TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “KEEP HER SAFE”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is an e-book from the brilliant thriller writer Sophie Hannah:  Keep Her Safe…

LIANE MORIARTY says that “No one writes twisted, suspenseful novels quite like Sophie Hannah.” Packed with twists and clues, simmering with tension, this electrifying new thriller shows why.

 

 

Intro:  (Prologue)

For the longest time, I thought my sister, Emory, was the lucky one.  Sometimes I still feel that way.  She died before they could kill her.  No life at all is better than a life spent waiting to die.

The hardest thing is when the Kind Smiles promise I’ll survive—not just another day or week, but until I’m an adult, maybe even until I’m old.  If that’s true…but it can’t already be true if it hasn’t happened yet.  If it does in the future, I’ll have to stop envying the sister I never met and start feeling guilty because I made it and she didn’t.

***

(I inadvertently purchased this book in a paperback version (a month ago), with a different title:  Did You See Melody?  I was frustrated to learn this, of course, but I’m trying to enjoy the book).

***

Teaser:  I guessed right:  he’s willing to stay and talk if I don’t talk about Melody or our situation.  That means more time with the gun pointed at my head, but it’s worth it.  Anything’s better than the ropes digging into my wrists and ankles, cutting off my circulation. (61%).

***

Synopsis: She’s the most famous murder victim in America. What if she’s not dead?

Pushed to the breaking point, Cara Burrows flees her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied — by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake at the front desk… but soon Cara realizes that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving natural life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust — everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “NOT A SOUND”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is an e-ARC from NetGalley Not a Sound, by Heather Gudenkauf, in which a shocking discovery and chilling secrets converge.

 

 

 

Intro:  (Prologue)

I find her sitting all by herself in the emergency waiting room, her lovely features distorted from the swelling and bruising.  Only a few patients remain, unusual for a Friday night and a full moon.  Sitting across from her, an elderly woman coughs wetly into a handkerchief while her husband, arms folded across his chest and head tilted back, snores gently.  Another man with no discernible ailment stares blankly up at the television mounted on the wall.  Canned laughter fills the room.

***

Teaser:  I frown and flip back through the pages.  Despite the comprehensive paperwork, I can’t seem to find the report that outlines the biopsy results.  I’m sure it’s simply misplaced and I jot a reminder on a sticky note and affix it to the front of the file and then scan and upload the files I do have (45%).

***

Synopsis:  When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters—her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  This book will be released on 5/30/17.

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “MUST LOVE DOGS: NEW LEASH ON LIFE”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

My pick today is Claire Cook’s Must Love Dogs:  New Leash on Life (e-book, Book II).

 

 

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Intro:  My brother Michael was staying with me until his marriage got back on track.

“Don’t you molly coddle him, Sarah,” my father said.  “Just give him three squares a day and make sure he has a starched white shirt to wear to the office.”

“If he so much as looks at a beer bottle, hide his cell phone,” my sister Carol said.  “Do not, under any circumstances, let him drunk dial Phoebe.  She was a witch with a capital B when he married her, and she’ll be a witch with a capital B when we find her replacement.”

***

Teaser:  Michael chugged the rest of his coffee and put his mug down with a thunk.  “Okay,” he said.  “The three of you are going to have to lure Phoebe outside, and then I’ll take it from there.”

***

Synopsis:  First the bestselling novel.Then the romantic comedy movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. Now Claire Cook’s most enduring characters are back in Must Love Dogs: New Leash on Life , Book 2 of the hilarious and heartwarming Must Love Dogs series.
“If you haven’t read a Claire Cook book yet, start with this one. You don’t need to have read the first book, but why not grab that one, too, and read it? Her books are like potato chips – you can’t have just one!”-Pamela Kramer, National Book Reviewer, Examiner
Life after divorce for Sarah Hurlihy used to consist of juggling her job as a preschool teacher with the demands of her interfering family. But after a rocky start, Sarah and John Anderson have shared six months of dating bliss. Now their relationship is basically on hold because Sarah’s brother Michael and his dog are staying with her. And John’s new puppy Horatio hates Sarah. With a passion.

***

I loved the first book…and the movie.  Now I am ready to have some more fun with the characters…and the dogs.  What do you think?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: EXCERPTING “BLOOD DEFENSE”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s feature is a book I hope to start reading soon:   Blood Defense, by Marcia Clark, first in a new series from bestselling author and famed O. J. Simpson trial prosecutor Marcia Clark, a “terrific writer and storyteller” (James Patterson).

