BOOKISH FRIDAYS: “THE CROSSING PLACES”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s spotlight is shining on a book I recently added to my shelves:  The Crossing Places, by Elly Griffiths.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue)

They wait for the tide and set out at first light.

It has rained all night and in the morning the ground is seething gently, the mist rising up to join the overhanging clouds.  Nelson calls for Ruth in an unmarked police car.  He sits beside the driver and Ruth is in the back, like a passenger in a minicab.

***

56:  ‘Do you think she was murdered?’

Ruth looks at the detective, who is leaning forward across his untidy desk.  It seems strange to hear the word ‘murdered’ on his lips, as if her Iron Age body is suddenly going to form part of his ‘enquiries,’ as if he is planning to bring the perpetrator to justice.

***

Synopsis:  The first entry in the acclaimed Ruth Galloway series follows the “captivating”* archaeologist as she investigates a child’s bones found on a nearby beach, thought to be the remains of a little girl who went missing ten years before.

Forensic archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in her late thirties. She lives happily alone with her two cats in a bleak, remote area near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants—not quite earth, not quite sea. But her routine days of digging up bones and other ancient objects are harshly upended when a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson calls Galloway for help, believing they are the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing a decade ago and whose abductor continues to taunt him with bizarre letters containing references to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives a new letter—exactly like the ones about Lucy.

Is it the same killer? Or a copycat murderer, linked in some way to the site near Ruth’s remote home?

***

I am excited about starting with the first book in this series that I’ve heard so much about.  What do you think?  Does it grab you?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “REMEMBER MIA”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

In last week’s Bookish Friday, I enjoyed excerpting “The Girl with No Past.”

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a book I hope to read soon:  Remember Mia, by Alexandra Burt.

 

 

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Beginning:  “Mrs. Paradise?”

A voice sounds of nowhere.  My thoughts are sluggish, as if I’m running underwater.  I try and try but I’m not getting anywhere.

“Not stable.  Eighty over sixty.  And falling.”ch

Oh God, I’m still alive.

***

56:  I emptied the shopping bags, one by one, placed every item in baskets on the white shelf, convinced that as long as I kept her room in order, I could also keep the chaos at bay.  I took out the clothes and reached for the scissors to cut off the tags.

***

Blurb:  Like Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, Remember Mia is a riveting psychological suspense, exploring what happens when a young mother’s worst nightmare becomes devastatingly real…

First I remember the darkness.
Then I remember the blood.
I don’t know where my daughter is.

Estelle Paradise wakes up in a hospital after being found near dead at the bottom of a ravine with a fragmented memory and a vague sense of loss. Then a terrifying reality sets in: her daughter is missing.

Days earlier, Estelle discovered her baby’s crib empty in their Brooklyn apartment. There was no sign of a break-in, but all traces of seven-month-old Mia had disappeared. Her diapers, her clothes, her bottles—all gone.

Frustrated and unable to explain her daughter’s disappearance, Estelle begins a desperate search. But when the lack of evidence casts doubt on her story, Estelle becomes the number one suspect in the eyes of the police and the media.

As hope of reuniting with Mia becomes all she has left, Estelle will do anything to find answers: What has she done to her baby? And what has someone else done to her?

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I love a good psychological thriller, and I’ve heard great things about this one.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: EXCERPTING “THE ACCIDENT SEASON”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

In last week’s Bookish Friday, I enjoyed excerpting “Cop Town.”

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Let’s grab our coffee and begin with today’s feature:  The Accident Season, by Moira Fowley-Dodd.

 

 

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Beginning:

So let’s raise our glasses to the accident season,

To the river beneath us where we sink our souls,

To the bruises and secrets, to the ghosts in the ceiling,

One more drink for the watery road.

***

When I heard Bea chant the words, it was as if little insects were crawling in under my spine, ready to change it.  I was going to crack and bend, become something other.  Our temples were sweating under our masks, but we didn’t take them off.  It felt like they had become part of our skins.

