Monday, October 21, 2013

Begin With a Bang

Begin With a Bang...

Okay, that sounds a lot dirtier than I intended, but I still believe it’s true. Although I’m an author, I’ll forever be a reader first—an obsessed romance junkie reader at that. I read anywhere from two to four books a week, inhaling most in a few hours, and I read across genres. Young adult, new adult, adult, contemporary, paranormal, historical…I’m down for it all. My only requirement is that the characters grab me early on. If I’m not fully invested within the first couple pages (often the first page), then I’ll set that book aside for another time and begin another one. And although there have been a few exceptions, “another time” never comes.

I try to keep my reader hat on whenever I write, especially when I write my beginnings. For Seven Day Fiance, I really wanted to start with a jolt. A shock to poor Angelle’s heart…and I think I met my goal. Here’s the beginning of Seven Day Fiance.  

Excerpt:
Shivering as cool November air kissed her exposed skin, Angelle Prejean quickened her pace across the Magnolia Springs Banquet Hall parking lot. The rhythmic click of her toe-pinching heels sounded amplified in the dark, but it did jack squat to drown out her mama’s voice still ringing in her ears. What Angelle needed was a distraction, and an event planned by her crazy roommate was sure to deliver. Digging through her beaded black handbag, Angie fished out her ticket and flashed it at the entrance, then stepped inside the toasty warm lobby with a hopeful smile. It promptly froze and withered on her face. 

What the…?

Looming directly across from Angelle in the crowded vestibule stood an almost life-size poster of three faceless, shirtless men. The words FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PLEASURE were written in elegant swirling letters along the bottom. 

For her stupefaction was more like it. 

Angie glanced at her ticket, confirming she had the date and location right, and promptly returned her gaze to the glorious sight before her. Her breath escaped in a rush. Heat crept up her neck. But a herd of wild horses couldn’t tear her gaze away. And from the excited whirr of murmurs and giggles filling the entryway, she wasn’t the only one enjoying the man-tastic view.
Together, the half-nude beefcake trio in the poster was devastating, each man impossibly gorgeous. But for Angelle it was one man in particular, the one in the center, who had butterflies doing the cha-cha in her belly and her limbs gushing with warmth. 

Cane.

It didn’t matter that the image stopped at his throat. She didn’t need to see his face to recognize the rugged bartender. The confidence in the man’s stance, the ink on his skin, and the way her entire body shook with desire and trepidation gave his identity away. Thanks to the class they took together at Northshore Combatives, Angie had seen Cane Robicheaux in various stages of undress. But despite the overwhelming temptation, she’d never allowed herself the luxury of a thorough examination. In fact, she did everything she could to avoid eye contact of any kind—not an easy feat in a town as small as Magnolia Springs. Or with an attraction as fierce as hers. But now, alone with a bazillion other women doing the same, Angie let her eyes drink their fill. 

Her gaze caressed the width of his broad shoulders. Traced the lines of his flat, rippled abdomen. And feasted on the artwork adorning his skin. A koi fish swam up one side of his smooth ribs, flames licked up a thick, muscular arm, and a cross with angel wings and his mom’s name peeked from inside the other. An intricate yin-yang of a tiger and dragon covered the left side of his bulging chest, and she knew from prior, covert inspection that a fleur de lis marked his toned calf. The sound of her erratic pulse eclipsed all other sound in the room, but if Angelle were a betting woman, she’d put even money that a hum of feminine swooning was breaking around her. Cane Robicheaux exuded sex—sex and danger. And in spite of her many, many, many attempts to pretend otherwise, she was every bit as susceptible to that potent combination as the rest of the female population. 

“Which is why I’m in so much trouble,” she whispered with a disgusted snort. 

What are some of your favorite beginnings??

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