Friday, December 2, 2011

#5 Paranormal Romance: Faerie Fate

TITLE: Faerie Fate
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

Holly Shea doesn’t believe in magic or destiny, but after she’s saved from a pair of brutal attacks by a man who has the ability to turn into a fae warrior, she’s plunged into an un-fairy tale world where
warring factions all want her dead.

After centuries, Shadow has given up on finding his soul mate, but when Fate marks Holly as his he’s determined to protect her and make her his own, even if it means making a dangerous deal with Fate in order to thwart ancient prophecy and save the woman he’s destined to love.

Holly Shea stood outside room 532 in the corridor of the hospital oncology ward, muttering to herself.
“Why the hell am I even here?”

On a practical level, she knew exactly why: On the other side of the door lay the grandmother she’d never met, in the last losing days of her battle with lung cancer, and she was here to meet her. It was on a philosophical level she was still unsure.

The door stood ajar, so she took a deep breath and blew it out, resigning herself to face whatever lay on the other side, then leaned into the door, swinging it inward on its hinges. She ducked inside and found an old woman sleeping peacefully in the bed. Sunshine fell bright on the floor and warmed the room, making it a degree less sterile than the white walls and linoleum of the hallway. The woman wore her own robe and instead of a thin hospital blanket, a homemade afghan covered her legs. Springy gray curls framed her face giving her an angelic appearance.

“Maeve?” Holly asked, her voice just above a whisper. She held her breath waiting for an answer but the old woman snored softly, her face serene.

“So, now what?” Exasperated, her shoulders slumped and her anticipation fizzling as her muscles relaxed. She’d come all the way to Portland to make this visit, taking time she couldn’t afford away from her job, only to find her grandmother napping.


  1. I'm pretty sure I've read this before and you've improved it since I last read it. There are still some things I would tweak:

    In the second paragraph, the last four times a character is referred to you use either 'she' or 'her'. Given both characters are female this is potentially confusing. Something like, 'Holly had never met her grandmother, who lay on the other side of the door in the last losing days of her battle with lung cancer and Holly was here to meet her. But on a philosophical level, Holly was still unsure.' might be more clear.

    Also, Holly's exasperation at the end doesn't make me warm to her. What does she expect her nearly-dead grandmother to be doing? You would think she would be prepared for her grandmother to be asleep.

    Lastly, your logline kind of feels like you're cheating. You've essentially squeezed in two loglines from differing POVs. I'd pick one for future use.

    Overall, I like this start, especially your description of the room and Maeve. I'd read on for a little bit to see what Maeve has to say when she wakes up.

    Good luck for the auction!

  2. I love a good paranormal romance! And I'm happy to see an adult one!

    This opening is a little slow for what I expect in this genre. The description of the room and gma are wonderful, but I think you should tighten this a bit.

    Skip down to "The door" and tell us it is a hospital door. Then instead of saying "old woman" tell us who she is. I love the rest of that paragraph.

    When Holly calls out "Maeve?" let her do so and then just cut to "She'd come all the way..."

    I love your premise and I like your writing. Just get rid of the extra fluff and I'll be your fan.

    Good luck!

  3. Imagine my surprise when my Google Alerts (set for all of my novels, including my 2010 novel FAERIE FATE, published by Wild Rose Press) popped up with this link.

    Even though the novels share a title, they're quite different. Good luck with your project.

  4. I remember seeing this on here before, and this version is much improved. However, you could still speed this up and make Holly and more sympathetic character. First, we don't need a description of opening a door. It's enough to say that Holly took a deep breath, blew it out, and stepped inside. Secondly, an old woman with lung cancer napping is not a reason for exasperation. It might up Holly's nerves, because now she's going to be in this room with Maeve when she wakes up, a potentially startling sight for the old woman (and who wants to do that to their grandmother?), but I wouldn't have Holly feel anything bordering annoyance. On the other hand, I'd also believe her feeling relieved instead of worried. Something to think about.

    Also, if this opening is the my-distant-relative-informs-me-I'm-really-a-supernatural-being approach, why not just start with:

    "You're a fairy."

