Book Jacket

 

rank 5185
word count 14972
date submitted 22.09.2010
date updated 09.10.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Young Adu...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Ashes, Ashes

Kelly Lynn Seguin

Locked in a three-way battle between true love, lost love and a vampire hell-bent on destroying her, Elizabeth must find the strength to pull through.

 

Elizabeth Covais, Guardian Angel with an attitude, is content living her life amongst the mortals in their mundane world, until confronted with a past she hoped to forget. Despite her apprehension, the Elders put on the pressure for Elizabeth to come back to the castle and rule the kingdom that is rightfully hers.

With the help of her best friend Caleb, she feels that facing her past may not be as bad as she anticipated, but when she starts to see Caleb as more than just a friend all disapproving eyes are on her. If that isn't enough, her ex-boyfriend decides to come back from whichever rock he crawled under and starts playing with her emotions. Not to mention that the crazed vampire who killed her parents is looking to kill off every Covais. Elizabeth must find the strength within herself to pull through. After all, it isn’t just her life on the line.

Filled with demons, werewolves, angels and more, this novel will push Elizabeth through more then she ever thought she was capable of. Which leads to a climactic change within her that she and her noble Guardians would have never imagined for centuries to come.

 
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angels, demons, good vs evil, phoenix, shape-shifters, vampires

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Chapter one

The dagger felt heavy in my hand as I clenched the hilt, praying for an easy kill. The drow cocked his head to the side, studying me, and for a moment, my revulsion was overwhelmed by fear. His lips curled back into a death’s mask grin to reveal a mouthful of crooked teeth, and my disgust snapped back.

“I have to admit...” he taunted, “I expected more from the last Covais.”

You and everyone else. I lashed out with the dagger.

He dodged a right hand strike. Fast as he was, I was just that much faster. I swiped the switchblade off my thigh with my left and it sunk deep in his side. Ripping it out, I stepped back and waited for his next move. He stared down at the gushing wound, sliding his fingers through the dark blood. He seemed confused that it was on the outside.

The sight was actually quite amusing, but I knew this might be my only opening. I spun the dagger in my palm, seized it and stabbed him in the throat. His eyes snapped open as the blade embedded into the wall behind him, pinning him like a bug. His mouth made a gurgling noise between gasps for air. I leaned in close, but the smell of rotting meat held me back at arms' length. “How’s that for the last Covais?”

His eyes rolled back into their sockets as his body fell limp. His bones cracked and his throat muscles tore as his weight hung heavy on the blade.

Asshole. Served him right.

I tapped my foot in the pool of blood on the pavement at my feet. This is just great. I glared at the drooping troll with annoyance. Fifteen-thousand, fourteen-thousand, thirteen-thousand…the elders were going to throw a fit…ten-one-thousand, nine-one-thousand…and where were my guardians?!…seven-one-thousand, six-one-thousand…he ruined my favorite shirt!…three-one-thousand, two-one-thousand…

Oh, screw it!

I grabbed the dagger with both hands and ripped it out of the mortar with a growl. His body disintegrated in a flurry of glitter and ash as the blade sliced through what had been his neck. All that remained were the stains.

I let out the breath in my lungs and tried not to smell his stench on the next inhale. As I wished for rain to wash the blood away, the skies opened. I held my arms out to it, turning my wrists to rinse the blades. Dropping my head onto my shoulders, I let the water wash my face and soak through my clothes and hair. Calm now, I sheathed my blades and kicked off my strappy sandals, surrendering my feet to the cool puddles and flat concrete. Drow, check. Man who created heels...run and hide! 

As I leaned to hook my finger through the straps, suddenly the air in the alley changed. I snapped my eyes to the each individual shadow and I knew in an instant, I wasn’t alone.

