BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WHEN THE STARS GO 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 new book from a favorite author:  When the Stars Go Dark, by Paula McLain

Book Beginning:  (Prologue)

The mother who tore off her dress when the police came to her house with the news and then ran down the street in only her shoes, while her neighbors, even the ones who knew her well, hid behind their doors and windows, afraid of her grief.

***

Friday 56:

The sun is sinking fast now, staining the cloud line.  Gulls draft over the chop below us, buoyed and free.

***

Synopsis:  Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing.

The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with saving the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives—and our faith in one another.

***

Would you keep reading?

***

 

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MOTHER MAY I”

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 hoping to enjoy:  Mother May I, by Joshilyn Jackson.

***

Book Beginning:

I woke up to see a witch peering in my bedroom window.

She was little more than a dark shape with a predator’s hungry eyes, razor-wire skinny but somehow female, staring in through the partly open drapes.

***

Friday 56:

Then I went to Google and typed in “Hypnodorm.”  I scanned the entry, reading about dosage and side effects.  Roofies lowered inhibitions, made people suggestible, and stole their memory.

***

Synopsis: 

Revenge doesn’t wait for permission.

Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected that fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of.

Until the day she awakens and sees someone peering into her bedroom window—an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.

Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daugh­ters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly—Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow.

The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It’s her child.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price. 

Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart?

***

Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BLOOD ORANGE”

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 I have had for a while:  Blood Orange, by Harriet Tyce.

 

***

Beginnings:

The October sky lies gray above me and my wheelie bag’s heavy but I wait for the bus and count my blessings. The trial is finished, kicked out at halftime after a legal argument on the basis of insufficient evidence.

***

Friday 56:

“I’m sorry. I had an important meeting out of town, and I was sure my husband was going to make it in time,” I apologize.

***

Description:

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise–she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

***

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “EVERY VOW YOU BREAK”

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 56D 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 another new book: Every Vow You Break, by Peter Swanson

***

 

Beginning:

She first spotted him at Bobbie’s Coffee Shop on Twenty-Second Street. He was at a window seat, idly looking at his phone, a white mug in front of him. Abigail was on her way to the office for her half day, dodging pedestrians on the sidewalk, thinking about the wedding, wondering if maybe she should have invited her cousin Donald and his wife, whose name she always forgot.

***

Friday 56: 

She washed her face and got out of her dress.  She’d brought a sheer nightdress in baby blue that had puffed sleeves and ruffles along the hem and put it on.

***

Synopsis: Abigail Baskin never thought she’d fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. He’s a good guy, stable, level-headed, kind—a refreshing twist from her previous relationships.

But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident—and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name—out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life.

Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears—and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something much, much more. Something special. Something real—and he’s tracked her down to prove it.

Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon—and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own? To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the night shadows, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss… including her perfect new husband.

***

Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “ARE WE THERE YET?”

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 56D 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:  Are We There Yet?, by Kathleen West.

***

Book Beginning:  (Alice Sullivan)

Alice scrolled through the latest posts on the Next Door app as she waited for Nadia, who was, as usual, several minutes late for their twice-monthly coffee. Meredith used to join them, but she’d announced a year ago that she’d rather see them on Sundays for power walks than lounge in a Starbucks.

***

Friday 56:  (Alice Sullivan)

Alice had hoped she’d perk up that night after seeing her friends, but a leaden feeling had settled in her gut.  Despite Nadia’s assertions that there were “a million ways to fix Teddy,” there seemed to be just two:  Call a therapist and apologize to Tane.

***

Synopsis:  Among fake Instagram pages, long-buried family secrets, and the horrors of middle school, one suburban mom searches to find herself in a heartfelt and thought-provoking novel from the author of Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes.
 
Alice Sullivan feels like she’s finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son’s school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.  

When it comes to light that the incident is part of a new behavior pattern for her son, one complete with fake social media profiles with a lot of questionable content, Alice’s social standing is quickly eroded to one of “those moms” who can’t control her kids. Soon she’s facing the very judgement she was all too happy to dole out when she thought no one was looking (or when she thought her house wasn’t made of glass).
 
Then her mother unloads a family secret she’s kept for more than thirty years, and Alice’s entire perception of herself is shattered.  
 
As her son’s new reputation polarizes her friendships and her family buzzes with the ramification of her mother’s choices, Alice realizes that she’s been too focused on measuring her success and happiness by everyone else’s standards. Now, with all her shortcomings laid bare, she’ll have to figure out to whom to turn for help and decide who she really wants to be.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts and blurb call to you?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “FINLEY DONOVAN IS KILLING IT”

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 56D 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: Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, by Elle Cosimano.

***

***

Beginning:

  It’s a widely known fact that most moms are ready to kill someone by eight thirty A.M. on any given morning.  On the particular morning of Tuesday, October eighth, I was ready by seven forty-five.

***

Friday 56:

I stuffed Harris’s feet inside the van and shut the sliding door behind them.  Dogs barked somewhere close, and I peered around the dumpster into the bright parking lot on the other side, praying no one had seen what I’d done.

