I bring this up for one very good reason: I suck at describing my own work. I can ramble on for hours trying to tell you what it's about, and still manage to give you absolutely no pertinent information. I look back at my attempts to tell friends and family about what I'm writing about, and I still cringe. So consider this practice. In theory, a summary should give you an idea of the plot and let you know what to expect. It should tell you enough to reel you in, yet still not give anything away. It factors right behind the title in importance, since if you make it past the title, the next thing that needs to impress you is the description of the book. It's like a film trailer, but trickier. Movies have the advantage of showing you what they're all about. With books, it's all about the words. (Ironic, since I have a way with words, yet still can't get the summaries right.)
And so, my drafts for summaries of this year's
Maid of Iron:
As a young woman, Anna Black is forbidden to work as a smith in her father's forge. Yet it's in defiance of the law that she does so to ensure her family's survival. As a lord's son, Constantine of Rosarian Manor should be preparing for the rite of passage that will secure his inheritance. Yet he can't seem to get the lovely Anna out of his mind.
From the Ashes:
It's been two years. Two years since the disastrous premiere of Don Juan Triumphant. Two years since Christine Daae and the Vicomte de Chagny disappeared without a trace. Two years since the infamous Phantom of the Opera vanished, never to be seen again...
And yet Erik is still there, loath to abandon his safe haven in the catacombs and tormented by his memories. It's been two years, and he still can't forget the woman he lost forever.
For Vivienne, a former ballerina, it's been two years of hardship for her family. The fire that destroyed the Opera House turned their world upside down, forcing her into the street as a musician to earn what she can. After a vicious assault, she seeks shelter in the burnt-out ruins where she once danced, only to become the Phantom's captive.
Their lives have been marked by tragedy, but finding each other could be their chance to heal past wounds. If they can put aside their pain and learn to trust each other, it could be the start of something new for the both of them: hope, healing, happiness...and love.
The Phantom of the Chagnys:
Three years have passed, and Christine de Chagny is still haunted by the memories of her last night at the Opera Garnier. The man known as the Phantom has disappeared, but she knows Erik is still alive and shadowing her footsteps. She has known it since her return to Paris with her beloved Raoul and the discovery of the red rose outside her door. She wants only to forget the past and move on, but how can she when the very man she wants to forget won't let her?
And yet Erik is not the same man she left behind in the Opera three years ago. Heartbroken and driven once more into hiding, he has struggled to overcome his past and finally find peace but remains a hollow, damaged shell of the man she knew, unable to escape his pain and his sins.
Huh, what does it say about me that I managed to say more about the two based off Phantom of the Opera than I did about my own little brainchild? Eh?