LET’S CHAT ABOUT BLOGGING & READING

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Let’s enjoy Monday by musing with Jen, at A Daily Rhythm.

Here are some topics:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Does your local library ever have book sales? What are the prices like? Tell us about any great finds you have found there!

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I am loving my current read, an e-ARC I received from NetGalley.  I so thoroughly enjoyed two previous books by the author, that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one:  The Mistake I Made, by Paula Daly.

 

 

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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?

***

Last week, I did a blog post that pretty much sums up what’s happening in my blog world:  Merging & Deleting – My Interior Thoughts.

Here’s the new header at my Creative Journey site, where I merged some content from my now defunct Snow Chronicles blog.  It is my blog for posting excerpts from my novels; for chatting about writing; and for enjoying the journey.

 

 

PicMonkey Collage-another cj, revised

 

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What is going on in your interior world this week?  What are you reading?

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES…AGAIN!

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Welcome to my Blue Mondays Musings Post.  Check in at A Daily Rhythm to see what others are musing about.  Here are Jen’s topics:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Have you ever won a copy of a book (other than for review)? What was the book, and what were the circumstances?

***

First…I am reading a short novel (178 pages) by Richard YatesCold Spring Harbor. In this classic novel Richard Yates, hailed as a preeminent chronicler of the American condition and author of the acclaimed Revolutionary Road, weaves a masterful, unflinching tale of two families brought together by chance, desperation, and desire.   I loved Revolutionary Road, both the book and the movie.  I also loved The Easter Parade and Disturbing the Peace All of Yates’s books make me stop and think…and then I remember them long after finishing.

Have you read an author whose work is so memorable you can’t stop thinking about it?

 

 

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I just downloaded a copy of Who Do You Love?, by Jennifer Weiner.  Her books are some of my favorites, too, although some are better than others.

 

 

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What are you reading, pining after, or thinking about today?

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES: MORE PURGING

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It’s Monday, and I’m eager to share bookish stuff….if you are ready to join in, check out Jen, at A Daily Rhythm.

Some topics:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you read in the water (bathtub, pool, etc)? Why, or why not?

***

Today I’m sharing the outcome of my latest purge.  After my house guests left for a while, I started in on the office.  And noticed that my bookshelves were overflowing…again.

And since I am determined to stay ahead of the game, here are my “before and after” shots.

 

 

PicMonkey Collage-before and after purge

And these books joined the others I am getting ready to donate…in the bookcase in the garage that I removed a few weeks ago.

 

 

bookcase with donated books

 

I love having this bookcase just waiting to receive the books.  I will soon empty it into my car for its trip to the library.

***

As for the question:  I used to love reading in the bathtub…but since most of my reading nowadays is on my Kindle, Pippa, no way!  I am too afraid of liquid getting into my device.

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CELEBRATING MY BOOKISH LOVE: MUSINGS ON A MONDAY

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Welcome to another Monday of Musings...check in at A Daily Rhythm to see other participants.

Here are some topics:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

***

I’m currently reading A Window Opens, by Elisabeth Egan…and I’m loving it.  It will be released on 8/25.  I got my copy from NetGalley.

 

 

 

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In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine Elisabeth Egan brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.

Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up and her work takes an unexpected turn. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?

***

And then I discovered this upcoming release from a favorite author of mine!  Yay!  Joyce Maynard is an author I have read since I first stumbled upon the book she published when she was a teenager: Looking Back: A chronicle of growing up old in the sixties. (In 1973).  To say that I am a fan would be an understatement.  I eagerly grab each new book and savor it.

Her new release, Under the Influence, is coming on February 23, 2016.  A long wait…but it will be worth it for me.

 

 

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Alcohol cost Helen her marriage and custody of David, her seven-year-old son. Though she once had aspirations to be an art photographer, she makes ends meet taking pictures of grade-school children and working society parties for a catering company. Recovering from her addiction, she spends her evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site; weekends, she has awkward visits with her son, but he seems to be drifting away from her, fast.

When she meets Ava and Swift Havilland, the vulnerable Helen is instantly enchanted. Wealthy, connected philanthropists, they have their own charity devoted to the care and welfare of dogs. Their home is filled with glamorous friends, edgy art, and fabulous parties.

