Review

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe

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Publisher: Kensington Books
Date: 26th May 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Immediately Jodi Thomas draws the reader in, with intriguing characters in the middle of odd situations right in the middle of a little dusty town in Texas.  We have the Mayor Piper Mackenzie – she seems to be in a spot of trouble, and then along comes a preacher who has been a soldier  and a smoke jumper and is now trying on a preacher’s suit – Sam. And along with the preacher someone else is dressing up as a cowboy, that would be Colby. And he has a mission.  Great set up.

And so the story begins. It’s entertaining and as always the characters are delightful. I loved almost each and everyone.  Pecos – the kid just finishing high school and leaving home and the girl he gets entangled with. Old Mr Winston was another loveable person, plus the widows. And of course red headed Anna. And my favourites – three children with a wagon.

This is the first in a series and I look forward to meeting them again as hopefully at least some of them will make an appearance in the next book.

Two things Jodi Thomas does well. Makes a small town in Texas come alive and she writes characters who are warm and very likeable. The plot has some mystery, some romance and sheer good heartedness. Perfect for an escape read.

#IMWAYR

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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Just a little reading this week, still such good weather for being outside and of course quilting!

This week we went down a level and all shops are open and most things are back, although only groups of 10 allowed so no church and no bars yet. Schools went back today. We can travel anywhere within New Zealand. We are only getting 0 – 1 cases a day so feels pretty safe. However I disliked coming out of lockdown and don’t want to move too quickly. And I am totally sick of radio talk back hosts stirring up negativity and doom and gloom. Off my Christmas list they go!

Hope you are all doing well and staying clear of the virus.

What I read last week:

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What I am reading now:

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And still listening to Feels Like Falling.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Books I am Most Likely to Read from the Modern Mrs Darcy Summer Reading Guide

Best Behavior. Wendy Francis

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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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One advantage for me of lockdown is that I have got out walking more. And because of that I’ve got back into my audiobook listening again. Alleluia!  Our weather has been very mild, unusually warm temps for us for Autumn over the last number of weeks, which means we’ve all been able to get outside. Some of us too much if you can judge my beach photos!

What I read last week:

I enjoyed my first taste of an Anne Tyler book. I finished listening to Becoming. Great on audio. I respected Michelle Obama before I listened. I am in awe of her now and highly respect her now and am inspired by her.

What I am reading now:

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And I’ve begun listening to

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Stories We Never Told. Sonja Yoerg

Books Recommended to me by Others

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Book Connections

Five Christmas Book Reads

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A Christmas book is usually uplifting and enjoyable – not too much angst, and who doesn’t need a book that takes us out of the everyday humdrum.

book coverEvery Time a Bell Rings is a perfect Christmas season book, which of course can be read at anytime of the year as well. It explores fostering children and the difference it can make to young people’s lives. Belle and Jim are such children and grow into people who in turn become foster parents. Yet they hold special wounds that need healing and love is the answer. Long, patient love. The book has a link to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” which I haven’t seen but will look up. However it did remind me a little of Scrooge’s adventures in parts. A very satisfying, heart warming read. If you haven’t read an Irish author Carmel Harrington book you are missing out. No, I haven’t found her in NZ shops, but the Book Depository UK is where I go when I want a book from that part of the world.

book cover Coming Home for Christmas was a really delightful read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A mother returns home finally after many years of mysteriously disappearing. Her husband Luke does not know what had happened to her and thinks possibly she is dead. The story of her re-appearance is  both hard and wonderful at the same time. I loved both the characters and the story. Perfect Christmas read.

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Christmas in Winter Vally is set in Texas and told with all the panache of a master storyteller. I loved this story by Jodi Thomas and it was also a delightful read for leading up to Christmas. It has a whole cast of characters that are very loveable and made for great reading. A favourite.

book coverChristmas From the Heart  is a very focused Christmas story and does centre around Christmas and the idea of giving.There is a Scrooge like business man and a rather pushy generous Christmas woman determined to bring Christmas cheer to those around. It was my least favourite Christmas read. It just felt a little too forced and the love triangle a little unreal. However those who love to revel in a Christmas Hallmark movie most likely will enjoy it.

book cover This book has a wonderful Christmas setting. I wanted to be there in a tree house among the snow and trees in Aspen – all warm and cosy looking out. That’s where the White family end up at Christmas time. Daughter Rosie is planning on a Christmas wedding – a little rushed according to sister Katie who would like to possibly see it stopped. And then their parents are considering divorce, only the girls don’t know that – yet. Its a wonderful, warm Christmas story of family with a fabulous setting.

Review

A Texas Kind of Christmas

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Published: Kensington Books
Date: 29th October 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

A Texas Kind of Christmas has three novellas by three authors. They are loosely linked by place and year. The first is by Jodi Thomas, and here we are taken to the Texas frontier with a mixture of ranchers, lawmen, supposed outlaws, hotel staff and a young woman about to choose her husband.  She has a wealthy father who just wants to see her married off and happy, but her step mother has nasty intentions. She eventually makes her choice as does Katie one of the hotel maids.

Birdie’s Flight by Celia Bonaduce is the second story. We meet Birdie or Bridget, just arrived in Dallas needing a job. Thanks to a few serendiptious happenings she finds one as a seamstress. We also meet the capricious Charlotte who is looking for that perfect dress for the dance. Birdie is fleeing someone, just who and why we have to read on to find out. By the end of the story both girls find the one they love.

Spirit of Texas  by Rachel Miles gives us a ride through Texas to Dallas on a coach along with Eugenie who has come from England to seek out and bring home her mother.  Asher has been designated to guide her to Dallas to the St Nicholas hotel. Its a story of second chances and a ride through the wild country side.

