TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “UNTOUCHABLE”

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 Untouchable, by Jayne Ann Krentz: A man’s quest to find answers for those who are haunted by the past leads him deeper into the shadows in this electrifying New York Times bestseller from the author of Promise Not to Tell.

 

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Intro:  Fifteen years earlier…

She was fourteen years old and sleeping in yet another bed.  The little house on Marigold Lane looked cozy and welcoming from the street—lots of curb appeal, as the real estate agents liked to say—but she had decided that she would not be there for long.

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Teaser Tuesday:  Winter awakened from the chase dream gasping for breath.  Her pulse skittered wildly. (p. 56).

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Synopsis:  Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer’s head has garnered him a reputation in some circles–and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace.

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family’s hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas’s foster sons, starting with Jack.

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I enjoy this author’s romantic suspense books, so I’m eager to start reading this one.  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE RED ADDRESS BOOK”

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 I’m eager to read:  The Red Address Book, by Sofia Lundberg,follows 96-year-old Doris, who writes down the memories of her eventful life as she pages through her decades-old address book. But the most profound moment of her life is still to come…

 

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Intro:  The saltshaker.  The pillbox.  The bowl of lozenges.  The blood-pressure monitor in its oval plastic case.  The magnifying glass and its red bobbin-lace strap, taken from a Christmas curtain, tied in three fat knots.  The phone with the extra-large numbers.  The old red-leather address book, its bent corners revealing the yellowed paper within.  She arranges everything carefully, in the middle of the kitchen table.  They have to be lined up just so.  No creases on the neatly ironed baby-blue linen tablecloth.

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Teaser: The doctor’s eyes are fixed on the stack of papers in the dark-blue plastic document holder.

“Your stats look better.” He leafs through the first three sheets, reading chart notes and test results. (59%).

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Synopsis:  Meet Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. She has few visitors, but her weekly Skype calls with Jenny—her American grandniece, and her only relative—give her great joy and remind her of her own youth.

When Doris was a girl, she was given an address book by her father, and ever since she has carefully documented everyone she met and loved throughout the years. Looking through the little book now, Doris sees the many crossed-out names of people long gone and is struck by the urge to put pen to paper. In writing down the stories of her colorful past—working as a maid in Sweden, modelling in Paris during the 30s, fleeing to Manhattan at the dawn of the Second World War—can she help Jenny, haunted by a difficult childhood, unlock the secrets of their family and finally look to the future? And whatever became of Allan, the love of Doris’s life?

A charming novel that prompts reflection on the stories we all should carry to the next generation, and the surprises in life that can await even the oldest among us, The Red Address Book introduces Sofia Lundberg as a wise—and irresistible—storyteller.

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The aging woman living alone in Stockholm captured my interest.  I am eager to start reading.  What do you think?

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CAPTURING THE MOMENTS….

I love traveling vicariously, so when my No. 2 son and his fiancee went to Hawaii (above), I could almost feel the surroundings.

Here they are, enjoying tropical drinks:

Meanwhile, back at home, my youngest grandson was celebrating his 16th birthday.

 

I captured a photo of him enjoying his relaxing moments:

 

And when it was time for the candles, he played his role well:

 

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What are you celebrating via photos this weekend?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE WINTER SISTER”

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 NetGalley ARC:  The Winter Sister, by Megan Collins, a book that will be released on 2/5/19, tells of a young woman haunted by the past who returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

 

 

 

Intro:  When they found my sister’s body, the flyers we’d hung around town were still crisp against the telephone poles.  The search party still had land to scour; the batteries in their flashlights still held a charge.  Persephone had been missing for less than seventy-two hours when a jogger caught a glimpse of her red coat through the snow, but by then, my mother had already become a stranger to me.

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Teaser Tuesday:  I stood up, latching my eyes onto his, and I waited to see who would last the longest, who would be the one to see the other look away.  Even though the darkness of his irises, so close in color to his pupils, made my neck prickle, I knew that it had to be me. (56%).

