BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SEPARATION ANXIETY”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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 Separation Anxiety, by Laura Zigman.

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Book Beginnings:  (Sheltering in Place)

(The Sling) I start wearing the family dog, a mini-sheltie, a little Lassie, in an unbleached cotton baby sling across the front of my body like a messenger bag, a few weeks shy of fall.  Until I slip the sling over my head and feel a strange surge of relief run through me, a liquid narcotic from an unknown source, there’s nothing special about the day.

***

Friday 56:  Inside the car, I pull the harness strap of the seat belt gently around the dog and me until it clicks while Gary yanks on his seat belt and flips up the visor.  In the short time inside Deirdre’s office, the sun had moved, coming in sharply now between two gorgeous maples and bathing us in an orangey-red light.

***

Synopsis:  Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy’s old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she’s repeated the process every day since.

Life hasn’t gone according to Judy’s plan. Her career as a children’s book author offered a glimpse of success before taking an embarrassing nose dive. Teddy, now a teenager, treats her with some combination of mortification and indifference. Her best friend is dying. And her husband, Gary, has become a pot-addled professional “snackologist” who she can’t afford to divorce. On top of it all, she has a painfully ironic job writing articles for a self-help website—a poor fit for someone seemingly incapable of helping herself.

Wickedly funny and surprisingly tender, Separation Anxiety offers a frank portrait of middle-aged limbo, examining the ebb and flow of life’s most important relationships. Tapping into the insecurities and anxieties that most of us keep under wraps, and with a voice that is at once gleefully irreverent and genuinely touching, Laura Zigman has crafted a new classic for anyone taking fumbling steps toward happiness.

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I am intrigued by the premise.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “FOLLOW ME”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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:  Follow Me, by Kathleen Barber.

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Book Beginning:  (Prologue) (Him)

Everyone on the internet is a liar.  Every last one of us.  The difference is the magnitude of our lies.  On one end of the spectrum are the scammers, the phishers, the lowlifes trying to convince your grandmother to bail you out of a fictional Thai prison.  On the other end are those whose untruths are the smallest, the most inconsequential:  those who click a box affirming they’ve read terms and conditions, who click “like” on a cousin’s photograph of her pug-nosed child.

***

Friday 56: Feeling shamefully territorial, I leaned forward to interrupt their eye contact, saying, “Audrey, Connor went to law school with Priya and me, and he works at Barker & Liu with me now.”

***

Synopsis:  Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.

Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.

But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.

***

Would you keep reading?  I am always interested in stories about the internet and how it grabs us, keeping us hooked.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “CROSS HER HEART”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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 recent acquisition:  Cross Her Heart, by Melinda Leigh.

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Book Beginning:  Grey’s Hollow, New York, January 1993

“911.  What is your emergency?” the lady asked.

Bree was shaking so hard.  She could barely hold the phone to her ear.  “Mommy and Daddy are fighting.”  A slap sounded down the hall, and Bree flinched.  “Would you send the police?”

***

Friday 56:  Once, when Bree had been a patrol officer, she’d been shot in the ribs.  Her body armor had absorbed the bullet, but the impact had knocked the air from her lungs.  Her legs had folded like an accordion ruler.  The sight of her sister’s face felt like a similar punch.

***

 

Synopsis:  For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.

Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.

***

I am excited to start this newest series from an author I enjoy.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE SEA OF LOST GIRLS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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:  The Sea of Lost Girls, by Carol Goodman.

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Book Beginning:  The phone wakes me as if it were sounding an alarm inside my chest.  What now, it rings, what now what now what now.

I know it’s Rudy. The phone is set to ring for only two people—Harmon and Rudy (At least I made the short list, Harmon once joked)—and Harmon is next to me in bed.  Besides, what has Harmon ever brought me but comfort and safety?  But Rudy…

***

Friday 56:  His poker face falters; he’s surprised that I remember his middle name.  I am too.  A teacher must have used it in class; for a moment I see not Officer Kevin Bantree standing in front of me but his younger, teenage self.

***

Synopsis:  Tess has worked hard to keep her past buried, where it belongs. Now she’s the wife to a respected professor at an elite boarding school, where she also teaches. Her seventeen-year-old son, Rudy, whose dark moods and complicated behavior she’s long worried about, seems to be thriving: he has a lead role in the school play and a smart and ambitious girlfriend. Tess tries not to think about the mistakes she made eighteen years ago, and mostly, she succeeds.

