TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “LEAVE ME”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is an e-ARC from NetGalley.  Leave Me, by Gayle Forman, to be released on September 6, 2016, is about facing the fears we’re all running from. Gayle Forman is a dazzling observer of human nature. She has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head on and asks, what happens when a grown woman runs away from home?

 

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Intro:  (New York City)

Maribeth Klein was working late, waiting to sign off on the final page proofs of the December issue, when she had a heart attack.

Those first twinges in her chest, however, were more a heaviness than a pain, and she did not immediately think heart.  She thought indigestion, brought on by the plate of greasy Chinese food she’d eaten at her desk the hour before.  She thought anxiety, brought on by the length of tomorrow’s to-do list.  She thought irritation, brought on by the conversation with her husband, Jason, who when she’d called earlier was having a dance party with Oscar and Liv, even though their downstairs neighbor Earl Jablonski would complain and even though keeping the twins up past eight upped the odds that one of them would wake in the night (and wake her up, too).

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Teaser:  She followed him down a long narrow hallway, the walls covered with framed photographs, through a dining room, the table piled high with mail and medical journals, and into a bright open kitchen with top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances and fire-engine red laminate cabinets.  It looked like a showroom, pristine, as if the kitchen had never been sullied by the messy act of cooking. (45%).

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Synopsis:  Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. But, as is often the case, once we get where we’re going we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves.

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Would you keep reading?  Does this book capture your attention?  I know that I’m definitely eager to learn more about the characters.

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TUESDAY INTROS: “BEACH BLUES”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is my current read, and a review book from the author, Joanne DeMaio.   Beach Blues takes us back to Stony Point,  bringing you right to a secluded fishing shack and weathered boardwalk, to its wooden rowboat and lantern-lit porches. A novel that welcomes you, as much as it may break your heart.

 

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Intro:  If a little beach cottage could look forlorn, this one does.  Though she’s not sure why.  It’s just a bungalow, really, in need of a fresh coat of white paint.  Still, that’s not it.  Celia considers the cottage before her.  It sits on a small hill, so the sea breezes will reach into its windows.  And those sheer curtain panels on the top of each paned window look like white sails, puffing in the wind.  It all perfectly suits the cottage name:  Summer Winds.

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Teaser: “Can’t believe summer’s here again.”  Kyle Bradford tips his glass of beer to Jason’s.  “Cheers, man.”

“What are we toasting?”

“Life.  Beautiful life.”  Kyle sips his beer.  “You saved mine, been two years now, on a night that started right in this very bar.  And I’m here to tell you, it’s good to be alive, man.” (p. 17).

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Blurb:  New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio invites you to spend the summer by the sea, in a quaint New England beach town where friends and love await just outside the cottage doors.

Celia Gray finds herself house-sitting a silver-shingled cottage at Stony Point. She arrives with her guitar, a few staging jobs … and a bit of summertime sadness. That is, until an unforgettable group of beach friends draws her in like a breath of salt air.

Sal DeLuca heard the words in a dream: Take me to the sea. So after a decade of demanding work, he takes his first vacation in years. Trading in his suit and tie for blue jeans and boat shoes, Sal unexpectedly arrives at his mother’s shabby inn on the Connecticut shore, winding his way into the lives and hearts of the close-knit beach community.

When Stony Point’s two wash-ashores, Sal and Celia, meet, some say it’s a match made in beach-heaven. And so begins a sweet seaside summer … forging friendships, adventures and new love. But all is not at ease in the gentle sea breeze as a dark secret turns the tide for the Stony Point crew.

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I have loved every one of these beautiful books that bring the reader to gorgeous settings, reuniting old friends and introducing new ones.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES WITH “SHE’S NOT THERE”

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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 .

 

 

 

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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.

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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%).

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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.

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

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES WITH “MISSING PIECES”

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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 an author I enjoy:  Heather Gudenkauf’s newest book, Missing Pieces, will be released on February 2, 2016.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue – 1985)

Lydia gazed absentmindedly outside the kitchen window, the bright May sunshine glinting off the dew-glazed sweet-potato vine that cascaded from the window box just beyond the screen.  It was barely seven thirty, and fifteen-year-old Jack and eleven-year-old Amy were already on the bus, making the forty-minute ride to school.  Their last day before summer vacation began.  She’d have to make a special supper to celebrate the occasion.  Waffles topped with strawberries and freshly whipped cream, lemonade garnished with mint snipped from the windowsill herb garden.

