CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS: “PRETTY GIRLS”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Pretty Girls, by Karin Slaughter.

 

 

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Intro:  When you first disappeared, your mother warned me that finding out exactly what had happened to you would be worse than never knowing.  We argued about this constantly because arguing was the only thing that held us together at the time.

“Knowing the details won’t make it any easier,” she warned me.  “The details will tear you apart.”

I was a man of science.  I needed facts.  Whether I wanted to or not, my mind would not stop generating hypotheses:  Abducted.  Raped.  Defiled.

Rebellious.

That was the sheriff’s theory, or at least his excuse when we demanded answers he could not give.  Your mother and I had always been secretly pleased that you were so headstrong and passionate about your causes.  Once you were gone, we understood that these were the qualities that painted young men as smart and ambitious and young women as trouble.

***

Teaser:  Claire had no doubt these movies were obscene.  Maybe she’d been right about Agent Fred Nolan yesterday.  The FBI had tracked the downloaded files to Paul’s computer.  Claire had seen a 60 minutes story where a government whistleblower had said connecting your computer to the Internet was tantamount to jacking yourself directly into the NSA.  They probably knew that Paul had looked at the movies. (p. 92).

***

Blurb:  Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

***

I am excited about this book.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS: “THE SUMMER GIRLS”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

It’s time to share!  Today’s featured book is The Summer Girls, by Mary Alice Monroe, Book I of a trilogy.

 

 

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Intro:  (Sea Breeze, Sullivan’s Island, SC)

April 5, 2012

My darling granddaughters—Dora, Carson, and Harper,

Greetings, my precious girls!  On May 26 I celebrate my eightieth birthday—can you believe I’m so ancient?  Will you come home to Sea Breeze and your old mamaw and help me celebrate?  We will do it proper with a lowcountry boil, Lucille’s biscuits, and most of all, each other.

My dears, like an overripe peach, I’m past my prime.  My mind remains sharp and my health is good, considering.  Yet, with an eye to the future, I’ve decided to move to a retirement community, and it’s time to sort through all that I’ve managed to clutter my house with all these years.

(I love stories about decluttering, as there is usually some hidden treasure somewhere).

***

Teaser:  (Carson) Never, not even as a little girl, had she hesitated to leap into the salt water, as eager as any other creature of the sea that had been on land too long.  The ocean, the Atlantic especially, was her motherland. (p. 49).

***

Blurb:  From New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, the heartwarming first installment in the Lowcountry Summer trilogy, a poignant series following three half-sisters and their grandmother.

Three granddaughters. Three months. One summer house.

In this enchanting trilogy set on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe captures the complex relationships between Dora, Carson, and Harper, three half-sisters scattered across the country—and a grandmother determined to help them rediscover their family bonds.

For years, Carson Muir has drifted, never really settling, certain only that a life without the ocean is a life half lived. Adrift and penniless in California, Carson is the first to return to Sea Breeze, wondering where things went wrong…until the sea she loves brings her a minor miracle. Her astonishing bond with a dolphin helps Carson renew her relationships with her sisters and face the haunting memories of her ill-fated father. As the rhythms of the island open her heart, Carson begins to imagine the next steps toward her future.

In this heartwarming novel, three sisters discover the true treasures Sea Breeze offers as surprising truths are revealed, mistakes forgiven, and precious connections made that will endure long beyond one summer.

***

Would you keep reading?  I know I am already hooked.

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CURL UP WITH EXCERPTS FROM “DUNE ROAD”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

It’s time to share!  Today’s featured book is by Jane Green, and it was published in 2009.  Dune Road is another captivating tale about starting over.

 

 

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Intro:  One of the unexpected bonuses of divorce, Kit Hargrove realizes, as she settles onto the porch swing, curling her feet up under her and placing a glass of chilled wine on the wicker table, is having weekends without the children, weekends when she gets to enjoy this extraordinary peace and quiet, remembers who she was before she became defined by motherhood, by the constant noise and motion that come with having a thirteen-year-old and an eight-year-old.

In the beginning, those first few months before they worked out a custody arrangement, when Adam, her ex, stayed in the city Monday to Friday and collected the children every weekend, Kit had been utterly lost.

***

Teaser:  She still blames the house for the ending of the marriage.  A huge white clapboard house, with black shutters, and a marble-tiled double-height entrance, it was impressive, and empty.  Much the way Kit felt about her life while she was living there. (p. 1).

