Thursday, November 15, 2018

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, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, which is the selection of one of my book clubs.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.
 Before We Were Yours 

Beginning:  Prelude:  Baltimore, Maryland August 3, 1939
My story begins on a sweltering August night, in a place I will never set eyes upon.  The room takes life only in my imaginings.  It is large most days when I conjure it.

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

Chapter 1  
Avery Stafford
Aiken, South Carolina, Present Day

I take a breath, scoot to the edge of the seat, and straighten my jacket as the limo rolls to a stop on the boiling-hot asphalt.  News vans wait along the curb, accentuating the importance of this morning's seemingly innocuous meeting.
********************

Page 56:  I'd rather be outside watching the river and its animals and listening to Briny spin stories about knights, and castles, and Indians out west, and far-off places.

********************
My thoughts:  This book has received lots of buzz since its publication last year.  It's still quite popular, based on the number of library holds, and its subject matter makes it appealing to both book clubs and individual readers.
********************
From Goodreads:  Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fianc├ę, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
********************
  


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, 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 . . . 


Terrible Virtue 
Release Date:  March 22, 2016
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers


From Goodreads: 
In the spirit of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, the provocative and compelling story of one of the most fascinating and influential figures of the twentieth century: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood—an indomitable woman who, more than any other, and at great personal cost, shaped the sexual landscape we inhabit today.

The daughter of a hard-drinking, smooth-tongued free thinker and a mother worn down by thirteen children, Margaret Sanger vowed her life would be different. Trained as a nurse, she fought for social justice beside labor organizers, anarchists, socialists, and other progressives, eventually channeling her energy to one singular cause: legalizing contraception. It was a battle that would pit her against puritanical, patriarchal lawmakers, send her to prison again and again, force her to flee to England, and ultimately change the lives of women across the country and around the world.

This complex enigmatic revolutionary was at once vain and charismatic, generous and ruthless, sexually impulsive and coolly calculating—a competitive, self-centered woman who championed all women, a conflicted mother who suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience. From opening the first illegal birth control clinic in America in 1916 through the founding of Planned Parenthood to the arrival of the Pill in the 1960s, Margaret Sanger sacrificed two husbands, three children, and scores of lovers in her fight for sexual equality and freedom.

With cameos by such legendary figures as Emma Goldman, John Reed, Big Bill Haywood, H. G. Wells, and the love of Margaret’s life, Havelock Ellis, this richly imagined portrait of a larger-than-life woman is at once sympathetic to her suffering and unsparing of her faults. Deeply insightful,
Terrible Virtue is Margaret Sanger’s story as she herself might have told it.



Why I selected it:  I enjoy historical fiction about famous characters, and as a native New Yorker, I view Margaret Sanger and her clinic in Greenwich Village as legendary elements in the City's efforts toward progressiveness and social justice.  When the book was first published, I heard the author speak about Sanger and her passions, and the research undertaken to write this fictional account of a woman who championed women's rights at great personal cost.  The copy on my shelf is on extended loan from a friend. 




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, November 14, 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 . . .  


Bluff 
 
 Release Date:  January 15, 2019
Publisher:  Poisoned Pen Press


From Goodreads:   One-time socialite Maud Warner polishes up the rags of her once glittering existence and bluffs her way into a signature New York restaurant on a sunny October day. When she shoots Sun Sunderland, the "Pope of Finance," as he lunches with "accountant to the stars" Burt Sklar - the man that she's accused for years of stealing her mother's fortune and leaving her family in ruins - she deals the first card in her high-stakes plan for revenge.

Maud has grown accustomed to being underestimated and invisible and uses it. Her fervent passion for poker has taught her that she can turn a weakness into the strength to take advantage of people who think they are taking advantage of her. It's uncanny how she reads them.