I inched backward on the broken blacktop and made a slow, deliberate turn, following the surge of energy coming from the end of the alley. It was cold, but familiar and I felt compelled. I took another step, then a third, and with each step forward, the feeling became stronger. It tiptoed across my skin like icy fingers, then hands sliding across my legs and up my back. I shivered and as the phantom pulled away, I saw it. A wisp of black, like wings, that spiraled up to join the dark sky.

“Nate?” I asked the sky above.

There was no answer.

The shadows came now and then. They touched; I chased. They fled; I called to them. They never answered. It was like they never were.

In the dark, almost masked by the patter of rain, there was a new rhythm. Splashes in puddles, pads on wet pavement. Claws scratching, getting louder. And then, there was only the rain. Hot breath puffed on my lower back. Shifter!  I reached for my dagger, while cursing my missing guardians under my breath.

 

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Janelle Stalder wrote 809 days ago

As an avid YA reader, let me just say that this book can definitely hold it's own amongst the popular YA novels out right now. Angels, Werewolves, and Vampires are definitely not new, but I think you've done a great job of making the story strong enough to stand out of the crowd. I loved all the characters. Liz is a strong female lead, but still has that vulnerability that makes her relatable to the readers. Loved Caleb! Move over all those other popular YA hunks, because there is a new man in town. He is gorgeous and strong, and furry! What's not to love?! Your writing is wonderful and easy to read. I caught a few typos, but those are just minor. As far as the flow, I thought it was great, and not at all awkward. The only bad thing I noticed was that it's not done!! How can you leave me hanging like this? It isn't fair! I can't wait to read the rest, I think this book has loads of potential.

Best of luck!

Janelle Stalder
Author of Eden

M.A. Anderson wrote 1278 days ago

Intriguing premise. This is the kind of story the YA audience will eat up with a spoon. Your writing is good, flows well and the interaction between the characters is real. Good luck with this book. BACKED.

M. A. Anderson
DARK LEGACY

Marita A. Hansen wrote 1278 days ago

First of all, excellent book cover, it's what caught my attention. All I had time to read was the prologue and chapter 1 today. You have a great start with the prologue, an excellent hook. It was full of tension with the king and queen being killed, which sets up the princess for a hard time. Introducing the reader to the villian, Marcus, is good, and that Angels can be corrupted. I liked the combination of Angels, Vampires and Werewolves. I love Catholic and Slavic mythology, so you have covered all these elements of interest.

In chapter 1, Elizabeth comes across as a good heroine, and we get a taste of what's to come, her ascension to the throne and undoubtedly the trouble it will cause her with Marcus. I can't really criticise anything, though the cell phone call threw me a little as I was thinking the setting was more otherwordly. But this isn't a criticism as it tells me the story is contemporary.

Thank you for the read. Backed. Best wishes, Marita.

Janelle Stalder wrote 809 days ago

As an avid YA reader, let me just say that this book can definitely hold it's own amongst the popular YA novels out right now. Angels, Werewolves, and Vampires are definitely not new, but I think you've done a great job of making the story strong enough to stand out of the crowd. I loved all the characters. Liz is a strong female lead, but still has that vulnerability that makes her relatable to the readers. Loved Caleb! Move over all those other popular YA hunks, because there is a new man in town. He is gorgeous and strong, and furry! What's not to love?! Your writing is wonderful and easy to read. I caught a few typos, but those are just minor. As far as the flow, I thought it was great, and not at all awkward. The only bad thing I noticed was that it's not done!! How can you leave me hanging like this? It isn't fair! I can't wait to read the rest, I think this book has loads of potential.

Best of luck!

Janelle Stalder
Author of Eden

a.morrison712 wrote 963 days ago

I came over to take a look at your book after I saw that your genre would mix fantasy and horror. I love the darker stories that are set in a distant land. Your pitch was great and I love the Elders that you talk about. Your first chapter had me wanting to turn the page again, but I had to tear myself away. I will watch list you and come back for more when I get more time. I am also looking for some feedback on my book Maddy Hatfield and the Magic Locket. Any comments are greatly appreciated! Best of luck to you with this!

