Book Connections

Five Characters I Love

Five book characters I’d love to actually meet up with!

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from The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg.

Arthur an elderly man and a great appreciator. He loved his wife Nola and goes to visit her grave each day and remembers the wonderful loving life they had together.  He is open to eighteen year old Maddy, who wears a ring in her nose, lost her mother at a very early age and has a father who is rather poor at being a father. But he looks with eyes of acceptance at Maddy and is willing to step up for her. He is caring for his elderly neighbour Lucille, especially in her time of great need. Arthur has a lot to teach me about life.

book coverSunshine. – from A Bad Day for Sunshine and a Good Day for Chardonnay. I’ve had two book dates with Sunshine in 2020, I can’t wait to make one in 2021. Sunshine is the sheriff of a small town, she has a delightful daughter and two supportive parents. A great love in her life although that’s complicated but developing. Sunshine is the best of mothers, a fair boss with an eye for great additions to the police force in town. She really goes the extra mile, she really cares. And she solves crimes!

book coverSophy from the Grand Sophy. Most likely Sophy is like many of Heyer’s heroines, but she sure is something. Things happen when she is around. She goes places women don’t, she drives and rides horses as well as any man. She is outspoken and speaks up and out. Vibrant and irrepressible. She is very caring and will risk herself for others when they need it. She can spot someone who is insincere. She mightn’t look perfect to the hoity toy, but I just thought she was a total delight.

book coverLt Sam Holland from Marie Forces series First Family a spin off from Fatal Affairs. Sam is a detective in charge of a homicide team. She is good at what she does, she follows up, goes the extra mile to solve the case. And… she supports her husband who has just landed the biggest job in the land. She is a great Mom to her found family, and very supportive of her friends.

book coverHelen from a Home Like Ours. She is in her mid fifties and is now in charge of a community garden. At one point she was homeless in spite of being well educated. She is spiky, tough talking and a no nonsense kind of person. Most of all I really like her for the way she invites a group of refugee women to take part in the garden and learn how to feed their families. Most of all I really was impressed by how she stood up for what was right and was ready to fight injustice.

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Book Connections

Five Five Star Reads.

We are at the end of June, the first six months of the year completed. I decided to look back at the books that just struck a chord with me. I will have had more than five five star books, but out of those what just made my heart so happy.  I am a contemporary fiction reader mainly, so those kind of books are more likely to make this list.

Next week I’ll choose five 4 star reads from my list of the 67 books I have completed so far. That will be way more difficult as I have a lot of them!  Audiobooks will be another week, although they are included in the 67!

book coverI read this back in February. It is by Australian author Fiona Lowe. I thought the issues she explored, and the eclectic cast of characters and the challenges they faced were very relevant. One I will most certainly reread. When I can still remember a book I read back in February its a good sign!!

book coverDifferent but so entertaining. I thought ‘really weird’ as I began but soon I was really cheering for all the wacky characters. Plenty of family drama and little surprises. Sunshine and her daughter Auri are just beautiful. Quincy and Levi giving them a shout out too. The whole town actually and the mystery of the missing deputy – priceless. Really looking forward to reading the next one which publishes soon.

book coverWell this is a new tack in a series I’ve loved and I love the new adventures. It’s full of great characters, political shenanigans, (notice the cover – The White House) police procedural and family love. Look I’ll say it simply – I am addicted. I wanted to avoid putting in my top five because I am so addicted, but … it has to go in!

book coverAnd my top historical read of the last six months. It is a beautifully written story of wartime London and the people who faced such hard times during all the bombing that went on. And a bookshop – don’t forget a bookshop!

bookcoverI tossed up between this book The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews and The House Guests by Emilie Richards. But because I have just reviewed the latter five star read I choose The Newcomer. I like most books when someone is on the run with a child in tow. ( I was going to write toe but didn’t seem right until I got the visual). Anyway there is mystery and suspense, eclectic characters and just a good read.

Okay, would love to hear from you of one five star read from the first six months! I might add to my groaning TBR pile!

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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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Today is a holiday here as yesterday was ANZAC Day when Australia and New Zealand remember those who have served in various wars. Because it fell on a Sunday, workers have Monday off. It doesn’t really make any difference to me as being retired every day is a holiday, for which I am very grateful.

