Clicking Our Heels – Our Favorite Lines from Books
The words authors write are often called “Darlings.” Most of the members of the Stiletto Gang have written several books, stories, or reviews. Have you ever wondered what line we’ve written that is our favorite or what line we’ve read that we wished we wrote? We’re letting you in on our secret favorites:
Lois Winston – A first line should be a tease that makes the reader want to continue reading the first paragraph, which for me is more important than the first line. One of my favorites is from A Stitch to Die For, the fifth book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series:
Two weeks ago my mother, Flora Sudberry Periwinkle Ramirez Scoffield Goldberg O’Keefe, took her sixth trip down the aisle to become Flora Sudberry Periwinkle Ramirez Scoffield Goldberg O’Keefe Tuttnauer. The groom’s daughter was a no-show. At the time of the ceremony her body was being fished out of the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Lambertville, New Jersey.
Gay Yellen – The current favorite is in my newest release, The Body in the News, when Samantha Newman says, “There’s a big difference between working in the news business and being in the news, and right now I wouldn’t give a dime for either one.”
Donnell Ann Bell – What a timely question. I read two great lines today from The Forgotten Man: An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel. One scene involves fourteen-year-old runaway Elvis Cole, who is hellbent on finding his father. The lines that struck me are: “Parents should come with a license.” Then one with stellar foreshadowing: “You have a knack for this, I gotta give you that. Here you are, a kid, and you track these bastards down like a professional. You’d make a helluva detective.”
Mary Lee Ashford (1/2 of Sparkle Abbey)- This was a hard question, but I’m going to go with the first line from Desperate Housedogs. “I don’t normally break into people’s home, but today I was making an exception.” It will come as no surprise to my fellow writers that this wasn’t the original first line, but one that came after many passes through the story.
Debra Sennefelder – My favorite line so far is from my newest release, A CORPSE AT THE WITCHING HOUR, when Drew sees Hope’s ugly Halloween sweater.
“Oh. My. Ghouls.”
T.K. Thorne – I actually have two favorite lines, both from Na’amah, a young girl in my historical novel, Noah’s Wife. She is on the spectrum and wants only to be a shepherdess in her beloved hills. She begins her story with this: “My name, Na’amah, means beautiful or pleasant. I am not always beautiful, but I am pleasant.”
Na’amah was amazing with her sheep, but very bad at traditional women’s work. After an intense scene and having sex for the first time, she made a comment to herself that was true to her character but one I wasn’t expecting: “Maybe I will be better at this than sewing.”
Dru Ann Love – “And there she is,” I say, a moment later, “the Cyclone, standing tall for ninety-five years. Isn’t she majestic?” From “Ticket To Ride” from the Happiness Is a Warm Gun-Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of The Beatles anthology.
Saralyn Richard – Quinn’s family always joked about death, but that summer death stopped being funny. —from Bad Blood Sisters.
Bethany Maines – Well, I find myself hilarious, so that’s a tough call. I’ve had some lines that I love, but oddly I’m probably most proud when I really get it right on my marketing materials. Writing in a novel, while difficult, is like painting a wall sized mural –there’s a lot of space to work. Getting a line write in a marketing piece where you get maybe 5 seconds to catch someone’s attention is a lot more difficult to do. So probably, I’m most proud of the line from my San Juan Island Mystery Series, “This island is full of private little wars. And murder.”
Barbara J. Eikmeier – It’s so hard to choose, so I’ll just say that I always love the line, in any book, that explains the title of the book.
Anita Carter (1/2 of Sparkle Abbey) – I can’t think of a specific line, but there have been times when I’ve reread a passage during edits and I’ve thought, hey that was pretty good.
Debra H. Goldstein – “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” (Rebecca)