TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “A SLOW FIRE BURNING”

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:  A Slow Fire Burning, by Paula Hawkins.

 

Intro:

Blood-sodden, the girl staggers into the black.  Her clothes are disheveled, hanging off her young body, revealing expanses of pale flesh.  Shoe lost, foot bleeding.  She is in agony, but the pain has become inconsequential, eclipsed by other sufferings.

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Teaser:

Carla heard Daniel; he was crying, too.  “Leave her alone!  Uncle Theo!  Please!  Leave her alone!”

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Synopsis:

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?
 
Look what you started.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “FIND YOU FIRST”

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:  Find You First, by Linwood Barclay.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

Outside Springfield, MA

Todd listened to the phone ring, waited for a pickup.  Two rings, three.  You had to give these old folks time to get to the phone.  Maybe they had to use a walker, or were in a wheelchair.

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Teaser: 

As Miles approached the reception counter, he could heard the man whispering to her, “It’s going to work this time.  I know it.  Third time’s a charm.”

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Synopsis:  Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of—except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . .

Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids—nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him—maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse.

As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant.

When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’s other potential heirs are vanishing—every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all.

Who is the vicious killer—another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on?

It’s a deadly race against time . . .

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THAT SUMMER”

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 5/11/21:

That Summer, by Jennifer Weiner

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Intro:  (Prologue)

She is fifteen years old that summer, a thoughtful, book-struck girl with long-lashed hazel eyes and a long-legged body that still doesn’t completely feel like her own.  She lives in a row house in South Boston with her parents and two sisters, and attends a private school in Cambridge, on a scholarship, where she gets mostly Bs, except for As in English and art.  She dreams about falling in love.

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Teaser:

Diana cleared her throat.  It felt like her tongue and her lips and her teeth were all new pieces of equipment, recently installed.  “I was mean to you a lot of times.”

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Synopsis:  Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “A MILLION REASONS WHY”

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:  A Million Reasons Why, by Jessica Strawser.

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Intro:  (Caroline)

Long before Caroline ever felt compelled to seriously consider the split between nature and nurture, she knew exactly which traits she owed to her dad.

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Teaser:  “Your imagination,” Ecca would say when Sela showed frustration, “is your superpower.  Never underestimate what you can do with it.”

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Synopsis:  When two strangers are linked by a mail-in DNA test, it’s an answered prayer—that is, for one half sister. For the other, it will dismantle everything she knows to be true.

But as they step into the unfamiliar realm of sisterhood, the roles will reverse in ways no one could have foreseen.

Caroline lives a full, happy life—thriving career, three feisty children, enviable marriage, and a close-knit extended family. She couldn’t have scripted it better. Except for one thing:

She’s about to discover her fundamental beliefs about them all are wrong.

Sela lives a life in shades of gray, suffering from irreversible kidney failure. Her marriage crumbled in the wake of her illness. Her beloved mother, always her closest friend, unexpectedly passed away. She refuses to be defined by her grief, but still, she worries what will happen to her two-year-old son if she doesn’t find a donor match in time.

She’s the only one who knows Caroline is her half sister and may also be her best hope for a future. But Sela’s world isn’t as clear-cut as it appears—and one misstep could destroy it all.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE GOOD SISTER”

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 4/13/21:  The Good Sister, by Sally Hepworth.

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Intro: (Journal of Rose Ingrid Castle)

It’s been three months since Owen left.  Left, or left me-–like so many things in the adult world, it’s all a bit gray. He took a job in London; a work opportunity, ostensibly.  It’s not that I wasn’t invited, but it was clear to both of us that I couldn’t go.  That’s another thing about the adult world:  responsibilities.  In my case, one particular responsibility.  Fern.

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Teaser: 

It wasn’t easy leaving Owen.  In fact, it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  But if there was even a chance that Fern was in danger, it was worth it.

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Synopsis:  There’s only been one time that Rose couldn’t stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be…dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.

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Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE PERFECT MARRIAGE”

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 freebie:  The Perfect Marriage, by Adam Mitzner

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Intro: 

Owen had always assumed that the first funeral he would attend would be his own.  Such a morbid thought would have been foreign to most teenagers, who invariably believed they were immortal.

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Teaser:

Chittick didn’t need to be asked twice and scurried away like a frightened bunny.  Once they were alone, Keener asked Haley, “Who else have you told?” (p. 60).

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Synopsis: James and Jessica Sommers are celebrating their first blissful year together, an unexpected second chance at true love. Unfortunately, their newfound shot at happiness is not without collateral damage.

There’s Jessica’s ex-husband. He pretends for all the world that he’s resilient and strong. If only for the sake of their teenage son, profoundly vulnerable in his own way. James’s ex has taken a different road. Bitter, vengeful, and threatening, she wants only the worst for the happy couple. And then there’s the couple themselves: Are they truly as in love as they seem?

