Intriguing Quotes

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We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.
Ellen Goodman
I am intrigued by the smile upon your face, and the sadness within your eyes
Jeremy Aldana
He was now in that state of fire that she loved. She wanted to be burnt.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
Intrigued by that enigma, he dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Plenty of people are good-looking. That doesn't make them interesting or intriguing or cool.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
He was done with politics and intrigue. He loved her, and no empire, no king, and no earthly fear would keep him from her. No, if they tried to take her from him, he'd rip the world apart with his bare hands. And for some reason, that didn't terrify him.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
The most intriguing people you will encounter in this life are the people who had insights about you, that you didn't know about yourself.
Shannon L. Alder
People frequently bore me, sometimes amuse me, most often irritate me, but rarely intrigue me.
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
You are enough to drive a saint to madness or a king to his knees.
Grace Willows (To Kiss a King)
Holly's theory about the army," Sharon explained. And what is it?" Denise asked, intrigued. Oh, that fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
Cecelia Ahern (PS, I Love You)
Babies are made through an act that you will eventually find intriguing but for right now will just sort of horrify you, and also sometimes people do stuff that involves baby-making parts that does not actually involve making babies, like for instance kiss each other in places that are not on the face.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
She must feel like Lucifer’s frigid breath is running down the back of her delicate neck.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
You sound like you’re enjoying my suffering.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
Her growing possessiveness felt both good and bad.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
The verdict got both the fish and me off the hook.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
I watched her undress with moonlight shivering across the room from behind sheer curtains that moved with the currents from the hearth fire.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
I knew I rode a rugged crest of turmoil that might crash on the rocky shore of irrational behavior.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
What the hell, if you are going to roll the dice with Lucifer, I say go the distance.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
Death rides on all of our shoulders from the day we are born.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
I swallowed a sigh since, truthfully, I was glad she found the cabin.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
The final sound of the rifle shot bounced around the lake.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
What a fine persecution—to be kept intrigued without ever quite being enlightened.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
It was as if we played chess after denying me both bishops and knights.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
The steps leading to the porch looked worn, cracked, and unpainted, ready for a nice hot fire.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
Death is the ultimate test of faith.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
A look of absolute terror locked onto her features.
Gabriel F.W. Koch (Death Leaves a Shadow (Marlowe Black Mystery, #2))
Inseparable as sibs—strained as a couple.
Andri E. Elia (Borealis: A Worldmaker of Yand Novel)
Men are intrigued by anything they do not completly control.
Sherry Argov
Fiction has been maligned for centuries as being "false," "untrue," yet good fiction provides more truth about the world, about life, and even about the reader, than can be found in non-fiction.
Clark Zlotchew
Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
Temples are for the gods,” Thucydides said. “No city has the hubris to put her own citizens on a temple.” Phidias promised, “The Athenians will look like gods.
Yvonne Korshak (Pericles and Aspasia: A Story of Ancient Greece)
You shouldn't walk away from something that intrigues you
Lisa Renee Jones (If I Were You (Inside Out, #1))
I told myself, 'All I want is a normal life'. But was that true? I wasn't so sure. Because there was a part of me that enjoyed hating school, and the drama of not going, the potential consequences whatever they were. I was intrigued by the unknown. I was even slightly thrilled that my mother was such a mess. Had I become addicted to crisis? I traced my finger along the windowsill. 'Want something normal, want something normal, want something normal', I told myself.
Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors)
Is there anyone at this court who isn't my enemy?" "Not if I can help it," Laurent said.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1))
I remember being intrigued by the idea of school-in-a-box, just-add-water-and-Sam.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
If you always try to subjugate people by coercion, because you are strong, then sooner or later you will run into somebody who is just as strong, if not stronger. Then you'll be in trouble.
