First Line Fridays

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Hello, friends, and happy Friday!
It’s First-Line Friday! 🙂 Since it’s a short month, we’re featuring “short books,” either in length or content or something else.
Mine is something else. 🙂
I’m featuring The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Have you read it? It is so much fun – such a delight – and adds depth to The Lord of the Rings. The “small” part of this selection is, of course, the hobbit himself. 🙂
The Book:
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
First Line:
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat; it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
(This book has been in my mind lately because, at a nearby library, I recently discovered the *unabridged* – that’s important to me! 🙂 – audio version of The Lord of the Rings, performed/read by a fantastic actor Rob Inglis. This beautiful story has accompanied me for the past few weeks on the very long roads of the rural area in which I live – an area where “the roads go ever on and on.” I highly recommend it!)
What are you reading this week, friends? Or is there a “short” book whose first line you’d like to share?
Grace and peace,
Alicia Ruggieri

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Hello, friends! 🙂
It’s another FLF here ~ and I get to feature another received-for-Christmas book! 🙂 If you love The Little House book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this is a beautiful companion book – a kind of herbal/floral history of the plants and landscapes featured in the series and in her letters. It bases its premise on the books growing out of the environment of its author. Rich in illustrations, maps, and photos, this thick book has delighted me in recent evenings after my own writing is done and has made me think about how natural environments shape other writers’ books, too.
~ ~ ~
The Book:
The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder – The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired The Little House Books
by Marta McDowell
First Line:
“Once upon a time.” Like many children’s stories, Laura Ingalls Wilder opened Little House in the Big Woods with this quiet invitation to readers to turn their thoughts back in time. Hers was a long story, rooted in with her father’s and her husband’s, tales of family and farms and nature – a nature that was sometimes inviting and sometimes ferocious. It began in Wisconsin.
~ ~ ~
Your turn! What are you reading this week, friends?
Grace and peace,
Alicia Ruggieri

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Happy Friday, friends!

I’m glad to have you here for First-Line Friday. A little background on the book I’m sharing today…
Over at my sister’s home, I picked up a book off her bookshelf and soon found myself entirely engaged in it: amused, edified, and moved with the real-life emotion on the pages. I mentioned the book to my mom, who said that she had read and loved it.
A couple of weeks later, when I was visiting my mom, she handed me a copy of that same book. It’s an older book – 1982 – but the words and wisdom and humor in its pages are evergreen. I know that I’ll be visiting it often in the years to come.

The Book:

It’s My Turn by Ruth Bell Graham

(One of the) First Lines:

The thirteen-year-old girl lay in the stifling heat of the old missionary home at Number Four Quinsan Gardens, in the port city of Shanghai China, praying earnestly that she would die before morning.

Dawn broke over the great, gray city, and obviously, God had not seen fit to answer my prayer.

*****

Mini-Review:

Composed of extremely short chapters of Ruth Bell Graham’s memories, this book provides a behind-the-scenes, very real look at the hows and whys and ways of this remarkable woman of God and wife of evangelist Billy Graham. I didn’t expect her to be so funny – much of it in a self-deprecating way – and yet every one of the memories has a little tidbit of spiritual and real-life wisdom that struck me as or after I read it and encouraged me to go further in my own walk with Jesus Christ. I highly recommend this to you, friends ~ After you read it, you very well find yourself buying extra copies to give as gifts to friends ~ It’s that good.
*****
Now it’s your turn, friends! Share the first line of a book you’re reading with us! 🙂

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Happy First-Line Friday, friends! 

This week, I’m featuring a book that I received for Christmas ~ I love feeling packages and knowing – just *knowing* that there is a book inside of the wrapping paper, don’t you!? 🙂 I’m almost finished with reading this one and hope to give you a little review on it soon ~ not enough time to get to it today. 

 

The Book:

A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity

By Francine Rivers

First Line:

When Tamar saw Judah leading a donkey burdened with sacks and a fine rug, she took her hoe and ran to the farthest border of her father’s land.

Book-loving friends, it’s your turn. 🙂 What’s the first line of the book that you’re reading? Let us know in the comments below!
May your weekend be blessed with God’s presence in His Son Jesus Christ!

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Hello, friends, and Merry Christmas, in case we don’t get to chat again before then! What a special time of year this is… Before we leap into First-Line Friday, may I share with you a beautiful old poem I came across recently by one of my favorite authors, George MacDonald?

Babe Jesus lay in Mary’s lap;

The sun shone on His hair;

And this is how she saw, mayhap,

The crown already there.

For she sang, “Sleep on, my little King,

Bad Herod dares not come;

Before Thee, sleeping, holy thing,

The wild winds would be dumb.

