Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Spotlight: The Perfect Stranger by Wendy Corsi Staub

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this excerpt, free of charge, from William Morrow, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Wendy's latest book comes out TODAY

I've got the scoop on it, along with an excerpt for ya!

The Perfect Stranger  cover


During the darkest period of her life—her battle with breast cancer—Alabama mom Landry Wells found solace in a group of online bloggers who had been in her shoes and lived to tell the tale.  At last, years later, the close-knit, geographically scattered circle of online friends is about to meet in person at a funeral for a fellow blogger.

Though these women are no strangers to death, they never expected they would have to mourn a friend’s death after she was viciously murdered. And, as the story unfolds after their meeting, Landry suspects that her beloved friend’s death wasn’t as random as it seems—and that the killer might be masked behind a familiar screen name.


The turtle that started it all had meandered—as turtles have a way of doing—out of a pond on a hot summer’s day.

It looked like a scum-slicked rock, lying there in the sun in the mucky high grass at the edge of the green water. Like a rock that just begged a romping kid to pick it up and throw it into the water, providing a welcome disruption to the late afternoon torpor and making a nice big splash that would cool things off.

That was the plan, anyway.

When you’re five or maybe six years old and you pick up a rock, and a reptile head pokes out at you, hissing like a snake and gnashing teeth strong enough to sever bone and tendon ...

The power wielded by that snapping turtle was somehow simultaneously terrible and wonderful.

I thought it was some kind of monster.

In a way, it was. The most frightening monsters of childhood imagination lurk in places you’d never expect: beneath the bed, behind the door, inside the closet ...

It was an important lesson learned, early on: monsters really can cross the threshold of your safe haven and jump out at you when you least expect it, so you’d better keep your guard up and develop some coping mechanisms.

I was lucky that day. Lucky I didn’t lose a finger...

Lucky for a lot of reasons.

Turtles, as it turned out, are viewed in many cultures as harbingers of good fortune.

The incident spurred a lifelong fascination with the fabled creatures, which led, eventually, to Terrapin Times. That was the name of the first blog, the one launched years ago, before many people even knew what a blog was.Terrapin Terry was the perfect screen name to use for that one. Terry—or T2, as online followers like to say—is an expert on all things turtle-related, comfortably ensconced in a world populated by people who are equally fascinated by the creatures, some to the point of being addicts.

It was positively intoxicating to find so many kindred spirits. But the best was yet to come.

Other blogs. Other screen names. Other identities, really, if one chooses to look at it that way: each a fully formed character with a separate circle of friends.

Online, you can be anyone you want to be.

I have been so many different people ...

Eventually, it became too exhausting, too complicated, to keep up with them all.

Now, the only blogs that are still active are the turtle one and the breast cancer one ...

And never the twain shall meet.

It’s safe to imagine that the circle of breast cancer bloggers have never heard of Terrapin Terry, and that the turtle fans have never heard of—

Then again, you never know.

Maybe somewhere out there a fellow cancer blogger is following the turtle blog, posting comments under another screen name.

Probably not. But anything is possible on the Internet. That’s the beauty of it.

The beauty ... and the danger.

About the Author:

New York Times bestseller WENDY CORSI STAUB is the award-winning author of more than seventy novels. Wendy now lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband and their two children. Learn more about Wendy at www.wendycorsistaub.com

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