Thursday, April 26, 2018

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings


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 If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin.  The excerpts are from a trade paperback edition borrowed from the library.

 If I Die Tonight 

Beginning:  Prologue
From the Facebook page of Jacqueline Merrick Reed.

October 24 at 2:45 AM
By the time you read this, I'll be dead.

This isn't Jackie.  It's her son Wade.

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

One
Five days earlier

In bed late at night with her laptop, Jackie Reed sometimes forgot there were others in the house.  That's how quiet it was here, with these hushed boys of hers, always with their heads down, with their shuffling footsteps and their padded sneakers, their muttered greetings, their doors closing behind them.

********************
Page 56:  "Behind him, Connor  heard the slam of a car door, then footstepsboots clicking on the concrete, coming closer.  A lump formed in his throat.  He thought of that cop again.  Is she back?  Did she see?"
********************

My thoughts:  This book pulls you in from its opening lines and the suspense continues to build as you read on.  I don't know how I missed this author's previous books, but I will be looking over her back list very soon.

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

From Goodreads:  Late one night in the quiet Hudson Valley town of Havenkill, a distraught woman stumbles into the police station—and lives are changed forever.

Aimee En, once a darling of the ’80s pop music scene, claims that a teenage boy stole her car, then ran over another young man who’d rushed to help.

As Liam Miller’s life hangs in the balance, the events of that fateful night begin to come into focus. But is everything as it seems?

The case quickly consumes social media, transforming Liam, a local high school football star, into a folk hero, and the suspect, a high school outcast named Wade Reed, into a depraved would-be killer. But is Wade really guilty? And if he isn’t, why won’t he talk?

Told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints—Wade’s mother Jackie, his younger brother Connor, Aimee En and Pearl Maze, a young police officer with a tragic past,
If I Die Tonight is a story of family ties and dark secrets—and the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves.

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



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


 

Tuesday, April 24, 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 . . .
 
Beyond the Pale: A World of Spies Mystery 
Publisher:  Midnight Ink
Publication Date:  May 8, 2018

From Goodreads:  For college professors Hollis and Finn Larsson, a simple undercover errand becomes a deadly jaunt across Ireland in this edge-of-your-seat suspense novel from bestselling author Clare O'Donohue.

It's an easy, twenty-minute job. At least, that's the pitch from Interpol to professors Hollis and Finn Larsson. Going undercover to procure a priceless rare book manuscript means an all-expenses paid trip abroad. A little danger thrown into the mix may even spice up their marriage.

Soon after landing in the Emerald Isle, they realize the job is anything but easy. Their contact is a no-show and they're left with fifty thousand euros, a death threat, and some serious questions. Ducking and dodging their way across Ireland, Hollis and Finn must hunt down the priceless manuscript and a missing agent while trying to stay one step ahead of a dangerous and unknown enemy.
 
 
My thoughts:  This book combines so many of the elements I enjoy in a novel:  it's the start of a new series (A World of Spies); it's set in Ireland; the main characters are college professors; and the promise of intrigue and mystery.  Not to mention that the wait isn't too long--I've already placed a hold at my branch library.
 
 
This Can't-Wait Wednesday post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing this original post on Google+ are appreciated.
 

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, To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear.  The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.

 To Die but Once (Maisie Dobbs, #14) 

Prologue
Hampshire, England, May 1940

The boy had not had a day without a headache in weeks.  How many weeks was it now?  And how many aspirin powders had he taken, every night when he arrived back at his digs--a shared room in another lodging house in another town?  Another town with airfields close by, and buildings to be painted with that viscous gray emulsion.  He wondered about the aspirin and the emulsion as he walked home from the pub, and deep down inside himself, he knew that one had something to do with the other, though his mates on the job hadn't complained.  Not that he'd dare say anything--no, he had to keep his mouth shut, because he was lucky to have a job at all, so there was nothing to whine about.  And if truth be told, he should not have been at the pub drinking--but the landlord didn't mind, probably didn't even know.  After all, the boy had come in with the older lads, and it's not as if he looked like an apprentice.


