Readathon: Hour 16 Mini Challenge

Posted April 27, 2014 by Nicky in Giveaways / 63 Comments

Hey everyone, and welcome to the hour 16 mini challenge! I hosted one last time before I had this blog, and now I’ve got a permanent bookish home it’s great to welcome you all back. Last time we had a guessing game, but this time I thought I’d do something a bit more interactive to give you all a bit more of a change from reading.

It’s pretty simple:

  1. Turn to page 35 in your current read.
  2. Find sentence #3.
  3. That’s the first sentence of a little piece of writing! It doesn’t matter if that’s a short story, a poem, the introduction to something bigger… anything creative counts. Bonus points if you make it a totally different genre to your original read!
  4. Leave the piece of writing in a comment here, or link to it in the comments here.
  5. I’ll pick someone at random to pick a book up to ยฃ10 in value from The Book Depository. So make sure you leave your email for me so I can get in contact with you, or you won’t be able to pick your book!

So, for example, I’ll just grab the closest book… The Bone Season (Samantha Shannon). And the sentence is: “I realised with a start that I was naked.” So here’s my little piece of writing:

I realised with a start that I was naked. That was the first thing — the fact that I was naked under the light sheet, and the quality of the light was somehow different to my own room back at home. I could hear someone moving around, careful and quiet. My chest tightened a little, and I turned my face further into the pillow, feigning a sleepy mutter.

“I know you’re awake,” he said. I knew his voice.


“It’s me, sunshine.”

It was, too. It was his voice, and his nickname for me. The only trouble was, Sam had been dead three years. I didn’t open my eyes, just burrowed deeper into the pillow, trying to figure things out. He was waiting, just standing there, waiting for me to say something. If I hadn’t said anything… But hindsight, you know what they say about that. “Why are you here?”

He came across the room, and a cold hand touched my shoulder. “I’m here for you.”

Which takes a sentence completely out of context from a fantasy book I haven’t yet read and turns it into what is the beginning, or maybe the entirety, of a horror story.

So hey, whatever your writing skills, give it a go! It’ll give your brain a nice change from all the reading. This challenge will run for five hours, to give everyone a good chance to join in. I hope the rest of the ‘thon treats you well!

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63 responses to “Readathon: Hour 16 Mini Challenge

  1. Lynley

    Dorothy Must Die
    “I was used to cornfields back in Kansas, obviously, but these were different: every ear was as black and shiny as oil. It looked like each one had been dipped in tar. Or like all the life had been sucked out of them and had something dead and evil pumped back in their place.”

  2. CaroG

    From The Last Unicorn
    “I enjoyed that” Mommy Fortuna said to Rukh. “I always do. I guess I’m just stagestruck at heart” (end of original text)
    Fortuna always felt that rush of excitement after leaving the set. Being an adult film star had it’s ups and downs, but, she told herself, at least she was acting, like she always wanted. If only she wasn’t ashamed of her work; if only she could share it with her family back in the country…

  3. MartinaCK

    His heart beat hard against his ribs. From his hiding place in the shadowy cave, he saw them pass – dozens of undead. He knew if he moved a millimeter, they would see him, feed on him, turn him into one of them. His flesh would rot and stink, pieces of his body would fall off. His eyes began to water, burning, begging him to blink. He fought hard, but then it happened. His eyelids clamped shut for a mere second and when he opened his eyes again, they were looking at him…

    PS. I was reading Biblical fiction and it turned into this. Oh boy… lol Fun challenge!

  4. Shone…and remained open and clear.
    How could this be? One moment dazzling snow crystals falling from the darkened sky, now the moonlight shining without a snowflake in sight. Where am I? What displacement have I traversed in this moment of time?

  5. “What do you think of their plan?” he asks me when the board meeting was over.
    “I don’t know, could it really work like they said it would?” the board’s plan was too good to be true. I was not going to believe it until I see it work with my own two eyes.
    “May, the board can do anything they want to and it would work.” he was right, but it was just too good.
    For my entire life my people have lived without entertainment and now the board has come up with a plan, to bring a musical back to town. I would love to see it, but would they be able to get the performers needed and sell enough tickets to make money. It was a long shot.
    A year later he sits beside looking all smug in his new tux. “So, what did I tell you?”
    “Be quiet, we still haven’t seen the show yet, it could still be a fail.”
    The board proved me wrong and that night was the best of any night I have ever had. Maybe I should speak to the board about making movies. Now that is some entertainment.

