General, Reading challenge

I’m Not Tickled Pink!

Most people who know me know I have a thing about pink. Because its my least favourite colour. Over at Anna’s Herding Cats Burning Soup she is challenging us to think pink this month!

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When I arrived in this house there were salmon pink curtains – not so bad but I said “I’m gonna change them soon”. Yes like nearly ahem 17 years later they are still there. But… look out 2019 is the year!

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The bathroom was very pink – the walls in the house were all light pink. No! No! At least now most of the walls in the house are a yellow. And the kitchen cabinets have been painted out from their pink colour. The pink bathroom is gone. Yes!

But… I can’t escape pink – well apart from the fact I don’t wear it. I am more an autumn wearing person.

Autumn

I am learning to accept pink! Allow it about here and there. Someone planted pink flowers in my garden. I used to chop them all off. Now I just am thankful for flowers.plant photo

I fell in love with this pink fabric! What! No its quite nice really. I loved sewing it up. I’ll give the quilt away but… well I do like the pink in this one!quilt

I think I could adapt to pink here and there!

Taking a look at my bookshelves I see hardly any pink covers – maybe a couple. One library book too that has a kinda rose pink cover that I am planning to read soon. But I can cope with a pinkish book cover.

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What’s your favourite colour and what’s the one you try to avoid and perhaps like me not totally be able to escape.

If you are a lover of pink – what’s your favourite thing in pink? Would you drive a pink car? Cook with pink pots? Have a pink phone? Have an all pink bathroom? Well you know I wouldn’t!

Review

California Girls Susan Mallery

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Published   MIRA
Date  1st March 2019
Format   Kindle
Pages   366
Source   Publisher via Edelweiss

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California Girls is set in Los Angeles and is all about three sisters and their slightly prickly, strange mother.

Life for the three sisters is rather falling apart as the book opens. Finola – a TV host is about to be painfully dumped by her husband in a very unkind kind of way. I couldn’t quite marry up the portrayal of a loving man, with the man who seems to really do something so stupid.

Ali who is about five weeks from walking down the aisle with Glen is dumped and he doesn’t do it in person. He sends his brother Daniel and it turns out Daniel is way nicer in every way! Ali is left with winding up the wedding plans and canceling everything.

Zennie is sort of dumped by her dating friend – Clark, because she is just not so into this relationship. She agrees to be a surrogate for her best friend Bernie who is unable to have children and then has to face into the annoyances of pregnancy. And if that isn’t bad enough some of her so called friends and family are of no support whatsoever.

Ali and Finola fall apart at first, they are the victims and go into that space of victimhood where one rages, drinks, eats and sees no way out. But… only for awhile – both girls discover new insights about themselves and begin to rethink their lives.  Zennie makes discoveries of her own as well.

On the whole I enjoyed this new story by Susan Mallery.

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Review

American Duchess by Karen Harper

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Published: William Morrow
Date: February 26th 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

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A woman’s life story to rival any one made up in a fiction novel.

Who knew that so many American wealthy heiresses shored up the coffers of the British aristocracy. In the late Victorian era and early twentieth century this was quite the thing.

At the age of eighteen Consuela Vanderbilt was forced into marriage by a very ambitious and over zealous mother, with the then Duke of Marlborough. The mother achieved the honor of her daughter becoming a Duchess, her husband gained millions from the Vanderbilt wealth to shore up the huge Blenheim Palace.

We track the life of this marriage, the visits with royalty and the life of other famous people they mingled with. She was a good friend of Winston Churchill and his wife, he being a cousin of the Duke.

This is the life of Consuela – her family, her loves, her losses. We see her seek meaning and happiness in what appears to be an historically accurate retelling. As there is no great plot other than a reasonably eventful life, I found the book dragged a little here and there. However just as I felt the drag, I turned the page and my jaw dropped. What drama.

I enjoyed seeing a woman grow in stature and self reliance, seeing her reach out and help others and for herself find happiness.

