Monday, March 15, 2021

March 2021 Pass or Pages Entry #1

It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agents Silvia Monteni, Jess Dallow, and Lucy Irvine for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 1: The Governess of Wilderarch Manor


Dear Awesome Agents, THE GOVERNESS OF WILDERARCH MANOR is an adult historical romance complete at 80,000 words, set in 1850s Nova Scotia. This story takes the sprawling historical romances of Susanna Kearsley’s novels and makes it unabashedly queer (#ownvoices) with some aesthetic inspiration from Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

When her family’s ship sinks with all their financial security, Léonise Browning takes up the mantle of provider [JD1]. She enlists as a governess for the young daughter of a widower. When she arrives at Wilderarch Manor, she is met by his[JD2] inimitable sister, Victoria Carter, a woman she cannot help but fall in love with even as Miss Carter shows her only aloof disdain.

Victoria Carter knows a caged life, engaged to a man she cares not for[JD3], but whose wealth will protect the happiness of her brother and niece. Her resignation is shaken at the arrival of Léonise, a governess unlike any who came before, who also knows the price of sacrifice. Who beckons Victoria to loosen the armour she’s built around her heart.

Dark secrets and societal expectations cast shadows over the love that yearns to blossom between them. Léonise and Victoria must each decide if their love is worth the peril it threatens or succumb to society’s expectations[JD4]. Thank you for your time and consideration,
Silvia's comments: None
Jess's comments:
[JD1] As someone who isn’t quite familiar with this time-period, I’m not quite sure what this means, and therefore would probably stop here. 
[JD2] Whose sister? The widower’s? The paragraph reads as a little confusing and hard to follow.  
[JD3] Keep the wording simple, “she doesn’t care for”
[JD4] I’m not sure what the hook or conflict in this story is, aside from forbidden love.
Lucy's comments: TBD

First 250 Words:

The wedding bells rang their rejoicing hymn. Applause chimed between the peeling as the bride and groom turned from their place at the altar, their faces aglow with the shine of those about to embark upon a new adventure.

Elated cheers shook the small structure of the chapel, reaching to the rafters. Léonise Browning’s heart sank fast, offended by the joy that surrounded her[JD5]. She rose in mechanic synchronicity with the other attendees, throwing rice as they did over the bride and groom hurrying up the aisle, wishing to be far away from this place.

This disaster of a day had broken with the dawn. She’d slept poorly, woken tardy, ripped her best dress in her haste to prepare. On the long walk through the cold, November morning with her mother and father, she’d spotted a bird lying dead in the grass. An ominous sign, it had sent her stomach churning with a deep rooted nausea.

Léonise had hoped to find calm sitting in the house of God, but her dark cloud of lamentation was disturbed by the radiant bliss that reigned around her like a cruel sun off the family and friends gathered to cherish this blessed union. Even her parents wore the guise of delight, though they suffered the same as her. They shamed Léonise in unwitting silence for failing to hide her emotions as well. And so her heart continued to slip down until it lay as shattered at her feet.
Silvia's comments: I am a children’s and YA books agent, I don’t handle adult novels
Jess's comments:
[JD5] This sentence gives good insight into how she’s feeling without saying she’s sad. 
Lucy's comments: TBD


Silvia Monteni: Pass
Jess Dallow: Pass
Lucy Irvine: TBD


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