March 29, 2017

Dragonslayer. Emilie Richards

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Published:
Date: February 2017
Format: Kindle edition
Pages: 278
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Own book
Rating
5 stars              Add to Goodreads
Dragonslayer is the story of a minister who has lost his faith in God and a woman who, despite being surrounded by poverty and gang violence, has never lost her faith in humanity or the Corners, the inner city neighborhood where she grew up.

Thomas Stonehill and Garnet Anthony couldn't be more different, ice to fire, but both are determined to make the Corners a neighborhood where residents will be safe to enjoy a wealth of opportunities. After a personal tragedy Thomas, once the minister of a megachurch, forms a ragtag congregation in an abandoned store, despite his own doubts that God listens or cares. Garnet, a nurse, runs a maternal health clinic that she's carved from nothing.

When warring gangs threaten Garnet's clinic and personal safety, Thomas takes action to protect her, despite his conviction that he must remain a man apart. Neither of them is prepared for the startling outcome.


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Dragonslayer by Emilie Richards was a book that I loved from beginning to end. This was a book that was first published in 1993 and won the RITA in the USA in 1994. Very well deserved I would say. Emilie Richards has now republished this book, updating it no doubt, because it fits very well in today's world. A timeless story. I am just grateful that she has republished it and that has made it available for me to read.

It is a powerful, emotional life affirming book. It totally captivated me. I loved the characters, the pacing, the complex issues that it tackles. It is a multi-layered book, not just a simple romance. 

Thomas is a pastor in a tough area. He is a strong but tortured man. Very well able to handle himself in the gang infested environment yet with a caring if lost heart and soul. He has lost his faith and his meaning in life. Immediately I was intrigued and was longing to know his back story, which did unfold to my great satisfaction as the book moved along.

Garnet is quite the opposite to Thomas, she has grown up in this area and also has a back story that makes her really interesting. Now she works as a nurse/director of a small endeavour to help mothers bring their children safely into the world and hopefully keep them that way. Garnet is strong and tough, a go-getter. She believes she knows the gang members and will be relatively safe on the streets. She is full of life, dresses in warm bright attire and exudes energy and life. 

When the two meet they clash, in good ways and a relationship springs up that tests them both and eventually leads to something wonderful. But first they must make the journey and that is a whole books worth of happenings. 

This book spoke to my heart and soul. One I savoured and relished.
romantic thought provoking page turner keeper shelf jewell

March 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 27th March

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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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Well I had another good week. On Tuesday I went into the city for a live show which was fun. It was part of the Women's Theatre Festival or WTF!  This one was a conglomerate of 6-7 minute acts by women. My favourites were one where the woman was being Melania Trump, seeking political asylum here in Australia. (You'll only get that if you live in NZ!). She just wanted to be a kiwi bird, it was full of political references to the USA and NZ ones as well and I loved it. Another one was a cooking show, the comedian was the sister of a well known cook here in NZ Annabel Langbein whose books adorn the shelves everywhere in bookshops.  Her sister did some cooking with no utensils, just a microwave and er... condoms!

Apart from that some reading, lots of quilting and well actually some walking was done as well. Pats self on back. I also cut up the chopped up pieces from the lemon tree so it would fit in a wheelie rubbish bin, so feeling like I accomplished things! Hope your week was good too.

We go out of daylight saving mode at the end of this week so timing of the post will most likely be an hour later.

What I read last week:

From the TBR shelf the first in a series. I enjoyed this romance although not sure if I will continue on with the series as going off straight romance somewhat. But.. you never know.
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Two from the review shelf so reviews will be posted at some point. Both very good.

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What I am reading at present:

From the TBR shelf just starting...
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Up next:

Review book

Posts From Last Week
If Not For You     Debbie Macomber

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March 22, 2017

If Not For You. Debbie Macomber

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Published:  Ballantine
Date: March 21st 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages:
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars         Add to Goodreads
If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she’s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher.

If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not—and her parents’ worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who’s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn’t exactly Sam’s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either.


