Category: reasons I’m not writing

Sundays are for Writing #59

This week, I managed to get in all but one planned writing session, and a handful of book reviews. There’s been a lot going on with my family this week, and I’ve been a bit distracted with that.

Book Review: The Little Bookshop on the Seine, by Rebecca Raisin

the little bookshop
Image belongs to harlequin/HQN.

Title:  The Little Bookshop on the Seine
AuthorRebecca Raisin
Genre:  Women’s fiction
Rating:  5 out of 5

Sarah Smith loves her little bookstore in tiny Ashford, Connecticut. She swears her books talk to her, and she’s happy with her life, her tight-knit group of friends—and their pastries—and her boyfriend, globe-trotting journalist Ridge. Except he’s gone so much, and Sarah is a little bit bored. So, when her Parisian friend Sophie offers a six-month bookshop exchange, Sarah finds herself flying to Paris to take care of Once Upon a Time, a famous, and popular, bookstore on the Seine.

But Sarah’s dreams of quiet time spent reading, forays to explore Paris, and getting to see Ridge as he travels the world fade quickly once she arrives in Paris. The staff at the bookshop are suspicious and uncooperative. The customers are rude. There’s barely time to breathe, much less read. And instead of spending time with Ridge, their relationship is reduced to occasional quick phone calls. But Sarah has had enough. Christmas is coming and she is determined to get things sorted out, no matter what.

I loved this book! I didn’t realize until I finished it that Rebecca Raisin also wrote Rosie’s Traveling Tea Shop, which was also a lovely read…but it all makes sense now. The Little Bookshop on the Seine made me want to visit Paris, which has never been on my Places to Go list, but I’d pack right up for a chance to work in Once Upon a Time, and Sarah, with her love of books and reading contrasting with her desire to experience life is so me that I related to every page. I highly recommend this!

Rebecca Raisin loves books. The Little Bookshop on the Seine is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/HQN in exchange for an honest review.)

What I Read in 2019

My reading goal for 2019 was officially 175 books. Privately, I was hoping to read 200 books. I actually read 225 books!  Tracking my reading the past few years—digitally and in a reading journal—has been great.

My last book finished in 2019—and the decade—was Gone with the Wind, which is my favorite book ever! I’ve read it probably at least 20 times, and I still get made every time, cry, and want to slap Scarlett.

January: 17 books.

February: 14 books.

March: 18 books.

April: 18 books.

May: 17 books.

June: 20 books.

July: 20 books.

August: 24 books.

September: 21 books.

October:  21 books.

November:  20 books.

December:  15 books.

 

 

What I Read in December (2019)

I feel like I should say:  the last book I finished this year—and therefore this decade—was my all-time favorite book, Gone with the Wind.

Books Read in December:  15

Books Read for the Year: 225/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

I changed it up a bit this month.

Take the Day Off, by Robert Morris (spiritual). This has so much truth in it!

Higher Power has a Name, by James Cavanaugh (spiritual). This was quite the interesting read, Christianity from a Millennial point-of-view.

Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell (classic). This is my all-time favorite book, and I used to read it every December, but it’s been a couple of years. Scarlett is such a not self-aware person that it’s mind-boggling. And Rhett, well, he’s Rhett. I still love this book, and I still cry every single time…and I’ve probably read it 20 times at least. And Ashley? No, thank you.

For Review:

Cast in Wisdom, by Michelle Sagara (review forthcoming). I LOVE this series. Enough said.

trace of evil

Trace of Evil, by Alice Blanchard. Why on earth did no adults think it even the tiniest bit odd that every single teenager was in a coven? Seriously? I never figured out who the killer was, either.

the weight of a soul

The Weight of a Soul by Elizabeth Tammi. I really love Vikings and Norse mythology, so I thought I’d love this, but the MC was so unlikable that it seriously detracted from my enjoyment of the setting.

all that's bright and gone

All That’s Bright and Gone, by Eliza Nellums. I’ve never read an murder investigation by a six-year-old, so this was an interesting read.

the dating charade

The Dating Charade, by Melissa Ferguson. This was a sweet, fun romance about two people who are hiding a big secret from each other:  the sudden arrival of three children in their life.

starborn

Starborn, by Katie MacAlister. The second book in the Born Prophecy series. while I enjoyed the snark, this felt a bit rushed to me.

husband material

Husband Material, by Emily Belden. I enjoyed this surprisingly-lighthearted tale of a young widow—who practically no one knows was even married—and how she deals when the ashes of her dead husband show up at her door.

shamus dust

Shamus Dust, by Janet Roger. I prefer my detective noir stories in movie form, but this was a solid, atmospheric read.

smoke screen

Smoke Screen, by Terri Blackstock. Fourteen years ago, Nate and Brenna were teenagers in love when his father was convicted of killing her father. Now she’s fighting a nasty custody battle and he’s recovering from burns when questions arise from the murder so many years ago. They must work together to uncover the truth. A solid, enjoyable read.

the heart of the rebellion

The Heart of the Rebellion, by Sian Ann Bessey. Thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction set during the Welsh rebellion against English rule. And the cover is gorgeous!

good girls lie

Good Girls Lie, by J.T. Ellison.  I’m still not sure who the bad guy was in this book. Seriously. Was it the one girl…or the other girl?

just don't mention it

Just Don’t Mention It, by Estelle Maskame.  This is the first book in the Did I Mention I Love You trilogy…told from Tyler’s POV, which was an interesting switch.

