Tag Archives: sneak peek

Spin

Earlier on this site (Coming Attactions; January 6, 2012) we noted that Spin: A Novel by Catherine McKenzie will be released by William Morrow on February 7, 2012.   But you don’t need to wait until then to start reading this book.   Here’s the first chapter of Spin:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/78645064/Spin-by-Catherine-McKenzie

Joseph Arellano

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Heading Out to Wonderful

Robert Goolrick authored one of the best selling books of 2009-2010, the novel A Reliable Wife.   You can read Laura Gerold’s review of A Reliable Wife here:

https://josephsreviews.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/love-and-marriage/

Robert Goolrick’s new book, Heading Out to Wonderful: A Novel will not be released by Algonquin Books until June 12, 2012.   But you can read the first 21 pages here, in addition to the openings of three other novels that will be released in the coming months:

http://www.algonquinbooksblog.com/wi7/

Joseph Arellano

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Chapter One

One of the books we missed this year – but still hope to read – was The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel by Denise Mina (Reagan Arthur Books, $25.99, 400 pages; also available as a Kindle Edition or Nook Book download.)   Ian Rankin has called Mina, “The most exciting crime writer to have emerged in Britain for years.”  Click on this link to read Chapter One of The End of the Wasp Season:

http://www.denisemina.co.uk/contents/books/endofthewasp_ch1.htm

Joseph Arellano

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Crossed: A YA Novel

On February 12, 2011, we posted a review (“You Belong to Me”) of the recommended dystopian YA novel Matched by Ally Condie.   The follow-up novel, Crossed, will be released on November 1, 2011.   But you don’t have to wait until then to begin reading this YA novel; just click on the link below:

http://shelf-life.ew.com/2011/09/13/crossed-excerpt-exclusive-first-two-chapters/

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The Stranger You Seek

The Stranger You Seek: A Novel by debut author Amanda Kyle Williams will be released by Bantam on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.   However, you don’t have to wait until then to begin reading it.   Click on the link below to read the first two chapters of The Stranger You Seek:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58004614/The-Stranger-You-Seek-by-Amanda-Kyle-Williams-Excerpt

Joseph Arellano

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Coming Up Next…

A preview-review of The Descent of Man: A Novel by Kevin Desinger.

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Everything Lovely

Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe: A Novel by first-time author Jenny Hollowell will be released by Henry Holt and Company,Inc. on June 8, 2010.   Here is a preview look including a synopsis of the novel, blurbs from other authors and an excerpt from its opening pages.

Synopsis

A young woman caught at the turning point between success and failure hopes fame and fortune will finally let her leave her old life – and her old self – behind.   Birdie Baker has always dreamed of becoming someone else.   At twenty-two, she sets off to do just that.   Walking out on her pastor husband and deeply evangelical parents, she leaves behind her small-town, part-time life and gets on a bus to Los Angeles.

Quotes

“Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe introduces a strong new voice, poised and sharp, beautifully suited to both the satiric task of dismantling Hollywood, and the empathetic one of rendering a young actress’s grinding struggle for stardom.”   – Jennifer Egan

“There’s some Joan Didion here, some Lorrie Moore, some Nathanael West, but really, it’s all Jenny Hollowell, a new name to remember.”   – Christopher Tilghman

“Jenny Hollowell’s writing is gorgeous and edgy, lyrical and in-your-face.”   – Sheri Reynolds

Excerpt

Prologue

Ask Birdie how she got here and she’ll pretend she doesn’t remember.   “Honestly,” she’ll say, “it all blends together.”   She doesn’t want to talk about the past.   It’s only cocktail talk, but still everyone wants a story.   That’s Los Angeles for you.   Everything’s a pitch.   Sell the beginning and give the end a twist.

The truth is rarely filmic.   Lies are better.   Once she’d told a director she was sleeping with, or who, more accurately was sleeping with her:  My whole family is dead.   We were in a car accident together.   My mother, father, and sister were killed and I am the only survivor.   What did he say?   “What an amazing story,” which meant that he was sorry but also that it would make a great movie.

