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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Hemlock Lake’ by Carolyn J. Rose


Fists clenched, I watched the medical examiner’s van wallow along the rutted gravel driveway.

With a flicker of brake lights, it turned onto the patchwork asphalt road that circled Hemlock Lake as Sheriff Clement North laid a weathered hand on my shoulder.

I flinched and drove my fingernails into my palms.


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Click here and visit Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!


As this was an author invitation to read and review, a complimentary Kindle download of ‘Hemlock Lake’, was gifted to me, by its author, Carolyn J. Rose.

 This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.


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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Gautami,

      For my money, you definitely can’t beat a good murder / mystery, unless it is with an even better suspense / thriller.

      Carolyn J. Rose is an excellent ambassador for the genre and her writing never fails to keep me enthralled.

      Thanks for stopping by today and I hope that you have a good weekend.

  • I always check out the first line of a book when in a bookstore (not so much online). It’s one of the reasons I love Tracy’s reviews at Pen & Paper. It can sometimes tip the scale when wavering on a purchase.

    Here’s the opening line of the cozy I’m currently reading:

    “Rain slashed against stained-glass windows and thunder shook the rafters as Theodosia Browning hurried up the back staircase of Ravencrest Inn.” – Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs

    • Hi Kelly,

      I will also generally glance at the first few lines of a physical book, before purchasing it, however that short snippet wouldn’t make me decide one way or the other, that decision would purely be based upon either personal recommendation, or a strong, well worded synopsis.

      Similarly and rather perversely, even though I publish reviews, I am a firm believer that they are really rather subjective. A book which one person enjoys and recommends, may offer complete annoyance and irritation to another and of course, vice versa.

      At first glance, ‘Sweet Tea Revenge’ has a cover to die for, whilst at the same time being rather overdone and a little too fussy for my taste … if that makes sense! The first lines are very descriptive though, so I hope that bodes well for the remainder of the story and that you continue to enjoy the series.

      Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by

    • Hi Jade,

      The synopsis of this book does give quite a lot of the storyline away, however when I take part in ‘Book Beginnings’, I do try not to look past the lines I am quoting, so that I don’t get tempted into reading just that few lines more to find out what is happening. Needless to say, that strategy doesn’t always work and I often find myself becoming engrossed in the first couple of pages!!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate your visit.

    • Hi Rita,

      Thank you so much for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love meeting new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments always appreciated.

      Like yourself, I have very eclectic reading habits and will give just about any genre a try, with the possible exception of science fiction, which I just cannot read!

      Murder / mysteries and suspense / thrillers, are my all time favourite genres and I am a big fan of Carolyn J. Rose, as an excellent exponent in the murder / mystery stakes, so I am looking forward to reading ‘Hemlock Lake’.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  • Thanks for featuring Hemlock Lake. I wrote those first lines when I began work on the book. In recent years I adopted a new method and now write the first lines after I’ve finished the first draft. To get myself started, I leave a blank space followed by (something brilliant goes here). What I come up with isn’t always brilliant and is sometimes far from it, but the belief, however unfounded, that I’ll have a great opening, buoys me up and carries me along.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I think this meme was started to highlight just how vitally important the opening lines of a book can be, when making that ultimate decision of whether to buy, or bypass a book.

      Whilst I will generally always check out the opening few lines, my decision will always be a combination of these and a good strong synopsis, which says it all, yet gives nothing away!

      I am not too sure that I could leave just a blank space for the opening lines, to then go back to them at the end. I would have thought that those all important words are the cornerstone which holds the story together and I would probably struggle to gain some kind of foothold into the plot, without having them there.

      When I review a book, I always have pen and paper to hand, to note any salient points as I read and to highlight any lines worthy of having the spotlight turned on them. I always try to find a sentence which will become the ‘title’ of the review and I find it quite difficult to move on with the review, until that is finalised in my mind.

      Thanks for the interesting comment and for taking part in and opening up, the discussion.

      Have a great week.

      • Yvonne –
        I agree that first lines are critical – and many writers rewrite them many times, or maybe wish that they had. As I write, my mind is turning over the theme and meaning of the book, and when I come back to that beginning after I writing the ending, I often see how I can use the beginning to sow the seeds of what is to come on levels deeper than action alone. Sometimes I think I do, and sometimes – well, I wish I’d rewritten those lines a few more times.

        • Hi Carolyn,

          I can see where you are coming from and the possible advantages of adding those all important first lines, at the end, or whenever the inspiration strikes you.

          I love a beginning which has a double meaning almost, hinting of things to come, yet still relevant enough to give a strong impetus to the start of the story …

          I guess I kind of lke to ‘have my cake and eat it’!!

          I shall be in touch soon, re: your joint guest post.

Written by Yvonne