Donna Everhart

First Sentence Friday!

We are officially at the halfway point in chapters for THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE!  Since we are smack dab in the dead heat of summer, this next first sentence I’m sharing seems rather apropos.

When I was researching pictures to share with Kensington’s Art Department, I found one I felt captured a scene in the book perfectly.  Instead of using my book cover as I have been throughout these posts, I’m sharing this picture which was originally on my Pinterest page.  This is a great representation of a scene in the book.


After we got home, Mama sent me and AJ to our rooms to put on our swimsuits.


Swimming Hole
Photo Credit Julia Trotti

***I’m using #FirstSentenceFridays on Twitter and tagging @Kensington Publishing Corporation.  Follow along and tweet out/share if you’d like!***

14 thoughts on “First Sentence Friday!”

    1. Thx John (manuscript) Frain! Actually, I was hoping more for a swimming hole effect. It looks like a river to you? Either way, I don’t know. I had to use Google Images to find the source – which I hope is Julia Trotti – otherwise, photo cred is wrong!

      1. Well, kinda like how everyone reads your story a little differently based on what they bring to it. My history if float trips and swinging from a long branch into a river, tire swing or not. So for me, it has the feel of a river with a couple of tree-lined banks. But someone who used to ride their bike out to the old quarry and jump in the swimming hole … well, they’re gonna see that picture and read your story with a different eye than me. I’d go so far as to say if I read your book in November and read it again in two years, I might be reading a different story because I’ll be in a different place. But that’s bordering on too philosophical for a Friday afternoon when there’s a Blue Moon in the fridge trying to reach out to my fingertips.

      2. Whoa. I was about to look for the leather couch. 🙂
        Actually, you’re right though – b/c to me, it looks a lot like a cove in a lake. I used to do a lot of waterskiing and this is what the coves and small inlets of a lake looked like where we’d drop anchor for a while and swim. I miss those days!
        And as to that beer? I’m headed to the porch with one at this very moment. Enjoy yours!

  1. I agree with John: great picture, Donna! And it matches the super enticing sentence perfectly. ❤ <3 <3

    1. Thank you, Lilac! I thought it might be nice to have a different one for a change, but aside from this…there’s only one other one that’s not the cover pic. Can’t recall which Chapter it is…I have all but the last 4 plugged in. Time is flying! <3 <3 <3

  2. “… mama sent me and AJ…” and not “AJ and me,” which would be more polite. This simple turn of phrase tells us something about your MC. Once again, voice in a line. Great stuff, Donna. 🙂

    1. Wow, Colin! I love how you take the time to parse words and really study them. The “voice” is one of the top comments I get about the book. From agent to editor to those who’ve read an ARC. I’m thinking you’ve missed your calling as an editor. 🙂

  3. Nigh on to practically perfect. The girl could even pass for the age I see Dixie to be but it is missing something. It is missing a rope swing. I don’t think I have ever seen a southern swimming hole that didn’t have a rope swing. The kind with the ladder made of two by fours nailed to a tree.

    The introduction of AJ fits well at this time. Right after the introduction of wicked Uncle Ray.

    I do have another question. Are you test driving a pseudonym for Black Water Season or is it something I shouldn’t bring up?

    1. Very astute, there Craig! There is a rope swing in the story – although not in this pic. And Dixie has an incident with it, which prompts Uncle Ray to…oops. Spoiler. Can’t go there. AJ is a big presence in the book, so y’all haven’t heard of him yet b/c it just so happens this is the first first sentence he’s shown up in. (if that makes any sense)

      I’ve thought of doing that with BLACK WATER but, for now, my agent says to focus on the Southern Fiction. I do love that book, and the characters in it though. I’ve thought of a change I’d make to one part which might make it more appealing in a more traditional suspense way. That change is related to direct feedback from the editor who passed – and then picked up DIXIE.

  4. Wow, things have been a little hectic this summer and I haven’t been around my online haunts lately, I cannot believe how many sentences I’ve missed!

    I just love these so much. It makes me want to reexamine every first sentence in my WIP. These read like a micro novel. You can even feel the tension building.

    1. I’ll speak for the collective over at the The Reef, and say we’ve missed you! At least I know I have. I hope all the summer busy stuff has been good!

      Thank you ever so much for the compliment! I’m wrangling my first sentence on a brand new project. It’s changed ten times already. Ha! I think what I’ve learned about that is…I don’t really have enough of my story nailed down yet.

  5. By the time we finally get to read Dixie’s story, it’ll be as refreshing as a dip in a shady swimming hole. Or river. Or crick, which is the thing around these parts. It’s all about cricks.

    I’ve got my mom and a girlfriend waiting for Dixie along with me, and know another friend I’ll be buying a copy for.

    1. Hee – I’ve heard that word used ’round here too! And ruff, for roof. And “warsh,” for wash.

      Thank you so much, Diane! I hope all of you will care about Dixie as much as I do. I don’t have a lot of reviews on Goodreads yet, but one recently posted (5 stars!) from a young lady – think she’s 19, in CA, gave me the shivers.

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