 

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

LA NOW!.COM

BREAKING NEWS:  Actress Chloe Monahan and Roommate Found Stabbed to Death.

Actress Chloe Monahan, a regular in the hit drama series Dark Corners, and her roommate, Paige Avner, were found stabbed to death in their Laurel Canyon apartment.  Officials say they have no suspects at this time.  We’ll post updates as more information is available.

THE BIZ.COM

Cops say Comeback Kid Actress Chloe Monahan and Roommate Killed by Burglar.

Reporters for The Biz have learned that Chloe Monahan’s apartment was burglarized just two months before she and her roommate were murdered.  Police Chief West Sanders says they are looking into the possibility that the burglar came back for another run and killed the girls when they unexpectedly came home….

***

Teaser:  After a single, irritated glance at the camera crew, the judge quickly pulled a file off the top of a depressingly big stack.  “Case of People v. Pearson.  Counsel, state your appearances for the record.”

Greta was right.  He really did want us out of there.  “Samantha Brinkman for the defendant.” (p. 70).

***

Synopsis:  Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star—and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.

Though Sam has doubts about his innocence, she and her two associates (her closest childhood friend and a brilliant ex-con) take the case. Notorious for living by her own rules—and fearlessly breaking everyone else’s—Samantha pulls out all the stops in her quest to uncover evidence that will clear the detective. But when a shocking secret at the core of the case shatters her personal world, Sam realizes that not only has her client been playing her, he might be one of the most dangerous sociopaths she’s ever encountered.

***

What do you think?  Does this one grab you?  Make you want to keep reading?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: EXCERPTING “THE CHILDREN”

hummel bookish-LOGO

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s feature is a book I hope to start reading soon:  The Children (e-book), by Ann Leary – a NetGalley ARC that will be released on 5/24.

 

 

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Intro:  One August morning in 1956, Whit Whitman sat down to a breakfast of soft-boiled eggs and toast with his grandmother Trudy.  They dined outdoors on the wide front porch of Lakeside Cottage.  Whit’s father had an early golf game that morning.  His mother and sister had gone for a sail on the lake.  Although he was only eight at the time, Whit would always remember what he and his grandmother talked about during their breakfast.  First, Trudy had described her displeasure at finding the family cat on her bed when she awoke.  She had thought it was her sweater and was alarmed when it sprang from her hands.  They they had discussed the weather.

“Isn’t it cold for August?” Trudy asked.

“Not really,” said Whit.  He wanted to go sailing and was bitter about being left behind to look after his grandmother.

“Won’t you and your father want to plant bulbs this afternoon?  Or is it too soon for bulbs?  Didn’t we just plant the tomatoes?”

Whit answered in a dull monotone.  It was a bit soon for the bulbs.  The tomatoes had been planted in May.

***

Teaser:  I was supposed to write a listicle for BuzzFeed.  They wanted a few for the twelve-to sixteen-year-old female consumer, so I took my laptop down to the kitchen and wrote “23 Beauty Hacks for Hot Summer Days.” (57%).

***

Synopsis:  From New York Times bestselling author Ann Leary comes the captivating story of a wealthy, but unconventional New England family, told from the perspective of a reclusive 29-year-old who has a secret (and famous) life on the Internet.

Charlotte Maynard rarely leaves her mother’s home, the sprawling Connecticut lake house that belonged to her late stepfather, Whit Whitman, and the generations of Whitmans before him. While Charlotte and her sister, Sally, grew up at “Lakeside,” their stepbrothers, Spin and Perry, were welcomed as weekend guests. Now the grown boys own the estate, which Joan occupies by their grace—and a provision in the family trust. When Spin, the youngest and favorite of all the children, brings his fiancé home for the summer, the entire family is intrigued. The beautiful and accomplished Laurel Atwood breathes new life into this often comically rarefied world. But as the wedding draws near, and flaws surface in the family’s polite veneer, an array of simmering resentments and unfortunate truths is exposed.

With remarkable wit and insight, Ann Leary pulls back the curtain on one blended family, as they are forced to grapple with the assets and liabilities – both material and psychological – left behind by their wonderfully flawed patriarch.

***

What do you think?  Is this a book you would keep reading?  I have loved two other books by the author, so I’m eager to immerse myself in this one.