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I loved the prologue which whet my interest, and made me want to read on.  A little drama goes a long way!

The contrast of characters in Sam and Beth was interesting but not really surprising.    Sam might seem a little rough with his tattoo, long hair and  strong language.  But he is loved by a couple of children which is kind of telling.  His values are good, although his head is a little mixed up as it turns out.

Beth is an  only child with a mother who is a bit of a snob and rather controlling.  Beth has to move to Portland to make her point that she is her own person, that she can stand on her own two feet, make choices for her life that will make her happy. Perhaps the choices will not earn her the approval of her mother, but then her mother's values are a little skewed.

I thought the apple does not fall far from the tree because Beth got into a little meddling herself. All done with the best of intentions but was she justified? Or did those people she set out to help heal, need her gentle prod. 

This is a rather straight forward romantic story, with interesting enough characters and a plot that moved along well and was all tied up very neatly at the end. A light, pleasant read.
If Not For You e card



March 20, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 20th March

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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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Well the week passed quickly again. Some reading, some quilting, some thinking I'll clean the windows and then when I have accomplished that I can go order new curtains. Clean the windows first!  I also did a throw out for some of the books from my TBR shelf that I know I just won't read as my tastes have changed. So into a box to later go to a book fair for October.  And that made space to pick up books I will read off the floor and place them on to a shelf.

I also attended an opening for a new school, or my old school relocating to new buildings and premises. They had lovely weather for it and all went off well. I loved meeting up with past students who were now looking all very grown up and had returned for the opening by kind auspices of their high school.

I went to my nephew's wedding on Saturday which took place beside a local river mouth and as the weather again was very accommodating that went off really well too.

On Sunday we chopped down about two thirds of my lemon tree that had become overgrown, a spiky thing it is too. However I did insist we go walk on the beach  as it was such a lovely day, and many others had the same idea, making the best of the last of the summer weather. 
       

What I read last week:

Review book - an okay read, not her best I thought.
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Review book for April. Suffice to say here I liked it very much. 
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Just finished today from my recently bought shelf a Cathy Lamb book. I love her books but this one was real dark. What can be darker than child sexual abuse. I hated reading it, I loved reading it. I am distraught and you can see from what I picked up next to read I really needed something light and fun. 
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What I am reading at present:

Where else to go but Jill Shalvis....

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Listening:
Still listening to Etched in Bone. Gone off the boil with audio listening, got distracted by podcasts, but must get back to the book!

Up next:

I have great expectations for this review book as I loved her last year's book.
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After that I'll pick something from my TBR, not quite sure what yet.

Posts from last week.

A Letter From Italy Pamela Hart
Sweet Lake  Christine Nolfi


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March 16, 2017

A Letter From Italy Pamela Hart

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Published: Hachette NZ
Date: March 14th 2017
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 356
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source:Hachette NZ
Rating:
4.5 stars                    Add to Goodreads
1917, Italy. Australian journalist Rebecca Quinn is an unconventional woman. At the height of World War I, she has given up the safety of her Sydney home for the bloody battlefields of Europe, following her journalist husband to the frontline as a war correspondent in Italy.

Reporting the horrors of the Italian campaign, Rebecca finds herself thrown together with American-born Italian photographer Alessandro Panucci, and soon discovers another battleground every bit as dangerous and unpredictable: the human heart.


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A Letter From Italy is set in Italy during World War 1. Rebecca an Australian, has arrived with her husband Jack Quinn to report the war to an English and Australian newspaper. It is still a time when women news correspondents were really not in existence or not accepted. Rebecca comes from a family where women's rights were strong, her mother an active suffragette. The Italian attitude to women comes as both a bit of a shock and a challenge to Rebecca.

Rebecca is a strong woman, with flaws, but passionate about her work. She is determined to prove herself and report what she sees and hears about. She is relentless in her pursuit of what might make a news story and report to those at home what is going on. And she does so with a woman's heart and compassion.  Along the way she learns how her husband Jack is not all that she first thought, which brings out actually the best in her.

