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.

***

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).

***

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 …

***

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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SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAYS: “THE CRY”

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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 spotlight is on my current read, The Cry, by Helen Fitzgerald.

 

 

 

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Intro:  13 February

It was the fault of airport security.

At airport security, Joanna’s nine-week-old baby boy was screaming.  Her partner was busy taking off his trainers.  A stocky uniformed woman was saying: ‘Can’t take these.’

‘What?’ Joanna asked, her newborn gnawing at her T-shirt through his howls.

‘These liquids.  The bottles are more than a hundred millilitres.  If you need more for the flight, you’ve got to have proof.  Do you have something in writing?’

‘No.’

‘In that case, I’ll have to dispose of them.’

‘But you can’t.  It’s Calpol—paracetamol—for the baby, and antibiotics.  I’ve got an ear infection.  And, look, they’re not full.’

‘Can I help?’ a freshly scanned and shoeless Alistair offered.

‘We’ll have to throw these out,’ the security woman repeated.

‘I told you about the hundred-millilitre rule, Joanna.’

‘Did you?’ Probably.  She couldn’t remember.

***

Teaser:  It was the fault of airport security.

If Joanna hadn’t gone back, if she hadn’t bought two small, clear hundred-millilitre bottles from Boots, if she hadn’t poured liquids into each while kneeling on the floor in front of WH Snith, if she hadn’t waited in the queue for another hour while her breasts ached:  if she hadn’t done any of these things, then she would still have her baby. (1%)

***

Blurb: When a baby goes missing on a lonely roadside in Australia, it sets off a police investigation that will become a media sensation and dinner-table talk across the world.

Lies, rumours and guilt snowball, causing the parents, Joanna and Alistair, to slowly turn against each other.

Finally Joanna starts thinking the unthinkable: could the truth be even more terrible than she suspected? And what will it take to make things right?

Perfect for fans of Julia Crouch, Sophie Hannah and Laura Lippman, The Cry was widely acclaimed as one of the best psychological thrillers of the year. There’s a gripping moral dilemma at its heart and characters who will keep you guessing on every page.

***

What do you think?  Do these excerpts grab you?  Would you keep on reading?

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SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAY: INTROS/TEASERS – “DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW”

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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 I am featuring one of my newer books from a favorite author:  Daughters-in-Law, by Joanna Trollope.

 

 

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Intro:  From the front pew, Anthony had an uninterrupted view of the back of the girl who was about to become his third daughter-in-law.  The church had a wide aisle, and a broad carpeted space below the shallow chancel steps, where the four little bridesmaids had plopped themselves down, in the pink silk nests of their skirts, during the address, so that there was a clear line of sight between Anthony and the bridal pair.

The bride, tightly swathed in ivory satin, seemed to Anthony to have the seductively imprisoned air of a landlocked mermaid.  Her dress fitted closely—very closely—from below her shoulders to her knees and then fanned out into soft folds, and a fluid little train, which spilled carelessly down the chancel steps behind her.  Anthony’s gaze traveled slowly from the crown of her pale cropped head, veiled in gauze and scattered with flowers, down to her invisible feet, and then back up again to rest on the unquestionably satisfactory curves of her waist and hips.  She has, Anthony thought, a gorgeous figure, even it is improper for her almost father-in-law to think such a thing.  Gorgeous.

***

Teaser:  Luke took Charlotte to Venice for their honeymoon.  The man who had preceded Luke in Charlotte’s life had worked in the City, on a busy and hugely successful trading floor, and his taste in holidays ran to Thailand and the Maldives, just as his leisure tastes had included cross-dressing and cocaine (p. 35).

***

Blurb:  As Anthony and Rachel Brinkley welcome their third daughter-in-law to the family, they don’t quite realize the profound shift that is about to take place. For different reasons, the Brinkleys’ two previous daughters-in-law hadn’t been able to resist Rachel’s maternal control and Anthony’s gentle charm and had settled into their husbands’ family without rocking the boat.

But Charlotte—very young, very beautiful, and spoiled—has no intention of falling into step with the Brinkleys and wants to establish her own household. Soon Rachel’s sons begin to think of their own houses as home and of their mother’s house as simply the place where their parents live—a necessary and inevitable shift of loyalties that threatens Rachel’s sense of herself, breaks Anthony’s heart, and causes unexpected consequences in all the marriages. Then a crisis brings these changes to the surface, and everyone has to learn what family love means all over again.

***

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

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SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAY: INTROS/TEASERS – “EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES”

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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 I am excited to share excerpts from one of my new downloads:  Every Fifteen Minutes, by Lisa Scottoline.

 

 

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Intro:  I’m a sociopath.  I look normal, but I’m not.  I’m smarter, better, and freer, because I’m not bound by rules, law, emotion, or regard for you.

I can read you almost immediately, get your number right away, and push your buttons to make you do whatever I want.  I don’t really like you, but I’m so good at acting as if I do that it’s basically the same thing.  To you.

I fool you.

I fool everybody.

I’ve read that one out of twenty-four people is a sociopath, and if you ask me, the other twenty-three of you should be worried.  One out of twenty-four people is 4 percent of the population, and that’s a lot of sociopaths.  Anorexics are 3 percent, and everybody talks about them.  Schizophrenics are only 1 percent, but they get all the press.  No one’s paying any attention to sociopaths, or they think we’re all killers, which is a misconception.

***

Teaser:  Eric hustled down the hospital corridor, followed by two medical students on their psych rotation, a female and a male talking among themselves.  He felt confident that he could protect them, and himself, without a gun. (p. 4).

