First Line Friday: General Meade

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from an Advance Reading Copy and may differ from the published text.

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When Smith Publicity offered to send me an Advance Reading Copy of General Meade: A Novel of the Civil War by Robert Kofman to feature on my Instagram account, I hesitated, but the cover and the promise of learning about a little-known-to-me Civil War General and I quickly accepted.  So there I was, second-guessing what I thought had been a yes to a 500+ page work of non-fiction, when it arrived and it was immediately clear that I had somehow missed an important word: novel.

Not a typical book to share for First Line Friday – or so you might think.  But early on there are important elements to this story of a deeply held love and of a faith that sees him through.  Now I’m over midway through what may be the longest historical fiction novel I read this year, and I am so fascinated that other books are sitting unfinished so that I can focus on General Meade.

Here’s the synopsis that drew me in:

As the civil war raged on, President Lincoln desperately sought a commander to defeat the seemingly invincible Confederate general, Robert E. Lee, whose army had invaded Pennsylvania. Lincoln turned to the Old Snapping Turtle, General George Meade—a courageous man with remarkable integrity and a fiery temper—to save the Union during its greatest time of need.

Just three short days after taking command, General Meade confronts Lee’s army at Gettysburg, resulting in the bloodiest and most dramatic battle of the war. Delivering a glorious victory, at first heralded as a hero who turned the tide of the war, General Meade falls victim to a nefarious smear campaign that threatens to ruin his reputation and his career. The general is forced to muster all of his strength to persevere against an onslaught of political and newspaper attacks, all while leading the Army of the Potomac and serving his superiors: General Ulysses S. Grant and President Lincoln.

In General Meade, readers will be struck with how contemporary the themes are, a country so divided by a contentious social issue – slavery – that it fights a civil war. There are polarized political parties, partisan newspaper attacks, false news stories, war heroes and villains, a controversial President leading the country through a crisis, leaked Congressional testimony and an unscrupulous Congressional Committee out to destroy the careers of generals who don’t share its political ideology.

And here are the first lines:

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First Line Friday: Katherine Wentworth

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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I’ve just begun reading the 1964 novel Katherine Wentworth by D.E. Stevenson (Mrs. Dorothy Emily Peploe), and it is quickly clear that everything I love about her earlier novels (this was her 34th) is still there.  I am loving the writing, the descriptions, the gentle flow of the story, the obliviousness of the narrator when it comes to a man being in love with her… Good thing there is a second novel, The Marriage of Katherine, hinting that she eventually gets a clue.

Here’s the book description:

Katherine has married at nineteen and has had four years of happiness before her beloved Gerald dies and she is left to bring up a stepson, Simon, and her own little twins on a very inadequate income.

She has known what it is to be loved and cherished, and now that she has lost her Gerald, all she wants is freedom and independence to bring up Gerald’s children as he would have liked.

In the case of Simon the task is not easy, for an unexpected letter offers him a very different sort of life with wide horizons. What would Gerald have wanted for his son? The situation is further complicated by a group of young people who rebel against the boredom and frustrations of modern life and find an outlet for their pent-up feelings in mischief.

Katherine is worn out with worries and difficulties and scarcely knows which way to turn; but a restful holiday in the Scottish Highlands restores her zest for living. Colours look brighter, food tastes delicious, and every day is a new pleasure. And it is only then that she begins to realise that independence is not as important as love.

And here is the first paragraph, all one sentence, from Chapter One:

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First Line Friday: The Liberty Bride

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

The featured quote is from a digital galley made available for review through NetGalley and may differ from the final text.

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Oh, my goodness!  I completely forgot about First Line Friday because I was too busy reading book 6 of Barbour Books’ Daughters of the Mayflower series, The Liberty Bride, now also known as my very first book by MaryLu Tyndall.  

Here is the publisher’s description:

Lieutenant Owen Masters and Emeline Baratt meet on a British warship as sworn enemies. Where will Emeline place her loyalties when forced to spy against her country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

War Forces a Choice Between Love and Country

A trip home from England to Maryland in 1812 finds Emeline Baratt a captive on a British warship and forced to declare her allegiance between the British and Americans. Remaining somewhat politically neutral on a ship where her nursing skills are desperately needed is fairly easy—until she starts to have feelings for the first lieutenant who becomes her protector. However, when the captain sends her and Lieutenant Owen Masters on land to spy, she must choose between her love for him and her love for her country.

