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Baseball metaphors

Stealing Home Book Cover Stealing Home
(A Sweet Magnolias Novel, Book 1)
Sherryl Woods
Fiction
HarperCollins UK
November 1, 2011
400

Coming to Netflix May 2020 Maddie Townsend might live in a town called Serenity, but there's been nothing calm or peaceful about her life since her marriage broke up.

This stay-at-home mum has no job skills, an out-of-control sixteen-year-old son, a talkative fourteen-year-old who's suddenly gone silent, a six-year-old daughter whose heart is broken, an ex-husband whose younger girlfriend is expecting their baby and two best friends who think she's somehow qualified to help them open a fitness spa for women.

But if Maddie is a tad on edge with all that on her plate, it's nothing compared to the chaos that ensues when she discovers that her son's baseball coach has feelings for her and the whole town disapproves. Maddie's faced a lot of challenges lately with strength and resolve, but Cal Maddox may turn out to be more than she can handle. Then again, he could just be the one man in all of South Carolina who can help her find serenity.

This is a metaphor title, for those who recognise it, for baseball. The very special feeling that ball players get when they advances to a base which they are not entitled to, and the official scorer rules that the advance should be credited to the action of the runner – them. … Successful base stealers are not only fast but have good base running instincts and timing.

There is a film called Stealing Home and a famous book about the Los Angeles Dodgers too. So a metaphor that would be familiar to US readers – but not UK I’m afraid.

However, the story gradually explains the very special feeling that baseball runners get when they ‘steal’ this run, and how important it is for them to play.

What is also interesting is how this story explores what it means to be a woman many years older than her lover/boyfriend and society’s reaction to this  combination – yes discrimination again as it is common among men and not commented on – other than sometimes salaciously by other men.

And adolescents and their hormones and their actions and reactions to their mother with a new life.

I thought the story was told empathetically and enjoyably. Well written in its genre.

nb re-issued due to Netflix Series – but don’t think it is quite the same as the book – it isn’t!

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Live and die by Rules

Daisy Cooper's Rules for Living Book Cover Daisy Cooper's Rules for Living
Tamsin Keily
Death, women writers
Orion
April 2, 2020
320

Rule One: Anything Can Happen Daisy Cooper's life has been pretty uneventful - until the moment it suddenly ends. Unfortunately, her death is (literally) an accident: Daisy wasn't meant to die for another fifty years. One terrible, embarrassing clerical error is behind it - and Death himself is to blame. As Daisy battles against her new reality, she starts to learn that letting go isn't just a challenge faced by those left behind. And while she learns how to survive this impossible new reality, friendship, hope and even love begin to come alive in the most unexpected ways. For Daisy Cooper, death was the perfect time to start making sense of life... A fresh, funny and joyful story about our own humanity at the most testing times.

Rules for living and dying too. This was an unusual book about life after death and being Grim Reapers 
I did have one issue with the storyline though. Death says he has been around for millennia. But, he also remembers our Middle Ages as when he was a child. And the question then arises, who was death before Death?
I liked the Rules but Daisy should never have gone back even as her part ghost. As she came to realise, it is just too hard for those left behind.
Overall, a well written book but please address the plot issues.

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Fluffy Coffee

Clouds in My Coffee Book Cover Clouds in My Coffee
Julie Mulhern
Fiction
Henery Press
May 10, 2016
256

"Mulhern's lively, witty sequel to The Deep End finds Kansas City, Mo., socialite Ellison Russell reluctantly attending a high school football game...There she stumbles on a dying teenage boy covered in blood, who asks that she tell his girlfriend that he loves her. Ellison determines to learn the girlfriend's identity and deliver the message, plus find the boy's killer...If that's not enough for one day, an unknown man turns up shot to death in her garden. Cozy fans will eagerly await Ellison's further adventures." - Publishers Weekly on Guaranteed to BleedWhen Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors' party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident. But when her house is fire-bombed, she's shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts. Someone wants her dead. But why? And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again? Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee...

