#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed. Here’s the Answer to Today’s Quiz!

Time to close this week’s quiz, and I wish I could say we have five winners. Alas, no one got this one, and that truly surprises me. This book is immensely popular, and has 7,949 reviews for a 4.6 average! Add a killer first line, and the fact that it was published relatively recently (2008) and I thought more people would recognize it. Especially with a clue like the Waystone Inn to jog the memory.

When you read this review, and see the accolades the book garnered from the biggest names in fantasy writing, you might wonder why you haven’t already read it. I’ve had it on my Kindle for at least two years, so I’m no one to point fingers. And I DO plan to read it very soon. I think it just got bumped to the top of my list, because how could so many people be wrong?

So, without further ado, here’s the answer to this week’s #FirstLineFriday:

“It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.” is the amazing first line of The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle Book 1, a fabulously popular fantasy by Patrick Rothfuss. 

You can buy The Name of the Wind HERE

BLURB and Testimonial Reviews



My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.  

Praise for The Kingkiller Chronicle:

“The best epic fantasy I read last year…. He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.”
George R. R. MartinNew York Times-bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire

“Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous.”
Terry BrooksNew York Times-bestselling author of Shannara

“It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing…with true music in the words.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, award-winning author of Earthsea

“The characters are real and the magic is true.”
Robin HobbNew York Times-bestselling author of Assassin’s Apprentice

“Masterful…. There is a beauty to Pat’s writing that defies description.”
Brandon SandersonNew York Times-bestselling author of Mistborn

Thanks for playing today, and I’m really sorry we didn’t have any winners, but I hope you all enjoyed reading another wonderful first line, and that it might help you when working on your own. Plus, if you enjoy fantasy at all, I suspect this one is a must-read. Check it out, and see what you think. I mean, could Martin, Brooks, Le Guin, Hobb, and Sanderson all be wrong? Doubtful! 😀

See you next week, and hope it’s YOUR turn to recognize that fabulous first line! 🙂

#FirstLineFriday – #GiveawayContest – #FreeEBook Downloads

It’s that time again, folks, so grab your thinking caps! Our #FirstLineFriday quiz is here, again. This time around, I’m not going to make a single prediction (out loud) about whether this will prove to be an easy one, or very, very difficult. I’ll just judge by how fast the correct answers arrive in my Inbox.

As always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at noon, with the title and author of the correct book. 
  2. Do not reply here on the blog. Email only: marciameara16@gmail.com
  3. Honor System applies. No Googling, please.
  4. Submissions end at noon, or when I receive 5 correct answers, whichever comes first.
  5. Winners who live in the U.S. may request a free download of any one of my books for themselves, or for someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of the offered books, they may request a free download of my next publication.
  6. Winners who live elsewhere may request a PDF or Mobi file of the same books, since Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

Now, without further ado, here is your #FirstLineFriday quiz of the week:

“It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”

I’ll be on the alert for your emailed guesses. Good luck, everybody! 


Book Review Tuesday: That Darkest Place by @MarciaMeara #bookishtuesday

It’s a great day, indeed, when you wake up to Mae Clair sharing a 5-star review of one of your books! I hope you’ll read what she has to say about my 3rd Riverbend book, That Darkest Place. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I didn’t get any marketing done on this one, and a review like this really does my heart good. I hope you’ll share it far and wide, thanks. And my heartfelt thanks to Mae, too! This made my day, my week, and probably the rest of my month, as well! 😀

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Welcome to Book Review Tuesday. Today, I’m thrilled to share another five star read. I’d like to clarify that I never publicly review a book unless I’m able to provide a minimum of three stars—which I consider an average read. That’s why you mostly see four and five star reviews on my blog with the occasional three star. Today’s book definitely earns five sparkly stars.

Book cover for Taht Darkest Place by Marcia Meara shows image of man with head bowed in his hand, shattered glass superimposed in backgroundThat Darkest Place
by Marcia Meara

The third book of the Riverbend series focuses primarily on Painter brothers, Jackson and Forrest, though youngest brother Hunter, is still a strong presence in his unique and quiet way. I fell in love with his character in book two.

