Friday, March 18, 2011

First Lines Friday (and a Grab Bag-o-Books Giveaway)


Let’s try something new today! I love to go into bookstores (there are still some bookstores open, right?), open a book, and read the first few lines. I think you can tell a lot about a book from those opening lines—the author really tries to get a hook for the story and a voice for the prose in them.

So here are some opening lines—sometimes a sentence, sometimes three—from books being released this month. At the end, share the first few lines from what you’re reading! I’ll pick one commenter to win a grab-bag o' books from my stash—you can choose whether you prefer YA or adult or a mix. All will be urban fantasy, scifi, fantasy or paranormal romance. Let’s play!

The Vampire Diaries—The Return: Vol. 3, Midnight, by L.J. Smith
Dear Diary, I’m so frightened I can hardly hold this pen. I’m printing rather than writing in cursive, because that way I have more control. What am I terrified of, you ask? And when I say ‘of Damon’ you don’t believe the answer, not if you’d seen the few of us a few days ago.

Steel, by Carrie Vaughn
Jill shook her legs out one at a time. Rolled her shoulders. Loosened up. Rearranged her hold on her weapon once again, curling gloved fingers around the grip. It nestled into her hand like it had been molded there, the epee blade becoming an extension of her arm.

Demonglass, by Rachel Hawkins
At a normal high school, having class outside on a gorgeous May day is usually pretty awesome. It means sitting in the sunshine, maybe reading some poetry, letting the breeze blow through your hair…At Hecate Hall, aka Juvie for Monsters, it meant I was getting thrown in the pond.

Darkest Mercy, by Melissa Marr
Niall walked through the ruins of the tattoo shop. Shards of painted glass crunched under his boots. The floor was strewn with vials of ink, unopened needles, electric apparatus he couldn’t identify, and other things he’d rather not identify. The Dark King had known rage before, known grief; he’d felt helpless, felt unprepared; but he’d never before had all of those emotions converge on him at once.

Chime, by Franny Billingsley
I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged. Now, if you please. I don’t mean to be difficult, but I can’t bear to tell my story. I can’t relive those memories—the touch of the Dead Hand, the smell of eel, the gulp and swallow of the swamp.

This Side of the Grave, by Jeaniene  Frost
The vampire pulled on the chains restraining him to the cave wall. His eyes were bright green, their glow illuminating the darkness surrounding us. “Do you really think these will hold me?” he asked, an English accent caressing the challenge.

Moon Over Soho, by Ben Aaronovitch
It’s a sad fact of modern life that if you drive long enough, soon or later you must leave London behind. If you drive northeast up the A12 you eventually come to Colchester, Britain’s first Roman capital and the first city to be burned down by that redheaded chavette from Norfolk known as Boudicca.

Demon Song, by Cat Adams
You can’t turn off intuition after you’ve spent years developing the sense, honing it to a razor’s edge. I could feel something gathering among the seemingly innocent racks of clothing. The voices of my two best friends in the world faded into a background buzz, and I found myself shifting the way I was holding the shirts I’d planned to take to the dressing room so that I could use my hands if needed.

Dead Streets, by Tim Waggoner
That night, working security at Sinsation, I learned something new. Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you can’t hurt.

What’s your current read’s first line? Leave a comment to enter for the book grab-bag: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or RT. Go!

48 comments:

  1. "Is that your car?"

    +1 blog follower (leebee190)
    +1 comment
    +1 tweet (@lizzy1931)
    +1 twitter follower

    leebee19(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. If this was The Lord of the Rings and I had a smart British voice like Cate Blanchett, I could tell you the background of the events of that fall in a really suspenseful way. And you'd be straining to hear the rest.

    blog and twitter follower

    ~Nicole
    Nicole.Zoltack AT gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tell me what the books are! Nicole--that is a GREAT opening :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Lia Kahn is dead. I am Lia Kahn." - Skinned by Robin Wasserman. (YA grab bag please. +1 Twitter follower, Ash131618. Gaulkegirls@hotmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  5. "The dream was as familiar as always, but that didn’t keep my heart from practically beating out of my chest from the anticipation of seeing him again."

