BOOKISH FRIDAY: “I OWE YOU ONE”

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 a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is I Owe You One, by Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything.

***

 

Beginning:  The trouble with me is, I can’t let things go.  They bug me.  I see problems and I want to fix them, right here, right now.  My nickname isn’t Fixie for nothing.

I mean, this can be a good thing.  For example, at my best friend Hannah’s wedding, I got to the reception and instantly saw that only half the tables had flowers.  I ran around sorting it before the rest of the guests arrived, and in her speech, Hannah thanked me for dealing with “Flowergate.”  So that was OK.

***

56:  I’m breathing furiously as I reach the bottom of the stairs.  He deliberately got me out of the way; he deliberately chose a moment when Mum was distracted….

***

Synopsis:  Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?

It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

***

What do you think?  I know that I’m ready for the light and funny prose of Ms. Kinsella.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BY THE BOOK”

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 a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a download from almost a year ago:  By the Book, by Julie Sonneborn:  Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past…and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

 

 

Beginning:  “What time’s your class, Anne?”  my best friend and fellow English professor Larry asked.  He was standing at the door to my office in his pressed shirt and tortoiseshell glasses, his balding head shaved close and his hand clutching an interoffice mail envelope.

***

Friday 56%:  Best to wait until the book was out to share the news, I decided.  Anything could happen between now and the book’s publication, and I didn’t want to rile him up unnecessarily.  With his leg hoisted onto the stool, he looked frailer than normal, swallowed up by his huge armchair.

***

Synopsis:  An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

***

I am eager to read this one, a book that has been quietly resting on my Kindle for almost a year.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “VERITY”

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 a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a new download:  Verity, by Colleen Hoover: a standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover. Due to graphic scenes, this book is recommended for ages 18+

 

 

Beginning:  I hear the crack of his skull before the spattering of blood reaches me.

I gasp and take a quick step back onto the sidewalk.  One of my heels doesn’t clear the curb, so I grip the pole of a No Parking sign to steady myself.

***

Friday 56%:  Maybe what I felt was mother’s intuition.  Maybe, deep down, I knew something terrible was going to happen to Chastain, and that’s why I had been given that immense and sudden love for her.

***

Synopsis:  Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BEST DAY EVER”

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 a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is one I downloaded back in October 2017:  Best Day Ever, by Kaira Rouda, a creepy, spine-tingling and utterly addictive tale of domestic suspense.” —Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, bestselling authors of The Good Widow

 

 

Beginning:  (Morning, 9:00 a.m.)

I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, sunlight bouncing off her shiny blond hair like sparklers lit for the Fourth of July, and I am bursting with confidence.  Everything is as it should be.

***

Friday 56%:  I closed the door behind me, but it opened again immediately.  A stout short guy dressed in a rent-a-cop uniform appeared behind me.  “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said.

***

Synopsis:  Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the vein of The Couple Next Door, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

***

I had almost forgotten that this book was resting on Pippa, my Kindle…but as I reexamined my unread TBR and came upon this one, I recalled seeing some rave reviews about it.  So it has now moved up on my list.  What do you think?  Have you read it?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “RAINY DAY WOMEN”

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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 a great way to spend a Friday!

Wow, Friday already!  I’m excited to celebrate with a fairly recent download:  Rainy Day Women (e-book), (Austin Starr #2),  by Kay Kendall.   “An exciting jaunt back to the days of flower power and Women’s Lib, Kay Kendall’s RAINY DAY WOMEN explores serious issues that still resonate today, nearly fifty years later. “

 

 

 

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Beginning:  I stood, careful not to make any noise, afraid to waken the sleeping ogre.  If his constant twitches were any indication, he was only dozing.  If he woke up, he’d be a real beast and leave me no peace.

My bare feet inched along the floorboards.  I knew where the squeaky spots lurked and avoided them.

***

56%:  A tear trickled down my left cheek.

“Are you okay, Austin?”  Mia’s voice was gentle.  “What’s bringing you down? You seemed happy and spunky only minutes ago.”

***

Blurb:  Kay Kendall’s second Austin Starr mystery will have you believing it’s 1969 all over again. In a book where the musical references mean you’ll find yourself humming tunes now known as “classic vinyl,” Kendall peppers her work with references to the times which make the decades disappear – and she respects her readers enough to not overdo it. Her sense of place as she allows the mystery to unfold within Vancouver’s University of British Columbia, beset by the rain for which the “wet” coast is known, is pitch perfect. Hot diggity – a thoroughly enjoyable read. Now I’m off to dig out my Bob Dylan albums and find an old bra I can burn.”
– Cathy Ace, Author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries, and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries

“Feminism, the ’60s, murder, and a friend in big trouble. Austin Starr is back to help, leaving her husband behind but bringing her baby along. Rainy Day Women is an entertaining and fast-paced mystery set in a turbulent time. Right on!”
– Bill Crider, Anthony Award-winning author of The Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery Series

***

What do you think?  Would you like a flashback to the 60s?  Do the “changin’ times” resonate with you?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE FUTURES”

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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 a great way to spend a Friday!

Today I grabbed a book I found on Pippa, my Kindle…one I haven’t even had that long The Futures, by Anna Pitoniak, is a debut novel about love and betrayal, in which a young couple moves to New York City in search of success-only to learn that the lives they dream of may come with dangerous strings attached.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue – Julia)

It was a story that made sense.  An old story, but one that felt truer for it.  Young love goes stale and slackens.  You change, and you shed what you no longer need.  It’s just part of growing up.

I thought I had understood.  It seemed so simple at the time.

***

56%:  (Julia)

I got home around midnight on Monday, figuring I had a few hours to spare.  Evan didn’t usually leave work until two or three in the morning.  But as I approached, I noticed the light shining from beneath our door and the dull garble of the television coming from inside.

