I'm so thrilled today to be hosting an excerpt of Bird After Bird Leslea Tash
Dear Birdy, Princess Birdzilla von MuffinStuff, Keeper of Dreams, Lover of our Fine Feathered Friends, queen of my life and light of my world, I hope this letter finds you well. If you are reading this then I am gone, and sweetheart, I am so sorry.
Chi-town professional Wren Riley is 25 and a rising star in the business world. She can eat a man alive and laugh about it to her girlfriends in seconds flat--and she does, on the regular. Behind the power suits and the flashing, flirty eyes, however, Wren has a secret, vulnerable side. Following a devastating loss and the discovery of a bird journal she and her father made together years before, Wren sets out to seek peace, closure, and something she just can't name. Is that something tied to the little paper cranes she keeps finding along the way?
Laurence Byrd grew up a lanky Hoosier kid with the good/bad fortune of having the same name as the state's perennial basketball legend. With a better affinity for dogs than sports or school, he ends up in the Army instead of the Chicago art school of his dreams. Still, his service to our country is something he can be proud of--until an argument with the girl who means the world to him results in a series of events that blows his life apart. With no one left to understand him, black sheep Laurie pours out his heart into letters and drawings he never intends to send--then he folds them into paper cranes that he leaves behind like messages in little winged bottles. He never dreams someone might be finding them.
God damn it, Sylvia, for a few moments I tricked myself into feeling really alive. I cut it off before anyone got hurt, but just for a moment or two, I really thought I might feel something again--something like trust. Something like love. Not the kind of love we had, but something new. Something like hope.
Spoiler alert: Wren and Laurie are going to meet. And when they do, their lives are never going to be the same.
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I shut the door of my office and flipped open Dad’s bird book. The cranes I’d found were wedged inside the page from Goose Pond.
4 Bald Eagles
14 American White Pelicans
2 very rare Whooping Cranes
Countless Sandhill Cranes, coots, mallards, and loons
4 Redtail Hawks
1 very cute Wren (Rileyius Birdzilliumptious)
He’d pasted a snapshot of me, binoculars to my face, standing in front of the marsh. I remember how chilled we were that day, how happy I’d been to leave the marsh and get pizza. I was spoiled on Chicago deep dish now, of course, but that old pizza kitchen in Linton was the only restaurant there that had sit-down service. After a long day in the field, it tasted like heaven, and all the waitresses were angels of mercy.
Dad had stuck a paper menu in the book. I guess he thought the food was worth remembering, too.
Looking over Dad’s notes, I unconsciously unwrapped a crane. I nearly had it all the way unfolded before I realized what I’d done.
“Ah, crap. I’ll never get this folded back.”
I thought the origami was cool, but I didn’t expect to find anything inside. When a bit of color caught my eye, I unfolded it and found myself poring over the page as though I’d just stumbled onto a treasure map. I’m not sure which struck me first: the colored-pencil drawing of a wren, or the signature: Birdy. The same name my father called me.
About the Author
Leslea Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist, an avid bird nerd and the happily married mom of four. She has been a professional writer for many years. This is her first romance novel.
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