***

Synopsis:  Finlay Donovan is killing it . . . except, she’s really not. She’s a stressed-out single-mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: the new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her, and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.

When Finlay is overheard discussing the plot of her new suspense novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer, and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet . . . Soon, Finlay discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart, as she becomes tangled in a real-life murder investigation.

Fast-paced, deliciously witty, and wholeheartedly authentic in depicting the frustrations and triumphs of motherhood in all its messiness, hilarity, and heartfelt moment, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is the first in a brilliant new series from YA Edgar Award nominee Elle Cosimano.

***

Would you keep reading?  I am prepared to smile and laugh a lot as I read this one.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE PARIS LIBRARY”

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 56D 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 Paris Library, by Janet Skeslien Charles.

***

Beginning:  (Chapter One – Odile, Paris, February 1939)

Numbers floated round my head like stars.  823.  The numbers were the key to a new life. 822.  Constellations of hope.  841.  In my bedroom late at night, in the morning on the way to get croissants, series after series—810, 840, 890—formed in front of my eyes.

***

Friday 56:

In the thick leather ledger, I helped Boris tally how many subscribers had come in today (287), how many books had gone out (936), and details of library life (Another pregnant woman fainted—she read page 43 of Prospective Mother).

***

Synopsis:  Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “AN ORDINARY LIFE”

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 56D 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 another new book:  An Ordinary Life, by Amanda Prowse.

***

Book Beginning:  Chelmsford, Essex

December 24th 2019

Aged 94

Her hand shook and her breathing was a little laboured.  It was time for Molly to write the letter, just as she had said she would:  a promise made in haste, but a promise nonetheless.  A task she had avoided through fear, nerves and a worry that she might just get the wording wrong.

***

Friday 56:

  ‘You have nothing to ...worry about, my love.  Nothing to worry about.  Everything is going to work out splendidly!’

***

Synopsis:  Christmas Eve, 2019. Ninety-four-year-old Molly lies in her hospital bed. A stroke and a fall may have broken her body—but her mind is alive with memories.

London, 1940s. Molly is a bright young woman, determined to help the war effort and keep her head up despite it all. Life becomes brighter when she meets and falls in love with a man who makes her forget everything with one dance. But then war forces her to make an unforgettable sacrifice, and when she’s brought to her knees by a daring undercover mission with the French Resistance, only her sister knows the secret weighing heavily on Molly’s heart.

Now, lying in her hospital bed, Molly can’t escape the memories of what she lost all those years ago. But she is not as alone as she thinks.

Will she be able to find peace—and finally understand that what seemed to be an ordinary life was anything but?

***

Would you keep reading?  I am intrigued.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE SHADOW BOX”

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 56D 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:  The Shadow Box, by Luanne Rice.

***

Book Beginning:  (Claire)

I died, and I relive my death hourly.  Although my absence from the world remains constant, the method changes each time.  Could it be that I was strangled, staring past the mask into emotionless eyes as he crushed my larynx with his thumbs?  Or was it this rope knotted around my neck?

***

Friday 56: 

I found myself thinking about that toast to Sallie while I cut up the melon for Griffin’s breakfast after our ugly dawn beach encounter.

***

Synopsis:  After artist Claire Beaudry Chase is attacked and left for dead in her home on the Connecticut coast, she doesn’t know who she can trust. But her well-connected husband, Griffin—who is running for governor—is her prime suspect.

Just before the attack, Claire was preparing for an exhibit of her shadow boxes, one of which clearly accuses Griffin of a violent crime committed twenty-five years ago. If the public were to find out who her husband is, his political career would be over. Claire’s certain her husband and his powerful supporters would kill her to stop the truth from getting out.

When one of Claire’s acquaintances is murdered, the authorities suspect the homicide is linked to the attack on Claire. As the dual investigations unfold, Claire must decide how much she’s willing to lose to take down her husband and the corrupt group of elites who will do anything to protect Griffin’s interests and their own.

***

Would you keep reading?  I am very intrigued.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE PERFECT GUESTS”

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 56D 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 my shelves:  The Perfect Guests, by Emma Rous.

***

Book Beginning:  (Beth, July 1988)

The house sat on a gentle rise in the otherwise flat landscape, as if it considered itself a castle in this kingdom of marshy scrubland and water channels and rustling green fields.  Pale gray walls, broad steps rising from neat gravel to the front door, row upon row of gleaming square windows, and —

“Is that a turret?” I craned my neck through the passenger window.  “Is this whole place really just for three people?”

***

Friday 56:

She strolls to the window and slides her hands down the thick embroidered curtains before parting them to peer out into the night.  A pair of headlights is approaching from the direction of the road, and she glances at her watch—it’s almost six thirty.

***

Synopsis:  1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she’s truly part of the family…until they ask her to help them with a harmless game—and nothing is ever the same.

2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It’s strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she’ll be staying at, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.

In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she’d imagined—even with damage from a fire decades before—but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there’s something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone…including her.

***

Are you intrigued?  Would you keep reading?

***