BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MRS. SAINT & THE DEFECTIVES”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 one of my newer downloads:  Mrs. Saint and the Defectives, by Julie Lawson Timmer, a tale of how community can heal the brokenness in all of us.

 

 

Beginning:  It was only when Markie saw her husband’s hands clasped around another woman’s breasts that she finally acknowledged their problems weren’t ones she could hide any longer.  Except that wasn’t completely true.  Though it shamed her to confess it, the truth was that if she had seen them—his hands, the breasts that weren’t her own—in the privacy of their bedroom or in some tawdry motel room she had burst in on, she might not have admitted it still.

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56:  Markie patted his hair and kissed his cheek.  And did not set him straight.  Instead, she let him believe what his father had said, that the blame for the dissolution of their marriage, their family, Jesse’s entire world, lay at her feet.

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Blurb:  Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.

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What do you think?  Do the snippets grab you?

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CHATTING WITH COFFEE….

Good morning!  It’s time to grab a cup of coffee and chat about Bookish/Not So Bookish Things.  Head on over to Bookishly Boisterous to link up.

  • Last week I had my mani-pedi, and I changed up my trademark “purple” color….to this wicked red…LOL

  • Today I had coffee with a friend at Barnes & Noble…

  • Dinner with a book at The Elephant Bar…

  • Tomorrow I’m finally going to the salon to try to have my hair dyed (with an organic product) without an allergic reaction.
  • This week, I’ve enjoyed reading and reviewing three books already; click titles/covers for my reviews:

My Life to Live, by Agnes Nixon; The Marriage Pact, by Michelle Richmond;

and The Best of Us, by Joyce Maynard.

Currently I’m reading Every Wild Heart and Mean Streak.

  • I’ve been enjoying Shetland on Netflix…and saw the movie Lion there.  I loved it!  Tonight is Broadchurch again, on BBC.
  • It seems that I’ve had to leave the house every day this week for one or more errands, so I’m surprised that I’ve actually finished three of my books.
  • After tomorrow, I’m hoping to stay close to home for Friday and the weekend, as the heat is not going away.

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That’s what my life has been like since last week.  Come on by and let’s chat.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “AFTER ANNA”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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:  After Anna, by Alex Lake, a bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, Daughter, by Jane Shemilt, and The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins.

 

Beginning:  (Prologue)

It was easier than you had expected.  The girl came without complaint.  You spotted her as she left the school, alone, looking around, clearly bereft of a parent to pick her up.  Who would do that?  Who would be so negligent as to leave a five-year-old in such a vulnerable position?  It was appalling, it really was.

But it was good for you.

***

56:  ‘What’s going on?’ he asked, and looked back at his wife.  ‘Why’s she shouting at you?’

‘She’s trying to stop me looking for Anna,’  Julia said.

***

Synopsis:  A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless.

The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their daughter is lost forever, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved.

But the biggest mystery is yet to come: one week after she was abducted, their daughter is returned.

She has no memory of where she has been. And this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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LET’S GRAB SOME COFFEE AND CHAT….

Good morning, and welcome to another morning of Coffee Chatting…and linking to Bookishly Boisterous for those Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

  • Let’s start with the bookish things.  I’m having another delightful reading week, thanks mostly to the HOT, HOT, HOT weather, which is keeping me indoors.  I’m almost finished with my third book, and the fourth one is eagerly waiting in the wings.   The Comfort of Others, by Kay Langdale, is winding down, and while it didn’t grab me right away, I am now eagerly immersed in the alternating storylines of an eleven-year-old boy named Max and his next-door seventy-something neighbor Minnie.    Next:  The Child, by Fiona Barton; a book I’ve been ogling since, well, forever.

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  • Today I’m having a mani-pedi, and it’s long overdue.  Well, the pedi part, anyway.  I’m thinking of changing my signature color…this is what I’ve been “wearing” for ages…Thoughts?

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  • Does anyone else think the days, weeks, and year are flying by?  If only we could banish some of the unpleasant aspects of 2017…like that guy pretending to be President…LOL.
  • I haven’t watched Netflix at all this week!  I finished Season I of Gypsy, and I want more!  Naomi Watts does a great job.  I’ve added the movie Lion to my queue, along with Shetland...and Father Brown.  I’ve heard good things.
  • My reading has captured me, although I have taken time out for the new season of Broadchurch on BBC, and a new season of The Fosters and a new show The Bold Type, both on Freeform.
  • Today I woke up thinking about what would happen if my laptop died….and how would I set up a new one, with all the various things that I have attached to this one (requiring passwords, etc.).  I do have a sheet listing my Internet passwords, locked away in a file…but I’m thinking I may have overlooked something, like my new CBS app.  Does it have a password?  LOL.
  • I was doing one of those crazy FB memes that show our personality characteristics (as if we need an Internet tool to tell us!), and not surprisingly, mine showed that I like to be in control.  Duh!  That doesn’t mean I want to control others…but I do like being in control of myself and my world.
  • Here’s another photo from my daughter’s honeymoon in Prague, etc., snapped by her photographer brother who lives in Prague.  Great backdrop, right?