Ashley

AunaJune wrote 970 days ago

Interesting story. I am quick intrigued by it all. The writing is smooth, the dialogue is great, and the picture it creates as I am reading is so real I feel like I am there in the dungeon with them. I will be placing this on my shelf as soon as possible. Hope it continues to move forward.

Auna June
Catalaysia: The Curse of Five

E. Yazykova wrote 975 days ago

Dramatic and vivid! I think it would help to know who "she" was earlier, so we can being rooting for "her" from the beginning. I feel really bad when the princess dies. The end of chapter one is very dramatic, and "gasp!" - ish. This is a good way to start a novel - on to chapter 2.

Elena ("Oko")

Red2u wrote 1069 days ago

Your book cover is awesome; drew me right in! I like your pitches and read the first chapter. The dialogue is wonderful. I have rated and plan on returning for a further read. Good luck with the book!
Red

Sue50 wrote 1105 days ago

Your book was recommended by CC Brown author of Dark Side. (Vampire Novel) I am happy to BACK your work. Good Luck!
Sue50

Ivan Amberlake wrote 1128 days ago

From the very first line I became glued to the monitor of my computer, absorbing each and every word of your enchanting story!!! Wow! What a fantastic prologue! The language is so rich and descriptive; this book is impossible to resist. Action, action, action!!! Full marks and I'm in for more...

Good luck with "Seraphina" and best regards,

Ivan
The Beholder

Cardennightelf wrote 1196 days ago

...all i can say is woah. I read the first chapter. At first, i wasn't sure what was going on, but then it all became clear. Is he a vampire, or a demon? I couldn't quite tell. You mentioned vampire's, but, still, i wasn't sure. I also didn't think angels could be killed in such a way. Boy, was i wrong! This book is very intriguing, and i thoroughly enjoyed reading what i did. i will have to come back and read more.
I hope to see this on the shelves.
Good luck!

-Rachelle
Secrets- Book One: To Save Ella

ccb1 wrote 1207 days ago

Backed Seraphina ~Against the Darknes.... Oh, my! Very dark, tense, and powerful. YA readers will really get into this struggle between good and evil.
CC Brown

Kaimaparamban wrote 1248 days ago

A wonderful story.. I enjoyed...

Joy J. Kaimaparamban
The Wildfire

Vice Captain Sam wrote 1271 days ago

Hello, well as well as the nice avatar, your story looks interesting so I've given it a go. Please remember you're free to discard any/ all of what I suggest:

PROLOGUE

The first paragraph, to me, is repeating the same sentiment. I think you need to clarify that this 'evil feeling' is getting stronger and stronger a bit more. Perhaps correlate it to what's happening to the 'queen'? 'With every slice, every stab, her blood poured, while the darkness within him drank up the carnage, festering like a dead animal, and overwhelming with its taint.' There's also some word repetition ('fear').

There's also a tautology ('...eyes held fear, desperation and sorrow')- I'd pick whichever you feel is the strongest and play on that, else you're just repeating what you've described before but just moved it to another body part.

Next paragraph: lots of 'heart'! Rephrase what's happening so you don't have to rely on the word so much (as a medic I know 'heart' doesn't have many good synonyms!)

e.g. 'He smiled wide enough to show fang as the juddering heart writhed in his hand, about to pump its last. Blood oozed over his fingers, trickling like sap from a young sapling. He swallowed back the temptation to drain the sweet nectar within the thumping organ. He couldn't jeopardize the ritual...'

I don't know if you're using omniscient point of view (explaining all) or 3rd person, but if you're using the former, then get us right into Marcus's head. He's enjoying this, right? But he's also forcing himself to show restraint.

Again the next paragraph: vary the sentences a bit. I wouldn't overuse 'sinful'- it'll get tiresome otherwise.

Next bit it's a bit unclear who's in a trance- Marcus or the Angel? Clarify.

