Amazon is the best. I say this because the other night I was trolling for Free reads (not because I’m cheap mind you, but because I’m like everybody else. I LOVE free stuff!) and came across a plethora (yup, totally used that word) of YA and A romance titles. I was so excited I could literally feel my eyes bulging out of my head. After a few downloads, I started thinking: shouldn’t I be a little picky? I mean, I know they’re Free and all, but what’s the point in downloading them if I get one page in and need to hit Delete?
So, I did what I probably should’ve been doing from the beginning. I started looking inside the book to see if it drew me in or made me cringe and hit the back button at lightening speeds.
Here’s what I read:
Live bait made all the difference, pretty much a no-brainer.
That’s all I needed to read. I didn’t even make it through the rest of the paragraph before hitting Download because that sentence has everything I’m looking for. Honesty, intrigue and a fast pace that sets the tone for one hell of a great scene. For arguments sake, let’s say that hadn’t done enough for me. Here are her next four sentences.
If the prey hungered, it was best to use someone like me. I needed to attract my quarry’s attention so I dressed outside the Budapest nightlife norm. The beautiful, exotic eastern European women filled the place with their form fitting dark clothes and smoky make-up. The fashion did not complement my give foot, two inch, olive skinned, ‘holy cow she’s got curves’ frame. Instead, I tousled my shoulder-length, dark blond curls and applied a little lip gloss.
The second sentence is as strong as the first which is an excellent thing because it allows the author to lob into details without boring her readers right out of the gate. Had she started this novel with sentence number three, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
When you’re writing, my advice is steer clear of image descriptions in your ‘first five’ unless you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that anything preceding that description was awesome enough to carry your reader through. Without those first two lines, Mrs. Nicholas could’ve blown her opportunity to hook me, but she played her cards well and I’m a happier person for it.
This book is still Free on Amazon. Here’s the link if you’d like to give it a shot. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.