  6. “I’m not what you would call an alcoholic, but I do like to drink until I pass out once a week.” Her steely blue eyes twinkled as she accepted the drink.

    Jander thought this was the strangest opening to a conversation that he had ever heard at his bar. As he continued to wipe down the counter, he peered at the leggy blond through the sweep of his hair that had fallen over his eyes while he worked. He scoffed under his breath; who was he to judge… she may be gorgeous but he was no fool. She was just as much underworld vampire as he was.

    Taken from The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin with a total genre switch ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Belle Books

    The shifting shadows made the stone figures seem to stir as the living passed by. Never in my life have I seen anything as beautiful as when in that dark, eerie room I saw her. She was just over the age of 23, and absolutely perfect. Her hair cascaded down her back in a waterfall of honey-colored ringlets. Her eyes shown like the emeralds she was wearing on her forefingers. I knew I would never see her after I left the room. I went to speak to her, but when I got close, she disappeared. I have spent the whole of my life searching for the girl with emerald eyes. I have seen signs of her everywhere, but she never appears. I will continue searching, and never give up, for the girl with the emerald eyes is the truest of true loves. Alas, my story ends there; with a hopeless search for my one true love.

  8. I am currently reading Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

    This Santa’s beard was real, and so was his hair. I was accustomed to all the Santa’s with the fake hair and fake beard. They usually smelled like stale Cheetos and booze. I had never bought the whole Santa thing because of these fake Santas. I mean the whole story was a little far fetched anyway. One guy flying around on a sleigh and having to deliver gifts to every kid in one night. It just didn’t make sense but as I stared at this guy, he seemed to be the real deal. I hated to admit it but at 9 years old it gave me a little hope that maybe Old Saint Nick was real after all.

  9. My book is CALL ME ZELDA, by Erika Robuck.

    I was more than a little concerned about his words. Especially because he told me he hadn’t said anything. I must have imagined it, like Alice in Wonderland seeing the Mad Hatter. We’re all mad here.

    (All I can do right now … so sleepy, but must finish book) Very fun challenge you can reach me at

  10. [Taken from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell]
    “He said he was fine, and that the competition in Missouri was already intense.”
    I wished he would tell me something I didn’t already know. Of course he would say he was fine; They monitor everything you send out. Texts, calls, e-mails, letters, even some BrainStim.
    But hearing that competition was intense was the last thing I wanted to hear. Markus already had it hard enough, fighting just to stay alive because of lung issues. And then they decide to send him off to a camp so he can fight for rights to a donor? It was idiotic, stupid, and most likely deadly. And the worst part wasn’t the death-it was how he would die. If the other competitors had killed them, there would have been a small, miniscule amount of relief. I knew that he would get a short and quick death. But that wasn’t how he would die, because Markus, aside from being incredibly non-violent, had a charismatic and comanding personality. All of them would love him.
    He would literally die from lung failure. They had been so stupid, so sadistic, as to not only send him into a battle for life, but to take him off his meds and support system.
    My only best friend would die, and I was stuck in Alaska, forced to tend to the every whim and need of a head Monitor.
    (Just imagine that this is placed in a kind of dystopian genre. It’s pretty heavily based off of Unwind because I just read that. Oopsie?)

  11. “Even sleep offered no respite from my mental disorders.” (The Psychopath Test.)

    Even sleep offered no respite from my mental disorders. My dreams were disturbed by whispered arguments, sneers and hisses, faint pokes of phantom fingers into my subconscious, as the others fought with each other throughout the night. We were locked in a constant contest to see who would be behind the eyes when they opened. I didn’t always win.

    (The first book I read this readathon was about a girl with multiple personalities, lol. It’s stuck with me!)

  12. teriboop

    I am reading The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon. Page 35(ish – on an e-reader), 3rd sentence is:

    “Oui?” Sister Eustacia took the note with the same care with which it was proffered.

