First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


A benefit of being executed was that one avoided any chance of the dreaded mors improvisa, a sudden death by which a Christian soul might be denied the opportunity to make his peace. So when Thomas Cromwell was led out to his death on July 28, 1540, he had the comfort of knowing that he had been granted the privilege of preparing to stand in the presence of the Almighty.


I’m 100% sure that Chantel will look at the above excerpt, roll her eyes, and tell me how boring that sounds. But, it’s not! It’s not boring! It’s super interesting! But it might just be so to me.

What is the book? It is…

Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII

Two of my friends on Goodreads have rated this five stars. They’re two people I really trust when it comes to any book (fiction or nonfiction) set in the Tudor period. They’ve both written great fiction books that are so good and crazy accurate.

And, I have to say, Gareth Russell can write. He can really write. He knows how to turn a sentence and to impart so much information without it feeling boring or getting lost in the details. He’s taking a wife that hasn’t had a lot written about her because most dismiss her. I’m really excited to be reading this and to see what he has to say about Catherine Howard.


Winslow Remington Houndstooth was not a hero. 

There was nothing within him that cried out for justice or fame. He did not wear a white hat – he preferred his grey one, which didn’t show the bloodstains. He could have been a hero, had he been properly motivated, but there were more pressing matters at hand. There were fortunes to be snatched from the hands of fate. There were hors d’oeuvres like the fine-boned young man in front of him, ripe for the plucking. There was swift vengeance to be inflicted on those who would interfere with his ambitions. There was Ruby. 


With all the videos and book recommendations I get, every once in awhile I hear about a book I might not have heard of otherwise. This is one of those books that sounds so bizarre but interesting that I might like it and can share if I like it. There’s nothing I love more than promoting a book which doesn’t have a lot of buzz. 

Without further ado, I present this book which is an interesting alternate history of the early twentieth century in America. 

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

River of Teeth cover

This book takes place in a world where the US government has imported hippopotamuses to breed them. However, this goes terribly wrong and while the idea is definitely out there, it sounds very interesting. Even the first lines manage to hook the reader. 

I picked this up at my favorite bookstore and happened to get an autographed copy right off the shelf. It’s just a short novella and I believe it has a sequel so I will probably get around to reading it sooner rather than later. 

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