***

Synopsis:  Julia and Evan fall in love as undergraduates at Yale. For Evan, a scholarship student from a rural Canadian town, Yale is a whole new world, and Julia–blond, beautiful, and rich–fits perfectly into the future he’s envisioned for himself. After graduation, and on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, they move together to New York City, where Evan lands a job at a hedge fund. But Julia, whose privileged upbringing grants her an easy but wholly unsatisfying job with a nonprofit, feels increasingly shut out of Evan’s secretive world.

With the market crashing and banks failing, Evan becomes involved in a high-stakes deal at work–a deal that, despite the assurances of his Machiavellian boss, begins to seem more than slightly suspicious. Meanwhile, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who offers a glimpse of a different kind of live. As the economy craters, and as Evan and Julia spin into their separate orbits, they each find that they are capable of much more–good and bad–than they’d ever imagined.

Rich in suspense and insight, Anna Pitoniak’s gripping debut reveals the fragile yet enduring nature of our connections: to one another and to ourselves. THE FUTURES is a glittering story of a couple coming of age, and a searing portrait of what it’s like to be young and full of hope in New York City, a place that so often seems determined to break us down–but ultimately may be the very thing that saves us.

***

I’ve heard really good things about this book, and I’m also always up for a story set in New York City.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE DRY”

married-to-books-bookish-logo

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 a great way to spend a Friday!

A recent download is my feature this week, and I can’t wait to dive into this one.  The Dry,  is an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue)

It wasn’t as though the farm hadn’t seen death before, and the blowflies didn’t discriminate.  To them there was little difference between a carcass and a corpse.

(Chapter One)

Even those who didn’t darken the door of the church from one Christmas to the next could tell there would be more mourners than seats.  A bottleneck of black and gray was already forming at the entrance as Aaron Falk drove up, trailing a cloud of dust and cracked leaves.

***

56:  Falk braced himself for an outburst, but instead a look of confusion flashed across Deacon’s face.  He shook his head slightly, the loose chicken flesh on his neck rubbing against a dirty collar.

“Why are you back?”  Deacon’s voice was slow and raspy.

***

Synopsis:  After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.  Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

***

I have heard such good things about this book, so I am eager to begin.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE STEP MOTHER”

married-to-books-bookish-logo

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 a great way to spend a Friday!

My feature today is a recent download:  The Stepmother (e-book), by Claire Seeber, a compelling, dark and twisty psychological thriller that will grip fans of Behind Closed Doors, Between You and Me and The Teacher.

 

 

the-stepmother

 

Beginning:  (Prologue)

Once upon a time there was a king who married a lady, and so she became his queen.  Soon after their wedding the new queen gave birth to a beautiful daughter.  The queen looked at her baby and saw that her hair was black as ebony, her skin as white as snow and her lips as red as the roses climbing around the window.  The queen liked the pure and pristine snow best, so she named her baby Snow White.

Not long after the baby’s christening, the queen died of a mysterious ailment.

I wonder what that was.

***

56:  I point at the small, framed painting of an old window, surrounded by snow, a red rose growing around the ebony frame.  There is a dash of blood in the snow on the sill.

***

Synopsis:  Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.

No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.

And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.

But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.

Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending…doesn’t it?

***

I’ve been eager to start reading this one.  I am hoping that everything I hear about this book will keep me engaged.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10”

married-to-books-bookish-logo

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 a great way to spend a Friday!

My featured book today is The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware, a taut and intense read—one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.

 

 

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Beginning:  In my dream, the girl was drifting, far, far below the crashing waves and the cries of the gulls in the cold, sunless depths of the North Sea.  Her laughing eyes were white and bloated with salt water; her pale skin was wrinkled; her clothes ripped by jagged rocks and disintegrating into rags.

***

56%:  I took a deep breath.  There was no alternative.  No one could divert the boat except Bullmer, and if I didn’t do this now, I might never get the chance.  Better to speak up, even with an audience, than risk…I pushed the thought away.

***

Synopsis:  In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

***

What do you think?  Does this one grab you?  Do you want to keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE MISSING”

married-to-books-bookish-logo

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 a great way to spend a Friday!

My feature today is a recent download:  The Missing, by Caroline Eriksson, a dark psychological thrill ride—with more twists than a labyrinth and more breathless moments than a roller coaster—in which Greta must confront what she’s always kept hidden if she has any hope of untangling the truth.

 

 

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Beginning:  The little motorboat slices through the water with the precision of a knife.  The sun is low in the sky; it’s getting late on this evening at the end of summer.  I’m sitting in the bow, closing my eyes to the water spraying up into my face, fighting against the nausea that churns inside my body and matches the movement of the boat.

***

56%:  I stagger toward the bedroom, realizing I need to lie down.  When I reach the doorway, my eyes fall on the lacy red bra still draped over a chair, and I pause.   I bought the bra when Alex suggested—or rather, told me—that we would be driving to Marhem for a few days.

***

Synopsis:  An ordinary outing takes Greta, Alex, and four-year-old Smilla across Sweden’s mythical Lake Malice to a tiny, isolated island. While father and daughter tramp into the trees, Greta stays behind in the boat, lulled into a reverie by the misty, moody lake…only later to discover that the two haven’t returned. Her frantic search proves futile. They’ve disappeared without a trace.

Greta struggles to understand their eerie vanishing. She desperately needs to call Alex, to be reassured that Smilla is safe, or contact the police. But now her cell phone is missing too. Back at her cottage, she finds it hidden away under the bedsheets. Had she done that? Or had someone else been in the cottage? But who, and why? As Greta struggles to put the pieces together, she fears that her past has come back to torment her, or she’s finally lost her grip on reality…

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading this one?  Does it grab you?

***