Thursday, April 20, 2017

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

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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 my current read, One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition I borrowed from the library.
 One Perfect Lie 

BeginningChris Brennan was applying for a teaching job at Central Valley High School, but he was a fraud.  His resume was fake, and his identity completely phony.  So far he'd fooled the personnel director, the assistant principal, and the chairperson of the Social Studies Department.  This morning was his final interview, with the principal, Dr. Wendy McElroy.  It was make-or-break.


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Page 56:  "Jordan said nothing, trailing him.  The gym was filled with the activity and noise of fifty boys running, drilling, and catching."
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My thoughts: The opening really grabbed my attention and has me curious.  I've read several of Scottoline's novels over the years and find her to be a masterful storyteller.  Her plots engage from the very start and tend to be page turners.  This one so far is true to form.
 
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From Goodreads:  On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He's applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he's ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.

But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.

Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he's being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.

Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Justin's baseball games. But Justin is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.

Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon's wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.

At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?

Enthralling and suspenseful, One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will have readers riveted up to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won’t soon forget.
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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. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

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 my current read, The Whistler by John Grisham.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition I borrowed from the library.
 The Whistler 

BeginningThe satellite radio was playing soft jazz, a compromise.  Lacy, the owner of the Prius and thus the radio, loathed rap almost as much as Hugo, her passenger, loathed contemporary country.  They had failed to agree on sports talk, public radio, golden oldies, adult comedy, and the BBC, without getting near bluegrass, CNN, opera, or a hundred other stations.  Out of frustration on her part and fatigue on his, they both threw in the towel early and settled on soft jazz.  Soft, so Hugo's deep and lengthy nap would not be disturbed.  Soft, because Lacy didn't care much for jazz either.  It was another give-and-take of sorts, one of many that had sustained their teamwork over the years.  He slept and she drove and both were content.
Before the Great Recession, the Board on Judicial Conduct had access to a small pool of state-owned Hondas, all with four doors and white paint and low mileage.  With budget cuts, though, those disappeared.  Lacy, Hugo, and countless other public employees in Florida were now expected to use their own vehicles for the state's work, reimbursed at fifty cents a mile.  Hugo, with four kids and a hefty mortgage, drove an ancient Bronco that could barely make it to the office, let alone a road trip.  And so he slept.

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Page 56:  "The first courthouse built by the taxpayers of Brunswick County burned to the ground.  The second one was blown away."
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My thoughts:  John Grisham is known for his fast-paced, attention-grabbing legal thrillers.  His latest is no exception--another page turner that has me in its grip.  
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From Goodreads:  We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.
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, April 11, 2017

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

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

                                                      

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, 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, All By Myself, Alone by Mary Higgins Clark, borrowed from the library.
 

All By Myself, Alone 

Day One
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The magnificent cruise liner Queen Charlotte was about to leave on her maiden voyage from  her berth on the Hudson River.  Promised to be the epitome of luxury, she was compared to both the first Queen Mary and even the Titanic, which had been the height of luxury one hundred years earlier.  

One by one the passengers filed aboard, checked in and were invited to the Grand Lounge, where they were met by white-gloved waiters offering champagne.  When the last guest had come aboard, Captain Fairfax gave a speech of welcome.  


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
In this story, an interesting cast of characters populates the cabins of an ultra-luxurious cruise ship bound for Southampton, England.  Each passenger has their own secrets and a reason to benefit if a certain passenger doesn't survive the week-long trans-Atlantic passage.  When the murder of that passenger is discovered, the quest to find the killer begins.  

 I am thoroughly enjoying this murder mystery--the latest in a long line of novels from one of the U.S.'s most popular and never disappointing author. 


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.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

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

                                                      

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, 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, The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle, borrowed from the library.
 
The Marriage Lie 
 
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I awaken when a hand winds around my waist, pulling me head to heel against skin heated from sleep.  I sigh and settle into my husband's familiar form, fitting my backside into his front, soaking in his warmth.  Will is a furnace when he sleeps, and I've always got some place on me that's cold.  This morning it's my feet, and I wedge them between two warm calves.
 
 
 
What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
Admittedly, there's not much to go on in this first paragraph, but the plot premise promises shocking secrets within the marriage.  Since I am always drawn to stories of this nature, I'm eager to give this novel a try.  Cover blurbs by Mary Kubica (The Good Girl and Pretty Baby), Susan Crawford (The Pocket Wife). and A.J. Banner (The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife) sealed the deal for me.


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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

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

                                                      

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, 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, The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor, borrowed from the library.
 
The Daylight Marriage 
 
Chapter 1
 
Later, in weaker moments, Lovell Hall reminded himself of the logical fallacy that young scientists so often committed: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.  After this, therefore because of this.   Of course, without certain information--and in the face of other unfortunate realities--the timing of that evening with his wife was impossible to ignore.
 
 
What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I am intrigued by the title, and when I saw this novel on the library shelf, I decided to add it to my upcoming reading.  There are quotes from Geraldine Brooks and Tom Perrotta on the back cover, so I'm anticipating a good story.  The opening paragraph is enough of a teaser to want to find out more about the Hall relationship.


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.
 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph


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

                                                      

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, 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, The Assistants by Camille Perri, borrowed from the library.

 

prologue

You've probably heard of my former boss.  And even if you haven't heard of him, he has influenced you.  I promise.  Ever watch the all-day news or seen a big blockbuster summer movie?  Him.  Do you read the newspaper?  What about one of those glossy magazines with magenta cover lines like Dirty Talk Hot Enough to Make His Boxers Combust?  Him.  Odds are, if you exist in the modern world, Robert owns all or a portion of the media you consume.  He hovers around number thirty-five on the Forbes billionaire list.  I was his assistant.

* * * * * * * * * * *
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Here's how the whole mess started: Robert had to be in LA for a big meeting with his West Coast Titan Corporation execs and his Boeing's engine had the gall to malfunction.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I'm reading this novel for an upcoming book club meeting.  After a few heavy reads in 2016, the group decided to start 2017 with a highly recommended and entertaining debut.  And having worked in the corporate world many years ago, I can relate to the narrator's plight, and am living vicariously through her experience as the pages fly by.  



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.