Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Title: The Runaway Children

Author: Sandy Taylor

Genre: Historical

Opens: Although it was spring, it was freezing cold sitting on the stone steps leading up to our flat.

Blurb: London, 1942: Thirteen-year-old Nell and five-year-old Olive are being sent away from the devastation of the East End. They are leaving the terror of the Blitz and nights spent shivering in air raid shelters behind them, but will the strangers they are billeted with be kind and loving, or are there different hardships ahead? As the sisters struggle to adjust to life as evacuees, they soon discover that living in the countryside isn’t always idyllic. Nell misses her mother and brothers more than anything but she has to stay strong for Olive. Then, when little Olive’s safety is threatened, Nell has to make a decision that will change their lives forever…They must run from danger and try to find their way home.

My Thoughts: THE RUNAWAY CHILDREN is narrated by Nell and although she is 13 at the start the story spans 4 years and both she, and her sister have to do a lot of growing up fast. Being the eldest child Nell has a huge amount of responsibility taking care of her younger brother and sister. However, when a new baby arrives Nell realises that worrying about four children is detrimental to her mum’s health so agrees to be evacuated to the country. Her brother refuses to go and runs off just as the train is leaving so it is just Nell and her 5-year-old sister Olive who head for the country. I loved Olive – she was a plucky little girl who swore like a trooper and had a mouth that just ran away with her – she made me really laugh out loud at times.

The girls are sent to Wales and settle very happily with a minister and his wife. But fate gets in the way and the girls have to go to another placement and this one is terrible. It is from this place that the girls flee and decide to head back to London.

It is very obvious that Sandy Taylor has done a study of the plight of the evacuees and she shows the mixed fortunes of the refugee children and how some were lucky with who they moved in with, and others were not so lucky and placed into situations where they were abused. The organisers who placed the children into care were so overwhelmed by the numbers of children they had to place that they did little more than drop them off at the front door and often not follow up on how the children were going.

This was a really, good story and no matter how bad things got the majority of humans pulled together and helped each other out. The closeness of the girl’s London neighbours was a prime example – when the bombs started dropping you all got each into the shelter and then kept each other’s spirits up. In fact wherever the girls went – in that time of war – people pulled together , with a few exceptions. THE RUNAWAY CHILDREN was my first Sandy Taylor book and she has been contracted to write more books for Bookouture Publishing – so while I wait for those I have the Brighton Girls trilogy to catch up on.

For more about the author – Click Here

A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night.

With thanks to Bookouture and the author via Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

Advertisements

Here is my weekly roundup of the books I’ve read, the books I’m reading, Internet places I’ve visited and quotes that have taken my eye.

 

This week I have finished:

Book: Sleighed by Harmony Raines

Genre: Christmas Paranormal Romance

Thoughts: A fun little fluffy paranormal romance with a Christmas theme. A werebear meets his mate – a Christmas elf – when she literally falls out of the sky. This is the first in the ‘Christmas Bear’ series and I am glad I liked it because I have them all!!!

Book: A Demon and His Witch by Eve Langlais

Genre: Paranormal Romantic suspense

Thoughts: Another light and fluffy paranormal romance – but missed the mark for me – there are more in the series but I don’t think at this stage I will be reading any more

Book: Year One by Nora Roberts

Genre: Post-apocalyptic Fantasy

Thoughts: Separate review here

 

My Current reads:

Books I am currently reading, and really enjoying, are:

A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham – a feel good Christmas book, Ivy and Stuart have moved to the Cornish coast. After many miscarriages Ivy is finally pregnant and they are daring to hope this time all will be well.

The Runaway Children by Sandy Taylor – Set in WWII England two young sisters are sent into the British country to escape the Blitz. Things don’t go well and now the two girls are trying to get home.

A Very Country Christmas by Various – Australian authors Alissa Callen, Fiona Greene, Rachael Johns, Juliet Madison and Victoria Purman have each written a short story set at Christmas – a peek into how Aussies bring tinsel to the outback, the coast and the city.

 

Quote/s and links for the week

Links:

Sixty-two of the most beautiful libraries in the world:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/51788/62-worlds-most-beautiful-libraries

I had the good fortune to visit the library at Melk Abbey last year – the oldest book on display is dated from 988:

http://www.stiftmelk.at/englisch/Pages_melk/library.html

Quotes:

So, despite the indignity, as Pepper gathered up the reins, and called out ‘On Dasher, on Barnabas’, he rose to the challenge and become the first bear to pull Santa’s sleigh. Not quite what he’d spent all his professional life wanting to be recognized for. But with magic dust on his skin, his blood thrummed in his veins in a primal beat, and he opened his mouth and roared to the sky.

