TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THEN AND ALWAYS”

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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’s featured book is an ARC called Then and Always, by Dani Atkins.

 

 

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Intro:  (September 2008)

Long after the screaming had stopped, when the only sound to be heard was the soft crying of my friends as they waited for the ambulance to arrive, I realized that I was still clutching the lucky penny tightly within my palm.  My fingers refused to unfurl from around the tiny copper talisman, as though by sheer will alone I would somehow be able to wind back time and erase the tragedy around me.

Was it really only half an hour earlier that Jimmy had picked up the glinting coin from the restaurant’s tarmacked car park?

“For luck,” he had said with a grin, tossing the coin up in the air and deftly catching it with one hand.

I smiled back and then saw the flicker of irritation flash through his pale blue eyes as Matt quipped, “Jimmy, mate, you should’ve said if you’re a little short of cash, no need to go groveling about on the ground for money!”

***

Teaser:  I could only imagine the anguish he must have gone through back then, as he’d sat for days on end beside a hospital bed just like this one.  It wasn’t until months later that he revealed to me the true terror he had lived through while I lay unconscious and unresponsive. (p. 80).

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Blurb:  For fans of One Day, What Alice Forgot, and the hit film Sliding Doors, comes an absorbing and surprising debut novel about a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life . . . just not in one she remembers.
 
Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.

Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.

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I am intrigued by the premise of this story, and can’t wait to dive in.  Would you keep reading?

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IGNITE YOUR FRIDAY WITH BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “TEARS & TEQUILA”

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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’s feature is a review book called Tears and Tequila, by Linda Schreyer and Jo-Ann Lautman.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  All she could see was the emptiness.

No flowers bloomed beside the gray stones.  No weeping willows reached down to caress the ground.  The trees were bare.  The sky was gray.  The air held a mix of cold and snow.

***

56:  (And a portion of p. 55)

“Joey, ” Daniel called.  She looked over.  He was striding toward her, looking frazzled.  “I’m glad you’re still here.  I’ve called everyone I can think of.  I can’t find anyone to lead Grief Group tonight.  So I thought of you.”  He talked to her through the open passenger window.

Joey eyed him, stunned.  “Me?  Why?”

“You said you minored in psych, co-led groups with a psychiatrist, and worked in hospice.  You’re a natural.”

“I’m not a grief counselor,” Joey said with indignation.

***

Blurb:  Joey Lerner has been running, from place to place and job to job. Now, at 32, she’s running from her home in New York City, where the last surviving member of her family has died, to Los Angeles, where she hopes to start over. Never one to follow the rules or take the obvious path, and thanks to her grandfather’s hands-on training, Joey gets herself hired as the ‘handyperson’ at a funky community center owned by an Australian surfer. Soon, the job of leading a Grief Group of young widows and widowers falls into her lap. The problem is – Joey hasn’t yet healed from her own losses. Over the next nine months Joey and the Grief Group journey from death to life, together and alone. Along the way, Joey discovers the work she was born to do.
Tears and Tequila is a story of love, loss, friendship, courage and, most of all, renewal; it tells of the healing that happens when you become part of a community in which everybody is missing someone.

***

Yeah, I excerpted more than two or three sentences, but I wanted to get to the end of a thought.  What do you think?  Does it grab you?  I hope you’ll stop by and share your thoughts.

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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.

***

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?

***

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.’

***

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).

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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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