Showing posts with label Teaser Tuesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teaser Tuesday. Show all posts

Jul 5, 2016

First Chapter: Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas

The winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award (2007), Iris and Ruby, is about a grandmother-granddaughter relationship, with flashbacks to the grandmother's early history in Egypt. The novel was reprinted April 2016. I started it several weeks ago but then got sidetracked by new arrivals! It's one I'm looking forward to reading in its entirety.

Iris and Ruby: A Novel by Rosie Thomas, published April 5, 2016 by The Overlook Press
Setting: Cairo
Genre: romance, part historical fiction

First chapter, first paragraph:

I remember.
And even as I say the words aloud in the silent room and hear the whisper dying away in the shadows of the house, I realize that it's not true. 
Because I don't, I can't remember. 
I am old and am beginning to forget things.
Sometimes I'm aware that great tracts of memory have gone, slipping and melting away out of my reach. When I try to recall a particular day, or an entire year, even a damned decade, if I'm lucky there are the bare facts unadorned with color. More often than otherwise there's nothing at all. A blank. 

Book description: 
Iris Black's Cairo house is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of willful granddaughter Ruby from England. Ruby helps Iris document deteriorating memories of glittering, cosmopolitan Cairo and her WWII one true love, enigmatic Captain Xan Molyneux, who was lost to war. Iris’ early devastation shaped her daughter, granddaughter, and leads them into terrible danger in the Egyptian desert.

Teaser from Chapter 5:

"Ruby, do you remember we talked about you helping me to collect some of my old memories?"

Memes: Every Tuesday Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where readers share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that they are reading or plan to read soon. 

Do the book description and first paragraph of the first chapter above appeal to you? Would you read on?

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Dec 22, 2015

First Chapter: Suspicion at Seven by Ann Purser

Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter, First Paragraph every Tuesday. Share the first paragraph(s) of your current read or book interest, with information for readers. Also share a teaser from the book with Teaser Tuesday at A Daily Rhythm.

Suspicion at Seven: A Lois Meade Mystery by Ann Purser, published December 2, 2015 by Berkley.
Lois Meade has done enough buffing and polishing over the years with her cleaning business, New Brooms, to know that all that glitters is not gold. So when a bag of costume jewellery is the main clue in a murder, she has a strong suspicion that appearances may be deceiving…

First chapter, first paragraph:
Lois Meade, businesswoman and unpaid amateur detective, sat on the low wall of a millpond and watched the flow of water in the tailrace, where ducks and drakes were flapping about in the antics of courtship. It was spring, and love was in the air. Oddly enough, murder was also in the air. 
What do you think? Does the beginning make you want to read on?

Dec 2, 2015

First Chapter: For Better or Worsted by Betty Hechtman

Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter, First Paragraph every Tuesday. Share the first paragraph(s) of your current read or book interest, with information for readers. Also share a teaser from the book with Teaser Tuesday at A Daily Rhythm.

I chose this book to highlight because of the clever title. I haven't read the others in the series, but I'm pretty sure this is a stand-alone cozy.

For Better or Worsted by Betty Hechtman, Crochet Mystery #8, published 2013
Genre: cozy mystery

Molly Pink and her crochet group, the Tarzana Hookers, are always game for a new adventure. But when their newest member is accused of turning her wedding into happily-never-after for the groom, Molly’s chance to find the truth is hanging by a thread ...

First chapter, first paragraph:
You know how they say weddings always have drama? Well, this one had an overdose. My name is Molly Pink, and the wedding in question was my friend Mason Field's daughter, Thursday's. Yes, that's really her name. I wasn't invited to the actual ceremony, which was for immediate family only, but I, along with two hundred or so others, had been invited to the reception that was being held in Mason's tented backyard. When I say tent, I'm not talking about some little open-on-the-sides thing. We're talking about a structure that took up the whole backyard. And it only looked like a tent from the outside - the interior was done up like an elegant ballroom. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
 What do you think? Would you keep reading? If you would, she has a new one out in May 2016 - Seams Like Murder. 

Nov 24, 2015

First Chapter: Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen

Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter, First Paragraph every Tuesday. Share the first paragraph(s) of your current read or book interest, with information for readers. Also share a teaser from the book with Teaser Tuesday at A Daily Rhythm.