As Helen increasingly falls under the Havillands’ influence—running errands, doing random chores, cataloguing Ava’s art collection—Ava and Swift hire a good lawyer to help her regain custody of her son. But the debt Helen owes them is about to come due.

David witnesses an accident involving Swift, his grown son, Cooper, and the daughter of the Havillands’ Guatemalan housekeeper. With David’s future in the balance, Helen must choose between the truth and the friends who have given her everything.

***

What are you musing about today?

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BLUE MONDAYS NO MORE: MUSING ABOUT BOOKS

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Welcome to another Monday of Chasing Away the Blues.  Check out A Daily Rhythm, to see what others are musing about.  Here are some prompts:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Have you ever made a new friend because of a book? (or books)?

***

Currently, I am reading The Wrong Man, by Kate White, and I am rapidly turning pages to see what will happen next.

 

 

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She wanted to be more daring, but one small risk is about to cost her everything—maybe even her life.

Bold and adventurous in her work as owner of one of Manhattan’s boutique interior design firms, Kit Finn couldn’t be tamer in her personal life. While on vacation in the Florida Keys, Kit resolves to do something risky for once. When she literally bumps into a charming stranger at her hotel, she decides to make good on her promise and act on her attraction. But back in New York, when Kit arrives at his luxury apartment ready to pick up where they left off in the Keys, she doesn’t recognize the man standing on the other side of the door. Was this a cruel joke or part of something truly sinister? Kit soon realizes that she’s been thrown into a treacherous plot, which is both deeper and deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Now the only way to protect herself, her business, and the people she loves is to find out the true identity of the man who has turned her life upside down. Adrenaline-charged and filled with harrowing twists at every turn, The Wrong Man will keep readers riveted until the final page.

***

I am excited about a book I just downloaded from NetGalley.  Pretending to Dance, by Diane Chamberlain, has been on my wish list, and now I have it!  It will be released on Oct. 6, 2015.

 

 

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Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She lives in San Diego with a husband she adores, and they are trying to adopt a baby because they can’t have a child on their own. But the process of adoption brings to light many questions about Molly’s past and her family-the family she left behind in North Carolina twenty years before. The mother she says is dead but who is very much alive. The father she adored and whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison’s Ridge. Her own birth mother whose mysterious presence in her family raised so many issues that came to a head. The summer of twenty years ago changed everything for Molly and as the past weaves together with the present story, Molly discovers that she learned to lie in the very family that taught her about pretending. If she learns the truth about her beloved father’s death, can she find peace in the present to claim the life she really wants?

***

As for the question posed above, I do recall forging a tight friendship in middle school with a girl who had many Nancy Drew mysteries.  How could I resist?

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What are you musing about today?  I have been missing from blog events lately due to my house guests.  My son and DIL from Berlin have been here since early July, and are still here, but we are finding a way to coordinate activities.

***

BOOKS & BOOKSTORES – NOSTALGIC MOMENTS

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Let’s gather around and chase away our Monday blues by Musing with Jen, at A Daily Rhythm.  Check out her topics!

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Is there a bookshop you absolutely adore? Or, perhaps one you’ve always wanted to visit? What is the name of it, and where is it located?

***

Currently, I am immersed (yes, thoroughly!) in Before We Met, by Lucie Whitehouse.  It languished on Pippa for more than a year, but I decided it was high time to read it.

I had preconceived ideas of what would be happening…secrets, lies, etc.  But the story has so much more than I expected.  Now I am totally unsure of how things will play out…and I’m loving that about it.

 

 

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A whirlwind romance. A picture-perfect marriage. Hannah Reilly has seized her chance at happiness.

Until the day her husband doesn’t come home …

Hannah, independent, headstrong and determined not to follow in the footsteps of her bitterly divorced mother, has always avoided commitment. But one hot New York summer she meets Mark Reilly, a fellow Brit, and is swept up in a love affair that changes all her ideas about what marriage might mean.

Now, living in their elegant, expensive London townhouse and adored by her fantastically successful husband, she knows she was right to let down her guard.

But when Mark does not return from a business trip to the States and when the hours of waiting for him stretch into days, the foundations of Hannah’s certainty begins to crack. Why do Mark’s colleagues believe he has gone to Paris not America? Why is there no record of him at his hotel? And who is the mysterious woman who has been telephoning him over the last few weeks?

