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First Line Friday — In Love’s Time

22 Sep

I had the great pleasure of meeting Kate Breslin during the Windy City Saga Tour 2023 hosted by Jocelyn Green. Saturday of the tour began with a Breakfast Book Club with Kate, Jocelyn, and Laura Frantz and then ended with The Novel-Tea with a total of 7 authors. This bookworm’s heart was thrilled!

I made sure to get a signed copy of Kate’s most recent release In Love’s Time, a WWI-era novel. Can’t wait to dive in!

Here’s the first line:

Would the human destruction never end?

At the height of World War I, two sweethearts face impossible odds in this powerful tale of courage, duty, and heartbreak.

In the summer of 1918, Captain Marcus Weatherford arrives in Russia on a secret mission, with a beautiful ballerina posing as his fiancée. He’s there to find the Romanov tsarina and her son and glean information about a plot to assassinate Lenin. As the danger intensifies, Marcus’s sense of duty battles with his desire to return home to Clare, the woman he truly loves, before it’s too late.

Military hospital orderly Clare Danner still suffers from Marcus’s betrayal after learning he’s engaged to another woman. Clare also fears losing her daughter, Daisy, to the heartless family who took her away once before. Only Marcus can provide the critical proof needed to save Daisy, but when an injury leaves him powerless to help, Clare’s fate–and the fate of the top-secret mission–hangs in the balance.

Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing’s 2015 Best Award for First Time Author and her debut novel, For Such A Time, was shortlisted for both the Christy and RITA awards and received the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 Carol Award for Debut Novel. Kate’s sixth novel, In Love’s Time, released December, 2022. When she’s not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington’s beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, Barcelona, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas. Please visit her at

First Line Friday — The Secrets of Emberwild

15 Sep

This past Labor Day Weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending the Novel-Tea hosted by Jocelyn Green. Oh the fangirlling that went on there! Great one-on-ones with the authors, as well as a fantastic panel discussion, were highlights of the evening. But I can’t leave out the goodie bags that awaited attendees. Not 1, not 2, but 3 fabulous books were included! I am thrilled that I received a copy of The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee. It’s been on my book-radar since it released last year. I can’t wait to read it!

Here’s the first line:

Freedom rushed through Nora Fenton’s veins, erupting with each breath.

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They’re easier to handle, they’re more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father’s passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father’s death–even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he’s come to admire.

First Line Friday — My Mother’s Chamomile

8 Sep

I had a wonderful weekend exploring historic sites, making new friends, and fan-girling over some of my very favorite authors as I joined Jocelyn Green on her Windy City Saga Tour. Chicago was beautiful! If you ever have the opportunity to be a literary tourist, I highly recommend it. It is a book nerd’s dream. 😉

Susie Finkbeiner and I have been book friends for ages, but had never met in person . . . until last weekend. Susie was a featured author at the Novel-Tea held at the historic Palmer House. I was thrilled to finally get to talk to her in person. Yes, I probably gushed. I also bought books. Big surprise! One was one of the few books I have not read by Susie — My Mother’s Chamomile. I can’t wait to dig in!

Here’s the first line:

Curly, carrot red hair bobbed up and down among the green and purple, yellow and pink of the garden.

Desperate for the rains of mercy…

Middle Main, Michigan has one stop light, one bakery, one hair salon…and one funeral home. The Eliot Family has assisted the grieving people in their town for over fifty years. After all those years of comforting others, they are the ones in need of mercy.

Olga, the matriarch who fixes everything, is unable to cure what ails her precious daughter. She is forced to face her worst fears. How can she possibly trust God with Gretchen’s life?

A third generation mortician, Evelyn is tired of the isolation that comes with the territory of her unconventional occupation. Just when it seems she’s met a man who understands her, she must deal with her mother’s heartbreaking news. Always able to calm others and say just the right thing, she is now overwhelmed with helplessness as she watches Gretchen slip away.

They are tasting only the drought of tragedy…where is the deluge of comfort God promises?

First Line Friday — Queen of Exiles

1 Sep

I am so excited that Vanessa Riley will be a participating author at the book festival that will take place in my hometown in January. She writes historical fiction featuring strong women of color. I purchased her latest novel, Queen of Exiles, in anticipation of the festival book club that I will be facilitating. It looks fascinating. And I love the cover!

