April 27, 2017

Talk of the Town Rachael Johns

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Published: Mira
Date: May 1st 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 4416
Genre: Country Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4.5 stars        Add to Goodreads
Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.

But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.

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Talk of the Town was a book that drew me in right from the beginning and kept me engaged all the way through. There wasn't big drama or lots of action, but relationships that mattered and caught at my heart.

Would you buy a house in the middle of a town where people no longer lived, except for someone called Crazy Archie? Live in an old house that was once a country store. Well you wouldn't find me doing it, however that's what Meg does, and there is an air of mystery about her that makes you wonder what led her here? What's her past? 

Then there is a very likeable dairy farmer Lawson and an eight year old son who has his head on straight and is a total delight. Add into that mix Tabitha, Lawson's sister who is another one who has her heart and head in the right place.  Throw in a couple of dogs, a ghost who resides side by side with Meg and a rather spiteful, but not totally lost wanna-be-girlfriend of Lawson and the scene is set.

I loved the Western Australia country setting, the romance, the twists and turns and the just downright wonderfulness of the right kind of relationships and the opportunity of second chances.  And who is the talk of the town? Read the book and find out!

Keep them coming Rachael Johns. 
romantic page turner delish Australian author

April 24, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 24th April


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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Well we have had a week of gorgeous sunny, no wind weather which has been so wonderful. Had a sort of busy week, as I took one of my sisters to a couple  of her medical appointments and as well my 92 year old Dad had me out buying a few things for him. 

Apart from that I had a day with a friend, quilted somewhat and read somewhat and did a teensy bit of gardening, really should get out there today. We shall see! 


What I read last week:

First two were good okay reading, favourite of the week was my audiobook.

From the TBR shelf.
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From the recently bought shelf.
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Completed audiobook.

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I bought this book on sale at Audible after ready Mary's review over at Book Fan. She says it is a wonderful audio production. I haven't started it yet and may still go into the new Wendy Wax one that comes out on the 25th. And then back to this one. So looking forward to my listening.

What I am reading at present:

Just getting into this one, ... a little slowly.

Read to about 50% but just wasn't feeling it or enjoying it. Got tired of Bess and Cissie and the house problem. Didn't like the language and in many parts of the book there was too much dialogue. While many readers have enjoyed this, it may be a case of "just not for me'. I was drawn in by the title and the cover.
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Up next:


Last Weeks Posts

The Little Breton Bistro  Nina George
Almost Missed You  Jessica Strawser
The Churn Dash and I decide my fabric for the Splendid Sampler
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April 22, 2017

Almost Missed You. Jessica Strawser

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Published: St Martin's Press
Date: March 28th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 320
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars                Add to Goodreads
Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.

Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.

My thoughts banner
Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser is a debut novel that packs a punch mainly because of the secrets the characters keep from each other.

The story is told from three viewpoints - Violet, Finn and Caitlin. There is also a dual time line. At first I always resent that hop back or forwards, however in this case the transition back in time comes just at the right moment and some of the back story is revealed at the right point. 

Secrets abound in this story, all of them keep back secrets or have shared the truth with the wrong person. There is a lack of being up front with the person who most deserves and needs it. So while a person might feel they are with the love of their life, just how much do they really know that person. How good is their marriage really? 

Finn is a tormented character, full of guilt and regret. While he should be someone I really disliked I felt a sympathy for him, although not for his actions. He was definitely in need of deep therapy. Violet was an unsuspecting partner in her marriage, with a blindspot that prevented her from realising some home truths. Her grandmother though was wiser.

Caitlyn and George's marriage was interesting and I felt based on love, yet with each harboring secrets that were regrettable and sad. Oh for the truth to have been revealed by each at an earlier date. George was a sort of distant figure in the story, but Caitlyn was very much part of it. I felt sympathy too for her - her panic over what might be revealed, her desire to help Violet. In a way I liked her more than Violet. 

Once all secrets have been revealed each one makes their necessary choice to move on in life. Marked with suffering, and yet hopefully wiser and ready to embrace the life they now have. 

April 19, 2017

The Little Breton Bistro. Nina George

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Published: Hachette NZ
Date: April 2017
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
4.5 stars                  Add to Goodreads
Marianne Messman longs to escape her loveless marriage to an uncaring husband - an artillery sergeant major named Luther. On a day trip to Paris, Marianne decides to leap off the Point Neuf into the Seine, but she is saved and while recovering in hospital comes across a painting of the tine port town of Kerdruc in Brittany and decides to try her luck on the coast.

My thoughts banner
Have you ever been desperate enough to want to escape life? To throw yourself in the Seine and end it all! No? Well Marianne does, life has passed her by, she is deeply unhappy and sees no other way out.  However when her effort to bring her sad life to a close is thwarted by a stranger she eventually finds herself on the way to Brittany and possibly ready to listen to herself and her own needs and desires.

The more I read on in this story the more I was captivated by Marianne and the people she meets up with. I loved them all and especially Emile and Pascal - one who suffers from Parkinson's and the other from Dementia but ... they are happy and love each other. 

I felt like I was there in Brittany, in the cafe, by the sea amongst the various characters. I loved seeing Marianne uncovering the things she loves and needs, the people she loves and needs. I read this book over Easter and truly if there was ever a book about death and resurrection this was it. Such an important message to us all, to live who we truly are, without worrying about what others think. 

While this may have been about a woman who needed to bring alive the powers within her, the men in the story are not left out, they too need to have the courage to live out their wildest dreams. I did despair that Jean-Remy, a young chef,  would ever get there and claim his love... 

