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First Line Friday — The Melody of The Soul

19 Jan

This week,  I am featuring The Melody of The Soul by Liz Tolsma. Liz has captured my imagination with her previous books, and this one looks to be no exception. I have deliberately limited my WWII fiction reading lately — I have read A LOT of it in the last few years. But I could not resist getting this one. It is even set in Prague, a city that is on my bucket list to visit. I surely can’t lose with this book!

Leave a comment with your first line, then head over to Hoarding Books to find out what other bloggers are featuring.

 

 

By 1943, Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost everything, including her career as a concert violinist and almost her entire family. The only person she has left is her beloved grandmother, and she’s determined to keep her safe. But protecting Grandmother won’t be easy–not with a Nazi officer billeted below them.

Anna must keep a low profile. There’s one thing she refuses to give up, though. Despite instruments being declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to practice her violin. She has to believe that the war will end someday and her career will be waiting. Fortunately for Anna, the officer, Horst Engel, enjoys her soothing music. It distracts him from his dissatisfaction with Nazi ideology and reminds him that beauty still exists in an increasingly ugly world.

When his neighbors face deportation, Horst is moved to risk everything to hide them. Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals to her might break her trust and stop the music forever. 

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She’s married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

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First Line Friday — Oath of Honor

5 Jan

Happy New Year! Today I am sharing the first line of a brand new book, Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason. This novel is the first book in a new series by Eason, Blue Justice. I love, love, love Eason’s romantic suspense novels and am eager to dig into this one. Do you have any brand-spanking new books on your shelves? I’d love for you to share a first line.

To find out what other bloggers are sharing today, head over to Hoarding Books.

 

 

 

Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family. With three brothers and two sisters, she’s never without someone to hang out with — or fight with. And she knows they’ll be there for her when things get tough. Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.

Determined to discover exactly what happened, Izzy’s investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll–including someone from her own family. With her dead partner’s handsome homicide detective brother Ryan shadowing her every move, Izzy’s head is spinning. How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison? And how will she guard her heart when the man she’s had a secret crush on for years won’t leave her side?

Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won numerous awards such as the prestigious Carol Award, the Selah, the Daphne, the IRCC award and more. Lynette is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

First Line Friday — The Christmas Edition!

22 Dec

Only 3 days to Christmas! Yay! I hope you have all your shopping/baking/etc. done so that you can relax with family and friends and maybe a good book! Still have a frenzied to-do list? Consider downloading an audiobook to accompany you on your errands and chores. It just might bring the stress level down.

The folks at Hoarding Books are featuring Christmas on this First Line Friday. I have chosen a book that combines a lot of what I love — Christmas, Jane Austen, and mystery. I am looking forward to cracking open Jane And The Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron and getting lost in a Regency mystery. To find out what Christmas books other bloggers are sharing, click HERE.

Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful murder mystery set over the twelve days of a Regency-Era Christmas party.

Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family. As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood: Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.
 
Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident, which Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?

 

What is the first line of your Christmas read?

First Line Friday — A Wreath of Snow

15 Dec

This week the folks at Hoarding Books have prompted bloggers to share a line related to travel or winter. I have a book that not only meets both of those criteria, but also Christmas! Win-win-win! The book is A Wreath of Snow by one of my favorites, Liz Curtis Higgs. This Victorian novella has its heroine traveling by train on Christmas Eve. You can read my review HERE.

Join in on the fun by sharing your first line in the comments and then heading over to Hoarding Books to discover other participating bloggers. Happy Friday!

 

Christmas Eve 1894

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.
 
Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.
 
When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?
 
As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.

 

What’s your first line?

 

First Line Friday — Thankfulness

24 Nov

This is definitely the week for thankfulness, including being thankful for books! On Tuesday I shared my Top 10 List of books I’ve read in 2017 that I am thankful for. (Check it our HERE.) And today the folks at Hoarding Books are sharing the first lines of books that fit the Thanksgiving season. I bypassed the books about food because my waistline has been compromised. 😉 Instead I am sharing the first line from a book I haven’t yet read, but I am very thankful for. Why? Because it really started the whole CF genre. Take a look! For other bloggers and their Thanksgiving-themed first lines, click HERE.

My first line comes from Christy by Catherine Marshall. Authors of CF owe a lot to her, and I am looking forward to digging into this classic in the next few days. But for now, here’s the first line.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the closest book and share the first line in the comments.

 

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her–and her one-room school–as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

 

Catherine Sarah Wood Marshall LeSourd (27 September 1914 – 18 March 1983) was an American author of nonfiction, inspirational, and fiction works. She was the wife of well-known minister Peter Marshall.

First Line Friday — Veteran’s Day Edition

10 Nov

For all those who have or are now serving in our Armed Forces, this First Line Friday is for you! Thanks to Hoarding Books for prompting this theme. To find out what other patriotic books bloggers are featuring today, click HERE.

I am featuring Randy Singer‘s latest novel, Rule of Law, a book that highlights bravery and betrayal. This novel is an excellent choice if you are looking for a legal suspense novel. You can read my review HERE.

 

What did the president know? And when did she know it?

For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.

But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel “Directed Verdict.” In addition to his law practice and writing, he serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors.

Find out more about Randy at http://www.randysinger.net.

 

To participate in First Line Friday, grab the nearest book and comment with the first line of the first page. Easy! Then head over to Hoarding Books for more first lines.

First Line Friday — Stars in The Grass by Ann Marie Stewart

3 Nov

Welcome to First Line Friday. It’s easy to participate — grab the closest book and comment with the first line on the first page. Then when you are done, head over to Hoarding Books to find out what other bloggers are sharing.

This week I am sharing Ann Marie Stewart‘s book Stars in The Grass. Ann’s book has been nominated for The Christy Award — First Novel! Winners of this prestigious award will be announced on November 7th.

 

Nine-year-old Abby McAndrews has just experienced her greatest loss, and in its wake, her family is unraveling with guilt, grief, and anger. Her father, Reverend McAndrews, cannot return to the pulpit because he has more questions than answers. Her older brother Matt’s actions speak louder than the words he needs to confess, as he acts out in dangerous ways. Her mother tries to hold her grieving family together, but when Abby’s dad refuses to move on, the family is at a crossroads.
 
Stars in the Grass, set in a small Midwestern town in 1970, is an uplifting novel that explores a family’s relationships and resiliency. Abby’s heartbreaking remembrances are balanced by humor and nostalgia as her family struggles with — and ultimately celebrates — life after loss.

 

Ann Marie Stewart — I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing stories, putting on plays, or belting songs. Ever since grade school when my dad substituted me in for his turn at the Toastmaster podium and I held a captive audience with my speech, I’ve loved making people laugh and cry.

I grew up in Seattle, Washington and am a die-hard UW Husky (and Wolverine) after earning a Masters in Film/Television from University of Michigan. I originated AMG’s Preparing My Heart series, write the column “Ann’s Lovin’ Ewe” for The Country Register and blog for Mentoring Moments. My first novel, Stars in the Grass came out February 2017.

When I’m not writing, I’m waving my arms directing musicals, teaching middle schoolers, or watching UVA Basketball or Madam Secretary. In my free time I hang out with my husband, raising two lovely daughters and a whole flock of fuzzy sheep on Skye Moor Farm, in Virginia — where unscripted drama provides plenty of entertaining material.

 

Your turn!

What’s your first line?