Month in Review

May Reading Round Up

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Total books read this month: 11

Book Ratings

You Can’t Hide.  Karen Rose 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Beach House Summer. Sarah Morgan 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Fairy Godmother.  Mercedes Lackey 🌟🌟🌟. 5
A Whisker of Trouble.  Sofie Ryan 🌟🌟🌟. 5
Twilight Shadows.  Emilie Richards 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Librarian.  Salley Vickers 🌟🌟🌟🌟
A Mother’s Heart.  Carmel Harrington 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
South of the Buttonwood Tree.  Heather Webber 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Court of Thorns and Roses.  Sarah J Maas 🌟🌟🌟
The Last House on the Street.   Diane Chamberlain 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

New to me authors:

Mercedes Lackey
Salley Vickers
Sarah J Maas

Top Books for May

Looking forward to reading in June

Very likely ones.

Review of Reading Goals for May.

  • five books read from my print TBR. – yes
  • read more of Pride and Prejudice – not sure I read any
  • read a book from library – yes. The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain.

Main Reading Goals for June

  • read five more books from my print TBR
  • continue to read Pride and Prejudice
  • read a library book if one comes in

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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Review

A Mother’s Heart. Carmel Harrington

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Published : Bookouture
Date: 23rd  May 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

“When Rachel met handsome Irish widower Lorcan it was a whirlwind romance. Her family back in New Zealand thought it would never last. But it did, and they were so happy. Bringing up two children hadn’t been in her life plan, but it had become her joy, and she was as proud of them as if they were her own.

She’d say to them “even though you didn’t grow in my tummy, you grew in my heart”, and they’d all laugh, knowing they were loved. Their little family wasn’t quite the same as everyone else’s, but it was beautiful, it was happy, it was home.

Until now. Because when Lorcan’s life is taken in a tragic accident, it feels like Rachel’s world has died with him. She knows in her heart that she wants to take the children back to the country she grew up in. Where she’d have support, because they’d be surrounded by her family. Where she could grieve and heal; and the children could have a new start.

However, she doesn’t count on the children’s own grandparents. Their blood relations, who say Rachel isn’t their real mother, and so can’t take them away from Ireland. Who say they won’t let her.

As Rachel finds herself fighting against the only people who might love the children as much she does, everyone will have to ask – what makes a parent? What makes a home? And with whom do the children of her heart have a future?”

A Mother’s Heart is a beautiful bittersweet yet heartwarming read. My heart ached for the ever gracious Rachel, who was an excellent mother to 5 year old Dylan and 8 year old Olivia. The three of them have been through the wringer with Lorcan’s death. And now one set of grandparents seem determined to take Rachel on and challenge her for the children’s care and loyalty.

As the story unfolds about this blended family, some secrets are eventually revealed that shed light where there has been mystery. Eventually things work out for them all, but not before there is much tension and heartache.

I liked all the characters. Rachel is a fantastic mother, and so giving and patient with the grandparents especially Sheila who is so picky. It was easy to feel annoyed with Sheila (as the reader) but also I had sympathy for her as well. She feels threatened and fearful of losing her grandchildren. A grandparent wants to be close to their grandchildren, it’s and important relationship.

The setting ranges between New Zealand and Ireland. Oh yes! Loved that little detail. Of course I did. Rachel is a New Zealander, I have to say I was on their side over the custard for the trifle! Rachel has family in New Zealand she is close to and her heart longs to be with them. But… her children are Irish with all their relatives in Ireland. What a dilemma.

This is a page turning, thought provoking story that encourages us to see things from all angles and to choose love and kindness and happiness, and to appreciate the wonder of family. I really loved this book.

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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 a quieter reading week. I was busy sewing and getting quilts ready for my brother to take back with him to two of his grandchildren so reading went on the back burner!  We had a nice evening with him and his wife. It’s quite a few months since we all gathered so that was great.

What I read last week:

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What I am reading now:

Thought I’d see how I go with it.

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And still listening to South of the Buttonwood Tree.

Up next:

This is a small memoir that has been on my shelf too long, written by someone I used to work with.

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Last Week’s Posts

A Beach House Summer Sarah Morgan

My Reading Rules

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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 and hope all is going reasonably well for you all. I had a good week. I ventured into Wellington city via a new road that opened a little while back. Quite an experience as it cuts through some high hills. It takes off a whole lot of the small towns and so you can go along at full speed.

