Monday, September 20, 2021

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

 It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 



. . . First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros . . . now hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews, where bloggers share excerpts from a book they have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read.
 

Today I'm featuring a current read, Carnegie's Maid by Marie Benedict. The except shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.




First Chapter:  November 4, 1863

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I shouldn't be here. Cecelia or Eliza could have been swaying on this stinking vessel instead of me. It was their right -- Eliza's duty anyway, as the eldest daughter -- to make the voyage and take the chance on a new land. But Mum and Dad offered a litany of excuses for my sisters -- the twenty-one-year-old Eliza was on the brink of a marriage that would allow the family to keep our farm tenancy intact, a status that had eluded me due to my overcleverness, Dad said, and Cecelia was too young for the voyage at fifteen and too weak-spirited in any event -- and so, knowing my parents were right, I boarded the Envoy in their place. Forty-two days later, I regretted the preening and arrogance to which I subjected my sisters when I'd learned of my parents' decision. I knew now that being considered my parents' siofra -- their changeling capable of transmitting into whatever America required--was no prize. And I desperately missed my sisters.

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

Clara Kelley sets sail for America from Ireland in hopes of securing a position in a household that will provide income for her struggling family back home. Through a twist of fate and unexpected opportunity, Clara becomes the lady's maid to Margaret Morrison Carnegie, mother of Andrew Carnegie, the nineteenth century industrialist turned philanthropist. Benedict's fictional account of their relationship is steeped in historical detail about class differences and the difficult lives of the immigrants who comprised Pittsburgh's working class.





 



This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. © 2021, Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post is being used without permission.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and 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 Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen, a book I had on hold at the library. It's the first book in the new Detective Annalisa Vega mystery series.

Gone for Good (Detective Annalisa Vega, #1)


Beginning: Detective Annalisa Vega had sworn off dating when the third guy in a row ended the evening by asking to see her handcuffs.

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Page 56:  The man, whose name was Terry Guzman, led her around the block to the houses that sat behind the Harper place. His yard had a high fence, suitable for containing rambunctious boys, and a pair of old trees at the back overlooking a two-car garage.

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My thoughts:  I'm always on the lookout for new mystery series, and this one called to me.

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From GoodReads: Gone For Good is the first in a new mystery series from award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen, featuring Detective Annalisa Vega, in which a cold case heats up.

The Lovelorn Killer murdered seven women, ritually binding them and leaving them for dead before penning them gruesome love letters in the local papers. Then he disappeared, and after twenty years with no trace of him, many believe that he's gone for good.

Not Grace Harper. A grocery store manager by day, at night Grace uses her snooping skills as part of an amateur sleuth group. She believes the Lovelorn Killer is still living in the same neighborhoods that he hunted in, and if she can figure out how he selected his victims, she will have the key to his identity.

Detective Annalisa Vega lost someone she loved to the killer. Now she's at a murder scene with the worst kind of déjà vu: Grace Harper lies bound and dead on the floor, surrounded by clues to the biggest murder case that Chicago homicide never solved. Annalisa has the chance to make it right and to heal her family, but first, she has to figure out what Grace knew―how to see a killer who may be standing right in front of you. This means tracing his steps back to her childhood, peering into dark corners she hadn't acknowledged before, and learning that despite everything the killer took, she has still so much more to lose.




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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. 

© 2021 Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post has been stolen and was used without permission.

 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany

 


Today I'm participating in the Deadly Summer Nights Great Escapes Blog Tour. In this post you'll find information about the book and the author along with my review. There's also a giveaway contest--be sure to enter for a chance to win a print copy of the book. The entry link appears further on in this post.

 

About the book . . .

  

Deadly Summer Nights (A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (September 7, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 059333437X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593334379
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08NT3JCXQ
 

 

Synopsis . . . A summer of fun at a Catskills resort comes to an abrupt end when a guest is found murdered, in this new 1950s set mystery series.