I kiss Thy hands, I kiss Thy feet,

My Child, so long-desired;

Thy hands shall never be soiled, my sweet,

Thy feet shall never be tired.

For Thou art the King of men, my Son;

Thy crown I see it plain;

And men shall worship Thee, every one,

And cry, Glory! Amen.”

Babe Jesus opened His eyes so wide!

At Mary looked her Lord.

And Mary stinted her song and sighed.

Babe Jesus said never a word.

I love the poems of old, don’t you? George MacDonald can make the most kingly scene homey and real.


Now onto First-Line Friday, followed by a mini review of that book! 🙂
The Book:
Monster by Frank Peretti
First Line:
The Hunter, rifle in his hands, dug in a heel and came to a sudden halt on the game trail, motionless, nearly invisible in a thicket of serviceberry and crowded pines. He heard something.
Mini Review:

I’m not much of one for suspense and thriller-type books, but I make exceptions for Frank Peretti! He is, above all else, a fantastic storyteller, and this comes through so strongly in Monster! Peretti manages to weave a tale of a hunt for monsters with a well-formulated scientific argument against an evolutionary explanation for the existence of the world and everything in it. This book had me curled up tightly in my armchair, practically racing through to find out where the next believable-but-I-never-saw-it-coming twist was going. This is a wonderfully exciting, slightly horrific, and very sobering tale of a night of camping in the woods that went really, really wrong… or did it?

Highly recommended! Find it HERE.

Now it’s your turn ~ What’s the first line of a book you’re reading this week?

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Happy First-Line Friday, bookish friends! 🙂

I’m sharing a book that is in my to-read pile – one I ordered from CBD this year during a sale and that I’m greatly anticipating reading! Eric Metaxas is a brilliant man, well-read and equipped with eloquent wisdom.
The Book:

7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

First Line:

As most people would concur, the idea of manhood has fallen into some confusion in the last decades. This book hopes to help correct some of that by asking and answering two vitally important questions: First, what is a man? And second, what makes a man great?

{Find out more about this book HERE.}
What are you reading this week, friends? Feel free to share the first line with me in the comments below! 🙂
Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ,
Alicia G. Ruggieri

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Happy Friday, friends!

What a delight and surprise it was to me to find this beautiful gem of a book in our church library recently! Though my family has benefited so strongly from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers’ sermons (more info on his ministry, Love Worth Finding, HERE), I never knew that his wife Joyce wrote. I gave this one to my mom to read first, and she flew through it, highly recommending it afterward.

The Book:

Lean Hard on Jesus: God’s Great Goodness in Your Darkest Night by Joyce Rogers

(One of the) First Lines (and a little more!):

You may be wondering a bit about the title of this book. You may be asking, When do we lean hard on Jesus?
In times of trouble, like when a spouse or child is gravely ill? Certainly then.
In times of national tragedy, like September 11? Yes, then we lean hard on Him.
In times of personal grief or pain? Most definitely we lean hard on Jesus then. Really hard.
But that is only part of the answer. For when we catch a glimpse of who we are in light of who He is, when we see rightly our utter dependence and need for Him, we will naturally lean hard on Jesus – in times when we see things working together for good and times when we don’t see anything but the darkest night.

 

I’m greatly looking forward to reading this one!
Now it’s your turn, friends ~ What are you reading this week, and what’s the first line?
Grace and peace in Jesus Christ,
Alicia Ruggieri
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Happy Friday, friends!
First off, the winner of last week’s giveaway of The Proving by Beverly Lewis is… Perianne Askew. 🙂
Now onto this week!
What a joy it was to receive this beautiful review book recently ~ Its blurb promises an even more beautiful story! I’m featuring it today in First-Line Friday.

 

The book:

Isaiah’s Daughter: A Novel of Prophets and Kings by Mesu Andrews

First line:

Songs are written of sons, but daughters are left to whispers.

Your turn, friends: Take a book near to you – or the one you’re currently reading! – and share the first line below! 🙂
Have a blessed weekend!
Grace and peace,
Alicia G. Ruggieri

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Literacy Musing Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Modest Monday, Mommy Moments, Tuesdays with a Twist, Messy Marriage, UNITE, RaRa LinkupTestimony Tuesday, Tuesday TalkHomemaking Link-up, Word-filled Wednesday, Wise Woman, The Homemaking Party, Porch Stories, Christian Blogger Link-up, Coffee for Your Heart, Women with Intention, Oh My Heartsie Girl, Amanda’s Books and More, Tell His Story, Grace at Home, Heart Encouragement, Encouraging Hearts and Home, Booknificent Thursday, Friendship Friday, Faith-Filled Friday, Counting My Blessings, Fresh Market Friday, Sitting Among FriendsNo Rules Weekend Blog Party

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Hello, friends! 🙂

It’s not only First-Line Friday {which I haven’t had the chance to participate in for awhile, so it’s nice to be “back” 🙂 }, but I’m also reviewing and giving away the FLF novel featured below!

