The First and Last Line

The first and last line of your novel is really the first impression and, hopefully, the lasting impression. The first line should make you say—and then what happened? And the last line should propel you to the author’s blog in search of his/her next novel.

Here are the first and last lines of a few of my novels.

It happened in Biology. Troy, the kid who liked to chew paper, blinked at me through his Stephen Hawking-esque glasses and said he would be honored to escort me to the dance.

Finally, the ink dried and the words appeared:

Rainbows, wildflowers, silent stars and musical winds

Let peace settle your soul for the magic begins.

From Witch Ways BUY NOW

Witch Ways copy (1)

On the sort of spring evening that lasts forever, when the sun’s fading into blackness stretches for hours, Declan tried to convince himself that time really could be harnessed, and the simple pleasure he found walking beside Lizbet and listening to her laugh would last as long as they both lived.

By the time he arrived at his grandfather’s house in the University District, he had practically convinced himself that it had all been a bad dream.

But his shredded clothes told a different story.

From Melange BUY NOW

thumbnail_mélange copy

New York City’s night noises seeped through the wall chinks and window: the jingle of horse harnesses, the stomping of hooves, the mournful howl of a dog, but one noise, a noise that didn’t belong, jarred Mercy awake.

 “Mistletoe,” he said, just before he made proper use of it.

From Stealing Mercy BUY NOW


The Chinook wind stirred the fallen leaves and tossed them around the deserted street.

In her life-time she would never see Sid or Madeleine again, but she saw them every hour of every day in her children’s eyes.

From A Ghost of a Second Chance BUY NOW

rose arbors ghost copy

Writer friends, please leave your last and first lines of your master pieces in the comments. Be sure to give us your buy link. Thanks and happy writing!


About Kristy Tate

USA Today bestselling author Kristy Tate has come a long way from small-town Washington. Her avid curiosity and love of reading have carried her to thirty plus countries. (She loves to travel to the places she reads and writes about.) She's the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling and award-winning Beyond Series and the Kindle Scout winning Witch Ways series. She writes mysteries with romance, humorous romance, light-hearted young adult romance, and urban fantasy. When she's not reading, writing, or traveling, she can be found playing games with her family, hiking with her dogs, or watching movies while eating brownies. She is also a popular public speaker and presents writing workshops for schools, libraries, and fundraisers. All proceeds donated to charity. References available upon request.
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41 Responses to The First and Last Line

  1. You have some fascinating firsts and lasts, Kristy!

    With a little leeway, here’s mine from my romantic comedy, High Tea & Flip-Flops:

    There’s no frigging way I’ve misplaced three of my newest thongs.

    He slips the ring on my finger and takes me in his arms. We totally miss seeing the sun sink below the horizon.

    High Tea & Flip-Flops

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Sharon says:

    ooh, I like the lines from Melange.

    Here’s mine, from my new release Burning books.

    The exterior of the bookshop didn’t look promising, not that Molly McKinley has expected much from the Beemer Lane address in Queen Anne.

    With one last cold, calculating look at Molly’s empty chair, Magnus went to help Lynda with the groceries.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kristy Tate says:

    Jeff Lyons: First: Even without eyes she had a clear sense of the place.
    She could “hear the color,” “see the sound,” “feel the
    imbalance,” lyrical metaphors for trusting, not people,
    but the environment.
    Last: As the lights grew closer and brighter, they slowly washed out Mae’s field of vision, but not before she felt the gentle flutter of white ash on her cheeks, like the first dusting of an early snow.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kristy Tate says:

    Oh, these look great. Thanks for dropping by!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. stephaniequeen says:

    Kristy, I love your first/last lines from Witch Ways–and all the lines in between, too! Great fun book!
    Here’s my First and Last from The Beachcombers:
    First lines:
    If she weren’t such a bad-ass, Shana might have acknowledged her bone-aching exhaustion. As it was, she conceded the irritability that had settled in. She scowled at the perky flight attendant who scurried by. Okay, maybe the irritability had escalated to bitchiness. But hell, so far her first undercover assignment with the Met held about as much promise as her first attempt to capture a rabid kangaroo.
    Last lines:
    Emotions swirled through her, heady and new and confusing.
    “A business partnership or a love affair?” Cap asked.
    “Million dollar question,” Dane said.
    “We’ll let you know when we know,” Shana said.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kristy Tate says:

    Rhondi Salsitz I stand here on a bridge on a world where I was never born, remembering my name is Rivergrace, and holding onto myself as hard as I can. This bridge does not span across water; it arches between worlds. At my heels follows my warrior and the love of my life, Sevryn Dardanon, because I whispered to him “Follow” and he did.

