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

 

Submissions for #FirstLineFriday are officially closed now. My thanks to all who emailed me with their guesses. Today, I’m sorry—but maybe not surprised– to say we only have one winner. While I was hoping I’d be wrong, I had a feeling this would be a tough one, even though it’s a title sure to be familiar with most, if not all, of you. Still, I think it’s fun and interesting to study these opening lines, and I hope you enjoy this little quiz as much as I do.

Congratulations to our winner today, Jeanne Owens, who blogs HERE.

Now, without further ado, here’s the answer to today’s quiz:

“Left Munich at 8.35 pm on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6.46, but train was an hour late.” is the opening line to Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula.

While I know each of you is very familiar with the character of Dracula, whether you’ve read the original story or not, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Stoker’s book. Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. It introduced the character of Count Dracula and established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy. The novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of people led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literaturehorror fictiongothic fiction, and invasion literature. The novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film, and television interpretations, and none more famous than the 1931 Hollywood film starring Bela Lugosi.

BLURB:

The hunt is on! Dr. Van Helsing and his accomplices begin the chase to track down the infamous vampire Count Dracula before he completes his quest of moving into England and further spreading the undead disease. Even with the garlic, the crosses, and the holy water, the Count manages to entrance a fellow lady vampire hunter and bring her to the undead side. An invincible foe Dracula may appear to be, but Van Helsing and his group will stop short not even to death itself until they have conquered the most notorious villain of all time.

From Transylvania to England and then back again, this classic 19th century Gothic horror became the cornerstone for the horror genre that boomed in the century to follow.

You can download numerous versions of this famous book on Amazon, including the leather bound version HERE.

And that’s it for this week’s #FirstLineFriday. I’ll be back with another in a couple of weeks, if the bridge don’t go, an’ the creek don’t rise. 😉 Hope you’ll join us then, when the line may turn out to be one you recognize at once.

Thanks for taking a look today! See you next time!

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

Welcome once again (FINALLY!) to #FirstLineFriday, a little quiz designed to help us appreciate some of the best opening lines in literary history. From the classics of long ago to the latest best-sellers, everything is fair game.

As always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at 4:00pm EST, with the title and authorof 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 4:00 P.M. EST, 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 file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! I’m predicting this one will be a challenge, but my predictions haven’t been right yet, so who knows? Either way, here’s today’s opening line: 

“Left Munich at 8.35 pm on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6.46, but train was an hour late.” 

Remember, email answers only, please. Thanks! And now off I go to await your guesses. 

Catching Up! #News #Updates

Hi, Everybody!

Since I announced my “resignation” from Story Empire (a sad & difficult decision on my part, believe me), I thought I should give you guys a heads up on what’s going on in my life right now.

First, my health issues have taken up a lot of time lately. Not going to go into a lot of icky and mostly uninteresting details, other than to say the two biggest issues have been the recent surgery on my ear, and my suddenly out of control diabetes. On the first, I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to forgo the bandage over the open surgery site in my ear, and it is “granulating in” properly. (A term for leaving a wound open and letting it heal on its own from the bottom up.) Yeah, it will be somewhat unattractive scar, but it’s an EAR. Who cares, as long as the skin cancer is gone and hopefully, THIS TIME, for good. 

Second, my blood sugar issues are being addressed, and are gradually improving in direct correlation to my lowering stress levels. YAY! So my health was first thing I said I was going to focus on, and wanted to let you know I’m doing just that.

Also on my list was this blog. I’ve been on an extended blog break for nearly 4 weeks (in case you hadn’t noticed), but that’s coming to an end. Now that my time is a bit more flexible, I plan to bring back all my regular features, a bit at a time. I’ve already got 3 people scheduled for #GuestDayTuesday in January, and I’ll soon be ready to set up more. I’m also bringing back #FirstLineFriday, as several of you have asked me about it. Look for it soon. But next week, I’ll be returning with  #WildlifeWednesday. I had already mostly finished the next in the series before I had to take that break, so I can get that one up pretty quickly. Also returning over the weeks will be #MondayMemes (on writing related topics), #ThorsdaySmile (on whatever funnies I find that I’d like to share), #ExcerptWeek, and a couple of new features that I’ll try to run a couple of times a month. 

Bottom line is, I hope you’ll bear with me as The Write Stuff slowly but steadily comes back to life again. You know, I’ve been blogging nearly 20 years (since before they were actually called “blogs!”) and that’s the first break I ever had to take. But I’m glad I did. It let me take time to figure out what I wanted to do going forward, and now I’m ready and eager to begin the process.

Again, look for #WildlifeWednesday to return next Wednesday, 12/23, if all goes well. In the meantime, in honor of #ThorsdaySmile, here’s a meme or two for your viewing pleasure. (My thanks to all who share these funnies on a regular basis!)

Enjoy, and stay tuned: More Good Stuff Coming Soon!

