May 25

How about a little book trivia? Prizes, I promise…but no cash.

Just for funsies (yes, that is a word – squiggly red underlined notwithstanding), I thought I’d do a little first line matching challenge. I currently have seven published works out there (not including Gabriel’s Journey, which is the compilation of four books), and each obviously has an opening line. Some may be obvious, some obscure, so give it a shot if you’re up for it.

Prize winners will receive e-copies of ALL SEVEN, via email.

How does one win? Below are my seven* first lines, each with a number. After that are the seven stories’ names, each with a letter. COMMENT with your matches (like 1-B, 3-E, etc.). Saturday night at 9PM ET I’ll end the commenting. I will award THREE sets of prizes, so there will be three winners. If more than three are completely 100% correct, the first three that commented get the prizes. If fewer than three are correct, I’ll give three prizes to the highest number correct. And if there are more than three with the same highest number correct, we go back to expediency. Make sense?

* Those of you with good math skills may notice there are actually eight first lines. One is NOT associated with a currently published work as a red herring, but IS the first line (as it stands) of my current scifi WIP, so you get a little sneak preview.

Ready? Set? GUESS:

1 - They say it’s the first thing that goes when you get old… or was it the second thing?

2 - “Which one is he?”

3 - The warship glided through the inky blackness of the Canaan system. 

4 - Maybe a second glass of wine will help my nerves.

5 - Louis Mullins knew he’d die one day; he just didn’t know until a few hours ago that today was that day.

6 - Evan dove into the clear blue water, leaving the safety of the catamaran behind, and swam deep, adjusting his goggles as he kicked.

7 - The first thing Tomas Katoa saw when he opened one blurry eye was a front tooth.

8 - My life changed on the way to the train station after work.

A – Gabriel’s Redemption

B – Gabriel’s Return

C – Gabriel’s Revenge

D – Gabriel: Zero Point

E – The Awakening

F – Special Delivery

G – Opt-Out


About the author

Steve Umstead

Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten+ years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously…but hasn’t given up the traveling.
Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors’ science fiction novels. Gabriel’s Redemption was his debut novel, published in February of 2011.


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  1. Robert "Sharky" Pruneda

    6-A, 7-B, 3-C, 2-D, 1-E, 4-F, 8-G

  2. Becky Neilsen

    Love your books!!!
    Very interested to read the book that goes with the ’8th’ firdt line

  3. kris muncan

    6-A, 7-B, 3-C, 2-D, 1-E, 4-F, 8-G

  4. Steve Umstead

    Clean sweep! The first three are all correct (and apparently scared off any further guesses, I see). Kris, Becky, and Rob, drop me a line at sumstead (at) gmail.com with your preferred ebook format, and the ‘series’ is on its way.

    Oh, and #5? Yep, that was the red herring, and the as-it-stands-now first line of the next project, which has now begun…

  5. foaltrainer

    Congrats all.

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