Okay, as I promised, here are the first lines I posted the other day. Only one person guessed one right. I posted them so you could see how with only one sentence you already get a sense of whether or not you want to read the book. Every one of these authors are personal favorites.
1. Max had five minutes.
Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockman. RS about a Special Ops team.
2. He was never coming back.
Daring to Dream by Nora Roberts No comment necessary
3. Sophie Dempsey didn't like Temptation even before the Garveys smashed into her '86 Civic, broke her sister's sunglasses, and confirmed all her worst suspicions about people from small towns who drove beige Cadillacs.
Welcome to Temptation by Jenny Crusie. Laugh out loud funny
4."It would be easy to kill you while you sleep."
Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath I love this man!
5. No security cameras this time, but he still has to be careful.
Dirty Martini by J.A. Konrath
6. Making up a boyfriend is nothing new to me.
Too Good to be True by Kristin Higgins who visits this blog occasionally. Loved this.
7. Senator Frederick Wallace of South Carolina rose at dawn from the bed in the lakeside cabin that he had shared with his African-American lover for more than twenty years.
Capital Crimes by Stuart Woods. Another of my favorites.
8. She felt his breath.
by Lisa Jackson.
You can see how some of these first lines jump out at you, while others are ho-hum. You can get away with ho-hum if you are rich and famous. For those of you who have been culled, take heart. This has nothing to do with how well you write or if you will get published or not. It is simply a judge's opinion of something that caught their eye. I've personally entered my friend, Karin Tabke's first line contest a few times and have never made it very far. With her contest, if you make it to the next round, you post your second line, and so on. It was amazing to see how many of the entries fell apart after one or two great lines.
A lesson for all of us. Make sure each word is the best one you can come up with as that first line may be all you get from an agent/editor.
That said, I will post the 28 finalists' last lines (hook) on Monday. Two people didn't make the deadline to submit and were automatically culled according to the rules posted. That means only 18 of the entries will be eliminated this time. The last ten standing will then submit a three line blurb that will go directly to Christine Witthohn, Book Cents Literary.
Happy Mothers' Day to everyone. Now off to enjoy my grandkids!