SATURDAY SPARKS: FUN IS WHEREVER YOU FIND IT….

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy.

Today’s featured photos are an assorted group of family fun moments.

First, here’s Heather’s Birthday Brunch, from a couple of weeks ago.  She’s the one in the middle.

 

Heather's B-Day Brunch

 

And a few hours away, Brett and his three A’s are enjoying a game:

 

Brett & Kids at the game

 

Fiona and Tomas…with her latest experimental hair color…and a fake nose ring.  Yes, fake!

 

Fiona & Tomas...Fiona's new hair

 

As you can see, an assorted bunch trying out a variety of fun experiences.  What are you sharing today?

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TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “FALLING INTO PLACE”

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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 featuring an ARC from Amazon Vine.  A new author (to me), Amy Zhang’s Falling Into Place is a haunting and universal story that will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

 

 

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Intro:  On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s Laws of Motion in physics class.  Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

As she lies on the grass with the shattered window tangled in her hair, her blood all around her, she looks up and sees the sky again.  She begins to cry, because it’s so blue, the sky.  So, so blue.  It fills her with an odd sadness, because she had forgotten.  She had forgotten how very blue it was, and now it is too late.

Inhaling is becoming an exceedingly difficult task.  The rush of cars grows farther and farther away, the world blurs at the edges, and Liz is gripped by an inexplicable urge to get to her feet and chase the cars, redefine the world.  In this moment, she realizes what death really means.  It means that she will never catch them.

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Teaser:  (Five Months Before Liz Emerson Crashed Her Car)

On the first Friday after the start of Liz’s junior year, only three topics were discussed at lunch:  Ms. Harrison’s plus-size miniskirt and fishnet stockings, the sheer number of freshman skanks, and the enormous beach party Tyler Rainier was going to throw that night. (p. 14)

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Blurb:  One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz’s friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.

“On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.” Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? The nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

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What do you think?  I am intrigued, and this is not my usual genre.  I’m going to have to stop saying that, however, because of the sheer number of YA books that have found their way onto my stacks lately.  Come on by and let’s chat.

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TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THURSDAY’S CHILDREN”

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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 very excited about my featured book:  Thursday’s Children, by Nicci French.  I have read each of the books in this series so far and love the character of Frieda Klein.

 

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Intro:  It started with a reunion and it ended with a reunion and Frieda Klein hated reunions.  She was sitting in front of her fire, listening to its slow crackle.  Beside her was Sasha, who was staring into the glow.  Beside Sasha was a buggy.  In the buggy was Sasha’s ten-month-old son, Ethan, a blur of dark hair and soft snoring.  A cat lay at Frieda’s feet, faintly purring.  They could hear the wind blowing outside.  It had been a day of fog and swirling leaves and gusts of wind.  Now it was dark and they were inside, hiding from the approaching winter.

‘I’ve got to admit,’ said Sasha, ‘that I’m intrigued by the idea of meeting an old school friend of yours.’

‘She wasn’t a friend.  She was in my class.’

‘What does she want?’

‘I don’t know.  She rang me up and said she needed to see me.  She said it was important and that she’d be here at seven.’

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Teaser:  Frieda pulled a chair up, close to the fire, and Maddie sat down.  She had long brown hair, artfully styled into shagginess and streaked with blonde.  Her face was carefully made up, but this only emphasized the tightness of the skin over the cheekbones, the little lines around the eyes and at the corners of the mouth. (p. 3).

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Blurb from Goodreads:  When psychotherapist Frieda Klein left the sleepy Suffolk coastal town she grew up in she never intended to return. Left behind were friends, family, life and loves but, alongside them, painful memories; a past she couldn’t allow to destroy her.

So when an old classmate appears in London asking Frieda to help her teenage daughter, long buried memories resurface. But when tragedy strikes, Frieda has no choice but to return home and confront her past. And monsters no one else believes are real . . .

Through a fog of alibis, conflicting accounts, hidden agendas and questionable alibis, Frieda can trust no one in trying to piece together the shocking truth, past and present.

When it comes to psychological suspense there’s none better than Nicci French. And Thursday’s Children is Nicci French at her very best.

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I love this series and this character.  I am hoping to start reading it tomorrow.  What do you think of the excerpts?  Would you keep reading?

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SATURDAY SPARKS: A COZY SATURDAY

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy.

I wasn’t planning to participate today….scrolling through my photos, I came up blank.

But then I sat down to read on Sparky, with a cup of coffee, and snapped these photos of my Saturday morning.

 

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Then I moved on into my bedroom, to the little rolltop desk where I pay bills….and where I now have a new little cordless phone/answering machine.  My old one was filled with static…and chipped paint.  LOL

 

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And here is a long view….

 

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The downside of getting a new phone:  adding all the phone numbers to the Directory.  It’s not like with our cell phones, where we can just slip in a Sim Card.

What does your Saturday look like?

On Sparky, I am reading this book:

 

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart:

 

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Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “EVERYWHERE THAT MARY WENT”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

 

Today I am sharing from my current read:  Everywhere That Mary Went (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline.

 

 

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Beginning:  “All rise!  All persons having business before this Honorable Judge of the United States District Court are admonished to draw near and be heard!” trumpets the courtroom deputy.

Instantly, sports pages vanish into briefcases and legal briefs are tossed atop the stock quotes.

