Sunday, October 23, 2011

Can You Guess Who?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN : The Jungle Red Quiz! You think you know us? For a little Sunday fun, here's a smattering of beginnings--some brand new, some on the shelves, one very very very old.

Which is the beginning of Julia's work in progress--working title "Seven Whole Days" ?

Which is the beginning of Hank's new book--THE OTHER WOMAN, coming in September?

Which is the beginning of Lucy's upcoming APPETITE FOR MURDER?

Which is Deborah Crombie's upcoming NO MARK UPON HER, out in February?

Which is the beginning of Hanks's WIP--working title: THE WRONG GIRL? (easy peasy--I threw this in so you'd get at least one right.)

Which is the beginning of Rhys' NAUGHTY IN NICE?

And okay, by popular demand, which is the beginning of Hank's failed attempt at a first novel about a female golf pro which only got to three chapters *fifteen years ago* called GREENSKEEPER?

A free book to one lucky commenter! (But it won't be Greenskeeper...) And another book to one lucky tweeter--just follow @junglereds..and we'll choose a name!


The Riviera had never looked more inviting. The sun sparkled on a sea of deepest blue. Elegant couples strolled beneath the palm trees on the Boulevard des Anglais. The scent of mimosa blossoms hung in the air while a seagull soared lazily overhead…I gave a contented sigh.

“’ere, watch it, love. You’re slopping soup all over.” The gruff voice that brought me back to the present with a jerk. I wrenched my eyes away from the poster on the wall and down to the scene in front of me. A long, gray line of shabbily dressed men, muffled against the bitter cold, snaked across Victoria Station. They clutched mugs or bowls and stood patiently, eyes down or staring, as I had been, into a world that nobody else could see but them. I was currently helping out at the station soup kitchen. It was a bitter and bleak January day, and I felt as cold and miserable as those poor wretches who shuffled past me.


“Get that light out of my face! And get back behind the tape. All of you. Now.” Detective Jake Brogan pointed his own flashlight back at the pack of hovering reporters, its cold glow highlighting one news-greedy face after another in the October darkness. He recognized television. Radio. That kid from the paper. How the hell did they get here so fast? The whiffle of a chopper, one of theirs, hovered over the riverbank, its spotlights illuminating the unmistakable—another long night on the job. And a Monday morning visit to a grieving family. If they could figure out who this victim was.

A body by the river. This time, the Charles, down by the old dock. Her legs, black tights striped with mud, leather boots, one zipper down, splayed on the fallen leaves and slimy underbrush on the bank. Her head, chestnut hair floating like a punk Ophelia, bobbing and grotesque in the tangled weeds.


The dog's barking woke Mikayla up. Ted and Helen—she was supposed to call them Uncle Ted and Aunt Helen, but she never did inside her own head—had told her Oscar was really a sweet dog. And it was true, he never growled at her. But he was so big, with his tail going thunk-thunk-thunk and his long pink tongue and his stabby white teeth. Mikayla didn't care how sweet he was, he scared her.

Right now his big deep bark was booming, over and over and over again. Mikayla burrowed beneath her quilts and pulled the pillow over her head. "Shut up, stupid dog," she whispered. She waited for the thud of Ted and Helen's bedroom door, footsteps on the stairs. It sounded like Oscar had to go bad. She shivered. What if the MacAllens didn't do anything? She would have to let him out. That was the rule. Then she'd have to stand around in the freezing hallway until he pooped so she could let him back in.


FTD told her to say it with flowers, but my mother said it with food.Lost a pet? Your job? Your mind? In my family, we ate when happy orsad but especially, we ate when we were worried. Life always looked better with a serving of Mom’s braised short ribs or red velvet cake in your belly.

Any wonder I was dying to eat for a living? The brand new Key Zest magazine in Key West announced a month ago that they were hiring a food critic for their style section. Since my ideaof heaven was eating at restaurants and talking about food, I’d dowhatever it took to land the job. Whatever. Unfortunately, Kristen Faulkner—my ex Chad’s new girlfriend and the woman whose cream sauce I’d most like to curdle—happened to be the new co-owner of Key Zest.And problem number two: Three review samples and a paragraph on my proposed style as the new food critic were due on Friday. So far I had produced nothing. The big goose egg. Call me Hayley Catherine“Procrastination” Snow.


But listen, Jane. I don’t think she’s my real mother.” Tuck finished her story, talking at top speed, as usual. But that was the only usual thing about this conversation.

