Review

Peaks and Valleys. Emilie Richards

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Published: by Emilie Richards
Date: 1st January 2021
Source: Author

The quilters of the Shenandoah Community Church Bee are busy. Not only are they finishing a new quilt, Peaks and Valleys, for a charitable fundraiser, but together and individually they are working on other quilts, too. As always, each quilt tells its own heartwarming story.

Peaks and Valleys contains three novellas that centre around the Shenandoah community in Toms Valley.

The first story is Steps to the Altar – which I thoroughly enjoyed. Rebecca and Connor were to be married, however Connor calls it off at the last moment. So what to do with the Steps to the Altar quilt that the quilters have gifted them. Would the quilters take it back? Would one of them keep it? Or might there be a way to step back to each other and actually put that quilt on their bed? It’s a novella but it felt like a full, satisfying story.

Woven Paths is the second story, centred on twin sisters. Kate is now responsible for Bejoy since their mother’s death. It’s a journey for sure, a surprising and heart warming one. Emilie Richards explores this situation wonderfully well. Both women found a place in my heart. And a second quilt pattern I hadn’t known about. Again a novella that felt very complete.

Peaks and Valleys the third novella is The Contrary Wife. Cathy is the president of the quilting group – perhaps not the best quilter among them, but certainly she has great organisational skills. Alf her husband is retired but undergoing a kind of crisis where upon he wants to go back to the high powered life he left to be a gentleman farmer. The way Cathy conducts herself through all this was delightful. Alongside this couple is a younger couple – Molly and Zach, with a history of their own and who are yet to find their feet. Another totally engrossing story.

The book finishes with an epilogue that has us at the fair that raffles the Peaks and Valleys  quilt that they have been working on and has been a theme through each story. It plays out perfectly with a little surprise at the end.

I fell in love with all the characters – some already known, some new. It is not often I even read a novella and very rare for me to fall for three in a row and award five stars at the end. A winner. Shenandoah series fans will love this one and even if you have never read that series, this is quite a stand alone, so go try a sample of life in Toms Valley.

Month in Review

December Reading Round Up

Total books read this month: 14

New to me authors:

Josi Kilpack
Julie Cantrell
Gill Hornby

Top Book for December

Okay so I am biased! So what!

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Looking forward to reading in January

I don’t have any big “must read” publishing books for January that I know about. I am planning to get started on my goal of five books off my actual print shelf per month. One book I do have in mind is a memoir that published in 2021. A very interesting story of a woman and family who started a big quilting business in Missouri. I learned so much about quilting from her via her videos. And well… I might have bought quite a bit of fabric from her shop online!!book cover

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 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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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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Book Connections

One Hobby leads to Another

My two main hobbies are reading and quilting. Of course reading came long before quilting. It was actually because of my reading that quilting became a hobby. The two have similarities! My eyes are always on “more”. More books, more fabric! More patterns and more quilts I might make. Like books I have a TBQ shelf  shelves of fabrics and pattens!

Book covers are linked to Goodreads in case you want to explore any of the books.

book coverThe book that started it all for me. There are five books in the Shenandoah Album by Emilie Richards and I loved them all. They are all about women and threaded in are some quilting. As I read I became enamoured by quilts.

It wasn’t until many years later as I neared retirement the I was sucked into quilting. I am not a sewer, but thank you to You Tube, Craftsy, Missouri Star Quilt Company and later Fat Quarter shop I’ve been developing some skills.

Quilting is addictive as reading!

I have read this first book in J Chiaverini’s series. The characters were endearing and there was definitely quilt talk. I haven’t read much else in the series, it didn’t wow me that much, but I might pick up a few more to see what I think.  There are quite a few in the series so it would give me some reading!

book coverMary Marks has written a cosy mystery series that held me all the way through to #9. And I await another hopefully in 2022.

Fun characters and lovely but not too intrusive to the story – quilting. Plus Mary Marks really knows her quilting.

book coverThis one is on my actual print TBR shelf. And the second one as well. A cozy mystery series and I think it has a good enough rep to say I will probably read through the series for a bit of quilting buzz.

book coverAnd finally another on my actual print TBR. It’s the first in a kilts and quilts series and has about 8 books in it. So if I like the one I’ll keep going.

