BOOKISH FRIDAY: “HOUR OF THE WITCH”

 

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.

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Today’s feature is Hour of the Witch, by Chris Bohjalian…

Book Beginning:  (Prologue)

It was always possible that the Devil was present.

Certainly, God was watching.  And their Savior.

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Friday 56:

Her last thought before sleep was that once the forks were back in the ground, she would look carefully at everyone around her, and she would remain at all times as alert as the sentries who stood watch atop Beacon Hill.

***

Synopsis: Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary’s hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary–a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony—soon becomes herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary’s garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows. A twisting, tightly plotted novel of historical suspense from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying story of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.

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

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE”

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 on my shelf:  Too Good To Be True, by Carola Lovering.

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Beginning:  (Skye, March 2019)

Something is going on with Burke this morning.  I can tell because he asks me three times how I want my eggs.

“Over easy!” I call from the bedroom.  It’s how I’ve asked for my eggs every time since we began dating six months ago.

***

Friday 56: (%)

(Burke) Where does all the money go?  I ask myself daily.  All I’ve ever wanted is to get to a point in life where money isn’t a topic that grips my mind like a pair of forceps around my skull.  But it feels impossible, like I’m constantly logging in to Chase to find the outstanding balance on the credit card is twice what I’d expected, the number in my checking account ticking  lower and lower until the ACH hits on payday and I can breathe again.

***

Synopsis: Skye Starling is overjoyed when her boyfriend, Burke Michaels, proposes after a whirlwind courtship. Though Skye seems to have the world at her fingertips—she’s smart, beautiful, and from a well-off family—she’s also battled crippling OCD ever since her mother’s death when she was eleven, and her romantic relationships have suffered as a result.

But now Burke—handsome, older, and more emotionally mature than any man she’s met before—says he wants her. Forever. Except, Burke isn’t who he claims to be. And interspersed letters to his therapist reveal the truth: he’s happily married, and using Skye for his own, deceptive ends.

In a third perspective, set thirty years earlier, a scrappy seventeen-year-old named Heather is determined to end things with Burke, a local bad boy, and make a better life for herself in New York City. But can her adolescent love stay firmly in her past—or will he find his way into her future?

On a collision course she doesn’t see coming, Skye throws herself into wedding planning, as Burke’s scheme grows ever more twisted. But of course, even the best laid plans can go astray. And just when you think you know where this story is going, you’ll discover that there’s more than one way to spin the truth.

***

Would you keep reading?  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “PIECE OF MY 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 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 I am choosing my First Book of the Year as my pick:  Piece of My Heart, by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke.

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Book Beginning:  Laurie Moran flinched at the sound of yet another horn honking, this time from the pickup truck behind them.

From the driver’s seat, Charlotte Pierce glanced in the rearview mirror and threw up a frustrated hand. “I don’t know where he expects me to go.”

***

Friday 56:  Then suddenly one day, Sandra paused before answering, and then broke down into tears.  At first, Michelle had been getting good grades as a student at the University of Baltimore, but after two years, she took some time off.

***

Description:Television producer Laurie Moran and her fiancée, Alex Buckley, the former host of her investigative television show, are just days away from their mid-summer wedding, when things take a dark turn. Alex’s seven-year-old nephew, Johnny, vanishes from the beach. A search party begins and witnesses recall Johnny playing in the water and collecting shells behind the beach shack, but no one remembers seeing him after the morning. As the sun sets, Johnny’s skim board washes up to shore, and everyone realizes that he could be anywhere, even under water.

A ticking clock, a sinister stalker, and fresh romance combine in this exhilarating follow up to the bestselling You Don’t Own Me—another riveting page-turner from the “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and her dazzling partner-in-crime Alafair Burke.

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What do you think?  I am definitely into this one, as it is also my First Book of the Year.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE LIES YOU TOLD”

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.

