Monday, January 25, 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 an upcoming read, The End of Her by Shari Lapena. It's the most recent book by the author of The Couple Next Door and several other bestsellers.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition borrowed from the library.





First Chapter:  August 2018

Aylesford, New York

Hanna Bright puts little Teddy in his baby swing on the front porch and sits down to read her novel. It's going to get hot later, but in the morning it's nice on the porch, out of the sun. She notices two cars parked at the house across the street and a couple of doors down. The house is for sale; someone must be looking to buy it.

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

The beginning paints such an innocent scene, but given the author, my radar has been tripped and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.  





 

This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.   

Thursday, January 21, 2021

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 an upcoming read, Playing Nice by JP Delaney. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition borrowed from the library.


Beginning: 1
Pete
It was just an ordinary day.

If this were a color piece or a feature, the kind of thing I used to write on a daily basis, the editor would have rejected it just for that opening sentence. Openers need to hook people, Pete, she'd tell me, tossing my pages back at me across my desk. Paint a picture, set a scene. Be dramatic. In travel journalism especially, you need a sense of place. Take me on a journey.

So: It was just an ordinary day in Willesden Green, north London.

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Page 56: I looked at her, aghast. Was it possible she didn't know?
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My thoughts: This is the latest novel by the author of The Girl Before, an engrossing thriller that I read a few years ago. I really like his writing style, which I find engaging, as well as his interesting plot developments.

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From GoodReads: What if you found out that your family isn't yours at all? How far would you go to protect them? A gripping new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Girl Before. . . .

Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent's worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete's son, Theo, isn't actually his son--he is the Lamberts', switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they've been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.

The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents--or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts' glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe. 

They are done playing nice.





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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.




Monday, January 18, 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 an upcoming read, Can't Judge a Book by Its Murder by Amy Lillard.  It's the first book in the Main Street Bookclub Mysteries series. The excerpt shared is from an eBook borrowed from the library.



First Chapter:  This was the last thing she needed.

Arlo Stanley hurried around the building, barely missing the crumbling spot at the edge of the street. Her foot twisted, and a sharp pain shot from her toes up to her ankle. This was not the day to break in new shoes. And heels at that. Now she had a bum ankle to add to the equation. But she had already been dressed for work when the police called.

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

As many already know, I find new cozy mystery series irresistible--especially those that have some of my favorite elements. In this case, those elements are a book store and book club. I'm eager to make the acquaintance of Arlo Stanley, and want to know why the police are contacting her.













This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  

Thursday, January 14, 2021

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 book that has been sitting patiently on my shelves, As She Left It by Catriona McPherson. The excerpts shared are from a book I purchased a while ago.





Beginning:  21 July 2010  Tuesday
It's all connected. Everything's joined to everything. You think you can keep things out of your head, if you concentrate hard. You think your brain's in charge. And then blammo! From nowhere, one little thread starts to fray, one little rock gets lifted, and the light shines in. That's when you know it's your blood that runs the show. Your bowels. Your guts and your glands. When you're shaking so hard you can't talk and you're breathing so fast you can't think and all of your careful stories have been blown away.

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

Page 56:  She followed it out into the passage and along to the back of the house and the attic stairs, then climbed them as quietly as she could. She didn't know whether her ears were getting attuned or if she was really getting closer.

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

My thoughts:  The cover, opening lines, and excerpt are all rather ominous. I'm in the mood for a mysterious, atmospheric read and this book is calling to me.

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

From Goodreads:  When she was twelve years old, Opal Jones escaped her mother's endless drinking. Now, returning to their small Leeds cottage after her mum's death, Opal feels like she's gone back in time. Nosey Mrs. Pickess is still polishing her windows to a sparkle. Fishbo, Opal's ancient music teacher, still plays trumpet with his band. And much to Opal's delight, her favorite neighbor, Margaret Reid, still keeps an eye on things from the walk in front of her house.

But a tragedy has struck Mote Street. Margaret's grandson, Craig, disappeared some ten years ago, and every day he's not found, shame and sorrow settle deeper into the neighborhood's forgotten corners. As the door she closed on her own dark past begins to open, Opal uncovers more secrets than she can bear about the people who were once 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 a


Monday, January 11, 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 an upcoming read, The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard. The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.





First Chapter:   Jim was on patrol. Head up, eyes scanning, thumbs hooked into his belt. The heft of the items clipped to it--his phone, a walkie-talkie, a sizeable flashlight--pushed the leather down toward his hips, and the weight of them forced him to stride rather than walk. He liked that. When he got home at the end of the day and had to take off the belt, he missed the feel of it.

The store had only opened thirty minutes ago and the staff still outnumbered the customers. Jim circled the Home section, then cut through Womenswear to Grocery. There was at least some activity there. You could count on a handful of suited twenty-something males to come darting around the aisles round about now, eyes scanning for the carton of oat milk or prepacked superfood salad they were after, as if they were on some sort of team-building task.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

The opening paragraphs aren't particularly revealing, but this is an author I have wanted to read for a while now, and I'm anticipating a good story.





 

This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.   

Thursday, January 7, 2021

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.

 

A belated Happy Book Pub Day to my current read, The Push by Ashley Audrain, which was published earlier this week, on January 5, 2021.  The excerpts shared are from an advance eBook received from the publisher via NetGalley.

 

Beginning:  Your house glows at night like everything inside is on fire.

********************  

56%:  Our dinner was served at five sharp in the dining room. The solo tables were all taken so I sat on the bench of the long farm table and looked around at a sea of rich people.

********************  

My thoughts:  Motherhood doesn't come naturally to Blythe. She struggles to bond with her first-born child Violet, which brings up painful memories of her own childhood. Blythe finds Violet difficult to mother, and her feelings of inadequacy grow. The family seems to settle in after the birth of their second child. Sam is a sweet-natured little boy who restores Blythe's confidence in her ability to nurture her children. The family's foundation is soon shattered by disturbing events that forever change them.

The Push is a taut, suspenseful tale that delves into the psychological aspects of unravelling relationships.

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

From GoodReads:  A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family–and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for–and everything she feared.

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter–she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.
  


Monday, January 4, 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.
 

Happy Book Pub Day to my first book of 2021, The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins. I received an advance reader copy of this deliciously suspenseful novel from the publisher via NetGalley.



First Chapter:  Part I

Jane

Chapter One

February

It is the absolute shittiest day for a walk.

Rain has been pouring down all morning, making my drive from Center Point out here to Mountain Brook a nightmare, soaking the hem of my jeans as I got out of the car in the Reeds' driveway, making my sneakers squelch on the marble floors of the foyer.

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?

Husband and wife Bea and Eddie Rochester seem to have an ideal marriage, living an opulent life that makes them the envy of their neighbors. But when Bea disappears after a boating accident, everything changes. As Eddie begins a life without Bea, he meets Jane, a young woman from the opposite side of the tracks. When their relationship grows serious, unanswered questions about Bea's accident intensify. What really happened on that fateful evening? 

The Wife Upstairs is an unputdownable, suspenseful tale with manipulative characters who each have deep, dark secrets. Surprising twists and turns propel the plot from beginning to breathtaking end.





 

This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.