'The Angel nodded in agreement'- you can remove 'agreement' as the line of dialogue that follows says it for you.

'In one last effort to break free' - typo, should be 'of' no 'off'.

'That he too, was a pawn in the game Marcus was winning'- a great line!

Again, when you switch to the Angel's point of view, it's not that clear. Try and make it obvious who is doing what (else it becomes confusing).

Some good metaphors towards the end: 'raging river', 'lion stalking its prey'

A very intriguing and hooky premise- good job! Just try and breathe some more life into the events, and make clear who is thinking what.

CHAPTER ONE

Very good start- flows well and reads easily. Just one unneeded comma after 'Ursula very rarely left'

'very much like her angelic self'- give us an idea? Does she have wings? Does she have a physical body? Radiate light? Wear a halo?

'She stopped talking but I knew she wasn't finished'- how does Liz know this? Give us some insight here.

Ah, I see you've put Ursula's description here. Might I warn you that for some this is jarring- readers may have given Ursula their own appearance with your sparse one-liner above, and if it doesn't match to your description here it can be unsettling. It doesn't have to be detailed- perhaps just a line mentioning wings and the glimmer. There are only certain ways Angels look, I agree- but perhaps give Ursula something unique so your Angels stand out.

Very good next paragraphs.

'Surely you have not come here' isn't consistent with how Liz speaks- change to 'surely you haven't come here'

Same with 'You are' = 'You're', etc. Liz is indignant to what she's being asked- let her royal pretense slip because of her anger.

'Elizabeth!'- show us more of Ursula's reaction outside of the dialogue. Does she jump, move around?

Here, with Liz using more formal tones, you can keep the more stuffy dialogue.

I like how you convey her feelings towards Marcus.

The jump to Caleb and her friends is a bit sudden- maybe put in a scene break? Otherwise it's a great way to juxtapose Liz's secret as an Angel and her ordinary life with mortals.

Overall, you've got a great idea and already it's heading in a direction more unique than others who use a similar premise. The writing needs a bit of strengthening- bring us closer to the characters. Apart from a bit of word repetition, though, it reads well, and is shaping up to be an intriguing read.

all the best

Sam241

Nitro280 wrote 1275 days ago

Cool concept, the battle of angles both fallen and otherwise. I find Ursula particularly interesting but Elizabeth is good as well though perhaps moody. Interaction between our world and the next is going to make this story interesting. I enjoy your use of descriptive language in the first part but it does get a little excessive in my opinion (I actually get flak about this myself in AOS opening chapter). However, your pacing resets to a comfortable pace in chapter 2 as Elizabeth takes over the story. Sweet cover btw, drew me right in.

backed with pleasure,
John Payne
Apostles of Sera

Marita A. Hansen wrote 1278 days ago

First of all, excellent book cover, it's what caught my attention. All I had time to read was the prologue and chapter 1 today. You have a great start with the prologue, an excellent hook. It was full of tension with the king and queen being killed, which sets up the princess for a hard time. Introducing the reader to the villian, Marcus, is good, and that Angels can be corrupted. I liked the combination of Angels, Vampires and Werewolves. I love Catholic and Slavic mythology, so you have covered all these elements of interest.

In chapter 1, Elizabeth comes across as a good heroine, and we get a taste of what's to come, her ascension to the throne and undoubtedly the trouble it will cause her with Marcus. I can't really criticise anything, though the cell phone call threw me a little as I was thinking the setting was more otherwordly. But this isn't a criticism as it tells me the story is contemporary.

Thank you for the read. Backed. Best wishes, Marita.

M.A. Anderson wrote 1278 days ago

Intriguing premise. This is the kind of story the YA audience will eat up with a spoon. Your writing is good, flows well and the interaction between the characters is real. Good luck with this book. BACKED.

