TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HEAVEN ADJACENT”

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 Heaven Adjacent, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, a book that has been resting on my Kindle for almost two years!

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Intro:  (When Somebody Hands You a Fish)

Roseanna was standing under the barely warm water in her tiny, cold makeshift shower when the bell at the gate began to clang.

She cursed to herself a few times, under her breath but out loud, rinsing off more or less all at once and grabbing a towel.  She stepped out into her shabby and small add-on bathroom, toweled her hair briefly, then wrapped the towel around herself.

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Teaser:  “That might be a bridge too far,” Roseanna said, almost without considering her words.  Then, remembering the feeling of freedom everywhere, she added, “But I guess I could think about it.”

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Synopsis:  Roseanna Chaldecott spent her life as a high-powered lawyer in Manhattan. But when her best friend and law partner dies suddenly, something snaps. Unsure of her future, Roseanna heads upstate on one tank of gas and with no plans to return.

In the foothills of the Adirondacks, Roseanna discovers the perfect hideout in a ramshackle farm. Its seventy-six acres are rich with possibilities and full of surprises, including a mother and daughter squatting on the property. Although company is the last thing Roseanna wants, she reluctantly lets them stay.

Roseanna and the young girl begin sculpting junk found around the farm into zoo animals, drawing more newcomers—including her estranged son, Lance. He pleads with Roseanna to return to the city, but she’s finally discovered where she belongs. It may not provide the solitude she originally sought, but her heart has found room for much more.

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What do you think?  I have enjoyed this author, so I am eager to make up for how long it stayed on my TBR before reading!

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “BEEN THERE, MARRIED THAT”

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 relatively new book:  Been There, Married That, by Gigi Levangie.

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Intro:  Happy (?) Birthday!

“A toast!”

Trevor, my husband, tapped his Saint Louis glass with a sterling knife, and the glittery couples chattering around the candelit table snapped to attention.  Everyone paid attention to Trevor.  Even Pep, our tween with ADD, ADHD, and recent DOATM (Disgust of All Things Mom), paid attention when her father cleared his throat.

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Teaser:  They walked back up the driveway to their unmarked sedan, Gonazlez stiff and lumbering, Raskoff quick and officious.  My heart pounded like a Rihanna song in a sticky nightclub. (56%).

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Synopsis:Agnes Murphy Nash is in big trouble. When she returns home one evening only to find the locks changed on the gates of their mansion, the security guard breaks the news: her famous producer husband has filed for divorce. And he’s not going to play fair. Trevor Nash wants custody of their tween daughter, Pep, but only for the sake of appearances. And Agnes can’t let him win.

With the help of her ex-con sister, a Hollywood psychic, a ballsy female lawyer, and a host of friends and “frenemies,” Agnes realizes that when he changes the locks, she needs to change the rules. But a crisis can lead to opportunity, and for Agnes, this gigantic betrayal brings her to a crossroads that will have her asking herself what she really wants out of life, who she really wants to be, and which man she really loves.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading? 

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE OTHER MRS.”

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:  The Other Mrs., by Mary Kubica.

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Intro:  (Sadie)

There’s something off about the house.  Something that nags at me, makes me feel uneasy, though I don’t know what it is that makes me feel this way.  On the surface, it’s perfectly idyllic, gray with a large covered porch, one that runs the full width of the house.  It’s boxy and big, a foursquare farmhouse with windows aligned in rows, symmetrical in a way I find eye pleasing.

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Teaser:  I think about her in our bedroom the other night, watching us sleep.  The strange exchange we had in the hallway.  The photograph of her dead mother that she carries around on her phone.  These are abnormal behaviors. (53%).

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Synopsis:  Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE RED LOTUS”

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 an ARC with a release date of 3/17/20:  The Red Lotus, by Chris Bohjalian.

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Intro:  (Prologue) The opposite of a hospice?  Not a maternity ward or a NICU.  It’s a trick question.

The correct answer?  An emergency room.  In a hospice, you do everything you can to allow people to die.  In the ER?  You do all that you can to keep them alive.

