First Lines: June Bethany House Books

If you’re like most visitors to a bookstore, you probably glance at a book’s cover and maybe read the blurb on the back. Then, if what you saw caught your attention, you’ll flip open to the first page.

Those first lines are the author’s chance to pull you into their fictional world and the story that takes place in it. As I thought about how to announce this month’s lineup of new releases, I realized I loved the way our June authors chose to open their stories.

Each first paragraph has a different feel to it, but all of them do an excellent job of giving us a quick glimpse into what the main character is like and what kind of story is about to unfold. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

From Stuck Together by Mary Connealy

10948 StuckTogether_mck.inddTina Cahill finished hammering a hefty board across the front of Duffy’s Tavern. Carefully printed on the board were the words Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here. It sent a message at the same time it nailed Duffy’s door shut.

Tina’s plan was to get his notice.

“That tears it!” Duffy roared from inside the saloon.

He’d noticed.

What We Know Already: Tina is quite a spunky character, and this book is going to be hilarious.

From Truth Be Told by Carol Cox

Truth Be ToldAmelia Wagner stepped down onto the platform of the Granite Springs train depot and drew in a deep breath of clean mountain air. She closed her eyes to sort out the different scents tingling her nostrils—the sharp tang of pine trees growing on the nearby slopes, the pungent odors of fresh-cut lumber wafting from Martin Gilbreth’s sawmill, and the fragrance of the creosote bushes that dotted the hillsides of Arizona’s high desert. The scents mingled together to form a fragrance more pleasing than the costliest perfume any Denver emporium had to offer.

Amelia took in another deep breath, savoring the fragrance of home.

What We Know Already: Don’t you just want to visit this beautiful setting? We also learn that Amelia has been gone for a while and wonder what will happen now that she’s returned.

From Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis

Child of MineKelly Maines sat nervously on a bench at the edge of the playground, wearing dark aviators and pretending to be obsessed with her cell phone. Last night she’d slept in an unfamiliar bed in a ratty hotel, and this morning she’d dressed in a blond wig and a stylish knit maternity dress. Burgundy was not a good color for Kelly, but it was an important color for today.

What We Know Already: There is a reason Kelly is wearing a disguise and watching the playground . . . but what is it? And why is burgundy an important color? The mystery starts right away.

From A Moment in Time by Tracie Peterson

Moment in TimeAlice Chesterfield could feel the intensity of the man watching her. Not just any man. She knew very well who it was and why he continued to hound her steps. Gathering her brown wool skirt in hand, Alice did her best to avoid the muddier spots in the road as she crossed to the small fabric store on the opposite side. Her heart pounded wildly. Her breathing seemed to catch in her throat.

Would he follow her there? Would he dare?

What We Know Already: Alice is in some kind of trouble, and we want to keep reading to find out what that trouble is and what happens next.

From Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

Full Steam AheadPassengers jockeyed for position along the steamboat Louisiana’s railings, waving and calling merry farewells to the crowd lining the levee. Darius Thornton stalked determinedly across the deck in the opposite direction. He’d done all the smiling he cared to during the previous half hour while Captain Cannon gave him, and a handful of other investors, a tour of the vessel.

What We Know Already: Steamboats will be central to this story, and Darius is not a friendly socialite, though he seems to be a very interesting character.

If you want to read more than just the first few lines, each of these book covers are linked to an excerpt of a several chapters from the book!

What makes you decide to pick up a book and read it?

10 thoughts on “First Lines: June Bethany House Books

  1. I always read the first chapter to see if it grabs my attention if not, I don’t buy it!! also always check out my favorite authors first

  2. It’s the author and the cover that first get my attention. A cover with drawn people rather than real people is a turn off for me. If the cover or author grab my attention, I’d then review the summary. Many times I’m considering a book on Amazon or Goodreads rather than in the store. I read through reader reviews and then make a decision.

  3. I always am drawn in by the title the covers and author. I never read the first few pages. Even if it is a new to me author the outside is what will get me to bring it home.

  4. I choose books to read by my confidence in the author’s past writing. If I have enjoyed their past novels, I can trust the new pieces. I also read reviews before I shop.

  5. A cover makes or breaks whether I buy or even pick up a book or not. That’s the first draw, then I read the book description on the back. Of course, if I have a fellow book worm friend that recommends a book, that is a real big draw for me.

  6. The very first thing I look at is who is the author. Then if it is a series I am reading or not. then content. However, I am trying new authors all the time so I can support them, too. Since I work in 2 libraries, all these things are important to me

  7. We don’t have a Christian book store in our part of the country so we buy all our books online. So, I think, I’m answering your question from a different prospective than you intended. Personal recommendation from a friend is probably most influential to us in buying a book. Also, a solid recommendation by another trusted author. Then we read the premise and the reviews. Reviews are very important to us too. Not the “anonymous” reviews, but actual written reviews. The cover is probably the last influence for our online shopping. Of course, we have favorite authors we buy no matter what is on the cover!! 🙂 Hope I’m not too far off point with my answer.

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