TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LIAR’S CHILD”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  The Liar’s Child, by Carla Buckley, in which a troubled woman faces a gripping moral dilemma after rescuing two abandoned children from a hurricane.

 

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Intro:  (Hank)

It wasn’t as though anyone came right out and said it in so many words.  That wasn’t how small towns worked.  No, it was mostly raised eyebrows, grunted half sentences.  People knocked on Hank’s door, shuffled on his porch.  They waylaid him at the post office.  They tried to be reassuring.  Not your fault, Hank, they’d say.  Could have happened to anyone.  They cleared their throats, squinted into the distance.  It was right under our noses, they murmured.  What they really meant was, Right under your nose.

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Teaser:  He looked around the deserted woods.  It was growing dark.  The ocean glimmered.  Finally, his eyes came back to her.  “I think people do what they have to do.” (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  On the outskirts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks sits the Paradise, an apartment complex where renters never stay long enough to call the place “home”—and neighbors are seldom neighborly. It’s ideal for Sara Lennox, who moved there to escape a complicated past—and even her name—and rebuild a new life for herself under the radar. But Sara cannot help but notice the family next door, especially twelve-year-old Cassie and five-year-old Boon. She hears rumors and whispers of a recent tragedy slowly tearing them apart.

When a raging storm threatens then slams the coastal community, Sara makes a quick, bold decision: Rescue Cassie and Boon from the storm and their broken home—without telling a soul. But this seemingly noble act is not without consequences. Some lethal.

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What do you think?  Would you go on reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “CALIFORNIA GIRLS”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s featured book is a recent download:  California Girls, by Susan Mallery. The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…

 

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Intro:  “They’re frying bacon!”

Finola Corrado tried not to smile at the panic in her assistant’s eyes.  “The cooking segment is potato salad five ways.  Bacon is the cost of doing business.”

Rochelle’s horror morphed into indignation.  “Yes, and right before that is the ‘What’s New in Sundresses’ segment.  I’m very familiar with the schedule.”  She set down her tablet, put her hands on her narrow hips and leaned forward, as if stressing the importance of her point.  Her long, dark braids moved with her.

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Teaser:  Zennie followed her sister into the dining room.  The table and chairs would be easy to get rid of, but the massive hutch was another issue. (70%).

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Synopsis:  Finola, a popular LA morning-show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by the news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.

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I am looking forward to some delightful hours with these characters in this setting.  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a book that has been hiding out on Paige, my Kindle, for almost a year:  The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland:  Witty and irreverent, funny and sad, this is a charming tribute to stories on the page and in our lives—and the powers they can hold over us.”—Matthew Sullivan author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

 

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Intro:  (2016 – Unlooked-for)

A book is a match in the smoking second between strike and flame.

Archie says books are our best lovers and our most provoking friends.  He’s right, but I’m right, too.  Books can really hurt you.

I thought I knew that, the day I picked up the Brian Patten.  It turned out that I still had a lot to learn.

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Teaser:  Nathan and I were just too different.  In his world problems came with rescue squads, and solutions were white rabbits and home education.  (56%).

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Synopsis:  Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place—the bookstore where she works—come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “NEVER TELL”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Never Tell, by Lisa Gardner, an unpredictable thriller that puts fan favorites D.D. Warren and Flora Dane on a shocking new case that begins with a vicious murder and gets darker from there.

 

 

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Intro:  (Evie)

By the time I pull my car into the garage, my hands are shaking on the wheel.  I tell myself I have no reason to feel so nervous.  I tell myself I’ve done nothing wrong.  I still sit there an extra beat, staring straight ahead, as if some magic answer to the mess that is my life will appear in the windshield.

It doesn’t.

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Teaser:  Samuel smiles.  It’s a devastating look on him.  Good luck to my mom, I think, because no man this beautiful can be easy to manage. (p. 61).

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Prognosis:  A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

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What do you think?  I know that I love every one of the D.D. Warren and Flora Dane books.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DON’T WAKE UP”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Don’t Wake Up, by Liz Lawler: A harrowing psychological thriller debut about a woman who awakens after an assault with no physical proof of the attack and who must try to convince everyone of what really happened.

 

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Intro:  It was the familiar sounds that awakened her.  They were strangely comforting, even though her first instinct was to leap up in panic to see what her colleagues were doing.  She heard instruments being placed on a steel tray.  Monitors emitted regular beeps, sterile packages were torn open, and in the background there was the ever-present hiss of oxygen.

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Teaser:  Home no longer felt like home.  Laura Best’s presence was a thorn in his side and, come the New Year, he would have to make some decisions.  Either she left or he did. (p.62).

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Synopsis:  When Dr. Alex Taylor opens her eyes, she is hooked up to an IV, is bound to an operating table, and her legs are raised in stirrups. Disoriented and alarmed, she assumes she’s been anesthetized and brought to surgery after being in an accident. But the man standing over her, with his face hidden behind a surgical mask and wielding instruments, is no doctor she recognizes at the hospital where she works as a successful and respected doctor. He’s a stranger—and he’s calmly and methodically telling her how he’s about to attack her. Before Alex can even scream for help, she succumbs to another dose of anesthesia, rendering her unable to defend herself….

When she comes to on a gurney, she finds herself surrounded by her colleagues and immediately reports the attack and rape. The police are skeptical of her bizarre story. And after a physical exam reveals no proof of any attack, even her boyfriend has doubts. Despite Alex’s adamant claims, no one believes her, leaving her to wonder if she has, in fact, lost her mind.

