#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
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.

Line break

I seem to be mostly on a romance reading kick at the moment. Not intentional but that’s how it’s rolling. A mix of old and new books.

Thinking of you all in the USA with the turbulence happening there.  Take care all.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

 

book cover

And just started listening to…

book cover

Up next:

book cover
 

Last Week’s Posts

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe.  Jodi Thomas

Pre-Internet Reading

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=9c9b10dbdecdfb9300b0

Book Connections

The Best of Friendships

When reading I love coming across really good friendships, doesn’t matter who they are between. There is something both inspiring and wholesome about it. These are five books where I came across that kind of friendship.

 

book cover We watch the unlikely friendship of a ninety two year old woman – Mrs G, and Raymond a seventeen year old, develop.  And its a meaty friendship – genuine and full of caring. I loved both these characters and how they related to each other.  Mrs G is blind, she has lived a full life and has a lot of wisdom. But she is in need of help big time. Raymond is a lonely seventeen year old – one who feels he has never been “seen” or understood. Mrs G really sees him! Loved this relationship.

 

book coverIn One Summer in Paris we see the friendship between Grace – in her forties and a teen Audrey. Grace has come to Paris to escape the fact her husband has left her for a “new version” about the same age as their daughter! Audrey has come to escape the alcoholism disease that her mother has. Due to various circumstances they form a great friendship that helps both of them move forwards in their lives.  Loved the two of them, loved the book.

 

book cover The beautiful friendship that develops between Arthur and Maddy. An old man who visits his wife at the cemetery every day, and Maddy an eighteen year old teen who really is very alone.

 

book coverThere’s more than friendship in this book, but.. there is some examples of wonderful, positive friendship. Especially the one that develops between Gray and Diana. Gray is divorced and 34. Diana is about 40 and is really down on her luck. Diana ends up working for Gray who is a reasonably wealthy woman who needs some good organisation and Diana is your one. They both have big challenges in life but the bond that forms between them, moves each of them forwards and into what is likely to be a life long friendship.

book coverI’ve mentioned this book before in terms of an author I now want to read everything he writes. But here I want to mention the theme of friendship where it makes a huge difference in some lives. It’s between an old woman and a young child and the old woman and the little girls parents. I really loved seeing how it all developed.

 

Banner

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=9c9b10dbdecdfb9300b0

Book Connections

Anticipated TBP Books for 2020

Banner

I always like to check up on favourite authors and what they might be publishing next. These five I plan on buying.

My biggest lookout would be the one coming out in June by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She doesn’t write a book every year so I always look forward to the year she does. It doesn’t have a cover yet so here is the place holder. I have already pre-ordered a hard copy from Amazon! Right now it is cheaper than the paperback and the same as the Kindle price!

book cover

When life throws her one setback too many, midwife and young widow Tess Hartsong takes off for Runaway Mountain. In this small town high in the Tennessee mountains, surrounded by nature, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal. 

Another author I’ve come to like is Sarah Morgan and her next one comes out in April.

book cover

I couldn’t find any information about what it is about, but that’s okay. It says on the cover “Who says you can’t choose your family?”  Good enough for me. Will pre-order from the Book Depository.

K. A. Tucker – a Canadian author has become a favourite of mine in the last few years. This one is the continuation of her previous book The Simple Wild.

book cover

Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.  
But! It sounds like it’s not all a bed of roses.  Publishes in March. Again will pre-order from the Book Depository.

Fiona Lowe is an Australian author and I really liked her book Home Fires, so I have had my eye on her next one. It publishes in February. I’ll buy it locally, I resisted requesting it for review. I want the actual copy to read and put on my book shelf.

book cover

Australian author Fiona Lowe returns with a juicy family saga, set against the backdrop of Victoria’s high country, about unforgettable characters tangled together by a wealthy inheritance, secrets and betrayal.

Lastly one from Anne Bogel. I’ve already pre-ordered this from the Book Depository.  It publishes in March.

book cover

We’ve all been there: stuck in a cycle of what-ifs, plagued by indecision, paralyzed by the fear of getting it wrong. Nobody wants to live a life of constant overthinking, but it doesn’t feel like something we can choose to stop doing. It feels like something we’re wired to do, something we just can’t escape. But is it?

Anne has some strategies for us in making the small and large decisions.  I predict it will be worth reading.

I am sure very soon I will have another list of five publishing this year that I want. Do you make a list of authors you keep an eye on, for what they are publishing next?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c8cd94ed6d171cb9d89d

Book Connections

Five Christmas Book Reads

Banner

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.

book cover
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.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
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.

Line break

Well just a little reading accomplished. I have other distractions – its been a busy week, and satisfying. I have also got into some viewing – I am loving The Crown. I like how they are portraying Charles but I think they have the Queen too severe. She has more of a sense of humour. I have also started watching Virgin River which is based on Robyn Carr’s book series. Loving it and of course we have a kiwi actor playing the lead role of Jack which is a plus. I think he suits the role.

