Opening Lines

Here’s our Opening Lines–mysterious presence edition. Readers: Add your opening lines.


Photo by Bill Carito

Barb: I shivered in the eighty degree heat.

Edith: As if the slick of the rain and the blue lights triggering my PTSD weren’t bad enough, when the apparition showed up, too, I had no choice but to scream.

Julie: I walked into the bikers’ bar, and ordered a Shirley Temple. “Extra cherries,” I snarled.

Jessie: The cops who investigated my wife’s death said they couldn’t prove it but they knew I’d gotten away with murder. With the way Pauline still dogged my every step, the truth was, I hadn’t gotten away with anything.

Liz: It had to be the heat shimmering off the pavement. I wasn’t ready to share the alley with a ghost, so I refused to acknowledge the face hovering over me.

Sherry: He sat with his arms crossed guarding his beach bike like he thought he was a tough guy. I couldn’t wait to test how tough he really was.

Readers: Add yours in the comments!






Opening Lines — Mr. Wrong

Here’s our opening lines Valentine’s Day edition! Readers: Add your opening line!

Version 3

Barb: I can’t say I wasn’t warned.

Jessie: Every time I stop at a light some guy knocks on my window and tries to convince me that he is Mr. Right.

Liz: I had a knack for picking them. Even when all the signs pointed to a disaster.

Edith: She should’ve known I was kidding about the license plate. I mean, isn’t the Bat Shield more important? But no, she’s gotta lock me out of my own jeep. Changed the locks on the house, too. And on Valentine’s Day!

Sherry: Even the restraining order didn’t convince me he was Mr. Wrong.

Julie: “I always believe in lowering expectations with the ladies,” he said, opening the car door. He swept the empty beer cans onto the floor and used his sleeve to wipe off the seat. Mission accomplished, I thought. Last time I’d let Sally fix me up.



Opening Lines — Crime Bake Edition and a Giveaway


Today is another double giveaway! Leave a comment for a chance to win two books — one book by Julianne Holmes (aka Julie Hennrikus) and one book by Jessie Crockett!

When we talked Barb’s husband Bill Carito into posing for an Opening Lines picture four years ago, we didn’t know it was going to become an annual event. We have a lot of fun trying to figure out what to do every year. Readers: Add your opening line for this photograph.


Liz: That fool had passed out drunk again, but this time right next to the pool. If I could just nudge him a few inches without anyone noticing…

Edith: Yeah. The ring. He said he wore it so the world would know we were “a thing.” Thing is, that there ring wadn’t much better than a tinfoil token, didn’t have no worth to it. And neither will he, soon’s I flip his sorry dead body into his stupid-ass pool.

Sherry: He was so picky about everything: the temperature of his Cabernet, his underwear had to be ironed and folded just so, his gas tank could never fall below three quarters of a tank. When he complained that the temperature of the pool was a half a degree off, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Barb: The Henderson’s pool parties were legendary. The music was loud, the food spicy, the drinks strong. Until that Sunday morning when every adult on the cul-de-sac awoke with the mother of all hangovers, and stepped in to a waking nightmare that seemed never to end.

Julie: He slipped and fell. That was my story, and I planned on sticking to it. The plan was perfect–except for the mystery writers’ conference at the hotel that weekend. Couldn’t get anything past those people. And I tried.





Opening Lines

Thanks to Bill Carito for letting us use this Star Trek themed photo!

Processed with Snapseed.

Jessie: Cynthia paced nervously as she waited for the number 49 bus. Every morning the twins at the house across the street made her wish the bus stop was further down the block.

Edith: The creepy part after the new owners, a family of grandmother, mother, and daughter, moved into the yellow house wasn’t the dualing posters in the windows. It was the real-life man who appeared behind them at twilight – but never left the house.

Sherry: At first she thought they were both posters but then the Captain James T. Kirk on the left waved and beamed up.

Julie: She was a Picard girl, always had been, so she just kept walking.

Barb: Heading up the front walk, I began to worry about what, exactly, my girlfriend Ginger had meant by a “double date.”

Liz: I should’ve known – when a house has such cheap rent, there’s gotta be some sort of weirdness involved.

Readers: Add your opening line for the photo above.



Opening Lines

Here’s another New Orleans photo for Opening Lines.

Barb: On her deathbed, Mamma looked at the three of us and said, “You know how I always said your daddy left us? After I’m gone, whatever you do, don’t unplug my freezer.”

Edith: Mon Dieu! I can’t believe some maudit incompetent opened the cryo box. The big tank’s still full. Papere‘s brain? No better’n grits by this point.

Liz: I don’t believe in any of that voodoo crap…so I ignored what that crazy lady said an opened that crypt. Bring it on!

Julie: The thing I love most about this casket? It doubles as an ice chest until you need it.

Jessie: If I’ve told Ray once, I’ve told him a thousand times, just because something is free on Craigslist don’t mean it’s a bargain. We ain’t never gonna get the smell outta that chest.

Sherry: I’d studied the images hung over my grandfather’s desk for years. Finally, I understood what the messages meant. There’s a sale at Macys, must go now.

Readers: Please add your own lines!


Opening Lines: New Orleans Style

Note: At Bouchercon? Join us at noon today near the lobby Starbucks for the Big Cozy Meetup!

It’s Opening Lines day. Add your opening line! Today’s pick:

Processed with Snapseed.

Sherry: I felt guilty about taking all his money as he gently snored, so I put a few dollars back before I ran.

Edith: Great. He’d fallen asleep reading MY manuscript, and you wouldn’t believe the sway this guy has in the New York publishing houses. I stuck my last Benjamin in the jar and kicked his shin to wake him up before I slunk away to watch from behind the potted sweetbay magnolia.

Liz: Sweet – the potion the voodoo lady told me about worked. Now the guard was asleep and I could get on with the rest of my plan.

Jessie: Here’s a tip: that guys’s not asleep.

Julie: Only one way to get 7 hours of sleep when you work three jobs. Naps. Lots of naps.

Barb: “And on your left,” the tour guide’s voice came over the sound system, “you’ll see the town of…wait..don’t do that! Get away! HELLLLP!” I rushed toward his booth, but it was too late. Now he was truly…an unreliable narrator.

Readers: Add yours!


Opening Lines

It’s Opening Lines day! Today’s pic: What’s in your trash can? Thanks to Siobhan Geraghty for the photo!

Photo Credit: Siobhan Geraghty

Photo Credit: Siobhan Geraghty

Sherry: This isn’t what I had in mind when they hired me to be a garbage man.

Jessie: Sally was done practicing on mannequins. It was time to apply her machete wielding skills to the real target.

Liz: My attempts at quietly sneaking up to the door were in vain when I tripped over the trashcan – and screamed when a head rolled out and landed at my feet.

Julie: I lost my head. Which was a real shame, since it looked so good on top of the dress form I was using for target practice. A lot like my ex-boyfriend, as a matter of fact.If only the dog hadn’t mistaken it for a soccer ball.

Edith: Harold! So that’s where you been hiding. You near give me a cardiac, hiding like that. And dang it all, there’s my best gray undies, too.

Barb: 🎵 I ain’t got no-body 🎵

Readers, leave yours below!