Monday, December 07, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (12/08/2015)

My daughter and I have been fighting colds since the end of last week. I think the worst is behind me, although Mouse can't seem to shake the sniffles. We had a relatively low key weekend. Mouse and her dad made sugar cookies, and I finished reading Alex Palmer's The Santa Claus Man. My husband and I spent Friday attempting to get our Christmas shopping done. There is still one gift left to get--something for my father-in-law. 


I just finished another Christmas-themed book, this one called Christmas in Vermont by Bryan Mooney. I maybe should not have been reading the opening out loud to my daughter during her bath Sunday evening without screening it first. Still, it was quite an intense opening, one that had me needing to see what would happen next sooner than later.  



First Paragraph of Christmas in Vermont:



It was two weeks before Christmas, but in the desert kingdom, it still felt like a hot, scorching summer afternoon as the young teacher finished yet another day at school. It was then she noticed them. They walked fast toward her, nearly at a run. She saw the flash from their weapons as they fired at her and chased her. 

Bullets rifled past her head. She ran as fast as she could back into the safety of the school and heard an ear-shattering noise behind her. Once inside they chased her down the hallway. She ran faster, breathing harder. She had run track in college back in the States, but that was almost twenty years earlier; now she was scared--really scared--and running for her life.

Teaser from Christmas in Vermont at 24%

She stood in front of him; her hand trembled as she took a deep breath. She shoved the poker at his neck, pressing it against his throat with all her might, pinning him to the chair. His eyes opened wide startling her. 



What do you think? Would you keep reading?  

You might not be able to tell from the opening and teasers that this actually of a Christmas romance type story. The female lead is a teacher and the male is an former Marine whose brother is still missing in action. I hope to write my review in the next day or two and will schedule it to post before the month is out.

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it anything you would recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's  Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015. I read quite a few new-to-me authors this year, many of which I look forward to reading again in the future.  It was hard to narrow the list down to just ten. In no particular order:

1. Tessa Arlen ~ Author of the Lady Montfort historical mystery series. I read A Dishonorable Gentleman earlier this year and really enjoyed. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series this coming year.

2. Fredrik Backman ~ I had the privilege of reading two of Fredrik Backman's books this year: A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. I liked both quite a bit, although admit to to favoring A Man Called Ove, which was such an extraordinary read.

3. Sharon Bolton ~ I am kicking myself over and over for waiting so long to give this author a try. I read Little Black Lies earlier this year and will never forgive myself for putting her books off.

4. Catriona McPherson ~ The Child Garden was a mystery with a Gothic feel to it. I loved the subtle play at supernatural versus reality throughout the novel. I look forward to reading more by this author.

5. Rainbow Rowell ~ Eleanor & Park was my first Rainbow Rowell novel. I chose to listen to this one, and admittedly was afraid it wouldn't be for me. I fell in love with Eleanor & Park, however, and am anxious to try more by Rainbow Rowell.

6. RaeAnne Thayne ~ A Cold Creek Christmas Story was my first Christmas-themed book of the year, and it instantly put me in the mood for the season. Romantic and sweet, without being overly so. It was the perfect way to start off the holiday season. And it made me crave other books by the same author.

7. Lauren Willig ~  I really enjoyed the historical fiction novel, The Other Daughter, and am anxious to read more by this author.

8. Cat Winters ~ The Uninvited appealed to the ghost story as well as historical fiction lover in me. I quite enjoyed this book, and it has whet my appetite to try more by the author.

9. Cecily WongDiamond Head was a quiet but emotional novel that moved me quite a bit. I am anxious to read more by this author.

10. Rich Zahradnik ~ This is a series I wish I could share with my dad as I know he would have loved it as much as I do. Zahradnik's series featuring a crime reporter Coleridge Taylor is a must read for me. I read both Last Words and Drop Dead Punk  this year.


Have you read anything by these authors? Which new-to-you authors did you discover and can't wait to read more by this year?


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

54 comments:

  1. I would give Christmas in Vermont a go although that's not the opening you expect from a romance type novel! I am a big Sharon Bolton fan - good that you found her this year.

