TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HIS & HERS”

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 download:  His & Hers, by Alice Feeney.

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Intro:  Her:  Anna Andrews, Monday 06:00

Mondays have always been my favorite day.

The chance to start again.

 A clean enough slate with just the dust of your own past mistakes still visible—almost, but not quite wiped away.

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Teaser:  Him:  Tuesday 08:45

Seeing Anna winds me, not that I plan on telling anyone the truth about that.  I replay the encounter in my mind, until it becomes an irritating rerun I could quote line for line, and take my frustration out on everyone around me. (p.40).

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Synopsis:  When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

His & Hers is a twisty, smart, psychological thriller. A gripping tale of suspense, told by expertly-drawn narrators that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

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I definitely want to keep reading.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE NIGHT SWIM”

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 from an ARC I am reading, a book that will be released on August 4:  The Night Swim, by Megan Goldin.

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Intro:  (Hannah)

It was Jenny’s death that killed my mother.  Killed her as good as if she’d been shot in the chest with a twelve-gauge shotgun.  The doctor said it was cancer.  But I saw the will to live drain out of her the moment the policeman knocked on our screen door.

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Teaser:  The woman made an awful din coming up the stairs in her heels.  She looked disappointed to see the air conditioner was not turned on and kept waving her hand in front of her face like it was a fan. (47%).

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Synopsis:  Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation—but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases—and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

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I am enjoying this ARC already.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE SUMMER DEAL”

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 on my Kindle:  The Summer Deal, by Jill Shalvis.

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Intro:  Brynn Turner had always wanted to be the girl who had her life together, but so far her talents hadn’t led her in that direction—although not for lack of trying.

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Teaser:  “Stupid, You’re so, so, so stupid,” Brynn muttered to herself, taking herself and her duffel bag back down the walkway toward her car.  How could she have just blindly agreed to move in? (p. 59).

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Synopsis:  Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She’s fierce, tough, and she’s keeping more than one bombshell of a secret from Brynn — her long-time frenemy.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey’s best friend, Eli, renewing her childhood crush. The good news: he’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. The bad news: when he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have real connections, possibly love, and a future—if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

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I am excited about this one.  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “PLAYING NICE”

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 7/28/20:  Playing Nice, by J. P. Delaney.

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Intro:  (Pete)

It was just an ordinary day.

If this were a color piece or a feature, the kind of thing I used to write on a daily basis, the editor would have rejected it just for that opening sentence.  Openers need to hook people, Pete, she’d tell me, tossing my pages back at me across my desk. Paint a picture, set a scene.  Be dramatic.  In travel journalism especially, you need a sense of place.  Take me on a journey.

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Teaser:  Outside, we lingered on the pavement, delaying the moment when I’d get in the car and she’d head for the Tube station.  “Incredible,” I said, shaking my head.  “Incredible.  It’s like he’s brainwashed her.” (51%).

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Synopsis:  Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent’s worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete’s son, Theo, isn’t actually his son—he is the Lamberts’, switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they’ve been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.

The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents—or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts’ glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.

They are done playing nice.

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Would you keep reading?  I am definitely intrigued by the premise.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “FRIENDS & STRANGERS”

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 Friends and Strangers, by J. Courtney Sullivan.

 

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Intros:  (2014-2015) (Elisabeth)

She awakened to silence.  Nobody up at this hour besides mothers and insomniacs.  She did not need to look at the clock to know that within seconds the baby would cry, and she would lift him from his bassinet before her eyes were quite open, exhaustion giving way to acceptance, devotion, as she held the warm heft of him in her arms.

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Teaser:  Finally, Sam had said, “We have to get it together.  Trust me.  I can do this.  My mother’s a nurse.” (p.60).

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Synopsis:  Elisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother, is struggling to adjust to life in a small town after nearly twenty years in New York City. Alone in the house with her infant son all day (and awake with him much of the night), she feels uneasy, adrift. She neglects her work, losing untold hours to her Brooklyn moms’ Facebook group, her “influencer” sister’s Instagram feed, and text messages with the best friend she never sees anymore. Enter Sam, a senior at the local women’s college, whom Elisabeth hires to babysit. Sam is struggling to decide between the path she’s always planned on and a romantic entanglement that threatens her ambition. She’s worried about student loan debt and what the future holds. In short order, they grow close. But when Sam finds an unlikely kindred spirit in Elisabeth’s father-in-law, the true differences between the women’s lives become starkly revealed and a betrayal has devastating consequences.

A masterful exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms, Friends and Strangers reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life.

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Would you keep reading?  I am eager to explore this one.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE GIRL FROM WIDOW HILLS”

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 download, The Girl from Widow Hills, by Megan Miranda.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

I was the girl who survived.

The girl who held on.  The girl you prayed for, or at least pretended to pray for—thankful most of all that it wasn’t your own child lost down there, in the dark.

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Teaser:  He turned on his stool, facing me, knees bumping mine.  “Is it more awkward if I go say hi or pretend I don’t see them?”

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Synopsis: Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I know I can’t wait to dive in.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE GOLDEN CAGE”

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 that will be released on July 7, The Golden Cage, by Camilla Lackberg.

