BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS”

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 Secrets of the Tulip Sisters, by Susan Mallery, a charming tale about the problem with secrets, the power of love and the unbreakable bond between sisters…

 

 

 

Beginnings:  Kelly Murphy was willing to accept certain injustices in the world.  That brownies had more calories than celery.  That wearing white pants meant getting her period—regardless of where she was in her cycle.  That her car would be low on gas only on days when she was running late.  What she did not appreciate or accept was the total unfairness of Griffith Burnett not only returning to Tulpen Crossing, Washington, nearly a year ago, but apparently waking up last month and deciding that stalking her was how he was going to spend his days.

***

Friday 56:  He got up and walked to the kitchen to pour his third cup of coffee.  Okay—he might or might not know the problem.  He now had several new techniques to try. (56%).

***

Synopsis:  Kelly Murphy’s life as a tulip farmer is pretty routine—up at dawn, off to work, lather, rinse, repeat. But everything changes one sun-washed summer with two dramatic homecomings: Griffith Burnett—Tulpen Crossing’s prodigal son, who’s set his sights on Kelly—and Olivia, her beautiful, wayward and, as far as Kelly is concerned, unwelcome sister. Tempted by Griffith, annoyed by Olivia, Kelly is overwhelmed by the secrets that were so easy to keep when she was alone.

But Olivia’s return isn’t as triumphant as she pretends. Her job has no future, and ever since her dad sent her away from the bad boy she loved, she has felt cut off from her past. She’s determined to reclaim her man and her place in the family…whether her sister likes it or not. For ten years, she and Kelly have been strangers. Olivia will get by without her approval now.

While Kelly and Olivia butt heads, their secrets tumble out in a big hot mess, revealing some truths that will change everything they thought they knew. Can they forgive each other—and themselves—and redefine what it means to be sisters?

***

Would you keep reading?  Do the excerpts capture your interest?

***

Advertisements

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “GOOD LUCK WITH THAT”

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:  Good Luck with That, by Kristin Higgins, who tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.

 

 

Beginnings:  (Prologue) – Sixteen Years Ago

For once, no one was thinking of food.

From above, they were just three teenage girls, bobbing in the middle of the clear blue lake, a rowboat drifting lazily nearby as they splashed and laughed.  A blonde and two brunettes, one with black hair, one with brown.  Their voices rose and fell.  Occasionally, one of them would slip underwater, then pop up a few yards away.  Hair would be slicked back, and the swimmer might flip on her back and look up at the sky, so pure and deep that day, the thick white clouds floating slowly past on the lazy breeze.

***

Friday 56:  Every fat girl starves herself at one point or another.  It had never made me actually thin, not like those poor girls who look like skeletons and stop getting their periods.  But at different times of my life, I had enacted their habits…just never long enough for any real drama.

***

Synopsis:  Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.

***

What do you think?  The issues resonate and keep me reading.  Would you want to read more?

***

 

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WATCHING YOU”

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 relatively new book, a hardcover version:  Watching You, by Lisa Jewell, author of the “riveting thriller” (PopSugar) Then She Was Gone delivers another suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect “for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive” (Library Journal).

 

 

Beginning:  (Prologue), 24 March

D C Rose Pelham kneels down; she can see something behind the kitchen door, just in front of the bin.  For a minute she thinks it’s a bloodstained twist of tissue, maybe, or an old bandage.  Then she thinks perhaps it is a dead flower.  But as she looks at it more closely she can see that it’s a tassel.  A red suede tassel.  The sort that might once have been attached to a handbag, or to a boot.

***

Friday 56:  Freddy wasn’t a pervert.  He wasn’t a bully.  He wasn’t a criminal.  He watched girls in order to understand them.  He was just trying to work it all out.  It was just another project.

***

Synopsis:  Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MR. FLOOD’S LAST RESORT”

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 new download:  Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, by Jess Kidd, the spellbinding tale of a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder with a house full of secrets.

 

 

Beginning:  He has a curious way of moving through his rubbish.  He leans into it, skimming down the corridors like a fearless biker on a hairpin bend.  He gallops and vaults through the valleys and hills, canters and bobs through the outcrops and gorges of his improbable hoardings.  Now and then he stops to climb over an obstacle, folding his long legs like picnic chairs.

***

Friday 56:  Renata sighs.  “None of this is normal.  Who finds photographs in milk bottles and stuck to windows?  And why are these faces burnt away?”  She purses her lips.  “And what kind of person stays in a caravan?”