After connecting with a friend we then travelled around the harbour to Eastbourne for a walk and the yummy oysters, scallops and chips. Great way to spend a day.

Now wet weather has set in and while not too cold I have lit the fire a few times. Makes things cosy!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And listening to..

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Up next:

I am not too sure, I am only beginning A Mother’s Heart and I am not sure what I will feel like reading once I finish that one.  

Last Week’s Posts

Book. Directions

Lost Coast Literary. Ellie Alexander

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Book Connections

Books Read from my Shelf in January

I set out to read five book off my print TBR shelf each month and I have accomplished this for January. It feels good to see them being read. And of course I have given myself incentive, because for every three I read, I will allow myself to buy a new print book! At present I am actually fitting in a sixth off my shelf because I want to buy another book! I was so tempted to break my own rule and buy the book, but how could I break the intention in January!!

  1. How to Stitch An American Dream by Jenny Doan. A memoir that gives insight into Jenny’s early life, especially as she starts off into married and family life. I come from a large family and it was interesting to compare. I loved how when her children were adults they all worked together to form an amazing quilting company that now is a mega quilting shopping complex in Hamilton Missouri. Jenny Doan is well known through her quilting videos. I have learned from them and I may have shopped via international shipping from time to time!  Really liked the book.
  2. Have You Seen Her by Karen Rose.  A romantic suspense/thriller. Fast paced and full of action as all her books are. This is #2 in her series. It takes place in North Carolina. There are chilling abductions and murders. It kept me reading. I loathed the sickening crimes, I loved the main characters, who contrast so well with the evil. These good characters have issues but inherently they move the world to being a better place.  Great reading, but I hated the crime parts. Of course I take another and read #3 at some point.  Well actually I reading #3 right now and so good!
  3. Meet Me in Scotland by Patience Griffin.  #2 in the Kilts and Quilts series. Set in Scotland of course! Most likely can be described as romance. I liked the main characters, and Deydie the crusty old woman and the main quilter was her usual delightful self. However I wanted to see more of a link with the last book’s characters. Not enough. I enjoyed the book but I am not sure I will continue with the series.  Sometimes with a series like this, its kind of the same story but with different characters! Maybe at some point I might borrow one from the library.
  4. The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle would be termed Women’s Fiction I think. It was a sweet, inspirational story with an older woman and a woman dealing with the death  of a husband and her care for her children. A friendship develops between the two women and both of them are enriched. Loved the shells that are found on the beach with sayings that a person needs at that time of picking it up. My first book of the year and worthy of it.
  5. The Moon Over Kilmore Bay by Carmel Harrington was on the whole a good read, but I would have to say was the one least liked by myself by this author.  Well written and plotted, however what happens to the main character just put me off. Probably if I had realised I wouldn’t have read it, but no warning! Just in case you read it, you probably won’t but still, I will not give away the major plot point! But of course I’ll read everything else she writes.

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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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Greetings to you all. I so enjoy hearing what you are all reading and how you all are. My concern goes out to those of you who are struggling with your own health issues or those of loved ones. I think of you often.

For me, sun filled days at the moment. I have booked a Covid booster shot for this afternoon. Just after this post goes live.  I think Omicron has just found its way in through our border so better to be as ready as possible. Today marks when they start doing children 5 – 11 years. We are up to at least 90% of rest of population double dosed I think.

In other news the volcano near Tonga certainly sent shock waves around the world. Just waiting to see how the people of Tonga are doing.

And hello Australia. This time fully behind your actions in regards to a certain ejection from your country!!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

A review book.

Goodbye Again

And audiobook.

Promises and Primroses

Up next:

I think it will be this library book I picked up off the shelf when I went to return a library book. It was my first place I had to show my vaccine pass to get in. As well as mask up of course.

This was published in 2007 and is a backlist book of an author I enjoy.

book cover Last Week’s Posts

Jill Shalvis The Family You Make

Books on my Buy List

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Book Connections

Books by Irish Authors

Being part of a blogging community means being introduced to authors from other countries reader me might not find otherwise.  Trish from Between My Lines has been a very good source for Irish authors. While she no longer blogs I do see her reading on GR and IG.

I could have chosen a few other Irish authors off my shelves but not actually sure I’ll like the books. I am not a big Marion Keyes or Maeve Binchy reader yet I have one each of theirs. Of course Lucinda Riley is Irish but I only like her Seven Sisters books.