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Synopsis:  Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “OUR LITTLE LIES”

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:  Our Little Lies, by Sue Watson:  Fans of The Girl on the Train and I Let You Go looking for a dark, gripping psychological thriller, with a final twist that will put their jaw on the floor, will love Our Little Lies.

 

 

Intro:  It’s the way he says her name that first alerts me.  I’m buttering toast for the children when he says  ‘Caroline…’  I don’t hear the rest, just the way his mouth caresses Caroline.

It’s hard to explain, but something tells me she’s more than a colleague.  Perhaps it’s the way his tongue rolls languorously over the ‘r,’ ending with a contented sigh on the ‘ine.’

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Teaser Tuesday:  Oh, my God, he’s even lied about when I got pregnant and why we married.  He wasn’t forced to marry me.  He loved me, he wanted marriage and a family—with me.  But he can’t even admit that now.  And ‘your lovely mum.’  I don’t think so—I have to smile at this. (p. 161).

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Synopsis:  Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.

Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother, growing up in foster care. But her husband Simon is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France – nothing is too good for his family.

Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline, gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.

In the old days, she’d have distracted herself at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career behind when she got married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.

It’s almost by accident that Marianne begins to learn more about Caroline. But once she starts, she can’t stop. Because what she finds makes her wonder whether the question she should be asking is not ‘should she be jealous’, but… ‘should she be scared’?

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What do you think?  Do you want to keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SOPHIE LAST SEEN”

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 Sophie Last Seen, by Marlene Adelstein:  a review book.  “A mother’s psyche edges toward madness as she tries to solve the puzzle of her daughter’s disappearance. A gripping tale of heartbreak and eternal hope.” Beth Hoffman, author of the NYT Bestseller “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt”

 

 

Intro:  The feel of the smooth glass stone between her index finger and thumb could always calm Jesse Albright, especially when she felt the start of a panic attack.  Like now.  Setting the stone down on the dashboard, she turned to the passenger seat and said to her daughter, “We’re here, Soph.”  She pulled into the entrance of the Countryside Mall, parked the truck, and got out.

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Teaser:  Slowly, the crowd dispersed.  As Jesse walked back to the truck, a smoky haze lingered, and when she looked up, she saw tiny pieces of paper and black bits floating down from the heavens like charred snow, some landing in her hair.(52%).

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Synopsis:  Six years ago, ten-year-old Sophie Albright disappeared from a shopping mall. Her mother, Jesse, is left in a self-destructive limbo, haunted by memories of her intense and difficult child, who was obsessed with birds. Trapped in her grief and guilt, Jesse stumbles through her workdays at a bookstore and spends her off hours poring over Sophie’s bird journals or haunting the mall to search for the face of her missing child.

When Star Silverman, Sophie’s best friend, starts working at the bookstore, Jesse is uncomfortable around the sarcastic teen, who is a constant reminder of her daughter. But Star has secrets of her own, and her childhood memories could be the key to solving Sophie’s disappearance.

With help from Star and Kentucky “Tuck” Barnes, a private detective on the trail of another missing girl, Jesse may finally get some closure, one way or the other.

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I’ve heard good things about this book.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “TRUE PLACES”

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 True Places, by Sonja Yoerg, “a beautiful reminder that though we may busy ourselves seeking what we want, what we need has an uncanny way of finding us.”

 

Intro:  The girl knew before she opened her eyes that Mama was gone.  She always knew.  The air inside the cabin cradled a hollow space, a missing shadow of warmth, an exhaled hum, the absent heartbeat.  Early mornings were best for hunting, she accepted that, but loneliness was a heavy cloud to wake up in all the same.

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Teaser Tuesdays:  He turned to Suzanne.  A hint of a smile played on her lips, betraying nothing more than the satisfaction of delivering another competent meal to strangers and friends, and hiding all the boredom she probably felt.(p.57)

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Synopsis:  A girl emerges from the woods, starved, ill, and alone…and collapses.

