TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “THE SISTER”

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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 featured book today is a recent download, from a new-to-me author:  The Sister, by Louise Jensen.

 

 

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Intro:  (Now)

Stepping out of my car with heartbreak-heavy legs, I zip my jacket and pull on leather gloves before hefting my spade and bag from the boot:  it is time.  My wellingtons slip-slide across the squelching mud to the gap in the hedge.  It’s been there for as long as I can remember.  I shiver as I enter the forest; it’s darker than I’d thought and I take deep breaths of the pine-scented air to steady myself.  I fight the urge to go home and come back in the morning, remind myself why I’m here and drive myself forwards.

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Teaser: (Now)

Lexie lights a cigarette with shaky hands.  She carries the ashtray over to the back door and aims the contents towards an already full bin bag.  Ash spills to the floor.   ‘I’m taking a lodger in.  Need the cash.  Haven’t worked since…You know.’ (p. 59).

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Synopsis:  “I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me …”

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts pull you in?  Would you keep reading?

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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.

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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%).

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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.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “JUBILEE’S JOURNEY”

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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?

Happy Friday!  I am eager to share my featured book…and then visit all of you, to see what you’ve got.  Mine is a book I have had on my shelves for a while, a contest win:  Jubilee’s Journey, by Bette Lee Crosby, Book Two in the Wyattsville Series.  I still haven’t read Spare Change, Book One, so that is on my list, too.

 

 

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Beginning:  (As It Was…)

On an icy cold November morning in 1956, Bartholomew Jones died in the Poynter Coal Mine.  His death came as no surprise to anyone.  He was only one of the countless men forever lost to the mine.  They were men loved and mourned by their families, but to the world they were faceless, nameless people, not worthy of mention in the Charleston Times.

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56:  The tiny shoes were still where they had fallen when Olivia removed them before carrying the child to bed.  From where she sat Olivia could see a small hole in the bottom of one shoe.

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Blurb:  When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old, and who’s going to believe a kid?

Jubilee’s Journey, Book Two in the Wyattsville Series, is the story of discovering lost family and finding love that reconnects readers with Ethan Allen and the other heart-warming characters of SPARE CHANGE.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts capture your interest?  I hope you’ll share your comments…and links.

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REVIEW: TWELVE HOUSES, BY OLGA SOAJE

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When Amelia Weiss, well-known sculptor, loses her beloved husband Nathan after thirty-five years, there is a huge hole in her life. In her heart. She is paralyzed by the pain and grief, and finds it impossible to resume her sculpting. Her life in Seattle feels strange and empty.

Her grown children, Chloe and David, hover for awhile and then go on with their lives. In fact, Chloe has always been just out of her mother’s reach, distant, and with Nathan gone, there is nobody to forge the gap between them. Amelia’s mind carries her back to when she and Nathan were young and living in San Francisco. Her memories soothe her.

But when Chloe calls and asks her mother to visit in San Francisco, Amelia is anxious, but also hopeful for their relationship. Can the two of them find each other at last? While there, a connection between them seems to be growing. Then Amelia discovers that her daughter is pregnant.

Meanwhile, Amelia’s agent is pressuring her to complete pieces for an exhibit in New York, scheduled for October. How can Amelia even think of working? But something happens that spurs her on, and soon she is back in Seattle and productive again.

But Chloe is having a problem pregnancy and needs her mother. Will Chloe’s needs shove Amelia’s own aside? And what about Chloe’s handsome boss who seems interested in Amelia? Is it too soon for romance?

Astrology is a delightful theme in Twelve Houses, taking Amelia back to the days when she regularly sought readings and studied astrology. She reconnects with old friends and begins writing a column for a local newspaper.

This story had so many layers, and throughout, I could almost feel the push and pull as the various elements seemed to tug at Amelia, demanding things from her that seemed impossible. As she flew back and forth between Seattle, San Francisco, and then Boston, I had to sigh from the exhaustion of it all. Chloe’s demands and her attitude toward her mother made her an unlikeable character. At her age (thirty), I would expect a greater maturity. However, she begins to evolve after the birth of her daughter and by the end of the story. Has life come full circle?

For those who enjoy stories about love, loss, and starting over. 5 stars.