Monday, July 10

It's a Contest! Come join!

It is Monday morning--it's my day for the Wranglers, in case you didn't know (from my incessant moaning about having nothing to write...)  and I have...yes, nothing to write. But I do have an idea.

The beginnings of a few of my books are as follows:

It had been sixteen years since he’d seen Arlie Gallagher. And three months and four days. Not that he was counting. (Every Time We Say Goodbye)

Libby Worth taught the primary class at Sunday school when Mrs. Miller wasn’t there, tended bar at Anything Goes when Mollie needed a night off, and quilted with friends on Sunday afternoons. She made pastries for Anything Goes Grill and the Silver Moon Café because she loved to bake and because sometimes she needed the money. She owned, operated, and loved the Seven Pillars Tearoom and lived in a spacious apartment above it with her Maine coon cat, Elijah. (The Happiness Pact)


Her father used to say it was a good thing her name was Grace, because that was sure as the world all she had going for her. Her hair wasn’t gold-streaked and curly like her sister Faith’s—it was just plain brown. And when it rained—which it seemed to do at the most inappropriate times—its thick waves frizzed themselves into an unholy mess. Her eyes weren’t green like Faith’s either, or sable-dark like her brother Steven’s. They were just plain brown like her hair. The only time you could even tell she had eyelashes was when she remembered to use the eyelash curler and then apply two coats of the kind of mascara that came in a hot pink cylinder. Grace, being Grace, didn’t remember to do that real often.(One More Summer)

Now, for the idea. In a comment, share with us a favorite story beginning. It can be your own--published or not yet--or someone else's. And tell us why it's a favorite! Keep it to a paragraph or so and be sure to include a way for us to find you. If you like and can do it--I'm not sure how that works--include a buy link with your entry.

We'll take entries here on this post until Friday, July 14, at midnight. I tried to think of how to choose a winner. I love the idea of taking votes for a favorite, but that can get convoluted and beyond my techno-capability, so I'll just get one of the other Wranglers to "draw a straw" for a tote bag of gifts to come the winner's way.

Thanks for coming by and thanks especially for entering. I can't wait to see the beginnings that people love. Have a great week.




23 comments:

  1. OOh, how fun! Okay, I'll share the beginning of Rebel in a Small Town (my new one!): MARA PULLED INTO the parking lot of Mallard’s Grocery in Slippery Rock, Missouri. The lot with its cracked pavement sat at the corner of Main Street and Mariner, a few blocks north of Slippery Rock Lake. The grocery store still had the image of a duck on its sign, the paint dividing the parking spaces was still off-center from the cement blocks at the head of each space, and the same cracked glass in the revolving door.
    Despite the light breeze along the shore, it was oppressively hot in the town center. She had forgotten exactly how muggy and uncomfortable a southern Missouri summer could be. Since slipping out of town the night after her high school graduation, Mara had allowed herself only a handful of visits, all around the holidays, when the weather was significantly cooler.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a terrific idea, Liz!

    Here is the beginning of my October release, A PRICELESS FIND (sequel to the award-winning A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS):

    CHELSEA’S HEART TRIPPED at the sight of the bright yellow Do Not Cross police barricade tape and blue-and-white flashing lights. Peering through her windshield, she couldn’t tell for sure certain this far down Willowbrook Avenue, but it looked as if all the activity was in front of the Sinclair Art Gallery.

    It was too early for any of her colleagues to be at work. Whatever was going on, at least none of them would be hurt…or worse.

    ~

    Since I'm currently celebrating the release of HOME TO STAY (book 4 in my San Diego K-9 Unit series), here is the beginning to it:

    SAWYER EVANS WAS in that languid state of semi-consciousness, waking from a restful sleep. It must have been the insistent chirping of a bird outside that had drawn him from his dreams. The muted glow of the early-morning light filtering in through the tent infused him with a sense of serenity.

    As a single father and a professor of law, serenity wasn’t something Sawyer experienced frequently.

    ~

    There's no need to enter me for the prize, though. Happy reading and writing, as the case may be!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll do one of mine, too, although there are lots of books where I was hooked from sentence one--I just can't pull one out of the mess in my head. So from SEX AND THE WIDOW MILES:

    THE ELEVATOR DOORS whispered shut behind me and my shoulders sagged beneath the weight of an overstuffed canvas carryon, a leather laptop bag, and my purse. Plush carpet, four handsome mahogany doors, and warm taupe paint made this floor of the Lake Terrace building as perfectly appointed as the lobby and the elevator. Starting down the elegant hallway, I caught sight of a thin, pale woman in the mirror above the table at the other end. Frankly, she looked like hammered shit.

    God, what happened to you?

    The woman was me.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this beginning--especially the "hammered shit." I can identify so well!

      Delete
    2. I've never heard that expression before - hammered shit - but I think I'm gonna have to start using it! Great job, Nan!

