BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SPARE”

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.

Today’s feature is a book I am currently reading:  Spare, by Prince Harry.

Book Beginning:

We agreed to meet a few hours after the funeral.  In the Frogmore gardens, by the old Gothic ruin.  I got there first.

I looked around, saw no one.

***

Friday 56:

As the youngest and smallest I always took the brunt.  But I also did the most escalating, the most asking for it, so I deserved everything I got.

***

Synopsis:

It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on.

For Harry, this is that story at last.

Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight.

At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love. 

Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .

For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.

***

What do you think?  I am engrossed in this book.  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “JUST THE NICEST COUPLE”

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.

Today’s feature is my newest book:  Just the Nicest Couple, by Mary Kubica.

Book Beginning:

(Prologue)

I gasp and stagger backward.  My hand goes to my mouth, bearing down.

My brain screams at me to run.  Run.

***

Friday 56:

“Do you think this is the path you took?”  I ask gently.

“Maybe,” she says.  Lily takes a closer look, trying to decide.

***

Synopsis:

Two couples, two close friends, one missing husband…

Jake Hayes is missing. This much is certain. At first, his wife, Nina, thinks he is blowing off steam at a friend’s house after their heated fight the night before. But then a day goes by. Two days. Five. And Jake is still nowhere to be found.

Lily Scott, Nina’s friend and coworker, thinks she may have been the last to see Jake before he went missing. After Lily confesses everything to her husband, Christian, the two decide that nobody can find out what happened leading up to Jake’s disappearance, especially not Nina. But Nina is out there looking for her husband, and she won’t stop until the truth is discovered.

Queen of suspense Mary Kubica delivers a high-octane, edge-of-your-seat thriller filled with delicious lies and shocking betrayals, and shows how even the deepest secrets will always find a way to the surface.

***

I am loving this book!  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SLEEP NO MORE”

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.

Today’s feature is my newest book:  Sleep No More, by Jayne Ann Krentz.

Book Beginning:

Carnelian, California…

Blood dripped from the bottom of the laundry cart.

Ambrose Drake flattened one hand against the wall to keep himself on his feet.

***

Friday 56:

“What did you find in the asylum that made you so sure someone was murdered on the staircase?” she asked.

“A used hypodermic needle.”

***

Synopsis:  Seven months ago, Pallas Llewellyn, Talia March, and Amelia Rivers were strangers, until their fateful stay at the Lucent Springs Hotel. An earthquake and a fire partially destroyed the hotel, but the women have no memory of their time there. Now close friends, the three women co-host a podcast called the Lost Night Files, where they investigate cold cases and hope to connect with others who may have had a similar experience to theirs—an experience that has somehow enhanced the psychic abilities already present in each woman.
 
After receiving a tip for their podcast, Pallas travels to the small college town of Carnelian, California, to explore an abandoned asylum. Shaken by the dark energy she feels in the building, she is rushing out when she’s stopped by a dark figure—who turns out to be the women’s mysterious tipster.
 
Ambrose Drake is certain he’s a witness to a murder, but without a body, everyone thinks he’s having delusions caused by extreme sleep deprivation. But Ambrose is positive something terrible happened at the Carnelian Sleep Institute the night he was there. Unable to find proof on his own, he approaches Pallas for help, only for her to realize that Ambrose, too, has a lost night that he can’t remember—one that may be connected to Pallas. Pallas and Ambrose conduct their investigation using the podcast as a cover, and while the townsfolk are eager to share what they know, it turns out there are others who are not so happy about their questions—and someone is willing to kill to keep the truth from coming out.

***

Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MS. DEMEANOR”

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.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  Ms. Demeanor, by Elinor Lipman.

***

Book Beginning:

(Regrettably)

Let’s say there were two people, a man and a woman, lounging on the rooftop terrace of an apartment building in midtown Manhattan.  She is thirty-nine, a lawyer.  He, on the neighboring chaise longue, is twenty-seven, a new associate in the same firm who has this night confessed to a crush that was not brushed aside, as workplace guidelines required.

***

Friday 56:

Now what?  I’d need a recipe I could make or talk about for the recommended length of sixty seconds.  Would it kill me to fake a little enthusiasm?