One of my sisters travelled to Brisbane and then the Gold Coast yesterday from here in New Zealand as we now have a travel bubble operating where there is no 14 days of quarantine. She was very nervous, but so looking forward to seeing her daughter and two grand children who are fair dinkum Aussies! One she hasn’t met yet as he was born only about three months ago.

What I read last week:

Loved Marie Force’s new book and new series. A Family of Strangers was a reread, this time via audio and loved that too.  Confessions of a Quilting Circle review will be published tomorrow.

What I am reading now:

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I am also reading A Wizard of Earthsea – first book and starting to listen to Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey.

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Picnic in Someday Valley.  Jodi Thomas

My TBR Sorting: April

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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 doing well. Feeling a little colder here. I went to the library recently to find they had updated their returns and issues machines. All so modern. Put all the books together under the scanner and all issued together. I wonder if they will ever work out how to float the books to the exact spot on the shelf all by themselves!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And listening to…

It’s a reread – I read it but haven’t listened to the audio version.

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Up next:

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Book Connections

Eyes On These Romantic Suspense Books

These are all books I want to read in 2021. As I was sorting books out that I want to read I realised these ones all have a large element of romantic suspense. A genre I enjoy.

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At the very top of my list is State of Affairs. This is a “new” series by Marie Force but with her characters all from her Fatal series – which is romantic suspense. It’s probably my top addictive series read. These books have plenty of police procedural, murder and other horrible things happening. But as well it is so full of family and feel good aspects.

I pre-ordered this book on Kindle soon as I finished the last book in the Fatal series. April 20th. Don’t care what I will be in the middle of reading I’ll stop and read this one straight away.

bookcover Mary Kay Andrews always writes a good story and I like to either read or listen to them. I’ve only just read her last one, but if I’ve got it then I can pick it up when I need this kind of  read. This one seems to involve a murder, someone on the run, the sister and her young niece. Escaping the murderer it seems. Has enough promise there.

book cover Legacy  publishes in May and most likely needs no introduction. It will be romantic suspense as well. May listen to this on audiobook. Will see who the narrator is.

book coverAnother series I really like. #3 in the Sacramento series.Say Goodbye.  It will be a continuing story of a cult group and the FBI group that are working to find and end it. These books are always very fast moving and take place over a short time. There are a lot of pages but they go so fast. This one doesn’t come out to August. But it will be an automatic buy!

book coverThis one came out in December 2020 and is set in Alaska where a young girl is accused wrongly of murder. It is #1 in a series so a good place to begin. I haven’t read much Christina Dodd, only one other I think. So looking forward to finding out if I get hooked. I’ll know very soon because this one just came in from the library and I plan to read it very soon.

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Book Connections

Five Favourite Books from Second Half of 2020

Today I am sharing five star books from July to December. I had some more five star books but these I think are my top ones. As it happens they were all published this year.  I think they also tell me about what I like to read.  Book covers link to Goodreads.

My first half of the year was here.

book coverThis series just happens to be one of my very favourite series. I have the next one pre-ordered on Kindle already. It is a romantic suspense/detective series. However I love the characters and their development along the way. It just has me hooked. This last one had such a fantastic (to me) ending and promise of where the next book is going.

I am not alone in loving this series although only two people I follow on Goodreads are with me in reading the books.

It has a 4.74 rating on Goodreads from 1,318 ratings. Published in October.

book cover I loved this book, worth every big fat dollar I paid to get a hardback copy. I loved the characters, the serious issues covered and that Wren, she was just baby delicious. And sprinkled through was Susan Elizabeth Phillips smart, funny voice. It is a romance, women’s fiction blend. I always buy her books in print. Her next book is an addition to a series of hers and will be straight romance I am guessing.

On Goodreads it has a 4.06 rating from 5,892 ratings. At least 15 other readers I follow have read it as well. Published in June.

book coverFabulous story of a grumpy old woman with a tough back story. It’s also a tale of her grandson, some Antartica penguins and a few scientists. It touched my heart and made me smile and shed a small tear near the end. Beautiful and uplifting.

