Tuesday, September 18, 2018

First Chapter, First Paragraph Special Edition: Book Blast and Giveaway: The Found Child by Jo Crow

The Found Child by Jo Crow

One mother’s life can change in the blink of an eye—and there’s no going back.

Elaine’s worst fears become a reality when her beloved son Jakob is diagnosed with cancer. She needs to find a bone marrow donor, and time is running out. While awaiting test results from herself and her husband Nathan, she approaches his business partner, Roger—her ex-lover—to see if he could be a possible match. Instead, an even greater shock awaits: Jakob is not her biological son. For years, she has been raising someone else’s child.

The news threatens to send Elaine back to the pills that almost destroyed her life once before, pushing her already fragile mental state to the breaking point. As the family faces one crisis, a ghost from her past emerges to jeopardize everything she’s built. But is the threat real, or is it all in her mind? Elaine needs to stay strong for her son, but as her whole reality continues to unravel, she can’t trust anyone—not even herself.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Relay Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 372
ISBN-10: 1726446328
ISBN-13: 978-1726446327
Purchase Links: Amazon Goodreads
 

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Telling parents that the search for their missing infant had gone cold was a job that no one wanted. And honestly, Detective Aaronson had tried to pass it off to someone else—to his partner, Miller, and then to a uniform. Ultimately, though, the chief had put his boot down and pushed it back on Aaronson. He was the point man. He and Miller had worked the case together for a month before the leads dried up, but it had been Aaronson who had sat with the parents, talked to them on the phone, and kept them updated.

He’d been the one to give them hope, so it followed that he should be the one to take it away… right?

They had agreed to meet him at the station. That seemed to be the best choice. No one wanted to get this kind of news in their own home—it would put a stain on the place that would never wash out. No, it was more professional to have the talk here in one of the small conference rooms. No decorations, no distractions, nothing to make the moment seem too casual. Only gray brick, white linoleum and a wooden table and chairs that were plain and utilitarian. Unemotional.

Now he sat across from them, steeling himself and trying to work up some moisture in his mouth. There was water, but they hadn’t poured a glass so he wasn’t about to. Both of them had dark circles under their bloodshot eyes, and a waxy pallor to their skin. They hadn’t slept in a month, he figured. He’d have put money on it. Hell, he could barely sleep when his teenager stayed out late with her friends on a weekend. And their child had been gone for more than a month. As a parent, he understood part of their pain. Just part of it. That’s what made this so damn difficult.

“We’re not closing the case,” he said, his tone as flat as he could manage. “But as of now, the leads—”

“You’re not looking anymore?” the mother asked. Fury filled her eyes, and loss. One of those was for him.

“It’s only been a month,” the father said. “You can’t stop now. Please, our son is out there somewhere—we know it.”

“I can feel him,” she said. “You have to believe me, I can feel him here.” She clutched at her chest, at the threadbare, peach-colored sweater she wore.

You have to keep it short, the chief had said. Keep it direct and then refer them to the counselor. That’s your job.

Aaronson wondered if the chief had ever done this before. He imagined he’d had, but to make it seem so simple… Of course, there were regulations. He couldn’t be the counselor and the detective, and there were good reasons for that. “We will keep the case open,” he told them. “If any new leads come in, we’ll follow up on them.”

He meant it, too. But the truth that he knew, and that these two knew even if they didn’t want to believe it, was that after seventy-two hours, most of these cases were never solved. Every day after that windows closed, the likelihood of finding a child like theirs dropped exponentially until it plummeted to a fraction of a percent which itself really only represented the handful of miracle cases that had been resolved sometimes decades after a disappearance.

“Please don’t do this,” the father begged. He took his wife’s hand, and they leaned into one another. “One more month. There was that woman—”

“At the moment, Andrea Williams has been cleared as a suspect,” Aaronson said. That poor woman’s life had been all but destroyed already. “We’ve been over her life with a fine-toothed comb. If new evidence emerges, we’ll look into it again, but I’m telling you that she’s not who we want.”

“So, what do we do now?” the mother asked. “What do we do now that you’ve abandoned our boy? Abandoned us?”

