Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.
More books I've been reading
It’s such a joy to go back to a favourite book and rediscover it.
I did that recently with The Thorn Birds. Re-reading a long-time favourite after many years can be disappointing. Sometimes the book is not as we remember it. But in this case, it was exactly as I remembered it. The writing was a little dated to be sure, but it’s still a fabulous read… and tops my list of recent reads.
The Thorn Birds – Colleen McCulloch
I was prompted to revisit The Thorn Birds by the sad death of the author. I was afraid time had taken the shine off it for me. Wrong!
I think I saw it in a more mature light now. I had different opinions of the characters and their actions. But the story was no less captivating than it was all those years ago. I was engrossed in the story, even though I knew what was coming next. Writing styles have changed over the years, and the writing was a little old fashioned in places, but that didn’t bother me in the least.
In my head, I did see the characters from the TV adaptation, especially Richard Chamberlain as Father Ralph, but that was all right. Loved it then – love it now.
An Irish Promise – Isabella Connor.
This is one of the best books I have read in a while. Seriously. It’s published by Choc Lit, my own publisher and is the second book by this author. I enjoyed the first. This one was even better.
It’s not a light and fluffy romance. Yes – it’s a love story, but it deals with some real issues and heavy emotions.
The characters and their story touched me deeply.
I strongly recommend it.
Just Down the Road – Jodi Thomas
A novel about the town of Harmony, Texas and every bit as good as the rest of the series that I have read.
Our hero is a wounded soul. The heroine is a smart intelligent woman trying to take control of her own life. Mix in a vulnerable child and some bad guys and you have all the ingredients for a good read.
The more I read of this series, the more the town and its people are becoming real to me. The same characters return in each book – and even the secondary characters have continuing lives that unfold over the timeline of the books.
The best thing of all: I know there are a couple more in this series waiting on my Kindle for my next visit to Harmony.
Eye of the Storm -Jack Higgins
Jack Higgin’s best known works are probably Prayer for the Dying and The Eagle Has Landed. I’ve read and enjoyed both of them. They were of their time and place and I guess I made allowance for that.
Eye of the Storm is the first of the Sean Dillon books, of which there appear to be about 20, including one published just last year. I was looking forward to seeing what such an accomplished author could do with a more modern world. And I liked to concept of turning a bad guy into a hero.
Eye of the Storm was written in 1992, but I found the writing style and, more importantly, the attitudes of the hero far older. Jack Higgins tells a good story – well plotted and well executed, but I didn’t take to the hero. He seemed sexist and a bit racist, attributes which may not have been noticed a few decades ago, but bothered me. Perhaps these books will work better for men than for woman. Which is a shame really. I love a good adventure.
A Kiss at Midnight – Eloisa James
I started reading this After hearing Eloisa James speak at an RNA function. She was a wonderful speaker and she is a wonderful writer.
This is her Cinderella Book (note the glass slipper on the cover). It’s written with humour and feeling and I just loved it. The heroine is no shrinking violet and the hero is just to die for.
It’s quite simply, a delightful; book. So, take a firm grip on your inner child and go try a fairy tale. You won’t regret it.
The Highwayman’s Daughter – Henriette Gyland
I’ve read Henriette’s two earlier novels, both of which were contemporary romantic suspense. I was a bit surprised when I saw she had written a historical novel. I like the other two books and decided to give it a go. The lovely cover also drew me.
The book is historical but it also has suspense elements.
There’s a villain and a threat to our lover’s lives. There’s a mystery to be unravelled: a mystery that could keep out lovers apart forever. In other words, it was a ripping good read. I finished in no time at all, staying up late at night to read it.
What’s next Henriette? I’m ready to go wherever you want to take me.
The Cowboy Takes A Bride – Lori Wild
Not my favourite of this lot, I have to say.
I’ve read quite a few of Lori Wilde’s books and enjoyed them. I think my problem was that the story is an adaptation of Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier, which is one of my all-time favourite books. The hero’s dead wife was even called Becca.
It has a cowboy setting, which is fine, but lacked the threat and darkness of the original book. I was hoping for more depth than I got, probably because of the Rebecca thing. But it won’t stop me reading more of her books.
I think she tells her own stories better than she retells someone else’s story.
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