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: EXCERPTING “THE EXCELLENT LOMBARDS”

hummel bookish-LOGO

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s feature is a book I hope to start reading soon:  The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton, the internationally bestselling author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, a heartfelt coming-of-age story that Karen Joy Fowler calls “a timeless classic…a book you will read and reread.”

 

 

 

 

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Intro: (The Story Always Starts Here)

We were making hay.  Everyone who was there still remembers it, how the sky was its usual high immense self, and as we went along a wash of clouds moved in, the ceiling suddenly quite low.  There was the usual sweet smell of hay drying, the swallows swooping and scolding, and the oil and dust of the baler, a bitter black fragrance.  It had been windy and hot when we started but the heat stilled, dirty and wet; or that was us at least, chaff stuck in our mouths, chaff in our bloodshot eyes, chaff like sequins on our clothes, our flesh.  My father wore what were originally his dark-blue coveralls, the material over his back bleached by the sun to a pinkish white, the fabric drenched and glued to his skin….

***

Teaser:  A bare lightbulb hung from the ceiling over the staircase, the film of dust on the stairs thick, because May Hill did not use this way for coming and going, of course not, because she’d then have to walk through Dolly’s kitchen.  So it was dusty, and up at the top there was not another door, but a wooden gate. (p. 71).

***

Synopsis:  Mary Frances “Frankie” Lombard is fiercely in love with her family’s sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it. Content to spend her days planning capers with her brother William, competing with her brainy cousin Amanda, and expertly tending the orchard with her father, Frankie desires nothing more than for the rhythm of life to continue undisturbed. But she cannot help being haunted by the historical fact that some family members end up staying on the farm and others must leave. Change is inevitable, and threats of urbanization, disinheritance, and college applications shake the foundation of Frankie’s roots. As Frankie is forced to shed her childhood fantasies and face the possibility of losing the idyllic future she had envisioned for her family, she must decide whether loving something means clinging tightly or letting go.

***

I love this author, and have thoroughly enjoyed her previous books.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: EXCERPTING “SOMEWHERE OUT THERE”

hummel bookish-LOGO

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Jenn, at Books and a Beat.

Today’s spotlight is shining on one of my newer downloads:  Somewhere Out There, by Amy Hatvany.

 

 

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Intro:   (Jennifer)

I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t been desperate.

I knew what the stakes were.  I knew I might get caught.  But it was well past midnight and both my babies were hungry and crying—Brooke, who had just turned four, and Natalie, only six months.  A siren sound emanated from Natalie’s tiny lungs, and Brooke’s choppy, hiccuping sobs felt like sandpaper being rubbed against the tips of my nerves.

***

Teaser:  (Jennifer)

Five days after getting out of jail, after seeing my mother, I was almost out of money.  She had given me just over two hundred dollars, but the cost of the motel room alone took more than half of that, and I spent most of the rest on food and a few pairs of much-needed clean underwear and socks. (33%).

***

Synopsis:  Natalie Clark knew never to ask her sensitive adoptive mother questions about her past. She doesn’t even know her birth mother’s name—only that the young woman signed parental rights over to the state when Natalie was a baby. Now Natalie’s own daughter must complete a family tree project for school, and Natalie is determined to unearth the truth about her roots.

Brooke Walker doesn’t have a family. At least, that’s what she tells herself after being separated from her mother and her little sister at age four. Having grown up in a state facility and countless foster homes, Brooke survives the only way she knows how, by relying on herself. So when she discovers she’s pregnant, Brooke faces a heart-wrenching decision: give up her baby or raise the child completely on her own. Scared and confused, she feels lost until a surprise encounter gives her hope for the future.

How do our early experiences—the subtle and the traumatic—define us as adults? How do we build relationships when we’ve been deprived of real connection? Critically acclaimed author Amy Hatvany considers controversial and complicated questions about childhood through the lens of her finely crafted characters in this astute novel about mending wounds by diving into the truth of what first tore us apart.

***

What do you think?  Does this one pull you in, compelling you to keep reading?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: EXCERPTING “IF YOU LIVED HERE, YOU’D BE HOME NOW”

hummel bookish-LOGO

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Jenn, at Books and a Beat.

Today’s featured book is one I grabbed from 2015’s shelves on Pippa, my Kindle:  If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now, by Claire LaZebnik, a novel about a young single mother trying to move out of her family’s shadow.

 

 

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Intro:  The heat wave that had tortured us for most of September finally broke and Tuesday morning was cool and overcast, so I volunteered to take Eleanor Roosevelt around the block.  My mother thanked me a little too enthusiastically, effectively conveying the message that her expectations of me were so low that she was bowled over by a simple offer to walk the dog.

