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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Stripped Bare’ By Shannon Baker


I’ve never trusted happiness. Just when you think you’ve corralled that mustang, she busts through the fence and leaves you with splinters. I should have seen it coming.

Still, when I tromped across the back porch, feeling grateful to be out of the frosty night air, I wasn’t worrying about my world turning into a sloppy, wet pile of manure. My calving ratio sat at a hundred percent so far this year. Maybe I could convince Ted to take a week off after the election and head down to a beach someplace, anyplace away from cattle and family and sheriffing.

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • hmm, not sure this one appeals to me, those first few lines certainly don’t scream read me as far as I’m concerned. Still, never say never. How many books have started like this only for us to find ourselves really enjoying a story as it progresses.

    Imagine a ruin so strange it must never happen.

    First, picture the forest. I want you to be its conscience, the eyes in the trees. The trees are columns of slick, brindled bark like muscular animals overgrown beyond all reason. Every space is filled with life: delicate, poisonous frogs war-painted like skeletons, clutched in copulation, secreting their precious eggs onto dripping leaves. Vines strangling their own kin in the everlasting wrestle of sunlight.
    – The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

    • Hi Tracy,

      If you don’t enjoy novels with a ‘Western’ theme, then ‘Stripped Bare’ probably isn’t going to appeal to you very much. However I found those first lines quite amusing (don’t we all have those ‘wet manure’ days?), and there is a serious murder / mystery at the heart of the storyline.

      Whilst not a genre I would necessarily choose to read too regularly, I’m more than willing to give this book a try!
      I have to admit that I have never read a Barbara Kingsolver book and although I was totally captivated both by the premise for the book and the amount of amazing ratings and reviews it has received, at over 500 pages, this is one ‘chunkster’ book that I would need plenty of time to read and digest thoroughly …. maybe one day 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your first lines, I hope that you enjoy your weekend 🙂

    • Hi Mareli,

      I don’t read too many books with a ‘western’ theme, let alone a ‘western mystery’, so I am eager for ‘Stripped Bare’ to make it to the top of my TBR pile soon.

      I get the feeling that maybe this person’s holiday plans aren’t going to be so easy to arrange!!

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate you taking the time to comment 🙂

  • Hmmm. I think the jury is still out for me when it comes to this one. I’ll just have to wait for your full review.

    I can almost promise you my current book won’t be your cup of tea, so I’ll just wait and let you read the opening line when I review it. 😉 It’s of a political nature.

    • Hi Kelly,

      You have me totally intrigued about your latest book now and it is so unfair of you to make me wait !! – I’ll just keep working on you until I wear you down !!
      As to ‘Stripped Bare’. Tracy Terry in her latest review post, declared that …

      “The beauty of reading groups for me is that you get to read all manner of books that you may well not have ever considered. Something that sometimes pays off and other times doesn’t”

      I consider this book to be a little like that, it is either going to be a big hit for me from the off, or it is going to fall a bit flat, quite quickly and I do hope it is not the latter 🙂

      Author Shannon Baker, has also prepared a brilliant guest post, which will be published September 7th, to coincide with promotional work being organised by her publicist. Whilst not directly relevant to ‘Stripped Bare’, it is nonetheless an emotional, interesting and totally personal view about an incident which influenced her own way of thinking. I think you will enjoy reading it.

      Thanks for stopping by, I would say “enjoy your book”, But of course, I don’t know what it is 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Maria,

      So, if you take the words from the book beginning, which you find so interesting and then include just this first short opening line from the synopsis …

      “Kate Fox is living the dream”

      … I think that your assessment about her life heading downhill is more or less assured.

      What’s the saying – ‘When something looks too good to be true, it probably is’ !

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it 🙂

  • I’m not easily drawn to westerns, but she does have a nice hook foreshadowing some disaster the character seems about to experience.

    Also, I like the word “tromp” 🙂

    • Hi Hila,

      Not one of my top rated genres, there have been one or two authors I have particularly read and enjoyed over the course of my blogging life, so I am hoping to be able to add Shannon Baker’s name to that exclusive list.

      ‘Tromp’ isn’t a word you hear here in the UK too often, athough I worked out the definition from the context in which it was used in the passage. We Brits are, on the whole, more likely to say trudge, trample or stamp.

      Tromp is quite a good, expressive word though and one I might well try and introduce more into conversation, just to gauge reaction 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, I always appreciate your visits.

Written by Yvonne