M. A. Anderson
DARK LEGACY

M.A. Anderson wrote 1279 days ago

Hi Lynn, I've added your book to my watchlist and will read very soon. Have a few to go through first. Good luck with your book.

TMNAGARAJAN wrote 1286 days ago

SERAPHINA
Backed
TMN
"NEVER LOSE..."

WendyMSR wrote 1288 days ago

There is some awkwardness in Chapter Three. Your intention is clear…you’re showing Elizabeth in her home…waking up, stretching, making coffee. But the scene is tripping over the language. It seems more of an outline for the scene than a completed one.

I’ve found instances in the text where it seems like you’re talking to the reader. Like this: It feels the same as when you sleep on your arm the wrong way. This stops the action of the story cold.

Also, when I sleep on my arm wrong, my arm becomes a useless noodle that I can’t feel and can’t make do anything at all. The pain comes when the blood flows back through.

You tell us that she tucks her wings to keep from bumping into things. She has a hangover…you can illustrate her morning after condition and the size of her house by having her catch her wings on things. You’ve humanized her in the opening of this chapter…go all the way. Give us a no-balance-having, hung-over angel with a brute swinging a sledgehammer around her head. Bothersome feathered appendages that have a damned mind of their own would be a nice touch here.

On that note, it might be interesting to have her forget she can heal herself until after her coffee jolts her awake. What in god’s name am I doing?! And then zap all the elixir effects away.

Kitchen designers usually have a working triangle with the sink, fridge, and stove. In very small kitchen spaces, this is usually accomplished by having one of the three on one wall. For instance, in a kitchen the size you’re talking about…galley shorter than her wingspan…the sink is probably under the pass through with fridge to right or left, and the stove on the back wall with whatever for counter/cabinet space. I wouldn’t outright explain this here…we’re probably not going to be staying here long enough to warrant attaching ourselves to the place. Just show her using the space to make her coffee.

After she turns on the music, she turns her thoughts to the night before. I think it would have a lot of impact to start with 'The drow knew who I was'. It’s a reminder that she’s being watched and that there’s a vampire that wants her dead.

I like that she takes offense at the blunt way she was addressed by the elf, but try not to go back into the politics of the Guardians. Try this:

---
I’m not a higher power right now. Covais blood flowed through my veins, but I had no right to its power while I teetered on the fence. The rules of the Guardians were quite specific, and while I was content to play hooky from the castle for a time, I would not fall from grace to punish a drow for his impudence.

Speaking of hooky…is that was I was still doing here?
---

Consider bringing in Caleb right here. You do a good job of glossing over packing…because really that’s not important…but considering her reticence about going back, Caleb showing up could be an impetus to start packing. Also, mentioning how he looks is good, because you’re showing that she notices that. But, I wouldn’t go into how he’s usually dressed. I’m assuming, if he’s her Lykos, that we’ll have plenty of time to see how he’s usually dressed.

After the “missed you” hug, Elizabeth mentions the colors of his eyes, then says he’s easy on the eyes, and then describes the colors of his eyes. It snagged my attention, and not in a good way. Try to describe him in one direction, eyes out to hair, to body. And I’d end returning to his smile making her week in the knees. (Not any girl…her.)

(Don’t tell him I said that.) This is talking at the reader again. I’d take this out.

Six foot four…try to avoid exact measurements of height.

While considering her relationship with Caleb, she meanders a lot. Perhaps she should mention that he’s hot. And they had a weird connection that just always felt right. But…she avoided dating mortals because of the complications. Wolves were not much less.

The conversation with Caleb could be a little smoother. There’s a lot of information that your characters are going to share…theire knowledge will fill in the blanks of each other’s statements. You do this when you mention Aivar not explaining to the pack. But a few sentences later, Elizabeth explains to Caleb about the Elders thinking she’ll be safer at the castle. I think that Caleb is going to know about the Elders and their reasons. Try keeping the focus on Caleb’s concern for Elizabeth…what she’s thinking, what she wants.