 

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That’s my week….how is yours shaping up so far?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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, a book I’ve been eyeing for a while:  The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan, a funny, moving new novel for fans of Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.

 

Beginning:  The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things.  It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it.  It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.”  You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child.”

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56:  Nina glanced down at her phone.  A new e-mail was blinking.  She didn’t even have to open it.  “I regret to inform you…” was the first line that came across in the preview screen.

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Synopsis:  Nina is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile — a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

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What do you think?  Have you read it?  Would you keep reading?

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INTERIOR THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY…

Good morning!  It’s time for Coffee and Chats…and today we’re joining Bookishly Boisterous for Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts..

  • Whew!  What a hot week so far!  Triple digits all the way.  But wait!  It is going down to 99 next Wednesday.
  • Early this morning, however, it was 80…so I went out to run an errand to Kaiser to pick up meds and get back home before noon.
  • As  long as the AC works, though, and as long as I don’t have to go out in it, I’m okay.  I got a lot of reading done last week, which was also very hot…and read FIVE books.
  • This week, I’ve read and reviewed two books so far:  The Bookshop at Water’s End, by Patti Callahan Henry (click for review), which made me feel really cool; and Love Letters, by Debbie Macomber, a book set in Cedar Cove (click to read review).

  • On Netflix, I watched Season Six of Offspring, an Australian show about a 30-something woman who is an Obstetrician, and we get to watch her crazy dysfunctional family (and crazy staff at the hospital!).
  • Then I started watching a show called Gypsy, starring Naomi Watts, a therapist who goes outside the lines to interact personally with the people in her patients’ lives.  Interesting and dangerous!  I’m halfway through the first season.
  • Has anyone ever watched a commercial that is so annoying that you want to throw things at the screen?  Here’s one that keeps showing over and over for Toujeo.  The guy wants to get back in his groove, but I just want him to stop dancing everywhere, with that goofy look on his face, even at work…LOL.
  • On the weekend, I saw the movie The Hero, starring Sam Elliott.  It’s a Sundance production, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Here’s the review I wrote about it:  Monday Potpourri:  A Surprising Sunday.
  • Before the movies, I had a salad…and this dessert.
  • The theater (which was not my neighborhood one) had been upgraded with wide aisles and reclining seats, which is the trend in theaters these days, but this was the first one I’d been in with these features. 
  •  My neighborhood theater plans to serve alcohol soon.  That could be good…or not.   I hope they put in the reclining seats, though.

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So…that’s my week so far.  What does yours look like?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “ANY DAY NOW”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 just finished reading and reviewing:  Any Day Now, by Robyn Carr (click title for my review).

 

Beginning:  So, this is what a new life looks like.  Sierra Jones opened her eyes on a sunny Colorado morning to that thought.

She had given this a great deal of consideration.  Colorado had not been her only option but she decided it might be the best one.  Her brother Cal, with whom she shared a deep bond, was making a life here and he wanted her to be part of it.

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56%:  She drove with the windows down, Molly hanging her head out and letting the wind billow her lips.  She’d felt a smile inside of herself all day long.  She couldn’t help it, she felt strangely renewed.

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Synopsis:  The highly anticipated sequel to #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr’s What We Find transports readers back to Sullivan’s Crossing. The rustic campground at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide trails welcomes everyone—whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or a whole new lease on life. It’s a wonderful place where good people face their challenges with humor, strength and love. 

For Sierra Jones, Sullivan’s Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She’s put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn’t yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet. 

Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she’s always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it’s a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future. In Sullivan’s Crossing Sierra learns to cherish the family you are given and the family you choose.

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I just finished reading this book, and literally could not put it down.  Not because it is a suspense thriller, but because the characters felt like people I wanted to know.  What do you think?

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IT’S TIME FOR COFFEE….AND BOOKISH/NOT SO BOOKISH THOUGHTS….

Good morning!  It’s time for Coffee Morning and Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.  Click on over to Bookishly Boisterous.

