TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “MY LIES, YOUR LIES”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a book I’ve had around for a while:  My Lies, Your Lies, by Susan Lewis.

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

“I’m leaving,” he said.

She kept her head down as though working on the pages in front of her.  She’d heard the “you” even though he hadn’t said it.  I’m leaving you.

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Teaser:

As they drove slowly on they finally realized that down to their right, tucked securely against the protective wall of rocks was a house where it seemed no house should be. (p. 62).

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Synopsis:  Joely tells other people’s secrets for a living. As a ghost writer, she’s used to scandal – but this just might be her strangest assignment yet. Freda has never told her story to anyone before. But now she’s ready to set the record straight and right a wrong that’s haunted her for forty years. 

Freda’s memoir begins with a 15-year-old girl falling madly in love with her male teacher. As Joely sets out to write this troubling love story, she is spun into a world of secrets and lies she could never have imagined, causing her to question everything she thought she knew about her own family.

Delving further into Freda’s past, Joely’s sure she can uncover the truth—but at what cost?

Breathlessly intriguing from the first page to the last, My Lies, Your Lies is a gripping novel that intertwines the tumultuous past of one mysterious woman to the present of another with a harrowing, unexpected twist.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “LOCAL WOMAN MISSING”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book from a favorite author:  Local Woman Missing, by Mary Kubica.

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Intro:  (Prologue – 11 Years Before)

There’s a smudge of lipstick on the collar of his shirt.  She sees it.  She says nothing about it.  Instead, she stands there, bobbing the crying baby up and down like the needle of a sewing machine piercing fabric. She listens to his lame lies, his same, dispassionate Sorry I’m late, buts he reels off almost every night.

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Teaser:  (Kate – 11 Years Before)

But now, in light of Meredith and Delilah’s disappearance, a thought sows fear into my mind.  What if it wasn’t domestic violence?  What if there’s a serial kidnapper on the loose? (p.60).

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Synopsis:  People don’t just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “FIND YOU FIRST”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book:  Find You First, by Linwood Barclay.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Outside Springfield, MA

Todd listened to the phone ring, waited for a pickup.  Two rings, three.  You had to give these old folks time to get to the phone.  Maybe they had to use a walker, or were in a wheelchair.

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Teaser: 

As Miles approached the reception counter, he could heard the man whispering to her, “It’s going to work this time.  I know it.  Third time’s a charm.”

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Synopsis:  Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of—except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . .

Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids—nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him—maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse.

As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant.

When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’s other potential heirs are vanishing—every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all.

Who is the vicious killer—another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on?

It’s a deadly race against time . . .

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LAST NIGHT IN LONDON”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  The Last Night in London, by Karen White.

Intro:

(Prologue)

London, April 1941

The cool, clear night shuddered, then moaned as the fluctuating drone of hundreds of engines eclipsed the silence.  A wave of planes like angry hornets slipped through the darkened sky over a city already wearing black in preparation for the inevitable mourning.

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Teaser:

Precious tucked her chin.  “I sure hope not, because that man had eyes for nobody but you.  No other girl would stand a chance—if I were a betting girl, I’d bet on you for sure.” (p.56)

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Synopsis:  London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck—she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies, and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect her friendship with Precious and everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever…

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner, whose life has been marked by the tragic loss of her mother, travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie has been careful to close herself off to others, but in Precious she recognizes someone whose grief rivals her own—but unlike Maddie, Precious hasn’t allowed it to crush her.  Maddie finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, her enigmatic surrogate nephew.  As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’s haunting past—a story of friendship, betrayal, and the unremembered acts of kindness and of love.

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE PERFECT DAUGHTER”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a relatively new book:  The Perfect Daughter, by D.J. Palmer.

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Intro:

At thirty minutes past eight o’clock, red and blue strobe lights lit up the sky outside Grace Francone’s modest Cape house with the frenzy of a fireworks display. A quick check out the window revealed two cars parked in their driveway, one a sedan, a single twirling red light mounted on its dashboard, and the other a black-and-white from the Lynn Police Department, lights also flashing.

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Teaser: 

The way Eve studied Mitch, a coquettish glimmer in her eyes, made him shudder.  It was an alluring stare, one brimming with a poise that was startling to see in a seventeen-year-old girl just coming into her own. (p.67

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Synopsis:  Penny Francone, age sixteen, is a murderer. Her guilt is beyond doubt: she was found alone in the victim’s apartment, covered in blood, holding the murder weapon. The victim’s identity and her secret relationship to Penny give Penny the perfect motive, sealing the deal. All the jury needs to decide now is where Penny will serve out her sentence. Will she be found not guilty by reason of insanity, as her lawyer intends to argue? Or will she get a life sentence in a maximum-security prison?
Already reeling from tragedy after the sudden passing of her beloved husband a few years before, now Grace is on her knees, grateful that Massachusetts doesn’t allow the death penalty.

As Penny awaits trial in a state mental hospital, she is treated by Dr. Mitchell McHugh, a psychiatrist battling demons of his own. Grace’s determination to understand the why behind her daughter’s terrible crime fuels Mitch’s resolve to help the Francone family. Together, they set out in search of the truth about Penny, but discover instead a shocking hidden history of secrets, lies, and betrayals that threatens to consume them all.

The perfect daughter. Is she fooling them all?