    Here’s my writing:

    “Oui?” Sister Eustacia took the note with the same care with which it was proffered. “I see we are passing notes again instead of completing your French lesson. Well, Mr. Jacob, let’s just see what was so important that you had to cause a disturbance within the entire classroom.” Sister Eustacia walks to the front of the classroom, stopping front. As every eye looks her way, she proceeds to unfold the note and without looking at it herself, holds the paper above her head for everyone to see.

    The entire room begins to laugh, giving Sister Eustacia the feeling that the joke is on her. Upon further review, the sister realizes that the paper is completely blank. “What is the meaning of this, Mr. Jacob?”

    “Absolutely nothing! Renee asked for a piece of paper to finish her lesson and I was just passing her a blank piece. Ne pas sauter aux conclusions trop rapidement. You might not want to jump to conclusions too quickly, Sister Eustacia!”

    ~ Teri Beckelheimer @

  13. “Even sleep offered no respite from my mental disorders.” (The Psychopath Test.)

    Even sleep offered no respite from my mental disorders. My dreams were disturbed by whispered arguments, sneers and hisses, faint pokes of phantom fingers into my subconscious, as the others fought with each other throughout the night. We were locked in a constant contest to see who would be behind the eyes when they opened. I didn’t always win.

    (The first book I read this readathon was about a girl with multiple personalities, lol. It’s stuck with me!)

    (WordPress made it difficult for me to sign in, I had to use some old account. My email is icemulder at gmail dot com!)

  14. Idk what I wrote but here!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ::

    Independent and uninvolved. No one asks for help. Too shy? No, they deny if you ask. This is what’s before us in our dystopian future. What happened to our utopian future? A future with great beauty? Where everyone is good? That faded and we have fallen under selfishness and gambling. I realise this now as we speak. We can change. We should be free. All the. Children line up for the daily choosing. The choosing for war. Both girl and boy. What has become of our nation. Unreliable freaks as others would say. We only rely on ourselves. What have we become?? Independent and uninvolved.

  15. My book is The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

    “Serial crimes,” he said, choosing a different word and letting it hang in the air around us. I wasn’t sure if he was joking or pulling our legs. I hadn’t signed up for this, what I thought was a simple after school program had turned out to be much more.

    The man looked at each of our faces and sighed. “I know this is a lot to take in, but we need your minds on these cases. Each of you have been selected for a variety of reasons,” he paused here, taking a deep breath. “Now is the time to choose, will you stay and help or walk out the door?”

  16. Isa

    The book I’m currently reading is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
    “I wish you would.” says Prim.
    She slumps against the bedside, defeated and disappointed.
    “Prim, I refuse to wear a cuckoo’s nest on my head, prancing about singing Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up,” I say exasperated though I secretly wouldn’t mind the cuckoo’s nest. The fashion has it’s appeal.
    She glances up at me and gives me such a hopeful, pleading expression I can’t help but give in.
    “Fine. But I definitely will NOT do the gangnam dance.” As if I had any dignity left at all.


    Fun challenge though I think I’m at the hour where weird thoughts come tumbling out when I type. xD

  17. Malin Hansson

    “Like myself, he had been born free, and had a wife and two children in Cincinnati. Now we were both on our way to be shipped out into space.
    When mankind found away to be able to travel in space faster and more comfortably then before, even being able to visit other universes in the long run, there were many willing to be shipped out.
    But it’s different now. So many people died when they found what could be called a paradise, a place that a christian person would call heaven and a buddhist nirvana.
    This paradise didn’t last long though. there were other beings there. Intelligent beings. And when mankind tried to get the paradise for itself, as it is such a greedy being, it backfired. Hard.
    Everyone that were there that day was killed. No mercy was shown from the beings. Unfortunately, they had taken pictures and sent back to earth before the killing started. If it weren’t for those pictures, I’ll bet you anything that we, this man I just met and of course myself, wouldn’t be in this position. If those people that oversaw everything hadn’t gotten those pictures, It would all be explained as a meeting with hosstile lifeforms and that we would stay away from that place to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
    But that didn’t happen. Mankind’s greediness took over. The people who saw the pictures were spellbound and they sent everyone out in space to that single planet. It didn’t go as planned. Everyone was brutally slaughtered.
    And this is why we’re here today, to be forcefully put into space, to go to that so called paradise and try to seize the planet. It doesn’t matter if you want it or not, if you live or die. Cause in the end, everything that matters is to be able to live in heaven, nirvana, the paradise.”

