Book Connections

August Books on my Radar

August is also a good month for books coming out or just out. My five top books are…

Quarter to MidnightThe latest book in this romantic suspense series, Quarter to Midnight. However it is the start of a new wing of it and set in New Orleans. This means a reader could start here.  I have it ordered.

It features tough end investigators who are after justice – no matter what they have to do with it.

I’ll probably read this and then go back to my reading through the series as well.

Storm EchoThe latest in the pys/changeling series, Storm Echo, and I really like Nalini Singh series.  I know I thought I wasn’t into these kind of books until … I got invested in them. I already now have this one sitting on my shelf and even have it signed by Nalini Singh as I got it from a bookshop in Auckland where she lives.

You most likely don’t want to know what its about and that’s okay! Go read your books.

Other BirdsI don’t mind what Other Birds is about because its the authors name I go by here. However this is what it is about and I am in line for it through the library.

When Zoey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment on an island outside of Charleston she meets her quirky and secretive neighbors, including a girl on the run, two estranged middle-aged sisters, a lonely chef, a legendary writer, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.

The Secret of Bow LaneAnother series book The Secret of Bow Lane – which is set in England and has a little Downton Abbey feel to it.

A stranger who appears on Kat’s doorstep turns out to be one Charlotte Bristow, legal wife of Joe Bristow, the man Kat once believed herself married to—who she thought died at sea twelve years ago. Kat is jolted by Charlotte’s claims that not only was Joe murdered, but he had amassed a small fortune before he died. Charlotte makes the cook an offer she cannot refuse—if Kat can discover the identity of Joe’s murderer, Charlotte will give her a share of the fortune Joe left behind.   Sounds like a good read. At this point I am in line at the library for it.

book coverGirl Forgotten was definitely not on my radar, however a couple of good reviews plus hearing an interview on the radio has convinced me to give it a go. So have put myself again in the line for it at the library.

It’s a thriller and not my usual line of reading as I am a bit sensitive! However I can see what I think. Karen Rose books are pretty gritty so I might withstand this one!

It’s about who killed Emily Vaughan?

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Book Connections

Book Directions

In June the informal reading challenge I am joining in with on Emilie Richards Reader Page is …. A book with a direction in the title. So I have been considering. In actual fact there are quite a few book titles with a direction word in it!

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South of the Buttonwood Tree is perfect directions. You’d know exactly where to aim, well if you knew which Buttonwood tree! That said I am starting to listen to that now, so it won’t be of any use to me for the challenge next month.  Blue Bishop has a knack for finding lost things. While growing up in charming small-town Buttonwood, Alabama, she’s happened across lost wallets, jewelry, pets, her wandering neighbor, and sometimes, trouble. No one is more surprised than Blue, however, when she comes across an abandoned newborn baby in the woods, just south of a very special buttonwood tree.  I have only recently started to read Heather Webber books and I have really liked what I have read.

book cover Another great directions  book, In the Middle of Hickory Lane.  But this one I think publishes in July so too late for June.  Great cover and I will probably listen to this on audio as well.  Family, community, secrets and some magical realism. All elements I enjoy.

book coverWell you’d know where to head too with this title. I’ve never been to the East End except via books like this one. All about a below stairs cook and the mysteries she solves. It’s a series! I love the setting and the characters. Murder in the East End.

book cover Well I think this title gives some direction as well. Under the Southern Sky. Another one that I have read though. Kristy Woodson Harvey has written a story that just kept on giving. A story of family, loss, love, new hope. Wonderful to listen to, because the narrators brought the characters alive.

book coverSummer on the Island. Well the directions don’t tell me which island but its on the island.  This is the book I will most likely read for the challenge as I have it from Netgalley, by a accident actually but that’s okay.  As it happens the island is small and off the coast of Florida and its detailed as a summer of healing, friendship and love and a secret that could change everything!

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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 and I hope you are all okay. It is so good to touch base each week with readers in various parts of our world and to find out how you are all doing as well as what you are reading.

Here in NZ omicron is very present and we now have big numbers each day. I am hibernating a bit, although if the weather is good a friend and I will take a trip to an island in Wellington harbour one day. Meanwhile camped out in streets and around parliament in Wellington is a large number of people objecting to covid restrictions. Some have become sick so they fashioned tin foil hats (some of them) because they believe the government is sending radiation to destroy them. I know lots of crazy happening! They have caused big disruption. I do not feel kindly towards them!

