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First Line Friday — Fatal Code

20 May

Happy Friday! I have loved every book that Natalie Walters has written! So I am excited to read book 2 in her Snap Agency series, Fatal Code. This romantic suspense looks to be filled with action, danger, and a romance for Kekoa, a favorite character. Are you going to read this one too?

Here’s the first line:

“Death has no sting.”

In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those five scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession–and a target on her back.

SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she’s his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.

As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. When Elinor learns he has been spying on her, she’s crushed. But with danger closing in on all sides, she’ll have to trust him to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands.

Natalie Walters sucks you into the global race for space domination in this perfectly paced second installment of her SNAP Agency romantic suspense series.

Natalie Walters’ world revolves around GIJOE and her three adult (or almost adult) children who keep her life anything but predictable. Their boots hit the ground wherever the Army sends them but home is when they’re all together no matter the zip code. Her passion is writing stories where adventure meets love and share her belief that life rooted in purpose is a story worth telling.

First Line Friday — The Librarian of Saint-Malo

6 May

Happy Friday! I have been wanting to read The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar for a long time. I even have a physical copy of the book on my shelf. But it’s been put back so many times, I despaired of every getting to it. Until . . . I discovered that my local library, through Libby, had the audiobook version available to borrow. Yay! I am finally reading/listening. Have you read this book? I’d love to know your thoughts.

In the meantime, here’s the first line.

Dear Marcel Zola:

Time takes care with no one.

Saint-Malo, France: August 1938. Jocelyn and Antoine are childhood sweethearts, but just after they marry and are hoping for a child, Antoine is called up to fight against Germany. As the war rages, Jocelyn focuses on comforting and encouraging the local population by recommending books from her beloved library in Saint-Malo. She herself finds hope in her letters to a famous author.

After the French capitulation, the s occupy the town and turn it into a fortress to control the north of French Brittany. Residents try passive resistance, but the German commander ruthlessly purges part of the city’s libraries to destroy any potentially subversive writings. At great risk to herself, Jocelyn manages to hide some of the books while waiting to receive news from Antoine, who has been taken to a German prison camp.

What unfolds in her letters is Jocelyn’s description of her mission: to protect the people of Saint-Malo and the books they hold so dear. With prose both sweeping and romantic, Mario Escobar brings to life the occupied city and re-creates the history of those who sacrificed all to care for the people they loved.

First Line Friday — Sea Glass Cottage

22 Apr

Happy Friday! It’s still Friday for another few hours, so I am technically not late. 😉 Today I am featuring Sea Glass Cottage by Irene Hannon. Hannon is one of my all-time favorite authors, and a return to Hope Harbor is always a treat! It is on my TBR shelf and I can’t wait to get to it.

Until then, here’s the first line:

Asking for help from a man who hated you was hard.

Christi Reece is desperate. The one-time golden girl’s life has tarnished, and a cascade of setbacks has left her reeling. She needs help, and she’s certain Jack Colby is in a position to provide it. 

When she shows up in Hope Harbor, however, Jack wants nothing to do with the woman who betrayed him. He’s built a new life on the Oregon coast–and there’s no room in it for Christi, even after she takes refuge in a charming but mysterious cottage nearby. Yet it soon becomes apparent his opinion of her may need revising . . . especially when he ends up needing her help. 

Can these two hurting souls make peace with their past and open their hearts to a new beginning? 

Come home to Hope Harbor–where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon delivers another heartwarming and romantic story set in the enchanting seaside community of Hope Harbor that is loved by readers the world over. Once you visit, you’ll never want to leave.

First Line Friday — The Murder of Mr. Wickham

15 Apr

I am a sucker for Jane Austen knock-offs or variations, as they are often called. When I found out there was a murder mystery with Mr. Wickham as the victim, I said yes, please! Claudia Gray has included a number of Austen’s characters from across her novels in The Murder of Mr. Wickham , and I cannot wait!

Here’s the first line:

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Knightley of Donwell Abbey had been a surprise to those who knew them best and not in the least surprising to those who knew them hardly at all.

A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst. 

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang. 

First Line Friday — The Catch

8 Apr

Happy Friday! I have been in something of a reading slow-down. I have enjoyed the books I’ve recently read, but I can’t seem to finish them in a timely fashion. What used to take me just a few days is stretching past a week. Yikes! I need a shot of something to get going. Of course I am behind on some series too. But Lisa Harris‘ newest release, The Catch, book 3 in her US Marshals series, might just be the kickstart I need to solve two reading dilemmas!

Here’s the first line:

He’d lied to her again.

After a harrowing attempt on a judge’s life at the courthouse, Deputy US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are tasked with finding a missing woman and an endangered child in connection to the murder of the judge’s wife. What seems like a fairly straightforward case becomes hopelessly tangled when the marshals discover that the woman they are searching for is not who they think she is.

Madison and Jonas are forced into a race to find the woman and the child before the men who want her dead discover her location. And in a final showdown that could cost her everything, Madison will come face-to-face with the person who murdered her husband.

