Book Connections

Christmas Reading Plans

These are the Christmas books I have on my shelf and I hope to read some of them at least during December. I have most likely mentioned them in other posts, but now they are grouped as “Christmas”.   Book covers are linked to Goodreads in case you want to check them out.

book coverChristmas in Peachtree Bluff is one. It is #4 in the series. Usually I listen to this series, but as this was a Christmas one and I seem to be getting behind in my listening I opted for the book.

The holiday season, three generations of women from the same family and a hurricane threatening.

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I love the cover on The Christmas Escape.  Two friends, a marriage in crisis and set in Lapland over Christmas. Does sound promising.

book coverAnd another that I would usually choose to listen to. However I decided this time I would buy The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan.

Set in Edinburgh and in an old dark bookshop. A woman who needs to sort out her life, and heal the rift with her family. And a bookshop that needs to be given new life.

book coverAn old house, an old Santa suit and in that suit a letter with a Christmas wish. Ivy sets out to find out about the writer and family. And no doubt discovers something that will make her happy.  The Santa Suit.

book cover I don’t have The Christmas Wedding Guest. But it went on my list after reading a lovely review for it over on Nise’s blog.  Another family themed book. Two sisters and their parents. The parents want to renew their wedding vows at Christmas. The sisters of course help make this happen. And while doing so, perhaps they will find love of their own.

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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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Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate that this week. Hope as many of you as possible are able to share that with your families this year.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

By Irish author and set in Ireland.

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And still enjoying listening to The Legacy by Nora Roberts.

Up next:

 

Last Week’s Posts

Non Fiction Books I am Reading.

Call of the Penguins. Hazel Prior

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Book Connections

Plans for Kindle Books in November

November is going to be a month when I catch up on a few of my books lurking on my Kindle. A mix of review books and ones I’ve bought.  These are the ones I’ll put first from my own books on Kindle. I prefer reading an actual paperback or hardback, but sometimes Kindle is the way to go and I am very thankful for it. But as Katherine from I Wish I Lived in a Library commented books on our Kindles do tend to fall into black holes. So I am delving in a little to the black hole this month.

The Quiet wardsA while back I decided I wanted to go back and read a good swag of Lucilla Andrews books – a British author who was a nurse in WW2.  I am wanting to read them in the order she wrote them and I think this is about #3. I’ve read a couple that come before. They aren’t related but I just want to see how her writing develops.  They were once hard to get hold of, but now they have been republished for Kindle so that has made them available.

This one is about dangerous drugs going missing.

book coverI always enjoy a Sarah Morgan book but when I buy it doesn’t mean I’ll read it so I am happy to single out this one for this November.

A light contemporary romance is usually very readable.

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And Meg and Jo is another one I was keen to read but it got lost on my Kindle. Unseen is often forgotten.

A modern telling of the March Sisters from Little Women so I think I will certainly enjoy it.

Aunt Ivy's cottage

A couple of readers I follow recommended Aunt Ivy’s Cottage and well… it only appeared on my Kindle today when I noticed the price was reduced.  In the spirit of not letting in sink into the Kindle black hole, I intend to read it this month! So there is a cottage and a trunk and a diary in the mix and secrets into the light no doubt.

House BrokenThe cover looks cute but evidently this is a tough family story with alcohol involved. It is Sonja Yoerg’s debut novel and has been sitting on my Kindle for a few years now. So time to try it out.

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Eyeing some books out in October

Yesterday I had a very pleasurable time looking at books being published in the next three months. I was quite surprised to see I could easily fill five from October I’ll most likely pre-order. Another couple I have for review so I didn’t count them. Oh yes some happy reading times in the future. Now I am not looking at what I already have!!

So this could have been a Christmas connect but for the first one, which has to stay right here! I’ll delve into the paranormal/urban fantasy for Nalini Singh any day.

It could also be books published on October 26th. What is it with that date!!

Covers are linked to Goodreads in case you want to know more.

Archangel's Light#14 in a series. This is the story of Ilium and Aodhan, two angels that are delightful but have tough back stories. I am really looking forward to their story and I am guessing seeing their great friendship taking a new tack in this book. Out October 26th.

The Christmas BookshopWhat a cover and of course the title. This looks like a stand alone book. It involves sisters, a bookshop and some romance. And it looks like around Christmas and set in Scotland. Need I say more! Well its by Jenny Colgan as well!  October 26th

Christmas in Peachtree BluffThis is #4 in a series. I haven’t really read the blurb, the author is enough and the series as well, for me to say okay that goes on my buy list. Obviously set in Christmas season as well and will be a continuing of the Murphy women’s lives.  October 26th.