  • Last night I watched the first episode of Broadchurch – Season Three!  I saw the first two seasons on Netflix, but BBC-America is bringing us the third season.  And maybe all the seasons started there first, but I only discovered the show on Netflix.
  • Does anyone watch Younger?  I started it as a lark, but found myself tuning in regularly.  I haven’t watched last night’s episode yet…it’s on my DVR.  I fell asleep!
  • This week has been an awesome reading one!  As I look at my titles, I think I see why….not a thriller among them!  One cozy mystery, one memoir, and one family drama/women’s fiction.  I guess I needed a bit of a switcheroo.  But no worries, I’ll be back to the thrillers in no time.  So far, I read and reviewed The Sunshine Sisters, Watching the Detectives, and Talking as Fast as I can. (Click for my reviews).
  • Currently reading two books:  Any Day Now, by Robyn Carr; and What Remains, by Carole Radziwill.

  • The whole week is going to be a departure from my usual reads, but I like the idea of changing things up a bit.
  • What does today hold for me?  I haven’t been anywhere this week (it has been too hot!), except one brief trip to the supermarket on Tuesday (I think…).  When I stay home, all the days blur together.  These “memes” are the only thing distinguishing one day from the next.
  • Is that sad, or what?  A daily routine that focuses on what is happening online?  LOL.
  • Of course, there is reading time…and TV watching…and I exchanged text messages with my daughter yesterday.  She is ordering my “new” hair color, the kind that won’t bring out a rash…hopefully.  We are both nervous.
  • Fourth of July is coming…and it’s on a Tuesday.  Maybe we’ll celebrate on the weekend.  No, that won’t work!  Fireworks!

 

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So…that’s my world this week…what about yours?

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COFFEE MORNING ON SATURDAY: REMINISCING…

Nothing tastes better than morning coffee, and I love having mine in this little office nook, with the new TV playing nearby…

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On Thursday, I wrote a post called Coffee Morning:  Hot Day Ahead, and I mused about how I’ve lived in these parts for almost 46 years.

I wanted to share another photo from back in those early days, but couldn’t find it anywhere!  Which reminds me that I really need to better organize my online photos…by date, at least.  I’m doing that now, but the older ones were missing those vital details, so despite searching through endless folders, I couldn’t find the one I wanted.  What do you bet that I’ll find it now?  LOL

Meanwhile,  I went to the source of the photo:  the album.  I have a stack of old albums on a closet shelf.  I found and scanned this picture…to spotlight the three boys, with the youngest one in his ORANGE backpack.  We were spending the day in Roeding Park, where they have Storyland, the zoo, boat rides, etc.  This photo was snapped in May 1972.

 

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I never go to that park anymore.  It has run down a bit…although I did read that the zoo was undergoing some improvements.

Back then, we were living in one of the outer small towns, 70 miles from the city…and I hated that town!  It was always surrounded by fog and tumbleweeds.  It reminded me of that town in Texas, the setting for the movie The Last Picture Show, which, incidentally, was playing then in the dust-filled theater in that town.

 

I couldn’t wait to get out…and we actually did move from there a few months later.  To the city with this park and a few other amenities I enjoyed.

A peek at the interior world back then….before we moved to the city.  Posters and beads…and leopard print pillows.

 

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Avocado green was another favorite color back then…and note the stacking plastic bins.  They were old Carnation containers for products.  We got them from a dairy in Northern California before we moved.  We also used them for the kids’ toys.

 

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Back to reality, the 21st Century.  I’m still reading The Sunshine Sisters, having finished Good Me, Bad Me yesterday (click title for review).

 

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Earlier today I discovered an upcoming release from another favorite author:  Diane Chamberlain.    The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent.

One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever. It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love— and the life—she was meant to have?

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I love finding upcoming releases from old and new favorite authors.  What have you discovered lately?  What are you reading?

What moments in the past remind you of who you once were?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE SUNSHINE SISTERS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 one of my current reads:  The Sunshine Sisters,  by Jane Green, “A warm, satisfying tale about the love that binds even the most dysfunctional of families.”—People

 

Beginning:  (Prologue)

All those years when Ronni thought she was sick, all those years convinced that every mole was melanoma, every cough was lung cancer, every case of heartburn was an oncoming heart attack, after all those years, when the gods finally stopped taking care of her she wasn’t scared.

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56:  This is what it feels like to be an adult, thinks Lizzy, proud of herself for being such a good host.  She made everyone have some pesto with their burgers, and they all declared it awesome. 

They sit around on the outdoor lounge furniture, drinking the beers Craig brought, watching the sun set over the water, reflecting a golden glow over everyone there.

***

Synopsis:  Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters.

As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother’s overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother’s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London—and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother’s fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.

But now the Sunshine sisters are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy have never been close, their mother’s illness draws them together to confront the old jealousies and secret fears that have threatened to tear these sisters apart. As they face the loss of their mother, they will discover if blood might be thicker than water after all…

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I must have a new Jane Green novel for each summer, even though I still have to immerse myself in dark thrillers, too.

What do you think?  Do the excerpts and the blurb pull you in?

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