Guess the Plot
Fire and Ice
1. It's like rock paper scissors, but there are only two items. Fire melts ice, ice puts out fire. Rarely settles anything.
2. Volcanologist Ginny Rains knows that under the glaciers of Ranier lies a magma chamber waiting to explode. No, wait, she's thinking of her hunky massage therapist, Rainier Lourdes.
3. Warm-hearted Noa is a Samoan fire juggler. On an international cruise he meets Sedna, a gorgeous Inuit vixen. When a violent storm flings them overboard they find themselves stranded on a desert island. Can Noa keep them both alive and melt Sedna's icy heart, or is love between them more unlikely than their chances of being rescued?
4. Aoal Aoalbjorn, an eager young attorney in Reykjavic, is given a career-making case -- sue Disney Corporation for infringing Iceland's "Land of Fire and Ice" trademark. But soon seven shadowy figures are trailing him, muttering Hi-ho, Hi-ho-micide. Can Aoal's knowledge of trademark law and Krav Maga keep him safe?
5. When demons from hell attack an ice-bound town, Jenna and her friends flee. The demons follow. Desperate, Jenna's friends theorize that the demons are actually after Jenna, and not them.
6. Kieran Keene quits Fire Robinson’s Rock-N-Blues Band and takes his sax to Ice Coffee’s Bluegrass Revival. Once again mutilated groupies are found – this time near Ice Coffee’s venues. Now Kieran suspects Ice and enlists Fire’s help to expose the killer. But hot detective Mary McRae is on the case, intent on proving Kieran’s guilt.
7. John Bound, Agent 005, is relegated to office duties while agent 007 gets the prestige assignments. Bound -- John Bound – has a plan to frame that prissy Bond. He conspires with the head of French Intelligence. But Bound is betrayed by a Bulgarian being blackmailed by Bond. Can he clear himself or is it life in solitary for John?
Jenna and her friends are living hard but peaceful lives in the far-flung, snowy town of Cirrus. The circle consists of six close friends, who like everyone else who lives in the isolated town, have chosen to abandon their pasts and start over as far away as possible. They’re all running from different things: Jenna from the scorn she faces for marrying an elf, [Time out. Give me a minute to recalibrate my thinking from litfic to fantasy.] Quael; Danath from a string of selfish decisions he made after losing his family to war; Shea from the ghosts of her parents; Thane from his haunting past among his people, the dwarves; and Geth and Bretton from their constant persecution for their sexual orientation. [Are they both men or both women or is one an elf and the other a dwarf?] Still, they all seemed to have found happiness in starting over. [Is the elf part of the circle? If you run away to the far-flung town of Cirrus to escape the scorn you face for marrying an elf, the least you can do is bring the elf along with you. If the elf is part of the circle, why isn't he one of seven close friends?]
But their peaceful lives are shattered when a group of demons descends [If you just say "when demons descend", you won't have to worry about whether "group of demons" is singular or plural.] upon Cirrus. As members of the town guard, Jenna and her friends throw themselves into battle and are successful in fighting off the attacking horde. [I'm sure there's a good explanation for how these characters are able to repel a horde of demons. I suppose it's a horde of incompetent demons who've consistently been driven away by humans until they finally got together and said, We suck at this, why don't we attack some far-flung snowy town where everybody's a loser, just to build our confidence, and then we can come back to civilization and whip some ass, except now it turns out they can't even demonize six clinically depressed people who've totally given up on life.] Although the demons are pushed back, the city is not without casualties, the most painful of which are Jenna’s husband and children. As she and her friends struggle to swallow the pain, they set out on a journey southward to find supplies for the devastated town. But the first town they come to, [Cumulus,] Nocht, denies them any aid, saying they simply have nothing to spare. The group decides [Avoid the decide/decides decision by saying "The Cirrusians decide..."] to send home what few supplies they can scavenge or buy, and continue onward to the much larger town of Selliswyth in search of real help for Cirrus.
On the road between Nocht and Selliswyth, a surly elf named Ethos joins the group. Having been heading to Cirrus in search of Quael, he’s upset to find out that his quarry is dead, but tentatively decides to stay with Jenna and her friends as they continue south. When Jenna can no longer hide the fact that she’s pregnant with Quael’s last child, Ethos becomes rather protective of her. Upon reaching Selliswyth, the group again finds [find] no aid for Cirrus. As they contemplate their next move, [Note that you've referred to the group as "they" rather than "it", possibly suggesting that a plural verb is best.] the band of demons attacks [Hmm. I'll let you have "attacks," although I doubt minions from across the pond will be so generous.] again, forcing the seven friends to flee the city. Believing it unsafe to return to Cirrus, the group continue[(s?)] southward down an isolated pass through the harsh mountains. As they journey, they slowly come to realize the demons are in fact hunting them down – specifically, Jenna and Quael’s unborn child. [I get the impression Ethos could have told them this from the get-go, rather than let them slowly realize it.] [When you're being tracked by demons, what clues lead you to the conclusion that they are after one member's unborn child?
Shea: We'll never outrun these demons.
Danath: If only we knew why they want to kill us all.
Geth: Maybe they don't want to kill us all. Maybe they just want to kill one of us. By which I mean one of you.
Bretton: Maybe they're after Jenna's unborn child.
Thane: Then it's settled. We leave Jenna behind and see if they quit hounding us; if they don't, we'll assume they're really after . . . Geth and Bretton.
Geth: You bastard! How do we know they aren't after you?
Thane: Hey, I'm not the one with the perverted sexual orientation.]
A synopsis should carry the story beyond this point. If you're trying to keep it short, we can do without knowing what each character has gone to Cirrus to escape. You could refer to "Jenna and the other members of the town guard," rather than naming each of them. Jenna, Quael and Ethos are the only characters whose names appear more than once; maybe they're the only characters you need to name.
While the part of your book you've summarized here may be a substantial part of the story, I'm thinking the most interesting part of the story is what happens after they realize it's the unborn kid being hunted. So give us some of that. How do Jenna and others handle knowing everyone's in danger because of Jenna's child?
Collective nouns have complicated rules, at least in the US. Whether you give them a singular or plural verb depends on whether all members of the group are acting as one. For instance, you'd probably say, A bunch of children are swimming in the pool, even though the subject is "bunch" and not "bunches." The children are all swimming, but they're also doing their own thing. But you'd say The synchronized swimming team is practicing in the pool, because they're all doing the same thing as one. (Unless they're the Australian synchronized swimming team.) In Britain, they like plural for everything. For instance, note that in the caption below this photo of the Russian synchronized swimming team, the verb is plural, though the swimmers are all celebrating as one. If those Olympics had been held in Chicago rather than London, it would have been a different story. Whether you get it right or wrong, there will always be people who think you got it wrong, so don't worry about it too much.
I would go with The group decide, not decides, as I'm guessing more than one viewpoint was expressed, and agreement was reached through a discussion or a vote or one person acting as the loudmouthed big shot who has to get his way.
Interestingly, adding an "s" to a noun usually changes it from singular to plural, while adding an "s" to a verb usually changes it from plural to singular.