With a little touch of Downton Abbey, and a reminder of a rather  infamous 1980’s royal marriage, readers who are intrigued by the British aristocracy and their ways should find this interesting.

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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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Welcome in. Hope you all had a good week. I had a bit of this and that one! Over the weekend we received a little rain,  so… good! And it brought a cool night with it which was great too.

What I read last week:

I finished listening to The Moon Sister  rather long at just over 19 hours but I enjoyed this latest one in this series. Home at Last is a book for review set in Australia, and Say You’re Sorry was a recent buy, and if you’ve ever read a Karen Rose romantic suspense novel you’ll know they get devoured rather quickly. I always like her development of characters, some bits are gory, I mostly skip them!

What I am reading now:

This one is set in Australia and Ireland, just started so I shall see.

And listening to…

The third in this series – I liked the first one, the second was okay and I heard a reviewer saying this was good so hope so, just about to start.

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Home Fires  Fiona Lowe

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Review

Home Fires. Fiona Lowe

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Published: Harlequin Australia
Date: 18th February 2019
Genre: Women’s fiction

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I am still dabbing my eyes and swallowing the back taste of smoke as I finish Home Fires by Fiona Lowe. As I read into the book I just couldn’t put it down,  I was drawn into the lives of the people of Myrtle in Victoria, Australia.

We all watch devastating events happening most nights as they play out on our TV screens. As I read this book I am hearing about a fire devastate a town in my own country.  Home Fires explores the terrible destruction of fire that can spring up and engulf a community.

This is a book not only about the horror of fire out of control, but the lives of people both before and after the fire. There is the shock of loss of life and home and animals. Add into that the people who survive and the huge stress that is placed on them. The world forgets them, but they are left to pick up the pieces.

Home Fires presents us with a wonderful group of characters all who are dealing with fire related issues, and issues that were already present and greatly exacerbated by the fire. We see a motley group of people struggle and fall, challenge each other and support each other until… something new arises.

So worth reading! A fabulous Australian setting,a disaster event and the courageous response to it, family upheaval, violence and marriage issues, PTSD, crime, and above all family and community supporting each other. This book has it all. The title of the book is totally apt and the cover gorgeous.

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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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So this week we are using the new Inlinkz, hopefully no different to what it was like before. I’ll monitor to make sure its working. If unsure check here how to link but should be okay.

Hope most of you are surviving your winter. We are having a hot summer with very little  rain. Let’s just say everything is brown!  This last week after eating breakfast I have been out stacking a load of firewood delivered to the front that I have to wheelbarrow to the back and stack. Almost done.

What I read last week:

I loved The Wednesday Wars – it was so good and definitely deserving of the Newbery Honor Medal that it received. If you ever feel drawn to reading a middle grade book – read this one. Or Okay for Now by the same author which I totally adored. Both books are for 12/13 year olds and up to whatever age.

What I am reading now:

Still listening to The Moon Sister by Lucinda Riley.

And reading

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Up next:

I haven’t made my mind up on what I will read next. 

Last Week’s Posts

The Victory Garden   Rhys Bowen

War and It’s Impact – 5 Connect Books.

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Book Connections, Reading challenge

War and its Impact.

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War is something that affects many. If you are like me so far you are lucky to have escaped. The closest I have come to it is a Grandfather injured in WW1. Fortunately my father was deaf and never saw active duty although he did join the air force during WW2. But war does have an emotional, physical, psychological and social impact on many. These books are all connected because of their link to war and the way in which they highlight these things.

Book coverSuitcase of Dreams by Tania Blanchard tells the story of a German family who emigrate to Australia to find freedom and new opportunities. They do eventually find that but they still carry with them the tensions of their past rooted in WW11.

Also impinging upon them are the horrors of the Vietnam war, again they are haunted by what war can do and its dreadful waste.

Book CoverIn Tides of Honour we meet Danny Baker a World War 1 soldier badly wounded and sent home. The loss of a leg in those times was even more challenging than it would be today. And not only that, what he has witnessed – seeing his friends blown apart has to have placed upon him a heavy burden.

