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A - Z Author Challenge > Linda's New 'n' Used Challenge 2020

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message 1: by Linda (last edited Dec 31, 2020 01:15PM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments As the saying goes - the clue is in the title :) I am going to read as many new authors as possible, with some 'used' ones thrown in.

Completed - 26/26

A - Mosquitoland - David Arnold - 6.11.20 - 2 stars

B - Secrets of a Teenage Heiress - Katy Birchall - 11.2.20 - 3 stars

C - The Northern Lights Lodge - Julie Caplin - 10.6.20 - 5 stars

D - An Almost Perfect Holiday - Lucy Diamond - 17.8.20 - 4 stars

E - High Five - Janet Evanovich - 17.3.20 - 5 stars

F - Faking Friends - Jane Fallon - 26.10.20 - 5 stars

G - When Life Gives You Lemons - Fiona Gibson - 4.8.20 - 4 stars

H - The Perfect Girlfriend - Karen Hamilton - 6.2.20 - 5 stars

I - I Have Never - Camilla Isley - 1.4.20 - 5 stars

J - The Secret Key - Lena Jones - 27.4.20 - 3 stars

K - The Other Mrs - Mary Kubica - 26.3.20 - 5 stars

L - The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena - 12.8.20 - 3 stars

M - Sleepless In Manhattan - Sarah Morgan - 11.2.20 - 3 stars

N - The Pets at Primrose Cottage - Sheila Norton - 12.3.20 - 5 stars

O - The Flatshare - Beth O'Leary - 23.7.20 - 4 stars

P - The Girl in the Corner - Amanda Prowse - 15.1.20 - 5 stars

Q - Miller's Valley - Anna Quindlen - 16.12.20 - 2 stars

R - Daisy Jones and The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid - 22.1.20 - 5 stars

S - Conditions - Greg Schroeder - 1.6.20 - 3 stars

T- Marling Hall - Angela Thirkell - 3.3.20 - 5 stars

U - Billy - Donna Joy Usher - 29.9.20 - 3 stars

V - Hot Mess - Lucy Vine - 25.5.20 - 3 stars

W - More Than a Feeling - Cate Woods - 4.5.20 - 4 stars

X - On Her Own Two Wheels -Stacy Xavier - 26.11.20 - 2 stars

Y - The Girl with the Scarlet Ribbon - Glenda Young - 18.11.20 - 4 stars

Z - The Wedding Date - Zara Stoneley - 16.10.20 - 5 stars


EXTRAS

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty - Stacy McAnulty - 21.2.2020 - 5 stars

The Dilemma by B.A. Paris - B.A. Paris - 20.4.20 - 2 stars

Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot - Mandy Baggot -15.5.20 - 4 stars

August Folly by Angela Thirkell - Angela Thirkell - 1.6.20 - 5 stars

Murder at the Museum (Agatha Oddly, #2) by Lena Jones - Lena Jones - 25.6.20 - 4 stars

You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac - Catherine Isaac - 6.7.20 - 5 stars

Who Let the Reds Out? by Justine-Lee Maynard - Justine-Lee Maynard - 16.7.20 - 4 stars

Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief (Sean Yeager Adventures, #1) by D.M. Jarrett - D.M. Jarrett - 19.8.20 - 2 stars

In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk - Lindsey Kelk - 3.9.20 - 5 stars

Cheerfulness Breaks In by Angela Thirkell - Angela Thirkell - 7.10.20 - 3 stars

Friends Like These by Sarah Alderson - Sarah Alderson - 2.12.20 - 4 stars

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot - Mandy Baggot - 31.12.20 - 5 stars


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 810 comments Good for you, Linda, a bit of variety.


message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Thanks :)


message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - The Girl in the Corner by Amanda Prowse - 5 easy stars. I loved this story about someone realising their 'perfect' life isn't quite as perfect as she thought. Did not see that end coming.


