Posted in First Line Fridays

First Line Friday: Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce #travelingfriendsreads #BookBloggers

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First Line Friday is hosted by Hoarding Bookswhere we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

Our first lines are to a Traveling Friends Group read.  Norma has finished reading and  Lindsay and I are going to be starting soon.

When I first saw the advertisement in the newspaper I thought I might actually burst.

Goodreads summary

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce

A charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist—a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.


Have you read this one?  Want to read it? Please add your first line to a book you have started or going to start.  We love to hear from you!!!

Posted in First Line Fridays

First Line Friday: My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

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First Line Friday is hosted by Hoarding Bookswere we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

Our first lines are to a Traveling Sisters Group read that Lindsay and I are going to be starting soon.

I will say my real name to you for the first time. Hanna Slivka. Don’t be scared. I am still your mother.

Goodreads Summary

Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that will resonate with fans of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray.

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler’s army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.” Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele—and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits. Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna’s father disappears, suddenly it’s up to Hanna to find him—and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive.

Sparse, resonant, and lyrical, weaving in tales of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, My Real Name Is Hanna celebrates the sustaining bonds of family, the beauty of a helping hand, and the tenacity of the human spirit.

About the Author

Tara Lynn Masih is editor of the Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction (a ForeWord Book of the Year), The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays (winner of a Skipping Stones Honor Award; a New England Book Festival award; a Benjamin Franklin silver medal award; and a ForeWord Book of the Year Award), and author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows, a National Best Books Award finalist in the short story category. She is the founding series editor of The Best Small Fictions, and My Real Name Is Hanna, her debut novel for young readers and adults set in WW II Ukraine, is due out Sept. 2018 and received a 2018 SKIPPING STONES HONOR AWARD.

Tara received an MA in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College, and has published fiction, poetry, and essays in numerous anthologies and literary magazines, and her essays have been read on NPR and translated to dance. Several limited edition illustrated chapbooks featuring her flash fiction, along with poet’s farthing cards, have been published by The Feral Press.

Awards for her work include first place in The Ledge Magazine’s fiction contest, a finalist fiction grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Lou P. Bunce Creative Writing Award, multiple Pushcart Prize nominations, and Best New American Voices and Best of the Web nominations.

Tara was the assistant editor for STORIES literary magazine, and a regular contributor to The Indian-American and Masala magazines. She divides her time between Andover, MA, and St. Augustine, FL.

Have you read this one?  Want to read it? Please add your first line to a book you have started or going to start.  We love to hear from you!!!


Posted in First Line Fridays

First Line Friday: #FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar (mature) #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

unnamedNorma and I are going to join in on another meme.  Today’s meme is First Line Friday hosted by Hoarding Books.

Our pick to feature is for an upcoming read for a book, bit different from what Norma and I normally read.  It’s a little more brazen and a tad bit out of our comfort zone and we are also a little unsure how we are going to feel about it.  So we were wondering if some of you have read it, want to read it or are considering reading it.  So please share in your thoughts on this one with us.

Sarah from Crooked Lane offered us a few books to choose from and feel like maybe we needed something a little different we decided on #FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar.  We were intrigued by the description and that cover and title of this book intrigued us enough to give it a try! Our curiosity got the best of us and now here we are ready to start with two of our Traveling Sisters who are joining in on this one with us.  I am thinking it’s going to be an interesting discussion.

So on to the first line which I am not going to use because it wasn’t off to a good start for me with that line and as I read a couple more lines I realized there is some profanity.  So I am highlighting this one as mature.  Our first line is not the first line but in the third paragraph.

My mood board was filled with shots of Sarah out partying, going to fashion shows, beaming at the camera.

With that line and the following ones, things started to get a bit better for me and I am now intrigued but still a bit unsure going forward.

What also has us intrigued and why we wanted to feature this one is that a pilot has been bought for a television show.  I did a little looking around the net and I didn’t really find too much on it or see a start date for this.  Have you heard anything on this?

Back to the book.  Here is the Goodreads summary for this title.

A darkly thrilling take on the fashion world, #FashionVictim is Heathers meets The Devil Wears Prada..

Fashion editor Anya St. Clair is on the verge of greatness. Her wardrobe is to die for. Her social media is killer. And her career path is littered with the bodies of anyone who got in her way. She’s worked hard to get where she is, but she doesn’t have everything.

Not like Sarah Taft. Anya’s obsession sits one desk away. Beautiful, stylish, and rich, she was born to be a fashion world icon. From her beach-wave blonde hair to her on-trend nail art, she’s a walking editorial spread. And Anya wants to be her friend. Her best friend. Her only friend.

But when Sarah becomes her top competition for a promotion, Anya’s plan to win her friendship goes into overdrive. In order to beat Sarah…she’ll have to become her. Friendly competition may turn fatal, but as they say in fashion: One day you’re in, and the next day you’re dead.

About the author

Amina Akhtar is a former fashion writer and editor. She’s worked at Vogue,,,, and where she was the founding editor of The Cut blog. She’s written for numerous publications, including Yahoo Style, Fashionista, xoJane, Refinery29, Billboard, and for brands like Bergdorf Goodman and H&M’s 10 Years of Style tome. After toiling in the fashion ranks for over fifteen years, she now writes full time in the desert mountains, where she’s detoxing from her once glam life. #FashionVictim is Amina’s first novel.


The Sisters are really stepping out with this one and looking for some input from you all.  Drop us a comment and let us know what you think about this one.  Have you heard of this one, want to read, going to read it or intrigued by this post?

Join in by adding the first line in the book you are currently reading or about to start in the comment below.  We would love to see your first line!