Apr 28, 2017

Book Beginning: The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers.

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.
Title: The Widow of Wall Street
Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Published: April 11, 2017, Atria Books
Genre: contemporary fiction
"... a woman struggles to redefine her life and marriage as everything she thought she knew crumbles around her."


Book beginning:

Phoebe
November 2009

Phoebe never hated her husband more than when she visited him in prison. The preceding nightmare of ordeals - eleven hours hauling a suitcase by bus, train, and cab, her muscles screaming from the weight - were the coming attractions of the misery she faced he next day. 

Page 57

"So did he tell you?"
"Did he tell me what?" Phoebe dipped into the pot and sampled a bit of sauce. Almost perfect. Velvet smooth.
"How he lost everyone's money?"

Book description: ... the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street, and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.

I am eager to see how the wife is portrayed and if her seeming innocence of her husband's double life on Wall Street is believable or not. What did you think, if you have already read the book?  

Apr 25, 2017

Book Feature: The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert

Title: The Last Chance Olive Ranch: China Bayles Mystery
Author: Susan Wittig Albert 
Published: April 4, 2017, Berkley
Setting: Pecan Springs, Texas. China fears for McQuaid’s life as an escaped convict targets him...

First chapter: 
I hate it when the telephone rings at night. Granted, it wasn't night, technically speaking. It was 5 a.m., according to the clock on my side of the bed. But the only light in the room was a dim nightlight and my husband and I had both been sound asleep. To me, that qualifies as night.

From Ch. six:
...Hank grunted, "I'll do it," he said. But China better not blame me if you wind up dead." 
Book description:
Max Mantel, the killer McQuaid put away years ago, has busted out of the Huntsville prison and appears to be headed for Pecan Springs. McQuaid knows there’s only one way to stop the vengeful convict—set a trap with himself as bait.

China wants to stay by her husband’s side. But McQuaid  insists that she get out of town and go to the Last Chance Olive Ranch, where she’s agreed to teach a workshop on herbs.

While China throws herself into helping Maddie, the owner of the ranch, McQuaid’s plan backfires when Mantel executes a countermove he never saw coming. 

Have you read any of the other China Bayles mysteries?

MEME: Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two, from a book you are reading or will be reading soon.

Mangrove Lightning by Randy Wayne White: First Chapter

Mangrove Lightning by Randy Wayne Wright, Doc Ford Mystery #24, March 21, 2017, Putnam Sons
The ghosts of a 1925 multiple murder stalk Doc Ford in a new novel in the series. Setting: Key Largo to Tallahassee.

First chapter, first paragraph:

On the telephone, Tomlinson said to Ford, "When the deputy's wife and kids disappeared, moonshiners might have dumped their bodies in the lake - it was during Prohibition. It wouldn't be the first time karma has waited decades to book justice in the ass." 

"Tootsie Barlow told you that story? " Ford a marine biologist was referring to a famous fishing guide who ranked with Jimmie Albright, Jack Brothers, Ted Williams, and a few others that ranked as fly-casting pioneers in the Florida Keys. 


from the Author's Note:
This novel is based on events that occurred in Florida and the Bahamas during Prohibition, as reported (often vaguely) by newspapers at the time. 

Based on the book description and the excerpts, is this a book that would capture your interest?
MEME: Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two, from a book you are reading or will be reading soon.

Apr 23, 2017

Sunday Post: Spring Has Sprung, But Where Are the Bees?


Spring is definitely here to stay and my Mount McKinley cherry tree was in full bloom. However, heavy rains and lack of bees mean there will be no red cherries this year on my tree. Very discouraging. I have only seen one or two bumblebees so far but am hoping for more in the summer.

Title: Murder in the Bowery: Gaslight Mystery #20
Author: Victoria Thompson
Published May 2, 2017 by Berkley
Genre: historical mystery
"Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy search for a connection between a murdered newsie and a high society woman with dangerous habits."


Title: The Widow of Wall Street
Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Published: April 11, 2017, Atria Books
Genre: contemporary fiction
"... a woman struggles to redefine her life and marriage as everything she thought she knew crumbles around her."


Title: The Murder of Mary Russell: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #14
Author: Laurie R. King
Publisher: April 5, 2017, Bantam
"Has Laurie King followed in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s footsteps and killed off her protagonist?"

These are the books most recent to my bookshelf. How about yours?

Last week, I finished several books:


Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel, June 2016.
Review: The author is an excellent storyteller and creator of interesting characters. The novel is about people seeking freedom - freedom from parents, families and social custom, from all that is expected of them. Edgar and Fern, born to wealthy parents, feel they have escaped all of the responsibility of their inherited wealth, and live in the freedom they want, until the day their fortunes change and Fern's parents lose all their money. The book is about how this couple look a harsher reality in the face and how they adjust to it, or not.
Recommendation: Five stars. 



The Girl from Yesterday by Kathryn Miller Haines, published April 17, 2017, Pocket Star
Comments: The thriller features complicated dysfunctional families and a convoluted plot. The situations some of the girls find themselves in are almost too hard to read about, but it's a good thriller nonetheless. Three and a half stars. 

The Day I Died: A Novel by Lori Rader-Day,

Comments: I enjoyed the detailed settings - two very different small towns in Indiana and Wisconsin; plus the interesting main character, a woman who escapes abuse at home and raises a son on her own, moving from town to town to escape being traced, while working for the FBI and police as a handwriting expert. She is believed dead by some, but when she settles in a town close to her original home, secrets and the past come to light as she works to help the police solve a local crime. A thriller with an excellent plot. Five stars. 

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin, published 2006.I was able to flip quickly through the novel and still get, I think, the gist of this novel of the marriage of a couple who agree from the beginning that they don't want children. But then, one of them changes their mind. An interesting though somewhat predictable read. Four stars.
 

What books are on your desk this week?
Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date Also visit Mailbox Monday.

Apr 21, 2017

My Last Lament by James William Brown: Book Beginning

My Last Lament by James William Brown, March 2017, Berkley Books

Book beginning:
Cassette 1, Side 1

Now let me see. How do I turn this thing on? Oh. Maybe it is on. There's a red light anyway, a little fiery eye in this dark kitchen. I guess I speak into this bit - hello, hello in there. One-two-three-four. I'm just going to rewind and play that back to make sure I'm doing it right, seeing as how all machines are out to humiliate me. Technology means putting a cassette into a recorder, and that's it for me, no comments, please. Okay, everything's okay, though I would never guess that's how I must sound to others, old and croaky, like a geriatric frog.

The speaker, an old woman now, is a former lamenter who is recording her personal history, the old tradition of lamenting, and her memories of WWII in Greece. 

Page 56:

...My throat constricted as she said I'd become a little headstrong lately and she'd been meaning to speak to me about that and about my spending so much time with Stelios. 

Book description: "a poignant and evocative novel of one Greek woman's story of her own and her nation's epic struggle in the aftermath of World War II. It's written in the first person, and highlights the Greek folk art of lamenting, its history, and the people who served as "lamenters" and is a `eulogy to a way of life.'"

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.