And meanwhile we have one big Crazy and  the Ukraine situation. I feel the only thing I can do is pray.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

And I am listening to…

Another Chance to dream

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Romance Books

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Book Connections

Next in Series

I can really get lost in series, start new ones and know I have others to continue but they go on hold. So it is time to set some priorities.  Here is where I want to focus.


Death at the Crystal Palace
#5 in the Below Stairs series. I am pretty up to date with this series but I guess there will be another one out this year, so I need to read it. And its off my print TBR shelf so that is a plus.

Queen of Hearts#8 in the Royal Spyness series.

I enjoy this series on audiobook and so will be one  on my audio agenda. I did think of skipping a few but probably won’t!

The Book of Candlelight #3 in the Secret Book and Scone Society. I recently enjoyed #2 and while I have the women fairly recent and sorted in my mind I need to follow up with this one. Again via audiobook.

Nothing to Fear #4 in a romantic suspense series. I have read two so far this year and to read this one I want to buy it. But before I do that I have to read three off my print shelf so won’t be the first series book off the line.

The attic on queen street#7 in the Tradd St series. And that will close the series and I will be finished. Again an audio version is what I go for.

So eyes off other books in series. And I am already started a reread of a favourite Nora Roberts series and Go Tell the Bees I am Gone – #9 in the Outlander series is going to take me a long time to read. I am barely making a dent in it, but thoroughly enjoying it.

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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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I had a great reading week. I so enjoy Karen Rose’s romantic suspense. It was hard to pick up another book after it though, but finally I have got hooked into new books.

Hope you are all doing well and reading all that you want.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

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I am also just starting to listen to Un Marriageable – a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

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I have also decided to start rereading a series via audiobook and so I also have Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh on the go as well.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Switch  Beth O’Leary

August Reading

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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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I had a good reading week, happy with all the books I’ve read. Today I’ve decided to return one book to the library and may borrow it in the future if I feel like a sad read set in WW11. It is held in high regard by many readers and published this year.  I peeked at the end and noticed it had the same kind of ending as a book I read  last year The Stationery Shop  by Marjan Kamali, and I thought, you know what – I can take one book ending like that, but not another just at the moment!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

I am almost at the end of this and should finish it this Monday as my last book in August. I have really enjoyed it, I love that Downton Abbey feel to the kitchen where Kat the heroine is the cook back late nineteen century. I really like this cozy mystery series. I have NOT peeked at the ending of this one, tempting, I am a bit of a take a look at the ending reader, but being disciplined for this one!

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Up next:

A book I just bought today. More murder no doubt!
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Last Week’s Posts

Eyes on Books To Be Published

The Moon is Missing.   Jenni Ogden

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Review

Looking at the Library Again

Well I have been away from the library for months. I cancelled any reserves I had and went library free during Covid19 months. Now that we are having a “so they say” Covid19 free time here in NZ, I have tentatively put my feet back in the water by reserving five books online, and now await them.

I love the reserve feature and I know I can put a “delay” kind of thing on them, but when they are available I feel a bit of pressure to read them. A bit like a review book really, and I read best when there is total no pressure for anything!

Here are the five books I’ve reserved!

A review by Marybook cover reminded me of this book, although in the USA it is called How the Penguins Saved Veronica.

I see this book is already on the reserve shelf for me at the library and I need to pick up by the 12th.

book coverBeach Read – I am not sure if this is for me or not. But good to make a small investment in it and get it from the library. Was on Anne Bogel’s summer reading list and I have seen a number of reviews from it. A DNF from one GR reviewer I respect so will check it out at the least.

 

book coverThe Cake Maker’s Wish – I have read this Australian author before and this is her recently published one. I do admit though I have her last year book on my shelf and haven’t read it!

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Murder in the East End is a cozy mystery series I enjoy and recently I was alerted to the fact that this one is out.

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Maybe One Day is a shot in the dark. I like the Irish author Carmel Harrington and I saw this author on a Zoom presentation along with her. I think she is English but just thought I’d give her a whirl.

 

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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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This past week I finished another lap quilt that I gave as a gift to a very dear friend who taught with me for many years. She has just received some bad health news so it was good that I had already started making it and had it ready. Of course it was book related and had “covers” on the books of her gifts, talents, travels, projects she set her class etc. And books read to classes over the years.

