Friday, November 30, 2012

(16) Paranormal Romance: The Treasure of a Dragon’s Heart

TITLE: The Treasure of a Dragon’s Heart
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

A shapeshifting dragon must choose between love and survival when she falls for the modern-day knight who catches her stealing the jewels she needs to defend herself from her murderous father.

Jewelry trickled through Elaina Drake’s fingers, scattering reflections across the peeling linoleum of her bathroom floor. Each piece hinted at how it had ended up in her possession—a broken clasp on a gold chain, earrings missing their backs, an eager-to-snag bent prong on a ring. Blue flashed when a loose sapphire she’d rescued from a sink drain rolled off her thumb.

But the precious ornaments lacked the satisfying clink of gold coins when they landed in her safe-box. Humans didn’t make treasure like they used to. Such a shame.

Her fist curled around the last trophy: a brilliant ruby, almost the size of her palm. A weak dribble of energy flowed into her arm. She squeezed the gem harder. It didn’t help.

An erratic rhythm still beat in her chest and desperate starvation still chilled her limbs.

Her hand dropped to her lap. Damn it. The recharge from her collection was nowhere close to enough. The meager power boost her talisman had gathered from its companions would barely keep her heart alive through the evening, much less until she happened to find another abandoned prize to claim. So much for having a choice. She had to go through with the plan.

“Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll get a new friend for you.”

Thievery wasn’t as bad as murder, right? Besides, she’d already made herself weaker by selling off a bracelet to buy an outfit for the ruse. For once, her brash nature was logical.

One brilliant success coming up. Or a dangerous failure. One of the two, for sure.


  1. LOVE the beginning. Right off the bat you're using the senses to not only set the scene, but to tell us a little about the character and her situation. The pieces of jewelry are bits and pieces that would be worthless to our eyes, but she's carefully collected them. And then we discover, it's not enough, but it needs to be, and we want to know why, and why is she in this situation. And then we learn, it's desperately important, it keeps her alive! And now she's got to steal something more valuable to stay alive, and you can tell she's reluctant. She's got a dilemma right off the bat, and a high stakes one at that--staying alive.

  2. This is intriguing -- a creative way of explaining why dragons are known for having hoards. You painted a vivid picture of the jewelry, but you didn't do the same for the room. I was a bit confused about where, in the bathroom, she was. As such I was concerned that the sapphire that fell from her fingers was about to go down the sink. Then I saw she had a lap, implying she was sitting, and I gave up on trying to visualize the room and her position in it.

  3. Enjoyed the premise outlined in logline and enjoyed the opening, nice conflict.

    Such a shame...unless she's being sarcastic, this seemed line seemed a bit weak. Especially as we hear about her desperate starvation a few lines down.

    This gal's in trouble and every word should be heightening that tension.

    One brilliant success section and following lines were a little clunky for me.

    But as far as hooking the reader, count me in. I would certainly keep reading and am totally entertained. Writing can be tightened but you've nailed a fun, compelling premise.

  4. I love the premise of this. I especially love the twist of the jewels keeping her alive. But what I found most interesting was the fact that she's clearly a very poor dragon--unusual since I think dragons are primarily portrayed as super powerful. This is a well-written opening, and I enjoyed her voice, but the one line where she talks out loud did take me out of story. I think you could do without it. Otherwise, your first page definitely makes me want to read on! :)

  5. I really liked the descriptions of the jewels here as they helped me envision how she'd swiped them.

    I do wonder at this premise as an adult novel--the idea seems much more YA to me. Granted, I've only got the logline and excerpt to go off, but the writing even felt a little more YA to me.

    I'd also like just a tiny bit more when it came to the setting as I had a hard time visualizing exactly where she was. And was she talking to the jewels when she said she'd get a new friend for them? If so, that seems a little odd, and if not, maybe clarify with a dialogue tag?

    I'd keep reading to find out what the plan was, especially with the line, "Thievery wasn't as bad as murder, right?"

  6. I was certainly hooked! Love the premise. My only nitpicks:
    I agree with the others. Though the descriptions of how she lifted the pieces of jewels she had was fabulous, I needed to be more grounded in where she was. Just a simple little fix.
    Good luck! This definitely sound like a fun, intriguing story.

  7. Yes! Great writing and love the jewels and dragon pov. i wasn't sure who she was talking to, or who was talking to her in the one sentence, but would keep reading full speed ahead to find out! good work and good luck!

  8. I was captured by your logline, and the unique concept - a dragon stealing jewels to survive.

    But I tripped up on the first para, and had to read it three times before I understood. I think you're trying to squeeze in too much info and imagery. Try trimming the adjectives and adverbs.

    Good luck!

  9. Love the idea of a woman who turns into a dragon, but the excerpt lost me in extraneous detail. A dragon-lady-jewel-thief sounds great fun, and I want to get to the fun bit sooner. It isn't till the fifth paragraph that it's made clear that she gets her power or strength from the jewellery.

    I'd suggest cutting some of the description, perhaps something like:

    'The jewelry trickled through Elaina Drake’s fingers, scattering reflections across the peeling linoleum of her bathroom floor. Humans didn’t make treasure like they used to. Such a shame.

    Her fist curled around a brilliant ruby, almost the size of her palm. A weak dribble of energy flowed into her arm. Damn it. The recharge was nowhere near enough. The meager power boost to her talisman would barely keep her heart alive through the evening...'

    Also, I presume she's talking to her talisman, or the jewels, but perhaps make that clearer. And I didn't understand what you meant by 'For once, her brash nature was logical.', I think that needs rewriting.

    Good luck!

  10. The logline sounds good, but I’m not getting any of that from the writing. I think you need to watch out for overwriting. The first paragraph especially sounds forced to me, rather than a more realistic and straightforward way of describing what Elaina is doing with the jewelry. It’s not clear that these were pieces she found, despite the descriptions of the clasps. (And how would she just happen to find such a large ruby without stealing it from a jeweler or something?) I think a less wordy writing style would clarify that she gets life from jewels, but I still wonder how much she needs if this haul barely sustains her an afternoon. Then, who is she talking to, the talisman? Why would she call another necklace a “friend”? Would one more necklace even give her that much energy? The mythology here is feeling jumbled to me, but I think it has potential if it’s shown more clearly.

  11. I agree with Stephanie that it sounds more YA. I do think the premise is a unique one and the logline hooked me right away. I'd read on just to see exactly what's going on. Is she more of a dragon or a person? Because if she's going to fall in love with a knight then she would need to be a person, right? And if she stays a person, would she still need the jewels to sustain her life?...I have alot of questions which is a good thing because it would entice me to continue reading.

  12. I am not much for dragon stories - but the concept of providing an explanation for the how an why of mdragon hoards is intriguing...and hooked me in to keep reading. I will say that the writing, while beautiful, didn't flow as well as it could - try to say more with less...give your ideas room to breathe and your readers room to imagine.