Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “WHEN I WAS YOU”

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 Amazon Prime freebie:  When I Was You, by Minka Kent.

 

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Intro:  Part I – Brienne

They told me I was lucky.

The doctors, the nurses, the police officer who found me lying bloody, stabbed, and beaten in an alley outside my office under a moonless sky—all of them said the same thing.  “You’re lucky you didn’t die.”

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Teaser:  I browse through the rest of her photos, pausing on one of those cliche close-ups of a fresh manicure, her nails painted a familiar-to-me shade of “Barefoot in Paris,” only that isn’t what concerns me about this picture. (p. 65).

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Synopsis:  After barely surviving a brutal attack, Brienne Dougray rarely leaves her house. Suffering from debilitating headaches and memory loss, she can rely only on her compassionate new tenant, Dr. Niall Emberlin, a welcome distraction from the discomfiting bubble that has become her existence.

But Brienne’s growing confidence in her new routine is shaken when she stumbles across unsettling evidence that someone else is living as…her. Same name. Same car. Same hair. Same clothes. She’s even friended her family on social media. To find out why, Brienne must leave the safety of her home to hunt a familiar stranger.

What she discovers is more disturbing than she could have ever imagined. With her fragile mind close to shattering, Brienne is prepared to do anything to reclaim her life. If it’s even hers to reclaim.

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Would you keep reading?  I know that I’m intrigued.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SHELTER MOUNTAIN”

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 have had for quite a while:  Shelter Mountain (Book 2), by Robyn Carr.

 

 

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Intro:  A fierce and unseasonably cold September wind blew chilly rain against the windows.  Preacher wiped down the bar, and while it was only seven-thirty, it was already dark.  No one in Virgin River would be out on a night like this.

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Teaser:  The question caused her to suddenly go still, her cup frozen in midair.  Not her dad, so scrappy and short-tempered.  Not her mom who, without knowing or meaning to, had trained her to be a battered wife. (p. 60).

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For the second time in a year, a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape her past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of the wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and to punish whoever did this, but he knows immediately that this is more than just instinct. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

Then Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River. And if there’s one thing the marines’ motto of Semper Fi—always faithful—has taught Preacher, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.

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Would you keep reading?  My interest has been piqued recently by the release of the Virgin River show on Netflix.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE PLAYGROUND”

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 Playground, by Jane Shemilt.

 

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Intro:  (The Truth)

It was surprising how quickly things took off in the end, like a bonfire, one of those big ones the children loved so much.  Some nights I hear that sound of crackling again, like a bomb ticking down.  I wait for the roar and see the flames; the scent of scorching fills the air.  I can feel that searing heat.

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Teaser:  (Summer Holidays)

Later the police would pore over the videos we took that summer, play them over and over, looking to see where it all began.  They start—as everything does—with the children.  Poppy and Sorrel waiting by the door, wearing dress-up clothes.  Charley and Blake being dropped off, Izzy arriving. (p.61).

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Synopsis:  Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout.

There’s Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there’s Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to.

As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.

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What do you think?  I have been eyeing this book for a while.  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “ALL THE FLOWERS IN PARIS”

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 Sarah Jio book, a hardcover format that will go on my growing bookshelves:  All the Flowers in Paris.

 

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Intro:  (Caroline)

September 4, 2009

Paris, France

How could he?  My cheeks burn as I climb onto my bike, pedaling fast down the rue Cler, past the street vendors with their tables lined with shiny purple eggplants and bunches of flowers, pink peonies and golden sunflowers standing at attention in tidy buckets, past Cafe du Monde, where I sometimes get a coffee when I’m too tired to walk to Bistro Jeanty, past an old woman walking her tiny white poodle.

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Teaser Tuesday:  (Celine)

“I’ll only be gone an hour at the most,” I say to Papa the next morning as I button my coat.  The snow is falling heavily, and by the looks of the heavy clouds above, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. (p. 128).

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Synopsis:  When Caroline wakes up in a Paris hospital with no memory of her past, she’s confused to learn that for years she’s lived a sad, reclusive life in a sprawling apartment on the rue Cler. Slowly regaining vague memories of a man and a young child, she vows to piece her life back together—though she can’t help but feel she may be in danger. A budding friendship with the chef of a charming nearby restaurant takes her mind off her foggy past, as does a startling mystery from decades prior.

In Nazi-occupied Paris, a young widow named Céline is trying to build a new life for her daughter while working in her father’s flower shop and hoping to find love again. Then a ruthless German officer discovers her Jewish ancestry and Céline is forced to play a dangerous game to secure the safety of her loved ones. When her worst fears come true, she must fight back in order to save the person she loves most: her daughter.

When Caroline discovers Céline’s letters tucked away in a closet, she realizes that her apartment harbors dark secrets—and that she may have more in common with Céline than she could have ever imagined.

