first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: EXCERPTING “INHERITING EDITH”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

My selection today is a relatively new-to-me book:  Inheriting Edith, by Zoe Fishman, a poignant breakout novel, for fans of J. Courtney Sullivan and Elin Hilderbrand, about a single mother who inherits a beautiful beach house with a caveat—she must take care of the ornery elderly woman who lives in it.

 

 

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Intro:  A beach house, thought Maggie, her head spinning like the revolving glass door that deposited her back onto Eighteenth Street.  People headed home after work bumped and jostled along the sidewalk as she slipped in unsteadily.

“A house in Sag Harbor.”  Just the words Sag Harbor conjured up images of the kind of life she had never known.  Sand dunes and waves; sea grass and farmers’ markets; rich women with their sun-kissed faces stretched tight like rubber bands.

***

Teaser:  Edith surveyed herself in the mirror.  She was wearing the dress from her shopping excursion with Maggie.  She looked elegant, she thought.

She slipped her feet into her shoes—a pair of gold flats that Maggie had insisted she purchase as well—and smiled.  She hadn’t felt this fancy in years—decades, maybe.  It felt nice. (50%).

(I had to excerpt just a little more to complete the picture).

***

Synopsis:  For years, Maggie Sheets has been an invisible hand in the glittering homes of wealthy New York City clients, scrubbing, dusting, mopping, and doing all she can to keep her head above water as a single mother. Everything changes when a former employer dies leaving Maggie a staggering inheritance. A house in Sag Harbor. The catch? It comes with an inhabitant: The deceased’s eighty-two-year old mother Edith.

Edith has Alzheimer’s—or so the doctors tell her—but she remembers exactly how her daughter Liza could light up a room, or bring dark clouds in her wake. And now Liza’s gone, by her own hand, and Edith has been left—like a chaise or strand of pearls—to a poorly dressed young woman with a toddler in tow.

Maggie and Edith are both certain this arrangement will be an utter disaster. But as summer days wane, a tenuous bond forms, and Edith, who feels the urgency of her diagnosis, shares a secret that she’s held close for five decades, launching Maggie on a mission that might just lead them each to what they are looking for.

***

I think this book sounds delightful.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

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first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “THE LONDON TRAIN”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s release is a book I discovered recently:  The London Train, by Tessa Hadley.

 

 

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Intro:  By the time Paul got to the Home, the undertakers had already removed his mother’s body.  He protested at this, it seemed done in indecent haste.  He had set out as soon as they telephoned him; surely they could have waited the three or four hours it had taken him to get there (the traffic had been heavy on the M5).  Mrs. Phipps, the owner of the Home, guided him into her office, where whatever scene he might make wouldn’t upset the other residents.  She was petite, vivacious, brown-skinned, with traces of a South African accent; he didn’t dislike her, he thought she ran the Home to a good standard of care, his mother had seemed to resign herself gratefully to her efficiency and brisk baby-talk.  Even at this moment, however, there was no sign that the taut, bright mask of Mrs. Phipps’s good humour, respectfully muted in the circumstances, ever gave way to any impulse of authentic feeling.

***

Teaser:  It occurred to him that he could go anywhere, right now.  There were all those thousands sitting in his account, enough to buy himself a ticket; and his passport was—he checked—still in the back pocket of these trousers  (p. 112).

***

Synopsis:  Two lives, stretched between two cities, converge in a chance meeting with immediate and far-reaching consequences in this compelling, sophisticated tale from acclaimed New Yorker writer Tessa Hadley, author of Accidents in the Home and The Master Bedroom. As father struggles to reestablish a relationship with his estranged daughter in London, surrendering himself to an underground life of illegal squats and counterculture friendships, a wife decides she must flee her suffocating marriage to return to Wales, where in Cardiff she may rediscover the passions that once fueled her life. Embracing change and facing loss, in a story evocative of Alice Munro’s Runaway and Julia Glass’ I See You Everywhere, Hadley’s powerful characters illuminate the furthest reaches of love, hope, and determination.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Does the blurb make you want to keep reading?

***

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “COME AND FIND ME”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

The book I’m eager to share today is from one of my favorite authors.  From Hallie Ephron’s back list, I’m eager to read Come and Find Me, a novel of suspense.