And then one more morning she gets a text at 2:50 AM: it’s Rudy, asking for help. When Tess picks him up she finds him drenched and shivering, with a dark stain on his sweatshirt. Four hours later, Tess gets a phone call from the Haywood school headmistress: Lila Zeller, Rudy’s girlfriend, has been found dead on the beach, not far from where Tess found Rudy just hours before.

As the investigation into Lila’s death escalates, Tess finds her family attacked on all sides. What first seemed like a tragic accidental death is turning into something far more sinister, and not only is Tess’s son a suspect but her husband is a person of interest too. But Lila’s death isn’t the first blemish on Haywood’s record, and the more Tess learns about Haywood’s fabled history, the more she realizes that not all skeletons will stay safely locked in the closet.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts tempt you to keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE MISSING SISTER”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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 an Amazon Prime freebie:  The Missing Sister, by Elle Marr.

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Book Beginning:  Day 1, Sunday

Come to Paris.  Your sister is dead.

The rest of the words from Sebastien’s email fade against these opening sentences.  The world slams to a halt—again—and I suck in another stupid, shocked breath as though it’s the first time I’m reading his email instead of the eighty-second.

***

Friday 56:  He observes me, registering the shadows on my face, as if he knows I’ve lost five pounds in the last week and failed to rest well my first night in Paris.  As if he knows something surprised me inside the building behind us.

***

Synopsis:  In Paris, her twin sister has vanished, leaving behind three chilling words: Trust no one.

Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms with her parents’ deaths when she’s delivered another blow. The body of her estranged twin sister, Angela—the possible victim of a serial killer—has been pulled from the Seine. Putting what’s left of her life on hold, Shayna heads to Paris. But while cleaning out Angela’s apartment, Shayna makes a startling discovery: a coded message meant for her alone…

Alive. Trust no one.

Taking the warning to heart, Shayna maintains the lie. She makes a positive ID on the remains and works to find out where—and why—her missing sister is hiding. Shayna retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly.

As she gets closer to the truth—and to the killer—Shayna’s own life may now be in the balance…

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “ALL THE BEST LIES”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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 recent download:  All the Best Lies, by Joanna Schaffhausen.

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Book Beginnings:  Las Vegas, 1974

Camilla Flores had always been in the wrong place at the wrong time, starting with the day she was born, six weeks early, in Puerto Rico, before her mother could cross the ocean and land on continental American shores.  If Cammie had just stayed in the womb a few more days, people would understand she’s an ordinary citizen with as much right to this country as anyone else.

***

Friday 56:  “Well, it’s not like she had much of a choice, I s’pose.”   Amy pushed the fruit around in her bowl.  “She had a baby to care for, and waitressing doesn’t pay all that much.”

***

Synopsis:  FBI agent Reed Markham is haunted by one painful unsolved mystery: who murdered his mother? Camilla was brutally stabbed to death more than forty years ago while baby Reed lay in his crib mere steps away. The trail went so cold that the Las Vegas Police Department has given up hope of solving the case. But then a shattering family secret changes everything Reed knows about his origins, his murdered mother, and his powerful adoptive father, state senator Angus Markham. Now Reed has to wonder if his mother’s killer is uncomfortably close to home.

Unable to trust his family with the details of his personal investigation, Reed enlists his friend, suspended cop Ellery Hathaway, to join his quest in Vegas. Ellery has experience with both troubled families and diabolical murderers, having narrowly escaped from each of them. She’s eager to skip town, too, because her own father, who abandoned her years ago, is suddenly desperate to get back in contact. He also has a secret that could change her life forever, if Ellery will let him close enough to hear it.

Far from home and relying only on each other, Reed and Ellery discover young Camilla had snared the attention of dangerous men, any of whom might have wanted to shut her up for good. They start tracing his twisted family history, knowing the path leads back to a vicious killer—one who has been hiding in plain sight for forty years and isn’t about to give up now.

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What do you think?  Do the snippets and blurb draw you in?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “DEAD TO HER”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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 book, Dead to Her, by Sarah Pinborough.

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Book Beginning:  The candle burns.

Crisp paper.  A pen.

WHAT HAPPENED TO JONNY?

Envelope.

Seal.

Whisper.

Wait.

***

Friday 56:  A long day sorting shit out at the office.  That’s what he’d said.  Not out at meetings or at the club or wherever else he schmoozed clients.  At the office. He’d lied to her and if he thought she was stupid enough to buy that explanation, then he didn’t know her at all. (56%).