***

56:  After answering my mother’s fifth text, Sam tells me that last night he dreamed about an old farmhouse in the middle of the country and how he knew it was empty but he kept seeing all these faces in the windows.  I tell him about the kids I thought I saw in our reflection in the train window, and about my dream of the changeling siblings.

***

Blurb:  For fans of We Were Liars, How I Live Now, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane comes a haunting, sexy, magically realistic debut about a family caught between a violent history, a taboo romance, and the mysteries lurking in their own backyard.

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There’s a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she’ll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she’ll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she’s ready or not.

***

I haven’t started this one yet, but now I’m putting it near the top of my list.  I can’t wait to find out more.  What do you think?  What are you sharing?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “COP TOWN”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

In last week’s Bookish Friday, I enjoyed excerpting “Who Do You Love.”

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a mystery from Karin Slaughter:  Cop Town.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue, November 1974)

Dawn broke over Peachtree Street.  The sun razored open the downtown corridor, slicing past the construction cranes waiting to dip into the earth and pull up skyscrapers, hotels, convention centers.

(Day One – Monday – Chapter One)

Maggie Lawson was upstairs in her bedroom when she heard the phone ringing in the kitchen.  She checked her watch.  There was nothing good about a phone ringing this early in the morning.

***

56:  Maggie nodded.

“So this is how day one goes down:  Our boys are gonna throw every pimp they can find into the slammer.  Lock up the pimps, then the girls spend all day getting high and sleeping.”

***

Blurb:  Karin Slaughter, author of the bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as “one of the best crime novelists in America” (The Washington Post). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice.

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.

Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter’s most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.

***

What do you think?  Does this one grab you and make you want to keep reading?  I know I’m eager.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: EXCERPTING “WHO DO YOU LOVE?”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a novel from Jennifer Weiner:  Who Do You Love?

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue – Rachel – 2014)

“Rachel?”

I don’t answer.  I shut my eyes and hold my breath and hope whoever it is will think I’m not here and go home.

Knock knock knock, and then my name again.  “Rachel, are you in there?”

***

56:  “Get away from him,” she’d said.  “You don’t get to speak to my son ever again.”

When they were gone, his mother had stood with her hands braced against the front door, red nails vivid against the white paint, as if they might come back and try to push their way back through.

***

Blurb:  An unforgettable story about true love, real life, and second chances…

Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just eight years old when they meet one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she’s intrigued by the boy who shows up alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy’s taken back to a doctor and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they’ll never see each other again.

Rachel grows up in an affluent Florida suburb, the popular and protected daughter of two doting parents. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent for running.

Yet, over the next three decades, Andy and Rachel will meet again and again—linked by chance, history, and the memory of the first time they met, a night that changed the course of both of their lives.

***

What do you think?  I have had this book for a couple of months, and now I’m hoping to dive into it this next week.  I am a big fan of Weiner.

Below, see the bookshelf that is right next to my new work station:

 

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: EXCERPTING “WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGS”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today I am eager to share the newest book from an author I have enjoyed.  As I read the opening lines of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s lovely book We Never Asked for Wings, I was delighted to see that I was very familiar with the settings, because I live just miles from one of the places mentioned.  The themes of this book resonate with me, too.

My copy is an ARC from Amazon Vine, to be released on August 18, 2015.

 

 

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Beginning:  It wasn’t too late to turn back.  Driving through the fog at a quarter past midnight, Letty waited for the exit signs that appeared without warning, willing herself to swerve off the freeway and return the way she’d come.  But at each split-second opportunity she wavered just a moment too long.  The exits came and went, and she was left with nothing but a wall of fog and the tequila in her water bottle, pushing her forward—past San Jose and Los Banos and Coalinga and through the sour cloud of Harris Ranch, accelerating until even the short length of yellow line she’d been following for over two hundred miles transformed into a rush of white.