 

 

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Intro:  If it were up to Diana, there’s be weather.  Rain, snow, even the occasional hurricane.  But climate was one of those things that were out of her control in this always blue-sky world.  The terrain, on the other hand, was her choice:  a replica of a spot in the Swiss Alps at the base of Waterfall Pitch with the towering North Face of the Eiger looming overhead.

Nadia, Diana’s alter ego in the virtual reality of OtherWorld, was barely visible standing at the base of a cascade of frozen water sculpted against the nearly vertical slope.  Diana zoomed in on her avatar, who wore wraparound sunglasses, a fitted black leather jacket with a zipper and upturned collar, slim jeans, red boots, and a red newsboy cap.  In the real Swiss Alps, she’d have lasted about thirty seconds in that outfit; the bitter cold turned any exposed bit of skin pink, then red, then white.  Diana recalled the stillness into which tinkling cowbells and voices from the valley below had risen like whiffs of smoke.

***

Teaser:  Raw panic surged through her and she spun around.  Officer Gruder had followed her into her office.  Diana clapped her hand over her mouth and the scream she hadn’t realized she was making stopped. (p. 96).

***

Synopsis: Computer security expert and reformed hacker Diana Highsmith has not ventured beyond her home for more than a year—not since that fateful climbing vacation in Switzerland took Daniel’s life. Haunted by the sound of Daniel’s cries echoing across the gorge as he fell, Diana cannot stop thinking about the life they’ll never have—grief that has transformed her into a recluse.

Diana doesn’t have to shut herself off com­pletely from the world, though; she and Daniel’s best friend run a thriving Internet security company. From her home, in her pajamas, Diana assesses security breaches, both potential and real, and offers clients a way to protect themselves from hackers—the kind of disruptions Diana herself used to create. Once Diana has a game plan she is able to meet with clients in OtherWorld, an Internet-based platform, using Nadia, an avatar she created for herself. Diana knows she’ll have to rejoin the “real world” eventually, but right now a few steps from her door each morning is all she can handle.

When Diana’s sister goes missing, however, she is forced to do the impossible: brave both the outside world and her own personal demons to find her sister. As one step outside leads to another, Diana soon discovers that she is following a trail fraught with danger—and uncovering a web of deceit and betrayal, both online and real-life, that threatens not only her sister’s life, but her own.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts & blurb grab you?  Make you want to keep reading?  I know I’m all in.

***

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is an e-ARC from NetGalley, release date:  October 4, 2016.  Cruel Beautiful World is by Caroline Leavitt, a portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.

 

 

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Intro:  (1969)

Lucy runs away with her high school teacher, William, on a Friday, the last day of school, a June morning shiny with heat.  She’s downstairs in the kitchen, and Iris has the TV on.  The weather guy, his skin golden as a cashew, is smiling about power outages, urging the elderly and the sick to stay inside, his voice sliding like a trombone, and as soon as she hears the word “elderly,” Lucy glances uneasily at Iris.

“He doesn’t mean me, honey,” Iris says mildly, putting more bacon to snap in the pan.  “I’m perfectly fine.”

***

Teaser:  He looked over at the TV and then at the burgers.  “Buckwheat burgers again?”

She opened up the cupboards.  “What else do you see for me to cook?”

“We have chickens, honey.  We could have omelets.  Or a quiche.”

“What’s a quiche?” (53%)

***

Synopsis:  It’s 1969, and sixteen-year-old Lucy is about to run away with a much older man to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have vicious repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy’s default caretaker for most of their lives, Charlotte’s youth has been marked by the burden of responsibility, but never more so than when Lucy’s dream of a rural paradise turns into a nightmare.

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty, and explores what happens when you’re responsible for things you cannot make right.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts tease you?  Make you want to keep reading?  Or is it the blurb that settles it for you?

***
 

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “THIS MUST BE THE PLACE”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is one I downloaded in July, and I plan to start reading it tonight.  This Must Be the Place, by Maggie O’Farrell, is a book I’ve been eagerly anticipating, as I’ve enjoyed several books by the author.  An irresistible love story, an unforgettable family. Best-selling author Maggie O’Farrell captures an extraordinary marriage with insight and laugh-out-loud humor in what Richard Russo calls “her breakout book.” Perfect for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

 

 

 

 

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Intro:  (The Strangest Feeling in My Legs – Daniel – Donegal, 2010)

There is a man.

