Friday Finds

Stay Home with a Good Book: Contemporary Fiction Reads ~ Friday Finds plus Book Blogger Hop

Today is Friday and so it’s time for my Friday Finds post! Once again, I’ve found some great book reviews around the blogosphere. Today it’s all about contemporary fiction.

The effects of the Coronavirus COVID19 are still being felt around globe. I hope, like me, that reading is still keeping you sane. Finding an escape in a good story has been what’s kept me going these past couple of months.

I like being part of the weekly  Book Blogger Hop meme, hosted by Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addict, so I’m doing it again today: you can read my answer to this week’s question at the bottom of this post.

To my lovely new followers:

Let me just take a moment to explain what my Friday Finds posts are all about. I like to read. My favourite genre is paranormal romance. Plus I’ve also been known to curl up with the odd urban fantasy or paranormal cosy mystery too. 😉 However it’s a big wide literary world out there. I decided back in January 2019 that you, my dear followers, might be interested in recommendations for other genres. And I want to help you find your next read. Ta!Da! My weekly Friday Finds post was born. Click HERE to find out more.

So, here are some recommendation from my fellow book bloggers. All are contemporary fiction books they’ve enjoyed reading and rated highly. (In no particular order.)

Marguerite by Marina Kemp from The Lit Bitch

Anne Mendez usually reviews books in the historical fiction genre, including all the sub-genres, e.g. mystery, thriller, romance, etc. and although this is a genre I rarely read myself, I always enjoy her thoughts. However, she doesn’t restrict herself solely to historical stories but reads contemporary fiction too. This book is a novel set in the here and now but it certainly captured Anne’s attention she rated it 4.5 stars out of 5, saying: “I was very impressed with the writing style of this book, especially considering this was the author’s debut novel! This novel had a lot to unpack and enjoy. It was a different type of read for me but one that I found myself enjoying page by page and it did make me think and reflect on the characters so I would say that makes it a great read! This one is going to be one you don’t want to miss!

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My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell from Audio Killed The Bookmark

This great book blog is run by Berit and Vicci, two women from different parts of the world who were brought together by Goodreads and a love of all things books. I love the uncluttered style of their blog and both of them write reviews that are well written but are filled with their individual personalities. Vicci reviewed this dark, contemporary fiction novel, saying: “This book will certainly make you uncomfortable, and that is good, because it also shows us that the world through a teenagers eyes are sometimes not as cut and dry as we think, sometimes they don’t even know what they are getting themselves into, sometimes they think that it *is* love. I would highly recommend this book, especially in audio form. Brilliantly narrated by Grace Gummer, she told a fantastic tale and I will certainly be looking out for other books she has narrated.

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The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni from KayCKay Book Reviews

Kimberly is an avid reader, but this amazing book blogger also listens to audiobooks and confesses to opening up the Kindle app to read books just about any moment she has! Kindred spirit, right?! 😉 I love the way she sets out her pros and cons for each book she tells us about. Kimberly was so obviously blown away by this story that there wasn’t a single “con” listed, saying: “Every once in a while a book comes along that ticks all the boxes for me and I know it will be memorable. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is that book! it. This is my first Dugoni book and if his others are anything at all like this one I’m going to be reading them all!

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Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr from Blue Mood Cafe

Jonetta is a wonderful blogger, loves reading and is fairly eclectic in her tastes (unlike me) being open to most genres. She’s open to exploring new authors too and appreciates those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. I love the way she writes her reviews and always take the time to read what she has to say. Jonetta reviewed this contemporary fiction audiobook as part of a blog tour and thoroughly enjoyed it, saying: “I loved this story and finished it in one day. Thérèse Plummer was outstanding in her narration, elevating these characters off the pages into real life people. It’s a story everyone should read because it could easily be your life. It far surpassed my high expectations, despite it being written by one of my most favorite and trusted authors.

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My final contemporary fiction recommendation this week is from a lovely blogger who I’ve been following for ages. However she hasn’t featured in a Friday Finds post since last summer!

