TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “MONOGAMY”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Monogamy, by Sue Miller.

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Intro:  Annie had been single for seven years when she met Graham.  Whenever she thought about her first marriage, even long after it had ended, her primary emotion was a kind of shame. Shame that she could have been attracted to someone she felt so little for in the end.  That she could have lived with him for so long.

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Teaser:  Graham offered his theory:  the problem was that they both felt their mothers should have been better at being women.  At being wives.  “They should have held on to our fathers for us,” he said.  “It was all their fault.” (p. 57).

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Synopsis:  Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. A golden couple, their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances.

Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love.

When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him?

Then, while she is still mourning him intensely, she discovers that Graham had been unfaithful to her; and she spirals into darkness, wondering if she ever truly knew the man who loved her.

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I am eager to read more of this one.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THREE PERFECT LIARS”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book entitled Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks.

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Intro:  Monday, May 13 – the night of the fire

It had taken seven minutes for the first of the fire engines to screech to a halt outside the offices of Morris and Wood, but even by then anyone could have seen it was too late.  The fire had coursed through the building at an alarming rate.  Red and orange flames were already obscured by a billowing cloud of dark gray smoke.  The sound of breaking glass shattered the air.

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Teaser:  Mia could feel the bite on Laura’s tongue and the sneer in her voice.  So that was the game she was going to play.  Make out Mia didn’t deserve to be in this role, as if she hadn’t been putting everything into it over the last six months, proving her worth. (p. 61).

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Synopsis:Laura has returned to work at Morris and Wood after her maternity leave, only to discover that the woman she brought in to cover for her isn’t planning on going anywhere. Despite her close relationship with the agency’s powerful CEO, Harry Wood, she feels sidelined—and outmaneuvered—as she struggles to balance the twin demands of work and motherhood.

Mia was only supposed to be a temporary hire at Morris and Wood, but she’s managed to make herself indispensable to everyone. Everyone, that is, except Laura. If people only knew why she was so desperate to keep her job, they might not want her to stay.

Janie gave up everything to support her husband and the successful agency he runs. But she has her own dark secret to protect…and will go to any lengths to keep it safe.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts and blurb tempt you to keep reading?

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REVIEW: GIRLS OF SUMMER, BY NANCY THAYER

Lisa Hawley is perfectly satisfied living on her own. Having fully recovered from a brutal divorce nearly two decades earlier, she has successfully raised her kids, Juliet and Theo, seeing them off to college and beyond. As the owner of a popular boutique on Nantucket, she’s built a fulfilling life for herself on the island where she grew up. With her beloved house in desperate need of repair, Lisa calls on Mack Whitney, a friendly—and very handsome—local contractor and fellow single parent, to do the work. The two begin to grow close, and Lisa is stunned to realize that she might be willing to open up again after all . . . despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior.

Juliet and Theo worry that Mack will only break their mother’s heart—and they can’t bear to see her hurt again. Both stuck in ruts of their own, they each hope that a summer on Nantucket will provide them with the clarity they’ve been searching for. When handsome entrepreneur Ryder Hastings moves to the island to expand his environmental nonprofit, Juliet, an MIT-educated web designer, feels an immediate attraction, one her rocky love life history pushes her to deny at first. Meanwhile, free spirit Theo finds his California bliss comes to a brutal halt when a surfing injury forces him back to the East Coast. Upon his return, he has eyes only for Mack’s daughter, Beth, to whom he is bound by an unspeakable tragedy from high school. Can they overcome their past?

As the season unfolds, a storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, forcing Lisa, Juliet, and Theo to decide whether their summer romances are destined for something more profound. Nancy Thayer dazzles again in this delightful tale of family, a reminder that sometimes, finding our way back home can bring us unexpected gifts.

 

 

When Lisa met her husband Erich, she was very young. The two of them seemed compatible, but once the children arrived and Erich began traveling more extensively, the distance grew between them until finally they divorced. Lisa bought a home on Nantucket, a place she loved, and began working in a shop that captured her interest in beautiful things.As time passed, she bought out the shop owner and renamed it Sail.

By the time her children, Theo and Juliet, were grown and finished college, she had settled into her life. But did she need more?

When her house needed repairs and she hired a contractor, Mack Whitney, the connection between them grew. He was ten years younger, and while she worried about the issue, she realized soon that it made little difference. The connection was powerful.

Our story takes us into the adult lives of Juliet and Theo, as well as of Mack’s daughter Beth.

Alternating chapters carry the story, and we see how Lisa and Mack deal with their issues, as well as those of their adult children.

A tale that kept me engaged throughout, although the narrative switched frequently between each of the characters, and not necessarily seamlessly, Girls of Summer was one I enjoyed. I felt passionate about the issues and the characters, including matters of climate change and saving the environment that are a big part of the story. 4.5 stars.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HEART BONES”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Heart Bones, by Colleen Hoover.

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Intro:  Summer 2015:

There’s a picture of Mother Teresa that hangs on our living room wall where a television would go if we could afford the kind of television that hangs on the wall, or even a home with the kind of walls that could hold a television.

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Teaser:  It’s interesting.  It’s like he puts the focus on the saddest part of whatever is in view of his lens, but the picture as a whole is still beautiful. (p. 40%).

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Synopsis:  Life and a dismal last name are the only two things Beyah Grim’s parents ever gave her. After carving her path all on her own, Beyah is well on her way to bigger and better things, thanks to no one but herself.