Max Nowaz (The Polymorph)
I regret nothing. No woman with any self-respect would have done less. The question of good and evil will always be one of philosophy's most intriguing problems, up there with the problem of existence itself. I'm not quarreling with your choice of issues, only with your intellectually diminished approach. If evil means to be self-motivated, to live on one's own terms, then every artist, every thinker, every original mind, is evil. Because we dare to look through our own eyes rather than mouth cliches lent us from the so-called Fathers. To dare to see is to steal fire from the Gods. This is mankind's destiny, the engine which fuels us as a race.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
Where’s my uncle?” she asked. “I don’t know who your uncle is, but if it as the guy who owned this place before I bought it, then he’s pushing up daisies.” “But it can’t be, he’s still young.
Max Nowaz (The Three Witches and the Master)
Do you know the song Violet Crowned Athens?” he asked. Yellow hair like hers was rare among the Greeks. Though some people say that Helen of Troy . . .
Yvonne Korshak (Pericles and Aspasia: A Story of Ancient Greece)
He was planning to take my shape and marry you. Then he was going to kill your father and take over his business empire."     "And you? What are your plans?"     "I have no plans to kill your father.
Max Nowaz (The Polymorph)
Your little buddy just gave me the greatest    Christmas gift I've ever gotten.
Kyle Keyes (Under the Bus)
One of the things I love about books is being able to define and condense certain portions of a character's life into chapters. It's intriguing, because you can't do this with real life. You can't just end a chapter, then skip the things you don't want to live through, only to open it up to a chapter that better suits your mood. Life can't be divided into chapters... only minutes. The events of your life are all crammed together one minute right after the other without any time lapses or blank pages or chapter breaks because no matter what happens life just keeps going and moving forward and words keep flowing and truths keep spewing whether you like it or not and life never lets you pause and just catch your fucking breath. I need one of those chapter breaks. I just want to catch my breath, but I have no idea how.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Many nights he lay there dreaming awake of secret cafés in Mont Marte, where ivory women delved in romantic mysteries with diplomats and soldiers of fortune, while orchestras played Hungarian waltzes and the air was thick and exotic with intrigue and moonlight and adventure.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
The money we spend to help you is really to help ourselves. We invest in you because you will do great things, and we want to be part of it.
Steven Decker (Projector for Sale)
Watch it." Josh bites into a pink apple and talks through a full mouth. "He has parts down there you don't have." "Ooo, parts," I say. "Intriguing. Tell me more." Josh smiles sadly. "Sorry. Privileged information. Only people with parts can know about said parts.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
She was a ray of sunshine, a warm summer rain, a bright fire on a cold winter’s day, and now she could be dead because she had tried to save the man she loved.
Grace Willows
What brings you to my room?” he asked, relief bleeding into annoyance. “Adventure. Intrigue. Brotherly concern. Or,” continued the prince lazily, “perhaps I’m just giving your mirror something to look at besides your constant pout.” Kell frowned, and Rhy smiled. “Ah, there it is! That famous scowl.
V.E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
(Nix and Lothaire conversing) "Have you no mate, female?” he’d asked, intrigued with her, though she was his natural enemy. “I was betrothed to Loki for a time. Which did not proceed smoothly for obvious reasons. So for now I am an unrepentant manizer.” At Lothaire’s blank look, she’d said, “That will be amusing in the twenty-first century.
Kresley Cole (Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #11))
Elpidio sensed that David had more to say but was holding back due to their friendship. He wondered why David had gone along with Emiliana's seemingly impulsive ideas.
Carolyn M. Bowen (Legacy of Shadows: An International Crime Thriller (The Family Legacy Series))
Where’s everybody? I thought you had started production.”
“They’ve got a day off, but don’t worry you’ll see the machinery is here.”
But Brown was worried. As they entered the canteen, the lights came on
automatically. There was nobody there.
“What’s going…...” but he never finished the sentence. Brown felt a sharp pain on the
side of his head and everything went black.
Max Nowaz (The Arbitrator)
Violence was a slippery slope, lubricated by a lot of blood, if history had any lessons to teach.
John Rachel (Love Connection: Romance in the Land of the Rising Sun)
Gossip is like thread wound over a spindle of truth, changing its shape.