***

Blurb:  An ever-growing legion of fans greets the publication of each new tale from the inimitable Jane Green. Her latest gem, Dune Road, is set in tony Highfield, Connecticut, where recent divorcee Kit Hargrove has joyfully exchanged the requisite diamond studs and Persian rugs of a Wall Street Widow for a clapboard Cape with sea-green shutters and sprawling impatiens. Her kids are content, her ex cooperative, and each morning she wakes up to her dream job: assisting the blockbuster novelist Robert McClore. Then an unexpected series of events forces Kit to realize that her blissfully constructed idyll and blossoming new romance aren’t as perfect as she thought. A warm, witty, and gloriously observed meditation on the challenges of starting over, Dune Road is Jane Green at her absolute best.

***

I saw this novel on a blog recently, and realized I had missed it somewhere along the way.  Would you keep reading?

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LET’S CURL UP WITH “WATERMELON” – TUESDAY EXCERPTS

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is one I’ve had on Pippa for a while.  This will be my first time reading this author, Marian Keyes, and Watermelon sounds like a book that I will enjoy.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

February the fifteenth is a very special day for me.  It is the day I gave birth to my first child.  It is also the day my husband left me.  As he was present at the birth I can only assume the two events weren’t entirely unrelated.

I knew I should have followed my instincts.

I subscribed to the classical or, you might say, the traditional role fathers play in the birth of their children.  Which goes as follows.

Lock them in a corridor outside the delivery room.  Allow them admittance at no time.  Give them forty cigarettes and a lighter.  Instruct them to pace to the end of the corridor.  When they reach this happy position, instruct them to turn around and return to whence they came.

***

Teaser:  I felt at a great disadvantage.  That I wasn’t doing myself justice.

To put it simply, I was not looking my best.  As I say, a humiliating kind of a business. (p. 2).

***

Blurb:  Claire has everything she ever wanted: a husband she adores, a great apartment, a good job. Then, on the day she gives birth to their first baby, James informs her that he’s leaving her. Claire is left with a newborn daughter, a broken heart, and a postpartum body that she can hardly bear to look at.

She decides to go home to Dublin. And there, sheltered by the love of a quirky family, she gets better. So much so, in fact, that when James slithers back into her life, he’s in for a bit of a surprise.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I am definitely curious about how events will unfold.

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “LACY EYE”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s feature is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Lacy Eye, by Jessica Treadway, a haunting, evocative novel about a woman who might have to face the disturbing truth about her own daughter.

 

 

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Intro:  (Are You Looking at Me or Not?)

The detective was waiting for me when I arrived home from work.  He sat in his own Civic, rather than an official police car, on the side of the driveway where Joe used to park.  He might have been doing a crossword; I saw him lay down a folded section of the newspaper when I pulled in beside him.

I swore, not at the sight of Thornburgh, but because reporters from TV news vans were also waiting for me, on the street in front of the house.  They ran up the driveway with cameras as I parked in the garage and stepped out of my car, but when I held my hand over my face and said that I was sorry but I couldn’t talk to them, the detective moved forward and told them in his reasonable but no-nonsense voice that they needed to get off my property.

***

Teaser:  Thornburgh was one of the few people who could look at my face without wincing.  The surgeons had done their best, but the scars were obvious, and my features looked as if they’d been pulled apart and rearranged, like a Picasso painting.  (p. 3).

***

Blurb:  Hanna and Joe send their awkward daughter Dawn off to college hoping that she will finally “come into her own.” When she brings her new boyfriend, Rud, to her sister’s wedding, her parents try to suppress their troubling impressions of him for Dawn’s sake. Not long after, Hanna and Joe suffer a savage attack at home, resulting in Joe’s death and Hanna’s severe injury and memory loss.

Rud is convicted of the crime, and the community speculates that Dawn may also have been involved. When Rud wins an appeal and Dawn returns to live in the family home, Hanna resolves to recall that traumatic night so she can testify in the retrial, exonerate her daughter, and keep her husband’s murderer in jail.

But as those memories resurface, Hanna faces the question of whether she knows her own daughter-and whether she ever did.

***

What do you think?  Would you read more?  Does it pique your interest?

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CURL UP WITH “WHAT REMAINS”

 

 

 

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is a memoir by Carole Radziwill:  What Remains.

 

 

 

 

Intro: (Prologue)

Friday, July 16, 1999

Three weeks before my husband died a young couple smashed their plane into the Atlantic Ocean, off the Massachusetts shoreline, well after the mid-July sun had set.  It was reported in the news as 9:41, but I knew the general time, because I had spoken to the woman less than an hour before.  The pilot was my husband’s cousin, John Kennedy.  His wife, Carolyn Bessette, was my closest friend.  She was sitting behind him next to the only other passenger, her sister, Lauren.  A still, hot summer day had melted into a warm and sticky night.  A quiet night, unremarkable except for the fog, which rolls in and out of New England like a deep sigh.

