Is it possible to love a book from the opening line?
You bet. A good “hook” will make or break a story. That’s not to say every novel topping the NY Times Best Seller list attracted readers in the first paragraph but I think it’s what we all aspire to achieve.
I love my opening line in “An Unholy Alliance” and I hope readers feel the same.
The stench of decaying flesh filled the air like day-old road kill on a hot August night.
It packs a punch. That being said, let’s look at some memorable opening lines from published works.
This is the saddest story I have ever heard. - Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall. - Louise Erdrich, Tracks
Ice hung from windowsills with a glitter that rivaled glass, and new snow turned the sooty streets to rivers of milk. – Eloisa James, An Affair Before Christmas
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
And one of my personal favorites:
Summer, that vicious green bitch, flexed her sweaty muscles and flattened Innocence, Mississippi. – Nora Roberts, Carnal Innocence
Why not share one of your favorite openers in the comments below?
An Unholy Alliance
Genre: Paranormal Thriller with Romantic elements
Word Count: 40,000
Cover Artist: Deb Sanders
What would you do if the future of mankind depended on whether you lived or died?
Reyna Blair has learned two things from life – she can tolerate a lot of pain and wounds aren’t always visible. After a stint in the army, she’s ready to drop off the grid and heal. A job as Peace Officer in the small community of Purgatory, Texas sounds like the perfect solution – until the town is rocked by a gruesome murder.
When sexy Texas Ranger, Ty Carter, steps in to help with the investigation, Reyna is both thrilled and annoyed. He’s nice to look at and a definite boost to her sagging ego, but his aggressive ambition might push her right out of a job. To make matters worse, she’s being stalked by a mysterious stranger with a sword that can burst into flames on command.
Reyna’s problems are only beginning. The stranger is an angel of God . . . an Enforcer . . . sent to eliminate a Nephilim woman prophesized as giving birth to the Antichrist. Realizing she’s the target, Reyna must flee or be killed. Along the way, she discovers dark secrets which alter her world forever, challenge her faith, and force a choice between life and death.
*** This story uses a biblical theme but includes scenes with graphic violence and strong language.
About the Author:
I’m an adventurer – more by destiny than design. I’ve explored the back roads and highways of 35 states, resided in eight, and traveled through parts of Mexico, Canada and the Bahamas. My journeys have provided interesting tidbits which I’ve managed to weave into scenes for some of my books.
When I’m not in front of my computer, you might find me perched atop a rock at the back of a box canyon, crouched low in the middle of a dry creek bed with camera aimed at a majestic Elk, or perhaps hanging onto a skiff after a whale has breached next to me. At other times, I’ll be Geocaching with grandsons or attempting a new project inspired by something I’ve discovered on Pinterest.
Not all wanderers are lost. Some of us prefer to throw away the map and meander through life on the road less traveled.
I physically reside in North Carolina with my husband, Golden Retriever and two rescue cats. My soul resides in Arizona.
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