November 20, 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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Welcome in to another IMWAYR. The year is certainly sliding quickly to a full stop!   I think Thanksgiving is around the corner for some. I think you people know how to celebrate! 

Here I water the veg garden every day, I can't believe we've had no rain for ages and the soil is dry as. Living just kilometres from the beach means I have very sandy soil and it does dry out quickly. The lawn is all brown - looks like it usually does in the middle of summer.           

What I read last week:

Finished listening to this cozy mystery which I gave 3 stars.
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And two review books... both thoroughly great reads in their respective genres.

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Edge of Darkness is already published here and comes out in USA in February.

What I am reading at present:

I've started to listen to...
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And reading...

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This is a book of short stories which I am reading for review. 
Also reading...
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Up next

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Last Weeks Posts
Duke in Shining Armor   Loretta Chase
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November 14, 2017

Duke in Shining Armor. Loretta Chase

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Published: Avon
Date: November 28th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 400 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating:
4.5 stars            Add to Goodreads
Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.

For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.


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Duke in Shining Armor is a Regency romance - one I thoroughly enjoyed.  I loved Lord of Scoundrels when I read it by the same author, and this one pretty much matches it.  

There are three Dukes - their Dis Graces as they are known. They are men in their late twenties, always out for a good time and one of their main goals is to ensure that life is not boring. This book puts the focus on Ripley, who somehow finds himself watching over the heroine of the book as she escapes out the window and over the wall from her pending marriage to one of the other Dis Graces and one of Ripley's best friends.

Lady Olympia is a a blue stocking, most interested in sorting out libraries, she is regarded by many as boring, it has taken a number of seasons to marry her off. She has succumbed because she is aware she has a large number of brothers who could do with some funding. So a rich Duke is required! While she may appear boring there are hidden depths to this young woman and she is quite used to ordering the male species around - ask her brothers about that!

The opening chapters are comedic, almost to the point of slapstick. I could imagine it all unfolding in front of me. What could go wrong does go wrong as a somewhat inebriated bride escapes with a "best man" endeavouring to keep her safe.

This book has it all, fun characters, snappy dialogue, a plot that zings along with something happening in each chapter.  There is some tension as Ripley struggles with his growing attraction towards Olympia. At times he was a little petulant and irritable, however Olympia is no newbie to male irrationality and copes with hardly a misstep. 

While Ashmont the almost Groom was a little bit of a hopeless case I can see that he will have his day of redemption now that he has been challenged with Olympia, and as well the third Dis Grace, married to Ripley's sister, seems to be having some kind of mystery marital difficulty. So there are two good setups for two more books, and quite frankly I am absolutely looking forward to them.

November 13, 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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Welcome in everyone and looking forward to seeing what everyone is reading or going to read. 

I had a quiet week, a mixture of things to be done and enjoyed. Our Spring weather is very windy but still the sun is out so not complaining. Oddly enough though would like some rain because the garden is dry already.

I've been catching up the second series of Victoria, just one more to go and then I'll watch something else through. I was quite surprised that she showed concern for the Irish during the potato famine, hope that is historically true. So many of the English were so hard hearted about it.                            

What I read last week:

The Gilded Hour was over 700 pages - I enjoyed it but because not all the story line was wrapped up until the next 700 page clunker I am sure, I was a bit annoyed. Set in nineteenth century in Boston it followed the story of two women doctors who are both cousins.
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I finished listening to...

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What I am reading at present:

For review ... I have just started this new Loretta Chase book, she can usually be relied on for a good fun historical romance.
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I couldn't pick anything out of my wish list at Audible, I have a few hundred possibles there, but everything felt no ... not just now. Eventually I settled for this cozy mystery. I am one third through and still a bit mystified as to what is the mystery. Its just okay!
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Up next:

For review, thanks to Hachette Australia. Looking forward to this next one in the series.
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Last Weeks Posts
Over the Teacups #4   Short Reviews


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November 9, 2017

Over The Teacups #4

Short Reviews Over a Cuppa


Why?  I read a review at some time on Laurel Rain's blog - one of the books Joanne DeMaio wrote and I decided to try one. Now this is the second book I have read by this author.