My choice this week is a library book:
Playing with Fire: A Novel by Tess Gerritsen, published October 27, 2015 by Ballantine
Genre: thriller
Source: library
A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light

First chapter, first paragraph:
From the doorway I can already smell the scent of old books, a perfume of crumbling pages and time-worn leather. The other antiques stores that I've passed on this cobblestoned alley have their air conditioners running and their doors closed against the heat, but this shop's door is propped open, as if inviting me to enter. It's my last afternoon in Rome, my last chance to pick up a souvenir of my visit. Already I've bought a silk tie for Rob and Lily, but I haven't found anything for myself. In the window of this antiques shop, I see exactly what I want. 
"Beware the ignorant, Lorenzo. They're the most dangerous enemy of all, because they are everywhere."
I have just gotten the book from the library and am looking forward to reading it, having read a few of her other books.

Tess Gerritsen's first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), and The Bone Garden (2007). (goodreads) 

I guess her space thriller, Gravity, was published before the movie with a similar plot was made. Here's a description from goodreads of her 2004 book: An experiment on micro-organisms conducted in space goes wrong. The cells begin to infect the crew with deadly results. Emma Watson struggles to contain the deadly microbe while her husband and NASA try to retrieve her from space, before it's too late. Sounds thrilling.

What are you reading this week, and would you read Playing with Fire based on the beginning and teaser? 

Sep 29, 2015

First Chapter: Well Read Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.
Well Read Then Dead (A Read 'Em and Eat Mystery) #1 by Terrie Farley Moran, published 2014 by Berkley

First chapter, first paragraph:
"Oh, pu-leeze, Rowena, Anya Seton never measured up to Daphne du Maurier's elegance. I'm shocked you would say such a thing." Jocelyn Kendall, pastor's wife and book club gadfly, crossed and recrossed her legs in perfect tempo with the ever-increasing meter of her rant. Our discussion of Green Darkness was deteriorating rapidly. 
Book description:
Fort Myers Beach. Florida,  is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ’Em and Eat. 

Read ’Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lunch treats, along with quite a colorful clientele. Augusta’s cousin and best friend Delia is painfully shy—which makes the news of her murder all the more shocking. Sassy wants to help any way she can. But Augusta wants Delia’s killer found—and she’s not taking no for an answer. 

Includes a buttermilk pie recipe! (publisher)

Would you continue reading, based on the first chapter and book description? 

Sep 8, 2015

First Chapter: Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn

Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator, a novel by Homer Hickam, to be released October 13, 2015 by William Morrow

...the funny, sweet, and sometimes tragic tale of a young couple and a special alligator on a crazy 1000-mile adventure, the couple taking the alligator Albert from West Virginia to his original home in Orlando, Fla.  (publisher)

First chapter, first paragraph
When Elsie came outside into the backyard to see why her husband was shouting her name, she saw Albert lying on his back in the grass, his little legs splayed apart and his head thrust backward. She was sure something awful had happened to him but when her alligator raised his head and smiled at her, she knew he was all right. The relief she felt was palpable and nearly overwhelming. After all, she loved Albert more than just about anything in the whole world. She knelt and scratched his belly while he waved his paws in delight and grinned his most toothsome grin. (from an ARE; the final copy may differ)
 Carrying an alligator from W. Va. to Florida? This I gotta read!

Aug 25, 2015

Book Review: Tahoe Blue Fire by Todd Borg

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.
Tahoe Blue Fire: An Owen Mckenna Mystery Thriller #13 by Todd Borg, published August 1, 2015 by Thriller Press.

First paragraph:
PROLOGUE The big rotary snowblower was parked in the dark at the side of the road where the shoulder had been cleared of snow. The unusual snow removal machine was one of the huge ones, built on a double engine chassis, designed for clearing highways. The driver engine was idling quietly despite its size. The much larger blower engine was off. Because that engine made so much noise, the operator would fire it up at the last minute.  
Three kills. Maybe four or five.
Teaser, first chapter:
"It would be too dangerous for me to come to your office," the woman on the phone said. She had told me her name was Scarlett Milo and that she'd wanted to meet and that she was in significant danger. 
My comments:  
Another in the Owen McKenna Mystery thriller series that I have enjoyed so much. The author always includes some pressing and important social issues in his novels, and this one is no exception.
An important part of the plot is the issue of football head injuries and memory loss suffered by many retired professional football players.

