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Granite Springs #7

The Life She Creates

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Can Granite Springs provide healing and a new beginning?

Peta Forrest has arrived in the country town of Granite Springs determined to help her granddaughter cope with her mother’s brutal murder and create a new life for them both.

Frank Beattie, owner of The Bean Sprout Café, has finally accepted that his ex has moved on, and so should he. He finds himself drawn to the town’s new arrival – a woman whose vulnerability calls out to him.

While Frank piques Peta’s interest, her courage and energy are channelled into a dilemma she hadn’t anticipated – fighting for the right to care for her granddaughter.

Tempted to lean on Frank for support, she’s not convinced he’s over his ex and is wary of becoming involved.

Can Peta create the new life she’s seeking, and will Frank find the happiness he deserves?.

If you enjoy heartwarming second chance tales of love in later life in a rural setting, you’ll love this book.

274 pages, Kindle Edition

Published January 19, 2021

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About the author

Maggie Christensen

36 books129 followers
After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her frequent visits to family in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them.
From her native Glasgow, Scotland, Maggie was lured by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’ to Australia,where she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!
She continues her love of books as a volunteer with her local library where she selects and delivers books to the housebound.
A member of Queensland Writer’s Centre, RWA, ALLi, and a local critique group, Maggie enjoys meeting her readers at book signings and library talks. In 2014 she self-published Band of Gold and The Sand Dollar, Book One in the Oregon Coast Series, in 2015, The Dreamcatcher, Book Two in the Oregon Coast Series and Broken Threads, and in 2016, Madeline House, book Three in the Oregon Coast Series

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Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for Sharon.
1,044 reviews196 followers
September 4, 2021
The drive from Sydney to Granite Springs was a long and tiring one for Peta Forrest and her granddaughter Lily. Petra wanted to do the trip all in one go, so she didn’t have to upset Lily as she had been through enough already. Petra’s daughter, Lily’s mother, Joy was brutally murdered and Lily was petrified. So when Petra's cousin, Ann, asks them to stay with her in Granite Springs, Petra agrees because she hopes it will be a new beginning for Lily.

Petra is unsure and worried, if she made the right decision by going to Granite Springs after all they are used to the city life. But her concerns soon fade as she gets to know the locals of the small town and both her and Lily begin to make friends and start to feel more settled.

Frank Beattie runs The Bean Sprout Café a café that has been in the family for many years. When Petra and Lily visit the cafe, Frank is attracted by Petra and thinks that he would like to know her better. Petra appreciates Frank's company and thinks she would like to rely on him for more support, but maybe something tells her that's not a good idea. Will their friendship blossom into something more?

The Life She Creates is the seventh book of the Granite Springs series from Australian author Maggie Christensen. This series has been such a joy to read and I really don’t want it to come to an end, but sadly all good things must come to an end and I know I only have a few more books to read to complete the series. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, including this book and have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who is looking for their next book to read.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,220 reviews2,726 followers
January 12, 2021
Peta Forrest and her eight-year-old granddaughter Lily had arrived in Granite Springs after the long drive from Sydney. Peta hadn’t wanted to stop for fear of upsetting Lily more, so was exhausted. Lily’s mother, Peta’s daughter Joy, had been brutally murdered and Lily was terrified – with Peta’s cousin Ann issuing the invitation, Peta jumped at the chance. Peta hoped Lily would settle down where nothing was familiar and perhaps make some friends when she started school at the Granite Springs Primary School.

The Bean Sprout Café had been in Frank Beattie’s family for many years. His father had run it, then Frank and Marie had taken it over. Now that they were amicably separated, they continued to work together in the café with Frank living in the flat above. When Peta and Lily first ventured into the café, Frank was struck by Peta’s fragile demeanor. When Lily made friends with twins at school, she seemed happier – but things were going on in the background with Peta having to fight for continued custody of Lily. Life was in turmoil for Peta and Frank became a shoulder to cry on; someone to talk to when things went wrong. Could Peta get through the struggles she was facing without what she dreaded happening? And would she and Frank know happiness?

The Life She Creates is the 7th in the Granite Springs series by Aussie author Maggie Christensen and again I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Granite Springs stories are all about older people and how happiness doesn’t have to be done and dusted once we’re old and wrinkled 😊 I’m really loving the series and am looking forward to #8 after reading Peta and Frank’s story. Highly recommended.