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And this is her cat Poppy, that she rescued from the SPCA. Evidently the cat never sleeps on the couch but when the quilt was placed there she decided to sleep on it all day! It has a lovely cuddle fleece on the back which hopefully will be warm and nice to snooze under. For Francey, not the cat!

quilt and cat photo

 

What I read last week:

I had a great week of reading, enjoyed all three books. And the one I am reading now is good too.

What I am reading now:

I had just finished my last book when this arrived in the post, and it seemed just what I wanted to read. In the same post came a second copy. I’d ordered it twice without realising. So I guess someone will find that passed on to them. Not a bad thing as Kristan Higgins is always a good read.

 

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Up next:

I like to  free wheel my reading in August so haven’t decided what I’ll pick up next. 

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Over The Teacups, Review

Over the Teacups #12 With Jennifer Ashley and Fredrik Backman

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book coverWhy? I read the first one in this new series and really enjoyed it.

Plot  Mrs Holloway (Kat) and Daniel are back together solving thefts of antiques  and murder in the London about them.  Much of it takes place in the kitchen below stairs, but… the murders and thefts seem to have a lot to do with upstairs. There is a surprising little twist at the end.

What Appeals to me? I love the characters, Mrs Holloway is a treasure, I would love to just be in her kitchen and watch her cooking – and sample it! I liked her new assistant very much, and hope to see a lot more of her. Daniel is interesting and in this book we learn a little more of this mystery man.

And so… I really look forward to the third book, and will certainly be early in line to read it.

 

book coverWhy? I had seen a lot of good reviews for this book, and I needed a book that had been translated for the Modern Mrs Darcy reading challenge

Plot  Set in a small town near or in the forest in Sweden. Its about a hockey club that has done well but now its life and the town’s life is on the line. If it doesn’t regain its success the town will continue to go downhill. There is a lot of politicking and when something very bad goes down – a lot of silence, until bam the s*** hits the fan. Some parents shouldn’t be parents, some parents find they just can’t keep their children safe.

What Appeals to me? To begin with this took about 70 pages to get into, getting to know the various characters, but once I had it I was feeling for them all. Most of them have their challenges, some do things I hated, and they did things I loved. They are characters with faults and failings, and in spite of that, still human beings to want to know and cheer on. But not all of them. Ouch for the denial and ruthlessness. I thought ice hockey is a brutal sport though. What really appealed to me most was the universality of this story. It really could be about any town – anywhere. Or about people we hear about in the news every day.

And so… I will certainly read the next one, Them Against Us, once I’ve had a break from it.

Review

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. Jennifer Ashley

Book Cover The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Jennifer Ashley
Published: Tantor Audio
Date: March 2012
Format:  Audiobook
Length: 9hr 53 min
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Own book
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It was whispered all through London society that he was a murderer, that he’d spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted – especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy.

Despite his decadence and intimidating intelligence, she could see he needed help. Her help. Because suddenly the only thing that made sense to her was the madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

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I read The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie a few years back and really couldn’t see what everyone was so excited about – I think  after reading it I put the book out in the local book fair.  However one day I looked on Goodreads and saw all the readers I follow who rated it very highly, twenty one readers had given it mostly fours and fives.  Sometimes I think if I am tired or have read too many of the same genre, I tend to not give a book its due worth so I decided I would give this book another shot – this time on audio.

Angela Dawe does a very good narration and brings the book to life.  This time around I did appreciate it!  I listen to my audiobooks at normal speed so it gives me time to really attend to the story.

Beth was a very switched on woman, tenacious and courageous.  She has been married before, however her husband died.  Then she was a companion to a wealthy woman who just happened to leave her all her fortune.  So therefore Beth ends up as an independent, competent and outspoken woman. Very few can pull the wool over her eyes.

Ian has had a rather tough upbringing, having been sent to an institution in his youth because he is ‘mad’.  There he is treated very badly and he only is able to leave there when his father dies and his brother turns up to set him free.  Ian is gifted with numbers and remembers great chunks of what he reads so he is a valuable asset to his brother.  However Ian is tangled up in a murder or two and a pesky Fellowes inspector is after the Mackenzie family to haul any or all the culprits in. He hates the Mackenzies.  Beth goes in to prove that none of them committed any murder and in doing so gets caught up in the whole sordid story and solves another mystery as well.  Along the way she ends up married to Ian to help them escape Fellowes.

It all untangles and of course has a happy ever after because it is after all a historical romance.  All very satisfying.  There are a number of books that follow and I hope to read at least one more to see how it all pans out further along in this family Mackenzie.

4 stars