Emily, Gone by Bette Lee Crosby from A Wondrous Bookshelf

This fellow bookworm likes reading a vast array of book genres, but most of the books and audiobooks she reviews on her blog are fiction, women’s fiction, cozy mystery, thriller, fantasy and YA. She gave this contemporary fiction 5 stars, saying: “I loved this book. As much as I hated Vicki, I could also understand her pain and where she was coming from as a woman and a mother. Things are never as simple as they seem and this book will have you question your preconceived notions on this topic. This book is a page-turner that had me crying. The theme of this book is every parent’s worst nightmare, and Crosby did a fantastic job of telling such a compelling story with love and compassion. A heart-wrenching, beautiful story about forgiveness and ultimately love.

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So, that’s my picks of contemporary fiction recommendations. I hope you find a moment or two to click at least one of these reviews yourself. Who knows you, may find your next favourite read.

Now on to the Book Blogger Hop (BBH) meme.

BBH was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 but ended on 31 December 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addict relaunched the hop on 15 February 2013.

Each week the hop starts on a Friday and ends the following Thursday. There’s a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs and learn about new books. But also to befriend other bloggers and receive new followers to your own blog. Easy!

So this week’s question is:

What platform do you use for your blog?

(submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

I originally started out on Blogger back in 2014. However I got frustrated with the restrictions and was tempted away to in 2017. It was all their widgets, customisation options and formatting as well as the easy social community that did it. My blog has grown over the last year and I wanted to be able to have more features on my blog. only allows plugins and javascript on their business plans. Therefore, when I take part in book tours I can’t feature the Rafflecopter widget because it runs on javascript. 😢 Money is tight (especially at the moment) and this blog doesn’t generate any income so the cost would come out of my own pocket. Therefore, last month I started looking at alternatives.

On 30th April I decided to go down the self-hosting route and began looking at the alternatives. Finally I found an affordable deal and Flora’s Musings is now a blog hosted through ChemiCloud. I’m planning on writing about my experiences next month once I’ve got my head around everything. 😉

I’m interested to know whether any of you self-host, and if you do, who you use and at what price? I look forward to reading your comments. 💜

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post.

I hope you have a great weekend, stay safe & healthy and manage to read (or listen to) a great book.

Happy Reading!


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By Flora

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

20 replies on “Stay Home with a Good Book: Contemporary Fiction Reads ~ Friday Finds plus Book Blogger Hop”

What a party-pooper! But seriously, it’s an ongoing financial commitment plus as a self-hosted site, you don’t show up on WordPress Reader, so it’s up to you to tempt people to your site through self-promotion. I need to learn about SEO and social media marketing next.

Hi Flora, thanks for stopping by 😀 and congratulation on your self hosting plan! It is awesome once you understand a little bit of it. But yes I think the customization in is better that on other platforms but that’s only my opinion with what I tried. And I do understand about money, I don’t have any income from my website so it comes out of my pocket, too.

Stay safe, too!
Take care.

I’m enjoying the learning at the moment, Laura, and will probably continue to tweak the website for months to come. Learning about SEO is next on the agenda.

Thanks, Louise It does take a lot of time and effort but I love it (at the moment )

A coworker friend of mine borrowed my ARC of My Dark Vanessa just before we went into lockdown, so I have to wait until we are back to normal before I get to read it.

I hope your choice to switch to self hosting is going well. I look forward to finding out what your experience has been.

Thanks Suzanne I really like the look of your site and I am enjoying the freedom that being self-hosted gives me.

I have used Blogger for over 10 years and am happy with it, but then, I’m not very tech savvy. At one time I might have wished Blogger could offer me more, but it works well for what I want to use it for nowadays. I do pay a small fee for my domain name, but I have never tried self-hosting. For me, it isn’t worth the money I would have to pay. Perhaps if I was a more serious blogger, it would be worth considering. I wish you luck it though! I do think it’s a good investment for some–just not for me.

Have a great week!

Great list! I haven’t read any of them but they sound interesting!
My blog has always been on Blogger. I tried jumping to WP a few years ago after Google decided my blog was spam. A headache and a half later it just wasn’t worth it for me. As tec savvy as I like to think I am, I am not a coder and everything having to do with code makes me feel lost and anxious. Good for you for taking the next big step! I hope things went well ♡

Thanks Mikky The coding part is daunting but I haven’t had to do much – plugins are amazing life savers!

Great recommendations! Loved reading about them.

As for the last question, I guess I am glad that I went to self-host on WP from the start of my blog if I read this. Good luck to that person and congrats on their blog on growing so big. 🙂

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