      Delete
  4. I will give it a go! From something still untitled and not yet published:
    Josie rolled up to the muddy little town in her green bug. She had driven directly Northeast of Kokomo on old Kokomo trail, also CR73D, according to her phone navigation, and it had taken the predicted twenty five minutes. She was disappointed but thought again that maybe a very rural setting was just what she needed.
    Acres Loop looked like it had a typical old main street with a couple of brick buildings. Just as many, or more, were sided with weathered wood that was salvaged from a 1800s barn back in the 1970’s when that was the rage. It was a town that periodically tried to shift itself up by a century, so it is only a century behind. She knew she would later find out that many of the businesses still didn’t have public restrooms, and would have stairwells that measure a mere 20 inches at an incline of 45°. Narrow and steep.
    The personnel lady had mentioned it was just ten minutes from the Missisinewa so she wanted to look for housing here first. It should have been a mecca for campers, tourist level shopping, and cafes. She wondered what was wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol. That setting is way close to Lake Miniagua in my Heartwarming books! Love the beginning.

      Delete
  5. Hi Liz. What a fun idea and the openings already entered sound so good! Here's the opening of my next book that releases September 5: Justice Buried.
    It wasn’t too hot for ten p.m. in the middle of May unless you were about to climb over the ledge of a fourteen-story building in downtown Memphis. Kelsey Allen peered over the edge of the building, the distance to the street dizzying.
    She ignored the tantalizing aroma that floated up from Tom Lee Park where ninety contestants vied for the title of best barbecue in the city. Instead, she turned and concentrated on securing a small motorized winch to the edge of the roof.
    Once it was anchored, she attached the cable to her harness and then paused to take a deep breath. Slowly she released it, but her heart still thumped in her ears. She was about to break into the building next to her stepfather’s company. If he found out…she didn’t want to go there.
    Time to refocus, to calm her nerves. Kelsey glanced toward the lighted bridge over the Mississippi River and the double arc reflected in the water below. Overhead, the quarter moon vied with stars that glittered against the night sky. She closed her eyes and concentrated on her breathing. She could do this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you just gave me a walloping case of vertigo! It looks exciting, Pat!

      Delete
  6. How fun! Don't enter me in the drawing, but here's the first paragraph of A GIFT FOR SANTA, which will come out in December.

    NO SNOW. NO UNCLE OLIVER. Even the reindeer weren’t cooperating. Instead of following the others out, Peppermint pawed at the floor of the trailer and shook her head, jingling the bells on her harness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love this, Beth! I hope you remind us somehow when it comes out. I love holiday romances.

      Delete
  7. This is fun, Liz! Mine is from a barely there WIP titled Accidental Terrorist.

    Five years ago I was asked if I loved my country. My reflex answer was an immediate and resounding, “YES”.

    It’s akin to being asked if you love your family. The answer is always an immediate yes—even for those who aren’t so sure.

    A lot can happen in five years.

    I still love my country. It’s just that I don’t like it so much anymore. A girl can take only so much abuse before she decides to move out. If my country had been my boyfriend, friends--if I had any left--would’ve begged me to ditch him years ago.

    But, it’s my country. How do you ditch your country?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that, Margie. Kind of painful to read in this time of ours, isn't it?

      Delete
    2. Love this Margie. It's an amazing opening.

      Delete
  8. Hi Liz. This is from my WIP, Tiki Troubles.

    Vita wakes in the cleansing air of the trees. She wishes she could stay home, snug in her hammock rocking in her bamboo home she built in a tree in the midst of plenty other trees. She could work on the new tiki some more. But, she has to get up and go down to Pebble Town and find out what's going on with the tiki she made for Puli. He wanted a tiki to chase away the mongoose that was taking his hens eggs. What could go wrong?
    With the woven, lauhala leaf bag on her back, Vita walked down the path looking around for signs of the loud mouth frog that kept waking her up last night. At the edge of the forest, she came to the moss covered clearing, separated by a stream of the freshest water she was going to fill her gourd with. She looked across the stream at her grandmother's house, surrounded by a flourishing flower and herb garden her grandmother was usually in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting! Makes me want to read on. Thanks for coming by and entering.

      Delete
  9. Sorry I'm late to the party, Liz. I had some sort of bug this week that knocked me out of commission for three days. Anyway, I'm back to the land of the living, sort of, and I'll enter with my own opening for "Flawless", my WW2 romantic suspense:

    Pentonville Prison, London, April 1942
    Down the hall, the heavy iron door creaked open, then closed again with a clang. Footsteps echoed on the stone floor, growing louder as they approached his prison room. When the footsteps suddenly stopped, Hunter Smith opened his eyes, surprised. In the eighteen months he’d been in this God-forsaken place, no one had visited him, not his so-called friends, and certainly not his parents.

    ReplyDelete