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 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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Recent Books for Review

While I am endeavouring to keep review books to a minimum, if they are already on my 2021 list to read then it’s not easy to say no to them. And for these ones of course I said yes!

book cover The latest women’s fiction book from Rachael Johns – Australian author.  Published early May.

Felicity Bell has struggled to move on after her marriage broke down. Her ex has found love again, her children have their own lives, and it’s beginning to feel like her only comfort comes from her dog and her job as a taxidermist. So when Flick gets an offer to work in New Orleans for a few months, she’s drawn to the chance to make a fresh start.

I always enjoy her books so looking forward to reading it.

book coverThis is by Emilie Richards and publishes in July.  Its about two families, two women and lots of secrets. I don’t need to know anymore, Emilie Richards is an automatic read for me and I was delighted to have this copy as part of a blog tour.

book coverAnd a new book by Sarah Morgan and this one publishes in June. And of course I am very happy to read it for a blog tour. I like her books.

Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.

book coverI’ve listed this book before, it was already on my reading list for 2021 and so when I got an invite for the blog tour for The Clover Girls I might have danced a little inner jig.

It is about four women and their stories as they meet up again after knowing each other years before.

book cover I haven’t really read this author but the title has “quilting” in it so of course it was hard to resist, and I didn’t.

When Lark Ashwood’s beloved grandmother dies, she and her sisters discover an unfinished quilt. Finishing it could be the reason Lark’s been looking for to stop running from the past, but is she ever going to be brave enough to share her biggest secret with the people she ought to be closest to?

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Review

Fugitive. Emilie Richards

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Published: November 2020

Source: From the author.

Fugitive by Emilie Richards is #3 in her Homecoming trilogy. At centre stage is Tate, we meet her as a runaway in #1 and a little in the second book as well.

Now she has left Kris and Jess and is living in a mountain cabin in Mountain Glade, Arkansas, left to her by her late father. It has no running water or inside bathroom. It’s pretty lonely – just an ol’ dog named Cinn that her father has left behind. Tate is quite savvy, she’s fended for herself on the streets so she is no helpless young woman.  However when confronted with an escaped prisoner, she is in for a rather wild ride. He is a convicted murderer. Yet he says he is someone else. Can Tate trust him?

This story is full of twists and turns, the plot just speeds along and I loved Tate as a character. She has had a tough life, her mother never wanted her, she never met her father. But… possibly she is not that far from family if she is willing to look. And when she does look, they sure are something else!

The escaped prisoner? Well no more to be said. Discover for yourself. Let’s just stay he the features quite a bit!

The setting is vivid and I could picture the area, the cabin, the trees, the river. So well written. I liked all the books in this trilogy, but this just might be my favourite.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Homecoming Series

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Review

The Way Back Home

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Published: 1st October 2020

Source: The author.

The Way Back Home is the second in the trilogy by Emilie Richards – Homecoming. In the first book we met Krista looking for her sister Rosie, a runaway. Krista felt really ashamed that in the moment Rosie needed her she let her down.

Now in The Way Back Home we meet the lovely Anna Fitzgerald, a staff member at First Day, a place that takes in runaways and offers them the chance of taking a new start in life, and even if they don’t take up that offer, a roof and a bed in the meantime. The runaways are tough, yet Anna is tough herself. Having been on the streets for a number of years, she knows the tricks of the trade. Not much gets past her. She has a wonderful four year old – Ryan and they live in a very small apartment.

And so of course we come to Rosie’s story. I don’t think it takes much deduction for the reader to work out who Anna was in her past. We learned in book one why Anna left home and now we learn of her heartbreaking years on the street. We see her partially back together but not fully healed.

As the story progresses there are a number of twists and turns. Anna is going to find the going challenging, the invitation to take more steps right there. Of course there is a love interest. This is a romance, with taste of women’s fiction and some suspense.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to the final in the trilogy. In this book I met characters I loved and cheered for and a story I wanted to keep on reading. While this is a republication of a book written back some time ago, I think readers will find it stands up well to 2020 reading.

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Its 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 we are now almost mid October! This week I voted. No! Not in the USA election but in my own NZ elections which are on at the moment. Voting day is Saturday, but pre voting can happen and I like that. Not long queues. There has been a higher turnout of pre voting this time around.  Though really who’d want to be government at the moment in these times.

So I’ve been watching some of our political debates and some of the USA. I’ve never been so “political!”

What I read last week:

Hideaway was an okay read but January LaVoy takes the book to a whole new level. Her narration is superb. A Place for Us was well written but I am not one for timelines that swing back and forward. I get that it put more drama in but it distanced me from the characters.

What I am reading now:

I am two thirds through this so most likely will finish today.
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I am also listening to…

Up next:

By Australian author. This one has the most reserves at the library out of the three that I have so I am beginning with this one first.  It is a family drama with… lies!!

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Review

Runaway. Emilie Richards

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Date Published: 1st September 2020
Source: From the author.

 

Runaway opens in a seedy bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Jess Cantor  is there – a journalist gathering information about the young runaways that end up there. Crystal walks into the bar but will not talk with him. She is dressed like she is there to pick up a guy for sex but her walk isn’t quite right. Hmm. And then Jess thinks he may have seen her before.

The opening chapter has atmosphere, a promise of mystery and that everything is not as it seems. I was hooked . It turns out Crystal is Krista – a librarian in New Orleans in search of her runaway sister. So when she teams up with Jess what can a journalist and librarian do? Well with a lot of love in their hearts that could count, because runaways mostly leave home from lack of it. However trust is a rare commodity. Will they find Rosie the sister that Krista feels she let down badly.

The search is on, and along the way they experience the seedy side of New Orleans, and some of the evil men here and further afield who will try to stop their search turning into a success. They will be changed by what happens to them, and so is the reader. There just isn’t enough love and kindness in the world.

This trilogy – there are two more in the series, was first published in 1990. Emilie Richards now has the rights back for it and is republishing it. She has left it in that time, so no cell phones or internet to help. Yet this is still a story for our time and I loved it. I can’t wait for book 2 and 3. I know what I’ll be giving priority in my reading to once they are  available. I see Runaway was a nominee for RWA for long contemporary romance 1991. Well deserved.