PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Adult Fiction

Book Review: Heart of a Cowboy

The Heart of a Cowboy

– Jody Hedlund –

Colorado Cowboys #2

Bethany House Publishers

Published 5 October 2021

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I read the first book in this series at the start of a holiday break and once again I found myself at the end of a big and exhausting term and I picked up the second book in the series. Perfect timing indeed, because once again, slipping into a Jody Hedlund historical romance was exactly the way I needed to start my school holidays.

The second book in the Colorado Cowboys series can be read as a standalone novel, so if you haven’t read the first book don’t hesitate to read this one.

I love when historical romances give me the taste of the past with all the comfort of today’s views and opinions. The Heart of a Cowboy does just that. Linnea is a botanist and an excellent scientist. She is travelling with her grandfather and a group of scientists on a botanical expedition to Colorado. Despite her excellent scientific discoveries and abilities, she had to twist her grandfather’s arm to allow her to accompany the expedition and he worries greatly about her safety – and not just because she’s a woman. Linnea can become so distracted by her work she wanders off and finds herself in all sorts of danger. Like when she falls off the wagon during a river crossing and needs to be rescued by Flynn McQuaid. Continue reading

Book Review: Harbor Pointe Books 3 and 4

 

Just One Kiss and Just Like Home

– Courtney Walsh-

Harbor Pointe #3 and #4

Sweethaven Press

Published 2019 and 2020

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Despite not enjoying the first book I ever read by this author, I am now massive Courtney Walsh fan. Trust me, I am so glad I gave her books another read and another chance because she has become one of my favourite authors and a go to for when I need a romantic and relaxing read. When the school holidays hit and I was looking for something to take my mind off my growing to-do list, I turned to Courtney Walsh. I was delighted to see that she had continued her Harbor Pointe series. I loved books one and two in the series, Just Look Up and Just Left Go, so I was excited to continue this series.

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Book Review: Autumn by the Sea

 

Autumn by the Sea

– Melissa Tagg –

Muir Harbor #1

Larkspur Press

Published 28 September 2021

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Autumn by the Sea is another delicious contemporary romance by one of all-time favourite authors. Seriously. Melissa Tagg never disappoints.

Autumn by the Sea is the perfect blend of mystery, romance, longing for family and meant to be. The characters just worm their way into your heart. The setting is rugged and charming. And that meet cute?!!?? Seriously?!? So cute.

Sydney Rose has only ever wanted a family and somewhere to belong. Maybe that’s why when a stranger approaches her and tells her that he thinks she’s the long-lost granddaughter of Margaret Muir, Sydney Rose jumps on a plane to Maine to discover if maybe, just maybe, she has a family after all. Sydney was not expecting the charming, if a little in need of some love, house on the coast, or Maggie, with her heart so welcoming and so hurt by the past. Nor was Sydney expecting Maggie’s three adopted adult children who are not exactly excited to see Sydney. Just it only takes days for Sydney to feel at home. If she and Neil, Maggie’s eldest adopted and the one holding Muir Farm together, can uncover the truth of the past, maybe Sydney could stay and find her place to belong.

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Book Review: Riverbend Gap

 

Riverbend Gap

– Denise Hunter –

A Riverbend Romance #1

Thomas Nelson

Published 19 October 2021

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I so enjoy reading Denise Hunter’s books. I know once I pick one up, I’ll just disappear into the world and characters she has crafted and I know that I will love every word. And that’s exactly what I got in Riverbend Gap. This book is the first in a new series (yay) that follows a family (yay, yay) living in a small rural town along the Appalachian Trail (more yay). Honestly, between the amazing romance, stunning scenery so beautifully described, the drama and tension and the great writing, I just loved this book.

Katelyn Loveland has a new job, new last name, new boyfriend and a new house. Moving to Riverbend Gap was her new start. But she’s also determined to get some closure from her past. The first step is scattering the ashes of her beloved younger brother. Then, she needs to find her biological mother and learn why she and her brother spent most of their lives in foster care. Not part of the plan was avoiding a deer and almost plunging to her death over the side of a mountain on the way to meet her new boyfriend’s family. When Cooper Robinson, Deputy Sheriff, comes to her rescue, she is relieved and grateful. The tense moments they share forge a deep connection. The only problem is that he is the brother of her new boyfriend. As circumstances through Cooper and Katelyn together again, it’s hard to ignore the deepening feelings between them.

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Book List: Books to Read if You Loved Harry Potter

Books to Read if you Loved Harry Potter

It has to be the question I get most as a teacher librarian. What should I read after Harry Potter? After students discover their love for Harry Potter and have re read it a few times, worked their way through all the accompanying companion books, information books about how the movies were made, History of Magic, short stories, screen plays and novelty books (the ones with working wands have to be the top favourites), they finally reach a point of wanting something similar but different.

