First Page Feedback – Pentakagon

There’s something mysterious straight from the title! And we know plenty of people who love their coffee in the office…

“Maybe this wasn’t such a bright idea,” Rosie thought, shivering as she built a fire in the rusty woodstove, her sole source of heat and cooking. The Girl Scout skills were still working, the wood was dry, but her hands shook so hard, she could scarcely touch match to paper. They were the good Ohio Blue Tips—-strike anywhere! Maybe she’d splash a little kerosene….no, there! Flames traveled into the cone of tinder, then kindling—ah!

She was Prometheus.

Fire. Check. Enameled coffee pot. Check. Horrible powdered creamer. Ten sharp pencils and a stack of yellow legal pads. Mosquito repellent. She would be Elmore Leonard for a couple weeks, if the erasers held out.

Worst coffee ever! Buzzing insects and cracking twigs outside distracted her. Grabbing her car keys, Rosie checked to see that her laptop was in the back seat, and used the car’s GPS to locate the nearest Starbucks.

It wasn’t that close. Rosie decided she was “flexible” rather than a coward about staying in the cabin. She would, of course, go back. In the tiny town nearest the cabin, Pentakagon, there was no Starbucks, but there was a coffee shop with a wi-fi sticker on the door. She only needed wi-fi for a bit of research on the lumber era. Opening the door, she saw she had the place to herself. Soft jazz played from small speakers. No distracting nature noises.

Pungent waves of roasting coffee filled the small shop. Local art—good watercolors and sketches—-decorated the brick interior. Piles of muffins and bagels teased her from beneath glass domes. And there were scones! Rosie congratulated herself on her decision to leave the cabin this morning.

The barista’s nametag said Mike. He had a lot of lumberjack in him, Rosie could see. His neatly trimmed beard matched dark curly hair. Unlike the polo-clad servers at Starbucks, he wore a plaid shirt, jeans and work boots.

“What’ll it be?” the beard cracked open, revealing decent teeth.

“Do you do skim lattes?”

“Um, no. We only go as low as 2%. Do you have any idea how they make skim milk these days? It’s not nice.”

“Well, then, I’ll have a tall dark roast coffee and an orange-cranberry scone.”

“Hope you like the scone. I made them myself. I’ll have to do a pour-through on the dark roast. And we just do “small, medium and large” here. “

“Pour-through? “

“Or a French press…” Mike’s hands on hips stance didn’t look all that impatient, but Rosie began to feel self-conscious.

“Medium, French-press, then,” she decided.

“Warm the scone?”


The price of her coffee and scone was surprisingly low and there didn’t even seem to be a
tip jar. Mentally shrugging, Rosie carried her laptop to a tiny booth upholstered in pine tree and moose fabric. She plugged in the charger and was pleased to see that the outlet was live, thrilling after the rustic cabin’s candle and lamplight.

First Page Feedback from Patience Bloom

From the first paragraph, the reader gets a strong sense of the writer’s voice and the heroine. In HRS, characterization is key! Rosie is easy to relate to as she struggles with her rustic surrounds. I especially love, “She was Prometheus.”

Our stories tend to begin with a pivotal moment, and though I found this opening thoroughly charming, I hope the mystery and romance come through after she orders her coffee and scone. I also want an idea of who the hero will be. Is he the bearded baristo?

Overall, this entry was a pleasure to read and made me curious about the rest of the story.

Looks like she’s settling in–but probably not for too long… 🙂