Monday, May 16, 2016

Are You Hooked? Adult Genre Fiction #1

GENRE: Adult - Dark Fantasy Romance

An unplanned trip into Faery costs Quinn her identity in the mortal world. Seduced by one brother and trapped by another, will she accept the Queen’s deadly favor and return home, or risk her life to save the monster who ruined it?

“How the hell am I supposed to collect my favor if I can’t find you?” Quinn’s voice was a tight whisper, her flashlight cutting a wide slice of landscape from the moon-silvered dark.

Birch, rowan, juniper, and pine were shadowy specters, but there was no trace of the man whose touch haunted her skin. The monster who’d ruined her life, and her only chance of getting back to her family. She inched forward and hesitated, cringing at the crunch and pop of leaf litter under her thick-soled boots. Insects chirped and twittered, a dull hum beneath the forest’s dark canopy. Quinn imagined sharp biting things with gossamer wings, blood-smeared mouths and yellow-eyes.

Another step and a dread chill pulled through her veins, begging her to turn back. A blast of frigid air ripped through her sweater. A chorus of rustling leaves gave a hiss of warning.

Fae magic at work.

Shivering, she picked up her pace, breaking into a quick jog—trying to outrun her nerves. The faint rumble of rushing water filtered through the trees and she recalled that same melody—musical accompaniment to Danjon’s slow seduction. Ducking under a low-hanging branch, she stumbled over a reaching root. The flashlight flew from her hand, light spinning. Hooking her arm around a tree trunk stole her momentum, kept her upright. She grimaced. Even through her sweater, the bark had scraped her skin raw.

Fresh blood.

As if there weren’t enough eyes on her already, now she’d sent a damn invitation.


  1. Love your very evocative writing! You do a great job of scene setting, and I feel like I'm in the woods with Quinn. Just little nitpicks from me: I stumbled a bit at the beginning, thinking Quinn was talking to someone. And I'm hoping that in the next page something will happen or the pacing may start to drag. Lastly, I wasn't 100 percent sure of the time/place. I'm assuming this is modern day given Quinn's voice, but are the woods in "our" world or a Fae world? You mention that she wants to go home, so I wasn't sure. Anyway, I'd turn the page, so that's a "hooked" from me!

  2. Very good sensory detail. A couple of suggestions:
    “Birch, rowan, juniper . . .” The two verbs in the sentence are both stative. Find a way to make at least one of them active.
    “Ducking under a low-hanging branch, she stumbled over a reaching root.” The “low-hanging” and “reaching” are not needed.
    But keep up that good style.

  3. I had the same experience as merci, wasn't sure on first read whether Quinn was our protagonist or someone talking to our protagonist. I also wasn't sure what the line meant about 'collecting a favor': is that something that will be revisited in the next few pages? Otherwise, the writing is lovely and I'm placed right in this forest.

  4. I'm hooked. I wondered about the reaching root, though - is it literally reaching, or is she just imagining that it is? I'd definitely read on to find out. :)

  5. I really liked the actual 250. Fantastic prose. I agree it was kind of confusing at first on whether or not she was by herself. Easy fix. Make it italics like a thought, OR use an action like,

    you?" Quinn muttered, her flashlight cutting a wide slice of landscape from the moon-silvered dark.

    Moving on: on my opinion the logline has too much in it. It lacks focus for me and I was confused -- is the Queen a Faery Queen? Maybe it's also confusing because Quinn and Queen sound very similar and you also introduce two brothers, it's just a LOT going on for a log LINE and there's some really vague aspects. Are the brothers princes, or just regular dudes? Are they Faeries? What makes the Queen's favor deadly? What monster? Is the monster a character already mentioned in the log line? Is the monster also the Queen, or is it a different villain? -- See what I mean? There's too many questions. The logline should make us feel grounded, not leave us feeling like we don't understand. I think focusing it vs trying to cram everything in would help. Try to choose between the most important elements and let them shine. You can expand on the finer points in your query letter. Best of luck. I'd read more!

  6. I don't know if I am "hooked" but I am certainly INTERESTED. (Lack of italics makes stressing difficult.) At any rate, I agree with most of the earlier critiques. You've given me a good picture in my head but it still feels a bit muffled. A few things that happened while I was reading for you to consider:

    - You're dealing with Fairies. Awesome sauce. You mention some fairy culture (you may know this already) Rowan is actually deadly to fairies. It burns them and/or suffocates them. Is Quinn a fairy? I don't think so from the log line, but if she isn't and she's looking for a fairy, would he/she be so close to trees that would hurt them? You wouldn't have to use it, but I thought I would throw it out there.

    - "Gossamer Wings". For some reason, this phrase seems a bit cliche for me. "Silken" maybe?

    - Perhaps a bit more on those "shadowy specters" to give me a better feel of the setting. Is it dire? Is she only searching for his touch because she's just hooked to it and can't live without it? Or is the setting sinister and scary?

    - Overall, I really like your style and prose. As I said, I can't say that I am hooked, but I am definitely curious about where this is going. Keep up the good work.