Posted in tuesday sparks

TUESDAY SPARKS: “THE VANISHING YEAR”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s “spark” comes from a recent download:  The Vanishing Year, by Kate Moretti.  The Vanishing Year is a stunner. A perfectly compulsive read that’s impossible to put down.” –Mary Kubica

“A chilling, powerful tale of nerve-shattering suspense.” –Heather Gudenkauf

 

 

 

the-vanishing-year

 

Intro:  April 2014, New York City

Lately, I’ve been dreaming about my mother.  Not Evelyn, the only mother I’ve ever known, the woman who raised me and loved me and taught me to swim in the fresh water of Lake Chabot, bake a sticky sweet pecan pie, fly-fish.  I’ve thought about Evelyn plenty in the five years since she died—I’d venture to say every day.

My dreams lately are filled with the mother I’ve never met.  I imagine her at sixteen years, leaving me in the care of the neonatal nurses.  Did she kiss my forehead?  Study her baby’s small wrinkled fingers?  Or did she just scurry out, as fast as she could, hugging the wall, ducking the shadows to avoid detection until she burst through the doors, into the night air, where she could breathe again?

***

Teaser:  The Saturday after Henry proposed, I had fled to the shop at six a.m., breathless and heady, in the clothes I’d worn the day before, my hair matted and bed-tousled, smelling of Henry’s cologne and the warm, soft, slight musk, of sex. (51%).

***

Synopsis:  Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.

What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.

As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely.

A “dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense” (Karen Robards), The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre.

***

I love the sound of this one already!  What do you think?  Let’s share our reading.

***

Posted in Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: WHAT ARE YOU MUSING ABOUT?

snow-sparks-logot-romantic-restaurants-2011

It’s Monday, and time to muse along with The Purple Booker.  Check out these topics:

 

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

 

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Did you get any good books for the holidays?

***

The past week has been one of reading review books…and older books that had been languishing on my shelves for a while.  Currently I’m reading one that I bought a year ago:

Last Night at the Viper Room, by Gavin Edwards, the life and tragic death of acclaimed actor River Phoenix—a teen idol on the fast track to Hollywood royalty who died of a drug overdose in front of West Hollywood’s storied club, the Viper Room, at the age of 23.

 

 

81vjhsdsfhl-_sl1500_

I recall watching several of his movies, along with my teenage offspring, one of whom was born almost exactly one year after River Phoenix.

I loved the movie Running on Empty, with Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch, and River Phoenix.  The story of a family living off the grid after a horrific 1960s event that changed their lives.

***

As for Christmas books, I didn’t get any….but I got something even better, for me:  an Amazon gift card!  Book buying begins after January 1, as I don’t want to add more “unread” books to my shelves until my new Read the Books You Buy Challenge starts on January 1.

Yes, fudging a little.

What are you reading or dreaming about reading?

***

Posted in Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSING ABOUT READING & THE HOLIDAYS…

snow-sparks-logot-romantic-restaurants-2011

Welcome to another Musing Mondays, hosted now by The Purple Booker.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

 

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you tend to find that you make more time to read during the holiday season? Or do you have less time to read because of the hustle of the season?

***

I’m currently reading a review book, The Sleepwalker, by Chris Bohjalian.    It is a NetGalley book, to be released on 1/10/17.

 

 

 

51wq2m0fuzl

***

When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.

***

I have enjoyed several books by this author, and I’m already caught up in the story.  I read a prequel to this book last week, The Premonition (click for my review), which introduces the reader to the characters and the affliction.

***

As for the random question, the holidays find me continuing with my reading, as always, although I often try to finish up the books I had hoped to get to during the year.

What are you musing about today?

***

Posted in Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSING ABOUT LIBRARIES, ETC.

SNOW SPARKS LOGOt-Romantic-Restaurants-2011

Happy Monday!  Let’s join Jenn and others at Books and a Beat to muse….

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you visit your local library regularly? If so, what’s your earliest memory of visiting a library?

***

Currently, I’m reading and loving In a Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware.  My first from this author, but it won’t be my last.

 

 

 

25062271

***

I was drawn to the cover…and then this part of the blurb:

Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.

***

“Reclusive author” resonates with me, as my life often looks like that.  Nesting, cozy, not wanting to go anywhere. 

I am almost finished, and only stopped reading last night because it was very late.

***

As for the random question, I have such fond memories of the little village library that was half of a building shared by the Post Office.  I still remember the scent, which I came to love.  My mother took me there whenever she went grocery shopping, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a library experience more wonderful than those firsts.  I explored everything, read many books…and then my mother had to take me to the larger library in the neighboring town.

The first book I checked out and read:  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer!

