BOOKISH FRIDAY: “HOME BEFORE DARK”

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:  Home Before Dark, by Riley Sager.

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Book Beginning:  (Prologue – July 1)

“Daddy, you need to check for ghosts.”

I paused in the doorway of my daughter’s bedroom, startled in that way all parents get when their child says something truly confounding.  Since Maggie was five, I suppose I should have been used to it.  I wasn’t.  Especially with a request so unexpectedly odd.

“I do?”

Yes, Maggie said, insistent.  “I don’t want them in my room.”

***

Friday 56:  I had no idea what Baneberry Hall really had in store for us.  How, despite our best efforts, its history would eventually threaten to smother us.  How twenty days inside its walls would become a waking nightmare.

***

Synopsis:  What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

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Would you keep reading?  Or would you close the book and run?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “YOU CAN’T CATCH 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:  You Can’t Catch Me, by Catherine McKenzie.

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Beginning:  (Airport Bars Are the Loneliest Bars)

There’s no real time of day in airports, only morning and drinking time.

I’m sitting in an airport bar.  They’re sad places, I’ve found, full of people who are waiting out flight delays or long layovers—whatever excuse they want to use to drink in the daytime.

***

Friday 56:  Now we’re going through one of those granite canyons they carved out when they built the highway.  Water runs down the rocks, and it smells like the beginning of time.

***

Synopsis:  Do you want to play a game?

Twelve years ago Jessica Williams escaped a cult. Thanks to the private detective who rescued her, she reintegrated into society, endured an uncomfortable notoriety, and tried to put it all behind her. Then, at an airport bar, Jessica meets a woman with an identical name and birth date. It appears to be just an odd coincidence—until a week later, when Jessica finds her bank account drained and her personal information stolen.

Following a trail of the grifter’s victims, each with the same name, Jessica gathers players—one by one—for her own game. According to her plan, they’ll set a trap and wait for the impostor to strike again. But plans can go awry, and trust can fray, and as Jessica tries to escape the shadows of her childhood, the risks are greater than she imagined. Now, confronting the casualties of her past, Jessica can’t help but wonder…

Who will pay the price?

***

Would you keep reading?  I can’t wait to dive into this one.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WATCH ME DISAPPEAR”

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 from a book I found deep on my Kindle, and which I hope to start reading soon:  Watch Me Disappear, by Janelle Brown.

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Book Beginning:  (Prologue)

It’s a good day, or maybe even a great one, although it will be impossible to know for sure later.  By that point they’ll already have burnished their memories of this afternoon, polished them to a jewel-like gleam.  One of the last days they spent together as a family before Billie died:  Of course Jonathan and Olive are going to feel sentimental about it.  Of course they will see only what they want to see.

***

Friday 56:  Natalie sits back in her chair, tugging absently at the end of her ponytail.  “Maybe someone abducted her when she was hiking,” she offers.  Then registering the distress on Olive’s face:  “Or maybe she just has amnesia?”

***

Synopsis:  Who you want people to be makes you blind to who they really are.

It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. Her body was never found, just a shattered cellphone and a solitary hiking boot. Her husband and teenage daughter have been coping with Billie’s death the best they can: Jonathan drinks as he works on a loving memoir about his marriage; Olive grows remote, from both her father and her friends at the all-girls school she attends.

But then Olive starts having strange visions of her mother, still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he understood about his wife. Who was the woman he knew as Billie Flanagan?

Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, but also about themselves, learning, in the process, about all the ways that love can distort what we choose to see. Janelle Brown’s insights into the dynamics of intimate relationships will make you question the stories you tell yourself about the people you love, while her nervy storytelling will keep you guessing until the very last page.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “A PIECE OF THE WORLD”

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 book that has been hiding out on my Kindle for more than three years:  A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline.

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Book Beginnings:  1939

I’m working on a quilt patch in the kitchen on a brilliant July afternoon, small squares of fabric and a pincushion and scissors on the table beside me, when I hear the hum of a car engine.  Looking out the window toward the cove, I see a station wagon turn into the field about a hundred yards away.  The engine cuts off and the passenger door swings open and Betsy James gets out, laughing and exclaiming.

