There’s an art to writing the first line of a novel. You have to hook the reader who has, hopefully, already been snagged by the cover and the back cover copy.

I asked some friends to share the first lines of their works in progress. Some of these are from works in print, but who says brilliant people know how to follow directions?

In any case, enjoy. (I have collected so many of these, I may run them all week!) Which ones are your favorites?

Fugitive Casey O’Hare had gone days without food but never without her gun. –From Leather and Lace, by DiAnn Mills.

He didn’t remember agreeing to anything like this. –From Everlasting Love, by Linda Ford.

Paige Williams harbored a restless kinship with the living dead. –From Violet Dawn, first in Kanner Lake series by Brandilyn Collins.

A lofty full moon painted a jagged swathe of light across Lafayette Avenue. –From Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney

The letter arrived special delivery, signature required. –From Vanished, by Kathryn Mackel

It was spring and the war seemed very far away. –First and last line, A Dinner of Herbs by DeAnna Dodson

There exists a strange moment between sleep and wakefulness when dreams cease and realism remains at bay. — From RETURN TO ME by Robin Lee Hatcher

“Unbelievable!” from A Proposal to Die For by Yvonne Lehman

“You want me to do what?” From IN HIS EYES, by Gail Gaymer Martin

LARSON JENNINGS HAD LIVED this moment a thousand times over, and it still sent a chill through him. From Rekindled by Tammy Alexander

Charlie Dunworth knew death was standing behind him, as he unlocked the back door and stumbled into the dark kitchen. From Crime of Justice, by Wanda Dyson

“Like the slow rising of the river after an early snowmelt in the mountains, he seeped into my life, unhurried, almost without notice, until the strength and breadth of him covered everything that had once been familiar, made it different, new over old.” From A Sweetness to the Soul, by Jane Kirkpatrick



  1. Ane Mulligan

    Amazing how they are all so very different in style and voice, yet each is completely engaging.

  2. eileen

    Teasers..gotta love ’em.

  3. Pam Meyers

    I bought a new cozy yesterday at Borders. I had to after reading the first line: “Getting old was murder. Make no mistake of it.” It’s from The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club by Susan McBride. Looks like a hoot. All the widows are mysteriously dying at the swanky Belle Meade retirement community.

    I love first lines.

  4. Tricia Goyer

    I love these first lines. I was getting ready to quit working on my own WIP for the day, but I was inspired to keep writing!

  5. C.J. Darlington

    I love Leather and Lace’s opening line. Fugitive? Able to shoot? Cool.

  6. Tricia Goyer

    My favorite is Robin Lee Hatchers. What’s happening? It’s very poetic.


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