Outside, Grey, their pewter-eyed silver Lab, began barking.  A relaxed, friendly yapping.  Lydia leaned in, scanning the yard for the source of Grey’s excitement.  From her vantage point, the farmyard was deserted.  John’s truck was still gone and wouldn’t return until after six.  The bedsheets that she had forgotten on the clothesline overnight flapped languidly in the mild morning breeze.  The gravel road that wound its way up to the main highway was empty, no telltale dust announcing the arrival of a visitor.  Someone could have come by way of the old mud road, but few dared to, for fear their tires would become stuck in the mire brought along by the early-summer rain….

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Teaser:  She had settled on the couch, not anticipating being able to sleep but grateful when it came.  Someone must have laid the blanket over her sleeping form.  A kind gesture made ominous because she’d slept so soundly through it. (65%).

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Synopsis:  A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf 

Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I know that I have loved every book I’ve read by this author.

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LET’S CHASE AWAY THOSE BLUES: EXCERPTING “THE MISTAKE I MADE”

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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.

My featured book today is an e-ARC from NetGalley:  The Mistake I Made, by Paula Daly.  I have loved two other books by this author, so I am excited about reading it.  (Just What Kind of Mother Are You?, and Keep Your Friends Close).  This book will be released on September 8, 2015.

 

 

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Intro:  Bodies were my business.  Living, not dead.  And on a sweltering afternoon in early July the body lying face down in front of me was an ordinary specimen.  He was my twelfth patient of the day, and my back was aching, my sunny disposition just about beginning to falter.

‘How is it feeling?’ he asked as I sank my thumbs into tough fascia running alongside the spine.

‘Pretty good,’ I replied.  ‘I’ve got rid of the scar tissue around L4—the troublesome joint.  You should notice a difference as soon as you stand up.’

He was a quarry worker.  Often my toughest customers.  They spoke very little, so I enjoyed the brief respite from the interaction that most demanded, but physically, quarry workers were hard on my hands.  They have a dense bulk to their musculature, a resistance to the tissues, which requires the full weight of my upper body, directed down through my overused thumbs.

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Teaser:  When I started out on my own, years ago, I remember being terribly worried about whether I could make the business work or not.  At the time, I voiced these concerns to one of my first patients, Keith Hollinghurst, and he had this to say: ‘Those that have to make it work, do.  Those that don’t, don’t.’ (2%)

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Blurb:  The Mistake I Made is the latest page-turner from one of the England’s most captivating new thriller writers. In her provocative and riveting third novel, Paula Daly focuses her masterful eye for psychological suspense and family drama on an indecent proposal that has fatal repercussions.

Single mother Roz has reached breaking-point. After the dissolution of her marriage, Roz’s business has gone under, debts are racking up, the rent is late (again), and she’s struggling to provide for her nine-year-old son, who is starting to misbehave in school. Roz is in trouble. Real trouble.

When Roz returns home from work one day and finds an eviction notice, she knows that it’s time for action—she has two weeks to find a solution otherwise they will be kicked out of their home. Increasingly desperate, Roz doesn’t know where to turn. Then the perfect opportunity presents itself. At her sister’s fortieth birthday party, Roz meets Scott Elias—wealthy, powerful, and very married. But the impression Roz leaves on him is indelible. He tracks her down and makes Roz an offer to spend the night with him—for money. He wants no-strings-attached intimacy and can guarantee total discretion. Could it be as simple as it sounds? With that kind of cash, Roz could clear her debts and get her life back on track. But as the situation spirals out of her control, Roz is forced to do things she never thought herself capable of. Can she ever set things right again?

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What do you think?  Does the premise resonate with you?  Would you keep reading?

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A RAINY DAY THRILLER: INTROS/TEASERS – “GUILT”

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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.

Tuesdays are our time to strut some passages from upcoming reads.  Today, mine is from Guilt, by Jonathan Kellerman, another intensely thrilling blend of murder and madness.

 

 

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Intro:  All mine!

The house,  the life growing inside her.

The husband.

Holly finished her fifth circuit of the back room that looked out to the yard.  She paused for breath.  The baby—Aimee—had started pushing against her diaphragm.

Since escrow had closed, Holly had done a hundred circuits, imagining.  Loving every inch of the place despite the odors embedded in ninety-year-old plaster:  cat pee, mildew, overripe vegetable soup.  Old person.

In a few days the painting would begin and the aroma of fresh latex would bury all that, and cheerful colors would mask the discouraging gray-beige of Holly’s ten-room dream.  Not counting bathrooms.

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Teaser:  Resting her hands on a mahogany sill, Holly squinted to blank out the weeds and dead grass, struggling to conjure a green, flower-laden Eden.

Hard to visualize, with a mountain of tree trunk taking up all that space. (p. 4).

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Blurb:  A series of horrifying events occur in quick succession in the same upscale L.A. neighborhood. A backyard renovation unearths an infant’s body, buried sixty years ago. And soon thereafter in a nearby park, another disturbingly bizarre discovery is made not far from the body of a young woman shot in the head. Helping LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis to link these eerie incidents is brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. But even the good doctor’s vast experience with matters both clinical and criminal might not be enough to cut down to the bone of this chilling case—and draw out the disturbing truth.

Backtracking six decades into the past stirs up tales of a beautiful nurse with a mystery lover, a handsome, wealthy doctor who seems too good to be true, and a hospital with a notorious reputation—all of them long gone, along with any records of a newborn, and destined for anonymity. But the specter of fame rears its head when the case unexpectedly twists in the direction of the highest echelons of celebrity privilege. Entering this sheltered world, Alex little imagines the macabre layer just below the surface—a decadent quagmire of unholy rituals and grisly sacrifice.

Before their work is done, Alex and Milo, “the most original whodunit duo since Watson and Holmes” (Forbes), must confront a fanatically deranged mind of such monstrous cunning that even the most depraved madman would shudder.

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Wow, I got the chills just reading that!  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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RAINY DAY INTROS/TEASERS: “BLUEPRINTS”

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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 feature is an ARC that I am excited to read from a favorite author.  Barbara Delinsky’s newest book:  Blueprints, is the story of two strong women who must remake themselves when circumstances change.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

The rain let up just in time.  The final day of taping for the spring season of Gut It! was about to begin, and though the sun hadn’t yet appeared, Caroline McAfee’s hopes were high.  Well behind the stream of work vehicles pulling up on the road, the western sky was giving way to scattered patches of blue, as the June breeze pushed gunmetal clouds east, toward Boston and the sea.

How to describe what she felt as she stood at the head of an all-new cobblestone drive looking at the rebuilt facade of what once had been a weary old Cape?  There was relief that the hard work was done, and surprise—always surprise—that everything had come together so well.  There was also a sense of ownership.  Caroline hadn’t asked to be the mouthpiece of the show, but after nearly ten years as host, it was her baby as much as anyone’s.

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Teaser:  Jamie McAfee would always be her parents’ child.  It didn’t matter that she was twenty-nine and financially independent.  When it came to her mother and father, she was still the little girl whose life had been shaped by their divorce and her need to please them both—which was why she was increasingly anxious as she drove across town for a quick breakfast with her dad.  (p. 8).

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Blurb:  Blueprints, the new novel from bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, is the story of two strong women, Caroline MacAfee, a skilled carpenter, and her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. The day after her 56th birthday, Caroline is told the network wants Jamie to replace her as the host on Gut It!, their family-based home construction TV show. The resulting rift couldn’t come at a worse time.
For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn’t want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!
For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. When her ex-husband dies, she is thrust into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there’s Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.

Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they’ve built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.

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What do you think?  Could you immerse yourself in this one?  I know that I am eager to begin.

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TUESDAY INTROS/TEASERS – “SECOND LIFE”

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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 Should Be Reading.

It’s another happy and bookish day, and my feature is an ARC called Second Life, by S. J. Watson.  I have heard mixed thoughts on this one, probably because of the phenomenal success of the author’s previous book, Before I Go to Sleep.

But I am ready to take a chance.

 

 

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Intro:  I climb the stairs but the door is closed.  I hesitate outside it.  Now I’m here, I don’t want to go in.  I want to turn round, go home.  Try again later.

But this is my last chance.  The exhibition has been on for weeks and closes tomorrow.  It’s now or never.

I close my eyes and breathe as deeply as I can.  I concentrate on filling my lungs, I straighten my shoulders, I feel the tension in my body evaporate as I breathe out.  I tell myself there’s nothing to be worried about, I come here regularly—to meet friends for lunch, to catch the latest exhibitions, to attend lectures.  This time is no different.  Nothing here can hurt me.  It’s not a trap.

Finally I feel ready.  I push open the door and go in.

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Teaser:  I sat in the garden for hours that day, my laptop humming in front of me.  I was exploring the site, clicking on profiles, opening photographs. (p. 95).

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Blurb:   Julia’s life is comfortable, if unremarkable, until her sister’s brutal murder opens old wounds. She finds solace in her sister’s best friend, Sophie, but when Sophie reveals the extent of her sister’s online life, Julia becomes convinced that the truth about her death lies deep in the dark, sordid world of online chatrooms and internet sex.

What begins as Julia’s search for the truth about her sister quickly turns into an exploration of herself and her own desires. After all, the internet is her playground, and why be just one thing when you can be as many as you like? What could possibly go wrong? After all, it’s only cybersex, isn’t it? No one’s going to get hurt.

