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).

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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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