TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SUCH A QUIET PLACE”

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 downloaded recently:  Such a Quiet Place, by Megan Miranda.

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Intro:

There was no party the day Ruby Fletcher came home.

We had no warning, no time to prepare ourselves.

I didn’t hear the slam of the car door, or the key in the lock, or the front door swinging open.  It was the footsteps—the familiar pop of the floorboard just outside the kitchen—that registered first.

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Teaser:

There was no sign of Ruby when I woke.  When I stepped out of my bedroom, groggy and light-headed, the house was eerily quiet.  No scent of coffee or sound of her milling about. (p. 64).

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Synopsis:

Welcome to Hollow’s Edge, where you can find secrets, scandal, and a suspected killer—all on one street.

Hollow’s Edge used to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she once shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truetts’ murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

Pulsating with suspense and with the shocking twists that are Megan Miranda’s trademark, Such a Quiet Place is Megan Miranda’s best novel yet—a twisty locked-box thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night.

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I can’t wait to start reading this one!  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE FIANCEE”

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 Fiancee, by Kate White

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Intro:

(Prologue)

The first thing that seems wrong to her is the vultures.

There are five or six of them, perched in a cluster on the peaked roof of the old bird blind, which sits at the edge of the woods and to the right of the stream.

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Teaser:

That’s exactly what I told her last night, and she knows it.  Her lips curve up in the tiniest of smiles, and I realize she’s not just lying now.  She’s trying to gaslight me. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:

They had everything they needed for a perfect family vacation: close-knit relatives, a bucolic setting . . . and a murderer in their midst?

Summer’s looking forward to a break from hustling for acting work in Manhattan when she, her husband Gabe, and Gabe’s nine-year-old son arrive at the annual family get-together at her in-laws’ sprawling estate. On the agenda are leisurely gourmet meals, tennis matches, and plenty of relaxation by the pool.

But this year, Gabe’s brother Nick has invited his new flame Hannah, whom Summer immediately recognizes from a few years before. Oddly, her brother-in-law’s girlfriend claims not to know her. Yet she charms the other family members, and after Nick announces that he’s proposed to Hannah, Summer doesn’t have much choice but to grin and bear it.

Then the reunion is rocked by tragedy when a family member is found dead. Though the doctors attribute the loss to natural causes, a grieving Summer fears that the too-good-to-be-true Hannah is involved, even as Gabe dismisses her suspicions.

How far will Summer go to expose the truth? As she investigates just what Nick’s fiancée might have done to keep her perfect image intact, she begins to fear that the first death might only be the beginning . . .

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What do you think?  I love this author’s books, so I’m eager to dive in.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DREAM GIRL”

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:  Dream Girl, by Laura Lippman.

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Intro: (Prologue)

Gerry dreams.

In a rented hospital bed, high above the city, higher than he ever thought possible in stodgy, low-slung Baltimore, Gerry is asleep more often than he’s awake.  He floats, he rouses, he drifts, he dreams.

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Teaser:

But why was Tara telling this story again, here at this new club, Dante’s?  They were only twenty-eight, after all.  Weren’t they too young to be repeating themselves?

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Synopsis:

In the end, has anyone really led a blameless life?

Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse.

Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the “real” Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl. But there is no real Aubrey. She’s a figment born of a writer’s imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry’s life?

And why does no one believe that the call even happened?

Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved.

And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused – and so terrified.

Chilling and compulsively readable, touching on timely issues that include power, agency, appropriation, and creation, Dream Girl is a superb blend of psychological suspense and horror that reveals the mind and soul of a writer.

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What do you think?  I am eager to start reading this one.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE THERAPIST”

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 review ARC that will be released on July 13, 2021:  The Therapist, by B.A. Paris.

 

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Intro:  One: 

The sound of excited voices draws me away from the box of books I’m unpacking.  It has been so quiet all day that it’s hard to believe I’m actually in London.  Back in Harlestone, there would have been familiar external noises; birds, the occasional car or tractor, sometimes a horse going past.  Here, in The Circle, everything is silent.

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Teaser:

“Leo, you can’t!”  I said, mortified that people would think he was rude.  So he’d agreed to mute the group instead. (76 %).

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Synopsis:

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “PACK UP THE MOON”

 

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 Pack up the Moon, by Kristan Higgins.

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Intro: 

(Joshua-February 14)

On their third wedding anniversary, Joshua Park came home to Providence, Rhode Island, from a meeting in Boston with a medical device company.  They’d bought his design, and he was glad to be done being around people, and very, very glad to go back home to his wife.

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Teaser:

He closed his eyes, summoning her.  Be with me, he thought.  He might not believe in God, but he did believe in Lauren.  Come to me, honey. (p. 62).

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Synopsis:  Joshua and Lauren are the perfect couple. Newly married, they’re wildly in love, each on a successful and rewarding career path. Then Lauren is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

As Lauren’s disease progresses, Joshua struggles to make the most of the time he has left with his wife and to come to terms with his future–a future without the only woman he’s ever loved. He’s so consumed with finding a way to avoid the inevitable ending that he never imagines his life after Lauren.