    "Meant To Be" by Tiffany King

    +1 comment
    +1 twitter follower
    +1 GFC follower

    Fun contest, Suzanne! :)
    theresacole(at)live(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. A ha! You've got Moon Over Soho on your list already (that's the one I'm reading right at this moment). Here's the next book in line, though:

    A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons

    Forty-one years after I died, my friend Dale returned to the farm where I was murdered. It was a very bad winter.

    (I'm a blog follower)

    ReplyDelete
  7. "It was good weather for a riot." - Geist by Philippa Ballantine (I would like the YA grab bag)

    Thank for the giveaway!!!

    +1 comment

    Glassheart18ca@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.

    "Wait-did you- You just yawned!" The vampire's arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides. He pulled his exaggerated white fangs back behind his lips. "What, imminent death isn't exciting enough for you?"

    Had to write all of that in. :)
    If I win, I would like a mix of both adult and YA.

    +1 Comment
    +1 Twitter follower - @dimitribelikov
    +1 Blog follower - dimitribelikov
    +1 Retweet - http://twitter.com/#!/dimitribelikov/status/48786258817859585

    Thank you for such a great giveaway!

    Email: bookgeek87@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Labyrinth by Kat Richardson

    Maybe he should have been more worried about the ghost detector going off. At the time it had seemed pretty exciting to have it work at all, but afterward it seemed as if the squawking of the alarm had presaged something much worse than a pack of ghosts. After Harper left town, things went to hell.

    +4: comment, follower, follower, retweeted.

    rissatooATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Suz~~

    I had to share this one with you...


    They ate Eidelberg.

    Dammit! Neeta thought, I was still training him.


    From: Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator by Karina Fabian

    And this one...


    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.


    From: Demons Not Included by Cheyenne McCray

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Sovay stood to her feet, reaching for the cloud-speckled sky, letting out a long moan as the stiffness stretched from her lean body. Turning in a slow circle, her deep green eyes searched the boundaries of her world, drinking in the landscape she had memorized since birth."
    ~ Escaping Destiny by Jeffrey Pierce

    Following blog and Twitter :)

    ... And thank you for the list! My teen and I often share books, and that adds a few to my "to-read" list!

    ~ Briana

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm reading halfway Hexed by Kimberly Frost.

    The reason I don't normally bother to plan my schedule is that something unexpected always seems to come up and throw it off. That Friday when I got kidnapped was a prime example.

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    sgiden at verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  13. "My first supebeing was an accident. Literally and figuratively."

    Touched By An Alien by Gini Koch

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower
    +1 re-tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/joleneallcock/status/48807356401856513

    june111(at)att(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  14. "There are days when I believe I have given up hope of ever seeing you again, of ever being free, or master of my own fate." (+1 comment)

    I am a follower on both GFC and NetworkedBlogs. (+1 follower)

    I am a twitter follower, @kdaze10 (+1 twitter follower)

    I retweeted the giveaway on my twitter. (+1 RT)

    kimbers10[at]yahoo[dot]com
    twitter.com/kdaze10

    ReplyDelete
  15. From Cherie Priest's Bloodshot:

    You wouldn't believe some of the weird sh*t people pay me to steal.
    Old things, new things. Expensive things, rare things, gross things.
    Lately it's been naughty things.

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson
    +1 for Tweet or RT.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "I was born on the night of samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper thin and when magic, old magic, sings it's heady and sweetsong to anyone who cares to hear it"

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for twitter follow (@CaitLomas)
    +1 for RT

    ReplyDelete
  17. From Yours For The Taking by Robin Kaye:
    'Karma Kincaid, will you marry me?'

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

    ReplyDelete
  18. From Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead:

    "I dont like cages."

