My First Book of 2014

First Book of 2014

First Book of 2014

My friend Gayle shared her first book of 2014 on Everyday I Write the Book. What a great idea! I’ve been so busy closing out my reading list for 2013, I hadn’t even thought about my first read for 2014.

After scanning my shelf, I chose The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson. I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction so I’m ready for thriller.

Sheila at Book Journey is hosting a First Book of the Year 2014 post – check out her blog to see what others chose for their books.

I’m posting my first book of 2014 just in the nick of time!

What’s your first book of 2014?

Book Club Discussion: The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner

Last Winter of Dani Lancing by PD Viner

Today is book club day for our first November book, The Last Winter of Dani Lancing, a novel by P.D. Viner. Twenty years ago, college student Dani was murdered but her killer was never found.  Now a promising new lead may change everything. The three main characters (four if you count Dani) represents the mother, father, daughter, and boyfriend in most of us. Most readers will identify with at least one of roles or a moment in each of the characters’ lives, such as Dani’s desire to be independent from her mother. Or Tom trying so hard to be more than a friend to Dani.

From Left to Write book club members were just as enthralled with Viner’s book as I was.  Head over to their blogs to see what the novel inspired them to share about their lives:

Grab a copy of  The Last Winter of Dani Lancing (Crownand let us know what you think!

Learn more about P.D. Viner by visiting his website and follow him on Twitter or on Goodreads.

November Book Club Announcement: The Last Winter of Dani Lancing

Last Winter of Dani Lancing by PD Viner

A new month means a new book club selection. We start the beginning of November with the novel The Last Winter of Dani Lancing (Crown) by P.D. Viner.  This thriller grabbed me from the very first chapter. I think you’ll find it just as exciting. If you love mysteries, you’ll definitely want to read this novel.

Here’s the official book description:

Twenty years ago, college student Dani Lancing was kidnapped and brutally murdered. The killer was never found. Dani’s family never found peace.

Thrust into an intense devastation that nearly destroys their marriage, Patty and Jim Lancing struggle to deal with their harrowing loss. Patty is fanatically obsessed with the cold case; consumed by every possible clue or suspect no matter how far-fetched, she goes to horrifying lengths to help clarify the past.  Meanwhile, Jim has become a shell of his former self, broken down and haunted—sometimes literally—by his young daughter’s death. Dani’s childhood sweetheart, Tom, handles his own grief every day on the job—he’s become a detective intent on solving murders of other young women, and hopes to one day close Dani’s case himself.

Then everything changes when Tom finds a promising new lead. As lies and secrets are unearthed, the heartbreaking truth behind Dani’s murder is finally revealed.

You’ll want to buy your copy now so you can catch up for our book club discussion on November 7.  Better yet, you can buy the e-book version of The Last Winter of Dani Lancing for instant gratification.

Learn more about P.D. Viner by visiting his website and follow him on Twitter or on Goodreads.

Book Club Day: Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

When a mother’s child is hurt, she tries her best to make him or her feel better. What if she’s unable to help?  In Rosamund Lupton’s  Afterwards, Grace attempts to discover the culprit who set fire to her children’s school but faces an obstacle that she cannot overcome.

Our book club members felt passionate about this novel and its themes. This was an intense for many of our members as there are a lot of mothers in our community.  Visit their blogs and join our discussion for Afterwards:

 

 

Are you dying to know who the arsonist was? Grab a your copy of  Afterwards and find out. In the meantime, you can also find Rosamond Lupton at her websiteFacebook page, and on Twitter.

Have you read Afterwards? What are your thoughts on it?

January Book Club Announcement: The Expats by Chris Pavone

The Expats by Chris Pavone

The Expats by Chris Pavone

Our book club members are starting out 2013 with a bit of intrigue and mystery. In the thriller The Expats by Chris Pavone, we travel with protagonist Kate Moore to Luxemburg.  She leaves her secret behind to start a new life, but it’s not as easy as she thinks:

Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew.

She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done—playdates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and never-ending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, at a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she’s not allowed to know. He’s becoming distant and evasive; she’s getting lonely and bored.

Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they say they are, and she’s terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun, a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money, and finally unravels the mind-boggling long-play con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life.

Grab your copy of The Expats and join us on January 22 as From Left to Write members discuss secrets, intrigue and double-lives.

The Expats is currently available in hardcover and e-book, but paperbacks are currently available for pre-order.

Book Review: Resonance by A.J. Scudiere

Resonance by AJ Scudiere

Resonance by AJ Scudiere

I love sci-fi thrillers. I’ve read a majority of Michael Crichton’s novels. Even picked up some Robin Cook books in my younger years. My husband and I get a kick from watching disaster movies. I was excited to read a new to me author of sci-fi/disaster novels.

Resonance by A. J. Scudiere starts off with series of events that seem unrelated but of course they are. There are frogs with four hind legs and bees that are flying in columns. Soon, CDC Drs. Jillian and Jordan discover that people are suddenly dying due to magnetic “hotspots.” Biologist Dr. Becky and geologists Dr. David learn that the Earth’s magnetic pole are shifting, an event that occurs every 65 million years. Together the team of medical doctors and scientists attempt to track down the cause of the deaths before it’s too late.

(Ok, if you’re not a science fiction reader, that sound pretty far fetched. I know. Just remember that it’s fiction with little bits of truth in it. It’s the possibility of the events that makes it fun.)

The first half of the book drew me in. I couldn’t get enough as we followed different scientists and doctors travel all over the United States to chase down magnetic hotspots and prevent more people, even herds of animals, from dying. I thought that the dynamic between Drs. Jillian and Jordan was realistic. There was even a little bit of sexual tension between them, which became a more complex when Dr. David entered the scene. I was on the edge of my seat as their research became increasingly dangerous, even life threatening.

Then the book took a left turn to “What the hell?” for me.

SPOILER ALERT. In fact, there will be several.

About two-thirds of the way through the book, the magnet shift happened. Earth’s poles switched. At 484 pages, this was not a short book. With so many pages left, I wondered, where will the story go next? IS there a next after a magnetic shift? After all, the novel’s geologist intimated that the previous magnetic shift might have killed off the dinosaurs. The entire human population goes into a comatose state as poles reversed, including our esteemed researchers. Some people wake up and some never do. Dr. Jillian is one of the first to wake from her coma, but she also has a relapse. When she wakes up the second time, she is face to face with someone that she recently pronounced as dead.

As it turns out, when the poles swapped places, the Earth split into to two realms (what the book called it). Like parallel dimensions. Jillian and David are the only ones that can “move” between the two realms. The people that did not wake up or died in the first realm are actually alive and kicking in the second realm. (Still following?) Turns out the newer, second realm has no lawyers or CIA agents, but plenty of cops and preachers.

The last section of the book is barely scientific and starts to veer towards a little bit of evangelism. There’s lots of talk about God and prayer. I’m not against religion in my books but it just came out of nowhere and didn’t fit with the first part of the novel. In fact there was no mention of God until after the shift occurred.

I was so disappointed in the ending that I ranted about it for a full five minutes with my husband. After reading a few reviews on GoodReads and Amazon, I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one. It really had so much potential. I was even considering reading other books by A. J. Scudiere.

Have you ever felt this way about a book you’ve read?