Thursday, June 13, 2019

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings

16



It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring an upcoming read, Murder at Archy Manor by Sara Rosett.  The excerpts shared are from a trade paperback I borrowed from the library.
 Murder at Archly Manor (High Society Lady Detective #1) 

Beginning:  Chapter One
London, Summer 1923
I didn't intend to become a lady detective, but when one's relative is swept into a police investigation and the outcome looks rather grim well, one can't stand aside.  One must do something.


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Page 56:  Lady Pamela, who had twisted her handkerchief around her fingers, unwound it.  "What Hugh means is he doesn't participate in shallow things.  He's far too serious for anything fun."
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My thoughts:  This book has several appeal factors for me:  it's the first in a new seriesthe High Society Lady Detective seriesand it is set in a time and place that I absolutely adore.  The cover is quite striking also!
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From Goodreads:  A high society murder. A spirited lady detective. Can she out-class the killer before an innocent person takes the fall?   

London, 1923. Olive Belgrave needs a job. Despite her aristocratic upbringing, she’s penniless. Determined to support herself, she jumps at an unconventional job—looking into the background of her cousin’s fiancĂ©, Alfred. 

Alfred burst into the upper crust world of London’s high society, but his answers to questions about his past are decidedly vague. Before Olive can gather more than the basics, a murder occurs at a posh party. Suddenly, every Bright Young Person in attendance is a suspect, and Olive must race to find the culprit because a sly murderer is determined to make sure Olive’s first case is her last. 

Murder at Archly Manor is the first in the High Society Lady Detective series of charming historical cozy mysteries. If you like witty banter, glamorous settings, and delightful plot twists, you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett’s series for Anglophiles and mystery lovers alike.

Travel back to the Golden Age of detective fiction with Murder at Archly Manor




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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 
                                                      
 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon. 

Today I'm featuring Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton, which I am reading for one of my book clubs.  The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.

 Next Year in Havana

chapter one

Elisa
Havana, 1959

"How long will we be gone?" my sister Maria asks.

"Awhile," I answer.

"Two months?  Six months?  A year?  Two?" 

"Quiet."  I nudge her forward, my gaze darting around the departure area of Rancho-Boyeros Airport to see if anyone has overheard her question.






What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I'm finding this story about a family's migration from Cuba to Miami very engaging.  It unfolds over two different time periods and is told in the voice of a grandmother and granddaughter.



This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings

16



It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring an upcoming read, My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version I borrowed from the library.
 
 My Italian Bulldozer 

Beginning: I
People Do Strange Things

It was the first time that Paul had made duck a l'orange for friends since Becky left him for her personal trainer.  Her departure--after four years of living together--had been a surprise, but not as great a shock as the discovery of her new lover's identity.  Looking back on it, Paul realised that all the signs had been there, and might so easily have been spotted.

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Page 56: "Listen, dottore, in Italy we are always open to new experiences.  We are not like our dear friends the Germans--they are always so careful and so measured; we are not.  We like to live.  We like to throw caution to the winds."
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My thoughts:  The excerpts lead me to believe that the protagonist is about to embark on some totally new scenarios told from McCall Smith's humorous perspective.


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From Goodreads:  When writer Paul Stewart heads to the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his already late book, it seems like the perfect escape from stressful city life.  Upon landing, however, things quickly take a turn for the worse when he discovers his hired car is nowhere to be found. With no record of any reservation and no other cars available it looks like Paul is stuck at the airport. That is, until an enterprising stranger offers him an unexpected alternative. While there may be no cars available there is something else on offer: a bulldozer. 

With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts and so begins a series of laugh out loud adventures through the Italian countryside, following in the wake of Paul and his Italian Bulldozer. A story of unexpected circumstance and lesson in making the best of what you have, My Italian Bulldozer is a warm holiday read guaranteed to put a smile on your face.





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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

                                                      
 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon. 


Today I'm featuring Blessed be the Wicked by D.A. Bartley.  The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version purchased by a librarian friend after we heard the author speak about this first book in her new series at the Malice Domestic conference in Maryland last month.


 

One

The dead man in the closet was dressed almost entirely in white: shirt, trousers, shoes and socks, even the sash draped over one shoulder and the stiff, puffy cap on his head.  The only exception was a dark-green apron embroidered with fig leaves around his waist.  He was sitting upright in a heavy chair; his feet and knees had been bound with a thick white satin ribbon.  An identical ribbon was wrapped tightly around the trunk of his body, fixing it in place.  Both tied into meticulous bows.




