Intros. · sweets

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THE BOOKSELLER”

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

 

 

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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).

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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?

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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.

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first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – “THE DEEPEST SECRET”

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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 The Deepest Secret (e-book), by Carla Buckley.

 

 

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Intro:  Thursday, August 28 (Eve)

Birthdays are supposed to be happy occasions, so Eve plans a party.  There are the usual anxieties.  Who would come?  Would Tyler like his presents?  Then there are the special worries, the ones other people didn’t have to think about.  She won’t focus on those.

She makes a cake, a bigger-than-life-size iPad that takes a day and a half to decorate instead of the six hours the Internet site promised.  The problem is getting the paint the right consistency so the lake doesn’t bleed into the shoreline.  And all those tiny icons.  She’s tossed dozens in the trash, false starts where the Facebook f was too wobbly and the camera came out looking as though a giant thumb had pressed down hard.  She hesitates over balloons.  Do they even matter at night?   In the end, she decides, why not, and drives home from the party store with so many fat balloons crammed into her backseat that she can’t see out her rearview mirror.  She imagines being pulled over by the police for driving under the influence of helium.

***

Teaser:  They’d all been wonderful, in that imperfect way birthdays are, but the best had been his very first, before they knew. (p. 11).

***

Amazon Description:  For fans of Jodi Picoult, Kim Edwards, and William Landay, The Deepest Secret is part intimate family drama, part gripping page-turner, exploring the profound power of the truths we’re scared to face . . . about our marriages, our children, and ourselves.
 
Eve Lattimore’s family is like every other on their suburban street, with one exception. Her son Tyler has a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to light, which means heavy curtains and deadlocked doors protect him during the day and he can never leave the house except at night. For Eve, only constant vigilance stands between an increasingly restless teenage son and the dangers of the outside world.

Until the night the unthinkable happens. When tragedy strikes, it becomes clear that this family is not the only one on the quiet cul-de-sac that is more complicated than it appears. And as Eve is forced to shield her family from harm, there are some crises she cannot control—and some secrets that not even love can conceal.

Deeply moving and stunningly suspenseful, The Deepest Secret is a novel of rare power—a story about hope and forgiveness, about the terrifying ways our lives can spin out of control and the unexpected sacrifices that may save us.

***

Would you keep reading?  Come on by and share your thoughts and your links.

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first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays · tuesday sparks

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS — OBSOLETE — JUNE 25

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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.

My choice today is Obsolete, by C. T. French, Book 1 in a series of dystopian novels.

 

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Intro:  I stood on the ridge above the small valley, far enough away that the stench was not so bothersome, watching flames lick wickedly toward the sky.  From this angle, the huge pit resembled an ugly pockmark upon the dark-green grass, the stiff arms and legs of the bodies jutting at odd angles, some reaching upward as if seeking salvation, others resembling discarded dolls thrown into a trash bin.  I watched the burial crew retreat from the pit, black smoke trailing them like a death shroud, carrying smoldering cinders and minute bits of cloth and flesh.  The smell would be horrendous as they waited for the fire to finish its cremation.  Afterward, they would dump lime into the pit and, if there was room, add more bodies tomorrow.  Remembering the gauze mask, I ripped it away and threw it to the ground.  I eyed it, thinking to pick it up, but decided, who would notice?  A small bit of trash among a country full of dead bodies and animals.  Even so, I should have thrown it into the fire before leaving.

***

Teaser:  My heart quickened.  Our future rested on this woman giving birth.  (2%)

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Blurb:  Book 1 of the Obsolete series.

In a dystopian future, an epic battle between the sexes will determine who lives and who dies.

After the Blue Pox pandemic wipes out 99.99 percent of males and 99.95 percent of females, the majority under the age of 50,18-year-old Madison wanders the countryside, lost and alone. She joins forces with Katherine, a former anthropologist, in search of a safe place to live, and the two find a group of women gathered on the campus of a small college in East Tennessee. Katherine quickly establishes herself as leader and under the influence of Callie, a former prison guard, begins to imprison men, whom they refer to as the “others”, for what Madison perceives can only be nefarious reasons. When older and weaker prisoners start mysteriously disappearing, Madison suspects Callie and her band of deputies are killing them. After a pregnant woman joins their commune, Callie and Katherine, aware that females outnumber males and hoping to create a new world ruled by women, make plans to build their community and attain power. They devise a procreation policy, mating the younger women with the healthy male prisoners, and Madison must make a decision to either stay and become puppet to their plans or make her way alone in a desolate, violent world. But before she can do so, she meets Jonah, a young man captured by Callie, and Madison finds herself caught between her love and loyalty to Katherine and her attraction to Jonah. Madison is forced to make a harder decision: to stay and condone what Callie and Katherine are doing or risk her life and escape with Jonah.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  Now I’m off to see what the rest of you are sharing.