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Intro:  “Couldn’t she just be injured?”  Faye said.

She looked down at the table, unable to meet their gaze.

A brief moment of hesitation.  Then a sympathetic voice.

“There’s an awful lot of blood.  From such a small body.  But I don’t want to speculate until a medical examiner has made an evaluation.”

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Teaser Tuesday:  “When Jack and I separated I hadn’t a clue what to do with my life.  I started a dog-walking business and spent my days doing that.  In the evenings I worked on my business plan.” (64%).

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Synopsis:  Faye has loved Jack since they were students at business school. Jack, the perpetual golden boy, grew up wealthy, unlike Faye, who has worked hard to bury a dark past. When Jack needs help launching a new company, Faye leaves school to support him, waitressing by day and working as his strategist by night. With the business soaring, Faye and Jack have a baby, and Faye finds herself at home, caring for their daughter, wealthier than she ever imagined, but more and more removed from the excitement of the business world. And none of the perks of wealth make up for the fact that Jack has begun to treat her coldly, undermining her intelligence and forgetting all she sacrificed for his success. When Faye discovers that he’s having an affair, the polished façade of their life cracks wide open. Faye is alone, emotionally shattered, and financially devastated–but hell hath no fury like a woman with a violent past bent on vengeance. Jack is about to get exactly what he deserves–and so much more. In this splashy, electrifying story of sex, betrayal, and secrets, a woman’s revenge is a brutal but beautiful thing.

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Would you keep reading?  I am intrigued.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “STRANGER IN THE LAKE”

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 Stranger in the Lake, by Kimberly Belle.

 

 

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First Paragraph:  I untie the dock cleats and shove the boat into water as gray as the sky.  Sometime in the past few hours, gunmetal clouds have rolled over the mountaintops, shooting down icy gusts that froth the surface of Lake Crosby into a million white peaks.  My stomach churns, and not from the water’s chop.

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Teaser:  In the dim study light, I survey the contents:  a gun, a box of bullets, a neat pile of papers and files a few inches thick, stacks of crisp bills held together with green rubber bands, and a small red box, the kind that contains jewelry.  (55%).

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Synopsis:  When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

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Would you keep reading?  I have heard really good things about this book.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “REMAIN SILENT”

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 in one of my favorite series:  Remain Silent, A Manon Bradshaw Novel, by Susie Steiner.

Day 1, Midnight (Matis)

His key in the door, he shoulders across the threshold, stumbles wildly up the stairs to the bathroom.  He can’t risk being beaten for soiling the carpet.  His stomach is coiling and despite it being empty, he vomits into the toilet:  acid bile.  In a strange way, the retching comforts him.

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Teaser Tuesday:

(Manon) They are in something called a “breakout zone”—a shabby common room with a worn sofa and tub chairs.  In the old days it would’ve been a smoking room, and it still has that nicotine-yellow tinge. (p. 63).

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Synopsis:Newly married and navigating life with a preschooler as well as her adopted adolescent son, Manon Bradshaw is happy to be working part-time in the cold cases department of the Cambridgeshire police force, a job that allows her to potter in, coffee in hand, and log on for a spot of Internet shopping—precisely what she had in mind when she thought of work-life balance. But beneath the surface Manon is struggling with the day-to-day realities of what she’d assumed would be domestic bliss: fights about whose turn it is to clean the kitchen, the bewildering fatigue of having a young child while in her forties, and the fact that she is going to couples counseling alone because her husband feels it would just be her complaining.

But when Manon is on a walk with her four-year-old son in a peaceful suburban neighborhood and discovers the body of a Lithuanian immigrant hanging from a tree with a mysterious note attached, she knows her life is about to change. Suddenly, she is back on the job full-force, trying to solve the suicide—or is it a murder—in what may be the most dangerous and demanding case of her life.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “A WEEK AT THE SHORE”

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 Week at the Shore, by Barbara Delinsky.

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Intros:  (Prologue)

I remember the smell of sea salt on my skin and the rolling tumble of the surf.  I remember the brilliance of a sun that popped the colors of our towels, boogie boards, and bikinis.  I remember my sisters’ impatient hands pulling me toward the waves, my mother’s appreciative laughter, my father’s guarded eyes.

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Teaser:  Tamping down my unease, I breathe deeply of the sea smell that may be more faint here than outside, but that walls can’t completely block.  Salt air works for me.  I cling to it for strength as I look around. (p. 59).

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Synopsis:  One phone call is all it takes to lure Mallory Aldiss back to her family’s Rhode Island beach home. It’s been twenty years since she’s been gone—running from the scandal that destroyed her parents’ marriage, drove her and her two sisters apart, and crushed her relationship with the love of her life, Jack Sabathian. Twenty years during which she lived in New York, building her career as a photographer and raising her now teenage daughter Joy.

But that phone call makes it clear that something has brought the past forward again—something involving Mallory’s father. Compelled by concern for her family and by Joy’s wish to visit her mother’s childhood home, Mallory returns to Bay Bluff, where conflicting loyalties will be faced and painful truths revealed.

In just seven watershed days at the Rhode Island shore, she will test the bonds of friendship and family—and discover the role that love plays in defining their lives.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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