First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, August 14, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a book that I was really looking forward to! It was one of my July BOTM selections. I had read and LOVED Final Girls earlier this year and was eagerly anticipating this one coming out, so I was absolutely thrilled to see that it was a BOTM selection!

The Last Time I Lied

This is how it begins.

You wake to sunlight whispering through the trees just outside the window. It’s a faint light, weak and gray at the edges. Dawn still shedding the skin of night. Yet it’s bright enough to make you roll over and face the wall, the mattress creaking beneath you. Within that roll is a moment of disorientation, a split second when you don’t know where you are. It happens sometimes after a deep, dreamless slumber. A temporary amnesia. You see the fine grains of the pine-plank wall, smell the traces of campfire smoke in your hair, and know exactly where you are.

Camp Nightingale.

I took this book on my plane ride to Vegas and I was immediately hooked! I’m now about 3/4 of the way through and I can’t wait to get to the ending to see what happened! Look for my review of this one next week!

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First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, August 7, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring one of my BOTM picks from 2017. I have let it sit on my shelves for more than a year … crazy!!

The Seven Husbands of Evenlyn Hugo

“Can you come into my office?”

I look around at the desks beside me and then back at Frankie, trying to confirm to whom, exactly, she’s talking. I point to myself. “Do you mean me?”

Frankie has very little patience. “Yes, Monique, you. That’s why I said, ‘Monique, can you come into my office?”

“Sorry, I just heard the last part.”

Frankie turns. I grab my notepad and follow her.

When I first read that I was quite eager to find out what Monique was walking into 🙂 I sure hope that you come back next week to read my review of this one!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, August 6, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

So as part of my birthday gift to myself, I signed up for two new-to-me book subscription services! I got three books in from those, I also received my BOTM selection. So without further ado, here’s what made it into my mailbox this past week:

I’ll start first with my BOTM selection:

Sweet Little LiesTwenty-six-year-old Cat Kinsella overcame a troubled childhood to become a detective constable with the Metropolitan Police Force, but she’s never been able to banish the ghosts of her past or reconcile with her estranged father. Work provides a refuge from her family dysfunction, but she relies on a caustic wit to hide her vulnerability from her colleagues.

When a mysterious phone call links a recent strangling victim to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland eighteen years earlier, the news is discomforting for Cat. Though she was only a child when her family met Maryanne on a family vacation, right before she vanished, Cat knew that her charming but dissolute father wasn’t telling the truth when he denied knowing anything about the girl’s disappearance. Did he do something to Maryanne all those years ago? Could he have something to do with her current case?

Determined to close the two cases, Cat rushes headlong into the investigation, crossing ethical lines and trampling professional codes. But the deeper she digs, the darker her secrets she may uncover…


Ok, so first I will start with my Page 1 Books subscription box! They have many different genre choices (I went with “For the Sleuth”) and offer 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions (I chose 3 months). What’s great is that you fill out a little survey (be sure to include your Goodreads TBR link!) and then they take your answers and personally pick out a book to send you based on your reading tastes. I specifically asked for books that are lesser known standalones. Even better is that if they send you a book you already own, have already read, or just don’t like it … they’ll immediately send you a new one to “make it right.” So when I opened this one I was super excited! It looks really good!!

Invitation to a Bonfire.jpgIn the 1920s, Zoya Andropova, a young refugee from the Soviet Union, finds herself in the alien landscape of an elite all-girls New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home, and her sense of purpose, Zoya must now endure the malice her peers heap on scholarship students and her new country’s paranoia about Russian spies. With the arrival of visiting writer and fellow Russian emigre Leo Orlov – whose books Zoya has privately obsessed over for years – her luck seems poised to change, but the relationship that forms between them will put Zoya, Leo, and his calculating wife, Vera, all at risk.

Grappling with class distinctions, national allegiance, and ethical fidelity – not to mention the powerful magnetism of sex – Invitation to a Bonfire investigates how one’s identity is formed, irrevocably, through a series of momentary decisions, including how to survive, who to love, and whether to pay the complicated price of happiness.


And finally, I also received my first bookcase.club subscription box! They also have different genre options (I selected Thrill Seeker) and offer 3, 6 or 12 month  options (I went with 3 months). I received two books from them:

The Ice Beneath HerWinter’s chill has descended on Stockholm as police arrive at the scene of a shocking murder. An unidentified woman lies beheaded in a posh suburban home – a brutal crime made all the more disturbing by its uncanny resemblance to an unsolved killing ten years earlier. But this time there’s a suspect: the charismatic and controversial chain-store CEO Jesper Orre, who owns the home but is nowhere to be found.