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Teaser:  “No,” she wailed, an almost biblical ululation, “it’s not okay!  Nothing’s okay and nothing ever will be again!  My child is gone!  Our child is gone!”

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Synopsis:  The first time Alexis saw Austin, it was a Saturday night. Not in a bar, but in the emergency room where Alexis sutured a bullet wound in Austin’s arm. Six months later, on the brink of falling in love, they travel to Vietnam on a bike tour so that Austin can show her his passion for cycling and he can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. But as Alexis sips white wine and waits at the hotel for him to return from his solo ride, two men emerge from the tall grass and Austin vanishes into thin air. The only clue he leaves behind is a bright yellow energy gel dropped on the road. As Alexis grapples with this bewildering loss, and deals with the FBI, Austin’s prickly family, and her colleagues at the hospital, Alexis uncovers a series of strange lies that force her to wonder: Where did Austin go? Why did he really bring her to Vietnam? And how much danger has he left her in? Set amidst the adrenaline-fueled world of the emergency room, The Red Lotus is a global thriller about those who dedicate their lives to saving people, and those who peddle death to the highest bidder.

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Would you keep reading?  I love this author’s books, so I definitely want to read it right away.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “PERFECT LITTLE CHILDREN”

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:  Perfect Little Children, by Sophie Hannah.

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Intro:  (April 20, 2019)

Here we are, in the wrong place:  Wyddial Lane.  It’s a private road, as the sign unsubtly proclaims in letters larger than those spelling out its name, in a village called Hemingford Abbots.  I switch off the engine, stretch my back to release the ache from two hours of driving, and wait for Ben to notice that there’s no football ground in sight.

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Teaser:  Thank goodness someone understands the way my mind works.  I’m grateful for any scrap of evidence that proves I’m not losing the plot. (p. 62).

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Synopsis:  All Beth has to do is drive her son to his soccer game, watch him play, and then return home. Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the field, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her.

Why would Beth do that and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today—or ever again. But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora arrives and calls to her children Thomas and Emily to get out of the car.

Except . . . There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt, but they haven’t changed at all. They are no taller, no older. Why haven’t they grown? How is it possible that they haven’t grown up?

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I always enjoy a book by this author.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “ALL THE LITTLE LIARS”

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 mailbox book:  All the Little Liars, by Charlaine Harris.

 

 

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Intro:  Aurora Teagarden Bartell and Robin Hale Crusoe were joined in holy matrimony on December 8 at St. James Episcopal Church.  Officiating at the ceremony was the Rev. Aubrey Scott.  Providing music was Emily Scott…

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Teaser:  Janie said, “Roe, I read the paper this morning.  Is it true?”  She looked almost hurt, which I found odd.  She’d made a big play for Robin, but now she seemed to feel that I should have confided in her. (p. 7).

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Synopsis:  Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora’s 15-year-old brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an 11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice. And then there’s an even worse discovery―at the kids’ last known destination, a dead body.

While the local police and sheriff’s department comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle school? Is Phillip’s disappearance related to Aurora’s father’s gambling debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity, responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason, as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be?

With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother…if he’s still alive.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “WHEN I WAS YOU”

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 an Amazon Prime freebie:  When I Was You, by Minka Kent.

 

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Intro:  Part I – Brienne

They told me I was lucky.

The doctors, the nurses, the police officer who found me lying bloody, stabbed, and beaten in an alley outside my office under a moonless sky—all of them said the same thing.  “You’re lucky you didn’t die.”

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Teaser:  I browse through the rest of her photos, pausing on one of those cliche close-ups of a fresh manicure, her nails painted a familiar-to-me shade of “Barefoot in Paris,” only that isn’t what concerns me about this picture. (p. 65).

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Synopsis:  After barely surviving a brutal attack, Brienne Dougray rarely leaves her house. Suffering from debilitating headaches and memory loss, she can rely only on her compassionate new tenant, Dr. Niall Emberlin, a welcome distraction from the discomfiting bubble that has become her existence.

