Sometimes beginnings sneak up on us. A casual run-in with a stranger on the street can turn into a lifelong friendship. A conversation can change the way we look at our world. A remark can change our perception of our parents and help us see things in a new light. A hobby can grow into a passion and spark a career change.

Often, though, a beginning is marked by an ending. A death heralds widowhood just as a marriage ends singlehood. I think this is why wedding stories are so popular—a wedding is a celebration of a romance that, even in our day and age more often than not, lasts a life time—or if we’re blessed “happily ever after.”

One of the chief characteristics of a romance novel is the happily ever after. If a story doesn’t have a HEA, it isn’t a romance. Romeo and Juliet might be about a romance, but its ending securely grounds it in the depressing tragedy corner.aomsx-198-header.jpg

Here on Main Street, we have had many beginnings. We began this blog. We wrote a serial story. That had such a nice ending that we created our box Christmas set. Because that was such a hoot, we put together our wedding anthology. Each beginning came with a happy ending. We have more stories planned. Our happy endings are multiplying…as I hope yours are.

2D Boxed set

Please share the beginnings of your stories. And if you’re an author, please share the beginning paragraph of your favorite story. Feel free to post the buy link and a link to your website.

Here’s one of mine. This is the opening paragraph from my novel, The Rhyme’s Library.

The Rhyme’s Library

the rhyme's library


brobdingnagian \ brob-ding-NAG-ee-uhn\  adjective:

of extraordinary size; gigantic; enormous.

                Blair brought her finger down on a random word, brobdingnagian. She wrote the word and definition on the chalkboard above the circulation desk and came up with her own sample sentence. Drake Isling is a brobdingnagian twit. Because she gave each of her library patrons a chocolate for every sample sentence they gave, she took one for herself, even though Brobdingnagian was technically tomorrow’s word. Today’s word was tenebrous: dark; gloomy. Tenebrous describes both the weather and my mood, she thought and then realized that she deserved a chocolate for her second sample sentence. My thighs will be brobdingnagian if I don’t stop eating these chocolates. Another sentence— another chocolate.

32 thoughts on “Beginnings

  1. Here’s the beginning of my Dream Series – the first paragraph of book #1, DREAM STUDENT:

    Sara rarely remembers her dreams. She has no idea that she’s had more or less this same dream two or three nights a week since the beginning of the semester. She’s sitting there in the lecture hall, and if she were ever able to remember this dream she’d recognize it as the same seat she actually sits in every Tuesday and Thursday at nine-thirty in the morning.


  2. Thanks so much for the offer to share our favorite beginnings. Here’s the opener for my paranormal romance novel, Missing in Action.

    The smile on Sara’s face felt strained, her skin stretched tight over her high cheekbones, as she watched Cindy raise yet another toast to her. The irony that they were out celebrating her engagement and she was the one being the party pooper wasn’t lost on her.

    A full excerpt can be found on my website here:


  3. Thank you so much Kristine…
    Here is the begining in my book, Beautiful One.

    Chapter One~
    The faint sounds of a guitar drifted through the walls of my bathroom as I savored the last of the hot water before it became lukewarm. Stepping away from the spray, I turned the shower knob and watched the droplets trickle down the drain. Inhaling a deep breath my mind focused on one thing. Aidan Mitchell.
    Hearing Mason’s band practicing meant he would be here. I was ninety-nine percent sure Aidan wouldn’t blow off their practice. He knew how serious my brother was about the band, but he also had been avoiding me for days.

    To read the complete excerpt please visit my website @
    You may also download the first three chapters free @


  4. This is fun! I wish there were more chances to slip “brobdingnagian” into the daily conversation. LOL Thanks for letting us share. 🙂

    Here’s the opening to I DO. . . OR DIE, my romantic comedy/mystery:

    You just don’t expect to see gunfire at a wedding. I know, because I’ve been in a lot of weddings, despite my well-known aversion to them. “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is not just a cautionary adage, it’s my personal credo. Having a gigolo for a father might have contributed something to that philosophy. Who really knows for sure?

    Amazon link:

    My website:


  5. Thank you for the offer to share the beginning of my debut historical romance, If My Heart Could See You, set in twelfth century England. It’s hit Amazon’s top 20 best seller list and is available as a paperback and all eBook platforms!

    Young knight MacLaren stood with steady feet upon the narrow parapet and looked down into the inner bailey, surveying the destruction and devastation below. Ian, the guardsman ever by the youth’s side, had the same grim expression as his charge.




