While on a quick unexpected trip yesterday, I took the time to read a section in the book, entitled, "The Successful Novelist," by David Morrell. On page 105, he says, "I recommend that beginning novelists go to a large book store once a month, the kind that has a huge section of novels marked 'new releases.' Read the first sentence/paragraph/page of every one. Don't pay attention to the type of novel it is. Mystery, romance, thriller, mainstream. Makes no difference. What you're trying to identify is writing that, because of tone or incident or whatever, grabs your attention. You'll be amazed at how many first pages don't manage the job. But we're not interested in those. What we care about are the ones that do grab our attention. Without imitating, use them as examples. Raise your standards."
As soon as I could, I headed to the nearest book store! Wow! Enlightenment!