With thanks to the author for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
914 reviews
January 20, 2022
**Kindle AVAILABLE NOW FOR 99 cents at Amazon! **

THE LIFE SHE CREATES is the seventh book in THE GRANITE SPRINGS series set in a fictional country town in New South Wales, Australia. The cover of the book is gorgeous.
I enjoyed the previous novels in this series. So, I was pleased to revisit Granite Springs and get "caught up" with what was taking place in the lives of some familiar characters like Fran and Owen, Marie, Danny Slater, Jo and Colin Ford and eight-year-old twins Lottie and Libby.
Maggie Christensen is 'the Queen of mature age fiction' and her characters are so realistic and well developed that they literally 'step off the page'. I liked Peta Forrest and her young granddaughter Lily, teenagers Lucy and Jess, Frank the owner of The Bean Sprout Cafe, Frank's handsome Italian cousin Al, and the ginger cat Archie.
This very moving story touched themes of families, grief and loss, guilt, trust, love and second chances.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fast paced well-written story and highly recommend it to all who like heartwarming stories of second chances at love. I am looking forward to reading the next Granite Springs novel.
Special thanks to author Maggie Christensen for a digital ARC of
The Life She Creates. It was my pleasure to read this book and write an unbiased review.
5 stars ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️

Posted on Goodreads, Savvy Reader, Twitter
Profile Image for Craig / Phil.
1,408 reviews64 followers
February 19, 2021
Thank you Maggie for sending us a copy to read and review.
Welcome back to Granite Springs where love is in the air and drama is just around the corner.
Peta Forrest arrives in the small town with her granddaughter Lily, hoping it will be a safe haven after fleeing the city from her daughter’s brutal murder.
Frank Beattie, co owner of the local cafe has accepted his life will be solo from now on but when Peta walks in one day it sparks his interest.
But with Peta distracted with her current situation and Frank still thinking about his former flame, can the two overcome obstacles and reach out for each other and find the second chance love they both deserve ?
Greetings from the next book in the Granite Springs series where we meet new characters as well as revisit the current town folk.
Familiar faces, a small community vibe, heartwarming stories and reuniting with old friends, it’s all here in the latest addition of Maggie’s touching and enlightening tales.
Family complications, second chance romance, country town spirit and healing from the past are just some of the issues that are realistically portrayed.
I look forward to the next instalment.
It’s never too late to reacquaint with love even when the world tells you you’re old and wrinkled.
Profile Image for Anne Rightler.
1,728 reviews13 followers
January 11, 2021
In The Life She Creates, author Maggie Christensen brings her readers back to Granite Springs where they can be reunited with a number of characters from previous books. Granite Springs is a community that can wrap itself around its townspeople like a warm cloak. It is a community where Peta and her granddaughter, Lily, can hide away and find relief from the tragic death of Lily's mother and the continuing surrounding circumstances. And in that community, Peta finds not only relief but she finds herself falling in love. I like how the author brings romance to her older characters, giving them hope and a second chance at love. Christensen has a magical way of telling heart-tugging stories about families with realistic and relatable struggles. And The Life She Creates is one of those stories that readers who enjoy feel-good small-town romances will not want to miss.
I received a complimentary copy of the book and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Janine.
611 reviews31 followers
January 19, 2021
Another great instalment in the Granite Springs series by Australian author Maggie Christensen. This time we meet Peta who has relocated there with her grand daughter Lily after a tragic incident involving Lily’s parents.

Frank who owns the popular Beansprout cafe has just come out of a long term relationship with Marie and is feeling like a lost soul. Peta and Lily finish up moving into the flat on top of the cafe while Peta sorts herself out - so much to do, find a school for Lily, meet people and start up an interior design business, would there be time to find romance herself? Of course there is the other matter of custody of Lily to navigate as well.

So nice to read a fast paced story and reunite with some of the other characters from the previous novels. Such a nice story, Maggie certainly knows how to keep you turning the pages!
Profile Image for Helen.
2,308 reviews12 followers
January 29, 2021
Another wonderful trip to Granite Springs I do love catching up with everyone and this is Frank’s story, Frank is such a great guy and deserved to find his forever love and HEA and he finds that in newcomer to town Peta Forrest, Peta has arrived with her eight year old granddaughter Lily after tragedy and discovers that Granite Springs is the place, along with Frank that will help her heal.

Peta has arrived to stay with her cousin Ann in Granite Springs, she needs to get her granddaughter Lily away from Sydney and all that is going on after her mother was murdered, and Peta too is grieving for her daughter. But will this place help them, she is used to city life. It doesn’t take Peta long to feel like she is being hugged in this small town and meeting the locals is helping her so much and there is Frank Beattie the owner of the café and she is drawn to him and his caring ways but love is not what she is here for, she has a lot on her plate at the moment but it is easy to lean on Frank he is so supportive.

