Thursday, May 12, 2022

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and 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 read, The Maid by Nita Prose. The excerpts shared are from a large print edition borrowed from the library.

 

The Maid


Beginning:  I am your maid. I'm the one who cleans your hotel room, who enters like a phantom when you're out gallivanting for the day, no care at all about what you've left behind, the mess, or what I might see when you're gone.

********************  

Page 56:  I consider what it is the detective really wants to know and what I'm prepared to divulge.

********************  

My thoughts:  Molly Gray leads a simple, sheltered life and toils at a job as a hotel maid that allows her to avoid uncomfortable personal interactions and remain relatively invisible. Molly's life is literally and figuratively turned upside down, however, when she discovers the lifeless body of Charles Black, one of the Regency Grand Hotel's VIP guests, in his suite. While at first glance he appears to have died of natural causes, a police investigation determines that Mr. Black was the victim of foul play. Detectives zero in on Molly as their prime suspect, but Molly is a gentle soul incapable of such a crime. She has been methodically framed, but by whom and why? And whom can she trust in the effort to clear her name?

This story's setting, characters, and touches of humor and irony are very engaging and entertaining. Readers will root for the awkward, vulnerable protagonist as she navigates the complex situation she finds herself in and the upstanding characters who step in to support her and restore one's faith in humanity.

********************  

From GoodReads:  Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life's complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.

But Molly's orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what's happening, Molly's unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it's too late?

A
Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.




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

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.

 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and 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 The Club by Ellery Lloyd. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition borrowed from the library.

The Club 


Beginning:  By the time the Land Rover was halfway across the causeway it must have been obvious they were never going to make it. Not at the speed that tide was coming in. Not with that distance still t go. At which point, what do you do?

********************  

Page 56:  As valuable as Annie was, Nikki thought, she should still be treading very carefully right now, with Ned so on edge. Because if there was one thing Ned Groom could not abide, it was being upstaged.

********************  

My thoughts:  Murder, mystery, and secrets--all seem to await behind the doors of a remote celebrity club. Sounds like the perfect weekend read to me.

********************   

From GoodReads:  From the author of People Like Her comes a smart and sinister murder mystery set in the secretive world of exclusive celebrity clubs.


Everyone's Dying to Join . . .

The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members' clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media.

The most spectacular of all is Island Home—a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast—and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.

But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group's CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide—and that's before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island.

As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.

Because at
this club, if your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out.




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

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.

 

Monday, May 2, 2022

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 The Comeback by Ella Berman, a book that recently caught my attention. The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.




First Chapter:  Six Weeks Earlier

They recognize me when I'm at CVS buying diet pills for my mom, the only kind that don't make her lose her mind.

"Aren't you Grace Turner?"

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

The opening makes me curious about the narrator. I will definitely need to keep reading to find out more.




 



This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.

 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Death on the Set by Rose Kerr

 



Today I'm participating in the Death on the Set Great Escapes Blog Tour. In this post you'll find information about the book and author along with my review. Be sure to enter the giveaway contest via the link further below for a chance to win a prize package including a print book, bookmark, and sticker (U.S. only).



About the book . . .

 


Death on the Set (A Brenna Flynn Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
TouchPoint Press (March 29, 2022)
Number of Pages: 274
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09VKB8HH9


Synopsis . . . Former high school guidance counselor turns amateur sleuth to save herself from a murder charge on a reality show . . .

Brenna Flynn returns home to Bayview City after the sudden death of her husband. Unable to find work in her field, she signs up with a temp agency to find employment. Sent on an interview for a cooking reality show, she aces it and gets the job of a production assistant.

On her second day at work, Brenna discovers a body in the studio. She soon learns she’s the police’s primary suspect. Determined to clear her name, she uses some skills she’s honed as a guidance counselor to learn more about the victim. Drawing people out comes naturally to Brenna, and she becomes a confidante to cast and crew on the show.

The stakes are raised with threatening notes, poisonings, and blackmail. Can Brenna uncover who the killer is before someone else dies?


My review . . .Bayview City native Brenna Flynn returns to her Northern Michigan hometown after experiencing two shocking losses--the sudden death of her husband and the unexpected end of her job as a high school guidance counselor. She has the opportunity to get her life back on track when she lands a six week assignment as a production assistant on Bayview Cooks!, a local TV reality show. Brenna is in for another shock, however, when she finds a lifeless body on the stage floor of the kitchen and becomes a person of interest in the crime. A problem solver by profession, Brenna springs into action to clear her name and find the killer.

Brenna eventually clears her name, but the killer proves elusive. As more people connected to the show find themselves in harm's way, the race is on to identify and stop the killer. Who is the guilty party, and can s/he be apprehended before another death occurs?