 

 

24583

***

I love remembering my library visits!  I need to do more library explorations, especially now that we can request books online. 

What are you musing about today?

***

Posted in Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSINGS….

SNOW SPARKS LOGOt-Romantic-Restaurants-2011

Let’s join Jenn for Musing Mondays, at Books and a Beat.

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Are there any particular worlds in books in which you’d like to live?

***

This week, I downloaded these two e-books.

While You Were Sleeping (e-book), by Kathryn Croft

 

 

41ejae0lqml

***

In Her Wake (e-book), by Amanda Jennings

 

 

29011229

***

I can’t wait to start reading them!

As for the random question:  I love reading books set in England, Ireland, and Australia. 

Some will probably choose magical worlds, but I choose the real worlds that the authors have described in such a way that I want to be there, visiting or living.

What are yours?

***

Posted in Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSING ABOUT BOOKS….

a bookish window seat-musings logo

It’s time to muse about reading, etc.  Let’s join Jenn, at Books & a Beat.

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: How has your reading changed in the last 10 years?

***

Today I’ll respond to the random question.  In the past ten years, I’ve been immersed in my post-retirement/free lance life, so reading has definitely changed.

For one thing, I started blogging eight years ago, which introduced me to books I had never encountered, and I also became compulsive about checking Amazon…and yes, clicking to buy.

And Goodreads became a part of my world in 2008.

Exposure to so many more books, and with more free time available, I was reading a lot more, as well as picking up new authors and enjoying them.

I’ve loved every minute of it!

***

Today I’m reading Two If By Sea, by Jacquelyn Mitchard, and she is a “favorite” author from the past, one I read many years ago, starting with Deep End of the Ocean (reviewed in 2008, but read earlier).

 

 

26836378

***

This week, my Weekly Updates on my Serendipity blog included reviews of books (and authors) I discovered in the past ten years, like Dee Ernst, Bethany Chase, and Lynda Cohen Loigman.

What has your week been like?  What books are you reading?

***

Posted in first paragraphs, teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: EXCERPTING “INHERITING EDITH”

books-fairytales-tuesday-excerpts

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

My selection today is a relatively new-to-me book:  Inheriting Edith, by Zoe Fishman, a poignant breakout novel, for fans of J. Courtney Sullivan and Elin Hilderbrand, about a single mother who inherits a beautiful beach house with a caveat—she must take care of the ornery elderly woman who lives in it.

 

 

32674319

 

Intro:  A beach house, thought Maggie, her head spinning like the revolving glass door that deposited her back onto Eighteenth Street.  People headed home after work bumped and jostled along the sidewalk as she slipped in unsteadily.

“A house in Sag Harbor.”  Just the words Sag Harbor conjured up images of the kind of life she had never known.  Sand dunes and waves; sea grass and farmers’ markets; rich women with their sun-kissed faces stretched tight like rubber bands.

***

Teaser:  Edith surveyed herself in the mirror.  She was wearing the dress from her shopping excursion with Maggie.  She looked elegant, she thought.

She slipped her feet into her shoes—a pair of gold flats that Maggie had insisted she purchase as well—and smiled.  She hadn’t felt this fancy in years—decades, maybe.  It felt nice. (50%).

(I had to excerpt just a little more to complete the picture).

***

Synopsis:  For years, Maggie Sheets has been an invisible hand in the glittering homes of wealthy New York City clients, scrubbing, dusting, mopping, and doing all she can to keep her head above water as a single mother. Everything changes when a former employer dies leaving Maggie a staggering inheritance. A house in Sag Harbor. The catch? It comes with an inhabitant: The deceased’s eighty-two-year old mother Edith.

Edith has Alzheimer’s—or so the doctors tell her—but she remembers exactly how her daughter Liza could light up a room, or bring dark clouds in her wake. And now Liza’s gone, by her own hand, and Edith has been left—like a chaise or strand of pearls—to a poorly dressed young woman with a toddler in tow.

Maggie and Edith are both certain this arrangement will be an utter disaster. But as summer days wane, a tenuous bond forms, and Edith, who feels the urgency of her diagnosis, shares a secret that she’s held close for five decades, launching Maggie on a mission that might just lead them each to what they are looking for.

***

I think this book sounds delightful.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

Posted in Musing Mondays

MONDAY SPARKS: MUSINGS….

a bookish window seat-musings logo

It’s Monday, and time to muse about books with Jenn, at Books and a Beat.

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What’s your favorite horror novel (if you read that genre)?

***

I am reading In Twenty Years, by Allison Winn Scotch.  It is a book that has been waiting patiently on Pippa since June 2016, and so far I’m enjoying it.

 

 

28353727

 

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.

