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

Time to close today’s #FirstLineFriday quiz. I’m happy to say we have three winners today, and they are Harmony Kent, Darlene Foster, and Trish Power. Congratulations to these ladies who each knew the correct answer:

“No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.” is the long but very intriguing opening line of The War of the Worlds, by famed English Sci-Fi writer H. G. Wells. 

The novel’s first appearance in hardcover was in 1898 from publisher William Heinemann of London. Written between 1895 and 189, or more than 120 years ago, it is one of the earliest stories to detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race. Believe it or not, this book has NEVER been out of print in all those years, and has been adapted for film at least twice, in 1953 and more recently, in 2005.

This is the book that spawned so many of our favorite science fiction stories, novels, and movies over the decades. I’m ashamed to say that while I’m familiar with the book, of course, I’ve never read it. It’s definitely going on my TBR pile! Hope some of you will check it out, too.

BLURB:

A beautiful and rare edition that includes 130 illustrations by Henrique Correa
SeaWolf Press is proud to offer another book in its H. G. Wells 100th Anniversary Collection. Each book in the collection contains the text and illustrations from the first or early edition (but it is not a photocopy.)Use Amazon’s Lookinside feature to compare this edition with others. You’ll be impressed by the differences. If you like our book, be sure to leave a review! Our version has:

  • 130 original illustrations. Don’t be fooled by other versions with missing or made-up pictures.
  • Text that has been proofread to avoid errors common in other versions.
  • A beautiful cover that replicates the first edition cover.
  • The complete text in an easy-to-read font similar to the original.
  • Properly formatted text complete with correct indenting, spacing, footnotes, italics, and tables.

The War of the Worlds is a captivating science fiction novel that appeared in hardcover in 1898. It is one of the earliest stories to detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race. The novel is the first-person narrative as southern England is invaded by Martians who possess devastating weapons. The novel has been variously interpreted as a commentary on evolutionary theory, British imperialism, and generally Victorian superstitions, fears, and prejudices. The story has also been made into a number of movies, TV shows, and radio dramas. It was most memorably dramatized in a 1938 radio program that caused public panic among listeners who did not know the Martian invasion was fictional. The novel has even influenced the work of rocket scientists in their quest to land on the moon.

Buy The War of the Worlds HERE

Thanks so much for playing, and I’m already looking forward to next week’s #FirstLineFriday quiz. Stay tuned!

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

Our 2nd #FirstLineFriday quiz of 2020 has now come to a close. Happily, we have four winners for this one. It could have gone either way, because it’s a pretty well known book. I honestly thought the opening line might be a dead-giveaway even for those who hadn’t read it, but it turned out to be just tricky enough. Not so easy that I had a million guesses rolling in, but not so hard that we ended up with no winners. Just right! 🙂

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.” is the opening line of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

This week’s winners are Jeanne Owens, Patt Kline, Darlene Foster, and Ashlynn Waterstone. Congratulations and thanks for playing!

And here is what Amazon has to say about the entire collected set of novels, which, btw, I just ordered for myself. (I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read these, and me an enormous fan of weird British humor, a la Monty Python, etc. )

BLURB:

In one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams’s beloved Hitchhiker series.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read)
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
The moment before annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat.

Life, the Universe and Everything
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky– so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription thrusts him back to reality. So to speak.

Mostly Harmless
Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?

Includes the bonus story “Young Zaphod Plays It Safe”

“With droll wit, a keen eye for detail and heavy doses of insight . . . Adams makes us laugh until we cry.”—San Diego Union-Tribune

“Lively, sharply satirical, brilliantly written . . . ranks with the best set pieces in Mark Twain.”—The Atlantic


Buy The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy HERE

And there you have it for this week! Hope you enjoyed playing along, and that some of you will be inspired to check this infamous series of books out. 

Stay tuned for more #FirstLineFriday next week! See you then! 🙂

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

And once again, folks, it’s Friday. Time for another interesting, intriguing, mysterious, humorous, or otherwise engaging first line for you to consider. Today’s is just weird enough that I suspect a lot of folks will recognize it, though I have to admit I haven’t read this one. Yet. It’s been on my list for a long time, though. Maybe today’s contest will be the push I need to get busy and check it out. 

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 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 all week for! (You have been waiting for this, right?) Well, here it is. Today’s opening line:

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”

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

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

Woohooo! So happy to have #FirstLineFriday back, and this week, I’m also happy to announce we have some winners! Four, to be exact, which is great since I consider this opening line to be pretty tricky. Everyone should be familiar with the title of this one, since it has been around a long time, and was published in 1951, nearly 70 years ago!