I don’t have a smart TV. I kind of am reluctant as I dislike replacing usable equipment with the latest. However I did need to purchase a new iPad earlier this year and I find it great for watching Netflix on, so I don’t have to go to the bother of linking up my computer via a cord.

What I read last week:

Sarah Morgan writes a wonderful Christmas appropriate story.
book cover

What I am reading now:

Not too far into this one, but have been immediately pulled into it.

book cover

And I did start up listening to my audio again – The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. I think its a little dark for this time of year so I have sort of just not picked it up. But getting back to walking will help with that. I stopped walking because I was getting such a pain in my hip – not a bad hip but muscular. Been to the physio and have been doing some good stretching which is really helping.

Up next:

This review book which publishes in January.

book cover
 

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=d1626941e732cbb79b50

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
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.

Line break

Well I know! It’s December, so hard to believe. My reading is still slow but still getting a little done. At present I am watching cricket on TV and writing this post. Other things are getting in the road of reading!

Hope you have all recovered from your Thanksgiving celebrations and had safe travel if you had to take transport.

What I read last week:

Only book I read this week, and it was very good. Because it was a rather noir mystery/suspense I decided to leave Celine by Peter Heller to a little later.
book cover

What I am reading now:

So I chose this lovely Christmas book that has been sitting on my shelf for a few weeks waiting for the right time.

book cover

And no advance with my audiobook, I sure need to pick it up again and get going with it!

Up next:

I intend making a choice from one of these according to my mood at the time….

I’ll pick after finishing my present read.

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=d1626941e732cbb79b50

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge
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.

Line break

What I read last week:

Enjoyed them all.  The Book Club was written almost 20 years ago but I had to read it with a title like that and written by Mary Alice Monroe.

What I am reading now:

I am reading this one because a reading challenge I am doing needed an animal in the title. I had already bought this so it fitted. I loved her books Girl in Times Square and The Bronze Horseman so I decided I’d try out this, first in a series. I see Paullina grew up in Russia and now lives in the USA.

book cover

Listening to…

book cover

Up next:

Review book and new to me author.

book cover

Last Week’s Posts

Sunset Beach   Mary Kay Andrews

The Little Teashop on Main   Jodi Thomas

Line break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=9fc34a6dd0c8ab0ddfb0

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Into May

badge
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.

Line break

Hope you all had a good week. Mine was. I did a variety of things like visit with family, visit with friends, went to craft night with friends, went to a Quilt show – read and may have done some basic housework!

What I read last week:

I finished listening to this audiobook – it was a reread, I loved it the first time and loved it in the audiobook version as well. So good

I also read

What I am reading now:

I am listening to this second one in this series. Listened to the first one awhile ago but should be okay.

I am reading a review book.

book cover

Up next:

One from my recently bought shelf.

book cover 

Last Week’s Posts

The View from Alameda Island   Robyn Carr

April Reading in Review

Line break

 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=76159bd4ca438d83f080

Review

How to Keep a Secret by Sarah Morgan

book coverPublished: HQ
Date: 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 462
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating of book

Goodreads callout

Lauren has the perfect life…if she ignores the fact it’s a fragile house of cards, and that her daughter Mack has just had a teenage personality transplant. Jenna is desperate to start a family with her husband, but it’s… Just. Not. Happening. Her heart is breaking, but she’s determined to keep her trademark smile on her face.

Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother, but how can she ever tell Lauren and Jenna the reason why?

Banner

Well what can I say! I loved this book for sure. It has all the elements I like. It is always hard to slot this kind of book into a genre. I’d like to say Women’s Fiction, which says to me it has a woman’s viewpoint, tackles some relevant to life issues and often contains a bit of a romantic element. All of which this book has in spades. But… then lots of readers don’t like the term Women’s Fiction, for very many valid reasons. So whatever!

This book is a departure for Sarah Morgan as she usually writes straight out contemporary romance, and I like her books in that genre too. However this is more and I salute her for it, and I wish with all my being she writes more books in this vein. Just some of the one liners alone will bring me back at some point to read this book.

It is about family, what goes right in it and what doesn’t and how when it doesn’t the choices and challenges it throws. Its about sisters, I loved both of them. Its certainly about mother/daughter relationships and that was an interesting exploration. I fell in love with Miss Teen Mack and her difficulties. Its about love strained, love lost and love found. And … secrets!

It is a stand alone book, so go for it.