These stories have plenty of a western feel and are a load of adventure and fun. They are short but each of them is satisfying and I felt did not suffer from being a novella.  I picked this book up because of the name of Jodi Thomas, however I have to say I enjoyed each story – all so well written and engaging.

#IMWAYR

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 we come towards the end of October! Hope all that celebrate Halloween enjoy it.

Our Spring weather continues to be capricious. I drove into the city in the most stinking heavy rain one day, bumper to bumper and hardly able to see where I was going. Yucky.

I also got some time to read, quilt and do a bit of gardening, earthing up the potatoes that are appearing. I need to plant beans, I am a bit behind. I only like going out on sunny days!

What I read last week:

One audio completed and enjoyed.  A Texas Kind of Christmas was for review and At the Mountain’s Edge was from my own shelf. All good reading.

What I am reading now:

Oops, accidentally picked this up for review  so am now forging ahead!

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And an audio book I bought months ago when there was a sale or something!  Cute cover.

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Up next:

A library book

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Last Week’s Posts

One Wish.  Jodi Thomas

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Review

One Wish. Jodi Thomas

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Published: Kensington Books
Date: 29th October 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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One Wish is a novella written by Jodi Thomas with her trademark Texan setting and characters. And there is a canyon! Yes I associate canyons with Jodi’s books.

Maggie has a general store in town – she is all alone her parents having died. One evening bad men storm her store and it is only due to Sam Thompson’s quick thinking that she is saved from them. Needing to get Maggie to safety because the outlaw may gun for her, Sam takes her deep into the canyon he calls home. Oh my I loved the description of how his home is built.

It’s a novella so things move fast, there is action,  we meet a few other delightful characters, a couple who are mean and nasty and one surprising character who arrives at the right moment.

It’s a warm delightful little story and I revelled in it as I read.

Review

Christmas in Winter Valley Jodi Thomas

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 24th September 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Christmas in Winter Valley is a great example of why I love Jodi Thomas’ books. I have never been to Texas and most likely never will, but I do journey there through her writing. The scenery and sense of country permeates the story. To me it feels like real life ranching and cowboys.

I loved all the characters, the two Holloway brothers at home while brother Griffin is away. Elliott the one that manages the books side of the ranch and Cooper who likes to roam the country on a horse. Then there is Tatum, no more about him, only to say I adored him, but you got to have the surprise of meeting him. Tye Franklin is an older man who rides into the ranch looking for a job and he too is a delight.

There is plenty going on with them all, a number of women running about the place, some like chickens without heads, but they add to the fun. The plot goes along at a wonderful pace and there is always something happening. As well, there are lots of laugh out loud moments, I love the sense of humor is this book.

It goes through December, leading up to Christmas, so its perfect to read before Christmas. You’ll either read it really fast because it almost reads itself, or you might be like me, reading it slowly in small pieces because you want to prolong your time with the Holloways. Five star read.

Review

The Little Teashop on Main by Jodi Thomas

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Publisher: Harlequin
Date: 7th May 2019
Source: Little Bird Publicity via NetGalley

 

Set in Laurel Springs, The Teashop on Main, is a beautifully crafted story of friendship and love. Jodi Thomas brings this little town in Texas alive, with her dusty creek beds and shadowy figures that are very much a signature of her stories.

Three young girls bond over a tea party –  a bond that is going to take them right through life. There is Zoe – daughter of Alex, a single mom. Zoe is a free and beautiful spirit, who cares about others and their happiness, and searches for her own sense of “home”.

Shannon has been raised by her Dad – Mack, her mother having walked out on them. He is often away working but there is no doubt of his love for Shannon and the other two girls.

Lastly Emily, somewhat lost and unhappy, with a mother who has smothered her. But… she has Zoe and Shannon who support and worry over her. And then their is Fuller who has a special reason to keep an eye on her. And lastly Jack, who loves all three girls and would do anything for all of them. But… he has a strong attraction and eventually a special love for one of them.

The story ranges over a good time period, so that we see the young people grow up, seek to find themselves and their place in the world, but always is the ongoing friendship that is so strong, that it is forever friendship. And their is that ritual of joining for tea that so important to them.

I loved this story and while tears slid down my cheeks as I finished, I closed the book, with some heartache and a whole lot of admiration for the friends and their various relationships.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Mid April

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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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On Saturday I went to a 6 year old party for my grand niece. And what do you take for a gift when you are a booklover and so is she!!   Well books of course and not just one. I had a great time picking them off  the shelf at the bookstore.

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What I read last week:

I read The Little Teashop on Main – a review book, Love Letters is a continuing series and I have to say this one wrapped me round its little finger, and I finished listening to the delightful Mariah Stewart The Goodbye Cafe – so well narrated it put it into the 5 star category for me.

What I am reading now:

I have just started listening to this. I read it when it published in 2017 and now doing a reread via audio. I love Cathy Lamb books – thanks to Shellyrae who shared a review of one of her books on Book’d Out, and totally hooked me into her books.  Bloggers are influencers!

I am reading this from the backlist of Kristin Hannah, it won’t be as heavy as her more recent ones and that’s totally okay. Another author I read anything she writes.

Up next:

I need a funny good feel book for my next read as that is a challenge book for this month. When I saw a review for this from Trish at Between My Lines , it sealed the choice. She says “It is loaded with laugh out loud moments that had my stomach in a knot.” Has to qualify don’t you think!

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Last Week’s Posts

Come From Away Genevieve Graham

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