When James enters into an extraordinarily profitable, if shady, transaction with a beautiful art dealer, Jessica and James’s seemingly perfect marriage takes a dark and tragic turn.

Amid suspicions, tested loyalties, revenge, and guilt, no one escapes unscathed from sins committed in the name of love.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HADLEY & GRACE”

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:  Hadley & Grace, by Suzanne Redfearn.

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Intro:  (Hadley)

Her watch says 12:52, which means eight minutes remain to get the cupcakes.  Plenty of time, yet Hadley feels her pulse ticking.  She looks at the two women in front of her and wills the line to move faster.  She doesn’t like to be late.

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Teaser:  (Hadley)

Hadley stares at the baby, watching him as he breathes.  She is alone in the passenger seat of her own car at the scene of a robbery with a stranger’s baby. (p. 58).

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Synopsis: Needing to escape her abusive marriage, Hadley flees with her two kids, knowing it might be her only chance. A woman who can’t even kill a spider, Hadley soon finds herself pushed to the limits as she fights to protect her family.

Grace, new mother of baby Miles, desperately wants to put her rough past behind her for good, but she finds it impossible when her path crosses with Hadley’s, and her quest for a new start quickly spirals out of control and turns into a terrifying flight for survival.

Stronger together than apart, the two find their fates inextricably entwined, and as the danger closes in, each must decide how much she is willing to risk for the other.

A powerful story of self-discovery, Hadley and Grace is the heart-racing tale of two women facing insurmountable odds, racing to stay one step ahead of the trouble that is chasing them, and discovering new kinds of love and family along the way.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “EVERY WAKING HOUR”

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:  Every Waking Hour, by Joanna Schaffhausen.

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Intro:  “Wait, you’re just going to leave us here?  Alone?”  Ellery Hathaway had faced down serial killers and lived to tell about it, but she felt a cold trickle of fear as she glanced at the lone child playing nearby on the grass.  “I believe your ex-wife specifically forbade this proposition.  In writing.  With her attorney.”

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Teaser:  Teresa’s phone dinged, signaling the arrival of a text.  Eagerly, she pulled it out from her pants, only to drop it with a soft cry when she saw the screen. (p. 62).

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Synopsis: After surviving a serial killer’s abduction as a young teenager, Ellery Hathaway is finally attempting a normal life. She has a new job as a rookie Boston detective and a fledgling relationship with Reed Markham, the FBI agent who rescued her years ago. But when a twelve-year-old girl disappears on Ellery’s watch, the troubling case opens deep wounds that never fully healed.

Chloe Lockhart walked away from a busy street fair and vanished into the crowd. Maybe she was fleeing the suffocating surveillance her parents put on her from the time she was born, or maybe the evil from her parents’ past finally caught up to her. For Chloe, as Ellery learns, is not the first child Teresa Lockhart has lost.

Ellery knows what it’s like to have the past stalk you, to hold your breath around every corner. Sending one kidnapped girl to find another could be Chloe’s only hope or an unmitigated disaster that dooms them both. Ellery must untangle the labyrinth of secrets inside the Lockhart household—secrets that have already murdered one child. Each second that ticks by reminds her of her own lost hours, how close she came to death, and how near it still remains.

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What do you think?  This book is the fourth book in the series, and I have the third one.  I think I need to grab the first two before beginning the journey.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE ARRANGEMENT”

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 from an author I enjoy:  The Arrangement, by Robyn Harding.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

“Daddy?”

Nat’s voice on the phone was small and tremulous.  She hadn’t called her father daddy since she was a little girl.  Hadn’t called him at all since she’d graduated from high school, since she’d moved to New York, since she’d started her new life.

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Teaser:  (The Drink)

Natalie’s gloved hand gripped the railing as she descended the front steps to her Uber.  To calm her nerves, she’d had a coffee mug full of vodka and Sprite while she’d straightened her hair. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

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Would you keep reading?  I am already hooked.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “WHEN YOU SEE ME”

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 from a favorite author:  When You See Me, by Lisa Gardner.

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(Prologue) My mother likes to hum.  She stands at the stove, stirring this, tasting that, and humming, humming, humming.

I sit in a chair by the table.  I have a job. Grate the cheese.  It’s an easy job.  The queso blanco crumbles to the touch.  But I’m proud to do my part.

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Teaser:  “You will order.  You will eat.  You are part of a taskforce now, and you owe it to the rest of us to pull your shit together and keep functional. Got it?”

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Synopsis:  FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. When a disturbing piece of evidence is discovered in the hills of Georgia, they bring Flora Dane and true-crime savant Keith Edgar to a small town where something seems to be deeply wrong. What at first looks like a Gothic eeriness soon hardens into something much more sinister…and they discover that for all the evil Jacob committed while alive, his worst secret is still to be revealed. Quincy and DD must summon their considerable skills and experience to crack the most disturbing case of their careers—and Flora must face her own past directly in the hope of saving others.

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What do you think? I have been following this series and love everything about the characters.  Would you keep reading?

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