I love a great beginning to a story. One that yanks you into the story from the very first sentence, word even, kicking and screaming. As a reader, I have very specific things I expect from my romance novels: well-rounded characters, great plot, hot loving…and an exceptional beginning.
Very few things irk me as the start of a story that shouldn’t be. Often times I’ve found many books start at the wrong beginning i.e where the author wanted to rather than where I think the characters would prefer.
A great beginning (to me) is one that lands you smack dab in the middle of your characters lives, fast and hard. Something monumental and or life changing should be happening, something that sets all dominoes in motion and takes hold of the reader, keeping them glued in an effort to find the what, where, why and how.
Now, I’m by no means an expert in this stuff. In fact I’m pulling it straight out of my you-know-what. I’m just a reader who knows what she likes.
What I don’t like is the story that takes forever to get started…one that drags and drags and still expect me to stick around for the ending. Nope, you have one page—yes, one—to woo and keep me engaged.
No second chances.
Did I mention I’m hard to please?
Why does this story start where it does? Does what happen at the beginning impact the rest of the story? How?
I think if one can answer those questions convincingly then there’s a chance of hooking beyond that first page.
They call her ‘The woman in white,’ whisper ‘Death-Bringer’ with their last breath, but no one knows exactly what she is. Not even Voltaire herself. The deadly magic within her is a living thing, able to crush anyone and everything with a blink. Abandoning the blood-soaked world she’s used to, Voltaire seeks out the one constant in her tired life—the green-eyed wolf in her dreams. She’s ignored the wolf’s call for years, afraid to surrender, but danger haunts her mate. He needs her.
Wolf-shifter Blake Montez is in the middle of a war, battling the usurpers intent on taking over his territory. Unfamiliar magic hums in the air, unnoticed—it seems—by everyone but him. He finds the source already under his nose, in his home. The delicate woman in white knows things no one should know, and the heat simmering between them is unlike anything he’s ever felt. His wolf recognizes her as his mate, though Blake remains unsure he can trust her.
Voltaire sets out to prove herself with time running out, enemies are on the prowl, some foreseen, others remain cloaked in shadow. She and Blake team up, fighting side by side, but in the end Voltaire might be the biggest threat to their love.
“Will you fucking die already?” Voltaire pressed the right heel of her gold Zanotti’s into the bullet hole in the man’s neck. The idiot keeping her from her date struggled—a futile effort, if she did say so herself. His cobalt-blue eyes stared up at her from his position on the floor, pleading for mercy while his body twitched. Wet sounds gurgled in his throat, then he coughed. Dark red blood flew everywhere, dotting the back of her heel and running like a red stream down the corner of his mouth. Pink tears leaked from his eyes.Till Abandon is available now from Total E Bound: http://bit.ly/pyBzg9
“Damn it, now look what you’ve done.” She lifted her foot off his throat to inspect the damage to her shoe. “I bought these today, specially for this occasion, and you go and fuck them up.”
Men. Can’t train them, or horsewhip them in the middle of the street. What the hell is there left to do? Kill ‘em.
She knelt beside the man, who was getting bluer by the minute, and shook her head. “You know, that colour does great things for your skin tone.” She grabbed the sleeve of his white shirt and wiped off her heel. Blood pooled under him, sinking into the plush, grey carpet. She glanced up at the digital clock on his desk. He had some fabulous things in this office—she’d take a tour of the house if she wasn’t so damned strapped for time.
A dull buzzing started on the left side of her skull, annoying as a mosquito.
“Will you stop already with the fucking mind control? You’ve been trying it all night, and has it worked?” She lifted an eyebrow and projected her thoughts to him. Obviously not. You pissed off the Council and they’ve marked you for extinction. She bared her teeth. “Unfortunately for you, they gave you to me as a going away gift.”
Tugging the bowie knife from her ankle strap, she slashed his throat with a flick of her wrist.
“That’s for taking up so much of my goddamn time.”
She fished the disposable cell phone from the back pocket of her jeans and pulled off her black gloves with her teeth. Hitting the redial button, she straightened and stepped delicately over the body on her way to the door.
Voltaire paused at the threshold and took one last look over her shoulder to admire her handiwork. Damn, sometimes she astonished even herself. The married father of four hadn’t batted an eye when she’d sent him a drink at the bar then offered herself to him for the night. She gave him bonus points for not taking her to his marital home. Apparently Mr Moneybags kept an apartment downtown for his nightly hook-ups.
Fucking men. Is nothing sacred anymore? Sure, she’d been paid a couple of mil to kill him, but still.
Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Avril remains a believer of love in all its forms.
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