#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?#1 2022

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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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Happy New Year to all those I haven’t caught up with yet. Hope it has started well.

I am feeling the heat these couple of days. Can hardly drag myself around the house its so hot, I guess though it will cool in a few days. In the meantime all the doors and windows are open!

I didn’t see the New Year in, I think I may have slept through the midnight change over!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

My first book of the year

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And listening to…

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Up next:

My first review read for 2022.

The Family You Make

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General

First Book 2022 and Happy New Year

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And I see for the ninth time we celebrate our first book of the year. I chose mine off the print TBR shelf. I chose a new to me author, and one with a summer cover… because of course its summer down here in New Zealand. As I post, it is the evening of January 1st and I have read a few pages. Very promising.

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And my first audiobook for 2022 is Venetia because I felt like an historical and fun. Listened to some of this so far today, hmmm jury is still out!

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May 2022 be one of health and happiness for you and your family. May the books read be fantastic.

Book Connections

Celebrating 2021 Reading

And so 2021 reading comes to a close. And so some observations.

        1. In 2021  I read 151 books.  I set out to read 100. Between 100 and 150 is my normal, and feels about right for my reading pace. Screen Shot 2021-12-31 at 7.03.52 AM
        2. I think of that 151 about 27 were audiobooks. I had a good year in audiobooks and enjoyed them from both Audible and Libby – which came into play in September and meant I cut back to one credit a month at Audible. As Audible now has quite a few books in the Audible Plus section for members that gives even more possibilities.  So many great narrators. Sandra Burr, Dick Hill,Mia Gaskin, Katherine Kellgren, January LaVoy, Brittany Pressley… to name but a few.
        3.  I am a reader who once I find a good series, I generally stay faithful to it. And in 2021 t was no different. I continued with some, finished a couple and started a few new ones. So some of the series I am into, not all! Mary Marks finished her series and is no longer writing. I started the Haunted Library and Anna Lee Huber series and am all caught up. I’ve read some of Karen Rose but am now committing to going right back to the beginning.
        4. Last week I looked at new to me authors, so here I’ll mention some of the “old faves” authors I again read in 2021.

      5. And a small observation to end the year. I started out intending to read…book coverBut its still sitting on the sideboard with only a few pages read. But… I did read and enjoy

      And I set off looking at the life and times of Jane Austen on You Tube, seeing where she lived etc. I will want to read some more about her and I will get to Pride and Prejudice and then Emma, but learning some of the way women lived in those times will enable me to better understand her books.

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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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Welcome to the last Monday of 2021. I had a good Christmas, lovely time at my sister’s place on Christmas Day and then on Sunday 26th quite a few of us met up for a picnic at the river mouth. It was lovely and I loved catching up with some of the very young ones.

On Saturday I gave my niece the memory quilt I’d made of my mother – (her grandmother) and she loved it. Each block has significance and I have embroidered family names in the heart blocks. Had to make a new little one on this quilt for her great great grandson. She’d have loved him.

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So today – Monday I am looking forward to a quiet day. I took out a jigsaw – 1000 pieces last night and have started it. Haven’t done one for ages.  I also put together my Calendar for 2022, its Boxing Day so about 60% off, it means I have to wait probably till mid January for it to arrive but that’s okay. I put on photos of the quilts I’ve made during the year.

Have watched a bit of TV. I love The Block Australia. Plus been looking at Fantasy Island, mainly because I follow the Happier in Hollywood podcast so I wanted to see what it was like.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

Miss Austen

I am listening to…

Shem Creek

Up next:

State of Grace 

Last Week’s Posts

The Christmas Wedding Guest Susan Mallery

Loved Characters of 2021

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I’ve picked out my first book of the year. Are you joining in over at Sheila’s blog?

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Book Connections

Loved Characters of 2021

Often what leads me to love a book are the memorable characters. The ones my heart warms up to when I look back at the cover of the book and think… ” I really loved that character”. I am sure there are more than five but these five are enough to make me put the books on my keeper shelf.

In no particular order!