At the end of Finding Hunter, Jackson was behaving horribly—lashing out at those around him, physically and verbally abusive. He ended up in a car accident believed to be the result of drunk driving. In That Darkest Place

View original post 226 more words

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie

This afternoon, our guest is Jessica Norrie, who is sharing a great review of her book, The Magic Carpet. Hope you enjoy checking this out as much as I did, and will remember to share it all over your social media. Thanks!

REVIEW: (from Amazon.uk)
5.0 out of 5 stars A magic carpet ride!
24 August 2019
Verified Purchase

This heart-warming tale of separate lives, cultures and ultimately families is seamlessly woven together and leads the reader on a magic carpet ride through their lives. As a teacher and parent myself I can see the strains such a homework task can put on a family but what a joy it was to see how it brought the community together. I may even use this idea myself! A page-turner from the start, I couldn’t wait to see how the story and families developed and now have my own little scenarios for how their lives continue. A must-read for anyone with a young family, or with an interest in schools and diverse communities.


Outer London, September 2016, and neighbouring eight-year-olds have homework: prepare a traditional story to perform with their families at a school festival. But Nathan’s father thinks his son would be better off doing sums; Sky’s mother’s enthusiasm is as fleeting as her bank balance, and there’s a threatening shadow hanging over poor Alka’s family. Only Mandeep’s fragile grandmother and new girl Xoriyo really understand the magical powers of storytelling. As national events and individual challenges jostle for the adults’ attention, can these two bring everyone together to ensure the show will go on?

BUY The Magic Carpet HERE

Author Jessica Norrie

Jessica Norrie was born in London and studied French Literature and Education at Sussex and Sheffield. She taught English, French and Spanish abroad and in the UK in settings ranging from nursery to university. She has two adult children and divides her time between London and Malvern, Worcestershire.

She has also worked as a freelance translator, published occasional journalism and a French textbook, and blogs at Jessica Norrie .

Jessica sings soprano with any choir that will have her, and has been trying to master the piano since childhood but it’s not her forte.

She left teaching in 2016. The Infinity Pool was her first novel, drawing on encounters while travelling. Her second novel The Magic Carpet is inspired by working with families and their children. The third is bubbling away nicely and should emerge from her cauldron next year.

Buy links:
The Magic Carpet | The Infinity Pool | The Infinity Pool in German

Social Media links
|Facebook | Blog | Twitter

#ShareAReviewDay – The Heart of Applebutter Hill by Donna W. Hill

This morning, I’d like to welcome Donna W. Hill back to The Write Stuff. Donna is sharing another review of her book, The Heart of Applebutter Hill. I know you’ll enjoy reading this one, and will pass it along on your favorite social media sites. Thanks so much!


5.0 out of 5 stars
A wonderful combination of fantasy and reality
August 10, 2014
Wanda Fischer

In an age of confusion about refugees, bullies, standardized education, and what to do about people who can buy their way into anything in the world, “The Heart of Applebutter Hill” takes on all of these–and more–through the sensitive viewpoint of a 14-year-old blind girl who must confront not only these obstacles but also the day-to-day issues of adolescence. Being blind physically is not what holds Abigail Jones back; the virtual blindness of those around her–especially the adults–is an even bigger challenge. With the help of her wonderful guide dog, Curly Connor, and her best friend, she is able to take charge of more than one uber-difficult situation.

The author weaves a tale that is part Harry Potter, part Nancy Drew, part Dr. Who, and yet, completely original, because her heroine has to overcome a disability that the people in the world around her view as paralyzing. The reader, however, knows that Abigail is stronger and has better vision than those whose eyes have not physically failed them. She treats everyone she meets equally–until that person earns her distrust or disdain. And yet, she is also able to forgive those who would do her harm.

I was impressed with the way in which this writer was able to create new worlds, new ways in which the characters interact with each other and their pro- and antagonists, creative ways in which to solve problems, and ways in which to show how cruel people can be to others who are different and who may not “fit in.” The combination of fantasy and reality is just right. I think this is a book that would be excellent for sixth- or seventh-grade readers. The vocabulary is advanced enough not to patronize that age group, and teachers would also find that their students in that age group could learn new words–and maybe even some lessons about how to treat one another.


