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 a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is After Nightfall, by A.J. Banner, a gripping thriller about an engagement party gone fatally awry.





Beginning:  Lauren is flirting with my fiance over the dinner I spent hours preparing.  She gets this way when she’s had too much wine.  I’m not far behind her; I’m already into my second glass of merlot.  I’m not even sure why I’m drinking—I usually don’t.  But tonight, Nathan and I are planning to announce our engagement.  Our shared future shimmers on a single fragile thread—his daughter’s approval.  Anna is only nine years old and fiercely loyal to her mother.  He promised he’d broken the news to her earlier today, but she hasn’t said anything to me.


Friday 56:  He rubs his hands down his face, as if to erase his thoughts.  “Come on. I wouldn’t go that far.  I know what she did in college.  But now?  You think she was still like that?”


Synopsis:  Imagine your closest friend utterly betraying you. Years later, when she seeks forgiveness, you invite her to your engagement party as a gesture of reconciliation. But seething hostilities rise to the surface, ruining everyone’s evening. After an awful night, your friend’s battered, lifeless body is found at the bottom of a rocky cliff.

Newly engaged Marissa Parlette is living this nightmare. She should be celebrating her upcoming wedding, but she can’t shake the image of her friend lying dead on the beach. Did she fall? Was she pushed? Or did she take a purposeful step into darkness? Desperate for answers, Marissa digs deep into the events of the party. But what she remembers happening after nightfall now carries sinister implications: the ugly sniping, the clandestine meetings, the drunken flirtations. The more she investigates, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about her friends, the man she once trusted, and even herself.

Bestselling author A. J. Banner keeps readers on a razor-sharp edge in this intricately plotted novel of psychological suspense…in which nothing is as it seems.


What do you think?  Do the excerpts and blurb grab you?



  1. As soon as I crossed to Goodreads to check out the author and read that she grew up on a diet of Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier, I could immediately see some of those influences in the premises of her books, albeit that they may have a more modern tone of narrative.

    This is definitely a new author for my list and of course that means all three of her books to date, including ‘After Nightfall’, where it sounds as though Nathan may not be as squeaky clean and innocent as we are led to believe!

    Thanks for sharing and Happy Reading 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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