    From “12 years a slave” by Solomon Northup

    I had so much fun writing this! When I saw the sentance I just fought “sci-fi”.
    Funny thing is, I’ve never read a sci-fi book and have only watched the Star Trek movie from 2009! Though I’ll admit that I’ve read some Star Trek fanfiction too~^^

  18. DEFY THE NIGHT- Heather Munn & Lydia Munn
    Pg 35 sentence 3
    She said she’d tell her husband that after supper was no time for a young girl to be working in a cafe anyway…

    How she hated being controlled by the one woman who knew all of her secrets. She held them over her, taunting her…waiting in the shadows for one slip, one misstep. Let her tell him what she wanted. The cafe was only a stepping stone to what she most desperately desired most…freedom.

  19. Brianne Hernandez

    Outraged or not, she wouldn’t miss an opportunity to see Kaz naked. Feigning reluctance, she pulled a wrinkled and water-stained picture out of her back pocket and handed it to Casey’s outstretched hand. It was a polarroid of Kaz when he was 2 years old, sitting, naked, in a mess of pasta and spaghetti sauce which he unceremoniously knocked out of his father’s hands. Alex watched as her friend’s face scrunched up, the way it always did when she tried to hold in her laughter.

    “I’m pretty sure this is where his obsession for Italian food stems from,” Alex claims.

    Casey lets out a strangled giggle, then erupts into laughter, “Where on earth did you find this?” she asks between breaths.

    “Remember the project I’m doing for my photography class?” Alex asks, “the ‘Then and Now’ picture thing? I went over to Kaz’s place to get a baby picture of his and he wasn’t home, but his mom just let me loose on their family albums. I found this gem among the snapshots of first bubble bath and first playdate.”

  20. I tried to back away, but the peasants crowded around, walling us in. The wizard, Darkalf, grasped his staff and slammed the end on the ground. A bright light emanated from the top of the staff. The peasants fell back. Darkalf spoke loudly, “We are the guardians of the heartstone. We are not your enemies. Your fear leads you to mistrust us. Do not. We are the ones chosen to protect you from the cause of that fear.” Darkalf held the heartstone high above his head. The peasants gasped and fell to their knees.

    Third sentence from The Grip of God by Rebecca Hazell. Original genre – historical fiction.

    Great mini-challenge! This would be an excellent writing prompt exercise. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. I’m currently reading Razorhurst which has been classified as a horror and is very bloody and gory. Let’s change things around.

    ‘Someone banged on the door so loud it rattled.
    My heart started pumping faster and louder, almost like it wanted to break free. The knocking grew louder, more urgent. I gripped on to the object that was closet to me, a book. I clenched the spine, and crept closer to the door.
    I heard groaning coming from the other side. Or was it barking? The sound was muffled and barely audible. Either way it wasn’t a pleasant sound. I could hear scratching now. The nail pushing against the wooden door and dragging itself down. It was dark as a nightmare outside.
    “Face your fears,” I muttered to myself.
    “Things don’t fix themselves,”
    I swear I could’ve heard sobbing from outside. There are too many different types of sobbing to identify which one it is. Scared, sad, happy?
    I heard a voice, and more sobbing. Suddenly my feet had taken over my body and had led me to the door. My hand lightly touched the door knob, almost like tickling. It felt smooth. I could hear the back of my mind egging me on to “do it,”.
    “Stop hesitating,” I told myself.
    All of a sudden I had felt sick and nauseous. The idea of what could be behind that door scared me. I backed away, slowly. Obviously I had no sense of direction and plummeted straight into a coat hanger. It landed with a thud and hats came tumbling out, rolling along the wooden floor.
    “She’s in there.” I thought I heard.
    “Miss! Miss!” That voice, I recognised it.
    The book I was holding onto dropped from my hand.
    “Tom?” I said.
    This time I opened door without hesitating and found a man drenched from head to toe.
    “Your dog,” He pants, “He was found in the park. Using a tree as shelter. I had to take the poor scallywag in. There’s lightning out there!”
    I look down to find a small fluffy creature staring up at me.
    “How long have you been waiting?” I asked.
    “Enough to make your poor old dog shiver,” He replied.
    “Oh I’m so sorry. It’s just that……why don’t you come in and have a cup of cocoa. You can stay for the night. It’s too dark for you to go back to your house.” I tell him.
    I smiled and let them in, giving my dog a warm hug.
    “Oh you,” I told him.

