Today's pitch is the closest I've ever come to considering writing a romance. I had a basic plot for this one drawn out, but around that time I was also thinking of writing The Curator, and the humor of the latter won me over.
As it stands now, I think a lot of the ideas in this one are a bit tired, but there are pieces I'd still really like to use. Perhaps one day...
THE CURSED LAMP:
As a child on the brink of starvation, Mahla made a deal with a djinn to take his cursed lamp as her own. Now, though she will age, she will never die, so long as the lamp is safe, but in exchange she can be summoned by anyone in possession of the lamp and forced to compete any task they ask of her.
On her nineteenth birthday, Mahla and her best friend Azhel are taken away to become courtesan companions for the prince. The lamp falls into his possession, though he doesn’t yet know its significance. At the palace Mahla begins training in the arts—music, dance, fan language, diplomacy—and excels, catching the attention not only of the prince but also of the captain of the guard, with whom she is forbidden contact.
Nevertheless she finds herself drawn to him, all the more so when he discovers the secret of her lamp… and keeps it safe. But danger lurks elsewhere—in the attention of the prince, in Azhel’s jealousy, in the rebel sect searching for the lamp to use for their own purposes. Mahla must be quick and cunning if her life is ever to be her own.