BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SAY YOU’RE SORRY”

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 Book One in the Morgan Dane series, Say You’re Sorry, by Melinda Leigh.  In a new series from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh, former prosecutor Morgan Dane faces the most personal—and deadly—case of her lifetime.

 

 

Beginning:  Darkness.

Tessa had been afraid of it most of her life.  For as long as she could remember, she’d gone to bed dreading nightfall, looking under the bed, double-checking her nightlight.

As if a lightbulb the size of a lit match could possible banish her nightmares.

***

Friday 56:  Rain tapped on the kitchen window.  Morgan sipped a cup of coffee and read her emails from the DA’s office and the Human Resources department.  Filling out employment and insurance forms made her new job real, and the first glimmer of interest in something outside the walls of the house flickered inside her.

***

Synopsis:  After the devastating loss of her husband in Iraq, Morgan Dane returns to Scarlet Falls, seeking the comfort of her hometown. Now, surrounded by family, she’s finally found peace and a promising career opportunity—until her babysitter is killed and her neighbor asks her to defend his son, Nick, who stands accused of the murder.

Tessa was the ultimate girl next door, and the community is outraged by her death. But Morgan has known Nick for years and can’t believe he’s guilty, despite the damning evidence stacked against him. She asks her friend Lance Kruger, an ex-cop turned private eye, for help. Taking on the town, the police, and a zealous DA, Morgan and Lance plunge into the investigation, determined to find the real killer. But as they uncover secrets that rock the community, they become targets for the madman hiding in plain sight.

***

I am looking forward to this series, and now have both Book One and Two on Pippa, my Kindle.  What do you think?  Do the snippets catch your interest?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE HEIRS”

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 The Heirs, by Susan Rieger, a riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out of Edith Wharton for the 21st century.

 

Beginning:  (Eleanor, He that dies pays all debts)

When he was dying, Rupert Falkes had the best care money could buy.  His wife, Eleanor, saw to that.  After the last round of chemo failed, she installed him in New York-Presbyterian in a large, comfortable, private room with a window facing the Hudson.  She could have put him in hospice but she knew that in his rare moments of lucidity, he’d want to be in a hospital.  He’d fought the prostate cancer tooth and nail, and even when it took over his bones, inflicting almost unbearable pain, he fought on.  He wasn’t ready to go.

***

Friday 56:  “I don’t think mother and daughter have much to say for themselves,” Rupert said to Eleanor as they crossed the park in a cab.  He stopped, remembering his late mother-in-law.  “It’s good for your father.  Mrs. Cantwell is so very fond of him.  The way she looks at him must give him happiness.”

***

Synopsis:  Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him. The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him. In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.

Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together — Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm — and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty – a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor’s sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all.

***

What do you think?  Do the snippets pique your curiosity?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE”

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:  Little Fires Everywhere (e-book), by Celeste Ng, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives

 

 

Beginning: Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer:  how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.  All spring the gossip had been about little Mirabelle McCullough—or, depending which side you were on, May Ling Chow—and now, at last, there was something new and sensational to discuss.  A little after noon on that Saturday in May, the shoppers pushing their grocery carts in Heinen’s heard the fire engines wail to life and careen away, toward the duck pond.

***

56:  (55, actually; nothing on 56):

Lexie looked chastened for an instant, then rolled her eyes.  Moody darted a look at Pearl:  See how shallow?  But Pearl didn’t notice.  After Mia had gone back into the living room—embarrassed at her outburst—she turned to Lexie.  “I could help you,” she said, quietly enough that she thought Mia could not hear.

***

Blurb:  In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

***

I have heard such good things about this book, and can’t wait to dive into it.  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING”

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:  I’ll Have What She’s Having, by Erin Carlson, a backstage look at the making of Nora Ephron’s revered trilogy–When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle–which brought romantic comedies back to the fore, and an intimate portrait of the beloved writer/director who inspired a generation of Hollywood women, from Mindy Kaling to Lena Dunham.

 

Beginning:  (Introduction) MFEO (Made for Each Other)

“God, are we gonna get away with this?”

So muttered Nora Ephron, smiling despite herself as she watched Meg Ryan traverse the Empire State Building observation deck to greet her destiny, Tom Hanks.  In one corner of the set, painstakingly constructed to match the real thing, the director wore super-sized headphones and kept her eyes glued to the monitor.

***

56:  “What about fake orgasms?”