***

Synopsis:  Maud Drennan is a dedicated caregiver whose sunny disposition masks a deep sadness. A tragic childhood event left her haunted, in the company of a cast of prattling saints who pop in and out of her life like tourists. Other than visiting her agoraphobic neighbor, Maud keeps to herself, finding solace in her work and in her humble existence–until she meets Mr. Flood.

Cathal Flood is a menace by all accounts. The lone occupant of a Gothic mansion crawling with feral cats, he has been waging war against his son’s attempts to put him into an old-age home and sent his last caretaker running for the madhouse. But Maud is this impossible man’s last chance: if she can help him get the house in order, he just might be able to stay. So the unlikely pair begins to cooperate, bonding over their shared love of Irish folktales and mutual dislike of Mr. Flood’s overbearing son.

Still, shadows are growing in the cluttered corners of the mansion, hinting at buried family secrets, and reminding Maud that she doesn’t really know this man at all. When the forgotten case of a missing schoolgirl comes to light, she starts poking around, and a full-steam search for answers begins. Packed with eccentric charms, twisted comedy, and a whole lot of heart, Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is a mesmerizing tale that examines the space between sin and sainthood, reminding us that often the most meaningful forgiveness that we can offer is to ourselves.

***

What do you think?  Does the quirky story grab you?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THREE THINGS ABOUT ELSIE”

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 relatively new download that I’ve been eagerly awaiting.  Three Things About Elsie, by Joanna Cannon,  is a suspenseful and emotionally satisfying novel about a lifelong friendship, a devastating secret, and the small acts of kindness that bring people together.

 

 

Book Beginnings:  (4:48 p.m.)

“How did you fall, Flo?” they’ll ask when they find me.  “Did you feel dizzy?  Were you wearing your glasses?  Did you trip?”

They’ll work as they talk.  Putting a cuff around my arm and fastening a plastic clip on my finger, and unwrapping all the leads from one of their machines.  Someone will shine a light in my eyes, and someone else will rummage through all my tablets and put them in one of their carrier bags.

***

Friday 56:  (56%)

As it happened, I remembered nothing until we climbed out of Pickering and onto the moors, where the heather rolled out before us, a thick purple blanket across the landscape.  The moor is like no other place.

***

Synopsis:  There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first thing is that she’s my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third thing…might take a bit more explaining.

Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she thinks about her friend Elsie and wonders if a terrible secret from their past is about to come to light. If the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?

***

 

TUESDAY SPARKS: “AN UNWANTED GUEST”

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:  An Unwanted Guest, by Shari Lapena:  A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

 

 

 

Intro:  (ONE, Friday, 4:45 p.m.)

The road curves and twists unexpectedly as it leads higher and deeper into the Catskill Mountains, as if the farther you get from civilization, the more uncertain the path.  The shadows are deepening, the weather worsening. The Hudson River is there, appearing and disappearing from view.  The forest that rises on either side of the road has a lurking quality, as if it might swallow you whole; it is the forest of fairy tales.  The softly falling snow, however, lends it all a certain postcard charm.

***

Teaser:  She walks quietly into the bathroom, leaving the door open.  She doesn’t want to turn on the light—she doesn’t want to wake Ian.  It’s damn cold.  She brushes her hair quickly.  Her illuminated watch face says it’s just before six. (p. 60).

***

Synopsis:  It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.

***

Do the excerpts draw you in?  Do you want to know more?

***

 

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE PERFECT COUPLE”

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 downloaded in June:  The Perfect Couple, by Elin Hilderbrand, a novel about the many ways family can fill our lives with love…if they don’t kill us first.

 

 

Book Beginning:  (Saturday, July 7, 2018, 5:53 a.m.)

The Chief:  A phone call before six on a Saturday morning is never a good thing, although it’s not unheard of on a holiday weekend.  Too many times to count, Chief Ed Kapenash of the Nantucket Police Department has seen the Fourth of July go sideways.  The most common accident is a person blowing off a finger while lighting fireworks.   Sometimes things are more serious.

***

Friday 56:  (Nantucket)

At the hospital, the Greek is greeted by a trio of nurses—Margaret, Suzanne, and Patty.  Nick has been on dates with both Suzanne and Patty—nothing serious, just fun.  He smiles at all three and says, “Where am I going and what do I need to know?” (56%).

***

Synopsis:  It’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer—the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.

But it’s going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom’s famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect.

***

What grabs you?  The synopsis, the promise of a beautiful setting, or an unexpected murder?

