teacups for teaser tuesdays


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 spotlight is shining on a book that has been waiting patiently on Pippa, my Kindle, since September 2014!  It is long overdue for a peek.  After I Do, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is from a new-to-me author that I’ve already enjoyed.





Intro:  We are in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium, and once again, Ryan has forgotten where we left the car.  I keep telling him that it’s in Lot C, but he doesn’t believe me.

“No,” he says, for the tenth time.  “I specifically remember turning right when we got here, not left.”

It’s incredibly dark, the path in front of us lit only by lampposts featuring oversized baseballs.  I looked at the sign when we parked.

“You remember wrong,” I say, my tone clipped and pissed-off.  We’ve already been here too long, and I hate the chaos of Dodger Stadium.  It’s a warm summer night, so I have that to be thankful for, but it’s ten P.M., and the rest of the fans are pouring out of the stands, the two of us fighting through a sea of blue and white jerseys.  We’ve been at this for about twenty minutes.


Teaser:  Ryan has made it clear that he no longer thinks of me the way he thinks about other women.  It hurts.  And yet when I try to break down why it hurts, I don’t have an answer. (p. 67).


Blurb:  When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.


What do you think?  Do the excerpts draw you in?  Do you want to keep reading?  I know that I am eager to do so.




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 spotlight shines on an ARC, from Amazon Vine, called The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty.  This will be my first journey into this author’s works.


Beginning:  Chapter One:

It was all because of the Berlin Wall.

If it weren’t for the Berlin Wall Cecilia would never have found the letter, and then she wouldn’t be sitting here, at the kitchen table, willing herself not to rip it open.


56:  Yet Tess hadn’t been wary.  She’d been stupidly secure of Will’s love.  Secure enough to wear her old jeans with that black T-shirt that Will said made her look like a biker chick.


Blurb:   At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter
that’s not meant to be read

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died. . . .

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.


I am eager to read this book from an author I have not yet tried.  I’ve been hearing such good things about What Alice Forgot, a previous book.

What are you sharing  today?  Come on by….



52471In this captivating sequel to Big Stone Gap, we rejoin Ave Maria Mulligan and her husband Jack MacChesney at a point in their marriage that could be the end for them. Three years ago, their son Joe died. And the loss, followed by the period of mourning, have taken their toll. Daughter Etta, who was a year older than Joe, seems to be the glue that cements them.

But the tests that prey on their bonds include many stressors, like the closing of the mining company where Jack worked for many years; the start-up of a new company, bringing temptation along with it; and the realization that they are each just going through the motions.

After many years of being the self-described town spinster, Ave’s independence could be the very blow that kills their union.

How does Ave’s and Etta’s trip to Italy for the summer cast a new light on everything? Was leaving Jack behind, at his request, be the final nail that kills the two of them? Or will the time apart remind them of their love and what needs to happen next?

Just as with the previous story of this beautiful part of Virginia, BIG CHERRY HOLLER invites the reader right into the setting. The author paints word pictures that show us the world as our characters see it. And the sense of community, both in Big Stone Gap, and later in Italy, makes us feel as if we’re right there with them. I know that I want to revisit these characters and these settings again. And while spending time with them here, we get to see them cast in a lovely and yet real portrait of lives going through struggles; lives that come out the other side with a sense of what it means to reinvent themselves. Five stars.


Sometimes families are made up of people whose connections are tenuous. The couple may have entered the union for all the wrong reasons, and this is definitely the case with John and Irene, in Once Upon a Time, There Was You: A Novel. Their responses to one another seem tepid. And yet they have a child and meander along for awhile before getting divorced.

A tragic event forces the two back together to help their daughter Sadie.

As in most Berg books, we get to read the detailed moments in their lives, with their thoughts, their feelings, and those fears and insecurities that still hold them captive in the “autumn” years of their lives. We also have a view of their reactions to one another as we watch how each of them is coping with what Sadie has gone through…and what she has thrown at them. Like this excerpt, in which Irene’s reaction to John is definitely no longer tepid:

“What fills Irene now is a wobbly kind of rage. She doesn’t know who to be angrier at, John or Sadie. Easy for him to show up and be the even-tempered mediator! Easy for him to be the part-time parent who gets to say yes to everything because he never has to suffer the consequences of what he allows! She is the real parent, and she will handle this. She wishes he’d never come. He won’t be of any use at all. He will make everything harder. `You keep out of this!’ she tells John. `You don’t even know what happened!'”

We also explore Sadie’s feelings about her “helicopter” mother who hovers and dominates. But what Sadie does to rebel turns into something so frightening that she doesn’t know how to react. So she does something completely drastic.

Living with the consequences of our choices is a theme that wends its way through the pages, even as we get to see the flaws and foibles of these characters, none of which are particularly lovable. I felt quite frustrated with Sadie, whose reactions seemed too childish for someone her age, but then again, with a domineering mother and an absent father, perhaps her behavior was not all that unsurprising.

Each character has difficulty expressing his or her feelings verbally, and when they interact, they often play games and lead with their emotions in “unhelpful” ways.

In true Berg form, we come to know the characters, inside and out, and discover small moments of insight as they work their way through what life throws at them. Five stars!