Frank is still working hard in the Bean Sprout Café and getting on with his life now that Marie has found her own life, but when newcomer Peta and her granddaughter arrives in town he feels that she is vulnerable and keeping something to herself he is drawn to her and it is not long before he is spending a lot of time with Peta and their lives are joining together in many ways. But does Peta feel the same way that he does?

This is a beautiful heart-warming and emotional story, Peta and Lily had been through a terrible time and Peta shows such strength and courage and then Frank, he truly is a great hero, the support and caring attention that he shows makes him easy to fall in love with. Granite Springs is the place to heal and find love, another fabulous story in this series, this is a book and series that I highly recommend I do love seeing older heroes and heroines find the love that they deserve. Thank you MS Christensen for another keeper.

My thanks to the author for my copy to read and review.
818 reviews
January 11, 2021
Heart-warming but packs a punch!

I have loved each book in this mature series of second chance love. In The Life She Creates, Frank, the owner of the diner finally gets his story and I couldn't be happier for him. He's a man who loves hard and wants so much to have a family with whom he can share his heart and his home. Now that his ex has moved on, he's finally ready as well.

New to Granite Springs, Peta has left the big city of Sydney to help her granddaughter Lili get away from all the painful reminders of her mother's brutal death and begin a new life. Oh my gosh, this is just so compelling!

Maggie C is so talented at uncovering people's vulnerabilities and writing them with such sensitivity and wisdom. Her characters from previous books always accept and envelop the new ones with such warmth and understanding. Who wouldn't want to live in Granite Springs?

It's another wonderful book with a beautiful cover and title. I absolutely loved it!!!
Profile Image for Wendy Brown.
2 reviews
January 11, 2021
Well, as a first time Advance Copy Reader for Maggie, I decided to do something which I have never done before & that is to try to read a story in one sitting. I am normally somewhat of a speedreader so thought I would get through this latest release in no time. However, I soon became engrossed in this story line & found myself reading every word & this continued until the very last fullstop, which was quite a number of hours later.
Maggie writes so simply & yet you cannot help but be drawn into the story. You become part of the community of Granite Springs & the characters are people whom you have known forever, seemingly. She has a knack of rekindling old friendships as in this story with Frank,who had a cameo in an earlier story but who has now come into his own as he tries to navigate his feelings for Peta & her little Granddaughter, Lily, as they try to settle into a new life after fleeing from horrible grief & the memories that go hand in hand with that. You will find yourself trying to place other characters like Owen & Fran as Maggie so expertly includes them in this storyline.
I am not going to give the storyline away anymore but suffice to say that even if you have not read any others in the Granite Springs Series, read this one, read "The Life She Creates"& you will then be wanting to get your hands on the previous books to catch up on what has happened thus far. You will not be disappointed as this is another wonderful read written by Maggie C who just seems to do mature age fiction so very well.
Profile Image for Mommysmoose.
299 reviews2 followers
January 19, 2021
I always love going back to Granite Springs but, this time was especially special. Peta and her granddaughter need a fresh start after a brutal murder. They head off to Granite Springs and let the magic healing powers of the town help. Finding new friends and new love while taking care of her granddaughter is more than Peta thought she would find. This is a beautiful story of fresh beginnings and new love. I absolutely adored this book. It was the best in the series so far. I wasn't disappointed.
194 reviews1 follower
January 6, 2021
This is another lovely story about second chances and life in a small town/village. Neither Peta or Frank are looking for love but apparently love is searching for them. A combo of real life action with some answers provided. I have been reading this series and really enjoyed visiting with characters I've come to know and see what is happening in their lives too. It's fun to see them again and how they embrace new people in their lives. The story involves children, teenagers and adults and their interactions. This is a very nice addition to the series.
January 3, 2021
Maggie Christensen’s books are always heart warming real life type stories. I loved this book where Petra leaves city life to move to Granite Springs with her granddaughter after Lily’s mother is brutally murdered by her father, Petra’s son in law. Petra overcomes huge problems to finally create a new life with Lily and Frank who has been so supportive, and discovers that love can make her life complete. A compelling story that will be difficult to put down
Profile Image for Lena West.
Author 16 books3 followers
December 20, 2020
It was such a pleasure to meet all my friends from Granite Springs once again in this book, THE LIFE SHE CREATES, the 7th in Maggie Christensen's Granite Springs series.
The grief and fear experienced by Peta and her granddaughter Lily are handled with exquisite sensitivity and empathy, yet still they tear at the reader's heart. Which makes the joy so much greater when they finally achieve their happy new life with Frank. (No spoiler, as this is romance, so of course it ends well. Also, this much is revealed in the blurb.)
Although Maggie's stories are centred around mature protagonists, the stories themselves are a treat for readers of all ages; but I must admit, it is a pleasure to identify with heroines who've lived a full life and acquired the wisdom which can only come through experience.
I highly recommend THE LIFE SHE CREATES for any reader who likes their romance allied with life as it really is, with characters who have the strength and resilience to overcome the worst life throws at us.
I was lucky enough to receive an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the author.
Profile Image for Anne.
1,862 reviews
July 11, 2021
I’d thought about maybe skipping one of the books in this lovely series, just so that I could keep up with the pace – the author really does produce books rather faster than I can read them, and I always have the next treat waiting. But I really, really wanted to catch up with Frank’s story – he entirely won my heart when I read The Life She Imagines, standing aside but being so loving and supportive as his former partner Marie found her own happy ending. I so wanted him to find a happy ending of his own – in fact, he really seems like my sort of man, and if I ever found myself in Granite Springs I’d certainly be visiting the Bean Sprout Café, sampling the coffee and one of those lovely cakes Marie still bakes, just to see if there might be a spark between us.