He’s standing on the back step, rolling a cigarette.  The day is typically unstable, the garden lush and shining, the branches weighty with still-falling rain.

There is a man and the man is me.

I am at the back door, tobacco tin in hand, and I am watching something in the trees, a figure, standing at the perimeter of the garden, where the aspens crowd in at the fence.  Another man.

He’s carrying a pair of binoculars and a camera.

***

Teaser:  They are waiting, Lucas and Maeve, on a strip of gravel outside the thing like a cattle shed that serves as an airport in this part of the world.  He has a rucksack at his feet, a hat with earflaps pulled down low on his head; Maeve is huddled inside her waterproof.  (45%).

***

Blurb:  Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn, and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex–film star given to pulling a gun on anyone who ventures up their driveway. Claudette was once the most glamorous and infamous woman in cinema before she staged her own disappearance and retreated to blissful seclusion in an Irish farmhouse. 

But the life Daniel and Claudette have so carefully constructed is about to be disrupted by an unexpected discovery about a woman Daniel lost touch with twenty years ago. This revelation will send him off-course, far away from wife, children, and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?
 
“O’Farrell’s prose manages to be both intimate and expansive and keenly perceptive in its insights about the complexities of marriage.  Beautiful and bittersweet, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE will make O’Farrell’s longtime fans swoon while prompting new readers to wonder why they’ve only just discovered her.”
–BookPage

***

I am excited at the journey ahead, as it’s been a while since I read this author.  But I remember loving her work.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTRO/TEASER – “CONFESS”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

My feature today is a book by Colleen Hoover, an author I have discovered and enjoyed in the past year.  Confess is the winner of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue:  Auburn)

I pass through the hospital doors knowing it’ll be the last time.

On the elevator, I press the number three, watching it illuminate for the last time.

The doors open to the third floor and I smile at the nurse on duty, watching her expression as she pities me for the last time.

I pass the supply room and the chapel and the employee break room, all for the last time.

I continue down the hallway and keep my gaze forward and my heart brave as I tap lightly on his door, waiting to hear Adam invite me in for the very last time.

***

Teaser:  (Auburn)

What the hell am I doing?  I don’t do this kind of thing.  I don’t invite guys into my home.

Texas is turning me into a whore. (p. 72).

***

Synopsis:  At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  Have you read it?

***

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “LIES & OTHER ACTS OF LOVE”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s feature is a book I hope to start reading soon:  Lies & Other Acts of Love, by Kristy Woodson Harvey, a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth . . .

 

 

 

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(Annabelle) – Storm Chasers

My grandmother, Lovey, says that there are two types of people in the world:  the kind who flee to the shelters at the first threat of a hurricane, and the kind who wait it out, hovering over their possessions as if their fragile lives offer any protection against a natural mother that can take them out of the world as quickly as she brought them into it.

I come from a long line of the hovering kind.

***

Teaser:  It disturbed me how much I wanted to know.  But I also got those nervous butterflies in my stomach because I hoped he knew I wasn’t going to sleep with some guy I just met, no matter how taken with him I was. (p. 73).

***

Synopsis:  After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.

Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.

But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .

***

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

 

 

 

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***

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

LET’S IGNITE SOME CURIOSITY: “TRUTH BE TOLD”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is Truth Be Told, (e-book), by Hank Phillippi Ryan (A Jane Ryland Novel).

 

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Intro:  “I know it’s legal.  But it’s terrible.”  Jane Ryland winced as the Sandovals’ wooden bed frame hit the tall grass in the overgrown front yard and shattered into three jagged pieces.  “The cops throwing someone’s stuff out the window.  Might as well be Dickens, you know?  Eviction?  There’s got to be a better way.”

Terrible facts.  Great pictures.  A perfect newspaper story.  She turned to TJ.  “You getting this?”

TJ didn’t take his eye from the viewfinder.  “Rolling and recording,” he said.

A blue-shirted Suffolk County sheriff’s deputy—sleeves rolled up, buzz cut—appeared at the open window, took a swig from a plastic bottle.  He shaded his eyes with one hand.

