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.

***

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.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “CRIME SCENE”

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 purchased a while ago, one that I shared today on my Backlog post at my Curl up and Read site:  Crime Scene, by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman.

***

Book Beginning:  Don’t make assumptions.

Every now and then, I remind myself of that.

Every now and then, the universe does the reminding for me.

When I meet new people, they’re usually dead.

***

Friday 56:  The anniversary code failed, as did the two additional codes she sent me the next day.  With three attempts left, I’d had my fill of living dangerously.  I went upstairs to Forensics.

***

Synopsis:  Natural causes or foul play? That’s the question Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren’t part of his beat—not until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.

Eccentric, reclusive Walter Rennert lies cold at the bottom of his stairs. At first glance the scene looks straightforward: a once-respected psychology professor, done in by booze and a bad heart. But his daughter Tatiana insists that her father has been murdered, and she persuades Clay to take a closer look at the grim facts of Rennert’s life.

What emerges is a history of scandal and violence, and an experiment gone horribly wrong that ended in the brutal murder of a coed. Walter Rennert, it appears, was a broken man—and maybe a marked one. And when Clay learns that a colleague of Rennert’s died in a nearly identical manner, he begins to question everything in the official record.

All the while, his relationship with Tatiana is evolving into something forbidden. The closer they grow, the more determined he becomes to catch her father’s killer—even if he has to overstep his bounds to do it.

The twisting trail Clay follows will lead him into the darkest corners of the human soul. It’s his job to listen to the tales the dead tell. But this time, he’s part of a story that makes his blood run cold.

***

What do you think?  Even though this book has been languishing on my Kindle for three years, I love this author and his books, so now I have moved it forward on my stack.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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? 

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE NEW HUSBAND”

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:  The New Husband, by D.J. Palmer.

***

Beginning:  It was a chilly predawn morning when Anthony Strauss eased Sweet Caroline, his seventeen-foot Boston Whaler, from the trailer into water so dark it was indistinguishable from the sky.  To the east, the rising sun raced along the riverbank, igniting the shoreline of Lake Winnipesaukee in a buttery glow.  Anthony cast his lure about twenty feet out and was beginning to slowly reel in his line when he noticed a fellow boater some forty yards off his starboard.

***

Friday 56:  Laura didn’t care one tiny bit about Justin’s motives.  She cared about competition and nothing more.  I wasn’t as pretty or as well dressed as Laura Abel, but I was a heck of a lot better lacrosse player.

***

Synopsis:  What makes Simon Fitch so perfect?

-He knows all her favorite foods, music, and movies.
-Her son adores him. He was there when she needed him most.
-He anticipates her every need.
-He would never betray her like her first husband.

The perfect husband. He checks all the boxes.

The question is, why?

Nina Garrity learned the hard way that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But with Glen gone—presumably drowned while fishing on his boat—she couldn’t confront him about the affair or find closure to the life he blew apart.

Now, a year and a half later, Nina has found love again and hopes she can put her shattered world back together. Simon, a widower still grieving the death of his first wife, thinks he has found his dream girl in Nina, and his charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, while her friends see a different side to him, and they aren’t afraid to use the word obsession.

Nina works hard to bridge the divide that’s come between her daughter and Simon. She wants so badly to believe her life is finally getting back on track, but she’ll soon discover that the greatest danger to herself and her children are the lies people tell themselves.

***

I have heard great things about this book.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BIG SUMMER”

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 upcoming book release, a NetGalley ARC:   Big Summer, by Jennifer Weiner, will be released on 5/19/20.

***

Book Beginning:  (1994)

By the second week of September, the outer Cape was practically deserted.  The tourists had packed up and gone home.  The roads were empty; the glorious beaches were abandoned.  It was a shame:  by September, the ocean was finally warm enough for swimming, especially if it had been a hot August, and the paths that wound through the dunes and cranberry bogs and secret blueberry bushes, the ones that were pickup spots for men in summer’s high season, were deserted, and the bushes were full of ripe berries.

***

Friday 56:  Grandma shook her head.  Her expression was grim.  “I don’t know how she found out.  I wouldn’t put it past that fool to have told her himself.  Miss?”  She raised her voice.  I straightened up and froze when I felt her gaze on me.