She’d left her children.

( I lived in Coalinga for fourteen long months in the 1970s, and I am all too familiar with the heavy fogs and the “sour cloud of Harris Ranch”).

***

56:  “I think he likes me,” she said laughing.

“He must,” Sara said.  “In turtle-steps I think he walked about a thousand miles to see you.”

“Tortoise,” Alex corrected, not able to contain himself a second time.  “Not turtle.  It’s land-dwelling.”

***

Blurb:  From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.

***

I am ready to immerse myself in this book.  What do you think?  What are you sharing today?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: EXCERPTING “FRIDAY ON MY MIND”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

I am excited about my featured book today.  It is the fifth in a series about a unique character, Frieda Klein.  Friday on My Mind, by Nicci French, follows four previous books.

 

 

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Beginning:  Kitty was five years old and she was cross.  The queue for the Crown Jewels had been long and they weren’t so special anyway.  The queue for Madame Tussauds had been longer, and she didn’t even recognize most of the waxworks, and she couldn’t see them properly with all the crowds.  And it had been drizzling.  And she hated the Underground.

***

56:  ‘Then what happened?’

‘The man kicked at a rubbish bin and strode away and she picked up the bin bag, put the book and T-shirt back into it, and tied it up.  She seemed quite calm.  Calmer than I would have been….’

***

Blurb:  Rich in intrigue, intensity and atmosphere, Friday on my Mind is classic Nicci French – a dark, gripping and sophisticated masterclass in psychological suspense in which nothing is quite what it seems…”Nicci French’s sophisticated, compassionate and gripping crime novels stand head and shoulders above the competition.” (Sophie Hannah). When a bloated corpse is found floating in the River Thames the police can at least sure that identifying the victim will be straightforward. Around the dead man’s wrist is a hospital band. On it are the words Dr F Klein…But psychotherapist Frieda Klein is very much alive. And, after evidence linking her to the murder is discovered, she becomes the prime suspect. Unable to convince the police of her innocence, Frieda is forced to make a bold decision in order to piece together the terrible truth before it’s too late either for her or for those she loves. Friday on my Mind is the fifth addictive and intriguing novel in the Frieda Klein series by the bestselling author Nicci French. Praise for Nicci French: “French leads the field.” (Sunday Express). “Brilliantly crafted…masterly control of suspense.” (Daily Mirror). “Tense, frightening, gripping.” (Easy Living). “Dark, nerve-tingling and addictive.” (Daily Express). Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple are married and live in Suffolk. There are fourteen other bestselling novels by Nicci French, all published by Penguin. Blue Monday was the first thrilling instalment in the Frieda Klein series, followed by Tuesday’s Gone, Waiting for Wednesday, and Thursday’s Child.

***

I love this series!  What do you think?  Does it pique your interest?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: EXCERPTING “AT RISK”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is one I recently downloaded; it is from an author I enjoy, but somehow, along the way, I missed this one.

At Risk, by Alice Hoffman, is an inspirational story of one family coming to terms with unspeakable tragedy and immeasurable love.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  There is a wasp in the kitchen.  Drawn by the smell of apricot jam, lazy from the morning’s heat, the wasp hovers above the children.  All through town a yellow light is cast over the green lawns and the rhododendrons.

*

56:  All morning, Ed has been telling himself it would be easier to tell Ivan alone, without Polly; a scientist could better accept the random path of a virus.  Now he knows he’s been kidding himself.  No one can accept the indiscriminate order of cruelty.

***

Blurb:  In a lovely old house near the coast of Massachusetts, the Farrells go through the routines of a typical August morning. Eight-year-old Charlie, a junior biologist and dinosaur expert, tries to collect another one of his insect specimens. His sister, Amanda, a talented gymnast who at eleven years old is already saving her money to try out for the Olympic team, prepares for her last meet of the summer. Ivan, their absent-minded father, is involved with his work as an astronomer. Out in the garden, Ivan’s wife, Polly, wonders how she can trick her children into eating more zucchini.