Although Nora received sole credit for proposing that women feign sexual climax, Rob and Andy peg the source as model and actress Dani Minnick, who starred in a series of Virginia Slims cigarette ads during the 1980s.

***

Synopsis:  In I’ll Have What She’s Having entertainment journalist Erin Carlson tells the story of the real Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the romcom through her trio of instant classics. With a cast of famous faces including Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Billy Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip to Ephron’s New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron–who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it–ruled the set with an attention to detail that made her actors feel safe but sometimes exasperated crew members.

Along the way, Carlson examines how Ephron explored in the cinema answers to the questions that plagued her own romantic life and how she regained faith in love after one broken engagement and two failed marriages. Carlson also explores countless other questions Ephron’s fans have wondered about: What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted comedian trapped in the body of a fairytale princess, not the first choice for the role? After she and Hanks each separatel balked at playing Mail’s Kathleen Kelly and Sleepless‘ Sam Baldwin, what changed their minds? And perhaps most importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing … in a turtleneck? An intimate portrait of a one of America’s most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I’ll Have What She’s Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen.

***

As a big fan of Nora Ephron, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “Y IS FOR YESTERDAY”

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 new book from an old favorite:  Y is for Yesterday, by Sue Grafton.

 

Beginning:  (The Theft, January 1979)

Iris stood at the counter in the school office, detention slip in hand, anticipating a hand-smack from Mr. Lucas, the vice principal.  She’d already seen him twice since her enrollment at Climping Academy the previous fall.  The first time, she’d been turned in for cutting PE.  The second time, she’d been reported for smoking outside study hall.  She’d been advised there was a smoking area set aside specifically for students, which she argued was on the far side of campus and impossible to get to between classes.

***

56:  As a child, Sloan had pined for the father she never knew.  In the photograph of him, which had been taken at the ski resort, he was dark-eyed and tanned, with a flash of white teeth and ski goggles pushed up in his dark hair.  While Sloan was growing up, his image had been the source of fantasies—hopes that he hadn’t really perished in the accident.

***

Blurb:  The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack.  Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.
       
Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

***

I love this series, so I’m eager to enjoy this latest outing.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WATCH ME DISAPPEAR”

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 new download:  Watch Me Disappear, by Janelle Brown. “Watch Me Disappear is a surprising and compelling read. Like the best novels, it takes the reader somewhere she wouldn’t otherwise allow herself to go. . . . It’s strongest in the places that matter most: in the believability of its characters and the irresistibility of its plot.”—Chicago Tribune

 

Beginning:  (Prologue)

It’s a good day, or maybe even a great one, although it will be impossible to know for sure later.  By that point they’ll already have burnished their memories of this afternoon, polished them to a jewel-like gleam.  One of the last days they spent together as a family before Billie died:  Of course Jonathan and Olive are going to feel sentimental about it.  Of course they will see only what they want to see.

***

56:  Natalie wrinkles her nose.  “But—if she’s alive, where is she?”

“Yeah,” Olive says.  “That’s what I need to figure out.  Also why we haven’t heard from her in the last year.”

***

Synopsis:  Who you want people to be makes you blind to who they really are.

It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. Her body was never found, just a shattered cellphone and a solitary hiking boot. Her husband and teenage daughter have been coping with Billie’s death the best they can: Jonathan drinks as he works on a loving memoir about his marriage; Olive grows remote, from both her father and her friends at the all-girls school she attends.

But then Olive starts having strange visions of her mother, still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he understood about his wife. Who was the woman he knew as Billie Flanagan?

Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, but also about themselves, learning, in the process, about all the ways that love can distort what we choose to see. Janelle Brown’s insights into the dynamics of intimate relationships will make you question the stories you tell yourself about the people you love, while her nervy storytelling will keep you guessing until the very last page.

***

Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “HERE & GONE”

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 my current read:  Here and Gone, by Haylen Beck, is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.

 

Beginning:  The road swayed left then right, the rhythm of it making Audra Kinney’s eyelids grow heavier as each mile marker passed.  She had given up counting them; it only made the journey slower.  Her knuckles complained as she flexed her fingers on the wheel, palms greasy with sweat.

***

56:  A pair of taut chains prevented the door from swinging back onto the floor, held it upright over the opening.  Louise stopped, planted her feet firmly on the wooden  boards.

“It’s too dark,” she said.