 

 

first paragraphs · tuesday sparks · tuesday teasers

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

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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’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

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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.

first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays · tuesday sparks

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS — NINE MONTHS — JAN. 22

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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.

My book today is an ARC from the Amazon Vine program, entitled Nine Months, by Paula Bomer.

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Beginning:  February 7

“I DID IT!”  She screams, ” I DID IT WITH MY OWN BODY!”  Her voice is ungodly deep.  The veins in her neck thick with blood.  And it’s true.  Her body, once more, did it.  What’s left of it.  Bleeding, bloated, bruised inside and out.  Ripped and torn, the yellowish, green umbilical cord resembling some sort of proof that aliens do indeed exist, they exist inside of our own bodies.  The slimy, luminescent cord is proof of universal mystery, this strange devise that attached her to her daughter—it’s from inside of her body, just like her daughter, too, the red-faced infant screaming in the doctor’s arms.  Her insides came out.  It’s the end of the world.

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It’s pretty gross, right?  Would you keep reading?

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Teaser:  Sonia slams the phone down.  “Let’s go boys!  Let’s go get ice cream,” she hollers, as she heads down the steps from her loft into the living room, where they sit glued to cartoons.  “It’s beautiful out!  Let’s go to the park!” (p. 37)

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Amazon Description:  A bold, unapologetic first novel about a pregnant mother and wife who abandons her family in search of an identity that is hers alone.

  “Deliciously, dangerously rogue.” —Marcy Dermansky, author of Bad MarieSonia, a young Brooklyn mother shaken by her unexpected (third) pregnancy, abandons her husband and kids and takes off on a cross-country odyssey in search of an identity separate from her family. She does everything a pregnant woman shouldn’t do—engaging in casual sex and smoking weed—as she retraces her past and attempts to reclaim her sidelined career as an artist. Nine Months is a fierce, daring page-turner of a novel—a lacerating response to the culture of mommy blogs, helicopter parents and “parental correctness” as well as an unflinching look at the choices women face when trying to balance art and family.

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I think this will be a controversial read…so I’m withholding judgment on it until I’m finished.  What do you think?

Intros. · teaser tuesdays · tuesday sparks

TUESDAY SPARKS FLY: INTROS/TEASERS — IN NAME ONLY — DEC. 11

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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 In Name Only, by Carol Kilgore.

 

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Intro:  Summer Newcombe’s nose twitched.  Smoke.  Nasty smoke, not the tantalizing kind from some south-of-the-border concoction in the Pink Tortilla’s kitchen.  The acrid tang that made her eyes water meant fire.  She took stock of the customers as she balanced the chips and salsa tray, and none appeared to notice.  She sniffed again.  Definitely smoke.  Something was burning, and she had no intention of getting her fanny scorched in a run-down Texas beach dive.

As she slapped two menus in front of a young couple, a woman’s scream tore through the happy Friday night sounds.  Summer turned.  A narrow lick of flame teased the creaky floorboards at the rear corner.  A second flame erupted.

Well, this one got my attention!  What about you?

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Teaser:  Her knees almost buckled again from the force of the smile he turned on her.  Holy God in Heaven.  How would she have the strength to resist this man?  (4%)

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Amazon Description:  No home. No family. No place to hide. For Summer Newcombe, that’s only the beginning.

The night Summer escapes from a burning Padre Island eatery and discovers the arsonist is stalking her, is the same night she meets Fire Captain Gabriel Duran. As much as she’s attracted to Gabe, five years in the Federal Witness Security Program because of her father’s testimony against a mob boss have taught her the importance of being alone and invisible.

No matter how much she yearns for a real home, Summer relinquished that option the night she killed the man who murdered her father. But Gabe breaks down her guard and places both of them in danger. Summer has vowed never to kill again, but she’s frantic she’ll cost Gabe his life unless she stops running and fights for the future she wants with the man she loves.

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So now I’m off to check out your excerpts.  I hope you’ll stop by and share your thoughts on mine.