First Lines Friday: April 22, 2022

Hello beautiful people! It’s Friday! Huzzah! That means the weekend is upon us. We just have to get through whatever today brings then we are free! To do what, that is entirely up to you. Me, I’m going to hang with some cool people and maybe read a book.

And seeing as how it’s Friday, it’s First Lines Friday!

First Lines Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words, or, as her blog is going by now, Emma IRL. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s book came out five years ago, is the first in a series, and was picked by one of my book clubs as their pick for May!

The Lines:

Ragnvald danced on the oars, leaping from one to the next as the crew rowed. Some kept their oars just to make it easier on him; some tried to jostle Ragnvald off when he landed on them.

Intrigued?

The Book:

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

Ragnvald Eysteinsson, the son and grandson of kings, grew up believing that he would one day take his dead father’s place as chief of his family’s lands. But, sailing home from a raiding trip to Ireland, the young warrior is betrayed and left for dead by men in the pay of his greedy stepfather, Olaf. Rescued by a fisherman, Ragnvald is determined to have revenge for his stepfather’s betrayal, claim his birthright and the woman he loves, and rescue his beloved sister Svanhild. Opportunity may lie with Harald of Vestfold, the strong young Norse warrior rumored to be the prophesied king. Ragnvald pledges his sword to King Harald, a choice that will hold enormous consequences in the years to come.

While Ragnvald’s duty is to fight—and even die—for his honor, Svanhild must make an advantageous marriage, though her adventurous spirit yearns to see the world. Her stepfather, Olaf, has arranged a husband for her—a hard old man she neither loves nor desires. When the chance to escape Olaf’s cruelty comes at the hands of her brother’s arch-rival, the shrewd young woman is forced to make a heartbreaking choice: family or freedom.

First Line Friday: April 15, 2022

Hello beautiful people! What a fine Friday it’s turning out to be. I say that, having just woken up and not had any tea yet. But at least the Hubs and I are both off of work and get to spend some quality time together today! Huzzah for Friday!

And since it’s Friday, It’s First Lines Friday!

First Lines Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words, or, as her blog is going by now, Emma IRL. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s book just came out this year and I have high hopes for it.

The Lines:

She gives birth in mud and mire. She squats and strains under the fog-shrowded bower of a gnarled cottongum.

Intrigued?

The Book:

The Starless Crown by James Rollins

A gifted student foretells an apocalypse. Her reward is a sentence of death.

Fleeing into the unknown she is drawn into a team of outcasts:

A broken soldier, who once again takes up the weapons he’s forbidden to wield and carves a trail back home.

A drunken prince, who steps out from his beloved brother’s shadow and claims a purpose of his own.

An imprisoned thief, who escapes the crushing dark and discovers a gleaming artifact – one that will ignite a power struggle across the globe.

On the run, hunted by enemies old and new, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive in a world evolved in strange, beautiful, and deadly ways, and uncover ancient secrets that hold the key to their salvation.

But with each passing moment, doom draws closer.

WHO WILL CLAIM THE STARLESS CROWN?

Sounds good, doesn’t it? What do you think? Would you pick up this book?

First Lines Friday: April 1, 2022

Well hello, beautiful people! Sorry for my absence this week. Life has been a little bit crazy. I picked up some extra hours at work and took some unexpected naps. Also, my cat was sick, so that was fun. Unfortunately, she’s not 100% better and will have to be on medication for the rest of her life, but as long as she is happy, it’s worth it.

But it does happen to be First Lines Friday!

First Lines Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words, or, as her blog is going by now, Emma IRL. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s book is one I’m really excited about and another recent addition to my TBR.

The Lines:

In the dim light of her desk’s single bulb lamp, the map nearly glowed. Fra Mauro, it was called.

Intrigued?

The Book:

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.

But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence . . . because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.

But why?

To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps . . .

This one was a Book of the Month pick, and I was happy to see it as one of the selections!

What say you? Does it tickle your fancy, so to speak?

First Lines Friday: March 25, 2022

Well hello, beautiful people! How is everyone doing today? Me, I’ve been trying to deal with this crazy weather. It was in the 40s at one point this week, and now it is supposed to be 82 tomorrow. I suffer from migraines, and this nonsense is mostly why.