Hannah begins to dig into her husband’s life uncovering revelations that throw into doubt everything she has ever believed about him. As her investigation leads her away from their fairytale romance into a place of violence and fear she must decide whether the secrets Mark has been keeping are designed to protect him, or protect her …

***

Today’s random question catapulted me back in time to this lovely, nostalgic bookshop that I loved.  Sundays, and almost any day, found me there browsing…and then settling in for a cup of coffee in the adjacent coffee shop.  On Sundays, there was a string quartet that made brunch a perfect retreat.

Alas, that shop left our city way back in the eighties, I think.  But recently, I discovered that it still exists in other places, like in San Diego, CA…where one of my granddaughters will be attending university.  Yay!

It is Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse.

 

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Don’t you want to curl up and read here?

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What are you musing about today?  Come on by and join in….

***

BLUES, GO AWAY! LET’S MUSE….

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Books & Fairytales-Musings

Welcome to another Monday of Chasing Away the Blues...and Musing with Jen and the gang, over at A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s Prompts:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What book would you currently recommend to someone? Why?

***

Pondering here…okay, let’s start with a book I bought last week.  I am a big fan of Orange is the New Black, and with the third season coming this next weekend, I was primed for this book:  Out of Orange, by Cleary Wolters, the real-life Alex Vause.

 

 

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Fans nationwide have fallen in love with Orange Is the New Black, the critically acclaimed and wildly popular Netflix show based on Piper Kerman’s sensational #1 New York Times bestseller. Now, Catherine Cleary Wolters—the inspiration for Alex Vause, Piper’s ex-girlfriend, friend, and sometimes-romantic partner on the show—tells her true story, offering details and insights that fill in the blanks, set the record straight, and answer common fan questions.

An insightful, frustrating, heartbreaking, and uplifting analysis of crime and punishment in our times, Out of Orange is an intimate look at international drug crime—a seemingly glamorous lifestyle that dazzles unsuspecting young women and eventually leads them to the seedy world of prison. Told by a woman originally thrust into the spotlight without her permission—Wolters learned about Piper’s memoir in the media—Out of Orange chronicles Wolter’s time in the drug trade, her incarceration, her friendships and acquaintances with odd cellmates, her two marriages, and her complicated relationship with Piper. But Wolters is not solely defined by her past; she also reflects on her life and the person she is today.

Filled with colorful characters, fascinating tales, painful sobering lessons, and hard-earned wisdom, Out of Orange is sure to be provocative, entertaining, and ultimately inspiring.

***

I would recommend a book I read last week for those who enjoy suspenseful page turners:  Crash & Burn, by Lisa Gardner, kept me rapidly turning those pages, feeling the mounting intensity with each page. (Click title for my review).

 

 

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What books are you enjoying this week?  What are some of your favorites?

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BLUE MONDAYS MUSINGS: READING BUDDIES?

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It’s Monday!  Time to chase away the blues and ponder some thoughts presented over at A Daily Rhythm.

Here are Jen’s prompts:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you have a “kindred” reading buddy — someone who very closely shares your taste in books? If not, do you wish you did?

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I am currently reading an ARC from NetGalley, written by an author I only recently discovered.  Deb Caletti’s newest book is The Secrets She Keeps, and I am immersed in the story.  It will be released on July 7.

 

 

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“You don’t grow up on a divorce ranch and not learn to take a vow seriously.”

When Callie McBride finds a woman’s phone number written on a scrap of paper her husband has thrown away, she thinks that her marriage is over. Callie flees to Nevada and her Aunt Nash’s Tamarosa Ranch, where she’s shocked to see that the place of so many happy childhood memories is in disrepair. Worse, Aunt Nash is acting bizarrely—hoarding stacks of old photographs, burying a book in the yard, and railing against Kit Covey, a handsome government park ranger who piques Callie’s interest.

But Aunt Nash may prove to be saner than she seems once Callie pulls back the curtain on Tamarosa’s heyday—the 1940s and ’50s, when high-society and Hollywood women ventured to the ranch for quickie divorces and found a unique sisterhood—and uncovers a secret promise Nash made to her true love. Callie will come to see is that no life is ever ordinary. No story of love is, either.

***

I am very intrigued by the story, and the characters are proving to be quirky and fascinating.