But this book is also very much Peta’s story – she finds herself in Granite Springs, fleeing from Sydney, looking for a refuge and fresh start for herself and her eight year old granddaughter Lily, her daughter having met a violent death at the hands of Lily’s father. They’re both very much damaged by the whole experience and the changes it’s meant to their lives – Lily has an enduring fear of anyone, especially men, who she doesn’t know well, while Peta has had to abandon her career as a successful interior designer, wracked with guilt that there she wasn’t able to see the tragic events approaching.

Frank is drawn to them both, and is able to offer them their safe place because of the recent changes in his own life, while providing the kind of gentle support they both need. They’re enveloped by the warm hug that the community of Granite Springs is always so wonderful at providing, and it’s a joy to see young Lily making new friends (Jo’s twin granddaughters) and slowly grow to trust “Uncle Frank”. But there are more clouds on the horizon, and Peta never expected to have a real fight on her hands to retain the care of her granddaughter – but there’s plenty of help at hand as things become increasingly difficult.

Meanwhile, Frank is wrestling a bit with his own issues – particularly watching Marie moving on to be happy in her new life, while his own is very much on hold. Young Lucy is causing some real concerns with the company she’s keeping – and he has the additional complication of a visiting Italian cousin, forced upon him by the obligations of family, and all while Frank is making a few changes in his own life. He’s increasingly attracted to Peta – but wary of moving too fast when aware of her fragility and the problems she’s grappling with.

There is – of course – both a romance and a happy ending, but at times this book does have slightly darker edges than the other books in the series, and that was something I rather liked. But all the other elements are present that have made me so love these books – the strong sense of place and community, the second chance romance, the warmth of friendship and support, and that continuity and comfort provided by the recurring strongly drawn characters, all of an age and with experiences it’s so very easy to identify with. And I really must stress that every single one of these books has a clear beginning, middle and end – although I now think of the cast of characters as friends, there’s absolutely no obstacle to reading and enjoying any one of the series as a standalone.

When Peta and Lily first move to Granite Springs, they stay first with cousin Ann – it’s an extraordinary act of kindness, but she really isn’t the easiest of women, distinctly lacking in warmth and softness. I’m delighted that the next in the series, The Life She Regrets, will be her story – I’m particularly intrigued by her, and really looking forward to it. I love this series – and I know there would be so many others who’d love it too.
122 reviews
December 24, 2020
You will love this mature romance! Meeting Peta and Lily is amazing, the way Maggie writes makes you feel like a part of Granite Springs and you will share the sorrow and joys of Peta and Frank’s story.
3,010 reviews22 followers
January 14, 2021
💞Love and security found in Granite Springs, Australia😊

I've read every book in this Granite Springs series. Author Maggie Christensen has established a community of mature men and women finding love later in life, but she also injects the lively enthusiasm of youth in the children and grandchildren that play key roles in each story set in this growing town in rural New South Wales.

Fifty-something widow Peta shows up in Granite Springs with her granddaughter Lily looking for a new, safe life together after Joy, her daughter, dies a violent death at the hands of Lily's father. Both grandmother and granddaughter are still reeling from Joy's death and somewhat lost, having abandoned their lives in Sydney. Peta's interrupted career and Lily's fear of strangers, particularly men, are just two elements of many complicating their move.

But the supportive community in Granite Springs gather them in and help them move on. There's a lovely cafe owner named Frank who is feeling a bit lonely himself and he goes above and beyond to befriend Peta as a mutual attraction slowly builds and young Lily warms to "Uncle Frank."

Although Frank, Peta and Lily are the central characters, there's a whole community of characters whose own joys and dramas play into the story.