I have also added other possibilities to my GR shelf that I might chase down.  While I love quilts I also want strong story lines and characters as well and not all quilt fiction is equal!

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Month in Review

August Reading Wrap Up.

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Total books read this month: 13

New to me authors:

Steven Rowley
Lea Wait
Ali Mc Namara

Top Book for August

Very hard to decide! I think I’ll just note that I really liked The Guncle and will be reading more by Steven Rowley. Told with great compassion and love.

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I Was Reminded…

I really enjoy a good historical romance. They are such fun. The Lisa Kleypas book was delightful, and The Grand Sophy on audiobook was so entertaining. Light and fluffy sure, but made me laugh and that’s always a good thing.

Looking forward to reading in September from my bookshelf

I do have a load I’d like to read but as you’ll see for my goal for September other books come first.

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Review of Reading Goals for August

My goal was just to read what I really wanted. So I only read books that I knew I didn’t have to review and I sunk into books I felt like reading as I chose the next book.

Main Reading Goals for September

Well now, I need to gain ground a little and read the review books I ignored in August and then the ones I had on my calendar for September as well.

Our library has now decided to change to the Libby app, so I want to explore that for library audio books to see if improved over last one. Plus I usually get two credits per month at Audible, I have 8 in hand and may just need to cut back to 1 credit a month. I have a heap in my library to listen to as well.

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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It’s Monday! What Am I 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. Hope you are keeping safe. Thinking about those facing a hurricane, or fires or Delta. I always like visiting so many of your posts and finding out how you are all doing in your place in the world.

We are still in lockdown although my area will lessen a little, with those who work in construction can go back to work safely on Wednesday and people can get takeaways in non contact way. However Auckland where the big outbreak is, they don’t have any of that.

After my first week in lockdown and a bit of moping, I’ve now  got myself into a rhythm and am keeping myself occupied happily.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

Ever wanted to inherit a castle!!!

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And listening through and enjoying The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Book Family Complications

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Book Connections

Book Family Complications.

Family is a rather ubiquitous theme in books, as a reader you meet it whether its in the title or not! However I find it is endlessly interesting.

Family Reunion I’ve just  read Family Reunion  It’s set in Nantucket. There is Eleanor who is the grandmother and lives in a wonderful old house on the island.

Her grand daughter Ari is with her spending the summer after study. She has just broken up her engagement. She loves her grandmother and they have a great relationship.Then there is Ari’s parents and uncle. They live off island but visit. They provide quite a bit of the conflict.

I liked the two main characters, and the plot moved along at a nice pace, there was always something happening – mostly in a quiet kind of way, but still eventful. Plus most of the characters grow as the book develops.   4 stars.

book cover I  just finished reading this backlist book by Emilie Richards – Rising Tides. It follows on from Iron Lace which I read back in 2017 but never moved on to this one. It was first published in 1997. Aurore has died and all relevant people have been called to the cottage to listen to the will in Louisiana.

Complicated family totally, with racism, tension violence and huge secrets. I don’t know that I like this family that much! But they do get surprises and that’s for sure and maybe some answers.

It isn’t a favourite by ER for me, but I am still finding myself wanting to find out all the sordid family details and what each will do with them. It is a 4 star rating for me.

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One I read way back in 2016. Echoes of Family. This is a story of family, of the burdens some carry from their past, of living with a mental illness. And that from the point of view of the person with the mental illness and those who love and support them and angst for them. It gave me insight and enabled me understand and open my heart to those who have the burden of such illness.

I like anything this author writes but she hasn’t published anything recently.

This was a  five star read. Keeper shelf.

book cover A 2020 read – Just An Ordinary Family. I always love to showcase this Australian Author. She writes a fine story.

Any book that makes me want to keep coming back to pick it up and read is a winner in my view. It is complicated family relationships at its best. It made me waver back and forth about all the characters – did I like them, did I agree with them, could I accept them for all their flaws? Final verdict is that I did hold them in my heart – wept at times and smiled at times. Cheered them on.

