May 24, 2017

Beyond the Carousel. Bette Lee Crosby

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Published: Bent Pine Publishing
Date: January 2017
Format: Kindle
Pages: 243
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Author
Rating:
3.5 stars               Add to Goodreads
Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the picture of her five-year-old daughter on the carousel. Each time the carousel comes around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left.

In the months following the stock market crash the family is beset by tragedy. A homicide that goes unpunished. It's the height of the depression and there are hoards of faceless, nameless men living in train yards and back alleys. The murderer is never caught but the family never gives up hope of finding him. Until....

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Sometimes when I read a book I have a question in my mind. And especially with Beyond the Carousel by Bette Lee Crosby. It was about the title - why was it given this title? What did it have to do with the book? Well as it turns out it was  a good question to hold and I was fully answered as I read a long.  I actually had a second question, how is this one related to one or more of the other books I've read in this series. It has been awhile so I wasn't sure if my memory would help - but enter - one memorable and loved detective met in book one, Jack - Spare Change.

This is a story that ranges over time from the early twentieth century, through the Depression times and on past the war. It is the story of a few generations of family, the joys and sorrows that befell them and the way they handled it. 

Emory is a character who is in the story right through. He comes into some good fortune early on and it makes all the difference to his life and those around him. I liked him, he was loving and caring, hardworking and positive. He didn't always get some things right immediately, but by listening to the women in his life, his were ultimately good choices. When he finally retires and for awhile loses his purpose in life it isn't long before there are people and things to do that bring new meaning into his life.

Then there are the women in Emory's life who bring him so much joy, they are wonderful homemakers on the whole and add very much to the story, as does the homes they live in. 

It is left to Jack Mahoney to round off this enjoyable story. This is him before we met him in Spare Change,  his beginnings as a police officer where he met his wife all through some eggs, and an arrest. In this book too we see his dedication and fight for justice, as he manages to close a cold case.

While a little predictable and with not as much tension as in previous novels in this series, I certainly enjoyed the story and the family as they travelled through that first half of the twentieth century.




May 22, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 22nd May

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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Welcome in everyone, hope the reading has been going well. I have been on a bit of a buying spree this month so have decided I need to step up my reading as I also have suddenly upped my review books to read. I guess it is all the USA summer books coming on to the market.

Plus visiting blogs is so tough on the want to read books. I've seen so many positive reviews for books I'd like to read so ... it is hard to not succumb.               

What I read last week:

Finished reading... review link below
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From the review list...
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From the library .... enjoyed this romantic suspense and would be happy to read on with the series.
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From my TBR shelf I finally got to #2 in this series and enjoyed the story and the link to the first book.
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What I am reading at present:

Reading for Review at request from author
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Still listening to...

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Up next:

Review book from NG.
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And may reach this review book from Edelweiss
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Last Weeks Posts
Not A Sound Heather Gudenkauf
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May 17, 2017

Not A Sound. Heather Gudenkauf

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Published: MIRA (Australia)
Date: 1st June 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 304
Genre:Mystery/Thriller
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars        Add to Goodreads
When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters — her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?


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From the moment I began reading Not A Sound I was fully into it. Heather Gudenkauf pulled me in with her opening scene, and her writing had me imagining clearly the scenes she was setting. 

The story is told from the viewpoint of Amelia, who is deaf after an accident that was appalling. It was really interesting to be drawn into a deaf person's world, to find out in a new way what they miss out on. I never thought about them not being able to differentiate emotions because they can't hear the tone and inflections of a voice. I found the phone that translates a voice into written text an insight, and the fact a deaf person is unsure of how loud or soft there voice is when speaking.  Amelia is a strong, resilient person, she has known the depths of despair and part of this story is the finding of herself again and taking her place in her world about her.

Her dog Stitch, a service dog, is very much a character too. I liked that he wasn't perfect! He's a flawed character - with good reason! He didn't always do as he was told, but he was very loyal to Amelia, loving and protective and showed how a service dog is so helpful. 

