Book Connections

Anticipated TBP Books for 2020

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Review

First Star I See Tonight. Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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Published:William Morrow
Date: August 2016
Format: Hardback
Pages:370
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Own book
Rating:
4.5 stars         Add to Goodreads

Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. “The fact is…I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just…mildly unhinged.”

Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband. And then there’s Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.

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Another book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. An auto buy for me ever since I chose an audiobook Match Me If You Can many years ago now.  Since then I have eagerly awaited her books, and have been guided by her readers both on her board (since disbanded) and her Facebook groups. They have given suggestions for my reading way before I started blogging.
First Star I See Tonight was a fun read, a romantic comedy, that has a feisty, stubborn, in your face heroine and a charming, equally stubborn hero.  I found myself laughing out loud in places and enjoying every word. It is so well written, full of drama, a little suspense and all round quirky characters.
Piper at the beginning of the book is finding it hard to get her investigative detective agency underway.  When she finally finds work at Cooper Graham’s night club, she soon has it hopping in all kinds of ways. Cooper doesn’t quite know where he is, but one things sure, Piper takes the job seriously and nothing is going to go under the radar. 
I was invested in these two characters and loved each move that they made. What would each of them do next? I wanted to read on and slow it down because I didn’t want to let them go. 
If you only read a little contemporary romance, put this one on your list. It is not over the top sexy, it is just plain filled with great characters, a well paced, something always happening kind of book.  Kick back and relax and just read for total pleasure. Susan Elizabeth Phillips sets out to entertain and bring a little joy into the world. She succeeds.
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Review

Heroes Are My Weakness Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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Heroes Are My Weakness
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publisher: William Morrow
Date:  2014
Format:  Hardback
Pages: 367
Genre: Contemporary Gothic Romance
Source: Own book

The dead of winter. An isolated island off the coast of Maine. A man. A woman. A sinister house looming over the sea …

He’s a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She’s a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids’ puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she’s not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they’re trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.

It’s going to be a long, hot winter.

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Susan Elizabeth Phillips has changed it up a little with her latest book.  In a salute to some of her favourite writers of earlier years she has written a novel that combines elements of the gothic with her own contemporary romance style.  It works for me!  Why churn out more of the same all the time?
She has challenged herself as a writer and has then challenged her readers to adapt as well.  I applaud her for that, and it is with the promise of a good book to be relished, I settled down to read this one.
I was soon engulfed in a cold, wintery scene with a menacing atmosphere.  Annie the heroine has arrived on the island of Peregrine off the coast of Maine.  She is penniless and accompanied by her beloved puppets and she is heading for the only item to her name, Moonraker Cottage.  If she wants to keep this cottage she has to live on it for two months or she loses it. A condition laid down by the owner of the towering house just above the cottage – Harp House. Her mother when dying said that Annie would find something in the cottage that would be her inheritance.
At the moment the owner is away and living in Harp House is Theo the son, and past nemesis of Annie – they have a history, and its left a bad taste in Annie’s mouth.  When things start to become menacing for Annie, naturally she blames Theo and has her own little ways of getting back at him, she has skills does Annie that come in handy at times.
Also at Harp House is a beautiful black stallion, a black cat called Hannibal, Jaycie the housekeeper and her mute four year old daughter, Livie.  Annie immediately connects with Livie, or actually its Scamp that connects with Livie.  As I said Annie is gifted in many ways.  I loved how this relationship developed.  Wonderful.
I appreciated the accomplished writing, the revealing of the various characters in their highlights and lowlights, the mystery – I didn’t pay enough attention to the little hints of who was ultimately trying to be rid of Annie, but it was logical when all was revealed.  The characters are realistic and a little different, the exploration of their background history was so much part of the story.  The puppets were an inspired addition and I loved Annie’s use of them.  Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s quirky humour was evident, although I didn’t have a laugh out loud moment until I was quite a way into the book.  
At first I found Theo unlikeable, but that changed as I read on.  The romance between Annie and Theo is delightful and sizzling – there is some heat, but it does not dominate the book – I like that.  Loved the epilogue – thank you Susan Elizabeth Phillips for another wonderful read.
5 stars

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Gothic Fiction book