First Line Friday – 02.15.19

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 Between Stairs and Stardust by Pepper Basham. Between Stairs and Stardust is Pepper’s contribution to Finding Ever After: four fairytale-ish novellas which just released yesterday!

Finding Ever After

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Here is the first line:

Sunset and sunrise captured the magnificent country chateau best.

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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?

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:

First Line Friday – 01.18.19

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Hey 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 lines from Loving the Texas Stranger by Mary Connealy, a book I’ve recently added to my Kindle and can’t wait to read.

loving the texas stranger

Here is the first line:

Case Garrison tried to suppress his edginess as he strode down the busy Washington D.C. sidewalk.

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An assassin takes a shot and hits two people with one bullet.
Natalie Brewster, a deep undercover agent for a group that doesn’t officially exist, saw the gunman aiming. He definitely waited, lined up the shot, and tried to kill both of them. Nat and Case Garrison hit the ground bleeding. They both come up shooting and kill the assassin—but that just makes him mad.
Now Case and Nat, who have never before met, have to figure out what they have in common to make them prey for a killer.
And they have to do it while running for their lives because, despite the two of them being highly skilled at keeping a low profile, the killer keeps finding them. They are running at break-neck speed, hiding with all the skill of long-time undercover agents, and falling in love with a passion that might be part of what brought a killer down on them.

AMAZON

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

My Rapid Review – Catching Christmas

My RAPID Review - Catching Christmas

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This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is paying his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild-goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.

When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

My Thoughts

A hilarious romp through small-town America, this story will keep you reading just to see what craziness happens next.

If you were ever a fan of the Gilmore Girls and remember the character, Luke Danes — the cranky-but-lovable cafe owner — you’ll have a fair idea of the hero’s personality in Terri Blackstock’s Catching Christmas. Picture Gilmore Girls‘ Luke as a taxi driver stuck with the sweetest — if a bit mischievous — little old lady suffering from severe memory difficulties and a tendency to nod off in the backseat without telling him where he is supposed to take her next, and you have a fair idea of the comedy involved. Terri’s hero, Finn, just wants to do his job, talk as little as possible, and pay his rent on time. No muss, no fuss. But his softy-heart and a guilty conscience just won’t let him push kind-hearted Miss Callie into the “somebody else’s problem” category. At one point likening the sweet old woman to a parasite that won’t leave his mind alone, Finn finds himself driving Miss Callie all over town while Miss Callie’s granddaughter fights to save the job that is footing Miss Callie’s bills. When the hero and the heroine finally get together, their mutual concern for Miss Callie’s welfare cause both an immediate clash and a common bond. Following along as Miss Callie leads them to a Christmas they’ll never forget, was such a pleasure, this book deserves a place on every reader’s bookshelf.

Available: Amazon 

Let’s Chat! Have you finished your Christmas shopping or, like Miss Callie, are you still searching for that final special gift? 

TWEETABLE:

A hilarious romp through small-town America, this story will keep you reading just to see what craziness happens next. #BookReview

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View Disclosure of Materials HERE.

Catching Christmas Tour Banner


About the Author

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Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Catching Christmas is her first Christmas romance. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com Facebook: tblackstock Twitter: @terriblackstock

From Terri Blackstock

Enjoy this premium excerpt from Catching Christmas

https://aerbook.com/books/-128993.html?utm_source=pubpage

To get you in the Christmas mood, here’s an early holiday playlist:

“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby

“I Heard the Bells” sung by MercyMe

“Light of the World” sung by Lauren Daigle

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Amy Grant

“Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” sung by Avalon

“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again” sung by the Katinas

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 15

Daysong Reflections, December 15

Genesis 5020, December 15

Back Porch ReadsDecember 15

The Power of Words, December 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 16

Quiet Quilter, December 16

Among the Reads, December 17

Kathleen Denly, December 17

By The Book, December 17

Lighthouse Academy, December 17

Cultivating Us, December 18

Simple Harvest ReadsDecember 18 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, December 18