***

Friday 56:  So later that afternoon, when Papa comes in from the milking, I bring him the box.  “Mamey said this is yours.”

Papa shrugs.  “That’s nothing.  I don’t know why I kept it.  Just bits and pieces I brought with me from Sweden.”

***

Synopsis:  To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

***

Would you keep reading?  I am definitely curious about this book by the author of Orphan Train, a book I have waited a long time to start reading.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE CLOSER YOU GET”

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:  The Closer You Get, by Mary Torjussen.

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Book Beginning:  (Prologue)

That last walk down the stairs seemed to be in slow motion.  The carpet was soft and yielding beneath her feet, and she could feel the fresh gloss paint of the handrail as she clutched it for balance.  The late-evening sun shone through the glass door panels, lighting the hallway in a kaleidoscope of colors, and the heavy, sweet scent of roses in the vase on the console table would stay with her forever.

***

Friday 56:  The front door was on the side road, around the corner from the shop entrance, and Gill pulled out a key ring and opened the door.  Inside there was a small hallway and a set of stairs leading up to the flat.  An unadorned lightbulb hung from the ceiling and she flicked the switch before we both went upstairs.  In the dim light the stairs looked gloomy and the thick carpet was covered in a fine layer of dust.

***

Synopsis:  Coworkers Ruby and Harry are in love—but they’re married to other people. They decide to tell their spouses that their marriages are over and to start a new life together. Ruby has wanted to leave her controlling husband for a while, so she tells him she’s leaving and waits at the hotel where she and Harry are to meet. But Harry never shows up.

Suddenly, Ruby has lost everything. Harry won’t answer her calls, and she’s fired from her job. She finds a cheap apartment in a run-down part of town, all the while wondering what happened to Harry.

Just as Ruby thinks she’s hit rock bottom, strange and menacing things start to happen—someone is sneaking into her apartment, and someone is following her home late at night—and she is going to have to fight for her survival.

***

What do you think?  I plan to be glued to the pages.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “LITTLE SECRETS”

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 shelf:  Little Secrets, by Jennifer Hillier.

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Beginning:  Pike Place Market is a tourist trap on a regular day.  Combine it with last-minute holiday shopping and an extremely mild, sunny weekend—almost unheard of in December—and you are in the busiest nine acres on a Saturday afternoon in Seattle.

Sebastian’s jacket is shoved into one of Marin’s shopping totes, but still, he’s sweaty.  His little hand keeps slipping out of hers every time he yanks too hard, trying to pull them in the direction he’s determined to go.

***

Friday 56:  A strange thing happens when you’re going through something terrible.  It’s as if your body and mind separate, and you cease to become a whole person.  Your body goes through the motions of what you need to do to survive—eat, sleep, excrete, repeat—while your brain further divides into compartments of Things You Need to Do Now, and Things You Should Process Later When You’re in Your Right Mind.

***

Synopsis:  All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret…

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.

***

What do you think?  I love the setting and the blurb really grabs me.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “PRETTY THINGS”

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:  Pretty Things, by Janelle Brown.

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Book Beginning:  (Prologue)

When a body goes down in Lake Tahoe, they say, it does not rise again.  The frigid temperature of the lake, its vast depths, conspire to keep bacteria at bay.  What once was human fails to decompose.  Instead, the body is doomed to drift along the lake bed, in perpetual limbo;  just more organic matter joining the mysterious menagerie that lives in Tahoe’s uncharted depths.

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Friday 56:  The whole thing took less than a week.  This is what the Internet has given my generation:  the ability to play God.  We can make man in our own image, birth an entire human being out of nothing at all.

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Synopsis:  Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet.

Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer—traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family’s sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: a mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa’s past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina.

Nina’s, Vanessa’s, and Lachlan’s paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge.

***

Would you keep reading? 

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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.

***

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

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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 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…

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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