  6. Many thanks for this kind opportunity!

    Beginning of The Aphrodite Touch by Romy Gemmell (1st novella in the Aphrodite and Adonis series set on Cyprus) – still on special offer!

    “They’re late.” Aphrodite flounced down in the wicker chair and propped her sandaled feet on the coffee table between them. A petal dropped from the sweetly fragranced lisianthus flowers making a pretty centrepiece, their delicate white petals tinged with pink.
    Adonis smiled, and shook his head. “We don’t even know who they are, my love.”


    Romy Gemmell:


  7. OK, here’s the opening of my WIP, Believe in Me:

    Tess felt the man approach before she saw him. The afternoon sunshine had been warm on her shoulders, glinting off the wet paint on the window shutter as she smoothed her paintbrush over the slats. She’d been too absorbed in her work to notice footfalls behind her, but the sudden cool against her back made her glance up. Glimpsing the shadow of a figure darkening the windowpane, she spun around.


  8. Here is the beginning of my zombie book, Love in the Time of Zombies, (fingers crossed) due out in September.

    I could start by quoting the old saying about good intentions and the road to hell. But, what is done is done and the human race doesn’t get a do-over. We all have to live with the consequences of our actions. Or in this case, the actions of our government.

    I could start by saying I miss my husband, but that would be as big a lie as the one we were told would save countless millions and instead, killed them—sort of. I’m sure the president meant well. I’m sure in his grief over his son’s death by influenza it seemed like a great plan to add a new flu vaccine to our food and water supplies. There were the expected riots. The anti-vaccination people versus the government. The government won. What a shock.

    It took an executive order, but President Thomas got his wish. I’m sure a scientist somewhere knew the risks of mutation and didn’t speak up. Or maybe, they didn’t get the chance. Events unfolded pretty damned quick once the spraying was completed.

    Since I’m still writing, here is my website:


  9. From my NA contemporary romance- A Guy and A Girl –
    “Chelsea.” Kendall nudged her friend in the ribs. “Is that one of your dad’s guys?”
    “Who? Him? No way. He’s just a hockey wannabe. Ooh. Check the two getting out of the cab.” Chelsea giggled. “I love the day before training camp starts. It’s guy heaven.”

    Buy link –

    For Free Read – Blog –
    WattPad –


  10. Fun! Jill, you’ve got a reader right here as soon as you finish that thing. 😀

    Here’s my opening from Seven Days of Friday:

    WHEN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL choked, eleven-year-old Vivi Pappas began planning her imminent funeral. A big Greek affair, with all the requisite wailing and coffin-hugging.

    You can find the rest of the sample (and the book!) here:


  11. Thanks for the opportunity! This is the opening paragraph for my novella, Werewolves in the Kitchen, a paranormal romance.

    Ellie dropped down onto a large rock and wiped her brown hair back. Sweat dripped down her arms. She looked up through the trees—it was nearly three. Of course, weeks ago she’d never have been able to tell the time by the sun. She’d been a total city girl. Surveying her work, she drank from her nearly empty gallon of water. A few feet away was the growing pile of large flat stones she’d hauled from the creek. One of the SpiralStone retreat center staffers, Kerri, was building a flagstone area to beautify the gardens.

    You can read blurbs and excerpts of all my books at



  12. Here is the first line and second paragraph of House of Pleasure, the first book in the There Was a House saga:

    “Never trust a whore. They’ll trick you, sweet talk you, and make you feel like a king—only to rob you blind.”
    Phoenix stiffened, but kept her face carefully composed. Gary Kaufman, a well known defense attorney, was offering his sage advice to the much younger man walking next to him. The young one looked regretfully similar to Gary—hooked nose, acne scars, and all. Obviously it was his son. What a wonderful way to bond, taking your son to a whorehouse, thought Phoenix sarcastically. But of course, like father, like son, right?

    You will find Amazon, B&N, I-Tunes and kobo buy links on my website:

    Or, just for Amazon:


  13. Thanks for the opportunity to share, This is the opening to my short story, A Long Way Home. My work is more suspense than romance, but it has a romantic component.

    Chapter One
    I stared at the gentleman seated opposite me. Dark hair with wisps of gray at the temples. Aquiline nose. Narrow face. Expensive, tasteful suit, done up in a conservative, gray fabric. He wanted to know why I’d come. “My husband, Jeffery,” I said, “died not quite a month ago. He was stabbed to death. He’d been walking home from our store after closing.”
    Dr. Ivan Gregory placed his hands on his desk and nodded. “A violent death is always upsetting. But you say you’re not sleeping. You’re not eating. You need to understand those are normal reactions after what you’ve experienced. It will take you time to recover from this kind of shock. Grief has its stages.”
    “But Jeff was murdered. Someone deliberately robbed him of life. Can you explain to me how I’m to get over something like that?”