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, December 19

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 19

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 20

amandainpa, December 20

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 20

Multifarious, December 21

Cathe Swanson, December 21

Stories By Gina, December 21

Connect in Fiction, December 22

Have A Wonderful Day, December 22

Splashes of Joy, December 22

Bibliophile Reviews, December 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 23

Lis Loves Reading, December 23

Mary Hake, December 23

Bigreadersite, December 23

Book by Book, December 24

Pause for Tales, December 24

To Everything A Season, December 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 25

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 25

Vicky Sluiter, December 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 26

Inklings and notions, December 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 26

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 27

Captive Dreams Window, December 27

Texas Book-aholic, December 27

A Baker’s Perspective, December 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 28

Older & Smarter?, December 28

Janices book reviews, December 28

Carpe Diem, December 28

Giveaway

Giveaway Image

To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a grand prize of a finished copy of Catching Christmas and a Christmas Tree Ornament!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the image below to enter.

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First Line Friday – 12.14.18

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Hi Everyone! It’s First Line Friday, so grab a book near you and share your first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first lines from Buying Love by Toni Shiloh which I read earlier this week and enjoyed so much it cost me sleep! This unique novel was my first book by Toni and I’m excited to read more.

 

Buying Love

Here is the first line:

Nina Warrenton checked her watch for the umpteenth time.

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Will money ruin everything?

Nina Warrenton is ready for the next step in her life plan—marriage, but no one has proposed. Taking matters into her hand, she places an ad in the newspaper hoping to entice a willing stranger. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money.

Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant. When he sees Nina’s monetary offer for a husband, he goes for it. He’s determined to save the legacy his dad left him, but can he let it go to prove his love for her?

Can Nina and Dwight find true love, once money has entered the equation?

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 – 12.07.18

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Hi Everyone! It’s First Line Friday, so grab a book near you and share your first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first lines from A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter. I recently enjoyed the audible version of this book and, although it definitely reads as a stand-alone, I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the Haven Manor series. Fun and unique, this is a story that sticks with you.

A Defense of Honor

Here is the first line:

Graham, the Viscount Wharton, heir to the earldom of Grableton, pride of the Cambridge fencing team, coveted party guest, and generally well-liked member of both Brooke’s and White’s, was bored.

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When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

AMAZON

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Promo - Runaway Wedding
I’ll be releasing my new short story, Runaway Wedding, with my next KRC newsletter! 

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 – 11.30.18

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Hi Everyone! It’s First Line Friday, so grab a book near you and share your first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first lines from A Love Song for Kayla by Kimberly Rose Johnson.

A Love Song for Kayla

Here is the first line:

“I hate Valentine’s Day.”

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When two strangers cross paths their lives are forever altered.

Kayla Russel has all but given up on finding love until a new guy to town walks into her flower shop. There is something mysterious about him that intrigues her, but when she finds out the truth everything changes.

Derek Parker wants to leave his old life behind, but it proves to be harder than he’d anticipated when his past finds him. Now the woman he has come to care for feels deceived.

Will his secrets come between them and destroy what could have been something wonderful?

Previously published under the title A Valentine for Kayla.

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:

My Review – When You Look At Me

My Review - When You Lookt At Me

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An unexpected mother-to-be
A romance-leery composer
And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures

When Julia Jenkins’ great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt’s treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

But her broken past and his families’ expectations build a wall much greater than the cultures that separate them. As they work together to solve a musical mystery from the grave, will an unlikely romance from the past inspire their hearts to trust in a God who’s written the perfect melody for their lives?

Amazon

Book Quote - When You Look at Me - Searching for Love

Why This Book:

I have been a fan of Pepper Basham’s writing since I read her debut novel, The Thornbearer and have read every book she has written since then.

Opening Lines:

Julia Jenkins was a glass-half-full person.

Well, most of the time.

First Impressions:

The character of Julia immediately intrigued me (although I have to disagree with her assessment of baths & pregnancy – I couldn’t have survived my pregnancies without those long soaks!) and I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to know how she’d gotten into her situation and how she was going to handle it now that she was there.

Main Characters:

Julia Jenkins –  As I mentioned, Julia intrigued me at the start and she continued to hold my interest throughout the book. This is a woman with a quiet strength. The type of person you might not notice when you first enter a room, but whose strength and courage will astound you in times of trial. Most importantly, her faith is a thing of incredible beauty.

