After listening to criticism on my first shot at promo copy of State of Grace, I sat down and took another crack at it. The first attempt gave too much information on the villain but didn’t really talk enough about the plot. So I focused a lot more on the challenges Wolf must overcome to successfully complete his mission. I tried to build tension and use more dynamic words to create reader excitment.
Once again, I’ve written two descriptions — a short one (159 words) and a longer one (365 words). Here’s the short one:
Wolf Dasher’s mission is simple: find out who murdered his friend and colleague in Urland’s Shadow Service while she was on assignment in the elf nation of Alfar. But Wolf soon learns that, in the magical land of elves, nothing is easy. The once-lush country is now decaying, torn apart by a religious schism that spawned a civil war and daily acts of terrorism. A simple murder investigation leads Wolf into an intricate web of assassination, betrayal, and zealotry. He’ll need all of his skill and Shadow magic to defeat a psychotic killer, a bloodthirsty general, and an arrogant ambassador with visions of grandeur. Failure means a devastating act of terrorism that will kill thousands of elves, topple Alfar’s government, and change the balance of power in the world forever.
State of Grace is the first book in a series of fantasy-thriller mash-up novels that blends magic, super spies, and politics in an electrifying brew of action and adventure.
And the longer one:
When his friend and colleague in Urland’s Shadow Service, Sara Wensley-James, is murdered in the elf nation of Alfar, Wolf Dasher’s mission seems simple: track down her killer and bring him to justice. But nothing is going to be easy about this case.
Sara named Sagaius Silverleaf, Alfar’s ambassador to Urland, as the culprit, but he couldn’t have done it. He was in Urland at the time of the murder.
Sent to Alfar undercover as Urland’s new ambassador, Wolf begins the most difficult and dangerous mission of his career. The once-lush and magical land of the elves is decaying. Its once-verdant countryside is putrefying before its citizens’ eyes. Some blame the presence of human occupiers – Urlish military units present to keep order and support Alfar’s shaky coalition government. Some blame losing the message of the great prophet, Frey, and turning away from God’s plan. But many think it is simply the schism in elfin religion that spawned a civil war and daily acts of terrorism by fundamentalist martyrs.
Wolf must navigate this nightmarish environment to find Sara’s killer. Could Silverleaf have been responsible? If so, why? His investigation leads him into an intricate web of assassination, betrayal, and zealotry. With the help of Aflar’s Elite Guard captain, May Honeyflower, Wolf uncovers piece after piece of a sinister puzzle: a psychotic killer, a mad general bent on conquest, an ancient, evil artifact, and a terrorist organization planning a grand act of devastation. But how do they all fit together? What did Sara discover that got her killed?
As the Feast of the Revelation, the holiest day on the elfin calendar, approaches, Wolf and Honeyflower find themselves in a race against time to unravel a plot that could topple Alfar’s government, plunge it into war, and change the balance of power in the world forever.
State of Grace is the first in a series of fantasy-thriller mashup novels, blending magic, super spies, and politics in an exciting brew of action and adventure. From the chilling opening scene to the pulse-pounding climax, State of Grace takes the best elements of an espionage thriller and a court intrigue and weaves them into a world both familiar and fantastic.
So what do you think? Do they make you want to read the book? Do they build excitement and create an emotional connection? What would you change?
Leave a comment and let me know!