    "What?" Holly blinked in disbelief. She'd met her dying grandmother for the first time just minutes ago, only to learn the woman was crazy.

    Or something. Gets to the point quicker. Of course, I'm sure you can do better, and in your own voice, but there is no hint of the paranormal on this page, except in your log line, which won't be present when a reader picks this up off a bookshelf and turns to page one. No harm in really letting them know what they're in for up front.

  5. While I liked the logline, it seemed a bit longer than what a "logline" is supposed to be. Maybe it was because we got smaller bits on two separate characters. I tried this approach with my first logline for this contest actually, and most of the feedback I received was that it sort of confuses things to come from two points of view like that in a short logline. I see a bit better what they were trying to tell me in seeing someone else try it. I am intrigued, so technically it does work, but I wonder if you would be better served sticking with one or the other as the focus for that.

    The story here is clear and I have no trouble viusalizing things, and that is good, as I tend toward making pictures in my head when I read, and your style of writing and describing lends well to that. There were a few places where just a little more editing would serve really well.
    I also felt just a bit detached from things in the paragraph with the mention of her levels. It seemed too clinical? Not sure how to explain it, but it pulled me back from the MC a bit.

    Very interested to see where this first 250 leads, though, so good job :)

  6. I like the premise of your logline - I'm a total paranormal junkie - though the second para of it felt a little generic with the "fate" and "destined to love" I wonder if there's a way to make this more specific and real.

    As for the opening, I I don't mind some description and what you have is lovely, but what I'd also like is to get inside Holly's head a bit more. How does she feel being there? What is she thinking. You have that a bit in the second para, but we never really get quite deep enough to connect with what she's feeling about the situation.

    Overall though, I think this is a great start and I'd definitely read more!

  7. What confused me in your logline was not the different perspectives (though I think you'd be fine just sticking with Holly's), but the "un-fairy tale world." This makes me think that Holly lives in a fairy tale world now, and the story will be plunging her into a mundane world. I suspect what you mean is that it's a dark, negative fairy tale world, but that's not the impression I took away.

    There is a lot of prose that can be condensed here. I'd follow alishamarieklapheke's suggestions, above. And certainly don't let Holly be exasperated that the cancer patient is napping, unless you want the reader to lose sympathy for her and see her as having a short fuse. If it's her "last days," I think it would be more realistic to be relieved that Holly got there all the way from Portland in time. She's geared up for confrontation and now she doesn't get it, sure, but now she has time to really look at grandma and take all this in without being watched at it. That's a good thing, isn't it?

  8. The parallel loglines were interesting, but didn't quite work for me, mostly because when I got to the second, my brain felt like I was starting over. Also, there isn't really anything in the second half that I couldn't guess from the first (along with knowing it's paranormal romance).

    It was on a philosophical level she was still unsure.

    This line tripped me up. I think it's the "It was," which could easily be dropped.

    Overall, it's a nice start--could probably use some tightening, as others have said. And I do get more of an "annoyed" vibe from the MC than a nervous one, which isn't too endearing. I like flawed characters, but I need to know enough about them to be interested first, I think.

    Good luck! :)

  9. The writing in the excerpt has a nice flow. It has a certain confidence. There's a pace to the writing that feels natural. You've put some thought into describing the grandmother so it isn't just the expected "poor grandma" image. I like "The woman wore her own robe and instead of a thin hospital blanket, a homemade afghan covered her legs. Springy gray curls framed her face giving her an angelic appearance."

    It's intriguing that Holly has never met her grandmother. Her exasperation and impatience didn't bother me. She's nervous; she's never met the woman; there are some complications to the relationship.

    What I'm wondering about is the disconnect between the logline and the nicely written entry. There is not a bit of paranormal or faerie here. I fear an agent who is interested in repping paranormal material might want to see right away how you handle it. Not sure if it's a good idea to make him or her wait.

    Also the logline confused me. I would streamline unless this is a dual narrative story, in which case I think you need to walk up to it and say it alternates. Again, agents have strong feelings about back-and-forth POV; no point in not being direct.