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I was thoroughly engrossed in this book, and kept reading until I finished it.  What do you think?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DELUSIONS OF GRANDMA”

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 from a favorite author:  Delusions of Grandma, by Carrie Fisher.

 

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Intro:  The Chinese have a curse.  “May you live in interesting times.”  As curses went, Cora felt that this was truly the best she’d ever heard.  Not that she was particularly fond of curses, but in her opinion this one was eminently applicable, far superior to the generic “Go to hell” or the cheery “Break a leg” or even the medieval “A pox on your house.”

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Teaser Tuesday:  They went on this way, settling into something long on distance, close on comfort, short on lackluster, on Blixen.  With phones cradled between shoulder and ear, faces turned sideways into their pillows, muffling the talk, they spread their histories out before one another like Middle Eastern traders tenderly unwrapping treasures—“For you, special price.” (p. 54).

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Synopsis: The actress-author of Postcards from the Edge explores maternity in her latest novel, featuring a very pregnant woman’s lively odyssey to rescue her Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather from a nursing home. 150,000 first printing. National ad/promo.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “MEG & JO”

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 purchase:  Meg & Jo, by Virginia Kantra.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Christmas Eve, Then

Bunyan, North Carolina

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

White Christmas was playing on the TV, but this year the scenes of soldiers far from home made her throat ache.  It felt weird to be watching the movie without Dad.  Everything felt wrong this year.

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Teaser Tuesday:  (Meg)

I could take care of this.  I took a deep breath of cold air and knocked on Hannah Mullett’s door.

I was good at taking care of things.  Helping people with their problems.  That used to be my job, helping people who needed money, making the numbers work so they could get a loan, buy a car, start a business, everything in black and white. (p. 98).

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Synopsis:  The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.

The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.

Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

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What do you think?  Do these snippets remind you of that timeless classic?  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN”

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 of a book that will be released on 1/14/20:  Big Lies in a Small Town, by Diane Chamberlain.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Edenton, North Carolina

March 23, 1940

The children knew it was finally spring, so although the air still held the nip of winter and the grass and weeds crunched beneath their feet, they ran through the field and woods, yipping with the anticipation of warmer weather.  The two boys and their little sister headed for the creek, drawn to water, as they always were.  The girl, only three and not as sure-footed as her brothers, tripped over something and landed face-first in the cold water of the creek.  Her big brother picked her up before she could start howling, cuddling her close against his thin jacket, a hand-me-down from one cousin or another.

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Teaser:  (Anna)

February 28-1940

Anna awakened with a weight on her chest that made it hard to breathe.  She knew that weight.  It had been with her off and on since her mother’s death in November, and she knew why it was so heavy and breath-stealing this morning:  today was February 28.  Her mother would have turned forty-four today. (60%).

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Synopsis:  North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

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

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE POISON GARDEN”

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 Poison Garden, by A. J. Banner.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

I am running through the woods in the waning moonlight, splatters of blood on my hands, the wind whipping in from the sea.  Tall firs bend and sway, branches crackling, breaking in the gale.  I am lost but must keep moving.  I once knew these trails, could find my way with my eyes closed, but that was long ago.

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Teaser:  I took her place at the desk, clicked on the sign-in window, and tried a range of possible passwords, from his social security number, his July birthday, to the name of his first pet, a dog named Rambo.  No luck.  Nothing worked.  I was locked out. (p. 61).

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Synopsis:  Elise Watters seems to have it all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother’s herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life…

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS”

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 Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

It would be inaccurate to say that my childhood was normal before they came.  It was far from normal, but it felt normal because it was all I’d known.  It’s only now, with decades of hindsight, that I can see how odd it was.

I was nearly eleven when they came, and my sister was nine.

They lived with us for more than five years and they turned everything very, very dark.  My sister and I had to learn how to survive.

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Teaser:  Libby pushes the crib and it creaks pathetically, evidencing its great age.  Who was it bought for? she wonders.  Was it bought for her?  Or for generations of babies before her? (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

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Would you keep reading?  I have been eagerly anticipating this book.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “ELEVATOR PITCH”

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 Elevator Pitch, by Linwood Barclay.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Stuart Bland figured if he posted himself close to the elevators, there was no way he could miss Sherry D’Agostino.

He knew she arrived at the offices of Cromwell Entertainment, which were on the thirty-third floor of the Lansing Tower, on Third between 8:30 and 8:45.  A car was sent to her Brooklyn Heights address each day to bring her here.  No taxi or subway for Sherry D’Agostino, Cromwell’s vice president of creative.

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Teaser:  “I kind of forgot about it, because it seemed so crazy, I thought he had to be joking.  He said, just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  Kind of a variation of the line about being paranoid.  (47%).

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Synopsis:  It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men in women working in offices across the city refuse to leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its ribbon-cutting on Thursday.

With each diabolical twist, Linwood Barclay ratchets up the suspense, building to a shattering finale. Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone. 

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I am a little scared to read this one, but I also can’t wait to read it.  What do you think?

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