***

Synopsis:

Jane Morgan is a valued member of her law firm—or was, until a prudish neighbor, binoculars poised, observes her having sex on the roof of her NYC apartment building.  Police are summoned, and a punishing judge sentences her to six months of home confinement. With Jane now jobless and rootless, trapped at home, life looks bleak. Yes, her twin sister provides support and advice, but mostly of the unwelcome kind. When a doorman lets slip that Jane isn’t the only resident wearing an ankle monitor, she strikes up a friendship with fellow white-collar felon Perry Salisbury. As she tries to adapt to life within her apartment walls, she discovers she hasn’t heard the end of that tattletale neighbor—whose past isn’t as decorous as her 9-1-1 snitching would suggest. Why are police knocking on Jane’s door again? Can her house arrest have a silver lining? Can two wrongs make a right? In the hands of “an inspired alchemist who converts serious subject into humor” (New York Times Book Review)—yes, delightfully.  

***

What do you think?  Keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE BLOCK PARTY”

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.

Today’s feature is an ARC that will be released on 7/18/23:  The Block Party, by Jamie Day.

Beginning:

Alexandra Fox meant to have only a couple of drinks at the block party. Three, tops.

Oh well.  Woman plans, God laughs.

***

Friday 56:

Her cold, defiant stare pierced Alex.  The word calculating popped into Alex’s mind.

***

Synopsis:

On the night of the annual Summer block party, the Meadowbrook community Facebook page lights up with posts reporting sirens descending on the desirable and exclusive cul-de-sac neighborhood on Alton Road. Bit by bit, the comments trickle in, some taking pleasure in their neighbors’ misfortune and others showing concern. The truth eventually comes out. It’s not an accident, or a drowning, or a fire, as some had predicted. For the first time in forty years, there’s been a murder in Meadowbrook.

The residents of Alton Road—The Fox family, the core of the neighborhood but each with secrets of their own; the Adair Family, the seemingly perfect all-American family; the Thompson Family, on the brink of an explosive divorce; The Kumars, the mysterious “new neighbors”; Brooke Bailey, the “Black Widow”; and Gus Fisher, the quirky salesman— are entangled in a web of secrets and scandal unbeknownst to the outside world and even each other.

Who was murdered at the block party? Who committed the murder? And why? As the night unfolds, the residents will discover that the real danger lies within their own block and nothing—and no one—is ever as it seems. Propulsive and layered, THE BLOCK PARTY will keep you guessing until the very last page.

***

What do you think?  Keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE WRONG MOTHER”

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.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  The Wrong Mother, by Charlotte Duckworth.

Book Beginning:

Prologue

No matter how much I clean, I still see the blood everywhere I look.

The fragments of his skull and pieces of his brain, spattered across every surface.

***

Friday 56:

When I close the door behind them, I feel exhausted.  Wrung out by the toxicity of their energy.

***

Synopsis: Faye is 39 and single. She’s terrified she may never have the one thing she always wanted: a child of her own.

Then she discovers a co-parenting app: Acorns. For men and women who want to have a baby, but don’t want to do it alone. When she meets Louis through it, it feels as though the fates have aligned.

But just one year later, Faye is on the run from Louis, with baby Jake in tow. In desperate need of a new place to live, she contacts Rachel, who’s renting out a room in her remote Norfolk cottage. It’s all Faye can afford – and surely she’ll be safe from Louis there?

But is Rachel the benevolent landlady she pretends to be? Or does she have a secret of her own?

***

Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE PERSONAL ASSISTANT”

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.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  The Personal Assistant, by Kimberly Belle.

***

Book Beginning:

(Prologue)

This is how it begins, flying down a country road.  Windows down, music blaring.  An old Journey classic, one she knew by heart.  She belted the lyrics into the warm wind.

***

Friday 56:

But she also knows how I feel about her personal assistant.  There were enough accurate nuggets in my answer that, with any luck, she’ll let it go.

***

Synopsis:

When Alex first began posting unscripted family moments and motivational messages online, she had no intention of becoming an influencer. Overnight it seemed she’d amassed a huge following, and her hobby became a full-time job—one that was impossible to manage without her sharp-as-a-tack personal assistant, AC.

But all the good-will of her followers turns toxic when one controversial post goes viral in the worst possible way. Alex reaches out to AC for damage control, but her assistant has gone silent. This young woman Alex trusted with all her secrets, who had access to her personal information and front row seats to the pressure points in her marriage and family life, is now missing and the police are looking to Alex and her husband for answers. As Alex digs into AC’s identity – and a woman is found murdered – she’ll find the greatest threat isn’t online, but in her own living room.

Written in alternating perspectives between Alex, her husband, and the mysterious AC, this juicy cat and mouse story will keep you guessing till the very end.

***

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

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE REWIND”

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.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  The Rewind, by Allison Winn Scotch.