The author also touts Lake Tahoe and environs, highlighting its lakes, mountains, ski resorts, as part of the charm of the surroundings. These surroundings of course play a large part in the suspense, chases, and atmosphere of the novels.

In Tahoe Blue Fire, a woman is shot on the deck of her mountain home, a house is burned down, and Owen McKenna, PI, is targeted more than once in attempts to stop his investigations of several recent murders, some of them by shooting and others more bizarre. The motives for crime are somehow tied up to a Renaissance legend. Owen travels to Florence and Tuscany, Italy to get information from Renaissance scholars about the legend of the Blue Fire of Florence, to see how this might link to the Tahoe murders.

Suspenseful as always, and very atmospheric, this is another excellent thriller by Todd Borg. I recommend it for those mystery lovers who are also history buffs, armchair travelers, and lovers of the outdoors.

For more info on the author and his books, visit

Based on the book beginning and teaser, would you keep reading?
Thanks to the author for a review copy of this book.

Aug 18, 2015

First Chapter: THE PARIS KEY by Juliet Blackwell

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.

The Paris Key: A Novel by Juliet Blackwell, to be published September 1, 2015 by NAL

First paragraph, first chapter:
Her uncle Dave always used to say, "Remember the locksmiths' code, Genevieve. Never reveal the secrets you find behind locked doors, and never - ever! - abuse the power to open a lock." 
Book description: An American in Paris navigates her family’s secret past and unlocks her own future, in this evocative novel by Juliet Blackwell. Genevieve Martin spent the happiest summer of her life in Paris, learning the delicate art of locksmithing at her uncle’s side. But since then, back in the States, she has been holding herself back from those around her, including her soon-to-be-ex-husband.

Faced with an incredible opportunity to return to Paris to take over her late uncle’s shop,  she realizes the city also holds secrets about her family that could change her forever.

Based on the first paragraph, would you keep reading?

Aug 11, 2015

Book Review: LIFE IN NEW YORK by Laura Pedersen

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.
Life in New York: How I Learned to Love Squeegee Men, Token Stickers, Trash Twisters, and Subway Sharks, nonfiction by Laura Pedersen, published Jul 28, 2015; Fulcrum Publishing

First paragraph, Chapter One:
As my bus lurched toward the Lincoln Tunnel a sign proclaimed: NO TRUCKS OVER 12' 6". Underneath, in equally large letters, was painted, WE MEAN IT! Obviously I was entering a reckless, self-destructive society that couldn't or, more likely, wouldn't follow the kind of simple direction I'd learned in kindergarten.... After the Lincoln Tunnel sign I was half expecting a troll to ask me a riddle before I was allowed to enter the Big Bad City.
Teasers: There are a ton of great sentences that describe Laura Pedersen's take on New York City. First of all, I noted that NYC is not just the island of Manhattan but describes some five boroughs that includes the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Here are some notable and interesting, to me, observations that Pedersen makes:
New York is the number-one tourist destination in the United States. 
Most city residents live in small, cramped apartments....(I)t's not uncommon to live with roommates well into your forties.  
Solitude is rare and considered a luxury....people must often go out on the street with their cell phones to get some privacy. 
You determine where to live in Manhattan, not based on income but on age. 
To promote desegregation, both racial and economic. Kids take subways and buses all over the five boroughs, traversing back and forth to school every day. 
New Yorkers tend to have pets instead of kids. 
The one constant throughout New York City's history has been its ability to change, adapt, and reinvent itself.
And one fact that I especially appreciated about NYC: the drinking water is clean and free. But I'd miss the chance to have solitude, every day and often...There is so much more that Pedersen discusses in her book: the founding and history of NYC, the present subway system, the cultural life, humidity and allergies in the summers, the neighborhoods, the variety of foods and people, and more.

I loved this book. It's informative, current, and humorous. Not at all a dry history or travel book. It's one to read if you are thinking of moving to NYC or just visiting there.

Enter the GIVEAWAY, courtesy of the publicist/publisher, now through August 17, 2015. The contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Email me at with the heading New York Giveaway. A winner will be notified by email on Aug. 18 and asked for a mailing address. Good luck! UPDATE: The winner was Sharon Berger!

Aug 3, 2015

Book Review: The Reinvention of Albert Paugh by Jean Davies Okimoto

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.
The Reinvention of Albert Paugh by Jean Davies Okimoto, published by Endicott and Hugh Books (July 23, 2015)

First paragraph, first chapter:

Al didn't quite know how he got sidetracked. He'd never thought of himself as an impulsive person, it was rare that he did anything without thinking it through and he certainly had every intension of taking Bert, his chocolate Lab, to Point Robinson. It was a beautiful fall day and Bert was eager to get to the beach were he loved to swim and retrieve his rubber frog.Of course, Al was supposed to get exercise, too. But instead of going to the beach like he'd told Eleanor he'd be doing - the past eighth months he'd been very dutiful about always letting his wife know his whereabouts - somehow, he inexplicably ended up going in the opposite direction...

A quote/teaser from chapter 2:
"I'm flunking retirement, Martha Jane.""You're doing what, Albert?""I'm flunking retirement. My retirement is a failure, it's not going well at all.""Oh, my. that doesn't sound good." 
My comments: 
Al Paugh retires and sells his veterinary practice on Vashon Island, Washington, after his heart attack and surgery, urged on by his wife Eleanor. When Al finds himself alone, retired from a practice he loved, he has only his faithful dog Bert to rely on. 

Retirement doesn't sit well with Al. He misses his practice and taking care of animals, he has to sell the house he and his wife had for years, and he has to learn to be alone. This is the story of what and how he does, how Al, in spite of being pulled in different directions in the beginning,  "reinvents" himself after retirement, with a little help from his dog and old friends. Al goes through a lot of changes; it's not a predictable story though he does find new love.. 

I enjoyed the book, as I did the author's previous one, Walter's Muse. Besides interesting and unusual characters, the book has many insightful thoughts, ideas, and observations about getting old, retiring, and finding new meaning in life, with help from people on sometimes rocky roads. I gave this a five star and think everyone would enjoy it -young or old, working or retired.  
Jean Davies Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into seven languages. Her many awards include Smithsonian Notable Book, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Washington Governor’s Award and the International Reading Association Readers Choice Award. She has appeared on CNN, Oprah, and The Today Show. Jeanie, a retired psychotherapist, and her husband Joe retired to Vashon Island in 2004 where they (and their dogs Bert and Willie) are visited by deer families and their six grandchildren. Visit her at

The Reinvention of Albert Paugh is the third book in Jean Davies Okimoto’s Island Trilogy, following The Love Ceiling and Walter’s Muse

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for a review copy of the book. 
For the full tour schedule, see more reviews.

Jul 28, 2015

First Chapter: THE MOUNTAIN STORY by Lori Lansens

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.

The Mountain Story: A Novel by Lori Lansens, published June 30, 2015 by Simon and Schuster.
Genre: fiction

First paragraph, first chapter:
Dear Daniel,  A person has to have lived a little to appreciate a survival story. That's what I've always said, and I promised that when you were old enough, I'd tell you mine. It's no tale for a child, but you're not a child anymore. You're older now than I was when I got lost in the mountain wilderness.
Five days in the freeing cold without food or water or shelter. You know that part, and you know that I was with three strangers and that not everyone survived. What happened up there changed my life, Danny. Hearing the story is going to change yours. 
Teaser, page 118:
..."It wasn't a helicopter. You heard Wolf. It was the wind."
Five days. Four hikers. Three survivors. From Lori Lansens comes a gripping tale of adventure, sacrifice and survival in the unforgiving wilderness of a legendary mountain. 

On his 18th birthday, Wolf Truly takes the tramway to the top of the mountain that looms over Palm Springs, intending to jump to his death. Instead he encounters strangers wandering in the mountain wilderness, three women who will change the course of his life. Through a series of missteps he and the women wind up stranded, in view of the city below, but without a way down. They endure five days in freezing temperatures without food or water or shelter, and somehow find the courage to carry on.

