Thursday, February 14, 2019

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & 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 Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz.  This is the third book in the Cutler, Sutter & Salinas series.

 

Beginning:  Fifteen years earlier . . .
She was fourteen years old and sleeping in yet another bed.  The little house on Marigold Lane looked cozy and welcoming from the street--lots of curb appeal, as the real estate agents liked to say--but she had decided that she would not be there for long.
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Page 56:  The storm had made landfall.  That was probably what had awakened her. But for some reason that didn't feel like the right explanation.
 
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My thoughts:  I'm looking forward to starting this latest book by Jayne Ann Krantz. She is a masterful suspense writer who has never disappointed me with her talent and imagination.
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From Goodreads:  A man's quest to find answers for those who are haunted by the past leads him deeper into the shadows in this electrifying novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Promise Not to Tell.

Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer's head has garnered him a reputation in some circles--and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace. 

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family's hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas's foster sons, starting with Jack.

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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 and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.  

Tuesday, February 12, 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 my current read, Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller.  

Bitter Orange 

One

They must think I don't have long left because today they allow the vicar in.  Perhaps they are right, although this day feels no different from yesterday, and I imagine tomorrow will go on much the same.  The vicar--no, not vicar, he has a different title, I forget--is older than me by a good few years, his hair is grey, and his skin is flaky and red, sore-looking.  I didn't ask for him; what faith I once had was tested and found lacking at Lyntons, and before that, my church attendance was a habit, a routine for Mother and me to arrange our week around.  I know all about routine and habit in this place.  It is what we live, and what we die, by.  


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I am intrigued by the opening paragraph because it conjures up questions and mystery for me.  Who is the narrator, the person who is reflecting back on the past?  Who is the vicar?  What is Lyntons?  It is enough to keep me reading on.




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 and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & 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 a current read, Fly Girls by Keith O'Brien.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.  It's this month's selection for one of my book clubs.

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History 

Beginning:  The Miracle of Wichita
The coal peddlers west of town, on the banks of the Arkansas River, took note of the new saleswoman from the moment she appeared outside the plate-glass window.  It was hard not to notice Louise McPhetridge.

******************** 

Page 56:  The engine quit--and that's when McPhetridge made her mistake.  Instead of landing straight ahead on whatever ground she could find, she tried to turn back for the airport.

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My thoughts:  This true story of five American women from all walks of life (and all relatively unknown except for Amelia Earhart) is a fascinating read.  O'Brien shares biographical information on each and recounts the obstacles they faced in entering the male-dominated field of aviation.  Their bravery and determination was incredible.

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From Goodreads:  The untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won.

Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit.
Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.

O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high‑school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue‑blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.

Like
Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness. 

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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 and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.    

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday

  
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa at Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses forthcoming books that bloggers are looking forward to reading as soon as they're published.. This meme is based on Waiting on Wednesday, formerly hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

There are so many exciting new books on the horizon, so without further adieu, this week's Can't Wait For book is . . .  


City of Girls 
Publication Date:  June 4, 2019
Publisher:  Riverhead Books


From Goodreads:  From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person.

Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are.

Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure),
City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.

Now ninety-five years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time, she muses. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is. Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection,
City of Girls is a love story like no other.
 
 
My thoughts:  I am a huge Elizabeth Gilbert fan, and have enjoyed nearly all of her fiction and non-fiction books.  It's been a while since I've read one of her novels, so I'm really looking forward to this book's release.




This Can't Wait Wednesday 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, February 5, 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 The Novel Art of Murder by V.M. Burns.  This book is the third installment in the Mystery Bookshop series.  I read this book for a blog tour, and the excerpt shared is from the eBook version that I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  You can learn more about the book, read my review, and enter a contest for a chance to win a copy of the book by clicking here.

The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #3) 
Chapter 1

"What the blazes do you mean I didn't get the part?"  Nana Jo's face turned beet red and she leapt up from her chair.

