Teaser Tuesday: The Rook, take two

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• 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 am sorry to report I’ve barely made any headway in The Rook since last week and must still therefore post a teaser from somewhere in the beginning!

My teaser:

“How inconvenient,” said the old lady with a sigh. “A rook with no memory of who she is.” There was a pause. “Bugger.”

- by Dan O’Malley

Teaser Tuesday: The Rook

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• 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!

My teaser:

This is who I am , she thought bitterly.  I don’t even get the luxury of not knowing what my name is.

- by Dan O’Malley

Forgotten Baby: Things that Bother me in Books

So, a couple weeks ago, I was reading a book. A fantasy. Not an epic fantasy, not urban fantasy, more sword and sorcery.

There was a guy; he used magic to sort of nudge a girl to like him. She does, they got together, and in due time, she gets pregnant.

The guy, the hero? He panics and wants out. A normal enough reaction in a boy, I suppose. He is all: I never promised her I would marry her.

So, okay, he didn’t. She thought otherwise, but he never said the words. In this community, the action is sort of a promise, but he never got that.

So than he gets into the trouble for questionable use of magic and gets thrown out of his community and into some other community.

The girl’s pregnancy is the catalyst for a bunch of actions, for the story taking off. She and her baby are never mentioned again. He falls in love with someone else, spends a lot to send letters to her, and never thinks about the unborn child he left behind. He never gives the child another thought.

Okay, yes, so it’s probably a little awkward to ask the girl you’re presently in love about the ex-girlfriend who you left pregnant. Still.

I am still a little bothered by how easily he can forget he left a child behind. I mean, he’s the hero of the book and all. He does a lot of good things, goes through a lot, he grows up. But this one thing? I can’t get over it. I finished the whole book weeks ago and it still bothers me.

I kept waiting for him to think about it. He never does. Not even when the girl he loves gets pregnant, too. It’s like the whole thing never happened.

What about the unborn child he left behind? What about the girl he got pregnant? It was a plot point and nothing more. It doesn’t have to be more – he’s that kind of guy, clearly.

But it bothers me. It really does. Do things like that bother you?

 

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

I finished Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett last week. This is the first time I read Color of Magic. I understand there is a movie; I have not seen it.

Blurb from GoodReads:

Terry Pratchett’s profoundly irreverent, bestselling novels have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to the likes of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett’s maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins — with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…

 

Okay, I have to admit the idea of a world transported on the back giant turtle strikes me slightly ridiculous. In fact, large parts of the book strike me as ridiculous. But it works. It all holds together and not in a ridiculous way. That’s amazing.

The idea of the naïve tourist is a good way to explore this world. He’s an insurance analyst. The very idea of insurance seems a foreign concept to other character, the inept wizard. The inept wizard is a cynical type, one who is forced by his leader and circumstance to actually keep his promise to be a good tour good for the tourist.

In the tourist’s travels, while explaining the idea of insurance to people, one person commits insurance fraud. The book never said so, but I suspect the person never gets his money.

I loved the idea of the invisible dragons, dragons that are only real if you are in the dragon area and if the dragon’s owner believes in them. It’s like riding an invisible airplane, while carrying an invisible gun. Sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it? Well, it sounds wonderful to me.

The Luggage is pretty damn interesting, too. I mean, the idea of Luggage, with a capital L, that bites and is infinitely large – well, it would never be lost, never be stolen, and you could carry whatever you liked!

Also, the net around the edge of the world that catches anyone who falls over. Good idea. Too bad it is not fool-proof.

I love it. I love it a lot more than I thought I would, considering how utterly silly the idea sounds.

The book ends when the inept wizard falls over the edge of the world. This is a cliffhanger, and I don’t think I approve. But, luckily, the second book is already out.

Pilfering Youth

Tell me what you think about this story? Is it confusing?

Eyebrows arched high, blue eyes wide and carefully made up to hide the first signs of wrinkles, Ashara posed in front of the crowd. Colorful fabric streamed behind her, a parody of the flags ringing the stadium. Cameras flashed, but the applause was polite.

She turned on her six-inch heels and stalked back across the stage. Her hair swept down her back in long, loose waves; it excited more comment than the flower-print folds of her dress.

Her heels left faint gold marks on the wooden boards, but no one noticed.

The next model was a slim, dark figure in white wedges, a shimmering black crop top and ivory pants. She strode over her predecessor’s footsteps.

The crowd roared and cameras flashed enough to blind anyone unfortunate enough to get caught in the glare. The model kept turning, kept moving. She was rumored to take Ashara’s place as the next top model.

