HH Com 470

It's springtime, suffused in the color and squalor of mid nineteenth century New Orleans. While visiting her Father's grave, seventeen-year-old Creole Claire Duvalier overhears a hushed conversation between the mysterious Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau and her factor that will catapult her into a world of intrigue.

(your hook starts here)
Claire has a gift. She sees and feels a world of information that is impenetrable to others. To her, it's nothing more than a parlor trick. But when a family friend is murdered, Claire determines to use her ability to investigate.

From Congo Square, where she meets a man in bondage, his past shrouded in mystery, through the storied streets of the Old Quarter, to a climactic contest with Laveau on the levee, Claire Duvalier hurtles toward a startling moment of discovery. The secret that “Mamzelle” Marie is guarding will shatter her understanding of freedom and sacrifice.

So..what's the plot? Cause I don't have much of an idea from this. And New Orleans voodoo is so trite and overused that it's almost impossible to say anything new about it.


dana p said...

Claire has a gift. She sees and feels a world of information that is impenetrable to others. To her, it's nothing more than a parlor trick.

You hooked me with this because you are spot-on. Someone born with an extraordinary gift does just take it for granted. It's no big deal -- good, like you say, for parlor tricks.

Some authors would have taken the road more traveled, with the heroine tormented by her uniqueness and wallowing in angst. Those books, I wouldn't read.

But with just those few sentences, you've won my trust that you'll tell me a story worth reading.

Virginia Miss said...

I'd read a murder mystery set in Marie Laveau's New Orleans.

Author, try re-writing according to Miss Snark's formula. Good luck.

HawkOwl said...

Don't listen to Miss Snark. :) The hooky part was the first sentence. The rest didn't sell anything. I'm a sucker for New Orleans, but the "using new-found psychic abilities to investigate murder of loved one" plot is beyond last season. Try selling what's unique to your book (e.g. the squalor of mid-nineteenth century New Orleans in the spring), not what's the same as everybody else.

eeggkk - such an unlikely word verification, it's got to be voodoo.

Anonymous said...

I figured it would fail to hook Ms. Snark. I probably should have included something about the fact that the story is really about how a captain who was working with Laveau to ferry runaway slaves by boat to Philadelphia was betraying the voodoo queen. The captain is a friend of Claire's family but he was selling some of the slaves back into bondage. The man she meets in congo square was sold back into slavery and through a strange coincidence is resold to a New Orleans parish plantation owner.

writtenwyrdd said...

I'd research the rules of slavery, Author. You say that a slave is resold back to the original owner? There were mechanisms to return escaped slaves, and their ownership, I believe, returned to the original owners when they returned to slave-holding states.

A nasty business, and it could involve terrible consequences to the recaptured escapees.

I'm not 100% sure of the details , but I am fairly sure you are wrong on this plot point.