The Proving by Beverly Lewis

 

And the first line is:

“My first-ever night away from home, I struggled with sleeplessness, having abruptly left with two other Amish girls.”

The Back Cover:

Amanda Dienner hasn’t seen her Old Order family in five years when she receives word that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County’s most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked: Her twin sister should have been the obvious choice! What’s more, the inheritance comes with a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be hers if she is able to successfully run it for twelve consecutive months.
Mandy accepts the challenge even though it means returning to Gordonville and the painful memories she left behind at eighteen. Still, she’s determined to prove she is more than capable of running the bed-and-breakfast, no matter that its loyal clientele are expecting an Amish hostess!
The inn isn’t Mandy’s sole test, however. Rubbing shoulders with her married twin sister reopens wounds that Mandy isn’t ready to forgive. And an Englisher guest with a difficult past of her own just complicates matters.
Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this year in Amish country prove a dreadful mistake?

What I Thought:

I can always count on Beverly Lewis books to provide a heartwarming story. Though I prefer Lewis’ series to her standalones, I’ve found that even her standalone novels – which can appear simple at times – even predictable – always give a carefuly-wrought message interwoven seamlessly into the storyline.
And her newest novel, the standalone The Proving was no different in this regard. Mandy’s mishaps as she tries to run a B & B singlehandedly at times – all in an effort to spite her sister and prove that she is capable of succeeding independently – were funny enough at times to make me chuckle and smile, and her justifiable hurt feelings over the wrong done to her was depicted so well that I as a reader could definitely sympathize with her anger and grudge.
What I really loved was the way that the author took a situation that was “unfixable” – literally, there was nothing, aside from the death of one of the parties that could undo the wrong that had been done – and showed that God can make something very good from great wrong – can redeem it, in fact, and shower it with His blessings – as long as we forgive.
While this wasn’t my favorite Beverly Lewis novel – her Abram’s Daughters series takes that prize 🙂 – The Proving is still well-worth reading for Amish fiction fans and for anyone who loves a well-told, heartwarming tale.

And Now for the Giveaway! 🙂

I’m giving away my copy {like-new} of The Proving! If you’d like to win it, enter by leaving a comment below. If you share this post in some way, let me know and you’ll get another entry. 🙂
Have a blessed weekend, friends!
Grace and peace,
Alicia G. Ruggieri

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Proving from the publisher and was not required to provide a positive review. All thoughts are, of course, my own! 🙂

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Welcome to First-Line Friday! 🙂 And Happy Fall!

The book I’m featuring today is:

Shadow of the Storm

{Out of Egypt, Book 2}

by Connilyn Cossette

And the first line is:

17 Tammuz – 4th Month Out from Egypt

Wild drumbeats rumbled through the ground like distant thunder, pulsing in defiant rhythms and vibrating the hollows of my chest. My fingertips echoed the beat against my knee until a glare from my mother across the tent stilled their dance.

I loved and recommend Connilyn Cossette’s debut novel in this Biblical fiction series ~ You can find my review for that HERE ~ and I’ve been wanting to continue reading the series ever since. 🙂 Now, with books 2 & 3 on my TBR shelf, it’s just a question of finding the reading time.

Now, it’s your turn! What’s the first line of your current book – or the one nearest to you?
Or let me know – What’s a Biblical fiction novel that you’d recommend?
Then head on over to find out what first-lines these other First-Line-Friday folks are sharing today:

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken ~ Bibliophile Reviews ~ Bookworm Mama ~ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen ~ Faithfully Bookish ~ Fiction Aficionado ~ Lauraine’s Notes ~ Radiant Light ~ Reading is My SuperpowerRobin’s Nest ~ Singing Librarian ~ Kathleen Denly ~ With A Joyful Noise ~ A Baker’s Perspective ~ Joy of Reading ~ CJaneRead ~ Moments Dipped in Ink ~ Molly’s Cafinated Reads ~ Romances of the Cross ~ It’s Storytime with Van Daniker ~ Iola Goulton ~ Christian Fiction Girl Reviews ~ Book Reviews by Tima ~ Sprinkles and Pink

{Please note: linking up with these blogs isn’t an endorsement of the books/content featured. 🙂 }

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