Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “29 SECONDS”

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

Today’s feature is a NetGalley ARC that will be released on 9/10:  29 Seconds, by T.M. Logan.

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Intro:  (For my Mum and Dad)

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves…(Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus)

There were three conditions.

She had 72 hours to provide a name.

If she said no, the offer disappeared.  Forever.

And if she said yes, there was no going back.  No changing her mind.

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Teaser Tuesday:  Suddenly she thought:  That was the other thing I was supposed to do.  The SIM card.  Oh shit, I didn’t take the SIM card out.

Too late now. (51%)

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Synopsis:  Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”

Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne. A renowned scholar and television host, Hawthorne rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works—so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.

When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, Sarah is left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections—and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No traces. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “KILLMAN CREEK”

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 second book in the Stillhouse Lake Series:  Killman Creek, by Rachel Caine.

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Intro:  (Gwen)

On the twelfth night since my ex-husband escaped prison, I am in bed.  Not sleeping.  Watching the play of light and shadow on the curtains.  I’m lying on a narrow fold-out cot and feeling every twinge of spring poking through the thin mattress.  My kids, Lanny and Connor, occupy the two full-size beds in this midpriced motel room.  Midpriced is the best I can afford right now.

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Teaser Tuesdays:  Sam has just cleared the doorway when something picks us up and throws us, violently, across the room.  I lift and cross my arms in front of my face, draw my legs up in an instinctive attempt to protect my brain and belly, and I hardly feel it when I hit the wall. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

You’re not safe anywhere now.

Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.

But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

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I’m eager to dive into this second book in the series.  What do you think?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LONG CALL

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

Today’s feature is a NetGalley ARC to be released on 9/3/19:  The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves.

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Intro:  The day they found the body on the shore, Matthew Venn was already haunted by thoughts of death and dying.  He stood outside the North Devon Crematorium on the outskirts of Barnstaple, a bed of purple crocus spread like a pool at his feet, and he watched from a distance as the hearse carried his father to the chapel of rest.  When the small group of mourners went inside, he moved closer.

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Teaser Tuesday:  She pushed her hair away from her face.  He saw she had a small smudge of paint on her cheek.  It was green, the same shade as her coat. (75%).

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Synopsis:  In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

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I loved the Netflix series based on books by this author, so I’m eager to dive in.  What do you think?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR”

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 new download from a favorite author:  Careful What You Wish For, by Hallie Ephron.

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Intro:  (Saturday)

Emily Harlow wasn’t convinced that her sock drawer sparked joy.  Her socks had once been a jumbled mess, stuffed in the top drawer of the mahogany bureau she’d inherited from her grandmother.  She’d tried to follow the decluttering guru’s mantra, keeping only those socks that “spoke to her heart” and arranging them so they stood at attention, paired and folded just so (starting at the toe) and sorted by color.Months later, bright and early on this muggy August morning, as she stood in her sunlit bedroom in shorts, a tank top, and flip-flops, the message those socks whispered to her heart was more about privilege than joy.  Who on earth needed so many pairs of socks?

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Teaser:  Headlights lit up the water-streaked windows as a white emergency van drove past, heading in the direction of Mr. Murphy’s storage unit.  Emily had no idea how long it took for a body to stiffen up, but the person rolled up in the rug could have been dead for quite some time. (51%).

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From the New York Times bestselling author of There Was an Old Woman comes a novel about a professional organizer with a deadly problem she may not be able to clean up.

Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.

Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.

Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses.

But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.

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I can’t wait to read this one!  I love books about hoarding and organizing.  What do you think?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL”

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 Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman.

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Intro:  (In which we meet our heroine and witness a crime of thoughtlessness).

Imagine you’re a bird.  You can be any kind of bird, but those of you who’ve chosen ostrich or chicken are going to struggle to keep up.  Now, imagine you’re coasting through the skies above Los Angeles, coughing occasionally in the smog.Shiny ribbons of traffic spangle below you, and in the distance you see an impossibly verdant patch, like a green darn in a gray sock.

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Teaser:  Nina shook her head at him.  “No, I totally get it.  I think I was supposed to be born in the nineteenth century, or maybe Edwardian England.  I should be wearing empire-waisted tea dresses and sitting in a window seat watching for carriages.” (p. 61).

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Synopsis:The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
 
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
 
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
 
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

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Would you keep reading?  I can’t wait to dig into this book.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DEAR WIFE”

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 Dear Wife, by Kimberly Belle.