While we were still making plans, before they took off from Caldwell, New Jersey, she called me from the plane.

“We’ll fly to the Vineyard tomorrow, after the wedding.  We can be there before dinner.”

***

Teaser:  There are three places that define my early life, and you can drive to all of them in half a day.  The city, where I live now; the Rockland County suburb where I grew up; and another small town about an hour’s drive upstate. (p. 21).

***

Blurb:  What Remains is a vivid and haunting memoir about a girl from a working-class town who becomes an award-winning television producer and marries a prince, Anthony Radziwill. Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. At nineteen, she struck out for New York City to find a different life. Her career at ABC News led her to the refugee camps of Cambodia, to a bunker in Tel Aviv, and to the scene of the Menendez murders. Her marriage led her into the old world of European nobility and the newer world of American aristocracy.

What Remains begins with loss and returns to loss. A small plane plunges into the ocean carrying John F. Kennedy Jr., Anthony’s cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole’s closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. With unflinching honesty and a journalist’s keen eye, Carole Radziwill explores the enduring ties of family, the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention. Beautifully written, What Remains “gets at the essence of what matters,” wrote Oprah Winfrey. “Friendship, compassion, destiny.”

***

I have had this book for a while…and now, for some reason, it seems to be clamoring to be read.  What do you think?

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “FURTHER OUT THAN YOU THOUGHT”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Welcome to another Tuesday of delightful sharing, and adding to our TBR stacks.  Today I am spotlighting an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Further Out Than You Thought, by Michaela Carter.

 

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Intro:  It had happened.  She’d crossed the finish line.

The transformation was complete.  She was no longer her body.  Her body was not her.  The separation was palpable.

Had you been there, she’d have told you to come closer.

Closer, she’d have said.  I’ll demonstrate.

Can you feel my nipple, the taut nub against your lip, your tongue, your teeth?

I don’t know you?

No, I don’t.

Is that a problem?  It feels wonderful; it means nothing—nothing more than the fact of itself.  It just is, this meeting of flesh.

Is there anywhere else you care to touch?

***

Teaser:  In their apartment, Gwen watched the news—the fires, the looters, the inferno the City of Angels had become.  The worst the country had seen since the Watts Riots of ’65.  (p. 110).

***

Blurb:  Combining the eloquence and raw sensuality of Jeanette Winterson with the romantic, renegade spirit of Patti Smith, Further Out Than You Thought is a taut and erotically charged literary debut, set against the chaos of the 1992 L.A. riots, about three people searching for identity and meaning from award-winning poet and indie bookshop co-founder Michaela Carter.

In the Neverland that is Los Angeles, where make-believe seems real, three dreamers find themselves on the verge of transformation. Twenty-five-year-old poet Gwendolyn Griffin works as a stripper to put herself through graduate school. Her perpetually stoned boyfriend Leo dresses in period costume to hawk his music downtown, and seems to be losing his already tenuous grip on reality. And their flamboyant best friend and neighbor, nightclub crooner Count Valiant, is slowly withering away.

When the city explodes in violence after the Rodney King verdict, the chaos becomes a catalyst for change. Valiant is invigorated, Leo plans a new stunt—walking into east L.A., naked, holding a white flag—and Gwen, discovering she is pregnant, is confronted by troubling questions. Can Leo become a good, dependable father? Can she leave the club life behind, or will the city’s spell prove too seductive?

Combining poetry and sensuality with an edgy urban sensibility, Further Out Than You Thought is a celebration of life and a haunting story of love, friendship, and one woman’s quest for redemption.

***

What do you think?  I love the idea of revisiting a time in California history when all of us who lived here back then were shaken to the core by events that literally exploded.

What are you sharing today?

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “BIG LITTLE LIES”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today I am spotlighting an ARC that I will probably start reading tomorrow.  It is from a new favorite author, Liane Moriarty…and I know that many of you will recognize it:  Big Little Lies.

 

 

 

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Intro:  “That doesn’t sound like a school trivia night,” said Mrs. Patty Ponder to Marie Antoinette.  “That sounds like a riot.”

The cat didn’t respond.  She was dozing on the couch and found school trivia nights to be trivial.

“Not interested, eh?  Let them eat cake!  Is that what you’re thinking?  They do eat a lot of cake, don’t they?  All those cake stalls.  Goodness me.  Although I don’t think any of the mothers ever actually eat them.  They’re all so sleek and skinny, aren’t they?  Like you.”