Here’s the first line:

Dumping the contents of my last trunk onto the floor, I wanted to shriek.

Acclaimed historical novelist Vanessa Riley is back with another novel based on the life of an extraordinary Black woman from history: Haiti’s Queen Marie-Louise Coidavid, who escaped a coup in Haiti to set up her own royal court in Italy during the Regency era, where she became a popular member of royal European society. 

The Queen of Exiles is Marie-Louise Christophe, wife and then widow of Henry I, who ruled over the newly liberated Kingdom of Hayti in the wake of the brutal Haitian Revolution.

In 1810 Louise is crowned queen as her husband begins his reign over the first and only free Black nation in the Western Hemisphere. But despite their newfound freedom, Haitians still struggle under mountains of debt to France and indifference from former allies in Britain and the new United States. Louise desperately tries to steer the country’s political course as King Henry descends into a mire of mental illness.

In 1820, King Henry is overthrown and dies by his own hand. Louise and her daughters manage to flee to Europe with their smuggled jewels. In exile, the resilient Louise redefines her role, recovering the fortune that Henry had lost and establishing herself as an equal to the kings of European nations. With newspapers and gossip tracking their every movement, Louise and her daughters tour Europe like other royals, complete with glittering balls and princes with marriage proposals. As they find their footing—and acceptance—they discover more about themselves, their Blackness, and the opportunities they can grasp in a European and male-dominated world.  

Queen of Exiles is the tale of a remarkable Black woman of history—a canny and bold survivor who chooses the fire and ideals of political struggle, and then is forced to rebuild her life on her own terms, forever a queen.

Vanessa Riley writes Regency Romances and Historical Fiction of dazzling multi-culture communities with powerful persons of color. Vanessa writes for historical romance readers who admire and acquire books that showcase women who find joy in sweeping kisses and strong sisterhoods. Even in the darkness, she promises to give you laughs and to show you how light always prevails and how love always, always wins.

Vanessa juggles mothering a teen, cooking for her military-man husband, and speaking at women’s and STEM events. She loves baking her Trinidadian grandma’s cake recipes and collecting Irish crochet lace. She’s known for her sweeping romances and humorous delivery of poignant truths. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

You can find her at:

Sign up for her newsletter to get access to free stories, giveaways, and more at:

First Line Friday — Fragile Designs

25 Aug

Happy Friday! Today I am featuring a favorite author, Colleen Coble, and her upcoming romantic suspense novel Fragile Designs. The book does not release until January 2024, but I was able to get an early copy from NetGalley. It sounds fantastic — Fabrege’ eggs and the Russian mafia — and the cover is great! I can’t wait to read it.

Here’s the first line:

Another wave of nausea hit Carly Harris the minute she opened her car door and got out in the garage.

There’s only one thing more dangerous than family secrets.

Since her police-officer husband Eric’s mysterious murder, Carly Harris has been struggling to support herself and their infant son. Her career as an antique dealer isn’t sustainable, nor is her dream of becoming a novelist. So when her grandmother proposes she and her two sisters restore the family’s large Beaufort home and turn it into a bed-and-breakfast, she immediately gets to work clearing out the house. In the process, she uncovers a family secret that Eric kept hidden. And an heirloom that the wrong person wouldn’t hesitate to kill for.

Homicide detective Lucas Bennet isn’t his neighbor’s biggest fan, not since she broke his brother’s heart years ago. But when Carly turns to Lucas for help, believing she’s found a lost Fabergé egg that would be worth millions and that could put her family’s lives in danger, he can’t help but get involved. Soon, they’re entangled in a mystery with threads that lead all the way to the Russian mafia. Lucas has gotten in deep, and while he trusts his ability to keep Carly and her family safe, he begins to realize he’s vulnerable to an unexpected kind of danger. And he’s helpless to stop the freefall. As they continue working closely together, Carly and Lucas realize they may have found something more precious than gold. Yet it’s only a matter of time before Carly—or, worse, someone she loves—gets hurt.

First Line Friday — The Thing About Home

18 Aug

Happy Friday! A group of friends and I have embarked on an exciting and admittedly scary journey to bring a book festival focusing on Christian fiction/nonfiction and “clean reads” to the middle Georgia area in Janruay 2024. We have over 30 authors committed to be part of all the fun. Many of the writers I have featured on the blog will be attendance. If you live anywhere near (or far) from us you need to attend. We can be found in a number of places, but all the latest news is found on our FB page — Perry Page Turners.