But on to happier things! It’s First Lines Friday!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words, or, as her blog is going by now, Emma IRL. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s book is one I just recently added to my TBR. Like, this week. It’s also a new release!

The Lines:

Kareena tore the eye mask off her forehead and straightened her Taylor Swift sleep shirt. She had secured her dream job at a company that developed women-owned businesses in the tri-state area before her thirtieth birthday. But of course, one text from a client and her boss energy dissipated like mist.

Intrigued?

The Book:

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma

Hi! I’m Kareena Mann. As cheesy as it sounds, I’m looking for my soulmate. In four months. And he must gain the approval of my meddling aunties.

Kareena dreams of having a perfect love story like her parents did. That’s why on the morning of her thirtieth birthday, she’s decided to suit up and enter the dating arena. When her widowed father announces he’s retiring and selling their home after her sister’s engagement party, Kareena makes a deal with him. If she can find her soulmate by the date of the party, he’ll gift her the house, and she’ll be able to keep her mother’s legacy alive.

Hi, I’m Dr. Prem Verma, host of the Dr. Dil Show. Prem means love, Dil means heart, and I’m a cardiologist. Don’t let my name fool you. I only fix broken hearts in the literal sense.

Prem doesn’t have time for romance, which is why it’s no surprise when his first meeting with Kareena goes awry. Their second encounter is worse when their on-air debate about love goes viral. Now Prem’s largest community center donor is backing out because Prem’s reputation as a heart-health expert is at risk. To get back in his donor’s good graces, he needs to fix his image fast, and dating Kareena is his only option.

Even though they have warring interests, the more time Prem spends with Kareena, the more he thinks she’s might actually be the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. In this Taming of the Shrew re-imagination, for Prem and Kareena to find their happily ever after, they must admit that hate has turned into fate.

Now, I’ve never read The Taming of the Shrew, but given that I love every adaptation I have seen (Ten Things I Hate About You anyone?), I probably should. Also, this book just came out this month, March 15th to be precise.

What do you think, would you give this book a try?

First Lines Friday: March 18, 2022

Well hello, beautiful people! I am currently in the midst of trying to talk myself both into and out of reorganizing my library. It’s been a very interesting time listening to my internal monologue. It basically goes “the Brandon Sanderson books are going to need more space!” and “you don’t have to worry about Sanderson until next year, reorganize then”. I’m sure the Hubs would be of help…if I had talked to him about this.

I never claimed to make sense.

But it is Friday, so its time for me to put the debate to the side for now, and concentrate on First Lines Friday! First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words, or, as her blog is going by now, Emma IRL. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s book is one that has been on my TBR for years…and years. And it’s the first book in a series.

The Line:

It started at one-thirty on a cold Thursday morning in January when Michael Turner, Street performer and, in his own words, apprentice gigolo, tripped over a body in front of the West Portico of St. Paul’s at Covent Garden.

Intrigued?

The Book:

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

This book was originally published in America under the name Midnight Riot, they have since fixed this egregious error.

I bought this book back in 2014 and for some reason just never picked it up. No idea why. Could be because it’s an ebook, and those are harder to keep track of. Heck, I may have even tried to read it at some point, but I don’t remember. That, by the way, is very unlikely, as I remember almost all of the books I read. Can’t always remember their names, but I remember them!

Have you read Rivers of London? What did you think?

First Lines Friday: March 11,2022

Happy Friday y’all! It’s quite the Friday here in Texas. The weather has lost its mind. It was 65 degrees here yesterday and today the low is 24 degrees with a chance of sleet. What is happening?

But let’s not dwell on that unpleasantness. It’s First Lines Friday!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words, or, as her blog is going by now, Emma IRL. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The Lines:

I will tell you a story.

Seven years ago, when I was ten, I became lost in the woods. My sisters and I had been traveling the road that skims the coast like a stone from Dintagel. I loved our summer home-a spume-silvered rock of houses and workshops, its docks piled high with amphorae.

Intrigued?

The Book:

Sistersong by Lucy Holland

In the kingdom of Dumnonia, there is old magic to be found in the whisper of the wind, the roots of the trees, and the curl of the grass. King Cador knew this once, but now the land has turned from him, calling instead to his three children. Riva can cure others, but can’t seem to heal her own deep scars. Keyne battles to be accepted for who he truly is—the king’s son. And Sinne dreams of seeing the world, of finding adventure.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold, their people’s last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. However, change comes on the day ash falls from the sky. It brings with it Myrdhin, meddler and magician. And Tristan, a warrior who is not what he seems.

