Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grab My Heart #2

TITLE: Persephone's Waltz
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

A comedic romance between a Holy Maiden who’s not at all innocent and a dark lord who’s as sweet as a cinnamon roll.

I, Holy Maiden Ysabel, had only four months, three weeks, and two days to live, and I intended to make the most of every single day. To my mind, this meant spending as little time as possible in meetings with the Council of Patriarchs. Yet here I was. I needed a smoke or a stiff drink. Not both; I’d learned from bitter experience on my knees in the outhouse that redleaf and alcohol did not mix.
Patriarch Rakir continued, “…As the maid said to the bishop.” He laughed uproariously. So did the rest of the room. I contemplated the five minutes of my life which I would never get back. Rakir deserved a beating for making me sit through, by my last count, eighty-nine jokes where the punchline was “women are sluts.”

“What did you think, Ysabel?” Patriarch Rakir asked, smirking. The average intelligence of humanity will be raised the day his nighttime activities cause his old heart to fail.

I widened my eyes. “Oh, it was dreadfully entertaining, but I think it went over my head. Alas, the Sun God has not blessed me with a wit equal to you gentlemen. Why did the bishop tie the maid up? Did she do something wrong?”

They exploded into laughter. I kept my vapid, pretty smile on my face while I contemplated the sharp limits of Rakir’s knowledge of bondage. At least take advantage of the increased sensitivity with a bit of hot wax and ice cubes.


  1. A strong first sentence! Not so subtle elements of erotica, but not distasteful. I did wonder why she was forced to sit through the jokes, but questions in the beginning are good as long as we aren't left hanging too long. I would definitely read on!

    1. Not sure why my name wasn't picked up, but it's Shelley

  2. The first sentence is good - it raises a question, why does she know she's going to die? And main character definitely has a personality. But I wonder if the best scene to start the book is a meeting where the main character is bored.

    I also probably wouldn't read on (or wouldn't read much farther anyway). Page one has smoking, drinking, off-color sex jokes, and demeaning comments about women, so, to me anyway, the subject matter is off-putting. The writing is good, so I might read a little farther to see if it gets better - but if page one is representative of the whole book's tone, these just aren't the kind of characters I want to read about.

  3. The pitch doesn't tell us a lot. We don't know what the MC wants, how she plans to get it, who stands in her way, or what the stakes are. The plot isn't mentioned at all. The story is also told as if it already happened, and now the MC is looking back and telling us about it. The fact that the first sentence tells us this, gives away the fact that whatever happened, she survived it, because instead of dying as she predicted, she's here telling her story. Therefore, I know she survived. Whatever happened couldn't have been that bad. It doesn't contain any urgency. You might want to reconsider that opening sentence, or tell the story in real time.

    The voice is great, but all I get from this page is that two dissimilar people will fall in love. It's not a big draw. Maybe consider a stronger pitch to give us more of a sense as to what it's about?

  4. Sometimes with humor less is more. I agree with everyone, the first sentence is great. But the first paragraph as a whole could use some tightening. The second sentence is a lot of telling, which is redundant when the rest of the paragraph does a great job of SHOWING how she feels about being in the council meeting. Maybe something like "yet here I was, meeting with the council" (something more interesting than that, of course, haha!) In that one sentence you get voice, what's keeping her from living her life to the fullest, and a bit of humor all in one.

    Just something to think about.

  5. This seems to be relying too much on voice, meaning, it seems like the snarky character voice is so "on display" here, but no concept of what this is actually about. I can root for a smart ass character, but the story has to be compelling and she has to feel real, not manufactured.