We are so pleased that Rhonda McKnight, author of The Thing About Home, will be joining us for a panel discussion. Find out all about Rhonda and her book below.

Now for the first line:

I stepped into my limousine and pressed the bottom of my wedding dress flat.

Home is not a place—it’s a feeling.

 Casey Black needs an escape. When her picture-perfect vow renewal ceremony ends in her being left at the altar, the former model turned social media influencer has new fame—the kind she never wanted. An embarrassing viral video has cost her millions of followers, and her seven-year marriage is over. With her personal and business lives in shambles, Casey runs from New York City to South Carolina’s Lowcountry hoping to find long-lost family. Family who can give her more answers about her past than her controlling mom-slash-manager has ever been willing to share.

What Casey doesn’t expect is a postcard-worthy property on a three-hundred-acre farm, history, culture, and a love of sweet tea. She spends her days caring for the land and her nights cooking much needed Southern comfort foods. She also meets Nigel, the handsome farm manager whose friendship has become everything she’s never had. And then there are the secrets her mother can no longer hide.

Through the pages of her great-grandmother’s journals, Casey discovers her roots run deeper than the Lowcountry soil. She learns that she has people. A home. A legacy to uphold. And a great new love story—if only she is brave enough to leave her old life behind. 

“. . . a beautifully written story about family, self-discovery, secrets, and forgiveness.” —Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times bestselling author

Rhonda McKnight is the author of twenty-five traditional and indie-published award-winning bestsellers, including An Inconvenient Friend, What Kind of Fool, and Unbreak My Heart. She is a two-time winner of the Emma award in the categories of Inspirational Romance of the Year (2015) and Debut Author (2010). She has been nominated thrice for the African American Literary Award. She writes inspirational book club fiction and Christian romance about complex characters in crisis. Her goal is to touch the heart of women through her stories using the themes of faith, forgiveness, and hope. Originally from a small coastal town in New Jersey, she writes from the comfort of her South Carolina home.

She can be reached at her website at and on social media at,, and where she has joined with sixteen other authors to introduce her stories to the world.

First Line Friday — The Love Script

11 Aug

Happy Friday! I have been in Virginia all week visiting my newest grandbaby. Love those baby snuggles, but hate that we live so far from each other. 🙁 In honor of my Virginia family, I am sharing a first line from a Virginia author, Toni Shiloh. Her newest contemporary romance, The Love Script, released just a couple of weeks ago. I cannot wait to read it!

Here’s the first line:

The wind whipped through the car’s sunroof, the sound competing with a serenade by H.E.R. on the R&B station as I drove down Goldwater Canyon.

A Hollywood hair stylist. 

Nevaeh Richards loves making those in the spotlight shine but prefers the anonymity of staying behind her stylist chair, where no one notices her. But when a photo of Nevaeh and Hollywood A-lister Lamont Booker goes viral for all the wrong reasons, her quiet life becomes the number-one trending topic. 

The silver screen’s latest heartthrob

Lamont Booker’s bold faith has gained him a platform, and the authenticity of his faith is well known . . . until the tabloids cause the world to question everything he claims to be. With his reputation on the line, he finds himself hearing out his agent’s push for a fake relationship–something he never thought he’d consider in a million years.

A love that goes off script.

With their careers at risk, Nevaeh and Lamont have to convince the world that their scripted romance is more than just an act. But when fake seems to turn into something real, can Nevaeh trust her heart in a world where nothing is ever as it seems?

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and an award-winning Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, In Search of a Prince, won the first ever, Christy Amplify award. Her novels, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist, Risking Lovea 2020 Selah Award finalist, The Truth About Fame a 2021 Holt Medallion finalist, and The Price of Dreams a 2021 Maggie Award finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media.

You can learn more about her writing at

First Line Friday — The Best Summer Of Our Lives

28 Jul

Happy Friday! I’m traveling back to 1977 this week with The Best Summer of Our Lives by Rachel Hauck. I’m reading this book with my book club in August — can’t wait! Have you read it yet? Let me know what you thought.

Here’s the first line:

The second Summer tumbled into Tumbleweed, Oklahoma, she’d arrived in the middle of the end.