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” is the opening line of J. D. Salinger’s award-winning novel, Catcher in the Rye. 

The book was included in Time Magazine’s 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923,  and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century! I read Catcher in the Rye in high school, in 1961 or 1962, so nearly sixty years ago. I suppose that’s why I didn’t recognize that very unique (and unbelievably LONG) opening line, either. I’m planning to read it again, because any book that’s still being acclaimed after all these years is worth a second look, even if Salinger ended up as one of the most famous hermits of his generation. 

There is a certain amount of controversy about this book, given today’s vastly different cultural climate, but this isn’t the place to discuss that, thanks. Our contest is about testing our knowledge of book trivia, seeing the vast differences in ways to open a novel, and studying what makes opening lines effective. 

Congratulations to this week’s winners, Olga Nunez, Teri Polen, Flossie Benton Rogers, and Darlene Foster. Way to go, Ladies! Be on the lookout for your gift from Amazon or for Olga a PDF file of your choice. 

BLURB:

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories–particularly A Perfect Day for BananafishUncle Wiggily in ConnecticutThe Laughing Man, and For Esme With Love and Squalor–will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is full of children. The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield.

Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

Buy Catcher in the Rye HERE

Thanks so much for playing, and I’m already looking forward to next week’s #FirstLineFriday quiz. Stay tuned!

#FirstLineFriday #Giveaway #FreeDownloads

It’s been a long time, but finally, our #FirstLineFriday quiz is back! I’m going to be very, very interested in seeing who gets this one, as I’m pretty sure every one of you has heard of this book, though many may not have actually read it. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

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 first #FirstLineFriday quiz of 2020:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

Remember, email answers only. I’ll be on the alert for your guesses. Good luck, everybody!

#Goodbye2019 and #Hello2020 #Updates

Glory be! As I take a look back over 2019, one thing stands out to me above all else. In spite of new health issues, a serious fall, and a jam-packed schedule, I managed to end the year still standing! (And still crazy, after all these years!) Yep. I’m here, I’m mostly healed up again, and while I’m glad to see the backside of 2019,  I’m eager to tackle 2020 with optimism and hope, ready for the adventures that lie ahead. Hope you guys are, as well.  

On the blogging front, I’m also ready to start resuming many of my regular features. I think I will bring them “online” one at a time, and I’m going to start with #FirstLineFriday this week. If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s pretty simple. I give you a famous first line and you EMAIL me with your guess as to the book it opens. The first five correct answers win a download of any of my books. Sometimes, we have an author offering a free download of one of their books as an additional prize choice. The full details can be found in the header above by clicking on General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions. Tune in Friday at 8:00 EST for this fun challenge (which ends at NOON), and don’t forget, it’s about more than winning a prize. It’s a chance to study some of the best opening lines out there, and learn ways to improve our own. Hope to see you there.

Next week, I will bring back #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays. Full instructions for that are in the same link mentioned above. If you have a new or favorite review you’d like to share here, email me with the items listed in the header bar above, and I’ll set up your post and schedule it. I only do two per Tuesday, morning and afternoon, to maximize exposure time, and I set these up in the order in which I receive the requests. I’ll notify you via email as to the date your post will be going live so you can check it out (to be sure I didn’t make any errors) AND respond to comments on your review. Looking forward to getting this one going again!

I will also be adding some new features over the weeks ahead, and will be continuing my #MondayMeme feature (memes about writing/reading/books) and #ThorsdaySmile (memes about anything I find amusing). So, stay tuned for things to get back to normal around here. Or as normal as it’s ever been, anyway. 😀 

Don’t forget, you are also welcome to email me about promos, new releases and other news you’d like to share. If possible, we’ll help you get the word out. That’s what this blog is all about. Authors helping authors.

And last, on top of the blogging and my newly revised and SUPER busy schedule of local events, I’m planning to–wait for it!–write another book!!! Yes. The writer in me is dying to get out, and so happy to be working on something new. So, be forewarned: Jake, Dodger, and Azrael are about to have another adventure as I get going on The Emissary 3. And when it’s done and out in eBook format, I will combine these three novellas into a set and publish them in print, too. 

SO! Lots to do in the next twelve months. Roll on, 2020! I’m ready for ya!