Aaronson was so close to breaking. He stood from the table. “I swear to you both,” he said, the words bitter on his tongue, “that we will pursue any and every lead that comes across my desk. We’re not abandoning anyone. Alright?” And while it may have been technically true, it sure felt like a lie.

Nothing but contempt came from them, and he didn’t blame them at all. And he hated himself for what he had to say next. “There’s a counselor here. Doctor Amari. She’s a grief counselor, and it’s free to see her. I can send her in, but I have to leave you now. I’m sorry. Really, I am.”

They turned their faces from him.

As he left, he closed the door gently even though he wanted to slam it hard enough to shatter the glass. He wasn’t even sure who to be angry with. Himself, mostly, he guessed, or the whole damn department. And Andrea-fucking-Williams, who had wasted their time from the beginning by lying to protect herself instead of telling them the truth about her record so that they could have moved on.

He took only two steps before the mother wailed loudly behind him. The entire department went quiet. That sound was one they all knew. It was the sound of a woman who had lost the last shred of hope she’d had. The shred that he’d taken away from her.

That was the sound of a mother whose child had died. And, at this point, Aaronson had nothing to suggest it wasn’t true.

He’d failed them.

***

Excerpt from The Found Child by Jo Crow. Copyright © 2018 by Jo Crow. Reproduced with permission from Jo Crow. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Jo Crow

Jo Crow gave ten years of her life to the corporate world of finance, rising to be one of the youngest VPs around. She carved writing time into her commute to the city, but never shared her stories, assuming they were too dark for any publishing house. But when a nosy publishing exec read the initial pages of her latest story over her shoulder, his albeit unsolicited advice made her think twice.

A month later, she took the leap, quit her job, and sat down for weeks with pen to paper. The words for her first manuscript just flew from her. Now she spends her days reading and writing, dreaming up new ideas for domestic noir fans, and drawing from her own experiences in the cut-throat commercial sector.

Not one to look back, Jo is all in, and can’t wait for her next book to begin.

Catch Up With Jo Crow On: Goodreads & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!  

ENTER TO WIN!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jo Crow. There will be 5 winners of for this tour. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon GC; there will be 3 winners of one (1) A MOTHER'S LIE eBook; and there will be 1 winner of one (1) A MOTHER'S LIE by Jo Crow audiobook. The giveaway begins on September 18, 2018 and runs through September 25, 2018. Void where prohibited.
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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings on Fridays

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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 Act of Murder by Mary Angela.  The excerpts shared are from the trade paperback version I borrowed from the library.

An Act of Murder (Professor Prather Mystery #1)



Beginning:   Chapter One
It was fall at the university, and the campus teemed with lifebooksellers stocking tightly bound textbooks, professors copying last-minute syllabi, and freshmen hustling into the dorms with cheaply purchased furniture.
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Page 56: What he would be doing, I didn't know.  I felt as if everything I did know about him was either inconsistent or incomplete.

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My thoughts:  I'm always interested in a new (or new-to-me) cozy mystery series, and this one has the added personally desirable element of being set on a college campus.  And in this case, the opening sentence is timely and relevant, describing the scene unfolding at college campuses everywhere as the new academic year gets underway.
 
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From Goodreads:   In the sleepy college town of Copper Bluff, South Dakota, English professor Emmeline Prather is enjoying the start of a new semester. But when one of her students dies working on the fall musical, it disrupts life on the small, quiet campus. Although the police rule the death accidental, Prof. Prather has good reason to suspect foul play.

Unmasking the murderer proves much more challenging than finding dangling participles, so Em recruits fellow English professor Lenny Jenkins for assistance. Together, they comb the campus and vicinity for clues, risking their reputations and possibly their jobs. After an intruder breaks into Em’s house, Lenny advises caution—and perhaps a change of address. Em, on the other hand, is all the more determined to forge ahead, convinced they’re on the brink of an important breakthrough.

Book 1 in a new cozy mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Professor Prather.




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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings on Fridays 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, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Thursday Thoughts ~ Books from the Backlog

Happy Thursday . . .  aka, Happy Almost Friday!!

It's time for Books from the Backlog, hosted by Carole's Random Life in Books.  It's a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks . . . or on your eReader.



 


This week's neglected book is . . . 

