Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bouncer Post #50

Genre: YA Adventure Romance
Word Count: 91,000


For seventeen-year-old Jocelyn, being betrothed to the charming Prince Zven should’ve been perfect—instead it’s hell. After moving into his palace, Jocelyn’s world collapses when she discovers he’s murdered her family.

Trapped inside Zven’s twisted world of animal torture and indiscriminate murder, Jocelyn’s convinced she’s his next victim. Once she discovers Zven’s plan to poison the King, she escapes with her life and the prince’s secret.

With the entire kingdom searching and winter biting the forest, Jocelyn refuses to drown in panic. She accepts help from the mysterious soldier Taggert—a thrill-seeker more than willing to protect her.

Together they form a plan to cross the Kingdom of Zire and retrieve a letter from the royal apothecary proving Zven’s poisonous plot. Taggert uses his questionable connections to elude the prince and enlists an unlikely group of allies to aid Jocelyn: a drunken rogue, a jilted pirate princess, and a silent enigmatic spy.

Soon Jocelyn and Taggert’s plans are interrupted when one of her allies informs the prince of her whereabouts. Jocelyn must find a way to use the prince’s secret to stop him and outsmart the traitor before the prince finds her and forces her into marriage. She cannot fail. Experience has taught her—no one lives to cross Prince Zven.

First 250:

Jocelyn swallowed her panic in breathless gulps. It’s too late! I didn’t get far enough.

With guards chasing her, Jocelyn had two options—run or hide.

She chose the latter.

Now she waited.

Jocelyn lay flat—her stomach pressing into the earth and the frost from the ground seeped into her skin. Was it the cold or the fear making her skin rise in angry goose bumps?

The relentless pursuit moved closer with each shallow breath. Jocelyn touched her neck and her fist closed around a broken locket—its jagged face cut into her flesh. I’m still alive, the pain reminded her. She willed herself to remain still, fighting every screaming instinct to—Run! Run! Run!

The earth throbbed as boots hit the ground in a chaotic cadence.

They’re going to find me. He’s going to kill me!

A guard stood with polished boots inches from Jocelyn’s nose and she stiffened.

“Stupid girl. Making me leave my bed in the middle of the night,” the guard grumbled. He pushed aside the leaves on the bush she hid under and they crackled like angry paper. “No one runs from the Prince. Stupid, stupid girl.”

Jocelyn gritted her teeth. I’m not a stupid girl. He’s given me no choice. She held onto the anger as it fought against the fear in her body. She preferred anger—at least it was productive.


  1. Your first 250 sucked me in. Good job!

  2. You had me at jilted pirate princess, and your first 250 sucked me in. Great job. Oh and the last line of the query is awesome.

  3. I'm rooting for Jocelyn. Nice opening!

  4. Great job launching right into the action - you pulled me in. Best of luck with it!

  5. I love your opening!!!! And I agree with Jenny. Your last line in your query was purely awesome!

  6. Aww, thanks guys! I didn't know this went up today. I'm kind of freaking out!

  7. Wow! Those first 250 words are awesome. I am plastered against the ground with her. I feel like I should cause a distraction so she can run away!!

  8. Great query and first 250!! This reminds me a bit of Shannon Hale's Goose Girl, which I LOVE. But your novel sounds even more exciting!

  9. Hey Angela! I love the tension and sense of urgency here.... but I think all the action upfront is too soon. We need a chance to get to know Jocelyn and care about before seeing her thrust in this situation. Maybe weave in a few internal thoughts... something for us to get to know her better with.