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Good morning and welcome to another edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader!  Grab a book, give us the first line or two and your opinion on it.  That’s all there it to it.  My book today is “Viola In Reel Life” by Adriana Trigiani and here are the first lines:

“You would not want to be me.  No.  I’m marooned.  Abandoned. Left to rot in boarding school in the dust bowl of Indiana like the potato we found in the cupboard in our kitchen in Brooklyn after months of searching for it.”

These first lines makes Viola’s life sound really bad, but, thankfully, it isn’t.  She is just very unhappy with her circumstances.  Ms. Trigiani is one of my favorite authors and she doesn’t disappoint with her first young adult novel.  Usually YA fiction is not my thing, but Mr. Trigiani’s characters and descriptions are just as good as always. 

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Are you ready for another crazy Stephanie Plum adventure?  Do you need a fun summertime book to read poolside?  Then look no further than Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum book, “Takedown Twenty”!  Here are the first lines:

“It was late at night and Lula and I had been staking out Salvatore Sunucchi, better known as Uncle Sunny, when Lula spotted Jimmy Spit.  Spit had his prehistoric Cadillac Eldorado parked on the fringe of the Trenton public housing projects, half a block from Sunucchi’s apartment, and he had the trunk lid up.”

It doesn’t matter how many of the Plum books I read, they still make me laugh out loud.  The characters and the scrapes they get themselves into are priceless! 

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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I usually do Book Beginnings posts every other Thursday, but I stumbled upon a new book a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to share with you.  While C & I were on vacation, we were shopping at Target and I spied a new release that finishes a trilogy I have read and really enjoyed.  The name of the book is “The Book of Life” and it is written by Deborah Harkness.  The first books were “A Discovery of Witches” and “Shadow of Night”. 

Here are the first lines:

“Ghosts didn’t have much substance.  All they were composed of was memories and heart.  Atop one of Sept-Tours’ round towers, Emily Mather pressed a diaphanous hand against the spot in the center of her chest that even now was heavy with dread.”

Doesn’t that make you just want to jump into the story and let it take off with you? I think I sped-read through this book because I wanted to know how Ms. Harkness pulled together all of the story lines into one grand conclusion and it is one GRAND conclusion!  The characters are smart and complicated in their own ways, but the writer makes you care for (almost) all of them for different reasons.  If you like fantasy fiction, please give this trilogy a go.  You won’t be disappointed.

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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Did you grow up loving Nancy Drew mysteries?  I know I did and I think I read every one of them that was available to me.  My book today which is “A Duty To The Dead” by Charles Todd is a lot like a grown up version of the Nancy Drew series.

“Tuesday, 21 November, 1916. 8:00A.M.

At sea…

This morning the sun is lovely and warm.  All the portholes below are open, to allow what breeze there is to blow through the lower decks and air them.”

The main character, Bess Crawford, is a nurse during World War I and makes a promise to a dying soldier.  She doesn’t want to shirk her “duty to the dead” so she delivers the soldier’s message which gets her involved in a family murder mystery that has gone on for years. 

If you are a historical fiction fan along with a mystery fan, don’t miss this great book.  I can’t wait to read the next one!

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings today.

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“As the wind blows through our bedroom window, it sounds like a whistling teakettle.  As I wake, for a split second, I forget where I am.  As soon as I see our suitcases piled next to the closet door, in the exact place where we dropped them, I remember.  Etta’s wedding, though it was just one week ago, already seems like a faraway dream.”

This is the first paragraph from “Return To Big Stone Gap” by Adriana Trigiani and it is the final book in The Big Stone Gap series.  I am actually re-reading these books and I don’t do that very often.  That shows just how much I enjoy Ms. Trigiani’s characters and stories.  The people in her books are real.  They have flaws and problems, but they also have so much love for each other.  I highly recommend this series and any other books by this author.

Thanks for joining me today for Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.

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Welcome to a special edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  Well, it is special for me because today I am writing about the eighth Outlander novel called “Written In My Own Heart’s Blood” by Diana Gabaldon.  It follows the story of Jamie and Claire during the start of the Revolutionary War.  Here are the first lines:

“June 16, 1778

The forest between Philadelphia and Valley Forge

Ian Murray stood with a stone in his hand, eyeing the ground he’d chosen.  A small clearing, out of the way, up among a scatter of great lichened boulders, under the shadow of firs and at the foot of a big red cedar; a place where no casual passerby would go, but not inaccessible.  He meant to bring them up here – the family.”

Whenever I read one of Ms. Gabaldon’s books, I just get lost in it.  I could read for hours at a time (if that were possible with a full time job and a household to take care).  I was overjoyed to read it, but sad to see it end.  Bring on number 9!!

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Please join me at this week’s Book Beginnings link party hosted by Rose City Reader.  My book today is “The King’s Deception” by Steve Berry which is the eighth book in the Cotton Malone series.  Here are the first lines:

“Prologue

Whitehall Palace

January 28, 1547

“Katherine Parr saw that the end was approaching.  Only a few more days remained, maybe a mere few hours.”

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I enjoy historical fiction regarding England’s royalty and that this book started with that was a pleasant surprise.  As usual, this book is a fun adventure with lots of historical references thrown in. 

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