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The Things I Know Book Cover The Things I Know
Amanda Prowse
contemporary fiction, romance, women's literature
Lake Union Publishing
Pub Date 11 Jun 2019

From bestselling author Amanda Prowse comes a heartwarming tale of first impressions and lasting love. Thomasina ‘Hitch’ Waycott loves living and working on the remote family farm and B&B. But she also wants more. To see the world. To own her own home. To fall madly in love. But those are fairy tales, and if her life is a fairy tale, then she’s the ugly duckling. Her deformed lip, her crooked limbs and her weak heart have kept her from taking chances. But that’s about to change. When Grayson Potts comes to stay, he’s unlike anyone Thomasina has ever met. He’s aloof, eccentric and exceptionally kind. He’s also totally unconcerned with the physical flaws that have always defined Thomasina. The two form a bond that neither has had before. It’s possible that it could become something more, but Thomasina also wonders if it’s too good to be true. By putting her heart on the line, Thomasina may open herself to heartbreak. But she may also open herself to so much more.

This is the first book I’ve ever read where I cried at the first chapters.

Hitch – Thomasina – is such a sad character as the story opens, taking happiness in the very small things in her life.

Over-protected by her parents, her life is kept small as her health, as a baby, was precarious, and he rparents hadn’t realised how strong, physically and mentally, she had become.

The story is both sad and also uplifting. It reminds us that happiness is in own hands and can be created from small beginnings.

As we see Thomasina grow in self-belief, we are shown possibilities. There is a strong underlying philosophy apparent in this story that is developed empathetically and subtly with great style.

One of the best quotes from the book is:

‘I know that words are powerful things and have great weight’.

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Holy Love is needed

Love You Holy: Wild Child Book Cover Love You Holy: Wild Child
Fran Steinberg
contemporary fiction, romance, Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 25 Apr 2019

A screaming newborn is thrown from a speeding car onto a dusty Texas road. Immediately, swarms of vultures descend on her to feast. A vicious kick from a crippled old man scatters the vultures and gives his wife time to pick the baby up."What is it Ma?" the old man asks his wife. "A sickly bear cub?" he ventures."No, Pa. It’s a newborn baby. See,” she says, pulling the blanket down. “Two arms and two legs. No fur. And look at this, Pa,” she says shaking her head with tears in her eyes, "her umbilical cord still attached." And so begins the life of Max Arrins, an abandoned orphan whose extraordinary character eventually makes her a legend in Texas. She’s a modern-day hero, who defends the weak, takes care of her people and doesn’t take any shit! Determined to join the Storm Kings, an elite group of linemen who put the lights back on after hurricanes and cyclones, she struggles fearlessly with man and nature to achieve her goal. But when her ambitions are blocked, the "Wild Child" in her emerges, with disastrous results for her opponent.If Wild Child Arrins loves you holy, you're safe. Be kind to her and she'll be kind to you. But hurt her or prevent her from getting what she wants… watch out. The Wild Child unleashed is a force to be reckoned with; a force not bears, wildcats or even an entire crew of Storm Kings can handle.

This is a very different story. It is written as an autobiography by the Wild child herself, telling her story from the age of 14 to 17 in great depth. Max also explains her origins, as she knows them, and some details of her life after 17, but the bulk of the story covers the period of her adoption to her marriage.

Her origins and early life are heart-rending and sad beyond belief, and yet you believe the story as it is so well told. The desperate poverty of small land holders with debts and mortgages reliant on their crops to provide their income.

The characterisations of this strange breed of humanity – Texans – are excellent, as is the use of colloquial language and idioms. I thought that the character of the Judge was lovely, and Ben was believable as someone who could ‘tame’ the Wild Child.

This novel kept me turning the pages and wanting to know more about the Storm Kings and yes, the song – The Witchita Linesman’ kept running through my head!

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Go where the sun is..

From Antigua with Love
asstd
contemporary fiction, romance,
Mills and Boon
2019

Assorted Romance. Not for Sale. Sponsored by Tourist Authority.

A set of 5 short stories given me by Mills and Boon with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

All set in the islands and intended to make you want to visit and celebrate romance of course. As such they certainly give you the tourist highlights and beauty of the scenery and for their genre, are nicely written. But I am not personally all that fond of short stories as I like a more developed storyline.

Still nice for their type.

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#Momspringa: Yes please!

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler Book Cover The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
Kelly Harms
Romantic Comedy, Love, Sex & Marriage Humour, Humorous Fiction
Lake Union Publishing
(1 May 2019)

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

So after being a frazzled and broke single mum for years Amy Byler is  given the gift of a momspringa – in the way that the US … sect give their children a ..srpinga when they reach adulthood. A year off to discover who they are and what they want to do with their lives.

This year of Amy’s is detailed by the magazine that is sponsoring her – she is photographed and everything she does is told in detail on social media. And it sets a trend amongst tired mums who also want a #momspringa even if only for a few days!

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Let’s Predict the Future

Good Omens Book Cover Good Omens
Terry Pratchett &Neil Gaiman
Horror Parodies & Satires , Contemporary Horror, Occult Horror (
Corgi
(11 Dec. 2014)

Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don't let you go around again until you get it right' According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter Witch, Judgement Day is almost upon us and the world's going to end in a week . . . Now people have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it's only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea? You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it. It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse. And then there's the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .

NB I read this before the TV series came out! But was prompted by hearing about it.

I thought that Terry Pratchett was on form with Neil Gaiman’s extra touch. Note that this one of Prachett’s early books (written about 30 years ago) that I missed – don’t know how, as I thought I had read all of his books, including the ones aimed (so they say) at children!

So, the Apocalypse is nigh! Or is it? Agnes Nutter certainly thought so when she wrote her book of predictions several hundred years ago. Not only did she predict when, but also the special signs – saffron and holes for instance – and even knew exactly where it would be started.

And sure enough that was where HE lived – as a nice small boy, playing in the way all boys did, with a vivid imagination, and an unfortunate stack of magazines lent to him by Anathema Device.

I thought Crowley was a brilliant character, and especially liked the adjustment to the M25. On a bad day it certainly seems like he might have done this..

The friendship between Crowley and Aziraphale was nicely detailed, even if they weren’t ‘real’ theological characters, they certainly seemed like they could be. And the whole of the book is a nice adaptation of the Book of Revelations with a couple of vivid imaginations thinking outside the box.

I wish there were more stars to give this book!

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