Audrey, the woman he meets in France turns out to be someone who loves him and helps him battle the inner demons… until those demons become very challenging. It turns out that another disaster is a turning point for them.

book cover The Spitfire Girls by Soraya M. Lane details for us the excellent contribution young women pilots in England and the USA made to WW2. They had to make their way among the world of men and public prejudice at time. But they worked on bravely in difficult conditions.

 

book coverThe Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen explores the upheaval of World War 1 and the far flung impact on the people in England. Hardly one family was left untouched by loss, and if not loss – men who return who are deeply scarred by the experience.  Class barriers begin to tone down, women take on new roles, in this case the role of land girls.

book cover In The Military Wife by Laura Trentham  we explore modern war and its repercussions through the eyes of SEALS and their challenges and struggles with injury and PTSD. We also see the effects and challenges for their wives and family.

In 2019 have you read a book that could fit into this book connect?

Review

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

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Published: Lake Union
Date: 12th February 2019
Source:  Little Bird Publicity via NetGalley
Rating

 

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen explores the upheaval of World War 1 and the far flung impact on the people in England. Hardly one family was left untouched by loss, and if not loss – men who return deeply scarred by the experience.  Class barriers begin to tone down, women take on new roles – and The Victory Garden gave me, the reader a taste of that.

Emily – the main character was someone I came to really like and admire. She is a middle class woman with a Judge as a father. Her mother is very cognisant of class and was rather a sad case to behold. Because they had lost their son in the first year of the war they kept a tight hold on Emily and would not allow her to help out in the war effort. And the question of them is – when the chips are down “Does family matter?”

When Emily turns twenty one though all that changes and she sets off to become a land girl. The work is hard, but she is willing to give it a go and in doing so forms meaningful relationships with women of lower class and means.

The story moves along at a good pace and I found myself picking up the book happily at any chance I had. I loved the journey Emily had to take to find herself and her place among community. And she is supported by a very likeable group of people. I don’t want to give away all that happens to her, so no more.

If you enjoy books about the English countryside, people banding together in hard times and a heroine who ‘comes of age’ then I think you’d enjoy this.

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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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Welcome in all. Rushing a little this week, hope all is well with everyone.  InLinkz is changing, I just signed into the new one, but realised I didn’t know how it works, so will study it this week and set it up for next week. So using the old one for this week! But next week may be a little different but not much. They explain how to link up here, but I will also link that next week. Probably really no different.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

A middle grade book I’ve been promising myself I’d read for a long time.

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And listening to…

Up next:

This review book

 

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Last Week’s Posts

The Military Wife by Laura Trentham.    Review

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Review

The Military Wife by Laura Trentham

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Published: St Martin’s Press
Date: 5th February 2019
Genre: General Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Right from the first page I was hooked into this story that explores military life from so many different viewpoints. Firstly the men themselves, then the women who love them and the children in the family.  Military men are tough but they are also human, Laura Trentham explores PTSD, grief and loss, women who worry about their men and children who have either lost a parent to war or must tiptoe around because their dad just isn’t who he once was.

Harper Wilcox is a wonderful Mom to Ben. She has been through the mill – losing her husband Noah in a military mission. Fortunately she has the support of her mother and a delightful Ben. She wants more though about how Noah died beyond the terse military report. She believes Bennett who was on that mission may hold some answers.

Allison is Harper’s friend, she has three children and a husband who since returning from active duty has been morose and the family have had to tiptoe around him.

I liked the way the story unfolded, the characters were ones I could take into my mind and heart. The story moved along at a good pace and I think gave me a good insight into the challenges, struggles and losses of those involved in military service. While I smiled from time to time, I also teared up. So an emotional read!

Such a mixture of loss, guilt, anger, despair coupled with love, strength, support, new hope and second chances. I will most certainly look for the next book in The Heart of a Hero series.

photo of authorLaura Trentham is the award winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

 

Buy links can be found here.

 

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