I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara Bourland / Blog Tour + Extract

Hi guys, and happy Monday! We are starting into a new week with a brand new blog tour for you – today I have an extract from Barbara Bourland’s shiny new novel “I’ll Eat When I’m Dead”. The title sounds so, so intriguing, don’t you think? So if you want to see what the author has in store for us, put your feet high and read an extract from chapter 1 – and enjoy!


Every weekday morning, as the sun rose above Sixth Avenue,

a peerless crop of women—frames poised, behavior polished,

networks connected, and bodies generally buffed to a high

sheen—were herded by the cattle prod of their own ambition to

one particular building. They streamed as if by magic from all over

Manhattan and Brooklyn, through streets and subways teeming

with sweaty crowds and heavy traffic, to work at Cooper House,

the only remaining major magazine publisher in New York.

Some, like Bess Bonner, a twenty-eight-year-old associate editor

at RAGE Fashion Book, arrived earlier than others. Though her

colleagues frequently staggered in around noon after long nights

spent drinking fistfuls of sponsored celebrity vodka in yet another

chartered barge or pop-up school bus, never Bess, who took

pride in being punctual. Monday through Friday she stuck to

the same routine: First, she walked her bike, a large Dutch commuter,

through the West Village streets to pick up her coffee at

Joe. Second, she stood on the sidewalk and drank half the cup, no

matter the weather; finally, she took diligent mental notes on the

outfits of pedestrians who were, like her, freshly pressed to meet

the promise of the day.

One Monday in July, in attire that was stylish but functional

 (trousers clipped back with midnight-blue leather bands, her buttery

navy kid-leather backpack stuffed in an orange milk crate

affixed firmly to the back with neon cable ties, and a waterproof

oilcloth bag that held an emergency poncho tucked beneath her

seat), Bess drank her coffee, took her notes, and hopped on her

bike, pedaling toward Cooper. After a few minutes of glorious,

uninterrupted speed through Chelsea, a rush of adrenaline kicked

in, and she smiled; that final mile of her morning commute both

boosted her mood and set the tone for the long day ahead, working

at the magazine she’d worshipped her entire life.

Today, that work meant sorting bracelets into velvet trays.

She hung a left on Thirty-Ninth Street, crossed Broadway, and

pulled smoothly into the Cooper garage. Gina, the usual attendant,

took her bicycle and wheeled it into the rectangle of her personal

parking spot, a privilege for full-time employees, as Bess took off

her helmet and shook out her tangled mess of dark blonde curls.

Shouldering her backpack, she walked up to the aluminum post

outside the service elevator and waved her phone in front of it. A

large blinking F appeared briefly on a previously invisible screen.

Ten seconds later, the F disappeared and the post became a mere

metal column once more.

Bess walked into the elevator and examined herself in its mirrored

walls. Not too bad, she thought, looking down at her electricblue

Pappagallo flats for rips, tears, or smudges, smoothing her

ankle-length silk tuxedo trousers, and tucking her deliberately

threadbare men’s white V-neck into the side of the waistband.

Her jewelry today was simple and bright: a stack of rose-gold

pyramid-stud bracelets from Hermès covered one wrist, and a pair

of dangling yellow-gold earrings—from the Egyptian section of

the gift shop at the Met, purchased long ago with her fifth-grade

allowance—hung casually from her ears.