Read My Page! (The 99th Page Blogfest)

28 Jan

Today’s fun comes courtesy of Holly Dodson at Super Mom Writes. You can read more about it HERE. Basically, I’m posting the ninety-ninth page of my novel manuscript, as is. (So far. It will change with revisions.) The theory is that a reader can get a better idea of a book’s quality by flipping to the middle instead of reading the heavily doctored first few pages. Scary, especially since this is not my final draft. The only “cheat” here is that I finished the last sentence, which otherwise wrapped to the next page.

There are three questions for the reader to answer.

  1. Would you turn to page 100?
  2. Why or why not?
  3. Based on what you read, would you consider buying the book?

I look forward to your comments. (Yes, you.) (Please and thank you)


“All perches are my perch.” He pulled himself to a higher branch, feet swinging loose for a moment, just like he’d taught her not to do. “This is my tree.”

She said, “Then you are a Norse god. You admit it.”

“Lost your fire so soon, Dragon? Is that why you cower below?” He pelted her with leaves, twigs. “Don’t insult me. I only appear a god because you appear a sleepy baby.”

“Pig!” She was on her feet, hurling leaves, bark, and debris up at him.

“Can’t keep up? Ready to surrender the thimble?” He laughed, ducking behind a limb, although he was out of range.

Elizabeth took one last look at the rune-carved nest then studied the upper branches. She didn’t need to remember Rob’s path; the tree remembered for her — more than a decade of passage polished darkly into its limbs.

The air was damp in the nest, but it lightened as she climbed, dappled sunshine adding a citrusy note, ribbons of warmth.

It was intoxicating, the success of scaling such a majestic tree, the secret world of Robin Oliver Bastle. She was just beginning to feel like an immortal, invincible, when her foot slipped, and her body clenched. An eternity of pounding hot-scented confusion, and she realized his training worked. Her hands were tight on their separate branches, and her other foot had slipped but not lost its hold. In her relief, she wanted to cry, go limp and unconscious right there, forget, but, clearly, that was impossible. What seemed liberating a moment earlier now felt like a trap.

She looked down — a maze of branches funneling into darkness. She looked up and found Rob’s face, astonishingly close, pale, his posture that of a jungle cat about to spring. Had he thought he could leap down and catch her?


From Bête Noire / Unicorns & Other Exotic Goats
Chapter: “The Tree of Life”
Setting: Spring 1969, Catskills, NY

It’s the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, but not for seventeen-year-old outsider, Elizabeth Cory. Closing her eyes to the modern world, she buries herself in fantasy novels and the music of another era to escape her pain. When she’s taken in by an eccentric family whose turreted home sits on the edge of an ancient forest, she thinks she’s finally found refuge. But in her search for love and a doorway to a peaceful, magical world, she’ll find that not every Prince Charming leads to happily ever after, not every wolf is big or bad, and when you try to live in a fairy tale, the only magical doorways lead to real life.

27 Responses to “Read My Page! (The 99th Page Blogfest)”

  1. Jon Paul January 27, 2011 at 22:20 #

    Beautiful! My favorite line: “…the tree remembered for her…”

    Your synopsis sounds very intriguing. I think you passed the 99th page test with flying colors.

  2. Holly January 28, 2011 at 07:04 #

    I very much like this! I would definitely keep reading!!

    • Pam Harris January 28, 2011 at 07:23 #

      How cute was this?! This seems like the perfect thing to read on some rainy day–you just can’t help but smile. 🙂

  3. Mo January 28, 2011 at 07:26 #

    I really like this excerpt! The characters seem interesting, I want to know more about the world, and I want to know more about who Elizabeth and Rob are and where they are going. This seems like a book I would really enjoy.

    • Marquita January 28, 2011 at 08:15 #

      This was really adorable. It made me smile, but also made me furrow my brows b/c I want more. I need to know what’s going to happen next, so, yes…I would keep reading!

  4. Heather January 28, 2011 at 09:08 #

    Good page. Sounds interesting and I like the way they talk to each other. I would turn the page.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Erinn January 28, 2011 at 09:10 #

    I liked it– I loved how you had action and beautiful descriptions as well. Very cool, I can’t wait to read more. Thanks for joining in on the fun.

  6. Wendy Lambie January 28, 2011 at 09:38 #

    Light and bouncy feel to this. Writing was good and you set a definite tone. I’d like to start from the beginning.

