SERENDIPITOUS WEDNESDAY: WAITING FOR “THE MISTAKE I MADE”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday event, hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Every week, we gather around the blogosphere and search out the upcoming book releases, sharing our thoughts and blurbs.  Today, I am eager to share The Mistake I Made, by Paula Daly, to be released on September 8, 2015.

 

 

 

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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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I have read two previous novels by this author, and can’t wait to see what she does with this one.  What are you sharing today?

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PASSING THE TORCH: SAYING GOODBYE TO “SPARKY”

Remember Sparky?  Here I am, above, reading from its beautiful pages.  My daughter gifted me with this lovely device in 2010, at Christmas.  She was gently trying to tell me that my books were taking over my life, and if I wanted them to be less visible, I should start buying e-books.

I wasn’t so sure about it, but once I got the knack of reading from it, and after I named the device, I was in.

But as all things must come to an end, I knew I needed to upgrade.  So Pippa came into my life.

 

 

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But what about Sparky?  Well, long story short:  my youngest grandson, Noah, aged 12, who loves accompanying me to bookstores, asked if he could have it.  Of course!  How appropriate to pass the torch to him, especially since his mother gave me Sparky in the first place.

I was new to how all this works.  First I had to deregister it, and I thought that would be it.  But no, there is more to it.  My books were still showing.  Then I realized that I needed to return to the “factory default setting,” and voila!  Books gone.

Now he can begin his own collection.

 

 

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Yes, it is only fitting that this kid who loves books…and devices, would be the perfect recipient for Sparky.  Live on, Sparky!  Have fun, Noah!

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REVIEW: A WEEK AT THE LAKE, BY WENDY WAX

 

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Friendships that go on for years can sustain a person, and when there is a break in the regular get-togethers and an absence of contact, feelings are hurt. People feel abandoned.

Emma Michaels grew up among Hollywood royalty, and was a child actor. She famously divorced her parents at a young age and lived with her grandmother. The cottage at the lake was a special gathering place for Emma’s friends, the ones she bonded with in their Manhattan days: Mackenzie Hayes and Serena Stockton.

Now, after a five-year absence, Emma has invited her old friends to the lake house for a week in the summer.

But when they arrive in Manhattan, before heading up to the Adirondacks cottage, they are stunned by the news that Emma is in the hospital, after sustaining major injuries. Her daughter Zoe, almost sixteen, is waiting for them at Mt. Sinai.

While Emma is in her coma, we see flashbacks of the friends over the years, learning about what kept them together…and pondering what might have separated them.

Mackenzie is going through her own angst, as her husband Adam is in LA, meeting with production companies about his screenplay. For the past twenty years, they have been living in Indiana, running a small theater. Mackenzie writes a popular blog.

Meanwhile, Serena, an actor, portrays a cartoon character, and she has received a lot of attention and some fame. But the loss of her long-ago love, Brooks Anderson, has left her bereft and making poor choices.

Why did Emma call her friends together? What does she have in mind? Explanations, or is there a deep, dark secret that will change everything between them?

Finally they are all at the lake, and as Emma heals, with the moments and days ticking away like a time bomb, we learn bits and pieces. I guessed the secret long before it was revealed. And it was a doozy. Despite that fact, I enjoyed seeing how the ramifications would all play out.

Will the friendships survive? Will Mac’s marriage go on after the decisions Adam made in LA? And what will Serena do when an unexpected brush with the past puts her in another quandary? A Week at the Lake was another novel from a favorite author that I enjoyed all the way to the end. 5 stars.

SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAYS: EXCERPTING “BEFORE WE MET”

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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-book I downloaded last year; one that has been patiently waiting on Pippa, my Kindle.  Before We Met, by Lucie Whitehouse, is the story of a whirlwind romance.  A picture perfect marriage.  Hannah Reilly has seized her chance at happiness.

Until the day her husband doesn’t come home …

 

 

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Intro:  The rain was beating down, and out here, where the carriageway was exposed, the wind buffeted Hannah’s old VW as if it were trying to push it off the road.  Usually on a Heathrow run she watched the planes dip down into the airport one after another, barely a minute between them, but tonight the rhythm was broken and it was two minutes, now three, before a new set of lights struggled through the rolling cloud.  She tightened her grip again, checked the mirror and pulled out into the fast lane.

The Holiday Inn loomed up on the left, an ugly concrete tooth in silhouette against the sky, the light from its green neon sign leaching into the wet air.  She took the exit for Terminal Three, the buzz in her stomach intensifying.  Though they were married now, the trip to the airport was still exciting.  She didn’t need to come and meet him; in fact, it would probably be quicker if Mark caught a cab into town, especially on a night like this, but the drive, arrivals, the crush at the barrier—it all reminded them of the time before they got married, when JFK and Heathrow were the poles around which so many of their weekends revolved.

