SATURDAY SPARKS: STARRING GRANDKIDS & GREAT-GRANDKIDS

logo

 

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.

This week, I am sharing more family photos.

First, here is another version of Fiona, who is in a constant state of change.

 

fiona - oct 9

 

And here’s her older brother Dominic, who just started college this year, and has grown a couple more inches.

 

 

Dominic - graduate

 

And here again, another version of Fiona, with one of her nephews, Lane, who is one of her older brother Kevin’s sons:

 

 

Fiona and nephew Lane

 

And here are big brother Spencer’s twin daughters, Bella and Lilly:

 

 

Bella & Lilly

 

And as a reminder of how quickly time goes by, here’s another version of Fiona…aged two; this is one of my favorite versions:

 

 

Fiona-self-discovery

 

***

And that’s it for today.  I can’t seem to stop finding old photos, as well as the newer ones.  I found the older one of Fiona when I was clearing out bins, cupboards, trunks, etc., this past week.

I seem to be in a mood for purging.

***

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THE BOOKSELLER”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

1940s-raine-framed-memes-teaser-tuesday

 

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 from Amazon Vine from an author new to me:  The Bookseller, by Cynthia Swanson.

 

 

22635858

 

 

Intro:  This is not my bedroom.

Where am I?  Gasping and pulling unfamiliar bedcovers up to my chin, I strain to collect my senses.  But no explanation for my whereabouts comes to mind.

The last thing I remember, it was Wednesday evening and I was painting my bedroom a bright, saturated yellow.  Frieda, who had offered to help, was appraising my color choice.  “Too much sunniness for a bedroom,” she pronounced, in that Miss Know-It-All tone of hers.  “How will you ever sleep in on gloomy days with a room like this?”

I dipped my brush into the paint can, carefully wiped off the excess, and climbed the stepladder.  “That’s entirely the point,” I told Frieda.  Leaning over, I began cutting along a tall, narrow window frame.

***

Teaser:  I am almost eager to go to bed that night, curious what might happen and what I might dream.  Laughing at myself, I pour a generous shot of whiskey just before bedtime, thinking it might put me to sleep sooner.  (p. 52).

***

Blurb:   A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

***

What do you think?  Are you as intrigued by the blurb and excerpts as I am?  I hope you’ll stop in and share your thoughts.

***

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “CROOKED RIVER”

4-30-curlupandread-001-framed-book-beginnings2friday 56

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 featured book is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Crooked River, by Valerie Geary.

 

 

20663102

 

 

Beginning:  (Sam)

We found the woman floating facedown in an eddy where Crooked River made a slow bend north, just a stone skip away from the best swimming hole this side of anywhere.  Her emerald green blouse was torn half open and her dark, pleated skirt was bunched around her waist, revealing skin puckered and gray, legs bloated and bruised.  Her hair writhed like black snakes in the current.

***

56:  I was halfway up the ladder when he (Bear) said, “Did everything go okay with Deputy Santos today?”

I missed the next rung and almost slipped off.  I balanced, found my footing again, and kept climbing.

***

Blurb:  With the inventiveness and emotional power of Promise Not to Tell, The Death of Bees, and After Her, a powerful literary debut about family and friendship, good and evil, grief and forgiveness.

He is not evil. I am not good.

We are the same: broken and put back together again.

Still grieving the sudden death of their mother, Sam and her younger sister Ollie McAlister move from the comforts of Eugene to rural Oregon to live in a meadow in a teepee under the stars with Bear, their beekeeper father. But soon after they arrive, a young woman is found dead floating in Crooked River, and the police arrest their eccentric father for the murder.

Fifteen-year-old Sam knows that Bear is not a killer, even though the evidence points to his guilt. Unwilling to accept that her father could have hurt anyone, Sam embarks on a desperate hunt to save him and keep her damaged family together.

I see things no one else does.

I see them there and wish I didn’t. I want to tell and can’t.

Ollie, too, knows that Bear is innocent. The Shimmering have told her so. One followed her home from her mom’s funeral and refuses to leave. Now, another is following Sam. Both spirits warn Ollie: the real killer is out there, closer and more dangerous than either girl can imagine.

Told in Sam and Ollie’s vibrant voices, Crooked River is a family story, a coming of age story, a ghost story, and a psychological mystery that will touch reader’s hearts and keep them gripped until the final thrilling page.

***

What do you think?  Do these excerpts grab you?  Intrigue you?  I know that I am eager to read this book.  I hope you’ll stop by and chat.

***

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

y8ekqo13031746531

 

1940s-raine-framed-memes-teaser-tuesday

 

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.

 

 

71rPDx5UbXL._SL1500_

 

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).

***

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.

***

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

***

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

4-30-curlupandread-001-framed-book-beginnings2friday 56

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.

 

 

 

519eAHHAVVL

 

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.

***

SATURDAY SPARKS: FUN IS WHEREVER YOU FIND IT….

olympus-epl5-camera-0-logo

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?

***

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

y8ekqo13031746531

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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.

 

 

20306804

 

 

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)

***

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.

***