First Sentences

A few years ago my friend, Karin Tabke, author of The Chronicles of Katrina*, had a First Sentences contest on her website. You put a first sentence. If you made the cut, the next week you put up a second sentence with the first, and so on, until a winner was picked. It really showcased the need for a compelling first sentence and to make every sentence count. Especially when I was trying to get an agent or editor and you heard they would read 2-3 paragraphs and they knew whether they wanted a manuscript or not. You have to hook them and keep them hooked.

I’m working on a book right now that I’m hoping to submit to Kindle Scout, a program within Amazon. Things sometimes change in revising and editing but this is my first sentence right now. Ghostly Intentions is a paranormal romance with Megan, a haunted widow and Jack, the man in charge of Ghost Releasers, Inc.

Megan Trent jerked out of a deep sleep to the cacophony of her clock radio turning on and off in a rapid beat of white noise and eerie silence.

Submit your first sentences in the comments and a link to your book if it is published, or to your website if not.

Let’s see those first sentences!!


Jill James, romance author

*The Chronicles of Katrina and all of Karin Tabke’s books are uber-hot and sexy, with strong women and the bad boys they love.

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2 thoughts on “First Sentences

  1. Hi Jill! I haven’t thought about that First Line contest in so long! LOVE Karin Tabke! Several of us GIAMx2 gals finaled if I remember correctly. I somehow won that year, though I let that book sit for years…finally self-published it in 2014.

    Here is the original first line: An arm wrapped around his neck and he was yanked back as something sharp plunged into his gut. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KV3V6LS

    • Donna, that is so cool that that first line became a published book. My first line was from a paranormal witch story that I’ve never finished. May have to dig it out of the mothballs.

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