Plot It is set in Stony Point, New England and is the story of three women and three men. Each with their own life challenges at this point in time. Maris keeps taking on then off her engagement ring. Eva longs to know her real birth mother, Lauren doesn't want what she has.  Jason is still dealing with grief, Kyle can't seem to make his wife happy and Matt is annoyed by Eva's addictive search for her mother.

What Appeals to me? 
It is beautifully written, the seaside is very much present. Yes its a beach read but it is so much more as the characters struggle with their issues. Yet there are strong supportive ties among them. And there is some healing.

And so...  There are more books about these characters - at least two, maybe three so I am very keen to continue on and read the next one The Denim Blue Sea.
Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans 4.5 stars.

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Why? I needed to read a winner of The National Book Award for a 2017 Better World Reading Challenge and this one looked like the one that I would be most interested in.

Plot. In 1988 Geraldine Coutts is attacked and raped in North Dakota. Wife of a tribal judge and with one thirteen year old son - Joe, Geraldine is traumatised. Joe is determined to learn who committed the crime, he sets out to seek answers.

What Appeals to Me?The story is told from Joe's point of view and his voice is unique - entertaining yet serious.  The antics of himself and his three friends often had me emitting a deep chuckle. The writing is excellent, the story engaging, one I just wanted to keep reading.    I also loved the wealth of characters and they way they supported each other. As well an insight into the life on an Ojibwe reservation today

And so.... While this book had some very harsh moments the story is told with compassion and an exploration of justice. I am thinking this will be one of my top books for 2017. Usually I avoid literary fiction but The Round House is one I am so pleased I picked up to read.  The Round House 5 stars.

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Why? I've read the previous books by Sonali Dev and enjoyed the Bollywood feel and the romance and fun characters.

Plot.  This is a little darker it seems to me than the previous ones. There has been a nasty murder, a crime ring that are dealing in human organs and Jess is being blackmailed into finding information she'd rather not do. She has a hell of a past and experienced terrible rape. Nikhil - cousin to Ria from a previous book is in the depths because his wife Dr. Jen has been murdered and her heart taken. His heart is shattered.

What Appeals to Me? The way the characters deal with the challenges, the need for healing and the need to stop a crime ring. Also the love of Jess for her son and the sense of love and support in Nikhil's family.

And so... I have A Distant Heart  to read and review. I see it is the story of Kimi and Rahul the police officer involved in helping  to uncover the crime ring involved in taking human organs.  Looking forward to it.    A Change of Heart - 4 stars.

November 6, 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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I had a busy week, we now have my parents place on the market. We are still in the process of emptying the house. I videoed and then photographed what is there and put it on a closed group on FB so that family members down to grandchildren could say what they wanted and much of it has been claimed. I have been busy putting names on things for them to collect. The garage is clearing well. I think not much will need to go to the tip.

I also did morning tea to sell with another retired teacher at our old school as the children fund raise once a year  by holding a little fair morning amongst themselves.  I think they made about $1600 which is great for a small school. The money goes to less fortunate children.  Each class decides what a portion of it will be sent where.                                                         

What I read last week:

Finished two great books last week.
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What I am reading at present:

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And listening to Secrets in Death by J. D. Robb.

Up next:

From the TBR shelf
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Last Weeks Posts
October Reading Month in Review
Book of Choice Giveaway  - as always a spot for It's Monday bloggers to enter.
Have You Met Nora? Nicole Blades
The Thing With Feathers   McCall Hoyle


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November 3, 2017

The Thing With Feathers. McCall Hoyle

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Published: Blink
Date: 5th September 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 288
Genre: YA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars                Add to Goodreads
Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.

Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.

Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.”

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As soon as I started reading The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle I was captivated and it held me all the way through. 