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Sunshine Victram. She is a mother, with such a great relationship with her teen daughter. And she is a sheriff of the local town. She is very tough with a huge soft centre. She  does not hold back from a challenge and in spite of some bad things in the past she is a wonderful human being. I liked her so much I’ve read the second book with her in it as well this year.

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Helen Demetriou.

Helen is in her mid fifties. She has seen life and experienced homelessness. But she has not stopped there. She runs a community garden and reaches out in the community to those who need it. She is tough, spiky and is a no nonsense communicator. She stands for justice against injustice.

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Letty.  A young woman who when she discovers her sister dead, flees with her young niece looking for safety. She is feisty and caring and doesn’t give up. She finds her way into a small community of people who care for her and are willing to stand by her as danger circles.

book coverDaunis  A young woman – a teen who lives in two worlds. Her father was Ojibwe and her mother white. Her father is dead and she lives with her mother. However she has strong links to her Objiwe relatives. I loved her beautiful caring of the elderly. Her sense of community is strong, she is brave and daring. Faced with a challenge she heads into it.

book coverMegs.  A bright young woman who revels in Mathematics, Science and facts. She has a younger brother who is very ill. I loved how Megs went out of her way to bring about her beloved brothers dream. The way she read The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis to him, and then even tracked this man down, all for her brother.  She was so warm hearted and loving.

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Review

The Christmas Wedding Guest.

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 28th September 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

The Somerville sisters believe in love, but they’ve lost faith it will happen for them. Reggie hasn’t been home since the end of the world’s shortest engagement. When her parents decide to renew their vows, she buffs up her twinkle to help with the Christmas wedding. Unexpectedly, Toby, her first love, is back too, and the spark between them shines as brightly as ever. In the spirit of the season, will they let go of past hurts and greet the New Year together?

Done waiting for the one, Dena is pregnant and on her own—on purpose. But then a gorgeous, sad-eyed songwriter checks in to a room at her inn. Micah, unable to write since he lost his wife, finds inspiration in Dena’s determination to be a mom. One snowflake-speckled kiss and he’s a goner. But Dena is afraid to believe that a rock star could fall for a cookie-cutter small-town girl like her.

This book is beginning of a series by Susan Mallery in Wishing Tree – a small town in Washington state, that really gets into the Christmas spirit.

Reggie is home to help her mother organise a very special renewal of vows, and brings with her, her Great Dane – Belle, and for me just might be the star of the show.  Reggie is about to discover that maybe love just might be around the corner.  Belle certainly works out early on, where her affection is going.  Harrison a young boy just might be my second star of the show.

Dena is a teacher, single and pregnant, because she wants a family and just hasn’t found the right man. But could he be not that far away after all. If only she could believe.

The characters are interesting, the setting is one of those lovely Christmas settings, and there is a strong sense of family and sisterhood.

For me though I found a lack of tension in the plot, there is a lot of sweet set up, but I had to wait for a long time to get to where it became really page turning.  It finally finished in a satisfying way.

#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 just a few days to Christmas. I hope you all have a family Christmas where ever possible. I will join my sister and her family all going well. So far omicron hasn’t made it to where I live and hopefully it won’t before Christmas.

Enjoyed my reading this week, a mix of my own books and review books. I have a bit of a back log on audiobooks, and Audible gave us a credit which was rather nice. Now I need to choose!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And I am listening to…

Heirs and Graces

Up next:

A review book

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Last Week’s Posts

Sleigh Bells Ring  RaeAnne Thayne

New to Me Authors of 2021

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Book Connections

New to Me Authors of 2021

I’ve read a number of new to me authors during 2021. I have been scrolling through to see which authors I would like to read either their back lists, or any new ones they might publish. There are a couple I really liked that I haven’t included here because I have already read another book by them. So here are the ones I’d like to follow up on….

Covers link to Goodreads.

book coverI did enjoy this book by Irish author Roisin Meaney so I will definitely read another. It had a great Irish setting and varied and interesting characters.

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Stephen Rowley was another author I want to read more from, he just had that point of difference that made for interesting reading.

