Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Author: Paula K Perrin
Genre: YA Fantasy
How long it's been on sale: March 2, 2012
Current price: $2.99
Marketing: I've contacted friends & relatives, distributed bookmarks & posters, requested (not yet received) reviews on blogs
Total sold so far: 59
Link to book on Amazon: Starwinger Prophecy
The telepathic winged horses known as Starwingers are losing their battle against extinction. They have one hope, the prophecy that a girl will fly along the full moon's track and sacrifice herself for them. However, that girl knows nothing about them.
Dia A'Dianais lives a countless distance away over the sea. She is a young princess of the Five Families. Her small, rich valley is under attack. The Family counts on her talent in the legendary Mysteries to save them, but she fails.
Searching for another solution, Dia learns of the Starwingers. She believes the answer to her dilemma is their strategic help. Unaware of the prophecy, she sets out to find them.
Kidnapped and dragged aboard a pirated ship, she meets another captive, the Starwinger Mercelyon. He is near death from brutal treatment. Dia saves him. Bonded now, they agree to help each other. They fly to Attyria, but the Starwingers view them as traitors, not as saviors.
Caught between Hrapthor the Death-bringer, the hostile Starwingers, and the guerilla forces of Attyria, can Dia and Mer make allies of enemies? Can they survive the deadly tests set for them? Can they persuade the Starwingers to rescue Dia’s family? With strong wings and valiant hearts, they strive to fulfill and survive the prophecy of the Starwingers.
First 300 Words:
Princess Dia A'Dianais padded toward the stable in her bare feet, the sun sparking glints of red from her long black hair. She wore a loose white robe with no binding, nothing that would have constrained her in any way, nothing that should have prevented her from working the Mystery.
She had failed anyway. Now she must marry Basphas, an enemy. She kicked a pebble, then sucked in her breath at the sting in her toe.
She did not have to look up from the paving stones to know that the mares and their foals had been brought in from the fields. She did not have to glance behind her to know that the ladies of the Family gathered in the shade of her father's palace colonnade to work their embroidery and to gossip. She did not have to peer at the distant northern wall of the valley to see the miners bringing forth their treasure. The rhythms of the valley were as much a part of her as her heart's beat. Never had she thought she would have to leave it.
A stableboy appeared in the dark arch of the stable doorway. He started to grin at her, but his smile faded when he saw her expression. He glanced at her bare feet. It was expressly forbidden to go into the stable unshod. His mouth opened, then he turned aside and hurried away to find a chore far from the mares' barn.
As Dia crossed from the sun-warmed path into the cool shadows of the stable, Merche's head poked out above her stall door. The black mare nickered a greeting.
Dia hurried to the stall and unlatched the door, pulling it open. She flung her arms around Merche's neck and clung to her.
Comments: The title and author's name are both very hard to read. Maybe it's the color. I would try to re-do the type to make it easier to read. I don't mind the artwork, but it does make the book seem young, like maybe it's a middle grade story. YA books these days have more grown up looking covers.
The description isn't bad, but I would definitely get rid of the questions at the end. (For example: Can Dia and Mer make allies of enemies? Well, obviously they do, otherwise the book would suck. Can they survive the deadly tests set for them? Of course they do. Otherwise the book would suck. Can they persuade the Starwingers to rescue Dia’s family? And the answer is, again, yes, otherwise the book would suck.) Questions only work if the answer isn't: Yes, otherwise the book would suck.
I didn't find the beginning necessarily gripping, but I didn't think it was bad either. This isn't my normal genre, so it's possible it would catch someone else's attention. I do think being forced to marry someone you don't love is always a plot trope that will hook some readers.
My guess is the cover is appealing to a younger audience than the author is targeting, and I would suggest trying to find a more adult looking cover, with the font clear and readable. What do you guys think?