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
Let me tell you, you either have chemistry or you don't, and you better have it, or it's like kissing some relative. But chemistry, listen to me, you got to be careful. Chemistry is like those perfume ads, the ones that look so interesting and mysterious but you dont even know at first what they're even selling. Or those menues without the prices. Mystery and intrigue are gonna cost you. Great looking might mean something ve-ry expensive, and I don't mean money. What I'm saying is, chemistry is a place to start, not an end point.
Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
Is it still a fish cart when there’s no fish in it? When its false bottom is filled with children?
Andri E. Elia (Borealis: A Worldmaker of Yand Novel)
Buying loyalty can be as effective as fear when one’s rival is poorer than oneself.
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
How can the word love, the word life, even fit in the mouth?
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
Mead. O sweet elixir, Ye bless the lips and steal the wits.  
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
I’m not convinced we can take them out from a distance, Nathan. That’s always been the American solution, by the way. Bigger guns. Nukes. Drone strikes.
Barry Kirwan (When the children come (Children of the Eye, #1))
Nebulous words covering a broad spectrum of intriguing maneuverings allow lobbyists to impersonate innocuous "strategic analysts" and masquerade as benefactors of the people. Therefore, foresight and clarity must always be our brothers-at-arms. ("Finally things had lost their weightiness")
Erik Pevernagie
Hungry stomachs growl the same tune.
John Rachel (Love Connection: Romance in the Land of the Rising Sun)
Which is the greater sin? To care too much? Or too little?
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
At what point does faith become insanity?
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
It's only gossip if you repeat it. Until then, it's gathering information.
Mercedes Lackey (Intrigues (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #2))
Humans had built a world inside the world, which reflected it in pretty much the same way as a drop of water reflected the landscape. And yet ... and yet ... Inside this little world they had taken pains to put all the things you might think they would want to escape from — hatred, fear, tyranny, and so forth. Death was intrigued. They thought they wanted to be taken out of themselves, and every art humans dreamt up took them further in. He was fascinated.
Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches, #2))
The optimism was like the sun after a long spell of clouds and rain, a euphoric rush which produced both envy and awe in anyone who had become jaded, resigned, who had given up on their dreams.
John Rachel (Love Connection: Romance in the Land of the Rising Sun)
We’re so very sorry about this latest murder. Ignore Simon’s levity.
Susan Rowland (Murder On Family Grounds: A Mary Wandwalker Mystery)
If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.
Carol S. Dweck
Postmen have a legendary aura. A ring at the doorbell may inflame a sense of expectation, suspense, secrecy, hazard or even intrigue. Ringing twice may imply a warning that trouble is on the way or an appeal to make the coast clear. Not all mailmen, though, will ring twice and await an eye-catching Lana Turner, whom they can whisper: "With my brains and your looks, we could go places.” ("The postman always rings twice")
Erik Pevernagie
I’ll tell the Chief and he’ll squash you like the little flea-ridden castrated cock you are.
A.G. Russo (O'SHAUGHNESSY INVESTIGATIONS, INC.: The Cases Nobody Wanted)
Theatres are curious places, magician's trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramtic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts, and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurences on and off the stage. Murders, mayhem, politcal intrigue, lucrative business, secret assignations, and of course, dinner.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
Get up you lazy bastard. The Governor wants a word with you,” said a guard. 
He opened his eyes and smiled. There was another guard standing near the cell door in 
anticipation of any trouble. The prisoner smiled at him, too. 
Now what can the Governor want from me? He wondered. His dishevelled form seemed 
incapable of coherent thought. “It’s nice of him to remember me,” he said aloud, trying to 
concentrate.
“Surprising he’s got any time for a worthless shit like you,” said the first guard. 
“I once used to be a very important person,” the prisoner said feebly.
Max Nowaz (The Arbitrator)
Mary was under water. She’d been under water for a long time. Rhiannon was there. No, it was just her severed head talking. The murdered girl’s hair billowed out from under the torc.
Susan Rowland (The Sacred Well Murders)
He says it was tourists being careless, where I see a fiendishly clever murder attempt.” “Mr. McCarthy, you’d better explain.” “Patrick, please. You’ll be tempted to laugh. It was a banana skin.
