Monday, February 22, 2016

Darkest Rendezvous




Title: Darkest Rendezvous
Age and Genre: Adult Historical Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 50,000
 Query:

Set in alternate 19th century New York, Darkest Rendezvous is the tale of ethereal beauty, Miss Persephone Greaves, who is caught up in a rivalrous love triangle between a wicked Vampyre Count, a roguish Lycanthrope Chieftain and the miserly ghoul next door as she becomes key to a plot by renegade humans to destroy her world.

Count Nicodemus von Shroud, the newest lord of Manor Sanguine Ligurio, is as handsome as he is wealthy and has the eye of every eligible lady of New York's Famous Four Hundred but his heart belongs to the enchanting Miss Persephone Greaves. However, Miss Greaves is a Zombi, a civilized class of zombie recently elevated to the nethermost circles of the necroelite and though she is the daughter of a highly esteemed physician, she is still considered beneath the touch of the most powerful Vampyre clan in America.

Mr. Rufus Bane, chief of the Lupis Tribe, has also taken notice of the delectable Miss Greaves at Nightshade Manor’s latest Moonlight Ball and refuses to concede to his Vampyre rival for the lady’s affections despite her impending engagement to ominous Ghoul, Lord Lucius Newmont. However, insurrections and assassination attempts by Rufus’ fellow Lycanthropes may prove slightly distracting.

Miss Persephone Greaves’ first season is a bigger success than she could have ever dreamed. Resigned to spend eternity as bride to ominous Lord Lucius Newmont, her phenomenal beauty and charm seem to overcome the age old stigma her kind face for atrocities past, garnering ringing approval from New York’s famous Four Hundred. Against warnings from friends and the wishes of her father, Persephone finds herself falling for both the intense werewolf whose kisses set her body aflame and a seductive Vampyre whose gaze sends her mind reeling with wicked dreams.

While Persephone tries to decide her course of action, a mysterious illness starts killing human slaves, Lycanthrope tribesmen and the oldest and weakest members of the necroelite. When Persephone is poisoned, Rufus and Nicodemus uncover a plot to destroy the nation’s undead and must work together to expose betrayals and save their beloved.

First 250 Words

Persephone Greaves stood in the dimly lit hallway and watched as the slaves lumbered by. Even in the mindless state in which the undead allowed them to exist, Persephone didn’t trust humans. Everything about them from the way their grey skin hung loosely from their bones and gaping mouths to the milky unseeing eyes that always seem to be watching, waiting for something made her uneasy. Persephone wished her father would finish his examination of the Newmonts’ kitchen slave who had suddenly fallen ill so they could quit this place. Of course she didn’t have to hover in the slave quarters. Lucius Newmont was in his study but would gladly keep Persephone company in the parlor.

The Ghoul was ten years Persephone’s senior and even as a lanky youth, Lucius had been very serious and solemn. The Newmonts had lost their parents towards the end of the 1812 Uprising, before the humans’ defeat, and at 14 years of age Lucius took the responsibility of his and his sister’s welfare on to his ossified shoulders. Being business partners as well as neighbors, Dr. Sebastian Greaves assisted Captain Newmont’s children as often as Lucius would allow and so became like an extended family. Dr. Greaves would, on occasion, allude to a match between Persephone and Lucius but she simply was not interested.

Repulsive as Ghouls were, the Newmont siblings always made the effort to be fashionable. Lucius was tall, slender and always well dressed. 

*****

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The Judges

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Me!

Visitors welcome!

Please comment as to whether this pitch piques your interest and what feedback you have about making it stronger.
Your assessments will be appreciated by the participants.




10 comments:

  1. Query: You've set the story up nicely. But you might consider tightening the first paragraph to accomplish the tagline that grabs the reader immediately. I'd delete the words 'ethereal beauty'. I'd also remove the 4th paragraph altogether. The remaining three tell us what we need to know.

    250 words: This scene didn't hold my interest. You might consider using a section with some interesting dialogue or a scene with more action.

    Great effort!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Query: This is much too long for me, with much too much detail. The world-building and some of the character development you do makes me interested, but a huge number of agents/editors I think would not have the time and attention span to get through this, considering the number of queries they get. Concentrate on introducing your MC, telling us what her goals are (I'm completely unclear on her goals...she seems just like a beautiful pawn from this query), the obstacles to achieving them, and the stakes: what she stands to lose if she doesn't achieve her goals. Your word count for the novel is quite low, which might make readers even more nervous: it sounds like the plot is quite complex, and they might think you lack world-building/character development, esp. with all these details in the query...

    The 250: The first paragraph seems interesting, though I'm confused by the difference/connection between humans/undead/zombies...so wait, the undead only allow the humans to exist as a zombie-like creature?

