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

Submissions for #FirstLineFriday are officially closed now. My thanks to all who emailed me with their guesses. (ONE!) Sadly, we have no winners today, but I’m pretty sure most if not all of you have heard of this book and the hugely popular movie, even if you haven’t read it. (I read it and saw the film, but it was a long time ago, when I read a lot more horror than I do today.)

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

“Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men’s eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.” is the opening line from The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.

The Exorcist is a 1971 horror novel by American writer William Peter Blatty. The book details the demonic possession of eleven-year-old Regan MacNeil, the daughter of a famous actress, and the two priests who attempt to exorcise the demon. Published by Harper & Row, the novel was the basis of a highly successful film adaption released two years later, whose screenplay was also written and produced by Blatty, and part of The Exorcist franchise.

The novel was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University. As a result, the novel takes place in Washington, D.C., near the campus of Georgetown University. In September 2011, the novel was reprinted by Harper Collins to celebrate its fortieth anniversary, with slight revisions made by Blatty as well as interior title artwork by Jeremy Caniglia.

One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.

AMAZON SAYS:

The Exorcist changed popular culture forever. Now, William Peter Blatty’s groundbreaking story of faith and supernatural suspense–the runaway #1 bestseller that started it all–is reincarnated in this spectacular newly polished and rewritten 40th Anniversary Edition of the novel that burst through society’s seven seals and paved the way for the entire genre that followed it: the unforgettable The Exorcist.

Buy The Exorcist HERE

That wraps it up for this week, folks. Thanks so much for taking part, and I hope you’ll stay tuned for another #FirstLineFriday quiz next week. See you then, if the bridge don’t go, an’ the creek don’t rise! In the meantime:

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

It’s BAAA-AAACK!  #FirstLineFriday, our little quiz designed to help us appreciate some of the best opening lines in literary history, has returned. For today at least. (I’m going to do my best to catch up on things here at The Write Stuff, but I’m still not at 100%, so bear with me, if you would, thanks). From the classics of long ago to the latest best-sellers, everything is fair game on #FirstLineFriday, and I have an oldie but a goodie for you today.

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 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’s today’s opening line:

“Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men’s eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.” 

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 Name of Our Winner!

Sorry to be so late announcing our winners today. Lost internet reception for a bit, but all is well again, and yes, submissions for #FirstLineFriday are officially closed. My thanks to all who emailed me with their guesses. Today, we have one winner: Priscilla Bettis.  Congratulations, Priscilla, and I hope you enjoy your prize.

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

“Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable.” is the opening line from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The novella was written by Stevenson in 1886, and has been adapted for film and stage many times over the years.

Dr. Henry Jekyll and his alternate personality, Mr. Edward Hyde, is the central character and is a good friend of main protagonist Gabriel John Utterson. Jekyll is a kind and respected English doctor who has repressed evil urges inside of him. In an attempt to hide this, he develops a type of serum that he believes will effectively mask his dark side. Instead, Jekyll transforms into Edward Hyde, the physical and mental manifestation of his evil personality. This process happens more regularly until Jekyll becomes unable to control when the transformations occur.

AMAZON BLURB

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often called “split personality,” referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr. Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil. The novella’s impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

A classic that continues to be referenced today, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will forever be locked in literary history.

Buy The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde HERE

That wraps it up for this week, folks. Thanks so much for taking part, and I hope you’ll stay tuned for another #FirstLineFriday quiz next week. See you then!

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

Welcome once again 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, 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 elsewheremay 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 I love it so much, I can’t resist. And besides, my predictions haven’t been right yet, so who knows? Either way, here’s today’s opening line: 

“Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable.” 

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 Name of Our Winner!

Yep, you read that right, folks. Only ONE winner today, and I’m pretty happy to have one at all. As usual, I never know what’s going to happen when I post a first line. I thought this one would have folks jumping up and down, waving their hands in the air, and going, “Ooooh, ooooh! Pick me!” But nope. Only one person took a guess, but that person was absolutely right, so congratulations to Pat Stuckey! Way to go, Pat! 😊

Now, without further ado, here’s the answer you’ve all been waiting for:

“This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.” is the opening line from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. 

