August 21, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 21st August

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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 everyones week was great reading wise and otherwise. All the best for those travelling to see the eclipse, hope there are excellent clear skies and it is an amazing experience.

Well this week I had a couple of "Duh" moments! I was reading a paperback and tapped the page for it to turn. Had to smile at myself! Then yesterday a friend connected with me on Facetime from Australia and we couldn't see my picture, I was on my computer and couldn't work it out. Anyway in the meantime I connected with my iPad. About 8 hours later I suddenly knew why! I have a piece of tape over the camera on my computer... for security purposes!! Laughed again at myself.

I also spent a bit of time wondering about the email message from Google for my blog, about security in the Chrome browser, so decided to back it up and then upload it to a wordpress.com blog I set up for that purpose. I'd hate to lose the years from this blog. Anyway I will switch to the secure thing in settings now that I have it backed up.  I wish I had started out on Wordpress for a couple of reasons but like Blogger too for other reasons and I love the way the designer I hired set my blog up and don't really want to change over and leave that behind mostly.                                                        

What I read last week:

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This was my first time reading Cathy Kelly. I enjoyed especially the story of Cassie and Coco and the mother that abandoned them. However I began to lose some interest with all the characters introduced, would have preferred more focus. That said, it did keep me reading to the end, although may have done some fast reading here and there! Well written.
Review will follow for this book - one of best I have read this year.
No Place I'd Rather Be by Cathy Lamb
I also finished listening to...
This was a reread and I loved it. Proves that rereads of books I loved is so worth doing.

What I am reading at present:

A review book by fav author. I am moving a little slowly on it as doing other things but must put some mileage into it.
Started listening to...
Felt like a little paranormal

Up next:


Last Weeks Posts
Sawbones   Melissa Lenhardt
Seeing Red   Sandra Brown

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August 17, 2017

Sawbones. Melissa Lenhardt

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Published: Redhook Books
Date: March 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 421
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars           Add to Goodreads
When Dr. Catherine Bennett is wrongfully accused of murder, she knows her fate likely lies with a noose unless she can disappear. Fleeing with a bounty on her head, she escapes with her maid to the uncharted territories of Colorado to build a new life with a new name. Although the story of the murderess in New York is common gossip, Catherine's false identity serves her well as she fills in as a temporary army doctor. But in a land unknown, so large and yet so small, a female doctor can only hide for so long.


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Sawbones by Melissa Lendhardt is set in the 1870's, mostly in the frontier. It is the story of a woman doctor - Catherine Bennett. Catherine has been falsely accused of murder and has had to escape with the help of a friend. She travels from New York out into eventually the wilderness of Colorado.

This is not a story for the faint hearted. Oh - that's right, I am a bit faint hearted, but it was still for me. I just skipped quickly through the grim and horrible realities of attack on the wagon train, the deaths that ensued. And that was the first of the atrocities, more were to come and were just so horrible.

What kept me reading? Well it was the grittiness of Catherine. She ministered to soldiers at Antietam, mostly before this story opened. She was a doctor and healer to her core. She understood the need for cleanliness and its relation to infection. She ministered to the person. She was a good person and good doctor and she was treated so badly.  In spite of all that she faced she kept on, and when raw danger reared its ugly head she did what she had to do.

William Kindle is a officer at the army camp Catherine finds herself at. They've met before under different circumstances - at Antietam. Now some years later Catherine or Laura as she now is, heals Kindle again. They are attracted to one another, but ... this is not your normal pretty story with a rainbow at the end of the ride. Sigh! But... maybe something better, grit and determination and loyalty and trust. I wonder where they'll end up?  I see Blood Oath and Badlands are #2 and #3 in this trilogy so there is more to follow. 

This story has violence, brutality and rape. But it has people in it who stand for goodness and truth, people who are willing to help others and see them on their way. Yes, I'll read through to the end, although ... I might skip a bit here and there!  

August 15, 2017

Seeing Red. Sandra Brown

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Published: Grand Central
Date: 15th August 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 432
Genre: Romantic suspense
Source: Publisher via NG
Rating:
4 stars                     Add to Goodreads
Kerra Bailey is a television journalist on the rise, and she's hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to even greater heights: an interview with the legendary Major Trapper. Twenty-five years ago, the Major emerged a hero from the bombing of the Pegasus Hotel in downtown Dallas when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors out of the collapsing building. The iconic picture transformed him into a beloved national icon, in constant demand for speeches and interviews--until he suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all members of the media. However, Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get to the Major--even if she has to wrangle an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, John Trapper wants no association with the hotel bombing or his hero father, and spurns the meddling reporters determined to drag them back into the limelight. Yet Kerra's sheer audacity and tantalizing hints that there's more to the story rouse Trapper's interest despite himself. And when her interview of a lifetime goes catastrophically awry - he knows he must keep going.

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Seeing Red by Sandra Brown was a really good suspense/mystery/thriller book. One of those books you look at the time and realise its way past your bedtime and you still have to read on to see who is the good person and who is the evil one, and how did it all go down.

Kerra is a news anchor and a good one, she wanted and got an interview with Major Franklin Trapper, and she has an ace up her sleeve that is going to helped her achieve that. What she doesn't realise is that all hell is about to break loose and it sure does. She is lucky to get away with her life intact.

John Trapper is Franklin's son and a badass - or is he?  He has hated all the fame a famous rescue that Major Trapper accomplished has brought the family. His life was changed forever the day his father rescued people from a bombed hotel. Plus now John believes there was more to that bombing than people are letting on about and he wants to root around and get to the very depths of it. So far it has lost him his job at the ATF and made him look a fool. But the thing about Trapper is he is very persistent and most of the time is one step ahead of the enemy - whoever that might be!