Sundays are for Writing #51

Well…writing didn’t go quite so well this week. I only got in two writing sessions. No book reviews written (because I haven’t finished reading anything this week.). But…I DID finish one of the timelines in my King Arthur story, so there’s that.

To be fair…writing got pushed to the side in order to facilitate me finishing up a big personal goal that I’ve put off for basically eight or nine months. But the really time-consuming part is behind me, and I should finish it this week, so yay!

 

What I Read in November (2019)

Books Read in November: 22

Books Read for the Year: 210/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Discerning the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer (spiritual). Loved this!

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, (classic). Can we talk about how much I disliked EVERY SINGLE character? Seriously. I read this 20+ years ago and had forgotten just about all of it. Wishing it had remained that way…

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness (TBR). Honestly…I thought this sucked. It just wasn’t to my taste at all.

On the Shoulders of Hobbits, by Louis Markos (nonfiction). This was a really fascinating read about faith and fiction.

The Pearl Thief, by Elizabeth E. Wein. (cultural). The first I’ve read by this author, and I enjoyed it.

For Review:

we met in december

We Met in December, by Rosie Curtis. This was such a fun read! I enjoyed discovering London and all Jess’s adventures as she falls for her charming flatmate.

the family upstairs

The Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell. This was a creepy read, and one almost unbelievable to me. If everyone sees the signs their life is becoming a cult, why not take action, before people die?

the bake shop

The Bake Shop, by Amy Clipston. I thoroughly enjoyed this Amish romance about Christiana, who opens a bake shop in the Amish marketplace, next to the cranky Jeff, who just can’t seem to get his words to come out right.

9781335008480.indd

Day Zero, by Kelly deVos. Jinx’s dad is a doomsday prepper, so she’s spent years training for the end of the world. When it happens, though, Jinx is stuck trying to take care of her little brother, her opinionated stepsister, her stepbrother…pretty much everyone, as they struggle to find her dad, accused of causing the destruction. But the truth is far harsher than the rumors.

navigating the stars

Navigating the Stars, by Maria V. Snyder. Sci-fi, YA, romance…Terra Cotta Warriors are found on other planets, and Lyra’s parents are the experts studying them. How cool is that premise? I couldn’t put this one down!

tracking game

Tracking Game, by Margaret Mizushima. I wasn’t really a fan of this K-9 murder mystery. The writing wasn’t solid enough, and the MC was…I don’t know. I just couldn’t connect with her.

chasing the shadows

Chasing the Shadows, by Maria V. Snyder. Loved this second book in the Sentinels of the Galaxy series even more than the first!

mercy road

Mercy Road, by Ann Howard Creel. An excellent historical fiction about Arlene, who joins an all-women team on the front lines of World War I as an ambulance driver.

the confession club

The Confession Club, by Elizabeth Berg. When a group of friends who meet weekly for dinner start confessing secrets in their get-togethers, they aren’t expecting the depths of each other they’ll explore. One of them is in love with a troubled homeless man. Another is hiding the truth from her husband. Will The Confession Club help them deal with their secrets? I thoroughly enjoyed this read!

this really happened

This Really Happened, by Annmarie McQueen. This is told in alternating timelines: Erin’s day-to-day life when she comes to university, where she meets her group of friends and falls in love with one of them, and blog posts she writes in the future, after a tragic accident.

A Silken Thread

A Silken Thread, by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale sent in Atlanta a few years after the Civil War. The Atlanta Exposition is the setting, and I found it fascinating.

a christmas haven

A Christmas Haven, by Cindy Woodsmall. A sweet Amish romance about Ivy, who wants to leave her faith to start her party-planning business, and Arlan, who’d do anything to keep his sister safe.

the chosen one

The Chosen One, by Walt Gragg. I cannot recommend this military fiction. The POV was too distant, and the (very) few female characters were ridiculous caricatures.

safe harbour

Safe Harbour, by Christina Kilbourne. Harbour has been living in a a tent outside Toronto for months, waiting for her dad to arrive with their sailboat. But winter is approaching and her dad still isn’t here, and Harbour will have to find a way to survive the bitter cold.

lake season

Lake Season, by Denise Hunter (review forthcoming). When Molly’s parts died in a tragic accident, she, her brother, and her sister decided to fulfill their dream of turning their childhood home into an inn. Then Molly finds an unsent letter from 30 years before, and decides to find who wrote it—and deliver it if she can.

synapse

Synapse, by Steven James (review forthcoming). This thriller about a minister and her AI robot seeking to stop a terrorist attack was riveting from the very first page!

southern harm

Southern Harm, by Caroline Fardig (review forthcoming). Another of Fardig’s charming Southern tales has Quinn and her sister investigating a 30-year-old murder that just might hit closer to home than they suspect.

Scared Little Rabbits, by A.V. Geiger (review forthcoming). This ended ip being a total guilty-pleasure read!

Just Because:

Call Down the Hawk, by Maggie Stiefvater. A spin-off series to The Raven Boys? I’m in! Loved this read. A bit…quirky, but the wry humor had me snorting with laughter. Some beautiful sentences in there, too.