Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Drop the Needle #15

TITLE: Dreamwalking Under the Bloodmoon Sky
GENRE: YA Fantasy

After fleeing from her unwanted wedding, Rose takes refuge from a storm in a crumbling, abandoned castle. She’s just woken from a hallucinogenic mushroom-fueled nightmare. She’s looking through dusty trunks in the castle to find something to replace her ruined clothing:

Rose picked through the dresses she’d discarded earlier. They were incredible. And definitely a consolation for not keeping the cup. If she survived long enough to get these home to her father, they might make up for the fact that he hadn’t gotten anything for marrying her off.

Rose stripped off her own dress, and was ready to pull on the deep blue silk gown embroidered in bronze when a deep voice came from the open doorway.

“Well it’s about time you took me up on my offer. I told you you’d look fetching in my sister’s dress. I am glad you chose the blue. It nearly matches the shade of your eyes.”

Rose’s head shot up and the dress fell to the floor. She stood there in nothing but her chemise and corset as a young man in absurd trousers and a short, fur-lined robe leaned in the doorway watching her. She was definitely still hallucinating.

She narrowed her eyes at him, but he was very insistent on not dissolving into a pool of colors or turning into a frog. Her eyes were drawn to his absurdly purple pants. There was no way any young man would wear those pants. Not on purpose. But there he was standing there, grinning at her. While she stood in her underwear.

There was only one approach to verify his existence. She strode over to where he stood and gave him a shove.

“Sweet merciful sky gods! What was that for?”


  1. This is interesting, though I am confused if the person Rose has encountered is someone she knows? (Surely if he were a stranger, she would not shove him?)
    It kind of throws me from the scene because of this, though I figure it's better explained in the rest of the story.
    Does Rose have a sister? (Also the same answer is in the story)

  2. I liked the pace of this, and the writing is polished. I do agree with the above poster, however, that the familiarity that the man addresses her with, particularly in mentioning that he spoke to her before, makes me feel like she knows him, though her actions and thoughts do not. Overall though I found the scene amusing and entertaining.

  3. This sounds like a really interesting story. Escaping from an arranged marriage is a good way to build instant sympathy in readers.

    I think she could be a little more emotional in this scene. A hallucinogenic mushroom-fueled nightmare sounds terrifying to me. Especially if she's in a strange place and just went through something emotional and exhausting, like running away.

  4. This is darling -- I laughed out loud at the part about the young man neither dissolving nor turning into a frog! :) It certainly makes me want to read more.

    I think the question of whether Rose's behavior at the end -- marching up to a stranger and shoving him -- is inappropriate (i.e. that she should be feeling more cautious, or even afraid) would depend on the tone of the scene leading up to this -- and of the entire book.

    The impression I get is that this is a whimsical story with a lot of humor. I could also imagine her feeling a bit devil-may-care at this point, if all this crazy stuff has just happened to her and it doesn't seem quite real.

  5. I enjoyed this. I didn't have an issue with the familiarity from the stranger, as I'm assuming he was present during the hallucinogenic nightmare, but Rose doesn't remember.

    I also assume she shoves him because she believes she's still having a nightmare - after all, why else would the handsome stranger be wearing inappropriately gaudy clothes?

    One to many there's in this sentence - "But there he was standing there, grinning at her."

    I see you have labelled this as YA Fantasy, but I am getting a definite romance vibe from this excerpt.

  6. While the situation seems quite cliche, it seemed to work. Though her commenting about his pants makes me wonder if this is a portal fantasy or he's just wearing some new fashion she's never encountered in her world before. Just as equally, her reaction of shoving him seems cliche, but I still like it.

  7. My first thought here was about the dresses. The castle is ancient and crumbling, yet the dresses are in fine condition. The cloth has outlasted stone. But perhaps there is something else at work here that is evident in previous chapters?

    Then she wants to bring the dresses back to her father, which confused me, since the blurb says she ran away. Wouldn't going back force her into the same situation of having to marry someone she doesn't want to marry? And if it doesn't, did she need to run away in the first place?

    And then perhaps show us his reaction when she shoves him. Does he fall? Stumble? Get bumped back against a wall?

    I did like that she doesn't seem to be frightened by this man's sudden appearance, and she's not afraid to confront him, which makes for a strong female MC.