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Madeleine Martin‘s historical fiction was memorable, and when I can still remember the plot and characters some months later, that’s a good sign.

book coverI have just finished listening to Julie Cantrell‘s book Perennials on audio. Brittany Pressley really brought this book alive.  There was something happening all through the book and the characters were interesting. It was somewhat sad in places and maybe too much happened but still a good read. I’ll want to listen to more of Brittany Pressley as well.

book coverAnother audiobook made me interested in another new to me author in 2021 that I’d like to read more from. Molly Fader writes about family estranged and a part of that family finding the way back. And of wrongs of long ago that have impacted today. Nancy Peterson the narrator really helped bring the characters alive.

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Review

Sleigh Bells Ring. RaeAnne Thayne

Sleigh Bells Ring

Published: Harlequin
Date: 26th October 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley – Blog Tour

Angel’s View Ranch has always been special to Annelise McCade. Once upon a time, it was her family’s land, until her grandfather sold it to billionaire Wallace Sheridan. Now employed as the live-in caretaker, Annie is just trying to make it through the holidays with both her sanity and her niece’s and nephew’s faith in the magic of Christmas intact.

The six-year-old twins recently lost their mother, so Annie tells herself it wouldn’t be a problem to bring them to Angel’s View. Why should it be? The Sheridans haven’t visited in years, not since Wallace died. They would never know the twins were there…until Tate Sheridan shows up out of the blue two weeks before Christmas.

Crushed to learn that Tate is there to sell his grandfather’s property—and mortified that her secret guests have been discovered—Annie offers her resignation. But Tate asks them to stay and help him get the house ready for one last family Christmas before it’s put on the market.

Annie and Tate have three days to work their magic before the Sheridan clan arrives—and to work through the growing attraction between them. But Annie simply can’t fall for the man who will put her out of a job and a home. Still, the sparkle of the season is impossible to deny…and this Christmas has surprises in store for everyone.

Sleigh Bells Ring by RaeAnne Thayne was a marvellous Christmas read. It warmed my heart, made me tear up a little with a mix of sadness and joy.

It has a cast of characters who all crept in turn into my heart. Those six year old twins Alice and Henry. Oh my. They have so much to deal with, yet their Auntie – Annaliese or Annie for short, may not have had children of her own, but she is just wonderful with them.

Then enter the Sheridan family. Returning to the ranch for one last time before Irene the grandmother intends to sell it now her dear Wallace has died, they fill the house and bring both joy and heartbreak with them. Wallace was someone who wasn’t there, but was! What a big heart and great foresight.

The ranch and town and sleigh rides all embodied the Christmas spirit. I loved seeing how they reached out and supported.

There is a facing up to tragedies of the past, and facing into the challenges of the now. And of course relationships develop in the romance way, but in all kinds of ways.

This is a Christmas book you won’t regret reading. Although you might regret having to close the book after the last page.

Buy Links: 
BookShop.org
Harlequin 
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Powell’s 

Social Links:
Author Website
Facebook: @AuthorRaeAnneThayne
Instagram: @raeannethayne
Twitter: @raeannethayne
Goodreads

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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 well and out of the track of those tornadoes.  Where I am its rain! and rain! With the odd respite.

This week I was able to go and buy Go Tell The Bees I am Gone. It is #9 in the  Diana Gabaldon Outlander series. I’ve read them since they first began and even listened to her speak when she was here many years ago. I heard a really good interview with her on the radio yesterday and so now I am all geared to read her 800 odd page book. First though I want to get some of my review books read so that I can clear a good long space for reading her book.

What I read last week:

I really enjoyed the audio Love and Lavender, and what a treasure 84 Charing Cross Road was. Mary Kay Andrews Christmas story was delightful and Can’t Go Back I reviewed.

What I am reading now:

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And listening to…

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Up next:

A review book publishing on January 1st. Three novellas from the Shenandoah series.

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Last Week’s Posts

Can’t Go Back.       Debra Webb

Favourite Covers of 2021

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