TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “KILLMAN CREEK”

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 the second book in the Stillhouse Lake Series:  Killman Creek, by Rachel Caine.

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Intro:  (Gwen)

On the twelfth night since my ex-husband escaped prison, I am in bed.  Not sleeping.  Watching the play of light and shadow on the curtains.  I’m lying on a narrow fold-out cot and feeling every twinge of spring poking through the thin mattress.  My kids, Lanny and Connor, occupy the two full-size beds in this midpriced motel room.  Midpriced is the best I can afford right now.

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Teaser Tuesdays:  Sam has just cleared the doorway when something picks us up and throws us, violently, across the room.  I lift and cross my arms in front of my face, draw my legs up in an instinctive attempt to protect my brain and belly, and I hardly feel it when I hit the wall. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

You’re not safe anywhere now.

Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.

But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

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I’m eager to dive into this second book in the series.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LONG CALL

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 NetGalley ARC to be released on 9/3/19:  The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves.

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Intro:  The day they found the body on the shore, Matthew Venn was already haunted by thoughts of death and dying.  He stood outside the North Devon Crematorium on the outskirts of Barnstaple, a bed of purple crocus spread like a pool at his feet, and he watched from a distance as the hearse carried his father to the chapel of rest.  When the small group of mourners went inside, he moved closer.

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Teaser Tuesday:  She pushed her hair away from her face.  He saw she had a small smudge of paint on her cheek.  It was green, the same shade as her coat. (75%).

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Synopsis:  In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

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I loved the Netflix series based on books by this author, so I’m eager to dive in.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MY EX-LIFE”

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 feature is a book I’ve had on my Kindle for more than a year:  My Ex-Life, by Stephen McCauley.

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Book Beginning:  No, it was not the happiest moment of David Hedges’s life.  Soren, his partner of five years, had left him, he’d gotten fat, and somewhere in the midst of that, he’d woken up one day and realized he was no longer in his twenties.  Or his forties.  The last person he expected to hear from was Julie Fiske.

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Friday 56:  Amira curled up on the sofa like a frightened girl, and Julie was torn between wanting to lash out at her and wanting to comfort her and dry her beautiful hair.

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Synopsis:David Hedges’s life is coming apart at the seams. His job helping San Francisco rich kids get into the colleges of their (parents’) choice is exasperating; his younger boyfriend has left him; and the beloved carriage house he rents is being sold. His solace is a Thai takeout joint that delivers 24/7.

The last person he expects to hear from is Julie Fiske. It’s been decades since they’ve spoken, and he’s relieved to hear she’s recovered from her brief, misguided first marriage. To him.

Julie definitely doesn’t have a problem with marijuana (she’s given it up completely, so it doesn’t matter if she gets stoned almost daily) and the Airbnb she’s running out of her seaside house north of Boston is neither shabby nor illegal. And she has two whole months to come up with the money to buy said house from her second husband before their divorce is finalized. She’d just like David’s help organizing college plans for her seventeen-year-old daughter.

That would be Mandy. To quote Barry Manilow, Oh Mandy. While she knows she’s smarter than most of the kids in her school, she can’t figure out why she’s making so many incredibly dumb and increasingly dangerous choices?

When David flies east, they find themselves living under the same roof (one David needs to repair). David and Julie pick up exactly where they left off thirty years ago—they’re still best friends who can finish each other’s sentences. But there’s one broken bit between them that no amount of home renovations will fix.

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I am eager to finally read this book.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR”

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 new download from a favorite author:  Careful What You Wish For, by Hallie Ephron.

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Intro:  (Saturday)

Emily Harlow wasn’t convinced that her sock drawer sparked joy.  Her socks had once been a jumbled mess, stuffed in the top drawer of the mahogany bureau she’d inherited from her grandmother.  She’d tried to follow the decluttering guru’s mantra, keeping only those socks that “spoke to her heart” and arranging them so they stood at attention, paired and folded just so (starting at the toe) and sorted by color.Months later, bright and early on this muggy August morning, as she stood in her sunlit bedroom in shorts, a tank top, and flip-flops, the message those socks whispered to her heart was more about privilege than joy.  Who on earth needed so many pairs of socks?

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Teaser:  Headlights lit up the water-streaked windows as a white emergency van drove past, heading in the direction of Mr. Murphy’s storage unit.  Emily had no idea how long it took for a body to stiffen up, but the person rolled up in the rug could have been dead for quite some time. (51%).

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From the New York Times bestselling author of There Was an Old Woman comes a novel about a professional organizer with a deadly problem she may not be able to clean up.

Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.

Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.

Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses.

But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.

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I can’t wait to read this one!  I love books about hoarding and organizing.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL”

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 The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman.

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Intro:  (In which we meet our heroine and witness a crime of thoughtlessness).