Have been thinking if I don’t get to these before I might make March of 2022 Irish authors reading month for myself!

Things We Never SayTrish says… “When packing your books for the beach this summer, make room for this one! It’s a warm, gossipy, full of heart and meets all my criteria for an engrossing summer read.”

Sheila O’Flanagan is a Dubliner and has written a lot of books. I have read one previously by her The Woman Who Ran Away which was a 4 star read for me.

I have this one from the library, written in 2013, so hopefully if I don’t get to it straight away I can renew it until I find a space to read it.

The Book ClubRoisin Meaney is an author I haven’t read before. I put it in my Wishlist and then accidentally bought it. I can’t remember where I saw someone reading this. May have been while visiting on It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Anyway I have it and Roisin Meaney has written lots of books so could be promising. She was born in Kerry but I think lives in Limerick.

The Moon over Kilmore BayMy absolute favourite Irish author.  This is her latest book. Trish did introduce me to her books with The Woman at 72 Derry Lane and I have been reading through her backlist since.

The Moon Over Kilmore Bay is her latest and its on my shelf….. waiting for attention!

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Emma Hannigan was an Irish author, I’ve read one of her other novels and liked it and have this one on my TBR print shelf. Must have picked it up at the book fair.

It’s about an Irish family restoring a villa in Spain. Sounds good.

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I wanted one more author I haven’t read. So I mined through Trish’s Irish GR shelves for the fifth one looking for one of her five star reads. This one sounded good and what’s more its at my local library. It was published in 2015 and sounds like its got lots of issues and is set in Dublin.

So four in the hand and one in the “bush”. All organised.

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Book Connections

Road ‘n Rail Trips in Books

book coverA family journey across Europe in a camper van. In doing so they are guided by letters from their Pop who died and left them a bundle of letters to guide them. I loved this book, the family – the journey – Pops and his letters. I read every word – no skimming. Its warm, funny, emotional and real. I am not a “let’s take a trip” kind of person but this was so inspiring. Loved the map at the beginning. Loved The Things I Should Have Told You.

book coverAn unexpected road trip takes Greta from her home in Dublin to the bright lights of Vegas, she begins to question if you need to be the perfect size to love yourself. Or to fall in love. Because sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped... I loved the road trip and the characters in My Pear Shaped Life. Great read.

First Lady I read this a number of years ago and have reread it too. The First Lady escapes the White House and eventually teams up with a man and his two young girls in his care. They travel across the Heartland of the USA. I am not sure where that is but some of you will know! This is one I love to reread. But I can’t find it! Amazon tells me I purchased it in 2008. May have lent it out and never returned? I will have to re purchase! Dang it.

Book cover Most likely YA but Field Notes on Love is still very worth reading. An uplifting and delightful story about one sextuplet and his desire to be his own unique self. It’s about a girl with a dream and two dads. It touches on prejudice and racism gently but in a way that opens the readers heart.  Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

The Women Who Ran Away I haven’t read The Women Who Ran Away but Trish from Between My Lines hooked me into this one through her review. So its one I’ve added to my TBR and also will be a new Irish author to try out. Trish felt she was road tripping along with the women.

 

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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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And another Monday, first one in July. The year is going fast which is maybe a good thing. I am enjoying being lazy by the fire with a little reading and TV.  Hope you are all keeping well.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And I’ll be listening to The Sun Sister for a few weeks yet!

 

Up next:

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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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Last week I visited around to see what everyone was up to. It’s always dangerous of course because books get added to the TBR. However it is so good to see what everyone is reading and doing. It makes me learn a little, enjoy your happy news and have my heart ache at the sad news.

So last week I looked up the map to see where Montana is exactly is in the USA and while I was there I looked for New Mexico. I did stay for about 10 months in Washington state, but my geography is somewhat hazy. Anyway there you are Montana, sitting right up on the border next to Washington.

And of course so many different books, while we are all readers we have such a wide variety of tastes and that is just great, pointing to our uniqueness in reading. Keep on enjoying those books.

What I read last week:

I had a great reading week, not a lot of reading but the book I read I loved. I finished also listening to a very enjoyable read by Jenny Colgan.

What I am reading now:

From an Irish author I’ve come to really like

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And I started listening to this one, it’s very long so I was putting it off, it will most likely take me all of July to get through it but it will be good.

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Up next:

 

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Last Week’s Posts

Daring and the Duke. Sarah MacLean

Half Year Favourites of 2020

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