Sweet, senior romance and lovely family values make this a warm, worthwhile read. It's fine as a standalone with no cliffhanger but I recommend reading the whole series.
421 reviews22 followers
January 12, 2021
Peta Forrest arrives in Granite Springs with her grandaughter Lily after losing her daughter in a horrific crime. She needs to escape Sydney and finds a refuge with her cousin Ann who lives in the rural town in New South Wales

Maggie Christensen writes warm stories about mature women and it is not long before the women in Granite Springs enfold Peta in their lives and she begins to relax and share her story. When the opportunity arises for her to start her own business in interior design she thinks it is time to move to a place of her own with Lily . The flat above the cafe becomes vacant when Frank moves back to his family home as his former partner Marie is now living with her new partner Drew. Frank has found it difficult to accept that Marie has found new love but he finds himself drawn to Peta and her lovely grandaughter .
I enjoyed catching up with the folk of Granite Springs again , I really feel part of their community and loved the way Peta was able to find a safe haven and begin a life after such tragic circumstances .This is the seventh book in the series and after living in Granite Springs for 6 months Peta and Lily have created a new life for themselves
Anyone who enjoys a family story in a rural area will find this new book by Maggie Christensen a heartwarming tale and a wonderful relaxing read. Thoroughly recommend this compelling read.
159 reviews
February 3, 2021
Thank you to the author, Maggie Christensen, for an ARC of The Life She Creates. I loved the latest installment of members of the community of Granite Springs in Australia. The Life She Creates is the story of Peta Forrester who, after the tragic death of her daughter, takes her granddaughter to her cousin's home in Granite Springs from Sydney. Peta hopes to escape the tragic memories and create a new life for herself and her granddaughter. She doesn't expect to find a new man and love along the way as she becomes accustomed to living in a smaller city. Maggie Christensen incorporates characters from the previous Granite Spring novels, but the book can be read as a stand alone. But having read most of the other novels, it was so nice to have the characters show up in the latest installment. I enjoy the more mature characters and some of the different challenges that they face. I also enjoy that the book is set in Australia. I love some of the different ways that things are said.
58 reviews
January 25, 2021
A Caring Story

Let's daughter Joy is killed hunger husband leaving Pets to care crochet 7 year old granddaughter. Let's remembers what it was like married to Joy's father, fortunately, he never hurt Joy, and was killed in a fight when she was a teenager. Pets receives a letter from a cousin she hadn't seen in years, inviting here to bring her granddaughter for a visit. Peta bring s Lily to Granite Springs, affidavits a smaller town than Sydney and feels it would be a good place to stay. Peta meets Frank, the owner of a cafe called The Bean Sprout. They become friends and fall in love.

56 reviews1 follower
January 19, 2021
The Life She Creates mixes sad and happy times for a Granddaughter and her Grandmother. How can something like murder happen in what appears to have been a normal family? The characters are people you'd know from down the street, and the blessings show themselves when a new love enters their lives. A lovely read, just waiting to enter your heart and mind, with plenty of soul..
This ARC reader is happy to leave a resounding thumbs up on Granite Springs, and its residents.
Maggie Christensen has once again given us characters to fill our hearts.
Profile Image for Janet Graham.
2,207 reviews3 followers
January 21, 2021
Granite Springs Provides Healing for a Few More Troubled Souls
This is another episode of women's fiction in the Granite Springs series. This series does not need to be read in order. The series shares the same locale and characters. In this episode, a young grandmother is looking to hide from notoriety with her young granddaughter. She meets all of the friends and comforts that she didn't know she needed for both her granddaughter and she to heal. This is a wonderful series that sits and mellows in your heart for a while. As always, I can't wait for the next episode.
Profile Image for Trish.
124 reviews1 follower
March 17, 2021
I really enjoy this series and it's a treat to catch up on the gals from earlier books. I liked Peta's character but IMO Frank tended to get a little overbearing at times. I'm looking forward to Ann's story coming up soon.
10.4k reviews124 followers
January 16, 2021
A story of murder and second chance love. Peta drives to pickup her granddaughter, who’s mother has been murdered. Heartwarming as always. Don’t miss out.
Profile Image for Sharon.
1,035 reviews2 followers
February 13, 2021
A good book. Even though I was given a copy of this book by the author, it in no way influenced my opinion and this is my honest review.
August 31, 2021
The life she creates

Another great story by Maggie Christensen. If you're looking for love after 50+ , this series is a definite read.
14 reviews
December 14, 2022
New beginnings

I enjoyed this book ,Maggie Christensen is a wonderful storyteller.Great to read about new beginnings later in life for a change.
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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