Monday, September 04, 2006

Face-Lift 177


Guess the Plot


Damaged Hearts

1. Celebrities Raven and Jake can't escape the media frenzy that constantly surrounds them, until they hit upon the idea of getting married in Hawaii.

2. An early-February fire leaves Myra Sinclair's candy store one big mess of melted chocolate. Can she salvage her business with a storewide 75% off sale?

3. Hospital janitor Jeff Wimby finds love with transplant surgeon Stephanie Troog, but will she throw out his heart like all the others?

4. Vampire hunter Sean Brody falls in love with one of his targets. What will Abigail--Sean's wife and partner in vampire hunting for eighteen years--have to say about it?

5. Big Jim can't understand why he's lost 132 poker hands in a row to his 5 year old nephew. Until he looks closely at the cards.

6. It's February at See's Candies - and everyone is working their tails off. Only Penelope Groodle in Quality Assurance is stuffing her briefcase and smiling.


Original Version

Dear Agent,

I read on your website that you are currently seeking submissions. I would like to submit my romantic suspense novel, Damaged Hearts for your consideration.

Damaged Hearts is the story of 33 year old Raven Blake, an executive chef and television personality, who is starting over after the death of her husband. She moves to Anthem Arizona to open a new restaurant and her life changes her very first night in town when she meets sports celebrity Jake Hughes. Together they work to overcome the issues of their pasts and form a loving blended family with Jake’s daughter Zoë and mother Lorraine. [That was fast. What happens her second night in town?]

Their perfect Anthem existence is rocked by a violent kidnapping attempt and they are forced to kill their assailant. Devastated by the impact of the attack on their lives and the resulting media frenzy they flee to the big island of Hawaii where the family pulls together to recover and Raven and Jake are married. [When celebrities are being bothered by media frenzy, nothing calms things down like marrying each other.] [That's it? They get married and nothing else happens? Short stories have more plot.]

Damaged Hearts is the first of three novels I’ve completed. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and recently joined the Phoenix chapter, Valley of the Sun Romance Writers. I'd be happy to send you a copy of the completed 82,000 word manuscript for your review. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,


Revised Version

Dear Agent,

I read on your website that you are currently seeking submissions. I would like to submit my romantic suspense novel, Damaged Hearts, for your consideration.

Damaged Hearts is the story of 33--year-old Raven Blake, an executive chef and television personality, who is starting over after the mysterious boning-knife murder of her husband. She moves to Anthem Arizona to open a new restaurant, and there she meets sports celebrity Jake Hughes. They hit it off immediately; Even Jake's daughter Zoë is enamored of Raven. Together they work to overcome the issues of their pasts--Raven's three husbands were all killed by kitchen utensils, and Jake was tossed off the pro bowlers tour for steroid abuse--and form a loving family with Zoë and Jake's mother Lorraine.

When a Ukrainian mobster tries to kidnap Zoë, Jake and Raven manage to kill the assailant. Devastated by the impact of the attack on their lives and the resulting media frenzy, they flee to Hawaii where the family pulls together to recover and Raven and Jake are married. Their happiness is short-lived, however, for Jake is called before a congressional committee on drugs in sports, and while he's away, Lorraine is found with a meat thermometer through her heart. Can the couple survive yet another tragedy?

I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and recently joined the Phoenix chapter, Valley of the Sun Romance Writers. I'd be happy to send you a copy of the completed 82,000 word manuscript for your review. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,


Notes

It reads much better with some transition between their meeting and starting a family, and with more specific information. Whether you alter the query to use the information in your book, or alter the book to use Evil Editor's specifics is up to you. I recommend the latter, of course.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It might just be me, but when you use the words "Anthem" and "rocked" in the same sentence, I immediately thought of Metallica.

Anonymous said...

When a Ukrainian mobster tries to kidnap Zoë, Jake and Raven manage to kill the assailant...

...using a spatula and a double boiler.

jeb said...

Sounds suspicious... even at Harlequin, the author would have to identify the 'bad guys' and explained why they had made a violent kidnapping attempt. Leaving a plot hole that big in favour of 'going to Hawaii to get married' makes it seem like the story is only half told.

Dave said...

Your plot synopsis sounds thin. Is there more to the story? Romances novels tend to have more plot twists. Or maybe the word is angst.

Anonymous said...

Dumb question from the back of the class: should there be a comma after Anthem and after Arizona?

She moves to Anthem, Arizona, to start a blah blah blah

Second celebrity chef plot on EE...Sounds like Rachael Ray is getting on people's nerves!

Mrs. Brain Bomb said...

I like the drugs in sports angle. Bring on the 'roids.

xiqay said...

EE, you are so blood-thirsty! Love the kitchen utensil thread. Lorraine with a meat thermometer through the heart-talk about damage.

Other than your additions, EE, nothing in this query rocked my boat. Not even Hawaii (and I love the islands).

Sorry author.

Rei said...

[quote]I would like to submit my romantic suspense novel, Damaged Hearts for your consideration[/quote]

Announcement: "Paging a comma. Comma, you're needed after 'Hearts'."

Well, either that, or capitalize "Your" and "Consideration" :)

[quote]the big island of Hawaii[/quote]

Uck. It's "Hawai'i", or perhaps even "Mauna Loa" (the mountain that makes up a large chunk of the island). Even if the person is ignorant enough not to know that, they'll at least know that it's in the Hawaiian Islands.

When I see someone describe it as "the big island", I immediately question how well they actually know what they're about to spend chapter after chapter describing. My first thought is, "Did they do *any* research at all?"

Coming up next: A thriller in the big island of Japan, then SF/F in the big island of Oceania.

Anonymous said...

Geesh Rei-I've heard it called the big island, to distinguish it from the state Hawaii, and the smaller islands Oahu (where Honolulu is) and Kauai, etc.

Anonymous said...

I live on Oahu. We call Hawai'i the Big Island all the time. The paper does it, the newscasters do it, etc. Not a deal breaker for me.