FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — SHE CAN SCREAM — JULY 26

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

I’m quite late for today’s event, but I wanted to join anyway.  My featured book is She Can Scream, by Melinda Leigh, an exciting addition to the series.

 

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Beginning:  Monday, October 21st, 6:10 p.m., Coopersfield, Pennsylvania.  Stalking used to be harder.

He read the display on his phone:  OFF 4 MY RUN!

Thanks you, social media, for a generation of young women compelled to report their every movement to the world….

***

56:  His grandmother sighed.  “What terrible timing.  I hate to see Brooke and her children alone with a violent criminal running around.”

***

Blurb:  In one moment, high school teacher and single mother Brooke Davenport interrupts a vicious assault, saves a young woman’s life, and attracts the attention of a serial killer.

Sixteen years ago, Brooke lost her roommate to a brutal murder. Now she teaches women’s self-defense, still trying to heal from the guilt and grief that plague her. Convinced the predator knows his victims and is stalking his prey online, she is determined to find him before he strikes again. Her brother’s friend, Luke has the computer expertise to help. But Brooke’s unexpected desire for Luke complicates her investigation, and her fixation with the case provokes a deadly reaction from the killer.

Injured in terrorist bombing overseas, computer expert Luke Holloway is still haunted by flashbacks of his young assistant’s death in the explosion. But Luke can’t refuse the request of a deployed friend to look after his sister, Brooke. Taking on responsibility for Brooke’s safety threatens Luke’s tenuous recovery, especially after he develops feelings for her that transcend a promise to a friend. When Brooke saves a young girl from a brutal assault and becomes a killer’s obsession, Luke vows to protect her at all costs.

***

I have been following this series since the beginning, and I eagerly await each new book.  What are you sharing today?

 

 

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — INNOCENT LITTLE CRIMES — JUNE 14

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s feature is Innocent Little Crimes, a review book by C. S. Lakin.

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Beginning:  Lila Carmichael’s massive face, frozen in Living Technicolor, bore down on them from the eight-foot-wide plasma TV mounted on the wall.

“Ugh—I’ve got a voice that grates cheese.”

Lila tossed sandwich crusts into her mouth as she half-heartedly trotted on the treadmill.  “I’m not that funny, you know.  People think a fat broad with a big mouth is an easy target.”

***

56:  Della downed her drink and fumbled for a cigarette.  Lila reached over the table and grabbed the bottle of water.  “This lady needs a refill.”

***

Blurb:  Six naïve guests plus revenge served cold equals a recipe for disaster…

Lila Carmichael may be a rich and famous comedienne, but she’s hidden her greatest talent from her adoring fans–her ability to simmer, spice and serve a carefully constructed tour de force at a cozy reunion on her private island in the Pacific Northwest.

Six unsuspecting guests have forgotten the innocent little crimes they committed against poor, gullible Lila fifteen years ago in college. All are teetering on the brink of ruin, hoping the famous Lila will come to their rescue. But their desperation plays them right into her hand.

One by one, Lila’s guests are figuratively killed off in a vicious parlor game called Wolves. And revenge turns bittersweet when the weekend is over…and one guest is dead for real.

***

I’ll be reading this one next week.  What are you sharing today?

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — KIND OF CRUEL — MAY 31

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s feature is an ARC of Kind of Cruel, by Sophie Hannah.

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Beginning:  Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Amber:  Look:  there is nothing special about this place.  Look at the gaps between the bricks in the gateposts, where the pointing has fallen out.  Look at the ugly UPVC window frames.  This is not a place where miracles happen.

***

56:  The notebook wouldn’t stay open at first.  Simon had to bend the covers right back.  “You all know Charlie’s handwriting,” he said.  “Those of you who can be bothered to look can see it’s her writing.”

***

Amazon Blurb:  “Kind, cruel, kind of cruel.” Amber thinks it’s just nonsense, a side effect of being hypnotized for the first time. But when she’s arrested for a brutal murder two hours later, those four words are the key to clearing her name… if only she could remember where she’d seen them.

Amber Hewerdine suffers from chronic insomnia. As a last resort, she visits a hypnotherapist, doubtful that anything will really change. Under hypnosis, Amber hears herself saying, “Kind, cruel, kind of cruel.” The words awaken a vague memory, but she dismisses the whole episode as nonsense. Two hours later, however, Amber is arrested for the brutal murder of a woman she’s never heard of, and the only way she can clear her name is by remembering exactly where she’s seen those words.

Kind of Cruel
is the latest page-turner in Hannah’s Zailer and Waterhouse mystery series, and will enthrall Hannah’s ever-growing readership.
***
I love this series!  Can’t wait to dive in….what are you spotlighting today?

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — “THE HUSBAND’S SECRET” — MAY 24

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s spotlight shines on an ARC, from Amazon Vine, called The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty.  This will be my first journey into this author’s works.

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Beginning:  Chapter One:

It was all because of the Berlin Wall.

If it weren’t for the Berlin Wall Cecilia would never have found the letter, and then she wouldn’t be sitting here, at the kitchen table, willing herself not to rip it open.

