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Blurb Workshop > BLURB HELP: YA Romantic Thriller

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message 1: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 34 comments Not even sure what the best genre to categorize this work under, but since it's main focus is a romance, I'm trying to fashion the blurb into that format.

So far I've got two similar styles. Please let me know which one works best:

1)
An historian searching for her past. A thief running from his. When John and Irene struggle over a mysterious relic in a forgotten chamber below Berlin, they awaken an ancient power previously bound to a 19th century Prussian emperor and his mysterious wife. Now John and Irene keep waking up together as though they are married—no matter how far apart from each other they try to get.

To make matters worse, the criminal underworld is also looking for this relic…and they will stop at nothing to get it. As John and Irene begin to work together to discover the origins of this enchantment, they find themselves embroiled in something much more sinister than Europe’s art underworld. Exploring palaces, crypts, castles, and cathedrals in their search for answers, can John and Irene unravel the mystery of the relic’s past before the darker side of history repeats itself?


2)
Sometimes the only difference between a blessing or a curse…is who you share it with.

Fortune hunter John Stone doesn’t consider himself a thief, but Irene O’Connell knows otherwise. An assistant curator at the London Museum of Antiquities, she still hasn’t forgiven him for the last time he beat her to an important set of artifacts. When they both converge upon a mysterious relic in a forgotten chamber below Berlin, John and Irene inadvertently trigger an ancient enchantment previously invoked by a 19th century Prussian emperor and his mysterious wife. Now John and Irene keep waking up together as though they are married—no matter how far apart from each other they try to get.

To make matters worse, the criminal underworld is also looking for this relic…and those guys play for keeps. As John and Irene begin to work together to discover the dark secrets behind this power, they find themselves embroiled in something much more sinister than Europe’s art underworld. Exploring palaces, crypts, castles, and cathedrals in their search for answers, can John and Irene unravel the mystery of the relic’s past before history repeats itself?


message 2: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1125 comments I like both of them. That's not much help deciding, but I do. It sounds like a fun book. Anything involving art, relics, etc. is a good intro for me. The idea of them waking up together sets the stage for some interesting scenes.


message 3: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4346 comments Mod
Yes. They both work pretty well. I am intrigued by the notion that they keep waking up together and in the second I get a better sense that there's nothing romantic between them at the start of the book, which makes the idea of them magically being drawn to bed together as they sleep even more interesting.

Only a few minor suggestions. "Criminal underworld" feels pretty vague. Could you be more specific? Maybe cut a word or two after "Exploring..." The list kind of slows the blurb down. How about "Exploring crypts and castles in search of..." Shorter it reads better and the alliteration with the crisp 'c' sound keeps it snappy. Let the reader find out about the palaces and cathedrals later. Not fond of the word "mysterious" being repeated in the first paragraph of the second blurb.

All in all, I do think that second blurb is the better. With a little fine tuning, it would be fantastic.


message 4: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 238 comments I like #1 best, frankly. It peaked my interest more than the second one. And romance is okay....how about adventure-romance or romance mystery?


message 5: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 34 comments Gail wrote: "I like #1 best, frankly. It peaked my interest more than the second one. And romance is okay....how about adventure-romance or romance mystery?"

Thanks for the input.

Adventure Romance is closer to what I'm going for, and I would have used it as the target genre but I'm publishing on Amazon and that doesn't seem to be an option.


message 6: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 238 comments That's right. I write historical romance - adventure, mystery and thriller books. Since Romance is such a hugely popular genre, I use romance for a couple of tags, yet for the categories, I choose Adventure-Action, I believe is one, Murder Suspense for another. The categories are limited and perhaps I'm doing it backwards and should categorize them as romances? Not sure.


message 7: by Tim (new)

Tim Schaefer | 27 comments # 2 is the more intriguing of the two.


message 8: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4346 comments Mod
You can actually list it under two categories. You could choose "romance" as one and "adventure" for the other, then use the keywords to fine tune it a bit more.


message 9: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 238 comments Well, between Tim and me, you're right back where you started R.:)


message 10: by R.J. (last edited Jan 26, 2020 10:53AM) (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 34 comments Gail wrote: "Well, between Tim and me, you're right back where you started R.:)"

No, this helps. I've added elements from both to make another version. Here goes:

"Sometimes the only difference between a blessing or a curse…is who you share it with.

Fortune hunter John Stone doesn’t consider himself a thief, but Irene O’Connell knows otherwise. An assistant curator at the London Museum of Antiquities, she still hasn’t forgiven him for the last time he beat her to an important set of artifacts. When they struggle over a mysterious relic in a forgotten chamber below Berlin, they awaken an ancient power previously bound to a 19th century Prussian emperor and his enigmatic wife. Now John and Irene keep waking up together as though they are married—no matter how far apart from each other they try to get.