“You don’t want to go back,” Caleb said knowingly.
I sighed heavily, giving the bathroom a final once over. “I don’t know what I want.”

Then mention Caleb coming up behind her to talk about Marcus. Also….if you were to consider Elizabeth avoiding saying Marcus’s name, Caleb would be sensitive to that. He might avoid saying it as well. (That’s just an idea.)

I don’t think that Elizabeth needs to explain Lykos or how using power drains it from the angel. In context, that will become obvious.

Spelling: I think “burrow” should be “bureau”

Immediately after that, you explain that her father gave Elizabeth a key AND she explains it to Caleb. I would recommend cutting the narrative explanation and just have her tell Caleb. Keep the holding it through her shirt and not believing that she almost left it behind.

Onto Chapter 4 :) Have I mentioned yet that I love Love LOVE your story?

WendyMSR wrote 1288 days ago

I like Chapter 2 a lot. Its got a lot of richness to it...lots of action, sounds, and visuals to get lost in. If its missing anything, it's probably just smell and the qualities of air that could really make it pop. Temperature, humidity of the alley when she's talking to the elf...how that contrasts with the environment of the club. But over all, I think you've done well here.

Next part is me just having fun with the opening of the chapter. :)

--

From the outside, The Mez looked like an old warehouse with rusted steel fire escapes and black paint peeling off cement slab. That’s what it was…an old warehouse…and that was how the owners liked the world to see it. But inside, double-takes were common among the uninitiated, and not unwarranted. But to get inside, one had to get passed the bouncer, an impressive hulk of a man that I liked to call the Gate Keeper. I once saw him check the ID of a balding suit and tie who was no less than 40. He might have been messing with the guy.

    Techno-beat thumped steadily through the walls as I approached the large cylindrical doors. That meant I was early. Haven’s set hadn’t started and the floor was probably packed with ravers.

    I always enjoyed being here, once I convinced myself to come. Or…more to the point…Lucie or Caleb convince me.

    “Hey Liz, where’s your side-kick?” Gate Keeper asked.

    I don’t know his real name. He didn’t object when I called him Gate Keeper the first time and the name stuck.

    “Still out of town. Lucie and Josh here yet?”

    “Yup, been here about twenty minutes.”

    We were regulars here, Lucie, Josh, Caleb, and me. Everyone knew us by name and treated us like royalty. No cover charges. Drinks specials. That was just to start.


---

The Mez

If this is an old warehouse, it seems like the space inside would be rectangular…unless the owners have made an effort to create a round space (which is certainly believable. However, if “circle” as a theme was important to them, you may want to consider changing the name to incorporate a circle.). Also…in keeping with the “angelic” theme…have you considered using a decommissioned gothic-style church instead of a warehouse?

---
Sensory Perception

Would it be outrageous to suggest that Angels have enhanced sight? So, when she’s looking over this insanely busy room…probably dark room with strobes, spinning colors, and mirror balls or whatever…she can shift her perception. She could see as if it were daylight or possibly night-vision, but in a weird color, like aqua or pink or something. She can zero-in on dark corners, sharpen faces, blur surroundings (like a vignette photograph). Perhaps she can do this combined with a super-speed component, so that the room slows?

I would be an opportunity to play with color, light, sound…and hey, techno is sexier in slow motion.

---

Josh

I don’t think you need to mention that he’s close. Just describe being close…you already started to, mentioning his warmth. Maybe this starts out a hug and he grabs her ass, then she tells him not to get cute. And I think bringing in the sexual tension here is important. It will help ease into the dance scene.

---

Travis

Focus on the not-in-a-good way shivers. This caught my attention immediately. He seems nice enough, but she doesn’t trust him. She’s polite, but keeps him at arms length.

Also...again, me just playing around:


It was his arrogance that set me off, I knew. He was so sure of himself…self-made God’s gift to women. But, in my world, I had to wonder if that’s all it was.