Her intimates in New York high society believe that "Mad Maud" accidentally missed Sklar, her real target. But nothing is as it first appears as she weathers the unexpected while following her script. And while Maud is on the run, the dark secrets of men who believe their money and power place them above the law will be exposed. Betrayal, larceny, greed, sexual battery, and murder lurk beneath the surface of their glittering lives.

One unexpected twist after another follows as we watch a fierce, unapologetic Maud play the most important poker hand of her life. The stakes? To take down her enemies and get justice for their victims. Her success depends on her continuing ability to bluff. And on who will fold.

Can she win?
 
 
My thoughts:  With its striking cover and  promise of a story about New York high society,  this book caught my eye.  Until its release, I'm planning to sample the author's Jo Slater series:  Social Crimes (book one) and One Dangerous Lady (book two).
 
 
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, November 13, 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 an upcoming read, Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks.  The excerpt shared is from the large print version I borrowed from the library.

 Closer Than You Know 

One

He was dressed in his best suit, the one he usually reserved for funerals.

She wore pearls.  It made her feel more maternal.

Arm in arm, they walked up a concrete path toward Shenandoah Valley Social Services, whose offices filled a cheerless metal-sided building.  There was no landscaping, no ornamentation, no attempt to make the environs more inviting.  As an agency of county government, Social Services had neither the budget nor the inclination for such gilding.  Its clientele was not there by choice.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The first thing that strikes me is the difference in the descriptions of the couple's outfits and the place they are headed to.  I wonder who these people are, who seem to take such care in their appearance and why they are going to a apparently run-down, impersonal Social Services office.  Perhaps they are down on their luck.  I imagine they want to make a good impression.  





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.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

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 Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.
 The Girl Who Knew Too Much (Burning Cove, #1) 

Beginning:  Chapter 1
The abstract painting on the bedroom wall was new.  It had been painted in fresh blood.
********************

Page 56:  Maxine rose, unfazed by the instructions to contact a man who consorted with shady characters and known criminals.  She left, closing the door very quietly.

********************
My thoughts:  I'm a huge Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick fan, so I jumped at the chance to start her newest historical series, Burning Cove, set amidst the glamour of the 1930s.
********************


From Goodreads:  Amanda Quick, the bestselling author of ’Til Death Do Us Part, transports readers to 1930s California, where glamour and seduction spawn a multitude of sins…

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

********************
  


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, 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 . . . 




Missing Pieces 
Release Date:  February 2, 20l6
Publisher:  Mira


From Goodreads:   A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband's family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf.

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.


Why I selected it:  Family secrets are always a tempting element that I can't resist.  Now that I've rediscovered this book on my shelves, 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, November 7, 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 . . .  


Scrublands 
Release Date:  January 8, 2019
Publisher:  Touchstone/Simon & Schuster


From Goodreads:  In an isolated country town afflicted by interminable drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, shooting dead five parishioners before being gunned down himself.
A year later, accompanied by his own demons from war-time reporting, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend. His assignment is deliberately simple: describe how the townspeople are coping as the anniversary of their tragedy approaches. But as Martin meets the locals and hears their version of events, he begins to realise that the accepted wisdom – that the priest was a paedophile whose imminent exposure was the catalyst for the shooting, established through an award-winning investigation by his own newspaper – may be wrong.

Just as Martin believes he’s making headway, a dramatic new development rocks the town. The bodies of two German backpackers - missing since the time of the church shootings - are discovered in a dam in the scrublands. It's the biggest story in Australia, the media arrive en masse. Instead of gently easing back into reporting, Martin finds himself thrown into a media storm, and with it a complex mystery.

What was the real reason behind the priest’s shooting spree? And how does it connect to the backpacker murders, if at all? Martin struggles to uncover the town’s dark secrets, putting his job, his mental state, and his life all at risk as events escalate around him.
My thoughts:   The complex plot and characters intrigue me, making this debut a must-read of 2019.
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, November 6, 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 an upcoming read, The Killing Lessons by Saul Black  The excerpt shared is from the hardcover version I borrowed from the library.

