I've been neglecting blog-life. Sorry about that.
I was very excited to get Nicole Green's newest novel, The Davis Years, in my mailbox. But one of my daughters had read the summary and snagged it when she came over. :)
Here's the blurb I yanked from Amazon:
After graduating from college, Jemma returns to the one place in the world she never thought she'd see again--her hometown of Derring, Virginia. She can't stay away any longer when she realizes her best friend from high school is getting married. Returning home also means seeing Davis again. He broke her heart in high school and she's not sure she's over it yet. She's been thinking about him a lot since she turned down a marriage proposal from her college boyfriend. However, she has a new life now and Davis is a part of the past she's determined to put behind her.
Davis knows Jemma can do better than him and he wants her to. So even though his heart nearly stops when he sees Jemma for the first time in six years, he's determined not to get attached to her again for her sake. Trying to ignore what he feels for her isn't his only problem. His two brothers may want to sell the house their dad left all three of them. His brothers abandoned him to their abusive father and now he's sure they only want to come back into his life to take the house away from him.
Neither Jemma nor Davis want to fall in love with each other again, albeit for different reasons. However, it's hard for them to fight the forceful attraction that hasn't disappeared over the years. If anything, it's grown stronger.
Nicole's characters grab hold of the reader, they are so real. You WANT this book!
In other news-- one of the members at The Internet Writing Workshop posted this link. It talks about the page 99 test. It's an arbitrary snapshot of your whole book. It should capture the reader. If not, you've got problems.
I got to wondering if my newest work in progress, Twelve Keys, would capture a reader on page 99. Of course, it has the temporary flaw that it doesn't yet have a page 99. I use 1.5 spacing (because double spacing annoys me) and I've only written 58 pages... well, unless you count the scenes I wrote in separate documents, not yet included in the main document because they aren't in sequence... yadda yadda, I'm not linear. :p
So, I took another arbitrary page number- 42. (Douglas Adams fans will approve.) Though not polished, I think the page may capture readers. However, what I learned from this exercise is that the page 99 test doesn't tell you a thing about plot. From this page, you wouldn't know if I'm writing a lot of bull pucky or what.
See what do YOU think? :)
Angry, but having no choice, Poppy agreed to give up her clockwork gun to the guard at the gate. Rick assured her she'd get it back when they left Marketland, but she didn't trust the ogre guard with beady eyes and sharp fangs whom she was sure kept threatening her whenever he snarled. Though, after they walked away, Rick assured her that's simply how ogres behave.
"Don't take it personally." He smiled and tugged one of her braids before walking on.
Poppy trailed behind him, leading Currito and the other animals, her eyes big with wonder at the stalls selling opossum pasties, roasted meats, small wine casks, wineskins hanging from canvas roofs, swords and knives of obsidian, bone or metal, leather goods, and clockwork gadgets whose purpose she could only guess. Around the outside wall, in the alcoves, were more merchants and tradesmen making leather goods and shaping metal.
She nearly collided with a woman carrying a stick hung with feathers and coyote skulls. The woman, whose face was smeared with black and red paint to make her eyes wild-looking, bared her teeth at Poppy.
"Sorry," Poppy squeaked. Thankfully, the woman moved on.
Poppy glanced around in panic when she didn't see Rick anywhere. She wasn't used to crowds. The eyes of so many people looking at her made Poppy nervous. It seemed everyone was armed with swords or knives, or even, much to her astonishment, spiked clubs. And the guard wouldn't let her keep her revolver? Ridiculous.
Drawing closer to Currito, she stroked him for comfort. Then she saw Rick push through a cluster of people and come toward her.
"Where'd ye go?" he asked. "Stick close. And don't look anybody in the eye."
"Why not?" she asked.
Poppy followed Rick to the other end of the square, where over a door hung a plaque with a picture of a canon painted on it. Poppy observed that it was identical to the canon sitting right outside the door itself.
"Redundant, don't you think?"
Rick gave a crooked grin. "Ye think?" He opened the door and the sounds and smells that wafted out made the purpose of the establishment clear to Poppy. It was a saloon. "Wait here with the animals," he said.
How about your own page 99? :)