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Intro:  (BETH)

I hit my blinker and merge onto the Muskogee Turnpike, and for the first time in seven long years, I take a breath.  A real, full-body breath that blows up my lungs like a beach ball.  So much breath that it burns.

It tastes like freedom.

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Teaser:  Charlie’s message hits me, and I clench my jaw so hard something pops in my temple.  My “gal” knew what she was doing when she filled in that application.  She knew that as soon as she forked over her license and social security number and whatever else needed for the background check, they would act as beacons, lighting up her location on a map.  An electronic trail leading the police straight to her.

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Synopsis:  Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning—one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.

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I’m excited about this one.  What do you think?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SUMMER OF ’69”

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:  Summer of ’69, by Elin Hilderbrand.

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Intro:  (Prologue:  Fortunate Son)

When the Selective Service notice comes for Tiger, Kate’s first instinct is to throw it away.  Surely this is every American mother’s first instinct?  Pretend it got lost in the mail, buy Tiger a few more weeks of freedom before the U.S. Army sends another letter—by which time, this god-awful war in Vietnam might be over.  Nixon has promised to end it.

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Teaser Tuesday:  The expression on Angus’s face wasn’t one she remembered seeing before.  He looked…caught He looked…guilty of something.  And then Blair noticed he was in a state of disarray, his tie askew, his shirt misbuttoned, and his hair mussed.  Blair blinked. (p. 57).

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Synopsis:  Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.

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I am excited to dive into this one.  1969 was a pivotal year for me.  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND”

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:  Before She Was Found, by Heather Gudenkauf,  about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence.

 

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Intro:  (Monday, April 16, 2018, 12:45 a.m.)

The air is cold, but she barely notices.  It’s the dark that fills her chest with terror, makes her limbs heavy with dread.  But she feels something else, too.  Something that she can’t quite name.  It reminds her of how she feels the night before her birthday or on Christmas Eve but not exactly the same.  Thinking about her birthday and Christmas makes her feel good, warm.  This feels more like slowly climbing the ladder to the high dive at the swimming pool or like when the roller coaster at Adventureland reaches its highest peak just before it plunges straight down and she just knows she is going to die.

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Teaser:  “It looks like this conversation is over,” I say, voice shaky with rage.  “Get out.”  My mind is reeling.

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Synopsis:  For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover—movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora—and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted—not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe—even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

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I love this author’s books, so I’m eager to dive right in.  What do you think?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE BETTER SISTER”

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 Better Sister, by Alafair Burke. Keep your enemies close and your sister closer.

 

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Intro:  (Fourteen Years Earlier)

I betrayed my sister while standing on the main stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a beaded Versace gown (borrowed) and five-inch stiletto heels (never worn again).

At the time, I never could have scored an invitation—or been able to afford a ticket—to the Met Gala in my own right.  I was the guest of my boss, Catherine Lancaster, the editor in chief of City Woman magazine.  She wasn’t even my boss.  She was my boss’s boss’s boss.  And somehow she personally invited me.

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Teaser:  Olivia had told us to expect an objection to the fact that Nicky and I were sitting in the courtroom.  I was expressly on the witness list, and Nicky could still potentially be called as well.  Even though Nunzio could obviously see us as he paced the courtroom, he said nothing to object. (59%).

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Synopsis:  Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be the one in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicky—always restless and more than a little reckless—was the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed that both sisters had found happiness. Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicky married promising young attorney Adam Macintosh and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different—and Chloe is married to Adam. When he’s murdered by an intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenage stepson’s biological mother—her estranged sister, Nicky—back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

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I have enjoyed several books by this author.  What do you think?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SUNSET BEACH”

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

Today’s feature is a NetGalley ARC to be released on May 7:  Sunset Beach, by Mary Kay Andrews.  Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist.

 

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Intro:  (Sunset Beach, April 2018)

Drue turned the key in the ignition and the white Bronco’s engine gave a dispirited cough, and then nothing.

“Come on, OJ,” Drue muttered, trying again.  This time the engine turned over.  She gave it some gas and the motor roared to life.

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Teaser Tuesday:  Drue sat in the car for a few minutes, trying to decide on her next move.  She was now only a few blocks from the Silver Sands motel, where Jazmin’s boyfriend worked.  She called the motel and asked for Jorge Morales, but was told his shift didn’t start until 8:00 P.M. (52%).

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Synopsis:  Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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