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?

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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?”

***

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.

***

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

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “NIGHT OF MIRACLES”

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 Night of Miracles, by Elizabeth Berg,  a delightful novel of friendship, community, and the way small acts of kindness can change your life, by the bestselling author of The Story of Arthur Truluv.

 

 

 

Beginning:  Surely you’ve had this happen.  You are seated by choice or misfortune in a window seat on an airplane.  You look out as the plane takes off, rises up higher and higher, levels off.  If you chance to glance down, you see a particular kind of order not realized on earth.  You might feel a kind of hopefulness at the sight of houses clustered together in their various neighborhoods, at roads running straight or artfully curved, at what look like toy cars.

***

Friday 56:  “You mustn’t indulge in such things, Lucille.  And you must not speak of them to others.” 

Now Lucille rises slowly out of her chair to look over the half-curtain into the backyard.  Nothing.

***

Synopsis:  Lucille Howard is getting on in years, but she stays busy. Thanks to the inspiration of her dearly departed friend Arthur Truluv, she has begun to teach baking classes, sharing the secrets to her delicious classic Southern yellow cake, the perfect pinwheel cookies, and other sweet essentials. Her classes have become so popular that she’s hired Iris, a new resident of Mason, Missouri, as an assistant. Iris doesn’t know how to bake but she needs to keep her mind off a big decision she sorely regrets.

When a new family moves in next door and tragedy strikes, Lucille begins to look out for Lincoln, their son. Lincoln’s parents aren’t the only ones in town facing hard choices and uncertain futures. In these difficult times, the residents of Mason come together and find the true power of community—just when they need it the most.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts and blurb grab you?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE THREE BETHS”

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:  The Three Beths, by Jeff Abbott, a psychologically intense and emotionally gripping new suspense novel about a daughter’s desperate search for her missing mother—one that may lead her closer to home than she ever anticipated.

 

 

Beginning:  Mariah Dunning saw her missing mother standing on the other side of the crowd.

The food court at the mall—ugh—had been one of their mother-daughter hangouts.  Mom endured the food court because Mariah liked it.  Mom was particular about what she ate, while Mariah was not—chicken biscuits, Mongolian barbecue, pepperoni pizza, none of which Mom would touch and all of which Mariah would consume and then work off the calories playing basketball.

***

Friday 56%:  She texted Craig as Jake drove them in his Porsche:  I’m fine.  I’m going out to dinner with a friend.  I’ll check in again in a bit.  Don’t call,  I won’t answer.

***

Synopsis:  My mom would never leave me.
This has been Mariah Dunning’s motto. Her compass. Her belief. So when she glimpses her mother–who’s been missing for the past year–on the other side of a crowded food court, Mariah’s conviction becomes stronger than ever. Or is she losing her mind?

An unlikely coincidence?
When Beth Dunning disappeared without a trace, suspicion for her murder-despite the lack of a body or any physical evidence-immediately fell upon Mariah’s father. Until Mariah stumbles upon two other recent disappearances from Lakehaven. And all three women had the same name: Beth.

Or a sinister connection?
Mariah would give anything to find out what happened to her mother, and clear her father’s name. But the truth may be more devastating than she could have imagined…

***

Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “NINE PERFECT STRANGERS”

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:  Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty, “A treat for Big Little Lies fans.” —People

 

 

 

Beginning:  (Yao)

“I’m fine,” said the woman.  “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

She didn’t look fine to Yao.

It was his first day as a trainee paramedic.  His third call-out.  Yao wasn’t nervous, but he was in a hypervigilant state because he couldn’t bear to make even an inconsequential mistake.  When he was a child, mistakes had made him wail inconsolably, and they still made his stomach cramp.

***

Friday 56%:  (Frances)

“Life is nothing but a scam,” said Gillian.  “It’s all just a giant illusion.”

“Scram, scam,” chuckled Sol.  “Good one.”

He and Henry fist-bumped.

***

Synopsis:  Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

***

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book.  Does it grab you?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “TRY NOT TO BREATHE”

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 that has been patiently waiting on my Kindle:  Try Not To Breathe, by Holly Seddon, an engrossing thriller full of page-turning twists and turns, richly imagined characters, and gripping psychological suspense.

 

 

Beginning:  (Amy, 18 July 1995)

Music thudded through Amy’s body and seized her heart.  Music so loud that her eardrums pounded in frenzy and her baby-bird ribs rattled.  Music was everything.  Well, almost everything.

Later, the newspapers would call fifteen-year-old Amy Stevenson a “ray of sunshine,” with “everything to live for.”  Her headphones buzzed with rock and pop as she trudged the long way home, rucksack sagging.

***

Friday 56:  His voice was once the source of such dizzying excitement.  That voice, her hanging up the phone with seconds to spare as Bob’s key clattered in the lock.  Leaving her so flustered she had to skirmish to her room to hide.

***

Synopsis:  Some secrets never die. They’re just locked away.
 
Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.
 
Soon Alex’s routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter’s story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.
 
Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.

***

What do you think?  I am wondering how I could leave this book hiding out on my Kindle.  I’m eager to start reading it.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE NEIGHBORS”

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 Neighbors, by Hannah Mary McKinnon, a book I purchased several months ago, in which Abby looks forward to meeting the family who just moved in across the street—until she realizes they’re the one couple who could expose her deepest secrets…

 

 

 

Beginning:  (THEN: JULY 18, 1992, ABBY)

“Help!”

