first paragraphs · tuesday teasers

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).

***

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?

***

first paragraphs · tuesday sparks · tuesday teasers

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “SHE CAN HIDE”

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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 reading She Can Hide, another book in the mystery series authored by Melinda Leigh.

 

 

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Intro:  A whoosh and soft impact jolted Abby’s body.  She slid forward.  The seat belt caught her and snapped her back.  Pain ripped through her temple.  What happened?  Her vision blurred, and she rubbed her eyes to clear it.

The steering wheel and dashboard came into focus.  She was sitting in the front seat of her Subaru sedan.  Ice pellets bounced off her windshield.  When had it started to sleet?  Blinking hard, she stared through the glass.  Water splashed over the hood.

Oh my God.

***

Teaser:  Ethan looked down at his notebook.  So far, all he’d written was doesn’t remember two hours before accident. (p. 22).

***

From Amazon:  From the moment Officer Ethan Hale pulls Abby Foster from icy waters, he senses there’s more to her than meets the eye. Abby has no memory of the accident that submerged her car in the frozen river. Three years ago, Abby was kidnapped and abandoned in a well for a week. The botched police investigation nearly killed her. Abby had moved to the mountains of Pennsylvania for a fresh start, but when it becomes clear that this car crash wasn’t an accident, she knows the violence from her past has caught up with her.

But Abby’s former assailant was convicted and imprisoned, so who else wants her dead?

Ethan uncovers a fresh string of murders tied to Abby’s past. Someone is trying to kill her, and this time the stalker seems determined to finish the task. As the killer grows bolder, Abby begins to trust Ethan enough to share the truth, her heart, and her life. But to stop the murders, Ethan must make a decision that could jeopardize it all.

***

I love the sound of this one, and having enjoyed every previous book in this series, I am eager to keep reading.  What do you think?

***

first paragraphs · tuesday sparks · tuesday teasers

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THE ARSONIST”

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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 spotlight is on an ARC from Amazon Vine:  The Arsonist, by Sue Miller.

 

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Intro:  Later, Frankie would remember the car speeding past in the dark as she stood at the edge of the old dirt road.  She would remember that she had been aware of the smell of smoke for a while.  Someone having a fire, she had assumed then, and that would turn out to be correct—though not in the way she was imagining it.  She had the quick thought, briefly entertained amid the other, rushing thoughts that were moving through her tired brain, that it was odd for someone to be doing this, having a fire this late—or this early—on an already warm summer night.

But in the moment she didn’t go beyond her quick assumption, her fleeting thought.  She smelled the smoke, she saw the car approaching, and she got quickly out of the road, stepping first into the ditch that ran alongside it, and then, because it was night and she worried that the driver might not see her in the dark, onto the scrubby bank, pulling herself up between two trees that stood there.  By the time she turned around to face the road again, the car had passed her.  She stood for a moment watching as the wink of the red taillights disappeared behind a rise in the road, appeared again, dropped from sight and appeared once more; and then was gone, the car’s sound fading into nothing, into the rustle and odd croak of the night.  She’d been walking for more than an hour by then, awash in memories and images of the life she’d just left behind.

***

Teaser:  Sylvia had felt her own life so completely ordinary next to his that she barely sketched it in.  She didn’t stop to consider until later, much later, that this had seemed ample information to him, that he didn’t press her for details the way she had pressed him—though it was clear he was taken with the ease and privilege of her background. (p. 75).

***

Amazon Description:  From the best-selling author of While I Was Gone and The Senator’s Wife, a superb new novel about a family and a community tested when an arsonist begins setting fire to the homes of the summer people in a small New England town.

Troubled by the feeling that she belongs nowhere after working in East Africa for 15 years, Frankie Rowley has come home—home to the small New Hampshire town of Pomeroy and the farmhouse where her family has always summered. On her first night back, a house up the road burns to the ground. Is it an accident, or arson? Over the weeks that follow, as Frankie comes to recognize her father’s slow failing and her mother’s desperation, another house burns, and then another, always the homes of summer people. These frightening events, and the deep social fault lines that open in the town as a result, are observed and reported on by Bud Jacobs, a former political journalist, who has bought the local paper and moved to Pomeroy in an attempt to find a kind of home himself. As this compelling book unfolds, as Bud and Frankie begin an unexpected, passionate affair, arson upends a trusting small community where people have never before bothered to lock their doors; and Frankie and Bud bring wholly different perspectives to the questions of who truly owns the land, who belongs in the town, and how, or even whether, newcomers can make a real home there.

Suspenseful, sophisticated, rich in psychological nuance and emotional insight, The Arsonist is vintage Sue Miller—a finely wrought novel about belonging and community, about how and where one ought to live, about what it means to lead a fulfilling life. One of our most elegant and engrossing novelists at her inimitable best.

***

I am loving this book, as I have enjoyed every book by this author.  Immediately engaged by the characters, I am having trouble setting it down.  Would you keep reading?

***

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first paragraphs · tuesday sparks · tuesday teasers

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS — WALLED-IN — APRIL 9

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KITTIES & BOOKS - meme

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’m excerpting from a memoir that I received for review:  Walled-In:  A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, by J. Elke Ertle.

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Intro:  I lie motionless under my soft, warm comforter.  My head nestles into the thick, square eiderdown pillow and my back and shoulders melt into the mattress like butter on toast.  Tapsi, my four-year-old dachshund, lies curled up between my feet.  Cradling the covers with my legs, I take a deep, long breath.  I feel content from head to toe.  Today is a big day.  Today is my twenty-first birthday.  Today, unfettered life will begin.

