first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

LET’S IGNITE SOME CURIOSITY: “TRUTH BE TOLD”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is Truth Be Told, (e-book), by Hank Phillippi Ryan (A Jane Ryland Novel).

 

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Intro:  “I know it’s legal.  But it’s terrible.”  Jane Ryland winced as the Sandovals’ wooden bed frame hit the tall grass in the overgrown front yard and shattered into three jagged pieces.  “The cops throwing someone’s stuff out the window.  Might as well be Dickens, you know?  Eviction?  There’s got to be a better way.”

Terrible facts.  Great pictures.  A perfect newspaper story.  She turned to TJ.  “You getting this?”

TJ didn’t take his eye from the viewfinder.  “Rolling and recording,” he said.

A blue-shirted Suffolk County sheriff’s deputy—sleeves rolled up, buzz cut—appeared at the open window, took a swig from a plastic bottle.  He shaded his eyes with one hand.

***

Teaser:  The glowing green numbers of the clock on her nightstand clicked ahead.  After eight thirty?  Jane frowned.  Her cell phone was in her yoga pants pocket, silent.  Not even a text.  Where was Jake? (p. 74).

***

Blurb:   Truth Be Told, part of the bestselling Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan series by Agatha, Anthony, Mary Higgins Clark, and Macavity Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan, begins with tragedy: a middle-class family evicted from their suburban home. In digging up the facts on this heartbreaking story–and on other foreclosures– reporter Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goal a secret. Turns out, there’s more than one way to rob a bank.

Boston police detective Jake Brogan has a liar on his hands. A man has just confessed to the famous twenty-year-old Lilac Sunday killing, and while Jake’s colleagues take him at his word, Jake is not so sure. But he has personal reasons for hoping they’ve finally solved the cold case.
Financial manipulation, the terror of foreclosures, the power of numbers, the primal need for home and family and love. What happens when what you believe is true turns out to be a lie?
***
What do you think?  Are you curious?  Engaged?  Want to know more?  Thanks for stopping by.
***
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book beginnings · The Friday 56

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY”

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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?

How can it be Friday already?  I’m happy about it, though, and eager to share excerpts from one of my recent ARCs:  Did You Ever Have a Family, by Bill Clegg.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Silas)

He wakes to the sound of sirens.  Many, loud, and very near.  Then horns:  short, angry grunts like the buzzers signaling time-out in the basketball games he watches but does not play in at school.  His cell phone says 6:11 a.m. but the house downstairs is awake and loud and in his mother’s rough morning voice, scratching above his father’s and sisters’, he hears something is wrong.

***

56: I saw him there with June a few times, working out.  I think it was the first time I heard him laughing or saw him smiling since high school.

***

Blurb:  The stunning debut novel from bestselling author Bill Clegg is a magnificently powerful story about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy.

On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke—her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor.

Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak.

From the couple running a motel on the Pacific Ocean where June eventually settles into a quiet half-life, to the wedding’s caterer whose bill has been forgotten, to Luke’s mother, the shattered outcast of the town—everyone touched by the tragedy is changed as truths about their near and far histories finally come to light.

***

I haven’t started reading this one yet, but now I’m curious.  What do you think?

***

waiting on wednesday

HUMP DAY SPARKS: WAITING ON “IT’S YOU”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

A book I am eagerly awaiting is from Jane Porter, one of my go-to authors.  It’s You is coming out on June 2, 2015.

 

 

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Amazon Description:  In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.

What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.

As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

***

I love the characters, the settings, and the plots of this author’s books, so I am very excited about this one.  What are you sharing today?

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first paragraphs · tuesday teasers

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THEN AND ALWAYS”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today’s featured book is an ARC called Then and Always, by Dani Atkins.

 

 

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Intro:  (September 2008)

Long after the screaming had stopped, when the only sound to be heard was the soft crying of my friends as they waited for the ambulance to arrive, I realized that I was still clutching the lucky penny tightly within my palm.  My fingers refused to unfurl from around the tiny copper talisman, as though by sheer will alone I would somehow be able to wind back time and erase the tragedy around me.

Was it really only half an hour earlier that Jimmy had picked up the glinting coin from the restaurant’s tarmacked car park?

“For luck,” he had said with a grin, tossing the coin up in the air and deftly catching it with one hand.