***

Synopsis:  Marriage can be murder…

SOMETHING OLD

Marcie’s affair with Jason Maddox catapulted her into the world of the elite.

Old money, old ties, old secrets. Marcie may have married into this world—

but she’ll never be part of it.

SOMETHING NEW

Then Jason’s boss brings back a new wife from his trip to London.

Young, attractive, reckless—nobody can take their eyes off Keisha.

Including Marcie’s husband.

SOMETHING YOU CAN NEVER, EVER UNDO…

Some people would kill for the life Marcie has—what will she do to keep it?

***

Would you keep reading?  I love this author’s books.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE JANES”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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 book on my shelves:  The Janes, by Louisa Luna.

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Beginning:  meet our girl:  seventeen, arrived here a year ago from a rough and dusty town in Chiapas, considered pretty by most standards because she is young, her face unmarked by scars or wrinkles, her body boasting the tender snap of fresh muscle.  Our girl’s brain, on the other hand, is at war with itself and others:  with memories of her mother’s worry and her father’s pain, subtle with her own simmering meditations on sex and violence, with fear of all the men that come through the door with their eyes so stark and full of want it’s like they’ve eaten her up before they’ve even selected her from underneath the butcher’s glass.

(What a lengthy and somewhat rambling opening.  I’m not sure about it!)

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56:  There was a photo.  It appeared to be a box or a bag ripped open with a bunch of money inside.  Cap chuckled to himself.

***

Synopsis:  On the outskirts of San Diego, the bodies of two young women are discovered. They have no names, no IDs, and no family looking for them. Fearing the possibility of a human trafficking ring, the police and FBI reach out to Alice Vega, a private investigator known for finding the missing, for help in finding out who the Janes were–and finding the others who are missing.
Alice Vega is a powerful woman whose determination is matched only by her intellect, and, along with her partner Cap, she will stop at nothing to find the Janes before it is too late.
Louisa Luna is writing new classics of crime fiction, and her partnership of Vega and Cap is rightfully joining the pantheon of the most memorable in crime fiction.

***

What do you think?  I enjoyed the first book; I’m not yet sure about this one.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “AMERICAN DIRT”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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 book, one I’m eager to start reading:  American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins.

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Book Beginning:  One of the very first bullets comes in through the open window above the toilet where Luca is standing.  He doesn’t immediately understand that it’s a bullet at all, and it’s only luck that it doesn’t strike him between the eyes.  Luca hardly registers the mild noise it makes as it flies past and lodges into the tiled wall behind him.

***

Friday 56:  Lydia tries to refold the map along its previous creases, but her patience is flimsy, and she shoves it into the pocket of the seat in front of her.  She tries to think clearly, to review their options.  Most people she would ordinarily turn to for help are dead, and even if they weren’t, asking for help is akin to walking into a friend’s kitchen wearing a suicide vest.

***

Synopsis:  Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

***

I have been eager to start reading this one…soon!  What do you think? 

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “DEEP STATE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  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 book I am eager to start reading:  Deep State, by Chris Hauty.

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Book Beginnings: (Prologue)

Leaving her air-conditioned quarters and stepping into the thick Texas summer night with less than forty minutes before the start of her bout, she begins to run.  Humidity and air temperature persist above ninety despite the late hour, and she breaks a sweat before crossing Tank Destroyer Boulevard.  Her footsteps hardly make a sound as she jogs the deserted, orderly streets of Fort Hood.

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Friday 56:  Udall releases Hayley from the interview with an emphatic slamming shut of her notepad. “Okay, well, obviously, I’ll be speaking with more people there, in the White House.”

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Synopsis:  Recently elected President Richard Monroe—populist, controversial, and divisive—is at the center of an increasingly polarized Washington, DC. Never has the partisan drama been so tense or the paranoia so rampant. In the midst of contentious political turf wars, the White House chief of staff is found dead in his house. A tenacious intern discovers a single, ominous clue that suggests he died from something other than natural causes, and that a wide-ranging conspiracy is running beneath the surface of everyday events: powerful government figures are scheming to undermine the rule of law—and democracy itself. Allies are exposed as enemies, once-dependable authorities fall under suspicion, and no one seems to be who they say they are. The unthinkable is happening. The Deep State is real. Who will die to keep its secrets and who will kill to uncover the truth?

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Are you captivated?  Would you keep reading?

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