Monday, September 24, 2012
A Cure for the Condition
Author: Amy Croall
Genre: Historical Romance
How long it's been on sale: June 1, 2012
Current price: $4.99
Marketing: Blog tours, Twitter updates, Facebook Campaigns.
Total sold so far: 10 - 15
Link to book on Amazon: A Cure For The Condition
When seventeen-year-old Catherine assumes the throne as Queen of Cannary following her mother’s murder, she is forced to punish the man she loves, but when she develops a serious heart disease, the only cure for her condition may be the truth.
“Romance, adventure, danger and passion—A Cure For The Condition is a terrific debut novel from an exciting new author. Readers will love Amy Croall.”
—Leigh Bridger, author of Soul Catcher.
First 300 Words:
A forlorn, soft piano melody enveloped her as the book lay at an awkward angle in her lap. As her eyes remained closed, absorbing the musician’s brilliant performance, she had no idea her step-brother was watching her.
“Ah, Princess Catherine – there you are!” he said, barging into the room as he had many times over the previous two years.
Princess Catherine inhaled before his gravelly voice could release her daydreams. Sitting straight on the stiff sofa in the parlor, she placed the book next to her.
“Yes, good afternoon, Malcolm,” she replied.
Malcolm supplied her with a half-smirk and proceeded to lean against the sofa at which she sat. Princess Catherine couldn’t help but experience an ever-so-slight tingle when she peered into his crystal blue eyes.
Although her step-brother’s nose was somewhat too large, his lips thin, and his face angular, Malcolm had a strong jaw, well-groomed silver hair, and a smile that could draw women from countries away. At times, his boyish half-smirk made it difficult for Princess Catherine to recall he was seven years her senior.
“I heard about your meeting with the suitor this afternoon, and I must say I am intrigued,” he said.
Catherine donned an immediate scowl. “Malcolm, is this going to be another instance such as when you barged into this room as I was learning that piano and tell me I am causing a ruckus, or will it be reminiscent of when I returned home wearing rouge and you mocked me endlessly?” she demanded.
Malcolm feigned ignorance, putting a hand to his heart. “Why, dear step-sister, I am saddened by your accusations! I merely wished to extend my… condolences that the meeting did not go as hoped.” He suppressed a half-hearted chuckle.
“Of course,” Catherine replied, clearing her throat. “I’ll have you know our feelings were requited.
Comments: I would not have guessed that this book was historical romance looking at the cover. I saw the castle and the forest, and thought "fantasy." I think that is a major problem. Now, the book is published through a publisher. I'm not sure the author has much say in the cover design, so I don't know how much my assessment will help. If I were in charge, I'd change the cover. Most historical romance covers have a woman and a man on the cover, in a pose that makes it obvious there's a love story in the book. That's what I would recommend.
I'm not sure why that title was chosen. It seems to focus more on the disease than the love story. I might think about a different title as well.
The price is also kind of high, but I don't know that the author has a say in that either. (It's not extraordinarily high, but it still is a deterrent for people trying out a new author.)
The description needs some work. Why would the girl assuming the throne force her to punish the man she loves? That part doesn't make any sense. I'm also not sure how the truth can cure a disease. The "when" formula works well, but only if it's a logical progression. The "When" part needs to lead to the "Must do" part, which leads us to the conflict of the story.
I'd cut the quote from the description too, it doesn't add anything about the story. It's pretty generic, and could be said about any book. It gives no information. When I read a description, I want information about the plot.
The first paragraph starts in omniscient point of view, which is very difficult to pull off successfully. I don't think it's working here, as it feels like the character herself making observations about things she can't see.
The writing isn't horrible, but I might try tightening up the first bit. Usually that's the hardest to write anyway. You've got to hook the reader, while introducing the main character and making the reader care about them.
My recommendation is to get a new cover, try reworking the blurb, and tightening up the beginning, and possibly looking at a different title.
What do you guys think?