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    1. Cleo - No, it definitely wasn't the opening I expected, but it definitely caught my attention. :-)

      I can't wait to explore more of Sharon Bolton's books. Now to start her series . . .

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  2. Yes, those first paragraphs and teaser are very intense. I'd like to read more. I liked your Top Ten. Rainbow Rowell had become one of my favorite authors too. I read her at the urging of my teenaged granddaughter. I also liked Fan Girl.

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    1. Margot - It's funny too because the rest of the book is much more laid back and sweet. :-) I look forward to trying something else by Rainbow Rowell one of these days. Fan Girl does sound good.

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  3. Oh my gosh... that Christmas book is pretty hardcore. I'd read it. ;) I'm sorry about your colds in the family- those are difficult to get over. I've heard of two of your Top Ten authors, but haven't read them yet- all the books I have read lately have been classics.
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. Litha Nelle - It certainly starts off that way, doesn't it? It's actually a pretty sweet story.

      Thank you for the good health wishes. Hopefully they will pass soon. They do tend to linger. :-(

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  4. I'm reading an ARC of The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palumbo. It's the story of Vivaldi and it's really good.

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    1. Page - The Violinist of Venice does sound good! I am glad to hear you are enjoying it. :-)

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  5. Sounds like a very different kind of Christmas book! I'm curious!

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    1. Beth - At least in the beginning. :-) It definitely caught my attention right off the bat.

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  6. I've only read Rainbow Rowell on this list! Irk! One of my favourite new to me authors thus year was probably Moira Fowley-Doyle 'The Accident Season'.

    I also read Derek Landy for the first time too.

    Great post! :)

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    1. Sarah - The Accident Season does sound like a good one. I've heard wonderful things about it. I am not familiar with Derek Landy, but it looks like maybe I should be!

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  7. WOW, that intro seems out of sync with the cover of that Christmas novel. I'd try it though.

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    1. Diane - Haha! The opening and the cover do seem a little at odds with each other, I agree. It is a fitting cover though. :-)

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  8. I agree about Tessa Arlen, I like that book a lot and am also looking forward to the next one!

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    1. Greg - I gave a little squeal when I was approved to read her next one via NetGalley. I am really looking forward to it. :-)

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  9. I envy you having nearly completed your Christmas shopping--I've barely begun mine. Haven't even made my gift list yet.

    Not sure about your current read--the opening and teaser disturbed me given real world events of late.

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    1. Catherine - It helped that I was on a strict budget this year. I wish you well with your holiday shopping! Hopefully you can find some good deals. :-)

      Yes, the opening was a bit of a shocker for me given everything going on in the world, but it was just a moment in time for the characters and the reader doesn't spend much time in that particular situation. It's actually quite a sweet Christmas story.

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  10. Tessa Arlen and Catriona McPherson were new to me as well, and I enjoyed both Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman and The Child Garden. I like Rowell, but still haven't read Eleanor & Park!

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    1. Jenclair - I am glad you enjoyed both Tessa Arlen's and Catriona McPherson's books too. :-) They are both authors I am looking forward to reading more by--hopefully soon. I don't know that I will seek out all all her backlist, but some most definitely.

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  11. Those are intense thrillers, especially considering the cover, which made me think of a cozy mystery story. I'd still be tempted to read on though!

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    1. Eustacia - It's definitely a cozy romance despite the opening and teaser. :-)

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  12. I'm planning to read A Man Called Ove over the holidays, when I try to catch up on some backlist books. I've already read the sample and loved it! Not sure the Xmas book is for me.

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    1. Sarah - I hope you like A Man Called Ove. It was such a pleasant surprise when I read it.

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  13. Hopefully Mouse didn't understand what was going on in that opening. I hope you're both back to normal soon.

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    1. Kathy - She figured out enough to ask why they were shooting at her. :-S I can't remember exactly what I said, but she was satisfied with whatever it was. Thank you for the well wishes, Kathy!