Imagine you’re a bird.  You can be any kind of bird, but those of you who’ve chosen ostrich or chicken are going to struggle to keep up.  Now, imagine you’re coasting through the skies above Los Angeles, coughing occasionally in the smog.Shiny ribbons of traffic spangle below you, and in the distance you see an impossibly verdant patch, like a green darn in a gray sock.

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Teaser:  Nina shook her head at him.  “No, I totally get it.  I think I was supposed to be born in the nineteenth century, or maybe Edwardian England.  I should be wearing empire-waisted tea dresses and sitting in a window seat watching for carriages.” (p. 61).

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Synopsis:The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
 
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
 
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
 
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

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Would you keep reading?  I can’t wait to dig into this book.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DEAR WIFE”

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 Dear Wife, by Kimberly Belle.

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Intro:  (BETH)

I hit my blinker and merge onto the Muskogee Turnpike, and for the first time in seven long years, I take a breath.  A real, full-body breath that blows up my lungs like a beach ball.  So much breath that it burns.

It tastes like freedom.

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Teaser:  Charlie’s message hits me, and I clench my jaw so hard something pops in my temple.  My “gal” knew what she was doing when she filled in that application.  She knew that as soon as she forked over her license and social security number and whatever else needed for the background check, they would act as beacons, lighting up her location on a map.  An electronic trail leading the police straight to her.

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Synopsis:  Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning—one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.

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I’m excited about this one.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE PERFECT WIFE”

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 feature is a NetGalley ARC due to release on August 6:  The Perfect Wife, by J.P. Delaney.

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Beginning:  You’re having that dream again, the one where you and Tim are in Jaipur for Diwali.  Everywhere you look, every doorway and window, there are lanterns and candles, firecrackers and fairy lights.  Courtyards have become flickering pools of flame, their entrances surrounded by intricate designs of colored rice paste.  Dreams and cymbals throb and sizzle.

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Friday 56:  (FEEL FREE!)  was probably Abbie’s highlight as our artist-in-residence.  People would say to her, How’re you going to top that?” and she’d just smile and shrug.  “Something’ll come,” she’d reply.  “It always does.”

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Synopsis:  Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science. 

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . . .
 
THE PERFECT WIFE

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What do you think?  I am eager to dive into this one.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SUMMER OF ’69”

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:  Summer of ’69, by Elin Hilderbrand.

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Intro:  (Prologue:  Fortunate Son)

When the Selective Service notice comes for Tiger, Kate’s first instinct is to throw it away.  Surely this is every American mother’s first instinct?  Pretend it got lost in the mail, buy Tiger a few more weeks of freedom before the U.S. Army sends another letter—by which time, this god-awful war in Vietnam might be over.  Nixon has promised to end it.

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Teaser Tuesday:  The expression on Angus’s face wasn’t one she remembered seeing before.  He looked…caught He looked…guilty of something.  And then Blair noticed he was in a state of disarray, his tie askew, his shirt misbuttoned, and his hair mussed.  Blair blinked. (p. 57).

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Synopsis:  Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.

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I am excited to dive into this one.  1969 was a pivotal year for me.  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “STONE MOTHERS”

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 feature is a recent download:  Stone Mothers, by Erin Kelly.

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Beginning:  The blindfold hurts.  His inexperience shows in the knot.  It’s tight but crude, and has captured a hank of my hair.  Every time he takes a corner too fast, I rock to the side, the seatbelt slicing my shoulder and the tiny needlepoint pain in my scalp intensifying.  He brakes without warning:  I’m thrown forward.  A loosening of the purple silk near my right temple lets in a little light but no information.

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Friday 56:  “I’m going after her again, Marianne, and if I mean anything to you, you’ll come in with me.”  Tears in his eyes undermine the threat.

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Synopsis:  You can’t keep the secret.
You can’t tell the truth.
You can’t escape the past…

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home in Nusstead – leaving behind her family, her boyfriend, Jesse, and the body they buried. Now, thirty years later, forced to return to in order to help care for her sick mother, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving in the first place, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built, the husband and daughter who must never know what happened all those years ago. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy for help… But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.

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I am glued to the pages.  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND”

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:  Before She Was Found, by Heather Gudenkauf,  about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence.

 

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Intro:  (Monday, April 16, 2018, 12:45 a.m.)

The air is cold, but she barely notices.  It’s the dark that fills her chest with terror, makes her limbs heavy with dread.  But she feels something else, too.  Something that she can’t quite name.  It reminds her of how she feels the night before her birthday or on Christmas Eve but not exactly the same.  Thinking about her birthday and Christmas makes her feel good, warm.  This feels more like slowly climbing the ladder to the high dive at the swimming pool or like when the roller coaster at Adventureland reaches its highest peak just before it plunges straight down and she just knows she is going to die.

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Teaser:  “It looks like this conversation is over,” I say, voice shaky with rage.  “Get out.”  My mind is reeling.

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Synopsis:  For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover—movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora—and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted—not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe—even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

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I love this author’s books, so I’m eager to dive right in.  What do you think?

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