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4 

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody 

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love 

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:
The Write Stuff
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter: @marciameara

Good Morning & An Update


(For Mae)

Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! (Okay, Friday is actually named for the Norse goddess Frigg, but Freya and Frigg are considered by most to be the same goddess. That being the case, I’m going with Freya, because, you know. It sounds nicer. 😉

At any rate, I hope your day is a good, productive one with plenty of smiles. 

As you may have noticed, I don’t have things back on my preferred schedule quite yet, and I apologize for that. The truth is, I’m still not feeling 100% after my fall of two weeks ago. I’m vastly improved, for sure, but I’m still suffering some recurrent dizziness and fatigue. This isn’t uncommon when you’ve received a concussion and can continue for several weeks before finally disappearing. And while the ER doctor said he didn’t THINK I had a concussion, he also told me to watch for the signs of one. (Along with the signs of brain bleeds and swelling, and various other things. I spent a lot of time watching, believe me.) Bottom line is, concussions are often missed, and based on the types of symptoms I have going on right now, it appears I’m still recovering from one. Frankly, I’m just grateful I’m not still recovering from a fractured skull. 

And all of this is by way of telling you that, as you’ve no doubt noticed, #FirstLineFriday has been put off for another week, due to a couple of bad days Tuesday and Wednesday that pushed me even farther behind on my overall work schedule. But NOT to fear! I am much better than I was, and I know I’ll be catching up soon. I’m just trying to do what my  doctor suggests and not push too hard, though it’s against my nature to be idle very long. So, I work a bit, and then I rest a bit, and by and by, I expect the time spent working to increase until life is once again as normal as it gets around here.

Thanks so much for your patience and your well wishes, and all the kind things everyone has sent me. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you can imagine! Will be resuming my usual blog features, etc, one at a time until all is running smoothly again, which I hope won’t be too much longer.

And now we’ve come full circle: Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! 😀 ❤

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

For two weeks in a row, our list of winners for our #FirstLineFriday quiz is very short. Like, none. 😦 I’m really sorry no one guessed this one. I hate it when I can’t give away any books. But there’s always next time, and besides, you did get to take a look at a pretty darn intriguing first line. Hopefully, this quiz has you thinking about how to start your next book.

Since I’ve not read this one myself, though I’ve always meant to, I don’t have any pithy comments about the book, but I do have some interesting info to share below. But first, the answer you’ve been wracking your brains over.

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” is the opening line of 1967’s The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

Buy The Outsiders HERE

Interesting (and INSPIRING) Tidbits for you:

Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel but did most of the work when she was 16 and a junior in high school. She was just 18 when the book was published. The 1983 movie starred a veritable cornucopia of young (at the time) Hollywood talent:

C. Thomas Howell
Matt Dillon
Ralph Macchio
Patrick Swayze
Rob Lowe
Diane Lane
Emilio Estevez
Tom Cruise
Leif Garrett

BLURB:

50 years of an iconic classic! This international bestseller and inspiration for a beloved movie is a heroic story of friendship and belonging.

No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

The Outsiders is a dramatic and enduring work of fiction that laid the groundwork for the YA genre. S. E. Hinton’s classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was first published.

The Outsiders transformed young-adult fiction from a genre mostly about prom queens, football players and high school crushes to one that portrayed a darker, truer world.” —The New York Times

“Taut with tension, filled with drama.” —The Chicago Tribune

“[A] classic coming-of-age book.” —Philadelphia Daily News

New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Book
Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Winner of the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award

I have a suspicion that while you may or may not have read the book, many of you have probably seen this movie. It is still being shown on various film channels to this day.

So there you have it for this week. And a HEADS UP: I am planning to devote next week to finishing my current WIP, so I won’t be running my usual weekly features, but it will all return the following week. So, no #FirstLineFriday on October 4, but if the bridge don’t go, an’ the creek don’t rise, as they say down here, it will be back on October 11 with a new teaser for you. See you then! 

#FirstLineFriday – #GiveawayContest #FreeEBookDownloads

Can’t believe it’s Friday again and time for you to dig down deep into your memories to see if you can pull up the correct title for today’s opening line.  I’m making no predictions of any sort about this one, since my track record in that regard has been less than stellar. But I hope you enjoy seeing another first line that made the top 100 lists several times. And I also hope this time, some of you guess correctly. Please take a look at the rules, then email me if you think you’ve got it. Feel free to take a guess. 

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:

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”

You can probably tell from this line that the book was NOT written in the 1800s. Other than that, I’m not going to divulge any clues. But good luck, everybody. I’d love to give away some books this week! 🙂