#NGEW2019, Book Reviews, Fiction, RomCom, Tags and Challenges, Women's Fiction-Interests

A Summer to Remember #SueMoorcroft #PublicationDay

Happy Publication Day to Sue Moorcroft. Join us by the sea as we enjoy A Summer to Remember! 

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I discovered Sue Moorcroft over the holidays with her marvelous story, A Christmas Gift which really touched my heart. When I saw her newest book, A Summer to Remember, I could not wait to read it. Actually, at the time I got it, the book was simply titled  “New Book by Sue Moorcroft”  but I knew that regardless I would love it – and I did!

Clancy has had the worst of all luck – her fiancé has dumped her for his former lover which left Clancy homeless and also jobless since she, her fiancé and their best friends all worked at a start-up that they built from the ground up. Somehow, it became Clancy who was the odd man out of the equation but, because she was the financial wiz of the group, at least she walked away with resources. Her cousin, Alice, was part owner of seaside inn in need of a caretaker so Clancy packs up her things and without much thought, she heads off to Nelson’s Bar, an inlet on the sea not a place to drink, and sets up shop on a tiny piece of land where everyone knows one another, is not fond of her cousin Alice, there is no cell reception and where Alice’s ex-fiancé lives along with his brother, Adam, who is the co-owner of the inn. A lot of exes in this story but it works. Trust me, it isn’t nearly as confusing as I just made it sound. Naturally there is an on-again, off-again romance between Clancy and Adam but there is much conflict and baggage that it seems that the two of them are not to be together.

What I found most intriguing about A Summer to Remember, is the aspect that I enjoy in all of Moorcroft’s books – the value and realism of her characters. Each of them, from the main characters to the secondary ones, are very vivid and real. They are extremely flawed just as we all are. They are bad tempered, sometimes rude, some very prejudiced, all of whom are growing and changing throughout the book. There is a pair of young men in this book whose secondary storyline was so poignant and brilliantly told that, for me, they became a very integral part of the story itself. I came to care for those two lads quite a lot. When talking with Ms. Moorcroft about the book she told me a bit about the research that she did regarding these two young men and their story and what I learned made their characters even more meaningful. I would encourage you to read A Summer to Remember just for these two fellows and their story alone. Except that I loved every single person in the book, even the snippy older townspeople who were far too opinionated for me and reminded me of some of my own neighbors.

I absolutely loved A Summer to Remember. It’s a marvelous summer read, a fabulous women’s lit book and a great general fiction tale. I highly recommend it! And now, of course, I have to sit it here and anxiously wait for her next book. <sigh> You will find me in the “M” section of the bookstore.

Thank you to #Netgalley, @SueMoorcroft, and @AvonBooksUK for my copy of my new favorite book. You can find it on sale today at amazon

 

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#NGEW2019, Book Reviews, Fiction, Tags and Challenges, Women's Fiction-Interests

A Perfect Cornish Summer @PhillipaAshley

The skies are blue, the birds are singing and daffodils are blooming – finally it is spring in the Midwestern US which can only mean one thing! I’m ready for SUMMER! What better way to prepare for summer sunshine than to sail off to the Cornish coast. Well, at least in my imagination! It is A Perfect Cornish Summer thanks to Phillipa Ashley’s brilliant new cosy.

Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival

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One summer, while Sam and her friends are thinking of their small town’s financial woes and also making plans to attend a festival in a nearby town, it occurs to Sam, who has money troubles of her own, that a festival is exactly what her own town of Porthmellow needs. It’s also what Sam needs in her own life to keep her from thinking about her dismal, rather lonely life. Now it is twenty years later and the festival that Sam and her friends started is a region success and about to celebrate that twentieth anniversary! The only problem is that the nationally renown chef that they had booked has cancelled and the newly booked chef is someone from Sam’s past that she never wanted or hoped to see again. Between the feeling of dread at that prospect and the sabotaging occurring all around the village, Sam is worried that the festival may not make to year twenty-one.

I adore Cornwall and talk about it so often that my own family just assumed it was a town nearby on Lake Michigan – I honestly kid you not. If there is a book written about Cornwall, set in Cornwall, featuring someone from Cornwall, you can bet I’m going to read it. A Perfect Cornish Summer did not disappoint me in the least with its small, twisty streets, community togetherness, sly humor and, of course, unpredictable stormy coastal weather! There are multiple story lines but each are relevant and well placed; they  tie in nicely with one another and, I suspect, serve as an introduction to the key players who will be integral to subsequent books in the series. There also are multiple sub-plots which are not so much mysteries as they are mysterious subterfuge. This is a cosy read, it’s not going to be an edge-of-your-seat dark thriller, nor should it be. It’s the story of a woman, her family, her friends and her community and how they all work together to help one another succeed, despite hard feelings, past differences and even different tastes in music. Phillipa Ashley is a gifted story-teller and she has done a beautiful job of creating a tale that will envelope you in its summer warmth. Now, how quickly can I get to Cornwall from the middle of the US!? 

Thank you to #Netgalley, #PhillipaAshley and @AvonBooksUK for my advanced copy of this delight book. You will find it on sale April 25th. 

 

12 Weeks 'Til Christmas, Cozy Mysteries, Holiday-Christmas

And Then There Were Ten, #AChristmasGift @SueMoorcroft

The Countdown Continues with Ten Weeks to Christmas…

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I seriously cannot believe it is just TEN WEEKS until the big day. It’s a good thing that I celebrate the entire holiday season or I would be in a panic. Wait! I already am in a panic! No, no, not really. The fact that I’m decorating trees in secret, in my closet, so they will be ready to go the day after Halloween means nothing. Nah….  One thing that does not wait, however, is my passion for holiday reading and Sue Moorcroft has given us another outstanding Christmas book this year: A Christmas Gift!

Georgine loves Christmas. As the artistic director for a private arts school, she is in charge of the annual Christmas pageant. Regardless of anything else going on in her life, each Christmas she completely immerses herself in the organization of the holiday production. Over the past year, she has encountered financial problems as her former boyfriend left her with a mountain of debt – and the collectors that go with it. Also compounding the problem is her sister who has barged back into her life, bringing her financial woes as well. Having been raised quite wealthy in a family that eventually lost everything, Georgine is terrified of being financially destitute. Georgine also cares for her elderly father who has had a stroke. Thrown into this mixed bag of emotions is “Joe,” whom her boss has given to her as an assistant for the play. Joe feels familiar to Georgine but she is unable to place where she has known him from in her past. Who “Joe” is will turn Georgine’s world upside down along with much hilarity, angst, sadness and joy.

A Christmas Gift is exactly the type of holiday book that I love. Of course there is a bit of romance, lots of crossed signals, and ultimately a happy ending. However, Moorcroft’s style of writing also lends itself to explore deeper undercurrents that we all face. With Georgine and Joe, we see how extreme poverty can manifest itself throughout a lifetime, how fleeting wealth can be and how tenuous relationships are, whether they with the opposite sex, parent-child, or sibling relationships – they all take a lot of work to maintain. Moorcroft deftly handles each of these topics and allows the reader to look beyond the surface of the “happy holiday” stereotype.

I loved A Christmas Gift and, if you like holiday stories, I think you will enjoy it as well. Let me know if you’ve read this book or any of Moorcroft’s other books. Are you reading holiday tales yet? Share them with me – I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks to #Netgalley, @AvonBooksUK and @SueMoorcroft for my copy of this delightful tale.