Susan Rowland (Murder On Family Grounds: A Mary Wandwalker Mystery)
He thrust his shoulders back and spoke in a whisper that sounded like the hiss of a snake. ‘Yes, the very battle between good and evil, played out even in the lowliest of lives like yours. Witches killing dogs because they did not get their favourite drink.
Sara Pascoe (Being a Witch, and Other Things I Didn't Ask For)
Even adults who were stiffened by the starch of their miserable lives, for whom breaking the stony discipline of austere and judgmental intolerance was usually off the table, melted in the magical luminescence and energetic charm of the pre-pubescent Ruka.
John Rachel (Love Connection: Romance in the Land of the Rising Sun)
Some use "ambiguity" as their native language and prefer to hide behind a veil of para-social intrigue or deceit. They readily apply a strategy of a condescendingly friendly approach. Still, as we can capture arresting signals that urge us to defuse a dire threat of besiegement, we can decipher any shrouded or manipulative intentions and steer clear of unforeseen pitfalls. ("Finally things had lost their weightiness")
Erik Pevernagie
We're dealing here," said Vimes, "With a twisted mind." "Oh, no! You think so?" "Yes." "But... no... you can't be right. Because Nobby was with us all the time." "Not Nobby," said Vimes testily. "Whatever he might do to a dragon, I doubt if he'd make it explode. There's stranger people in this world than Corporal Nobbs, my lad." Carrot's expression slid into a rictus of intrigued horror. "Gosh," he said.
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms: The Play)
We might not be able to know what reality is about, but we can’t but be aware of the explicitness of facts. To get a better grip on the intricate nature of the truth and its ambiguity, we have got to scrutinize facts and find out about their codes. But, yet, we can’t ignore that reality is a very intriguing place, since facts may be construed, receive variant contexts and create alternate outcomes, which, in turn, might spark new realities, over again. ("Imbroglio" )
Erik Pevernagie
Are you really a reporter?” asked Brown.
“You already asked me that. Come back to Levita, take the pardon.”
 “I doubt I’ll live long enough to get there,” said Brown bitterly.
“I hope you survive. You are a fighter. And we have the antidote for your habit on
Levita. I suggest you take a vacation. There’s nothing much that’s going to happen here.”
With that she left, leaving Brown more confused than ever.
He was a father, he had a son. And, the Levitians had a cure for his drug-addled body.
Max Nowaz (The Arbitrator)
Only someone watching him closely like Celena would have noticed his intense preoccupation, and that something in a split second had happened to him.  She wondered where he had gone when he should have been listening to the sermon, where his soul had gone went it had left his body.
Barbara Sontheimer (Victor's Blessing)
Raya knew this type of girl – they never liked her. Usually they’d make fun of her, behind her back, but loud enough for her to hear. She was too alternative, too poor and too cynical – the foster kid – to be of any interest to these social climbers.
Sara Pascoe (Being a Witch, and Other Things I Didn't Ask For)
Shame on you, Crispin. Married how long, and you haven't spanked your wife with a metal spatula yet?" I'd gotten used to Ian's assumption that everyone was as perverted as he was, so I didn't miss a beat. "We prefer blender beaters for our kitchen utensil kink," I said with a straight face. Bones hid his smile behind his hand, but Ian looked intrigued. "I haven't tried that ... oh, you're lying, aren't you?" "Ya think?" I asked with a snort. Ian gave a sigh of exaggerated patience and glanced at Bones. "Being related to her through you is a real trial.
Jeaniene Frost (Up from the Grave (Night Huntress, #7))
As Blake turned around to continue his walk back to Main Justice, he spotted one of the tourists taking his picture. “Don’t waste your film!” Blake yelled at the man. “I’m not that important!” But the $500 stuffed in the photographer’s back pocket argued otherwise.
Chad Boudreaux (Scavenger Hunt)
It was almost 3 a.m. before Connie got into bed. Sipping cocoa in the cold daylight and listening to the silence, only punctuated by the distant barking of dogs, she began to wonder what she had done. What if she had made a disastrous mistake?
