BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MY EX-LIFE”

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 I’ve had on my Kindle for more than a year:  My Ex-Life, by Stephen McCauley.

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Book Beginning:  No, it was not the happiest moment of David Hedges’s life.  Soren, his partner of five years, had left him, he’d gotten fat, and somewhere in the midst of that, he’d woken up one day and realized he was no longer in his twenties.  Or his forties.  The last person he expected to hear from was Julie Fiske.

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Friday 56:  Amira curled up on the sofa like a frightened girl, and Julie was torn between wanting to lash out at her and wanting to comfort her and dry her beautiful hair.

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Synopsis:David Hedges’s life is coming apart at the seams. His job helping San Francisco rich kids get into the colleges of their (parents’) choice is exasperating; his younger boyfriend has left him; and the beloved carriage house he rents is being sold. His solace is a Thai takeout joint that delivers 24/7.

The last person he expects to hear from is Julie Fiske. It’s been decades since they’ve spoken, and he’s relieved to hear she’s recovered from her brief, misguided first marriage. To him.

Julie definitely doesn’t have a problem with marijuana (she’s given it up completely, so it doesn’t matter if she gets stoned almost daily) and the Airbnb she’s running out of her seaside house north of Boston is neither shabby nor illegal. And she has two whole months to come up with the money to buy said house from her second husband before their divorce is finalized. She’d just like David’s help organizing college plans for her seventeen-year-old daughter.

That would be Mandy. To quote Barry Manilow, Oh Mandy. While she knows she’s smarter than most of the kids in her school, she can’t figure out why she’s making so many incredibly dumb and increasingly dangerous choices?

When David flies east, they find themselves living under the same roof (one David needs to repair). David and Julie pick up exactly where they left off thirty years ago—they’re still best friends who can finish each other’s sentences. But there’s one broken bit between them that no amount of home renovations will fix.

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I am eager to finally read this book.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE PERFECT WIFE”

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 due to release on August 6:  The Perfect Wife, by J.P. Delaney.

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Beginning:  You’re having that dream again, the one where you and Tim are in Jaipur for Diwali.  Everywhere you look, every doorway and window, there are lanterns and candles, firecrackers and fairy lights.  Courtyards have become flickering pools of flame, their entrances surrounded by intricate designs of colored rice paste.  Dreams and cymbals throb and sizzle.

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Friday 56:  (FEEL FREE!)  was probably Abbie’s highlight as our artist-in-residence.  People would say to her, How’re you going to top that?” and she’d just smile and shrug.  “Something’ll come,” she’d reply.  “It always does.”

***

Synopsis:  Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science. 

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . . .
 
THE PERFECT WIFE

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What do you think?  I am eager to dive into this one.

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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.

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

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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.

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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?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WE WERE MOTHERS”

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 an Amazon Prime Kindle book recently downloaded:   We Were Mothers, by Katie Sise, a brilliant, twisty novel about a missing woman, an unfaithful husband, and the dark secrets that will destroy two perfect families.

 

Beginning:  (Part I – The Day Mira Madsen Disappeared)

(Cora) 3:39 p.m.

Swooning over a man who wasn’t her husband made Cora feel terribly guilty, but how could anyone not swoon over Jeremy?  His lashes were thick and dark, his tanned skin glowed, and his built frame towered just the right number of inches over six feet.  It made things hard.  Not hard like fighting in a war or raising toddlers, more like a deep ache in Cora’s belly that never let up, no matter how many times she’d stood next to Jeremy at summer barbecues she hosted like this one, praying he wouldn’t see the beads of sweat trailing between her legs.

***

Friday 56:  Cora’s friends with children were standing just outside the sandbox and talking over each other.  Jade had noticed that moms of young children often interrupted each other, and so many had verbal diarrhea, which was a shame, because what they had to say wasn’t really that interesting.  And no offense to them, because Jade thought they were actually very good mothers.  Doting, careful, involved…

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Synopsis:  A scandalous revelation is about to devastate a picturesque town where the houses are immaculate and the neighborhoods are tightly knit. Devoted mother Cora O’Connell has found the journal of her friend Laurel’s daughter—a beautiful college student who lives next door—revealing an illicit encounter. Hours later, Laurel makes a shattering discovery of her own: her daughter has vanished without a trace. Over the course of one weekend, the crises of two close families are about to trigger a chain reaction that will expose a far more disturbing web of secrets. Now everything is at stake as they’re forced to confront the lies they have told in order to survive.

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What do you think?  Do you want to keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LULULEMONS”

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 I borrowed from the library:  When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger:  HE SET HER UP. THEY’LL BRING HIM DOWN.

 

 

 

Beginning:  (Again with the Nazi Getup?) (Emily)

Emily racked her brain.  There had to be something to complain about.  This was New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles, one of the most annoying nights of the year in arguably the most annoying city known to humanity.  So why couldn’t she think of a thing?

She sipped her skinny margarita from her chaise and watched her husband’s beautiful body cut through the water like a moving art installation.  When Miles emerged, he propped himself on the back of the lit infinity pool, where the turquoise water appeared to spill over the side and straight down the mountain.  Behind him, the lights from the valley twinkled for miles, making the city look alluring, even sexy.  Night was the only time Los Angeles really shone….

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56:  “Oh, my God.  I’m coming over.”  Miriam glanced at the wall clock.  “I need to shower, but I can be there within the hour.”

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Synopsis:  Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce.

In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach.

So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public. Along the way, an indispensable ally emerges in one Miranda Priestly.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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