A gentle cosy but lots of fun murder – attempted and accidental and bungled – mystery set amongst tyhe gentility of the Southern gentry. Country Club members all.

The calm surface of life in 1974 hiding a seething roiling boil of jealousy, infidelity, kinks, blackmail and much more with hidden emotions and sniping and snarking. Especially amongst the women. Who had little else to do as with housekeepers, cooks, nannies and cleaners, their time was spent on nails, hair and being bitchy at the club. Sly writing style shows this set off to their worst….

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Magic Show Secrets

Witch Dust: A Paranormal Comedy Thriller
Witch Series Book 1
Marilyn Messik
Mystery & Thrillers | Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
12 Jan 2020

For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill! But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.

From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without. Ophelia, it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, the newly discovered nearest and dearest with their peculiar tendencies and failing hotel business, the happier she’s going to b.

There are just a few things to sort first including a possessed chef; a hanged housemaid; a fly-on-the-wall documentary and a doppelgänger. Things slide swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One minute she’s saving the family business the next, battling to save their lives. Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed.

A fun and different read. And they gave away just how the knives into the assistant’s outline is really done, even when he is blindfolded…
And what a way to run a hotel… and what a family. I hadn’t realised 8 was a coven but maybe with the baby they were really 9? And such a sweet baby and so used to being thrown from person to person.
I got the evil person wrong. I should of thought about the timeline more. More fool me. And the whole head twisting thing? Really nasty and then the wasps…
Not going to say all of what happens but look out for some paranormal nasties. And yes, of course Sandra or Serenissima is not going to stay away from the hotel. So we can expect more of the same in the future, which I shall look out for. I liked her – Sandra that is, and thought she coped extremely well under the circumstances. But them after coping with her parents all her life…

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Drink up and Splash!

Coffee Girl Book Cover Coffee Girl
Sophie Sinclair
Humor | Romance
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 13 Nov 2019

Mackenzie “Kiki” Forbes finds herself in a pickle.

Either become her snarky sister’s nanny, or move halfway across the country to work as assistant-to-the-stylist of a country music star. Neither job sounds ideal, although bedazzling cowboy boots may be a hell of a lot more interesting than ironing her brother-in-law’s underwear. But life on the road as the errand coffee girl for a sold-out tour leaves much to be desired. That is, until Kiki meets her sinfully sexy new boss’s boss…

Tatum Reed’s career is flying high. He’s up for country music’s Entertainer of the Year and he’s headed out on a nationwide sold-out tour. So why does he feel like it’s all about to implode? His superstar ex-girlfriend seems determined to make his life difficult, his opening act is a handful, and the new girl on his tour, the feisty brunette, is quickly getting under his skin. In this crazy world of showbusiness Tatum needs to learn who he can trust, but that doesn’t come easily, because the one person who holds all the cards may just throw them down and walk away.

Life in the public eye is never all it’s cracked up to be, which has both Kiki and Tatum questioning what they’re really doing with their careers, and their hearts.

Do you ever have one of those days? When nothing ever goes quite right? And you spill coffee over your interview clothes? [or worse – think red on white trousers ].

Well our intrepid heroine has a bad day – or two in this book and earns the nickname Coffee Girl due to her spillage.

I have to say though, I’ve never heard of such complicated orders as some people give for coffee – ‘large skinny Latte, with extra foam, light swirl of caramel, hint of shaken salt, 2.5 pumps of vanilla, splash of extra hot water, 1.5 packets of splenda’.

You have to wonder how many different combinations of all these items they had been through to be so specific.

And I love Oreo and do understand why he is a house cat. Maine Coons are often kept indoors as they are often stolen, but I’d rather have one who could go outside. I looked at the rescue sites for a Maine Coon and a Norwegian Forest cat as we may get another cat soon, and they both say must be kept indoors. So despite my love of these breeds, I shan’t be getting one.Overall this was a sweet story with the usual ups and downs of the genre and some reality about just how uncomfortable it can be touring with a rock band. That said, the lyrics never make a lot of sense to me and country music is always heart break and sad songs so not my scene at all.

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