---

The Dance

I would take this “excellent dancers” mention out. What this becomes isn’t about dancing...and considering that this supposed to be YA, you may want to be careful about how far towards sex it goes. What if Elizabeth figures out the drow’s influence while the dance is progressing and rips herself away from Josh to run after the troublemaking elf. On one hand, it would appear that she was embarrassed for having gone too far…which she would be…and it covers the other hand nicely. No one notices she’s in pursuit, not fleeing. Again, I think bringing in enhanced angel senses would be warranted here. 

Also, there are 13 instances of “dance” in this chapter…I think. But, we already know that’s what they’re doing. Try describing how they are dancing towards each other without using the word “dance”. You could bring in some tango, salsa, even ballet, really. I see this becoming a full contact body worship, hands everywhere. (I am a HUGE fan of dance as a battle of control…vs the partner and vs the self.)

I would view instances like “the crowd loved…” like a cross-examination of a witness. Don’t assume…by describing the sound of the crowd, behavior, focus, you will prove your point.

Just like the feeling of evil and sin…what does this energy building in the room feel like. Oh…porno dance…yeah, I think that needs to go. ‘The crowd erupted again. I don’t know what came over me.’

--

The Drow...this is good. Maybe tighten up the narration, but it's a good scene in a good place.

--
Back at the club with Josh and Lucie

I think this just needs to be shorter. Let Lucie get her feelings out. Elizabeth will insist that there's nothing between her and Josh, even if he's not sure. And let them go to enjoy the rest of their evening. Fade to black.

WendyMSR wrote 1288 days ago

Chapter 1 Notes:

Overall, I think this chapter is a good place to start with Elizabeth. The talk with Ursula gives us enough information about what's happening in the kingdom that would require the princess to abandon her self-imposed exile. It tells us why she left, pin points the causes of her pain, even foreshadows conflicts with Marcus and her ex-boyfriend.

I have a few thoughts about the details.


URSULA: I think your usage of the word 'like" in paragraph 3 is taming her. If you were to change this into an action, it would strengthen her character. Try this:


Ursula shunned glamour, preferring to remain on the castle grounds over passing as mortal. Even now, standing on my doorstep--and at great risk of consequence--her sparkly herself.


It would give the impression that Ursula does what she wants.

And later, you say that Ursula looked to be struggling. I would remove "looked to be". Ursula struggled...Elizabeth isn't guessing. Ursula doesn't hold back that she's disturbed.

Finally, I'd like to see her with more backbone. She came all the way down to the mortal city...she has a point to say to Elizabeth, and until Elizabeth starts acting like a queen, as a reader, I wouldn't be offended if Ursula scolded her for being a brat.

__

Style: I think the narration is a little loose. If you wanted to, you could combine/reorganize paragraphs just to tighten the scene up.

__

Marcus

You say that Ursula hesitates on Marcus's name. In your place, I would reduce Ursula's answer to just his name...no hesitation. This man is a threat and Ursula can emphasize that by saying nothing else.

Now, hesitation in the scene, is certainly warranted, but it should be elizabeth that pauses. The reader knows who he is because of the prologue. Consider letting Elizabeth try to wrap her heart and soul around how the verbalization of his name makes her feel. Perhaps she tastes just a tiny bit of whatever it was that corrupted the Angel in the Prologue and recoiling from it. (Hinting at a fine line that must not be crossed? Just a thought.)

__

The Soul Certificates

The actual paper certificates is a nice touch. It hints at a beauracracy, which messes well later on when Elizabeth says Caleb can't tell her what he's doing.

However, Elizabeth and Ursula are both in the know about what they are. As a matter of conversation, it doesn't feel natural for Elizabeth to tell Ursula that the kingdom won't be at full strength without the souls. Ursula would be well aware. I'd like to with Elizabeth saying, "It's been two years," with great concern, and have her worry to herself about the kingdom falling apart without the souls.