But Brienne’s growing confidence in her new routine is shaken when she stumbles across unsettling evidence that someone else is living as…her. Same name. Same car. Same hair. Same clothes. She’s even friended her family on social media. To find out why, Brienne must leave the safety of her home to hunt a familiar stranger.

What she discovers is more disturbing than she could have ever imagined. With her fragile mind close to shattering, Brienne is prepared to do anything to reclaim her life. If it’s even hers to reclaim.

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Would you keep reading?  I know that I’m intrigued.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE PLAYGROUND”

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 Playground, by Jane Shemilt.

 

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Intro:  (The Truth)

It was surprising how quickly things took off in the end, like a bonfire, one of those big ones the children loved so much.  Some nights I hear that sound of crackling again, like a bomb ticking down.  I wait for the roar and see the flames; the scent of scorching fills the air.  I can feel that searing heat.

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Teaser:  (Summer Holidays)

Later the police would pore over the videos we took that summer, play them over and over, looking to see where it all began.  They start—as everything does—with the children.  Poppy and Sorrel waiting by the door, wearing dress-up clothes.  Charley and Blake being dropped off, Izzy arriving. (p.61).

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Synopsis:  Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout.

There’s Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there’s Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to.

As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.

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What do you think?  I have been eyeing this book for a while.  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “ALL THE FLOWERS IN PARIS”

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 Sarah Jio book, a hardcover format that will go on my growing bookshelves:  All the Flowers in Paris.

 

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Intro:  (Caroline)

September 4, 2009

Paris, France

How could he?  My cheeks burn as I climb onto my bike, pedaling fast down the rue Cler, past the street vendors with their tables lined with shiny purple eggplants and bunches of flowers, pink peonies and golden sunflowers standing at attention in tidy buckets, past Cafe du Monde, where I sometimes get a coffee when I’m too tired to walk to Bistro Jeanty, past an old woman walking her tiny white poodle.

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Teaser Tuesday:  (Celine)

“I’ll only be gone an hour at the most,” I say to Papa the next morning as I button my coat.  The snow is falling heavily, and by the looks of the heavy clouds above, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. (p. 128).

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Synopsis:  When Caroline wakes up in a Paris hospital with no memory of her past, she’s confused to learn that for years she’s lived a sad, reclusive life in a sprawling apartment on the rue Cler. Slowly regaining vague memories of a man and a young child, she vows to piece her life back together—though she can’t help but feel she may be in danger. A budding friendship with the chef of a charming nearby restaurant takes her mind off her foggy past, as does a startling mystery from decades prior.

In Nazi-occupied Paris, a young widow named Céline is trying to build a new life for her daughter while working in her father’s flower shop and hoping to find love again. Then a ruthless German officer discovers her Jewish ancestry and Céline is forced to play a dangerous game to secure the safety of her loved ones. When her worst fears come true, she must fight back in order to save the person she loves most: her daughter.

When Caroline discovers Céline’s letters tucked away in a closet, she realizes that her apartment harbors dark secrets—and that she may have more in common with Céline than she could have ever imagined.

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I was thoroughly engrossed in this book, and kept reading until I finished it.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DELUSIONS OF GRANDMA”

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 from a favorite author:  Delusions of Grandma, by Carrie Fisher.

 

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Intro:  The Chinese have a curse.  “May you live in interesting times.”  As curses went, Cora felt that this was truly the best she’d ever heard.  Not that she was particularly fond of curses, but in her opinion this one was eminently applicable, far superior to the generic “Go to hell” or the cheery “Break a leg” or even the medieval “A pox on your house.”

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Teaser Tuesday:  They went on this way, settling into something long on distance, close on comfort, short on lackluster, on Blixen.  With phones cradled between shoulder and ear, faces turned sideways into their pillows, muffling the talk, they spread their histories out before one another like Middle Eastern traders tenderly unwrapping treasures—“For you, special price.” (p. 54).

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Synopsis: The actress-author of Postcards from the Edge explores maternity in her latest novel, featuring a very pregnant woman’s lively odyssey to rescue her Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather from a nursing home. 150,000 first printing. National ad/promo.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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