Until she meets the next victim…

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I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book, and can’t wait to start reading it.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “NOT HERE”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is an reviewARC from an author:  Not Here:  A Dina Ostica Novel, by Genevieve Noscovo: Would you surrender your free will to save your life?
A city in turmoil. A neighbor disappears. When her concerns are written off, Dina investigates on her own — and becomes a target, at the mercy of those in control…

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Intro:  Dina Ostica tried to scream, but her voice was trapped in her throat.  Her shoulder blades pressed against the fence.

He grabbed her upper arm, pushing her back, as he lifted the knife to her neck.

“Drop. Your. Bag.”  He shook her with each word, six-foot frame looming.

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Teaser:  Dina willed the image of Tom to fill her opponent’s frame.  This was her opportunity for vengeance. (56%).

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Synopsis:  In San Francisco, where the poor are systematically displaced by well-off yuppies, Dina Ostica is part of the problem. The damaged, determined twenty-three-year-old scrambles to make a name for herself in the burgeoning world of podcasting, with the city as her muse. She is hell-bent on professional success, thinking it will mend her broken spirit.

But when her go-to source on local history disappears without warning, she begins to uncover an uncanny pattern that hits too close to home, getting her tied up in the city’s underbelly.

What follows is a gritty tale of exploitation, betrayal, and the strength one needs to survive the whims of those in power.

Will Dina escape or fall victim to the injustice chewing up the city?

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Would you keep reading?

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THURSDAY SPARKS: IGNITING OUR CONNECTIONS…AND MEMORIES

Our connections in life ignite us and help us get through our days.  The symbol of my connections (above) has been my One Word for the past two years.

And the people in my life…cement the connections.

Today I’m sharing a few of those people.  My No. 2 Son, below, loves connecting with his three kids over favorite sports.

Or he loved spending time in Europe with his daughter, when she enjoyed a semester in Prague.

Here is my No. 1 Son with Aubrey, in Prague…wrapped in a snow globe.

Back home…here is a photo of my daughter…and youngest grandson (in his ROTC uniform).

 

A holiday party:  Heather, far left, and her coworkers…

Here is Noah, several years ago.  I love this one!

 

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Two years ago, my granddaughter Fiona and I went far north to the beach, and spent time with my youngest son.  Here she is, walking the beach with him.

And (below), here is a blast from the past:  Me, Christmas in 1970, in Sacramento, CA.

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Life’s moments, past and present, are best enjoyed with our special connections.

What ignites you?  What moments are memorable?

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Linking to A Web of Stories.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SHE LIES IN WAIT”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s featured book is a recent download:  She Lies in Wait, by Gytha Lodge: Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust? A teen girl is missing after a night of partying; thirty years later, the discovery of her body reopens a cold case in an absorbing novel featuring a small-town cop determined to finally get to the truth—for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson.

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

She made her skittering, sliding way down the riverbank.  Her trainers hit the flat ground at the lip of the water, and she wobbled but recovered.

“Jessie!”

She heard her name, and felt an answering buzz of adrenaline.  She paused, then kicked her way on again.  Just her brother, not Dad.  Away up the slope. Her brother wasn’t going to yell at her for wandering off.

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Teaser:  Jonah had been watching Benham, and there was a void where there should have been a reaction.  He was absolutely still, and for a good few seconds afterward he moved nothing but his eyes. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.

This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

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SUNDAY SPARKS: WEEKEND CONNECTIONS…

Welcome to a new Sunday feature.  I usually share my Sunday thoughts on Potpourri, but now that I’ve changed up this blog, I decided to spotlight it occasionally.

Last week brought a nice mix of books, movies, and outings.  And a hairstyling on Saturday, after which my daughter and I enjoyed lunch at La Kebrada, next door to her salon.  She is making a face in the photo, because she didn’t want to be photographed while she ate.  Can’t blame her, but she wouldn’t pose for me.  So this is what happened.  LOL.

I went home afterwards and curled up with books and movies.  I had some on my DVR to watch…and I am reading Untouchable, by Jayne Ann Krentz.

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Today I plan to enjoy lunch at California Pizza Kitchen…with my book.  I finished most of the weekly laundry.  Later today, I will go on Netflix and Prime…and will not be watching the Super Bowl.

Is anyone out there affected by the closing down of Google+ in April?  I hope they don’t shut down the regular Google.  I didn’t actually use Google+, but I had linked to it on my blogs from my social media icons.  It was annoying to delete that part of my text box.

What does the rest of your weekend look like?

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SPARKING SOME MEMORIES…

 

When I was changing up the look of this blog today, I had some thoughts about the perfect array of photos to display in my post today.  Yes, you guessed it!  The once-upon-a-time hippie life I had in the 1970s. 

 

Not just VW bugs, but yellow bell bottom pants.  And curly hair. (See above). Sometimes straight hair.  And rainbow hued ponchos.  (Below).

We did have a VW bus for a while:

For a couple of years, we lived in an English stucco house with lots of windows and plants…and wicker furniture.

Later on in the 70s, I had flowy dresses with my curly/bushy hair:

By the end of the 70s, while I was attending graduate school and my youngest child was almost three, she celebrated the “flower child” years.

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I’m linking to A Web of Stories for Saturday Snapshots.

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