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First Line Friday — The Christmas Swap

18 Sep

Happy Friday from Colorado! A lot of our travel plans were upended this year — I know you can relate! Ireland was cancelled, as was an impromptu trip to the beach. But this week I am enjoying the cooler temps and beautiful scenery of the mountains. We did miss the snow storm of last week though. 😉

What better book to feature this week than The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson. Its Breckenridge setting is just 30 minutes down the road from my present location. We are so blessed to stay at a friend’s family’s home, kind of like main character Emma.

Here is the first line —

Emma Daley had always loved Christmas as a child, but . . . not so much as an adult.


All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can’t find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there’s someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.

Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet–or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house’s caretaker. But when Emma’s friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things
get . . . messy.

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at


For more fabulous first line fun, head over to Hoarding Books.


First Line Friday — The London Restoration

11 Sep

Happy Friday! I am featuring a book that I have long anticipated. I started The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan a few days ago, and I can attest that this book was well worth the wait! Set just following the end of WWII, it is full of history, mystery, and a married romance. I am loving Diana and Brent Somerville. The novel is beautifully written — here is the first line.

While some adjusted to air-raid sirens and others to the lost light of blackouts, Diana Somerville never recovered from the absence of church bells. 


The secrets that might save a nation could shatter a marriage.

Madly in love, Diana Foyle and Brent Somerville married in London as the bombs of World War II dropped on their beloved city. Without time for a honeymoon, the couple spent the next four years apart. Diana, an architectural historian, took a top-secret intelligence post at Bletchley Park. Brent, a professor of theology at King’s College, believed his wife was working for the Foreign Office as a translator when he was injured in an attack on the European front.

Now that the war is over, the Somervilles’ long-anticipated reunion is strained by everything they cannot speak of. Diana’s extensive knowledge of London’s churches could help bring down a Russian agent named Eternity. She’s eager to help MI6 thwart Communist efforts to start a new war, but because of the Official Secrets Act, Diana can’t tell Brent the truth about her work.

Determined to save their marriage and rebuild the city they call home, Diana and Brent’s love is put to the ultimate test as they navigate the rubble of war and the ruins of broken trust.

Rachel McMillan is the author of the Herringford and Watts mysteries, the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary romances set in opulent Vienna, and the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries praised for bringing an authentic 1930’s Boston world to life while normalizing the fictional conversation surrounding mental illness. She is also the author of Dream, Plan and Go: A Romantic’s Guide to Independent Travel and A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide: which explores her love of made-for-TV Christmas movies. Her upcoming historical romances The London Restoration and The Mozart Code (Harper Collins) take readers deep into an atmospheric look ofr post-war London, Vienna and Prague. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada.

For more fabulous first line fun, head over to Hoarding Books





First Line Friday — The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

4 Sep

Happy Friday! Today is the start of a long weekend, which means more time to read. Yay! I am headed to my mountain cabin and bringing along The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright. Here is the first line:

Life was not unlike the wisp of fog that curled around the base of a grave marker, softly caressing the marble before dissolving into the violet  shadow of the night.


The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman”, she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day

The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

To purchase, click HERE.

Jaime Jo Wright loves to read — and write — fiction with elements of mystery, faith, and romance from her home in Wisconsin. She’s a coffee drinker by day and night, lives in dreamland, and exists in reality.

For more fabulous first lines, visit Hoarding Books!

First Line Friday — Under A Turquoise Sky

28 Aug

Happy Friday! This week I am featuring Under A Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter, my book club’s September selection. We are big fans of romantic suspense and are always looking for that something special in the genre. This novel should check everyone’s boxes. I look forward to new scenery and a page-turning reading experience.

What is your first line this week?


As soon as the elevator doors closed behind her, Kailyn knew she’d made a mistake.


Secrets and danger hide deep in the canyons and arroyos of the Navajo Nation When federal agent Aaron Yazzie is assigned to protect the only witness to a drug cartel execution, he hides Kailyn Eudailey in the safest place he knows . . . the vast, untamed wilderness of the Navajo Reservation. Transporting Kailyn to New Mexico may not be as easy as Aaron would like. Kailyn is a high-maintenance Southern belle who is determined to assert her independence at every step. Though Aaron works to protect her from the dangers that could get them both killed, Kailyn is getting to him. Although, she doesn’t know the real him. As an undercover agent, Aaron has grown adept at playing many roles. But will he be able to embrace his true identity and God’s plan for his life in order to keep Kailyn alive?