Book Beginning:

Prologue – The Night Before

Frankie Harriman took a long last look in the mirror on the back of the bathroom door of her decently appointed hotel room.  The lighting was, as expected, quite grim, but even without the shadowing and the unflattering overtone of yellow, she startled herself.

***

Friday 56:

“Look,” he said finally.  “The only way we figure this out is if we do this together.”  He paused, really considered it.  Would they do it together?Could they do it together?

***

Synopsis:  Two exes wake up together with wedding bands on their fingers—and no idea how they got there. They have just one New Year’s Eve at the end of 1999 to figure it out in this big-hearted and nostalgic rom-com from New York Times bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch.

When college sweethearts Frankie and Ezra broke up before graduation, they vowed to never speak to each other again. Ten years later, on the eve of the new millennium, they find themselves back on their snowy, picturesque New England campus together for the first time for the wedding of mutual friends. Frankie’s on the rise as a music manager for the hottest bands of the late ’90s, and Ezra’s ready to propose to his girlfriend after the wedding. Everything is going to plan—they just have to avoid the chasm of emotions brought up when they inevitably come face to face.
 
But when they wake up in bed next to each other the following morning with Ezra’s grandmother’s diamond on Frankie’s finger, they have zero memory of how they got there—or about any of the events that transpired the night before. Now Frankie and Ezra have to put aside old grievances in order to figure out what happened, what didn’t happen…and to ask themselves the most troubling question of all: what if they both got it wrong the first time around?

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SUCH A PRETTY GIRL”

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.

Today’s feature is one of my newest books:  Such a Pretty Girl, by T. Greenwood.

***

Book Beginning:

Lost River, Vermont

August 2019

It is Sunday morning, early.  Mist hovers over the river outside the window, insinuates itself through the trees.  Sasha is still out on the sunporch daybed where she has been sleeping all summer, but I’ve been up since my phone started buzzing at six a.m. with text after text from Gilly.  Call me.

***

Friday 56:

“It’ll be fun!” he promised, but a pit had settled into my stomach and stayed there, taking root, I thought.  I was homesick already.

***

Synopsis:  In 1970s New York, her innocence is seductive.
Four decades later, it’s a crime…


Living peacefully in Vermont, Ryan Flannigan is shocked when a text from her oldest friend alerts her to a devastating news item. A controversial photo of her as a pre-teen has been found in the possession of a wealthy investor recently revealed as a pedophile and a sex trafficker—with an inscription to him from Ryan’s mother on the back.

Memories crowd in, providing their own distinctive pictures of her mother Fiona, an aspiring actress, and their move to the West Village in 1976. Amid the city’s gritty kaleidoscope of wealth and poverty, high art, and sleazy strip clubs, Ryan is discovered and thrust into the spotlight as a promising young actress with a woman’s face and a child’s body. Suddenly, the safety and comfort Ryan longs for is replaced by auditions, paparazzi, and the hungry eyes of men of all ages.

Forced to reexamine her childhood, Ryan begins to untangle her young fears and her mother’s ambitions, and the role each played in the fraught blackout summer of 1977. Even with her movie career long behind her, Ryan and Fiona are suddenly the object of uncomfortable speculation—and Fiona demands Ryan’s support. To put the past to rest, Ryan will need to face the painful truth of their relationship, and the night when everything changed.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE FAVOR”

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.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  The Favor, by Nicci French.

Book Beginning:

A scream ripped through the air. She didn’t know if it came from her, or from him as his hands flew up to cover his face, or from the car itself as it left the road with a screech of tires on tarmac.  Then silence, the tree filling the windscreen, its leaves black in the headlights.

***

Friday 56:

Leila Fox’s face looked more somber.  She thought for a moment then told Jude that they would be driving her back to London.

***

Synopsis:  It’s a simple enough favor.

Jude hasn’t seen Liam in years, but when he shows up at her work asking for a favor, she finds she can’t refuse. All Jude has to do is pick Liam up at a country train station—without telling anyone. So what if she has to lie to her fiancé? Jude is still committed to him and their imminent wedding, even if she and Liam were in love once.

She owes him.

After the car crash that changed everything years ago, bright, ambitious Jude went to medical school, back on the path she had planned before meeting moody, artistic Liam. Meanwhile, he never fully recovered from the dark stain the accident left on his record.

Now he’s gone.

When the police show up at the station instead of Liam, Jude realizes that she knows nothing about the man he’s become. Now she’s tangled up in his life, the last person to have seen him, and maybe the only one who can uncover the truth about what went wrong—even if she destroys her own life in the process.

***

I am enjoying this one!  Would you keep reading?

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