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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 an e-ARC from NetGalley, to be released on 2/23/16.  She’s Not There, by Joy Fielding, is a story about a vanished child, a family in turmoil, and a fateful phone call that brings the torments of the past into the harrowing present .






Intro:  (One:  The Present)

It was barely eight A.M. and the phone was already ringing.  Caroline could make out the distinctive three-ring chime that signaled a long-distance call even with the bathroom door closed and the shower running.  She chose to ignore it, deciding it was probably a telemarketer or the press.  Either alternative was odious, but given a choice between the two, Caroline would have opted for the telemarketer.  Telemarketers were only after your money.  The press wanted your blood.

Even after all this time.

Fifteen years tomorrow.


Teaser:  (Fifteen Years Ago)

“What’s that?”  Caroline snuck a glance in the direction of her suite and then at her watch.  She pushed away what was left of her lobster dinner, which was most of it.  She was too nervous to eat.  It was almost time to check on the kids.

“They were fine when I checked on them thirty minutes ago,” Hunter whispered.  “They’re fine now.  Finish your meal.” (95%).


Synopsis:  “I think my real name is Samantha. I think I’m your daughter.”

Caroline Shipley’s heart nearly stops when she hears those words from the voice on the other end of the phone. Instantly, she’s thrust fifteen years into the past, to a posh resort in Baja, Mexico—and the fateful night her world collapsed.

The trip is supposed to be a celebration. Caroline’s husband, Hunter, convinces her to leave their two young daughters, Michelle and Samantha, alone in their hotel suite while the couple enjoys an anniversary dinner in the restaurant downstairs. But returning afterward, Caroline and Hunter make a horrifying discovery: Two-year-old Samantha has vanished without a trace.

What follows are days, weeks, and years of anguish for Caroline. She’s tormented by media attention that has branded her a cold, incompetent mother, while she struggles to save her marriage. Caroline also has to deal with the demands of her needy elder daughter, Michelle, who is driven to cope in dangerous ways. Through it all, Caroline desperately clings to the hope that Samantha will someday be found—only to be stung again and again by cruel reality.

Plunged back into the still-raw heartbreak of her daughter’s disappearance, and the suspicions and inconsistencies surrounding a case long gone cold, Caroline doesn’t know whom or what to believe. The only thing she can be sure of is that someone is fiercely determined to hide the truth of what happened to Samantha.

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I love this kind of heart-stopping story.



  1. Another winning sounding novel Laurel – I want to know much more! A scary premise which sounds like it reflects the real life tale of Madeline McCann – scary and I bet the press do tear the mother to pieces. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this one.


    • Thanks, Juli, and I like this kind of story, with people making bad choices and then living with the consequences forever. My first thought was: why would they leave such small children alone in a hotel room?


  2. I can imagine all kinds of horrible things happening to the child — and I’m guessing the mom does too! Since I have a young granddaughter, this would be hard for me to read. I worry enough about her already.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG


    • I know what you mean, Sandra…about worrying about your granddaughter. I have two, and one of them especially takes such risks at times (she is almost nineteen, so she is an adult); but I know that warnings and expressions of worry don’t really protect them.

      Stories about young children who have been left unattended in a hotel room would definitely grip me and make me want to slap someone upside the head…lol, so I imagine this book will evoke lots of emotions.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Now this is one that would keep me up all night reading until the end. I bet it’s one heck of a suspense. Definitely one for my list.

    Thanks so much for visiting my teaser.


  4. Ooohhhh . . . as a parent, I don’t know if I could read this one. I can read all kinds of scary stuff, but anything about a mother dealing with something bad happening to her children, and I turn into a complete mess. At least it sounds like the girl that disappeared is okay now? And she’s back? I’m going to believe that anyway. 🙂

    Happy reading! Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


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