I loved the mystery and the untangling of a crime. At times it was a little scary - but not too much. The story moved along at a very good pace, the clues were slowly revealed as Amelia followed the trail. I felt that Amelia perhaps took on too much and that Jake the detective was a little more out of the picture than he should have been at crucial times.

A very satisfying read, one that had me reaching for the book any moment I had. It may be that I don't read mystery/crime very often, but... it brought back the juicy feeling of reading a good book.
crime page turner well written full of intirigue

May 15, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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During the week I followed a link from a random tweet to find someones most read authors according to Goodreads. Of course that only tracks what you've entered since joining but it was fascinating and I might have had a peek at some of my friends on Goodreads too. Find the stat at the bottom of your bookshelves on your My Books page. Here's mine!  Obviously Nora Roberts writes an enormous amount of books, so I guess not surprising to see her at the top of my list. Who is at the top of yours?
Most read authors list
Hope you all had a good week. I might have lit the fire a couple of times as the beginnings of winter has begun to show its face. 
                                                         

What I read last week:

I finished reading this library book, a fun romance from Kristan Higgins.
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A review book.... this doesn't publish until July so will be a little while before I post a review. 
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From recently bought books... a military romance, I like Jessica Scott's books, they are very realistic, no doubt due to her own experience.

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I finished listening to the following book. I enjoyed it, felt it concluded satisfactorily and the narrator Amy Rubinate was great.
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And another off the long time TBR shelf 
a story of being 45 years old and finding you aren't living the life that makes you happy.
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What I am reading at present:

I am now listening to...
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Reading for review
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Up next:

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Last Weeks Posts
Bridges - A Daphne White Novel    Maria Murnane

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May 10, 2017

Bridges - A Daphne White Novel. Maria Murnane

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Published: Kindle Press
Date: April 4th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 194
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Author via NetGalley
Rating:
                      Add to Goodreads
It’s a piece of news Daphne never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! Time to celebrate in Manhattan—Skylar’s treat, of course. After years scaling the corporate ladder, she can more than afford it.

Daphne arrives in NYC with news of her own—the novel she’s finally finished appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She’s devastated but plans to keep her disappointment under wraps, something that becomes trickier when she sees Skylar’s spectacular apartment. Could her life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path?

What Daphne doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and their friend KC are also holding something back, but what? As the trip unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears. And laughter. And love.

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Bridges - A Daphne White Novel is a delightful story of three women in their early forties who have been best friends since college. The story takes place over four or five days in New York as they come together to celebrate the engagement of Skylar.

While Skylar has obviously done very well, she is also kind and generous and wants to give her two friends a great time. And they do, and while they travel around New York, letting us in on some of the great aspects of this city, they renew their friendship and deepen it.

This is an excellent exploration of the friendship of women at its best. They are there for one another, genuinely care for one another, and sometimes... get it wrong. One aspect that I really loved was the feelings that arose especially for Daphne, when she compared herself to Skylar and found herself wanting and filled with self doubt. What she does with that self doubt was so real, and what many of us most likely do. What struck me though was the honest communication between them that ensured that the friendship would endure.

All three women are likeable yet I probably liked Daphne the most and that may be due to the fact it is more from Daphne's point of view. I felt she was so genuine and learned so much about herself and the need to persevere and not give up hope in her desire to have a novel published.   However I was thrilled for K.C. and her news and really Skylar was wonderful too and I loved how she reaches out to her soon to be step daughter Sloane. That relationship pointed out that we can never judge what is going on for a person, unless of course they tell us!

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May 8, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8th May

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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Hope you all had a great week, looking forward to finding out what you have all been reading.          

What I read last week:

From my TBR.  I did enjoy this but most likely won't continue on with the series.
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From my review pile. Enjoyed very much and review up nearer publication.

What I am reading at present:

From a whim as I was passing a shelf at our local library!

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Up next:

From the review shelf, latest in Troubleshooter series which I am a big fan of.
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Last Weeks Posts
The Chilbury Ladies' Choir      Jennifer Ryan


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