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Teaser:  As she came down Quarrendon Street, the last of her hope disappeared.  If Mark was ever home before her, she arrived to find lights blazing from every window but tonight the house was as dark as she’d left it. (p. 6).

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Blurb:  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 …

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  As I read these excerpts, I had to wonder why I have waited so long to dig into this one.  The only answer I have is that I have too many books, too little time.

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REVIEW: THREE WISHES, BY LIANE MORIARTY

 

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My explorations of this author’s work began with her later books, and I have subsequently moved backward to her earlier ones. Three Wishes was a delightful read, and I thoroughly enjoyed “meeting” the Kettle family, with the sibling rivalry intensified due to the fact that the Kettle girls are triplets.

Set in Sydney, Australia, the story moves back and forth in time, alternately narrated by various characters, including brief notes from random observers.

Lyn and Cat are identical, while Gemma is the fraternal one. Lyn and Cat are blond and Gemma has red hair.

Their parents, Maxine and Frank, divorced when they were six, but something seems to be happening between them now, as the girls, at age 33, approach birthday number 34.

Cat has a lot of issues, starting with her difficulty in getting pregnant. Then she discovers that Dan, her husband, has been unfaithful. She learns a few other things about Dan that throw her world upside down.

Lyn, on the other hand, is obsessively controlled, with her numerous lists…so why is she suddenly suffering from panic attacks in parking lots? As the “perfect” business woman and mother to Maddie, a toddler, why does she feel so estranged from her teenage stepdaughter Kara?

Gemma has a lot going on beneath the surface; why do her relationships seem to self-destruct before they barely get off the ground? What really happened between her and her fiancé Marcus?

With a great peek behind the facades that families present to the world, the story was engaging and kept me glued to the pages. I loved the dynamics between the siblings; the dialogue was often funny, which made me want to be a part of their family, or to be their friend. There were sad, angry, and emotional moments. They felt like real people, and I didn’t want the story to end. I wanted to stay connected to them indefinitely. 5.0 stars.

FINISH LINE POST: DRINK UP & CELEBRATE!

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Ole, we are done!  Check out the Finish Line post at the Bloggiesta site…and link up.

Here is what I accomplished:

 clean up labels/tags
❏  do two mini challengesDecluttering the Sidebar, Debz Bookshelf; 

Make Your Blog Pop: River City Reading.
 change or fix one thing on your sidebar  – REMOVED FOUR ITEMS FROM SIDEBAR
❏  add a page (about me, contact, policy, etc)   ADDED PAGE “A HOUSE THAT INSPIRED A STORY” UNDER MY CREATIONS
 change one thing on your layout and/or look  CHANGED HEADER, BACKGROUND, & BLOG BUTTON
❏  comment on other Bloggiesta partipants blogs  – VISITED TEN PARTICIPANTS – MORE TO FOLLOW
❏  participate in at least one Twitter chat

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Here is the screen shot of the previous header:

 

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Created new header at Rainy Days and Mondays: (Screenshot)

 

 

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And here’s the new header over at An Interior Journey:

 

 

 

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For the PicMonkey Mini-Challenge, I created this graphic:

 

 

PicMonkey Collage- pop!

 

 

Have I mentioned how much I love making over my blogs?  LOL

Did you all have fun?  I sure did, and accomplished quite a bit.  Drink up!

 

 

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REVIEW: THE CRY, BY HELEN FITZGERALD

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Joanna Lindsay and Alistair Robertson had built their happiness on the pain of others. Their love affair broke apart the marriage between Alistair and his wife Alexandra, and caused him to lose contact with his daughter Chloe when Alexandra took her to Melbourne.

Joanna hadn’t known he was married at first, but when she discovered that fact, she continued the relationship. It was only when Alexandra caught them together that the marriage was over.

Now Joanna and Alistair have a nine-week-old baby, Noah, and they are on a flight to Melbourne, from Glasgow.

Throughout at least part of the flight, Noah has been crying incessantly. Other passengers have complained and Joanna is more and more stressed out. Alistair does little or nothing to help, sleeping and eating just fine. Joanna is at her wit’s end.

Then there is a problem in the security check regarding liquids; the attendants require that the bottles be emptied, even though they were medicine. More must be obtained, in a rush. There was a mix-up later, apparently, and much of what transpires in the rest of The Cry will come down to what actually happened. And then, when an awful discovery is made, Joanna and Alistair are lying and leading the authorities and media astray.

What will Joanna discover, underneath the lies that Alistair has told her? How will she finally resolve the terrible dysfunction of her relationship with Alistair and find peace at last?

The story alternates between Joanna’s perspective and Alexandra’s, and it flashes back and forth in time. Another page-turner that had no happy ending, but there is a kind of resolution. 4.5 stars.