Imagine you’re 14 and in a strange country with your camera, your best friend, her guitar and her dog. You uncover a secret and are instantly in danger. Join Baggy, Abigail and Curly Connor as they explore Elfin Pond, sneak around Bar Gundoom Castle and row across an underground lake. The powerful Heartstone of Arden-Goth is hidden nearby, and corporate giants unleash a spy to seize it. Compelled to unmask the spy and find the Heartstone, they can’t trust anyone.

As summer heats up, their troubled friend Christopher is viciously bullied and an armed stranger terrorizes Abigail and Baggy. The friends disagree about the spy’s identity, but are convinced it’s a teacher. When a desperate Christopher shows up one night with a terrified cat, the truth is revealed. Soon, police are involved.

Author Donna W. Hill

Donna Hill has spent much of her life working with blind people, especially young people, trying to help them live fulfilling lives. This book is her effort, through fiction, to convey the heart of the matter and to create expectations that are as high for the blind as they are for the general population. She is saving proceeds from the sale of print and electronic versions of The Heart of Applebutter Hill to create a hard copy Braille version.

Purchase The Heart of Applebutter Hill Here:

Print Amazon
Smashwords (Multiple -book versions including .pdf, .mobi (Kindle) & .epub (Nook, Apple, Sony, Blio, Kobo, etc.)  
Nook Book  
Apple iTunes

*The Heart of Applebutter Hill, a high school mystery with excursions into fantasy, is also available in accessible formats for readers with print impairments through Bookshare and Learning Ally.

Connect with Donna:
Website & Blog | Facebook mobil | FaceBook.com | Twitter | LinkedIn | Goodreads


I Did It! #PublisherRocket

Welp, I got enough feedback and read enough reviews to convince me it was worth a $97 one-time purchase price, so I downloaded Publisher Rocket this morning. So far,  it looks pretty straight-forward to use, and I really do think it’s going to help me find exactly the niche categories I want my books in, and the best keywords to use in the Amazon descriptions. 

This is something I have NOT been able to figure out on my own, and I’m tired of stumbling around. I’m going to consider this a reasonable marketing expense, since the cost is comparable (or in some cases, lower than) many of the advertising options out there and,  unlike short-term promos, etc, I believe it will be beneficial for the long run. Not going to give up on sales and other promos, either, but I also want something working for me 24/7, and I think the proper listing on Amazon is a big deal.

I plan to update ALL my books using Publisher Rocket, and to use this tool right from the get-go with new ones.There are a lot of instructional videos offered,  so that’s where I’ll start.  Will keep you up to date on what I discover as I get more familiar with the program! Wish me luck!! 🙂

Publisher Rocket

Week In Review

Joan Hall’s Week in Review post is a great one today, filled with super links, and oh, yeah, some cool cats, too. Check it out, and then pass it along, if you would. Thanks, and thanks to Joan for passing these links along to us! 🙂

Joan Hall

Hey, everyone. Once again, Friday is upon us. Am I the only one who always looks forward to weekends? Come to think of it, wouldn’t it be nice to have two-day workweeks and five-day weekends? Alas, that isn’t the case.

Okay, I promised myself this week’s photo would be a little more upbeat than the one I shared last Friday. What could be better than sharing one of my fur babies?

This is our cats, Little Bit and Tucker.  Little Bit is a Black Manx who found us. At the time, we already had two cats and didn’t intend on getting another. But after he nearly lost one of his nine lives in the mouth of our dog, Maggie, and a $600.00 emergency vet bill, Little Bit became a permanent member of the Hall household.

Tucker is on the right. We’ve got him almost six years ago when our other…

View original post 361 more words

#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz, and the Names of Our Winners!

