolen jewels and murders. I have listened to the first two on Audible because they were free and I have #3 queued up as well. After the I’ll have to buy them!!

Quilting Mysteries by Mary Marks   book coverI am reading through this series, I have two more coming from the Library, I just bought the next two because they aren’t at the library and then Kensington will publish I think about #9 mid year and I’ll be all ready for it! I enjoy the characters and the things they get into. Plus the quilting tips of course.

Second Chance Cat Mystery. Sofie Ryan

book cover I’ve read two in this series set in Maine. I enjoy the characters, Elvis the cat and I want to know more about Mac in relation to Sarah. So this is another mystery series I’ll read on much further into.

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Review

Gone But Knot Forgotten. Mary Marks.

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Gone But Knot Forgotten by Mary Marks is #3 in this cozy quilting mystery series. Just let me say I am totally enamoured for a number of reasons. It was published in 2015 and in case you think you are past writing a book, the first book in this series was published when the author was seventy. I wishing her a long and fruitful life!

Martha Rose the main character is so real. About 55 years of age, a size 16 and a divorceé as her husband left her for a much younger woman. Therefore she does not trust men and it shows. Plenty of them seem to appreciate her finer points but she struggles to accept them. She is very assertive and refuses to be pushed anywhere she doesn’t want to go. So don’t leave your shaving gear on her bathroom vanity if you haven’t been asked!

She has two fine friends in Lucy – in her sixties and Birdie in her seventies. They form a little quilting group and I just love how real it all is. These people really support each other, but when Martha Rose needs to be told – they tell her!

In this book Martha Rose is asked to be the executor of a will for a past friend Harriet. She has been dead ten months in her house before found!! And soon it is found out she was murdered. Well in rides Martha Rose and I can say she is out for justice for Harriet. Much to the annoyance of the police, but too bad. The house that Harriet lived in is amazing and might even have a secret room. There are lots of valuables, some of which are missing.

The quilt on the cover is one of those – a quilt going back to the Declaration of Independence. I just loved the whole story around it.

I guessed the murderer before reveal – just. I already have book #4 from the library ready to dive into very soon!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.