It’s the summer of 1953, and Elizabeth Grady is settling into Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. As a vacation getaway, Haggerman’s is ideal, and although Elizabeth’s ostentatious but well-meaning mother is new to running the resort, Elizabeth is eager to help her organize the guests and the entertainment acts. But Elizabeth will have to resort to untested abilities if she wants to save her mother’s business.

When a reclusive guest is found dead in a lake on the grounds, and a copy of The Communist Manifesto is found in his cabin, the local police chief is convinced that the man was a Russian spy. But Elizabeth isn’t so sure, and with the fate of the resort hanging in the balance, she’ll need to dodge red herrings, withstand the Red Scare, and catch a killer red-handed. 

 

My review . . . Haggerman's Catskills Resort in Summervale, New York is the perfect mountain destination for city folks seeking an escape from the oppressive summer heat. Days are spent participating in outdoor activities and lounging by the pool; and evenings are the time to dress to the nines while enjoying cocktails, dancing, and shows. Regardless of time of day, another major activity is gossiping--and the discovery of Harold Westenham's lifeless body in the lake provides lots to talk about. This being no accidental drowning, everyone wants to know, who killed the mysterious guest in Cabin 19, a retired college professor who was writing a novel during his stay? And what was the motive? Manager Elizabeth Grady must do major damage control before the incident impacts the resort's reputation and viability. 

In the two years since Elizabeth's mother--former star of the stage and screen Olivia Peters--inherited Haggerman's, they have worked hard to attract both a loyal staff and customer base, despite competing with popular nearby hotels that aren't beyond using dirty tactics to cut into Haggerman's business. The current situation gives the competition more ammunition, and rumors have the community in an uproar. Is the killer another guest, someone from the area, or a person from the victim's past? With the help of close staff members, Elizabeth sets a trap to catch the killer, putting both her personal safety and business on the line.

Vicki Delany--no stranger to creating successful cozy mystery series--has done it again, introducing a new setting and intriguing cast of personalities. In Deadly Summer Nights, she revives the Catskills of the 1950's--then a moderately glamorous nearby getaway that New Yorkers flocked to every summer. The story is rich in period detail--bringing back to life the fashion, customs, attitudes, and politics of the time. The plot of the mystery is slow-burning, with carefully placed red herrings and clues that keep readers engaged. With signature style, Delany delivers a small town vibe, strongly investing in character development, creating humorous moments, and building relationships that lay the ground work for future installments of the series. All in all, this series is a welcome addition to the genre from one of the great storytellers in the field, and I eagerly await the next book.

 

About the author . . .  
  
 
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than forty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea by the Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane Books, the Catskill Resort mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates) for Crooked Lane.
 
Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards. Vicki is the recipient of the 2019 Derrick Murdoch Award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
 
 

Author links . . . 

Website:  www.vickidelany.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor;

Twitter:  @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor

Instagram: vickidelany

Bookbub: Vicki Delany Books – BookBub

 

Purchase links . . .  AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

 

Giveaway . . . Enter for a chance to win a print copy of Deadly Summer Nights by clicking this link.

 

  


Tour Participants . . .

September 1 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 1 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

September 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

September 3 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

September 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

September 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

September 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 5 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW

September 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, RECIPE

September 6 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

September 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 8 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

September 8 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – RECIPE

September 8 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 10 – View From the Birdhouse – REVIEW

September 10 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 11 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 12 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

September 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

September 13 – Reading Reality – REVIEW

September 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 14 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

September 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

 



Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Deadly Summer Nights from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.











This Blog Tour post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. It cannot be republished without attribution.



Monday, September 13, 2021

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 


. . . First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros . . . now hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews, where bloggers share excerpts from a book they have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read.
 

Today I'm featuring a recent blog tour read, Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany. It's the first book in the new Catskill Summer Resort mystery series. 


  


First Chapter:  "My neighbor Mrs. Francesco heard him at a club in the city. Vulgar, unamusing, and all-around offensive were the words she used. As if that wasn't bad enough, he was even worse the second night!" Mrs. Brownville blew a plume of smoke into my face. I gave my best professional smile, but it wasn't easy.

  

What do you think? Would you continue reading?

