Saturday, February 26, 2011

Winners, Winners, Everywhere!

Please join me in congratulating our final winners in The Wild Rose Press month-long Themes From the Heart Blog Tour!

Our Week Four winner is Rebecca Booth, who won a $15 AND a $20 gift card from The Wild Rose Press.

And our Grand Prize Winner is...(can I get a drum roll, please?) Maria Yerton! Whoo Hoo! Maria won a $15 AND a $25 gift card from The Wild Rose Press, PLUS a full size Shower Gel and Body Lotion from The Bath and Body Works in Night-Blooming Jasmine! Congratulations, Maria!

Thanks to everyone who visited our blogs with comments. You made our Blog Tour a smashing success!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meeting Your Significant Other

It is my distinct honor to host Maeve Greyson today, author extraordinaire from The Wild Rose Press, who shares with us an awesome story about how she met her Significant Other. I think it only right that Maeve is my final guest in our month-long Themes From the Heart Blog Tour, since she is one of my heroes! Be sure to read all the way down to get a sneak peek at her newly released Beyond a Highland Whisper, as well as leave a comment to enter our drawing for all sorts of fabulous prizes!

Maeve Greyson writes paranormal romances from her cozy little home in western Kentucky.  Tucked away in the middle of nowhere, her stories spark with magic and love, where anything might happen to get to that happily ever after. 

Her writing partner, Jasper –the rat terrier/Chihuahua mix, critiques all her work.  Under his sharp eye and the endless support of her husband of over thirty-one years, she snuggles back in their secluded wood and pours her daydreams into the keyboard.

Her debut novel, BEYOND A HIGHLAND WHISPER, released from The Wild Rose Press on February 18, 2011.  She hopes you enjoy reading the tale as much as she enjoyed writing it. Welcome, Maeve!

I met my husband in a parking lot while trying to break into a car. It wasn’t his car. It wasn’t my car either. But three months after that chance meeting, I married the man I’ve spent the past thirty-one years with discovering life’s adventures.
Eighteen years old and freshly graduated from high school, I thought I could change the world. So, when I arrived at my summer job and discovered someone had left a puppy sitting inside a parked car with the windows barely cracked –I wasn’t about to walk away.
Rather than take the mature route and look for the owner in the cluster of gift shops surrounding the parking lot, I flew into a young I’LL SHOW THEM rage and proceeded to rescue the dog.  Back then, with a well-placed coat hanger and a little luck, you could easily pop the button and open any car door. I know. I also had a bad habit of locking my keys inside my battered green Chevy.
Just as I almost had the lock popped, a deep voice rumbled behind me. “What do you think you’re doing?”
At first, I didn’t turn around, just stared down into the big brown eyes of the puppy watching my progress with keen interest. I figured it was either a cop or the owner of the car. Either way, I was busted but I wasn’t going down without a fight.  I whirled around, heart hammering, fully prepared for battle. “I’m getting this poor dog out of the car before he dies of heat exhaustion. Some inconsiderate S.O.B. left him here to die.”
“Well then you need to do it like this.” The blue-eyed hunk took the coathanger out of my hands, popped the lock and opened the door before I had time to catch my breath.
Come to think of it, he still has that habit.  He’ll take things out of my hands to this day because I’m not accomplishing the task fast enough to suit him. Little does he know…I caught on to this early in our marriage. How do you think I get him to do everything I want? *wink*
Anyway, we freed the puppy, found the owners and my hero asked me if I’d like to see a movie since he was home on leave for the weekend. Yes. A man in uniform. Need I say more?
As the cliché says, “The rest is history.” Thirty-one years and counting. Two daughters and one adorable grand-daughter.  And they said it would never last.
How did you meet your significant other?
A beguiling Scot from the 1400’s, Latharn Mackay is cursed into a crystal orb when a seductive witch rages against his withheld love.  But there’s hope. The woman destined for him can break the curse by whispering her love aloud.  There’s just a few minor problems to overcome.  Nessa is six hundred years in the future and Latharn can only visit her dreams with a silent presence.  If he speaks, the curse will shatter his soul into bits.  And then there’s still the matter of the sorceress.  You know an enraged woman is going to have the final say…unless love proves more powerful.