To make matters worse, someone else is also looking for this relic…and they will stop at nothing to get it. As John and Irene begin to work together to discover the origins of this enchantment, they find themselves embroiled in something much more sinister than Europe’s art underworld. Exploring crypts and castles in their search for answers, can John and Irene unravel the secrets of the relic’s past before the darker side of history repeats itself?"


Also, I should say I started writing blurbs for this work back in 2018 when I started querying agents and entering the manuscript in writing contests. Believe it or not I've gotten more feedback in the past few hours than I ever did before. Definitely thank you!


message 11: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1125 comments Of the three, I like the very first one the best. The first paragraph mentions waking up together no matter how far away from each other they were--and it mentions it sooner than #3. That's an intriguing thought. I think it should show up early.


message 12: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 238 comments Yup, I agree with M.L. still like the first paragraph of #1 better. It drew me in to read the rest. #2 & #3 felt (so sorry R.) blah blah blah then the good stuff.

Quick question off-topic. I looked this up with conflicting answers. Is it A Historian (or A Historical novel) or An? I know H is silent, yet...A hotel, A horrible scene, etc. It feels uncomfortable to read An. Just asking because I needed to know the correct answer for descriptions of my books.


message 13: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 34 comments "Historian" is kind of a gray area because of how it is pronounced.

The general grammar rule is that A or AN is determined by how the word sounds when spoken. If it is a hard H like in Hotel or History we use "A". If it is a softer H like heiress then we use "AN".

However, there is some kind of a rule that the H in Historian is a half-soft pronunciation because the emphasis is on a later syllable. So in the instance of this one word, the AN rule applies.


message 14: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 238 comments Thank you. I've been sounding out (and looking up) all different kinds of scenarios and became even more confused than I was. I pride myself on excellent grammar but this one stumped me. Appreciate your help!


message 15: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 179 comments I must say I'm intrigued by the concept of an 'ancient power previously bound to a 19th century Prussian emperor and his enigmatic wife'. He would be a direct ancestor (perhaps even his father?) of Wilhelm II, Germany's last ever emperor, the one who's normally blamed for WWI (I agree that he deserves a large part of that blame). It's the first time I know of that a book alleges that his dynasty had a romantically enchanting power. I'm impressed... ;)


message 16: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 34 comments Magnus wrote: "I must say I'm intrigued by the concept of an 'ancient power previously bound to a 19th century Prussian emperor and his enigmatic wife'. He would be a direct ancestor (perhaps even his father?) of..."

Thanks for being intrigued. Also, it's not Wilhelm II, but you are close.
(I should warn that readers who research the historical context of the story might spoil a plot twist or two.)


message 17: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Gilbert (rjagilbert) | 34 comments Okay, so I've had a few days to mess with the blurb...and mess with it some more...and then to stay up waaaay too late writing and then, after a good sleep find out I hate everything I wrote...

So I went back and analyzed what I wanted said and what people liked from the above comments and here is another go:

An historian searching for her past.
A thief running from his.
Neither are ready for the future they are about to share…

John Stone and Irene O’Connell work on opposite ends of Europe’s art world—and they’d like to keep it that way. But the ancient power they’ve awakened within a forgotten relic has other ideas. Now they can’t stop waking up together—no matter how far apart from each other they try to get.

To make matters worse, someone else is also looking for this artifact…and they will stop at nothing to get it. As John and Irene begin to work together to uncover the relic’s secrets, they find a sinister parallel to the fate of a 19th century Prussian emperor and his enigmatic wife. Exploring crypts and castles in their search for answers, can John and Irene unravel the secrets of the relic’s past before the darker side of history repeats itself?


message 18: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1125 comments The rewrite is good. My favorite is still the first one. In addition to the waking up together, the first one mentions Berlin and also the Prussian emperor. Berlin is always interesting to me. The Prussian emperor adds to the historical significance and mystery.


message 19: by Mark (new)

Mark Abel | 40 comments Hi R.J. - I just read through all three versions and want to offer some feedback in terms of rhythm and flow. It could be that you are too close to this and need to take a step back and listen as you read it out loud. I understand what you are communicating in all versions however, to me all versions are not coming across as fluid as I read them.

Comments are as follows:

1) The word 'an' each time used trips me up and I am wanting to change or eliminate it somehow. Consider reworking to avoid it or change to another word choice. Possibly the word 'a' is better.

2) As far as the opening sequence, I much prefer the 2nd blurb which captures my imagination and draws me in. 'Sometimes the only difference..."

3) The second sentence in the second paragraph, (in all three blurbs), seems awkward, overly complicated and disjointed. 'As John and Irene...' For me it seems you are trying to wedge in way too much information in terms of the emperor and his wife etc. My suggestion would be to see if there is a way to simplify that sentence while capturing the essence of what you are trying to say. (When John and Irene find themselves working together they soon uncover an ancient threat which looks all to familiar.)

Overall, I like the blurb and hope this helps to make it better! Good luck and Goodreads!


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