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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

What do you think?  Do the snippets grab you?

***

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.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

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.”

***

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.

***

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.

***

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

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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?

***

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.

***

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…

***

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?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR”

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 from a favorite author:  You’ll Never Know, Dear, by Hallie Ephron, an addictive novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning author of Night Night, Sleep Tight, about three generations of women haunted by a little girl’s disappearance, and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to the truth . . .

 

Beginning: Elisabeth Strenger peeled three boiled eggs under running water, dropped them into a chipped Blue Willow china bowl, and began to mash them with a fork.  She took a quick puff on her cigarette, blew smoke out through the back window, and tapped ashes into the drain.

***

Friday 56%:  Evelyn smiled and sighed, closed her eyes and began.  “Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts…”  Vanessa didn’t close her eyes.  She noticed that Jenny didn’t either.

In the middle of the blessing, a cricket chirped.  And chirped again.  A cell phone on the table in front of Lis lit up.  Lis swiped it to ignore the call.

I couldn’t resist adding the additional sentences!

***

Synopsis:  Seven-year-old Lissie Woodham and her four-year-old sister Janey were playing with their porcelain dolls in the front yard when an adorable puppy scampered by. Eager to pet the pretty dog, Lissie chased after the pup as it ran down the street. When she returned to the yard, Janey’s precious doll was gone . . . and so was Janey.

Forty years after Janey went missing, Lis—now a mother with a college-age daughter of her own—still blames herself for what happened. Every year on the anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, their mother, Miss Sorrel, places a classified ad in the local paper with a picture of the toy Janey had with her that day—a one-of-a-kind porcelain doll—offering a generous cash reward for its return. For years, there’s been no response. But this year, the doll came home.

It is the first clue in a decades-old mystery that is about to turn into something far more sinister—endangering Lis and the lives of her mother and daughter as well. Someone knows the truth about what happened all those years ago, and is desperate to keep it hidden.

***

What do you think?  Are you eager to start turning those pages?

***

FROM THE INTERIOR: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “THE HOME PLACE”

4-30-curlupandread-001-framed-book-beginnings2friday 56

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 spotlighting an ARC from Amazon Vine, from an author I have never read.  But the blurb sold me.  The Home Place, by Carrie La Seur, a debut novel…which would explain why I’ve never read the author!

 

 

20828369

 

 

Beginning:  (Chapter One:  Sunday, 2 A.M., Mountain Standard Time

The cold on a January night in Billings, Montana, is personal and spiritual.  It knows your weaknesses.  It communicates with your fears.  If you have a god, this cold pulls a veil between you and your deity.

***

56:  Helen slams down her fork, or tries to.  Her hand is curled awkwardly around the implement, so that her hand bangs the table instead and she must disengage her fingers deliberately, one at a time.

***

Blurb:  Carrie La Seur makes her remarkable debut with The Home Place, a mesmerizing, emotionally evocative, and atmospheric literary novel in the vein of The House Girl and A Land More Kind Than Home, in which a successful lawyer is pulled back into her troubled family’s life in rural Montana in the wake of her sister’s death.

The only Terrebonne who made it out, Alma thought she was done with Montana, with its bleak winters and stifling ways. But an unexpected call from the local police takes the successful lawyer back to her provincial hometown and pulls her into the family trouble she thought she’d left far behind: Her lying, party-loving sister, Vicky, is dead. Alma is told that a very drunk Vicky had wandered away from a party and died of exposure after a night in the brutal cold. But when Alma returns home to bury Vicky and see to her orphaned niece, she discovers that the death may not have been an accident.

The Home Place is a story of secrets that will not lie still, human bonds that will not break, and crippling memories that will not be silenced. It is a story of rural towns and runaways, of tensions corporate and racial, of childhood trauma and adolescent betrayal, and of the guilt that even forgiveness cannot ease. Most of all, this is a story of the place we carry in us always: home.

***

This one sounds like a book that will keep me hooked all the way through.  What are your thoughts?

***