Henry Wright – Oh how I love the chuckle Pepper gave me by giving Julia a “Mr. Wright.” Name aside, however, the character of Henry had to grow on me a bit. It wasn’t that I initially disliked him — I liked him right away — but he is so unique and his introversion is expressed in such an unusual manner that it did take some getting used to. In the end, my heart was completely won over by this one-of-a-kind, heart-meltingly loyal, and inspiringly selfless man.

Book Quote - When You Look at Me - Liked her more

Amelia Dawn aka Aunt Millie – Julia’s recently deceased aunt is a source of mystery. A recluse in her old age, Amelia’s life before settling near Pleasant Gap is mostly unknown, despite Julia’s close relationship with her in recent years. Throughout the novel, Julia and Henry attempt to uncover Amelia’s secrets and I have to tell you, what they find is worth the search.

Eisley Jenkins – Heroine of the first book in this series, Eisley is one of Julia’s sisters and longtime girlfriend of Wes Harrison (see below).  Her role is important, but not large in this book, although she does get a couple scenes as the Point of View character. (For anyone not familiar with that term, it means the scene is written as if the reader is in her head, hearing her thoughts, seeing what she sees, etc.)

Wes Harrison –  Hero of the first book in this series, Wes is back in this book as the longtime boyfriend of Eisley and best friend of Henry. As with Eisley, his role is important, but not large in this book.

Nate Jenkins – Father of Julia Jenkins, he is naturally protective of his daughter – even more so given her recent experiences – and he provokes some very entertaining and also very touching scenes in this novel. Fair warning:  one of his scenes had me wiping moisture from my eyes and swallowing a lump in my throat. While not perfect, in many ways, he’s what dads should be.

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Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

As I stated above, I was immediately engaged by the character Julia and eventually loved the character of Henry. The story maintained a comfortable tension throughout, with the expected increase of intensity growing toward the climax, so of course, I kept reading.

Not only were the hero and heroine of this book engaging, but the secondary characters were equally so. Pepper has done an excellent job developing the Jenkins family and I am looking forward to reading more stories featuring them. Henry’s family was refreshingly dysfunctional and I loved the surprising and compassionate way in which Pepper portrayed them. This book made me laugh out loud, shake my head, and wipe away pesky tears.

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Elements I especially liked/disliked:

I’ll begin by stating that this story captured first my interest and then my heart. However,  I admit to not being as big of a fan of the big duet scene between the two main characters which I have read other reviewers rave about. To be clear: I didn’t dislike the scene. I just didn’t love it. I think my lack of enthusiasm can be attributed to my general lack of passion for the lingo of music. While I love listening to it, I am neither a player nor a student of that particular art. Therefore, I think some of the subtler nuances of that side of the story – the various musical vocabulary and phrasing sprinkled throughout the story – may have escaped me. Nonetheless, I never felt that I was in any way lost or confused about what was going on.

Furthermore, there were many, many other things to delight me in this story. I completely related to many of the experiences Julia had in regards to her pregnancy, and, in some ways, I could relate to Henry’s need for moments of solitude. The love which grows between the two main characters is something I couldn’t help but feel in a very real way. The unexpected twists Pepper created in this story kept me very happy as a reader, and as always, her literary gift with words was a music all its own.

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Theme:

God is our source of purpose, courage, and healing.

Ending:

Wonderful and full of small twists you didn’t see coming. This ending is sure to leave you grinning.

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Amazon

Let’s chat!

Have you read any of the books in the Pleasant Gap series? What do you think it means to be courageous?

TWEETABLES:

“This story captured first my interest and then my heart.” Read the #BookReview!  @Pepper Basham @KathleenDenly https://bit.ly/2QVNPU2

“This book made me laugh out loud, shake my head, and wipe away pesky tears.”  Read the #BookReview! @Pepper Basham @KathleenDenly https://bit.ly/2QVNPU2

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos above for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !


Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author, but was NOT required to write a positive review. You may read my full disclosure of materials HERE.