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).

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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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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS — “A DESIRABLE RESIDENCE”

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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 A Desirable Residence, by Madeleine Wickham.

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Intro:  There wasn’t much point, Liz told herself, in getting upset.  It wasn’t his fault, poor man.  The estate agent had finished talking, and was looking at her concernedly, expecting a response.  To gain time, she glanced out of the sash window of the office, the panes bright with the sun and raindrops of a confused September’s day.  There was a little courtyard garden outside, walled, with a white wrought-iron bench and tubs of flowers.  It must be nice in the summer, she thought, forgetting that this still was, to all intents and purposes, the summer.  Her mind always worked at least half a term ahead.

‘Mrs. Chambers…?’

‘Oh, yes, sorry,’ said Liz, and turned back.  ‘I was listening.’  She smiled at the estate agent.  He didn’t smile back.

***

Teaser:  But Ginny did know.  She knew that she had somehow a strange ability to find an attraction in almost any kind of residence, be it a tiny flat or a manor house.  Confronted with the meanest little house, she was always able to construct in her own mind a charming hypothetical life there, imbuing on it a vicarious, often quite undeserved appeal. (p. 67)

***

Amazon Description:   From the author of the internationally bestselling Sophie Kinsella novels, Madeleine Wickham’s newest novel features a house whose asking price includes a stunning renovation of dreams and hearts…

Liz and Jonathan Chambers were stuck with two mortgages, mounting debts and a miserable adolescent daughter.  Then Marcus Witherstone came into their lives – and it seemed he would solve all their problems.  He knew the perfect tenants from London who would rent their old house: a glamorous PR girl, Ginny, and  her almost-famous husband, Piers. But soon Liz is lost in blissful dreams of Marcus, Jonathan is left to run their tutorial college, and neither of them has time to notice that their teenage daughter is developing a passion for the tenants, Piers and Ginny. Everyone is entangled with everyone else, in the most awkward possible way. And as events close in, they all begin to realize that some deceptions are just a bit too close to home.

***

What do you think?  Does it capture your interest?  Would you keep reading?

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LET’S CURL UP WITH “TRUE BLEND”: INTROS/TEASERS

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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’m reviewing for the author, and since I have enjoyed her previous books, I am definitely looking forward to this one.  True Blend, by Joanne DeMaio, is a compelling love story where truth is veiled by secrets.

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Intro:  The wishing fountain sprays silver water droplets arching high above it, looking like liquid stars.  Grace wants to toss in a coin, eager to watch it loll back and forth down through the water until it settles with the other coins below.  In that pool of shimmering wishes, small hopes and secrets are gathered together.  Amy lifts her onto the low stone wall circling the fountain and wraps her arms around her daughter’s waist.  She bends, her mouth near Grace’s ear, her breath tickling loose wisps of hair.  Her fingers find Grace’s palm and press a penny into it.  “Make a wish,” she softly says.  There is only the sound of falling water then as Grace drops the penny in, silently captivated by its descent, and Amy wonders what she might wish for, if she even knows what a wish is.

***

Teaser:  Finally Amy moves to the kitchen, picks up a knife and begins slicing celery at the counter.  She slices only half a stalk before setting the knife down and turning to pull a bottle of Scotch from the high cabinet.  (p. 51)

***

Amazon Description:  Vintage bridal shop owner Amy Trewist thinks she’ll never recover her quiet life at her beloved farmhouse on an old country road. Not after her two-year-old daughter Grace is kidnapped in an elaborate crime. On one clear morning, in mere minutes, Grace is gone and Amy’s world spins into a heartbreaking new place.

George Carbone often spends easy time with his brother. Whether at a ballgame or taking a day trip, it’s how they connect. Until one sunny day when the trip is to a bank parking lot and George is drawn into a crime he never sees coming. And into a stricken mother’s life he cannot ignore.

In a summer that simmers with the unsolved crime, George is haunted by a bankroll hidden behind kitchen tiles, by a brother who dragged him into this, and by a father who instilled in him a conscience. A conscience challenged when a young child and beautiful woman crossed paths with him and unexpectedly took hold of his heart.

Set among the red barns, lush cornfields and sparkling wishing fountain of Addison, Connecticut, True Blend is a captivating novel that steals your heart and does not let go. Because like the lace wedding gowns hanging on Amy’s clothesline, waltzing in the summer breeze, love and secrets twist and spin together in their own mesmerizing dance.

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What do you think?  Do you want to know more?  Come on by and share your thoughts…and your links.

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS: “APPLE TREE YARD”

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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 an ARC from Amazon Vine, entitled Apple Tree Yard, by Louise Doughty.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

The moment builds; it swells and builds—the moment when I realize we have lost.  The young barrister, Ms. Bonnard, is on her feet in front of me:  a small woman, as you probably remember, auburn hair beneath the judicial wig.  Her gaze is cool, her voice light.  Her black robes look chic rather than sinister.  She radiates calm, believability.  I have been in the witness box two days now and I am tired, really tired.  Later, I will understand that Ms. Bonnard chose this time of day deliberately.  She wasted quite a lot of time earlier in the afternoon, asking about my education, my marriage, my hobbies.  She has been down so many different avenues that at first I am not alert to the fact that this new line of questioning has significance.  The moment builds slowly; it swells to its climax,

***

Teaser:  Be careful what you wish for, my aunt used to say, darkly.  Aunt Gerry had a pessimistic view of life, but then she had ended up raising me and my brother when she hadn’t expected to, so maybe she felt entitled.  (p. 134).

***

Blurb:  An intelligent, erotically charged thriller with deep moral implications

Yvonne Carmichael, a renowned geneticist, public authority, and happily married mother of two, sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Across the courtroom, not meeting her eye, sits her alleged accomplice. He wears the beautiful pin-striped suit he wore on their first meeting in the Houses of Parliament, when he put his hand on her elbow and guided her to a deserted chapel, where she began to undress. As the barrister’s voice grows low and sinuous, Yvonne realizes she’s lost herself and the life she’d built so carefully to a man who never existed at all.
After their first liaison, Yvonne’s lover tells her very little about himself, but she comes to suspect his secrecy has an explanation connected with the British government. So thrilled and absorbed is she in her newfound sexual power that she fails to notice the real danger about to blindside her from a seemingly innocuous angle. Then, reeling from an act of violence, Yvonne discovers that her desire for justice and revenge has already been compromised. Everything hinges on one night in a dark little alley called Apple Tree Yard.
Suspenseful, erotically charged, and masterfully paced, Louise Doughty’s Apple Tree Yard is an intelligent psychological thriller about desire and its consequences by a writer of phenomenal gifts.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?