The last time Latharn MacKay walked among his kinsman was in Scotland of 1410.  Sensuous and charismatic, all the women wanted him, but none could capture his heart.  Latharn's charm became his curse when a dark sorceress didn’t take rejection well.  She snared his soul into a crystal globe until the one woman destined to be his love whispered his release.  Now all Latharn has to do is find her and guide her to him without speaking a word.

One of the youngest archeologists in St Louis of 2010, Nessa credits one thing for this achievement: the recurring dream of a heart-stopping Highlander since the summer she turned eighteen years old.  Little does she know, he's not some fantasy cooked up by her subconscious.  He’s a trapped soul determined for Nessa to end his six centuries in hell. Can love prevail over the dark magic of a woman scorned?

Latharn stared across the room, flattening his hands against the frigid walls of his prison. It was her. She had arrived at last. His Nessa stood in Scotland, sharing the same room as the accursed globe. She was beautiful. The sight of her stole the breath from his lungs. He clawed his fingers against the glass, itching to touch the silk of her hair. He yearned to caress her, to take her into his arms. She was so close. She was almost within his reach.

“Nessa,” he whispered.

“Excuse me. I was wondering if you could give us some directions? I must’ve gotten an out-of-date map at the airport.”

A flustered redhead stood tapping her fingers on the counter where she’d already spread out a several-times refolded map. Her face was dark as a storm cloud; it was obvious she and her companion had been having a heated discussion. The elfin brunette stood just behind her. The brunette was not happy. She leaned against the counter glaring at the redhead. A disgruntled look upon her face, she rested her head on her hand as though she’d rather be anywhere but standing beside the redhead.

Latharn tore his eyes away from Nessa long enough to sneak a glance at Brodie. “God’s teeth, Brodie.” The man’s cock stood at full attention making a pup tent of the front his kilt. If they were outside, Latharn would call up an icy rainstorm to help the man bring things under control. Scrubbing his face, Latharn chuckled to himself and leaned against the crystal wall. Well, the lad was on his own, he’d just have to keep his randy arse behind the counter.

Brodie coughed and adjusted the front of his kilt as he edged closer behind the waist-high counter. His voice a bit strained, he cleared his throat and smiled at the two young women.

“Where might ye be headed? I’ve not seen ye here in town before. And from your accent, I don’t believe ye’re from anywhere near Balnakiel.”

The tiny brunette grinned, her face lighting up with a victorious smirk as she nudged the redhead in the shoulder. “I told you we overshot Durness an hour ago and you should’ve turned right at the last burial cairn!”

“That’s my girl,” Latharn purred. He loved it when Nessa showed her fire. She looked tired. What he wouldn’t give to massage all the aches and pains from her body. She worked too hard. Well, that would soon be over. When he was free of the globe, she would work no more. He would take care of her. She wouldn’t have a care in the world. Her life and her happiness would be in his hands. He would take care of her every need.

“Don’t start with me, Nessa,” the redhead hissed in irritation. “We always end up where we’re headed.” Her voice softened as she turned to face the politely smiling MacKays. With a nod toward the map, she added with a tight-lipped smile, “We just sometimes take the scenic route. Besides. I didn’t realize this was a race.”

“Hmm…that one there is going to be the undoing of some poor man,” Latharn noted with a grin. He had been watching Trish’s friendship with Nessa for years. Latharn missed the camaraderie he’d once had with his clan whenever he watched the two women together. It reminded him of just how isolated he was. He swallowed hard as he pushed the memories of his clan aside. Enough of this senseless bickering. It was time to put on a little show.

Thanks to all who took part in our February Blog Tour Event! Be sure to pop on over to Amie Louellen's blog, where I am the guest today discussing Developing Unique Characters. Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 21, 2011

And the Blog Tour Week Three Winner is...

Ann Cory! What did Ann win? Two $15 Wild Rose Press gift cards to use on her favorite authors!