The Secret of Snow
Again the author is enough for me to buy this one. I again haven’t read the blurb. This is what V Shipman says…

“My new book, The Secret of Snow, is more than just my first holiday novel. It’s a deeply personal story of family, faith, forgiveness, overcoming grief and second chances. It’s inspired by the tragic death of my brother, Todd, at an early age, and how we too often run from loss and hide from grief at the holidays. ”  October 26th.

The Christmas EscapeAnd from Sarah Morgan! Again an author favourite. Set in Lapland during Christmas. Again haven’t read the blurb, I don’t need to. I’ll read the book when I get it.  October 26th.

Are any of these on your list, or what is one you want from the October books being published?

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Book Connections

British Authors I Have Enjoyed

Once I read pretty much all British authors.  However now, not so much. As I prefer contemporary fiction first here are some present contemporary authors I read. Tracy Rees is more historical but that’s my second go to in reading. Probably a ratio of 1:5 is about right! Although come to think of it Jojo Moyes writes both.
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Jenny Colgan

I’ve probably read the most by this author. I enjoy her upbeat fun books, often with some theme that is more serious. Her series are good and this one set down in the south of England with a pet puffin is fun. This is #4 in the series.

Jojo Moyes. I haven’t read all her books and must pick out another one to read. I see I have a couple of her older ones on my bookshelf. My second Jojo Moyes book and I enjoyed it in spite of the serious nature of the underlying choice that Will makes. I liked how Will and Lou interacted and the difference they made in each others’ lives. I liked the chapters from three other characters’ points of view. I would have liked one or two from Wills, but I guess that might have given away too much too soon. I’ve read the three in this series.

Tracy Rees I have two of hers.  Amy Snow by Tracy Rees is a debut novel that enthralled me from start to finish. It is set in England in early Victorian times, and while in one sense it merely covers a matter of months, it also goes back in time, so that we the reader are slowly fed all the details. This allows the mystery of the story to unfurl. A little soap drama in flavour but still a good read.

I have read another one by her the second book she wrote. I have the third sitting on my shelf – a dual time line one I think.The Hourglass. Another one I need to pick up.

book coverSarah Morgan. Another author I have read a lot of books by her. Family for Beginners – Wonderful heartwarming and uplifting family. Characters so delightful, family, friendship, trials, secrets, fears and so much more. Wisdom too!  I haven’t read all her books and think I have one or two already on my Kindle. Plus of course she’ll have something new out before long.

book coverBeth O’Leary I have read two by this author and I see another one in the shops that I will get at some point from the library. The Road Trip.

At first I couldn’t get into this book. Thought I didn’t like how it was structured. Then… I was hooked. Loved this warm hearted – quirky, flat sharing note-making friendship. And more.

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Review

The Summer Seekers. Sarah Morgan

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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.

Liza is drowning in the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.

Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.

When Martha sees Kathleen’s advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She’s not the world’s best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?

The Summer Seekers I discovered as I read, was the kind of book I like. 

Firstly interesting characters. Kathleen has lived a life, she likes adventure and not being stuck safe somewhere. She lives in a delightful cottage with a half blind three legged cat. She has a few things in her life that haven’t been faced or acknowledged. She keeps to herself and isn’t free around emotions and touch.

Her daughter Liza is a modern mother, caring for the family, holding down a job and supporting a busy family life with teenage daughter twins. But… she is denying her own needs, and she wants to organise her mother and make sure she is safe. 

Martha is delightful but without a job, and when Kathleen wants a driver for a trip across America well she is game to give it a go.  Her family are not that supportive of her so she doesn’t recognise the wonderful qualities she has… until she meets Kathleen.

There is a fun road adventure in a red convertible, with plenty happening along the way. But what is more important than the outer journey is the inner journey that each of the women make.