Marie Antoinette sneered at the compliment.  The “let them eat cake” thing had grown old a long time ago, and she’d recently heard one of Mrs. Ponder’s grandchildren say it was meant to be “let them eat brioche” and also that Marie Antoinette never said it in the first place.

Mrs. Ponder picked up her television remote and turned down the volume on Dancing with the Stars.  She’d turned it up loud earlier because of the sound of the heavy rain, but the rain had eased now.

She could hear people shouting.  Angry hollers crashed through the quiet, cold night air.  It was somehow hurtful for Mrs. Ponder to hear, as if all that rage were directed at her. (Mrs. Ponder had grown  up with an angry mother.)

***

Teaser:   Jane pulled up at a red light behind a big shiny SUV with its hazard lights blinking and watched a dark-haired woman hurry along the side of the road back to her car.  She wore a floaty blue summer dress and high strappy heels, and she smiled and waved apologetically, charmingly at Jane.  The morning sun caught one of her earrings, and it shone as if she’d been touched by something celestial.  (p. 13).

***

Blurb:   Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?

What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
***
I have been a fan of this author ever since I read The Husband’s Secret.  Now I must have every one of her books.  What do you think?  Did it grab you?  Would you keep reading?
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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today’s featured book is one I’ll be reading next week:  an ARC from Amazon Vine.  Keep Your Friends Close, by Paula Daly, is a riveting and electrifying story of a husband and wife and the devious best friend who comes between them.

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Intro:  (Seven Months Earlier)

‘So what’s been on your mind this week?’ she asks him.

‘Besides the usual?’

She tilts her head.  Looks on with mild disapproval and waits for him to answer more appropriately.

‘Death,’ he says.  ‘I’ve been thinking about death.’

‘About dying?’

‘Not dying per se…but wouldn’t it be amazing if we got to choose the exact time of our deaths?’

Her expression is one of puzzlement. ‘Can’t we already do that?’ she asks.

‘I don’t mean suicide.’

‘But surely you don’t actually want to die?’

‘ ‘Course not.’

He’s lying supine on the couch.  There is the beginning of a small paunch forming, a concertina of trouser creases at his groin.  He turns his head towards her, glances her way briefly.

***

Teaser:  I am longing to see him.  Longing to love him.  After one day in France I found I was aching for his presence, and it occurred to me that because we are together almost every minute, I have been taking our love for granted.  (p. 78)

***

Amazon Description:  Natty and Sean Wainwright have a rock-solid marriage—with two daughters, a successful business, and a beautiful house, they are a model family. When their younger daughter falls ill on an overseas school trip, Natty rushes to her side. Luckily, Natty’s best friend from college, Eve Dalladay, is visiting and offers to stay with Sean to lend a hand in the Wainwright household. But Natty returns home to find that Eve has taken to family life a little too well: Sean has fallen in love with her. With no choice but to put on a brave face, Natty attempts to start anew—yet no matter how hard she tries to set herself upright, Eve is there to knock her down again. Then Natty receives a mysterious note that says Eve has done this before—more than once—and the consequences were fatal. On a mission to reveal Eve as a vindictive serial mistress, Natty must navigate through a treacherous maze of secrets and lies that threatens her life and the safety of her loved ones.

***

I had to request this book because I’d read another by this author and adored it.  Just What Kind of Mother Are You?  (click for review) definitely whetted my appetite for this author’s work.

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “MERCY SNOW”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today’s spotlight is on an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Mercy Snow, by Tiffany Baker.

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Intro:  It was the beginning of winter, and except for the drone of the St. Bartholomew youth group’s bus, Devil’s Slide Road was empty, dark, and icy, the result of a late-November freeze.  The children on the bus were either sleepy after the outing to the movie theater in Berlin, New Hampshire, or hyped up and distracted by the antics of their friends.  The alert ones gathered in a noisy cluster at the back of the ancient yellow bus, the boys shoving and teasing, girls giggling.  Up at the very front, eighteen-year-old Suzie Flyte sat by herself, staring silently out the grimy window at the prickly expanse of pines, birches, and oaks she knew was there but couldn’t see.

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Teaser:  Mercy rubbed a hand over Hannah’s delicate shoulder blades, which stuck out of her back like hopeful little nubs.  They were Mercy’s favorite part of her sister.  (p. 43).

***

Amazon Description:  In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne’er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her–and the town–nothing but grief.

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town’s past.

***

Would you keep reading?  I’ve been eager to dive into this one for a while.

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