Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Crafting Great First Lines!

What am I reading now?  Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Castle Collection (Cindy M. Hogan, Jo Noelle, Donna K. Weaver, Paige Timothy, Kaye P. Clark)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? 417 pages of sweet romances and a bit of mystery! The pre-order price is just $0.99, and it will pop into your ebook library on the 18th. You'll love it! Here's the blurb:

This second volume in the Sweet & Sassy Anthology series, Castle Collection, has five sweet romances with action, ghosts, danger, and intrigue.

Dangerous Truth by Cindy M. Hogan
Olivia loves everything about Belgium. So far, her humanitarian trip has gone perfectly--that is, until she sees a picture of a man she thinks is her father in the newspaper. The father who abandoned her family nine years ago without a word.
 She tries to forget she ever saw his photo. He's forgotten about her, after all. But soon it's apparent that she can't leave without knowing what happened.
 Armed with years of hurt and the help of a gorgeous French photographer, she decides to confront him and his secrets once and for all.
 Unfortunately, her father seems determined to keep those secrets hidden. . . and Olivia is one of them.

All By My Selfie by Jo Noelle
While on vacation at McLeod Castle in Scotland, Gwen Mackenzie has nightly dreams of an ancient warrior bound by a curse. During the day, she sees Niall, nicknamed #ScottishBoyfriend. Oh, and can that man rock a kilt! As she gets to know him, she realizes that Niall is the warrior from her dreams, cursed to live as a ghost for the past five hundred years, to see life around him but never sense any of it—except Gwen.

A Savage Ghost by Donna K. Weaver
Lia Savage reluctantly puts her dream of opening a dessert boutique on hold to help her dad remodel a castle he’s inherited in Washington State. Soon, a specter targets her younger sister.
Lia enlists the help of Coop Montgomery, the head gardener and her former crush. As they search together for a way to rid the castle of its ghost, the romance she used to dream about with him kindles. But Lia’s gentle giant means to stay in Washington while she’s determined to return to California. She must find the courage to face both the ghost and her future.
With Coop. Or without him.

The Ghost of Dunlow Manor by Paige Timothy
Bestselling author Alexis St. John needs an escape, and Nate, her personal assistant, thinks that a trip to a real castle in England will be just the thing. What neither of them planned on, though, was to encounter an actual ghost.
Lady Catherine Dunlow hates the idea of sharing her castle with tourists and does everything she can to chase them out, much to the amusement of her roguish suitor. But when her two newest guests stumble upon a mystery surrounding her death, she decides to let them stay.
With an eternal fate in the balance, Nate and Alexis must move quickly to bring the killer to light before Catherine is trapped forever.

Rose of Sherwood by Kaye P. Clark

Lady Rosamund, Baroness of Ravenswood Manor, is a destitute widow, imprisoned in Nottingham Castle. When the prince declares she must marry the ruthless man who had seized Ravenswood, she escapes with the help of a band of outlaws to Sherwood Forest. Her first love, a battle-worn knight, promises to help her find safety at a convent. Confused and afraid, her heart yearns for love. But are the risks too high?

What Makes Great First Lines?
In these examples, I was looking at the tension between contrasting images and the use of hyperbole to create reader interest. What do you think? Could you use some of these examples to rewrite your own first lines to have more of a cliff-hanger quality?

“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.” 
Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

“Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.”
– The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

“You could rattle the stars. You could do anything, if you only dared. And deep down, you know it too, and that’s what scares you the most.”
Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas 

“Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.”
– The Kiss of Deception, by Mary. E. Pearson

“One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone.” 
Gone, by Michael Grant

“It’s midnight, it’s sweltering, and I might be high on Vicodin, but that guy—that guy right over there—that’s him.The him.”
– Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.” 
Paper Towns, by John Green

“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
Divergent, by Veronica Roth

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”
Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbit

“That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”
The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

“The universe is bigger than anything that can fit into your mind.”
Love Letters to the Dead, Ava Dellaira

“The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World. I’m sixteen now, so you can imagine that’s left me with quite a few days of major suckage.”
Going Bovine, by Libba Bray

“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
– Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

“The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.” 
Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld

“The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car.” 
The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan

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