First Line Friday — Stars in The Grass by Ann Marie Stewart

3 Nov

Welcome to First Line Friday. It’s easy to participate — grab the closest book and comment with the first line on the first page. Then when you are done, head over to Hoarding Books to find out what other bloggers are sharing.

This week I am sharing Ann Marie Stewart‘s book Stars in The Grass. Ann’s book has been nominated for The Christy Award — First Novel! Winners of this prestigious award will be announced on November 7th.


Nine-year-old Abby McAndrews has just experienced her greatest loss, and in its wake, her family is unraveling with guilt, grief, and anger. Her father, Reverend McAndrews, cannot return to the pulpit because he has more questions than answers. Her older brother Matt’s actions speak louder than the words he needs to confess, as he acts out in dangerous ways. Her mother tries to hold her grieving family together, but when Abby’s dad refuses to move on, the family is at a crossroads.
Stars in the Grass, set in a small Midwestern town in 1970, is an uplifting novel that explores a family’s relationships and resiliency. Abby’s heartbreaking remembrances are balanced by humor and nostalgia as her family struggles with — and ultimately celebrates — life after loss.


Ann Marie Stewart — I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing stories, putting on plays, or belting songs. Ever since grade school when my dad substituted me in for his turn at the Toastmaster podium and I held a captive audience with my speech, I’ve loved making people laugh and cry.

I grew up in Seattle, Washington and am a die-hard UW Husky (and Wolverine) after earning a Masters in Film/Television from University of Michigan. I originated AMG’s Preparing My Heart series, write the column “Ann’s Lovin’ Ewe” for The Country Register and blog for Mentoring Moments. My first novel, Stars in the Grass came out February 2017.

When I’m not writing, I’m waving my arms directing musicals, teaching middle schoolers, or watching UVA Basketball or Madam Secretary. In my free time I hang out with my husband, raising two lovely daughters and a whole flock of fuzzy sheep on Skye Moor Farm, in Virginia — where unscripted drama provides plenty of entertaining material.


Your turn!

What’s your first line?

29 Responses to “First Line Friday — Stars in The Grass by Ann Marie Stewart”

  1. joyofreadingweb November 3, 2017 at 7:14 am #

    Sounds like a really great book, filled with raw emotion. Thank you for sharing it today.
    Over on my blog I’m sharing the first line from Sarah Monzon’s latest book just released this week; “The Esther Paradigm”. I’m just over half-way through the book, and I’m loving the story. But you’ll have to go over there to read the first line for The Esther Paradigm. Here I’ll share with you the first line from an older favorite.

    Bedford, England — May 1659
    “The babe’s crying would rip her heart to shreds if she had to listen to it one more minute.” — The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 7:17 am #

      I really liked The Preacher’s Bride. It was on my Top 10 Reformation Reading list. I’ve heard great things about Sarah’s book. I need to check it out.

      • joyofreadingweb November 3, 2017 at 8:01 am #

        Yes, Sarah is a favorite of mine! This story is just so detailed, you feel like you are there in the story.

      • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 8:40 am #

        I haven’t read anything by her. I need to make some time.

      • joyofreadingweb November 3, 2017 at 10:18 am #

        You’ll want to read her books! They are really good!

  2. susandyer1962 November 3, 2017 at 7:48 am #

    My first line is from Holly and Ivy by Fern Michaels:

    “You’re too young to be hanging around with a bunch of old ladies. You need to be with girls your own age,” Daniel Greenwood explained to his eleven-year-old daughter, Holly.

    Have a great weekend!

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 8:39 am #

      Sounds good!

  3. Phyllis November 3, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    Sounds like a great start to a book. 🙂 I haven’t read anything by that author before.

    For my first line, I’m featuring Masquerade by Janette Rallison. I re-read it earlier this week.

    “Opportunity didn’t knock for Slade Jacobson – it rang his cell phone at 10:34 pm while he was putting his daughter to bed for the third time.”

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 8:41 am #

      Must be great to re-read it yearly! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Tima November 3, 2017 at 8:02 am #

    Sounds interesting.

    My first line is “Sometimes leading also means following. Sometimes being first means you actually arrive second.” Service Tales by Ace Collins

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 8:39 am #

      That is a great book!

  5. Suzanne Sellner November 3, 2017 at 8:33 am #

    I’m currently reading Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer–
    Mid-July 1943
    Cumpton, Arkansas
    Hazel Mae Blackwell

    Hazel set a porcelain cup and saucer on the overturned apple crate in front of her little sister. “Madam, would you like cream and sugar in your tea?”

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 8:38 am #

      I need to put this book on my TBR list.

  6. lelandandbecky November 3, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    Happy Friday! I’m not familiar with this book or author.

    My first line is from Pepper Basham’s Charming the Troublemaker:

    “Loser ex-husbands and freezing January afternoons left a nasty chill.”

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

      Finished that last night. So good!

  7. Becky November 3, 2017 at 9:33 am #

    Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m featuring The Princess Bride on my blog, but I’m currently reading Meg Mitchell & the Secret of the Journals by Kimberly McNeil so I’ll share that here.

    If I say I go to the White Raven for the food, I’d be lying, and I’m a journalist, which means I don’t lie.

    Happy Friday!

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 1:25 pm #


  8. carylkane November 3, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Happy Friday!

    His quarry was late. Very late. – An Eye For An Eye by Irene Hannon

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

      Love Hannon’s books!

  9. bellesmoma16 November 3, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    Happy Friday!!! Today, I’m showcasing A Mother For His Family by Susanne Dietze. So here I will share the first two lines from the novel next in line on my review pile, Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan.

    “You can’t call that a settlement offer.” Kate Sullivan looked directly into the dark eyes of her opposing counsel, who represented a medical device company.

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

      Love Rachel!

  10. Heather November 3, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    Happy Friday!

  11. Fiction Aficionado November 3, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

    Ooh, this sounds like my kind of story! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    I’m featuring the first line from Pepper Basham’s ‘Charming the Troublemaker’ on my blog, but I’m going to leave you with the first line of a book I’ll be reviewing tomorrow, ‘The Bachelor Missions’ by Jes Drew:

    “One bulky figure stands alone in the rain, keeping his head down–his identity obscured by a hat and large raincoat.”

    • rbclibrary November 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm #

      Great first line! Will look for your review.

  12. Iola November 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

    What a cool first line!

    I’m sharing from Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter on my blog today, which has quite a different tone.

    I’m currently reading the Regency Brides collection. Here’s the first line to the second novella in the book, Masquerade Melody by Angela Bell:

    Whoever coined the phrase to “bite one’s tongue” was sorely mistaken in believing that silence inflicted mere physical harm.

  13. Paula Shreckhise November 3, 2017 at 10:45 pm #

    I have this book on my kindle, have heard great things about it!

    My first line is from Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris:

    Special Agent Garrett Addison snapped a photo of the freshly dug grave located inside the yellow roped-off crime scene

    • rbclibrary November 6, 2017 at 7:54 am #

      Cannot wait to get my hands on that one!

  14. Suzie Waltner November 4, 2017 at 10:51 am #

    A Christy Award nominee!! Good choice.

    The first line of the book I’m currently reading is:

    England, December 23, 1813
    Holly Gray’s courage faded with every step she took deeper inside the castle conservatory where, according to Grandfather’s stories, a ghost resided.

    Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch

    • rbclibrary November 6, 2017 at 7:55 am #

      Spooky Christmas stories — love them!

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