They are a family as unique and ordinary as any other, but their world will soon be shattered when Amanda is diagnosed with AIDS. In an instant, everything that gave their lives meaning is ripped away, and the intimacy that once came so naturally vanishes. Too overcome with grief to turn to each other, Ivan and Polly seek solace elsewhere. Charlie is abandoned by his best friend and, for long stretches at a time, forgotten by his parents. Amanda, who holds on to her dreams so tightly, must somehow find a way to let go.

Torn apart by the prospect of their loss, Polly, Ivan, and Charlie must find the courage to come back together again—for Amanda’s sake and for their own. At Risk is an exquisite book about true sorrow and even truer devotion.

***

I can’t wait to read this one.  Even though this is a story that we see less and less these days, it is hard not to recall those early days after the discovery of the virus.  And realizing that anything can come at us out of nowhere.

What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAYS: EXCERPTING “FREEDOM’S CHILD”

BOOKISH FRIDAY LOGO

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s spotlight is shining on an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Freedom’s Child, by Jax Miller.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue)

My name is Freedom Oliver and I killed my daughter.  It’s surreal, honestly, and I’m not sure what feels more like a dream, her death or her existence.  I’m guilty of both.

***

56:  “Yeah, sorry.”  I put my hands down in my cleavage and scoop out the sweat.  I gulp at air polluted with crack and try to shake it off.  I try to tell myself that it was years ago, that it’s over now.

***

Blurb:  Freedom Oliver has plenty of secrets.  She lives in a small Oregon town and keeps mostly to herself.  Her few friends and neighbors know she works at the local biker bar; they know she gets arrested for public drunkenness almost every night; they know she’s brash, funny, and fearless.

What they don’t know is that Freedom Oliver is a fake name.  They don’t know that she was arrested for killing her husband, a cop, twenty years ago.  They don’t know she put her two kids up for adoption.  They don’t know that she’s now in witness protection, regretting ever making a deal with the Feds, and missing her children with a heartache so strong it makes her ill.

Then, she learns that her daughter has gone missing, possibly kidnapped.  Determined to find out what happened, Freedom slips free of her handlers, gets on a motorcycle, and heads for Kentucky, where her daughter was raised.  As she ventures out on her own, no longer protected by the government, her troubled past comes roaring back at her: her husband’s vengeful, sadistic family; her brief, terrifying stint in prison; and the family she chose to adopt her kids who are keeping dangerous secrets.

Written with a ferocious wit and a breakneck pace, Freedom’s Child is a thrilling, emotional portrait of a woman who risks everything to make amends for a past that haunts her still.

***

It has been another week of sluggish reading, but I hope to dive into this one by next week.  Let’s see!

My house guests are still here, and to make the guest room/office more spacious, I removed the bookcase that jutted out into the room…and now it is in my garage, filled with more books to donate.

Before:

 

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After:

 

 

bookcase with donated books

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What bookish events are happening in your corner of the blogosphere?

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BOOKISH FRIDAYS: EXCERPTING “IT’S YOU”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s 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!

What better way to spend a Friday!

I hope everyone will be celebrating a Happy Fourth of July!  Meanwhile, let’s take a look at a new book I’m spotlighting from Jane Porter: It’s You, a story about finding love and strength, even in the darkest moments.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Ali)

For over a year following Andrew’s death I showed up and performed and executed perfectly.

I handled that horrible year and the next few months so well that I’d begun to think the worst was behind me.

And then I got the note.

***

56:  (Ali) I have a text message from Diana Martin, the florist I met on the flight, who has an extra ticket for an event at one of the wineries tonight.  It’s the annual Concert in the Cellar, so there’s music and dinner and some kind of an auction, but I don’t have to go glitzy.

***

Blurb:  In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.

What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.

As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts pique your interest?

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