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Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Love For Opening Scenes in the First Place

Last month, I featured some of my favorite openings from a few memorable books I've read throughout the years. Given the response to the RB4U post, I thought it would be nice to feature a few more of my favorites.

I'd also love to know some of your favorites too. So, at the end of this post in the comments section, please feel free to let me know what opening paragraphs have caught your attention. Here we go...

The beginning paragraph of the first Jodi Picoult book I'd ever read led me to become a huge fan of her writing. It's called (and I highly recommend) SALEM FALLS:

Several miles into his journey, Jack St. Bride decided to give up his former life. He made this choice as he walked aimlessly along Route 10, huddling against the cold. He had dressed this morning in a pair of khaki pants, a white shirt with a nick in the collar, stiff dress shoes, a smooth-skinned belt--clothing he'd last worn 5,769 hours ago, clothing that had fit him last August. This morning, his blue blazer was oversized and the waistband of his trousers hung loose. It had taken Jack a moment to realize it wasn't weight he'd lost during these eight months but pride.

Another book I loved, which introduced me to Lori Foster and her incredible talent to write compelling and believable romances, was called TOO MUCH TEMPTATION:

Noah Harper stood frozen in the carpeted hallway of his fiancee's house while his skin prickled with some vague, unsettling emotion. It wasn't really anger or grief. It sure as hell wasn't jealousy.

When I first started reading romance, I mostly read historicals. But one of the first contemporary romances I enjoyed was by author Ann Maxwell called THE DIAMOND TIGER. The first line of this book hooked my interest on the spot:

Abe Windsor better be dead or I'll bloody well kill him myself.


To close, I want to thank you all for visiting me on my blog day. It means so much to me to see your smiling faces show up in the comments section. Thank you for taking the time on your busy Sunday to see me. I now leave you with the opening paragraph of my own romance novel (book 2 of the Emerald Isle Trilogy) entitled MAC LIAM:

The door of the longhouse burst open and seven men, outfitted in conical helmets, snow-dusted wolfskin cloaks, and swords, rushed in. They hastened to surround the boxbed where two entangled bodies sat up in complete surprise, the covers drawn to their chins to hid their nakedness.


Renee Vincent
http://www.reneevincent.com/

Oh, and by the way, I am also blogging at Sweet N Sexy Divas  where I feature hot snippets from authors whose heroes weren't afraid to be a little soulful, sappy, or even suggestive when it came to the heroine. I'd love for you to hop on over and visit me.

Have a great week!

16 comments:

Paris said...

There's nothing quite like a great opening! Ann Maxwell is a favorite of mine and that first line got me too:)

Great opening for MAC LIAM!

Melissa Keir said...

I love Ann Maxwell but her Dancer's series. Wow...

Here's an opening from the past:
That year, on the afternoon of Halloween, great glistening snowflakes began tumbling from a glowering sky, catching the maples and oaks by surprise in their crimson, housecoats, trimming fences and lampposts, roof and windowsills, in shimmering, exquisite lace.

From Forever and the Night by Linda Lael Miller.

R. Ann Siracusa said...

I keep a collection of opening lines (which sometimes have to include the first paragraph). The good ones capture a significant action or decision and pose an intriguing question...and then you can't stop reading. For me, Dick Francis was the Master of the first line. Some of my favorites are:
Flying Finish by Dick Francis
“You’re a spoiled, bad-tempered bastard,” my sister said, and jolted me into a course I nearly died of.

Risk by Dick Francis
Thursday, March 17, I spent the morning in anxiety, the afternoon in ecstasy, and the evening unconscious.

In The Frame by Dick Francis
I stood on the outside of disaster, looking in.

Hot Money by Dick Francis
I intensely disliked my father’s fifth wife, but not to the point of murder.

VICKI BATMAN, said...

Those are fantastic openings! And wow, Ann posted my favorite author's, Dick Francis.

Thank you for sharing.

Cara Marsi said...

My all-time favorite first line was from a Jude Deveraux book. I can't remember the title. I must have the book somewhere on my shelves but can't find it. I don't remember the exact words, but it started with a woman in her casket at her funeral and Jude describes how the woman's fake breasts stood up as she lay there dead. The only one mourning her loss was her hairdresser.

Another one I like is from "Household Gods," a time travel that's not a romance and is one of my favorite books ever. Here goes: "Nicole Gunther-Perrin rolled over to turn off the alarm clock and found herself nose-to-nose with two Roman gods."

Molly Daniels said...

I LOVE Jodi Picoult's books:) The first one I read was My Sister's Keeper, then began picking up her back list.

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Paris: I love Ms. Maxwell too! She is a phenomenal writer! And thank you so much for the compliment on the opening paragraph for my MAC LIAM! So glad you liked it.

Melissa K: Ooh, great opening paragraph By Linda Lael Miller. Thanks so much for sharing!

R. Ann: All great opening lines! I will have to check those books out!

Vicki: Thanks so much! I'm so happy you enjoyed them. It's funny cause I've not heard of Dick Francis...And since you and R. Ann Siracusa like him...I might have to REALLY check his work out.

Cara: Oh great choice! Jude Deveraux is wonderful!!!

Molly: I did too! Ha! My Sister's Keeper was a fantastic book too....wish the movie would have followed the book with the ending. I preferred the book version better. What about you?

jean hart stewart said...

LOved your own opening line. That's a great hook!!!

Bobbye Terry said...

I love Susan Elizabeth's Phillips' opening lines. Here is one from Match Me if You Can:

If Annabelle hadn't found a body lying under "Sherman," she wouldn't have been late for her appointment with the Python.

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Thanks so much Jean!!! You are too kind!

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Ooh, great opening, Bobbye!!! Thanks for sharing your favorite.

Gosh I love this discussion. And I thank you all for participating.

Molly Daniels said...

I was surprised when I saw the movie version. Yes, it had a happier ending, but don't remember if it had the same 'punch' as the book. I just remember gearing up for a good cry, and then saying, 'That's NOT the way the book ends!'

I also loved Handle With Care. Esp the recipes:)

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Molly, I felt the same. Happier ending, but the "punch" was missing. I always wonder why Hollywood does that. It's obvious the reason they are making the movie is because so many liked the book, so why mess with a good thing? And considering its the author's creativity that brought them the idea for the movie in the first place, you'd think they wouldn't want to risk ruining a good thing. But that's a whole 'nother blog post LOL

John Klawitter said...

I have to hand it to you, those are great opening paragraphs!
I am a big fan of Dick Francis, and as several of your commenters have mentioned Dick is one of the kings of the great opening paragraph. Nobody has mentioned his novel STRAIGHT, which starts with my all-time favorite opening:
"I inherited my brother's life. Inherited his desk, his business, his gadgets, his enemies, his horses and his mistress. I inherited my brother's life, and it nearly killed me."
So this leads me to boldly state I will now try one of your best, and see how you do it.

John Klawitter said...

I have to hand it to you, those are great opening paragraphs!
I am a big fan of Dick Francis, and as several of your commenters have mentioned Dick is one of the kings of the great opening paragraph. Nobody has mentioned his novel STRAIGHT, which starts with my all-time favorite opening:
"I inherited my brother's life. Inherited his desk, his business, his gadgets, his enemies, his horses and his mistress. I inherited my brother's life, and it nearly killed me."
So this leads me to boldly state I will now try one of your best, and see how you do it.

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Thanks John! I hope you enjoy my opening paragraph (whichever one you decide to read)

And another great opening paragraph by Dick Francis! Thanks a million for sharing with us!

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