To homicide detectives, Peter Lindgren and Manfred Olsson, nothing about the suave, high-profile businessman – including a playboy reputation and rumors of financial misdeeds – suggests he conceals the dark heart and twisted mind of a cold-blooded killer. In search of a motive, Lindgren and Olson turn to the brilliant criminal profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schon. Once a valued police asset, now marooned in unhappy retirement and a crumbling marriage, she’s eager to exercise her keen skills again – and offer the detectives a window into the secret soul of Jesper Orre.

But they’re not the only ones searching. Two months before, Emma Bohman, a young clerk at Orre’s company chanced to meet the charming chief executive, and romance swiftly bloomed. Almost as quickly as the passionate affair ignited, it was over when Orre inexplicably disappeared. One staggering misfortune after another followed, leaving Emma certain that her runaway lover was to blame and transforming her confusion and heartbreak into anger.

Now, pursuing the same mysterious man for different reasons, Emma and the police are destined to cross paths in a chilling dance of obsession, vengeance, madness, and love gone hellishly wrong.

The Wolf of Sarajevo.jpgTwenty years after the Srebrenica massacre that claimed the life of his friend and colleague, Eric Petrosian is back in Sarajevo at the American embassy, and the specter of war once again looms over the Balkans. The Bosnian Serb leader, who had for a time been seeking a stable peace, has returned to his nationalist roots and is threatening to pull Bosnia apart in a bloody struggle for control … and behind him a shadowy mafia figure is pulling the strings.

Stuck between an upright politician seeking to make her name by brokering peace in the region and an old CIA contact – and former lover – who begs for his help locating some sensitive information, Eric is dragged deeper into the maelstrom. What he uncovers is a plot of blackmail and ruthless ambitions, and he’s faced with an impossible choice: to take the path of expedience or to risk his life for what’s right.

Rich with bone-chilling tension and penetrating insight, The Wolf of Sarajevo is another masterwork of suspense from an author who’s been in the trenches of international diplomacy for over a quarter century.

 

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, July 31, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring Modern Mrs. Darcy’s August book club selection. As usual, it’s outside my comfort zone… but so far I haven’t been let down by the selections, so I’m eager to dig in!

I'll Be Your Blue Sky.jpg

It was what she would remember always: how the second she stepped inside, before she’d so much as taken her first full breath of new air, she was struck by the feeling – the understanding, the certainty – however improbable, that the house was Joseph. Not merely that it felt like something he would choose or that she saw his handiwork everywhere – fresh paint, thick as cream; re-finished pine floors; green apples in a glass bowl – but that it was him, sturdy and open, light swooping in through every window, forthright and decent and kind. She would not have supposed that a house could be kind, but this one was.

Hm.. I’m not entirely sure about this one. It seems rather “flowery” with the descriptions … that’s not necessarily my cup of tea. I’ll read on, but I can’t say that this intro grabbed me immediately. What about you?!

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, July 24, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a backlist read that I was looking forward to getting around to! I always love a Harry Bosch novel (and now that I’ve joined Amazon Prime, I’m really looking forward to checking out the Bosch TV show!!!)

Lost Light

The last thing I expected was for Alexander Taylor to answer his own door. It belied everything I knew about Hollywood. A man with a billion-dollar box-office record answered the door for nobody. Instead, he would have a uniformed man posted full-time at his front door. And this doorman would only allow me entrance after carefully checking my identification and appointment. He would then hand me off to a butler or the first-floor maid, who would walk me the rest of the way in, footsteps falling as silent as snow as we went.

Good old Harry Bosch!! I don’t know why I don’t read these more often than once a year … I always enjoy working the case with Harry. I’m also really loving the direction the series is heading for Harry 🙂

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, July 17, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a book that I picked up for a Goodreads challenge, but one that I was really looking forward to digging into!

A Vision of Murder.jpg

I consider myself a professional; a psychic intuitive who is proud of how she makes a living; confident that the skills and abilities I innately possess give me a unique advantage to deal with just about any quirky, strange, bizarre or unusual situation that may crop up in my line of work.

