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:~: Saturday, January 02, 2010 :~:

30 Days of Treasure Hunting! - DAY 17 - Lexi Ryan!

Less than two weeks left to enter!

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Today my guest is author Lexi Ryan!

Lexi Ryan lives in the Midwest with her family. When she's not chasing after her young son or cheering on the Colts with her husband, Lexi enjoys losing herself in fun, sexy stories featuring mouthwatering men, smart women, and happily-ever-after. She loves to hear from readers.

Her latest release is FLIRTING WITH FATE:

Heat. Passion. Sex—precog Stiletto Girl Josie Bovard sees little else when she touches the charming and handsome Tanner Wiley. But she needs his help in her investigation, not in her bed. After discovering that her dead mother’s journal contains encrypted messages involving DNA manipulation, geneticists, and threats to non-Specials, Josie is determined to carry out her mother’s plan, but to be successful, she needs Tanner's help.

Special Intelligence Agency operative Tanner Wiley knows Josie is withholding information about her latest investigation. He agrees to help her, intent on filling in the blanks himself. What he discovers is a decades-old Ascendant scheme for control, and Josie’s outrageous plan of self-sacrifice. But what will they do when the answers they seek threaten to destroy life as they know it?

Lexi's giving away an electronic copy of FLIRTING WITH FATE to one person who can answer the following question:In FLIRTING WITH FATE, Josie Bovard makes a unique request of Tanner Wiley. What does she ask him for?

Welcome Lexi!

***

Reading the opening of a novel is like peeking inside a restaurant before sitting down for your meal.

What’s the ambience like? Will you dine by candlelight or by an over-size television? Does a melody from a string quartet float through the air, or the laughter of a rowdy party? Are the tables covered by crisp, white linen or littered with ketchup bottles and various containers of hot sauce? It’s not that one setting is better than the other, but these elements establish certain expectations.

As a reader, I look to the opening of a novel to learn the tone of the book and to get an idea of the protagonist’s personality and the author’s voice. As a writer, I want my readers to know from the first page what kind of book they can expect from me—sexy? funny? suspenseful? All three?

Because I’m a reader, I understand why introductions are so important. Because I’m a writer, I understand how hard it is to write a good one. Achieving that goal often requires several rewrites, not to mention gobs of frustration. For inspiration, I look to my favorite openings in novels. Now, for me, an “opening,” is more than the first line, but for the sake of space, I’ll share examples that achieve the above in one line (pretty much). In no particular order, here are five of my favorite openings:

1) It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

2) Phoebe Somerville outraged everyone by bringing a French poodle and a Hungarian lover to her father’s funeral. –Susan Elizabeth Phillips, It Had to Be You

3) If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. - J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

4) The first time I saw Dex Wilder, I was wearing a bed sheet and body glitter and serving hors d’oeuvres on the lawn in front of the world’s only full-scale replica of the Parthenon. - Bethany Michael’s, Nashville Heat

5) One hot August Thursday afternoon, Maddie Faraday reached under the front seat of her husband’s Cadillac and pulled out a pair of black lace bikini underpants. They weren’t hers. – Jennifer Crusie, Tell Me Lies

All of these lines manage to both set the tone for the book but also suck me into the story. (I should add that you could put just about any Jenny Crusie opening line in that list—if you want to see effective openings, she’s a good one to study.) I immediately want to know more about the characters and their situations.

What about you guys? Are openings important to you? What are some of your favorite openings?

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10Comments:

Blogger booklover0226 said...

If I'm reading an author's work for the first time, the opening may not be a "deal" breaker but it can leave me with, "OH, yeah, I can't wait to read more" or "OK, I'm curious what's going to happen next."

For an author whose works I love, the opening doesn't matter to me because I know the novel is going to be good!

My favorite opening is "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…" from a Tale of Two Cities. I absolutely love that novel.

Thanks,
Tracey D

9:42 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hello,

The opening is an important element for me. I don't necessarily mean the first line, but the first few pages. If it can grab me, then I most likely will have a hard time putting down the book. Most recently, I read an opening excerpt from Christy Reese's upcoming book, No Chance, and it caught my attention right away. I wanted to know more about the hero - so its on my pre-order list.

The answer to the trivia question is his sperm.

Thanks.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Leanne109 said...

I like an opening that sets the mood, I myself prefer something funny and eye catching. "she hit him with a trout and so begins the story" lol something like that hehehe

Josie Bovard makes a unique request of Tanner Wiley. What does she ask him for? SPERM

10:35 AM  
Blogger SiNn said...

for me it all depenbds id ont have a favorite opening i do dislike thingsthat are pradictable and overly done other then that im pretty much easy to please

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Lexi Ryan said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

Booklover, I agree that TALE OF TWO CITIES has a great opening line!

Leanne, I have a weakness for funny myself (if you hadn't already guessed).

There's still time to enter for anyone who's interested!

6:56 PM  
Blogger sherry said...

Yes the opening is very important to me if it doesn't get my attention in the first couple pages then I probably won't read the book.

answer: sperm

7:29 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

His...sperm. Hehe. Sorry, I'm mentally thirteen.

A smashing opening certainly doesn't hurt...but sometimes when I'm browsing through store selections I skip all the explanatory prose in the beginning and go straight to meat of the story, so I guess it's more of the quality of writing for me.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Hi Lexi,
My favorite opening line is "It was a pleasure to burn" from Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451."

Josie asks Tanner for his sperm.

8:39 PM  
Blogger booklover0226 said...

OOPS!

I got so involved about the opening lines, I forgot to answer the first question.

The answer is sperm.

Sorry for the second post.
Tracey D

5:51 AM  
Anonymous librarypat said...

Julie Garwood has good opening lines in her books.

"They meant to kill him." Honour's Splendour

"Bad things always happened at night." Ransom

"Donald MacAlister didn't die easy." The Wedding

8:14 PM  

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