 
What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
This is the fourteenth book in the Maisie Dobbs historical mystery series.  The first part of the series is set in World War I England, and the last few books have progressed in time to World War II.  Maisie herself is an interesting character who comes from humble beginnings, and rises to the title of Lady, with substantial means.  But Maisie has never forgotten where she came from and downplays her influential standing.  She is still a champion of the commoner, whose sole motivation is justice for those who have been wronged.

In each book, Winspear weaves a story with authentic detail that immerses the reader in the time period and the lives of the cast of beloved returning characters.  This is one of my favorite historical series, and I eagerly await and savor each new installment.



This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing of this original post on Google+ are appreciated.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Cover Reveal: Book 2 in the Art Deco Mystery Series by L.A. Chandlar

The Gold Pawn

 

November 1936. Mayor La Guardia’s political future buckles under a missing person case in New York City. Simultaneously, Lane unravels devastating secrets in the outskirts of Detroit. As two crimes converge, judging friends from enemies can be a dangerous game . . .

Finally summoning the courage to face the past, Lane Sanders breaks away from her busy job at City Hall to confront childhood nightmares in Rochester, Michigan. An unknown assailant left Lane with scattered memories after viciously murdering her parents. However, one memory of a dazzling solid gold pawn piece remains—and with it lies a startling connection between the midwestern tragedy and a current mystery haunting the Big Apple . . .

Meanwhile, fears climb in Manhattan after the disappearance of a respected banker and family friend threatens the crippled financial industry and the pristine reputation of Lane’s virtuous boss, Mayor Fiorello “Fio” La Guardia. Fio’s fight to restore order leads him into more trouble as he meets a familiar foe intent on ending his mayoral term—and his life . . .

Guided by overseas telegrams from the man she loves and painful memories, only Lane can silence old ghosts and derail present-day schemes. But when the investigation awakens a darker side of her own nature, will she and New York City’s most prominent movers and shakers still forge ahead into a prosperous new age . . . or is history doomed to repeat itself?

Ready . . .

                                             

Set. . .

                                             

Reveal!!!

                         

Coming September 25 from Kensington Books!

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon B&N BookBub Kobo Google Play

About the Author

L .A. Chandlar is the author of the Art Deco Mystery Series with Kensington Publishing featuring Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and a fresh take on the innovation and liveliness of 1930s New York City. Her debut novel, The Silver Gun released August 29, 2017, and the sequel, The Gold Pawn, will release September 25th, 2018. Laurie has been living and writing in New York City for 16 years and has been speaking for a wide variety of audiences for over 20 years including a women’s group with the United Nations. Her talks range from NYC history, the psychology of creativity, and the history of holiday traditions. Laurie has also worked in PR for General Motors, writes and fund-raises for a global nonprofit is the mother of two boys, and has toured the nation managing a rock band.

Author Links Website Social Media YouTube for Behind the Scenes Tours GoodReads

Tuesday, April 17, 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 . . .
 
A Willing Murder 
Publisher:  Mira Books
Publication Date:  September 18, 2018
 
From Goodreads:   New York Times bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux makes her debut in the world of mystery with a story of old secrets, deadly grudges and an improbable group of friends who are determined to uncover the truth regardless of the consequences... 
 
Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she's found herself back in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, remodeling the grand old mansion she'd admired as a child. It's much too big for her alone, but she'd die before letting anyone in town know that.Then Sara's niece Kate is offered a job in Lachlan--a start in what could be a very successful career in real estate. She accepts immediately, but with so little saved up, she'll have to approach her estranged yet incredibly famous aunt for a place to stay while she gets herself settled. But when she arrives at Sara's home, she finds she's not the only long-term houseguest. Jackson Wyatt already has his own room, and though it's impossible to deny his good looks and charm--he's clearly got her aunt wrapped around his finger--she's also never met anyone who irritates her quite like Jack does.However, when two skeletons are accidentally uncovered in the quiet town, this unlikely trio is suddenly thrust together by a common goal: to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps. United by a sense of justice and the desire to right old wrongs, Sara, Kate and Jack will have to dig into Lachlan's murky past to unravel the small town's dark secrets and work to bring the awful truth to light.

My thoughts:  I'm curious to see how this popular romance writer applies her considerable talent to a new genre.  I'll be lining up to read this mystery in the fall.