Ultimately an uplifting and life affirming story that I'll remember for a long while.

page turner well written life wisdom keeper shelf jewell

April 17, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 17th April


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!
a divide
Another week speeds by. Hope you all enjoyed the Easter break and season. 

I went to the optician last week for eye testing and new glasses. I have had these ones for over nine years and they were beginning to fall apart. Also prescription was changed a little so looking forward to it. I wear them all the time so no wonder they were rather wobbly!

I read, sewed and gardened... well just a little gardening. It has been so wet here that really I have the perfect excuse not to get out there!!

I have started to keep an account of the quilts I make now on another blog - so that I can know what I have made and how many etc. They were beginning to accumulate and I'd lost count.

If any of you are crafters or have a great eye for colour do take a look at The Splendid Sampler - Rinse and Repeat to suggest to me a colour that will just brighten up the fabric I have chosen.  

What I read last week:

Review book, Rachael Johns never disappoints me, great Australian country outback story. Review to follow later.
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I sped through this 15hr 45 min audiobook narrated by Isabel Keating. It was a reread and so wonderful on audio. I love doing rereads of books that I have loved and after eight or so years have forgotten enough of it to love it up all over again. This is the series that made me yearn after quilts and quilting.

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The Little Breton Bistro is a review book. I didn't request it but the publicist sent it anyway even if I didn't review it. ( I do have a review for  it).  I loved it actually, it is about a sixty year old woman breaking free of the shackles that bind her. It hooked me right in.

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From my recently bought shelf...
A fun and warm small town romance that was enjoyable.

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What I am reading at present:

From my TBR shelf, I love Jodi Thomas' books so expecting I will love this one. Just starting.
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I'm listening to...
Narrated by Christine Traister. #3 in Luanne Rice's Hubbard Point series. I actually have read the rest of the series but this one missed out somehow, but doesn't really matter that it is out of order.
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Up next:

From my recently bought shelf, have been wanting to sample this author for awhile so here goes!
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I may also reach this review book
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Posts from last week
Any Day Now   Robyn Carr
Quilt Posts
Mug Rug  Using Anne of Green Gables fabric

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April 14, 2017

Any Day Now. Robyn Carr

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Published: MIRA
Date: April 18th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4.5 stars              Add to Goodreads
For Sierra Jones, Sullivan's Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She's put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn't yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet.

Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she's always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it's a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future.

My thoughts banner
Any Day Now by Robyn Carr is #2 in her Sullivan's Crossing series.  It could be read as a stand alone, however why miss out on the first one and the great story of Cal and Maggie?

I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Sierra, sister of Cal. She has had a very rough road to hoe, but when faced with very severe challenges those with power and strength show what they are made of. Not necessarily that Sierra would see herself as a strong kickass kinda gal, but she does have inner strength, and a group of people around her who care and are there for her. She faces into her life, makes amends for past misdemeanours and is an all round great model for a young girl who just might make an appearance before too long.

Connie is the firefighter, paramedic who is soon attracted to Sierra and Molly - you'll have to read the book to find out who Molly is. Just let's say she is adorable and just might have a thing going with Connie. 

I loved that we met up with the characters from book one and saw their lives as they moved on from where we left them last. It was especially great to check in with Sully, Maggie's grandfather and Tom a local divorcee who realises there just might be more happiness in his future than he first thought.

I loved the little quotes from various well known people at the beginning of each chapter, little messages that can apply to life and in particular to what was about to happen next in the plot.

Another heartwarming, delightful story from Robyn Carr, with enough tension and drama to have me flipping the pages as fast as I could. Already looking forward to the next one in the series.
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April 12, 2017

The Night the Lights Went Out. Karen White

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Published: Berkeley
Date: April 11th 2017
Genre: Southern Women's Fiction
Source:Publisher via NetGalley
        Add to Goodreads
Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past. Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather's world.

My thoughts banner
The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White was an absorbing read, that I thoroughly enjoyed.

On the one hand we have Merilee, recently divorced, with two young children stepping into a new phase in her life. Refreshingly, Michael her ex and herself have a reasonable relationship. Her two children fit in perfectly to the story.  Merilee has secrets, she has that look in her eye that she has experienced loss and lived on. She is resilient and strong.

Sugar her elderly landlady recognises Merilee's qualities and even though Sugar is known for her crustiness, Merillee is not long in discovering the woman has a heart and eye that sees and cares. I so loved Sugar and her little pearls of wisdom. Her life connects with Merilee in many ways, they have seen similar things and their hearts understand and connect.

Then there is "the blog" from your local neighbor that comments on life in the town and the people there in. It tells it like it is and makes connections, often going against the local gossip and innuendo. It is full of southern says which I totally adored, down to earth sayings that made me ponder, like " You can't tell the size of the turnips by lookin' at the tops". And so many more. Who is the author of the blog? Well that's just one small secret in a book that abounds in secrets.

Every detail that is dropped foreshadowing something is followed up. Nothing is left dangling. I like that in a book. The plot was full of interest, moved along at a very good yet relaxed pace. Lots of things happened.

I liked how it explored friendship and resilience. And that dreadful emotion or motivation - revenge. I am always partial to a book that has someone going for a little revenge on the party that hurt them. However this book I think has cured me!  Revenge is taken to a new level here, I'll never look on it in the same way.  Who is the executor of the revenge and why? You'll have to just read this book to find out!

page turner well written life wisdom keeper shelf jewel

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