When the interview results in a shocking event Trapper steps in and kidnaps Kerra - for her own good of course. And so the ducking and diving begins. Who is the enemy is always the question. We are given little cameos of the perpetrators but never the full picture. It's very fortunate that Trapper does not trust easily, is very perceptive and while he resents the fame and the impact it has had on his relationship with his father, there are still bonds of love there.

I really enjoyed this story, the mystery and suspense, the wonderings about who was the person or persons behind the various killings. Trapper and Kerra grow as people throughout the story, the relationship of Trapper and the Major develops well and other relationships are called into question. And of course there is some hot romance happening between Kerra and Trapper.





August 14, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 14th August.

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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 this finds you all well and reading when you can! We had a very wet week ( and now I really realise that saying "like a wet week". We had patches of sunlight, but a week of rain and looks like heading into the same. Everything is sodden and my walking and weeding both suffered. My reading didn't really benefit as I was sewing quite a bit!     However what I read I enjoyed.        

What I read last week:

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What I am reading at present:

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And still listening to Sister's Choice,  by Emilie Richards as at time of writing have about 4 hours left on it, so should finish this week.  Enjoying this reread, surprising what I had forgotten.

Up next:

From the TBR pile
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Last Weeks Posts
The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club  Sophie Green
Any Dream Will Do    Debbie Macomber
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August 10, 2017

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club. Sophie Green

Published: Hachette Australia
Date: 8th August 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars             Add to Goodreads
In 1978 the Northern Territory has begun to self-govern. Cyclone Tracy is a recent memory and telephones not yet a fixture on the cattle stations dominating the rugged outback. Life is hard and people are isolated. But they find ways to connect.
.Sybil is the matriarch of Fairvale Station, run by her husband, Joe. Their eldest son, Lachlan, was Joe's designated successor but he has left the Territory - for good. It is up to their second son, Ben, to take his brother's place. But that doesn't stop Sybil grieving the absence of her child. With her oldest friend, Rita, now living in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Ben's English wife, Kate, finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale, Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship and purpose: they all love to read, and she forms a book club.

Mother-of-three Sallyanne is invited to join them. Sallyanne dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town of Katherine where she lives with her difficult husband, Mick. Completing the group is Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land.

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The words book club might have drawn me to The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club,  and that part of it lived up to its promise, however it is the setting in the Northern Territories and the friendships and lives of the five women that kept me reading as well.

I would imagine life is hard in this area, and the challenges that the women face in this book and in actual life are enormous. The seasons of wet and dry, the isolation, the lack of the many entertainment opportunities we take for granted. And this book is set in the 1970's and early 80's. Yet on the other hand there is a beauty in the landscape and I am sure something that draws people to this harsh environment.

The five women were all interesting and I liked slowly getting to know them. Sybil - the matriarch is the one who starts up the book club. The book club helps to bring the women together and even if they have to have it over the radio because the weather is bad, it goes ahead. And they really do discuss the books and through them become involved more in each others lives.  Sybil already has a great friend in Rita - from early working days. Kate her daughter-in-law is English and is facing into a place so different to where she grew up. Della is a stock person and hails from Texas, and she finds the northern territories grow on her all the time.  Sallyanne really benefits from the friendships, she is  a bright, intelligent,  young woman in a marriage that is going south.  I liked her penchant for the romance genre too!

These women face into loss and grief, the hardships of the job, the pain of miscarriage, the difficulties of marriage and the absolute pain of racism. Through it all they support each other - walk with each other - and through it all make a life worth living.

An at times emotional and satisfying read, I'd be delighted to belong to the Fairvale Ladies Book Club!
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August 9, 2017

Any Dream Will Do. Debbie Macomber

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Published: Random House - Ballantine
Date: August 8th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars          Add to Goodreads
Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.

Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.
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Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber sucked me in right from the beginning and I couldn't believe that it was 352 pages long. It felt like 100. It is delightful, warm and entirely a 'feel good' book. And... just a little different to her other books to make me sigh with happiness when I had finished.

I loved the characters. Shay is a little hard edged to begin with, but then her life has been no picnic and she has had it tough since childhood. Now being 'played' by her brother and having just completed three years imprisonment, she is in danger of being out on the street until she meets Drew Douglas.

Sure Drew is a pastor, but he is still in depression after losing his wife Katie and could himself be in danger of losing his role at the church. However in reaching out to help Shay he finds friends who reach out a hand to him and lift him up and out. He has two adorable children Mark and Sarah, they take  up a good space in the story and I really liked that.

As well there are a circle of people around Drew and Shay who are minor characters but are mostly very likeable or a little prickly but redeemable. There are a couple of homeless men who caught my attention, both wonderful and showed a side of Shay that said so much about her. I would have liked to see a little more of them.

There is a little bit of mystery towards the end that seems to put Shay in danger of losing what she has worked so hard for. That mystery wasn't difficult to work out ( I think the reader was meant to do so), but it all works out of course. 

A charming, warm and uplifting story.

August 7, 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 very ordinary week but then I think they are the best. I went out on Wednesday to craft night with my friends, had a friend over Saturday and sewed my heart out and read away. Even caught up on Grey's Anatomy and generally avoided as much housework as possible. Today I get to meet a new little great nephew, born in Australia and just passing through to meet up with the Kiwi rellies.      

What I read last week:

Two review books.
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What I am reading at present:

From my very new shelf! Arrived at the door, opened and started, I've been waiting!
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And still listening to Sister's Choice by Emilie Richards.

Up next:

Two review books, Eva Woods I have never read. Cathy Lamb a favourite author.
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Last Weeks Posts
Month in Review for July
August Book of Choice Giveaway   as usual special slot for those who link up to It's Monday.
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