***

Synopsis:  It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them…

Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

***

Would you rapidly turn those pages, trying to find out what happens next?  That has been my reaction.  A chilling introduction to a story that is bound to hold me captive.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE IDENTICALS”

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 great looking summer read from Elin Hilderbrand:  The Identicals.

Beginning:  (Nantucket)

Like thousands of other erudite, discerning people, you’ve decided to spend your summer vacation on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. You want postcard beaches.  You want to swim, sail, and surf in Yankee-blue waters.  You want to eat clam chowder and lobster rolls, and you want those dishes served to you by someone who calls them chowdah and lobstah.

***

56:  Even stranger and more unsettling was that, after the divorce, Aunt Harper had gone with Billy and Tabitha had stayed with Eleanor, a custody agreement that seemed to have been borrowed from The Parent Trap.  The Frost family had split right down the middle, like one of those photographs torn in half—Billy holding one twin, Eleanor the other.

***

Synopsis:  Identical twin sisters who couldn’t look more alike…or live more differently.

Harper Frost is laid-back, easygoing. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She likes a beer and a shot and wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything fashionable. She’s inherited her father’s rundown house on Martha’s Vineyard, but she can’t hold down a job, and her latest romantic disaster has the entire island talking.

Two beautiful islands only eleven miles apart.

Tabitha Frost is dignified, refined. She prefers a fine wine and has inherited the impeccable taste of her mother, the iconic fashion designer Eleanor Roxie-Frost. She’s also inherited her mother’s questionable parenting skills–Tabitha’s teenage daughter, Ainsley, is in full rebellion mode–and a flailing fashion boutique on Nantucket in desperate need of a cash infusion.

One unforgettable summer that will change their lives forever.

After more than a decade apart, Harper and Tabitha switch islands–and lives–to save what’s left of their splintered family. But the twins quickly discover that the secrets, lies, and gossip they thought they’d outrun can travel between islands just as easily as they can. Will Harper and Tabitha be able to bury the hatchet and end their sibling rivalry once and for all? Before the last beach picnic of the season, there will be enough old resentments, new loves, and cases of mistaken identity to make this the most talked-about summer that Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have experienced in ages.

***

I’ve been looking forward to this one…it sounds like just what I need to relax into my sofa, all curled up with glasses of iced tea.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS.”

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 hardcover version I found recently:  Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, by Chris Bohjalian.

***

Beginning:  I built an igloo against the cold out of black plastic trash bags filled with wet leaves.  It wasn’t perfect.  The winds were coming across the lake, and the outside wall that faced the water was flat—not like the igloos I had seen on TV somewhere or I guess in a book.  It looked like the wall on the inside of a cave:  flat and kind of scaly.

***

56:  The way the teen shelter worked was pretty simple:  If you were under eighteen, you had to have your parents’ permission to be there.  Otherwise, the staff had to call family services, and you’d probably wind up in a foster home.  So, I had been lying from the second I arrived.

***

Synopsis:  Emily Shepard is on the run; the nuclear plant where her father worked has suffered a cataclysmic meltdown, and all fingers point to him. Now, orphaned, homeless, and certain that she’s a pariah, Emily’s taken to hiding out on the frigid streets of Burlington, Vermont, creating a new identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson.

Then she meets Cameron. Nine years old and with a string of foster families behind him, he sparks something in Emily, and she protects him with a fierceness she didn’t know she possessed. But when an emergency threatens the fledgling home she’s created, Emily realizes that she can’t hide forever.

***

I have read and loved some of this author’s more recent books, so I was thrilled to find this older one on the bargain table at Barnes & Noble.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “EMMA IN THE NIGHT”

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 NetGalley ARC that I am reading:  Emma in the Night, by Wendy Walker.   “Both twisted and twisty, this smart psychological thriller sets a new standard for unreliable narrators.” –Booklist, Starred Review

 

Beginning:  (CASSANDRA TANNER—DAY ONE OF MY RETURN)

We believe what we want to believe.  We believe what we need to believe.  Maybe there’s no difference between wanting and needing.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that the truth can evade us, hiding behind our blind spots, our preconceptions, our hungry hearts that long for quiet.  Still, it is always there if we open our eyes and try to see it.  If we really try to see.

***

56%:  Abby drew a long breath and leaned back in her chair.  She was buying time before answering the question.

“Sometimes people do things like that to escape emotional pain.  Extreme things that cause them to focus their attention away from the cause of the pain.”

***

Synopsis:  One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

***

What do you think?  Do the snippets grab you?  Make you want to keep reading?

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