#BookReviews- Variety is the Spice of Life @sgc58, The Lemon Sisters @JillShalvis, True Colors by Kristin Hannah #Reading


Photo by Jenna Hamra on Pexels.com

We’ve been enjoying a nice dry spell on the Pacific West Coast, but the temperatures are chilly overnight making a warm fire, cozy blanket, and a four-legged heating pad extra comforting.

I’m still not writing, but I have been reading some excellent books which I hope to share with you over the next few weeks starting with today’s eclectic mix of poetry,

Click the covers to learn more.

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Variety is the Spice of Life is a collection of poetry and short stories about relationships with others, including pets and animals inhabiting the world around us. 

Sally Cronin brings her signature heartwarming style to a new collection of poetry and short stories exploring human emotion and nature in all its vagaries.

Many of the poems feature animals, their grace and beauty brought to life with a few well-chosen words, but my favorite is the dedication to her mother:

Face in the mirror

face in the mirror
a smile of recognition
but twinge of remorse
at the passing of the years
each line a story
or reminder of laughter
how closely they match
another’s facial mapping
I’ve morphed into my mother.

Cronin, Sally. Variety is the Spice of Life: A blend of poetry and prose (p. 20). Moyhill Publishing. Kindle Edition.

The short stories come with messages of love and support and familial bonds. The Green Hill is sweet with an ending that tugs on the heartstrings, while The Neighborhood Watch with a marmalade cat who exacts revenge on his injured friends left me with a satisfied grin 😁

This is a highly recommended collection of stories and poems to enrich your reading experience.

Brooke Lemon has always led the life she wanted, wild adventures—and mistakes—included, something her perfect sister, Mindy, never understood. So when Mindy shows up on Brooke’s doorstep in the throes of a break-down with her three little kids in tow, Brooke’s shocked.

Brooke Lemon left her family home in Wildstone to follow an exciting career in photography, only to lose her nerve after a horrific helicopter crash resulting in a long and painful recovery. Now she marks time as a producer, too afraid to film her show’s adventure-seekers for the Travel Network. Then Brooke’s older sister arrives on her doorstep, kids in tow, looking as though she’s on the edge of a breakdown begging Brooke to watch her children for a few days, and an entirely new extreme adventure begins!

Mindy loves her husband and children more than anything, but her life seems to be spinning out of control and desperation sends her running to her estranged sister’s doorstep. She’s always been a bit jealous of Brooke’s carefree outlook on life and revels in the freedom for a while until loneliness sends her home, but the problems have only grown in her absence.

If there was one thing you could say about the Lemon sisters, it was that they were night and day. Oil and water. Apples and oranges. But here was the thing—night and day melded together twice every twenty-four hours, oil and water could be forced to work together with a good shake, and apples and oranges were still both fruit.

Shalvis, Jill. The Lemon Sisters: 3 (The Wildstone Series) (p. 19). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

I’ve been a fan of Jill Shalvis’s books for many years now. She creates strong, independent females and empathetic, sexy heroes for readers to fall in love with.

This story veers more into women’s fiction with an emotional journey between the sisters with moments of humor to lighten the tough subject matter.

A must-read!

True Colors is New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s most provocative, compelling, and heart-wrenching story yet. With the luminous writing and unforgettable characters that are her trademarks, she tells the story of three sisters whose once-solid world is broken apart by jealousy, betrayal, and the kind of passion that rarely comes along.

Before I even noticed this was a Kristin Hannah novel the cover drew me in- isn’t it gorgeous?

The Grey sisters were young when their mother passed away, leaving them in the care of a gruff and unforgiving father on the family’s ancestral ranch. Winona, the oldest, is determined to keep their family close and prove herself to her distant dad. Aurora works to keep the peace between her siblings, while the beautiful Vivi Ann soaks up her father’s approval as the only true horsewoman of the three girls.

The competition for love and acceptance between the girls only grows with time, ripping their family apart at the seams. An unrequited romance, a failed marriage, and a murder charge all add up to a page-turning epic tale that I couldn’t put down!

Hubby took me on a coffee date to the beach on the weekend and we were joined by half the bird world, lol.

66 Comments Add yours

  1. Mae Clair says:

    All three of these sound excellent, Jacquie. I have Sally’s book on my reading radar and I’m intrigued by the other two.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Oh—and I loved that photo at the beach with all the ducks and geese. That must have been something to see!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Mae and hope you enjoy if you have the chance to read..hugs

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It was like they were having a party, Mae, lol. These are all great choices. I’m on the new Pendergast now, have you read it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mae Clair says:

        LOL!
        I’ve got one book ahead of the Pendergast book, Jacquie. I can’t wait to start it. I’ve been looking forward to this one!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It starts a little slow, but then… whew!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Mae Clair says:

            I’m so excited!!!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Gwen M. Plano says:

    Great reviews, Jacquie. I loved Sally’s Variety Is the Spice of Life. She’s a beautiful poet and storyteller. I’ll check out Jill’s and Kristin’s books. Thank you. BTW, your photo is incredible. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks very much Gwen for adding your books for Variety.. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you! I’m struck by how all those different species of birds can mingle together without fighting but we cannot.

