Thursday, March 27, 2008

Starts That Sell

That first line of a submission that hooked one of our editors so hard s/he requested the full and then contracted the book.

1. I would have shot him then and there if I thought it would do any good, but Roger was such a troll the bullet would have bounced off his thick, ugly hide. - Underdead by Liz Jasper

2. I knew it was going to be a lousy day when I woke to a woman screaming in my ear that I was a fucking pervert, but I think the real highlight came when I fell five hundred feet and smashed my skull into half a dozen pieces. - Almost Human by Cat Marsters

3. With her usual dramatic flair, Lillian Feathers died on the morning of her own funeral. - East of Easy by Linda Bleser

4. He had that look about him--those worn jeans, the white t-shirt stretched across his wide chest, the black boots, the leather jacket. - Lucifer's Angel by Kaenar Langford

5. A vampire, a psychic and a werewolf walk into a bar on Alpha Prime... - 1001 Stellar Jokes - Rogues by Liddy Midnight & Cricket Starr

6. Mariah Hughes stared at the young woman who had just entered the shop and wondered if it was bad manners to ask if she was off her medication. - All In by Kate Willoughby

7. "Notice the slight emergence of the male's accessory sexual organ, or what the Garathani refer to as a breeding spur." - Alien Overnight by Robin L. Rotham

8. The first erection Griffin Curtis could ever remember having, not including the ones that woke him in the morning, was caused by her smile. - Roll Play by Rowan West

9. It was a splendid way for any woman to spend a midsummer day—lazing naked on a soft, shaded carpet of grass beside a softly burbling, crystal clear stream, one naked man to the right of her and another to the left, both with slow hands and slowly swelling cocks. - Cauldron of Keridwen by K.Z. Snow

10. It seemed like a good idea at the time. - Oath of Seduction: Seducing Sharon by Marly Chance

11. There were days when fulfilling your destiny could be a real bitch. - Bethany’s Rite by Eve Jameson

12. "Son of a motherless goat!" Miranda Marshall hissed out through clenched teeth. - Because I Can by Amarinda Jones

13. Coop Masterson, federal air marshal and Lea Harding’s worst nightmare, barreled up the airplane aisle, nine millimeter drawn and aimed. At her. - Coffee, Tea or Lea? by Ann Wesley Hardin


Kathleen Oxley said...

What a great list! #2 and #9 in particular would have me turning the page or asking for more!

Happy TT!!

Anonymous said...

Before making the following comment, I must make the point that I am a faithful reader of your blog. You three are very good at what you do.

That said, the second to last "stunning start," involved a woman hissing,"'Son of a motherless goat,' out through clenched teeth."

Just to make sure I wasn't off-base, I tried to do this. Doesn't work. I remember the blog once going over speaker attributes -- having people hiss not-sibilant sounds was identified as incorrect and BAD.

For what it's worth, I posted this comment, just as a "what the--," I guess.

The rest are inticing, I agree.

Rachel Glass said...

: ) hee hee, #12 is a line from the movie, "The Three Amigos". Brilliant.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Sadly, I was hung up on the hissing comment, too. It's not as strong as the rest.

But the rest? Awesome. I even recognized Robin's.

Bernita said...

I tried it.
I can hiss those lines through clenched teeth.
But I don't find the line as enticing as the others.

Lone Wolf said...

I agree, some are better than others, #2 in particular requires a follow-up sentence (or book).

What do you think of this one?

I awoke disoriented in an unfamiliar place, assaulted by a jumble of sensations: noises, odors, lights, and colors, and surrounded by strange objects I didn't recognize.

Rowan West said...

I am flattered and thrilled that the opening line to ROLL PLAY is listed here among some of my favorite authors. I remember the day I wrote that sentence. It wasn't originally the first line of the book, but once I saw it on the page - I knew where it had to be.

Thanks again, EC editors. I'm SO glad you liked it, too, since ROLL PLAY became my first book from EC

K. Z. Snow said...

Whoa. Thank you, editors. I'm honored. (I love me good opening lines and paragraphs. You picked some damned sharp hooks there!)

Incidentally, I think being able to hiss sentences through clenched teeth is entirely a matter of personal dentition. :-)

kaenar said...

I was astounded to see the opening few sentences of Lucifer's Angel on your list and honoured to be among such a great group of writers. Thanks so much to my wonderful editor for choosing it.
I wrote the paragraph at a workshop and the presenter told me to go home and write a book to go with it. So I did. It took way longer to write the book than it did to write the paragraph.