From Sleighed by Harmony Raines

…“I know it’s not the right thing to say to a lady, miss, but you are sweating like a pig!”

“My mother always said that horses sweat, men perspire, and ladies merely glow…”

“Is that so? Well, miss, you are glowing like a pig!” …

From I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

Welcome to Hell, where the living conditions went beyond crowded, the job sucked, and the pay sucked even worse. It was like living in, well, Hell

From: A Demon and His Witch by Eve Langlais

Year One by Nora Roberts

Title: Year One

Author: Nora Roberts

Genre: Post-apocalyptic Fantasy

Opens: When Ross MacLeod pulled the trigger and brought down the pheasant, he had no way of knowing he had killed himself. And billions of others.

Blurb: The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated. Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travellers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three new born infants in their care alive. In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a saviour, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

My Thoughts: Anyone who picks this up expecting one of Nora Roberts usual paranormal romances is going to be very surprised, maybe disappointed. I am reading reviews where people are saying it is a bad book because they feel cheated – come on poor excuse for a bad review – there is enough evidence around, even interviews given by the author, to give you a hint that this is totally different. YEAR ONE is dark, very dark – and good people die – but the story kept me glued to the pages for the most part. The parts I didn’t stay glued? When the icky bits happened. Icky bits? Come on – it’s the end of the world – organised law keeping has gone – it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. When Ross MacLeod killed the pheasant it landed on sacred ground – not sacred nice, but sacred evil and this action is the signal for the dark forces to escape and start to make the world theirs. How quickly ‘The Doom,’ as it becomes known, spreads is very, very feasible. A sick man and his sick wife spread the infection to other people as they travel from London to New York – very quickly millions of people get infected as each of the new victims carry their germs around the world as they fly hither and thither.

Jonah the paramedic, Arlys the reporter, Lana the chef and Max the novelist are the main characters in this first book, each of them immune, not all of them with powers. They gradually form up with other people as they all decide to get out of New York until, inevitably, they all join together just a bit past halfway through. I’m not sure why I said inevitably, because nothing is a certainty and there are a few twists and turns until the reader is brought to the end of book one. An ending which leaves the reader knowing that although things look for good now – it is going to get a whole lot worse – and the characters know it.

YEAR ONE is the scene setter, the world is falling apart and the characters are trying to work out their place in this new world. And the descriptions of the world’s descent into chaos is amazing, and those who live violently quickly come out into the open with no fear of repercussions, and fall under the influence of the dark without even being aware. So many horrible things happen, actions done by people are horrific –without even the dark magic influencing them – they are just psychopaths. There is a strong thread of magic, but it is part of the story stopping just short of enough to call it a fantasy. The magical elements are a result of the fall as people who had no idea they had this element now have it. The characters discuss among themselves how, and why, it is happening. But like the reader they have no answers – it just is.

There are still unanswered questions at the end of the book, but seeing as it is the first in a trilogy this did not come as a surprise. There is no cliff-hanger at the end, which I liked, but the world is splitting into good and evil – which I think would happen despite a magical element – and it is obvious that strong good magic is going to be needed to defeat the bad.

Whatever path Ms Roberts is going to take us down with this story in the next two books I feel that readers should be complacent – I for one am really looking forwards to travelling them with her.

For more about the author – Click Here

A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night.

With thanks to Hachette Australia and the author via Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

Here is my weekly roundup (well fortnightly in this instance) of books I’ve read, books I’m reading, Internet places I’ve been and quotes I liked. And as it is also the end of the month – I have listed all the books that I have read during November at the end.

This week I have finished:

Book: The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Thoughts: This is one of my top reads this year – Rachael Johns is an Australia author who writes 5-star romances as well more meaty Contemporary Fiction – this is meaty, very meaty – it is to do with infertility and egg donation and the story plunged me to the depths of despair forcing me to reach for tissues and put it down and take a break to calm down. After despair, though, comes hope. And gradually the reader is brought back to normal emotions again – and, like the characters, learn to laugh again. Very well researched, the depth of ‘realness’ of the characters is outstanding, as was my involvement in the story – I was totally absorbed. Rachael also managed to avoid a clichéd resolution and came up with an innovative way to close the story. Every time I read one of her books I think this is the best ever she can’t top this – and then she does!!!

