Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is a recent download from an author I enjoy:  The Girl You Lost, by Kathryn Croft.




Beginning:  (Prologue)

It had been easy to get him alone.  He’d played right into her hands and all she’d had to do was flash a smile at him.  Laugh at his jokes.  Pretend to be interested in his words.

But now they were in his flat, in a part of town she barely knew, and if she wasn’t careful, her control would slip away.


56:  Grace is already in the kitchen when I go downstairs, sitting at the table, and I smell toast before I see that she has made breakfast.

‘I hope it’s okay?’ she says, biting her lip. ‘Matt said I could help myself.  I’ve made you some tea, too.’


Synopsis:  Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter’s six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain at losing their child has never left them.

Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby. But just who is Grace – and can Simone trust her?

When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her baby and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts.

Simone is inching closer to the truth but it’ll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory.

Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?


What do you think?  Have you read this one?  Would you keep reading?





Jenny, our first person narrator, had been friends with Amanda Ruth Lee since childhood. They grew up together in Alabama, and their days and hours spent in a unique boathouse with a blue room is a time that Jenny often remembers now.

For Amanda Ruth is dead. Murdered 14 years before.

Dream of the Blue Room carries us back and forth in time, with the present tense narration our clue to what is going on in Jenny’s world nowadays. She is on a cruise ship, visiting China, as a last remembrance to Amanda Ruth, whose father was Chinese. She is traveling with Dave, her husband, from whom she has been separated for two months, living on separate sides of Central Park in Manhattan. She is carrying Amanda Ruth’s ashes in a unique tin box. Does Jenny hope that the trip will bring her closer to Dave again? Will Dave’s need to “rescue” those around him help them reconnect?

As we learn more about Mr. Lee and his thoughts and feelings toward Amanda Ruth and her sexual orientation, we have to wonder why honoring her father would have been a wish of hers. But sometimes, the mind is a curious thing.

We also see how Jenny and Dave first fell in love, what drew them together, and what has slowly pulled them apart. Does Dave know the secret life that Jenny and Amanda Ruth shared? Did he hope to rescue her from that life?

On the ship, Jenny meets a man named Graham. Theirs is a unique bond that grows with each day. What will Graham ask of Jenny before they part? What will happen to her afterwards?

The story had a mournful tone, with all the dreams and imaginings…and there were a few answers to some crucial questions as we moved along. But were they really answers, or more imaginings? I couldn’t stop reading this book, but it left me feeling disoriented…and a little sad. 4 stars.