Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Face-Lift 34


Guess the Plot

Mirror, Mirror

1. Snow White's stepmother tells all, in this steamy tale of jealousy, make-up, and gardening. Not to mention, the seven little men.

2. Lorraine spends six hours in the fun house, gazing at the mirror that makes her look skinny.

3. Lois is in love with Brad, but Brad says he only has eyes for the face he sees in the magic mirror. Lois walks out, not bothering to point out that there's nothing magic about Brad's mirror.

4. Fraternal twins Johnny and Jenny never had the close bond that each thought their twinship mandated. Johnny's surgery is going to change that situation, and lead to a shocking and surprising aftermath.

5. Psychic twin detectives Mercedes and Lourdes are on the trail of a criminal who kidnaps pregnant women, performs C-sections on them, and steals their babies.

6. At the Future-View Barber Shop, customers can see what they'll look like in five minutes, thanks to the time-mirror. When Paul sees his head missing from his neck, he begins to understand why there's a meat cleaver in among this barber's combs and scissors.


Original Version

Dear Editor.

I am seeking representation for my paranormal romance/suspense novel, Mirror, Mirror complete at 70,000 words.

Someone is kidnapping pregnant at-term women and after performing a C-section and taking their baby, returns the women near their home with no memory of their ordeal. [New York Post headline:

Toby the OB strikes again!
Fed's Serial OB-GYN Task Force Brought In.]

Could this be the perfect crime? [Well, it's a little messy, and you have to sell a lot of babies before you even get back what you spent on six years of med school and your mobile operating room, but beyond that, yeah, it's perfect.] [Actually, the guy would probably make more money if he just started a mobile C-section business. You go into labor, phone Birth Bus Delivery Service, twenty minutes later a minivan pulls into your driveway and Hannibal Lecter performs your C-section on the fold-down back seat.] [After which he eats the placenta with a side order of fava beans.] [Eeewww!] [Evil Editor recommends against Googling "Placenta Recipes."] No photos of the baby, no prints, no blood work. And no one has ever seen the babies but the psychopath that is committing these crimes. [This is a romance novel? It's sounding more like a gross-out slasher horror movie.]

Private Investigator Mercedes Alexander is hired by a high profile Philadelphia businessman to find his pregnant wife who went missing on a shopping trip during their vacation in the Pocono's. [The serial killer obstetrician operates out of the Poconos? I get it, he steals babies from the wealthy, and sells them to the poor in inner-city Philadelphia. He's the Robin Hood of serial killer obstetricians.] After meeting with the [hunky] Sheriff, Jaxton Lane, Mercedes finds he doesn't have a single lead, but Mercedes has an advantage over him. She and her pregnant twin and partner Lourdes Alexander, are psychic. [Oh, goody, psychic twin detectives! Evil Editor was beginning to worry that this was just a run-of-the-mill serial killer obstetrician novel, with nothing to distinguish it from other serial killer obstetrician novels.]

As Mercedes and Jax rush to find the psychopath before he steals another baby, they are drawn closer and closer to his evil mind and to each other. Finally a tiny clue that Mercedes almost misses, [A local couple has been receiving two semi-truck loads of Pampers every week.] leads her to the kidnapper, but not before Lourdes is almost killed. [And not before Mercedes and the sheriff fall madly in love, no doubt.] [Mercedes and Lourdes? Who named these kids, their mother, Moon Unit Zappa?]

A synopsis and sample chapters are available. Thank you for your kind time and attention.

Revised Version

Dear Editor.

Someone is kidnaping pregnant at-term women and releasing them after they've given birth--but keeping the babies.

Private Investigator Mercedes Alexander is hired by a high profile Philadelphia businessman to find his pregnant wife, who went missing on a shopping trip during their vacation in the Poconos. The Sheriff, Jaxton Lane, doesn't have a single lead, but Mercedes has an advantage over him. She and her pregnant twin and partner, Lourdes Alexander, are psychic.

As Mercedes and Jax rush to find the psychopath before he steals another baby, they are drawn closer and closer to his evil mind--and to each other. Finally a tiny clue that Mercedes almost misses, reveals the kidnaper's identity. But can Mercedes get to him before he gets to Lourdes?

