Thursday, June 11, 2015

Widow's Tears - Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

     Do you like haunted houses? How about historical fiction? Or mysteries? Then Widow's Tears is a book you'll enjoy. The historical part of the book takes place during the Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900. From her vivid description, it's obvious that Susan Wittig Albert did her research about that devastating storm. The author skillfully switches between the past and present and weaves the two stories together to a satisfying conclusion. 
     This book is #21 in the China Bayles series and it stands alone. I enjoyed getting to know the friends in this story and wish I'd known about this series sooner! I'm sure I'll be reading the earlier books soon. 

Book Beginning:
Prologue
Galveston, Texas: The Oleander City
Saturday, September 8, 1900

     The coast of Texas is according to the general laws of the motion of the atmosphere exempt from West India hurricanes and the two which have reached it followed an abnormal path which can only be attributed to causes known in meteorology as accidental.... It would be impossible for any cyclone to create a storm wave which could materially injure the city [of Galveston].
"West Indian Hurricanes"
By Isaac M. Cline, Chief Meteorologist
Texas Section, U.S. Weather Bureau

The Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
     At one time, the little cemetery must have been well kept and even beautiful, for there were oleanders and gnarled hollies all along the fence, as well as a couple of stone benches and flower urns placed along the walk. But from the looks of the rampant undergrowth, it hadn't been touched in years.

Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery
Length:  305 Pages
Amazon Link:  Widow's Tears
Author Website: Susan Wittig Albert

Synopsis:
     Herbalist and ex-lawyer China Bayles is “in a class with lady sleuths V. I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum” (Publishers Weekly).  In Widow’s Tears, a haunted house may hold the key to solving the murder of one of China’s friends… 
     After losing her family and home in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, Rachel Blackwood rebuilt her house a hundred miles inland and later died there, still wrapped in her grief.
     In present-day Texas, Claire, the grandniece of Rachel’s caretaker, has inherited the house and wants to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast. But she is concerned that it’s haunted, so she calls in her friend Ruby—who has the gift of extrasensory perception—to check it out.
     While Ruby is ghost hunting, China Bayles walks into a storm of trouble in nearby Pecan Springs. A half hour before she is to make her nightly deposit, the Pecan Springs bank is robbed and a teller is shot and killed.
     Before she can discover the identity of the killers, China follows Ruby to the Blackwood house to discuss urgent business. As she is drawn into the mystery of the haunted house, China opens the door on some very real danger…
                 

Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)


Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

32 comments:

  1. I do like ghost stories - I may have to check this out! :)

    Check out my 56 (With Book Beginnings).

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  2. Hmm, doesn't do much for me, as far as beginnings go. I do like haunted house stories though, so there's that.

    My book beginning lives here if you're interested: http://www.bookpunks.com/so-it-begins-blood-meridian-by-cormac-mccarthy/

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    1. Perhaps I should have included the Chapter 1 beginning along with the prologue! If you like haunted house stories, then you'll enjoy this one.

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  3. Ooh, this one sounds good! I love VI Warshawski...and Stephanie Plum, so I should really check out this lady sleuth. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Thanks for choosing Widow's Tears, Sandy. I enjoyed doing the research for this book--took me to Galveston, which is a lovely place to visit. I definitely wouldn't have wanted to be there in September 1900, though.

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    1. You're welcome. Having lived through hurricanes in Miami, I don't ever want to experience another one. The Galveston hurricane was definitely devastating.

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  5. Sounds like you can start this anywhere. I like series like that.

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  6. I haven't ever read the China Bayles mysteries. This does sound like a good one to start with. Check out my 56s and BBs at 21 and 22 on Freda's linky. Happy reading!

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    1. Even though this book is #21 in the series, I had no trouble getting to know the characters and their relationships. It's a good story.

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  7. I really enjoy this series! This one looks great!

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    1. I'm looking forward to reading more China Bayles stories.

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  8. Boy does this book sound good! I just went to S. Augustine, Fl with my family and one night we went on walking a ghost tour and we love it!

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    1. St. Augustine is such an interesting, historic town. I've never been on a ghost tour there, but it sounds like fun.

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  9. Interesting prospect. Many years ago I read 2 or 3 of the China Bayles stories. Good to know this one's a stand-alone.

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  10. I hardly read historical but I do like the genre, so this kind of seems like a book I might enjoy.

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  11. Hi Sandra,

    It is always a bit of a dilemma, whether to feature first lines from the prologue, chapter one proper, or both!

    Based on the opening lines as you feature them, this wouldn't be a book I would be rushing out to buy, especially as that meteorologist doesn't seem to have heard of punctuation!

    Your '56' lines swung it though, that and the fact that the China Bayles series has received such great reviews and ratings from many of the blogs I follow, not to mention Goodreads.

    This is one of those authors who fits into the category 'so many books, so little time', although it is good to know that the books work well as stand alone's, as 21 books is a heck of a lot to catch up on :)

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy the weekend,

    Yvonne

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    1. I don't like long blog posts (I tend to scan them), so that's why I didn't also include the opening sentences from Chapter 1. I'm glad the "56" excerpt appealed to you.

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  12. Very cool blog, I just found it from Rose City Reader! This book opening today I had to read two times through to make sure I didn't miss any details, and it definitely sets up the suspense.

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    1. Thank you, Kimberly. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  13. I have a thing for older cemeteries. Sounds like a lovely read.
    Happy weekend!

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  14. Not heard of this series but it sounds interesting. :)

    Stormi
    Friday Memes

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  15. I'd move to Texas just for the variety of flora and birds.

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  16. I've wanted to try this series for a long time. It looks good.

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  17. That's an interesting book beginning! It makes you want to find out why on earth it happened. Thank you for visiting my blog :)
    Have some great day,
    Amy x

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  18. Oh wow. This sounds like one for me. Thanks for sharing it. Lovely cover art too and a new author for me:)

    Thanks for stopping by my 56:)

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  19. Ooooo...I LOVE haunted houses, historical fiction, and mysteries.

    Thanks for sharing this book.

    Have a good weekend, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

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  20. I've read a couple in this series but not for several years. The premise of this one is intriguing, I might get it from my library.

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  21. Great pick I do love a good mystery book I don't read a lot of historical fiction but this one looks and sounds really intriguing. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

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  22. Oh sounds interesting. Enjoy!
    Have a good week and thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Sharon @ Sharon's Book Nook!

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  23. Oooh this one sounds good! I will have to look into some of this author's work.

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  24. I love the vivid illustrations in the 56, it's so alluring! Great post Sandra :)

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