I smiled back and then saw the flicker of irritation flash through his pale blue eyes as Matt quipped, “Jimmy, mate, you should’ve said if you’re a little short of cash, no need to go groveling about on the ground for money!”

***

Teaser:  I could only imagine the anguish he must have gone through back then, as he’d sat for days on end beside a hospital bed just like this one.  It wasn’t until months later that he revealed to me the true terror he had lived through while I lay unconscious and unresponsive. (p. 80).

***

Blurb:  For fans of One Day, What Alice Forgot, and the hit film Sliding Doors, comes an absorbing and surprising debut novel about a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life . . . just not in one she remembers.
 
Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.

Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.

***

I am intrigued by the premise of this story, and can’t wait to dive in.  Would you keep reading?

***

book beginnings · Friday Sparks · The Friday 56

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/THE FRIDAY 56 — “ENON”

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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 I’m featuring an ARC from Amazon Vine.  Enon, by Paul Harding, is the story of a year in the life of a man coming to terms with a personal tragedy.

 

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Beginning:  Most men in my family make widows of their wives and orphans of their children.  I am the exception.  My only child, Kate, was struck and killed by a car while riding her bicycle home from the beach one afternoon in September, a year ago.  She was thirteen.  My wife, Susan, and I separated soon afterward.

***

56:  Houses retain traces of the people who have lived in them and I feel those traces immediately whenever I step into one.  When Susan and Kate and I looked at the few houses within our price range in Enon, there were times when my stomach soured and my head ached before i had walked through two rooms.

***

Blurb:  Hailed as “a masterpiece” (NPR), Tinkers, Paul Harding’s Pulitzer Prize–winning debut, is a modern classic. The Dallas Morning News observed that “like Faulkner, Harding never shies away from describing what seems impossible to put into words.” Here, in Enon, Harding follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he tries to come to terms with a shattering personal tragedy. Grandson of George Crosby (the protagonist of Tinkers), Charlie inhabits the same dynamic landscape of New England, its seasons mirroring his turbulent emotional odyssey. Along the way, Charlie’s encounters are brought to life by his wit, his insights into history, and his yearning to understand the big questions. A stunning mosaic of human experience, Enon affirms Paul Harding as one of the most gifted and profound writers of his generation.

***

I am eager to plunge into this emotional journey of a novel…and I will have a box of tissues handy.  Come on by with your own excerpts and links, please!

***

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book review

LIVING WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR CHOICES — A REVIEW

Sometimes families are made up of people whose connections are tenuous. The couple may have entered the union for all the wrong reasons, and this is definitely the case with John and Irene, in Once Upon a Time, There Was You: A Novel. Their responses to one another seem tepid. And yet they have a child and meander along for awhile before getting divorced.

A tragic event forces the two back together to help their daughter Sadie.

As in most Berg books, we get to read the detailed moments in their lives, with their thoughts, their feelings, and those fears and insecurities that still hold them captive in the “autumn” years of their lives. We also have a view of their reactions to one another as we watch how each of them is coping with what Sadie has gone through…and what she has thrown at them. Like this excerpt, in which Irene’s reaction to John is definitely no longer tepid:

“What fills Irene now is a wobbly kind of rage. She doesn’t know who to be angrier at, John or Sadie. Easy for him to show up and be the even-tempered mediator! Easy for him to be the part-time parent who gets to say yes to everything because he never has to suffer the consequences of what he allows! She is the real parent, and she will handle this. She wishes he’d never come. He won’t be of any use at all. He will make everything harder. `You keep out of this!’ she tells John. `You don’t even know what happened!'”

We also explore Sadie’s feelings about her “helicopter” mother who hovers and dominates. But what Sadie does to rebel turns into something so frightening that she doesn’t know how to react. So she does something completely drastic.

Living with the consequences of our choices is a theme that wends its way through the pages, even as we get to see the flaws and foibles of these characters, none of which are particularly lovable. I felt quite frustrated with Sadie, whose reactions seemed too childish for someone her age, but then again, with a domineering mother and an absent father, perhaps her behavior was not all that unsurprising.

Each character has difficulty expressing his or her feelings verbally, and when they interact, they often play games and lead with their emotions in “unhelpful” ways.

In true Berg form, we come to know the characters, inside and out, and discover small moments of insight as they work their way through what life throws at them. Five stars!