Book: Steam and Sensibility by Kirsten Weiss

Genre: YA Historical Steampunk

Thoughts: I had a reading challenge task that asked me to read a book with the word sensibility in it. None of the 400 odd books on my physical and electronic TBR piles fitted the instruction so I googled the word Sensibility in the Goodreads search engine and came up with this title. So off to Amazon I went and soon had it downloaded. I loved it – a really good story and Sensibility had a lot of growing up to do.

Book: Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber

Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance

Thoughts: I read Macomber’s Christmas release every year – I know what to expect and I am NEVER disappointed. The two Main Characters are Merry and Bright she is Merry and he is Mr. Bright. As usual there are reasons the two dislike each other – but gradually they realise they actually do like each other and they have to figure out how to overcome the circumstances to reach their happy ever after. Aaaaahhh!

My Current reads:

Books I am currently reading, and really enjoying, are:

Year One by Nora Roberts – 1st in a new trilogy – a breakaway from her usual work – this is not a romance, and is not a mystery, instead it is a post-apocalyptic novel with strong fantasy coming in once the world as we know it has ended.

A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham – Set in Cornwall in the UK at Christmas, all very good reasons why I am reading it. It is also a really good story!!

A Very Country Christmas by Various – Australian authors Alissa Callen, Fiona Greene, Rachael Johns, Juliet Madison and Victoria Purman have each written a short story set at Christmas – a peak into how Aussies bring tinsel to the outback, the coast and the city.

Quote/s and links for the week

Links:

This week I am sharing some new blogs that I found and am now following

Map your Mystery – Where in the world does your crime take place? Christine takes her followers mainly around the United States, but other parts of the world occasionally with the settings in the cozy mysteries she reads:

http://mapyourmystery.com/

Christmas is coming – so time to get your seasonal reads in order! Here are some suggestions for you:

https://helenafairfax.com/2017/11/18/ten-classic-christmas-books-for-readers-of-all-ages/

Quotes:

"…Books are like comfort food without the calories…"

From Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg

“…You know if it’d been three wise women searching for the newborn babe, they would have asked for directions much sooner, found the stable, swept it out, and had a meal waiting by the time Mary and Joseph arrived….”

From Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber,

November Summary

All the books I read in November, in the order I read them:

Upper Fourth at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton – Young Adult (YA) Adventure

Oracles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie – YA Historical Fantasy Adventure

Miss Frost Cracks a Caper by Kristen Painter – Mystery Paranormal

Two steps forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist – Contemporary

Sweet Dreams Baby by C.J. Carmichael – Romance

The North Pole Challenge by Kevin George – YA Fantasy

Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found by Emma Davies – Women’s Fiction Contemporary

The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns – Women’s Fiction

Steam and Sensibility by Kirsten Weiss – YA Steampunk Historical Paranormal

Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber – Romance

Here is my weekly roundup of books I’ve read, books I’m reading, Internet places I’ve been and quotes I liked.

This week I have finished:

Book: The North Pole Challenge by Kevin George

Genre: YA Fantasy

Thoughts: Not really my cup of tea – just never took off for me – will not read any more in this series.

Book: Sweet Dreams Baby by C.J. Carmichael

Genre: Romance

Thoughts: Separate review here

Book: Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found by Emma Davies

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Thoughts: Separate review here

My Current reads:

Books I am currently reading, and really enjoying, are:

Steam and Sensibility by Kirsten Weiss – YA Historical Steampunk Mystery set in the Californian Gold rush days.

The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns – Contemporary Women’s Fiction that looks at infertility and egg donation.

Year One by Nora Roberts – 1st in a new trilogy – a breakaway from her usual work – this is not a romance, and is not a mystery, instead it is a post-apocalyptic novel with strong fantasy coming in once the world as we know it has ended.

Quote/s and links for the week

Links:

5 Outstanding Podcasts for Book Lovers

https://bookriot.com/2017/10/09/podcasts-for-book-lovers/

17 Science Fiction Books That Forever Changed the Genre

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/10/17-science-fiction-books-that-forever-changed-the-genre/

People Who Read Live Longer Than Those Who Don’t

http://bigthink.com/laurie-vazquez/yale-study-people-who-read-live-longer-than-people-who-dont

Quotes:

“…How many times have I shown you how to reboot it? Computers can smell your fear, you know; you have to learn to show them who’s boss. Come on, let’s sort it out…”

From Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found by Emma Davies

“…When Ross MacLeod pulled the trigger and brought down the pheasant, he had no way of knowing he had killed himself. And billions of others…”

From Year One by Nora Roberts

Title: Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found

Author: Emma Davies

Genre: Romance

Opens: It was late night opening at the library, and Lucy Picklescott had a whole thirty-five minutes to herself before she was due back for the rest of the afternoon shift.