  14. Love your beginning. Bobdingnagian thighs, indeed! Thanks for the opportunity to post here.

    Here’s the beginning of A Heat Of The Moment Thing:
    Feathers of anxiety fluttered in my gut as I took in the busy swimming lanes. Why did I keep putting myself through this? “Liz, I don’t think–”

    “No thinking allowed. Forty laps, then coffee. Right?” Her smile sweetened her words but she had that don’t-muck-with-me look in her eyes and, best friend or not, she wasn’t letting me off the hook.
    Sample and Buy option available on Amazon:

    or from the usual digital outlets. 🙂


  15. Here is the beginning of Caught in Cross Seas. my contemporary romance/mystery:

    Harlie Cates scanned the beach from the cliff’s edge, squinting into the midday sun for a glimpse of a well-worn cowboy hat and a long-legged stride. Her fingernails pressed crescents into her palms. “Be here you ol’ coot,” she said. “Please, please, please, be here.” She inhaled, trying to calm her rising alarm; the air was salty and crisp with a brief whiff of cigarette smoke. She released the held breath, only to catch it again when a shadow and a cry overhead startled her. She ducked, grabbing her Mariners cap in time to avoid a low-flying seagull. “Stupid thing,” she said with irritation aimed more at the cop who’d forced her on this search than the bird. Or was Buck the target of her annoyance? If he’d been where expected today, this worry knot wouldn’t have lodged in her stomach like an indigestible potluck casserole.

    Sharleen Scott


  16. Loved your post, Kristi. Here’s the first paragraph from my romantic comedy ROMEO and JUDY ANNE.

    By the time most people reach the eve of their thirtieth birthday, they’ve developed a philosophy of life, shaped by the experience of living. Judy Anne Palmer was no exception. She had a philosophy shaped by life’s hard lessons and honed by the last six years to a stark two-word declaration. Life sucks.

    Thanks for your generosity!


  17. I missed my chance as it’s now 12:44 a.m. CDT Thursday morning. But I appreciate you doing this, and I’ve decided to follow your blog in the hopes that I won’t miss it next time.

    Thank you for your generosity.

    Barb Caffrey, author
    AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (a YA comic urban fantasy romance).


  18. Posting by permission (despite my lateness)…here’s the first few lines of my debut novel, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE.

    “What fools these mortals be,” Jon said with a sigh. He’d come to the Human Realm mainly because of boredom, but look! Now, he was bored by the Humans, too.

    Just listen to ‘em. “No, dear, I want him for my party,” the woman said.

    “No, darling, I need him for _my_ party,” said the man.

    Really, it was enough to make him gag. And the “uniform” they had him wear wasn’t exactly to his taste either. He looked down at the red and purple unitard, kicked at the blue booties (with brass bells at the ends; fortunately he had enough magic left to silence those, or he’d have a migraine), and took off the yellow hat (with the red, purple, and blue feathers) and threw it across the room.

    The squabbling couple never even noticed.

    * * * * *

    That’s my unusual opening. (Note that Sarah, my Elfy hero’s love interest, is about to come into the picture right after this.) Read some sample chapters here:

    Here’s a link to AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE at Amazon:
    And here’s a link to AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE at Barnes and Noble:

    And, finally, here’s a link to my website:

    Thank you so much!


  19. Kristy, you are so right. Beginning sneak up on us the way ending seem to pumble us into submission. Here’s hoping all my beginnings are strong and inventive and compelling.


  20. Getting shot was a bitch.
    Getting stabbed was worse.
    Chance Binder winced as he gently rubbed his soapy hand over his healing knife wounds, one between his ribs that had just missed his lung, the other on his forearm that was more of a deep slashing wound as opposed to a stab. The healing gunshot, a thru and thru, just beneath his clavicle, didn’t hurt nearly as much as his knife wound. The raw puckering from the bullet hole was still a sickening shade of red and flesh-tone that he was vain enough to wish didn’t mar what had been a relatively scar free torso that women found attractive.
    Chance groaned as he let the hot needle-like spray of water rush over his face and torso before trailing down the rest of him, washing away the soap. If only he could wash away images of Merrideth, naked in the shower with him, so easily. These last injuries had pushed Merrideth over the edge. Not that he deserved her in his life anyway. A trouble-shooter didn’t date a corporate attorney who pulled down six figures in the first quarter of the year.


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