First Lines Friday – Feb. 15, 2019

First Lines Friday

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“In December of 1984, when Raina and I were sophomores, my high school held its first and last annual girls’ winter basketball tournament, the Inglewood Christmas Classic.  The next year, an hour before the first-round games were set to start, a light fixture fell from the ceiling and left a six-foot hole in the floor, and the indignity of having to cancel the tournament once convinced my coach we shouldn’t host it anymore.”

Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

And the book is… The Necessary Hunger by Nina Revoyr.


As a star basketball player in her senior year of high school, Nancy Takahiro’s life is about to change forever. Faced with the college recruitment process and unsure where her skill will take her, Nancy is not prepared for meeting Raina Webber, an all-state shooting guard whose passion for basketball is matched only by her talent for it.

When Nancy’s father and Raina’s mother fall in love and decide to move in together, the girls are faced with the challenge of negotiating their already intense rivalry and friendship–and of living with the scrutiny of neighbors who react with varying degrees of comfort to their Japanese American and African American household.

The Necessary Hunger follows Nancy, Raina, and several of their friends through their last year of high school. For some of them, their senior year will be full of glory, and the anticipation of college. For others, however, stranded in an inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood that promises little in the way of opportunity, it will mark not only the end of their time in school but also the end of their hope.

As Nancy and Raina both prepare to leave the urban neighborhood that has nurtured them, they find themselves looking toward a future that is no longer easily defined. The Necessary Hunger is about families, friendship, racial identity, and young people who are nearing adulthood in a dangerous and challenging world. It is about sports as a means of salvation, about the nature of competition, and ultimately about the various kinds of love.

Let me know if you have read The Necessary Hunger.  Yay or nay?

#CoverReveal $25 Giveaway – If I Could Stay by Annette K. Larsen @Annetteklarsen @KathyHabel

Coming February 22, 2018

If I Could Stay by Annette K. Larsen

They killed her mother, and if they find her, Leila could be next. Being pursued from one state to another, she has learned to constantly look over her shoulder, and when necessary, to become someone new. She’s burned through four cities and four identities, always managing to stay one step ahead.

Now Leila is left with nothing. No car, no money, and no choice but to trust the man who finds her, half frozen, wandering the back roads of Missouri. Continue reading “#CoverReveal $25 Giveaway – If I Could Stay by Annette K. Larsen @Annetteklarsen @KathyHabel”

Book Review: Haven by Mary Lindsey (Kindle edition)

617Wr71F0fLWe all hold a beast inside.  The only difference is what form it takes when freed.

Aaron Ryland, aka Rain, lived on the streets of Houston assuming his “typical defiant, don’t-give-a-shit teen thug persona”, but all he wanted was to stay in one place and have a normal life.  Regrettably, his chance came when his mother was found dead and he was shipped off to live with his Aunt Ruby in the middle of the Texas Hill Country in New Wurzburg.  Aunt Ruby is all right, but the people of this hick town are just plain weird.

Friederike Burkhart, aka Freddie, is rebellious, daring, and a challenge that Rain is ready to accept.  “He’d never met anyone quite like this girl–fierce and smart and painfully sexy”.  She is surrounded by her male cousins who have to be dealt with so Rain can get to know Freddie better, but there are forces more incredible to get past first.

Continue reading “Book Review: Haven by Mary Lindsey (Kindle edition)”

Book Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter (9781939106445)

1939106443.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Ashley is an artist and has become accustomed to being ridiculed for simply being herself.  Would she feel differently about herself if her mom thought differently of her?  Does she make choices based on how she perceives how others expect her to behave, and does she subconsciously draw their attention to her flaws?  She’ll never beat them at their own game.  Will Matt ever know how much she cares about him?  “Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stop when you grow up.  It just looks a little different.”

The author, Aimee L. Salter, was a victim of bullying herself and has written a very personal story to inform others that there is help and that there are people out there who value them exactly as they are.

This is an emotional and very raw story that shows bullying at its worst which is a serious issue in society today.   One feels the pain and fear of the main character and I couldn’t put this book down.

Book review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington (9780373210244)

To believe so concretely that there’s someone–something–out there watching guard, keeping us safe, testing us only with what we can handle.  I’ve never believed in anything the way Aunt Helen believes in God.

Harper has lost her sister, June, to suicide.  Her big sister, the golden one, the one that did no wrong, as opposed to Harper, the rebel, the misfit.  Why did June do it?  She didn’t leave a note, but she left notebooks with stories about California.  Harper’s parents were divorced and not coping well and Harper wanted to give June her wish of going to California, so she devises a plan with her best friend, Laney.  The problem is Harper only has a driver’s permit and Laney’s car is toast.  Enter Jake.  He seemed angry the first time Harper met him at June’s funeral, so why would he give them a ride to California?   He says that he and June were friends, but was that all?

This is a coming of age story of three young lives who discover the beauty of living.  Harper discovers the truth about herself and about her sister, Laney discovers that there are consequences to her behavior and Jake discovers that he should strive for his dreams.  I liked the trip they took and the people they met on the way.  You don’t want to miss a second.

Thank you to Ms. Harrington, Harlequin and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.