Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN”

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 of a book that will be released on 1/14/20:  Big Lies in a Small Town, by Diane Chamberlain.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Edenton, North Carolina

March 23, 1940

The children knew it was finally spring, so although the air still held the nip of winter and the grass and weeds crunched beneath their feet, they ran through the field and woods, yipping with the anticipation of warmer weather.  The two boys and their little sister headed for the creek, drawn to water, as they always were.  The girl, only three and not as sure-footed as her brothers, tripped over something and landed face-first in the cold water of the creek.  Her big brother picked her up before she could start howling, cuddling her close against his thin jacket, a hand-me-down from one cousin or another.

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Teaser:  (Anna)

February 28-1940

Anna awakened with a weight on her chest that made it hard to breathe.  She knew that weight.  It had been with her off and on since her mother’s death in November, and she knew why it was so heavy and breath-stealing this morning:  today was February 28.  Her mother would have turned forty-four today. (60%).

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Synopsis:  North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

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

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE POISON GARDEN”

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 Poison Garden, by A. J. Banner.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

I am running through the woods in the waning moonlight, splatters of blood on my hands, the wind whipping in from the sea.  Tall firs bend and sway, branches crackling, breaking in the gale.  I am lost but must keep moving.  I once knew these trails, could find my way with my eyes closed, but that was long ago.

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Teaser:  I took her place at the desk, clicked on the sign-in window, and tried a range of possible passwords, from his social security number, his July birthday, to the name of his first pet, a dog named Rambo.  No luck.  Nothing worked.  I was locked out. (p. 61).

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Synopsis:  Elise Watters seems to have it all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother’s herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life…

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS”

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 Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

It would be inaccurate to say that my childhood was normal before they came.  It was far from normal, but it felt normal because it was all I’d known.  It’s only now, with decades of hindsight, that I can see how odd it was.

I was nearly eleven when they came, and my sister was nine.

They lived with us for more than five years and they turned everything very, very dark.  My sister and I had to learn how to survive.

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Teaser:  Libby pushes the crib and it creaks pathetically, evidencing its great age.  Who was it bought for? she wonders.  Was it bought for her?  Or for generations of babies before her? (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

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Would you keep reading?  I have been eagerly anticipating this book.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “ELEVATOR PITCH”

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 Elevator Pitch, by Linwood Barclay.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Stuart Bland figured if he posted himself close to the elevators, there was no way he could miss Sherry D’Agostino.

He knew she arrived at the offices of Cromwell Entertainment, which were on the thirty-third floor of the Lansing Tower, on Third between 8:30 and 8:45.  A car was sent to her Brooklyn Heights address each day to bring her here.  No taxi or subway for Sherry D’Agostino, Cromwell’s vice president of creative.

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Teaser:  “I kind of forgot about it, because it seemed so crazy, I thought he had to be joking.  He said, just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  Kind of a variation of the line about being paranoid.  (47%).

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Synopsis:  It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men in women working in offices across the city refuse to leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its ribbon-cutting on Thursday.

With each diabolical twist, Linwood Barclay ratchets up the suspense, building to a shattering finale. Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone. 

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I am a little scared to read this one, but I also can’t wait to read it.  What do you think?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “ONE LITTLE SECRET”

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 One Little Secret, by Cate Holahan.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Drowning can happen in two inches of water.  All the parenting books she’d consumed during her pregnancies had contained that warning, often on the first page of the bath-time section.  Children could die in a kiddie pool.  The sink.  The toilet.  Life began in an amniotic sac, but it could end in the shallows.

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Teaser:  Jenny cursed under her breath.  Either her neighbors were toasting and Ben was calling her back to clink glasses, or he wanted to discuss what had happened after she’d given him that last injection.The thought of doing either made Jenny want to sprint in the opposite direction.(p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Everyone has a secret. For some, it’s worth dying to protect. For others, it’s worth killing.

The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town—and desperate for some kid-free conversation—she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.

Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others’ marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.

Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look.

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Would you keep reading?  I can’t wait to learn more.

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Bookish Friday

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE POISON GARDEN”

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 The Poison Garden, by A. J. Banner

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue)

I am running through the woods in the waning moonlight, splatters of blood on my hands, the wind whipping in from the sea.  Tall firs bend and sway, branches crackling, breaking in the gale.  I am lost but must keep moving. I once knew these trails, could find my way with my eyes closed, but that was long ago.

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Friday 56:  She locked the door.  “It’s easy to hack into a Windows machine.  If we’re able to get our hands on the actual machine.” (p. 56).

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Synopsis:  Elise Watters seems to have it all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother’s herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life…

***

What do you think?  I know I can’t wait to dive into this one.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “IF YOU ONLY KNEW”

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 If You Only Knew, by Kristan Higgins, a book that has been resting comfortably on my Kindle since December 2017.

