Remember your first? A #bookgiveaway

First crush.
First puppy.
First kiss.
First novel.

leslie budewitz agatha award winner 2013

Okay, so maybe they don’t all stand out in the same way, but the fun of discovery never gets old. To celebrate the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, which will be awarded next week at the Malice Domestic Mystery Convention—and the anniversary of my win last year, for Death al Dente—I’m giving away copies of three of this year’s nominated books:

IMGP2797Tagged for Death, by Sherry Harris,
Well Read, Then Dead, by Terrie Farley Moran, and Murder Strikes a Pose, by Tracy Weber (signed copy).
(The other nominees are Circle of Influence, by Annette Dashofy and Finding Sky, by Susan O’Brien, but I’m still reading!)

And as a bonus, I’m adding Kilmoon by Lisa Alber, a nominee for the Rosebud Best First award at this year’s Left Coast Crime, held in Portland, the Rose City, and the fun convention bookbag.

To enter, leave a comment on my blog or my Facebook Author page mentioning some memorable first—your first love, your first house, the first mystery you read, a favorite first novel, any “first” that still gives you a smile—by midnight Wednesday, April 29. Ruff—the first Burmese cat I ever met—will punch the random number generator on Thursday morning, April 30.

(U.S. addresses only)

79 thoughts on “Remember your first? A #bookgiveaway

  1. My memorable first was my first apartment. It was a big deal to move out of my parent’s house and live on my own.

  2. The first book that I ever owned I received for my 5th birthday from my sister. It was a Little Golden Book called Four Puppies. I still have the book.

  3. My first is the first time I made home made bread or I should say attempted. The outside was as hard as a brick and the inside was a gummy blob. My mom made it look easy. Hers always came out wonderful. Let’s just say, a know it all teenager didn’t know it all after all! That was in the early 70s and I still remember it. At least now I can smile about it..

  4. I have many firsts that make me smile but the first that came to mind was my first apartment that my hubby and I had. I had always lived at home so even though we had what I called the “army boot family” living above us, I loved it. I could make myself a sandwich and not have to answer to anyone “what are you eating?” I could rearrange things however I wanted without asking anyone (hubby didn’t care what I did, he was always happy with whatever I did). I just felt a sense of freedom.

  5. My first child. We had tried for 4 1/2 years with no luck. Sadly my husband got sick and we found out that he had leukemia and 2 weeks later we found out our son was on his way. My husband passed away when son was 2 1/2. I feel blessed to still have a very important part of him still here. 🙂

  6. My first mystery Nook to read at age 8; Agatha Christie’s “And the there were none”. My mom was a fan and I had outgrown Nancy Drew. Love Agatha.

  7. I remember my first 3 Nancy Drew books. I was 7, it was Christmas Eve, and my Aunt Candy gave them to me. What I didn’t know that night was how it would ignite a life long love of mystery in all forms. I still collect mysteries and would be happy to do nothing but read cozy mysteries all winter long. llcejka at gmail dot com

  8. The birth of my first grandchild still is an amazing moment in my life. He will be 35 this year, the age I was when he was born. He will always hold a special place no matter how many have followed he will always and forever be the first.

  9. Oh wow. My first kiss. Well…. Technically my first kiss was my freshman year in high school and it was during my World Geography class. One of the boys in the class (a junior!) was moving to Japan so on his last day we held a little going away party and at the end of class he walked over to us girls (there were only three of us and we all sat together) and kissed us each on the cheek. I was so young and shy and was not expecting it at all! I blushed so brightly that everyone was laughing (good naturedly, thank goodness) and the boy actually apologised for embarrassing me! I still smile when i think about it, it may not have been a ‘real’ kiss but it was sweet and wonderful and made me feel like a woman, not a freshman girl.

  10. I don’t recall the exact name of the first mystery I read but I loved reading them even as a child. I read a series of mysteries about a group of kids from TN, and I think they were called the Lookout Mountain Gang. I’ve not been able to find those books for my 2 daughters. Thanks for the opportunity!
    sharonbabyme@yahoo.com

    • Glad to see someone else mention the Boxcar Children, I loved these books. I also read them to my grandson, just found the first ten in the series for a reasonable price and bought them for my grandson, so he can actually read them when he gets old enough.

