Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Eleven TWRP authors have tag-teamed up for a blog tour of themes from the heart of writing. Meet some of the authors from TWRP and discover how their personal stories influenced their writing. Leave a comment on any of the blogs to enter to win a weekly prize. One commentator will be chosen from each blog each week. One random winner will be chosen from these 11 for a weekly double-or-nothing prize. Weekly chosen commentators who don't win the weekly prize will automatically be entered for a triple-or-nothing grand prize at the end of the tour. Winners will be posted on all the blogs. The more blogs you comment on, the better your chances of winning because you could be chosen more than once each week! I'll post the links to all the other Roses after we visit with my wonderful guest!

Today I'm happy to host Caroline Clemmons! I remember reading her story, BE MY GUEST, several, er, just a few short years ago. :) I immediately put it on my 'keeper' shelf. So if you haven't had the pleasure of reading Caroline's work, check out the snippets below. Links are provided if you like what you read;)
So grab a cup of coffee and get to know Caroline.

Ah, the meandering descriptions of the past. La la la, the breeze, the sky, the birds, the rippling brook. The sky was blue, the sky was cloudy, perhaps it would rain, it was a dark and stormy night. The family was impoverished, the family was wealthy and now impoverished, her dress was . . . you get the idea. Yawn.

If you read the classics or even many popular novels from the 20th century, you notice that usually time is spent building the world. Descriptions of scenery, mood, and time period may be lengthy. Authors of old sometimes used pages to set up the book and characters. Personally, I like these wandering set ups, but will most of today’s readers tolerate them? No, no, no!

Today’s reader is too busy for such lengthy niceties. Television, cell phones, and the internet have taught us to expect instant gratification. We are busy, busy, busy! Most of us live at a hectic pace with little time to spare for relaxation. Grab us from the start with action and/or dialog or we close the book (or e-reader) and move on. So, today on the Wild Rose Authors Blog Tour, we’re talking about the importance of first lines. Here are mine from two of my favorites of  books I’ve had published:

From THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND, now available on Smashwords at
“Sonofabitch! The bastards are burying me!”
Nate Bartholomew braced against the coffin sides and grappled the terror that pumped through him.

Do these lines would draw the reader into the story for answers? I certainly hope so. Why is Nate in a coffin? Why is he being buried alive? I wanted to raise questions to tantalize the reader to keep reading. Does it work?

From THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, available from The Wild Rose Press at and from Amazon and other online stores :
Dallas McClintock sprawled on the ground, three rifle barrels pointed at his chest. He reckoned his luck had run out, but damned if he knew why.

Again, I wanted to raise questions in the reader’s mind that he or she would insist on answering by continuing to read the story. Why had Dallas’ luck run out? Why was he on the ground? Who pointed rifles at him and why? Are you intrigued enough to keep reading? Again, I hope so.

Without a question to be answered, there is no reason for us as readers to continue unless we know the author and want to support a friend. If the first paragraph is dry and boring, we decide the rest of the book will follow that pattern, even though sometimes that’s incorrect. Occasionally a book gets off to a slow start, but becomes interesting later. Who will read long enough to find out? Perhaps a reviewer, but not me. As the saying goes, “So many books, so little time.”

First lines are the key to the rest of the book. They set the tone. Will this be an adventure, mystery, frightening ghost story, or searing romance? As you can tell from the lines above, my romances always include some form of mayhem. We live vicariously through the characters in books. Don’t we need an exciting time?

For my other recent release, the modern time travel OUT OF THE BLUE, please use the link above for The Wild Rose Press. For other back list titles, the contemporaries SNOWFIRES and BE MY GUEST, and the historical linked to the title mentioned, THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE, please check the Smashwords link listed above. Keep reading! And check my blog to read what Jill James has to say on this same subject.

Thanks to Jennifer for letting me guest on her blog today.
Thanks, Caroline! Remember to leave a comment for a chance at the prizes!
Blog Tour Itinerary
Wednesday, February 2nd - Blog Topic - The Significance of First Lines

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 erotic western historical author Jennifer Jakes 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


  1. Hi Caroline! Thanks for being my guest today! I love the cover for Texan's Irish Bride. The colors are gorgeous!!

  2. Yay, it finally let me leave a comment.

    I love, love, love your cover for The Texan's Irish Bride.

    Your idea that a first line has to raise a question in the reader's mind is a great one. Thanks for the concept.

  3. Hi Caroline,

    I must say I love the cover of The Texan's Irish Bride! Can't wait to get my hands on it. What led you to write about the Irish in the west?


  4. Hi Caroline,
    Glad to meet you here on Jen's blog.

    I LOVE your opening lines!! They'd certainly make me read on. In fact, I can't wait to get ahold of The Irish Bride. Great hook ;>

    The cover is super, BTW.
    Best of Luck.

  5. Caroline, I must say your openings certainly draw me in. I can't imagine putting the book down after reading any of those. Congratulations on your sales and best of luck to you on your blog tour!!!

  6. Wow, Caroline, the first line of your new book is a real 'hooker'. I can't wait to real the whole thing. The cover is a dandy, too.

    This Wild Roses tour is a great idea. Good luck to both of you.

  7. Hi Caroline!

    I LOVED this blog. You hit the nail on the head...and yes, pardon the pun. I love your first line!

  8. Caroline, I've loved that cover from the moment I saw it. Love the line, his luck run out.

  9. I used to stick with a book a couple of pages to see if it would get better. Now I quit by the end of the first page if I don;t get hooked quickly.

    Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D.

  10. Great post, always. And I couldn't agree more. The first line must, must, must grab the reader. And your first line from The Texan's Irish Bride does just that!

  11. Wow! Great first lines. I think I'll have to be clicking on a couple links. I can't wait! Great post!

  12. Marci, I combined my two loves: Texas and Ireland. LOL Actually, the idea arose from a trip to Ireland in 1998. I fell in love with the country and couldn't get it out of my mind. Since I'm a Texan, I love Texas (well, except in July and August LOL). I hope readers love this book as much as I loved writing it.

  13. Ladies, thanks to all of you who commented.

  14. Great post and awesome opening lines. Like many others have said already I just love the book cover for The Texan's Irish Bride. It would get my vote for Best Cover EVER

  15. Love that cover and your opening lines! Surefire hooks to get a reader's attention.

  16. Wow. You bowled me over. The opening lines for both books are fantastic. What great hooks. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll have to try this on my blog AFTER I improve upon my first sentence.

    I agree--that cover is AMAZING. Kudos to the artist and to you. I'll be checking out your blog and your books!

  17. Great covers and awesome opening sentences! Both will definitely lure the readers into the stories. Thanks, Jen, for a wonderful post. You continually inspire and motivate me within my own writing endeavors.

    BIG HUGS to you!

    JD :)

  18. The Wild Roses tour is a great idea. The covers are great and the first lines hook me.Lets get reading!!!