Lisa Carter is the bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels, four historical novellas and a contemporary Coast Guard series. The Stronghold won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award for Romantic Suspense. Beyond the Cherokee Trail was a 4 1/2 star Romantic Times Top Pick.

As a Southern romantic suspense writer — Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder — Lisa Carter has definite opinions on serious issues like barbecue, ACC basketball and the whole Pepsi vs. Coke controversy.

She and her husband have two daughters and make their home in North Carolina. When she isn’t writing, Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales. She also enjoys quilting and researching her next exotic advent


For more fabulous first line fun, head over to Hoarding Books.


First Line Friday — Quaker Summer

21 Aug

This week’s first line comes again from my TBR shelf. Quaker Summer, written by one of my all time favorite authors Lisa Samson, was the 2007 Women of Faith Novel of The Year. Its intriguing opening sentence makes me want to sit and read and read. In fact, I am taking it on a little road trip this weekend. Have you read it? I would love to know what you thought.



Five months ago I raised Gary and Mary Andrews from the dead.



Sometimes you have to go a little bit crazy to discover the life you were meant to live.

Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What’s wrong with a woman who has everything — a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband — yet still feels miserable inside?

When Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty nun running a downtown homeless shelter, she finds herself at a crossroads.

Lisa Samson was born in Baltimore, MD. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband Will. Lisa is the mother to three kids, has a cat named Miles, and three chickens: Violet, Camille, and Charlotte.

Lisa’s been writing for almost two decades now and doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon. She also runs Luminary, a creative support service for novelists.

Grapefruit juice, potato chips, art, eating good food, watching AMC shows on Netflix, and good conversation with friends and family make her extremely happy. Tomato juice, blue tortilla chips, math, running, watching news tv, and silly conversations about whose kids are better . . . not so much. She loves to paint and read and watch good movies.


For more fabulous first lines, head over to Hoarding Books.


First Line Friday — Dry As Rain

14 Aug

Happy Friday! Today’s first line is another from my TBR shelves — Dry As Rain by Gina Holmes. The opening sentence made me chuckle and the cover blurb is very intriguing. Why haven’t I read this yet?! Have you? I’d love a reason to move this one to the top of the pile.

Here’s the first line:

When I first became a Christian, I read what Adam and Eve had done in the Garden of Eden and it really ticked me off.


From the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans comes a powerfully moving story that tests the limits of love’s forgiveness. Like many marriages, Eric and Kyra Yoshida’s has fallen apart slowly, one lost dream and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal finally pushes them beyond reconciliation. Just when it looks like forgive and forget is no longer an option, a car accident gives Eric the second chance of a lifetime. A concussion causes his wife to forget details of her life, including the chasm between them. No one knows when ― or if ― Kyra’s memory will return, but Eric seizes the opportunity to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving.

Gina Holmes is the founder of popular literary site, Novel Rocket and the author of award-winning novels: Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain, Wings of Glass, and Driftwood Tides. Holmes writes about flawed people living in a flawed world with the help of a perfect God. She and her family make their home among the Blue Ridge Mountains in South-Western Virginia.

You can find her at: or, on facebook: or twitter:@1GinaHolmes.


For more fabulous first line fun, head over to Hoarding Books.


First Line Friday — Rahab’s Story

7 Aug

Happy Friday! I yet again searched my long-suffering TBR shelves for this week’s first line. Rahab’s Story by Ann Burton has been in my possession a very long time. Unfortunately, life and shiny new book distractions have kept me from reading it. If you have read this worthy novel about a woman in Jesus’ lineage, I would love to know why I need to move it to the top of the pile. 🙂

Here is the first line:


I first beheld The House of Palms on the same day that I was cast out from my home and family. 



The Bible is filled with women of faith, bravery, and cunning. Here is one woman’s tale — as it might have happened  . . . .
“And the city shall be accursed . . . and all that are therein . . . only Rahab the harlot shall live . . . .”—Joshua 6:17
Once, she was Rahab the Beautiful, eldest daughter of a weaver — and secret believer in her dead mother’s cherished Judaism. But when her hateful stepmother accused her of witchery, Rahab was banished to almost certain death in Jericho. Now the girl known as Rahab the Outcast has no choice but to mingle with the city’s untouchables — and join its ranks of prostitutes…
Even from the mire, Rahab keeps alive her faith in God. Then two Jewish spies for Joshua appear on her doorstep, begging her to hide them. Now, Rahab faces the biggest decision of her life: stay safe and slam the door in their faces — or help her fellow believers, and transform herself from harlot to heroine.

