TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “AS YOU WISH”

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 book I purchased a year ago:  As You Wish (A Summerhouse Novel #3), by Jude Deveraux.  Three women have the coveted opportunity to answer the age-old question: What would you do differently if you could do it all again?

 

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Intro:  (Langley, Virginia 1970)

“Get strong.  Get tan.  Think you’re smart enough to do those two things, kid?”

The man was as tall as Kit, a couple of inches over six feet, but he was very wide.  Kit wondered if three of himself, glued side by side, would be as wide as this officer.  With his short black hair, he looked like a cartoon bear.

“Yes, sir.”  Kit’s back was so straight it was like steel.

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Teaser:  She let out a scream and pushed so hard that Olivia fell backward onto the ground.

In the next minute, the children were clutching Uncle Freddy’s hand and laughing, crying, hiccuping. (51%).

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Synopsis:  One fateful summer, three very different women find themselves together in Summer Hill, Virginia, where they find they have much more in common than they realized…

Sixty-year-old Olivia’s first marriage was long and unhappy, but now she is a newlywed, thrilled to finally be starting her life with the man she’s always truly loved—even if they are getting a late start. Kathy is in her forties and married to a handsome, successful businessman. Theirs would be a fairy-tale romance if it weren’t for one problem: He’s passionately in love with someone else! Twenty-something Elise is also in a troubled marriage, stuck with the man her wealthy parents chose for her. Now that he has a pregnant mistress, he seems willing to go to drastic lengths to take Elise out of the picture.

Though each of them wound up at the Summerhouse for separate reason, it’s not long before they begin to open up about their regrets, their wishes and their dreams. And when they’re presented with the opportunity of a lifetime—a chance to right the wrongs of their past—all three discover what can happen when dreams really do come true.

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Would you keep reading?  It has been a while since I read this author.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LIAR’S CHILD”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  The Liar’s Child, by Carla Buckley, in which a troubled woman faces a gripping moral dilemma after rescuing two abandoned children from a hurricane.

 

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Intro:  (Hank)

It wasn’t as though anyone came right out and said it in so many words.  That wasn’t how small towns worked.  No, it was mostly raised eyebrows, grunted half sentences.  People knocked on Hank’s door, shuffled on his porch.  They waylaid him at the post office.  They tried to be reassuring.  Not your fault, Hank, they’d say.  Could have happened to anyone.  They cleared their throats, squinted into the distance.  It was right under our noses, they murmured.  What they really meant was, Right under your nose.

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Teaser:  He looked around the deserted woods.  It was growing dark.  The ocean glimmered.  Finally, his eyes came back to her.  “I think people do what they have to do.” (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  On the outskirts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks sits the Paradise, an apartment complex where renters never stay long enough to call the place “home”—and neighbors are seldom neighborly. It’s ideal for Sara Lennox, who moved there to escape a complicated past—and even her name—and rebuild a new life for herself under the radar. But Sara cannot help but notice the family next door, especially twelve-year-old Cassie and five-year-old Boon. She hears rumors and whispers of a recent tragedy slowly tearing them apart.

When a raging storm threatens then slams the coastal community, Sara makes a quick, bold decision: Rescue Cassie and Boon from the storm and their broken home—without telling a soul. But this seemingly noble act is not without consequences. Some lethal.

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What do you think?  Would you go on reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “CALIFORNIA GIRLS”

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 featured book is a recent download:  California Girls, by Susan Mallery. The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…

 

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Intro:  “They’re frying bacon!”

Finola Corrado tried not to smile at the panic in her assistant’s eyes.  “The cooking segment is potato salad five ways.  Bacon is the cost of doing business.”

Rochelle’s horror morphed into indignation.  “Yes, and right before that is the ‘What’s New in Sundresses’ segment.  I’m very familiar with the schedule.”  She set down her tablet, put her hands on her narrow hips and leaned forward, as if stressing the importance of her point.  Her long, dark braids moved with her.

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Teaser:  Zennie followed her sister into the dining room.  The table and chairs would be easy to get rid of, but the massive hutch was another issue. (70%).

