Month in Review

September Reading Round Up

Total books read this month:  14

Book Ratings

The Best is Yet to Come. 4 stars
Thank You for Listening. 5  stars
The Book Haters’ Book Club. 3 stars
Snowed in for Christmas. 4.5 stars
Flirting with Fifty.   4 stars
All is Bright.  4 stars
A Brighter Flame. 3 stars
The Italian Daughter 4 stars
Grace Under Fire. 4 stars
Murder on the Poet’s Walk. 4 stars
LowCountry Boil.  4 stars
The Bodyguard 4.5 stars
State of the Union 4 stars
Becoming Beth. Meredith Appleyard. 3.5 stars.

New to me authors:

Gretchen Anthony
Susan M Boyer*
Julia Whelan*

*Would read again

Top Print Book for September

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Top Audio Book for September

Thank You for Listening

Top Kindle Book for September

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Looking forward to reading in  October

It’s going to be just about all review books. My finger was trigger happy at NetGalley!  There is nothing that stands out, but they all looked good enough for my my finger to go “Read it!”

Review of Reading Goals  for September

  • read one or two off my shelf.  I did get one print and one Kindle book from my own shelf.
  • keep up to date with library books with my turn. Read three from the library.
  • Read the review books on my calendar.  Yes – done
  • Choose and start my slow and steady read. I chose Emma by Jane Austen and I am happy to say I am more than half way through it.

Main Reading Goals for October

  • Read the review books I have on my calendar
  • Continue with my slow and steady read – Emma
  • Maybe sneak in one off my shelf or a library book if necessary.

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.


Book Connections

Books from Countries I Haven’t Visited

The informal reading challenge from Emilie Richards Facebook Readers’ Page calls for a book with a country setting you haven’t visited as the August theme. So I have been scrambling around. I am not in the mood for something too serious so looking for mainly light!

book coverI haven’t been to Italy so this book The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane which publishes in September and I have from NetGalley through Bookoutre.

When Lily is called to a lawyer’s office in London, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. There, she is told that her grandmother was born at Hope House, a home for unmarried mothers, and is given a box containing the only clues to her true heritage. Peeling back the delicate layers of paper she finds an Italian recipe and a theatre programme.       And off she goes to Italy.

book coverI’ve not been to Russia either, and this book has been sitting on my bookshelf waiting.  It could be a possibility although I think it might be my next slow read where I read a book over a few months. Will think and consider it though.

book coverI haven’t got this one but its very appealing and is fairly cheap on Kindle.  Divorced and on a deadline, bestselling novelist Bea Pinkerton has a serious case of writer’s block. With her agent breathing down her neck, Bea will do ANYTHING to avoid writing another word.

So an invite to a reunion with her old school friends at a beautiful chateau in France, is Bea’s perfect chance to escape. Surely here, relaxing with old friends and drinking cold fizz, Bea will find inspiration?chateaux in France.  I haven’t been to France either.

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I haven’t been to Scotland and it would be a country I’d like to visit. A Secret Scottish Escape looked like a light Scotland read that would be good to try.

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.   I could get this through our local library. I read one of her books recently and it was decent enough.

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Set in Japan and I’ve not been to that country. So The Little Teashop in Tokyo could fit the bill.

Grab your passport and escape to the land of dazzling skycrapers, steaming bowls of comforting noodles, and a page-turning love story that will make you swoon!

For travel blogger Fiona, Japan has always been top of her bucket list so when she wins an all-expenses paid trip, it looks like her dreams of the Far East are coming true.

So a decision to make in August.


Book Connections

Books by New Zealand Authors

Today I am sharing five  contemporary New Zealand authors I have read or intend reading. New Zealand has many authors although I confess I read only a few of them. Mainly that’s because of my taste. Another day I’ll share some of the previous NZ authors I’ve enjoyed. Some of the books have a NZ setting and some are set elsewhere.

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New Zealand author Nalini Singh is a favourite of mine as you may have guessed. I have come to love her paranormal series and I’ve read a couple of her contemporary romance.