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

Submissions for #FirstLineFriday#2 are officially closed now. My thanks to all who stopped by to see if this one rang a bell. I’m sorry—but maybe not surprised– to say we have no winners, though. While I was hoping I’d be wrong, I was also thinking this would be a tough one, even though it made an official Top 100 Opening Lines list. This is one of my favorite reads of recent years, and well deserving of being included in the list, in my own opinion. If you are a fantasy reader of any age, I highly recommend you check it out. So, without further ado, here’s the answer to today’s quiz:

“Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.” is the opening line from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Six of Crows is a fantasy novel which takes place in the Amsterdam-inspired city of Ketterdam. The new series takes place in the same world as Bardugo’s Grisha books but is set in a different time frame, in a world loosely inspired by the Dutch Republic of the 17th century, and based on a magical system. The plot is told from the close third-person viewpoints of five different characters, plus a first and last chapter from the point of view of two minor characters.

The book is the first in a duology, followed by Crooked Kingdom. Bardugo’s Grishaverse” trilogy, which includes Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. Reading both series will provide a deeper understanding of the Grisha world. Bardugo has since also written The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic which features several short stories from the Grishaverse, and King of Scars, a spin-off from the “Shadow and Bone” trilogy.

Take a close look at this stunning cover!
Amazing!

WHAT AMAZON SAYS:

Enter the Grishaverse with the #1 New York Times–bestselling Six of Crows, Book One of the Six of Crows Duology.

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo returns to the breathtaking world of the Grishaverse in this unforgettable tale about the opportunity—and the adventure—of a lifetime.

Praise for Six of Crows:

Six of Crows is a twisty and elegantly crafted masterpiece that thrilled me from the beginning to end.” –New York Times-bestselling author Holly Black

Six of Crows [is] one of those all-too-rare, unputdownable books that keeps your eyes glued to the page and your brain scrambling to figure out what’s going to happen next.” –Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra

“There’s conflict between morality and amorality and an appetite for sometimes grimace-inducing violence that recalls the Game of Thrones series. But for every bloody exchange there are pages of crackling dialogue and sumptuous description. Bardugo dives deep into this world, with full color and sound. If you’re not careful, it’ll steal all your time.” —The New York Times Book Review 

My Thoughts:

And any book that has garnered a 4.5 star average out of 3,691 ratings can’t be all bad, now can it? I HIGHLY recommend Bardugo’s work, and while reading about the Grishaverse first might be the typical approach, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom stand on their own, as well. And as an aside, I’ve heard Netflix has plans for this one, and may already have begun filming. I haven’t been following the news, because I almost always hate the film version of my favorite books, but that right there tells you they think it’s a winner.

Buy Six of Crows Here

And that wraps up this week’s quiz, folks! Again, sorry I couldn’t give away any downloads, but I’m still happy to be sharing a book I love with folks who may not have heard of it yet.

#FirstLineFriday will be back in two weeks, and I’ll try to have something that rings a bell with more of you. Maybe. You never can tell. 😀  See you then!

 

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

Time for another #FirstLineFriday folks, and just to keep you on your toes, I’ve chosen something I suspect will be tricky, even though it isn’t a classic from decades gone by. Let’s see if you prove me wrong today.

PLEASE READ these simple rules, just to refresh yourself on how this should be done. Thanks.

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at 4:00pm, 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 4:00 P.M. EST, 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 mobi or PDF file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Put on your thinking caps, because here is today’s opening line:

“Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.” 

Remember, email answers only, please. Thanks! And now off I go to await your guesses. 

GOOD LUCK!

#FirstLineFriday#2 Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz, and the Name of Our Winner!

Submissions for #FirstLineFriday#2 are officially closed now. My thanks to all who emailed me with their guesses. Today, I’m sorry to say we have only one winner: John Howell.  Congratulations, John, and thanks so much for pointing out to me that the correct spelling is “John Galt,” and not “John Gault.” (Let’s just pretend that’s why nobody else got this one right. 😀 😀 😀 )

John’s Author Page can be found  HERE 

And now, here’s the answer to today’s quiz:

Who is John Galt?” is the opening line from Atlas Shrugged,  written by Ayn Rand in 1957.

Rand’s fourth and final novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing.[1] Atlas Shrugged includes elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance, and it contains Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction. The theme of Atlas Shrugged, as Rand described it, is “the role of man’s mind in existence”. The book explores a number of philosophical themes from which Rand would subsequently develop Objectivism. In doing so, it expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, and capitalism, and depicts what Rand saw to be the failures of governmental coercion.

The book depicts a dystopian United States in which private businesses suffer under increasingly burdensome laws and regulations. Railroad executive Dagny Taggart and her lover, steel magnate Hank Rearden, struggle against “looters” who want to exploit their productivity. Dagny and Hank discover that a mysterious figure called John Galt is persuading other business leaders to abandon their companies and disappear as a strike of productive individuals against the looters. The novel ends with the strikers planning to build a new capitalist society based on Galt’s philosophy of reason and individualism.