Semantics, anyway.   There was never any car accident but still she has lost them all.

Ask Birdie how she got here and she will smile and laugh and look down into her glass.   Two things she’s good at:  drinking and keeping secrets.   In the melting cubes she sees the past…

At her agent’s insistence her bio contains the basics:  1979, Powhatan, Virginia.   Even that doesn’t matter.   Redmond changed it to 1983.   “Whoever said thirty is the new twenty-two wasn’t trying to get you work.”   Proof positive: no one really wants the truth…

Going West and the Rest, 2001.   In Powhatan, she leaves a letter that says:

To Judah and My Parents,

I don’t know if you will be surprised to find this note.   I am not surprised to be writing it, though I know it will hurt you and I hate to do that.   But you have to know I have no other choice.   I have been a liar and a hypocrite.   I have tried to be a Believer, but I am not.   Every day, I am full of doubt.   I would rather be honest about my feelings in this life than lie to preserve an eternal hope I am unsure of.   Let’s hope God understands my decision.   I’m sorry.

Love, Birdie.

PS – Don’t try to find me.   I’m safe, but I’m going somewhere far away.

The bus ride to Los Angeles takes two days, seventeen hours, and five minutes.   For the first day, she imagines that Judah is following her, that when the bus stops at a rest area he will be standing there stormy-faced, waiting to take her back.   But by the morning of the second day, as serpentine mountain roads begin to flatten and give way to low flat stretches of highway, her escape begins to feel real.   Nothing is familiar – the scenery, her fellow passengers, the gravity and speed of the bus as it rockets westward past towns, sprawling lights, empty desert, road signs.   Her face reflected back at her in the thick safety glass of the bus window appears ghostly and doubled.   She glances back and forth between both sets of eyes and watches the reflections react – her fractured face bobs and shifts across the glass.      

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She’s Gone Country

Jane Porter is the author of several successful popular fiction books including Easy on the Eyes, Flirting with Forty, Mrs. Perfect and Odd Man Out.   Her next book, She’s Gone Country, will be released on August 23, 2010.   Thanks to the folks at five spot and Hachette Book Group, we’re giving you a sneak peek right now.   The following is an excerpt from Chapter One.

Brick calls me on his cell about an hour later.   “That was the most boring sermon ever, Shey.   You owe me.”

I grin at the misery in his deep voice.   He might be the oldest and I might be the youngest but we’ve always been tight.   “You don’t have to pretend to like church just because she’s here,” I answer, taking a step outside the house to stretch and stand on the screened porch with its view of the oak lined drive.   More oak trees dot the pasture between the house and the six stall barn.   There’s not a lot else to see but trees, cows, and land.   Mama and Pop lived here for fifty-some years, and Pop’s parents before that.

“If it makes her happy,” he says.

“That’s why you’ll go to heaven and I won’t,” I laugh and ruffle my hair.   I’ve always gotten along well with all my brothers, but I enjoy teasing Brick the most, probably because he takes his job as the oldest so damn seriously.   “You all on your way home now?”

“No.   We’re going for breakfast.   Mama’s still worked up, and Charlotte thought a good hot meal would put her in a better mood, especially when she’s driving back to Jefferson this afternoon.   Don’t want her on the road when she’s in a mood.”

“No, we certainly don’t.   So where are you going, and are we invited?”

“Um, Shey, you’re the reason Mama’s in a bad mood.   You’re probably better off staying at the house.”

“Gotcha.”   My lips twist in a rueful smile.   My mother and I have a funny relationship.   Given that I’m the only daughter and the baby of the family, you’d think we would have been close.   Only it didn’t work out that way.   Mama prefers boys.   But I can’t complain.   I certainly wasn’t neglected growing up.   I had three brothers to chase after and always was the apple of my Daddy’s eye.   “We’ll see you later, then, and don’t rush your meal.   We’ll be here when you return.”

(Used by permission.)

 

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