The Leavers 
Release Date:  May 2, 2017
Publisher:   Algonquin Books


From Goodreads:  One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China,
The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

This powerful debut is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.




Why I selected it:  I am drawn to stories about identity and the relationship between mother and child.  That's why this debut novel originally caught my eye--and landed on my bookshelf--and I hope to read it soon.


This Thursday Thoughts ~ Books from the Backlog 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, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday

  
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa at Wishful Endings which spotlights and discusses forthcoming books that bloggers are looking forward to reading. Generally it's about books that haven't been released yet. 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 . . . 


Alaskan Holiday 
Release Date:  October 2, 2018
Publisher:  Ballantine Books

From Goodreads:  Before beginning her dream job as sous chef in one of Seattle's hottest new restaurants, Josie Avery takes a summer position cooking at a lakeside lodge in the remote Alaskan town of Ponder. Josie falls for the rustic charms of the local community--including Jack Corcoran, the crotchety keeper of Ponder's famed sourdough starter, and, in particular, the quiet and intense Palmer Saxon, a famed master swordsmith.

Josie and Palmer become close during the long Alaskan summer days, but Josie knows that, come fall, she'll be returning to reality and the career she's worked so hard for. Palmer, on the other hand, would like nothing better than to make Josie his wife and to keep her in Ponder. But Josie can't imagine abandoning her mother back in the Emerald City and sacrificing her career to stay in this isolated town--not even for a man she's quickly coming to love.

Fate has other plans. Josie misses the last boat out of town before winter sets in, stranding her in Ponder and putting her dream job at risk. As the holidays approach, Josie and Palmer must grapple with the complications that arise when dreams confront reality, and the Christmas magic that can happen when they put their faith in love.

Debbie Macomber is at her best in this beautiful holiday story about the far journeys we travel to find a place to call home.
 
 
My thoughts:  Debbie Macomber is an author you can count on to deliver a heart-warming story.  This forthcoming novel sounds like a delightful escape into another world, with the added bonus of building early holiday spirit.  I think it's worth buying for the cover alone.
 
 
 
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, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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 current read, After Nightfall by A.J. Banner.  The excerpt shared is from the trade paperback copy I borrowed from the library.  

After Nightfall 


CHAPTER ONE
  
Lauren is flirting with my fiance over the dinner I spent hours preparing.  She gets this way when she's had too much wine.  I'm not far behind her; I'm already into my second glass of merlot.  I'm not even sure why I'm drinking--I usually don't.  But tonight, Nathan and I are planning to announce our engagement.  Our shared future shimmers on a single fragile thread--his daughter's approval.  Anna is only nine years old and fiercely loyal to her mother.  He promised he'd broken the news to her earlier today, but she hasn't said anything to me.  At the moment she's busy hiding olives in her lap.  I forgot that she hates them in pasta.

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I was anxious to get my hands on a copy of this book after reading Banner's previous novel, The Twilight WifeI get the same ominous feeling in this opening paragraph as I did reading The Twilight Wife.  To find out more about what I mean,  you can read my review of The Twilight Wife 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, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.
  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mystery Monday

Happy Monday!!

Time for the mystery meme hosted by Ms. M. It's the opportunity to share a mystery you're reading or planning to read sometime soon.

MysteryMondayMeme02  

Today I'm featuring a recent read, The Silver Gun, the first book in the Art Deco Mystery Series by L.A. Chandlar . . .
The Silver Gun (Art Deco Mystery #1) 
My thoughts:  The Silver Gun introduces readers to Lane Sanders, a talented and resourceful personal aide to legendary New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Under LaGuardia's leadership, New York is a city of competing powers: gangsters and a corrupt political machine fighting each other for control of lucrative financial opportunities. The outspoken mayor's mission to rid the city of these negative influences has ruffled many feathers, and it isn't long before Lane lands in the cross hairs of dangerous operatives. Can she outwit these criminal forces without risking her own personal safety?

This novel is an impressive entry in the historical fiction/cozy mystery genre that includes an accurate depiction of New York City at a turbulent yet bustling time, and features famous New Yorkers including LaGuardia and Eleanor Roosevelt. I was initially drawn to the story for several reasons: it's the first in a series; it has a strong female lead who is ahead of her time; and it's set in 1930's New York. After fulfilling these desirable elements, The Silver Gun delivers an imaginative plot, solid historical research, and a satisfying tale.