Wolf, now a grown man, has never told his son, or anyone, what happened on the mountain during those five days, but he can't put it off any longer. And in telling the story to his only child, Daniel, he at last explores the nature of the ties that bind and the sacrifices people will make for love. The mountain still has a hold on Wolf, composed of equal parts beauty and terror. (book description from good reads)

Based on the beginning, the teaser, and the book details, would you read on? 

Jul 7, 2015

Review: Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle by J.A. Lang

Visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.

Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle (Chef Maurice Culinary Mysteries #1) by J.A. Lang, published April 7, 2015 by Purple Panda Press

from chapter 5:
Chef Maurice looked up, as if noticing Arthur for the first time. "I think," he said, beaming, "that I have found my truffle dog."  
"It's a pig, Maurice. A micro-pig."  
"Then, I have found my truffle pig!" 
Book description: It’s autumn in the Cotswolds, and Chef Maurice is facing a problem of mushrooming proportion. Not only has his wild herb and mushroom supplier, Ollie Meadows, missed his weekly delivery—he’s missing vital signs too, when he turns up dead in the woods near Beakley village.
Soon, Chef Maurice is up to his nose in some seriously rotten business—complete with threatening notes, a pignapping, and an extremely well-catered stake-out. Can he solve Ollie’s murder before his home-made investigation brings the killer out for second helpings? (publisher)

My comments: A clever, witty and humorous mystery set in the Cotswolds. The first in the series featuring the eccentric but lovable Chef Maurice. The chef likes to do things his own way. and he and his truffle hunting pig, Hamilton, steal the show, and the mystery. A fun read in a delightful setting. 

Thanks to the author for a review copy of this book. 

Jun 16, 2015

First Chapter: Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.
Watch the Lady (The Tudor Trilogy #3) by Elizabeth Fremantle, published June 9, 2015; Simon and Schuster
Genre: historical fiction

First chapter, first paragraph
October 1589: Leicester House, the Strand 
The wax sizzles as it drips, releasing an acrid whiff. Penelope presses in her seal, twisting it slightly to make it unreadable, wondering if it - this letter- is folly, if it could be construed s treason were it to fall into the wrong hands.
"Do you think..." she begins to say to Constable, who is standing at her shoulder.
"I think you risk too much."
Book descriptionThe daughter of the Queen’s nemesis, Penelope Devereux, arrives at court and finds herself in love with one man, yet married off to another...She and her brother, The Earl of Essex, are drawn into the aging Queen’s favour but his enemies gather and Penelope must use her political savvy to prevent the unthinkable from happeningTold from the perspective of Penelope and her brother’s enemy the politician Cecil, this story, wrought with love, hatred and envy, unfolds over two decades in which we see the last gasps of Elizabeth’s reign, and the scramble for power in a dying dynasty.

Based on the opening paragraphs and the book description, would you read on?

Jun 9, 2015

First Chapter: MURDER IN MERINO by Sally Goldenbaum

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.
Murder in Merino: A Seaside Knitters Mystery #8 by Sally Goldenbaum
Published May 5, 2015 by NAL

First chapter:
Late September,  Sea Harbor, Massachusetts 
The wind was coming out of the northeast, blustery and heavy with salt. It stung the woman's cheeks, turning them the color of her bright red Windbreaker. Thick strands of hair flew about her face, wild and free - like the sea she was beginning to call home.
After days of warm sun and soft breezes, the weather had suddenly turned. But she loved it in all its guises - foamy surf crashing against the rocks or water smooth as silk, a chilly wind or sun-warmed sand. Each day was new and amazing and comfortable, as if she'd been born to this place. It had been fortuitous to travel halfway across the country to this strange little town where she knew no one, yet she felt as if she'd finally come home. 
Finally Jules turned toward them and managed a sad smile. "Who was he?" she asked. "Why was he wanting to be in my life? Why did...?" Her words dropped off. (ch. 12)
Book description: Autumn brings a mysterious new guest to Sea Harbor, and when she’s implicated in a crime, it’s up to the Seaside Knitters to search out a motif for murder.

Based on the first paragraphs and teaser, would you keep reading?

