Friday, February 27, 2015


Word Count: 93,000
Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy
Killing never comes easy, but for eighteen-year-old Martia, exterminating those who fall in love is a normal day on the job. In the kingdom of Mithos, true love is the most dangerous form of magic, giving the wielder the power to burn through skin and bone. Those who fall prey to it are eliminated. When Martia is assigned as a guard to Prince Narin after an assassination attempt, their eyes meet and her world freezes in first sight—the first symptom of true love. When their secret is discovered, Martia must decide: plunge her sword into Narin’s heart, or choose Narin and become one of the hunted.
First 250:
The streets of Yuin are no place for love.
I creep through the night, wearing black in a city of pale stone. Even after dusk, Yuin is bright, the firelight blinding me. I slink further into the shadows cast by the alley's gleaming wall, tilting away from the flickering glow. Darkness shields better than any armor.
Something clinks to my left. I reach for the polished hilt of my scimitar.
A giggling couple stumble into the alley after a rolling wine bottle. The woman's sharp snicker drowns out the distant music of stringed vihuelas and beating hand drums. She clutches her sides, bunching up the layers in her floor-length pleated dress. Her glazed eyes rise to meet mine and the laughter squelches.
Dammit. I hate it when people see me. My lips jerk up in a jagged smile.
She grabs the man's hand and pulls him close. "It's one of them."
The man twists in my direction and pales, a whine escaping his throat. They always look at me like that, seeing a monster in the place of a girl. I wish I could shrink back.
I step forward.
The woman whimpers. "Please, don't kill us."
Both man and woman are dark-haired, dark-eyed and dark-skinned like me, like all Mithoians. An ordinary person would only see two drunken lovers. But I see more. A thin maroon aura twists around the couple, reaching out with ebony tendrils.
The aura of someone with black magic.


  1. Oh, this new pitch gives me chills! So amazing--and still one of my favorite entries.

  2. This pitch is indeed chilling, and I love it for it! I enjoy the dark twist with true love. Good luck!

  3. Love the revamped pitch! It's snappier, quicker, stronger--and yes, chilling. A romance story born to go sour. Love it! I am wondering, though, what exactly you mean by "her world freezes in first sight." Do you mean AT first sight? It's a small matter of prepositions, but prepositions can make a big difference in ease of reading. I think I can see what you mean by IN first sight, but it's awkward and makes the reader pause too long. At first sight is clearer, easier, and moves the reader along.

    Of course, I love the first page. You've begun the story at a prime incident that characterizes our MC and establishes the magic order of her world. Excellent! One other nit-picky thing, though: "The aura of someone with black magic." It's fine the way it is, but both times I've read it I've felt it would flow easier, and end on a bigger punch, if it just said, "The aura of black magic." We know it must be someone with black magic because it's the lovers'. And the short sentence gives weight on its own paragraph.

    Besides those two little nit-picks, I'm loving it! The premise is fascinating, and the MC promises to be interesting and conflicted--both things readers love.

    Good luck!


  4. Wow love the first page!! Such a cool premise like Lauren Oliver's Delirium series and you have diverse characters! Way to go!

  5. Pitch: This sounds kind of like Throne of Glass mashed with Delirium. I agree with Kayla on the preposition issue-I think you are trying to emphasize love at first sight as the first symptom, but it makes the reader trip a little. Otherwise, excellent pitch!

    250: Again, I agree with Kayla. You do such a great job of introducing your MC, her world, and her impending conflict. And making true love a form of black magic? Sounds like a recipe for a page turner. Good luck! (#7)

  6. Pitch: Great job on revisions. Last line is a little unclear to me - does the Prince fall in love or only Martia? Love a strong female MC. Strong premise.

    +1: Might I suggest a tweak to the first sentence? I think if the first phrase of the pitch were tacked here at the beginning, it would be wowza. Something like: "Killing is never easy, but I'm an assassin and the streets of Yuin are no place for love." Voice is good. World building great. Good pacing. One line seems out of character, unless the protagonist is sometimes funny: "Dammit. I hate it when people see me. My lips jerk up in a jagged smile." The jagged smile is probably enough to convey meaning. Diverse characters. Intriguing setting. Tension here on the first page.
    Super job here.
    (#14 OSN)

  7. This book is right up my alley!! can't resist a story of star-crossed love, and your pitch promises that in spades! Your writing is gorgeous and paints a vivid world of shadows and assassins, evoking the mood of One Thousand and one Nights.
    I would second Melissa's comment about the prince: Did he feel the sting of true love, or was it only Martia?
    Would definitely love to read on.
    Best of luck!
    #10 The Land of Joy and Sorrow


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