Thursday, July 18, 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 book I finished earlier this week, The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict.  The excerpts shared are from an eBook borrowed from the library.

 The Stranger Inside

Beginning: Chapter One
The outcropping of limestone on which Michelle Hannon struck her head had been a part of the hillside for three thousand years, before there were trees in sight taller than a scrubby pine.  

********************
56% of eBook (approximately):  A few minutes before eight, she checked to make sure Kimber was still watching television with their parents and moved the upstairs phone into her room.  At exactly eight, she dialed the long-distance number and held her breath.
********************
 
My thoughts:  Kimber Hannon returns from a short camping retreat to find that her keys no longer open the doors to her home. Someone is living there without her consent, with unauthorized access to all of her belongings. Thus begins Kimber's living nightmare, and her troubles multiply as she attempts to uncover the identity of the squatter. Her inquiries lead Kimber down dark roads that test her relationships and threaten to expose the secrets of her past.

As Kimber confronts disturbing events from her childhood, she realizes that she doesn't know the full story of what actually occurred. Will these new revelations completely tear her apart, or will she find a way to come to terms with the truth and finally put the past behind her? This suspenseful novel with its unsettling premise is full of twists and turns that will keep readers off balance until its very end. 
 
********************
 
From Goodreads:  What if you came home to find a stranger living inside your house?  An "outstanding, ever-twisting, surprise-filled" psychological drama (Publishers Weekly), in the tradition of Shari Lapena and Liane Moriarty, from Edgar- and Thriller Award-nominated author Laura Benedict.
 
There's a stranger living in Kimber Hannon's house. He tells the police that he has every right to be there, and he has the paperwork to prove it. But Kimber definitely didn't invite this man to move in. He tells her that he knows something about her, and he wants everyone else to know it too.

"I was there. I saw what you did."

These words reveal a connection to Kimber's distant past, and dark secrets she'd long ago left buried. This trespasser isn't after anything as simple as her money or her charming Craftsman bungalow. He wants to move into her carefully orchestrated life--and destroy it.
 
 

********************
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.



 

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!"

********************
56% of eBook: "Why shouldn't Simon be nice to them?"
"Well, he should, but he wasn't nice to everyone..." 
********************
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.

********************
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.



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


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.

********************
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.
********************
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.

********************
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.
 




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

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.