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid - another 5 easy stars. A look into a fictional 70's rock band - rivalries, relationships, ups and downs. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - what's not to love.


message 6: by Linda (last edited Feb 06, 2020 02:51AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - The Perfect Girlfriend A Novel by Karen Hamilton - 5 easy stars again. This is an excellent psychological thriller. Not everyone is going to like Juliette - but I did ;) That song - 'What I did for love' could have been written for her!


message 7: by Linda (last edited Feb 11, 2020 09:10AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Secrets of a Teenage Heiress by Katy Birchall - 3 stars. I have read the Lightning Girl series that she wrote, so I came to this with great expectations. There were partly fulfilled - it started ok, got a bit meh, ended pretty good. Would recommend.


message 8: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - Sleepless In Manhattan by Sarah Morgan - 3 stars. This was ok, but somewhat more x-rated than I care for.


message 9: by Linda (last edited Sep 04, 2020 03:29AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - EXTRA - The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty - 5 stars. Although this is not part of my challenge I just want to say it is excellent and I recommend it.


message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Marling Hall by Angela Thirkell - 5 stars. This is my seventh Thirkell. It is excellent. I love reading about how people just got on with it during the war - Mrs. Smith is hilarious.


message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - The Pets at Primrose Cottage by Sheila Norton - 5 stars. I loved this adorable story. My favourite characters were Sugar and JoJo - and the humans weren't bad either. SO recommend.


message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments High Five by Janet Evanovich - 5 sassy stars. I love, love, LOVE Stephanie Plum. Here she is in fine form as usual - ''If your hair is bad, shorten your skirt and add extra mascara.''


message 13: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments The Other Mrs by Mary Kubica - 5 creeped out stars. This is thrilling. 4 narrators - how are they related? What binds them? Can you trust them. You will NOT guess.


message 14: by Linda (last edited Apr 01, 2020 04:00AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments I Have Never (First Comes Love, #2) by Camilla Isley - 5 stars. I really enjoyed this fun story as Blair realises it's time to break her rules.


message 15: by Linda (last edited Sep 04, 2020 03:30AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments EXTRA - The Dilemma by B.A. Paris - 2 stars. Boring and depressing.


message 16: by Linda (last edited May 04, 2020 01:54PM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly, #1) by Lena Jones - 3 stars. I quite liked this though, I have to say, I was shocked to discover that 'Lena Jones' does not exist. This book was written by a team of writers, like a soap. Maybe that why I found it hard to get into, and it did drag a bit.


message 17: by Linda (last edited May 04, 2020 01:57PM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments More Than a Feeling by Cate Woods - 4 stars. I really warmed to Annie and was rooting for her and Dot. Touching and funny - I recommend it.


message 18: by Linda (last edited Sep 04, 2020 03:31AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - EXTRA - Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot - great characters, great location. Recommened.


message 19: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
That looks like a good Summer read Linda. :)


message 20: by Linda (last edited Jul 23, 2020 08:22AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - Hot Mess by Lucy Vine - 3 stars. This was ok overall but there were some things that did not sit well with me. Sleeping with a bloke on the first date is a no-no in my book and when that date is some random found on Tinder it is a double no-no. Also her dad's novel - icky to send sexy novel he is writing to his DAUGHTERS!


message 21: by Linda (last edited Sep 04, 2020 03:32AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments EXTRA - August Folly by Angela Thirkell - 5 stars. My eighth Thirkell and a complete joy. Three years before the war, high spirited young people from three families get together - high jinks ensues ;)


message 22: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Conditions by Greg Schroeder - 3 stars. I've read two other collections by this author which I have loved, but this is ok.


message 23: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments The Northern Lights Lodge (Romantic Escapes, Book 4) by Julie Caplin - 5 stars. This is fab. I don't care for snow so I am not going to Iceland any time soon but I am interested to know what it is like and it sounds fab. This story is funny and heartwarming and romantic. I recommend it.


message 24: by Linda (last edited Sep 04, 2020 03:32AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments EXTRA - Murder at the Museum (Agatha Oddly, #2) by Lena Jones 4 stars. Another extra. Although I am not sure about a group write, I do like this series.


message 25: by Linda (last edited Sep 04, 2020 03:34AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments EXTRA - You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac - 5 stars. Heartbreaking and uplifting, real emotional depth. I totally recommend it.


message 26: by Linda (last edited Sep 04, 2020 03:33AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - EXTRA - Who Let the Reds Out? by Justine-Lee Maynard - 4 stars. When I opened this book I did nor know what to expect - the cover says football/chick-lit, but the blurb suggests literary fiction. It is literary ficion. I enjoyed the emotion depth to this story as Frankie Hart finally works out who she is and what she wants after five years of a not-so-happy marriage. You won't belive Ola!


message 27: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary - 4stars. This story is a joy - happy, sad, funny, serious. You will love it. Would make a great movie.


message 28: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson - 4 stars. Love this story about a wife recovering after her husband leaves her for another woman. All about finding her feet with some good laughs along the way.


message 29: by Linda (last edited Aug 12, 2020 02:11AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena - 3 stars. Not as great as I was first expecting - a couple of the twists were a bit obvious. I didn't like the ending.


message 30: by Linda (last edited Aug 17, 2020 02:21PM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments An Almost Perfect Holiday by Lucy Diamond - 4 stars. Really needed this after the one above. 3 stressed out mums go on holiday full of hope ... things don't quite go to plan ;)


message 31: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
You're doing really well Linda, only 7 to go now. Should be achievable by the end of the year as long as you can find those tricky letters Q, X and Z!


message 32: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Kate wrote: "You're doing really well Linda, only 7 to go now. Should be achievable by the end of the year as long as you can find those tricky letters Q, X and Z!"


