Opening Lines

Here’s our opening lines–rotten vacation edition.

(photo by Bill Carito)

Sherry: He always complained that I was too literal. I’m sure he regretted telling me he was dying to get into the vacation club.

Liz: Jeez, that was a long line…

Barb: “You’re in luck, sir. A room has just opened up.”

Julie: She arrived in what could only be described as hell for workaholics, and died trying to relax.

Edith: I said I’d win the damn bowling tournament or die trying.

Jessie: Our resort is so popular that some of our guests will do just about anything not to have to leave.

Readers, add your opening lines in the comments section.




Opening Lines – The Abandoned Flip-Flop

It’s opening lines day! Wickeds, how would you start a story about the photo below?


Sherry: A clue! If only I’d just stopped there because I’ll never be able to un-see what followed.

Julie: At first I thought it was abandoned. Then I realized it was still attached to the foot, and that the owner had been buried upside down. That wasn’t the only secret I found that day, in the alien ship landing site.

Barb: I ran into the mangroves as fast as my legs could carry me, losing my flip-flops one at a time.  I ran and then I swam until I couldn’t hear the dogs.

Jessie: Brent knew Kayla prided herself on her scavenger hunting prowess and that she would jump at his offer to host one for her birthday. He was certain she would be the first to find the flip-flop and when she did he would be there waiting for her.

Edith: Ginnie had said she would leave no trace of her victim. Yet there it was, for all the world to see. But I was better than Ginnie, and when I found her, I wouldn’t leave any blue flip-flop behind.

Liz: I thought I’d been so careful, but after all my digging and dragging of the body, I returned to the place where I’d entered the woods and found her flip-flop.

Readers: Give us your opening lines!



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!