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  14. Cat Winters really should have made my list this week. I loved THE UNINVITED and can't wait to read more from her. Great picks!

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    1. Becky - I am anxious to read some of Cat Winters other work too. The Uninvited was good. :-)

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  15. I want to read more to find out what's going to happen! I love the cover, too.

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    1. Monica - I was anxious to find out what happened too! It was an intense scene.

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  16. Loving that opening paragraph. Desperate for something different to read for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. Whilst this isn't a book I'll probably fir in this year its definitely one I'll keep in mind for next year.

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    1. Tracy - I'm not sure how different it was in the end from other Christmas-themed reads--your typical holiday romance, really--but it certainly started off on a different foot.

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  17. That opening and teaser were not what I was expecting from that cover! I'd definitely want to keep reading. I love your list! Lauren Willig was on my list as well and I have a lot of your authors on my TBR. Tessa Arlen and Catriona McPherson are on my TBR and I'm looking forward to trying them. I'm so glad you enjoyed A Cold Creek Christmas Story! I love her books and she does such a good job of being sweet without overly so like you said. If you have time Snow Angel Cove is worth picking up. It's the first book in another series and I absolutely loved it.

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    1. Katherine - It wasn't what I expected either! It certainly got my attention though.

      I hope you do get a chance to try Tessa Arlen and Catriona McPherson! I will have to look for Snow Angel Cove and give that one a try by Thayne. I look forward to reading more by her.

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  18. That sure doesn't sound like a romance or a Christmas book! I'm curious about what's going to happen next.
    My Tuesday post features Beach Trip.

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    1. Sandra - No, not at first, that's for sure. It does fall into more what you'd expect as you go though.

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  19. Very intense, and I do want to know more!

    Of your Top Ten new-to-you authors, RaeAnne Thayne made my list...I have read Rainbow Rowell, beginning in 2013...and I have one of Backman's books on my Kindle...must read it soon.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - Yes, definitely intense!

      Thayne is definitely an author I want to explore more of in the future. I hope you enjoy the Backman book you have on your Kindle!

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  20. The teaser is gripping! I'm anxious to know what happens next; gah!

    Landline was my first Rainbow Rowell read, I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed it given that I don't typically read from the contemporary genre. I still need to read Eleanor & Park though. Great post!

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    1. Claudia - That's how I felt too! Would she survive? What was happening?! I just had to know.

      I've heard good things about Landline. Contemporary YA is hit and miss with me, and so I can relate to what you are saying. Hopefully I will like whatever else I read by her as well.

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  21. I can't say as I recall reading any of the authors on your Top Ten Tuesday post this week, so I have some new to me authors to check out for sure.

    Here's a link to my TTT post for the week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/12/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-new-to-me.html

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    1. I enjoyed each of the books I read by them. I hope you find one you like from the bunch as well!

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  22. Definitely caught my attention. Doesn't sound like a traditional Christmas book. Here's Mine

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    1. Paulita - Not at first, that is for sure. It was quite a gripping opening, I agree.

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  23. Christmas in Vermont looks so cute! I will have to check that one out, thank you for that :)
    I have to confess that i don't know most of the authors you list here in your TTT, but i will check them out because you make them sound so interesting!
    Wonderful list :)

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    1. I'm not a fan of snow, but I sure wouldn't mind spending time in the town from the book--at least not at Christmas time. :-)

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  24. I love Christmas books and I haven't had a chance to read any yet.

    Love your list of authors, too!

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    1. Yvonne - I love them too. :-) I need to fit a mystery in though. I'm craving something more along that line, I think.

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  25. I definitely want to check out Tessa Arlen! My TTT

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    1. Carrie - Please do! I enjoyed the first book in her series and am looking forward to the second.

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  26. I love Cat Winters, but I still need to read The Uninvited! :)

    Check out my TTT and Music Monday.

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    1. Lauren - I hope you like The Uninvited when you read it! Thank you for visiting!

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  27. I love a good military man in a romance but that poker thing kinda threw me off.

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    1. Becca - The poker scene is really important in context. :-)

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