Hey Guys. So I have a really exciting post for you all today. I am taking part in the blog tour for one of my favourite reads so far. Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin. This book was so good and was a 5 star read. I have an excerpt from the book to show you. So onto the excerpt
The grand dance floor split open before them, the ballroom a lush, gleaming treasure trove. Tobacco smoke hung in the air like something dangerous, something Nell couldn’t handle. The ceilings were high, dazzling with chandeliers made of old bottles. The walls were papered in a close floral pattern, and the floor was covered in a thick red carpet; each footfall landed with a quiet thud on the shag. It was lavish, and week after week this decadence seemed to grow. Every time she walked in there was a new fixture. A mirror with a gilded frame built to look like a whale, above the bar. A set of lights with a rotating filter that changed color every minute: pink, then purple, then yellow, then back to pink again. A set of pink flamingos, poised elegantly by the footlights on the stage. Bunting, miles and miles of it. All gifts, all offerings, all barters for more jars of that shining white peace or hoppy comfort in a shade of honey.
Nowhere else in the broken-down city looked like this. This was the
contribution that mattered most to the apprentices: this place to go to forget.
There must have been two hundred, maybe even three hundred people
crowded in there, at the bar and on the dance floor and scattered at the dozens of small circular tables at the edges of the room. Just about all the apprentices who lived in Black Water City. A whole squad from the monument construction. A janky, enthusiastic band of daytime plumbers and bakers and nurses huddled on a small platform stage, pulling old torch songs out of an accordion, a banjo, a fiddle, a bodhran, a double bass, and a heavily beaten piano.
The singer was belting something about churches into a handmade
microphone system hooked up to an amplifier made of an old crate and some metal scrap. It was tinny and distorted, but it worked. The dance floor oozed with life.
Nell’s ticking was so loud that it reverberated through her arms and
fingers, out of sync with the music, a misplaced metronome. Ruby was obviously eyeballing the span of the room for faces she knew.
“Do you want to dance with me?” asked Ruby, tentatively, knowing the
answer, already grateful for Nell’s permission to leave her alone, a grim buoy moored at the bar.
“No. I’m going to sit at the bar for a while, I think. Have a drink. Do you
want one?” Nell recited just what she thought Ruby wanted to hear.
“It’s fine. I’ll grab one once I’ve got the lay of the land!” Ruby flashed her a
grateful smile, kissed her cheek, then disappeared into the throng in what might as well have been a flash of lightning. She wouldn’t strike near Nell again that night.
Nell avoided bumping into any of the small clusters of her acquaintances
but offered thin smiles to the piques of “Hi, Nell!” and “Oh, look, Nell Crane is
here!” and squirmed her way across the room to one of the tall stools at the bar.
She lifted herself up onto the gilt and velvet seat and rested her elbows on the
dark wood of the countertop. The new whale mirror was surrounded by
decorative cabinets full of ornate handmade bottles of spirits and bitters and tinctures. Draft taps with hand-carved heads linked to fat kegs full
of beer stood in lines like faithful soldiers. Nell caught her reflection and
immediately regretted the eyeliner and painted freckles.
Nell made eye contact with Antoinette Fox, who was always behind the
bar on weekends; she was busy but gave Nell a nod. “The lady professor Crane, what’ll it be tonight?”
Antoinette was the very specific kind of wild gorgeous that implied she
woke up almost exactly in the shape she stood there. She made Nell’s throat want
to close over. An effortless arrangement of blond locks, wide eyes, impossibly
white teeth: she was too good to be true. Even her augmented limb, right arm
from the elbow down, was encased in white porcelain with tiny blue flowers
painted up the side. New, Nell noted. As she went to answer, she was suddenly
interrupted by the deep and affected tones of the absolute last person she
wanted to see. She’d spent too many afternoons trapped next to him at a work desk ever to want to sit next to him at a night out, but here he was. Here he always was.
“Not half as much as you, Kelly.” Nell gritted her teeth. “But since you’re
offering, I’ll have a—”
He leaned over the bar to get the barmaid’s attention, cutting Nell off.
“She’ll have a bathtub gin with two wedges of lemon and a splash of —”
“Elderflower tonic,” snarled Nell. “Good evening, Oliver.”
There you go, and excerpt from Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for my review of the book which I will upload tomorrow.