***

As for the random question:  I WISH I had a “kindred” reading buddy, but I don’t.  Sadly.  The closest I come to that state of sheer Nirvana, however, would be the various blogs I visit, where I can often discover something that is perfect for me.  What more can one want?

What about the rest of you?

***

BLUE MONDAYS MUSINGS: WHY OLDER CHARACTERS FASCINATE ME…

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It’s Monday!  Time to chase away the blues and ponder some thoughts presented over at A Daily Rhythm.

Here we go:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What would you do if you wanted to buy a book for someone, but didn’t know what they like to read? Would you ask them? Would you choose something you, yourself, like? How would you go about buying them something?

***

I have been using Amazon Vine and recently, NetGalley, to find new books.  One of the books I requested was The New Neighbor, coming in July.

 

 

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In the tradition of Zoe Heller’s What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal, The New Neighbor is a darkly sophisticated novel about an old woman’s curiosity turned into a dangerous obsession as she becomes involved in her new neighbor’s complicated and cloaked life.

Ninety-year-old Margaret Riley is content hiding from the world. Stoic and independent, she rarely leaves the Tennessee mountaintop where she lives, finding comfort in the mystery novels that keep her company, that is, until she spots a woman who’s moved into the long-empty house across the pond.

Jennifer Young is also looking to hide. On the run from her old life, she and her four-year-old son Milo have moved to a quiet town where no one from her past can find her.

In Jennifer, Margaret sees both a potential companion in her loneliness and a mystery to be solved. But Jennifer refuses to talk about herself, her son, his missing father, or her past. Frustrated, Margaret crosses more and more boundaries in pursuit of the truth, threatening to unravel the new life Jennifer has so painstakingly created—and reveal some secrets of her own.

***

I have noticed my fascination (obsession?) with elderly characters lately, like the ones in There Was an Old Woman, by Hallie Ephron, or how about Florence Gordon?  (Click for my reviews).

Is it a characteristic of my own aging?  LOL  Or am I discovering that there are many interesting layers to characters who have lived a while?  Maybe a little bit of both.

At any rate, I am eager to read this one.

***

As for buying books for friends, I take the easy way out with a gift card.  I wouldn’t even begin to select a book for a friend, or even a family member.

What do you do?

***

 

 

BLUE MONDAYS MUSINGS: CHASING AWAY THE BLUES WITH MY CURRENT READ!

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Welcome to a contemplate Monday of musings about books.  Join Jen at A Daily Rhythm to see what others are pondering.  Here are Jen’s prompts:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you prefer Hardcover, Trade Paperback, or Mass Market Paperback? Why?

***

I’m going to jump right in to chat about my current read, an e-book called Night Night, Sleep Tight, by Hallie Ephron.  I loved one of her previous books, There Was an Old Woman (click for my review).  Hallie is one of the FOUR talented Ephron sisters.

 

 

 

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From the award-winning author of There Was an Old Woman comes a riveting tale of domestic noir, infused with old Hollywood folklore and glamour, set in a town rife with egotism and backstabbing and where fame and infamy are often interchangeable.

Los Angeles 1986: When Deirdre Unger arrived in Beverly Hills to help her bitter, disappointed father sell his dilapidated house, she discovers his lifeless body floating face down in the swimming pool. At first, Deirdre assumes her father’s death was a tragic accident. But the longer she stays in town, the more she suspects that it is merely the third act in a story that has long been in the making.

The sudden re-surfacing of Deirdre’s childhood best friend Joelen Nichol—daughter of the legendary star Elenor “Bunny” Nichol—seems like more than a coincidence. Back in 1958, Joelen confessed to killing her movie star mother’s boyfriend. Deirdre happened to be at the Nichols house the night of the murder—which was also the night she suffered a personal tragedy of her own. Could all of these events be connected?

Her search to find answers forces Deirdre to confront a truth she has long refused to believe: beneath the slick veneer of Beverly Hills lie secrets that someone will kill to keep buried.

***

Loving it!

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As for my preferred format for print books:  Hardcover, followed by Trade Paperback.  I do not like mass market books at all…too tiny to shelve nicely…yes, I am picky that way.

If I hang onto books for my library, I want them to look nice on the shelves.

 

 

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What about the rest of you?

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