Along with Rebecca we meet Sandro, or Al as he is known back in New York. He is helping out his Nonna, Nonna Rosa a woman with a story of her own I am sure. Sandro has been unable to join the war efforts and up until now has struggled with it. But alongside Rebecca he finds something that he can accomplish and so participate in the war effort.

The story is really well told, small details make it feel like a factual, real account. We meet some of the actual heroes in that war and witness the pain and loss of the young men that went off to fight that war. 

As well Italy is brought to life, the countryside, the food, the people and their way of life at that time. 

Well worth the read.  Once begun hard to put down.

About the Author
Pamela is an award-winning author for adults and children. She has a Doctorate in Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. Under the name of Pamela Freeman she wrote the historical novel The Black Dress, which won the NSW Premier's History Prize for 2006. Pamela lives in Sydney, with her husband and their son, and teaches at the Australian Writers' Centre. A Letter From Italy is her thirtieth book.

Find her at her website Pamela Hart




March 14, 2017

Sweet Lake Christine Nolfi

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Published: Lake Union
Date: 28th February 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars                    Add to Goodreads
Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years…


My thoughts banner
Sweet Lake is the first book in a new series by Christine Nolfi. Set in Ohio in a small town where everything went downhill in terms of work when Freddy Wayfair took off with most of the money from his family's account, leaving his sister Linnie to struggle on with the family inn.  Now she is working on a shoestring, has let many of the staff go, and because numbers are down at the inn, the whole town has lost business. Serious times.  Fortunately she has very good friends, a good man who has his eye on her and very loyal employees.

The Wayfair parents have retired and live in Florida. Linnie sends a little money to them as she can. She is the good girl, a hard worker, responsible, thinks of others and basically has been left "holding the baby".  Do her parents value her? Do they really love her? Because to me love involves respect and fairness and as the story progresses it seems to me they honestly don't. 

Life growing up in the Wayfair family was a little rough around the edges. There were many expectations put on the older brother Freddy, some of them quite tough. We briefly meet the mother, and my impression was of a woman I didn't really like. Her attitude annoyed me!

Freddy is gifted, harbors a few secrets, and acts without thinking at times. Hello! Taking all that money and not thinking of the consequences for all those people relying on the inn. I sort of had a love/hate approach to him. He is redeemable and circumstances surround, as Frances would be keen to point out.

Frances? One of the Sirens, a group of middle aged and elderly women who appear a little eccentric, and into new age stuff. However secret kindness is their catch cry and they rally to many a good cause and they see Linnie as a very good cause!

So as I read questions abounded.  Could Linnie take hold of her reins and stand up and speak up and go after what she really wants from life? Freddy did that to a large extent, but he too his a little tied to his parents wishes so how is he going to deal? 

This is a heart warming, humorous story.  It is well paced, has a variety of entertaining characters and some important issues to explore. A great start to a new series. 
thought provoking page turner romantic well written

March 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!
a divide

Hope you have all had a good week. I have had my usual sewing and reading week. Very quiet week really.  Drizzly weather today, just been shopping for groceries for my Dad, and got a bit damp. 

                                                         

What I read last week:

I finished listening to this 18hr 36 min audiobook. It is the third in a series and I really enjoyed it. The narrator had been changed since the first book and was much improved. 
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I read Foxmask - a follow up to Wolfskin by Judith Marillier.  It was a long fantasy saga full of adventure and answers to what had happened to one of the characters from Wolfskin.  Happy to have read and enjoyed it.


I quickly read through When all the Girls Have Gone. It was a good romantic suspense and I really liked it. Was a borrow from the library. 


What I am reading at present:

A review book
So far seems to be a light romance book, won't take long to finish it I think.
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Started listening to... (one of the books I was looking forward to for 2017)
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Up next

For review
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Last Weeks Posts
A Million Little Things    Susan Mallery
All Summer Long   Dorothea Benton Frank

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