The faint voice floated toward me. Gliding smooth as a paper airplane from somewhere in the midst of the fog swirling through my brain.  Orange lights flashed in a steady rhythm and —

“Please.”

I wondered if I’d uttered the words, but I hadn’t moved my lips.  Hadn’t moved at all.  Couldn’t.  It hurt too much.  Everything hurt too much.

***

Friday 56%:  (THEN – ABBY)

We talked about our guilt sometimes.  When I woke up screaming for the fifth night in a row, Nate held me.  He wept when I whispered it wasn’t his fault he hadn’t been able to save Tom.  He seemed so grateful, so overwhelmed I could forgive him, although there was nothing to forgive.

***

Synopsis:  After a night of fun back in 1992, Abby is responsible for a car crash that kills her beloved brother. It’s a mistake she can never forgive, so she pushes away Liam, the man she loves most, knowing that he would eventually hate her for what she’s done, the same way she hates herself.

Twenty years later, Abby’s husband, Nate, is also living with a deep sense of guilt. He was the driver who first came upon the scene of Abby’s accident, the man who pulled her to safety before the car erupted in flames—the man who could not save her brother in time. It’s this guilt, this regret, that binds them together. They understand each other. Or so Nate believes.

In a strange twist of fate, Liam moves into the neighborhood with his own family, releasing a flood of memories that Abby has been trying to keep buried all these years. Abby and Liam, in a complicit agreement, pretend never to have met, yet cannot resist the pull of the past—nor the repercussions of the terrible secrets they’ve both been carrying…

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts draw you in?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BITTER ORANGE”

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 Bitter Orange, by Claire Fuller, a seductive psychological portrait, a keyhole into the dangers of longing and how far a woman might go to escape her past.

 

 

 

Beginning:  They must think I don’t have long left because today they allow the vicar in.  Perhaps they are right, although this day feels no different from yesterday, and I imagine tomorrow will go on much the same.

***

Friday 56:  Cara took the cigarette from Peter’s lips.  He held the packet out to me and I shook my head.  “No, thank you,” I said.  “I don’t smoke.”

***

Synopsis:  From the attic of Lyntons, a dilapidated English country mansion, Frances Jellico sees them—Cara first: dark and beautiful, then Peter: striking and serious. The couple is spending the summer of 1969 in the rooms below hers while Frances is researching the architecture in the surrounding gardens. But she’s distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she finds a peephole that gives her access to her neighbors’ private lives.

To Frances’ surprise, Cara and Peter are keen to get to know her. It is the first occasion she has had anybody to call a friend, and before long they are spending every day together: eating lavish dinners, drinking bottle after bottle of wine, and smoking cigarettes until the ash piles up on the crumbling furniture. Frances is dazzled.

But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear that not everything is right between Cara and Peter. The stories that Cara tells don’t quite add up, and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the glamorous, hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. Amid the decadence, a small crime brings on a bigger one: a crime so terrible that it will brand their lives forever.

***

Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “AN ANONYMOUS GIRL”

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; the book will be released on 1/8/19.  An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, is “a fiendishly smart cat-and-mouse thriller” —New York Times Book Review

 

 

Book Beginnings:  (From Chapter One)

Friday, November 16

A lot of women want the world to see them a certain way.  It’s my job to create those transformations, one forty-five minute session at a time.

My clients seem different when I’ve finished helping them.  They grow more confident, radiant.  Happier, even.

But I can only offer a temporary fix.  People invariably revert to their former selves.

True change requires more than the tools I wield.

***

Friday 56%:  Monday, December 17

A sharp, sudden noise alerts me to the presence of someone in the town house.

The cleaning lady does not come on Mondays.

The rooms are still, and bathed in shadows.  The noise originated from the left.

***

Synopsis:  Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

***

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book for a while.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE DAY OF THE DEAD”

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 final book in a favorite series:  The Day of the Dead (A Frieda Klein Novel), by Nicci French, a gripping cat-and-mouse thriller that pits one of the most fascinating characters in contemporary fiction against an enemy like none other. Smart, sophisticated, and spellbinding, it’s a novel to leave you breathless.

 

 

 

Book Beginnings:  It was a Monday morning, it was bright, it was warm, too warm for late autumn, and Charlotte Beck was about to experience the one really dramatic thing that would happen to her in her entire life.  She wasn’t ready for it.  She didn’t feel ready for anything.

***

Friday 56%:  The back wall was quite high, eight feet perhaps, with a heavy gray wooden gate.  Frieda turned its brass handle.  Locked.  She walked back into the utility room and looked around.  There it was.  Another key was hanging from a hook above the washing machine.  

***

Synopsis:  Now the final book in this extraordinary series is here. And it’s an ending you’ll never forget.

A decade ago, psychologist Frieda Klein was sucked into the orbit of Dean Reeve—a killer able to impersonate almost anyone, a man who can disappear without a trace, a psychopath obsessed with Frieda herself.

In the years since, Frieda has worked with—and sometimes against–the London police in solving their most baffling cases. But now she’s in hiding, driven to isolation by Reeve. When a series of murders announces his return, Frieda must emerge from the shadows to confront her nemesis. And it’s a showdown she might not survive.

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?

***