Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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, Wine and Punishment by Sarah Fox.  The excerpt shared is from an eBook borrowed from the library.


Chapter One

The crisp autumn breeze rustled through the colorful maple trees flanking the old grist mill.  I stood back from the red-trimmed stone building, near the edge of the road, so I could get a full view of the property.  A creek flowed along in front of the mill, gurgling and splashing, turning the old red water wheel, and a wooden bridge led the way from the wide footpath to the flagstone walkway that ended at the building's main door.

Beyond the mill a forest of sugar maples, beech trees, and conifers formed a serene backdrop, birdsong audible even from where I stood.  Overhead, the bold blue sky was cloudless, and the early October sunshine brightened the entire scene before me.

It was postcard-perfect.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
This book has multiple appeal factors for me:  (1) the beautiful cover; (2) it's the first book in a series; (3) the play on words in the title; and (4) the name of the series: Literary Pub Mysteries.  The opening paragraphs set an idyllic picture, so I'm wondering, what can go wrong?









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 with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

16

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring a recent blog tour read, Murder's No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher.  It's the first book in the new Nantucket Candle Maker mystery series. The excerpts shared are from the eBook I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  

Beginning:  Chapter 1
Friday morning, I woke up before the first ferry's horn sounded its arrival to Nantucket Island, my home town.  I greeted the day by feeling around my bedsheets until I found my phone.  Its bright light kicked in to tell me it was five thirty a.m., and to display a message I'd anticipated for weeks: "Memorial Day Weekend!"

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56% of eBook: "Why shouldn't Simon be nice to them?"
"Well, he should, but he wasn't nice to everyone..." 
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My thoughts:  Murder's No Votive Confidence is a rollicking good read with an engaging cast of characters set on Nantucket.  The murder mystery and otherwise lively plot guarantee never a dull moment, and the beach town setting makes it perfect for summer reading.


You can read my review here and enter a giveaway.

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From Goodreads: 
Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .

Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptial promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot, tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.

When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police Captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be cancelling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.



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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. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.  

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Murder's No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher


Today I'm participating in the Murder's No Votive Confidence Blog Tour.  In this post you'll find book and author information along with my review.  And don't forget to enter the giveaway via the link in this post.  


About the book . . . 

 
Murder's No Votive Confidence
A Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
ISBN-10: 149672139X
ISBN-13: 978-1496721396
Digital ASIN: B07HVYJNRD

 Synopsis . . .
Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .

Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptials promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot-tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.

When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be canceling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.

My review . . . Jessica Sterling and Joe Handler have chosen Nantucket Island, with its natural beauty and quaint charm, as the ideal setting for their Memorial Day weekend nuptials.  As the guests begin to arrive at the Melville Inn for the big day, event planner Emily Gardner and her oldest friend, candle shop owner Stella Wright are working around the clock to deliver the perfect wedding.  And given their eye for detail, everything is under control--that is, until they encounter one detail they never anticipated--the death of Jessica's Uncle Simon, whose lifeless body is found in the inn's game room just days before he was to walk her down the aisle.  Simon has met a violent death, and the murder weapon is the unity candle that Stella hand-crafted for the wedding.

The police are quick to arrest Bill Duffy, an islander and bartender at the Melville Inn, who admitted to assaulting Simon during an argument earlier during the evening in question.   Jessica, whose family has been on the island for generations, has known Bill since she was a child and doesn't believe he is capable of murder.  Setting out to clear his name, Stella questions the people who interacted with Simon before his death and uncovers baffling clues and suspicious behavior.  She collaborates with handsome police officer and childhood friend Andy Southerland to identify a motive and vet the list of suspects.  And as if finding the real killer isn't enough to keep her busy, because the betrothed couple is determined to proceed with the wedding, Stella must quickly create a new ceremonial candle that will not only wow Jessica and Joe, but also restore interest and faith among the other prospective brides who have begun to associate Stella's wedding candles with bad luck.

Murder's No Votive Confidence is a rollicking good read with an engaging cast of characters revolving around protagonist Stella, who has a keen sense for sleuthing.  Her clan of Wright cousins is involved in all aspects of island business, and the other long-time islanders have their own strong history with Stella.  Author Christin Brecher enriches the plot by introducing several "outsider" characters: a mysterious movie star, a comical cat, and an ambitious journalist.  Between the wedding events, murder mystery, and a holiday sailing regatta there is never a dull reading moment.

