Saturday, February 20, 2010

First Sentences from the Giveaway Books

Tomorrow's the big day. I'll conduct my scientific selection of the winner of the box of mysteries and thrillers and then will post an announcement here.

U.S. residents may enter up to midnight tonight (Mountain Time). The list of books I'm giving away and the giveaway rules are in my February 7th post.

Let's look at first sentences for five of these novels:

From The Doomsday Key by James Rollins.

"The ravens were the first sign."

The Witch of Agnesi by Robert Spiller

"Thursday was shaping up into one of those days that made Bonnie Pinkwater wish for a dart gun, the kind used to put rhinos, or in this case teenagers, to sleep."

From Wild Indigo by Sandi Ault

"I got there too late to save Jerome Santana."

From Isabella Moon by Laura Benedict

"Kate was surprised when the stern-looking young woman at the duty desk told her to take a seat instead of just asking her name and sending her on her way when she announced, in a voice she could barely keep from shaking, that she knew where they could find the body of Isabella Moon."

From To Hell in a Handbasket by Beth Groundwater

"Claire Hanover's knees slammed up toward her chest."

When I'm in a library or bookstore, and I take a random book off the shelf, I'm influenced by the author's name if it's someone I've heard of, the cover art, the front flap synopsis, and the first sentence.

If you're just browsing with nothing special in mind, what makes you buy a book or check it out of the library?


Kay said...

Much the same as you, but I usually scan at least three pages, mostly to see if I can stand the MC.

Jemi Fraser said...

When I'm looking for a new author, I tend to check out the cover, skim the first couple of pages & read the first part of the blurb (never more - it tells me too much).

Those are all really good first sentences.

Name: Luana Krause said...

I read the first paragraph, the book jacket (if it's not too detailed) and the author's bio. I'll also scan the chapter headings.

First sentences are awesome. "Call me Ishmael"

Carol Kilgore said...

Isabella Moon sounds fascinating. I read that first sentence and paragraph, too. And the blurb. And author bio if the writer is new to me.

Anonymous said...

Cover, which I realize the author has no control over. So I try not to let it sway me too much. The synopsis on the inside flap sways me a lot. THE FIRST PAGE (I do read more than the first line.) : ) And also author endorsements. Your first lines sound intriguing , Pat.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I hate to admit it, but the first thing that attracts me to a book I know nothing about is the cover. IF I like it, I pick it up and read the synopsis at the back. If I like that, I read the first paragraph, and a random two paragraphs from inside the book.
Then I buy it, and strangely, haven't yet been disappointed.