This month, we’ve got military suspense, historical romance, a family memoir, a self-help guide, and more. To submit a first line, email

Confessions of a Helmet-Free Childhood

Cinnia Curran Finfer

“It’s war! The boys and girls of second grade at Traub Elementary have decided to spend recess outwitting members of the opposite sex and taking prisoners, whenever and however possible, to be released during the next day’s recess, when we will pick up where the action left off.”

The Eye of Ra

Ben Gartner

“John Tidewell flashed a sly smirk, revealing the lone dimple in his right cheek amid freckle constellations, as he watched Mr. Maxton at the head of the class.”

The Forgotten Duke

Sophie Barnes

“Everything in Regina’s life had always gone according to plan.”

The Great Healing: Five Compassions That Can Save Our World

Stephen Erickson

“I want to introduce you to exquisite creatures.”

If She Favours You

Harley Rose

“I was eighteen years old when I realised I was predictable.”

Leave the Lights on When You Go

Janis Ahlenberg

“My seven-years-younger brother and I perch high up on the rock ledge, above this heaven-sized New England lake, looking out over the family vacation cottage—a modest brown dwelling on the water’s edge—that my parents built as their second home just after I left at eighteen.”

Prodigal Avenger: A Story of the Secret War in Afghanistan

Tim Moynihan

“The last thought that passed through Khalid Zahar’s mind before his head exploded was that woman in the burqa has very large feet.”

A Red Morn Rises

Kyri Freeman

“The enemy attacked Black Sisters Keep two days past Midwinter, in the dark of night, when the full moon shone down on the sky-ripping peaks of jagged black rock that gave the keep its name.”

A Smuggler’s Heart (Gentlemen of the Coast #1)

Danielle Thorne

“The leaves of an ancient oak tree fluttered in the quiet inviting Christine Fryer to dismount inside the safety of its low, sprawling arms.”

The Twisted Crown

Anita Richmond Bunkley

“A flat white disk settled high into an inky black sky created a wide swath of moonlight over the dark waters of the Cooper River.”

Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety

Thérèse A. Kravetz

“She was always looking for permission: Permission to move, permission to speak, permission to be.”

Zero Percenters

Scott T. Grusky

“Sometimes you have to reach further than you thought possible to find your way home—a lot further.”