What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The opening is a very detailed and curious description that brings several questions to mind:  Who is the dead man?  Why is he dressed the way he is?  Who "gift-wrapped" his body, and why?  I'll be reading on to find out.




This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

                                                      
 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon. 


Today I'm featuring a recent blog tour read, Seeing Red by Dana Dratch. The excerpt shared is from an eBook version I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

 

Chapter 1

Lightning split the sky as I dashed up the sidewalk.  Not the smartest time to be carrying a metal-framed umbrella.  Not the smartest time to be wearing my best navy-blue dressy dress and three-inch slingbacks, either.  But if I didn't want to arrive at Ian's cocktail party looking like an extra from Titanic, I needed the bumbershoot.  And a sponge.

Mother Nature was venting some serious rage.  My neighbor's elegant mixer was supposed to have been held outside, weather permitting.  But this weather was definitely not permitting.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
This is Dana Dratch's second Red Herring Mystery book.  The series features a cast of amusing characters and many laugh-out-loud moments.  It's a highly entertaining read.

You can see my full review of Seeing Red and enter a contest to win a copy of the book by clicking this link. 

My review of the first book, Confessions of a Red Herring is here.




This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.




Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Seeing Red by Dana Dratch

 

Today I'm participating in the Seeing Red Blog Tour.  In this post you'll find book and author information along with my review.  And don't forget to enter the giveaway via the link in this post.

About the book . . .
 
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716582
ISBN-13: 978-1496716583
Digital ASIN: B07H1VFL64
 


Synopsis . . .  If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss. 

Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn.

But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” And it’s not the canapĂ©s. When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion. And her assistance.

Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow: People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”—with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels.

When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner.

With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster—and some very nasty characters.
Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?


My review . . . In Seeing Red, the second book in the Red Herring mystery series, Alex has her hands full dealing with the strange events occurring at The Cotswolds Inn, the bed and breakfast run by her neighbor, Ian Sterling.  Acts of sabotage threaten the viability of the inn, mysterious visitors appear and disappear, and as if that isn’t concerning enough, a corpse or two are found, and Ian’s father Harkins, the inn’s co-owner, goes missing.  Alex is determined to get to the bottom of it all, and also identify and care for the baby she unexpectedly finds in her kitchen.

These unusual developments draw the Voldnachek clan back to Alex’s doorstep to provide assistance—whether she wants it or not.  As the story unfolds, readers become fully immersed in the larger-than-life, amusing personalities and quirks of Alex’s mother, brother Nick, and grandmother Baba. Family friends and eccentric neighbors add additional flavor to the antics.  

Will Alex unravel the puzzling activities at The Cotswolds Inn, find Ian's dad, juggle her new career and possible love interest, and keep her sanity and family intact?  One thing is for sure, readers will have an enjoyable time finding out.  Filled with high jinx and hilarity, this series is an entertaining escape into a fictional Virginia suburb.  


Giveaway . . . Enter the Seeing Red contest to win an advanced reader print copy by clicking on this link.   


About the author . . .  Dana Dratch is a personal finance writer and the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING and SEEING RED. She’s currently working on the third Alex Vlodnachek mystery adventure, RED HOT. Get updates at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.


Purchase links . . .
Amazon    B&N   Kobo   Google Play


 Blog Tours 


Tour Participants . . . 
May 27 StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
May 27Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
May 28Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
May 28Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 29Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
May 29Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 30I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 30A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 31My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 31Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 1LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
June 1MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
June 2Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 2 Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 3Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 3Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
June 4Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
June 4 The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 5 Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 5Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT




Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Seeing Red from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



 
This Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Sharing this original post on Twitter and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

                                                      
 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon. 


Today I'm featuring an upcoming read, Crossbones Yard by Kate Rhodes. The excerpt shared is from a trade paperback version I recently purchased.  


Prologue

Your mother is holding your hand too tightly.  You whimper and cling to her dress, because you know what will happen next.  She stares at you, as if she's forgotten how to blink.  There's one last glimpse of her face before she bundles you into the cupboard under the stairs.  "Don't make a sound," she hisses, "don't even breathe."  Darkness smothers you, cowering to the floor, between the broom and floor mops, a stack of wellington boots.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
Given the frightening opening, I'll read on to find out more, perhaps holding my own breath as I do.



This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.