TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE NEXT WIFE”

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:  The Next Wife, by Liz Lawler.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

What was she thinking?

Did she honestly think he would just let her walk out and live a life without him?  That there would be no consequences?  No price to pay for destroying his life?

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Teaser:  Thinking back to how they were, Tess could see now that the complex part of loving him hadn’t presented itself.  They hadn’t uncovered enough layers to know one another well enough before taking the leap. (p. 62).

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Synopsis:  My husband is everything I ever dreamed of. A handsome, successful doctor who swept me off my feet.

Our new life together is perfect.

He’s perfect.

But am I good enough for him? I never seem to get anything right. And I’m starting to feel a little afraid of the man I married.

He’s taken away my bank card and my phone. I don’t know what to think or what to do. I gave up everything for him and now I’m trapped.

Then a stranger comes to our door. She tells me that I can’t trust my husband.

That I should ask him what happened to his first wife.

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What do you think?  Keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “EIGHT PERFECT MURDERS”

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 thriller:  Eight Perfect Murders, by Peter Swanson.

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Intro:  The front door opened, and I heard the stamp of the FBI agent’s feet on the doormat.  It had just begun to snow, and the air that rushed into the store was heavy and brimming with energy.  The door shut behind the agent.  She must have been just outside when she’d called because it had only been about five minutes since I’d agreed to meet with her.

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Teaser:  I didn’t have the answers to those questions, but I did know, in my gut, that Gwen Mulvey was going to figure it out.  She’d put it all together so far and she was going to continue to put it together. (40%).

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Synopsis:  Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. There is killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

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Would you keep reading?  Do the snippets grab you?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “PRETTY AS A PICTURE”

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:  Pretty as a Picture, by Elizabeth Little.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words.

That’s not what I’d say.

I’d say it depends on the picture.  I’d say it depends on the size and the color and the subject and the print and the framing and the focus and the composition.  I’d say it depends on what you were doing the hour before, the day before, the year before, the life before.

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Teaser: As I walk, I slip my hands behind me and rub my fingertips against each other, just a little, running my thumb from index to pinky finger and back again, a quick one-two-three-four, one-two-three four.  I let the rest of my senses go soft.

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Synopsis:  An egomaniacal movie director, an isolated island, and a decades-old murder–the addictive new novel from the bestselling author of Dear Daughter

Marissa Dahl, a shy but successful film editor, travels to a small island off the coast of Delaware to work with the legendary–and legendarily demanding–director Tony Rees on a feature film with a familiar logline.

Some girl dies.

It’s not much to go on, but the specifics don’t concern Marissa. Whatever the script is, her job is the same. She’ll spend her days in the editing room, doing what she does best: turning pictures into stories.

But she soon discovers that on this set, nothing is as it’s supposed to be–or as it seems. There are rumors of accidents and indiscretions, of burgeoning scandals and perilous schemes. Half the crew has been fired. The other half wants to quit. Even the actors have figured out something is wrong. And no one seems to know what happened to the editor she was hired to replace.

Then she meets the intrepid and incorrigible teenage girls who are determined to solve the real-life murder that is the movie’s central subject, and before long, Marissa is drawn into the investigation herself.

The only problem is, the killer may still be on the loose. And he might not be finished.

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What do you think?  Do the snippets grab you?

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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: “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: “THE LONG CALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR”

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

Today’s feature is a new download from a favorite author:  Careful What You Wish For, by Hallie Ephron.

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Intro:  (Saturday)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SHE LIES IN WAIT”

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 featured book is a recent download:  She Lies in Wait, by Gytha Lodge: Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust? A teen girl is missing after a night of partying; thirty years later, the discovery of her body reopens a cold case in an absorbing novel featuring a small-town cop determined to finally get to the truth—for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson.

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

She made her skittering, sliding way down the riverbank.  Her trainers hit the flat ground at the lip of the water, and she wobbled but recovered.

“Jessie!”

She heard her name, and felt an answering buzz of adrenaline.  She paused, then kicked her way on again.  Just her brother, not Dad.  Away up the slope. Her brother wasn’t going to yell at her for wandering off.

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Teaser:  Jonah had been watching Benham, and there was a void where there should have been a reaction.  He was absolutely still, and for a good few seconds afterward he moved nothing but his eyes. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.

This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.

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

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SOPHIE LAST SEEN”

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 Sophie Last Seen, by Marlene Adelstein:  a review book.  “A mother’s psyche edges toward madness as she tries to solve the puzzle of her daughter’s disappearance. A gripping tale of heartbreak and eternal hope.” Beth Hoffman, author of the NYT Bestseller “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt”

 

 

Intro:  The feel of the smooth glass stone between her index finger and thumb could always calm Jesse Albright, especially when she felt the start of a panic attack.  Like now.  Setting the stone down on the dashboard, she turned to the passenger seat and said to her daughter, “We’re here, Soph.”  She pulled into the entrance of the Countryside Mall, parked the truck, and got out.

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Teaser:  Slowly, the crowd dispersed.  As Jesse walked back to the truck, a smoky haze lingered, and when she looked up, she saw tiny pieces of paper and black bits floating down from the heavens like charred snow, some landing in her hair.(52%).

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Synopsis:  Six years ago, ten-year-old Sophie Albright disappeared from a shopping mall. Her mother, Jesse, is left in a self-destructive limbo, haunted by memories of her intense and difficult child, who was obsessed with birds. Trapped in her grief and guilt, Jesse stumbles through her workdays at a bookstore and spends her off hours poring over Sophie’s bird journals or haunting the mall to search for the face of her missing child.

When Star Silverman, Sophie’s best friend, starts working at the bookstore, Jesse is uncomfortable around the sarcastic teen, who is a constant reminder of her daughter. But Star has secrets of her own, and her childhood memories could be the key to solving Sophie’s disappearance.

With help from Star and Kentucky “Tuck” Barnes, a private detective on the trail of another missing girl, Jesse may finally get some closure, one way or the other.

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I’ve heard good things about this book.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY SPARKS: “I AM WATCHING YOU”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s featured book is a relatively new download:  I Am Watching You, by Teresa Driscoll…

 

 

 

 

 

Intro: (July 2015 -The Witness)

I made a mistake.  I know that now.

The only reason I did what I did was what I heard on that train.  And I ask you, in all truthfulness—how would you have felt?

Until that moment, I had never considered myself prudish.  Or naive.  OK, OK, so I had a pretty conventional—some might say sheltered—upbringing but…Heavens.  Look at me now.  I’ve lived a bit.  Learned a lot.  Pretty average, I would argue, on the Richter scale of moral behavior, which is why what I heard so shook me.

I thought they were nice girls, you see.

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Teaser: You disgust me.  Anna’s voice again.  In his head.  In his car.  In the passenger seat, refusing to look him in the face.

And in this moment he realises that there isn’t anything Barbara can say or the police can say to possibly make him feel worse than he already does. (p.100).

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Synopsis: What would it take to make you intervene?

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.

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Would you keep reading?  Do the excerpts tempt and tease you?

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