TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN”

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 my current read, the seventh book in the Frieda Klein series:  Sunday Morning Coming Down, by Nicci French.

 

Intro:  All at once the flat was full of noises.  The phone rang, stopped, then rang again.  The mobile rattled on the table.  The doorbell sounded once, twice, and at the same time there was a thumping sound on the door itself.  Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson lifted himself from his chair on to his crutches, moved to the door and opened it.

A very short, very thin woman was looking at him with a frown.  Her gingery-brown hair was cut almost to a bristle at the back, but with a long fringe that fell over one eye.  She had a narrow, pale face, slightly asymmetrical, with colourless brows and eyes the brown of cinnamon.  She was dressed in a black anorak, baggy grey jumper, dark trousers and orange trainers.  Behind her the rain was falling.  Her face was wet with it.  The branches of a plane tree creaked above her.

‘I’m Chief Inspector Petra Burge.’

***

Teaser:  And then it was the easiest thing in the world.  Easier than the first time.  Easier than the niece.  Easier than Reuben McGill.  It was what he’d been telling himself:  you have to learn to improvise, be in a state of readiness and wait for the perfect moment. (p. 203).

***

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Psychotherapist Dr Frieda Klein once again finds herself in the midst of a criminal investigation when the rotting body of an ex-policeman is found beneath the floorboards of her house.

The corpse is only months old but the main suspect, murderer Dean Reeve, died over seven years ago.

As the killer picks off his next victims and her home is turned into a crime scene, Frieda’s old life seems like a hazy dream.

With eyes of the world upon her and no answers from the police, Frieda realises that she will have to track this killer before he tracks down those she loves.

***

I love this series.  There are recurring characters and a thread that weaves its way through all of the books, from the beginning.  Will this be the book that snips that thread?

***

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS”

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 featured book is a recent download:  The Secrets She Keeps, by Michael Robotham, a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?

 

Intro:  (Agatha)

I am not the most important person in this story.  That honor belongs to Meg, who is married to Jack, and they are the perfect parents of two perfect children, a boy and a girl, blond and blue-eyed and sweeter than honey cakes.  Meg is pregnant again and I couldn’t be more excited because I’m having a baby too.

***

Teaser:  (Agatha)

After the introductions, I’m shown into the room they call “the parlor,” where I perch on the edge of the sofa, knees together.  Everything in the room seems to match, with the same floral pattern on the curtains, the cushions, and the wastepaper basket.  Tea and cake are served.  I’m starving, but I’m on crumb watch. (p. 56).

***

Synopsis:  Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

With its brilliant rendering of the secrets some women hold close and a shocking act that cannot be undone, The Secrets She Keeps delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “VIVIAN IN RED”

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 from an author I enjoy:  Vivian in Red (e-book), by Kristina Riggle, a sweeping love story, family mystery and historical drama set eighty years apart, Vivian in Red will swell your heart like a favorite song while illuminating Broadway like you’ve never seen before.

 

 

 

 

 

Intro:  (Milo)

She called me a vine; said I twisted into all her spaces, wrapped around all her branches.  I remember she was missing one round-toe-shoe, which made her stand at an odd, broken angle.  Her hat was twisted into a ball of felt in her hand.  She’d torn the hat from her head, turning her neat curls into a spray of hair something like a halo.

She said that to me, then she was gone out of my life, and for half a century I’d forgotten her, same as I’d forgotten the name of my Hebrew school rabbi and the minute details of what my father had really looked like.

Until yesterday, my God.

***

Teaser:  (Boston, 1935)

Milo tuned him out, trying to get back those last seconds when everything was sharp and bright like sun through crystal, and all his fear had fallen away, if only long enough to savor that, for the first time, everything made a kind of sense. (48%).

***

Synopsis:  Famed Broadway producer Milo Short may be eighty-eight but that doesn’t stop him from going to the office every day. So when he steps out of his Upper West Side brownstone on one exceptionally hot morning, he’s not expecting to see the impossible: a woman from his life sixty years ago, cherry red lips, bright red hat, winking at him on a New York sidewalk, looking just as beautiful as she did back in 1934.

The sight causes him to suffer a stroke. And when he comes to, the renowned lyricist discovers he has lost the ability to communicate. Milo believes he must unravel his complicated history with Vivian Adair in order to win back his words. But he needs help—in the form of his granddaughter Eleanor—failed journalist and family misfit. Tapped to write her grandfather’s definitive biography, Eleanor must dig into Milo’s colorful past to discover the real story behind Milo’s greatest song Love Me, I Guess, and the mysterious woman who inspired an amazing life.

***

Would you keep reading?  Do the excerpts grab you?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET”

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 a recent download from an author I enjoy:  The Widow of Wall Street (e-book), by Randy Susan Meyers, is about the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street, and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.