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Synopsis:  Finola, a popular LA morning-show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by the news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.

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I am looking forward to some delightful hours with these characters in this setting.  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP”

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 book that has been hiding out on Paige, my Kindle, for almost a year:  The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland:  Witty and irreverent, funny and sad, this is a charming tribute to stories on the page and in our lives—and the powers they can hold over us.”—Matthew Sullivan author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

 

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Intro:  (2016 – Unlooked-for)

A book is a match in the smoking second between strike and flame.

Archie says books are our best lovers and our most provoking friends.  He’s right, but I’m right, too.  Books can really hurt you.

I thought I knew that, the day I picked up the Brian Patten.  It turned out that I still had a lot to learn.

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Teaser:  Nathan and I were just too different.  In his world problems came with rescue squads, and solutions were white rabbits and home education.  (56%).

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Synopsis:  Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place—the bookstore where she works—come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “NEVER TELL”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Never Tell, by Lisa Gardner, an unpredictable thriller that puts fan favorites D.D. Warren and Flora Dane on a shocking new case that begins with a vicious murder and gets darker from there.

 

 

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Intro:  (Evie)

By the time I pull my car into the garage, my hands are shaking on the wheel.  I tell myself I have no reason to feel so nervous.  I tell myself I’ve done nothing wrong.  I still sit there an extra beat, staring straight ahead, as if some magic answer to the mess that is my life will appear in the windshield.

It doesn’t.

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Teaser:  Samuel smiles.  It’s a devastating look on him.  Good luck to my mom, I think, because no man this beautiful can be easy to manage. (p. 61).

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Prognosis:  A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

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What do you think?  I know that I love every one of the D.D. Warren and Flora Dane books.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DON’T WAKE UP”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Don’t Wake Up, by Liz Lawler: A harrowing psychological thriller debut about a woman who awakens after an assault with no physical proof of the attack and who must try to convince everyone of what really happened.

 

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Intro:  It was the familiar sounds that awakened her.  They were strangely comforting, even though her first instinct was to leap up in panic to see what her colleagues were doing.  She heard instruments being placed on a steel tray.  Monitors emitted regular beeps, sterile packages were torn open, and in the background there was the ever-present hiss of oxygen.

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Teaser:  Home no longer felt like home.  Laura Best’s presence was a thorn in his side and, come the New Year, he would have to make some decisions.  Either she left or he did. (p.62).

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Synopsis:  When Dr. Alex Taylor opens her eyes, she is hooked up to an IV, is bound to an operating table, and her legs are raised in stirrups. Disoriented and alarmed, she assumes she’s been anesthetized and brought to surgery after being in an accident. But the man standing over her, with his face hidden behind a surgical mask and wielding instruments, is no doctor she recognizes at the hospital where she works as a successful and respected doctor. He’s a stranger—and he’s calmly and methodically telling her how he’s about to attack her. Before Alex can even scream for help, she succumbs to another dose of anesthesia, rendering her unable to defend herself….

When she comes to on a gurney, she finds herself surrounded by her colleagues and immediately reports the attack and rape. The police are skeptical of her bizarre story. And after a physical exam reveals no proof of any attack, even her boyfriend has doubts. Despite Alex’s adamant claims, no one believes her, leaving her to wonder if she has, in fact, lost her mind.

Until she meets the next victim…

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I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book, and can’t wait to start reading it.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “NOT HERE”

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 an reviewARC from an author:  Not Here:  A Dina Ostica Novel, by Genevieve Noscovo: Would you surrender your free will to save your life?
A city in turmoil. A neighbor disappears. When her concerns are written off, Dina investigates on her own — and becomes a target, at the mercy of those in control…

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Intro:  Dina Ostica tried to scream, but her voice was trapped in her throat.  Her shoulder blades pressed against the fence.

He grabbed her upper arm, pushing her back, as he lifted the knife to her neck.

“Drop. Your. Bag.”  He shook her with each word, six-foot frame looming.

