Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bouncer Post #68

Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy
Word Count: 85,000 words


In a land resembling medieval Persia, a headstrong young princess defies convention by training as a painter of illuminated manuscripts. But when she runs from an arranged marriage, she stands to lose everything—her art, her freedom, and the man she loves.

Sent away at age sixteen to serve as an artist in a foreign ruler’s court, Princess Delfina is eager to leave her uncle’s palace. Not only will she get to use her training as a painter, but she will delay the looming threat of marriage. The price to be paid for such an opportunity? She must gather information for her uncle, the ruling Khan of Karavai. No easy task, especially since she is expected to charm Prince Darclor—one of the Khan’s worst enemies—into sharing his secrets. Yet, when she meets the handsome young prince, she is surprised at the powerful attraction she feels for him.

But romance has no place in Delfina’s future. When the Khan summons her home to be wed, she flees, thinking he has promised her to an aging, half-crazed monarch. Only too late does she learn that her uncle offered her up to Darclor instead, to secure an alliance between their kingdoms. Now, if Delfina is to escape her uncle’s vengeance and salvage her one chance at love, she must find a way to win back Darclor’s heart.

My inspiration for the world of THE FALLEN PRINCESS came from years of travel and research in the Middle East and India, as both an archaeologist and a student of Islamic art history.

First 250:

The door to the palace workshop burst open, disrupting the silence of the afternoon. I looked up to see one of the younger apprentices standing there.

“The Khan is coming! He’s coming for his inspection!” The boy leaned forward, hands on his knees, breathing heavily.

My stomach twisted in knots. My uncle was coming. Now. And I was in no state to greet him. “I thought he wasn’t due to visit until next week.”

“No, he’s on his way. He’ll be here soon. Within minutes!”

Master Giordani strode to the center of the room and clapped his hands together. “On your feet! Put everything away except the pages for the Khan’s book. Fetch them from the shelves and place them on the center table. Hurry!”

Without hesitation, all of us—the apprentices, calligraphers, and senior artisans—were up and moving. To the untrained eye, the studio appeared a chaotic mess, the wooden tables crowded with paper, reed pens, brushes, and oyster shells filled with oil paints. Every bit of it was essential for our work, but the Khan would regard it as clutter.

Giordani reviewed the pages, nodded in approval, and then ordered everyone to stand in line. When he saw me lingering by the shelves, he came over to me.

“Delfina, you need to join the others,” he said.

“I don’t think I should. If I leave now, you won’t be blamed for my appearance.” I wound my finger around a stray curl—one of many that had escaped from under my headscarf.


  1. I like your query - the story sounds interesting. Good luck!

  2. Sounds fascinating and well-written. In this age of awareness of and interest in the middle east, this might be a welcome relief from a market inundated with negative or violent middle eastern themes. This area of our world has always held mystery and intrigue, and it would be a pleasure to have a mystical, romantic whirl through Delfina's adventures. Good Luck!

  3. Wow! This one stands out as really professionally written. I sense there is going to be a lot of depth to Delfina. Good luck!

  4. Love Delfina's voice! Her independence and spunk ring clear in the first 250 words and make me want to journey with her on the adventure so well spelled out in the query. And the Persian setting is refreshing. Lovely! Good Luck!

  5. Bouncer Bookish HandygirlFebruary 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    The query is a bit confusing, but the premise sounds strong. You're in!

  6. This seems refreshing. A romance that doesn't have vampires? What an idea! We might even learn something about another culture - perish the thought!
    Good luck - I hope this one makes the cut!

  7. Sounds like something I'd definitely read. Congrats on getting in!

  8. The Fallen Princess sounds intriguing, especially Delfina's conflict between the art she loves and her duty as a princess. The romance sounds fun, too, and the setting sounds fascinating--medieval Persia sounds like an exotic escape. Looking forward to reading more of your novel!

  9. Good luck! You're in (again)!

  10. This is a book I'd like to pick up and read with time out only for meals! As an artist, I like the idea of a conflicted princess with an artistic purpose. Good luck to the fallen princess.