 

 

 

Intro:  (Phoebe – November 2009)

Phoebe never hated her husband more than when she visited him in prison.  The preceding nightmare of ordeals—eleven hours hauling a suitcase by bus, train, and cab, her muscles screaming from the weight—were the coming attractions of the misery she faced the next day.

She arrived at the grimy hotel close to midnight.  Without sleep, exhaustion would lengthen every minute tomorrow.  After wrestling her luggage to the bed, Phoebe thumbed through a small stack of folded sweaters, hoping they would withstand the raw weather.  So many never-envisioned experiences:  riding a dingy Greyhound bus; drowning ramen noodles in a hotel coffee maker; choosing clothes to wear to Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institution—and then envisioning her choice through her husband’s eyes.

***

Teaser:  (Phoebe)

Perhaps to prove how much he was not having an affair, Jake had almost attached himself to Phoebe that weekend.  On Friday night, he even agreed to see Cry Freedom instead of Robocop. (50%)

***

Synopsis:  Phoebe recognizes fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers. As he creates a financial dynasty, she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.

When Phoebe learns her husband’s triumph and vast reach rests on an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her life was fabricated by fraud? Was she his accomplice?

While Jake is trapped in the web of his deceit, Phoebe is caught in an unbearable choice. Her children refuse to see her if she remains at their father’s side, but abandoning him feels cruel and impossible.

From penthouse to prison, with tragic consequences rippling well beyond Wall Street, Randy Susan Meyers’s latest novel exposes a woman struggling to survive and then redefine her life as her world crumbles.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “ONE PERFECT LIE”

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 (4/11/17):  One Perfect Lie, by Lisa Scottoline, an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will have readers riveted up to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won’t soon forget.

 

 

Intro:  Chris Brennan was applying for a teaching job at Central Valley High School, but he was a fraud.  His resume was fake, and his identity completely phony.  So far he’d fooled the personnel director, the assistant principal, and the chairperson of the Social Studies Department.  This morning was his final interview, with the principal, Dr. Wendy McElroy.  It was make-or-break.

Chris waited in her office, shifting in his chair, though he wasn’t nervous.  He’d already passed the state and federal criminal-background checks and filed a clear Sexual Misconduct/Abuse Disclosure Form, Child Abuse Clearance Form, and Arrest/Conviction Report & Certification Form.  He knew what he was doing.  He was perfect, on paper.

***

Teaser:  Mindy scrolled through Facebook on her phone in bed, not bothering to comment on the funny animal videos, baby pictures, or inspirational sayings.  Usually she was a Facebook slut, liking all her friends’ posts and counting the likes on her posts.  But not tonight. (49%).

***

Synopsis:  On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He’s applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he’s ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.

But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.

Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he’s being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.

Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Justin’s baseball games. But Justin is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.

Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon’s wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.

At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?

***

I can’t wait to read more.  What do you think?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “BRIDGES: A DAPHNE WHITE NOVEL”

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 featured e-ARC is Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane, a tribute to the power of friendship.

 

 

***

Intro:  Daphne juggled two sacks of groceries against a hip as she fumbled with her keys, hoping that if she dropped a bag it wouldn’t be the one holding the eggs.  Once safely inside the house, she rushed into the kitchen, put the eggs, milk, and orange juice into the fridge, then left the nonperishables on the counter before hurrying into her office.  She took a seat at the desk and powered on the computer, then checked the time on the screen to see how late she was.  Ten minutes.  Not that bad for her—but probably ten minutes later than Skylar, whose schedule tended to run like clockwork.  She logged into her e-mail account and clicked to open the link Skylar had sent, hoping she wouldn’t flub her first ever attempt at video chatting.

In a flash, her friend appeared on Daphne’s computer.  “Hi Skylar!”

“Hey hot stuff!  It’s great to see you, even if it’s just on a screen.  Can you believe it’s been over a year since we were last together in the flesh?  Scary how fast time is flying.”

***

Teaser:  “There are few things I enjoy in life more than getting pampered at a spa,” Skylar said as they entered an empty sauna.  “How were your treatments?  Mine were heavenly.” (58%).

***

Synopsis:  It’s a piece of news Daphne never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! Time to celebrate in Manhattan—Skylar’s treat, of course. After years scaling the corporate ladder, she can more than afford it.

Daphne arrives in NYC with news of her own—the novel she’s finally finished appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She’s devastated but plans to keep her disappointment under wraps, something that becomes trickier when she sees Skylar’s spectacular apartment. Could her life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path?

What Daphne doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and their friend KC are also holding something back, but what? As the trip unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears.

And laughter. And love. 

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME”

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 I want to share an e-ARC from NetGalley, a book by a beloved author that I will be starting soon:  It Happens All the Time (e-book), by Amy Hatvany, is a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.

 

 

 

Intro:  (Tyler)

I don’t see the gun until it’s pointed right at me.

“Drive,” she says, shifting her upper body toward me.  We are in the cab of my truck, me behind the wheel, Amber in the passenger seat.  Her arm trembles, from uncertainty or the weight of the weapon, it’s impossible to tell.

