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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Return Of The Stranger’ by Reay Tannahill

Prologue April 1894

To the stranger paying off his hansom in the damp, chilly April dusk, everything about the solid, grey stone villa spoke of prosperity, warmth and welcome. He smiled as he waited for someone to open the door and ask him in.

No one did.

Chapter One April-September 1894

The terms of Josiah Smith’s will, when they had first been revealed to his family some months previously, had come as a severe shock to those of its members who, unlike Tassie, found nothing at all pleasurable in the prospect of having the established order of things turned upside down.

Those first few lines are definitely intriguing enough to have me want to start reading this book very soon. I am wondering if Josiah left his house to a complete stranger, as indicated in the premise, or if this person is perhaps a long lost relative, come to try and claim his inheritance?

I haven’t read a historical book for some time now, so that’s another good reason for ‘Return Of The Stranger’ getting to the top of my TBR pile very soon!

To view the detailed premise of this story, click here


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Click here and visit your host, Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!


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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • You do have a suspicious mind Anne, I hadn’t even thought of that scenario!

      Now I can’t wait to start reading and find out!

      Thanks for stopping by ‘Happy Friday’ and have a good weekend 🙂

  • Great minds must think alike. I was thinking the same as Anne above.

    ‘Encore Un Feu …

    Again, another fire, and this one was a vast, leaping beacon, fit to melt the rooftops of slumbering Orleans.’
    – Into The Fire by Manda Scott.

    Hoping you have a good weekend.

    • Et Tu, Brute? 🙂

      I had just thought that, as the man was a stranger, whoever was inside the house, might have been wary about opening the door, or wasn’t able to open the door!

      At first glance, I really thought that I had found a great read in ‘Into The Fire’. However, after checking out the author’s previous series of four books and her single stand alone novel, I am not quite so sure, so I think I’ll wait and see what you think first!

      I’ll bet that Kelly would enjoy Manda’s books 🙂

      Have a good weekend, at least the weather forecast is promising.

    • Hi Katherine,

      As it is Josiah’s family who are preparing to have their world turned upside down, I am wondering if the stranger is some long lost, remote family member, who has come to take over the running of things, following Josiah’s death – or if a complete stranger is exactly what he is, in which case anything and everything might be about to change!

      Not a great scenario either way, for a family who might well be set in their ways and who might still be mourning Josiah – although I am intrigued as to why Tassie isn’t worried about what might happen!

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your visit and comment 🙂

    • Hi Lauren,

      I must admit that anything from the thriller / murder / mystery genres, will always be my preferred reading. However a good historical or contemporary novel, always makes for a nice change occasionally, providing there is a bit of intrigue to help the storyline along.

      It does sound as though Josiah Smith’s will, is going to provide the intrigue for this particular story, as a controversial will so often does in real life!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, I really appreciate it 🙂

  • I love historical fiction and this one sounds good. Nice that you included the opener from both the prologue and the first chapter. I usually go with the former, but sometimes it’s necessary to see both!

    That said, I’ll just give you the opening paragraph from the prologue of my current book: Distant Suns – The Silexous by Patricia Smith.

    “Anton leaned forward and studied the display. A ship, emerging from the dark side of the planet, was slowly coming into view. As he watched, more of the bow was exposed giving him an insight into the size of the vessel.”

    • Hi Kelly,

      For this meme, some people advocate using lines from the prologue and others from the first chapter proper. Just to hedge my bets and in an effort to try to please everyone, I thought I would include both, just to add a bit more interest!

      I like to mix my genres as much as possible, but it is always good when an intriguing historical novel comes to the top of my list. The genre always offers an author license to employ plenty of descriptive dialogue and narrative and it is great to come across some of those words which have long disappeared from our modern, everyday language!

      ‘Distant Suns’ is not a series I would enjoy, as the one single genre I find it almost impossible to read is science fiction, especially when you have an author as passionate about her subject as Patricia Smith sounds. Trying to struggle through her obvious excitement and format a sensible review, would be doing her a complete injustice, so I am better off wishing you well with this one and staying clear!! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing though, as I always enjoy checking out the books and authors other bloggers feature and mention. It is an interesting exercise and you never know what little gems you might come across !! 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      I generally find that historical fiction benefits from more descriptive dialogue and narrative. I guess there is more opportunity to use those ‘flowery’ and ‘proper’ words, which somehow seem to have disappeared from our modern day language and expression.

      There are good and bad points about both eras of writing, so I can’t say that I prefer one method over the other!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Saturday here has been a real return to summer, although it looks set to change again tomorrow, with rain next week 🙁

    • That happens to us all 🙂

      I have never come across ‘Friday Four Fill-In’ before, so I might stop by and take a look!

Written by Yvonne