The following people were also entered into the drawing for the Grand Prize happening next week: Stephanie Suesan Smith (2nd entry!), Denise Stockstill, Zequeatta Jaques (2nd entry!), W. Lynn Chantale (2nd entry!), Dawn Prochilo, Crystal Posey, and Kimberly Killion.
Congrats to Ann and Good Luck to the rest of our entrants. And remember, this is the final week to comment on our blogs. Be sure not to miss out on our Grand Prize valued at over $50!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Meeting Your Significant Other

It is my distinct pleasure to host the fabulous Wild Rose Press Author, Kat Duncan on my blog today, who shares with us the story of meeting her significant other Dave, as well as a teaser from her romantic suspense novel Six Days to Midnight. Be sure to read to the end of the blog and leave a comment to be entered into our weekly drawing, where you could win fabulous prizes!  

If you know me at all, then you know I'm not shy. But here I was....I'd been divorced for over a year and wasn't looking to start up a new relationship. The writer's meeting room was spacious and full of chatting people. I thought he'd come over to talk with someone else. As we introduced ourselves and talked about our writing, I kept trying to get that other person's attention for him. At last the woman turned around. I introduced him to her. He shook her hand in greeting, and then said, "I came over to talk to Kat."
Is it possible to blush and go pale at the same time? If so, then that's what I did. I'm sure it was delightful looking to him because he smiled. The woman went back to her other conversation. I backed away and said, "Well, it was very nice to meet you, Dave. See you at the next meeting probably." He nodded and smiled and let me run away. Why did I run away? Because I knew by the way he was looking at me he hadn't come over just to talk about writing. He was interested in me. Me! And I wasn't sure I was ready for that.
Luckily for me he's a patient man. If I close my eyes, I can still see that first sweet smile. The same smile he gave me at the next meeting and the next meeting and the next. You might call it a half-smile. But I know him and he's not given to overly expressive smiles in public. That was his I've-found-something-good smile. The same smile he makes when he gets home before I do and as he's scrounging for ingredients to make dinner, finds the little slice of chocolate cake I left for him.
Often mimicking life, first meetings in books can be awkward. But readers are rarely as patient as my David. Books are designed to have conflict. Romances, especially, are designed to have conflict between the hero and heroine. Why? Because overcoming conflict is a good way to show a reader that a couple belongs together. In my romantic suspense Six Days to Midnight, heroine Janet Thompson isn't looking for a relationship. She's trying to complete her PhD in economics.
What you and I might consider deadly boring turns just plain deadly. Brandt Mahler is an economist, too. Hey, it takes one to know one! He's also a fashion plate and rich Euro-playboy. But he's a playboy with a mission to build healthy economies that help ordinary people. Janet could easily buy into that noble mission, except that she's not expecting to be thrust into either the limelight or the gun sights of terrorists. She feels like running away, just as I did.
When the bullets don't stop flying, Janet combats her shyness and let's her long-repressed personality shine through to help Brandt save the day. Brandt doesn't mind being bumped to page two of the tabloids, he just wants to keep Janet safe. In fact, he wants to keep her forever. I can just see the barest hint of a smile on Brandt's face...
Did you feel like running away when you first met your special someone?
A bit about Kat: 
As a young child, Kat once tried to confess the telling of her stories to her parish priest because she thought they fit the definition the nuns gave for 'telling a lie'. The wise priest asked her if her stories were told to hurt other people. "Oh, no!" she replied, "I only tell them to make people happy." The priest asked her if she had any other sins to confess and when she didn't, he advised her to continue telling her stories and then he assigned her a few prayers to say for those who could not hear them. Kat has been telling her 'lies' ever since and writing stories to entertain and enlighten. After a successful career as a software engineer, Kat decided she needed something different to do. She's now a tutor of adolescents with special needs. With one teenager in high school (home school) and another in college, every moment of her meager spare time is spent creating romances.
Six Days to Midnight Blurb:

The finance mogul thinks Janet Thompson is worth a fortune. The President wants her for revenge. The nuclear arms trader needs her dead. The diplomat is willing to rescue her. And Janet thinks she’s only taking a break from her boring job.

But she’s not the only one in for a surprise. Janet isn’t the easy target they all thought she would be. Her high flying escapes win her media fame, and expose a devious geopolitical conspiracy. Brandt, the haughty magazine cover diplomat soon finds he has been bumped to page two. And likes it. The sweet easy revenge the president thought he would get comes with a price he deserves. Only Anton Zelman, the ruthless investment banker, gets what he asked for, to die in Janet’s arms on world-wide television. What is Janet’s reward? Something she never dared hope for. True love.

