#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 No. 4 – #Giveaway #FreeDownloads

And here we go again, folks. Our fourth #FirstLineFriday Trivia Quiz. We’ve had hard ones and easy ones now, so this time I tried for something in between. But what’s hard or easy for me might be very different for you guys. Just don’t be discouraged. I’ll be doing this for a long time,  I hope, and you’ll have lots of chances to win. And here’s a reminder of how you can do just that:

  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 of my books for themselves or someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of my books, they may request a free download of my next publication. Winners who live elsewhere may request a PDF or Mobi file of the same books. 

So, bearing all that in mind, are you ready to play? It’s anybody’s guess whether this is a toughie or a piece of cake, but either way, here’s today’s First Line:

“In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.”

Good luck!

#FirstLineFriday Trivia Quiz is Now Closed to Submissions, and the #Winners Are …

Okay, folks. It’s all over but the accolades! This one turned out to be even harder than I expected, but we had two winners: Mae Clair and Robbie Cheadle. Congratulations to them on winning a download of one of my books for themselves or someone else of their choice, or a credit for a free download of my next book. 

For future contests, I need to remind you folks NOT TO RESPOND IN THE COMMENTS OF ANY POST ON THE BLOG. Please email me only! (If you respond publicly, others see the answer and the contest is spoiled.) Thanks so much for adhering to that rule.

I promise to go easy on you next Friday with an opening line that won’t be quite as much of a challenge, but for this week, here’s your answer.

“The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.”

Answer: This is the first line of Stephen Crane’s classic American Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage. Lest you think I was giving those in the U.S. an edge, it was also made into an internationally acclaimed film in 1951, starring Audie Murphy, and remade as a successful TV movie in 1974, starring Richard Thomas of The Waltons. 

Because it was an older book than even Fahrenheit 451, I knew it would be a bit more difficult, but I didn’t expect it to be quite as hard as it was. It is, after all, still being sold in bookstores and on Amazon, and I believe there are audio books out as well. It’s also still being studied in some college courses.  See? Classic. 🙂

I DO promise to make next week’s quiz a bit easier on your gray cells, honest. And thanks for playing today. Hopefully #FirstLineFriday 3 just might be the one that makes you smile.

BLURB:

Amid the nightmarish chaos of a Civil War battle, a young soldier discovers courage, humility, and, perhaps, wisdom. Uncanny re-creation of actual combat. Enduring landmark of American fiction.

BUY THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE HERE