First Line Friday – 4.12.19

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Don’t you just love Fridays? I don’t know about you, but I can often squeeze in a little more reading on the weekends than I can during the week. I doubt I’ll be doing much reading this weekend, though. I’m headed for the 2019 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference! KRC Members can look for my spring newsletter with all my exciting updates (and, of course, the latest giveaways and book deals) to land in their inbox shortly after I return. If you aren’t yet a KRC Member, be sure to click the link below to sign up!

Today I’m featuring, A Claim of Her Own by Stephanie Grace Whitson. This is one of those books you remember vividly even years later.

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Here’s the first line:

Walking down the main street in Deadwood is like stepping onto hell’s front porch.

Doesn’t that line make you excited to keep reading?

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Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

Test Your 19th-Century Slang

Header Image - 19th Ctry Slang

When it comes to nineteenth-century slang, are you a ninny or smart as a steel trap? Keep reading to find out!

Did you know, that if you called me a Kate, I would give you Jesse? I might even plant a sockdollager on your snout and knock you into a cocked hat. You’ll probably wind up in Job’s dock when I’m through. After all, I’ve been known to whip my weight in wild cats when I get wrathy. Now, don’t wake snakes. Any varmint what’s too much of a ninny to shut pan when he’s fuddled deserves what comes to him.

That reminds me: If you’re poor as Job’s turkey, I reckon you’d best steer clear of the groggery. Don’t think that you can pass the old orchard and pull foot. You can’t hornswoggle him and I hear-tell that owner’s savage as a meat axe when he’s in a pucker. He’ll exfluncticate you if you don’t pony-up before you absquatulate.

Cutting up didoes may be all the go among natty kids but it’ll land you in the block-house.

What’s that? You say you’ve got your own bucket shop? Well, ain’t you a huckleberry above a persimmon? Do-tell! And while you’re at it, let me know how much of this made sense to you and how much sounded like bunkum.

Need a dictionary? Here you go:

ninny = coot/idiot/simpleton

smart as a steel trap = particularly intelligent and quick

Kate = smart, brazen-faced woman

Jesse = hell

sockdollager = powerful punch or blow

cock your hat = knock someone senseless

Job’s dock = hospital

whip one’s weight in wild cats = defeat a powerful opponent

wrathy = angry

wake snakes = make a fuss

varmint = wild animal or objectionable person

shut pan = close one’s mouth

fuddled = drunk

poor as Job’s turkey = very poor

reckon = to think or guess

groggery = drinking establishment

old orchard = whiskey

pull foot = leave quickly

hornswoggle = to cheat; to pull the wool over one’s eyes

savage as a meat axe = extremely savage

pucker = in a state of anger

exfluncticate = to utterly destroy

pony-up = pay up

absquatulate = to take leave, to disappear

cutting up didoes = getting into mischief

all the go = in fashion

natty kids = young thieves

block-house = jail

bucket shop = gin mill; distillery

huckleberry above a persimmon = a cut above

Do-tell = express fascination in a way that encourages the speaker to continue

bunkum = nonsense

acknowledge the corn = to admit the truth; to confess

Which of these terms had you the most befuddled? Let me know in the comments below!

(NOTE: While these are true nineteenth-century terms, the above was written in good fun and should not be taken seriously.)

To learn more fun nineteenth-century terms, check out these sources:

19th Century Slang Dictionary (PDF)

Dictionary of Americanisms

Vocabulum – The Rogue’s Lexicon

First Line Friday – 04.05.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from a book I am currently listening on Audible,The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen.

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Here are the first lines:

May 27, 1820
Ivy Hill, Wiltshire, England

Jane Fairmont Bell sat alone in the keeper’s lodge she had once shared with her husband.

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The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora’s wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them–and her future–in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?

AMAZON

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Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 03.29.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett. This book is very near the top of my TBR list and I cannot wait to finally get to read it!

The Road to Paradise

Here are the first lines:

June 1, 1927
Mount Rainier National Park
Ashford, Washington

The promised view of the mountain peak waited, cloaked in mist like a tissue-wrapped gift not ready to be unveiled. 

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An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow.

But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.

When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?

Karen Barnett’s vintage national parks novels bring to vivid life President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for protected lands, when he wrote in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”

AMAZON

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Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

My Rapid Review – Finding Ever After

My RAPID Review - Between Stairs and Stardust

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Between Stairs and Stardust is Pepper Basham’s addition to the collection titled, Finding Ever After: four fairytale-ish novellas

Stella Faye Emory has known a life of loss. Orphaned at the age of eleven, she is sent from her home at the Biltmore Estate to become a companion for a wealthy family in Boston. As she grows into a kind and talented young lady, a benefactress recognizes Stella’s artistic skills and funds her education but Stella’s fame as an illustrator inspires jealousy and an unwanted rumor that sends Stella fleeing back to the Biltmore.

