Monday, 29 June 2020

MIRANDA'S MID-YEAR MUSINGS!

*Everyone who commented on Paula Roe's post last week will receive some swag from thewordablewriter.com. Thank you Paula!

Lockdown Reading - and Watching!


Darlings, hello from Sydney, where winter is finally here. Such snuggly weather to read.

To be honest, I thought when lockdown hit I'd read a lot more. No frantic rushing around. Stay! At! Home! was the mantra preached to us, and rightly so. So plenty of time for all the books.

Then online platforms began and I was connecting with friends and family in new and exciting ways. We bought a new TV and omigosh, Netflix entered my life. All those lovely romance movies were suddenly - right there! Cue me swooning. Suddenly I was reading and watching.


Photo credit: amazon.com

My first Netflix binge was to watch the first series from  Robyn Carr's amazing Virgin River books. Has anyone read or watched this? What a great series. I don't know where they filmed it, but it is spectacular! The setting is a remote mountain town by the river, and wow, they nailed it. Plus, you know, look who's playing the conflicted male lead: yummy New Zealander Martin Henderson. I just gobbled it up and cannot wait for Season 2!

If you haven't seen Martin in anything, and he is amazing, I also recommend Bride and Prejudice. It's based on Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, always a fan favourite, only this time Bollywood-style. Am I gushing? (Yes I think I am.)


Photo credit: amazon.com


I've really wanted to read feel-good books in lockdown, so I started reading cosy, lovely books, where it's all about growth and change and relationships and romance. I was all, yes please, throw them my way so I can hoover them up. 

One of these charmers is an outstanding new release from Josephine Moon called The Cake Maker's Wish. Isn't that the most divine cover? Single Mum Olivia and young son Darcy move from Tasmania to the Cotswolds, looking for a new start. She's pretty much given up on romance - but happily, romance hasn't given up on her! At the online book launch Josephine Moon tempted us with the book *and* a scrumptious looking cake. I dived into the book immediately. It was a complete bliss-bomb - even if I did become rather desperate for cake - and Josephine Moon's backlist is equally delightful. Go ahead and binge on The Beekeeper's Secret, or The Chocolate Promise, or one of my personal favourites, The Tea Chest. Bliss in a book.


Photo credit: amazon.com


Another great read was The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams. A bunch of very alpha guys get together to coach the ones who need it on romance - with advice gleaned from romance novels. I laughed so much at all the snappy back-chat, this was a total pick-me-up shot of romance fun - although it certainly had all the drama and all the feels. I launched straight into the second one, Undercover Bromance, which included an excellent nod to the Me-Too Movement.


Photo credit: amazon.com


Last but not least, I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of Annie West's latest stunner, Claiming His Out-Of-Bounds Bride. Wow, this is such a powerhouse romance, I was thrilled from the get-go. A fabulous take on one of my fave romance tropes, the marriage of convenience. Done with style and so much swoony emotion it was dazzling. And set in Italy, oh my. Gorgeous. Thanks, Annie! You super-star!


Photo credit: amazon.com


What's been keeping you sane during lockdown? What books, what movies, what streaming series?

Take care, my friends, stay well and healthy and able to enjoy all the life. And maybe, the odd slice of cake. 💓

Lots of love from Miranda xxx


Love to Love:
My new Netflix discoveries! My heart's just about exploded.

Love to Laugh:
At the hilarious guy talk in the Bromance books. 

Love to Learn:
Oh please, tell me more about Netflix. And your lockdown reads! 

14 comments:

  1. Lucky you being able to relax with romantic movies and books. As a full time worker and working in an essential service in the workplace my reading time hasn't increased though I am now able to go for early morning walks for my health's sake. Any spare time I have, I write.

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    1. You are amazing, Enisa, a wonderful example of a true, dedicated writer! And you *are* essential, and do a great job in your medical workplace! Thankyou. I do hope you can squeeze in the occasional book here and there, though. Reading always makes the world a joyful place. Look after yourself. xx

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  2. These all sound like great romance reads, Miranda. My current reads are all timeslips - histfic with the added enjoyment of a contemporary story. I don't have Netflix but I've been spending most nights bingeing on different series available on SBS On Demand. Love all that Scandi noir stuff!