Six Days to Midnight combines unusual settings with outrageous characters exchanging snappy dialogue sprinkled with humor at all the wrong places.

Six Days to Midnight Excerpt:
The Russian minister's eyes grew hard, and his face stern. With one powerful blow he slammed the desk top with the palm of his hand. The glasses danced. Clear liquid spilled from Janet's glass. The desk groaned and bent under the power of the man, the wooden legs grinding against the cement floor.

He held his two huge hands up before him, turning his wrists and admiring his hands like a sculptor. "These two hands build Transnov. They not happy is without oil. They not want Anechka open it. They want go there and reopen pipepline themselves."

He gestured, turning a huge imaginary valve wheel to release the black gold once again into his pipeline, a satisfied smile overtook his face as he worked.

Then he leaned his weight back into his chair, its wooden frame strained to the limit, creaking like a ship under heavy sail. He rested his two huge feet on top of his desk.

"I've missed my old villa on Caspian Sea." He closed his eyes in dreamy rapture. "Janet, you have chance to enjoy spa?"

"Yes, I did. It was very lovely."

"Yes," the man intoned, his voice sliding into a comfortable sigh. "I will enjoy having my old villa back."

Janet tried to imagine which would be worse, sharing the spa with Nikolai or Andy. It would be equal she decided. They were both the same. Two people divided by a common personality.

"Nikolai," Brandt pleaded. "Your army must not move on Azerbaijan."

"Why?" the man roared. "Give me one reason why I should not."

Brandt's eyes darted back and forth, knowing the man had every reason to invade, and none for restraint. "Your men. Do you want to risk Russian lives?"

"If American recession gets any worse, my men will need target practice Azeris will provide."

Brandt licked his parched lips. "Nikolai, please," Brandt spoke in desperation. "Give me two weeks. I will get the Transnov reopened without the Russian army."

"Two weeks without Russian army. Two days with Russian army."

"Nikolai," Janet interrupted, "what about your legacy? Do you want to be the one who is remembered by history as the man who was duped by Mirza ul-Beg and Zelman to destroy America?"

Nikolai sucked in his cheeks contemplating Janet's words. "One week. You deal with Zelman and relieve ailing economy, or I deal final blow to she-wolf Anechka. But, I promise nothing," he said, standing to end the meeting. "Now go."

Six Days to Midnight Buy Link:
Read on for the Blurb and Excerpt for Kat's novel 58 Faces: Jewel of the Night Series

Chief of surgery at a small children's hospital, Caroline's last hope to save it from financial ruin evaporates when she loses the Blue Diamond case to greedy Evan Quinn. When Evan buys the hospital property for high profit condo conversion, Caroline's hatred shifts into full red-alert.
But Evan is not her real enemy. Rolf, the hospital's chief administrator, has had his eye on the blue diamond since he learned of it from his Nazi grandfather. To be the 58th face to possess the Blue Diamond, one for each of its facets, grants the owner unlimited power. Rolf plans to kill the current owners and use the diamond to build his Neo-Nazi regime. Can Caroline give up her hatred and Evan his greed before Rolf kills them both?
58 Faces Excerpt:
"If I wasn’t sworn as a doctor, I’d pull this trigger.”
A flash lit the darkness. An ear-shattering echo reverberated in the concrete vault. Evan staggered. Caroline dropped the gun, and its over-sensitized trigger fired again. It spun like a top on the concrete. She rushed forward.
“Evan. Evan. Are you hurt? Where? I didn’t pull the trigger. It just went off in my hand.” She grabbed his shoulders, bracing him, scanning him for a wound.
He steadied himself and pushed her aside. “You missed.” He stared at the gun lying on the floor. He picked it up and hefted it, his brows pinched in thought. Pointing it away from her, he firmly grasped the weapon and gently tapped its side. It fired.
He turned on her, his mouth thinned into a grimace, his eyes squinting.
She put up her hands. “Evan, don’t…”
He tipped the gun toward the ceiling and, with a snap, removed the clip. He tossed the pieces in opposite directions. They spun and clattered on the concrete floor. In a few quick steps, he closed the distance between them. His broad hands engulfed her shoulders, infusing her shivering body with a surge of solid warmth.
“That gun was rigged by an expert. An expert who arranged for us to meet here. Then disappeared.”
Visit our February Valentine’s Blog Tour and leave a comment to win a prize. The more blogs you visit with comments, the better your chances of winning. Prizes begin valued at $20, increasing each week to a Grand Prize of over $50!
Other blogs to visit include:

Thanks to Kat Duncan for being my guest! Great to have you, Kat!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And Our Blog Tour Week Two Winner Is...