A Madness of Sunshine  is set in the South Island of New Zealand, is a murder mystery set in contemporary times. I have read it and really enjoyed it. Published 2019.

book cover When it all Turned to Custard by Danielle Hawkins is one  I own and bought after I read a review by an Australian blogger. I haven’t read it yet but its in the queue. It too is set in New Zealand. Hmm I just see a recommendation on the back by one of my favourite Australian authors – Fiona Lowe who says ” An entertaining read full of humour, heart and soul.” I should move it up the list. Published 2019

book coverSoraya Lane has written both romance and women’s fiction. Its the latter that I enjoy. The Spitfire Girls is set overseas and is an insight into  the courageous contribution women made in both England and the USA towards the WW2 endeavours. These women were willing to put their lives on the line and take on piloting planes to where they were needed. And… they were very successful.

Soraya M. Lane does an excellent job helping us get inside the lives of such young women. Often they were up against ‘the establishment’ and the attitudes and prejudices of the populace.  Published 2019.

book coverWhat a honey of a book. I was originally enticed into this book by the US edition with its warm tones on the cover, however as I read the book I came to love this cover too. Sugar is a treasure and the amazing ‘family’ of people she gathered around her was endearing and satisfying. As it says on the cover – a novel of honey, love and manners.

So The Wedding Bees – awesome. Loved Queen Elizabeth 1 and 6. Witty, warm and charming is one way to describe this book. It does explore some important issues in a very gentle way. Well done Sarah-Kate Lynch. Raising my glass to The Wedding Bees and the Buzz-off Bride.  Set in the USA. Published 2014 Unfortunately Sarah-Kate has moved on to writing scripts for TV shows so no recent books!

book cover Finally a book I bought this week. This is by Farid Ahmed about his wife, the Christchurch massacre and his journey to forgiveness. All royalties go to St John Ambulance. As the one year date for this awful shooting and I heard about this book o the radio, I was immediately interested in reading it. Farid’s wife was killed in this massacre. I believe the book will build my understanding of the experience of another New Zealander.



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Hearts of Resistance by Soraya Lane

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Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date: 10th January 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 324
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Rating 4.5 stars
Goodreads callout

At the height of World War II, three women must come together to fight for freedom, for the men they love—and for each other. When Hazel is given the chance to parachute into Nazi-occupied France, she seizes the opportunity to do more for the British war effort than file paperwork.

Alongside her childhood friend, French-born Rose, she quickly rises up the ranks of the freedom fighters. For Rose, the Resistance is a link to her late husband, and a way to move forward without him. What starts out as helping downed airmen becomes a bigger cause when they meet Sophia, a German escapee and fierce critic of Hitler who is wanted by the Gestapo. Together the three women form a bond that will last a lifetime.


Hearts of Resistance starts with a short prologue filled with danger that immediately starts me both worrying and asking questions about will these women survive?

Then we are taken back in time and introduced one by one to three women, whom by the time the book finished I did not want to leave. Three women – one English, one German, one French and their lives are utterly changed by WW11.

There is Hazel – English – engaged and watching her fiance go off to war, and in an environment that did not believe women were capable of contributing significantly to the cause. Hazel will prove that wrong, once recruited by the SOE.

There is Sophia – a young German girl already helping Jewish people to escape from Berlin and hiding her Jewish boyfriend in her apartment. The horrors of the Nazi regime and her own father drive her from Germany and into the Resistance.

Finally Rose a young French woman married to her dearly loved husband and as the war carries on also finds herself by circumstance caught up in the covert operations against the Germans.

Eventually these three come together – work together – carry out mind and heart stopping work that really counts. They are highly trained, ready to kill if necessary and hugely passionate about the extremely dangerous work they do. Three powerful women.

These three women, while fictitious, do represent so many women who showed that they were very capable and courageous during this period of history.  Soraya M. Lane obviously researched this well, and she has presented an extremely wonderful tribute to these brave women.

I loved the strength of these three women and the bonds of friendship that they formed. While not always an easy read it was a very realistic and eye opening read. If you coped with Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale – you’ll manage this one too.