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    1. Timeslips are such fun books to read - and give the authors oodles of wiggle room to play with the story! Love them, Marilyn. And I agree with the Scandi noir stuff. Theya re fabulous storytellers and have me glued to my comfy chair! Love SBS, they come up with a lot of shows you don't see elsewhere. Enjoy!

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  3. I've watched Virgin River and I loved it. I watched The Great on Stan which is not a romance but pretty darkly funny. On Foxtel I've been watching When Calls the Heart's latest season but I think the first few seasons are on NetFlix. A lovely western that I think you would love Miranda. As for reading, I am making my way through the latest Anne Gracie series.

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    1. Ooh, thanks Cassandra. Love your Netflix suggestion and will add it (like I need to add anything but I will!) to my List! As for Anne Gracie, you can't possibly EVER go wrong. She is such a wonderful author. If anyone's ever looking for Regency suggestions, look no further than Anne and also our own dear Cassandra Samuels!

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  4. The comments about Netflix have whetted my appetite, and SBS on demand is pretty good but I must admit I prefer reading to TV. Timeslips will probably be high on my agenda but there is a great collection of "must reads" on my bookshelves and we won't even talk about my Kindle! I love historical, especially Regency, any Anne Gracie book, our Cassie, and I have just ordered Alyssa Montgomery's 4 book set! I do like a humorous touch but have no taste for blood and guts. Aren't we lucky to have all these choices these days? Happy reading, everyone!

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    1. Helene, I have to say that reading is always my first go-to, like you! Don't think I'd be doing this column if it wasn't! We are so lucky to have all the choices. But there's something about sitting down to a wonderful book in a comfy chair with a hot coffee and simply transporting yourself to heaven via the pages. Especially in this wintry weather. Happy reading indeed.

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  5. Hi Miranda. I've loved reading what's been keeping you busy during the lockdown, and needless to say absolutely THRILLED to hear you enjoyed my 'Claiming His Out-of-Bounds Bride' so much! Yippee. I fell in love with that pair and it makes me so happy to hear you connected with them too.

    I've been very busy in lockdown, partly with writing and partly with family stuff. I've dipped into books by new authors like Ian Rankin (crime thrillers) and CJ Sansom (Tudor-set mysteries) and haven't done quite as much romance reading as usual, though I recently finished an older title by Michelle Douglas that had me smiling ('The Redemption of Rico D'Angelo') and 'Love Lettering' by Kate Clayborn which was great fun.

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    1. A writer will always have a job during strange lockdown times, Annie! I'm sure your life changed when we suddenly all had to stay home, but at least you didn't have to worry about fitting an office into your house. A great benefit. It sounds like you've done some excellent reading. Crime and mysteries - by those authors in particular - are great companions to romance. A bit of one, a bit of the other. Romances by Michelle Douglas always make me smile, she is a fabulous author. And 'Love Lettering' sounds terrific - now on my list to read. I love getting new recommendations.

      And I truly did love 'Claiming His Out-Of-Bounds Bride'. It was so lovely and romantic, and the H&H were people I wanted to see succeed together - they were so perfect together. A surprise to them and everyone around them! Awesome marriage of convenience story! Thankyou so much for stopping by, and all the best with what comes next for you.

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    2. Thank you, Miranda. I admit that marriage of convenience stories are one of my favourites. I keep coming back to them! This one was so lovely to write, maybe because I'd had the characters in mind for such a long time, and I like them so much I wanted to see them get their happy ending. As for what comes next, I've just heard that my editor has accepted my latest book - a sheikh story due out early next year. Happy days.

      It's true that the shut down hasn't affected me as much as many others, but I haven't been reading as much as I thought I would. I'm hoping to rectify that. :)

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    3. I hope you can read more, Annie, in between your writing. Congratulations on your next book!

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  6. These all sound great, Miranda. Annie West is always a great read and an auto buy for me, but I'll have to check out the other titles. Of course, like Enisa, WHEN I get to read them will be another thing but keep your fabulous recommendations coming.

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    1. It's such an indulgence to read, isn't it Alyssa? But read we all do, and love every second. Hope you get time in the foreseeable future to snatch some time away from your writing and enjoy a little reading. Of course, not too long, because we all want to read your next book!

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