First Lines

First lines are so important to a story. It’s the reader’s introduction to you, your characters and your story. It has to be just right. Authors struggle over their first lines, sweat over them, lose sleep over them, change them, rework them, rip them apart, rewrite them and, yes, sometimes cry over them.

Below are the first lines from my books. As a reader do you have any favorite first lines? If you’re an author, what’s the first line of your current release or work in progress?

“No good ever came from opening a door without looking through the peephole. Or so Kate’s mom always said.” – From DECEPTION

“I hafta go potty.

Aiden’s alarmed gaze swung down to the China doll standing in front of him. He’d been sitting in the shadows of his porch, so engrossed in studying the fine legs of the woman in the driveway next door that he hadn’t seen the munchkin arrive on his step.” – From NIGHT SONG

“The guy at the convenience store told her to take the old logger’s road. Said it wasn’t marked, but she couldn’t miss it. That had been twenty minutes ago. She hadn’t counted on the steep, winding hill, the sheer drop to nothing or the snow the weathermen were saying was a blizzard in the making.” – From REDEMPTION

“Alex Juran’s breath condensed on the cold night air. He adjusted the brim of his John Deere cap and tucked his chin into his thin coat, straining to hear past the sounds of traffic a few blocks away and the mournful horn of a barge chugging down the river.” – From OBSESSION

“Sizzling heat reached out to her. Retreated, teased, scorched. A horrible shrieking sound filled her head. She tried to cover her ears but her arms wouldn’t move.” – From WHEREVER YOU ARE

“The fever was catching up to him. Slowing him down. Killing him.” – From HER DARK KNIGHT

“The babe was dying.” – From A FOREVER KIND OF THING

Comfort Reads

As a reader, sometimes I’m in the mood for a certain genre and sometimes I’m not. Paranormals (vampires, shape-shifters, etc), I have to be in a certain mood for. Romantic suspense–have to be in a certain mood for. Sometimes I need something new and fresh. And sometimes I need something comforting. Something I’ve read before and loved. A standby that will…well…comfort me.

My comfort reads are Julie Garwood historicals. Ahhh. How I love her heroes and heroines. They’re great stories I can fall into that I’ve read over and over and never get tired of.

<–My three favorites

 

So what is your comfort read?

Middle of the book panic

<– This is me. I’m in a bit of a panic right now. And really, there should be no reason for this panic but it suddenly came upon me.

I’m writing my second contracted book for Random House’s Loveswept line and I’m about halfway through with it. At least on word count I’m about halfway through. The problem is the story is completely outlined and according to my plot I’m over halfway there. So my word count is behind.

Ack!

But that’s not all. I’m also in the middle-of-the-book slump. That part where I’ve been writing this book for so long I’m beginning to second-guess myself.

“It’s boring!”

“No one will like it!”

Ugh!

The problem is, I do this with every book I write. I go through this entire script of telling myself everyone will hate the book, that I’ll never make my word count, yada yada yada.

In the end, everything always turns out all right. The middle isn’t boring like I’d convinced myself and I always go over my word count. I can’t think of one time when I came in under my word count.

Yet, I feel this is part of the writing process–this insecurity.

You’d think I’d learn, wouldn’t you?

Kitchen, Graduation, Editor meetings and Summer. Life as usual…

I’ve been absent for a few days. Okay, more than a few–more like ten. I’m so, so sorry. Life has been crazy and here are a few reasons why:

The kitchen remodel is finally finished!!! So I’ve been painting. Except we picked a color, began painting, realized we hated the color and had to start all over again. Blech. But the good news is that we love the second color we picked and the entire mess, er, project is complete.

Just in time for….

My beautiful daughter’s high school graduation. Oh, my. What a whirlwind weekend this has been. Graduation was beautiful and very, very emotional for me. I cried, I smiled, I cried some more. Then my lovely husband leaned over in the middle of the ceremony with tears in his eyes and said, “Remember when we sent her off to kindergarten.” That was all it took for me to really cry. But we’re so proud of her and a little relieved that she will be living at home while going to college. I’m not ready to let go just yet.

As if this past weekend wasn’t filled with enough festivities, on Friday I got to meet the wonderful Sue Grimshaw who just happens to be my editor at Random House. We had a lovely chat and talked about books, family, hobbies, books, books and more books.

So today is the first day of summer for the Cullen family. I’m still recuperating from the weekend, but plan on getting back to my blogging schedule.

Happy summer, everyone!!!