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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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “ONE LITTLE SECRET”

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 One Little Secret, by Cate Holahan.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Drowning can happen in two inches of water.  All the parenting books she’d consumed during her pregnancies had contained that warning, often on the first page of the bath-time section.  Children could die in a kiddie pool.  The sink.  The toilet.  Life began in an amniotic sac, but it could end in the shallows.

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Teaser:  Jenny cursed under her breath.  Either her neighbors were toasting and Ben was calling her back to clink glasses, or he wanted to discuss what had happened after she’d given him that last injection.The thought of doing either made Jenny want to sprint in the opposite direction.(p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Everyone has a secret. For some, it’s worth dying to protect. For others, it’s worth killing.

The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town—and desperate for some kid-free conversation—she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.

Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others’ marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.

Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look.

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Would you keep reading?  I can’t wait to learn more.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “IF YOU ONLY KNEW”

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 If You Only Knew, by Kristan Higgins, a book that has been resting comfortably on my Kindle since December 2017.

 

 

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Intro:  (Jenny)

Today is one of those days when I realize that staying friends with my ex-husband was a huge mistake. 

I’m at the baby shower for Ana-Sofia, Owen’s wife and my replacement.  Indeed, I’m sitting next to her, a place of honor in this circle of beaming well-wishers, and I’m probably beaming just as hard as everyone else.

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Teaser:  (Jenny)

Except I smell a rat.  Leo, a total stranger, smelled a rat.  Yes, yes, there’s a chance Adam is telling the truth. (p. 63).

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Synopsis:  Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate expected…especially since his new wife wants to be Jenny’s new best friend. Needing closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she’ll start her own business and bask in her sister Rachel’s picture-perfect family life…and maybe even find a little romance of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, who’s utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the same time.

Rachel’s idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she discovers what looks like her husband’s infidelity. She always thought she’d walk away in this situation but now she’s wavering, much to Jenny’s surprise. Rachel points to their parents’ perfect marriage as a shining example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a family secret she’s been keeping since childhood.

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What do you think?  I’m eager to read this book that has been languishing on my shelves.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE MURDER LIST”

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 book from Hank Phillippi Ryan:  The Murder List.

 

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Intro:  (Now)

We never fight.  Not in the past six years, as long as we’ve been married.  Not even in the months before that.  It isn’t that Jack is always right or I’m always right.  Usually our disagreements are about things that don’t matter, so it’s easier and quicker for me to acquiesce.  Jack’s a lawyer, so he likes to win.  It makes him happy.  And that’s good.

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Teaser:  If the case against Nina fell through, that meant the murderer was still on the loose.  A chill rattled my entire body, and it wasn’t because of the weather (56%).

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Synopsis:  Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE NANNY”

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 Nanny, by Gilly Macmillan.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Water closes over the body.  Swallows it.  The rocking of the boat subsides quickly.  Its occupant waits until the surface of the lake is still.  Her breathing sounds shockingly loud.  She takes the oars and rows away from the site with determined strokes. Her arms ache and she thinks:  I can’t believe I had to do this.  I hate to have done this.

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Teaser: My frustration levels are at peak.  I might have had a shot at getting this job if Mother hadn’t interfered.  I want to empty the basket of strawberries over her head, smash the fruits into her face, and rub them into her hair, but I keep control (p. 56).

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Synopsis:  When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

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What do you think?  I know I’m eager to keep reading.

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER”

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 Favorite Daughter, by Patti Callahan Henry.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. (Virginia Woolf, Orlando)

The wedding for Colleen Donohue, Lena to her family and friends, and Walter Littleton was ready to begin one spring afternoon.  The Lowcountry of South Carolina preened, the temperature in the seventies without a hint of the summer humidity that would arrive soon, the river shimmering with glints of sunlight captured in its crests, the blooms of the azaleas and gardenias competing for attention.  The air was soft as cashmere.

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Teaser:  Colleen tamped down the sadness that could quickly turn to grief and opened the old refrigerator—a white Kenmore with magnets of every variety stuck to its door.  The anthropology of the family could be charted in those magnets:  inspirational quotes from her mother’s collection; Irish shamrocks and leprechauns; names and phone numbers of house services. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home—until she learns of her dad’s failing health.

Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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Tuesday Excerpts

TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SEVEN LETTERS”

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 10/8/19:  Seven Letters, by J. P. Monninger.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

The Irish tell a story of a man who fell in love with a fairy woman and went with her to live on an island lost to time and trouble.  They lived in a thatched cottage overlooking the sea with nothing but donkeys and gulls and white chickens to keep them company.  They lived in the dream of all lovers, apart from the world, entire to themselves, their bed an island to be rediscovered each night.

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Teaser:  I took a cab to the grocery store on the second day of my return.  I stockpiled food and bought myself two dozen yellow tulips.  I stored the groceries carefully, as one would in a desert, then put the yellow tulips in jelly jars near my desk-table.  Later that day, I burned sage again.  It was ridiculous, more ridiculous than ever, but it brought me serenity. (58%).

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Synopsis:  Kate Moreton is in Ireland on sabbatical from her teaching position at Dartmouth College when she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman and a veteran of the American war in Afghanistan. The Ferriter family history dates back centuries on the remote Blasket Islands, and Ozzie – a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States – has retreated to the one place that might offer him peace from a war he cannot seem to leave behind.

Beside the sea, with Ireland’s beauty as a backdrop, the two fall deeply in love and attempt to live on an island of their own making, away from the pressures of the outside world. Ireland writes its own love stories, the legends claim, and the limits of Kate and Ozzie’s love and faith in each other will be tested. When his demons lead Ozzie to become reckless with his life—and Kate’s—she flees for America rather than watch the man she loves self-destruct. But soon a letter arrives informing Kate that her heroic husband has been lost at sea, and Kate must decide whether it is an act of love to follow him or an act of mercy to forget.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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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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