It has a 4.18 rating on Goodreads from 3,024 ratings and was published in March 2020.

book coverAnother addictive read in this series. Plus really evil men, but balanced by wonderful family and friendship and love. It’s not like the “good” are perfect, but they make you believe in goodness and all that is great about human kind. So many great side characters hope to see more from.

On Goodreads a 4.32 rating from 1431 ratings. Published in August 2020.

book coverI thought Australian author Fiona Palmer has written an amazing story, that is very touching and had me totally engaged with her characters. The issues she explores in this book were especially topical and well thought out. One of the issues she explores I have never come across in any other book. So wonderfully and compassionately told. While I am not a reader who likes backwards in time sections, this one totally aced it and was perfect.

On Goodreads it has a 4.19 rating from 169 ratings. It was published in August 2020.

As next Friday is Christmas Day and the following Friday is January 1st and First Book of the Year, Connect Friday will take a two week break and be back on Friday the 8th of January.

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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 keeping a head above water. This week I got some reading done and a bit of viewing – some on the TV – I am enjoying a British show The Trouble with Maggie Cole. I also watched half of the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice (to be continued) via DVD, the first of the new David Letterman on Netflix and the movie The Two Popes. All good viewing.

I can see the I will use Netflix a lot more now that yesterday I sorted myself with a Google Chromecast. Two of my sisters and brother and spouses gathered for a fish ‘n chips tea (evening meal, not sure what you call tea!!) Saturday at my brother’s place and so I saw their Chromecast set up and that’s all the incentive I needed. I had been thinking about it for awhile.

What I read last week:

I also finished listening to

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What I am reading now:

A long time book on my TBR. I saw her new book on NetGalley but wasn’t going to request it when I don’t know if I like her as an author, so off the shelf it comes – I picked it up at a Book Fair about four years ago.

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I am listening to

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Way Back Home.  Emilie Richards

Book to Screen

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Book Connections

Eyes on Books to Be Published.

What’s coming up in the next couple of months for Autumn Spring that I will want to read for sure… or at least put on library hold or buy. Here are five for a start. That said, I still have so many books on my TBR!

book coverThis one is published October 29th, although I do have a NetGalley review copy, so all set there. Women’s Fiction by an Australian author I tend to auto-read.

“The first time Ashling Wood realises her marriage is on the rocks is when her husband, Adrian, suggests they try nest parenting. Heartbroken, Ash suddenly finds herself living a double life – one week with her children, the next cohabiting with her happily single sister-in-law. Her friends think the modern custody solution is an exciting opportunity for her to spread her wings, but all Ash wants is her family back together.”

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Well another Virgin River book, I am a sucker for this series so of course I want to read it and I will and can because I also have a NetGalley copy of this. It publishes 13th October. It is about new friends, fresh starts and the magic of Christmas.  Sold!
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This book comes out in October too – Oct 13th and I have had my eye out for it as I read her previous book and liked it. It is paranormal and has to do with witches and sisters. After that I will have to just wait and see!
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October 20th. I’ll pre-order this one. I love this series. Deals with homicide and a fantastic woman Lieutenant and her husband who is the VP and being pressured to run for President.

book coverAnd lastly an author I haven’t read for quite awhile but I do enjoy some of her historical fiction so I am putting this on the list and it does come out earlier than the others on September 1st. Set in 1853 in Oregon and has to do with women’s rights and suffrage. A fictionalised story of a real life person Abigail Scott Dunniway.  It is a possible.

 

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Review

Fatal Scandal Marie Force

Fatal scandal book cover

Fatal Scandal
Marie Force
Published: Carina Press
Date: January 13th 2015
Format: Kindle
Pages: 290
Genre: Romantic suspense
Source: Own book

As a new year dawns in the capital city, dual scandals rock the Metropolitan Police Department—and Lieutenant Sam Holland is right in the middle of them. Chief Farnsworth is catching heat for the way he handled a recent homicide investigation, and Detective Gonzales is accused of failing to disclose an earlier connection to the judge who decided his custody hearing.

When Gonzo’s fight for his child turns deadly and he has a shaky alibi, Sam must defend one of her closest colleagues. All while her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano, settles into his new office at the White House.