Suzanne Blakemore hurtles along the Blue Ridge Parkway, away from her overscheduled and completely normal life, and encounters the girl. As Suzanne rushes her to the hospital, she never imagines how the encounter will change her—a change she both fears and desperately needs.

Suzanne has the perfect house, a successful husband, and a thriving family. But beneath the veneer of an ideal life, her daughter is rebelling, her son is withdrawing, her husband is oblivious to it all, and Suzanne is increasingly unsure of her place in the world. After her discovery of the ethereal sixteen-year-old who has never experienced civilization, Suzanne is compelled to invite Iris into her family’s life and all its apparent privileges.

But Iris has an independence, a love of solitude, and a discomfort with materialism that contrasts with everything the Blakemores stand for—qualities that awaken in Suzanne first a fascination, then a longing. Now Suzanne can’t help but wonder: Is she destined to save Iris, or is Iris the one who will save her?

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What do you think? Do the excerpts grab you?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE COMFORTS OF HOME”

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 acquisition:  The Comforts of Home, by Susan Hill:  Simon Serrailler faces his most difficult case yet in the ninth installment of Susan Hill’s gripping mystery series.

 

 

  Intro: (Prologue)

For a long time, there had been blackness and the blackness had no form or shape.  But then a soft and cloudy greyness had seeped in around the edges of the black, and soon, the images had come and these had moved forward very fast, like the pages of a child’s flip book.  At first he could not catch any, or distinguish between them, but gradually their movement had slowed and he had made out faces, and parts of bodies—a hand, a thumb, the back of a neck.  Hair.  The images had begun to pulse, and balloon in and out, like a beating heart, the faces had swirled together, mingled then separated, and once or twice they had leered at him, or laughed silently out of mouths full of broken teeth.

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Teaser:  He was very hot, his skin dry.  When he got back into bed sweat was running down his face. (59%).

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Synopsis:  Susan Hill—the Man Booker Prize nominee and winner of the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards—returns with a hair-raising new novel, the ninth book in one of the most acclaimed mystery series of our time. Featuring the enigmatic and brooding chief police inspector Simon Serrailler, this intricate and pulse-pounding series follows a collection of grisly crimes plaguing the city of Lafferton—and The Comforts of Home is the most chilling and unputdownable installment yet.

In this gripping new thriller, Simon, eager to be back at work after recovering from a near-fatal injury, takes on a cold-case review for the Lafferton police about a girl who disappeared some years before. Meanwhile, his family adjusts to changes of its own; namely his sister’s marriage to Chief Constable Kieron Bright. But when events take an unfavorable turn for the Chief Constable and an arsonist goes on a deadly rampage in Lafferton, Simon’s personal and professional lives intertwine in more complex and devastating ways than ever before.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts compel you to keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “TELL ME LIES”

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 acquisition from a new-to-me author:  Tell Me Lies, by Carola Lovering, a keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel that chronicles the yearning ambitions, desires, and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.

 

 

 

Beginning: (Lucy, August 2017)

I wake two minutes before my 5:45 a.m. alarm goes off, on instinct, like the neurotic, sleep-deprived New Yorker I’ve become.  My head kills from the wine—Dane and I split two bottles with the dinner that I paid for—but I force myself out of bed anyway.  Three Advil, two cups of coffee, and an Adderall and I’ll survive the day. And isn’t that what New York is all about anyway—surviving?

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Friday 56:  I wasn’t attracted to Stephen.  I was just a drunk idiot mistaking nausea for butterflies.  Pippa was going to be thrilled, though.  I pulled out my phone, which was miraculously still intact, and texted Lydia.

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Synopsis:  Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.

Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.

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What do you think?  Are the excerpts and blurb enticing?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “AFTER NIGHTFALL”

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.

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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?”

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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.

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

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