But Lauren has a plan to keep her husband moving forward. A plan hidden in the letters she leaves him. In those letters, one for every month in the year after her death, Lauren leads Joshua on a journey through pain, anger, and denial. It’s a journey that will take Joshua from his attempt at a dinner party for family and friends to getting rid of their bed…from a visit with a psychic medium to a kiss with a woman who isn’t Lauren. As his grief makes room for laughter and new relationships, Joshua learns Lauren’s most valuable lesson: The path to happiness doesn’t follow a straight line.

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What do you think?  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: “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: “LET HER LIE”

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:  Let Her Lie, by Bryan Reardon.

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Intro:  (Chapter One, June 5, 2017)

When I was a kid, I used to pray for snow.  All winter I would watch the weather.  Every chance, no matter how small, filled me with hope.  That a storm would hit.  And we would get to stay home.

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Teaser: 

Late that night, Jasper moved along the empty beach.  The surf ran up the sand to his left, hissing to a stop a few feet from his path before retreating once again. (p. 61).

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Synopsis: Theo Snyder is at the end of his rope. One minute he was on top of the world, his documentary film The Basement a massive critical and commercial hit, the next crestfallen when his latest film was canceled after an embarrassingly public misstep. As his desperation grows, he makes a bold decision: to pursue the story of the notorious “Halo Killer,” Jasper Ross-Johnson. But delving into the life and mind of a serial killer could prove more deadly than Theo ever could have imagined.

At first, things are looking up. Jasper is willing to talk, the footage of the jailhouse meetings is spectacular, and famed investigator Zora Neale Monroe joins him on the project. Theo is sure he’s getting close to something no one else has discovered: the truth about why Jasper was captured before he could kill his final victim. Someone else was on the beach that day, someone who knows a lot more than they’re telling and just might know how it all happened. The truth could lead to more killing–unless Theo can uncover the real ending to the story of the Halo Killer first.

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “PRETTY LITTLE 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 another new book:  Pretty Little Wife, by Darby Kane.

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Intro:  A Monster.

She missed the signs before.  Maybe ignored them without fully realizing it.   Now she couldn’t unsee them.

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Teaser:  She possessed the perfect mix of pretty with a whiff of mystery.  Ginny could imagine men at the yacht club falling over themselves to flirt with her, and her not reacting at all.  (p. 63).

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Synopsis:  Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.

A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

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What do you think?  I am intrigued.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SHELTER IN PLACE”

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 recent acquisition:  Shelter in Place, by David Leavitt.

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Intro:  “Would you be willing to ask Siri how to assassinate Trump?”  Eva Lindquist asked.

It was four o’clock on a November afternoon, the first Saturday after the 2016 presidential election, and Eva was sitting on the covered porch of her weekend house in Connecticut with her husband, Bruce; their houseguests, Min Marable, Jake Lovett, and a couple named Aaron and Rachel Weisenstein, both book editors; Grady Keohane, a bachelor choreographer who had a place down the road; and Grady’s houseguest, his cousin Sandra Bleek, who had recently left her husband and was staying with him while she got herself sorted out.

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Teaser:  For Min, the disparity between Matt’s looks—he was six foot three and bore a distinct resemblance to the young Glenn Ford—and his fastidious manner, which expressed itself most obviously in his cooking, was troublesome. (p. 62).

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Synopsis:  It is the Saturday after the 2016 presidential election, and in a plush weekend house in Connecticut, an intimate group of friends, New Yorkers all, has gathered to recover from what they consider the greatest political catastrophe of their lives. They have just sat down to tea when their hostess, Eva Lindquist, proposes a dare. Who among them would be willing to ask Siri how to assassinate Donald Trump? Liberal and like-minded-editors, writers, a decorator, a theater producer, and one financial guy, Eva’s husband, Bruce-the friends have come to the countryside in the hope of restoring the bubble in which they have grown used to living. Yet with the exception of one brash and obnoxious book editor, none is willing to accept Eva’s challenge.

Shelter in Place is a novel about house and home, furniture and rooms, safety and freedom and the invidious ways in which political upheaval can undermine even the most seemingly impregnable foundations. Eva is the novel’s polestar, a woman who moves through her days accompanied by a roving, carefully curated salon. She’s a generous hostess and more than a bit of a control freak, whose obsession with decorating allows Leavitt to treat us to a slyly comic look at the habitués and fetishes of the so-called shelter industry. Yet when, in her avidity to secure shelter for herself, she persuades Bruce to buy a grand if dilapidated apartment in Venice, she unwittingly sets off the chain of events that will propel him, for the first time, to venture outside the bubble and embark on a wholly unexpected love affair.

A comic portrait of the months immediately following the 2016 election, Shelter in Place is also a meditation on the unreliable appetites-for love, for power, for freedom-by which both our public and private lives are shaped.

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What do you think?  Does the blurb grab you?  Do you like the snippets?

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