    The rest of the 250 is mostly backstory, and shouldn't be here. Get me into the scene, into the action.

    Thank you for your entry!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your query has so many words … delicious, tantalizing words, but still too many. BTW : I LOVE the voice used in your query. I tried to tinker with the length while hoping to not compromise your style. (Be careful using so many names in a short query - they become overwhelming.)

    here are my tinkering:

    Ethereal beauty Miss Persephone Greaves is a Zombi, a civilized class of zombie recently elevated to the nethermost circles of the necroelite. While she is still considered beneath the touch of the most powerful Vampyre clan in America, she finds herself the object of adoration in a love triangle between a wicked Vampyre Count, a roguish Lycanthrope Chieftain and the miserly ghoul next door.

    Resigned to spend eternity as bride to ominous ghoul Lord Lucius Newmont, her phenomenal beauty and charm seem to overcome the age old stigma her kind face for atrocities past, garnering ringing approval from New York’s famous Four Hundred. Against warnings from friends and the wishes of her father, Persephone finds herself falling for both the intense werewolf whose kisses set her body aflame and a seductive Vampyre whose gaze sends her mind reeling with wicked dreams.

    While Persephone tries to decide her course of action, a mysterious illness starts killing human slaves, Lycanthrope tribesmen and the oldest and weakest members of the necroelite. When Persephone is poisoned, the Count and the Cheiftain uncover a plot to destroy the nation’s undead and must work together to expose betrayals and save their beloved.



    Ethereal beauty Miss Persephone Greaves is a Zombi, a civilized class of zombie recently elevated to the nethermost circles of the necroelite. While she is still considered beneath the touch of the most powerful Vampyre clan in America, she finds herself the object of adoration in a love triangle between a wicked Vampyre Count, a roguish Lycanthrope Chieftain and the miserly ghoul next door.

    Resigned to spend eternity as bride to ominous Lord Lucius Newmont, her phenomenal beauty and charm seem to overcome the age old stigma her kind face for atrocities past, garnering ringing approval from New York’s famous Four Hundred. Against warnings from friends and the wishes of her father, Persephone finds herself falling for both the intense werewolf whose kisses set her body aflame and a seductive Vampyre whose gaze sends her mind reeling with wicked dreams.

    While Persephone tries to decide her course of action, a mysterious illness starts killing human slaves, Lycanthrope tribesmen and the oldest and weakest members of the necroelite. When Persephone is poisoned, the Count and the Cheiftain uncover a plot to destroy the nation’s undead and must work together to expose betrayals and save their beloved.


    Your first 250
    Loved it. Absolutely loved it.

    best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for all the feedback, please keep it coming :) I seem to have an issue confusing queries with book jacket blurbs but the more information I get in these pitch events the closer I know I'll get to having the perfect query nailed down. Kudos for all the effort the judges are putting into our entries! - Noemi B.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Query: In my critique group, we call this “Name Soup.” When you introduce too many names in a short space, the reader feels at sea, uncertain who matters and which details to hang onto. That’s what’s happening to me as I read this query. I count four character mentioned in as many sentences. Plus the name of the Manor house, too. Too many. If Persephone is the main character, let’s keep the focus on her. Remember that, in a query, you’re trying to get your reader (agent/publisher, etc.) hooked and wanting to read more, not summarizing the whole thing.

    First 250 Words: I’m not very drawn in by this excerpt. It’s more background information than story. Persephone notices slaves, gives us background on Lucius and his family, background on her family, and comments on clothing. Nothing happens. No interaction or plot.

    Hope that helps! -SB

    ReplyDelete
  6. Query: In my critique group, we call this “Name Soup.” When you introduce too many names in a short space, the reader feels at sea, uncertain who matters and which details to hang onto. That’s what’s happening to me as I read this query. I count four character mentioned in as many sentences. Plus the name of the Manor house, too. Too many. If Persephone is the main character, let’s keep the focus on her. Remember that, in a query, you’re trying to get your reader (agent/publisher, etc.) hooked and wanting to read more, not summarizing the whole thing.

    First 250 Words: I’m not very drawn in by this excerpt. It’s more background information than story. Persephone notices slaves, gives us background on Lucius and his family, background on her family, and comments on clothing. Nothing happens. No interaction or plot.

    Hope that helps! -SB

    ReplyDelete
  7. While I ran out of votes entirely too soon, ;( I love your writing. If you are looking for MS feedback, I'd be interested in reading your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. elsieelmorewriter@gmail.com - whenever you are ready :)

      Delete
  8. Congratulations! All your hard work is paying off! There were just too few votes, but the gold is in the value you've gained! Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete

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