Magic Typewriter

First Lines Friday: 9/24/21

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
First Lines Fridays Banner

And here’s the line.

The perfect scumbag entered the bar around ten.

What a great hook! The words “perfect” and “scumbag” don’t usually go together like that. Perfect for what? I’m definitely curious enough to read on.

Scroll down for more.

Neon Arrow Pointing Down

The perfect scumbag entered the bar around ten. I straightened, my bottle of cream stout pressed to my lips, and focused my gift on him as he crossed the crowded room. He blended in well. The leather jacket, tight T-shirt and faded jeans were the standard fare for a Saturday evening at Kilpatrick’s. But the malice oozing from his pores–definitely not. It tasted foul, like burnt oil. Yeah, this guy was a class-A asshole. Just the sort I was looking for to be my next soul donor.

The paragraph gives us a little more detail but still leaves lots of intrigue. It establishes the setting and offers us a little taste of magic, but we still don’t know exactly what’s going on. We just know it’s interesting.

Has anyone read this opening before?

Neon Arrow Pointing Down

It’s from Wicked Misery by Tracey Martin.

Wicked Misery Cover

It’s all quasi-legal fun until somebody gets framed for murder.

Jessica Moore thrives on misery. Literally. Thanks to a goblin’s curse, she gets a magical high from humanity’s suffering. A shameful talent like that could bury a girl in guilt, so to atone, she uses her dark power to hunt murderers, rapists and other scumbags—until one of them frames her for his crimes.

In desperation, Jessica seeks refuge with the one person she trusts to not turn her in—a satyr named Lucen. Like every member of his race, Lucen uses his lusty magic to control Boston’s human population, and Jessica isn’t immune to his power. But the murder victims belonged to a rival race, and when they discover Lucen is harboring Jessica, dodging the cops becomes the least of her problems.

With only five days to find the real killer, Jessica faces a danger far more serious than the brewing magical war. The danger of succumbing to Lucen’s molten seduction.


Has anybody else read this one? What do you think of the first lines? Share your thoughts in the comments!

2 thoughts on “First Lines Friday: 9/24/21

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