Book icon

Book iconBook iconbook iconBitmoji book icon

Review

My Top Books of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday was created and is  hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  
It is rather difficult to chose the top books of 2016 for me. So many good reads, although not necessarily outstanding reads. Some haven’t made the list but could easily have. I haven’t included audiobooks although some were fabulous. Thank you to all the authors who entertained me in 2016. I apologise that your book is not here, mainly because the post would just be far too long!
book cover
This was my first book of the year and it turns out to be one of my top reads for 2016. It was fantasy and a real saga.  I was reluctant to leave these people. I held my breath, I wondered, I wept, I smiled. I’ll be reading Foxmask in 2017, the follow up of this book. First time reading author Judith Marillier – New Zealand born and educated now living in Australia.

book cover

I was impressed by this one and it was my first book by USA author Kristina McMorris. Historical fiction. The climax was tense and I wanted to close my eyes and jump a few pages! Perhaps it ended a little too tidily some might say, however I  found it very satisfying, and loved how the story circled around itself and even with one element having a bittersweet mirror image.

book cover

Rachael Johns – Australian author produced two books in 2016 I loved, this was one of them.  Outback Sisters –  all that I love in a good romance novel. Add to that a good dose of rural Australia. There were plenty of little twists and turns, much drama and heartache, and of course love. If that wasn’t enough, I was also reminded of good times, when Rachael Johns mentioned The Magic Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton) which took me off in a little indulgent reminiscence. And she also has two characters who love reading and love to discuss the books they read.

book cover

Another Australian author I enjoyed. Historical fiction and debut novel. Set in the USA in the 1920’s. I loved the whole historical background and what it was like for women in those days. It was rather horrifying to read of some of the childbirth practices and attitudes prevalent in that time. A woman’s touch was certainly needed. penned an absorbing, clever book, with characters that came alive off the page. I enjoyed the drama, the humour, the sadness, the romance and the time period. Fantastic read. And totally adore the cover.

book cover

I have come to love the romance books of UK author Sarah Morgan. Loved the #3 in the Puffin Island series. To my mind Sarah Morgan is tops at writing today’s romance stories. This one was charming and enchanting. Set in the winter wonderland of snow and Christmas – a wonderful backdrop. At first I was disappointed it wasn’t all on Puffin Island, but the English countryside was magical too. Loved the tension between the two main characters, the humour and the growing love. There was plenty of wisdom in the story and loved that too. Love her writing and the similes were often spot on. Perfection.

book cover

Allegiance of Honour is #15 in this wonderful urban fantasy/paranormal series. I have loved every book in the series and this was another winner for me. As Nalini Singh (NZ author)  says it has an ensemble cast. Many of the characters from previous books are given updates on how life is going for them. As I love each and every one of these characters that was a delight for me. I took my time reading it. No skipping lines, I just wanted to savour it. Delicious!

book cover

USA author J. R. Ward does it again. This soap drama series has intrigued me and the second one – this one – just left me wanting more of this dysfunctional family. I couldn’t wait to find out all the scandal that has gone on since last year’s book The Bourbon Kings. Of course I had to wait! A whole year, but it has passed and I eagerly began this book. I might even have peeked at the end – although it didn’t tell me that much. This is a book that you have to read every line because you just might miss something of one of the characters evolving story.

book cover

I always love a new book from USA author Cathy Lamb. Toni is the narrator, one of three sisters who have a very special bond. They began their lives in Russia in the 80’s where it was dangerous for them. They were under the eye of the KGB and their large extended family were quietly escaping to the USA. While the story begins in America, every so often we go back to that time in Russia until every little horrific detail of that time is revealed. One of the mysteries that Toni holds a little part – how did their brother arrive to them one bloody night?

book cover

Archangel’s Heartis #9 in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. In this book the focus is back on Elena and Raphael and their ever maturing relationship. This time they are off to Morocco where the Luminata have called all the Cadre (the group of archangels who rule the world), because one of the Cadre – Lijuan ruler of China is missing. Is she dead? Hiding out? Or gone into a deep Sleep that lasts for centuries?
This book made me want to reread and reacquaint myself again with the whole series. It was an absorbing and emotional read. Every detail needs to be read, you can’t afford to skip a line, everything counts. Fabulous writing, satisfying reading, the very best!

book cover

This was my first introduction to USA author Karen Rose and her romantic suspense. Every Dark Corner introduces Kate Coppola – an agent I just loved. Despite stress and a personal history that might have levelled another, Kate dedicates herself to helping others, working to save those caught in the nets of depravity.  I highly recommend you get to know her.  She sits within a 5 star read.
I have since gone on to read the first one in the series and have the next one as well. Then I will be all caught up and waiting for the next one in the Cinncinnati series.

book cover

Ah…USA author Mary Alice Monroe. Another in her Lowcountry series. It was everything I love in a story and it was just so good to go back in Taylor’s life to when he first was discharged from the Marines, after experiencing a terrible explosion that left him shattered and suffering from PTSD. He can’t cope with returning to his family for Christmas, finds crowds threatening, and his family are bewildered and find it difficult to understand.
This is a beautifully written story, it sucked me in right from the beginning and I loved every word and minute of it. It is a perfect Christmas story and is linked with little quotes and references to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.