What to read if you liked Harry Potter is also something I deal with for older students. The Harry Potter books might have been the only books they have read. Or maybe the enjoyed the movies, don’t want to read the books but would be open to reading something similar. Having a few titles on hand to suggest is always handing. But searching the web, there must be a million suggestions for Harry Potter readalikes out there. Or, maybe you are a parent with a child who wants to read Harry Potter but you’d like to steer them towards something similar.

There are lots of lists with suggestions out there, so I am not going to recommend the usual suspects, like the Percy Jackson series. While these are perfect for Harry Potter lovers, you’ve probably already seen them in reading suggestion lists, so I am going to chose some of my favourite and more obscure recommendations, as well as books by Australian authors.

Middle Grade Readers

Rise of the Dragons – Angie Sage

I adored The Magyk series by Angie Sage and it remains a perennial favourite with our library’s young readers, and so I jumped at the chance to read and review the first book in her newest fantasy series, Rise of the Dragons. With the promise of game cards and a matching online game, Rise of the Dragons promised to be an exciting release. The new world Sage has created and her daring plot of intrigue, dragon battles and family bonds is both thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable. It is sure to be a hit with our middle-grade readers. After all, everything is better with dragons.

The other books in the series have different authors.

I would also highly recommend Angie Sage’s Magyk series for Harry Potter fans.

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Book Review: This Time Around

This Time Around – Denise Hunter, Melissa Ferguson and Kathleen Fuller – Thomas Nelson – Published 13 July 2021

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Synopsis

Three romance novellas. A Summer Detour by Denise Hunter, Pining for You by Melissa Ferguson and He Love Me; Me Loves Me Not by Kathleen Fuller.

My thoughts

This Time Around is a collection of three novellas that feature second chance romances. From best friends to old flames, Denise Hunter, Melissa Ferguson and Kathleen Fuller give their characters a second shot at love. Notes, despite the Christian publisher and authors, these novellas do not reference faith, God or Christianity.

A Summer Detour is the first and my favourite in the collection. Probably not surprising as it’s by Denise Hunter and I love her writing style. In A Summer Detour Allie begs her family for a chance to prove herself and is tasked with driving her grandparents’ beloved restored Chevy to their anniversary party. The only problem is that she can’t drive manual. Luke Fletcher is the only one she can think of who might be able to help – her parents’ neighbour and the man who broke her heart years ago. She’s kept her distance since then but hours in the car, a hail storm, detour, dog with digestion problems and other mishaps later, maybe she and Luke can sort through the hurt and find a way to a future together. This novella is light and funny, yet I really felt for the way Allie believes her parents don’t trust her or see her as capable. Luke has always seen Allie’s worth and this road trip is the perfect opportunity for him to redeem himself in Allie’s eyes and prove he’ll always be there for her.

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New Book Releases May 2017

New Book Releases for May 2017

Books, books, glorious books. Here is my little list of new books due for release in May 2017. Click on covers for more information and reviews.

Adult Fiction

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories – Celeste Fletcher McHale – Thomas Nelson – Published 23 May 2017

Jacey Lang spent three terrifying days atop a roof during a terrible storm. She shared that experience with a young family and (possibly) the man of her dreams. But a traumatic accident during their rescue left Jacey with scattered memories and no way to reconnect with Colin. One year later Jacey accidentally finds Colin again – at the end of the isle at her best friend’s wedding, as the preacher. Uncertain what the future holds for them, Jacey must deal with her returning memories about the accident and the fate of the young family, while Colin comes to terms with his family’s past.

Adult fiction: Contemporary


Children’s Fiction

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre – Gail Carson Levine – HarperCollins – Published 2 May 2017

Peregrine strives to live up to the ideal of her people, the Latki—and to impress her parents: affectionate Lord Tove, who despises only the Bamarre, and stern Lady Klausine. Perry runs the fastest, speaks her mind, and doesn’t give much thought to the castle’s Bamarre servants, whom she knows to be weak and cowardly.

But just as she’s about to join her father on the front lines, she is visited by the fairy Halina, who reveals that Perry isn’t Latki-born. She is Bamarre. The fairy issues a daunting challenge: against the Lakti power, Perry must free her people from tyranny.

Children’s fiction: Fantasy.