But then she meets the dark and mysterious Lukas in an online chat room, and things begin to get very dangerous indeed.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Make you want to know more?

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “ALL DAY AND A NIGHT”

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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 Should Be Reading.

Today I am excerpting from All Day and a Night, by Alafair Burke, an ARC.

 

 

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Intro:  (Chapter One)

Ellie Hatcher was a gambler, even though she’d been raised to pretend that gambling was reckless.  Foolhardy, her mother would call it (because Roberta Hatcher wanted to believe that she grew up in an old-money world of Tudor manors surrounded by show horses, instead of a no-money world of aluminum-sided houses encircled by cyclone fences).  Worse than foolhardy, to risk money on games of chance was arrogant.  Smug.  To think that somehow the randomness of the universe would align in your favor was…unseemly.

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Teaser:  Rogan was twisting the cap on his Montblanc pen, always a sign that he was growing impatient with a conversation and didn’t care if people noticed.  Ellie was about to encourage Max to get to the point, but remembered all the times she’d insisted that he not treat her like a girlfriend at work. (p. 18).

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Blurb:  When psychotherapist Helen Brunswick is murdered in her Park Slope office, the entire city suspects her estranged husband—until the District Attorney’s office receives an anonymous letter. The letter’s author knows a chilling detail that police have kept secret: the victim’s bones were broken after she was killed. Her injuries were eerily similar to the signature used twenty years earlier by Anthony Amaro, a serial killer serving a life sentence for his crimes. Now, Amaro is asking to be released from prison, arguing that he was wrongly convicted, and that the true killer is still on the loose.

NYPD Detectives Ellie Hatcher and JJ Rogan are tapped as the “fresh look” team to reassess the original investigation that led to Amaro’s conviction. The case pits them against both their fellow officers and a hard-charging celebrity defense lawyer with a young associate named Carrie Blank, whose older sister was one of Amaro’s victims.

As the NYPD and Amaro’s lawyers search for certainty among conflicting evidence, their investigations take them back to Carrie’s hometown, where secrets buried long ago lead to a brutal attack—one that makes it terrifyingly clear that someone has gotten too close to the truth.

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Do the excerpts pull you in?  Pique your curiosity?  I hope you will share your thoughts.

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CHASE AWAY THE BLUES WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “A FIREPROOF HOME FOR THE BRIDE”

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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 Should Be Reading.

Here we are at Tuesday already, with Christmas just around the corner.  And no, I’m not featuring a Christmas book today, but another ARC:  A Fireproof Home for the Bride, by Amy Scheibe.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue – His Wonders to Perform – October 1952)

A hazy dawn broke over a small lean-to of weathered gray planks and multicolored leafy branches that had been meticulously assembled the day before, the work completed mostly between the morning chores and those dispatched in the afternoon.  Emmy looked up at the speckled yellow covering of boughs that she had carefully chosen from the row of shrubs and smaller trees that edged the barren late-autumn field of sheared cornstalks, their papery remains bent toward the earth, waiting for the punishment of the long Minnesota winter to grind them down into dust.

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Teaser:  At the crunch of rustled leaves in the distance, Ambrose moved from his squat into a creeping crawl, picking up his shotgun as he squinted into the piercing daylight.  A slight nod of his head brought her gaze level alongside of his. (p. 3).

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Amazon Blurb:  Emmeline Nelson and her sister Birdie grow up in the hard, cold rural Lutheran world of strict parents, strict milking times, and strict morals. Marriage is preordained, the groom practically predestined. Though it’s 1958, southern Minnesota did not see changing roles for women on the horizon. Caught in a time bubble between a world war and the ferment of the 1960’s, Emmy doesn’t see that she has any say in her life, any choices at all. Only when Emmy’s fiancé shows his true colors and forces himself on her does she find the courage to act—falling instead for a forbidden Catholic boy, a boy whose family seems warm and encouraging after the sere Nelson farm life. Not only moving to town and breaking free from her engagement but getting a job on the local newspaper begins to open Emmy’s eyes. She discovers that the KKK is not only active in the Midwest but that her family is involved, and her sense of the firm rules she grew up under—and their effect—changes completely. A FIREPROOF HOME FOR THE BRIDE has the charm of detail that will drop readers into its time and place: the home economics class lecture on cuts of meat, the group date to the diner, the small-town movie theater popcorn for a penny. It also has a love story—the wrong love giving way to the right—and most of all the pull of a great main character whose self-discovery sweeps the plot forward.

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What do you think?  Does it pique your curiosity?  Would you keep reading?

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