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Blurb:  Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric’s entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Max a high risk patient. Max can’t turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm. With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a “person of interest” himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric’s life? New York Times best selling author Lisa Scottoline’s visceral thriller, Every Fifteen Minutes, brings you into the grip of a true sociopath and shows you how, in the quest to survive such ruthlessness, every minute counts.

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

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SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAYS: INTROS/TEASERS – “WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND”

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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’s featured book is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  What You Left Behind, by Samantha Hayes.  I chose this book because of how much I enjoyed another book by this author:  Until You’re Mine.

 

 

 

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Intro:  (Chapter One)

Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher slowed as she pulled off the main road.  The journey from Birmingham was less than an hour but still long enough for her to make it only two or three times a year.

There was no space in her life for regrets and should-haves, therefore time spent with her younger sister in the country was usually limited to Christmas, birthdays, or the routine summer holiday visit as she was doing now.  An entire week away from work suddenly seemed like an awfully long time.  Or was it that an entire week in her sister’s company was daunting?

She loved Jo, had always protected her, watched out for her, picked her up and dusted her off, but there was usually a price.  Lorraine wondered what it would be this time.

***

Teaser:  While Jo and Stella studied the menu, she couldn’t help another look at Sonia’s family, and more especially her husband.  Lorraine had spotted his good looks when they were at the bar, although he’d got his back to her now. (p. 70).

***

Blurb:  Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community.

Desperate for a vacation, Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher has just come to Radcote for a stay with her sister, Jo, but the atmosphere of the country house is unusually tense. Freddie, Jo’s son, seems troubled and uncommunicative, and Jo is struggling to reach out to him. Meanwhile, Lorraine becomes determined to discover the truth behind these deaths. Are they suicides, or is there something more sinister at work? Finding answers might help Freddie, but they’ll also lead to a shocking truth: whatever it is–or whoever it is–that’s killing these young people is far more disturbing than she ever could have imagined, and unraveling the secret is just as dangerous as the secret itself.

Wicked, intense, and utterly compulsive, What You Left Behind confirms Samantha Hayes as a top thriller writer.

***

What do you think?  Does it pique your interest?  I hope you’ll share your own excerpts.

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SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAY: INTROS/TEASERS – “THE NIGHTINGALE”

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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.

Join me in the delights of Tuesday, when we feature books we are excited about reading.  Today’s spotlight is on The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, an ARC from Amazon Vine.

 

 

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Intro:  (April 9, 1995, The Oregon Coast)

If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this:  In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.  Today’s young people want to know everything about everyone.  They think talking about a problem will solve it.  I come from a quieter generation.  We understand the value of forgetting, the lure of reinvention.

Lately, though, I find myself thinking about the war and my past, about the people I lost.

Lost.

It makes it sound as if I misplaced my loved ones; perhaps I left them where they don’t belong and then turned away, too confused to retrace my steps.

They are not lost.  Nor are they in a better place.   They are gone.  As I approach the end of my years, I know that grief, like regret, settles into our DNA and remains forever a part of us.

***

Teaser:  My house, named The Peaks by the lumber baron who built it over a hundred years ago, is for sale, and I am preparing to move because my son thinks I should.

He is trying to take care of me, to show how much he loves me in this most difficult of times, and so I put up with his controlling ways. (p. 2).

***

Goodreads Description:  From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an epic novel of love and war, spanning from the 1940s to the present day, and the secret lives of those who live in a small French town.

Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle’s father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it’s not only the sisters’ relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Vivid and exquiste in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with great monstrosities, but also great humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah’s novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they turn the last page.

***

I love an epic novel every now and then, and this one has captured my interest.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAY: INTROS/TEASERS – “FIVE DAYS LEFT”

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KITTIES & BOOKS - meme

 

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’s feature is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Five Days Left, by Julie Lawson Timmer.

 

 

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Intro:  (Mara)

Mara had chosen the method long ago:  pills, vodka and carbon monoxide.  A “garage cocktail,” she called it.  The name sounded almost elegant, and sometimes, when she said it out loud, she could make herself believe it wasn’t horrifying.
It would still be horrific for Tom, though, and she hated herself for that.  She would rather do it without leaving a body for him.  But as much as she’d love to spare him from being the one to discover her, she knew not letting him find her would be worse.  And at least this was the tidiest option.  He could have someone come and take her car away.  Fill her side of the garage with something else, to block the image.  Bikes, maybe.  Gardening supplies.

A second car for himself.  Maybe she should arrange to have one delivered after.  Would that be too weird, though?  A gift from your dead wife.  She should have given him one years ago.  For their anniversary, or to celebrate bringing baby Lakshmi home.  Or just because.  She should have done so many things.

***

Teaser:  (Mara)

She clicked the “post field” button at the bottom of the screen and waited to see her message pop up as a new comment.  When it did, she read what she had posted and frowned.  A line or two about “positive thoughts” was so inadequate. (p. 27).

***

Blurb:  Destined to be a book club favorite, a heart-wrenching debut about two people who must decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice for love.

Mara Nichols is a successful lawyer, devoted wife, and adoptive mother who has received a life-shattering diagnosis. Scott Coffman, a middle school teacher, has been fostering an eight-year-old boy while the boy’s mother serves a jail sentence. Scott and Mara both have five days left until they must say good-bye to the ones they love the most.
Through their stories, Julie Lawson Timmer explores the individual limits of human endurance and the power of relationships, and shows that sometimes loving someone means holding on, and sometimes it means letting go.
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What are your thoughts?  Would you keep reading?  I am already feeling the urge to keep going on this one.  What are you sharing today?  Come on by and leave a comment and your link, please.
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