Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Opening line”

Riding The Waves Of Feedback…And Nausea.

Today’s Brew: Caramel Apple Something or other.

by Kristen

The first advance copies of Because The Night are in the hands of my street team and reviewers.  Many people have read this book before, but having it out there, almost for real, is nothing short of terrifying.  Every time someone says they’re reading it, my stomach twists up and I forget to breathe for a second.  It’s like that dream when you show up to high school without your clothes on.


This isn’t just any book I’ve asked for an opinion and a review on, it’s mine.  They are the characters I created and nurtured.  It’s the story I wrote.  In short, they’re judging my imagination. Kind of what makes me, well, me.

Next month, I’m the featured author in Opening Line. Unless they decide my book is an unpromotable piece of slop and rescind their offer.  They’re reading it now.  And live tweeting it. A literary magazine.  Nothing to see here, move along.

A street team member tweeted that he loaded his kindle with “Kristen Strassel and Stephen King.” IN THE SAME SENTENCE. He said that.  How can I compare to the God forsaken master?

Most of the feedback I’ve had so far has been very positive, and I love everyone who has enjoyed it.  The thing that’s the most surprising is how strongly people feel about the male lead characters.

Some are very strongly into Blade.

Blade (Christopher Brown)


And others enjoy Tristan.

Totally Tristan.


I always worry when someone expresses a strong preference in one of the other, because I know how the story turns out and I wonder how each camp will feel about the ending.  At first, I was upset if someone really liked one of the guys and disliked the other, but then I realized that the party lines were splitting kind of evenly. That’s cool!  You guys are good!  Now we have something to talk about.

There’s nothing that can prepare you for this.  It’s strange and scary and the coolest thing ever.

I should buy stock in antacid before release day.


Instincts: This Month In Opening Line

Today’s Brew:  Apple Pie coffee, I think? A la mode, maybe?  It was the most fall Kcup I could find.

by Kristen

The Opening Line

Instincts. We all have them, but everyone’s are different.  Much like the stories featured in this month’s Opening Line magazine devoted to the very topic.

My If You Love Someone is featured on page 17.  Twitter friend Kai Kiriyama is the very next story.

Go check it out!!



By Julie

Every author has fantasies about being on talk shows and red carpet events for their books. You can’t even tell me you don’t, I wouldn’t believe you. This, this right here, is one of those dreams for me. A 5 star review from people who know stuff about books, with a picture of my cover on it.


Along with a review by @OpeningLine Literary ‘Zine that I am printing and having framed and shall make sweet love to whenever I want.

Running Home by Julie Hutchings 

5 Stars

Review by Frances Button

Running Home is a book that has been missing from my shelf for many years. A new release from author Julie Hutchings, it is an urban fantasy novel full of addictive charm, engaging, self-aware characters, and a well-researched, powerhouse plot. In truth, the recent craze of urban fantasy novels has largely passed me by, as those I have read have left me dissatisfied. This is not the case with this story. It may not be my typical genre, but Running Home is definitely my kind of book.

It tells the story of Eliza, a small town girl in backwoods New Hampshire. On the plus size of the clothes rack and the wrong side of twenty-five, her life is simple, steady, yet ultimately dull. A pragmatic girl with an unhappy history, Eliza accepts her lot in life, mainly because she’s afraid of losing the one thing she still has: her best friend, Kat. As unremarkable as Eliza thinks herself, she manages to catch the undivided attention of the local bookshop owner, Nicholas French, and their whirlwind not-quite-romance takes our girl’s life down an entirely different path.
Pithy, tongue-in-cheek and adventurous, Hutchings has woven a world you can believe in: a new way of seeing the ordinary. Her villain, Chris Lynch, is delightfully repulsive and I wouldn’t kick her Nicholas French out of bed for all the money in the world. Her protagonist, too, is my kind of girl.
It is rare for me to really connect with female protagonists but, with Eliza, it was effortless. I loved her snippy, self-deprecating remarks about how well she was taking the revelation that vampires existed. I loved that she sucked in her stomach the way woman (myself included) are wont to do when they’re in a dress that’s a shade too tight. I loved that she had a backbone, and that romance didn’t reduce her to a quivering wreck of helplessness. I loved her.
The magical blend of character sensibility and unique mythology sucks you into the world of Running Home and doesn’t release you from its thrall until the last page. Although, at times, the reader will be screaming for Eliza to take just one. more. step. in her assessment of her relationship with the creature-comfort-loving Nicholas, the book carries you on a fast-paced, believable journey of self-discovery and fantastical fates. When the Sophie’s Choice of endings reared its ugly head, I was genuinely worried as to how it could possibly resolve itself in the way I wanted it to.
This is a book that is pure fun and definitely worth your time. This is a book you will care about. This is a book you want to read.
While some might compare Running Home to another, well-known urban vampire fantasy franchise, for me, the choice is clear. Never a fan of the book-that-shall-not-be-named, I was reserved when picking up Hutchings’ latest work. I will never regret that I did. I honestly can’t remember a time when I’ve enjoyed a vampire novel so much. In my opinion,Running Home far exceeds its genre’s peers in imagination, quality of writing, character development and every other category you might hope to name.
I stayed up all night to finish it.

Submissions Needed!

Today’s brew:  Ice water.  Humidity led me to make my house an air conditioned cave today.

by Kristen

The Opening Line

Opening Line is a new literary magazine launching launching July 1st.  They will be featuring new and upcoming authors in their publications as well as on their website.  Stories in the magazine will be themed, with the first one being ‘Beginnings.’  Submissions for the website can be any theme.  So you have no excuse not to send them some of your work and get involved!

Check out their site!  We can’t wait to see your names up in lights!

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