Myths, Magic, and Monsters YA First Lines

First Line Friday is a series of blog articles posted on the first Friday of every month. The first line of a story, we’re told, must hook the reader. Implied is that the reader will not buy the book if the first line isn’t great. These entries are from Amazon, my personal library, or other online booksellers. Do these first lines from myths, magic, and monsters YA hook you? Do you want to read more?

The Cover of Lore by Alexandra Bracken features a Medusa head in all white with the tag line of Bind Your Fate to Mine and a first line from myths magic and monsters ya

He woke to the feeling of rough ground beneath him and the stench of mortal blood.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

“What do you want from us?” A tall, slender woman with doll-like features and beautifully curled, blonde hair demands in a shaking tone that betrays her state of absolute terror.

Blood (Redrowen) by D.C. Hart 

The Cover of Fallen Shroud by D. J. Dalton features a woman in black leather jacket and white t-shirt with blue swirls of magic around her.

It wasn’t uncommon for kids to have an imaginary friend. 

Fallen Shroud: Twisted Curse Book One by D. J. Dalton

This is a story of the Sun and the Earth.

Well, not quite.

A Song of Entanglement by Deena Helm 

The cover of Fire Falls into the depths by R. A. Cooper features a young woman standing atop a mountain with icy magic depending form her hands.

In three days, my life went from tracking down the Jags to being hunted and saving my friends from the lion-headed vultures.

Fire Falls Into the Depths: Book Two of The Brimstone Archives by R. A. Cooper


There are no affiliate links in this post. I don’t make a cent off of the books listed on this page. Usually these titles are pulled at random. They are here for your enjoyment. And to entice you to buy more books.

If you liked those first lines, I hope you’ll love these:

The giant bronze angel of death loomed over Miranda Clarke’s shoulder.

My Soul to Keep, Book One in the Fellowship Dystopia by Lynette M. Burrows


One word and Ian Hobart’s world teetered into not safe.

Fellowship, a companion novel to the Fellowship Dystopia by Lynette M. Burrows

Do You Want to Read More?

Did you enjoy these first lines celebrating YA myths, magic, and monsters? Check out previous First Line Fridays posts. You’ll put another enormous smile on my face if you tell me in the comments below— Which myths, magic, and monsters YA first lines spoke to you? Did you buy it?

Fools Risk Magic

Happy April Fools’ or, if you prefer the older name, Happy All Fools’ Day!  This is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Not because of the silly tricks and deceptions people pull on each other, but because it reminds me to take risks. I’m not talking about risking money or life and limb but about risking your heart and soul. The kind of risk that might mean pain and rejection. You might end up feeling foolish or stupid. But if you don’t take the risk you will miss the opportunity to make magic happen in your writing and in your life. Read on to learn how I learned to risk magic.


Years ago, after an acrimonious divorce, I was a single parent struggling to balance a job, parenting, and a life.  I decided that meant I had to protect myself from risks. But centering everything around my middle-grade son meant I was holding him too close and denying myself adult-level conversations. So I took my first risk and joined a brick and mortar dating service.

I chose a service where I could keep the risk low. All members of this service underwent background checks and no one got my last name or phone number unless I first approved it. First dates arranged via snail-mail notes sent through the service. And I had a lot of dates. No commitments, just dinner, and a movie. That was the way I wanted it. Low risk.

Then, I received a note illustrated by an artist. His invitation to meet also included a suggestion that we could tell stories together. I was intrigued.

I met him at a local Tex-Mex restaurant. His name was Bob. The awkward ‘tell-me-a-little-about-yourself’ exchange segued into a discussion of the creative process. I was amazed that he ‘got it.’  We talked until we were the last remaining customers and the restaurant was locking the doors.

I knew our next conversation would be equally fascinating. But days passed and it was a week and he didn’t call. I bemoaned this fact to my girlfriend who suggested that I ask him for a date. Oh, no. I couldn’t risk it. I wasn’t that progressive, nor that confident. But when she suggested I write him a thank you note for the lovely dinner, that was a risk I could take. And I did.

He called the day he got the note. He’d also enjoyed the conversation and had thought we’d had a lovely time until the evening ended. We had left the table and gone to the front desk, where he had paused to pay the bill. When he turned around, I was gone.  Vanished.

When he told me that I realized I could not remember saying goodnight. Yup. My risk-aversion had raised its fearful head and ‘we’ skedaddled out of there!

Fortunately, Bob risked a second chance. More dates followed. We risked showing each other our true hearts, our fears, and our dreams. And by taking that risk, the magic began to happen.


Having been foolish enough to think that I could live a life without risk, it seemed only natural to marry on April Fools’ day. And, of course, it was only natural to share our story with our friends.

Lynette M. Burrows science fiction author; Lynette M. Burrows action-suspense science fiction author.
Written by Lynette M. and Robert W. Burrows. Illustrated by R. W. Burrows. We partied after the honeymoon.

That was the beginning of our story. We’re still writing and illustrating. And it’s still magic. But we couldn’t live this story until we each took a few risks.

Writing is a lot like that. Your scribbles (or pixelated words) can fill volumes, but until you risk your heart and soul your story won’t come alive.


Be willing to be a fool.  Don’t let your fear of showing too much censor your words.  Unfetter your emotions, your memories, your pain, and your joy. Let it spill onto the page. Put your heart and soul on the line. Embrace the risk. It will change your life. And,  if you risk magic, if you’re lucky, you find . . . magic.


Share the magic!

What risks have you taken in your life?  In your writing?

P.S. Because this post was date related, the next “Going to Mars: Word by Word” post featuring Greg Bear’s _Forge of God_ will be presented Monday, April 8th.Oh, and  I won’t respond to your comments until April 2nd.  I’m gonna risk magic again. I’ve got an anniversary to celebrate!