***

56:  Yet Tess hadn’t been wary.  She’d been stupidly secure of Will’s love.  Secure enough to wear her old jeans with that black T-shirt that Will said made her look like a biker chick.

***

Blurb:   At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter
that’s not meant to be read

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died. . . .

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

***

I am eager to read this book from an author I have not yet tried.  I’ve been hearing such good things about What Alice Forgot, a previous book.

What are you sharing  today?  Come on by….

IGNITE SOME SPARKS!
IGNITE SOME SPARKS!

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 WITH “BIG CHERRY HOLLER” — FEB. 8

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Let’s gather around and chat about books.

 

Today I’m featuring one of Adriana Trigiani’s Big Stone Gap books:  Big Cherry Holler.

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Beginning:  The rain is coming down on this old stone house so hard, it seems there are a hundred tap dancers on the roof.  When Etta left for school this morning, it was drizzling, and now, at two o’clock, it’s a storm.

I always think that weather sets a scene really well, especially if it becomes part of the plot later.  We shall see.

***

56:  Why is he still talking to her?  What does he see in her?  I have my answer.  She laughs a final time and pats the small of his back.

***

Amazon Description:  BIG CHERRY HOLLER, the extraordinary sequel to BIG STONE GAP, takes us back to the mountain life that enchanted us in Adriana Trigiani’s best selling debut novel. It’s been eight years since the town pharmacist and long time spinster Ave Maria Mulligan married coal miner Jack MacChesney. With her new found belief in love and its possibilities, Ave Maria makes a life for herself and her growing family, hoping that her fearless leap into commitment will make happiness stay. What she didn’t count on was that fate, life, and the ghosts of the past would come to haunt her and, eventually, test the love she has for her husband. The mountain walls that have protected her all of her life can not spare Ave Maria the life lessons she must learn.

BIG CHERRY HOLLER is the story of a marriage, revealing the deep secrets, the power struggle, the betrayal and the unmet expectations that exist between husband and wife. It is the story of a community that must reinvent itself as it comes to grips with the decline of the coal mining industry. It is the story of an extended family, the people of Big Stone Gap, who are there for one another especially when times are toughincluding bookmobile librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, and Rescue Squad captain Spec Broadwater, who faces the complications of his double life. Ave Maria’s best friend Theodore Tipton, now band director at the University of Tennessee, continues to be her chief counselor and conscience as he reaches the pinnacle of marching band success.

When Ave Maria takes her daughter to Italy for the summer, she meets a handsome stranger who offers her a life beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ave Maria is forced to confront what is truly important: to her, to her marriage, and to her family. Brimming with humor, wisdom, honesty, and the drama and local color of mountain life from Virginia to Italy, BIG CHERRY HOLLER is a deeply felt, brilliantly evoked story of two lovers who have lost their way and their struggle to find one another again.

***

I’m glad that I signed up for the Sequel Challenge, as it gives me an opportunity to grab some of the unfinished books in this series…and others.

What are you all sharing today?  I’m off to find out!

 

 

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — ORPHAN TRAIN — FEB. 1

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Let’s gather around and chat about books.

Today I’m eagerly sharing a book from next week’s pile.  Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, is a story about friendship and second chances.

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Beginning:  Spruce Harbor, Maine, 2011

Through her bedroom wall Molly can hear her foster parents talking about her in the living room, just beyond her door.  “This is not what we signed up for,” Dina is saying.  “If I’d known she had this many problems, I never would’ve agreed to it.”

This takes me back to my days in social work, when foster parents threw in the towel over a kid who was challenging.

***

56:  The Milwaukee Train, 1929

I sleep badly the last night on the train.  Carmine is up several times in the night, irritable and fidgety, and though I try to soothe him, he cries fitfully for a long time, disturbing the children around us.

***

Amazon Description:   Orphan Train is a gripping story of friendship and second chances from Christina Baker Kline, author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be.

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

***

I can’t wait to read this one!  And now I’m off to see what books to add to my list!

IGNITE YOUR FRIDAY WITH BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — DEC. 21

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s featured book is Potboiler, by Jesse Kellerman.

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Beginning:  After one hundred twenty-one days, the search was called off.  The Coast Guard had stopped looking after three weeks, but the presumptive widow had paid for a private company to drag the entire Pacific Ocean, or as much of it as they could.  With all hope lost, funeral arrangements were now under way.  It was front page news.

***

56:  One of Pfefferkorn’s more shameful secrets was that he had once tried to write a popular novel of his own.

***

Amazon Description:  Arthur Pfefferkorn is a has-been, or perhaps a never-was: a middle-aged college professor with long-dead literary aspirations. When his oldest friend, bestselling thriller writer William de Vallèe, is lost at sea, Pfefferkorn is torn between envy and grief, for de Vallèe not only outshone Pfefferkorn professionally, but married the woman Pfefferkorn loved.
Pfefferkorn’s decision to reconnect with de Vallèe’s widow sets in motion a surreal chain of events, plunging him into a shadowy realm of double crosses and intrigue, a world where no one can be trusted–and nothing can be taken seriously.

