Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Would You Read On? hosted by Diana Flegal

Thank you for stopping by our blog today and for letting us know if you would read on.

First Page:

sha shivered despite the intense heat. Why had she never considered the brutal fact that she, too, might get caught? Stolen. Sold. Bartered over like one of the pieces of blood-dripping meat in this filthy market.

Someone was following her.

Back home she would not have noticed, but weeks in India had taught her to be wary. All the noise and clamor along the busy Kolkata street could not distract from the shadow that appeared, then retreated whenever she turned to find its source.

The person following her was not very good at the game of stealth.

That fact, however, did not make the predator any less dangerous.
Who was it? And why was she the target?

Slipping around the nearest corner, a whisper of wind teasing her shawl out behind her, Asha skirted a wandering goat, then turned quickly down an alley to the left, hoping to lose whoever was on her trail.

She was already late. But better to make Rani wait than to put her in even more danger.
If that were possible.

Could there be any danger worse than what her friend had already experienced? Sixteen-year-old Rani had traveled to the city following the promise of a well-paying job, only to find herself deceived, stripped of all freedom, stolen from all that gave her dignity or hope.

Stolen and sold. Asha could not stop her body from trembling.

She flattened a shaking hand against the wall. Edging forward inch by inch, she angled her head to glimpse around the corner without revealing her face.

Was he gone?

Would you read on? Thank you for your comments.

REVEAL : Last week's contributor was author Linda Rondeau. You can learn more about Linda at her blog This Daily Grind or on FB. Linda is the founder of Pentalk a FB writing community.


Timothy Fish said...

It's not bad. It could use some cleanup in places. There are a few extra commas that irriated me, but overall, it is a good first page. I'm not sure I care for it being set in India, which is what would keep me from continuing to read, but I'm sure other people would like it. It would help if the author would work the stuff about Rani into the story later rather than dumping it on us here. Though it is a correct useage of the English language, the sentence about skirting the goat made me laugh because it brought to mind the image of this gal putting a skirt on a goat, rather than what the author intended.

Anonymous said...

I'm already hoked! I want to read on. In fact, if you publish this, may I read an ARC and write an early review?

I may be a bit prejudiced, however, because my own novel deals with slavery.

The writer establishes tension immediately, Further, we learn some things about Asha: She's not Indian; she's compassionate toward her enslaved friend; she may also have come to India seeking work.

The imagery is superb. I'm there--in the middle of the market, smelling the carnage, seeing the colors, hearing the cacophony (or is it my own heart I hear?).

The commas don't bother me. They're used appropriately.

Scribe, whoever you are...

Write on!
Because of Christ

Anonymous said...

BTW, yes, I know you're a literary agency and don't publish books. I got in too big a hurry.

May God bless your day.

Because of Christ,
Sharon Kirk Clifton

Jeanette Levellie said...

Yes, I would, based on this writing, which is compelling. I shy away from edgy stories--they keep me up at night--but the writing is superb here.

I like it that we don't know who Rani is yet. That's a teaser, and it makes us want to read more.

Linda Glaz said...

Love it! Would most certainly read on!

Sharon A. Lavy said...

Ditto, what annon said. I want to be a beta reader for the whole manuscript.

Davalyn Spencer said...

Absolutely, I would read on. I see it, feel it.

Sarah Thomas said...

Nicely done and I would read on. There's very little to critique here--I'm thrust into the action with just enough information to entice, but not enough to spoil the story.

Two minor things:

Early on, she's being followd by "it." Then later, she's being followed by "he." Does she know it's a man or not?

And the sentence in the middle might be better as two.

"Slipping around the nearest corner, a whisper of wind teased her shawl out behind her. Asha skirted a wandering goat, then turned quickly down an alley to the left, hoping to lose whoever was on her trail."

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Yes, I would read on. It gives a very palpable sense of location and the language even reflects the foreign aspects of it. Looking forward to seeing who wrote this!

Cheryl said...

I would definitely read on. I might want a bit more description of where Asha is, but not a lot. The author has definitely created tension.

I agree with Timothy that less about Rani here might be a good idea. We actually learn more about her than the main character in this opening. We know Asha isn't a native because she mentions at home she wouldn't have noticed the person following her, but other than that, all we know is she has a shawl on. How old is she? Should we assume she's around Rani's age or is she older and trying to help the girl?

Despite not knowing much about Asha, I am hooked and would love to read this manuscript.

Sharon Kirk Clifton said...

This hooked me to the point that five hours since I first read it, I'm still thinking about it. One other thing I'd like to see is a hint about the setting in time. It feels contemporary, but I'm not sure.

kay Moser said...

I like it, and I would definitely keep reading. The author has given us just enough information about Asha and Rani to make us wonder. We don't need all the facts on page one, nor do we need less backstory. The author is absolutely on-target.

Lisa M Buske said...

Oh my goodness, fabulous! This isn't my typical book of choice yet if I picked this up and read this, the book would be going home with me. :) Strong and compelling.

:) Lisa M. Buske

Katherine Hyde said...

What a hook! Of course I'd read on!

Linda Bonney Olin said...

Yes, I'd read on. The author has created a compelling visual with both immediate danger and a compelling backdrop of slavery.
I have a couple of quibbles to add. Shivering despite intense heat is pretty trite; I'd like to see something more original in the first sentence. And the repetition of the sold/stolen, etc. verbiage didn't work well for me.

David Stearman said...

Absolutely. You had me at "India," in other words, an adventure set in a foreign land seems so much more interesting to me than yet another Amish story. And I love the idea of opening into a pursuit/escape scene. Bottom line: who wouldn't want to know whether or not the protagonist get's caught?

Kathryn Elliott said...

I’m in – fabulous imagery! More please. :-)

Heather Marsten said...

I'd read on. If I had my wish there would be a few more details of her feelings, and the shadow following. But I'm definitely curious.

Caroline said...

Definitely-I'd read on. The itty gritty things do not stop me if I'm hooked. I didn't agree w/the comment about being home and not scared about being followed. Wherever home is, I don't like being followed. Scary anywhere! lol

That wouldn't stop my reading tho . . .

Cherrie Herrin-Michehl said...

Yes, I would have to read on. I'm learning a ton about human sex trafficking right now, and am floored that we have so much of it here at home. So this type of story pulls me in. I'm trying to figure out how I can share my story about body image and raise money for ministries that help sex trafficking victims.

Thanks for the post.

Tooshie: Defeating the Body Image Bandit

Kristen said...

I would absolutely read on. The first paragraph is a bit melodramatic. But I love the worry for her friend and the situation is terrifying and I have to find out what happens.