Jane Ryland took the cell phone from her ear, peering at it as if somehow it could help Tuck’s story make sense. Real mother? She didn’t even know Tuck was adopted. Or looking for her mother. Why Tuck would call Jane about it now, spilling this wild and incomprehensible tale of abandonment and real names and an adoption agency calling and then going to meet some woman in New Hampshire was just as baffling. Jane and Tuck were barely friends, let alone confidantes, and after Tuck had been—


AJ MAcAnnally punched one button on her car radio, then another. Then another. Trying to find music that would fit her mood. First day on the job jitters. It's either 'happier than I've ever been,' or 'about to throw up.' Wonder what the music is for that.

She finally flipped the dial to off, and giving a quick glance out the windshield, reached across the passenger seat to crank down the window and let in the June morning. The pro should probably have a flashier car, she decided. At least one with air conditioning, now that summer's here. Nope, she caught herself. Don't count on this lasting. Don't get too happy.


"A glance at the sky made her swear aloud. It was later than she'd thought, darker than she'd realized. Since the clocks had moved back, night seemed to fall like a bludgeon, and there was a heavy wall of cloud moving in from the west, presaging a storm.Heart thumping, she moved across the cottage's shadowy garden and through the gate that led out onto the Thames Path. Tendrils of mist were beginning to rise from the water. The river had a particular smell in the evenings, damp and alive and somehow primeval. The gunmetal surface of the water looked placid as a pond, but she knew that for an illusion. The current, swift here as the river made its way towards the roar of the weir below Hambleden Mill, was a treacherous trap for the unwary or the overconfident.


So? Can you guess?


  1. I think I can identify two:



  2. William--YOu're so brave! Oh, I should have put numbers. Let me go back and count..and see how you did.

    Keep 'em coming!

  3. OK -- there are two that really have me stumped and it throws everything off...but here goes:

    #1 - Julia
    #2 - Hank - The Other Woman
    #3 - Rhys
    #4 - Lucy
    #5 - Hank - the Wrong Girl ??
    #6 - Hank - GOLF!
    #7 - Deborah

  4. Some of these I'm more sure of then others, but here's a guess.

    #1, Rhys (loved the book, Rhys!!)
    #2, Hank (THE WRONG GIRL?).
    #3, Deb.
    #4, Lucy.
    #5, Hank (THE OTHER WOMAN?).
    #6, Hank's GREENSKEEPER.
    #7, Julia.

  5. Oh, some of you are SO WRONG!!!

    This is very intersting...

  6. 1-Rhys
    2-Hank (Other Woman)
    5-Hank (Wrong Girl)
    6-Hank (Greenskeeper)

    How'd I do?

  7. Rats..I see my for sure....well, still a chance with 5 of them.
    Hank - you are enjoying this immensely, aren't you?!

  8. The beginning of Julia's work in progress–working title SEVEN WHOLE DAYS: The dog's barking woke Mikayla up.

    The beginning of Hank's new book–THE OTHER WOMAN: “Get that light out of my face! And get back behind the tape. All of you. Now.”

    The beginning of Lucy's upcoming APPETITE FOR MURDER: FTD told her to say it with flowers, but my mother said it with food.

    The beginning of Deborah Crombie's upcoming NO MARK UPON HER: A glance at the sky made her swear aloud.

    The beginning of Hanks's WIP–working title THE WRONG GIRL: “But listen, Jane. I don’t think she’s my real mother.”

    The beginning of Rhys' NAUGHTY IN NICE: The Riviera had never looked more inviting.

    The beginning of Hank's failed attempt at a first novel GREENSKEEPER: AJ MacAnnally punched one button on her car radio, then another.

  9. Whew, I had to read these examples twice, but I'm with Edith:

    1. Rhys
    2. Hank (The Other Woman)
    3. Julia
    4. Lucy
    5. Hank (The Wrong Girl)
    6. Hank (Greenskeeper)
    7. Deb

    Final Answer.;)

  10. The only author I read is Deborah Crombie. Having spent a fair bit of my reading time in her books this year and last, I would know immediately that the last one is her writing. Excellent, as always, and already I'm in the swing of the story.

    I hope this is the year I begin to read all the other authors.

  11. So fascinating! And I wonder what makes you think so...

  12. Thing is, anybody who hangs out on this blog already had a bunch of the clues. Just saying...

    Edith Maxwell

  13. OH, Edith, true. But still..tell us, at some point..

  14. Okay. Rhys had posted a year or two ago about doing her research on the Riviera. I know Deborah's books are set in England, so the Thames was a giveaway. I know Lucy's new series has to do with food. I follow Julia on facebook and she's been posting scenes in progress, including the very scene with Mikayla. You gave us the hint about the Wrong Girl, plus the "not my real mother" line. And then the name in the Greenskeeper sounded suspiciously close to Charlie's last name! So the only one remaining is The Other Woman.