Nick begins to wonder if the president is using him for a political boost, and his worries mount over a complication in the plans to adopt Scotty at a time when Sam is being put through the wringer by the always-rabid DC press corps. As the evidence against Gonzo piles up, Sam suspects someone is gunning for her—and her team.

My thoughts banner
Fatal Scandal is #8 in the series.  This series is addictive reading for me, I can’t wait for the next one each time!  I generally read it pretty much as soon as its published and I had this one pre-ordered for a few months now.
So was I disappointed? No way.  As usual I was hooked in and enveloped in Sam and Nick’s world along with their son Scotty and friends and colleagues.  This time around Nick is about to take up his new job at the White House and meanwhile many of Sam’s colleagues seem to be being targeted by someone who has it in for them and …. perhaps Sam as well.
There are murders, much crime, some tension and nail biting ( that last bit is me). I recoiled a few times!! There is the warmth of family and the love of Nick and Sam for each other and some hot  romance that sizzles of course. Then there is Scotty their adopted son who is now thirteen.  Before the final papers are signed though they need to look for Scotty’s biological father to ask him to sign papers.  Well how is that going to go? Sam’s dad is still very ill and he’s even making some noise about ending his life!  Not if Sam can help it.  
There is a cast of characters that readers have come to love and care about and we are updated on what is happening for them.  Shelby learns of Avery’s (the FBI character) infatuation with Sam and she is none too impressed, especially as Avery, Nick and Sam have all kept it from her.  Watch this space.  How will Gonzo fare with his child’s mother claiming what she is claiming? It seems everyone’s world is turning upside down.
Looking forward to finding out what Marie Force has planned for #9! Will Nick make waves in the White House? How long will the Nelson administration keep him on the outer?  How will Sam come back to work from her latest escapade and will she continue to get away with having no secret service watch on her? And is there still a traitor in the Metropolitan Police Dept?  
How many months to my next fix?
5 stars
Review

I Saw Her Standing There. Marie Force

I Saw Her Standing There. book cover

I Saw Her Standing There
Marie Force
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Date: 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 347
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Own book

Colton Abbott and Lucy Mulvaney have a secret. Colton’s nosy siblings have begun to put the pieces together, but it’s not like Lucy to keep things from those closest to her—especially her best friend, Cameron, who recently moved to Vermont to live with her true love, Will. But Lucy isn’t about to tell Cam she’s having a fling…

Flitting between New York and Vermont is exhausting, so Lucy is looking forward to a long weekend with Colton at the Abbott family lake house in Burlington. Too bad Will and Cameron have the same idea, and once Colton and Lucy are caught red-handed (and red-faced), will their clandestine romance lose its appeal or will their secret beginnings be the start of something lasting?

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I Saw Her Standing There is #3 in Marie Force’s Green Mountain series.  It has all that makes a great read of those small town series:  a fabulous setting, characters that pull you in and those emotional twists and turns as two people are drawn together.
This time it is the story of Colton and Lucy.  The main problem for these two is that Colton lives in Vermont on a mountain and Lucy lives in New York.  And while Lucy’s best friend Cameron solved that difficulty by leaving New York and coming to live in Vermont with Colton’s brother Will, that is just so not what Lucy can do.  
The Abbott family are a big family – ten, seven boys and three girls.  Their parents Molly and Lincoln round that out, with Elmer the Grandad also popping up at odd but significant moments.  There’s not much the Abbott clan can put past the last formidable three, they have a lot of life experience. Lincoln and Elmer are an unlikely team of matchmakers and will go to any lengths to see the right couples find each other.  There is a bit of a competition going on between them.
I love the romance and right along with that the interactions of this large family who love and care for each other, but who also like to engage in quick banter that is geared up to embarrass one of their siblings.  I also love how we get a good dollop of previous characters.  Marie Force weaves them into the story seamlessly, updates about their lives from their point of view really works for me.  This time I loved the secret surprise that Nolan has up his sleeve for Hannah.  And a very tender moment when he pulls it off.
This series is fast becoming one of my favourite small town series.  
4 stars
Green Mountain Series
I Want to Hold Your Hand #2
I Saw Her Standing There