    Tolby lived to see the tree in its youth, reaching outward with green and leafy eagerness, to be a canopy over the wedding vows of Dayne and Nutmeg, followed by his son Keldan and his horse-trading bridge who were only the first of many to be married under its arching branches, and not the only of Kerith’s many races to enjoy its blessing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Carol says:

    Great first and last lines, enough for a click through. I want to read more!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Rachel John says:

    Fun idea!

    First line of Bethany’s New Reality: The morning crew trickled out of their after-the-show meeting and Jeffy’s eyes lit up when he spotted me.

    Last line: Rolling my eyes, I turned the water back on to finish the dishes and a hand slapped my bum. I rest my case.


  9. talklady says:

    Wow – what an enticing way to share, Kristy.

    First line: Sparty darted from the corner of the barn, his Dalmatian dots blurring like flurrying snow.
    Hashes & Bashes buyline:
    Last line: It’s made with your future daughter-in-law’s prize-winning recipe.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. First lines – Bases were loaded, and who should be up to bat but the small team’s best hitter, Gregory Bronson. Alison Levin, the always-designated pitcher, looked to her left at first base and then to the right at third base, confirming once again that no one was daring to move.

    Last lines – He chuckled. Then he placed a kiss on the little girl’s forehead before moving up to Ali’s lips. He pressed gently on them with his own. Once he moved back slightly, he softly said, “That’s okay. I’d much rather have two to watch out for than none at all.”

    This is for Long Lost Neighbors –

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Next Door Neighbors –

    First lines – Errrrr!
    Jill’s old beater car jerked to a sudden halt as soon as she entered her driveway.

    Last lines – Jill smiled, “We can just add that to the list of things we do for each other.”
    Taking advantage of their close proximity, Brian brushed his lips with Jill’s, relishing the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. First line – “Who do ya think they are?” eight-year-old Deborah Harrington asked her younger sister, as she stared across the street, watching an unfamiliar family pull up the driveway.

    Last line – With those words said, Nicholas leaned his head down and began to zealously kiss Deborah on the lips, readily seeking to take her all in again.

    Growing Up Neighbors –

    Liked by 2 people

  13. jackiemaurer says:

    Love your first and last lines, Kristy! You got me hooked on Witch Ways. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Loved your first and last line from Witch Ways, Kristy

    One of my books is called Love Like this

    First Line:
    When the sound of her snoring filled the room, Ethan thought it safe to get out of the bed.

    Last Line: “And I love you, Ethan.”

    Check it out on Amazon at

    Thanks for this opportunity

    Liked by 2 people

  15. One final time, Dorothy Ryan prepared to play the game. The game from her teenage years, dreaming of a life in musical theatre.

    Here, with this man and his dog, she was home.

    From The Stationmaster’s Cottage.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. gretaboris says:

    Sometimes it’s best to leave a door closed.

    And when I do, my sister will drink the wine I’ve made in the dark.

    From A Margin of Lust, Book I in the 7 Deadly Sins Series. Release date June 13th!


  17. For Freshman Fourteen, my first line is: “Come on! Let’s get out of here!” an eighth grader yelled over the ruckus that was overtaking the hallway. My last line is: “And I’m looking forward to everything that’s still to come.”

    For Sweet Fifteen, my first lines are: “I’m ready. At least I think I am.” My last line is: “It’s really pretty sweet to be fifteen.”

    Both books can be found at the following links:
    Freshman Fourteen at
    Sweet Fifteen at

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Regina says:

    Oh, this is fascinating!
    From THE PLEASURE DEVICE (Harwell Heirs Book 1), my historical erotic romance set in England of 1879:
    First line:
    “Observe, gentlemen, how our subject is in the flaccid, or un-aroused state.”

    Last line:
    “Only when you’re with someone you love.”

    All buy links on my website:

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kristy Tate says:

    These all sound so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Nice, Kristy!
    I like the lines from Melange!

    Thanks for the opportunity! Here are my first lines/ last lines from A Long Trail Rolling, Book One of The Long Trails series, my historical romantic thriller sagas, set in Utah, California and New Zealand in the 1860’s:

    First line:
    She smelled blood. Its metallic tang assailed her senses, before it was overshadowed by the stench of death

    Last line:
    Aleksandra turned and hugged Xavier close. ‘I’m sure he did. We’ll just have to figure out what that was,’ she said as she pulled the buckskins from his hand, dropped them on the ground and pulled him down beside her. ‘It may take us quite some time.’

    Here’s the buy link:
    And it’s on special for $ 0.99 right now, until the release of Book 3!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. First and last of ‘Echo Of Fear’, under my pen name, Tara Meyers. (Romantic thriller) (FREE through today)

    Chris Echo lifted her face to the sun, allowing the warm, tropical breeze to engulf her.

