#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 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! 🙂

#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! 

 

#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
HERE.

BLURB:

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! 

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeBooks

Hi, Everybody! It’s Friday again, and by now, you know what that means. Another chance to take a look at an example of a brilliant opening line from literature. Ponder just what you think your reaction would be to reading this line for the first time, and maybe get an idea or two as to how you’re going to start your next book. And then,  see if you can guess the title and author of the book in which this line appears.

But FIRST, some extra good news: For today only, author Mae Clair has generously offered her book Eclipse Lake as one of your prize choices.

Eclipse Lake is also available for purchase HERE

If you are a winner, you may choose either her book or one of mine as your prize. (As I mentioned the last time we had a prize donor, I’d grab the one that won’t be here every week, if it were me. After all, you’ll have lots more chances to win one of mine. Just something to consider when making your choice.  😀 ) 

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 Eclipse Lake or 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 if you’ve got your thinking caps on, and have access to your memory banks, here’s your #FirstLineFriday opening line:

“The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended.”

Good luck!