  22. While I’m digging for change in the front desk’s dark drawers, his attention turns, at last, to the shadowy shelves dominating the back half of the store.

    “What’s back there?” he asks.

    He has a boyish face, but I can see that he’s much older than he appears.

    “Have a look,” I tell him.

    He takes his carton of cigarettes and head to the back of the store. I see him pull one of the magazines from the shelves. A puzzled look as he stares at the cover. I’m watching closely as he opens the magazine to the centerpiece.

    “What the –”

    He drops the magazine and his carton of the cigarettes and stumbles over his own feet as he runs out the door.

    “Come back and see us,” I call out to him, but he’s already halfway down the road.

    A minute later one of my regulars walks into the store.

    “What was with that guy who just ran out?” Tony asks.

    I chuckle.

    “First time viewing the collection of clown art magazines.”

  23. Ooh, fun idea! I’ll give it a go. starting sentence from Hollow City by Ransom Riggs.
    Halfway across the beach, Miss Peregrine let out a warning cry, and the two zeppelins bobbed up over the dunes and into our line of sight. She led the charge as thousands of birds swooped towards the aircrafts and blocked the vision of those onboard. It was a spectacular sight, but Miss Hare would not let us enjoy it.

    “We have to go, now, while they can’t spot us!” she urged. Us flightless animals were reminded of the reason for the spectacle in the air. We turned and began to ran from the beach into the forest. But out of the woods emerged another terrifying threat – the robotic animals we thought we had lost at the river. We halted, unsure of which way to turn. The birds could distract the zeppelins, but they couldn’t stop them, and we were in no shape to fight the robots. What could we do?

    Ach, that was harder than I anticipated! I’m not too sure what’s happening up there, haha. But it was a nice break from reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. “Go on and take them glasses off.”
    Anna removed the empty glasses from the table,leaving the one that was still half full of beer. “That one too. Ain’t nobody gonna drink no more tonight.”
    She asked if she should bring their bar tab.
    “Hell, no, you tryin’ to give us the bum’s rush?” She didn’t reply. Rudeness to answer to rudeness.
    “Dry off the table, we don’t want to get our papers wet.”
    She dried the table. He spread charts and maps. His companions said nothing, did nothing. He waved her away. She retreated to a bar stool.

    Nearly an hour passed. There were no other customers. Once she asked, not getting up, if she could get them anything. Again, he waved her off with a grunt.

    Finally, he gathered up the papers, and shoved a wad of bills at her.
    “That cover it?”
    She nodded her “yes.”

    And they left. A map fell out of his bundle. She didn’t bother to tell him since there wasn’t much of a tip in the wad he’d given her.

    The next day she saw his face on the evening news.

    (The first sentence is from This dark road to Mercy, by Wiley Cash. It referred to eyeglasses, not drinking glasses.)

  25. At night he heard the precise ticking of an alarm clock at the side of his bed. The sound of minute after minute slipping by, taunting him as he waited for dawn and for his wife to open her eyes. They had only been married three days, and each night he laid awake, just watching her chest rise and fall in the gentle rhythm of deep sleep. Something about the vulnerability of her dreaming form awoke an awe in him, a wonder at being trusted with her care and protection. And so he kept up his night guard, willing her to wake just so he could hear her voice and spend another day as her husband.

  26. BloodWitch by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
    “My tormentor turned when I mentionef the painting”
    My addition:
    “Where is it?!” He leaped at me knice draen and I had no time to react. My body went limp and we both rolled. Further into the room. I landed on top and made eye contact with my attacker . It was enough. His will was now mine.

