Monday, September 10, 2012

Pitch Polish #98

Fantasy romance

Being a half-demon isn't easy. Neither is being wooed by a mask-wearing warlord with vengeance on his mind. 

Embyr tends her tavern and maintains her quiet life while keeping her dangerous parentage a secret until she's attacked by a hellhound and saved by one of the most feared men in history.

For the last eight hundred years, Romeo McLennon, the infamous leader of Death's Horsemen, has used his army to hunt the vampire who killed his wife. Long devoid of any emotion save hate, he's earned a reputation as a murderous madman. But in Embyr, he discovers something that could turn the tide of battle in his favor. Her control over fire can reduce an enemy to ash and her flipped disregard of him heats his blood in ways no one ever has. She's beautiful, powerful and completely different from her violence-loving brethren.

Embyr finds herself thrust into a war she wants no part of, targeted by a vicious vampire because of her cooperation with Romeo. As she tries to use her power over fire without letting the madness of her race overcome her, she also has to fight her attraction to a killer bent on her seduction.

First 150:
             Embyr looked around the tavern’s empty common room, at the vacant tables and neatly arranged chairs, lips pursed at the thought of yet another slow night. She turned back to the wash basin, running a wet cloth over the tankard with more force than was necessary.
            “Death’s Horsemen are in town,” Katrina said from her spot at the bar.
            The tankard slipped from Embyr's hand and fell back into the soapy water. Embyr frowned and pushed her sleeve higher, rooting around the wash basin. “That’s not funny.”
            “I’m not joking,” Katrina said. “People say they’ve been seen in the streets at night.”
            “People say a lot of things that aren’t true.” She retrieved the tankard and dunked it in fresh water to rinse the soap away. “If the Horsemen were here, half the city would already be in flames.”
            “I don’t see how you’d know way out here,” Kat snorted as she took a drink. “That’s why it’s 
slow tonight. People don’t want to venture too far from home.”


Nicole Zoltack said...

Oh, this sounds fun! I would combine the first two paragraphs of the query. Otherwise, the second paragraph seems too short, especially compared to how long Romeo's is.

Unknown said...

I really liked this!! It's really well written and the only thing I would change is adding AND into this sentence : Embyr finds herself thrust into a war she wants no part of, AND targeted by a vicious vampire because of her cooperation with Romeo.

Otherwise, really well done! Best of luck :)

Michael McDuffee said...

This is the best query I've read so far. If I was pressed to nitpick, I'd say that "flipped disregard" sounds weird to me.

Still, that's small potatoes. This story sounds awesome. Well done.

Britni Patterson said...


The query reads interestingly, though (and I am speaking as a former D&D geek) the moment I read "tavern" I groaned. Maybe if you rephrase a little? like "Embyr determinedly maintains her quiet life as owner of the Burning Branch tavern outside of the small farming community of MostlyVictimsAndCannonFodder Village."

I groaned again when I read the name Romeo. While I suspect you might be using it sarcastically, it's two cliches in very close proximity. Also, why is Romeo 800 years old? I'm assuming he's another vampire?

Also, "Flipped disregard" - I believe you mean flippant?

The last paragraph is a little bit odd as well. Perhaps, "Embyr is caught in the middle of the vendetta and forced to choose a side. A killer bent on seducing her into his army and his bed, or a vampire who will kill her to keep her out of his enemy's hands."

But the 150 were interesting. I would totally read on. :>

Kind regards,

MPH2003 said...

I love a good romance, and this reads like it's going to be one. While everything in the query is excellent, I agree that "flipped" disregard threw me off. Also, the query jumps from Embyr to Romeo (great romance names, by the way) and then back. I wonder if it would be smoother toward the end if you combine both in the last paragraph--and not have it specifically from Embyr's viewpoint. The openining line of your query is fantastic.

EM Castellan said...

I love the premise of your story! However your query has 2 POV (Embyr and Romeo)and I was wondering if it's because your novel is also told from their 2 POV... If not, then I would suggest focusing your query on Embyr's POV alone. Best of luck with this, I enjoyed your first 150 words!

Mia Celeste said...

I like the calm before the storm beginning you have in your first 15O words.
All the best,

Seth Z. Herman said...

I loved the first paragraph of your query, but the second could be broken up to put in more "oomph."

And I'm confused as to your main character. the query starts from Embyr's POV, but then switches and talks about Romeo and how he views Embyr's powers and beauty. Then we go back to Embyr in the fourth paragraph.

I like the tension here - just tighten up the jumps from paragraph to paragraph in your query and you'll be all set.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I LOVE your opening lines. Do not change them. They are far too awesome.

The only other thing I have to say that hasn't been said before is in the last paragraph you mention the madness of her race, but there's no hint of it anywhere else in the query. Unless I'm totally mistaken, I'm thinking this is pretty important (like, has she avoided using her power BECAUSE it can lead to insanity?) I'd find a way to work it into the second paragraph.