Written in the first person, Emilie's story, her struggles, her challenges, her gifts really appealed to me. She is a bright, intelligent girl, up until the story opens she has been home-schooled, but now she faces into the jungle of high school and her counsellor's and mother's bidding. Up until now she has been safe at home, now she must face the scary new faces and situations.

Emilie has epileptic seizures and is terrified that she will have one while at school. She endeavours to keep herself distanced from people there, but soon finds herself drawn into a couple of really important relationships. But hanging over her head is the fact that she has not shared that she suffers from epilepsy.

It seems that some of the girls envy her new budding relationship with Chatham, a golden haired sports hero who benefits from a little tutoring from Emilie, who has a real feel for books and poetry. I loved the references to Emily Dickinson, even though I am not familiar with her poetry - although now I feel myself drawn to read some of her poems and that of Walt Whitman as well. Anyone I suspect who knows the poetry of Dickinson will recognise the title of this book.

I liked watching the relationship unfold between Emilie and her mother, and their struggle with the loss of Emilie's Dad three years before and the way that things are beginning to change. 

Emilie has a service dog called Hitch - so loveable, his awareness of Emilie was just adorable. 

The book moved along at a great pace, it was one of those books that was so easy to read and left me a little bereft when I had to leave all the characters behind.  A refreshing read.
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November 2, 2017

Have You Met Nora? Nicole Blades

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Published: Kensington
Date: 31st October 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
3 stars                Add to Goodreads
She’s blossomed from wealthy surgeon’s beautiful daughter to elegant socialite to being the top fashion stylist in the country. And Nora Mackenzie is only days away from marrying into one of New York’s richest, most powerful families. But her fairy tale rise is rooted in an incredible deception—one scandal away from turning her perfect world to ashes . . .

What no one knows is that Nora is the biracial daughter of a Caribbean woman and a long-gone white father. Adopted—and abused—by her mother’s employer, then sent to an exclusive boarding school to buy her silence, Nora found that “passing” as a white woman could give her everything she never had. Every golden opportunity she seized and every deception she worked kept that powerless, forgotten girl forever in the past.

Now, an ex-classmate who Nora betrayed many years ago has returned to her life to even the score. She’s a woman who won’t be bought off, reasoned against, or pleaded with. Her machinations are turning Nora’s privilege into one gilded trap after another. Running out of choices, Nora must decide how far she will go to protect a lie or give up and finally face the truth.


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I was drawn to reading this book by the synopsis and the cover and I kept reading because I wanted to see how Nora was going to deal with the big issues present in her life.

It's a story of great injustice, revenge, fear and lies. Nora has had many things happen to her that she wants to keep hidden. Does she risk telling the truth or does she hide the truth in case it ruins her? I felt for her, but really couldn't go along with her choices.    If you have ever hesitated over telling someone something about yourself for fear of what they will think of you, then you will be able to empathise with Nora.   Meet Nora - an extremely flawed character. 

Personally I wanted more from her and for her. Certainly a thought provoking book that will have you talking if you read it. 

What Others Say about Have You Met Nora?
“Nicole Blades has created a heroine both honorable and deceptive, both vulnerable and powerful, a heroine whose choices are at times shocking but arguably necessary. It is near impossible not to cheer Nora Mackenzie’s ultimate triumph over a childhood of cruelty and loss, even if that terrible past compels her to extreme behavior in order to achieve a life of security and love.” —Holly Chamberlin, author of The Season of Us
  
“If Gillian Flynn wrote a 21st Century take on Imitation of Life, it would be this book. A fascinating page-turner, Have You Met Nora? is smart, funny, and wholly unexpected.” 
—Attica Locke, author of Pleasantville, producer and writer for Fox TV’s Empire
  
“Have You Met Nora? is stunning, riveting, and positively unpredictable. This is a deft and searing commentary on identity and race. Nicole Blades has written a book that feels effortless to read and yet pulls no punches, offering a point of view that is piercing and uncompromising. You will be thinking about this book long after it’s over.” 
—Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo



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