Sherry Cahill! Sherry won two Wild Rose Press gift cards worth $25! PLUS, for visiting and commenting on several blogs, she's also entered twice for the Grand Prize Drawing at the end of the month! Way to go Sherri!

Other grand prize entrants for Week Two are: Darlene Fredette (also entered twice!), Judy, Michelle Miller, S. Denson, Zequeatta Jaques, Jennifer Shirk and Ciara Knight.
Congratulations to Sherri and good luck to the rest of our entrants, and REMEMBER...On Wednesday, February 16th our Blog Tour continues with the new topic: Meeting Your Significant Other. Meet some fantastic The Wild Rose Press authors and leave a comment to have a chance to win this week's prizes worth $30, or be entered into the Grand Prize drawing worth over $50!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where Creative Ideas Come From

Today I'm welcoming Wild Rose Press Author, Linda Kage to my blog, as part of our month long Valentine's Themes From the Heart Blog Tour. Make sure to read down to the end of her blog and leave a comment to be entered into our weekly drawing, as well as our Grand Prize drawing featured at the end of February. The more comments you leave, the better your chances of winning! Welcome Linda, it's my honor to have you here!

I'm an idea thief.  I get ideas for my stories from just about everywhere.

Watching a movie? Meh, I don't like this ending, so I create a story in my head that's similar but slot in the happily-ever-after I like better. 

Reading a book? WHAT!? That's not who I would've picked to be the main hero. So yeah, I make my own story with a few of the same ideas, but totally different characters.

Standing in line at the supermarket? Vaguely overhear, "Well, if he's not the father, then who is?" and I perk to attention and turn into quite the eavesdropper.  If I didn't think I'd get caught, I'd probably pull out a pen and paper and start taking notes.

Know a person with certain character traits? Okay, I glean a few things from some interesting people I know, but I never pattern an entire character off any one person.  I find it much more interesting to swap around and mix and match traits and characteristics. 

I've heard somewhere Stephen King gets his ideas from dreams, and sometimes I dream about the characters in the stories I'm working on, and they'll give me an idea for a little scene. 

Mostly I use my own imagination, of course, but honestly, there is so much stuff out there and so many ideas for stories, I don't see how a person can't keep from using what they see and hear to put in little details here and there to make their stories entertaining.

After thinking about it hard enough, I think the very first idea for my story DELINQUENT DADDY came from reading Sandra Brown's 1988 contemporary romance, LONG TIME COMING.  I read this story about fifteen years ago and loved it.  It was one of my first Brown books.  I loved the idea of the guy receiving a letter that he had a child and going to investigate.  But if you read the two stories today (mine and hers), I have a feeling those would be the ONLY similarities between the two books. (Hmm, now I'm going to have to do that and see if that's true!)

After reading Brown's story, I kept thinking about it until I started playing the WHAT IF game.  Now what if this happened instead of that, or that happened instead of this.  And the idea swam around in my head for a couple years (around ten years) until I started DELINQUENT DADDY three or four years ago.  So there was a big time gap in there to forget most of what happened in Brown's story and be able to effectively create my own.  But do I remember the main theme, and that's what I stole. The rest of it: who knows where that came from?

Do you ever steal idea or characters traits?  Please tell me I'm not the only naughty one:)

I'm a contemporary romance writer from the Midwestern USA, where I live with my wonderful husband, daughter, and our nine cuckoo clocks. The eighth and final child of dairy farmers, I was forced into having a vivid imagination if I ever wanted to do something one of my siblings hadn't already tried.

