Everyone’s having contests. I wanna have a contest, too!
(Ab)using my librarian status, I wrangled an ARC of The Leopard Prince out of Elizabeth Hoyt a few months ago. Having adored The Raven Prince, I was positively salivating to read TLP, and I’m delighted to report it’s definitely drool-worthy. It’s warm and witty and very sexy, with endearing, engaging characters. And all this is evident from the very first paragraph of the book:
After the carriage wreck and a bit before the horses ran away, Lady Georgina Maitland noticed that her land steward was a man. Well, that is to say, naturally she knew Harry Pye was a man. She wasn’t under the delusion that he was a lion or an elephant or a whale, or indeed any other member of the animal kingdom—if one could call a whale an animal and not just a very big fish. What she meant was that his maleness had suddenly become very evident.
Since that’s about all I’ve got of my second book right now – the first paragraph – this seemed a good time to talk about first lines, and what makes a good opening to a book. Hoyt’s is such a fabulous example, because not only does it crystallize the funny/sexy tone of the book in a paragraph, it gives an immediate sense of the historical setting AND hooks the reader with the promise of an exciting event – a carriage accident.
Not that I would compare it to Hoyt’s brilliant opening .. it’s more like a poor girl’s version of that idea… but I tried to do some similar things with the first paragraph of Goddess of the Hunt. This is the opening of the Prologue, a scene that happens eight years before the rest of the book, when Lucy is still a girl. So the sexy bit can’t show quite yet – but I did try to capture a bit of Lucy’s personality and the book’s humorous tone, while hinting at an exciting event to come:
On the fine autumn afternoon he nearly shot her head off, Lucy Waltham decided she would marry Sir Toby Aldridge. One day. There was the small matter of surviving to see her twelfth birthday first.
But of course, there are as many great openings as there are great books! And I’m in need of a little inspiration this week. So share the opening of your own WIP, or the opening of a favorite book that really hooked you – and I’ll pick one lucky commenter at random to receive:
*A new copy of The Leopard Prince (even if I wanted to give away the ARC – which I don’t – I can’t, because it’s out of state at the moment. And because I figure it’s only right to reward Ms. Hoyt’s generosity by actually purchasing the book myself.
*A bookmark for TLP, autographed by Ms. Hoyt herself
*A one-pound box of See’s chocolates. (If you live east of the Mississippi, you may not have had the chance to taste See’s. It’s goooooood.)
I’ll give you until Saturday midnight PST to enter, then I’ll post a winner on Sunday. I’ll also post the opening of my own new WIP, tentatively titled Goddess of Beauty.
Let the inspiration flow!