This Can't-Wait Wednesday post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing this original post on Google+ are appreciated.


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, A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray.  The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.


A History of Britain in 21 Women 

Introduction

It was Thomas Carlyle, circa 1840, who said, 'The history of the world is but the biography of great men', and, as a girl growing up in the 1950s and '60s, his philosophy was pretty much what I was taught and what I believed.  Yes, I saw a Queen crowned when I was three years old, but was told she had no real power.  Her role was to look lovely, continue the tradition of royal figureheads and be charming.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
This is not my usual type of read, but I was intrigued when I saw this title in a recent newsletter.  I am familiar with Jenni Murray, having listened to many podcasts of the BBC's Radio Four Woman's Hour, and am interested in reading the brief biographies of her personal selection of influential British women.



This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing of this original post on Google+ are appreciated.

 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings


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 Close to Home by Cara Hunter.  Published in the U.S. in 2017, this novel is the first book in the DI Fawley crime series.  The excerpts are from a trade paperback edition borrowed from the library.

Close to Home (DI Adam Fawley, #1) 

Beginning:  Prologue
It's getting dark, and the little girl is cold.

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

I'm going to say this now, before we get started.  You won't like it, but trust me, I've done this more times than I care to punish myself remembering.  In a case like this   a kid nine times out of ten it's someone close to home.  Family, friend, neighbour, someone in the community.  Don't forget that.  However distraught they look, however unlikely it seems, they know who did it.  Perhaps not consciously, and perhaps not yet.  But they know.

They know.
********************
Page 56:  "Barry's eyes narrow.  It's as if a switch has flipped.  Or perhaps a tap turned off is the better analogy.  Because there are no tears now."
********************

My thoughts:  I've been on a psychological thriller reading spree of late, and I think that in this book I've found my next read to keep the streak going.

********************
From Goodreads:  They know who did it. Perhaps not consciously. Perhaps not yet. But they know. 
 
When eight-year-old Daisy Mason vanishes from her family’s Oxford home during a costume party, Detective Inspector Adam Fawley knows that nine times out of ten, the offender is someone close to home. And Daisy’s family is certainly strange—her mother is obsessed with keeping up appearances, while her father is cold and defensive under questioning. And then there’s Daisy’s little brother, so withdrawn and uncommunicative . . .

DI Fawley works against the clock to find any trace of the little girl, but it’s as if she disappeared into thin air—no one saw anything; no one knows anything. But everyone has an opinion, and everyone, it seems, has a secret to conceal.
*********************


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

Thursday Thoughts: Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Today I'm sharing my thoughts about a recent read, Bring Me Back, the forthcoming psychological thriller from B.A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown.  This new book will be available on June 19, 2018.

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris 


B.A. Paris’s latest psychological thriller centers around an unusual love triangle.  There’s Finn—an at-times volatile man—and Layla and Ellen, sisters who are completely opposite in temperament and taste.  Finn’s initial relationship is with Layla, who vanishes without a trace while the young lovers are returning to England from a holiday on the continent.  After an investigation, Finn is cleared of suspicion of foul play by the police, and Layla’s body is never found.

Years after Layla’s disappearance, Finn embarks on a romantic relationship with Layla’s sister, Ellen.  Soon after the couple announce their engagement, mysterious signs and sightings raise questions about Layla’s fate and whereabouts:  Is it possible that Layla has returned?  If so, why now and where has she been for the past 12 years?  What would such a turn of events mean for Finn and Ellen’s future?  Or, on the other hand, is this merely a cruel hoax by someone determined to destroy Finn and Ellen’s relationship?  

The unfolding story is riveting and well-told:  part one alternates between the present time and the last decade, filling in the back story; part two alternates between Finn and Layla’s voices, revealing their inner thoughts; and part three hurtles towards a stunning conclusion.  Supporting characters add strong elements of suspicion and motive that kept this reader guessing and turning pages to the story’s end.

With this latest novel, B.A. Paris presents her third outstanding, twisty tale, proving beyond doubt that she is a master of suspense and a formidable voice in the genre.
 


Note:  I received an early reader's edition from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


This Thursday Thoughts post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing of this original post on Google+ are appreciated.