Atlas Shrugged received largely negative reviews after its 1957 publication, but achieved enduring popularity and ongoing sales in the following decades. After several unsuccessful attempts to adapt the novel for film or television, a film trilogy based on it was released from 2011 to 2014. These films were critical and box office failures. (BTW, I read it when it came out and didn’t much like it myself, but I was only 13, and I doubt I really understood it in any depth.)

WHAT AMAZON SAYS:

Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?

You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book. You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy…why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction…why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph…why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill.

Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism—her groundbreaking philosophy—offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century’s leading artists.

Buy Atlas Shrugged HERE

By the way, for those who didn’t see the answer that popped up under the first post, it was 1984 by George Orwell. And that wraps up both efforts for this week. Sorry for the confusion, but happy we at least had one winner. I’ll be back in two weeks, if the bridge don’t go, an’ the creek don’t rise. Hope to see you then! 

 

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

As promised, #FirstLineFriday is back! We’ll have to see how it goes, but I’m aiming for every other week, and hope you guys will enjoy these little challenges that teach us so much about how to use opening lines effectively. This week, I’ve chosen one that I think will be fairly easy, but we’ll see if that turns out to be true or not.

As always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at 4:00pm, 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 4:00 P.M. EST, 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 mobi or PDF file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Put on your thinking caps, because here is today’s opening line:

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 

Remember, email answers only,  please. Thanks! And now off I go to await your guesses. 

Motivation inscription of splash paint letters

Update for Past #FirstLineFriday Winners

Help me out here, Folks, if you would. I know that several of my past #FirstLineFriday winners asked for their prize to be a download of my next Emissary tale, and that’s now officially out, as some of you may have seen. If you were one of the winners who requested a copy (download in the US, mobi file to those elsewhere), please drop me an email ( marciameara16@gmail.com ) and remind me. I do have records for every post, but it would take me some time to go through them all to get your names. 

This way, as soon as you email me, I’ll send your gift along to you, with my sincere hope you enjoy it. THANKS! (And hopefully, #FirstLineFriday will be up and running next week, fingers crossed.)

That’s all for now, Everyone. As you were! 🙂

Changes Ahead. (Probably.)

Hi, Folks! Just wanted to let you guys know that I really am planning to get this blog whipped back into shape very soon. I have several ideas for new features, some weekly, some monthly, some whenever. And I’m hoping to bring back at least a few old favorites, too.

Since I’ve missed being able to get out to do my local wildlife presentations, I got the idea that I might like to share some short tidbits from my Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife series. I hope that sounds like fun. I have some great photography from several sources that I’d really enjoy posting now and then. Hopefully some of you will find it interesting. For instance, I’d like to do a short piece on my very favorite bird of prey, the swallow-tailed kite. In fact, I might even start with that one, because–beautiful! See:

So I think you can count on a few #WildlifeWednesday posts now and then. 

I’ve already planned to make Tuesday my permanent #GuestDayTuesday, since it was already used as #ShareAReviewDay. The main difference is that now it won’t be limited to reviews, but rather will be a place where you guys can also share new releases, promotions, and other news about your work.  (BTW, this doesn’t mean you can never share these things on other days of the week. Just email me and I’ll do my best to set you up.)

I definitely plan to get back into our #FirstLineFriday posts, though they might go to every other week, just because I suspect I’m creating a lot more work for myself, here. 

#MondayMemes and #ThorsDaySmiles will be back more often, and I will continue to reblog posts from Story Empire authors and some of my other favorite bloggers.

Now, of course, I plan to continue my writing during all of this, too, since I’ll be releasing The Emissary 3: Love Hurts this week, and starting a brand new Riverbend novel. Hmmm. Here’s hoping I can find a workable routine that will allow me to keep up with these ideas. 

Would love to hear your thoughts, especially on whether you’d be interested in seeing some of the birds, animals, and habitats that make central Florida so much fun. 

And that’s it from me for now. Stay tuned for my first #GuestDayTuesday tomorrow, and then we’ll see how the rest shapes up. 

Remember: Keep Smiling! 
It makes folks wonder what you’re up to. 
😀

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

I apologize for the long delay since our last #FirstLineFriday post, and hope you’ll understand that it wasn’t for lack of interest in offering one. I’m just way, way behind on everything. But, having said that, here I am today with one I hope you’ll enjoy.

Not sure whether this one will be ridiculously easy or crazy hard, but I have no doubt the answer won’t be unfamiliar to you.  So here’s your chance to try your hand at #FirstLineFriday, our little quiz designed to help us appreciate some of the best opening lines in literary history. As always, from the classics of long ago to the latest best-sellers, no matter how old or how recent, everything is fair game on #FirstLineFriday. Let’s see how many of you recognize this one.  

Also as always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at 4:00pm, 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 4:00 P.M. EST, 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 mobi or PDF file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Put on your thinking caps, because here is today’s opening line:

If you want to find Cherry-Tree Lane all you have to do is ask the Policeman at the cross-roads. 

Remember, email answers only, please. Thanks! And now off I go to await your guesses.