      Like

  3. Jan Sikes says:

    I agree about the Kristin Hannah book cover, Jacquie. Just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on all of these. I thoroughly enjoyed Sally’s book, and I’m off to check out the other two! Don’t worry. Writing will come. Just keep breathing. Hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks again Jan for your boost for the collection… very honoured to be included by Jacquie with two outstanding books. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks so much for the kind words, Jan. {{hugs}}

      Like

  4. Thanks for sharing your great reviews, Jacquie! I’ve got Sally’s book on my Wishlist. I believe I have Jill’s on my Kindle…I’ll have to check. What a fun photo! I love ducks! xo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for having my collection on your wishlist Jill and I hope you have time to read at some point.. I know we all have groaning TBRs…hugs

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I love their chuckling quacks, they make me laugh 🙂

      Like

  5. Kymber Hawke says:

    I want to read all of these! Thank you so much for writing about them, Jacquie!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You can’t go wrong with any of these, Kymber 🙂

      Like

  6. Congratulations to Sally, Jill, and Kristin on these fabulous reviews. I have Sally’s book waiting on my ereader for me and will have to check out the other reads. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jacquie. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks very much Harmony and hope you enjoy when you get to read the collection ♥

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure I will! 💖🤗💖

        Liked by 2 people

    2. You’ll definitely enjoy Sally’s work, Harmony. The poetry is wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much Jacquie for such a delightful and thoughtful review of Variety is the Spice of Life… very touched by your thoughts. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for giving me the warm fuzzies from your beautiful stories!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is comments like this one Jacquie that keep me motivated to write more ♥

        Liked by 1 person

  8. both of these look awesome with great covers Jacquie! ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the cover that sells a book for me. I can’t resist the pretties, lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know me too. good coffee table charmers!1 Ha❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  9. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Great reviews, Jacquie 🙂 I read and loved Variety and the other two sound like good reads too. That is a beautiful cover, I agree. Looks like a fun day at the beach and so many birds enjoying this nice break in the weather. Xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for adding your boost for Variety Denise.. much appreciated. x

      Liked by 1 person

    2. We have a Polar Vortex (just the name makes me shiver) on the way next week, so I’m enjoying the outdoors while I can!

      Like

      1. D.L. Finn, Author says:

        I am hearing a big chill here too…brrr

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Enjoy your fireplace and stay warm!

          Like

          1. D.L. Finn, Author says:

            You too!

            Like

  10. Nice selection of books, Jacquie. I have Sally’s in my TBR pile of books. I would have been attracted to Kristin Hannah’s book too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Honoured to be on your TBR Mary and hope you enjoy when you have the opportunity to read.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know I will, Sally. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You’ll enjoy Sally’s collection, Mary. True Colors is one of those books that stay with you for a long while- well worth a try!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    You convinced me to read Kristin Hannah’s book! I loved The Nightingale but didn’t like Four Winds (too depressing) so maybe I’ll give her a new chance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ll love this one, Sophie, I promise 🙂

      Like

  12. Darlene says:

    Great reviews as always. I too loved Sally’s book. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She writes from the heart and her books reflect her kindness.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks again Darlene for your lovely review for Variety..♥

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Teri Polen says:

    Love that cover on Sally’s book, and I’ve seen some wonderful reviews for it. Looks like a nice coffee date, Jacquie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Teri… so pleased you enjoyed the cover… hugsx

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I love the titles Sally comes up with for her books, so fitting.
      It was a nice date- good to get out of the house for a change, lol

      Liked by 1 person

  15. petespringerauthor says:

    Thanks for the review, Jacquie. I already have Sally’s book waiting for me. Funny shot with all of the birds. It looks like a fun spot to watch birds and people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Honoured to be on your list to read Pete.. thanks very much.. xx

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s fantastic, Pete, on the edge of Royal Roads University next to the Pacific. I love it here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Jacquie, these are all fabulous reviews. I will be reading Sally’s book next week and her poems and stories are always fantastic. The other book also sound good. Any reason why you are reading books about sisters – smile?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe it will give me the inspiration to work on my own masterpiece, lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Frame of mind is important for writing, Jacquie, and you’ve had a lot of change lately. I found myself unable to work on my novel last year due to all the health issues in my family and resultant stress. I decided to channel my energy into poetry and children’s books which are not such a bit time commitment and that worked for me. It keeps the writing and creativity going without the huge burden of writing a novel.

        Like

    2. Thanks so much Robbie and hope you enjoy…♥

      Like

  17. balroop2013 says:

    I’ve read Sally’s amazing book. I’ve read some books by Hannah and she is a wonderful writer. Right now I am getting influenced by The Lemon Sisters… what a name for a book. Thank you for sharing Jacquie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s what I thought when reading the title- it got my curiosity going, lol

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you again Balroop for your boost for my collection…♥

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Cats make such comfy blankets, Jacquie. I’m a little envious. I’m a big fan on Sally’s writing and this book was lovely. Thanks for the intro to Jill and Kristin and their reads. The both sound good, and the covers (especially that dog) are great. I’m glad you got outside to enjoy half of the world’s population of water fowl. Lol. And I hope you start writing again soon. I’m eager for your next book. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Harley (my calico) is getting more affectionate as she grows older. All three are excellent reads- highly recommended.
      And yes, I hope I get into the groove again soon, thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks again Diana for your wonderful support ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Lemon Sisters or True Colors, but I LOVED Sally’s Variety is the Spice of Life. Also loved the pic of that sweet kitty;)
    YOU take special care, Ms. Jacquie;)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks very much Sandra for your recommendation for Variety… it means a great deal ♥

      Liked by 1 person

    2. These are all great, Sandra. True Colors is a modern western- you’d enjoy it 🙂

      Like

  20. Great reviews, Jacquie. You are so right about Sally Cronin’s “signature heartwarming style”. I love that in her books.

    And the ducks–does it get any better for a child?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for adding your boost Jacqui ‘chuffed’ xx

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The girls were so cute. They threw seed to the ducks, then squealed with laughter as the birds swarmed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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