first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: “CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is an e-ARC from NetGalley, release date:  October 4, 2016.  Cruel Beautiful World is by Caroline Leavitt, a portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.

 

 

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Intro:  (1969)

Lucy runs away with her high school teacher, William, on a Friday, the last day of school, a June morning shiny with heat.  She’s downstairs in the kitchen, and Iris has the TV on.  The weather guy, his skin golden as a cashew, is smiling about power outages, urging the elderly and the sick to stay inside, his voice sliding like a trombone, and as soon as she hears the word “elderly,” Lucy glances uneasily at Iris.

“He doesn’t mean me, honey,” Iris says mildly, putting more bacon to snap in the pan.  “I’m perfectly fine.”

***

Teaser:  He looked over at the TV and then at the burgers.  “Buckwheat burgers again?”

She opened up the cupboards.  “What else do you see for me to cook?”

“We have chickens, honey.  We could have omelets.  Or a quiche.”

“What’s a quiche?” (53%)

***

Synopsis:  It’s 1969, and sixteen-year-old Lucy is about to run away with a much older man to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have vicious repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy’s default caretaker for most of their lives, Charlotte’s youth has been marked by the burden of responsibility, but never more so than when Lucy’s dream of a rural paradise turns into a nightmare.

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty, and explores what happens when you’re responsible for things you cannot make right.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts tease you?  Make you want to keep reading?  Or is it the blurb that settles it for you?

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first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: EXCERPTING “ONE MOMENT, ONE MORNING”

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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 A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book has been resting on Pippa, my Kindle, for a while.  It is from an author I have enjoyed, so I am eager to now begin.  One Moment, One Morning, is from Sarah Rayner.

 

 

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Intro:  (Monday) (07:58)

Lou is pretending to be asleep, but out of the corner of her eye she is watching the woman opposite put on her make-up.  She always finds it fascinating, watching other women do this, constructing themselves, on the train.  Lou never wears make-up, really, other than for very special occasions, and although she can understand it saves time, she finds it odd—choosing to make the transformation from private to public persona whilst commuting.  It takes away the mystery, covering the blemishes, thickening the lashes, widening the eyes, plumping the cheeks, surrounded by people.  And on the seven forty-four to Victoria, Lou is surrounded by people:  most of them silent; many of them asleep, or at least dozing; some of them reading, and a few, a minority, chatting.

***

Teaser:  The kettle has come to a boil.  Absently Lou fishes for a tea bag, puts it in a mug, pours the water.  As she does so, she considers:  how do these events cast light on the way she herself lives?  Does she know who she is?  Do others? (p. 65).

***

Blurb:  The Brighton to London line. The 7:44 am train. Cars packed with commuters. One woman occupies her time observing the people around her. Opposite, a girl puts on her make-up. Across the aisle, a husband strokes his wife’s hand. Further along, another woman flicks through a glossy magazine. Then, abruptly, everything changes: a man collapses, the train is stopped, and an ambulance is called.
For at least three passengers on the 7:44 on that particular morning, life will never be the same again. There’s Lou, in an adjacent seat, who witnesses events first hand. Anna, who’s sitting further up the train, impatient to get to work. And Karen, the man’s wife.
Telling the story of the week following that fateful train journey, One Moment, One Morning is a stunning novel about love and loss, about family and – above all- friendship. A stark reminder that, sometimes, one moment is all it takes to shatter everything. Yet it also reminds us that somehow, despite it all, life can and does go on.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I know that I am intrigued.

***

 

 

book beginnings · The Friday 56

FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “HOUSE OF WONDER”

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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?

My feature today is a book by Sarah Healy:  House of Wonder.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue) – The House on Royal Court

Ours were dinners of boneless chicken breasts, smeared and then baked in the congealed contents of a red and white can.  My mother would have clipped the recipe from a magazine, using sharp orange-handled scissors, the type that can slice down a length of wrapping paper like a fin through placid water.  Warren and I would sit waiting, eating our green bell pepper quarters filled with twisting orange strings of squirt cheese.

***

56:  We were given instructions about icing, painkillers, and potential problems against which to be vigilant.  But really, Warren’s injuries were not severe compared with many that the ER saw.  It was their implication that was upsetting.

***

Blurb:  When we were little and I needed Warren, I would rub my earlobe.  And perhaps it was the alchemy of childhood, a magic that happened because I believed it could, but I swear it worked. He always came.

Theirs wasn’t always the misfit family in the neighborhood. Jenna Parsons’s childhood was one of block parties and barbecues, where her mother, a former beauty queen, continued her reign and her twin brother, Warren, was viewed as just another oddball kid. But as her mother’s shopaholic habits intensified, and her brother’s behavior became viewed as more strange than quirky, Jenna sought to distance herself from them. She is devoted to her career and her four-year-old daughter, Rose. But now, in his peculiar way, Warren summons her back to 62 Royal Court.

What she finds there—a house in disrepair, a neighborhood on tenterhooks over a rash of petty thefts, and evidence of past traumas her mother has kept hidden—will challenge Jenna as never before. But as she stands by her family, she also begins to find beauty in unexpected places, strength in unlikely people, and a future she couldn’t have imagined.

***

What do you think?  Does it pique your interest?  Come on by and share your comments and links, please.

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first paragraphs · teaser tuesdays

TUESDAY SPARKS: INTROS/TEASERS – THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD

 

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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 feature is an ARC of The Whole Golden World, by Kristina Riggle.

 

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Intro:  June 6, 2012:  Dinah felt the turning away like the snap of a rubber band that’s been pulled too far, finally lashing back, leaving a welt.

She had not expected Morgan to be happy.  This morning she had hoped only that her children stay alive and fed, because at least this she could accomplish.  Probably.

Then Morgan turned away from her, walking to the left side of the courtroom to sit behind that man.

In the low murmurs ripping in their wake, she heard the crowd registering what had just happened.  Dinah reached for Joe’s hand—and found only cool air.

***

Teaser:  In fifteen minutes they were back in their driveway, and Rain slumped, trembling with released tension.  Thank you, she prayed silently.  No sirens.  Scarcely another car to be seen, in fact, even on a Saturday night.  (p. 71).

***

Amazon Description:   Kristina Riggle, the acclaimed author of Real Life & Liars, returns with a thought-provoking novel inspired by real-life events

Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.

Rain, TJ’s wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?

Told from the perspectives of these three remarkable women, The Whole Golden World navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, raising questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility. It’s a novel both shocking and unforgettable in its power.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I can’t wait to begin….