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.

Just grab your book and share the opening lines; then find another excerpt that “teases” the reader.

Today I’m sharing again from one of my own creations.  An Accidental Life is a story that begins during one long hot summer in California’s Central Valley.

Summertime is hot and dull in the Central Valley of California and four teenage girls from very different families are determined to spice it up. With a single-mindedness that foretells disaster, they push aside all the rules and explore the underbelly of valley life. Drugs, sex, alcohol, adventure, anything to challenge the norm, yet all experienced without the benefit of maturity. As the girls become increasingly uncontrollable, their mothers–from dramatically diverse social backgrounds–are forced to work together to save their daughters. Like a tornado moving across the landscape, lives are wrenched from their foundations…



Once upon a time, Karin Larson had believed in endless possibilities.  In her childhood, all the adults had asked her the same question: What do you want to be when you grow up?   Picturing a giant list from which she could choose, Karin had played with the task, picking out one thing or another, while watching the reaction of the grownups to help her know if her choices were right or wrong.

Much later, Karin had come to realize that selecting one thing meant giving up something else.  A possibility lost…perhaps forever.  Sometimes, not making any choice at all was just a different way of choosing.

Karin often wondered about those alternate paths.  As a single mother and a social worker for the past fourteen years, she was a responsible and professional person.  She had achieved some expertise in her field.  On the surface, an observer might see her as a calm, reasonably attractive woman in her mid-to-late thirties.

So why did she wake up every morning of her life wishing she were somewhere else and anyone else?

Today was no different from any other.  Karin heard the alarm and cringed.  Then, to stave off the inevitable, she pretended to be on vacation in some tropical island.  She could almost feel the breeze off the ocean, and the scent of suntan lotion wafted toward her.  She could feel her body relaxing into the chaise lounge, while a handsome man approached with a tall, cold drink with one of those little umbrellas on top.  “Mom!” Bridget’s voice interrupted her reverie with its irritatingly teenage quality, that tone that demanded immediate attention.  As she pushed open the bedroom door, she continued.  “I can’t find that book I’m supposed to take back today!  Have you put it somewhere?”  Her tone, almost accusing, brought Karin rudely back to reality.


Teaser:  He watched angrily as Molly sat there in the dimness of the bar, talking to that man…that creature who had swooped in and picked her up.  She was turning out to be a regular whore!  That night in the bar in Clovis, and now, this.  What had happened to his beautiful Molly?  She was becoming someone just like all the other women who had disappointed him.  He must take action, and soon!

His agitation increased, but he hovered near the edges of the pub, staying out of sight, blending into the woodwork.  That was his best quality, being able to render himself virtually unnoticeable.  In the end, though, they would all notice him, and then they would be sorry for everything!  p. 316


What’s the verdict on this opener?  Are you teased by the “teaser”?  Come on by and share your thoughts.  Meanwhile, I’m off to check out your snippets.


    1. Yes, and we’re supposed to know where EVERYTHING is! lol

      As for Molly…yes, there are several snippets from the POV of a stalker whose intense obsession with Molly comes to a head near the end.

      Glad you could stop by, Nise, and enjoy your week.


    1. Ha-ha…how careless of you, Paulita…lol

      Having been a single mom for many years, I did “channel” some of that feeling in this book. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your week.


  1. starryeyedjen29

    That teaser is rather intriguing! Now I need to know who HE is and what’s happened to “his” Molly!

    Thanks for stopping by my teaser. Happy Tuesday!


  2. Very evocative description of one summer when everything–it seems–is possible if you’re a teenager. Your post has me thinking of my own summers as a teen and about where I am as an adult. The teaser just throws a lot of suspense in the mix. Which one of the former teens is in trouble?

    My teaser is a combo reading and travel piece about a murder in Stockholm and the Nobel Prizes: Summit Musings


    1. Thanks, Faye, and yes….a summer of seemingly endless possibilities turns into moments that will inform their lives for years to come.

      I loved spotlighting some of my own experiences in this hot valley area by showing a birdseye view of the drug epidemic that seemingly came out of nowhere (in the 1990s), and how it impacted the lives of not only the girls, but those around them.


    1. Thanks, Karen….it’s a view of the A-frame house, with the teens at the nearby lake, under the shadow of the dam that seems to be the focal point of the area.

      Glad you could stop by.


  3. Great passage from An Accidental Life. Bored teenagers are a scary, destructive force, they get into the most trouble when bored. It sounds ike these girls are going to get in bad trouble. I expect the 4 mothers together will be able to save the girls. Moms are amazingly strong and capable of almost anything when their kids are in trouble.
    This is an intriguing passage!

    The guy in the teaser freaks me out! I think Molly’s in trouble because he sounds possessive and mean.


  4. An Accidental Life sounds intriguing and riveting. Bored teenagers get into the worst trouble. But moms on amission can accomplish almost anything especially working together!

    I think Molly’s in trouble! The guy sounds possessive and mean, not a good combination.

    Great Tuesday posts!


  5. Sometimes, not making any choice at all was just a different way of choosing.

    I like that! Sounds like this could be a really intense read.

    BTW, you might be interested in checking out my Sunday post and the latest craft project I’ve been working on. It’s designed by an artist we both like. 😉


    1. Oh, thanks, Heather…I used to encounter lots of people (as a social worker) who “chose” things that way. A passive approach. And then they blamed fate, or luck, for things not turning out well.

      I’m glad you like the opener. And yes, I’m off to check out the artist!!


  6. Diane@Bibliophilebythesea

    That intro makes me want top know more for sure. I am wondering how you came up with names for your characters and because of the “social worker” is it semi-authobiographical?


    1. Karin Larson was a name I had picked out for myself once upon a time (for a pseudonym, perhaps); Larson was my favorite grandmother’s surname and I liked the name Karin, which sounded Scandinavian, too.

      That’s usually how I pick the names…I like them for whatever reason, or they remind me of someone. But, of course, I never name anyone after someone I actually know.

      All of my characters have some characteristics of mine, as well as some belonging to people I have known. They’re composites, I guess.

      Thanks for stopping by, Diane….glad you enjoyed it.


    1. Yes, there is a murder subplot, in addition to this stalker….is there a connection between them? You’ll have to read to find out.

      Thanks for visiting, Shelley, and have a great week.


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