***

I do love books about friendships, especially when a rift has occurred.  Putting things right again might seem impossible, but it’s great when it can happen.

I am in the beginning portion of the book, which is narrated by alternate characters.

***

What are you musing about today?

***

Posted in first paragraphs, teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “THE LONDON TRAIN”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s release is a book I discovered recently:  The London Train, by Tessa Hadley.

 

 

11457202

Intro:  By the time Paul got to the Home, the undertakers had already removed his mother’s body.  He protested at this, it seemed done in indecent haste.  He had set out as soon as they telephoned him; surely they could have waited the three or four hours it had taken him to get there (the traffic had been heavy on the M5).  Mrs. Phipps, the owner of the Home, guided him into her office, where whatever scene he might make wouldn’t upset the other residents.  She was petite, vivacious, brown-skinned, with traces of a South African accent; he didn’t dislike her, he thought she ran the Home to a good standard of care, his mother had seemed to resign herself gratefully to her efficiency and brisk baby-talk.  Even at this moment, however, there was no sign that the taut, bright mask of Mrs. Phipps’s good humour, respectfully muted in the circumstances, ever gave way to any impulse of authentic feeling.

***

Teaser:  It occurred to him that he could go anywhere, right now.  There were all those thousands sitting in his account, enough to buy himself a ticket; and his passport was—he checked—still in the back pocket of these trousers  (p. 112).

***

Synopsis:  Two lives, stretched between two cities, converge in a chance meeting with immediate and far-reaching consequences in this compelling, sophisticated tale from acclaimed New Yorker writer Tessa Hadley, author of Accidents in the Home and The Master Bedroom. As father struggles to reestablish a relationship with his estranged daughter in London, surrendering himself to an underground life of illegal squats and counterculture friendships, a wife decides she must flee her suffocating marriage to return to Wales, where in Cardiff she may rediscover the passions that once fueled her life. Embracing change and facing loss, in a story evocative of Alice Munro’s Runaway and Julia Glass’ I See You Everywhere, Hadley’s powerful characters illuminate the furthest reaches of love, hope, and determination.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Does the blurb make you want to keep reading?

***

Posted in first paragraphs, teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “COME AND FIND ME”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

The book I’m eager to share today is from one of my favorite authors.  From Hallie Ephron’s back list, I’m eager to read Come and Find Me, a novel of suspense.

 

 

10866294

 

Intro:  If it were up to Diana, there’s be weather.  Rain, snow, even the occasional hurricane.  But climate was one of those things that were out of her control in this always blue-sky world.  The terrain, on the other hand, was her choice:  a replica of a spot in the Swiss Alps at the base of Waterfall Pitch with the towering North Face of the Eiger looming overhead.

Nadia, Diana’s alter ego in the virtual reality of OtherWorld, was barely visible standing at the base of a cascade of frozen water sculpted against the nearly vertical slope.  Diana zoomed in on her avatar, who wore wraparound sunglasses, a fitted black leather jacket with a zipper and upturned collar, slim jeans, red boots, and a red newsboy cap.  In the real Swiss Alps, she’d have lasted about thirty seconds in that outfit; the bitter cold turned any exposed bit of skin pink, then red, then white.  Diana recalled the stillness into which tinkling cowbells and voices from the valley below had risen like whiffs of smoke.

***

Teaser:  Raw panic surged through her and she spun around.  Officer Gruder had followed her into her office.  Diana clapped her hand over her mouth and the scream she hadn’t realized she was making stopped. (p. 96).

***

Synopsis: Computer security expert and reformed hacker Diana Highsmith has not ventured beyond her home for more than a year—not since that fateful climbing vacation in Switzerland took Daniel’s life. Haunted by the sound of Daniel’s cries echoing across the gorge as he fell, Diana cannot stop thinking about the life they’ll never have—grief that has transformed her into a recluse.

Diana doesn’t have to shut herself off com­pletely from the world, though; she and Daniel’s best friend run a thriving Internet security company. From her home, in her pajamas, Diana assesses security breaches, both potential and real, and offers clients a way to protect themselves from hackers—the kind of disruptions Diana herself used to create. Once Diana has a game plan she is able to meet with clients in OtherWorld, an Internet-based platform, using Nadia, an avatar she created for herself. Diana knows she’ll have to rejoin the “real world” eventually, but right now a few steps from her door each morning is all she can handle.

When Diana’s sister goes missing, however, she is forced to do the impossible: brave both the outside world and her own personal demons to find her sister. As one step outside leads to another, Diana soon discovers that she is following a trail fraught with danger—and uncovering a web of deceit and betrayal, both online and real-life, that threatens not only her sister’s life, but her own.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts & blurb grab you?  Make you want to keep reading?  I know I’m all in.

***