May 19, 2015

First chapter: MING TEA MURDER by Laura Childs

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn
Ming Tea Murder: A Tea Shop Mystery #16 by Laura Childs
Published May 5, 2015; Berkley
Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning's boyfriend Max has organized a gala opening for an exhibit of a genuine eighteenth century Chinese teahouse, and the crème de la crème of Charleston society is invited. In the exotic garden  in the museum’s rotunda, a Chinese dragon dances to the beat of drums as it weaves through the crowd. The guests are serenaded by a Chinese violin as they sample tempting bites. But Theodosia makes a grim discovery behind the photo booth’s curtains: the body of museum donor Edgar Webster. (publisher)
First paragraph, first chapter: With drums banging and the sweet notes of a Chinese violin trembling in the air, the enormous red-and-gold dragon shook its great head and danced its way across the rotunda of the Gibes Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. It was the opening-night celebration for the reconstruction of a genuine eighteenth century Chinese tea house, and the creme de la creme of society had turned out in full force for this most auspicious occasion. 
Teaser: Theodosia grabbed a cracker that was topped with a dab of pate and accepted a paper napkin from a solicitous waiter. 
"I wouldn't eat that if I were you," called out a brash, nasal voice ( ch. 8) 
Would the first paragraph and teaser tempt you to continue reading this cozy?
Personally, I'd read on, as I have read others in this series and love the atmosphere, ambiance, and recipes, not to mention the intriguing mystery plots.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for feature/review.

May 5, 2015

Book Review: My Chinese-America: Essays by Allen Gee

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesday at A Daily Rhythm.
My Chinese-America:Essays by Allen Gee
Published April 1, 2015; Santa Fe Writers Project
Genre: literary essays

Book description:
In the first collection of essays by A Chinese-American male to be published in over a decade, Allen Gee writes about aspects of Asian American life in a detailed, eloquent manner, looking at how Asian-Americans view themselves in light of America’s insensitivities, stereotypes, and expectations. My Chinese-America speaks on masculinity, identity, and topics ranging from Jeremy Lin and immigration to profiling and Asian silences. 
The essays have an intimacy that transcends cultural boundaries, and casts light on a vital part of American culture that surrounds and influences all of us. (publisher)

My comments: 
I was both amazed and delighted at the frankness of some of the essays on the subject of Chinese-Americans in the U.S. Allen Gee is forthright and honest about some of his experiences and observations, yet he also shows how in touch he is with ordinary American life and how he lives it every day with his American wife and children, and his American creative writing students at Georgia College. 

His topics range from racial stereotyping of Asians to his practice of non-violence in dealing with physical and emotional challenges in his daily life. He shows himself also as a hunter and fisherman, in tune with his surroundings and American life,  but also in touch with the perceptions of other minorities and ethnic groups in a multi-cultural country. 

This collection of essays is frank in its assessments and also eye opening for those who are interested in the point of view of a group in American society who are often seen as silent, nerdy, possibly weak except in the area of academics. It shows many sides of the Chinese-American experience, and especially the one experienced by Allen Gee. 

Objective rating: 4.5/5

First paragraph, first chapter:
In mid-July during a summer when I wanted to remain in only one place, my mother called from upstate New York and asked. Won't you visit? You aren't going to miss your father's sixtieth birthday, are you? And what about Matthew? she reminded me, speaking of her first grandchild - my nephew- who was almost nine months old. You should see him now. He's trying to walk, and you should hear hin laugh. Can't you leave work for a while? Hers was a selfless voice that strove to weave connections, that valued community and the continuity of tradition. 
About Allen Gee
I grew up largely in Albany, NY, but spent a lot of time in NYC, visiting family there. I attended the University of New Hampshire, then the Iowa Writers Workshop, and finally, the University of Houston. I'm now a Professor of English at Georgia College. I live on Lake Sinclair, in Milledgeville, GA, and often volunteer at Andalusia, Flannery O'Connor's farm. My wife, Renee Dodd, is also a writer. Her terrific novel is: "A Cabinet of Wonders." I have two daughters, Ashley and Willa. My favorite pastimes outside of reading and writing are: running, fishing, traveling, hiking, and backpack-ing. I went fishing up in Alaska last summer, and I want to go back again.

Thanks to Serena Agusto-Cox of Poetic Book Tours and the author for a review copy of this book for its book tour.

Visit the tour schedule for more reviews and information