Riva, Keyne and Sinne—three siblings entangled in a web of betrayal and heartbreak, who must fight to forge their own paths. 

Their story will shape the destiny of Britain.

This book sounds like it will enchant me from the first word. I’m thinking of adding it to one of my TBRs later this year! What do you think?

First Lines Friday: March 4, 2022

Hello beautiful people! I sat down to type this post up last night and almost fell asleep at the computer. It was nine o’clock. I’m usually up until, at the very least, eleven. It was a crazy, but awesome, day yesterday.

But enough about yesterday. Today is First Lines Friday! First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words, or, as her blog is going by now, Emma IRL. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The Lines:

The pig was young and wary, a yearling boar timidly testing the wind for strange sents as it ventured out into the honey-colored light of the fast-fading day. Bran ap Bryanchan, Prince of the Elfael, had spent the entire day stalking the greenwood for a suitable prize, and he meant to have this one.

Intrigued?

The Book:

Hood by Stephen Lawhead

For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting.

Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne of Elfael, has abandoned his father’s kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in a primeval forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him–for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets, and Bran must find a way to make it his own if he is to survive.

I’m not going to lie, the tale of Robin Hood has enchanted me since I was little, after having seen Disney’s Robin Hood. I mean, who doesn’t love the tale of Robin Hood narrated by a singing rooster?

Love that guy.

Which version of Robin Hood is your favorite?

First Lines Friday: February 25, 2022

Well hello, beautiful people! How are you doing today? It’s a tough time in the world right now, so make sure you are taking care of yourself. Turn off the news if it gets to be too much. Read something light-hearted and fun, or an old favorite. You know, something you already know the outcome for so it’s not as stressful a read. And don’t forget to drink lots of water and take your meds.

It’s First Lines Friday today. First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s lines are from a book I’m hoping to get to before the month is out. So I had better get to it soon, shouldn’t I!

The Lines:

On vacation, you can be anyone you want.

Like a good book or an incredible outfit, being on vacation transports you into another version of yourself.

Intrigued?

The Book:

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
 
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
 
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
 
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

A friend of mine had a good time reading this one, so I picked it up. I haven’t read Beach Read, so I have no idea what to expect from the author. Here is hoping I’ll be able to get to it before the end of the month so I can complete my TBR this month! I’m so close!

First Lines Friday: February 18, 2022

Well hello beautiful people! We’ve made it to the end of the week! And I saw Moonfall. It’s a disaster movie about the moon falling to Earth. I called every single thing that happened in that film, it was terrible, and I loved every minute of it. I’m a sucker for disaster movies when they come from space. Not Armageddon. I didn’t really love that one.

But it’s First Lines Friday!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The Lines:

So start with the voices, then.

When did he first hear them? When he was still little? Benny was always a small boy and slow to develop, as though his cells were reluctant to multiply and take up space in the world.

Intrigued?

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house—a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
 
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world. He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
 
And he meets his very own Book—a talking thing—who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

A book about books! When I bought it, I found it in literary fiction, I think it’s more magical realism. But it sounds very interesting. It also was a total cover buy during the giant 50% hardcovers sale Barnes & Noble was having right after Christmas.

Anyone else find a magical realism book in the literary fiction section?

First Lines Friday: February 11, 2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Well hello! And how are you doing today? Me, I woke up with a migraine. I’m going to be gentle with myself today and take it easy. I don’t have as many migraines as I used to, thanks to medication, but yes, it used to be much worse. Thank you Doc!

But today’s First Lines Friday ticks a ton of boxes for me. Which is why it’s so surprising that I haven’t read it yet. Oh, let’s be honest, it’s not that much of a surprise, my TBR is huge.

The Lines:

I will die drowning; it has always been known. This was my first vision, long before I knew what it was, and I’ve had it so many time now that I know each instant by heart.

Intrigued?

The Book:

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change destiny–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

So can we take a moment to appreciate that the author put trigger warnings (suicide and mental health) in the front of the book? She also went so far as to put helpline numbers in there in case you need it! More authors need to do that!

Where do you stand on trigger warnings on books?