The hypnotic tick-tock, tick-tock of the alarm clock on the small laminated table cuts through the silence.  I sit up, forcing Tapsi to adjust her position.  Inky darkness.  Shivering in the sudden cold I strain to read the time:  5:45 a.m.  Through the small bedroom window, I gaze outside.  No stars.  Droplets hit the windowpane.  A typical November day in Berlin.  I glance at the clock a second time.  Only a few more minutes before I’ll have to get ready for work.

***

Teaser:  After the War

When my mother stepped into my aunt and uncle’s pub, Zum Kuhlen Grund, holding me, a newborn, in her arms, she consoled herself by saying, “I’ve lost almost everything in the war.  This little bundle is mine.  I won’t let anyone take her away from me.”  p. 3

***

Amazon Blurb:  In this true story, two obstacles threaten the freedom and autonomy of a young girl born and raised in postwar West Berlin: The Berlin Wall and the harsh rules her uncompromising parents impose. J. Elke Ertle recounts the mounting East-West tension that leads to the Berlin Blockade, the Berlin Airlift, and the construction of the Berlin Wall. But the brick-and-mortar monstrosity is not the only insurmountable barrier Elke comes to know intimately. As the only child of uncompromising parents, she is brought up to unquestioning obedience. When she rebels against their unrelenting rules, the ensuing parent-daughter conflict parallels in intensity the Cold War between East and West. Elke finds herself incarcerated behind walls as impenetrable as the one that divides her city. On her 21st birthday, a startling and unexpected revelation strengthens her determination to opt for freedom and to immigrate to the United States. Interweaving history with her personal experiences, Elke takes the reader on a remarkable journey into her closely supervised, yet happy childhood, her youthful disillusionment, and her deliberate, albeit difficult decision to choose freedom.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

Come on by and let’s chat about our books.

tuesday sparks · tuesday teasers

TUESDAY SPARKS — TEASERS — OCT. 4

Let’s spark some enthusiasm for our current and upcoming reads with Teaser Tuesdays, hosted by Should Be Reading.

Here’s how it works:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

Today I’d like to excerpt from a book from next week’s list:  The Summer Before the Dark, by Doris Lessing.

 

Blurb:  Nobel laureate Doris Lessing’s classic novel of the pivotal summer in one woman’s life is a brilliant excursion into the terrifying gulf between youth and old age.

As the summer begins, Kate Brown—attractive, intelligent, forty-five, happily married, with a house in the London suburbs and three grown children—has no reason to expect that anything will change. But by summer’s end the woman she was—living behind a protective camouflage of feminine charm and caring—no longer exists. The Summer Before the Dark takes us along on Kate’s journey: from London to Turkey to Spain, from husband to lover to madness, on the road to a frightening new independence and a confrontation with herself that lets her finally and truly come of age.

***

Teaser:  But the fact was that she, this kingpin, was to be at a loose end from June to late September.  With not so much as a room of her own.  A very curious feeling that was, as if a warm covering had been stripped off her, as if she were an animal being flayed.  p. 23

***

That kind of feeling is most certainly central to what happens to our character throughout this pivotal summer.

What have you found in your chosen books?  I hope you’ll stop in and share.

teaser tuesdays · tuesday teasers

TUESDAY MEMES — MARCH 8

Welcome to Tuesday, and the memes that spotlight bookish excerpts.  Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Here’s how it works.

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

I’m focusing on excerpts from two books:  one for Teaser Tuesdays, and the other for Tuesday Teasers (passages from my own creations).

The Easter Parade, by Richard Yates, is my first presentation.

In The Easter Parade, first published in 1976, we meet sisters Sarah and Emily Grimes when they are still the children of divorced parents. We observe the sisters over four decades, watching them grow into two very different women. Sarah is stable and stalwart, settling into an unhappy marriage. Emily is precocious and independent, struggling with one unsatisfactory love affair after another. Richard Yates’s classic novel is about how both women struggle to overcome their tarnished family’s past, and how both finally reach for some semblance of renewal.

Teaser Tuesdays:  He was staying in a rundown hotel in Hell’s Kitchen—she soon came to know everything about that hotel, from the smells of piss and disinfectant in the lobby to the slow cage of the elevator to the raddled green carpet in his room—and his ship was undergoing extensive repairs in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which meant he would be in New York all summer.  His name was Lars Ericson.  p. 63

***

My Tuesday Teaser is from Web of Tyranny (Kindle), by Laurel-Rain Snow. (That’s me, of course!)

In equal parts funny and serious, Web of Tyranny by Laurel-Rain Snow is a proud, if poignant tale of Margaret Elaine Graham, a woman entangled in the trenches that epitomized her abusive childhood home only to flee into a stultifying marriage with Bob Williams. Seduced by the hope of achieving her goal of a college education and a life free from domination, she is blinded to Bob’s true qualities—and in a very real sense jumps from the pan into the fire. Oppression begets oppression and as Meg walks a thin line of human betrayal, she learns to stake her own claim to happiness—no matter how high the cost. Her fight leads to politicking during the radical antiwar movement of the 60s and 70s, which manifests as a near-compulsion, which will turn her world on end. Enticed by the possibilities open to her and chafing at the strictures of the marital ties, Meg bolts from the marriage with her toddler son in tow where a whole myriad of troubles await her.

Excerpt: And in the true mode of people everywhere who are steeped in denial, those three, Lainey, Rainbow and Natasha, all sought ways to explain and justify and even whitewash their behaviors and motives for the oldest reason in the book.  So that they could, somehow, find a way to live with their choices, made impulsively, or perhaps even with forethought.

They limped along, hoping to somehow make it through the night.

What are you showcasing today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share.