 

And here is the first line:

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First Line Friday: American Omens

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s quote is taken from an Uncorrected Proof I received for review purposes from the publisher, and may differ from the final text.

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Once in a while, but rather too often, I have a week where I can’t find time to read, let alone write reviews.  And while I did have one evening devoted to reading, I’ve since been stuck at about 60% of the way into reading a thriller.  And the reading of a good thriller should not be paused at 60% if it can be helped.  But I think I’m far enough into the story to say that American Omens: The Coming Fight for Faith by Travis Thrasher is a good one.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

In this taut thriller that depicts a future where belief is dangerous, faith is deemed hatred, and a group of powerful elite keeps watch, the Reckoner has come to wake up America.

The year is 2038 and Cheyenne Burne is a brilliant young programmer working for Acatour, the world’s top technology firm. Her father converts to Christianity, and he suddenly disappears without a trace. When a stranger hands Cheyenne a coded message that sends her on a collision course with a clandestine group of believers, she must put her life in the hands of those following a man known only as the Reckoner. He claims he wants to bring back true faith in Christ to America and also reveal the forces behind the disappearances of the many renowned people who publicly declared their Christian faith.

Operating in the shadows and living off the grid, this mysterious prophet assembles a ragtag team–including a former bookseller whose store was shut down for selling prohibited books–to help him take the battle for transparency to the top. With a ruthless FBI agent closing in, can Cheyenne and the others expose the truth and lead a return to God in America before it’s too late?

 

And here are the first lines from Chapter One, “Blackbird”:

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First Line Friday: Death in the Stocks

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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I’m continuing my read-through of Georgette Heyer‘s country house murder mysteries with 1935’s Death in the Stocks.  This is the fourth of her twelve murder mysteries and the first to feature Detective Hannasyde.

Here is the description from the back cover of my 2009 Sourcebooks Landmark edition:

A moonlit night, a sleeping village, and an unaccountable murder…
In the dead of night, a man in evening dress is found murdered, locked in the stocks on the village green. Unfortunately for Superintendent Hannasyde, the deceased is Andrew Vereker, a man hated by nearly everyone, especially his odd and unhelpful family members.  The Verekers are as eccentric as they are corrupt, and it will take all Hannasyde’s skill at detection to determine who’s telling the truth, and who is pointing him in the wrong direction.  The question is: who in this family is clever enough to get away with murder?

 

 

And here is the first line:

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First Line Friday: The White City

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

The featured quote is from a digital galley made available for review through NetGalley and may differ from the final text.

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The Chicago World’s Fair and serial killer H.H. Holmes are at the center of The White City by Grace Hitchcock, the first in a new multi-author series from Barbour Books, True Colors: Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime.  Having watched a documentary about “The White City” in 1893 and the horrific crimes of H.H. Holmes, I am curious to see how the romance twines around all of the history and how the author handles such a despicable character.  So I snapped up a Read Now copy on GoodReads, and so far (I’m about 4% in) I am liking the heroine and the hero.

Here is the publisher’s description:

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

 

And here is the first line:

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First Line Friday: One Mind’s Eye

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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After reading Enclave’s republication of Shivering World through NetGalley, Kathy Tyers became one of my favorite new-to-me author discoveries in 2018.  So I was excited to find a used copy of her novel One Mind’s Eyepublished in 1996 by Bantam Spectra and now apparently out of print.

Here’s what the back of the book  has to say:

The human settlers of the Concord worlds are slowly rebuilding the ecosystems and civilizations ravaged by the alien Devastators, who disappeared as abruptly and mysteriously as they had attacked.  But now politics sabotage the recovery process as a prosperous world threatens secession, raising the specter of a pernicious war of humans against humans–and carrying with it rumors of a secret alliance with an enemy even more potent that the dreaded Devastators.

Yet one human may be able to turn the tide.  On the planet Antar, a damaged young woman struggles to recover her health and independence.  Found submerged in an artificial reality–drugged by sensation, wasting away, with no memories and no past–Llyn Torfinn now stands at the threshold of adulthood and at the gateway of her deadliest challenge ever: to learn her true identity and destiny.  For if Llyn cannot come into her own, and quickly, all of humanity will pay the price.

And here are the first lines:

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