  27. Alas, my current read was only 30 pages long ;( So, I’ll write a haiku on the lack of words…

    No words can greet me.
    Pages stretch not far enough
    Longer books call me.

    ehbanks [at] gmail [dot] com

  28. Alas, my current read was only 30 pages long ;( So, Iโ€™ll write a haiku on the lack of wordsโ€ฆ

    No words can greet me.
    Pages stretch not far enough
    Longer books call me.

    ehbanks [at] gmail [dot] com

  29. Erin (Erin Reads)

    I had some trouble logging in before and don’t see my comment from earlier, so I’m reposting it. I’m sorry if it’s a duplicate!

    What a fun challenge! I turned a line from a middle grade novel into the rhyming prologue/intro to a contemporary romance, hehe. It’s here, in Update #6:

    Thanks! erinreadsblog [at] gmail [dot] com

  30. From Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey.
    “Sink, accepting the waters as any good Christian does in baptism, I’d be deemed innocent, though dead if left under too long.” I sank, then spluttered to the top. “Innocent! She is innocent!” Cheers rose from the crowd. “Cut! One more time.” The director hollered. What the hell? What was wrong with that take? If was perfect and I was not doing it again. My assistant helped me out of the water and wrapped me in my barely dry housecoat. I stormed over to Jason. “I am not doing that scene again.” He grinned. “Oh, yes you are.” “No, I’m not.” I stuck my face in his and shoved him. The sound of him hitting the water was even more satisfying than my first latte of the day.

    Dragonswood is a YA fantasy. What I rewrote the above into is an adult contemporary romance…maybe possibly. Thanks for the fun challenge!

  31. “I’m not what you’d call an alcoholic, but I do like to drink until I pass out at least once a week.”
    “Do you think you need to go to rehab?”
    “No, I think I need to work less so I can drink more days!”

    (The Storied Life of AJ Fikry)

  32. โ€œI will grant you your duel. And every duel you may challenge me to hereafter, but I refuse to wear a fuchsia dress to the banquet.โ€ I kicked the wardrobe door shut for good measure.
    โ€œWell, you have to wear something, and Iโ€™ve taken the liberty of removing every other article of clothing from the room,โ€ she replied mildly.
    โ€œThen Iโ€™ll go naked.โ€
    โ€œItโ€™s a terrible thing that I believe you are capable of that. You should be ashamed of yourself.โ€
    [Quote was taken from And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini]
    [My e-mail is lindseypro21 (at) aol (dot) com]

  33. That was always a selling point. Thought Margot to herself, as she walked through the store. It had calming music and incense burning throughout the place, very atmospheric, one of those hippie-witchcraft shops that have become so popular with the teens. However, Margot was not there to dilly dally, she was a woman on a quest. The store had one thing she desperately needed for her latest concoction, as it is so hard to find in this season. Wolfsbane, she was making a herbal remedy to a problem. This problem had been plaguing Margot for a while, but it wasn’t medical issue, despite with her old age having a very bad case of arthritis that could use a fixing. She had more important problems to prioritize. That problem was none other than her neighbor Dolores. Dolores had always been a pain in Margot’s foot, but lately she had become a perfect example of words that Margot would never use in polite company. So Margot has decided to fix this problem the good old fashioned way. Through getting rid of Dolores, permanently. She had been planning it out for months, she would purchase the poisonous flowers dried as the stores (who stocked them to appeal to customers that are fans of werewolves), prepare Dolores a lovely afternoon tea and snack with them, and then watch her dreams come true.

    The starting line is from the romance novel Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Cruise and Bob Mayer and it’s reminiscing about a sex scene originally.

  34. Maria

    From World After by Susan Ee.
    The sentence is “They can’t.”

    “They can’t. They just can’t be apart, their lives depend on the other, they’re totally codependent. But you should know you’d better not try to keep them separated, because they have the power to destroy you. Words are made to be together, and even though they’re beautiful, they have power, and you know better than to challenge them.”

    I don’t even know what was that, but nevermind.

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