***

I have read several other books by this author, some more engaging than others.  I’m hoping this one will be a page turner.

What are the rest of you showcasing?  Stop on by and share, please!

FRIDAY SPARKS WITH BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — SEPT. 14

Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

 

Today I am  excerpting from Left Neglected, by Lisa Genova.

Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children—Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus.

Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources at Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled, over-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe.

A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam-packed life come to a screeching halt.

A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah relinquishes control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. Without the ability to even floss her own teeth, she struggles to find answers about her past and her uncertain future.

Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny—her new, true life—may in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.

***

Beginning: (Prologue)

I think some small part of me knew I was living an unsustainable life.  Every now and then, it would whisper, Sarah, please slow down.  You don’t need all this.  You can’t continue like this.  But the rest of me, powerful, smart, and determined to achieve, achieve, achieve, wasn’t hearing a word of it.

***

P. 56:   I put my hand on Bob’s arm.  This is going nowhere.  Bob is gritting his teeth and is probably seconds away from walking out.

***

I can’t wait to read this one.  Now…what are the rest of you reading?  What excerpts are you sharing?  Come on by and chat.

FRIDAY SPARKS — BOOK BEGINNINGS & FRIDAY 56 — JULY 15

 

 

 

 

Welcome to another opportunity to spark your enthusiasm and creativity by joining in for Book Beginnings, hosted by A Few More Pages, and The Friday 56, led by Freda’s Voice.

To participate, just grab a book you are reading (or are about to read), share the opening lines and link up; and then turn to page 56, and grab something there to share…and again, link up!

Today I’ve picked up Best Staged Plans, by Claire Cook, one of my favorite authors.

As a professional home stager, Sandy Sullivan is an expert at transforming cluttered rooms into attractive houses ready for sale. If only reinventing her life were as easy as choosing the perfect paint color. She’s eager to put her family’s suburban Boston home on the market, to downsize, and to simplify her own life. But she must first deal with her foot-dragging husband and her grown son, who has moved back home after college to inhabit the basement “bat cave.”

After reading them the riot act, Sandy takes a job staging a boutique hotel in Atlanta recently acquired by her best friend’s boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time with her recently married daughter, Shannon, in Atlanta. The bad news is that Shannon finds herself heading to Boston for job training, leaving Sandy and her southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. If that’s not complicated enough, Sandy begins to suspect that her best friend’s boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side….

***

Beginning:  Okay.  So I accidentally wrapped my reading glasses in one of the packages I mailed.

“It could have happened to anyone,” I said to my daughter, Shannon.

 

Ha-Ha…that sounds like something I could do.  When I’m distracted.  Already I’m wanting to read more!

***

p. 56:  That first winter in our new old house I almost got pregnant again.

 

***

Now, I’m thinking I could have gone on, adding one or two more sentences, but I like just dropping this sentence like a bomb.

***

What exciting openers and excerpts did you find this week?  I hope you’ll share them with the rest of us!

SPARKING SOME FRIDAY MOMENTS — MEMES — JUNE 24

 

 

 

 

Good morning, and welcome to another “sparks” moment with today’s Friday Memes.  Book Beginnings is hosted by A Few More Pages, and The Friday 56 is led by Freda’s Voice.

How does it work?  Just excerpt from the opening lines of a current (or soon to read) book;  share your thoughts, if you wish.  Then turn to page 56 and grab something there to tease us.  That’s it!

Today I’ve grabbed a book that is on this week’s reading list.  It’s an ARC, and I’m really looking forward to it:  Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan, is a story about family, secrets, and a beach house where everything unfolds.

It is the final summer in Maine for the Kelleher family, and its four strong-willed women are dreaming of bare feet, cocktails at sunset, and that magical ocean air. Alice is the matriarch, a regular fixture at morning mass, and an equally regular fixture in the wicker chair on the sun porch where she spends all afternoon drinking manhattans and smoking cigarettes. Maggie is Alice’s granddaughter, a thirty-two-year-old writer who has just realized she’s pregnant, a fact she has yet to tell her off-again boyfriend. Maggie’s mother, Kathleen, is the prodigal daughter, camped out in California, wishing desperately to avoid the annual Kelleher showdown. And Ann Marie, Alice’s daughter-in-law, is the long-suffering martyr and avid dollhouse collector who is determined to keep this chaotic household in order….

 

Beginning:  Alice decided to take a break from packing.  She lit a cigarette, leaning back in one of the wicker chairs that were always slightly damp from the sea breeze.  She glanced around at the cardboard boxes filled with her family’s belongings, each glass and picture frame and salt shaker wrapped carefully in newspaper.

 

While it doesn’t really pack a wallop, it does carry the reader into the nostalgic moments this woman is feeling as she packs her belongings and gets ready for the summer.

 

p. 56:  Later that night, her sister, Claire, called.  “I heard you’re considering turning Ann Marie in to Social Services,” she said.  “Apparently at this very moment she’s trying to pick out the right potpourri for her prison cell.”

 

That one hints at intriguing moments happening in this family already!

What treasures have you discovered today?