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56:  As I leave his office, I see that Delia’s headset is off, resting at the base of her neck like a cheap choker.  As I walk by, she’s sipping tea in a genteel way from a white china cup.  An affectation she’s picked up from Berkowitz, who likes to stub out his Marlboro in the saucer.

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Blurb:  Mary DiNunzio is trying to make partner in her cutthroat Philadelphia law firm. She’s too busy to worry about the crank phone calls that she’s been getting—until they fall into a sinister pattern. Mary can’t shake the sensation that someone is watching her. Following her every move. Then the shadowboxing turns deadly, and she has to fight for something a lot more important than a partnership—her life.

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This is one mystery from Scottoline’s various works that I have missed.  I am eager to read it.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “KATWALK”

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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 featuring my current read, an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Katwalk, by Maria Murnane.

 

 

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Intro:  Katrina felt cool beads of sweat forming on her palms as she prepared to stand up.  She placed her hands lightly on the desk and glanced around her tidy cubicle.  As usual, there wasn’t so much as a pen or a Post-it note—much less a paper clip—out of place.  She quietly opened a drawer and removed her purse, turning her eyes to the calendar mounted on the wall as she reached inside for her makeup kit.

A small black circle was drawn around Wednesday, September 18.

Today.

It was finally here.

She ran a comb through her auburn hair, then checked her face in the mirror of her compact, applying a touch of powder to her fair skin and wishing, as always, that she didn’t have quite so many freckles sprinkled across her cheeks and nose.  She added a dab of rosy lip gloss, then rubbed hand sanitizer between her palms before putting her purse back in the drawer.  She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, sitting silently, thinking about how many times she’d practiced this.

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Teaser:  First drinks with her new neighbor and now this unanticipated encounter with Reid barely twenty-four hours later.  It was completely out of character for her to chatter away so openly with virtual strangers, but she’d done it, twice. (p. 79).

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Amazon Description:  From the bestselling author who brought us Perfect on Paper and Cassidy Lane comes the tale of a young woman who wakes up one day and decides to start over.

Katrina Lynden has always walked a straight line in life, an approach that has resulted in a stable career and pleased her hard-nosed parents but that has also left her feeling unfulfilled—and miserable. When her best friend suggests they quit their Silicon Valley jobs and embark on two months of adventure in New York City, Katrina balks at the idea but ultimately agrees, terrified yet proud of herself for finally doing something interesting with her life. But when her friend has to back out at the last minute, Katrina finds herself with a tough decision to make. Much to her surprise, she summons the courage to go alone, and the resulting journey changes everything. Along the way she makes new friends, loses others, learns what is really important to her, and finds a way to grow up without leaving herself behind.

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I am enjoying this one, especially since my recent reads have been dark and atmospheric.  What do you think?  Would you want to read more?

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “PAIN, PARTIES, WORK”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today I just started reading a book on Sparky, my Kindle…a book that has been languishing there since last year, so reading it will accomplish another check on the list for my Mt. TBR Challenge.  Already I’m enjoying it.  Pain, Parties, Work:  Sylvia Plath in New York – Summer 1953, by Elizabeth Winder, spotlights a time that I recognize from my own younger days.

 

 

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Beginning:  (The First Week:  Euphoria)


THE BARBIZONETTES

Her room was the size of a decent closet—beige walls trimmed in maroon paint.  A dark green carpet, ferny bedspread with rose-patterned ruffles like Snow White’s muted forest.  There was green upholstery on the low parlor chair.  A desk for typing wedged neatly at the bed’s foot.  Above the bed there was a speaker box that piped in music if you turned a knob.

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56:  (Looking back at Sylvia’s Childhood)

And there was something of Saint Therese de Lisieux about her—collecting cockles and seaweed and talking to mermaids.  A sensitive little pagan with a blond braid down her back.

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Amazon Description: “I dreamed of New York, I am going there.”

On May 31, 1953, twenty-year-old Sylvia Plath arrived in New York City for a one-month stint at “the intellectual fashion magazine” Mademoiselle to be a guest editor for its prestigious annual college issue. Over the next twenty-six days, the bright, blond New England collegian lived at the Barbizon Hotel, attended Balanchine ballets, watched a game at Yankee Stadium, and danced at the West Side Tennis Club. She typed rejection letters to writers from The New Yorker and ate an entire bowl of caviar at an advertising luncheon. She stalked Dylan Thomas and fought off an aggressive diamond-wielding delegate from the United Nations. She took hot baths, had her hair done, and discovered her signature drink (vodka, no ice). Young, beautiful, and on the cusp of an advantageous career, she was supposed to be having the time of her life.

Drawing on in-depth interviews with fellow guest editors whose memories infuse these pages, Elizabeth Winder reveals how these twenty-six days indelibly altered how Plath saw herself, her mother, her friendships, and her romantic relationships, and how this period shaped her emerging identity as a woman and as a writer. Pain, Parties, Work—the three words Plath used to describe that time—shows how Manhattan’s alien atmosphere unleashed an anxiety that would stay with her for the rest of her all-too-short life.

Thoughtful and illuminating, this captivating portrait invites us to see Sylvia Plath before The Bell Jar, before she became an icon—a young woman with everything to live for.

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I am loving this portrait of Sylvia before the dark days that would come later and define her for all time.  Once upon a time, she was happily engaged…and this story spotlights that time.

What are you sharing?  I hope you’ll come by and leave your comments and links.

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