I am seeking representation for my paranormal romance/suspense novel, Mirror, Mirror complete at 70,000 words. A synopsis and sample chapters are available. Thank you for your time and attention.


Notes

Evil Editor has attempted to make the query letter sound less preposterous. It falls upon the author to do the same for the book itself.

It seems a lot of people have found some reason to create right-side margins by hitting the return key. If you feel some need to do this, please hit the spacebar before hitting the return key, so that when Evil Editor pastes your letter into blogger, he doesn't have to put spaces between your words.

29 comments:

James Lincoln Warren said...

Alas, but Evil Editor has missed that the plural of "Pocono" is not "Pocono's".

This has no net impact on the ludicrousness of the psychic twins meet psychotic OB/GYN serial killer concept, of course, but it does indicate a certain cavalier attitude on the part of the author for spelling and punctuation, especially as query letters should always be letter perfect.

Danger, Will Robinson!

Chiffonista said...

Oy! Not only is Toby the OB working out of the Poconos, but... a high-profile Philadelphia businessman /vacations/ there? Next you'll be telling me he lives in Fishtown.

Anonymous said...

You know, comne to think of it I read about something like this really happening last year I think, not to sell the baby, but for herself. I think it's a pretty cool idea.

Jane said...

You know how when you were a kid and your mom said, "Don't touch this," somehow, you had to touch it?

Placenta pizza, anyone?

One Girl's Opinion said...

I couldn't resist. I googled "placenta recipes". I may never eat again. Serves me right for not heeding EE's warning. I shall now flagellate myself as penence . . . If I can't stop dry heaving, that is.

Anonymous said...

Mercedes Alexander sounds like a combination of Mercedes Lackey and Heather Alexander.

The plot sounds like a bad urban legend. Did the women wake up in a tub filled with ice and a phone within reach, with a note that reads "Dial 911"?

December Quinn said...

If you're querying as romance, even as romantic suspense, you need to tell us a little about the romance in the query.

Also watch your tenses-they disagree in the first paragraph.

Anonymous said...

Also titled...

WOMB RAIDER.

Evil Editor said...

Poconos corrected, thank you (in Evil Editor's version--query writers are not afforded this luxury; their humiliating errors remain exposed to the world for eternity).

kis said...

Womb Raider. Haha.

Anonymous said...

Hey, EE ... just thought this was funny ... go to http://evileditor.blogpsot.com/ I was like, "Why does that say, 'Mega site of Bible studies'???" They must know your blog's popular, so they made their URL similar to get members ... HAHa, thanks!

tlh said...

Yeah, apparently there were a few cases last year of crazed women attempting to acquire babies by forcible c-section. So it's believable in one respect; what gets me is why anyone would need multiple babies, which is what I gathered was happening from the synopsis. So I kind of want to know, but on the other hand, not badly enough to read the book. Besides, it might be as horrible as placenta sandwiches or something.

(Heh, my word verification is very nearly a dirty word.)

Alison S said...

You know, Tess Gerittsen has written a very successful thriller featuring a serial abducter-of-pregnant-women-and-stealer -of-their-babies, but she had the good sense to know when to stop and leave out the psychic part. I suppose it just goes to show that it's all about the way you write 'em.

Virginia said...

I think that many babies have blood work done prenatally these days. Just something to consider while you revise...

Brenda Bradshaw said...

LOVE Womb Raider!!!

sarcywench said...

Hey, this is just like the MS I've been writing! Except that in mine, the detectives don't know they are identical twins, because they were stolen 25 years ago by the same psycho OBG, and sold seperately! In mine, he's stealing them for his black market organ farm (he steals them as babies so he can raise them on an organic diet and charge a premium price for the organs). The twins were sold because they were of a bloodtype so rare he knew he wouldn't find a market for them. At the end of the book, there is a hint that perhaps their psychic powers and rare blood type are related to a spate of alien abductions that occured around nine months before their mother was kidnapped.
But aside from that, the plots are amazingly similar.

Anonymous said...

A placenta is the ONLY meat product where a life does not have to be lost for consumption. Just toss it in the crock pot with a little Preggo brand pasta sauce.

ozviaaz said...

Oh for the good old days of the X-Files!!

MULDER WHERE ARE YOU?? I Don't WANT to Believe!

animal lover said...

Hey, anonymous of the "A placenta is the ONLY meat product where a life does not have to be lost for consumption":
What about mountain oysters?
(For the few non-farm-boys out there, think small. Think disposible. Think difference between bull and steer.)

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Reads the post, reads the comments, and slowly backs away...

Cheryl Mills said...

Virginia, I've had three babies since 2001 (and no, I did not eat the placentas, although they did kind of look like a big flank steak) and none of them had prenatal blood work. That actually sounds pretty risky. Stick a needle in my unborn baby? Um, no thanks.

December Quinn said...

No prenatal blood work done on my two girls, either. I had blood work, but nobody stuck any needles in my unborn children.

It is possible to even do surgeries on unborn babies, though, maybe that's what she meant?

Bernita said...

I back away so fast I tripped over Brenda.

Anonymous said...

Please, please don't call your novel "Mirror, Mirror". A cursory Amazon or Google glance will reveal far too many books with that title, not to mention television episodes and a television series called "Mirror, Mirror" itself. Getting any sort of web presence without confusing your audience.

Anonymous said...

Animal lover~I stand corrected. I'll have to let my pregnant patients know about that as well...Stir fry anyone?

kis said...

Back in my day, we used to call the placenta the "ugly twin." We'd dress it up in a bonnet and try to fool great uncle Nestor into kissing it on the cheek. Ah, good times...

Virginia said...

Cheryl and December,

I don't know nuthin bout birthin no babies! The few recently pregnant ladies I know are all over 40, and I guess I assumed that the precautions they took were standard proceedure. Did you hear the "This American Life" show about modern jackasses? That's me! Thanks for setting me straight.

disseldyke said...

This sounds like a less interesting version of Robert Heinlein "All You Zombies."

A baby girl is mysteriously dropped off at an orphanage in Cleveland in 1945. Growing up without knowing who her parents are. One day in 1963 she is strangely attracted to a drifter. She falls in love with him. But just when things are finally looking up a series of disasters strike. First, she becomes pregnant by the drifter, who then disappears. Second, during the complicated delivery, doctors find that Jane has both sets of sex organs, and to save her life, they are forced to surgically convert "her" to a "him." A mysterious stranger kidnaps her baby from the delivery room.

Reeling from these disasters, rejected by society, scorned by fate, "he" becomes a drunkard and drifter. Not only has she/he lost her lover, but he has lost his only child as well. Years later, in 1970, he stumbles into a lonely bar, spilling out his pathetic story to an elderly bartender. The sympathetic bartender offers the drifter the chance to avenge the stranger who left her pregnant and abandoned, on the condition that he join the "time travelers corps."

The bartender drops off the drifter in 1963. The drifter is strangely attracted to a young orphan woman, who subsequently becomes pregnant.

The bartender then goes forward 9 months, kidnaps the baby girl from the hospital, and drops off the baby in an orphanage back in 1945. Then the bartender drops off the thoroughly confused drifter in 1985, to enlist in the time travelers corps. The drifter eventually gets his life together, becomes a respected and elderly member of the time travelers corps, and then disguises himself as a bartender and has his most difficult mission: a date with destiny, meeting a certain drifter in 1970.

The question is: Who is the mother, father, grandfather, grand mother, son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson? The girl, the drifter, and the bartender, of course, are all the same person. These paradoxes can made your head spin, especially if you try to untangle Jane's twisted parentage. If we drawJane's family tree, we find that all the branches are curled inward back on themselves, as in a circle.

We come to the astonishing conclusion that she is her own mother and father! She is an entire family tree unto herself.

jcd234@aol.com said...

There's a book written by a gynecolist based folktales from S.A. and SE Asia about placentas going wild (in cases of very similar genetic complement)and attacking small animals.
The book is called "Cat Purple in Grosse Pointe"
I wrote it.