Murder's No Votive Confidence is a welcome addition to summer reading lists.  This delightful start to a new series opens up possibilities for more adventures involving Stella, her family and friends, her budding love interests, and her candle shop.  I've marked my calendar for a return trip to Nantucket (and warm weather beach thoughts) with the release of Book #2 in the series: Murder Makes Scents, which will be published in February 2020.


Giveaway . . . Enter the Murder's No Votive Confidence book giveaway by clicking on this link. 


About the author . . . 
 

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. 


Author links . . . 


Purchase links . . .  AmazonB&NKoboBAM


 Blog Tours 


Tour participants . . .
July 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
July 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 8 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
July 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
July 9 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
July 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 10 – The Avid Reader  REVIEW
July 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
July 11 – Babs Book Bistro – Candle Making 101 Notes Post
July 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
July 12 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
July 12 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
July 15 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 16 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST  






Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Murder's No Votive Confidence from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



 
This Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Sharing this original post on Twitter and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

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 East End by Jason Allen.  The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.

  

Countdown to Memorial Day:
Thursday

One

After sunset, Corey Halpern sat parked at a dead end in Southampton with his headlights off and the dome light on, killing time before the break-in.  As far as he knew, about a quarter mile up the beach the owners of the summerhouse he'd been casing for the past two weeks were busy playing host, buzzed from cocktails and jabbering beside the pool on their oceanfront deck, oblivious that a townie kid was about to invite himself into their mansion while they and their guests partied into the night.




What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
This story is set in the Hamptons, New York's summer playground for the rich and famous.  The opening paragraph hints at danger ahead, and class differences between the characters.  I can't think of a better time for armchair travel to the Hamptons' stunning beaches and mansions, and am looking forward to settling into a poolside lounge later this month to lose myself in this novel.











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 with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

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, This is What Happened by Mick Herron.  The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version I received from the publisher.

  

Part one.
1

The longer she sat there, the colder she became.  With her back to the cistern, and her feet drawn up beneath her, Maggie perched on the closed lid of the toilet, and concentrated on being as still as possible.  An hour earlier, a spasm in her leg had caused the overhead lights to switch on. Their electric hum had startled her more than the glare.  Someone would hear it, she thought, and come investigate. But nobody arrived, and the spasm subsided, and a few minutes later the lights turned themselves off again.

"How long do I have to hide in the toilets?" she had asked Harvey.

"Until twelve.  At least."
  

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
As if the title wasn't enough to do so, the opening lines certainly piqued my curiosity. Who is Maggie?  Why is she hiding in the toilets?  I'll have to read on to find out.  









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 with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

16

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring a recent blog tour read, Death by Dissertation by Kelly Brakenhoff.  It's the first book in the new Cassandra Sato mystery series. The excerpts shared are from the eBook I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Death by Dissertation (Cassandra Sato Mystery #1) 

Beginning: Chapter One
Cassandra Sato cradled her palms around her warm Morton College travel mug, hoping the coffee inside would calm the churning in her stomach.  Half anticipation, half impatience at wasting her time, uncertainty was the last thing she needed her boss to see at the start of their probationary coaching meeting.  She fixed a serene expression on her face, pretending to admire the view from his picture window, while reviewing her mental list of the issues he might raise.  As the youngest person to earn a doctorate in education from the University of Hawai'i at age 28, she had years of practice appearing more mature and confident than she felt.  Still, feeling confident in the tropical sunshine of Manoa was much easier than squirming on an antique wooden armchair in Carson, Nebraska--population 8,300--in an office that best resembled a British men's club.

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56% of eBook (approximately):  Normally, she would have immediately dismissed his suggestion and fled upstairs to work.  Some impulse--and Dr. Nielson's reminder to get out of her office more--led her to accept his invitation.
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My thoughts:  Death by Dissertation is an engaging mystery with puzzling clues that introduces readers to a plucky protagonist.   Insider observations and a realistic portrayal of campus politics and life in a small college town and the personable cast of characters make this novel a promising start to the series.

You can read my review here and enter a giveaway.

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From Goodreads:  Ambitious Cassandra Sato traded her life in Hawai'i for a dream position as Student Affairs VP at Morton College in tiny Carson, Nebraska. She expected the Midwestern church casseroles, land-locked cornfields, and face-freezing winters would be her biggest challenges, but it's her job that's rapidly becoming a nightmare.

A deaf student is dead and the investigation reveals a complicated trail of connections between campus food service, a local farmer's beef, and the science lab's cancer research. Together with her few allies, Cassandra must protect the students caught up in the entanglement.