Well, you guys fooled me again. I thought sure this one was a dead giveaway, because of the name Manderley. But I apparently thought wrong. However, we do have THREE winners today, yay! Please help me congratulate Darlene Foster, Olga Nunez, and Trish Power. *claps hands for our winners*

So happy some of you got this one, since this is the opening line of my favorite book of all time.  Here’s the answer you’ve all been trying to remember:

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” is the very famous first line of Daphne du Maurier’s noir-ish romance, Rebecca.

I first read this book when I was twelve, and have read it many times over the years, loving it just as much each time, though social customs have certainly changed since it was published in 1938. The book has never been out of print, and in 1940, was made into a wonderfully dark, and equally excellent  movie by Alfred Hitchcock. It starred Joan Fontaine, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Dame Judith Anderson, and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture and Best Cinematography. It is well worth watching if you love brooding, dark, moody stories that  pack a punch.

On a completely different note, my daughter’s middle name is Rebecca, in honor of this book. When she finally read it, Erin was horrified to discover Rebecca is a pretty selfish, wicked woman. I assured her it was the book I was honoring, not the character, and told her the actual heroine of the book remains unnamed throughout, so I’d had no choice. 😀

Rebecca won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century!

I highly recommend you buy Rebecca!
You can do so


A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.”

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

This special edition of Rebecca includes excerpts from Daphne du Maurier’s The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories, an essay on the real Manderley, du Maurier’s original epilogue to the book, and more.

Yes, I know this is an oldie, but it is SUCH a wonderful book and movie, and has made so many classic lists, including almost every Best Opening Line list, that I thought it was worth sharing.  Those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of reading any of du Maurier’s fabulous books (Frenchman’s Creek, My Cousin Rachel, The Scapegoat, her short story The Birds, House on the Strand, and others) really should check her out. If you love descriptive writing that puts you in the scene,  you’ll find she’s fantastic. And she does love a wicked twist at the end of her stories, too, which is why Hitchcock starting filming them.

And there you have it for this week. Thanks for playing, everyone! Check in at 8:00am next Friday, 9/20, and see what new famous first line I’ve got for you. Set your alarms, and I’ll see you then!


#FirstLineFriday – #GiveawayContest – #FreeBooks

After taking a slight break for a hurricane,  we’re back with another #FirstLineFriday quiz. I really do believe this one will be the easiest one to date, so get your answers in quickly in order to win!

The rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at noon, with the title and author of the correct book. 
  2. Do not reply here on the blog. Email only: marciameara16@gmail.com
  3. Honor System applies. No Googling, please.
  4. Submissions end at noon, or when I receive 5 correct answers, whichever comes first.
  5. Winners who live in the U.S. may request a free download of any one of my books for themselves, or for someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of the offered books, they may request a free download of my next publication.
  6. Winners who live elsewhere may request a PDF or Mobi file of the same books.

Now, without further ado, here is your #FirstLineFriday quiz of the week:

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

Good luck, everybody! 

Make a Book Trailer with PowerPoint

If you guys are like me, you’ve often wanted to make a book video, but had no idea where to start or what you might need. This great post from D. Wallace Peach shows what you can do with Powerpoint, a program many of us are already familiar with. I’m eager to give this a try, and I suspect after you’ve read the post–and SEEN the beautiful video Diana created–you’ll want to try it, too. Check it out, and be sure to pass it along on your social media, thanks. And thank you, Diana, for such a helpful and informative post! 🙂 ❤

Myths of the Mirror

I’m a cheapskate.

I’m also technologically impaired.

So when it came to making a book trailer for Sunwielder’s audiobook pre-release hype, I resorted to the old familiar standby from my years of selling office furniture – MS PowerPoint. The program’s been updated over the past 2 decades, but I still figured it out with some trial and error. And error. And a little more error.

The main thing I learned is regarding sequence:

1. Start with your text: Keep it pithy. I used my book blurb and pared it down to its bare essentials. That gave me about fifteen slides to populate with images.

2. Then add images: I took advantage of Pixabay’s royalty-free, attribution-free images for this one, frequently mashing them together to create a scene. Remember to check copyright details for the images you decide to use.

3. Add transitions: Don’t get too zany, but have fun. Timing…

View original post 99 more words