Today’s feature is a new book:  The Lies You Told, by Harriet Tyce

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Book Beginning:  It’s the first time I’ve ever slept in my mother’s room.  That I can remember, anyway.  It’s cold.  My arm is the only part of me out from under the covers and my skin feels clammy, my fingers chilled.

***

Friday 56:  I wait for Robin to bite my head off rather than replying, but instead of a rebuff, Robin thinks about it for a moment.  “They’re the ones who decide who talks to who and who sits where.”

***

Synopsis:  In the playground it’s the law of the jungle

But at the school gate, there are no rules at all…

When Sadie Roper moves back to London, she’s determined to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. First, she needs to get her daughter settled into a new school-one of the most exclusive in the city. Next, she’s going to get back the high-flying criminal barrister career she sacrificed for marriage ten years earlier. But nothing goes quite as planned. The school is not very welcoming newcomers, her daughter hasn’t made any friends yet and the other mothers are as fiercely competitive as their children. Sadie immediately finds herself on the outside as she navigates the fraught politics of the school gate.

But the tide starts to turn as Sadie begins to work on a scandalous, high-profile case that’s the perfect opportunity to prove herself again, even though a dangerous flirtation threatens to cloud her professional judgment. And when Liza, queen of the school moms, befriends Sadie, she draws her into the heart of the world from which she was previously excluded. Soon Sadie and her family start to thrive, but does this close new friendship prevent her from seeing the truth? Sadie may be keeping her friends close, but what she doesn’t know is that her enemies are closer still…

Dark, addictive and compelling, The Lies You Told is a compulsive psychological thriller from a master storyteller.

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What do you think? Would you keep reading?

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SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAYS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “CRASH & BURN”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s feature is a book from one of my favorite authors:  Crash & Burn, by Lisa Gardner.

 

 

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Beginning:  I died once.

I remember now, as much as I am capable of remembering anything, the sensation of pain, burning and sharp, followed by fatigue, crushing and deep.  I’d wanted to lie down; I recall that clearly.

***

56:  “Vero doesn’t exist.”  Wyatt had to test out the statement.  Because of all the information he’d expected to learn from this conversation, that wasn’t it.

***

Blurb:  The #1 New York Times bestselling author’s latest stand-alone thriller, with a cameo by her fan-favorite character, Boston Detective D.D. Warren

My name is Nicky Frank. Except, most likely, it isn’t.

Nicole Frank shouldn’t have been able to survive the car accident, much less crawl up the steep ravine. Not in the dark, not in the rain, not with her injuries. But one thought allows her to defy the odds and flag down help: Vero.

I’m looking for a little girl. I have to save her. Except, most likely, she doesn’t exist.

Sergeant Wyatt Foster is frustrated when even the search dogs can’t find any trace of the mysterious missing child. Until Nicky’s husband, Thomas, arrives with a host of shattering revelations: Nicole Frank suffers from a rare brain injury and the police shouldn’t trust anything she says.

My husband claims he’ll do anything to save me. Except, most likely, he can’t.

Who is Nicky Frank, and what happened the night her car sailed off the road? Was it a random accident or something more sinister given the woman’s lack of family and no close friends? The deeper Wyatt digs, the more concerned he becomes. Because it turns out, in the past few months, Nicky has suffered from more than one close accident. . . . In fact, it would appear someone very much wants her dead.

This is my life. Except, most likely, it’s not. Now watch me crash and burn.

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I can’t wait to read this one!  What do you think?  I hope you’ll stop by and share your comments and links.
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SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAY: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “THE IDEA OF LOVE”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s spotlight is shining on an ARC from Patti Callahan Henry:  The Idea of Love.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  In his mind, he was already writing her—the woman who stood at the patio table with her eyes closed and her face lifted to the sky.  She was only a subject, or more precisely, an object.  Her slumped shoulders folded inward and her beautiful mouth turned down.

***

56:  Ella felt the panic of loneliness well up behind her chest, but she smiled anyway, because that’s what she’d always been taught to do.  “You are so sweet to invite me in and let me tell you my crazy story but I need to get on home.  I just wanted to…meet you.”