I was trying to get Eleanor Roosevelt’s leash on, dodging her happy dancing legs and scolding her to hold still, when my cell phone rang.  I dropped the leash so I could get the phone out of my jeans pocket.  Eleanor Roosevelt stopped wiggling and looked at me, confused.  This wasn’t how the game went.

***

Teaser:  “I went to college for this?” I said to Melanie after twenty minutes of fairly frantic burger-wrapping and hot-dog distributing.

She raised her eyebrows.  “You only went to college for a year.” (p. 57)

***

Blurb:  Rickie left home a long time ago-so how is it that at the age of twenty-five, she’s living with her parents again, and sleeping in the bedroom of her childhood home?

At least one thing has changed since high school: She now has a very sweet but frequently challenging son named Noah, who attends the same tony private LA school she herself attended. Rickie fit in fine when she was a student, but now her age and tattoos make her stand out from all the blond Stepford moms, who are desperate to know why someone so young-and so unmarried-has a kid in first grade.

Already on the defensive, Rickie goes into full mother-tigress mode when her small and unathletic son tells her that the gym teacher is out to get him. She storms the principal’s office, only to discover that Andrew Fulton, the coach, is no dumb jock. As her friendship with Andrew develops, Rickie finds herself questioning her assumptions-about motherhood, being a grown-up, and falling in love.

***

What do you think?  I found this one “hidden” on Pippa…should I keep reading?  Would you?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: EXCERPTING “NO ONE KNOWS”

hummel bookish-LOGO

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Jenn, at Books and a Beat.

Today’s featured book is an e-ARC from NetGalley, to be published on 3/22/16:  No One Knows, by J. T. Ellison.

 

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Intro:  (Aubrey – Nashville – Today)

One thousand eight hundred and seventy-five days after Joshua Hamilton went missing, the State of Tennessee declared him legally dead.

Aubrey, his wife—or former wife, or ex-wife, or widow, she had no idea how to refer to herself anymore—received the certified letter on a Friday.  It came to the Montessori school where she taught, the very one she and Josh had attended as children.  Came to her door in the middle of reading time, borne on the hands of Linda Pierce, the school’s long-standing principal, who looked as if someone had died.

Which, in a way, they had.

***

Teaser:  (Chase)

He tapped the keyboard again, pulling his notes together.  Cursed his naivete for thinking he could play fast and loose with his own reality. (49%).

***

Blurb:  In an obsessive mystery as thrilling as The Girl on the Train and The Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel—and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In No One Knows, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.

***

What do you think?  Do these excerpts make you want to keep reading?  Let’s chat.

 

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “THE SHADOW YEAR”

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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 one I hope to read this week.  It has been on Pippa since October 2015, so not that long, right?  It is The Shadow Year, by Hannah Richell.  Suspenseful and moving, with a deep secret at its heart, THE SHADOW YEAR is Hannah Richell’s breakout book.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

It is the smallest details that come to her:  the damp grass underfoot threaded with buttercups, the air humming with insects, the snap of her nightdress catching in the breeze.  As she wanders out of the cottage and down toward the mirrored surface of the lake, her senses are heightened.  She hears the splash of a duck hiding in the reeds and the slow drum of her heart in her chest.  Just a few moments to herself, she thinks—to wash—to swim—to clear her mind and ready herself for what lies ahead.  Soon she will be gone from this place.

***

Teaser: (Lila – December)

Every morning, Lila wakes to the remnants of the same dreams—running down a landing, a sickening plunge, a shattering impact—until one ice-cold morning there’s the haunting fragment of something else echoing from deep within the shadows of her sleep.  She’s still running, she’s still falling, only this time there are three distinct words tumbling behind her into the void:  just like her. (43%).

***

Synopsis:  Still grieving the death of her prematurely delivered infant, Lila finds a welcome distraction in renovating a country house she’s recently inherited. Surrounded by blueprints and plaster dust, though, she finds herself drawn into the story of a group of idealistic university grads from thirty years before, who’d thrown off the shackles of bourgeois city life to claim the cottage and rely only on each other on the land. But utopia-building can be fraught with unexpected peril, and when the fate of the group is left eerily unclear, Lila turns her attention to untangling a web of secrets to uncover the shocking truth of what happened that fateful year, in order to come to terms with her own loss and build a new future for herself.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***