Thanks. Yes Q X Z will be tricky, and of course it will help if I get on with it and stop reading ''extras'' :D


message 33: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - EXTRA Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief (Sean Yeager Adventures, #1) by D.M. Jarrett - 2 stars. Considering Sean Yeager is the eponymous hero, he don't not have much of a part in this book. Also it is too fast and too furious. If you like action and not much character, then this might be for you. Not for me.


message 34: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments EXTRA - In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk - 5 stars. Lindsey Kelk is one of my favourite authors, and this one is a cracker - I hurt my ribs laughing. Here is an extract -
'I gave my head an aggressive toss to make my point and caught a passing pensioner in the eye with my ponytail.' ...
'I just had my cateracts done!' he wailed as I grabbed a handful of napkins of the bar.


message 35: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Billy by Donna Joy Usher - 3 stars. Quite good in parts, but Chanel's obsession with Billy wears a bit.


message 36: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley - 5 stars. This is FUNNY, you won't want to put it down. Sam's great, Jake is lush, Liam is, well, Liam, but Harry - you will love Harry!


message 37: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - Faking Friends by Jane Fallon - 5 stars. This is good, very, very good.
Revenge is a dish best served cold... or warm with a little help from your friends ;)
Read it and laugh.


message 38: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
Only 3 left. Do you have ideas for Q, X & Y yet?


message 39: by Linda (last edited Oct 29, 2020 02:42AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Kate wrote: "Only 3 left. Do you have ideas for Q, X & Y yet?"

Hi Kate, Yes, well some, I have a ''Q'' in mind and I have just bought a ''Y'' - silly me I forgot I had done ''Z'' and just bought another doh!
Need help with X


message 40: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Found ''X'', ''Q'' anyone?


message 41: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - Mosquitoland by David Arnold - 2 stars. Don't know what to say about this 'cept wasn't keen.


message 42: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - The Girl with the Scarlet Ribbon by Glenda Young - 4 stars. Right, historical novels are not usually my thing, but desperation for ''Y'' made me give this a go, and I am so glad that I did. I really enjoyed this, it had me from page 1 and kept me till the end. Jess is a lovely heroine and it was interesting to have a peek into life at that time up north.


message 43: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - On Her Own Two Wheels by Stacy Xavier - 2stars. It was alright. A bit simplistic.


message 44: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments EXTRA - Friends Like These by Sarah Alderson - 4 stars. I would heve given this 5 stars but I deducted 1 because of the unsatifying ending. Shame as up until then this book was ace.


message 45: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen - 2 stars. It was ok, a bit depressing. The ending was a bit better than I was expecting.


message 46: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments NEW - Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen - 2 stars. It was ok, a bit depressing. The ending was a bit better than I was expecting.


message 47: by Linda (last edited Dec 18, 2020 02:22AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments That's it, challenge successfully completed. Of the 26 authors 15 were new so I am pleased about that. It has been fun most of the time, and, as always I read things I would not have read. I will do a round up of my tops and bottoms later.


message 48: by Linda (last edited Dec 16, 2020 03:22AM) (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Here are my top of the pops and my not-so-much. Luckily there are only two that I really disliked.

TOP 10

The Northern Lights Lodge - Julie Caplin
High Five - Janet Evanovich
The Perfect Girlfriend - Karen Hamilton
I Have Never - Camilla Isley
The Other Mrs - Mary Kubica
The Pets at Primrose Cottage - Sheila Norton
Daisy Jones and The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid
Marling Hall - Angela Thirkell
The Wedding Date - Zara Stoneley
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl Stacy McAnulty

BOTTOM

Mosquitoland David Arnold
The Dilemma B.A. Paris


message 49: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
Congratulations Linda. Nicely completed before the end of the year! Thank goodness you enjoyed more than you disliked!

So what's on the cards for 2021?


message 50: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 510 comments Thanks. 2021? Right now, no idea. How about you?


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