    +1 comment
    +1 follow blog
    +1 follow twitter (andrealynnt)
    +1 retweet

    ReplyDelete
  19. For a Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang:

    "Cat piss and cabbages."

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower

    van
    Littopandaxpress(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. From The Dangerous Viscount by Miranda Neville:
    "It all began with a glimpse of stocking."

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower (Mariee)
    +1 twitter follower (marieimy)
    +1 RT

    marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  21. From Dead to Worse from Charlaine Harris. Should've mentioned that in the original post, sorry about that!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm currently reading Hallowed Circle (Persephone Alcmedi #2) by Linda Robertson.

    First sentence.....

    "What do you mean, you nominated me?" I held my breath. (The 'I' is Persephone speaking.)

    I'm about halfway through the book. I like the series so far.


    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower (@lyssad87)
    +1 retweet

    =4

    lyssad87(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. From The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer:

    sssss
    sp
    spiraling
    spiraling down
    Into. The. Sea?
    spiraling slowly down and crashing into the open sea?

    Morning, and the voice has already begun. It was speaking even before I awoke. It has never stopped.

    I love the book so far!!

    Thanks, Suzanne.
    +1 comment
    +1 blog follow
    +1 twitter follow

    ReplyDelete
  24. "The day's hot."
    from Blood Red Road

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC
    =2

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Wanting her was dangerious."
    from A Werewolf in Manhattan

    +1 comment

    Kasuranna at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Come on!" Emma whispered from my right, her words floating from her mouth in a thin white cloud.
    My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent.

    +1 for comment,
    +1 for blog follow, GFC
    +1 for Twitter follow @wordsrollon
    +1 for Tweet or RT http://twitter.com/#!/wordsrollon/status/48887140796481536

    Thanks!
    ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Because I'm on an older ereader that makes it hard to go back to page one (I've been having trouble with it shutting off and losing my place) I'll give you my current line (hope that is okay)...
    Nicholas sighed, glancing down at his harness.
    Beyonders: A Wold Without Heros

    I'm a gfc follower
    twitter follower @BooksThings
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/BooksThings/status/48886592374452224

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  28. When you're a cop, you learn fast that any attempt at a nice evening out can and will be spoiled by a dead body.
    Daemon's Mark-Caitlin Kittredge

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower
    +1 tweet http://twitter.com/elaing8/status/48891867605118976

    elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  29. "Irony was one fickle, messed-up bitch, Angela thought." from Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow. +1 for comment, +1 for Follower. bpatrick64113@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  30. First 2 lines from The Help by Kathryn Stockett:

    Mae Mobley was born on an early Sunday morning in August, 1960. A church baby we like to call it.

    follower (She)
    twitter follower (smg5775)

    smg5775@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. The first line of the book I am reading is:
    A camera winks at me from high in the bleachers like we're sharing a secret.

    It's from Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower katieb206
    +1 twitter @katieb206

    katieb206@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. From This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen.

    The name of the song is "This Lullaby".

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower (@IvaliceAlliance)

    Thank you!!

    sauvadeavelle@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. First three lines from My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent.

    THE WHOLE THING STARTED with a wasted jock and a totaled car. Or so I thought. But as usual, the truth was a bit more complicated....

    +1 comment
    +1 twitter follower

    princessbryn(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. "Welcome to Morganville. You'll never want to leave."

    Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

    +1-Comment
    +1-Blog Follower
    +1-Twitter Follower

    ferretvamp14[at]live[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  35. When Elena told people she was a vampire hunter, their first reaction was an inevitable gasp, followed by, "You go around sticking those sharp stakes in their evil putrid hearts?"

    Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for Twitter follow (tialessa)
    +1 for Retweet

    tialessa [at] yahoo [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  36. "It's time." The voice was clear. Smiling to herself, Camille felt a sublime relief as she finished pushing the last small button through its loops. She stared at herself in the tiny mirror and adjusted her veil."

