Tag Archives: There’s No Place Like Home

The Pressure of Opening Lines.

Recently, during a weekly on-line author chat with the publisher and editors of The Wild Rose Press, the topic up for discussion was how to hook a reader from the very first line/page of your book. It’s important to establish this hook because the reader spends on average 3 seconds deciding whether or not to buy the book. If you’ve only got 3 seconds – or less (Egads!) – you need something that’s got WOW FACTOR all over it – be it a great opening line or paragraph. You must engage the reader and compel them by doing so to purchase the book. I know for myself I have picked books up at the bookstore, read the back blurb and been intrigued enough to read the first few lines. Many times I have not purchased the book because the hype in the back didn’t translate to the story on the page. The hook was more a jab ( heehee) and didn’t land well with me.

Can you tell I watched Rocky last night? Sheesh!

Anyway…this got me to thinking: what are some of the most memorable lines in books?

Google and Wikipedia are quick, fun tools that have lists compiled for every conceivable thing. So I typed into a search, Best Opening Lines in Books and was virtually assaulted (get it?!) with book lines.

Here are some I recognized:

  • “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”—Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 
  • “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • Call me Ishmael – Herman Melville, Moby-Dick 1851
  • It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen – George Orwell, 1984 ( 1949)
  • Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. – Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway ( 1925)
  • It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. – Sylvia Plath, the Bell Jar ( 1963)
  • In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together, – Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter ( 1940)
  • As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous verminous bug. – Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis ( 1915)

Everyone of these opening sentences immediately draws the reader into the story by giving them something to think about and a question or two to ask.

In the case of Moby-Dick, Call me Ishmael are three of the most recognized words in literature. Who is Ishmael? Why are we to call him that – does he really have another name but just wants to use Ishmael? Who is he talking to? These natural queries make you want to get answers to satisfy your curiosity. And the way to satisfy that curiosity is to…read the book!

In the 1984 line…. the clocks were striking thirteen… the reader immediately knows something is off because clocks DON’T ( as a rule) strike thirteen. Why are they doing so in this story? And what is the significance of them striking thirteen times? Is something going to happen? Or did it already and the thirteen is the announcement of it? Inquiring minds want to know.

Thinking back on the first lines I’ve written, I know in my heart some of them haven’t been filled with the wow factor – something I will work on arduously in 2015. With the plethora of books to choose from on-line, in bookstores and the library, a writer has to stake their claim on the reader’s attention IMMEDIATELY. No small task, but a worthwhile endeavor. And the payoff is a memorable book ( and a sale!)

Here’s the first line of my new release THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, available right now!!

 

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Filed under Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, Romance, Romance Books

Old hat at this…I think not

So, tomorrow my newest addition to the MacQuire Women Series, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME is released. It is a scant two months since book 1, SKATER’S WALTZ went out into the book reading universe and you might think I am still basking in the wonderful-ness of the first release and that this new one is sort of taking a back burner to it.

Yeah, NO!

I feel as excited and giddy today as I did on March 3. ANY book, any work, any story I have sent into the world for public consumption has thrilled me. To know that tomorrow people will be reading about Quentin and Moira and how they fell in love is beyond exciting for me. The personal responses I have received from people who have read the first book is humbling and mind blowing. Even my father in law read it and I know he did because he was able to discuss things that happened in the book!!!

I remember my mother in law once told me she loved my husband ( her firstborn) so much she didn’t know if she had any love left over for another child. But when her first daughter was born, she realized a mother’s love knows no bounds or limits. She loved each child equally and thoroughly.

That’s the way I feel about my new release. I love the story and the people in it as much as I loved the first one.

So, I hope if you read There’s No Place like Home you will feel the same way I do.

Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:

“Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded.

Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you can kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”

“I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”

He nodded. “The exact quote was, ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”

Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever gonna kiss me.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then.” He rubbed a hand down her back as he held her. “Remember what happened later on behind the barn?

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she nodded again, he said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you – quote – felt safe with me – unquote.”

“What was I? Eleven?”

“Thirteen. And I was more than willing. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”

“Q—”

“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hands resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”

“And conceited.”

“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”

Get your copy here or order it at your local bookstore:

Buy Links for THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1J1f3OZ

The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1GmM1Je

Barnes and Noble Nook : http://bit.ly/1JjMUG7

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, There's No Place Like Home

A little present and a tease….

May 6, 2015 is the official release date of my second novel THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Yippie!

Most of you know the Wizard of OZ is one of my favorite books of all time because it is so rich with psychological subtext and family drama, two of my favorite things to read. The title for my book comes from Dorothy’s famous line, spoken at the end of the movie, and I have always felt this statement is true. There really is no other place like your home. Home means warmth, shelter, comfort, safety, acceptance, love and nurturing. My heroine in THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, Moira Cleary, is at a crossroads in her life and has come home to rest, recover, and reconnect with her beloved family. She has been globetrotting around the world for over 4 years with a traveling symphony, when something happens to question the lifestyle she has made for herself. Coming home provides her with safety and surrounds her with love. Love of her immediate family, and of her best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton.

Here’s a little present from me to you. Hope you enjoy it and are intrigued enough to order your own copy of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

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“Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded.

Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you can kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”

“I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”

He nodded. “The exact quote was, ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”

Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever gonna kiss me.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then.” He rubbed a hand down her back as he held her. “Remember what happened later on behind the barn?”

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she nodded again, he said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you – quote – felt safe with me – unquote.”

“What was I? Eleven?”

“Thirteen. And I was more than willing. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”

“Q—”

“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hands resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”

“And conceited.”

“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”

 

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Filed under Characters, Dialogue