  11. Thanks for a chance to win these cozy mysteries.
    my 1st is: I didn’t get my 1st dog until age 60+ And I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

  12. Oh, gosh! More wonderful comments than I can respond to individually. You are all making me smile — or in some cases, making my eyes widen and heart soften. Thank you all for sharing!

    • The first book I fell in love with was Harold and The Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I have no idea how many times I checked the book out of the school library in first grade. I was devastated on the day my teacher told me I could no longer check the book out that I had to share it with others. My heart shattered that day.

  13. I remember the first dog I ever helped get rescued as a volunteer at a city animal shelter. Her name was Fiona. There has been many since then but she will always be special to me.

  14. Thanks for the giveaway! My first puppy was a golden retriever named Brandy that we got when I was nine and she started me on my love affair with dogs. My life never feels complete unless I have at least one in my life. The first mystery I ever read was Nancy Drew and The Secret of the Old Clock and that began my love of mysteries. I guess I was a little OCD even back then because I had to read them in order. LOL!

  15. I was 4 when my parents took me to pick out my first dog. We were thick as thieves until I betrayed her by going away to kindergarten. She was the most accommodating dog, letting my friends and I dress her in baby clothes, etc. She died when I was away at college my freshman year, but she’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

  16. Our first dog as a married couple…we went to a friend’s house for dinner and his dog had recently had a litter of cockapoo pups. We fell in love with this female who looked more cocker spaniel, while all the other litter mates looked like poodles. We brought her home, named her Lady and she was our constant companion for 16 years.

  17. My first kiss from a boy was on my way to kindergarten. A whole gang of us were walking to school together…kids would join the group as we approached their homes on the route to school. There was an underground passage so we did not have to contend with traffic on a busy street and that is where is happened. I only remember him as Billy and he ran up to me and planted one right on my lips. Lots of giggling as we approached the daylight again and school. Ah, what a memory. So many things have changed….just the walk alone is foreign to most children today.

  18. My first kiss was when I was 18. We were at a bon fire and went for a walk on the beach. Every time I think about it I can still remember the smells and the sounds of the ocean. 🙂 it’s always nice to remember the happy times.

  19. Just want to say thank you for your gracious support. My daughter’s first pet was Susan the turtle. And there came a time when Susan stopped moving and wasn’t noticeably eating. For several days my husband and I talked about how we were going to conduct the funeral without upsetting our three year old. Just as we were about to break the bad news, Susan did a back flip off the ramp in her turtle pier and was stuck on her back, legs flailing. She was with us for quite a while longer. 🙂

  20. Loving all your little stories! Thanks so much for sharing your memories and giving us all a moment to smile or reflect. Contest runs till midnight Wednesday!

  21. My first mysteries was Nancy Drew books. But when I discovered Agatha Christy, she became my first loved author. I am a cozy mystery lover.

  22. My memorable first is my first job. It was serving at a private dinner. The thing that I remember most of this job was that I had to maneuver a huge tray, carrying it down a flight of steps, with five plates with a steak, baked potato and vegetable. I succeeded down the steps okay and served three of the five plates without a problem. It was when I went to serve the fourth plate that the fifth one decided it didn’t want to alone. It slid off the tray and right into the lap of the lady I was serving the fourth plate to. Needless to say I was upset and apologized over and over to her. She was very good natured about it but her man friend went ballistic. He even accused me of being on drugs. I swore after that that I would never be a waitress for the rest of my life.

  23. When I was in the 4th grade my teacher, Miss Brunner, as a reward, let me sit next to the bookcase. She had a collection (series) of biographical books. The life stories of everyone you could think of from Adams to Zaharias. Right there, at my fingertips, over 100 books I could reach out and read any time I finished my work. The first time I ever had as many books I could read any time I wanted. Pure bliss.

    • Oh, Kay, I think I know the series you meant! My grade school library had them, and I think I read every one. Highly fictionalized — who knows what Amelia Earhart said when she fell off the barn roof? — but so much fun, and a great intro to the bigger world.

