Tuesday, January 3, 2017

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

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

                                                      

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, is where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.  

Today I'm featuring Alice Hoffman's newest novel, which I selected as my First Book of the Year 2017.  

  

Chapter 
1

In February, when the snow comes down hard, little globes of light are left along Route 110, on the side of the road that slopes off when a driver least expects it.  The lights are candles set inside paper bags, surrounded by sand, and they burn past midnight.  They shouldn't last for that amount of time, but that's part of the miracle.  On the second anniversary of the accident, a gang of boys creep out their windows and gather at two in the morning to see if Helene's mother, Diana Boyd, drives along the road replacing each melting pool of wax with a fresh candle.  They're hoping to reveal a con in process and dispel the myth of a miracle, but after keeping watch for a while the boys all flee.  In the early morning hours, safe in their beds, they wonder how much of the world can never be understood or explained.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The first paragraph is a good example of Hoffman's exquisite writing style.  With a mystical touch she connects a significant past event with the present, while observing the elements of nature (human and environmental) and the complexity of life.

Those of you already familiar with this novel (and/or Hoffman's other work) know what I mean.  If you haven't yet sampled an Alice Hoffman novel, I hope 2017 will be the year that you do.





This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.



Sunday, January 1, 2017

First Book of the Year 2017

Happy New Year!!

It's 2017. . . Welcome to my first post of the new year . . . and my participation in a new meme . . . First Book of the Year . . . hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

My first book of the year is Faithful by Alice Hoffman . . .

 

I am a huge fan of Alice Hoffman, having read and enjoyed so many of her books over the years.  

Her newest novel is the January selection of one of my book clubs.  Last year this group read Hoffman's 2014 novel The Museum of Extraordinary Things and it was one of our favorite books of the entire year.  

I can't think of a better read to start off the new year . . .

Now, I'm going to visit Book Journey to see what other bloggers have selected as their first books of the year.



First Book of the Year 2017 was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com and cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.



Thursday, December 29, 2016

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 When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version I borrowed from the library.

 

Beginning:  Chapter 1
The killer waited patiently for the target to emerge from the cabin.

There was no great rush, after all.  The waiting allowed time to savor the prospect of revenge.

********************
Page 56:  "'Use your own judgment, Mr. Cutler.  I just want answers.'"
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My thoughts:  Jayne Ann Krantz is one of my favorite authors--a talented novelist who writes under several different names and in several genres.  This is slated as my next read, my last of 2016.  It's comforting to end the year with the newest work of an author who never disappoints me.
 
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From Goodreads:   When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.

Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.

After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…

When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way...
 


This Friday Focus post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Intro and Review

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

                                                      

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, is 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 suspenseful new read from A.J. Banner.  Its release date is  today (12/27/16).

The Twilight Wife

My review follows the first chapter snippet below . . .

CHAPTER ONE

This morning, I know the scientific term fro the vermilion star, Mediaster aequalis, but I have trouble remembering my name.  I reach into the icy water to touch the sea star's bumpy exoskeleton, and I feel like a child full of fascination, not a thirty-four-year-old marine biologist recovering from a head injury.  They say I taught freshman classes at Seattle University, but I have no memory of those days.  I wonder about the moments I've lost, the people I loved.  We surely must have laughed together, lifted our glasses to celebrate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries.  I used to have a life.  But now I have only this island, the husband who stays by my side, and a peculiar recurring dream.

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The introductory paragraph draws the reader in, providing a good amount of information about the narrator and her situation.


My Review . . .
Over the past few years, psychological suspense stories with unreliable narrators, questionable characters, and complicated marriages have taken the fiction world by storm.  A new entry to the genre is The Twilight Wife, the latest novel by A.J. Banner, author of The Good Neighbor. 

In The Twilight Wife, Kyra, a young marine biologist suffering from a complex form of amnesia caused by a diving accident, has come to remote Mystic Island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Jacob in the hopes of regaining her memory.  She cannot recall the last four years—the entire time of her relationship with Jacob—and is dependent on him to fill in the blanks.   At first, Jacob is patient and caring; yet, as her recovery progresses, Kyra’s flashbacks and recurring dreams cause her to doubt the information Jacob has shared about their past and her accident, triggering questions about their relationship and Jacob’s disingenuousness.  Can Kyra trust him?  Can she accurately piece together her memory and move forward with her life? Who can she turn to for answers and help?  

This fast-paced tale of deception is well plotted and filled with supporting characters who add mysterious elements and clues that keep readers guessing about the story's outcome.  The remote, stormy island intensifies Kyra's vulnerability, and provides the perfect atmosphere for the twists and revelations that make this a satisfying, engaging read from start to finish.   

Banner is an author to watch, and I’ll be picking up a copy of her previous book, which I somehow missed in 2015.  I hope the wait for a third novel won't be too long.


