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.

***

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?

***

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.

***

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?

***

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.

***

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?

***

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.

***

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.

***

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

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.”

***

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?

***

Are you captivated?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “NORMAL PEOPLE”

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 to me:  Normal People, by Sally Rooney.

 

***

Book Beginnings:  Marianne answers the door when Connell rings the bell.  She’s still wearing her school uniform, but she’s taken off the sweater, so it’s just the blouse and skirt, and she has no shoes on, only tights.

Oh, hey, he says.

Come on in.

***

Friday 56:  They’re about to pass a garage and Lorraine taps the window quickly and says:  Pull in here. Connell looks over, confused.  What? he says.  She taps the window again, harder, and her nails click on the glass.

***

Synopsis:  Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.

***

I’ve heard a lot about this book.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE EMPTY NEST”

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 The Empty Nest, by Sue Watson.

 

 

***

 

Book Beginnings:  It’s no surprise that mothers find it so hard to live in their empty nests.  We’re with our children every day of their lives, then suddenly, whoosh, they’re gone.

My daughter Amy went away to university just weeks ago—well, seven weeks and three days, to be precise.  Like all parents, I knew her leaving was inevitable—they have to leave one day—but for me it was especially hard.  She’s my only child and we’ve been through a lot together and as a result, our bond is perhaps even stronger than usual, we are so much more than mother and daughter—we’re best friends.

***

Friday 56:  The prospect of leaving her had terrified me for months, and now the moment had arrived, it was every bit as bad as I’d expected it to be.  Like most mums I’d been part of everything my daughter had done in her life.

***

Synopsis:  Kat remembers the days when her only daughter Amy wouldn’t leave her side. Amy was the baby who cried when you walked out of the room, the toddler who was too shy to speak to strangers, the small child who clung to Kat’s legs in the school playground.

But now Amy is grown up, and Amy is gone – to university in a town several hours away. Kat’s house – which once felt too full, too noisy, too busy – is deathly quiet, and Kat awaits the daily phone call to tell her that her beloved daughter is thriving and happy.

Until the day Amy doesn’t call, sending Kat into a panic. Her husband and friends say she’s being paranoid – surely Amy is just out, having fun? But Kat feels sure something is very wrong – she knows her daughter, and she would never just disappear.

As the hours turn into days, her fears are confirmed: Amy is missing. But there are secrets about her daughter that Kat doesn’t know about yet. And the truth about Amy’s whereabouts may be closer to home than Kat could ever imagine…

A gripping and suspenseful psychological thriller with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster and an ending that will blow readers’ minds. Fans of The Wife Between Us, The Girl Before and Gone Girl will be gripped by this unputdownable story about a mother’s obsessive love for her child.

***

Now I’m eager to start reading. What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “TELL ME EVERYTHING”

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 Tell Me Everything, by Amy Hatvany.

***

Beginning:  (Prologue)

The first thing you should know about me is that I love my husband.  The second is that I occasionally have sex with other men.

Here I am, on a Saturday night, in the arms of a man we found together.  He is smart, funny.  He understands our need for discretion.  He knows that he is only a visitor.

***

Friday 56:  Tiffany and Ben approached us on the deck, along with a woman I could only assume was her mother, whom I’d never met before.  At a dance competition last year, Tiffany told me that they hired someone part-time to take care of her mom when they couldn’t be home with her, but there were times when the aide wasn’t available and Tiffany would have to miss one of Lizzy’s performances on the team. (56%).

***

Synopsis:  A happily married couple. A dance with a stranger at a bar.

One night—one seemingly insignificant choice—can change everything.

Jessica and Jake Snyder love each other, and their life together. Successful in their chosen careers, they reside in the picturesque, though at times stifling, Seattle suburb of Queens Ridge as they parent teenagers Ella and Tucker.

As so often happens in marriage, their romantic life falls casualty to busy schedules and repetitive routine, until one night, a stranger asks Jessica to dance. On a whim, Jake urges her to say yes, saying that he wants to watch this other man touch her, something that surprises Jessica by arousing her like never before. A door opens for them then, into a realm of exploration neither of them knew existed.

They create rules to protect their marriage, and are thrilled when their relationship is strengthened and enriched by deeper levels of communication and trust brought about by this exciting, but taboo behavior. That is, until Jessica keeps a secret from Jake and embarks on a tryst with an intriguing man from her past, who, when she tries to end things between them, decides to seek revenge.

What happens after that will threaten to destroy their world—and them.

***

I’m eager to dive into this book from an author I really enjoy.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE TESTAMENTS”

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 The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood.

 

***

 

Book Beginnings:  (The Ardua Hall Holograph)

Only dead people are allowed to have statues, but I have been given one while still alive.  Already I am petrified.

This statue was a small token of appreciation for my many contributions, said the citation, which was read out by Aunt Vidala.  She’d been assigned the task by our superiors, and was far from appreciative.

***

Friday 56:  I went into the kitchen and sat down at the island.  Melanie’s back was to me; she was looking out the window.  From the window you could see our yard—round cement planters with rosemary bushes in them, a patio with an outdoor table and chairs, and a corner of the street at the front. (p. 56).

***

Synopsis: More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
 
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.
 
As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

***

I can’t wait to read this one.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS”

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 hanging out on my Kindle for a while:  Secrets of the Tulip Sisters, by Susan Mallery.

***

Beginning:  Kelly Murphy was willing to accept certain injustices in the world.  That brownies had more calories than celery.  That wearing white pants meant getting her period—regardless of where she was in her cycle.  That her car would be low on gas only on days when she was running late.  What she did not appreciate or accept was the total unfairness of Griffith Burnett not only returning to Tulpen Crossing, Washington, nearly a year ago, but apparently waking up last month and deciding that stalking her was how he was going to spend his days.

***

Friday 56:  He reached for his coffee.  Now that he’d defined the problem, he had to figure out how to solve it.  He knew he was in way over his head, but hey, he knew all the stages of female arousal, so that was something. (56%).

***

Synopsis:  Kelly Murphy’s life as a tulip farmer is pretty routine—up at dawn, off to work, lather, rinse, repeat. But everything changes one sun-washed summer with two dramatic homecomings: Griffith Burnett—Tulpen Crossing’s prodigal son, who’s set his sights on Kelly—and Olivia, her beautiful, wayward and, as far as Kelly is concerned, unwelcome sister. Tempted by Griffith, annoyed by Olivia, Kelly is overwhelmed by the secrets that were so easy to keep when she was alone.

But Olivia’s return isn’t as triumphant as she pretends. Her job has no future, and ever since her dad sent her away from the bad boy she loved, she has felt cut off from her past. She’s determined to reclaim her man and her place in the family…whether her sister likes it or not. For ten years, she and Kelly have been strangers. Olivia will get by without her approval now.

While Kelly and Olivia butt heads, their secrets tumble out in a big hot mess, revealing some truths that will change everything they thought they knew. Can they forgive each other—and themselves—and redefine what it means to be sisters?

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***