  24. My first book which was memorable and captivating was Anne of Green Gables in hardcover and the entire series. I borrowed them from the public library and was enthralled with this experience. Still am.

  25. My first scary movie was Poe’s “Murders of the Rue Morgue”. Of course, I was only 8 or 9 and not at all knowing of who Poe was. I’m surprised my parents let me take a bus downtown on my own to see this film,but that was another time.

  26. Oh I was a Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, Bobbsy Twins, reader as a kid. I loved all of them and graduated to Agatha Christie. Loved to read a good mystery. I would come out of the book mobile with an arm load of hardcover books, staggering under them and couldn’t wait to dig in and read.

  27. My first dogs weren’t actually mine (I was only three at the time) but were supposedly for my two oldest sisters. Two standard collies, a male and a female, when I first met them they were just itty bitty pups, and then I don’t remember much until they and I were all older and they were my best friends. My sisters were busy with school and activities, so the dogs and I got to hang out a lot. They were so kind and patient and sweet – I have never understood why dogs can’t live longer, but I know that in their brief lives they teach us so much about love and grace and loss and joy. They always choose joy.

    • What a lovely memory — yes, they are made for joy. And sometimes the love of running! The first dog I ever loved was also a standard collie, Duke, who belonged to my cousin’s family — she now writes cozies as Laura Childs, and her teashop series includes a dog, though not a collie. Mr. Right and I had border collies — and when the last one died, I felt lost with no one to tell me what to do!

  28. The birthday of my first Grandson……Something I will never forget. Of course, I was still awe struck at the birth of my remaining 11 grand kids and 3 great grand sons. But there is something special about the first one! All of my grand kids are avid readers!

  29. The first place we lived after we were married have us several memorable stories. No fun at the time, but now we can laugh at the broken water heater, the waterlogged shag carpet, the disconnected stove, and the tiny bath tub.

    • Congratulations, BJ! Ruff the Cat pushed the button on the random number generator and chose you! Send your mailing to address to me at leslie AT lesliebudewitz DOT com, and your package will go in the mail next week, after Malice Domestic!

  30. My first cozy mystery was Strawberry Shortcake Mystery by Joanne Fluke. That was when I realized there were mystery book series and I have been in love with them ever since.

  31. My first is my first car, a 1969 Ford Mustang. It was 10 years old when I got it. It gave me independence to go where I wanted to go instead of riding a bus. I went to concerts and shopping and visiting my best friends. We went to our favorite bar, what would be considered a “dive bar” to see Twisted Sister before they became famous. The car had lots of weird quirks but I’ll always have fond memories of that car.

    • Oh, you lucky woman! I have wanted one for decades — gulp — but since that seems unlikely to happen, I gave Pepper, the main character in my Spice Shop mysteries, semi-permanent custody of her father’s 1967 Mustang convertible. But don’t tell him what she puts it through, or he might return from Costa Rica and take it back!

  32. My first ever cat that owned me was Named Sam. He actually belonged to my roommate, but two weeks after he moved into the house, the cat started staying in my room! When my roommate moved he “let” Sam stay with me! I had 15 wonderful years with him!

  33. My first book I fell in love with was an agatha Christie book. Well all of them, I just love them. An I’m glad I passed my love for reading to my kids.

  34. My first mystery book was a Nancy Drew mystery ” The Secret of the Old Clock”. I was in 3rd grade. I am now 62.

  35. The first I remember my mom reading over and over night after night was Strega Nona. I still have the book.

  36. My most memorable first was the moment our adoption social worker placed our son, Joshua, in my arms! He was the most beautiful baby boy I’d ever seen. The room was filled with tears of happiness and thanks.

  37. We have so many firsts in our lives, it’s hard to pick one! I remember the first day of school, a little nervous and excited to see friends. Almost as good as the last day of school!

  38. Rememberable first was the first time I drove as a teen getting pulled over because I had my brights on. Holy cow I was so scared.

  39. Probably a no-brainer, but my most memorial ‘first’ is the birth of our great-grandson — who was 6 months old yesterday.

