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.
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