With only two short months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go during the interim. Forced to reach out to her last resort, Beyah has to spend the remainder of her summer on a peninsula in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan is to keep her head down and let the summer slip by seamlessly, but her new neighbor Samson throws a wrench in that plan.

Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.

She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things. Which means they’re drawn to each other. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to continue denying, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realize is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea.

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Would you keep reading?  I am intrigued by everything I have read so far.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DON’T LOOK FOR ME”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a NetGalley ARC :  Don’t Look for Me, by Wendy Walker- (NetGalley – 9/15/20)

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Intro:  Day One

The sky grows dark as I drive.

I tell myself to concentrate, to focus on the two narrow lanes of smooth, black asphalt and the double yellow lines that divide them.

The road feels like a tunnel, carved between the walls of brown cornfields which flank the road on both sides and go on as far as the eye can see.  Darkness now hovers above and below, and from side to side.  It’s everywhere.

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Teaser:  I wonder who put this thought in her head, and if she knows how deeply she has wounded me.  I think, then, that wounding me was her intention.  Now she can feel sorry for me. (p. 55%).

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One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found.

Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

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What do you think?  Do the snippets entice you, draw you in?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE SILENT WIFE”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is The Silent Wife, by Karin Slaughter.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Beckey Caterino stared into the darkest corners of the dorm refrigerator.  She angrily scanned the food labels, searching for her scrawled initials on anything—cottage cheese, Lunchables, bagel bites, vegan hot dogs, even carrot sticks.

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Teaser Tuesdays:  Jeffrey saw the rolling lights of a police cruiser splashing the southwest corner of Omelet Road.  He parked his Town Car at an angle across the street.  Spectators stood on their front lawns. (p. 62).

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Synopsis:  (Will Trent #10) Investigating the killing of a prisoner during a riot inside a state penitentiary, GBI investigator Will Trent is confronted with disturbing information. One of the inmates claims that he is innocent of a brutal attack for which he has always been the prime suspect. The man insists that he was framed by a corrupt law enforcement team led by Jeffrey Tolliver and that the real culprit is still out there—a serial killer who has systematically been preying on women across the state for years. If Will reopens the investigation and implicates the dead police officer with a hero’s reputation of wrongdoing, the opportunistic convict is willing to provide the information GBI needs about the riot murder.

Only days ago, another young woman was viciously murdered in a state park in northern Georgia. Is it a fluke, or could there be a serial killer on the loose?

As Will Trent digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the cold case in order to find the answer. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear, and lies to become truth. But Will can’t crack either mystery without the help of the one person he doesn’t want involved: his girlfriend and Jeffrey Tolliver’s widow, medical examiner Sara Linton.

When the past and present begin to collide, Will realizes that everything he values is at stake . . .

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What do you think?  I am a fan of this author and this series.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “PARIS NEVER LEAVES YOU”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book from a favorite author:  Paris Never Leaves You, by Ellen Feldman.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Paris, 1944

They were ripping off the stars.  Filthy fingers with broken dirt-encrusted nails were yanking and peeling and prying.  Who would have thought they still had the strength?  One woman was biting the threads that held hers tight to her torn jacket.

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Teaser:  He begins to browse.  She drops her voice to a whisper as she reads the nonsensical rhymes to her daughter.  When she looks up after a while, she sees he is watching them (p. 63).

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Synopsis:  Living through World War II working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman’s Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

The war is over, but the past is never past.

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What do you think?  Are you as excited as I am?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HIS & HERS”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new download:  His & Hers, by Alice Feeney.

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Intro:  Her:  Anna Andrews, Monday 06:00

Mondays have always been my favorite day.

The chance to start again.

 A clean enough slate with just the dust of your own past mistakes still visible—almost, but not quite wiped away.

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Teaser:  Him:  Tuesday 08:45

Seeing Anna winds me, not that I plan on telling anyone the truth about that.  I replay the encounter in my mind, until it becomes an irritating rerun I could quote line for line, and take my frustration out on everyone around me. (p.40).

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Synopsis:  When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

His & Hers is a twisty, smart, psychological thriller. A gripping tale of suspense, told by expertly-drawn narrators that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

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I definitely want to keep reading.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE NIGHT SWIM”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is from an ARC I am reading, a book that will be released on August 4:  The Night Swim, by Megan Goldin.

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Intro:  (Hannah)

It was Jenny’s death that killed my mother.  Killed her as good as if she’d been shot in the chest with a twelve-gauge shotgun.  The doctor said it was cancer.  But I saw the will to live drain out of her the moment the policeman knocked on our screen door.

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Teaser:  The woman made an awful din coming up the stairs in her heels.  She looked disappointed to see the air conditioner was not turned on and kept waving her hand in front of her face like it was a fan. (47%).

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Synopsis:  Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation—but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases—and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

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I am enjoying this ARC already.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE SUMMER DEAL”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book on my Kindle:  The Summer Deal, by Jill Shalvis.

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Intro:  Brynn Turner had always wanted to be the girl who had her life together, but so far her talents hadn’t led her in that direction—although not for lack of trying.

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Teaser:  “Stupid, You’re so, so, so stupid,” Brynn muttered to herself, taking herself and her duffel bag back down the walkway toward her car.  How could she have just blindly agreed to move in? (p. 59).

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Synopsis:  Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She’s fierce, tough, and she’s keeping more than one bombshell of a secret from Brynn — her long-time frenemy.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey’s best friend, Eli, renewing her childhood crush. The good news: he’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. The bad news: when he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have real connections, possibly love, and a future—if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

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I am excited about this one.  Would you keep reading?

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