    • katharine January 28, 2011 at 10:27 #

      I dig it- crisp, clear, beautiful writing. Not to mention a lot of action and suspense.

  7. Alicia Gregoire January 28, 2011 at 10:49 #

    OMG, why isn’t there a page 100?


    Whenever I really like what I’m reading, my brain (oddly) rushes forward to read more. I had to double back. Twice. The writing was great, it mentioned dragons AND Norse gods in the same page. Again, OMG.

    I’d buy this book without anything else.

    Thanks for participating.

  8. Kelly Lyman January 28, 2011 at 11:10 #

    Wow. I’m super intrigued by this. I like the banter between these characters and am wondering if they each feel something for each other. I also love your descriptions. I’d keep reading for sure.

  9. Margie Dowens January 28, 2011 at 12:14 #

    You already know I’m a huge fan of your writing. This page is perfect. I’m dying to read the rest. I love it. I want to be the first in line at your first book signing. In short, you rock!

  10. Loralie January 28, 2011 at 12:23 #

    As soon as I read this:
    “Then you are a Norse god. You admit it.”

    I knew I had to read more. And I wasn’t disappointed. Interesting characters and voice. Without background I’m puzzled as to what’s going on, but in a very good way. I’d read more ^_^

  11. Dawn Embers January 28, 2011 at 12:27 #

    Nicely done. Norse God mention and the tree of life: how could I not want to read on? I like the characters and how much about her is shown in this one page. How many drafts have you done of this so far? *curious* Cause I know you said it’s not final but is it the first or fifth? 🙂

    Great entry.

  12. Mara Nash January 28, 2011 at 12:53 #

    I’m intrigued on several levels: first, I’m guessing this is YA given that the blurb at the end says the MC is 17 yo, though I’m horrible at figuring out genre.

    The hint at dragons and Norse gods was interesting and that alone would make me read on. There was enough tension between the two characters to make me wonder what their relationship was, what got them to this point, and where they’re going from here.

  13. Francine Howarth January 28, 2011 at 12:58 #


    Oh so beautifully written and fantasy element enchanting. A must read on! 😉


  14. Racquel Henry January 28, 2011 at 13:20 #

    I love this! The opening line was great. “All perches are my perch.” It draws the reader in. I’d keep reading! 🙂

    Also, thanks for commenting on my page 99! 🙂

  15. Jennifer Hoffine January 28, 2011 at 15:08 #

    I love, love the image at the end with the tree below and boy above. Wonderful.

  16. erica and christy January 28, 2011 at 15:49 #

    I enjoyed this page – light and airy at first followed by a bit of tension and then a sentence that leaves me wanting to know more about this relationship!!

    (and I have a tree of life tattoo on my arm, so obviously I love that aspect of your blog!)

  17. Marie January 28, 2011 at 16:51 #

    I liked the passage, the winding up and up in the tree, but the summary at the end pulled me in. I’d keep reading.


  18. Caroline January 28, 2011 at 17:49 #

    Thank you all so much! It’s surprisingly scary to share a page from the middle of my book, out of context.

    Dawn — This is the second revision for this section.

    I had a great time reading everyone’s pages today. Thanks for sharing and commenting.

  19. Perri January 28, 2011 at 18:55 #

    This is pure lovely! The details– polished spots on the tree, citrusy sunshine– are wonderful. I am curious about Rob (He seems sort of jerky, but then, he has been teaching her something.)

    I would certainly read on!

  20. Angela Felsted January 28, 2011 at 20:11 #

    This is wonderful, the description of the tree and the teasing dialogue. Very well done.

  21. Howlynn Martin January 29, 2011 at 00:20 #

    Ok you said Norse God and dragon so I am sold. the writing is whispy and light, the dragon seems puffy and huffy and a tree climbed so much it has changed its growth and remembered it’s climbers is very sweet. A+

  22. Meika January 29, 2011 at 02:48 #

    This page has my mind swirling with possibilities. What happens next? I need to know! Beautiful writing. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Michael DI Gesu January 29, 2011 at 07:24 #

    I really liked the description and the premise. Well done!

    I would definitely turn the page.


  24. Caroline January 29, 2011 at 11:43 #

    Thank you, everyone.

    And, yay, I got an A+! 🙂

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