Sheena Billett (From Manchester to the Arctic: Nurse Sanders embarks on an adventure that will change her life)
Nearing the Riefler's big red brick house he could see the yellow light spill out on the galerie Yvonne had insisted her German husband wrap around the house.  There was a tightening in Victor's chest.  It happened to him whenever he got close to the Riefler's house, or church on Sunday- anytime he thought he might catch a glimpse of Celena.
Barbara Sontheimer (Victor's Blessing)
He had always been so careful, never revealed his true identity. But somehow, they’d fingered him, and his life had changed forever—for the worst. He couldn’t help but think that some­one in the Central Intelligence Agency had turned on him. One of his own.
Chad Boudreaux (Scavenger Hunt)
It does little good to regret a choice. So often people say, “If only I had known,” implying they would’ve acted differently in a given situation. It is true that desires of the moment can blind one’s sight of the future. Revenge is not as sweet as the adage claims. Yet who could pass a chance to taste it? And if the chance were allowed to slip by, would the fool regret his lack of action? 
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
It was the fundamental bifurcation of the masses of human meat into two starkly opposite classes: the haves and the have-nots. The have-nots had barely anything. The haves had it all. The haves had everything except concern and compassion for the have-nots, who they regarded as little more than cockroaches.
John Rachel (Love Connection: Romance in the Land of the Rising Sun)
The regular choreography, entrances and exits of blooms in stages such that the garden looked like an ever-evolving carousel of swirling rainbows and radiant butterflies, seemed condensed. All of the flowers still obeyed some silent urgent command to make their debut. But this year, it definitely unfolded more quickly, as if racing to meet a new compelling deadline.
John Rachel (Love Connection: Romance in the Land of the Rising Sun)
The minute the door was opened, she wished she had made some excuse not to see them.  Victor was sitting by the bed, and the tender expression on his face as he looked down at his wife and latest child, made something violent and jealous jump in Penelope's heart.  She could have murdered Ethan for shutting the door loudly behind them, interrupting their intimacy.
Barbara Sontheimer (Victor's Blessing)
George’s utterance of the nest and the trap belonged to a bigger mystery she did not yet understand. One day I will, she promised herself. She would stake her life that those last words from her son would be solved by her. They were steppingstones into… whatever the wind and the stars and the valiant trees held for her.
Susan Rowland (Murder On Family Grounds: A Mary Wandwalker Mystery)
Wait, Korban, are you vexed?" "That woman, she confounds, and insults me." "Women can perplex as easily as changing a cloak." "The princess is delicate, not like our women." "Yes, she is very delicate, pretty like a sweet flower." "Well, I care not for her. I will think no more about her, ever.
Dennis K. Hausker (Primitives of Kar)
Silently she stared at the splintered pieces and felt the flame in her soul gutter.  The flame she had nurtured since she was a child. The flame that had in it what little sparks of happiness she had ever known as well as all her hopes and dreams for the future.  She had tended it so carefully and for so long, and in one, horrendous, agonizing second, felt it simply... go out.
Barbara Sontheimer (Victor's Blessing)
In all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these: 1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor’d with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable. 2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman. 3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much Inconvenience. 4. Because thro’ more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin’d to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes. 5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement. 6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy. 7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy. 8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!
Benjamin Franklin
Barack intrigued me. He was not like anyone I’d dated before, mainly because he seemed so secure. He was openly affectionate. He told me I was beautiful. He made me feel good. To me, he was sort of like a unicorn—unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal. He never talked about material things, like buying a house or a car or even new shoes. His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind. He read late into the night, often long after I’d fallen asleep, plowing through history and biographies and Toni Morrison, too. He read several newspapers daily, cover to cover. He kept tabs on the latest book reviews, the American League standings, and what the South Side aldermen were up to. He could speak with equal passion about the Polish elections and which movies Roger Ebert had panned and why.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
I want to propose a toast!" Taking a spoon he noisily tapped it against the crystal glass.  "Everyone!" He thundered, the large amount of whiskey he had consumed making him reckless.  "To Victor,  Ste. Genevieve's own inventor and my best friend, all the happiness in the world!"  The happy crowd shouted their approval.  "And to the ever, ever fair beauty Celena..." His voice cracking under the strain, and he wondered if he should stop now, before he embarrassed himself, before he made some horrible declaration.
