First Line Fridays: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens @PutnamBooks @PenguinRandomCA #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers

First Line Friday is hosted by Hoarding Books. Where we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

Our First Line Friday is for a Traveling Friends Group read that we are currently reading and it opens up to describing what a marsh is.  So I have added the first paragraph to give you an idea of how descriptively beautiful the writing is.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Marsh is not swamp.  Marsh is a space of light, where grass grows in water, and water flows into the sky.  Slow-moving creeks wander, carrying the orb of the sun with them to the sea, and long-legged birds lift with unexpected grace–as though not built to fly–against the roar of a thousand snow geese.

Goodreads Summary

Fans of Barbara Kingsolver will love this stunning debut novel from a New York Times bestselling nature writer, about an unforgettable young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open.

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark.

But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens.

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

Have you read this one? Want to read it? Please add your first line to a book you have started or going to start. We would love to hear from you!!!

Throwback Thursday: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee, Its Book Talk to share some of our old favorites as well as books that we’ve finally got around to reading that was published over a year ago.


Norma and I really enjoyed reading The Alice Network and we stood up cheering when we saw that Kate Quinn has a new book coming out in February and we can’t wait to read to it.

The Alice NetworkThe Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Goodreads summary

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

From our Traveling Sisters Group review

The story told from emotional, broken, grief and guilt-stricken Eve’s perspective we learn her backstory and her part in The Alice Network. This was our favorite part of the story as we really enjoyed the friendships here and their deep connection that they had with each other. Eve’s character and her perspectives we felt were the strongest part of this story. We really could feel and see their loyalty and how protective they were of each other. We loved how the Kate Quinn gave her a stutter and it really showed how she was able to use that to her advantage.

The Alice Network made for an interesting group read and discussion that we all really enjoyed. We all agreed we really appreciated learning about the remarkable Alice Network. We recommend for group reads and for anyone looking to learn more about this very interesting part of history and the workings of this spy network of women.

About the Author

Kate Quinn is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written seven historical novels, including the bestselling “The Alice Network,” the Empress of Rome Saga, and the Borgia Chronicle. All have been translated into multiple languages.

Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

Coming February 26, 2019

The HuntressThe Huntress by Kate Quinn

Goodreads Summary

From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.

British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.


Have you read The Alice Network?  Are you cheering like Norma and I about The Huntress and looking forward to reading it?  Drop us a comment!  We love to hear from you!

Random Book Musings: How long does it take you to prepare your review? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers


I always have these random questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question.  We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do.

So this next question that I had for the Traveling Sisters is one that I have been wondering about for a while now and I am really curious to hear from you all.  I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us. 

Norma’s random book question:

How long does it take you to prepare your review? Do you have your own style that you like to follow or does your reflection towards the book give you an indication of how you will review it?

So for all you readers out there that don’t review, I would still love to hear from you.  So my question for you is.  Do you take notes while reading?

Web_L285-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Answer

Reviewing is not an easy task for me and can take a few hours. Sometimes up to three hours to do one review. If I love the book and I am excited about it then my review takes much less time. I have a format that I like to follow or else I would just sit here and not know where to start.

All the points that I include in my review are things that mean something to me while I am reading a book. I am definitely an emotional reader and I like my reviews to reflect that emotion. I just recently included “Norma’s Stats” in my reviews and that section is lots of fun to prepare and also all meaningful points to me while I am reading. I have had a lot of positive feedback about those stats.

I was brainstorming with Kris one day and asked her what makes my reviews Norma’s reviews and how could I add something to my reviews to reflect that and we came up with “Norma’s Stats”.

No, I always think that I should take notes but I never do. I have good intentions but I never follow through. To be honest when I’m reading I don’t want to stop and write something down…..I just want to read. LOL

img_6349Brenda’s Answer

Like Norma writing reviews is not easy for me.  I struggle with putting words to my thoughts. I do my reviews in steps and one review can take me days.  I write notes on paper because I love paper and pens, after reading a book.  I read the discussion thread again and gather everyone’s thoughts.  Then go back and and try to put them into sentences.  Then I put them into docs and try to pull everything together.  This is the hardest step.  I will find so many things to distract myself from doing this.  So this part can take me all day to complete. Sometimes I have to pull out the wine, however I just discovered that drinking and blogging is not such a great idea when I knocked over a glass of beer on to my chrome book.  So no more chrome book. I should of stuck to wine. I am now using my son’s computer.   As for a format I have a few things I like to write about in most reviews and I use that as a guideline. Mostly like Kris I go with what stood out for me and the group.

Web_L149-3_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s Answer

I am all over the place with my reviews. Some take minutes and seem to flow quickly. Other times, I feel stumped and it can take me over an hour to get the wording proper. Sometimes I just set it aside for the next day if I can’t quite get my thoughts down properly. There is no format for me – whatever feels right for that book.
I never take notes although I wish I did. I attempted it in the past and found it takes away from my reading enjoyment to stop and write things down. If I’m loving what I’m reading, I just want to keep going and continue enjoying instead of breaking and writing it down.

FC-10-CarlyKristin’s Answer

I really love reading about everyone’s reviewing process!
Mine is not typically consistent, I guess, and I can take anywhere from ten minutes to all-damn-day to write a review! (Not quite “all day”, but you get it;)

I’m such a second-guesser, and I always question whether what I’ve written is sufficient enough to convey how the book impressed me.

But I review on a mostly emotional level and I don’t really have a format. Sometimes I discuss plot, sometimes I don’t. But I will always touch on my emotions as the reader, and the quality of writing.

Different elements stand out in every book. It’s those “things” that stand out that I like to emphasize.

Now to the best part.  Your answers.  Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

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