Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.
What I have been reading
I am really enjoying writing these posts. It’s great to look back and remember the books that I have enjoyed.
I’ve been writing a new book during the last couple of months, so not reading as much as I normally would… but that still means I am reading a book a week. I have however, stayed away from new authors and stuck with friends and favourites. I like comfort reads when I am writing.
The Summer We Danced – Fiona Harper (paperback – known author)
This is a Doris Day film in a book. It’s a love story and a story about second chances. It’s also the story of how wonderful it can be to be part of a community.
I read most of this book sitting in the shade in the garden on a hot summer Sunday. It was a perfect combination.
The book is uplifting and funny and a delight. It was a wonderful place to escape to for a few hours.
Under the Jewelled Sky – Alison McQueen (paperback – new author)
This book was shortlisted to a RONA award a couple of years ago. It’s been in my TBR pile for a long time, but I decided it was time for another new author, and what a good move that was.
I really enjoyed this. The novel is set in India at the end of colonial rule and during the period of partition. It’s a cross cultural love story – the young daughter of British colonial doctor falls for an Indian boy, with far reaching consequences.
There’s some depth to this romance, and the handling of India at a troubled and violent time is very well done. I shall read more of this author.
A Crack in Everything – Ruth Long (paperback – known author)
Full disclosure here – the author is a friend of mine. That’s why I own a signed copy of this book. It is not the reason I read it so eagerly. That was because this book is good. Very good. I don’t read a lot of YA fantasy – but I definitely think it’s time I read more.
I loved the world of this book – it’s Dublin – but it’s not. I recognised places as I read it – but the world of the Fae is very different.
Our heroine Izzy is lovely – strong and full of doubts and smart and all the things I want a heroine to be. Jinx, our hero, is so utterly damaged and at the same time, totally compelling.
This book hit all the right notes for me and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Pocketful of Dreams – Jean Fullerton (a signed paperback from a good friend)
Jean is a long term writing friend and so I was honoured to get an advance copy of her latest book. Jean writes sagas set in London’s East End – and this is the first book in a new series set during WW2 and I think it’s her best book yet.
Having seen the books piled high Jean’s office, I know just how much research goes into her books. She always gets the history right – but never lets that interfere with the main purpose of her books, which is to tell a story. She writes great villains – and the villain of this piece is no exception.
But her heroes are always lovely – and I think Daniel might just have found his way into my list of literary crushes. A lovely book.
Girl Having A Ball – Rhoda Baxter (e-book and a known author)
This book was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists Association Romantic Comedy Award. And it well deserved that place.
This book was fun and flirty. It’s part of a series, and the first in the series, Girl on the Run, was an equally good read. I like that these book feature both heroes and heroines who are not stereotypes. And they tend to be smart as well.
I’ve always thought smarty men were sexy … and here’s an author who shares that view. It’s also great to see some ethnic diversity in a book.
Again, I will be honest and say Rhoda is a friend – but I liked her books before we became friends.
The Wedding Party – Robyn Carr (e-book and a favourite author)
As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I am a huge Robyn Carr fan. Her books are automatic buys for me. Mostly she writes small town romance, and her Virgin River and Thunder Point books are among my comfort reads.
This book was originally published in 2001. It’s presented as being a comedy and a therefore bit of a change of pace. I confess it was not my favourite of her books. It is well written and had pace and kept my interest, but I found I didn’t particularly bond with the heroine. Robyn Carr always writes wonderful male characters, and this book was no exception, but I felt the hero deserved someone nicer than the heroine.
That said, the book was written a long time ago, and maybe it’s a good example of how writers change and improve over time. She remains on my automatic buy list – one book that didn’t suit me doesn’t change the fact that she is a fabulous writer whose work I really enjoy.Share this page...
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