***

Blurb:  As we like to say in the south,

“Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
Ella’s life has been completely upended. She’s young, beautiful, and deeply in love–until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident while trying save her. Or so she’ll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers’ block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He’s on the look-out for a love story. It doesn’t matter who it belongs to.
When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It’s the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It’s an opportunity to live out a fantasy – the life she wishes she had because hers is too painful. And more real. Besides. what’s a little white lie between strangers?

But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their own lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. And so they wonder: can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?

***

I am eager to dive into this one.  This author is one of my new favorites, and I can’t wait.  I also love the cover.  What do you think?

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SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAY: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “THE DENIM BLUE SEA”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today I am featuring a review book from a favorite author of mine.  The Denim Blue Sea, by Joanne DeMaio.

 

 

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Beginning:  They stand at the edge of Long Island Sound, as close to the sea as they can get.  The setting sun sinks below the horizon while lazy breaking waves reach for their feet.

“There’s one.”  Eva points further down the beach where the twilight sky casts a golden hue on the sand.  “It’s a conch shell.”  She hurries over, dips the shell in the gentle sea for a rinse and holds it out to Maris.  “I’ll spray-paint some of them silver so they glimmer with the flowers.”

***

56:  “I’m on your team,” Maris says into Jason’s ear when she moves behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist.  “Dibs.”

But something in Kyle’s voice gets Jason’s attention instead.  He’s not sure what it is exactly, but it’s enough for him to look over at Kyle and lose the pinballs in play.

***

Blurb:  During two August weeks, denim designer Maris Carrington and coastal architect Jason Barlow prepare for their much-anticipated wedding. Guests arrive early, turning keys in charming cottage doors to begin their New England summer escape. The wedding is a reason for old friends to gather again; to meet in their shabby beach hangout and get the jukebox cranking; to walk that weathered boardwalk beneath a starry sky; to breathe the sweet salt air. “Cures what ails you,” one of the friends, Neil, always said long before his life was sadly claimed. But his legacy was not.

When Maris discovers Neil’s long-lost journal, its passages reveal a heartbreaking secret. Can truths be found within its timeworn pages? Can this leather-bound journal unite the friends as their lives begin to fray? A bittersweet family reunion, a surprising encounter from a devastating accident, a shocking confession leaving one marriage shattered–all will test the once close-knit circle. Suddenly this safe haven on the tranquil Connecticut shoreline churns with emotional turmoil, threatening even the beach wedding just days before it is to happen.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts pique your interest?  I hope you’ll share your own.

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SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAYS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “WIFE-IN-LAW”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s featured book came right off my TBR pile, as I slowly work my way through it.  Wife-in-Law, by Haywood Smith, looks like a delightful read to me.  I have enjoyed several books by this author.

 

 

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Beginning:  Somebody once asked me how I pick my friends, and I just laughed, because God usually does the picking for me, and believe me, He has a wicked sense of humor.  So when it came to my best friend in the world, never in a million years would I have chosen Kat Ellis.  And never in a trillion years would I have ever imagined that we’d both end up married to the same man—or that one of us would kill him.

***

56:  Perversely, I wondered if my presence would be there with them when they finally did get down and dirty.

An evil smile overtook me as I wondered if Kat liked it quick, with no foreplay.

***

Blurb:  Neighbors Betsy Callison and Kat Ellis were oil and water when they met thirty-five years ago.  Betsy was a prim, neat freak, Republican wife, and Kat was a wild, irreverent, hippie Democrat. But they soon discover common ground that creates a bond that lasts for decades. Until Betsy’s husband leaves her for his secretary, then comes sniffing back around two years later and convinces newly widowed Kat to marry him! Not that Betsy wants him back, but it’s hard to move on when the newlyweds are flaunting their love right across the street. But there’s trouble brewing in Paradise, and no one knows philandering Greg better than his ex-wife Betsy. Can Betsy get involved in her best friend’s marriage–even if it means helping her wife-in-law figure out the same man she shared a bed with for thirty years? Told with Haywood’s Smith inimitable southern voice, WIFE-IN-LAW provides loads of laughter, insight, and plenty of heart.