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Teaser:  Dina willed the image of Tom to fill her opponent’s frame.  This was her opportunity for vengeance. (56%).

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Synopsis:  In San Francisco, where the poor are systematically displaced by well-off yuppies, Dina Ostica is part of the problem. The damaged, determined twenty-three-year-old scrambles to make a name for herself in the burgeoning world of podcasting, with the city as her muse. She is hell-bent on professional success, thinking it will mend her broken spirit.

But when her go-to source on local history disappears without warning, she begins to uncover an uncanny pattern that hits too close to home, getting her tied up in the city’s underbelly.

What follows is a gritty tale of exploitation, betrayal, and the strength one needs to survive the whims of those in power.

Will Dina escape or fall victim to the injustice chewing up the city?

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SHE LIES IN WAIT”

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 featured book is a recent download:  She Lies in Wait, by Gytha Lodge: Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust? A teen girl is missing after a night of partying; thirty years later, the discovery of her body reopens a cold case in an absorbing novel featuring a small-town cop determined to finally get to the truth—for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson.

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

She made her skittering, sliding way down the riverbank.  Her trainers hit the flat ground at the lip of the water, and she wobbled but recovered.

“Jessie!”

She heard her name, and felt an answering buzz of adrenaline.  She paused, then kicked her way on again.  Just her brother, not Dad.  Away up the slope. Her brother wasn’t going to yell at her for wandering off.

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Teaser:  Jonah had been watching Benham, and there was a void where there should have been a reaction.  He was absolutely still, and for a good few seconds afterward he moved nothing but his eyes. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.

This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.

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

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE WOMAN INSIDE”

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 Woman Inside, by E. G. Scott, an impossible-to-put-down domestic thriller about secrets and revenge, told from the perspectives of a husband and wife who are the most perfect, and the most dangerous, match for each other…

 

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Intro:  (Prologue) He flashes a million-dollar smile before getting into his bloodred BMW.  It purrs to life and the sound of pebbles crunching under tires reminds me of the first time I was brought here.  The circumstances were very different.  I was never meant to leave.

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Teaser:  I softened my approach.  I didn’t want to provoke a fight before I said what I needed to.  “I’m sorry, honey.  I just feel so close to you, but sometimes I feel like we could be closer.  And I want you to know everything about me.” (p. 59).

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Synopsis:  Rebecca didn’t know love was possible until she met Paul, a successful, charismatic, married man with a past as dark as her own. Their pain drew them together with an irresistible magnetism; they sensed that they were each other’s ideal (and perhaps only) match.

But twenty years later, Paul and Rebecca are drowning as the damage and secrets that ignited their love begin to consume their marriage. Paul is cheating on Rebecca, and his affair gets messy fast. His mistress is stalking them with growing audacity when Rebecca discovers Paul’s elaborate plan to build a new life without her. And though Rebecca is spiraling into an opiate addiction, it doesn’t stop her from coming up with a devious plot of her own, and this one could end absolutely everything.

What follows is an unpredictable and stylish game of cat and mouse—a shocking tale of unfaithfulness and unreliability that will keep you racing until the final twist and make you wonder how well you really know your spouse.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “UNTOUCHABLE”

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 featured book is Untouchable, by Jayne Ann Krentz: A man’s quest to find answers for those who are haunted by the past leads him deeper into the shadows in this electrifying New York Times bestseller from the author of Promise Not to Tell.

 

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Intro:  Fifteen years earlier…

She was fourteen years old and sleeping in yet another bed.  The little house on Marigold Lane looked cozy and welcoming from the street—lots of curb appeal, as the real estate agents liked to say—but she had decided that she would not be there for long.

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Teaser Tuesday:  Winter awakened from the chase dream gasping for breath.  Her pulse skittered wildly. (p. 56).

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Synopsis:  Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer’s head has garnered him a reputation in some circles–and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace.

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family’s hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas’s foster sons, starting with Jack.

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I enjoy this author’s romantic suspense books, so I’m eager to start reading this one.  Would you keep reading?

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