Sunday, July 10, 2011

Page 99

Awhile back there was a blogfest about page 99 of your manuscript. The premise was that authors frequently put a lot of effort into the first few chapters then relax, perhaps too much. If an agent is hooked by reading page 99, it bodes well for the entire book. If you have the time and interest, you can participate in an online critique forum at  Page 99 Test.

Below is page 99 from my w.i.p. Courtly Abandon. It is the very end of chapter 9. Reading it out of context, does it hook you? Would you turn the page?

“Dearest Jane, I took advantage.” Sir William went down on one knee before her, taking her hands in his. “I pray you, forgive me.”
Jane squared her shoulders, wishing herself calm. “There is naught to forgive my lord.”
“My lord? Have I so truly overstepped myself?’ He pressed her hands against his cheek.
She knew he was totally in her control. Lust was a powerful motivator. She smiled shyly, willing herself to look innocent. “Oh, not at all Sir William. I am just,” Jane struggled for the word, “overwrought.”
“Of course you are. I am a rogue to take advantage.”
“Sir William, please stand up.”
He stood, but still held a ridiculously guilty expression. “You are quite right. I shall leave you here to compose yourself. We should not return to the hall together.”
Jane almost laughed at the intensity of his little drama, but instead gave a simpering smile and said, “You are too good to me.”
“You are deserving of the best.” He leaned in one more time and pressed a quick kiss to her lips. Did he think they were lovers now? 
He gave a quick reverence, kissed his fingers to her, and scurried out of the garden.
Jane stood still for a moment before allowing herself to breathe, relax. She found a bench and sat down, leaning her face in her hands. “Good God in Heaven.” She wanted to want him, but all she could think of was Percy.
As if summoned, a voice pierced through the darkness. “Did you enjoy kissing my brother?”

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