***

Teaser:  The glowing green numbers of the clock on her nightstand clicked ahead.  After eight thirty?  Jane frowned.  Her cell phone was in her yoga pants pocket, silent.  Not even a text.  Where was Jake? (p. 74).

***

Blurb:   Truth Be Told, part of the bestselling Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan series by Agatha, Anthony, Mary Higgins Clark, and Macavity Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan, begins with tragedy: a middle-class family evicted from their suburban home. In digging up the facts on this heartbreaking story–and on other foreclosures– reporter Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goal a secret. Turns out, there’s more than one way to rob a bank.

Boston police detective Jake Brogan has a liar on his hands. A man has just confessed to the famous twenty-year-old Lilac Sunday killing, and while Jake’s colleagues take him at his word, Jake is not so sure. But he has personal reasons for hoping they’ve finally solved the cold case.
Financial manipulation, the terror of foreclosures, the power of numbers, the primal need for home and family and love. What happens when what you believe is true turns out to be a lie?
***
What do you think?  Are you curious?  Engaged?  Want to know more?  Thanks for stopping by.
***
first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “AFTER I DO”

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teacups for teaser tuesdays

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s spotlight is shining on a book that has been waiting patiently on Pippa, my Kindle, since September 2014!  It is long overdue for a peek.  After I Do, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is from a new-to-me author that I’ve already enjoyed.

 

 

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Intro:  We are in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium, and once again, Ryan has forgotten where we left the car.  I keep telling him that it’s in Lot C, but he doesn’t believe me.

“No,” he says, for the tenth time.  “I specifically remember turning right when we got here, not left.”

It’s incredibly dark, the path in front of us lit only by lampposts featuring oversized baseballs.  I looked at the sign when we parked.

“You remember wrong,” I say, my tone clipped and pissed-off.  We’ve already been here too long, and I hate the chaos of Dodger Stadium.  It’s a warm summer night, so I have that to be thankful for, but it’s ten P.M., and the rest of the fans are pouring out of the stands, the two of us fighting through a sea of blue and white jerseys.  We’ve been at this for about twenty minutes.

***

Teaser:  Ryan has made it clear that he no longer thinks of me the way he thinks about other women.  It hurts.  And yet when I try to break down why it hurts, I don’t have an answer. (p. 67).

***

Blurb:  When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts draw you in?  Do you want to keep reading?  I know that I am eager to do so.

***

 

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

LET’S IGNITE SOME SPARKS: “ICE COLD”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is one that has been languishing on Pippa, my Kindle, since last year.  I have never read the author, but I love a TV series based on the books.  Ice Cold, (A Rizzoli & Isles Novel), by Tess Gerritsen, promises to be suspenseful and engaging.

 

 

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Intro:  (Plain of Angels, Idaho)

She was the chosen one.

For months, he had been studying the girl, ever since she and her family had moved into the compound.  Her father was George Sheldon, a mediocre carpenter who worked with the construction crew.  Her mother, a bland and forgettable woman, was assigned to the communal bakery.  Both had been unemployed and desperate when they’d first wandered into his church in Idaho Falls, seeking solace and salvation.  Jeremiah had looked into their eyes, and he saw what he needed to see:  lost souls in search of an anchor, any anchor.

They had been ripe for the harvest.

***

Teaser:  Maura went to the dresser and picked up a photo with a simple tin frame.  Four faces gazed back:  a man and a woman, flanking two young girls of about nine or ten, their blond hair neatly bound into braids. (p. 66).

***

Blurb:  A spur-of-the-moment ski trip becomes a bone-chilling nightmare when a wrong turn leaves Boston medical examiner Maura Isles marooned—far from home and help—in the snowbound Wyoming mountains. Seeking shelter from the cold, she and her traveling companions stumble upon Kingdom Come—a remote village of identical houses that seems to have become a ghost town overnight. But the abandoned hamlet has dark secrets to tell, and Maura’s party may not be as alone as they think. Days later, word reaches homicide cop Jane Rizzoli that Maura’s charred remains have been found at the scene of a car crash. But the shocking news leaves Jane with too many questions, and only one way to get answers. Determined to dig up the truth, she heads for the frozen desolation of Kingdom Come, where gruesome discoveries lie buried, and a ruthless enemy watches and waits.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  Have you already read it?  I am eager to finally delve into this series.  What are you sharing today?

***