Welcome all to the Blog Tour for Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson! OMG, I am so happy I can be part of this tour. I have been eyeing this book for some months now. I love ballet books and especially love them when they get dark.
For today’s tour I got an excerpt, a giveaway, and of course book/author information!
twirls Let’s get started~
In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a devastating but hopeful YA debut about a ballerina who finds the courage to confront the abuse that haunts her past and threatens her future.
There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and prey
I thought I would be safe after my mother died. I thought I could stop searching for new places to hide. But you can’t escape what you are, what you’ve always been.
My name is Savannah Darcy Rose.
And I am still prey.
Though Savannah Rose―Sparrow to her friends and family―is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed―“I’m not the kind of girl who tells”―will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or lose herself forever….
Buy this book here: Bookdepository
About the author:
Find her here:
Mary Cecilia Jackson has worked as a middle school teacher, an adjunct instructor of college freshmen, a technical writer and editor, a speechwriter, a museum docent, and a development officer for central Virginia’s PBS and NPR stations. Her first novel, Sparrow, was an honor recipient of the SCBWI Sue Alexander Award and a young-adult finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas manuscript contest. She lives with her architect husband, William, in Western North Carolina and Hawaii, where they have a farm and five ridiculously adorable goats.
I stumble around, gathering my things, surreptitiously trying to wipe away the blood. I lied. My knees hurt like a stinker. I give up and sit down on the curb to assess the damage.
Tristan comes back holding a first aid kit. Kneeling down in his perfect suit, paying no attention to the dirt and gravel, he says, “I’m so, so incredibly sorry. At least let me fix you up.”
“You actually carry a first aid kit in your car? Do you run over a lot of people?”
He laughs, and the sound is low and sweet, like soft notes rising from a cello. His teeth are dazzling up close, straight and impossibly white, probably representing a small fortune in ortho- dontics and bleach. Even his eyebrows are gorgeous.
“Nah,” he says. “You’re my first attempt at roadkill. If you
think your knees are messed up, you should see mine. Bruises and scars like you wouldn’t believe. I run high hurdles, and some- times I miss.”
He gently wipes the blood from my knees and brushes away stray bits of gravel. He’s so close that I can smell his hair. Laven- der, I think. Or rosemary. I breathe him in as deeply and quietly as I can while he dabs Neosporin on the scrapes and covers them with Band-Aids.
When he leans forward and kisses each bandage, I have to work hard not to gasp. Once, when I was really, really small, my mother did the same thing, and for a moment I’m lost in the memory. The way her long hair fell like a dark waterfall over her shoulder as she knelt on the bathroom floor in front of me. Her polished fingernails peeling the wrapping from the bandages. The softness of her lips as she kissed my scraped knees. And though I know it’s impossible, for a few seconds I swear the fragrance of my mother’s lily of the valley perfume dances in the cold air.
“There,” Tristan says, looking up at me. “Now you’ll heal faster. Kisses always make things better, don’t you think?”
I’m not thinking at all, because my brain has stopped work- ing. I should stand up and push him away. I should tell him he’s way out of line, and call him a presumptuous Neanderthal. But his strong hands, his lips on my skin, are making me shiver, and I feel all hot and floaty and liquid, like warm honey is flowing through my veins. I don’t want him to stop. I want him to do it again.
“Yes,” I whisper, mesmerized by the depth of his gray eyes, the color of a mourning dove’s wing. “Kisses always help.” I won- der if he can hear my heart pounding.
He stands and helps me to my feet, holding on to my hands for longer than seems necessary. Standing so close, I feel the heat of him, how alive he is. I have the completely bizarre urge to rest my head on his chest, wrap my arms around his waist, and draw that warmth, that life, into myself. I shake my head, tell myself to snap out of it. Me: Amoeba. Him: Tristan King.
Still holding my hands, he pulls me a little closer, then reaches out to tuck a stray curl behind my ear. Looking into my eyes, he smiles and says, “Better now? Will you be okay? Want me to drive you home?”
I nod, never taking my eyes from his face. “I’ll be fine, really,” I whisper.
I don’t want him to let go. With my hands in his, I feel safe, as though he’s standing between me and the entire rest of the world, like my own personal knight, complete with sword and shield, sworn to protect me. He is so impossibly beautiful.
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