I am a dedicated Vicki Delany fan and read several of her ongoing cozy series. Of course I jumped at the chance to begin her newest series, Catskill Summer Resort Mysteries. The opening paragraph gives a snapshot of the era the story is set in--the 1950's, when smoking was a popular habit and sensitivities around risque humor were prevalent.

 

 

 

This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. © 2021, Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post is being used without permission.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and 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 an upcoming read, Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce, the second book in the Emmy Lake Chronicles series. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version of the book borrowed from the library.

Yours Cheerfully: A Novel

Beginning:  Prologue

London, Late May 1941

As Mr. Collins called a start to the Woman's Friend editorial meeting, to anyone watching, it was a perfectly normal Monday-morning affair.

********************  

Page 56: The last cover, though. really caught my eye. Under the large Woman's Friend heading was a blue-eyed woman with her hair poking out from under a scarf tied around her head. She was wearing dungarees and holding a large tin mug.

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My thoughts:  I enjoyed Dear Mrs. Bird, A.J. Pearce's previous novel, which was the start to this series. I am always drawn to books set in London during World War II with strong female characters. 

I am looking forward to revisiting the characters introduced in Dear Mrs. Bird. The opening line of the prologue hints at an unusual turn of events about to unfold during the editorial meeting, and the excerpt from page 56 brings a Rosie the Riverter-like image to mind.

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From GoodReads:  London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to make a go of it.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.




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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. 

© 2021 Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post has been stolen and was used without permission.

Monday, September 6, 2021

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

 It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 



. . . First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros . . . now hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews, where bloggers share excerpts from a book they have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read.
 

Today I'm featuring a recent read, 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard. The excerpt shared is from an eBook I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.




First Chapter:  Today

It's like one of those viral videos taken inside some swanky apartment complex, where all the slim and fit thirtysomething residents are doing jumping jacks behind the glass railings of their balconies while the world burns. But these ones stand still, only moving to look down or at each other from across the courtyard, or to lift a hand to their mouth or chest. Their faces are pale, their hair askew, their feet bare. Dawn has barely broken; they've just been roused from their sleep. No one want to film this.
 
What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

That is a curious opening, and I was glad it prompted me to read on because 56 Days is one of the best books I've read this year. So as not to reveal any spoilers, I share the following brief thoughts:

Ciara and Oliver meet in Dublin shortly before the city and entire country enter a Covid-19 lockdown. Each is initially private and guarded, but as their relationship grows, they move in together during the lockdown. How well will they get to know each other as a result? Will this turn into an opportunity for a future together?

In 56 Days, Catherine Ryan Howard has created a masterly woven tale of suspense with twists and turns that keep readers on the edges of their seats. Her well-plotted revelations turn the story's trajectory in unexpected ways, making this a compelling page-turner.





 



This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. © 2021, Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post is being used without permission.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Cover Reveal: The Friday Night Mystery Club by Joanna Campbell Slan

A New Book from Joanna Campbell Slan

                           

A Novel Featuring a Female Amateur Sleuth and Her Friends

                                   

Decatur, Illinois - 1986

                                         

Release Date September 18, 2021

                           

The Friday Night Mystery Club

A nasty divorce leaves Cragan Collins with a mountain of bills and her grandmother to support. She takes a job as an ad salesperson for The Gazette. The market is tough, but Cragan finds a mentor in business reporter, Robert Smithson. One icy January day, Robert is found dead in a city park. His murder is dismissed as gay-on-gay crime. Cragan asks The Friday Night Mystery Club to find justice for Robert. Will Cragan's quest for the truth land her on the obituary page?

 

About Joanna Campbell Slan

“Our best friend, our next-door neighbor, and ourselves with just a touch of the outrageous.” That’s how RT Book Review describes Joanna’s protagonist, Kiki Lowenstein. The truth is that’s a pretty good description of Joanna Campbell Slan as well.

Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.

Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).

Currently, she writes five fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), and the Zen Cozy Mystery Series (launch 2021).

A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.

In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at jcslan@joannaslan.com or visit her website at https://linktr.ee/jcslan

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