I look at her, blinking fast.  “Amber, wait—”

“Shut up.”  Her voice is stone.  Unyielding.  She cocks the hammer with her thumb and I jerk to the left, toward the driver’s side window.  My shoulders hunch up around my ears and then—I can’t help it—I say her name again.

***

Teaser:  (Amber)

My already racing pulse sped up more.  How would I tell Daniel anything?  How would I tell him that I’d flirted with Tyler for weeks, how I’d dressed slutty for him last night, then danced with him like a stripper, kissed him, and let him lead me upstairs. (53%).

***

Synopsis:  I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.

***

Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “THE GOOD DAUGHTER”

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 The Purple Booker.

Today’s featured book is The Good Daughter, by Alexandra Burt, is the tale of a young woman in search of her past, and the mother who will do anything to keep it hidden…

 

the-good-daughter

 

Intro:  (Prologue)

They stopped once for the night, in Albuquerque.  The name of the city intrigued the girl, so she looked it up in the encyclopedia she carried with her.  It was her most prized possession.

Albuhkirkee…She silently repeated the word until it lost all meaning.  The girl caught herself drifting off into some paranoid daydream, not knowing what time it was or where they were going.  They had never driven this far for so long, never had to pump gas so many times.

***

Teaser:  After Quinn left the bank, she tucked the envelope under the seat of the Ford truck.  She felt giddy with excitement, her entire body seemed to hum, knowing she was going to see the old woman.  There was no turning back—not after church last Sunday. (p. 160).

***

Synopsis:  Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.
 
In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “THINGS WE DIDN’T SAY”

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 The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is from an author I have enjoyed in several of her books.  Things We Didn’t Say (e-book), by Kristina Riggle, “is impossible to put down, and even harder to let go of.”
—Julie Buxbaum, author of The Opposite of Love

 

 

 

things-we-didnt-say

 

Intro:  (Casey)

My cigarette smoke twists through the predawn November air, until a gust breaks it apart.  My hair whips across my face, so I turn into the wind, putting my cigarette behind my back to shelter it.  The effect is like leaning off the prow of a ship.

The air is heavy with looming winter.  Mornings like this, as a kid, I’d curse and groan, shivering at the bus stop in the cracking cold before the sun even came up.  Now?  I’d take this cold every day of the year if it always came with such exquisite quiet.

***

Teaser:  (Casey)

“Our differences aren’t important now.”  She (Mallory) sighs, leaning one hip against the counter.  “We’ll have to be mature about this.”

I feel a sneer creep across my face before I can stop it. (p. 54).

***

Synopsis:  Kristina Riggle’s star continues to rise. Tiffany Baker, the New York Times bestselling author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, says that Riggle, “writes women’s fiction with soul.”

In her novel Things We Didn’t Say, the acclaimed author of Real Life & Liars and The Life You’ve Imagined (an Indie Next Notable Book) explores the messiness of life’s love stories, especially those involving teenage almost-stepchildren, a unreliable ex-wife, and the words no parent ever wants to hear: “Your child is missing.” A poignant, honest, and unforgettable novel that fans of Katrina Kittle and Elin Hildenbrand will take into their hearts, Things We Didn’t Say is exactly the sort of well-written, complex relationships story that women love to read, discuss, and share with their friends.

***

My first book by this author was Keepsake, a wonderful story about two sisters raised by a hoarder.  I am looking forward to this book, one of her earlier works.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “THE MARRIAGE LIE”

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 The Purple Booker.

Today’s featured book is a fairly new one:  The Marriage Lie, by Kimberly Belle, is “ highly suspenseful, and heart-rending…enthralling right up to the shocking final twist.”

 

 

 

the-marriage-lie

 

Intro:  I awaken when a hand winds around my waist, pulling me head to heel against skin heated from sleep.  I sigh and settle into my husband’s familiar form, fitting my backside into his front, soaking in his warmth.  Will is a furnace when he sleeps, and I’ve always got some place on me that’s cold.  This morning it’s my feet, and I wedge them between two warm calves.

“Your toes are freezing.”  His voice rumbles in the darkened room, the sounds vibrating through me.  On the other side of our bedroom curtains it’s not quite morning, that violet-tinged moment between night and day, still a good half-hour or so before the alarm.  “Were they hanging off the side of the bed or something?”

***

Teaser:  The sheet of paper inside could have come from a million different notebooks, purchased at a million different stores.  But it’s the three little words, scrawled in a script as familiar to me as my own, that suck the air from my lungs.

I’m so sorry.  (47%).

***

Synopsis:  Everyone has secrets… 

Iris and Will have been married for seven years, and life is as close to perfect as it can be. But on the morning Will flies out for a business trip to Florida, Iris’s happy world comes to an abrupt halt: another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board and, according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers.
Grief stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. Why did Will lie about where he was going? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to uncover what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she finds shock her to her very core.
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