First Line Friday: The Red Journal

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from a digital galley and may differ from the published text.

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It seems like ages since I read a book, after the events of August and September sent my record reading year off the rails.  But I’m trying to get back on track and I’ll be reading and reviewing The Red Journal by Deb Elkink soon as part of a review tour with Just Read Tours, so I thought I’d share the first lines for this week’s First Line Friday.

Here is the description:

Flirty globetrotter Sybil badgers her friend Libby to travel along in seeking out the world’s “sacred places”—a monastery in Japan, a mountaintop in Africa, a mosque in Istanbul. Her footloose wandering far from family values costs her more than money.

But Libby can’t afford to travel, and she’s plagued by a different kind of restlessness. Grieving the recent death of the grandmother who raised her in their inner-city Minneapolis tenement now slated for demolition, Libby faces homelessness in both heart and habitation.

When Libby discovers a cryptic message from beyond the grave and an antique ring pointing to a mystery in an inner room of a mansion museum in North Dakota, she sets out on a quest of her own for the meaning of heritage and home.

It isn’t often I run across a novel written in present progressive tense, so I couldn’t stop at just one sentence.  Here are the first lines: Continue reading

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Picture Book Spotlight: Monsters Are Afraid of Babies by Nicholas Tana (with a video preview!)

This post contains affiliate links.  See sidebar for full disclosure.
If you ask me what my favorite childhood picture book was, I will answer Where the Wild Things Are.  And as much as I enjoy sharing Maurice Sendak’s classic with my nieces and nephews, and now my great nieces and nephews, some of them find it too frightening.  So I adore finding new picture books that make monsters less scary.
This picture book hooked me with the title, but the description and the preview video had me smiling.  So when Smith Publicity asked if I would like to share about Monsters Are Afraid of Babies, I just had to say yes.  I think you’ll see why below:
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About the Book

The spooky store displays and monster shows are fun this time of year, but sometimes they can lead younger children to be legitimately scared! Show kids there’s nothing to be afraid of this Halloween with the delightful picture book Monsters Are Afraid of Babies by Nicholas Tana, illustrated by Jessica Abbot and Elise Leutwyler.

In this humorous and boldly colorful read, children follow a boy who frightens the creatures in the closet with the help of his baby sister. Tana has created a universally meaningful message that disarms the figures that intimidate us. Monsters Are Afraid of Babies brings new perspective on the unknown, by humanizing those scary invisible creatures.

On a mission to inspire children and adults, Tana is debuting three new fiction titles that will enchant young audiences this fall. The upcoming Monsters Are Afraid of BabiesThe Kingdom of Glee, and The Kitten, The Cat & The Apple will encourage literacy and evoke imagination in readers.

Lovers of Where the Wild Things AreGoosebumps and Pixar’s Monster’s Inc., will tingle with terror reading this spooky story with a relevant sentiment on fear and anxiety. Monsters readers will delight in each page turn, filled with eye-catching artwork and playful rhyme.

A perfect Halloween-time picture book, Monsters Are Afraid of Babies:

  • Makes reading fun with whimsical wordplay and rhyme
  • Features vivid illustrations that will enthrall children
  • Creates meaningful metaphors about xenophobia, anxiety, and facing fear
  • Finds humor in adjusting to “new creatures” in the house

Monsters Are Afraid of Babies is available in hard cover,  ebook, and  audio book through Amazon and other websites and stores where books are sold.

 

First Line Friday: The Mermaid’s Sister and The Gold-Son

This post includes affiliate links, please see sidebar for disclosure.

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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Back in 2015 I described Carrie Anne Noble‘s debut Young Adult fantasy/historical fiction novel, The Mermaid’s Sister, as lying “somewhere in the realm of folklore and fairy tale.”  I suspect her second novel, The Gold-Son, will inhabit similar terrain.

E-books of The Mermaid’s Sister and The Gold-Son are being offered for only 99 cents on Amazon’s US site this month, so I snapped up a copy of The Gold-Son.  I’m hoping to read it very soon.

Here are their first lines: Continue reading

First Line Friday: An Archer Family Christmas

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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The first Karen Witemeyer book I ever read was Short Straw Bride, and like a lot of her readers, I loved the Archer brothers.  And I enjoyed seeing all four of them find love in the two novels and single novella that made up the original Archer Brother series.  But since he found his true love as a secondary character, Jim Archer never had his own story.  But now there is a fourth story in the series, told Jim and Cassandra Archer’s points of view.

Jim and Cassie, along with all of the growing Archer family, are together in the brand new novella An Archer Family Christmas as part of a new 2-in-1 novella collection from Bethany House.  It is e-book only and includes the previously published Gift of the Heart.

Here is the description:

It’s Christmas Eve, 1893, and the entire family has gathered to celebrate the holiday. This day is always bittersweet for Jim and Cassie, who lost a child on Christmas Eve three years earlier. Cassie has devoted herself to being the favorite aunt of the Archer children, whisking her nieces away to a nearby schoolhouse to create decorations for the Christmas tree that the men and oldest boys are venturing out to chop down.

When an unexpected knock at the schoolhouse door reveals a desperate pregnant woman on the run from a dangerous outlaw, it’ll take a Christmas miracle–and the entire Archer clan–to make sure no danger befalls the child born on this beloved holiday.

And here is the first line:

Continue reading

First Line Friday: Three Words and a Kiss

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak is book three in the Love by the Numbers series.  I posted a review yesterday, but realized a few things this morning:  

  • I didn’t address the humor.
  • Especially a certain duck.
  • I didn’t address the issues affecting Chinese immigrants in 1890’s Seattle.  A serious topic nicely handled.
  • Though I’ve had the ebook since March 1, 2018 (I pre-ordered) and finally read it, I’ve never shared the first line!  So…

Here is the description:

When a big-hearted debutante collides with a small-town blacksmith set in his ways, it can mean only one thing—a war of hearts has come to Pine Creek.

Washington, 1892

Cameron Wallace thrives as both the blacksmith and the minister in his community of Pine Creek. Out of the fires of a chaotic childhood, he’s forged a peaceful life filled with safe relationships and predictable routines. But when the smithy he’s been renting is sold out from under him, the impulsive woman who buys it stokes the embers of emotions he’d rather keep unlit—and even has the audacity to lend a helping hand to his smithy work.

Samantha Klein has never been afraid to push boundaries when it comes to helping those whom society—and God—have overlooked, be they orphans, immigrants, or injured animals. When her latest attempt to aid a group of Chinese women lands her in a newspaper scandal, her high-society family sends her packing from Seattle. Setting out on her own, she purchases the Pine Creek smithy and hatches another plan for helping her immigrant friends. But only weeks after arriving in Pine Creek, her plan turns to ashes, and she’s overwhelmed by needs she can never hope to meet, including her own need to be seen and cared for. And the one who seems to understand her is the man who won’t let her anywhere near his heart, no matter the attraction that burns between them.

As Cameron struggles to find a new normal, and Samantha yearns for someone to share her burdens, old hurts and dangerous secrets make them both terrified to admit that what they need—and what God has planned for them—just might be each other.

And here is the first line:

Continue reading

Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak (quick review)

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Amazon affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2nzMo3U

What a delight the Love That Counts series is! With Three Words and a Kiss in particular, author Sondra Kraak takes several things I love in a story and then weaves them together into a surprisingly earnest but uplifting story of two people who simply want to shed their pasts and find their place in life. Continue reading