***

TUESDAY SPARKS: “WHISTLE IN THE DARK”

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:  Whistle in the Dark, by Emma Healey, is a wry, poignant, and masterfully drawn story that explores the bonds and duress of family life, the pain of mental illness, and the fraught yet enduring connection between mothers and daughters…

 

 

Intro:  (The end)

“This has been the worst week of my life,” Jen said.  Not what she had planned to say to her fifteen-year-old daughter after an ordeal that had already covered four days.

“Hi, Mum.”  Lana’s voice emerged from blue-tinged lips.

***

Teaser:  “I just don’t see why you won’t talk to anyone, Lana,” Meg was saying, as Jen walked in.  “Have you done something bad?  Something illegal?  Did you hurt someone?  Are you ashamed?”  She had her back to the sitting-room door, but had surely heard her mother come in (p. 56).

***

Synopsis:  Jen and Hugh Maddox have just survived every parent’s worst nightmare.

Relieved, but still terrified, they sit by the hospital bedside of their fifteen-year-old daughter, Lana, who was found bloodied, bruised, and disoriented after going missing for four days during a mother-daughter vacation in the country. As Lana lies mute in the bed, unwilling or unable to articulate what happened to her during that period, the national media speculates wildly and Jen and Hugh try to answer many questions.

Where was Lana? How did she get hurt? Was the teenage boy who befriended her involved? How did she survive outside for all those days? Even when she returns to the family home and her school routine, Lana only provides the same frustrating answer over and over: “I can’t remember.”

For years, Jen had tried to soothe the depressive demons plaguing her younger child, and had always dreaded the worst. Now she has hope—the family has gone through hell and come out the other side. But Jen cannot let go of her need to find the truth. Without telling Hugh or their pregnant older daughter Meg, Jen sets off to retrace Lana’s steps, a journey that will lead her to a deeper understanding of her youngest daughter, her family, and herself.

***

I loved the author’s previous book, Elizabeth Is Missing, so I was eager to grab this one.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “GHOSTED”

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 new download:  Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh.  Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart.

 

 

Beginning:  (Chapter One)

Dear You,

It’s exactly nineteen years since that luminous morning when we smiled and said good-bye.  That we would see each other again was never in doubt, was it?  It was a question of when, not if.  In fact, it wasn’t even a question.  The future might have seemed as insubstantial as the curled edge of a dream, but it unequivocally contained us both.  Together.

***

Friday 56:  Tommy,  Jo, and Rudi were long gone.  I had been crouching in the back of Tommy’s car for nearly half an hour.

I was going to have to get out.

***

Synopsis:  When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened—there must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason for Eddie’s disappearance, and it’s the one thing they didn’t share with each other: the truth.

***

What do you think?  Does the premise grab you?  Do the excerpts pique your interest?

***

TUESDAY SPARKS: “FEARED”

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:  Feared, by Lisa Scottoline, will be released on 8/14/18.  The book explores what happens when we are tempted to give in to our own inner darkness.

 

 

 

Intro:  “Surprise!” everyone shouted, as Mary DiNunzio opened the door to the conference room.  The office was throwing her a baby shower, and she almost burst into tears of joy.  Pregnancy had boosted her emotions past normal Italian-American levels, and for the past seven months, she’d been a walking bowl of estrogen.

***

Teaser:  It wasn’t until two o’clock in the morning that Mary finally slipped into bed, having stayed up to decompress with Judy in the guest bedroom, flopping around with her gaseous golden retriever, talking about John, William, and theories of the murder.  They had searched John’s file cabinet in his apartment, but they hadn’t been able to find a William file or emails from John to Mike Shanahan, so they’d resolved to look at the office at work tomorrow (54%).

***

Synopsis:  When three men announce that they are suing the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm for reverse sex discrimination—claiming that they were not hired because they were men—Mary DiNunzio and Bennie Rosato are outraged. To make matters worse, their one male employee, John Foxman, intends to resign, claiming that there is some truth to this case.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer is Nick Machiavelli, who has already lost to Mary once and is now back with a vengeance —determined not to not only win, but destroy the firm. It soon becomes clear that Machiavelli will do anything in his power to achieve his end…even after the case turns deadly. The stakes have never been higher for Mary and her associates as they try to keep Machiavelli at bay, solve a murder, and save the law firm they love…or they could lose everything they’ve worked for. Told with Scottoline’s trademark gift for twists, turns, heart, and humanity, this latest thriller asks the question: Is it better to be loved, or feared…

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***