Twenty years ago, the summer of ’77 was supposed to be the best summer of Summer Wilde’s life. She and her best friends, Spring, Autumn, and Snow–the Four Seasons–had big plans.

But those plans never had a chance. After a teenage prank gone awry, the Seasons found themselves on a bus to Tumbleweed, “Nowhere,” Oklahoma, to spend eight weeks as camp counselors. All four of them arrived with hidden secrets and buried fears, and the events that unfolded in those two months forever altered their friendships, their lives, and their futures.

Now, thirtysomething, Summer is at a crossroads. When her latest girl band leaves her in a motel outside Tulsa, she is forced to face the shadows of her past. Returning to the place where everything changed, she soon learns Tumbleweed is more than a town she never wanted to see again. It’s a place for healing, for reconciling the past with the present, and for finally listening to love’s voice.

First Line Friday — A Shadow in Moscow

21 Jul

I attended a super cool book event at The Georgia Writers Museum in Eatonton on Tuesday. Katherine Reay spoke about her writing career, writing process, favorite authors, and, of course, her latest book, A Shadow in Moscow, a split-time historical novel set during the Cold War. Her presentation was fascinating! She is traveling around promoting her book, so make sure to check if she will be at a location near you.

I, of course, had to buy the book. 😉

Here’s the first line:

Again I ask myself, does the end draw everyone back to the beginning?

In the thick of the Cold War, a betrayal at the highest level risks the lives of two courageous female spies: MI6’s best Soviet agent and the CIA’s newest Moscow recruit.

Vienna, 1954

After losing everyone she loves in the final days of World War II, Ingrid Bauer agrees to a hasty marriage with a gentle Soviet embassy worker and follows him home to Moscow. But nothing within the Soviet Union’s totalitarian regime is what it seems, including her new husband, whom Ingrid suspects works for the KGB. Inspired by her daughter’s birth, Ingrid risks everything and reaches out in hope to the one country she understands and trusts—Britain, the country of her mother’s birth. She begins passing intelligence to MI6, navigating a world of secrets and lies, light and shadow.

Moscow, 1980

A student in the Foreign Studies Initiative, Anya Kadinova finishes her degree at Georgetown University and boards a flight home to Moscow, leaving behind the man she loves and a country she’s grown to respect. Though raised by dedicated and loyal Soviet parents, Anya soon questions an increasingly oppressive and paranoid regime at the height of the Cold War. Then the KGB murders her best friend and Anya chooses her side. Working in a military research lab, she relays Soviet plans and schematics to the CIA in an effort to end the 1980s arms race.

The past catches up to the present when an unprecedented act of treachery threatens all agents operating within Eastern Europe, and both Ingrid and Anya find themselves in a race for their lives against time and the KGB.

Katherine Reay is a national bestselling and award-winning author of several novels and one work of nonfiction.For her fiction, Katherine writes love letters to books, and her novels are saturated with what she calls the “world of books.” They are character driven stories that examine the past as a way to find one’s best way forward. In the words of The Bronte Plot’s Lucy Alling, Katherine writes of “that time when you don’t know where you’ll be, but you can’t stay as you are.” Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, and after several moves across the globe, lives outside Chicago.

Please visit Katherine on social media, on FB at Katherinereaybooks, Instagram @katherinereay, or visit her website at

First Line Friday — Self Incrimination

14 Jul

Happy Friday! Today I am featuring an oldie, but a goodie — Self Incrimination by Randy Singer. This legal suspense novel has been on my shelf for a long, long time. If you have read it, convince me to move it up to the top of my TBR pile. 😉

Here’s the first line:

By 10:00 p.m., Trish Bannister was worried sick.

Tara Bannister’s abusive stepfather finally pushed her too far. To save herself she had to kill him. Or did she? Tara’s confession doesn’t add up, and as her self-defense claim crumbles, attorney Leslie Connors must overcome more than first-trial jitters to mount a credible defense. Leslie must save Tara’s life—against her client’s will. In the midst of this taxing case, Leslie’s wedding plans to law partner Brad Carson are interrupted by a devastating diagnosis. Does she dare tell Brad? Before the final gavel falls, Leslie must confront the truth about herself and her mysterious client, or the darkness of the past will swallow them both.

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned nine legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel Directed Verdict. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his “Jekyll and Hyde thing”–part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his Web site at