   Linda's Books by The Wild Rose Press:
--The Stillburrow Crush - Young Adult Romance - released February 26, 2010 - buy link
Sixteen year old, Carrie Paxton, isn't the most popular girl in her small town of Stillburrow. But that's never concerned her before. Her life revolves around her writing, and she loves her job as the student editor of the school paper.

But when she gets assigned to interview the football team's beloved quarterback, she takes one look into Luke Carter's blue eyes and is a goner. Suddenly, she doesn't like her lowly rank so much.

Then her dreamy, popular crush surprises her when he starts to act as if he likes her in return. But there's no way Luke Carter could possibly ever like a nobody like Carrie Paxton.

Is there?
--The Trouble with Tomboys - Contemporary Adult Romance - released August 6, 2010 - buy link


Pilot B.J. Gilmore is Tommy Creek, Texas’s tough tomboy who loves to fly planes and gamble and doesn’t give a whip what anyone thinks or says about her…until Grady Rawlings steps into her life.


Heir to an oil dynasty, Grady has inner demons to battle. Ever since his wife and unborn child died two and half years ago, he’s developed a deep-seated hatred for sympathy and can’t handle anyone feeling sorry for him or treating him like some pitiful widower.


Grady hires B.J,'s plane service to fly him to Houston for an overnight business trip. While there, she coaxes him into accompanying her to a late dinner, where she decides it’s time for him to move on with his life. A month later, she turns up pregnant with his baby, and neither of them is prepared for the chaos that follows.

(Pages 250) Hot
--Delinquent Daddy - Contemporary Adult Romance - released October 22, 2010 - buy link


Boston Kincaid’s life is forever changed when he reads the note from Cassidy Trenton, who’s looking for her daddy. Vividly remembering the girl’s mother, Boston is compelled to learn the truth about Cassidy’s paternity.

Single working mother Ellie Trenton is completely bowled over to find her old college flame, whom she hasn’t seen in ten years, loitering on her front porch when she comes home from work one day.

At the sight of each other, Boston and Ellie’s decade apart melts away, and that old chemistry between them flares back to life. But trust doesn’t come easily, and old wounds never healed properly.

Can Boston and Ellie learn to forgive and forget so they can experience the love they never shared, or will child custody battles keep them apart forever?

(Pages 294) Spicy
Be sure to pop onto these blogs and leave a comment to increase your chances at winning:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And the Winner is...

Marci Jefferson! For taking part in our Blog Tour and leaving a comment, Marci has won a $15 Wild Rose Press Gift Card, and a $5 Samhain Gift Card!

All other entrants - Chantale Williams, Maria Yerton, Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ruby CRNA, Barb H, Emma Lai, Jordan Rose, Clancy, and Stephanie Faris have been entered into the pot for the Grand Prize drawing!

Congratulations to Marci and good luck to the rest!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Significance of First Lines

Today I'm welcoming to author Lilly Gayle to my blog, romance author extraordinaire from The Wild Rose Press, as part of our month-long Valentine's 2011 Blog Tour. Here's what Lilly advises about writing first lines. Be sure to read through to the end of the blog to see an excerpt from her paranormal release Out of The Darkness, and leave a comment to enter our weekly drawing! Thanks, Lilly, for your words of wisdom!

The Significance of First Lines
First lines make lasting impressions. Whether it’s the spoken word or the written word. The first line spoken to a new acquaintance can leave them with a negative impression. But the first line in a book can squash a writer’s chances of getting published—because if the first line is bad, that editor or agent may not read the second line.

Editors and agents often decide whether or not to read a manuscript based on a query letter. And even if they ask for a partial or a full, most want to be “hooked” within the first three pages. So do readers. I’ve often put a book aside because I made it to chapter 3 and still didn’t care about the characters. Would a better first line have made a difference? Maybe.

In today’s fast-paced world where a new book can be downloaded to a phone, pc, or e-reader in the blink of an eye, few readers are going to wait until chapter 3 to get into the story. They want the writer to snag them in the first chapter, preferably by the first page. So, that first line is important. But what should that first line say? And how?

The best way to start a story, other than finding that one great opening line, is to start in the middle of the action or the middle of a conversation. In Out of the Darkness I utilized a prologue to give background information on how Vincent became a vampire. The story begins with a battle scene during the American Revolution.

