I'm rather curious to see if any of them will be recognized. These aren't necessarily my favorites, just books that I happen to have at my desk. :)
1. At the beginning it was a bit of fun.
Kris Ironside and I, both single, both thirty-one, both meteorologists employed to interpret the invisible swings and buffets of global air for television and radio audience consumption, both of us found without excitement that some of the vacation weeks allotted to us overlapped.
2. It came by mail, regular postage, the old-fashioned way since the Judge was almost eighty and distrusted modern devices. Forget e-mail and even faxes. He didn't use an answering machine and had never been fond of the telephone. He pecked out his letters with both index fingers, one feeble key at a time, hunched over his old Underwood manual on a rolltop desk under the portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Judge's grandfather had fought with Forrest at Shiloh and throughout the Deep South, and to him no figure in history was more revered. For thirty-two years, the Judge had quietly refused to hold court on July 13, Forrest's birthday.
3. It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance. Mrs Baird's was like a thousand other Highland bed-and-breakfast establishments in 1945; clean and quiet, with fading floral wallpaper, gleaming floors, and a coin-operated hot-water geyser in the lavatory. Mrs. Baird herself was squat and easygoing, and made no objection to Frank lining her tiny rose-sprigged parlor with the dozens of books and papers with which he always traveled.
4. Returning the Key West letters to their manila folder, I got out a packet of surgical gloves, tucked it inside my black medical bag, and took the elevator down one floor to the morgue.
5. Prince Zehava squinted into the sunlight and smiled his satisfaction. All the signs were good for the hunt today: claw marks on the cliffs, wing marks on the sand, and the close cropping of bittersweet plants along the canyon ridges. But the prince's perceptions were more subtle and had no need of these obvious signs...
6. Emperor Charliss sat upon the Iron Throne, bowed down neither by the visible weight of his years nor the invisible weight of his power. He bore neither the heavy Wolf Crown on his head, nor the equally burdensome robs of state across his shoulders, though both lay nearby, on an ornately trimmed marble bench beside the Iron Throne...
7. Men were fighting in the distance.
It made the people who trudged their way to and from the Common, laden with baskets and awkward panniers, stop a moment beneath the cover of the trees for which the holdings were famous. Those trees towered at a height great enough to give little relief from sun's light this early in the day, and they were as thick around the base as a small knot of men, which meant they were easy enough to hide behind. That no one did said more about the demands of the festival season than anyone's bravery.
And of course,
8. When Mr. Bilbo Baggens of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.
Some paragraphs were clipped for brevity (hence the ... ), and I have several other books, most by the same authors listed here. I'm mostly curious to see if people will recognize the authors listed, so stopping at 8 so I don't list two books by the same writer.