Monday, October 1, 2012

GUTGAA SPP #28 - Covenanted


Historical Fiction



The year is 1637 and Scotland is a nation on the brink of collapse. The king is seeking to reform the church in defiance of the will of the people. In the midst of mounting tensions and civil unrest Jenny, a lowly farm girl, finds herself catapulted by one breathtaking act of defiance from vegetable stall-seller to national heroine.

In 17th century Edinburgh’s dank alleyways danger becomes her constant companion. She is forced to elude the bloody reprisals of the royalists she has spited whilst avoiding the destructive zealousness of the revolutionaries she has joined. Even worse, her past life refuses to relinquish her – a prearranged marriage to the young royalist, Thomas, will inevitably jeopardise her love for Jamie, the wily preacher boy who first drew her into the revolution’s intrigues.

Her place at the heart of Scotland’s tempest will endanger more than just herself. As war looms and the proud old nation tears itself apart, Jenny is faced with the starkest of choices – will she save her family, or abandon her principles?

First 150 words:

There should be thunder, Jamie Ness thought. There was rain. It beat down like Noah’s flood, pooling around the door and trying to soak its way in through the nest of thatch overhead. It was because God was angry, Jamie decided. Tonight He was losing one of His greatest servants. Surely mere deluge was not enough? Surely there would be thunder too?

“James,” rasped his father’s voice. The boy looked up, bitter thoughts dissolving. Even now one word from the old minister commanded him. Even now, bedridden, with lungs infected and body wasted, Jamie’s father dominated the room.

“Come,” Edward Ness managed through gritted teeth. Jamie hurried to the bedside. Across the room doctor Mortimer added more peat to the ailing hearth, ignoring them both.

“Well doctor?” Jamie demanded. “The verdict?”

Mortimer turned slowly from the fire, his expression lost in the thick, damp shadows of the croft.

“I’m sorry Jamie.”


Slave to the Muse said...

I thought both your query and opening chapter lines were excellent! However, I would drop the first two sentences in your query. Open instead with:
"In the midst of mounting tensions and civil unrest, Jenny, a lowly farm girl, finds herself catapulted by one breathtaking act of defiance from vegetable stall-seller to national heroine."
This is a much stronger opening and your second paragraph already tells us when and where. Great voice!

Slave to the Muse said...

P.S. I'll be voting later so check back to see if you get another comment from me!

Nadre said...

You have a great voice! Your first 150 words made me want to read on!

Slave to the Muse said...

I've been over them all now and I still love this one. You have my vote!

robbiemacniven said...

Thankyou so much, you've made my day mr/ms Muse! Also your advice is very sound, it'll be implemented as soon as this pitch is needed again! :D