Blurb: Twenty-four-year-old Lucy needs a fresh start. Forever single, frustrated with her studies and dreaming of writing a novel she can’t start, she gives up everything to run home and get a job in a little library in the leafy village of Tilley Moreton. Lucy loves reading books almost as much as she loves fixing other people’s problems, so starting a book club seems like the perfect opportunity to do both. As she meets her new members, it’s clear she’s going to have her work cut out for her. One by one everyone at the book club starts the journey to their happy ever afters – even Lucy.

My Thoughts: The subtitle for Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found is ‘a heart-warming feel good romance novel’, and that’s exactly what this book is. Lia, Hattie, Callum and Oscar all turn up at the library to join the book club. Each of the characters take it in turns to tell the story so it is a good way for the readers to know what is going on in each life before the rest of the cast do. Lia is the sole carer for her mother who has Alzheimer’s; Hattie is a single mum whose daughter has just started school and she wants to make friends; Callum wants to make something of his life but his family and lack of confidence is holding him back; while Oscar (who was my favourite character) is a widower missing his wife. Their stories all intertwine as the group becomes friends and each of them hits a low point before realising they don’t have to face this alone, that they have their book club friends to lift them up and help them crawl back out of their pit.

Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found is a wonderful feel good story with depth. It covers quite contemporary issues such as caring for the sick and elderly, broken relationships, single parenthood and unemployment. Each of the sub-plots have closure although happy ever after is not necessarily riding off into the sunset. Overall, five strangers become five good friends and I certainly recommend the book, and will read more of Emma Davies’ work.

For more about the author – Click Here

B – Great – I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.

With thanks to Bookouture Publishing and the author via Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

Title: Sweet Dreams, Baby

Author: C.J. Carmichael

Genre: Romance

Opens: Three weeks had passed since Portia Bishop mailed the letter she should have sent almost a year earlier. Three very long weeks.

Blurb: Three weeks ago, Portia Bishop mailed a letter to the father of her baby, Saddle Bronc rider Austin Bradshaw. It’s a letter she should have written a long time ago—like when she first found out she was pregnant, shortly after she ended things with Austin, dropped out of college, and went running to her family in Marietta, Montana.

Austin has loved Portia since he first laid his eyes on her in college. A year ago, he convinced her to do something impulsive and very romantic. Now, as he opens her letter, Austin has two reasons to return to Marietta–win back the heart of the woman he still loves and convince her he’s a good bet for a forever man and father.

My Thoughts: I have to confess it was mostly the cover that first drew my attention to this book, followed by the blurb. I have previously read, and enjoyed, another of author C.J. Carmichael’s books – Snowbound in Montana – so I knew I would be in for another good read. I was not disappointed.

Austin arrives in Marietta in response to the letter mentioned in the blurb. He has NO idea he is a daddy until he sees Portia opening the door of the Chocolate Shop where she works, holding a baby. He thinks at first she is babysitting, but she tells him the truth and he gets to hold his son for the very first time. And so the story continues – they are both so young – and so in love but both are scared of committing for different reasons. They are each wanting to make the noble sacrifice for the other, despite being miserable over the sacrifice, and they are both wanting only the best for their son, which may not be the best for them. Lack of communication ensures there is lots of misunderstanding and this angst is played out against a backdrop of three other secondary stories. The Chocolate Shop is in danger of having to close down due to a nasty landlord, there are missing family jewels and fundraising is needed to raise money for the burnt down rodeo stadium.

I loved Austin he is smart, still in love, sporty, strong, considerate and always willing to pitch in and help out where needed – even making chocolate! Portia is very mixed up – with a split home behind her, and feeling rejected by her father she doesn’t want her son to come from a broken home – not even thinking that by not giving him one at all she is letting history repeat. She has been keeping secrets from her family as well as Austin and as the secrets unravel she finally has enough peace and confidence to start making decisions.

Sweet Dreams, Baby is the twelfth and final book in the series and reads perfectly as a stand-alone as I haven’t read any of the other books. Something I plan to remedy.

For more about the author – Click Here

B – Great – I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.

With thanks to Tule Publishing and the author via Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

Supporting and promoting books by Australian women

Australian Rural Romance

Contemporary & Historical Rural Fiction

Cleopatra Loves Books

One reader's view

Rachael Johns

romance fiction - red dust to big smoke

Devoted Eclectic

...reading, writing and reflecting

Lauren Keegan Writer

Writer. Reader. Psychologist.

All The Books I Can Read

1 girl....2 many books!

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.