 

 

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Intro:  (Jenny)

Today is one of those days when I realize that staying friends with my ex-husband was a huge mistake. 

I’m at the baby shower for Ana-Sofia, Owen’s wife and my replacement.  Indeed, I’m sitting next to her, a place of honor in this circle of beaming well-wishers, and I’m probably beaming just as hard as everyone else.

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Teaser:  (Jenny)

Except I smell a rat.  Leo, a total stranger, smelled a rat.  Yes, yes, there’s a chance Adam is telling the truth. (p. 63).

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Synopsis:  Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate expected…especially since his new wife wants to be Jenny’s new best friend. Needing closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she’ll start her own business and bask in her sister Rachel’s picture-perfect family life…and maybe even find a little romance of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, who’s utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the same time.

Rachel’s idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she discovers what looks like her husband’s infidelity. She always thought she’d walk away in this situation but now she’s wavering, much to Jenny’s surprise. Rachel points to their parents’ perfect marriage as a shining example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a family secret she’s been keeping since childhood.

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What do you think?  I’m eager to read this book that has been languishing on my shelves.

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Nostalgic moments

SUNDAY PHOTOS SPARK MEMORIES…

 

This week, I’ve been sprucing up this blog, and sometimes that means looking through the archives for other posts that push the nostalgia button.

Since my move from my previous residence, in which I lived for twelve years, I’ve been studying everything about that space.

 

This post is from April 20, 2013:

This week, I’m spotlighting some of my cozy world, as I read and watch movies.  In the first photo, I’ve pushed the loveseat to a new angle, which brings it closer to the other sofa….and makes for friendly interactions.

room changes

sofa table

In the photo above, you can see how I’ve discovered more book spaces on the bottom shelf….I put the Coca Cola bears in garage bins for now.

 

cozy

In the photo above, you can see today’s reading material on the table…and a view of the fireplace and loveseat from where I’m sitting on the larger sofa.

And now…here’s a photo of me, snapped in 1970.  I was cooking Christmas dinner when my partner captured me. 

 

 

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When I scroll through these photos, I am grateful that I am in a smaller space now, with fewer pieces of furniture.  Plus, I have someone who comes in to clean on Sundays.  I resisted this move at first, but now I’m feeling the bliss of it all.

What do you feel when you look back at old pictures and think of former spaces?

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Sunday Sparks

SUNDAY SPARKS: FAMILY CONNECTIONS IN THE PAST…

 

After rereading this week’s Saturday Snapshot post, I went back to one I wrote several years ago, during another October.  It was on October 27, 2012.  There were childhood moments, along with some shots of grandchildren back then.

 

Here are my childhood shots first:

Me & My Older Brother — A Long Time Ago!

 

In this next shot, it looks like my mother was trying to “pose me” for a picture she planned to take (she always wanted everything to be perfect!).  Instead, my aunt snapped the shot of my mom trying to get me ready.

Now here are some grandkid moments:

Fiona Posing….

 

Alec & Aubrey at Big Bear

In this next shot, we have a blended family photo that includes three of my grandchildren (Alec, Aubrey, & Aaron), their mom and stepfather, and their two half siblings (Silas and Sidney).

 

A Family Moment at Big Bear: L to R – Jody (the mom to all these kids); Alec; Aubrey holding Sidney; Aaron; and Mike holding Silas.

 

And next is a shot of Silas and Sidney:

Sidney & Silas

 

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It is hard to believe how quickly time passes, and how we also connect to those moments years ago, almost as if we have stepped back in time.

What moments take you back in time?

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Saturday Snapshot

SATURDAY SPARKS: SPOTLIGHTING MY SPACES…

Today I’ve decided to do a Saturday Snapshot post, but couldn’t find the host. My Internet here has blocked me out of some sites.  Sigh.

But perhaps some of those bloggers will find me.

Over the past (almost five) months, I’ve been creating a cozy space for myself.  You may have seen some of these photos on Facebook, etc.  (Below), the bed seems like the centerpiece, since I also curl up and read there, too.

 

My writing corner is also front and center in my life.  Here are some views of it.

 

 

 

A corner that showcases a favorite lamp and one of my eldest son’s “Ireland photos.”

 

 

Morning coffee helps me get through the day. (The tablescape behind it goes through regular changes).

 

 

I stash my clothes, photos, and books here…

 

 

My entry way, with goodies and a hall tree…

 

 

Across the way, a bookshelf contains some of my books…many were left behind, sigh.

 

 

In the kitchen, I have collected some colorful new dishes…

 

 

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That was just a glimpse…but since the space is tiny, it doesn’t take long to walk around and explore.  Come on in and enjoy!  What does your interior world bring to you?

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