In Death on the Set, Rose Kerr delivers a strong start to a new series. The mystery itself is well-paced and has enough suspects and red herrings to keep readers engaged. Also appealing is the spunky, can-do protagonist Brenna Flynn and her tight-knit community of friends and family who rally around her when she returns to her hometown. These factors--as well as finely placed hints about Brenna's past life and the arc of the story in this first book--build interest in a continuing series. The possibilities seem endless for Brenna Flynn in terms of future adventures, and I eagerly await the next installment in the series.


About the author . . .   

             

Rose Kerr grew up in a small community in Nova Scotia. A graduate of Acadia University’s Bachelor of Arts Degree, Recreation and Physical Education, Rose worked for several organizations: Nova Scotia Figure Skating Association, Synchro Swim Nova Scotia, Northern Options for Women, and Contact North|Contact Nord. She traveled from Newfoundland to British Columbia and most provinces in between for work.

Rose and her husband settled in a small town, on the shores of Lake Superior in Northern Ontario to raise their family. A strong believer in lifelong learning, Rose took creative writing courses and began writing mysteries.

More recently, Rose, her husband, and their dog Jake have moved to Southern Ontario. When she isn’t writing, Rose and her husband enjoy exploring the new region.

Rose is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Guppy Online Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Canada.


Author links . . . 


Purchase Links . . .   Amazon – Amazon Canada – Kobo – B&N

Giveaway . . . Enter for a chance to win a prize package including a print book, bookmark, and sticker (U.S. only) by clicking this link.


Tour Participants . . . 
April 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 19 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
April 20 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 22 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
April 23 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 24 – Ravenz Reviewz – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
April 24 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
April 30 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 1 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
May 1 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Death on the Set 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.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and 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 on the Set by Rose Kerr. The excerpts shared are from an eBook copy I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Death on the Set, A Brenna Flynn Myster… 

 

Beginning:  "Come on, hurry up!" The light was taking forever. Brenna drummed her fingers against the steering wheel. Monday morning traffic should have been over by now. A glance at the clock on her Jeep's dashboard showed she had less than ten minutes to get across town. She couldn't be late for this interview. Finally, a lead on a job. The light changed, and Brenna hustled to her meeting. It had been a rough six months. Her husband's sudden death and then losing her position at the school. Coming home to Bayview City in Northern Michigan seemed like a good idea at the time but work as a high school guidance counselor didn't come easily. Most of the school boards had been impacted by the cuts to education funding.

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

56% of eBook:  Brenna grinned. "I know. I can't believe I'm here either."

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

My thoughts:  The opening paragraph gives a good bit of detail about Brenna Flynn, the protagonist in this first book of a new cozy mystery series. After two traumatic losses, she has returned to her hometown to rebuild her life and career. As the book opens, Brenna is on her way to interview for a temporary job as a production assistant at a local cooking reality show. Does she get the job . . . is she about to experience a change in her luck . . . and her life? The only way to find out what lies in store for Brenna is to read this engaging story.

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

From GoodReads:  Former high school guidance counselor turns amateur sleuth to save herself from murder charge on reality show.

Brenna Flynn returns home to Bayview City after the sudden death of her husband. Unable to find work in her field, she signs up with a temp agency to find employment. Sent on an interview for a cooking reality show, she aces it and gets the job of a production assistant.

On her second day at work, Brenna discovers a body in the studio. She soon learns she's the police's primary suspect. Determined to clear her name, she uses some skills she's honed as a guidance counselor to learn more about the victim. Drawing people out comes naturally to Brenna, and she becomes a confidante to cast and crew on the show.

The stakes are raised with threatening notes, poisonings, and blackmail. Can Brenna uncover who the killer is before someone else dies?

 

 

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

 

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. 

 

Monday, April 25, 2022

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 cozy murder mystery called The Fog Ladies by Susan McCormick. It's the first installment in San Francisco Cozy Murder Mystery Series. 




First Chapter:  "Did you hear about Mrs. Bridge?"

Sarah James was barely inside the laundry room when the older woman spoke. Enid Carmichael eyed her with relish, and Sarah knew she hoped to be the first to impart the news.

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

I purchased this book over the weekend at the Malice Domestic mystery conference in Bethesda, Maryland. It was so nice to attend an in-person multi-day gathering of authors and mystery fans. After hearing the author speak about this book, I knew I wanted to spend time albeit virtually in a San Francisco apartment building populated by a group of older women and a young medical intern.





 



This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.

Monday, March 28, 2022

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 Run Roe Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson. 




First Chapter:  Annie Lee had been standing on the side of the road for an hour, thumbing a ride, when the rain started falling in earnest.

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

Although James Patterson has many other co-authors, his partnership with Dolly Parton intrigues me. I recently listened to an interview about their experience writing together and it sounded like they had a great time collaborating. And Dolly has a forthcoming record album related to the novel. 

I'm looking forward to reading--and listening--to the book and album and finding out what Rose is running from.





 



This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.