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THAT SUMMER”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a NetGalley ARC of a book to be released on 5/11/21:

That Summer, by Jennifer Weiner

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Intro:  (Prologue)

She is fifteen years old that summer, a thoughtful, book-struck girl with long-lashed hazel eyes and a long-legged body that still doesn’t completely feel like her own.  She lives in a row house in South Boston with her parents and two sisters, and attends a private school in Cambridge, on a scholarship, where she gets mostly Bs, except for As in English and art.  She dreams about falling in love.

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Teaser:

Diana cleared her throat.  It felt like her tongue and her lips and her teeth were all new pieces of equipment, recently installed.  “I was mean to you a lot of times.”

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Synopsis:  Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE SMASH-UP”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book:  The Smash-Up, by Ali Benjamin.

Intro:  WHAT HAPPENED?

Everyone asked the question, had been asking since the election.  They asked while watching the news, that storm of headlines, jump-cut footage of marches and speeches and hand-sharpied cardboard, an endless, swirling blizzard—a siege, really—of protests and counterprotests, action and reaction, people screaming at one another in the street, neighbor versus neighbor, friend versus friend.

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Teaser:

Ethan rolls over.  “I was kidding, Zo,” he offers to the back of her head.  “About the Minister of Rage thing.” (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  It’s September 2018. In Washington, D.C.,—and in cities and towns across America—women have taken to the streets to protest a Supreme Court nominee. And in Starkfield, Massachusetts—a sleepy rural town where nothing much ever happens—Ethan Frome’s otherwise quiet life has turned upside down.

Ethan’s wife, Zo, is so enraged by the national political scene that she’s transformed their home into a local headquarters for the Resistance. His college roommate and former business partner faces #metoo allegations, sending Ethan into increasingly desperate financial straits. His unruly, headstrong daughter, Alex, grows more challenging by the day.

Enter Maddy Silver—a breezy, blue-haired millennial making her way through the gig economy. Suddenly Ethan and Zo must question everything: their past, their future, their marriage, and what they value most. And all the while, a world-rocking cultural smash-up inches ever closer to home.

Inspired by a classic Edith Wharton novella about a strained marriage in a small town, The Smash-Up is at once an intimate, moving portrait of a family in distress, a vivid examination of our roiling national rancor, and a powerful exploration of how the things we fail to notice can shatter a family, a community, and a nation.

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THIEF OF SOULS”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is an ARC that will be released on 5/4/21:  Thief of Souls, by Brian Klingborg.

 

Intro:  Saturday

Apart from their other characteristics, the outstanding thing about China’s 600 million people is that they are “poor and blank.”  This may seem a bad thing, but in reality it is a good thing. Poverty gives rise to the desire for changes, the desire for action, and the desire for revolution.

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Teaser: 

Lu has unwittingly crossed a line.  He considers putting money on the table and leaving, but decides that would only make things worse. (53%).

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Synopsis: Lu Fei is a graduate of China’s top police college but he’s been assigned to a sleepy backwater town in northern China, where almost nothing happens and the theft of a few chickens represents a major crime wave. That is until a young woman is found dead, her organs removed, and joss paper stuffed in her mouth. The CID in Beijing—headed by a rising political star—is on the case but in an increasingly authoritarian China, prosperity and political stability are far more important than solving the murder of an insignificant village girl. As such, the CID head is interested in pinning the crime on the first available suspect rather than wading into uncomfortable truths, leaving Lu Fei on his own.

As Lu digs deeper into the gruesome murder, he finds himself facing old enemies and creating new ones in the form of local Communist Party bosses and corrupt business interests. Despite these rising obstacles, Lu remains determined to find the real killer, especially after he links the murder to other unsolved homicides. But the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery, the more he puts himself and his loved ones in danger.

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “WATCH HER FALL”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book I am eager to read:  Watch Her Fall, by Erin Kelly…

 


Intro:

It was nine o’clock in the morning and already thirty-one degrees.  London shimmered in a dirty haze.  The weather reporter on the radio had said that it was hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement.

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Teaser Tuesday:

One day Ava would have to concern herself with these things too.  Money.  Letting dancers go. (p. 61).

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Synopsis:

Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it’s the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part.

Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake. Even Mr K – her father, and the intense, terrifying director of the company – can find no fault. Ava has pushed herself ahead of countless other talented, hardworking girls, and they are all watching her now.

But there is someone who really wants to see Ava fall . . .

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “A MILLION REASONS WHY”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is another new book:  A Million Reasons Why, by Jessica Strawser.

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Intro:  (Caroline)

Long before Caroline ever felt compelled to seriously consider the split between nature and nurture, she knew exactly which traits she owed to her dad.

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Teaser:  “Your imagination,” Ecca would say when Sela showed frustration, “is your superpower.  Never underestimate what you can do with it.”

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Synopsis:  When two strangers are linked by a mail-in DNA test, it’s an answered prayer—that is, for one half sister. For the other, it will dismantle everything she knows to be true.

But as they step into the unfamiliar realm of sisterhood, the roles will reverse in ways no one could have foreseen.

Caroline lives a full, happy life—thriving career, three feisty children, enviable marriage, and a close-knit extended family. She couldn’t have scripted it better. Except for one thing:

She’s about to discover her fundamental beliefs about them all are wrong.

Sela lives a life in shades of gray, suffering from irreversible kidney failure. Her marriage crumbled in the wake of her illness. Her beloved mother, always her closest friend, unexpectedly passed away. She refuses to be defined by her grief, but still, she worries what will happen to her two-year-old son if she doesn’t find a donor match in time.

She’s the only one who knows Caroline is her half sister and may also be her best hope for a future. But Sela’s world isn’t as clear-cut as it appears—and one misstep could destroy it all.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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