First Lines Friday | July 10

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? You can view Wandering Words’ post here.

If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above and follow the rules below:

  • 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!

‘Gray everywhere. As I stand on the porch of my aunt and uncle’s home, all I can see is the great gray expanse of prairie on every side. No trees, houses, buildings, people, nothing at all breaks the broad sweep of flat gray country that reaches to the edge of the gray sky in every direction.’


Any guesses?



Dorothy in the Land of Monsters by Garten Gevedon

A re-imagined ‘The Wizard of Oz’, in which a once magical world is now riddled with nightmares. It certainly draws me in!


Synopsis

Shifters, Zombies, and Vampires? Oh my!

My name is Dorothy Gale, and I think I might be dead.

When my dog Toto and I got swept up in a twister, we landed in hell. A very colorful hell. Like a rainbow dripping in blood. Now it looks as though this dreadful underworld plagued with vampires, zombies, and shifters will be the site of my eternal damnation.

They say this terrifying land called Oz isn’t hell or purgatory, that escape is possible, but first I must survive the journey down the blood-soaked yellow brick road to the only place in Oz where vampires dare not tread—The City of Emeralds.

With enchanted footwear and the help of my three new friends—a friendly zombie, a massive shifter lion, and a heartless axe murderer of evil night creatures who also happens to be the hottest guy I’ve ever seen—Toto and I have a fighting chance to make it to the Vampire Free Zone. When we get there, I must convince the most powerful wizard in this magical land of monsters to send us out of this radiant nightmare and return us to the world of the living. They say he’s just as frightening as this monstrous land, that he detests visitors, and even the most horrifying creatures cower in his presence, but I must seek him out. And when I find him, I’ll do whatever it takes to make him send me home.


What are your thoughts on Dorothy in the Land of Monsters? Feel free to share in the comments!



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Blogmas Day 20: Enjoying Holiday Decorations

My husband and I love viewing holiday decorations! We drive around different neighborhoods to view beautiful inflatables and vibrant lights. Here are a few of the decorations we’ve come across in our travels. As you’ll see, I’m a bit partial for Snoopy related decorations!

This display was seen during one of our excursions. I was excited to see four Santa Snoopys!

I was so excited to see this 10ft Snoopy on this person’s front lawn!

I love trees that are decorated with sparkling lights!

Another awesome Snoopy/Peanuts Gang display!

I can’t wait to show more as December moves forward!

December 28, 2018: Reading ‘One Day in December’

December28_2018


I began my new read last night, ‘One Day in December’ by Josie Silver. It’s a love story, following the lives of three people throughout a 10 year period. I’m amazed that I chose another story that centers on relationships! I did want to focus on Christmas stories around the holiday season, and the book has Christmas as a focal point. Granted, I began reading it after Christmas, but it has the word ‘December’ in the title, and it’s still December. So that counts!

December 21, 2018: Appointments and Sharings

Thursday was such a hectic time for me after I left work. I didn’t think that was possible, but it was. I finally had a medical appointment that did so many tests, and I need to follow up next month. It was all necessary, yet I was taken aback at how much I needed to take care of. I meet with the doctor again at the end of next month.

Afterward, Andy and I met up with the deacon to discuss marriage preperation. We only have one more meeting coming up, then we meet up with the priest giving the wedding. That one will be a couple months before the wedding. This meeting was also emotional, but this one dealt with communication. It was all a good experience, a lot was discussed.

Blogmas Day 14: A DIY Christmas Gift

     At the childcare center where I work, we needed to create a gift for our families in time for today’s Winter Celebration. A co-worker gave me the idea of creating a picture frame as an ornament. I wanted to make something special for my families, so I decided that creating a frame ornament would be a good idea.

     To make the ornament, I needed the following items:

  • Craft (popsicle) sticks
  • School glue
  • White acrylic paint
  • Sticky images
  • Krazy Glue
  • Permanent markers in varying colors
  • A photo of your child

     I began by affixing the craft sticks with school glue. I needed to have eight craft sticks to create a layered effect, so the frame would be sturdy. I then allowed a couple hours for the sticks to dry.