    It’s okay to cry, she thought with relief. It made her feel … alive.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. susanhatler says:

    What fun! Thx for the invite, Kristy. 🙂

    Here’s the first line of my book, The Wedding Charm:

    As my best friend’s maid of honor, I should be thrilled she was about to tie the knot with the love of her life, but my joy had been tainted since they’d announced the best man would be my childhood nemesis, Ben Atkins.

    Last lind of The Wedding Charm:

    “It’s a deal.” Ben laughed and then he kissed me, a kiss that promised that this was just the beginning, and that forever would follow.

    The Wedding Charm:

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Beautiful writing, Kristy.

    Here’s mine for WAITING FOR A FILLY GIRL

    The Realm of Equirion,
    Home To a Race of Winged Horse Shapeshifters
    November 2015, Earth Calendar Time

    “You will regret this punishment. I am innocent.” Keina tilted her chin in defiance, even as she obediently walked toward the King’s travel portal, a gateway to several dimensions.
    “Let us hope when you return, Keina, love will find you. It is past time you were happily mated.” The King’s sonorous, all-knowing voice rang through the castle chamber.


    Their gazes merged in that magical way between a man and his woman. For long moments, love’s intimacy cocooned them.
    As he caressed her back, Drev spoke the words that caused each beat of his heart. “Princess Keina Svonj, I want you to rule the sky in my heart forever.”

    Blurb, Excerpt, Buy Link:

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Great lines, Kristi. They all make me want to read!
    Here are my first and last lines from Love Affair to Remember, under my Jennifer Skully name.

    He was gorgeous. As perfect as the day they’d first met, as the day she’d last seen him. As gorgeous as he was that night.

    There had never really been any other choice. Their love affair was written in the stars. A love affair to remember.

    Excerpt and Buy Links:

    Liked by 1 person

  25. P. J. MacLayne says:

    First lines can be hard! Here’s one from my new Release, The Baron’s Cufflink, the 3rd book in the Oak Grove Mysteries.

    A burst of raucous laughter from the cluster of men near the bar reminded me once again this wasn’t our usual haunt, the Pink Flamingo.

    And here’s the last. Although i hesitate to post it, because it’s a spoiler!

    “We will,” Eli said, without taking his eyes off me, “as soon as I buy a house.”
    It’s available at major ebook retailers, but here’s one link.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Jina Bacarr says:

    My lines are from TITANIC RHAPSODY — a romance on the ship of dreams!

    Unlike the world we live in today, several passengers aboard the Titanic traveled under aliases — so why not a romance about a poor Irish girl who through fate escapes the ship as a countess?

    My first line from TITANIC RHAPSODY:
    “I am a fraud, my dear granddaughter. I am not the Countess of Marbury.”

    My last line:
    She was now officially known as Lady Blackthorn, but to her many fans, Katie would always be the countess.

    TITANIC RHAPSODY is available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimiited:

    And here’s my Titanic Rhapsody video:

    Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.


  27. E. Ayers says:

    This is fun, Kristy. Here’s three.

    This is from A RANCHER’S WOMAN (historical)

    First Lines:
    “We’re here.” Frank Coleman called from his buckboard.
    Malene Goddard kept the quilt tucked tight to her body and watched as her sister, Adie Reiner, pulled herself to the edge of the open wagon and looked around.
    “What do you see?” Malene asked.
    “Nothing. A wooden fence and more nothingness. Frank is opening a gate.”
    Malene protectively slipped her hands over her lower abdomen where the child within her grew. As Adie snuggled back between the quilts that failed to keep them warm, Malene groaned and her teeth chattered. “I will never travel in the winter again. Never.”
    Last Line:
    Kissing leads to much more, and Malene loved to be kissed.

    This is from A SNOWY CHRISTMAS IN WYOMING (contemporary)

    First Lines:
    Caroline Coleman hadn’t seen the place look this good since she was a teen. The flowerbeds were mulched and tidy. There was a new coat of green paint on the shutters and front door. Garlands of fresh pine wrapped the porch rails that encircled the log house, and a pretty, matching, pine wreath hung on the front door.
    She knocked once and opened the door. “Grandmamma. It’s me! I’m home.”
    “Thank goodness, you’re here,” a voice from a distant room called back. “I was worried about you coming in with this snowstorm on its way.”
    Last Line:
    “I’ve got good help. Besides, this is one birthing I’m not going to miss.”

    This is from the first book in WEDDING VOWS *WITH THIS RING* (small town contemporary)

    First Lines:
    DeeDee Drayden had nothing but ideas in her head. Glorious, grand ideas for her own bridal business. She looked around the starkly furnished studio apartment that she had rented for the last few years in the Big Apple and decided there was nothing left except for a few memories.
    Last Line:
    She made life worth living.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. merrybond22 says:

    Wow, these look amazing!
    Here are the first and last lines of Magic in the Storm, my Regency-set paranormal romance (which is on SALE right now for .99 in anticipation of the next book in the series coming out at the end of May).
    First Line: The wind whipped through Tatiana’s hair, prying it free from her forehead where it had been plastered with sweat. Heat swirled around them threatening to burst into flames. Vallentyn jumped as a bolt of lightning shot into the ground just feet from where he stood coddling that infant in his arms.
    Last Line: “We are one in our love,” Morgan said with finality.