4.5 stars. Keeper Shelf.

And one from my TBR shelf! Hana Khan Carries On. Surprising to me on my actual TBR print books I could only pick out one book that seems to be family complications oriented.

It centers on Hana but involves her mother and a mysterious aunt and teenage cousin which draws Hana into a long-buried family secret. Published 2021.

Looking forward to reading this one soon.

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Month in Review

June Reading Round Up

 

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Total books read this month: 10

New to me authors:

Angeline Boulley

Top Book for June

I had some really good books that could be right in this spot, but this one for me just pips them out.

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Review of Reading Goals June 2021

Read another book or at least give it the 25 page test to decide whether I keep going or not. from    Sorting My TBR: April – Stay or Go   

I did look at one and gave it a few page test and then put it in the bag for the book fair. And it has been dropped off!

Main Reading Goals for July

  1. Read one more from.    Sorting My TBR: April – Stay or Go   
  2. Read two and maybe three books from the library. Well that was the plan but a whole lot have suddenly been dropped with my name on them. I’ll see what I can get through, I won’t pick them up till the weekend, which will give me a little time.
  3. Read one from my TBR Kindle that is off a list of one author whose books I want to read through.
  4. Read two in total (includes the one mentioned in #1, from my TBR shelf and three from my review shelf.

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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Review

The House Guests. Emilie Richards

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Published: Harlequin – Mira.
Date: 29th June 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

In the wake of her husband’s sudden death, Cassie Costas finds her relationship with her teenage stepdaughter unraveling. After their move to historic Tarpon Springs, Florida, Savannah hates her new town, her school and most of all her stepmom, whom she blames for her father’s death. Cassie has enough to contend with as she searches for answers about the man she shared a life with, including why all their savings have disappeared.

When Savannah’s rebellion culminates in an act that leaves single mother Amber Blair and her sixteen-year-old son homeless, Cassie empathizes with the woman’s predicament and invites the strangers to move in. As their lives intertwine, Cassie realizes that Amber is hiding something. She’s evasive about her past, but the fear in her eyes tells a darker story. Cassie wonders what the woman living under her roof is running from…and what will happen if it finally catches up to her.

I thoroughly enjoyed The House Guests  by Emilie Richards. Any moment I had I was very happy to pick the book up and sink into it.

I was immediately drawn by the gritty Amber and her Dad’s wisdom on the luck of the bird and the worm. I liked her son Will too, a sixteen year old with a good heart. But their plight and the mystery that surrounds them had me worrying and wondering.

Cassie has had a big upheaval in her life and has returned to her hometown, most likely where she feels more secure. She has lost her husband and Savannah, her stepdaughter, blames her for the death of her Dad. So tension abounds between the two, and yet Cassie’s love is to be only admired.  A few times their relationship had me tearing up.

Sometimes when reading a book there are memorable events that I never forget. One such one involves Savannah and so called friends and two teachers. At times I’d want to say to Savannah ‘get over it’, but really she is struggling and its going to take awhile.

I found the pacing just right, the characters interesting – I wanted to know more about them and how they would fare. I enjoyed seeing them find their ways through the maze of challenges. I loved the Greek flavour of the family restaurant, the minor characters and the friendships and bonds that develop.

There is some mystery, some underlying tension – is the bogey man going to jump out at some stage! Of course there are some issues explored and that is done with compassion and thoughtfulness.

Thanks to Emilie Richards for another wonderful story to read and enjoy.

Emilie Richards color - Galen McGeeABOUT THE AUTHOR:
USA Today bestselling author Emilie Richards has written more than seventy novels. She has appeared on national television and been quoted in Reader’s Digest, right between Oprah and Thomas Jefferson.

Born in Bethesda, Maryland, and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Richards has been married for more than forty years to her college sweetheart. She splits her time between Florida and Western New York, where she is currently plotting her next novel.

SOCIAL LINKS:

SOCIAL LINKS: 

Author website:                                              Twitter:

Facebook:                                                   Instagram:

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org, Amazon, Amazon (Print), Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Books-A-Million, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, Audible

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