Friday, June 24, 2022

"The Lies I Tell"

Julie Clark is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight. It has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal, and the New York Times has called it “thoroughly absorbing.”. It’s been named an Indie Next Pick, a Library Reads Pick, and a Best Book of 2020 by Amazon Editors and Apple Books. Her debut, The Ones We Choose, was published in 2018 and has been optioned for television by Lionsgate.

Clark applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Lies I Tell, and reported the following:
From page 69:
I’d given myself a one-hundred-dollar budget for the weekly groceries, but I wasn’t going to spend it at Cory’s high-end designer market. Instead, I headed for the major retailer with plenty of coupons. This time when I unloaded groceries, they were items from my childhood. Campbell’s soup. Velveeta cheese. Cheap white bread and instant coffee. A large log of ground beef and a $7 bottle of wine. Nothing organic, everything generic.

I threw some ground beef into a pot, dumped a jar of sauce over it, and set it to simmer. Then I got another pot of water boiling for the pasta and waited for Cory to get home.

I met him at the door with a glass of wine. He took a sip and grimaced. “What’s this?” he asked.

“It was on sale,” I said, looking proud.

He took another exploratory sip and handed the glass back to me. “You’d have been better off tossing that money into the trash. I’ll have water.”

“Dinner in five,” I said. “Go get changed.”

I’d assembled two large bowls of spaghetti with meat sauce, and a plate of flimsy white bread buttered, salted, and broiled to a crispy brown. When he arrived at the table, he took in the twist-top wine bottle and the steaming bowls of pasta. Then he picked up his fork and took a tiny bite, chewing carefully.

I watched with an expression of anxious anticipation, until he said, “It’s different.”

“Different good?”

He took a large gulp of water and said, “I wouldn’t go that far.”

“I’ll get better,” I assured him. “I’ll look up recipes. Maybe watch a few of those cooking shows on TV.” I smiled at the idea, and dug into my meal, wondering how many weeks of generic groceries Cory could handle.
The Page 69 Test works well for The Lies I Tell! I admit I was skeptical at first, but here we are with my main character, con woman Meg, watching her make her first serious attempt at conning her boyfriend, Cory. She has offered to take over doing all the grocery shopping for the household, but she can’t afford the kind of food he prefers to eat – organic, free-range, and expensive. Meg is happy to make his diet go off the rails for as long as it takes for him to come up with the solution she wants him to have – that Meg will do the grocery run, but use Cory’s ATM card to fund it. This will give her access to his bank account, which for Meg is just the beginning.

The Lies I Tell is the story of a grifter, but it’s also the story of justice and revenge. Meg doesn’t just target anyone. She sets her sights on people who have abused their power in some way, who have taken advantage of others for their own gain. She returns to Los Angeles after ten years on the road perfecting her craft with one goal: to destroy Ron Ashton, the man who stole her childhood home and ruined her mother’s final years. But what Meg doesn’t know is that someone has been tracking her, waiting for her to return home. A woman with her own idea of justice, who plans on infiltrating Meg’s life and exposing her for who she really is.
Visit Julie Clark's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Julie Clark & Teddy.

--Marshal Zeringue