Dealing with homesickness, vandalism, and a stalker, Cassandra is trapped in a public relations disaster that could cost her job, or more. No one said college was easy.

Get to know Cassandra and her new friends at Morton College.
 




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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. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.   


Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Death by Dissertation by Kelly Brakenhoff

Today I'm participating in the Death by Dissertation Blog Tour.  In this post you'll find book and author information along with my review.  And don't forget to enter the giveaway via the link in this post.  


About the book . . . 
  
Death by Dissertation (A Cassandra Sato Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Nebraska
Emerald Prairie Press (April 17, 2019)
Paperback: 355 pages
ISBN-10: 1733742409
ISBN-13: 978-1733742405
Digital ASIN: B07PKRD658
 


Synopsis . . .  Ambitious Cassandra Sato traded her life in Hawai’i for a dream position as Student Affairs VP at Morton College in tiny Carson, Nebraska. She expected the Midwestern church casseroles, land-locked cornfields, and face-freezing winters would be her biggest challenges, but it’s her job that’s rapidly becoming a nightmare.

A deaf student is dead and the investigation reveals a complicated trail of connections between campus food service, a local farmer’s beef, and the science lab’s cancer research. Together with her few allies, Cassandra must protect the students caught up in the entanglement.

Dealing with homesickness, vandalism, and a stalker, Cassandra is trapped in a public relations disaster that could cost her job, or more. No one said college was easy.


My review . . .  As Vice President of Student Affairs, Cassandra's main duties are disciplining undergraduate students and mentoring thesis candidates.  When she is tapped to fill in for the college president while he travels abroad creating partnerships with foreign universities, Cassandra imagines an opportunity to showcase her administrative talents and advance her career goal of one day becoming a college president herself.  As it turns out, the experience will not only test her leadership abilities, it will endanger her own safety and that of several students.

Endless meetings and arrangements for Homecoming are somewhat stressful, but pale in comparison with the unfolding developments after the death of a student worker at the college laboratory where groundbreaking cancer research is being conducted.  Cassandra must put her own career on the line to protect the students and the school's reputation.  Will her actions earn her the respect and support of the college president and board of directors, or will she lose her dream job and the chance to realize her career aspirations?

Death by Dissertation is an engaging mystery with puzzling clues that introduces readers to a plucky protagonist.  Cassandra is a highly motivated, talented young woman determined to make her mark in the field of higher education.  Leaving her home and family in Hawai'i and adapting to life in Nebraska is challenging--both in terms of physical weather and cultural climate--but Cassandra's combination of natural grace and assertiveness serve her well.  A core group of campus friends stands by her, and together they form relationships that readers will be able to follow in subsequent books in the series.

Author Kelly Brakenhoff is to be commended for her insider observations and realistic portrayal of campus politics and life in a small college town.  These elements, along with the personable cast of characters, are a promising start to the series.  I look forward to following the further adventures of Dr. Cassandra Sato and her friends and colleagues.


Giveaway . . . Enter the Death by Dissertation contest by clicking on this link. 


About the author . . .  Kelly Brakenhoff is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends. As an American Sign Language Interpreter with more than twenty years of experience, Kelly’s worked in college classrooms for fifteen different majors. From traipsing across muddy farm fields to stomach-churning medical procedures, and stage interpreting for famous figures, Kelly’s community interpreting interactions number in the thousands. Unfortunately, once she’s stepped away from the job, she usually forgets 90% of what happened. Which helps her keep confidential information safe, but also makes it really hard to grocery shop for more than 5 items without a written list.  
Kelly wants to live in a world filled with peace, love, and joy, where people who can hear learn enough sign language to include deaf people in everyday conversations and work. Where every deaf child has early access to language and books with characters like them, and dark chocolate is cheap and plentiful.

When she’s not interpreting or writing, you can find Kelly cheering for her favorite Husker teams or training for half-marathons because she really likes dessert.

Her first mystery, Death by Dissertation, released April 22, 2019.


Purchase link . . .  Amazon  June 22 – 30 – Just $0.99!!

 
Blog Tours 



Tour Participants . . . 
June 17 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW
June 17 – Only By Grace Reviews – REVIEW
June 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
June 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Island Confidential – REVIEW
June 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 21 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
June 21 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
June 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
June 22 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 23 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
June 25 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
June 27 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
June 28 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
June 29 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Death by Dissertation from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



 
This Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Sharing this original post on Twitter and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.