***

Synopsis:  Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

***

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

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SOMETHING SHE’S NOT TELLING US”

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’ve been ogling and recently downloaded:  Something She’s Not Telling Us, by Darcey Bell.

***

Book Beginning:  (The Purple Jacket)

(Charlotte)

The one thing they need to remember is the one thing they can’t recall.

What was Daisy wearing when she left for school this morning?

It had been one of those mornings.  An underwatery wake-up after a very late night.

***

Friday 56:  “How’s business, Charlotte?  Flowers for the One Percent.”  Rocco has never hidden his feelings about the fact that most of Charlotte’s clients are rich, or trying to raise money from the rich.

***

 

Synopsis:  She’s on the verge of having it all…

But one woman stands in her way.

Charlotte has everything in life that she ever could have hoped for: a doting, artistic husband, a small-but-thriving flower shop, and her sweet, smart five-year-old daughter, Daisy. Her relationship with her mother might be strained, but the distance between them helps. And her younger brother Rocco may have horrible taste in women, but when he introduces his new girlfriend to Charlotte and her family, they are cautiously optimistic that she could be The One. Daisy seems to love Ruth, and she can’t be any worse than the klepto Rocco brought home the last time. At least, that’s what Charlotte keeps telling herself. But as Rocco and Ruth’s relationship becomes more serious, Ruth’s apparent obsession with Daisy grows more obvious. Then Daisy is kidnapped, and Charlotte is convinced there’s only one person who could have taken her.

Ruth has never had much, but now she’s finally on the verge of having everything she’s ever dreamed of. A stable job at a start-up company, a rakish, handsome boyfriend with whom she falls more in love with every day—and a chance at the happy family she’s always wanted, adorable niece included. The only obstacle standing in her way is her boyfriend’s sister Charlotte, whose attitude swerves between politely cold and outright hostile. Rebuffing Ruth’s every attempt to build a friendship with her and Daisy, Charlotte watches over her daughter with a desperate protectiveness that sends chills down Ruth’s spine. Ruth knows that Charlotte has a deeply-buried secret, the only question is: what? A surprise outing with Daisy could be the key to finding out, and Ruth knows she must take the chance while she has it—for everyone’s sake.

As the two women follow each other down a chilling rabbit hole, unearthing winding paths of deceit, lies, and trauma, a family and a future will be completely—and irrevocably—shattered.

***

I’ve had my eye on this one and just downloaded it.  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 SEA OF LOST GIRLS”

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:  The Sea of Lost Girls, by Carol Goodman.

***

Book Beginning:  The phone wakes me as if it were sounding an alarm inside my chest.  What now, it rings, what now what now what now.

I know it’s Rudy. The phone is set to ring for only two people—Harmon and Rudy (At least I made the short list, Harmon once joked)—and Harmon is next to me in bed.  Besides, what has Harmon ever brought me but comfort and safety?  But Rudy…

***

Friday 56:  His poker face falters; he’s surprised that I remember his middle name.  I am too.  A teacher must have used it in class; for a moment I see not Officer Kevin Bantree standing in front of me but his younger, teenage self.

***

Synopsis:  Tess has worked hard to keep her past buried, where it belongs. Now she’s the wife to a respected professor at an elite boarding school, where she also teaches. Her seventeen-year-old son, Rudy, whose dark moods and complicated behavior she’s long worried about, seems to be thriving: he has a lead role in the school play and a smart and ambitious girlfriend. Tess tries not to think about the mistakes she made eighteen years ago, and mostly, she succeeds.

And then one more morning she gets a text at 2:50 AM: it’s Rudy, asking for help. When Tess picks him up she finds him drenched and shivering, with a dark stain on his sweatshirt. Four hours later, Tess gets a phone call from the Haywood school headmistress: Lila Zeller, Rudy’s girlfriend, has been found dead on the beach, not far from where Tess found Rudy just hours before.

As the investigation into Lila’s death escalates, Tess finds her family attacked on all sides. What first seemed like a tragic accidental death is turning into something far more sinister, and not only is Tess’s son a suspect but her husband is a person of interest too. But Lila’s death isn’t the first blemish on Haywood’s record, and the more Tess learns about Haywood’s fabled history, the more she realizes that not all skeletons will stay safely locked in the closet.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts tempt you to keep reading?

***