It’s a very satisfying read, I liked that it didn’t dwell on long details of the trip, it moved along very smoothly. More time was given to what was happening for each of the characters and the journey of self discovery they were making.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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photo Sarah Morgan

Author Bio: USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has sold more than eleven million copies of her books. She was nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times: once in 2012 for Doukakis’s Apprentice, in 2013 for A Night of No Return and in 2017 for Miracle on 5th Avenue. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their Top Pick slot. As a child, Sarah dreamed of being a writer, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London, England, with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

Buy Links: 

Harlequin    Indiebound   Amazon       Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million.     Walmart       Google

iBooks    Kobo

Social Links:

Author Website              Twitter: @SarahMorgan_                  

Facebook: @AuthorSarahMorgan

Instagram: @SarahMorganWrites.             Goodreads                    BookBub



Book Connections

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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Book Connections, Review

Five Audiobooks I Plan to Listen to Soon

I love a good audiobook. A well written book in the hands of a really good narrator is the ultimate. I am just looking ahead to what I want to pick up very soon to listen to. I am not sure which will be first, but it will be one from this list.

I already own Born a Crime so this one has to be up there to listen to very soon

I recently listened to #3 in this series and its made me put this one way up the list of TBL books.

Due to be published mid October and this is certainly on my soon to be listened to list. I love this series set on Mure.

I enjoy Sarah Morgan’s books and this is her latest and will be a good listen no doubt near Christmas.

I’d put this one into my TBR after seeing Elizabeth from Silver Reviews recommend. And it looks good and summery and well summer is advancing here in NZ!

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Paris Booked

To be truthful I’ve never felt the pull to visit Paris. If I visited France I’d want to visit the more country places. However I know many people just love the idea of Paris. Visiting it in books leaves me quite satisfied!

book cover I have just read this one set in the 1940’s in Paris and in 1985 in Montana USA. However mostly set in Paris and at the American Library in Paris. It felt very real and was worth reading.

book cover To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone. I found this a delicious story of an unusual friendship, mid life marriage crisis, the effect of alcoholism on lives and a dusty bookshop. And of course a summer in Paris. It included lost and found love and new love. Plus Sarah Morgan never fails to delight me.

book coverThe Paris Seamstress is a dual time line book, that ranges in setting from Paris to New York to Australia. One era is the war years – and the effects on France especially. The other era is one recent and modern. And through the years there is the mystery of family and friendships. It tracks the endeavours of one woman – Estelle and her love of designing dresses and other clothing. When she finds herself in New York her journey begins. It probably has the smallest Paris setting but still felt Parisian.

 

book coverI  enjoyed The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. When a book lover sees book or bookstore in a title we’re drawn to it. Sometimes it is worth the read, sometimes not so much. For me The Little Paris Bookshop was a joy from beginning to end. I was hooked by the dedication – do you always read the dedication – I always do!

I followed the journey of Jean Perdu with interest. While able to read the souls and emotions of others, he is so closed up himself. There is a room in his apartment that has been closed for a very long time. Why? A mystery. Jean himself is closed, he doesn’t like touch, he avoids things. This is his journey, how he again opens up to life and to living and loving. I think this has mixed reviews, so not for everyone but I loved the bookish aspects.

book coverI very much liked this book, as I do with most Jenny Colgan books. . It made me chuckle out loud, as well it had me feeling deep sadness for some of the characters. There’s a bittersweetness to it.

As you would expect from the title of the book there is a lot about chocolate, and yes I admit to having to reach for some as I read! However I am sure it would not have come up to the standard of Thierry, his workers, Laurent and Anna. I loved the whole chocolate making business – a work of art, and I am sure a delight to the taste buds.

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Family Features Strongly in my Reading

I love a book that explores family in all it’s depths and heights. This is my second post looking at family in books, I did one  back in August 2019, but with different books.These were all 4.5 to 5 stars for me and would love to reread them all.

book coverAt present I am reading and really enjoying this first one at the moment. Almost finished. The heroine lost her mother when she was very young and was brought up by a very ungracious aunt. Her heart is hungry for family. Jack is the Dad of two girls who lost their mother a year ago. One of the girls takes to Flora but Izzy, the other daughter, has huge issues and there is tension. The author’s intention I would hazard a guess at is to model really good openness and discussion within relationships.

 

book coverThis one explores what happens when a young aunt takes on the care of two nieces while there Dad is in a submarine and their mother is missing. And within the book there is mystery, shocks and an absorbing family story.

 

Book coverA single mother and her son and three children wo have been abandoned by their mother and their father is a wreck. Can a new blended family form?

 

book coverFor  the Guinness family a happy ending looks out of reach. Olly and Mae’s marriage is crumbling, their teenage daughter Evie is on a mission to self-destruct and their beloved Pops is dying of cancer. Their once strong family unit is slowly falling apart. Yes that is the opening and it sure just is a wonderful journey of family.

 

book coverIt 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.

 

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