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Doesn’t this sound like fun?  I can’t wait….

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SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAY: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 — “THE TWILIGHT HOUR”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

I am very happy to share my featured book today.  I’ve been lusting after it for a while, and finally found it on Amazon.  The Twilight Hour, by Nicci Gerrard, is a story that is sure to touch my heart.  I have been a fan of Nicci French (the combo team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French), so imagine my delight to discover this book from this author on various blogs. 

 

 

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Beginning:  Eleanor woke to what was not there.  Outside, the wind still roared, dashing pellets of rain against the windows; inside it was too silent, not a breath or a heartbeat save hers.  The darkness felt uninhabited.  Before she reached out her hand, groping past the water jug and the vase of dying flowers to touch the bed and find it empty, the blanket thrown back and the pillow dislodged, she knew she was alone.

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56:  There was a carved little chest in the corner and inside that were board games and playing cards.  Peter imagined Sunday evenings, rainy afternoons, everyone together in the laughter and squabble of a large, close family.

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Goodreads Description:  Eleanor Lee has lived a fiercely independent existence for over ninety years, but now it’s time to tidy her life away – books, photographs, paintings, letters – a lifetime of possessions all neatly boxed up for the last time. But amongst them there are some things that must be kept hidden. And, nearing blindness, Eleanor needs help to uncover them before her children and grandchildren do.

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What do you think?  Could you connect to this character?  I know that I can…and I’m looking forward to learning more.

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SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAY: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “FRIENDSWOOD”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

As we gather around to chat about our books,  I’d like to share a book I’ve been reading:  an ARC, from Amazon Vine, called Friendswood, by Rene Steinke.

 

 

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Beginning:  (1993) (Rosemont)

One of those evenings, before they knew, Lee walked past the Clarks’ ranch house, as sunlight shattered through the leaves overhead.  The fan of a lawn sprinkler bowed down again in the green yard, and a few drops dotted her shoulder.  Jess ran in front, dark hair splayed against the narrow back of her shirt, sneakers snapping against the concrete.

***

Beginning:  (2007) (Lee)

It was sunny again for the first time in days, and light mirrored off all the wet surfaces.  Post-storm, people drove slowly, though traffic was sparse.  Here and there fallen branches and toppled road signs lay on either side of the road, but things were getting back to normal.

***

56:  (Lee)

“You’ve been going out there again, haven’t you?” said Rush.  “God-damnit, they buried that poison.  And what good does it do you?  Probably dangerous even being out there all by yourself.”  She stood up to turn on the radio on the bureau.

***

Blurb:  A big, moving novel of one tight-knit Texas community and the events that alter its residents’ lives forever.

Friendswood, Texas, is a small Gulf Coast town of church suppers, oil rigs on the horizon, hurricane weather, and high school football games. When tragedy rears its head with an industrial leak that kills and sickens residents, it pulls on the common thread that runs through the community, intensifying everything. From a confused fifteen-year-old girl beset by visions, to a high school football star tormented by his actions, to a mother galvanized by the death of her teen daughter, to a morally bankrupt father trying to survive his mistakes, René Steinke explores what happens when families are trapped in the ambiguity of history’s missteps—when the actions of a few change the lives and well-being of many.

Driving the narrative powerfully forward is the suspenseful question of the fates of four Friendswood families, and Steinke’s striking insight and empathy. Inspired in part by the town where she herself grew up, this layered, propulsive, psychologically complex story is poignant proof that extreme public events, as catastrophic as they might seem, must almost always pale in comparison to the intimate personal experiences and motivations of grief, love, lust, ambition, anxiety, and regret.

***

What do you think?  Do these lines capture your interest?  I am loving this story and finding myself wrapped up in the lives of these characters.  I hope you’ll stop by and share your thoughts.

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