A hush came over the crowd when she stumbled and went down hard. One of the stage crew helped her off.

Ashara came back in a number designed to show off a svelte body, all smooth lines and shining fabric. Whispers flowed like water at her appearance. She looked as if she had lost a decade in the ten minutes she had been off stage.

Friday Flash: Master Piece

This isn’t the flash I intended to write, but this is what came out of my keyboard.

He stood back and inspected the work. His legs trembled and his arms were weak, exhausted from holding a brush for a so long.

It was perfect for this, the world of his birth, and epitome of all that was decadent and thoughtless. They took pleasure in the suffering their thoughtlessness inflicted on others, saying, this was the way of the world. This was what one sacrificed in order to move forward.

Thousands of pages of bleached white paper layered one over another like angular clouds. It was the perfect base, all sharp points and an inviting texture. He’d laced two women on top, blond, bare skin bleached white, and carefully applied his special red lipstick to their lips. The procurer was well worth the price. He’d tied a hundred thousand of his carefully prepared rose buds on top of the paper, a silent exclamation mark.
People would touch, stroke the bodies, brush their fingers over the paper, marvel over the contrast between the deep red roses and pure white paper.

And they would die. The red poison in the lips and roses would infect the world like a firestorm. Here and gone before anyone quite realized what was happening.

He wouldn’t survive it, of course. But he was glad to pay the price and call it cheap. This, the place where he was born, the place that had nurtured him, deserved nothing less than to drown in its own vomit like a cheap drunk. 

Teaser Tuesday: The Way of Kings

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• 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!

My Teaser:

“Bashin?” Dalinar said, his voice suddenly alarmed. “Shouldn’t there be bait on the end of that beast’s rope?”

- The Way of Kings by Brandson Sanderson.

I am rereading this because the next book comes out next month and this is a loooong book. I hadn’t realized how long until I picked it up again.

There are whole chapters up on Tor’s site.

Teaser Tuesday: Imager’s Challenge

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• 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!

“The scar?”

“The second one will be across his throat . . . not that anyone would find his body.” Seliora’s words were absolutely matter-of-fact.

- Imager’s Challenge by L.E. Modesitt

Teaser Tuesday: Moon’s Artifice

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• 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!

Aren’t you a good puppy, Narin? he thought darkly. You get a treat for impressing master.

- Moon’s Artifice by Tom Lloyd

Friday Flash: Snake Woman

This is my first Friday flash of the year – and my first in many, many months. I meant to post this last week, but I forgot. :( This is an experiment, using a different POV from a story I posted earlier.

She peeked in the window. Her old yellow scarf moved in the breeze and she yanked it back. The room was dusty, and littered with pencil stubs and torn paper. The man was inside. He bent over a pad of paper, fingers smudged with graphite. This looked promising.

She moved around the house, past the scraggy grass in the front lawn. There was a kitchen garden in the back. A basil plant grew by the side of the house, its leaves a bright, verdant green, in direct contrast to the faded whitewash of the house.

She squatted in front of it, and cringing, reached inside. But her fingers passed through the soil painlessly, like air through a flute. The bones were buried among the basil roots. Perfect. She cradled them in her hand and lifted them out. The skeleton was no larger than her hand, dead so recently that bits of flesh still clung to its skull. The burial must have been rushed, she thought, the ceremonies not properly observed. Otherwise the basil would have protected the small baby from such as her far better.

A dead baby and a grieving widower – this was perfect. She picked several delicate finger bones and chewed. It would tell the babies in her belly how they should appear to the man.

She left the bones on the ground and rose, turning to the window. The bells on her anklets tinkled in the air, as loud as they had been silent before.  

The man walked came outside from a second door. She smiled at him and pulled on the magic of her people. It covered her like a new silk dress, soft, pliable yet strong. The man gazed her, entranced. She embraced him; his arms wrapped tightly around her. He breathed on her neck, long, slow breaths, and she led him inside.

She made him man food, but left the dust in the room alone. Night fell and she took him in the bed. Finally, finally, she let the magic go. He saw her as she was. His eyes widened above her; he gasped and moaned as though overcome with fear – or desire. His sounds were a wonderful music. She grinned – and drank down his energy. Afterward, he lay on the bad, watching her with wide, staring eyes.

She gave birth on top of him. Blood soaked the bedding. Her babies slipped from her, tiny, writhing, hungry creatures. They bit his lips, sipped his blood. The man would care well for them for a few years. She would be back then.

She knew the villagers would leave him be. They knew her people’s reputation.