    Devious - Lisa Jackson

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follower
    +1 for Twitter follower
    +1 for Tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/48977804712357888

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Benny Imura couldn't hold a job so he took to killing.

    I'd love the YA books please.

    +1 blog follower
    +1 comment
    +1 twitter follower @Brittleblue

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Whoops .. forgot to say what the book is : Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. "I Stared out the Classroom window and longed for freedom, wanting to be anywhere in the world other than gaping up at my economics teacher like the rest of my Classmates." -Courtney Allison Moulton (Angelfire)
    Thanks for the contest giveaway!

    +1 Blog Follower
    +1 Comment
    +1 Twitter Follow (kimson_dino)
    +1 Tweet/Retweet: http://twitter.com/Suzanne_Johnson/status/48931549600694274


    E-mail: kimson_dino@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. "Daddy said, "Let Mom go first."
    Mom wanted me to go first. I tink it was because she was afraid that they were contained and frozen, I'd walk away, return to life rather than consign myself to that cold, clear box. But Daddy insisted."

    Across the universe by Beth Revis

    awesome giveaway! ;)


    +1 Comment
    +1 Blog follower
    +1 Twitter Follower (@thejay2xa)
    +1 tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/TheJay2xA/status/49062424774590464

    email: fallendream03(at)gmail(d0t)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. IWAS DRAPEDover the arm of one of the most beautiful men I'd ever seen, and he was staring into my
    eyes.
    Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris.

    I am a follower via GFC as Diana
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. From Charlotte Brontë's JAYNE EYRE:

    "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs Reed, when there was no company dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question."

    Awesome post. ; D Just came across your blog on SavvyAuthors.

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Elena gripped the balcony railing and stared down at the gorge that fell away with jagged promise beneath."

    +comment
    +follower
    +twitter follower

    ReplyDelete
  44. Ooh cool idea and awesome contest! The first lines from all these books have me lusting to get my hands on some :)

    This is from Falling Under by Gwen Hayes:

    "Everything changed the night I saw the burning man fall from the sky.

    I'd been reading well past a reasonable hour, the white eyelet quilt tented over my iPhone to block any escaping light even though my father was already tucked away in bed dreaming of ways to make me safer."

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower
    +1 Twitter @peacelovebooksx
    +1 Tweeted - http://twitter.com/#!/peacelovebooksx/status/49796832624246785

    Thanks!
    hanging.by.a.moment_@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. "Welcome, dear reader, as you plunge into the thrilling pages of our melodrama where you will find adventures of which you never dreamt! If, like any reasonable person, you believe that time is a river sweeping away all that is born towards the darkest shore, in these pages you will discover that the past can be revisited, that mankind can retrace his footsteps thanks to a machine that can travel through time. Your emotion and astonishment are guaranteed."

    from "The Map of Time" by Felix J. Palma (ARC) - A riveting, and thrilling, book about Victorian London incorporating an amalgamation of interesting characters such as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Jack the Ripper and Joseph Merrick (Elephant Man).

    +1 Comment
    +1 Blog Follow: Enamored Soul (GFC)
    +1 Twitter Follow: @inluvwithbookz
    +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/inluvwithbookz/status/52252117049683968

    Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway! :D

    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
    Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

    ReplyDelete
  46. "WHEN I’M RUNNING I can almost feel my dad at my side."
    The first line is from Oh. My. Gods. by Terra Lynn Childs
    +1 Blog Follower (Bookadicea)
    +1 Comment
    +1 Twitter Follower (@blissfulriz18)
    +1 RT http://twitter.com/#!/inluvwithbookz/status/52252117049683968

    Thanks!
    clarissa.bulatao at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. "I would have never followed this path all the way down to its inevitable conclusion if it weren't for two questions."--Homemade Haunting by Rob Stennett

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower (GFC-Amy Sondova)
    +1 Twitter (@amysondova)

    Amy // artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Awww, I missed the grab bag. Stop by and participate in my blog meme "First Lines Friday" when you get a moment.

    ReplyDelete