First line from Lilly Gayle’s Out of the Darkness: Earlier, he would have given anything to escape the stifling heat.

My first line may not be the best ever written, but I hope it made the reader interested enough to read more.

In Slightly Tarnished, my upcoming historical release coming June 6, 2011 from The Wild Rose Press, my first line is: Nicole Keller closed her mother’s bedroom door and wiped away the salty sting of tears.

I wanted the reader to know from the beginning that Nicole has suffered a great loss. Maybe then, the reader would want to know what that great loss is.

Do other writers obsess over that first line? Do readers really care about the first line if the story is good? There are good books with dull first lines and bad books with great first lines. But what makes a great first line?

Here are some examples of first lines from books I enjoyed.


Dean Koontz’s Dark Rivers of the Heart—With the woman on his mind and a deep uneasiness in his heart, Spencer Grant drove through the glistening night, searching.

Sandra Brown’s Breath of Scandal: “The hell you say!”

Amanda Quick’s I thee Wed: — Someone else got to the apothecary first.

Cindy Halliday’s Dream Guy— Annie Long could trace her problems with men back to her first high school dance.

Catherine Coulter’s The Nightingale Legacy — Frederick North Nightingale looked down at the huddled woman at his feet.

Virginia Kantra’s All a Man Can be— Both the babe and her ride gleamed, high maintenance and fully loaded.

James Patterson’s The Beach House— It’s like dancing sitting down.

As a reader, which of those lines would make you want to read further? And if you’re a writer, what’s the best first line you’ve ever written? Post a comment and you’re automatically entered in a chance to win our weekly blog prize or the grand prize.

Out of the Darkness- a paranormal vampire romance.

Here research could cure his dark hunger if a covert government agent doesn't get to her first.

Vincent Maxwell is a vampire with a conscience seeking a cure to his dark hunger. But when a scientist looking to create vampire soldiers captures and kills a fellow vampire, Vincent seeks out Dr. Megan Harper, a research scientist who discovered a link between a genetic light sensitivity disorder and vampirism. Dr. Harper could hold a key to a cure and the answers to Gerard’s death. But getting close to the beautiful scientist could endanger both their lives.

When Megan meets Vincent she believes he suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, the genetic disease that killed her sister. Sensing a deep loneliness within the handsome man, she offers friendship and access to her research files. But she and Vincent soon become more than friends and Megan learns the horrifying truth. She's entered the dark and unseen world of vampires and Vincent is her only hope of survival.


Vincent didn’t spare her a second glance as he
opened the basement door and stepped down.

The sound of his boot heel striking wood echoed
up the steps as he disappeared into the darkness.
“But—” Megan switched on the light and
hurried after him.
“The first thing you need down here is a table
and some chairs,” he said when he saw the
stacks of unorganized data and reams of paper
scattered across the floor. “Do you mind if I bring
the ones down from the kitchen?”
“No.” She turned back toward the stairs. “I’ll
help you bring them down.” It would give her
something to do while she sorted through the
confused thoughts and emotions tumbling
around inside her head.
Vincent touched her arm and heat shot
straight to her belly, turning her insides all warm
and fuzzy.
Warm and fuzzy was not good.
Warm and fuzzy made her think of more than
just heated sex. It made her think of cozy
evenings snuggled up under a blanket and shared
feelings. It made her long for an emotional
connection she couldn’t risk. Not with Vincent.
Not with a man who could potentially die a slow,
lingering death.
“I’ll get it.” He let go of her arm and stepped
back. “You start going through those papers and
find that report you wrote comparing XP to
vampire myths and legends. I’d be interested in
seeing if you still have it.”
He turned to go back up the stairs and Megan
shivered. Why had Steve mentioned the vampire
report to Vincent? And why was Vincent so
interested in seeing it?
Vincent the Vampire.

A little about Lilly Gayle:
Lilly Gayle lives in North Carolina with her husband of thirty years, her youngest daughter who's still in college, a dog, a cat, and various critters both dead and alive the cat occasionally drags through the doggie door. When not writing or working as a mammogapher, she spends time with her husband at the beach. Out of the Darkness, a paranormal romance is her first published novel.  A historical, Slightly Tarnished should be released sometime next year.