Barbara Sontheimer (Victor's Blessing)
That’s it. Let’s go.” “Yep,” whispered Suley. He turned to leave. “This is crazy.” He had his phone in his hand. “Look, we’re still in Rowland Forest. What’s this fence doing here? How come it’s not marked?” “We’ll tell your father about it.” Saskia pulled at his arm, looking anxiously around and up. To her horror, she saw a surveillance camera mounted on an overhead tree branch. It pointed straight at them. “Merde! Suley, we’ve got to go!” she hissed, pointing to the camera. His eyes widened. Distant shouts and an engine roaring to life exploded the forest calm. Suley and Saskia bolted back the way they’d come.
Miriam Verbeek (The Forest: A new Saskia van Essen crime mystery thriller (Saskia van Essen mysteries))
I am a book. Sheaves pressed from the pulp of oaks and pines a natural sawdust made dingy from purses, dusty from shelves. Steamy and anxious, abused and misused, kissed and cried over, smeared, yellowed, and torn, loved, hated, scorned. I am a book. I am a book that remembers, days when I stood proud in good company When the children came, I leapt into their arms, when the women came, they cradled me against their soft breasts, when the men came, they held me like a lover, and I smelled the sweet smell of cigars and brandy as we sat together in leather chairs, next to pool tables, on porch swings, in rocking chairs, my words hanging in the air like bright gems, dangling, then forgotten, I crumbled, dust to dust. I am a tale of woe and secrets, a book brand-new, sprung from the loins of ancient fathers clothed in tweed, born of mothers in lands of heather and coal soot. A family too close to see the blood on its hands, too dear to suffering, to poison, to cold steel and revenge, deaf to the screams of mortal wounding, amused at decay and torment, a family bred in the dankest swamp of human desires. I am a tale of woe and secrets, I am a mystery. I am intrigue, anxiety, fear, I tangle in the night with madmen, spend my days cloaked in black, hiding from myself, from dark angels, from the evil that lurks within and the evil we cannot lurk without. I am words of adventure, of faraway places where no one knows my tongue, of curious cultures in small, back alleys, mean streets, the crumbling house in each of us. I am primordial fear, the great unknown, I am life everlasting. I touch you and you shiver, I blow in your ear and you follow me, down foggy lanes, into places you've never seen, to see things no one should see, to be someone you could only hope to be. I ride the winds of imagination on a black-and-white horse, to find the truth inside of me, to cure the ills inside of you, to take one passenger at a time over that tall mountain, across that lonely plain to a place you've never been where the world stops for just one minute and everything is right. I am a mystery. -Rides a Black and White Horse
Lise McClendon
You are the last Five left in the competition, yes? Do you think that hurts your chances of becoming the princess?" The word sprang from my lips without thought. "No!" "Oh, my! You do have a spirit there!" Gavril seemed pleased to have gotten such an enthusiastic response. "So you think you'll beat out all the others, then? Make it to the end?" I thought better of myself. "No, no. It's not like that. I don't think I'm better than any of the other girls; they're all amazing. It's just...I don't think Maxon would do that, just discount someone because of their caste." I heard a collective gasp. I ran over the sentence in my head. It took me a minute to catch my mistake: I'd called him Maxon. Saying that to another girl behind closed doors was one thing, but to say his name without the word "Prince" in front of it was incredibly informal in public. And I'd said it on live television. I looked to see if Maxon was angry. He had a calm smile on his face. So he wasn't mad...but I was embarrassed. I blushed fiercely. "Ah, so it seems you really have gotten to know our prince. Tell me, what do you think of Maxon?" I ahd thought of several answers while I was waiting for my turn. I was going to make fun of his laugh or talk about the pet name he wanted his wife to call him. It seemed like the only way to save the situation was to get back the comedy. But as I lifted my eyes to make one of my comments, I saw Maxon's face. He really wanted to know. And I couldn't poke fun at him, not