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Sunday, December 15, 2019

EXCERPT TOUR: Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison @tlcbooktours @thrillerchick @harlequinbooks

Good Girls Lie 
by J.T. Ellison

Thank you TLC Book Tours for this stop on the Excerpt Tour.

Goode girls don’t lie…
Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.
In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.
But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.
J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with J. T.

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When Mother Julianne died, her wishes were followed to the letter. Her daughter—a woman with Julianne’s own gray eyes and her father’s name—took over the school.

And so it went, generation to generation, a matriarchal line who took it upon themselves to educate the daughters of the land. To teach them how to be self-sufficient women, teachers and influencers in their own right. Seven generations committed to carrying on the school, its mandate as an all-female powerhouse, and the Westhaven name, of course. It is their brand as much as the school’s.

Each class has fifty girls, hand selected by Ford herself. Fifty brilliant, impressionable girls, all there to be molded into Ford’s own image, all of whom go on to college. A full 90 percent go traditional Ivy. The remaining grads either attend specialized programs—Rhode Island, Julliard, Oxford, MIT—or the approved Southern schools that are understood to be their own Ivy system.

It is a laudable record. Goode accepts only the best, guarantees a serious return on investment. And in turn, expects blood, sweat, and tears. And future endowments. Elitism costs.

Ford successfully shot down an attempt last year to admit a male student. She led the fiery charge and won, though the board wasn’t as adamant. More students meant more revenue. But Ford made them understand the power of an all-female education, how admitting boys would affect the tenor of the day-to-day, would alter the very mission of the school. If girls can focus on their studies exclusively, she argued, without the distraction of having boys in the classroom, their grades are better, their confidence soars, and they are more effective in and out of school. Their eventual insertion into the real working world with this focus means higher paying jobs, more influential roles. Goode creates strong female leaders. Full stop.

They listened.

And unlike her mother, Ford has been blessed with a tenure free of heartbreak, free of scandal. Oh, there have been a few little things here and there, mostly girls caught with cell phones or cigarettes, marijuana in their vape pens. Beer. Shoplifting. Little transgressions, things that in the grand scheme of things don’t matter. Non–life altering. Nothing like what Jude dealt with, thank God.

Goode is a success under Ford’s stewardship.

She runs through her upcoming speech in her mind. She’s given variations on the theme every year to kick off the term, been the recipient of several as a student herself under her grandmother’s reign. Her words are echoes of her past, spoken in the voice of her ancestors.

The girls will beam, reveling in being the chosen ones. They will do anything to please her, as Ford and her classmates would have done anything to please their masters.

She notices the black town car pulling into the drive. Another congressional or ambassadorial child—those parents always too busy to see their darlings to the doors of Goode sent them in style. She is drawn, for some reason, to the shadowy figure inside.

From the car emerges a tall, thin blonde. It takes Ford a moment to place her, then she realizes she is seeing Ash Carr—no, it’s Carlisle, she reminds herself, they’re keeping her identity private, for now—in the flesh for the first time.

Poor dove. The trauma of the girl’s past few months almost derailed the application process, and the subsequent lack of funds was a serious issue, but something about her spoke to Ford, especially in their interview. The girl has a certain spark, is appealing on many levels. Ford allowed her acceptance to stand and, with the blessing of the board, granted one of the school’s rare private scholarships to bring her from England to Virginia.

Goode scholarships are based on need but can’t be applied for. It’s the school’s way of carrying on the tradition from which it was born. A small nod to the past.

Ash is sworn to secrecy; so long as she keeps her mouth shut, no one will have to know. She will be treated as just another Goode girl, accepted because of privilege, brains, and whatever inestimable quality Ford has seen in the application and interviews.

Ford waits another moment, surveying the acreage, the students, the gentle slope of lawn and trees, the possibilities ahead for another year at Goode, then turns to go. She has a meeting with Carlisle in a few minutes. She has rehearsed what she will say, as she does with every interaction. So long as Ford has time to prepare, she is perfect.


1 comment:

  1. These are my favorite kind of suspense books, and these excerpts are killing me! I just want to read this book already! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours