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.

***
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?

***

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.

***

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.

***

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

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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

***

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.

***

SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAYS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 – THE NIGHT GUEST

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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’m spotlighting an ARC of The Night Guest, by Fiona McFarlane.

 

 

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Beginning:  Ruth woke at four in the morning and her blurry brain said, “Tiger.”  That was natural; she was dreaming.  But there were noises in the house, and as she woke she heard them.  They came across the hallway from the lounge room.

***

56:  Now Frida held a hand to her dark hair and produced a sigh so bitter, so exhausted, and at the same time so sweet, that Ruth was tempted to reach out and comfort her.

***

Amazon Description:   A mesmerizing first novel about trust, dependence, and fear, from a major new writer

Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small. One day a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. This woman—Frida—claims to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth lets her in.
Now that Frida is in her house, is Ruth right to fear the tiger she hears on the prowl at night, far from its jungle habitat? Why do memories of childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency? How far can she trust this mysterious woman, Frida, who seems to carry with her own troubled past? And how far can Ruth trust herself?
The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane’s hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, trust, dependence, and fear; about processes of colonization; and about things (and people) in places they shouldn’t be. Here is a new writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to describe the mysterious workings of our minds.

***

I am eager to delve into this story.  What are you sharing today?

SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAYS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — TWO SISTERS

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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 is an ARC I’ve received from Amazon Vine.  Two Sisters, by Mary Hogan, is a story about one family, two sisters, and a lifetime of secrets….

 

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Beginning:  Muriel unfolded the old bath towel and flung it open with a snap of her wrists.  Gently, it floated over her duvet like a jellyfish, the frayed ends dangling in a tentacled kind of way.

***

56:  While Owen searched for the ideal place to stop, kill the engine, then douse Madalyn’s dreams of their future together, Le Chez came into view.  People were laughing inside, bathed in the flattering light of disposable income.

***

Amazon Blurb:  Mary Hogan’s powerful and poignant debut novel about two sisters—opposites in every way—plus their mother and the secrets and lies that define them all.

One family, two sisters, a lifetime of secrets . . .

The third child in a family that wanted only two, Muriel Sullivant has always been an outsider. Short, dark-haired and round, she worships her beautiful blonde sister, Pia, and envies the close bond she shares with their mother, Lidia. Growing up in their shadow, Muriel believes that if she keeps all their secrets—and she knows plenty, outsiders always do—they will love her, too.

But that was a long time ago. Now an adult, Muriel has accepted the disappointments in her life. With her fourth-floor walk-up apartment and entry-level New York City job, she never will measure up to Pia and her wealthy husband, their daughter, and their suburban Connecticut dream home. Muriel would like nothing better than to avoid her judgmental family altogether. One thing she does quite well.

Until the day Pia shows up to visit and share devastating news that Muriel knows she cannot tell—a secret that will force her to come to terms with the past and help her see her life and her family in unexpected new ways.

***

I love books about family…especially the kind with secrets.  What are you sharing today?

SERENDIPTIOUS FRIDAYS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — LIE STILL — SEPT. 13

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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 is an ARC in which I am deeply engrossed.  I have developed a crick in my neck from curling up and reading this one on and off throughout the day.  I only ever took breaks to watch a couple of TV shows.

The book is very suspenseful with lots of secrets revealing themselves slowly.  Lie Still, by Julia Heaberlin, starts out with a scene of violence that informs a lot of the story ahead.

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Beginning:  For me, the rape is a permanent fixture on the clock, like midnight.

A point of reference.

I was nineteen years and four days old.

***

56:  “There is blood in my house.”  Lucinda’s lisp was a little hard to understand, but the word blood was unmistakable.  She popped the slip of paper in her mouth and began to chew like a bubble gum addict on cocaine.

***

Amazon Blurb:  In the tradition of Lisa Unger’s Beautiful Lies and Nancy Pickard’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning comes a twisting, riveting novel of shifting trust and shattered lives. Lie Still delves deep into the heart of an opulent Southern town, where gossip is currency and secrets kill.

When Emily Page and her husband move from Manhattan to the wealthy enclave of Clairmont, Texas, she hopes she can finally escape her haunted past—and outrun the nameless stalker who has been taunting her for years. Pregnant with her first child, Emily just wants to start over. But as she is drawn into a nest of secretive Texas women—and into the unnerving company of their queen, Caroline Warwick—Emily finds that acceptance is a very dangerous game.

It isn’t long before Caroline mysteriously disappears and Emily is facing a rash of anonymous threats. Are they linked to the missing Caroline? Or to Emily’s terrifying encounter in college, years earlier? As the dark truth about Caroline emerges, Emily realizes that some secrets are impossible to hide—and that whoever came for Caroline is now coming for her.

***

As evening approaches, I want to keep reading, because I don’t want to put this book down.  But I’m afraid to read this in the dark…lol.  And I’m afraid of women like these….

What are you sharing?

SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAY: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — SEPT. 6

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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 is another ARC from Amazon Vine:  Just What Kind of Mother Are You?, by Paula Daly.

 

 

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Beginning:  Day One:  Tuesday

I wake up more tired than when I went to sleep.  I’ve had five and a half hours and, after hitting the snooze button for the third time, I lift my head.

It’s the kind of tired I’m beyond finding reasons for.  You know the sort, you first notice it and you think:  What is wrong with me?

***

56:  Alexa had turned her back and was taking another taste from the pot on the stove.  ‘Kate,’ she said, her voice snippy with criticism, ‘these onions are not completely softened, you can’t serve the tagine like this, it’ll be awful.’

***

Amazon Blurb:  Lisa Kallisto—overwhelmed working mother—is the not-so-perfect model of the modern woman. She holds down a busy job running an animal shelter, she cares for three demanding children, and she worries that her marriage isn’t getting enough attention. During an impossibly hectic week, Lisa takes her eye off the ball for a moment and her world descends into a living nightmare. Not only is her best friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter missing, but it’s Lisa’s fault. To make matters worse, Lucinda is the second teenage girl to disappear within the past two weeks. The first one turned up stripped bare and abandoned on the main street after a horrible ordeal. Wracked with guilt over her mistake, and after having been publicly blamed by Lucinda’s family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. As she begins digging under the surface, Lisa learns that everything is not quite what it first appears to be.

In Paula Daly’s heart-stopping debut novel, motherhood, marriage, and friendship are tested when a string of abductions tear through a small-town community. Gripping and fast-paced, Just What Kind of Mother Are You? introduces an outstanding new thriller writer with a terrifying imagination for the horrors that lurk in everyday lives.

***

What do you think?  I know that I’m eager to plunge into this one.  Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you’ll share your comments and links.