Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Set that HOOK!

Welcome to one of the stops on our Valentine's Blog Tour. Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the prize contest. One winner each week plus a grand prize winner. The more blogs you leave comments on the better your chances of winning. Prizes begin at $20 value, increasing each week to a grand prize of over $50. At the end of this post, I'll list the other stops on the tour so you'll have even MORE chances to win!

I'm so pleased to have author Jennifer Jakes as my guest.  We're kicking off our blog tour discussing that oh so important first line and how it's so significant.  Jennifer: what are YOUR thoughts?

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I have ADHD. Or maybe it’s just the “give-it-to-me-now” world we live in. Whatever the reason, I have the attention span of a hummingbird jacked-up on Mtn. Dew. If something doesn’t grab my interest immediately, chances are I’m moving on to something that does. This applies to First Lines too.

Oh, no! An author might think – I know I do – how can I accomplish this in one line? Let’s be realistic. It’s not probable that every story ever written will hook the reader with the first line. But with a little luck and a lot of work, I think it’s possible to interest the reader after the first page. At least I hope.

I will spend hours, days, coming up with a first line, then the first page, trying to find the perfect combination of words to “set” the entire story. That’s how important I feel they are. First lines or pages should draw a reader into the world, into a problem or make us need to answer a question. What kind of question? I think that depends on the genre. If it’s Romantic Suspense, then it might be a life or death question; if it’s Category Romance, then it might be a more common problem but with devastating effects on the heroine’s world. And if it’s erotica, then it might be a sexual question, one that the heroine must explore with a hero. Or two . :-)

Think of first lines like a first meeting, a first date. You’re looking for a promise of something great. So for now I’m going to leave you with a few first lines that I think are great.

“I should warn you about my cousin.” From ROMEO by Gail Faulkner

“Oh, my God, what have I done?” From BOUNTY HUNTER’S BRIDE by Carol Finch

“Unhand her this instant!” From A REPUTABLE RAKE by Diane Gaston

“Father must protect me or I am dead.” From HER ONE DESIRE by Kimberly Killion

“I’m going to have to shorten his willie.” From DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS by Emily Bryan

Love that last one! What reader doesn’t want to know why the hero’s “willie” has to shortened? Please share some of your favorite lines with us! If you do, you’ll be entered into a drawing for some great gifts!

Thanks so much for having me here today, Maeve!

About Jennifer:

After trying several careers—everything from a beautician to a dump truck driver—Jennifer finally returned to her first love, writing. Maybe it was all those Clint Eastwood movies she watched growing up, but in her opinion there is no better read than a steamy western historical.

Married to her very own hero, she lives on fifteen acres along with two beautiful daughters, two elderly horses, two spoiled cats and two hyper dogs.

During the summer she does Civil War re-enacting and has found it a great research tool, not to mention she has continued appreciation for her microwave and hot water heater.

You can also find Jennifer at these places:
FB: Jennifer Jakes
Twitter: @erotichistory

And check out her upcoming release RAFE'S REDEMPTION - available from The Wild Rose Press on February 25th.

He rode into town to buy supplies, not a woman.

For hunted recluse Rafe McBride, the raven-haired beauty on the auction block is exactly what he doesn't need. A dependant woman will be another clue his vengeful stepbrother can use to find and kill him. But Rafe's conscience won't let him leave another innocent's virginity to the riff-raff bidding. He buys her, promising to return her to St. Louis untouched. He only prays the impending blizzard holds off before her sultry beauty breaks his willpower.

She wanted freedom, not a lover.

Whisked to the auction block by her devious, gambling cousin, and then sold into the arms of a gorgeous stranger, outspoken artist Maggie Monroe isn't about to go meekly. Especially when the rugged mountain man looks like sin and danger rolled into one. But a blizzard and temptation thrust them together, and Maggie yearns to explore her smoldering passion for Rafe.

But when the snow clears, will the danger and secrets that surround Rafe and Maggie tear them apart?


Maggie wanted freedom, not a lover…Oh, Lord. He was going to kiss her. She shouldn’t want this. She was confused enough. Respectable women didn’t kiss men they barely knew, certainly not men who made them have wild, exotic dreams.

It was crazy. He was making her want crazy things. Making her not give a damn about her reputation or her virginity. Or her long-awaited freedom. All she could think about was that dream, and the way his sinful mouth had felt. The table was only a step away, and honey was just as sweet as peach juice…

She swallowed hard and looked up into his hooded eyes.

“Maggie,” he groaned. “Don’t be scared. I’d never hurt you.”

Her mouth parted to object, but firm lips covered hers, hungry, demanding. She gasped, shocked at his hunger, but even more at the illicit response coursing through her. An aching heat unfurled low in her stomach, pulsed between her legs. Oh, yes. It started just like in the dream.

He deepened the kiss, coaxed her lips with his warm tongue. Long, languid strokes teased the inside of her mouth, encouraging, tempting before he pulled back to nibble the corners of her lips.

Oh, God. Is this what all kisses felt like? Hot, lethargic? Melting her like molasses over warm bread?

“Kiss me, Maggie,” he breathed.

Whew! Wasn't THAT an awesome excerpt? Thanks for sharing it with us, Jennifer. Okay, folks. Here's those other links I promised so you can leave comments and increase your chances of winning those lovely prizes:

Meet contemporary YA an adult romance author Linda Kage at
Meet contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance author Caroline Clemmons at
Meet historical and paranormal romance writer Lilly Gayle at
Meet Amie Louellen, author of fun and whimsical contemporary romance at
Meet author AJ Nuest at
Meet author Lynne Roberts at
Meet paranormal romance author Maeve Greyson at
Meet author Amy Corwin at
Meet contemporary and paranormal romance author Jill James at
Meet romantic suspense author Kat Duncan at