 The Princess Bride is a 1973 fantasy romance novel by American writer William Goldman. The book combines elements of comedy, adventure, fantasy, drama, romance, and fairy tale. It is presented as an abridgment (or “the good parts version”) of a longer work by S. Morgenstern, and Goldman’s “commentary” asides are constant throughout. It was originally published in the United States by Harcourt Brace, then later by Random House, while in the United Kingdom it was later published by Bloomsbury.

The book was adapted into a 1987 feature film directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay written by Goldman himself.

William Goldman said, “I’ve gotten more responses on The Princess Bride than on everything else I’ve done put together—all kinds of strange outpouring letters. Something in The Princess Bride affects people.”

AMAZON SAYS

Here William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers finally receives a beautiful illustrated treatment.

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts—The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchman, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini—the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik—the gentle giant; Inigo—the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen—the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

Buy The Princess Bride HERE

And there you have it. Hope you enjoyed playing this week, even though this seems to have been much more difficult than I imagined. Stay tuned for next week, though. You never know what I’ll pick from my various lists of Top 100 Titles. It just might be YOUR favorite book! See you then!

 

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

I had a feeling this one was going to stump a lot of people, but as I promised, this is a book I’d bet that every single one of you has at least heard of. For some reason, it appealed to my wicked sense of humor to use a line from a very well-known book, but which would probably fool all of us, me included. I was willing to be wrong and give away some downloads today, but alas. I called it correctly. Sorry to say we have no winners.

So with that in mind, are you ready to find out which very famous book none of us can recognize from the opening line? Okay. Here goes.

“You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.” is the opening line from Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus written by English author Mary Shelley though first published anonymously in 1818. Her name did not appear until the second edition published in Paris in 1821.

Frankenstein is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story because, in contrast to previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character “makes a deliberate decision” and “turns to modern experiments in the laboratory” to achieve fantastic results. It has had a considerable influence in literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories, films and plays.

Since the novel’s publication, the name “Frankenstein” has often been used to refer to the monster itself. In the novel, Frankenstein’s creation is identified by words such as creature, monster, fiend, and wretch, but it is the monster’s creator who is correctly identified as Victor Frankenstein. 

There are many editions of this book available on Amazon, but I chose to use the one featuring what most of us think of when we discuss the book or, more likely, one of the many film adaptations. No one can forget Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, I’m sure.

AMAZON BLURB:

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley about the young student of science Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque but sentient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty.

Shelley had travelled through Europe in 1814, journeying along the river Rhine in Germany with a stop in Gernsheim which is just 17 km (10 mi) away from Frankenstein Castle, where two centuries before an alchemist was engaged in experiments. Later, she travelled in the region of Geneva (Switzerland)—where much of the story takes place—and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her lover and future husband, Percy Shelley. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made; her dream later evolved into the story within the novel.

BUY Frankenstein HERE

And that’s it for this week, folks. (See? I told you this was a book familiar to all of us. I’ve even read it. More than once, back in my misspent youth. But be darned if I recognized that opening line.) Next week, I promise to go easier on you! Hope you’ll join me then for another #FirstLineFriday.

 

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

Sometimes it takes a while to get here, but sooner or later, it’s Friday again, and time for another #FirstLineFriday quiz. Today, I’ve picked an opening line which amuses me, and I’m going to enjoy seeing how many of you recognize it. Let’s play!

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 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 answerswhichever 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 elsewheremay 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! Here’s today’s opening line: 

“You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.” 

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

 

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

I love Fridays, because–#FirstLine Quiz! To me, this is about so much more than just a chance to win a free download. And I hope you all enjoy it for those extra goodies, like a chance to study some of the greatest opening lines in the history of books! Taking a look at some of them is, I believe, a good way to learn what really works for readers, and thus, might help us write better ones, ourselves.

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 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 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 elsewheremay request a PDF file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

And now, without further ado, here’s this week’s clever opening line:

“Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.” 

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!

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! 🙂