Young Adult Fiction

Love and Vandalism – Laurie Boyle Cromption – Sourcebooks Fire – Published 1 May 2017

Rory creates her art in the dark depths of night, spray painting her lions onto vacant walls and overpasses. It helps her control her rage and rebel against her father. Art is the thing she has most in common with her artist mother. But Rory has a plan to escalate her art and paint a lion that is larger and far more visible than all her previous pieces. She knows she will need help to pull it off but the new guy in town is probably last on her list of limited choices. Never mind his city-boy looks and his determination to stay away from trouble (especially the illegal kind), it’s enough that he is threatening to reveal Rory’s identity as the lion graffiti artist if she doesn’t show him around town.

Young adult fiction: Contemporary

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Author Interview: Anne A. Wilson

Anne Wilson Banner

Author Interview: Anne A. Wilson

Clear To LiftI am very excited to share with you my interview with author Anne A. Wilson. If you are a regular visitor to my blog, then you might have picked up on my absolute adoration for Anne’s books. They are fantastic!!! So, it was wonderful when Anne graciously agreed to answer my questions about her own experience in the navy and her writing process.

Anne is the author of Hover, which was released in 2015 and Clear To Lift, which is due for release in July 2016. Both books are thrilling stories of action and romance, about strong, courageous women and their careers in the navy.

In Clear To Lift, Navy helicopter pilot Lieutenant Alison Malone has been assigned to the search and rescue team stationed in Sierra Nevada. Alison is strong, determined, a rule follower and feeling constrained after being deployed to an area she considers the end of her commander dreams. Her team plan to educate her in working outside the rules, while the ruggedly handsome Will Cavanaugh challenges her to evaluate her life and take risks. Romance, action, suspense and family secrets make this a wildly addictive story. 

You can find my full review of Clear To Lift here, and if you haven’t already read Hover, check out my review of it here.


anne-wilson-350Hi Anne. Welcome to my Library.

Thanks so much for answering my questions (and writing really fabulous books).

Firstly, describe Clear To Lift in five words or less.

Adventure, search and rescue, romance.

Both your books Hover and Clear To Lift come loosely from your own experiences in the navy. How much is fiction and what can you tell us about your own adventures in the Sierra Nevada?

In Clear to Lift, the plot and characters are fictional, but the aircraft maneuvers are pretty accurate. The last rescue scene was based on a rescue that I did during the “100-Year Flood” that affected Yosemite Valley, the city of Reno, Nevada, and surrounding areas. Hover had more scenes than Clear to Lift did that were “real.” I used the journals I kept while deployed at sea to write Hover, and pulled directly from those pages for several scenes. The Shellback ceremony in Hover is almost word-for-word from my journal.

Being stationed near the Sierra Nevada was a dream. Not only did we fly over the range routinely to do our rescue work, but my husband and I played there in our off time, too. We did backcountry skiing, where you hike a mountain and then ski down. Still do, in fact. I enjoy telemark skiing, which is a nice ski set-up to have in the backcountry since your heel is free in the binding, which allows you to hike up more easily. We also did a lot of rock climbing and my husband even trained as an assistant mountain guide. So we enjoyed plenty of adventures both on the ground and in the air while stationed there.

So that’s why the scenes in Clear To Lift, when Will is free climbing up huge cliff faces sound so realistic!!!

HoverWhat inspired you to join the navy?

I was in my high school counselor’s office and saw a catalog for the United States Naval Academy on the coffee table in the waiting room. I picked it up and was intrigued by the prospect of the travel and adventure that might accompany going to a university like this. When you go to the Naval Academy, the tuition is free and you receive a four-year degree just like any university. You pay back the cost of your schooling by giving years of active duty service to the navy, so I served for nine years flying helicopters after I graduated. The travel was as advertised, by the way. I was able to see and experience so much of the world that I otherwise would not have.

What did you prefer as a pilot, search and rescue or deployment at sea? Which did you prefer writing?

I preferred search and rescue. The high altitude flying and the rescue work we did—and the setting in which we did it—was just spectacular. And then, of course, the mission itself was extremely rewarding. We were helping people in need, which I loved. Plus, I was stationed inland, so when we weren’t flying, we were living a pretty normal life. Flying on deployment could be exciting, also, but in a different way. It just depended on the operation or the mission. Flying with the SEAL teams was always fun and doing vertical replenishment—transferring crates and pallets under the helicopter via a long pole and sling—was a great test of flying precision. But I would say there was a lot more monotony when flying on deployment. Most of the time, you were just flying ship to ship and looking at endless miles of ocean. There’s just no comparison between that and flying over snow-covered peaks at 12,000 feet.

Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada

Gosh, which did I prefer writing? That’s a tough one! They were both equally fun to write, I would say. I like writing action scenes and dialog, and both books had these in spades, so I was happy to be at my computer any time I was writing either book.

Where do you like to write? Do you have any writing habits or things that have to be just so before you start writing?

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