I had never been so happy for a slow morning crowd at the bookstore as I was at that minute.  My grandmother was about to blow a gasket and, while it might prove entertaining, I preferred keeping the drama contained to family and friends.



What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
This book--and the series so far--is an enjoyable read, with lovable characters, generous doses of humor, and a bookstore proprietor who is an aspiring author in her own right.  Rounding out the ensemble is a pair of toy poodles, Snickers and Oreo, as pictured on the cover.

To find out more, click this link.






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 and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: The Novel Art of Murder by V.M. Burns

 

Today I'm participating in the The Novel Art of Murder Blog Tour.  In this post you will find book and author information along with my review.

About the book . . .
  
  The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711858
ISBN-13: 978-1496711854
Digital ASIN: B07B7B4C8Q
 

Synopsis . . . Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is trying to keep her grandmother from spending her golden years in an orange jumpsuit . . .

The small town of North Harbor, Michigan, is just not big enough for the two of them: flamboyant phony Maria Romanov and feisty Nana Jo. The insufferable Maria claims she’s descended from Russian royalty and even had a fling with King Edward VIII back in the day. She’s not just a lousy liar, she’s a bad actress, so when she nabs the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies—a part Nana Jo plays every year in their retirement village production—Nana Jo blows a gasket and reads her the riot act in front of everyone.

Of course, when Maria is silenced with a bullet to the head, Nana Jo lands the leading role on the suspects list. Sam’s been writing her newest mystery, set in England between the wars, with her intrepid heroine Lady Daphne drawn into murder and scandal in the household of Winston Churchill. But now she has to prove that Nana Jo’s been framed. With help from her grandmother’s posse of rambunctious retirees, Sam shines a spotlight on Maria’s secrets, hoping to draw the real killer out of the shadow.


My review . . . In the latest installment of the Mystery Bookshop series, bookstore owner Samantha "Sam" Washington must clear the name of her grandmother Nana Jo, the prime suspect in the murder of Maria Romanov.  When Romanov, who recently secured the lead part in the Shady Acres Senior Follies play--the role Nana Jo has held for the last 10 years--dies from a bullet wound, the police turn their attention to Nana Jo, who is well known for her marksmanship.  After all, the feisty Nana Jo had publicly declared her displeasure at losing the starring role.

While Sam and Nana Jo's band of loyal, eccentric friends begin to investigate the crime, a second resident of the Shady Acres Retirement Village turns up dead.  Not much is known about Magnus von Braun, but his unexpected demise under suspicious circumstances raises questions about whether the two murders are related.  Are there unknown factors that tie the two victims to each other, or is more than one killer on the loose in sleepy North Harbor, Michigan?

Sam and Nana Jo's supporters are more than up to the task of discovering clues based on the research they conduct.  However, putting the pieces together to clear Nana Jo proves challenging.  Sam once again uses her writing skills as a budding mystery author to process both the clues and her thoughts, which ultimately leads to solving the murders.

In the Mystery Bookshop series, Burns has established a cozy bookstore setting and team of close-knit family members and friends.  Rounding out the cast of characters are Sam's two faithful poodles, Snickers and Oreo, who are prominently displayed on the series' book covers.  A major distinctive feature of the series is the "novel within a novel" technique, which has Sam writing cozy murder mysteries set in England between the two world wars.  It is thus that readers are actually following the developments in two murder mysteries--one in the present day and one in Edwardian times. The result is a satisfying experience for cozy mystery fans.


Giveaway . . . Enter the The Novel Art of Murder giveaway by clicking on this link.


About the author . . .
V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime.


Author links . . .
Website:     http://www.vmburns.com/
Twitter:      @vmburns


Purchase links . . .



Tour participants . . .

January 30 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 30 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
February 2 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
February 2 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – The Editing Pen – GUEST POST
February 3 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
February 4 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW
February 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
February 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 5 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 6 – Rae’s Books and Recipes – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
February 7 – Jody’s Book Reviews, Book Tours & Giveaways – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 8 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
February 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  
Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of The Novel Art of Murder 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.