TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “FORGIVE ME”

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:  Forgive Me, by Susan Lewis

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Intro: (Chapter One)

Marcus Huxley-Browne looked up from the warning call he’d just received on his mobile phone.  His handsome face was taut, pale, showing none of its usual boredom or arrogance—or the self-satisfaction that came from having so much.

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Teaser: 

Claudia’s heart had already tripped with excitement.  “Absolutely,” she confirmed.  “It’s a dream of mine, bringing an old Georgian property back to life.” (p.69).

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Synopsis: In prison, Archie Colbrook spends his time writing letters. Letters addressed to a person against whom he committed terrible, nameless harm. Archie knows he doesn’t deserve forgiveness. Yes, he didn’t mean to hurt anyone, and sure, he was only following orders. But does that matter? He still did it.

In a small coastal town of Northern England, Claudia Winters hopes to feel safe for the first time in years after fleeing from her abusive husband with her mother and daughter. Their new life is supposed to be a fresh start. But Claudia knows the past won’t stay hidden for long—and she can’t help but feel that someone is watching her. And that something terrible is about to happen.

Linked by one irrevocable act of violence, Archie and Claudia’s lives intertwine. Claudia can’t overlook what Archie did to her family—but is forgiveness the only way to truly move on?

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “AT THE EDGE OF THE HAIGHT”

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 to my shelves:  At the Edge of the Haight, by Katherine Seligman.

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Intro:  Root skimmed the sidewalk with his nose, sniffing at food wrappers, a black boot, and a pair of red tights someone had tossed in a perfect Z.  I put my hand on his neck and nudged him past.

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Teaser:  I wanted to kick Ash as he pushed me toward the man, who looked serious and so unhappy I couldn’t turn away.  What was I supposed to do? (p. 59).

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Synopsis:  Maddy Donaldo, homeless at twenty, has made a family of sorts in the dangerous spaces of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. She knows whom to trust, where to eat, when to move locations, and how to take care of her dog. It’s the only home she has. When she unwittingly witnesses the murder of a young homeless boy and is seen by the perpetrator, her relatively stable life is upended. Suddenly, everyone from the police to the dead boys’ parents want to talk to Maddy about what she saw. As adults pressure her to give up her secrets and reunite with her own family before she meets a similar fate, Maddy must decide whether she wants to stay lost or be found. Against the backdrop of a radically changing San Francisco, a city which embraces a booming tech economy while struggling to maintain its culture of tolerance, At the Edge of the Haight follows the lives of those who depend on makeshift homes and communities.

As judge Hillary Jordan says, “This book pulled me deep into a world I knew little about, bringing the struggles of its young, homeless inhabitants—the kind of people we avoid eye contact with on the street—to vivid, poignant life. The novel demands that you take a close look. If you knew, could you still ignore, fear, or condemn them? And knowing, how can you ever forget?”

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “BLOOD ORANGE”

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 acquisition:  Blood Orange, by Harriet Tyce.

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Intro:  The October sky lies gray above me and my wheelie bag’s heavy but I wait for the bus and count my blessings.  The trial is finished, kicked out at halftime after a legal argument on the basis of insufficient evidence.  It’s always pleasing to get one up on the prosecution and my client’s over the moon.

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Teaser:  Madeleine’s words echo through my mind while the stark letters of the text message dance in front of my eyes.  Patrick gestures impatiently for me to start talking again once she settles herself at the table but my words come out in incoherent jumps.  Eventually he takes over.  (p.70).

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Synopsis:  A young lawyer’s outwardly perfect life spirals out of control as she takes on her first murder case in this “dark, original and utterly compelling” domestic noir for readers of Paula Hawkins, A.J. Finn, or Shari Lapena. (Lisa Jewell, New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone)

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise–she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

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Would you keep reading?  I am eager to find out more.

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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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