The Killing Lessons (Valerie Hart, #1) 

1

The instant Rowena Cooper stepped out of her warm, cookie-scented kitchen and saw the two men standing in her back hallway, snow melting from the rims of their boots, she knew exactly what this was: her own fault.  Years of not locking doors and windows, of leaving the keys in the ignition, of not thinking anything like this was ever going to happen, years of feeling safe--it had all been a lie she'd been dumb enough to tell herself.  Worse, a lie she'd been dumb enough to believe.  Your whole life could turn out to be nothing but you waiting to meet your own giant stupidity.  Because here she was, a mile from the nearest neighbor and three miles from town (Ellinson, Colorado; pop. 697), with a thirteen-year-old son upstairs and a ten-year-old daughter on the front porch and two men standing in her back hallway, one of them holding a shotgun, the other a long blade that even in the sheer drop of this moment made her think machete, though this was the first time she'd ever seen one outside the movies.  The open door behind them showed heavy snow still hurrying down in the late afternoon, pretty against the dark curve of the forest.  Christmas was five days away.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I'm struck by the mental dialog of the narrator related to the unfolding scene.  She is extremely frightened, and you can feel the adrenaline pumping in her veins. 



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.
 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

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 an upcoming read, An Accidental Murder by J. New.  The excerpts shared are from a paperback version I purchased.

An Accidental Murder (The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries #1) 

Beginning:  It was a particularly chilly and damp Saturday afternoon in September, and I was taking a momentary break from the unpacking of boxes to have a quick sandwich and a cup of tea.  I'd already laid and lit the log fire and now sat sleepy and content in an overstuffed armchair watching the flames dance and flicker in the grate.  And listening to the wind whistling down the chimney like an irate ghost.

********************
Page 56:   "Have you seen enough Albert?"
"Yes, I rather think I have."  He said reaching for his Whiskey glass.
********************

My thoughts:  The opening sets a quaint scene.  I'd like to plant myself in that overstuffed armchair in front of the fire with a good book or two.
********************


From Goodreads:  Young widow, Isobella Bridges discovered and fell in love with The Yellow Cottage as a child. Many years later she returned to the Island, discovered it was for sale and bought it on a whim. Or so she thought.

She had no idea at the time how much it would change her life, nor that it was yet to reveal all its secrets. Ones that even Ella couldn't imagine. She purchased the cottage from an old lady, but this was no ordinary old lady. And she left her cat, but this was no ordinary cat.

Ella soon realises that this isn't the only gift the old lady left. Having only been in residence a few short weeks, and still unpacking boxes, she receives a telephone call from her brother, inviting her up to London for Sunday lunch. This call sets in motion a series of events that puts Ella’s life, and those of the people closest to her in danger. 


An Accidental Murder is a cosy amateur sleuth novella, with a difference. Set in 1930’s England, it is the first in the series of The Yellow Cottage mysteries. 

*************************
  


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, 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 . . . 


Lilac Girls 
Release Date:  April 5, 2016
Publisher:  Ballantine Books


From Goodreads:  Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbr├╝ck, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.


Why I selected it: Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I find books set during World War II particularly enjoyable. The added incentive for reading this book sooner rather than later is that the author has another novel coming out in the spring of 2019.  Lost Roses is set a generation earlier and is also inspired by true events featuring Caroline's mother, Eliza.



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, October 31, 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 . . .  
 
Release Date:  January 22, 2019
Publisher:  Dutton
From Goodreads:   An impossible-to-put-down domestic thriller about secrets and revenge, told from the perspectives of a husband and wife who are the most perfect, and the most dangerous, match for each other.

Rebecca didn’t know love was possible until she met Paul, a successful, charismatic, married man with a past as dark as her own. Their pain drew them together with an irresistible magnetism; they sensed that they were each other’s ideal (and perhaps only) match.

