They say the first paragraph of any story is the most important. In that case, the first sentence is even more important. Does it hook the reader? Make him want to read more? Following are the beginnings of some of my novels, both published and unpublished, which I hope prove this point. You be the judge.

If the electronic sensors hadn’t opened the doors as Katie rushed toward them, she would've crashed head-first into the plated plexiglass, probably fracturing her skull, possibly killing herself, and thereby saving the two gunmen behind her the trouble.

--Three Moon Station (Icy Snow Blackstone novel) Unpublished.

As Eli Nighthorse carried his mother's delicately-made floral wreaths into the choir room, he realized he should be heartbroken. After all, today the woman he loved was marrying another man. Not just heartbroken, but the object of pity by everyone attending the ceremony, for not only was she marrying someone else, but Eli had been asked to be the best man! And, like a fool, he'd agreed!

--Sinbad's Wife (The Adventures of Sinbad, Book Two) Due for Publication April/May, 2008 by Double Dragon Publications.

And last (but, as they say, not least):

Marek Strigoi, ex-assassin, restauranteur, vampire, walked among his human clientele.

--Shadow Passion (Second Species, book Two) Unpublished.

When the red raw mists cleared, he was alone. That was how the Mortuaries found him--face down in the bloody slush where his body-heat had melted the snow--the black war-horse standing guard above him. They had to blindfold the animal to lead it away, for it bared its teeth and struck at them, determined to protect its master, even at the cost of his life rather than let the men touch him.

--Bloodseek (The Chronicles of Riven the Heretic, Book One) Published by Double Dragon Publications.

The night Kit Landless chose to rob Honoria Neville was a momentous one, for it marked the ending of his life--as well as its beginning. Forever afterward, when looking back through the corridor of centuries, he would call it the worse mistake he ever made, as well as the best, since it lost him his soul while gaining him Immortality. At the time however, he had no idea what was going to happen and so was totally unprepared when it did.

--Murder in Old Blood. Published by Double Dragon Publications.

They felt safer when night fell. It was only as morning came, and the sunlight cast barred shadows upon the dungeon floor, that they cringed into the safety of what little darkness remained, huddling against the stone walls far away from the bright and deadly light. Fear kept them from succumbing to sleep. Clinging to the damp granite, they watched the image of the crossed metal rods as it moved across the stone floor, becoming fainter until it faded away as the sun set. Only then were they safe from harm.

--Shadow Lord.(Second Species, Book One) Unpublished.

About two o’clock that afternoon, Melissa realized she was being followed.

--Serpent's Tooth. Unpublished.

Time...something a vampire has in abundance...time to enjoy the pleasures of Immortality...time to contemplate his sins...and his mistakes. I learned that the hard way....

--Night Man. Unpublished.

"Tell me, Miss Wilson," said Dominic Andrus, looking at the young woman sitting across from him, "why do you wish to work for me? Do you crave excitement, adventure, danger?"

--The Rose and the Dragon. Published by PublishAmerica.

Hell had come to Nikte-Uaxac. For two days and two nights, Hum Uitzal Chac--the gods’ favored mountain-- belched forth smoke and ashes, filling the air with its noxious breath. Birds fell from the sky, animals fled the jungles, the Black River boiled scarlet, and the ground trembled, felling trees, crumbling buildings, and making pottery fall from shelves and statues creep across the floor of the temple.

--Dark God Descending. Unpublished.

And last (but certainly, not least):

Marek Strigoi, ex-assassin, restauranteur, vampire, walked among his human clientele.

Shadow Passion (Second Species, Book Two) Unpublished.

Well, how'd I do? Tell me truthfully--and I may regret that!--would you want to read more of any of these? (I hope the answer is yes!)

4 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // February 24, 2008 at 12:33 AM  

    Definitely yes. Gotta say some of the first lines are followed by great first chapters.

  2. Helen Scott Taylor // February 24, 2008 at 6:06 PM  

    Toni,

    Great first lines with interesting characters, setting and story questions to make me want to read on.

    Well done. I'm not surprised so many of them are published.

  3. Nightingale // February 24, 2008 at 7:53 PM  

    I have been privileged to read a couple of Toni's WIPs and final copy. She's got a great rod and reel.

  4. Beth Trissel // February 25, 2008 at 8:22 AM  

    Love the rod and reel imagery. But I agree. :)