when I had a chance to say what I'd really started to think now that he was my friend. I couldn't joke about the person who'd saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that I was hurt if I asked for him. A month ago, I had looked at the TV and seen a stiff, distant, boring person-someone I couldn't imagine anyone loving. And while he wasn't anything close to the person I did love, he was worthy of having someone to love in his life. "Maxon Schreave is the epitome of all things good. He is going to be a phenomenal king. He lets girls who are supposed to be wearing dresses wear jeans and doesn't get mad when someone who doesn't know him clearly mislabels him." I gave Gavril a keen look, and he smiled. And behind him, Maxon looked intrigued. "Whoever he marries will be a lucky girl. And whatever happens to me, I will be honored to be his subject." I saw Maxon swallow, and I lowered my eyes. "America Singer, thank you so much." Gavril went to shake my hand. "Up next is Miss Tallulah Bell." I didn't hear what any of the girls said after me, though I stared at the two seats. That interview had become way more personal than I'd intended it to be. I couldn't bring myself to look at Maxon. Instead I sat there replaying my words again and again in my head.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Snake Street is an area I should avoid. Yet that night I was drawn there as surely as if I had an appointment.  The Snake House is shabby on the outside to hide the wealth within. Everyone knows of the wealth, but facades, like the park’s wall, must be maintained. A lantern hung from the porch eaves. A sign, written in Utte, read ‘Kinship of the Serpent’. I stared at that sign, at that porch, at the door with its twisted handle, and wondered what the people inside would do if I entered. Would they remember me? Greet me as Kin? Or drive me out and curse me for faking my death?  Worse, would they expect me to redon the life I’ve shed? Staring at that sign, I pissed in the street like the Mearan savage I’ve become. As I started to leave, I saw a woman sitting in the gutter. Her lamp attracted me. A memsa’s lamp, three tiny flames to signify the Holy Trinity of Faith, Purity, and Knowledge.  The woman wasn’t a memsa. Her young face was bruised and a gash on her throat had bloodied her clothing. Had she not been calmly assessing me, I would have believed the wound to be mortal. I offered her a copper.  She refused, “I take naught for naught,” and began to remove trinkets from a cloth bag, displaying them for sale. Her Utte accent had been enough to earn my coin. But to assuage her pride I commented on each of her worthless treasures, fighting the urge to speak Utte. (I spoke Universal with the accent of an upper class Mearan though I wondered if she had seen me wetting the cobblestones like a shameless commoner.) After she had arranged her wares, she looked up at me. “What do you desire, O Noble Born?” I laughed, certain now that she had seen my act in front of the Snake House and, letting my accent match the coarseness of my dress, I again offered the copper.  “Nay, Noble One. You must choose.” She lifted a strand of red beads. “These to adorn your lady’s bosom?”             I shook my head. I wanted her lamp. But to steal the light from this woman ... I couldn’t ask for it. She reached into her bag once more and withdrew a book, leather-bound, the pages gilded on the edges. “Be this worthy of desire, Noble Born?”  I stood stunned a moment, then touched the crescent stamped into the leather and asked if she’d stolen the book. She denied it. I’ve had the Training; she spoke truth. Yet how could she have come by a book bearing the Royal Seal of the Haesyl Line? I opened it. The pages were blank. “Take it,” she urged. “Record your deeds for study. Lo, the steps of your life mark the journey of your soul.”   I told her I couldn’t afford the book, but she smiled as if poverty were a blessing and said, “The price be one copper. Tis a wee price for salvation, Noble One.”   So I bought this journal. I hide it under my mattress. When I lie awake at night, I feel the journal beneath my back and think of the woman who sold it to me. Damn her. She plagues my soul. I promised to return the next night, but I didn’t. I promised to record my deeds. But I can’t. The price is too high.
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)