But twenty years later, Paul and Rebecca are drowning as the damage and secrets that ignited their love begin to consume their marriage. Paul is cheating on Rebecca, and his affair gets messy fast. His mistress is stalking them with growing audacity when Rebecca discovers Paul’s elaborate plan to build a new life without her. And though Rebecca is spiraling into an opiate addiction, it doesn’t stop her from coming up with a devious plot of her own, and this one could end absolutely everything.

What follows is an unpredictable and stylish game of cat and mouse—a shocking tale of unfaithfulness and unreliability that will keep you racing until the final twist and make you wonder how well you really know your spouse.


My thoughts:  Secrets, revenge, and a troubled marriage are winning ingredients for a domestic thriller and make this novel a can't wait read for me.





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, October 30, 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 my current read, Watchers by Dean Koontz.  The excerpt shared is from a paperback version I purchased. 

 Watchers 

Part One
Shattering the Past
1

On his thirty-sixth birthday, May 18, Travis Cornell rose at five o'clock in the morning.  He dressed in sturdy hiking boots, jeans, and a long-sleeved, blue-plaid cotton shirt.  He drove his pickup south from his home in Santa Barbara all the way to rural Santiago Canyon on the eastern edge of Orange County, south of Los Angeles.  He took only a package of Oreo cookies, a large canteen full of orange-flavored Kool-Aid, and a fully loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Chief's Special.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I must admit that this is not a book or author I would have chosen for myself, but one of my book clubs selected it.  Previously, what I've heard about the author's subject matter and the book covers I've seen have been too scary for me.  I've read a few chapters and it is indeed scary.  Guess that makes it a good read with Halloween fast-approaching.  It is also worth noting that this book made it to the PBS Top 100 Great American Read Book List, coming in at number 79.  (I was in the live audience when it was announced!)  

Have you read this book or others by Dean Koontz?  I'd like to know what you think.




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.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

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 an upcoming read, Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.
 
 Exhibit Alexandra 

Beginning:  Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Beginning
 
Marc sat on the bottom stair and tried not to think the worst.  The voice continued: "The vast majority of people return safe and well within the first forty-eight hours, Mr. Southwood.  There's no need to panic."  There was a pause.  Marc knew he should take comfort from this.  Sit tight and wait for his wife to return with a perfectly reasonable explanation.
 
********************

Page 56:  I remember those first months as blissful, but I know they were also tainted for Marc by his concern that I would regret staying.  He tried to hide it but I knew.

********************
My thoughts:  I'm always intrigued by stories about the relationship between spouses and the inner workings of marriages, so I'm looking forward to reading this psychological thriller.

Note:  This book has also been published under the title His Perfect Wife.
********************

From Goodreads: 
A shocking, original psychological thriller about a mother gone missing and the family she leaves behind, ultimately proving how unknowable even those closest to us can be.

Alexandra Southwood is missing. Held in a room against her will, she's forced to imagine how her husband, Marc, and two daughters are coping in the wake of her disappearance. She's shown news clips of Marc, desperately appealing to the public for information on her whereabouts. She tortures herself with visions of her family's devastated new reality. She thinks of what's lost, remembering the beginnings of her romance with Marc and the beautiful family they built together.

Marc's pain is visceral. He thinks of nothing but his wife. He shifts from utter despair to frantic action, and when the police discover Alexandra's bloody belongings by the river, turning their missing-persons case into a murder investigation, he cannot accept that she is lost to him. He embarks on his own journey, through the dark maze of the art world that so gripped his wife, following a trail that leads him to find answers to questions he never meant to ask.
 

********************
  


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, 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 Good Girl 
Release Date:  July 29, 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin Mira

From Goodreads:   I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will.

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.


Why I selected it:  This debut novel made it to my must-read list before it was published, and I've had a copy since May of 2014.  This book was well received, and the author has published several successful novels since.  I think about this book from time to time, and  I'm hoping to take The Good Girl off the shelf soon.  




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