I read and enjoyed the first two books in this series last year. Actually I enjoyed them so much that I quickly acquired the next three in the series. And then I let them sit on my shelves. So I was excited to pick this one up and get back into the series! I hope you’ll come back in a few weeks for my review!!

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, July 10, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a book that I impulsively picked up off my shelves. After many weeks of having a pretty strict reading schedule, I’m enjoying having some time to select books based on my mood. This one is the 3rd book in the Lucy Stone series (I thoroughly enjoyed the first two) so I’m looking forward to digging in to it!!

Trick or Treat Murder

“I could just kill him.”

Monica Mayes pressed the gas pedal of her little BMW to the floor and zoomed around a pokey Dodge Caravan, cutting it a bit too close as she pulled back into her lane. The driver of the Caravan braked, and the van swerved, but Monica didn’t notice.

“How could he do this to me?” she asked herself, pulling out the cigarette lighter.

This intro definitely sucked me in! I couldn’t wait to find out what “he” did 🙂

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, July 9, 2018

Mailbox Mondays

This week I got my BOTM box in. I treated myself to a couple of extras for my birthday 🙂

The Last Time I LiedTwo truths and a lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she – or anyone – saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings – massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she implores Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Seeing an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago, Emma agrees.

Familiar faces, unchanged cabins, and the same dark lake haunt Nightingale, even though the camp is opening its doors for the first time since the disappearances. Emma is even assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager but soon discovers a security camera – the only one on the property – pointed directly at its door. Then cryptic clues that Vivian left behind the camp’s twisted origins begin surfacing. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself soothing through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to her friends, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.


GhostedWhen Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall deeply in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun, and it’s mutual: it’s as though Eddie has been waiting forever for her, too. Sarah is certain she and Eddie know everything about each other. So when he leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him.

But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened. There must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes more and more worried. Then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason Eddie disappeared. It’s because they both failed to share one essential thing with each other: the truth.


The Summer WivesIn the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island as a schoolgirl from the margins of high society, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose estate on Winthrop overlooks its famous lighthouse, Miranda is catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister – all long legs and world-weary bravado – is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.

Yet beneath the Island’s patrician facade, there are really two castes: the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic laborers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the grand houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. But as the summer winds to its end, Joseph and Miranda are caught in a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the Island for nearly two decades.

Now, in the landmark summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same – determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the once-powerful Fisher family is a shadow of its former self, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for murder eighteen years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naive teenager, and she begins an impassioned quest for justice for the man she once loved … even if that means laying bare every last one of the secrets that bind the families of Winthrop Island.

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, July 3, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring a book that I’m reading right now. It was my April BOTM selection. And I’m really loving it!! Such a creepy thriller!

Our Kind of Cruelty

The rules of the Crave were simple. V and I went to a nightclub in a predetermined place a good way from where we lived. We raveled there together but entered separately. We made our way to the bar and stood far enough apart for it to seem like we weren’t together but close enough that I could always keep her in my vision. Then we waited. It never took long, but why would it when V shone as brightly as she did? Some hapless man would approach and offer to buy her a drink or ask her to dance. She would begin a mild flirt. And I would wait, my eyes never leaving her, my body ready to pounce at all times. We have a signal: As soon as she raises her hand and pulls on the silver eagle she always wears around her neck, I must act.

I cut that off in the middle of the first paragraph, which lasts a page and a half. It drew me right in, I wanted to immediately know more about the Crave! This is one messed up psychological thriller for sure! I hope you come back for my review in a couple of weeks!

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, June 26, 2018

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring the July selection in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club! I had never even heard of this book before she announced it in her Summer Reading Program. But since all the other books I’ve read so far for this club have been really good, I figured it was worth my try! A little outside my comfort zone, just because of where it’s set (Bombay in the 1920s), but I’m definitely looking forward to it!!

The Widows of Malabar Hill

On the morning Perveen saw the stranger, they’d almost collided.

Perveen had come upon him half-hidden in the portico entrance to Mistry House. The unshaven, middle-aged man appeared as if he’d slept for several days and nights in his broadcloth shirt and the grimy cotton dhoti that hung in a thousand creases from his waist to his ankles. His small, squinting eyes were tired, and he exuded a rank odor of sweat mixed with betel nut.

Hm… I’m not sure about this beginning. I wanted to share more than just that first sentence about the stranger, but then it got really wordy in that second paragraph. We shall see how it goes!