The series is definitely off to a good start with multiple rich scenarios for further development, including Lane's childhood and tragic past, and several other interesting characters with story lines of their own. Book 2 in the series will be released on September 25, 2018 under the title, The Gold Pawn.
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From Goodreads:   New York City, 1936. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Big Apple is defiantly striving toward an era infused with art, architecture, and economic progress under the dynamic Mayor La Guardia. But those in City Hall know that tumultuous times can inspire both optimism and deadly danger . . .

It s been six months since Lane Sanders was appointed Mayor Fiorello "Fio" LaGuardia's new personal aide, and the twenty-three-year-old is sprinting in her Mary Janes to match her boss's pace. Despite dealing with vitriol from the Tammany Hall political machine and managing endless revitalization efforts, Fio hasn't slowed down a bit during his years in office. And luckily for Lane, his unpredictable antics are a welcome distraction from the childhood memories that haunt her dreams and the silver gun she'll never forget. 

When Lane gets attacked and threatened by an assailant tied to one of the most notorious gangsters in the city, even the mayor can't promise her safety. The corrupt city officials seem to be using Lane as a pawn against Fio for disgracing their party in the prior election. But why was the assailant wielding the exact same gun from her nightmares? 

Balancing a clandestine love affair and a mounting list of suspects, Lane must figure out how the secrets of her past are connected to the city's underground crime network before someone pulls the trigger on the most explosive revenge plot in New York history . . .
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This Mystery Monday 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, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.
 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings on Fridays


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I've been on hiatus since the middle of August, spending a lovely two and a half weeks with family in Ireland.  Now it's back to reality . . . and blogging.

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 recent read, The Silver Gun by L.A. Chandlar.  The excerpts shared are from the trade paperback version I borrowed from a friend.

 The Silver Gun (Art Deco Mystery #1) 

Beginning:  Chapter 1
My father was skating up ahead, faster, faster; my mother and I were laughing, joyously racing to catch up.  Colors and sensations swirled like a dancer teasing the audience: the cold, gray day, the gentle snowflakes kissed my cheeks and coated my eyelashes, my mother's blue scarf, my father's scratchy mittens.

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Page 56:   He leaned in and brought his voice down to a low whisper.  "He's Danny Fazzalari.  More importantly, he's the hired gun and nephew of a mob boss.  Well, the mob boss.  Louie Venetti."
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My thoughts:  I was drawn to this novel for several reasons:  it's the first in a series; it has a strong female lead who is ahead of her time; and it's set in 1930's New York. The protagonist works for the legendary mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, and finds herself dodging gangsters and corrupt public officials while juggling several love interests and trying to come to terms with her tragic past.

The series is definitely off to a good start, and book 2, The Gold Pawn will be released later this month, on September 25, 2018.  
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From Goodreads:   New York City, 1936. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Big Apple is defiantly striving toward an era infused with art, architecture, and economic progress under the dynamic Mayor LaGuardia. But those in City Hall know that tumultuous times can inspire both optimism and deadly danger . . . 

It's been six months since Lane Sanders was appointed Mayor Fiorello "Fio" LaGuardia's new personal aide, and the twenty-three-year-old is sprinting in her Mary Janes to match her boss's pace. Despite dealing with vitriol from the Tammany Hall political machine and managing endless revitalization efforts, Fio hasn't slowed down a bit during his years in office. And luckily for Lane, his unpredictable antics are a welcome distraction from the childhood memories that haunt her dreams and the silver gun she'll never forget. 

When Lane gets attacked and threatened by an assailant tied to one of the most notorious gangsters in the city, even the mayor can't promise her safety. The corrupt city officials seem to be using Lane as a pawn against Fio for disgracing their party in the prior election. But why was the assailant wielding the exact same gun from her nightmares? 


Balancing a clandestine love affair and a mounting list of suspects, Lane must figure out how the secrets of her past are connected to the city's underground crime network before someone pulls the trigger on the most explosive revenge plot in New York history . . .

********************


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings on Fridays 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, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.