  40. My first trip to Germany with my family will always be a wonderful memory. I got to meet my mother’s family for the first time at 7 years old. My first dog, my first cat, the first time I saw my service dog Rufus(now passed), the first time I saw my rescue Tyler. So many wonderful firsts.

  41. My first car. My mother gave it to my Dad, who passed it to my sister. I had to buy it from the estate! Malcom, named after my dentist. I was 21. I wasn’t allowed to drive before then

  42. I remember the first book that I read that I never wanted to end. Alice In Wonderland….Now all threes years later I am planning my daughter’s sweet 16 party and she would like an Alice in Wonderland party…but not sure Disney version. ..she would like themes from the book!

  43. Hi Leslie! Congratulations on your awards! Many firsts in my life of 66 years, but I’d like to share my first Patriot Guard Rider’s motorcycle ride that my husband and I went on. The PGR is a national organization that honors fallen heroes whether they passed while serving or as Vets. Standing at the gravesite amongst almost 100 other PGR members as well as the soldier’s family and friends was THE most humbling experience I have ever encountered. I was saddened for the loss of this young man who had served our country so bravely and at the same time, I felt privileged to be in the company of such patriotic men and women who came to honor this fallen hero. God Bless America!

    • Sandy, thanks for sharing. I’ve heard of the PGR, but never seen the procession or the service — it sounds deeply moving.

  44. I don’t know what to choose there are so many! The first time I got to hold my kids after they were born, the first time I met my husband, my first dog, my first book, the first apartment I had, my first job, the first time I met my childhood best friend, I can’t pick because life has blessed me with so many firsts that I still hold dear to me!

  45. The first mystery series I read was the Nancy Drew books and the second was Earle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason series.

  46. I’ve had so many wonderful firsts. I’ll share the time I was at at work as a police officer in Texas and a co-worker told me his wife had bought 2 rats for her classroom, assured they were the same sex. Well, 6 rat babies later…he had found homes for all but 2 and asked me if I would take them. I said if I could tell they were the same gender I would add them to my home, the house I had just bought, along with my cats and dogs. I could easily tell they were both boys-and so Tarquin and Nicholas became my first rats. I became involved in the rat community and even showed my rats (winning best in show more than once). I became pen pals with a woman in England with whom I am still close. Loving rats has led to a multitude of friendships with a variety of people, as well as some of the best pets a woman could have. I currently have 3 rats at home (Eccleston, Eros, and Nougat) and just last week I adopted 3 baby boys from the local humane society who are staying with a friend I met through rats for a quarantine period. Soon though TARDIS, Strax, and Alfie will join me and the other boys, as well as my cats (Aleister, Calumet, Licorice, and Mariusz) with a shout out to my OTTB Harley who I board.

    • Kat, if I were giving a prize for most unusual First, you’d win!

      I’ll try to make sure Ruff the Cat keeps his random number generator truly random!

  47. My first Valentine’s day with my boyfriend then and later my husband. We both worked at a large hospital and I was in the O.R. and they called me to come to the front of the O.R. at the reception desk. I go out and there is a Barbershop quartet with a dozen roses and they sang “Love Me Tender” in the O.R. waiting room in front of patient’s families and many co-workers, I cried while everyone else clapped when they were done. Just one of many surprises in 25 years.

  48. At my age I have accumulated so many firsts that it’s hard to determine which is the most memorable. So I will just pick one that has stuck with me thru the years….my love of mysteries ever since I saw my first Sherlock Holmes Movie. If it’s a mystery movie or book I’m there.Hopefully I will keep having firsts for a long time to come.

  49. My first date with my husband was a blind date at a Fraternity party back in November, 1964. We started ” going steady ” in March, 1965. He gave me his Fraternity pin for Christmas,1965, a Hope Chest for Christmas, 1966 and we got engaged on Christmas, 1967. We were married in August, 1968, and we’ve been married for 46 years! It was my best ” first date ” ever.

    • Congratulations, Ruth! My parents met on a blind date so I never feared them — and that’s how I met my husband, too! Ah, those old traditions of the pin and the hope chest — sweet.

  50. My first pet was a little bird named Bojangles, I loved that bird and have a special place in my heart for parakeets.

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