     Once the frame was dry, I then painted the sticks with white acrylic paint. You could also use Tempera paint, but I found acrylic paint to have a faster drying time. Apply a good coat of acrylic paint, then allow a few hours to dry before painting the other side. 

     Once the picture frame was completely dry, I placed the child’s picture into the craft. You can attach the picture with glue on one side, and let dry. In my situation, I wanted my photos to last a while, so I laminated them before applying them onto the frame. I always have a portable laminator on hand, due to constantly prep for curriculum themes. You can purchase a portable laminator at a Staples or Wal-Mart, or you can take the photo to a Staples to have them professionally laminated.  

     I waited for the picture to be properly attached onto the frame before adding the finishing touches. Since this is a holiday ornament, I placed small snowflakes onto them. These were sticky snowflakes, yet they didn’t attach to the frame easily, so I used Krazy Glue to place them onto the craft. I wrote a holiday message to add a nice finishing touch.

I covered the student’s face to protect their privacy

     It took me a couple days to complete this craft, but creating this frame ornament was easy to complete. It’s a thoughtful craft to apply toward any occasion. 

December 14, 2018: Reading Progress/Routines

I’m about halfway through ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’. The way that people assimilate to a leader’s outlandish routines is pretty astounding. It makes me wonder when the ‘breakthrough’ point will emerge.

I watched a YouTube video last night on a man explaining his reading routine. He talks about spending some nights reading until dawn. I really admire his motivation to read so much. I don’t think I could ever read like that, since I love my sleep. I really admire his passion for reading, though!

Blogmas Day 7: Workplace Snowman

   I work at a child care center in Central New Jersey. When the holidays come around, things get very decorative! One of my co-workers created this snowman, built from a Christmas tree brought from her home. She is always very crafty, decorating many characters that represent the Christmas season for young children. Everyone enjoyed watching this snowman come to life!  

 

December 7, 2018: Reading Time

I want to maintain my reading pace, but so far it hasn’t worked out to my liking. Work has taken up the majority of my time. The only time I find time to read is at night, and that’s if I’m still coherent at that time. I know it’s an art to manage time in order to balance work and personal tasks. I did it for NaNoWriMo, so I need to do it for reading also.

November 30, 2018: Finishing My Draft

Last night I completed NaNoWriMo! I can’t believe I finished writing 50,000 words. In the beginning of the month, I started the project just to see how far I could go. Writing a book was always the farthest from my mind. I never saw myself as an ‘author’. And while I’m still not at that stage, it’s certainly a big step toward something toward being an author. I was able to write the minimun (1,600 words) every night. Yesterday I wrote the final word count: 3,377 words. It involved writing during my break at work, and getting to the project as soon as I got home. I needed to validate the count after everything was done.

This month showed that I can truly write an extensive amount every day. Now during December and January, I can edit my project. I’ll probably start that in the middle of December. For now, I can resume my reading schedule. There’s so many exciting books to read.

November 23, 2018: Thanksgiving in Paterson

Today Andy and I are getting ready to head to a Star Wars production down the shore. We’re going to watch A New Hope, with an orchestra playing the music throughout the entire film. I love the first Star Wars trilogy, so it should be a fun time experiencing the movie with an orchestra. It beats heading to the mall. Malls get insane on Black Friday!

Thanksgiving in Paterson was very entertaining. My niece Ana has really come into her own. School has benefitted her in speaking her mind, and she’s certainly the ‘leader’ among her cousins and friends! The most adorable thing I noticed is that all of the girls at the house had the same curly hairstyle. I thought it was wonderful that their moms embraced their natural hair, and they’re all wearing it proudly! I’m much more relaxed about hair, especially since I know how to care for my wavy hair more easily.

It was great seeing my grandparents as well. My grandfather has not been feeling his best these past few months, so it’s been such a gift to spend time with him. He will be 90 next year. Most of the time he says ‘I’m waiting for ‘the trip’ right now’, with regards to his health. It’s hard for us to hear him speak that way, and most of time we wave our hands and say, ‘come on, you still have a lot of life left’. Yet we all know that life always changes. It’s difficult for me to see him not as active as he once was. So I cherish the time we do spend together, especially holiday celebrations.