USA Today bestselling author Lisa Harris concludes her thrilling US Marshals series with this breathless tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and ultimately, justice prevailing.

First Line Friday — A Fool And His Monet

1 Apr

Happy Friday and Happy April Fool’s Day! Do you have any tricks up your sleeve today? I am not much on pranks, but a good April Fool’s joke is a bit fun. The book I am highlighting today is no joke, though. A Fool And His Monet is a lighthearted, cozy-ish style mystery by Sandra Orchard. It and the other 2 books in the series were published some years ago, so if the first line piques your interest then you have your weekend all booked up! No fooling 😉 .

Here’s the first line:

I should have listened to my mother.

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art–one that’s surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She’s joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer–like get married–Serena’s learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather’s murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

With spunk, humor, and plenty of heart-stopping moments, Sandra Orchard gives readers an exciting string of cases to crack and a character they’ll love to watch solve them.

First Line Friday — All That It Takes

25 Mar

Happy Friday! Today I am spotlighting All That It Takes by Nicole Deese. This will be my second book by Deese, and I am so excited to read it.

Here’s the first line:

As the door to our new life swung open and my ten-year-old son rushed across the threshold to explore the second-story apartment, the you-break-it, you-buy-it policy flashed across my mind like a hazard warning.

When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she’d planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend’s brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers’ mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val’s community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord. 

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he’s also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects–not the least of which is pursuing Val–without stopping to consider the future. 

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they’ll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

First Line Friday — Shadows in The Mind’s Eye

18 Mar

Happy Friday! I am so excited to share with you the first line of Shadows in The Mind’s Eye the debut novel by Janyre Tromp. It is billed as a Hitchcockian novel — say no more, I am in! I will be reading this book soon ( I got an early copy 😉 ), and wanted to give you a bit of a sneak peek.

Here’s the first line:

Darkness had long ago swallowed the Greyhound bus moving down the road so slow that it might as well have been going backward.

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on–responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who’s come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam’s experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand–but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn’t the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she’s terrified he’s going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam’s mental wounds–or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.

Janyre Tromp is a historical novelist who loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas. 

She’s also a book editor, children’s book author, and lives in Michigan with her family, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric dog. Hang out with her on social media or through her newsletter (sign up on her website www.JanyreTromp.com).

First Line Friday — Legacy of Lies

11 Mar

Happy Friday! This weekend I am attending my nephew’s wedding. Along with getting together with family, I will have some time to read because, road trip. 😉 I am taking along the unputdownable Legacy of Lies by Christy Barritt. It really is a page turner that grabbed me from the beginning. Alas, life causes me to do other things besides reading. But with a few hours on the road, I hope to knock this mystery/thriller out. And just a hint, the first line is not about food. Yikes!

Now the first line:

Insatiable hunger growled inside me, and all I could think about was eating.

The justice system failed her family—and so did her hometown.

Madison Colson knows deep down that her father—a convicted serial killer—is innocent. But believing it and proving it are two entirely different things. Unable to help her father, Madison has spent most of her adult life overcompensating by helping others. When her aunt dies unexpectantly, duty calls her back to Fog Lake, Tennessee, a beautiful but painful place she’d rather forget.

Terrifying events begin to unfold once she arrives, unleashing her worst nightmares. The Good Samaritan Killer—or a copycat—is back, and now Madison Colson is his target.

FBI Special Agent Shane Townsend is determined to stop the deadly rampage that has sent the tightknit community into a frenzy. But he needs to earn Madison’s trust first. The task feels impossible, especially considering his father is the one who put her dad in prison.

With the whole town on edge and pointing fingers, tension escalates out of control. Madison and Shane must sort the facts from the lies—and fight for a legacy of truth—before The Good Samaritan Killer has the final say

First Line Friday — Until Leaves Fall In Paris

4 Mar

I am looking forward to R&R this weekend — reading and relaxing. I am taking Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin with me. Sarah is one of my go-to historical fiction authors. My book club loves her too. We will be discussing this book in a couple months. Can’t wait!

In the meantime, here’s the first line.

As long as she kept dancing, Lucille Girard could pretend the world wasn’t falling apart.

As the Nazis march toward Paris in 1940, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. Lucie struggles to run Green Leaf Books due to oppressive German laws and harsh conditions, but she finds a way to aid the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.

Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. After they meet in the bookstore, Paul and Lucie are drawn to each other, but she rejects him when she discovers he sells to the Germans. And for Paul to win her trust would mean betraying his mission.

Master of WWII-era fiction Sarah Sundin invites you onto the streets of occupied Paris to discover whether love or duty will prevail.

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of Until Leaves Fall in Paris (February 2022), When Twilight Breaks (2021), the Sunrise at Normandy series, and three more World War II series. 

Sarah’s novels have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. When Twilight Breaks and The Land Beneath Us were finalists for the Christy Award, The Sky Above Us won the 2020 Carol Award, and When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were both named to Booklist’s 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years. 

A mother of three, Sundin lives in California and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Sarah serves as Co-Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, on Twitter at @sarahsundin, and on Instagram at @sarahsundinauthor.