    Here’s the Amazon link:

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Lyz Kelley says:

    There are so many awesome books I want to read. I wish the paranormal authors could figure out how to stop time! Wouldn’t that be fun? We could all get in a few more hours to visit different worlds.

    Here’s the first/last lines of BLINDED, book 1, of my Elkridge Series.
    First Line: “Oh, God, Joey…bro. What have I done?”
    Last Line: “Ummm, Joey? You mentioned kids. Do you think we can start practicing soon? Because we need to practice–a lot.”

    Amazon Link (Free with Kindle Unlimited):

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Love your lines and covers. Here are my first and last lines from sMOLDER, Clan of Dragons, Book #3 released March 13th.
    Fiona splashed cool, clear water over her head, and raised her face to the sun.
    All the blessings of the Celtic festival, and its expectation for a fruitful future, gave a dragon and his mate hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Great! Thank you for the opportunity. There’s so many great first and last lines, I almost didn’t post.
    First and Last Line from Profit: Utopia the Conclusion (Book V The Beckett Series)
    It was good to be away from work and all the drama.

    “I believe it’s time for the groom to claim his bride for the first dance.”

    All my buy links can be found here:

    Liked by 2 people

  32. HI again,
    Thanks again for the opportunity! Here are my first lines/ last lines from The Hills of Gold Unchanging–Book 2, and A Sea of Green Unfolding–Book 3 of The Long Trails series, my historical romantic thriller sagas, set in Utah, California and New Zealand in the 1860’s:
    From:The Hills of Gold Unchanging:

    First line:
    June 1860, Echo Canyon, Wasatch Mountains, Utah Territory

    His blade glinted in the sunlight as he lunged toward her, but she ducked and spun, her own sword flashing in figure eights while she retreated, and his strike met with only air. He recovered and set himself up for the onslaught he knew would come, coughing as the dust kicked up by their boots thickened.

    Last line:
    "Now, about this staying in bed all day, shall we start with breakfast in bed? I'm sure it can be arranged."
    She turned to check Melissandra was asleep, then gave her husband a glance designed to melt steel.
    His jaw dropped and the shirt hit the floor with a whisper of linen.
    "Come here," she said, reaching out a slender hand to him.
    The day looked set to disappear into oblivion.

    Here's the buy link!

    From Book 3: A Sea of Green Unfolding:

    A Sea of Green Unfolding
    First line:
    March 1863 Rancho de las Pulgas, San Mateo County, California

    Aleksandra Argüello’s brother-in-law peeked out through the slits between his lashes, his bloodshot eyes staring at her in horror, scrambled to his feet and bolted for the kitchen door, but she beat him to it.
    “I repeat, Santos, what did you mean when you said Melissandra was born out of wedlock?” she said, past gritted teeth, as she stood against the plank of solid oak, barring his way.
    “No se, no se, I don’t know,” he stammered, and began to spin toward the window, then froze at her blade across his throat.

    Last line:
    He drew her against him, stroking her hair, her face, her body. So many challenges, and she was still here beside him. She wouldn’t leave him. Together they would build a family, a life, despite what came before.
    She lifted her lips to his for a long kiss, and he spread his hand over hers.
    “Forever. I finally believe it now, Querida.”
    “Me too,” she breathed, and held her face up for another kiss, and another.
    It's on PREORDRE NOW!
    Here’s the buy link:
    Thanks again!
    Lizzi Tremayne

    Liked by 2 people

  33. ginaarditoauthor says:

    I love your lines! My two favorites from my books are from ETERNALLY YOURS:
    First: Jodie Devlin sucked at life, so she refused to screw up her death.
    Last: Nothingness resumed its reign in the Chasm.

    From KISMET’S REVENGE (written as Katherine Brandon)
    First: Marisa Alvarez would remember this day for the rest of her life.
    Last: Marisa Alvarez would remember this day for the rest of her life. (Nice, right?)

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Mona Risk says:

    Great post. I’ll play:
    From Mother’s Day Babies:
    First Lines: “I CAN’T GO TO PARIS with that gorgeous man.” Barbara Ramsay stared at the full length mirror in her bedroom and tapped at her stomach flap with a disgusted pout. “Look at my apron belly.”
    Last Lines: “Bless their little hearts. Thanks to them the ceremony didn’t last five minutes. Now I can give you a real kiss, Mrs. Roland.” Their lips joined for a long passionate kiss and their hearts sang together of love.


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