Ann Burton is the author of the popular Women of the Bible series of historical romances, including Rahab’s Story, Deborah’s Story, Jael’s Story, and Abigail’s Story.


For more fabulous first line fun, head over to Hoarding Books.


First Line Friday — Far on The Ringing Plains

24 Jul

I hit a home run with the purchase of a book for my husband. While we sometimes love the same books, more often than not the books I read my husband would not pick up. When I saw a blurb for Far on The Ringing Plains by Murray Pura and Patrick E. Craig, I took a shot and ordered. My husband loved this book set in the early days of WWII in the Pacific theater. I am featuring the first line in the hopes that you too (or a friend or spouse) may also find this book intriguing. It is the first of a planned three part Islands series. My husband is eagerly awaiting the next release.


When I first saw the Islands, it was August 7, 1942, at 0400 hours . . .


In the spirit of The Thin Red Line, Hacksaw Ridge, Flags of our Fathers, and Pearl Harbor.

Realistic. Gritty. Gutsy. Without taking it too far, Craig and Pura take it far enough to bring war home to your heart, mind, and soul. The rough edge of combat is here. And the rough edge of language, human passion, and our flawed humanity. If you can handle the ruggedness and honesty of Saving Private Ryan, 1917 or Dunkirk, you can handle the power and authenticity of ISLANDS: Far on the Ringing Plains.

For the beauty and the honor is here too. Just like the Bible, in all its roughness and realism and truthfulness about life, reaching out for God is ever-present in ISLANDS. So are hope and faith and self-sacrifice. Prayer. Christ. Courage. An indomitable spirit. And the best of human nature, triumphing over the worst.

Bud Parmalee, Johnny Strange, Billy Martens — three men that had each other’s backs and the backs of every Marine in their company and platoon. All three were raised never to fight. All three saw no other choice but to enlist and try to make a difference. All three would never be the same again. Never. And neither would their world.

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next twenty-six years as a worship leader, pastor, and seminar speaker in churches and at retreats, seminars, and conferences all across the Western United States.

After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches in Northern California, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books.

Murray Andrew Pura was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and has traveled extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Ordained as a Baptist minister in 1986, Pura has served five churches in Canada and headlined numerous speaking engagements in Canada and the United States. He has five books published, was a contributor to the Life With God Bible, has been a finalist for The Paraclete Fiction Award, The Dartmouth Book Award, and The John Spencer Hill Literary Award, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Kobzar Literary Award of Canada.


For more first line fun, head over to Hoarding Books.


First Line Friday — Don’t Keep Silent

17 Jul

Happy Friday! Today I am sharing from Don’t Keep Silent, the third book in Elizabeth Goddard‘s Uncommon Justice series. Goddard always takes readers on a fast-paced, twisting ride, and I am looking forward to digging into this book in the next few days. The cover also features a snowy scene, so I am hoping its descriptions will inspire cool thoughts as I endure sweltering reality. 😉 I am sharing the first line of Chapter 1 instead of the Prologue, since it introduces the reader to main character Rae Burke.

Dread warred with hope as Rae Burke shivered in the cold outside on the porch.



Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he just doesn’t feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he’s less than thrilled. But Rae’s keen investigative skills have led her down the right path–and directly into the dragon’s mouth–leaving Liam no choice but to protect her. As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other.

Bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard plunges you into a fast-paced, high-stakes story of honor, forgiveness, and justice.

With over one million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of over forty romance novels and counting. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.

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For more fabulous first lines, head over to Hoarding Books.



First Line Friday — The Crushing Depths

10 Jul

Happy Friday all! I am excited to finally have in my possession a copy of Dani Pettrey’s lates novel, The Crushing Depths. Woo hoo! I cannot wait to dive into this book 😉 . Another supsense-filled trip to the North Carolina coast is just what I need! Without further ado, here is the first line:



Greg Barnes clinked along the grated metal steps, his book heels rasping with each shuffle as he headed topside for a much-needed breath of smoke.



When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.

Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems like it’ll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they’re cut off from any rescue — and right where the killer wants them. It’s a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than a half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award.

From her early years eagerly reading Nancy Drew mysteries, to paging through Agatha Christie novels or watching on-the-edge-of-her-seat adventure movies, Dani has always enjoyed mystery and suspense. She considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves — full of plot twists and peril, love, and longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland.

For more information about her novels, visit


Fo more great first lines, head over to Hoarding Books.