James Craven is the second-born son of an automobile tycoon. Following his family to their new estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains, James finds his place among the forests and mountains of the countryside. When his little sister is saved from drowning by the mysterious, “Faye”, James’ interests take a new turn in the direction of this fairy-like artist who seems to appear and disappear at the most unexpected times.

As James and Stella’s friendship deepens, Stella’s past finds her and threatens her newfound romance. Can a charm bracelet and an unanticipated visitor restore hopes for a happily-ever-after?

Finding Ever After

Experience a touch of magic with these four fairytale-ish novellas that span over one hundred years. Linked by an illustrated book of fairytales, each novella is an enchanting combination of a beloved classic sprinkled with the author’s own brand of fairy dust.

Between Stairs and Stardust is set in 1913 Asheville, NC at the beautiful Biltmore Estate and includes a budding children’s book illustrator, an out-of-the box heir, and a teensy bit of Cinderella romance.

Entanglements has a Rapunzel twist and is set in 1920’s Boston between a reluctant heiress, a charming piano tuner, and a game of chess.

Twice Upon A Time is a Beauty-And-The-Beast inspired tale that brings a romance novelist back home to her family’s pecan farm… and the ex-fiance she left behind.

Once Bitten is a nod to Snow White that includes a fake date with a handsome woodsman, seven geeks, and the world’s best apple tarts.

My Thoughts

Once again Pepper Basham has created memorable characters you’ll want to root for. Beginning with a page-turning opening scene, this novella keeps you reading until the very end. Exquisite descriptions place you right in the heart of the elegant Biltmore Estate nestled in the beauty of 1913 Asheville, North Carolina. Her attention to detail and powerful writing style wrap you in the world of Stella and James as they struggle to discover what truly matters and where they belong.

This story made me chuckle, gasp, and grin like a silly woman in all the right places. With engaging characters, vivid setting details, and plot twists you won’t see coming, Between Stairs and Stardust is a tale not to miss. 

About the collection:

Between Stairs and Stardust sets up the following three novellas in the collection by introducing the reader to a unique fairytale book, created by Stella (Pepper’s heroine in Between Stairs and Stardust). This book is passed from heroine to heroine (or hero) in an indirect manner as we travel through time with the final story taking place in modern day. Each story finds a unique way to incorporate the book, interpret the fairytale they’ve chosen to reinvent, and engage our attention as readers. While Pepper’s is probably my favorite, I sincerely enjoyed the other novella’s in this collection as well and recommend it to anyone looking for heart-warming stories that leave you smiling.

AMAZON

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First Line Friday – 03.22.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano. This was my first book by Jen Turano and I am quite happy to say that her story more than lived up to its beautiful cover. I think I let this one sit on my TBR a bit longer because the sample I listened to on audible didn’t strongly intrigue me. What a mistake. If the sample had contained just a bit more of that scene, I’d have better understood just how compelling this story truly was. Before the very first scene was even finished, I was hooked. Despite numerous responsibilities demanding my time and attention, I contrived ways to squeeze this book in so that I finished in under three days. I just could not wait to discover what would happen next. If you have not already read this book, I highly recommend doing so!

P.S. I really want her dress!

Flights of Fancy

Here are the first lines:

July 1885
Newport

Wonderful news, darling. I have it on good authority from none other than Mr. Ward McAlllister that the Duke of Montrose has taken a special interest in you.”

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Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 03.15.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris. It is a nonfiction book on Joseph Lister’s Quest to transform the grisly world of Victorian medicine. I picked it up with plans to skim it for research questions pertaining to a work in progress and wound up devouring it like a novel. Seriously, I read this thing cover to cover which is not my norm for a nonfiction book. It is very well written and I found the medical history combined with Lister’s personal life to be simply fascinating. That said, it’s probably not something you want to read over lunch.

The Butchering Art

 

Here are the first lines:

On the afternoon of December 21, 1846, hundreds of men crowded into the operating theater at London’s University College Hospital, where the city’s most renowned surgeon was preparing to enthrall them with a mid-thigh amputation. 

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Winner, 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing
Short-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize
A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly
A Best History Book of 2017, The Guardian

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery and shows how it was transformed by advances made in germ theory and antiseptics between 1860 and 1875. She conjures up early operating theaters—no place for the squeamish—and surgeons, who, working before anesthesia, were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the riddle and change the course of history.

Fitzharris dramatically reconstructs Lister’s career path to his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be countered by a sterilizing agent applied to wounds. She introduces us to Lister’s contemporaries—some of them brilliant, some outright criminal—and leads us through the grimy schools and squalid hospitals where they learned their art, the dead houses where they studied, and the cemeteries they ransacked for cadavers.

Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating: