Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New before/after: "Angel of Brass"

Today's book is Elaine Corvidae's YA steampunk adventure "Angel of Brass." Let's get to it, shall we? (I have champagne to drink--my Kickstarter just went over $4,000, and I finished what may be the final version of my second book.)

Jin is a monster. Built from clockwork and spare parts, he can pass as human—barely. Horrified by the twisted plans of his creator, he flees for his life, but must leave his “sister” behind in Dr. Malachi’s clutches.

Dr. Malachi won’t let go of his prize creation so easily, and soon Jin is pursued by mechanical men and shambling zombies. His only hope lies with Molly, a brave mechanic able to see beyond the clockwork to the boy inside.

Can they foil Dr. Malachi’s schemes and save Jin’s sister? Or will Molly betray him when she learns the purpose for which the siblings were built: to assassinate the queen and bring about a war between nations?

Dr Malachi made "siblings" Jin and Delilah of clockwork and spare parts--human and otherwise. They have one purpose: to assassinate Queen Rowena so Dr Malachi can profit from the war that will surely follow. When Jin discovers Dr Malachi's plans he runs away, but to his despair he must leave Delilah behind.

Life in the outside world is terrifying. Jin has never been away from his creator's estate, and he can barely pass for human. And now Dr Malachi's other creations--mechanical men and zombies--have picked up his trail. On the run, Jin crashes through young mechanic Molly Feldman's roof; she sees the humanity beneath the metal and decides to hide him, but soon Malachi's creatures are after her, too.

If Jin doesn't rescue his "sister" Delilah, she'll be forced to assassinate the Queen or die in the attempt. He needs Molly's help, but if she finds out he was built for the same purpose it may be the end for both Delilah and Jin.

Want me to help with your blurb? I can do that.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Great advice on blurb-writing

JW Manus has great advice today on blurb writing: Don't let Aunt Edna write your blurb:
Bless her soul, Aunt Edna is not trying to drive people crazy. It’s that she has a story to tell, and it excites her and she wants other people to understand how exciting it is, so she needs to explain all the backstory and who the characters are and, of course, every story relates to another, so Uncle Henry’s hearing problems are important, too. 
It’s those Aunt Edna-ish impulses that give many writers fits when they try to write book descriptions. They love their book, they’re excited, they want others excited, too, but they know too much and they’re emotionally involved. Browsers on Amazon or B&N won’t look for the key to the gun safe, they’ll just click the “next” button.
Jaye says if you have the money, hire a copywriter (ahem), but if not, her advice on DIY is spot on. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Before/After: "Tangi's Teardrops"

Today's before/after is the fantasy Tangi's Teardrops by Liz Grace Davis. Liz says, "I have to honestly say I love it. ... I think now it's short but says everything." Here's what we did together:


How long does it take for someone’s world to come crashing down?
For twelve year old Tangi, it’s less than a week.
One day her father is tucking her in, and five days later, he’s gone and she finds herself in the village church attending his funeral. The only thing he leaves her, are three empty bottles and the future of being an orphan.

After the funeral, Tangi and her stepsisters move to an uncle’s farm. With more food, more clothes and a proper bed to sleep in, she should be happy. But she’s not. In fact, she has never been unhappier. She’s starved, beaten and treated like a mere slave by people who are supposed to care for her.

Then one night, she discovers a secret connected to the empty bottles her father left her. A secret that reveals her tears to be something extra ordinary.
A secret that shows her a way out of this world and leads her to the Kingdom of Rosevine. A place where the impossible only exists in one’s mind and everything she could ever want, is right at her fingertips.

Surely, she should be happy now. She is, but for how long?

Is Rosevine really an escape or is it a ticking time bomb? Only Tangi can decide and time has just about run out.

When Tangi's father dies, he leaves her nothing but three empty bottles. A kind uncle takes the poverty-stricken girl and her stepsisters in, and for a time life gets better on his farm. But Tangi remains a lonely outsider; her stepsisters tease her for her crippled leg, and the housekeepers use her like a servant.

Just before her thirteenth birthday, Tangi learns the truth about her father's strange legacy: the three bottles aren't empty any more. They're filled with all the tears she's cried since her father died, and her tears are enchanted. She must use them to travel to Rosevine, the world of her dead mother. Tangi not only belongs there but is necessary to keep Rosevine alive.

Tangi's tears will save Rosevine, and Rosevine will save Tangi from a cruelty-filled life, except for one thing: Tangi's lost the bottles.

Want me to help with your blurb? I can do that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New before/after: "Love Is the Drug"

Boy, long time no blog! The holidays and editing my most recent book kept me from saying much here, business slowed with the holidays, and a lot of the blurbs I've written lately are for unpublished works. I try to save the blurb before/after for when the writer has the book out.

Today's before/after is a little different; K.E. Saxon hired me to cut her existing blurb down to a really, really short synopsis for an ad--50 to 55 words, fewer if possible! Challenging, but fun.  Here's what K.E. says about working with me:

"I swear, I sat there yesterday cutting and pasting and moving words around, and could NOT figure out how to put such a short blurb together. You were a godsend and I'll definitely recommend you!"
Thanks, K.E.! Here's what we came up with together:

What's a guy to do when he meets the woman of his dreams, but she turns out to be the sister of his most despised enemy?

Fall in love, of course!

* * *

This is the story of Jason Jörgensen, an excitement-loving bad boy and Julie Del Mar, the quiet, romantic dreamer who breaches his devil-may-care façade and helps heal the frightened boy inside.

Conceived during a violent rape, Jason knows deep down that he’s no good. So, as far as he’s concerned, his plan never to have children is not only sound, but also the right thing to do.

Julie, orphaned at twelve, has now lost her surrogate parent—her older sister—to suicide. Returning to the only real home she ever had and someday making her own family is her most profound wish.

A drugged-drink Vegas wedding brings them together, but a pregnancy test tears them apart.

Jason Jörgensen discovers he’s the seed of a violent rapist and vows never to be a father. Julie Del Mar has lost the last member of her family to suicide and now she wants to create her own family. Uncontrollable desire brings them together, but a pregnancy test may tear them apart.

Want me to help with your blurb? I can do that.