Note:  I received an advanced copy of The Twilight Wife from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  



This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

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 Most Curious Murder by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version borrowed from the library.
 
 
A Most Curious Murder (Little Library Mystery #1)  

BeginningChapter 1
 
"Oh dear," said a little voice from behind Jenny Weston, who knelt in the wet grass, in drizzling rain, early morning light making long shadows of the destruction around her.
 
"'Like jars of strawberry jam.' That's from Alice in Wonderland, you know.  But everyone knows that," the voice, belonging to a little girl, said.
 
"Go away,"  Jenny mumbled.  She wished the kid would leave her alone to face the ruin of her mother's Little Library by herself.
 
 
********************
Page 56:  "And Adam Cane dead.  People say maybe that little lady did it.  They didn't get along, you know."
********************
 
My thoughts:  I'm always up for a new cozy mystery series, and I like the subject of this one--tiny little libraries.  It's a novel idea (no pun intended).
 
*********************
 From Goodreads:  Jenny Weston moves home to Bear Falls, Michigan to nurse her bruised ego back to health after a bitter divorce. But the idyllic vision of her charming hometown crumbles when her mother's little library is destroyed.

The next door neighbor, Zoe Zola, a little person and Lewis Carroll enthusiast, suspects local curmudgeon Adam Cane, but when he's suddenly found dead in Zoe's fairy garden, all roads lead back to her. Jenny, however, believes Zoe innocent, so the two women team up to find the true culprit, investigating the richest family in Bear Falls, interrogating a few odd townspeople and delving into old, hidden transgressions--until another body turns up.

Inspired by
Alice in Wonderland, Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli's quaint and compelling series debut A Most Curious Murder will delight cozy mystery readers new and old.
 
 
 
This Friday Focus post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph


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

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, is where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.

It's been a while since I added a post because I had house guests and a week's vacation around Thanksgiving time.  I'm trying to get back in the blog groove now, but I suspect I won't have too many posts the rest of the year with Christmas and New Year's Eve/Day on the horizon.  

In any event . . . today I'm featuring City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong.  It's an upcoming read borrowed from the library.
 City of the Lost (Casey Duncan, #1) 

ONE

"I killed a man," I say to my new therapist.  

I've barely settled onto the couch . . . which isn't a couch at all, but a chaise lounge that looked inviting and proved horribly uncomfortable.  Like therapy itself. 


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
These are really great opening lines to the first book in the Casey Duncan crime seriesThe narrator has made a serious statement and sought counseling before, so there's a lot for readers to learn about her.  Apparently, Detective Duncan has a secret from her past that she fears will catch up with her, which should make for an interesting plot.

For readers who get hooked by the fist book, the next in the series, A Darkness Absolute, will be published on February 7, 2017.  


This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

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 The Vintner's Daughter by Kristen Harnisch.  The excerpts shared are from the Kindle version I purchased. 
 
 The Vintner's Daughter
 
Beginning:   Chapter 1   Confession
June 30, 1896, NEW YORK CITY
 
The air was thick with the putrid smell of man and horse.  Sara Thibault walked swiftly up Mott Street, taking care to life the hem or her dress and sidestep the heaps of muck without breaking her stride.  Like the squabbling of chickens, the street noises swirled all around her.
 
 
********************
56% of Ebook:  "The exhilaration Sara felt as she disembarked from the steam train at the Napa depot was only mildly tempered by fear: here she was, arriving in a new city, not knowing a soul and with only fifty-four dollars to her name."
********************
 
My thoughts:  This is a debut novel and first in a series.  It came highly recommended by a friend with similar reading taste.  What also sold me on this upcoming read are the settings and vineyard locale.
 
*********************
 From Goodreads:  A captivating historical-fiction debut: ambition, betrayal and love take a spirited young woman from the verdant Loire Valley to turn-of-the-century Manhattan to the wide open spaces of California wine country

Loire Valley, 1895. When seventeen-year-old Sara Thibault's father is killed in a mudslide, her mother sells their vineyard to a rival family, whose eldest son marries Sara's sister, Lydia. But a violent tragedy compels Sara and her sister to flee to New York, forcing Sara to put aside her dream to follow in her father's footsteps as a master winemaker.

Meanwhile, Philippe Lemieux has arrived in California with the ambition of owning the largest vineyard in Napa by 1900. When he receives word of his brother's death in France, he resolves to bring the killer to justice. Sara has traveled to California in hopes of making her own way in the winemaking world. When she encounters Philippe in a Napa vineyard, they are instantly drawn to one another, but Sara knows he is the one man who could return her family's vineyard to her, or send her straight to the guillotine.

A riveting, romantic tale of betrayal, retribution, love and redemption, Kristen Harnisch's debut novel immerses readers in the rich vineyard culture of both the Old and New Worlds, the burgeoning cities of turn-of-the-century America and a spirited heroine's fight to determine her destiny.