--
Glamour

Elizabeth doesn't need to explain what glamour is in so many words. In the context of conversation, glamour should be understood by the reader. I also wouldn't put too much explanation into the penalties for being caught in public without glamour. Try something more direct, like Elizabeth cursing after Ursula leaves, "Damn it, Ursula!" And then think to herself it's amazing the woman still had her wings. Or something.

--
Caleb

Try limiting Caleb in the first half of this chapter to just:


Boo hoo, princess, Caleb would tell me. Suck it up.

God, I missed him.



And then in the second half of the chapter, explain Caleb. I think it would signal a transition of her attention away from Ursula, back to her life in the mortal world. See if you like it. :)

Onto Chapter 2!

Herschel Shirley wrote 1302 days ago

Unlike Dan below this is my kind of read. I'm more of an 'old school' fan and writer but this is setting up as a very good fantasy. Well told and well written. I would offer some minor advice. It is easy to tell someone how I would write it and make suggestions. I have to watch myself with those tendencies. You need to write it like you feel it. Some minor suggestions are good to help make it more readable but in the end it has to please you. Backed with pleasure.

I hope you will take a look at my novel, Earth Reaver. I would welcome any comments and your backing.

Herschel Shirley

eurodan49 wrote 1307 days ago

Well, not my kind of a read but a good write is a good write.
I like your strong narrative voice and the blend of “show” and “tell.”
One remark, instead of you (the author) telling us how the angel felt why not use internal dialogue to further draw the reader into the story?
Your dialogue is crisp and would like more of it. That would make for a better pace.
Overall a good piece which I’m backing.
Dan

andrew skaife wrote 1307 days ago

I think this is the sort of dark and fanciful stuff that the YA audience mop up with glee and therefore can see no reason why it does not deserve support.

BACKED

Barry Wenlock wrote 1308 days ago

Hi Lynn, I love the National Geo' style face on the cover. The book's not bad, either. I liked you main character and you're an effective writer of dialogue. happy to back.
Best wishes,
Barry
LITTLE KRISNA AND THE BIHAR BOYS

Walden Carrington wrote 1308 days ago

Lynn,
Seraphina-Against the Darkness has an enthralling plot and your writing is exquisitely detailed. A horrific fantasy novel with a touch of romance is certain to enchant many. Backed with enthusiasm.

Andrew Burans wrote 1308 days ago

You have written a very interesting and unique storyline, which I do like, and created a most memorable main character in Elizabeth. I also really like your use of the first person narrative voice as this allows you to fully explore her wide range of emmotions and thoughts. The dialogue is realistic and well written and the pace of your story flows well. All of this along with your descriptive writing ensures that your horror fantasy will appeal to the YA audience. Backed with pleasure.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

SusieGulick wrote 1308 days ago

You are totally fantastic, Kelly! :) How can I ever thank you enough for backing my memoirs book? :)
God bless you. :) Love, Susie :)

SusieGulick wrote 1309 days ago

Dear Lynn, I love that I'm not in your heroine's place :) - what a fete & what a challenge to accomplish! :) Your pitch prepared me for your story & your crisp dialogue & paragraphs made for a smooth read. :) I am so happy that there are really not all of those evil forces :) - what a terrible world it would be. I've backed your book :) - could you please take a moment to back my memoir book? :) Thanks so very much. :) Love, Susie :)

name falied moderation wrote 1309 days ago

Dear Lynn
I have started to read your writing and must say that it is compelling. Already you have established your animated characters in my head, ( they are not leaving soon) and i feel strongly to back your book now. such talent you have to create a compelling read for me. I also believe your long pitch sells your book well. I do wish to be part of your climb to the top on this site. CONGRATS and I will comment more as I read more.

Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK also
The VERY best of luck to you
BACKED BY ME FOR SURE
Denise
The Letter

SusieGulick wrote 1309 days ago

:) comment to follow :)

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