Friday, October 06, 2006
Guess the Plot
A Matter of Faith
1. Dan Strummer is engaged to his boss’s daughter, who he loves dearly--or at least he thought he did, until he met Faith, his boss's wife.
2. Gifted research historian Brent Rasmussen uncovers irrefutable proof of the existence - and identity - of the one true God. The world's religious leaders have mixed reactions to the evidence that they were all wrong.
3. Faith Moreno, music director at her church, is suspected of murdering the organist. Will she save herself by admitting that she was in the bed of Father Pat at the time, thus ruining his career?
4. A new high school football coach is the only one in town who believes that freshman cheerleader Faith Caldwell can quarterback the football team to the state championship.
5. Hope and Charity have uncovered the evil plot in the physics lab, where their sister's mentor has created anti-matter. Can the girls rescue Faith before her matter is converted into a force that will destroy our planet?
6. Faith Boodle has always listened to Father O'Malley. But his definition of "good girl" changed when she turned sixteen. And his idea of communion was, well, disgusting. Will the new altar boy save her from her doubts? Or at least get Father O'Malley out of her hair?
Dear Evil Editor,
On January 1, 2006, a wealthy Marshfield businessman is found shot dead at the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. [For those who are familiar only with the Grand Canyon of Arizona, don't be fooled. The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania is a small ditch on the side of the Schuylkill Expressway.] The investigation stalls. Four months later, frustrated Sheriff Anna Wells laments, "Only divine intervention can move this case forward." She only has to wait another week. [At which time the case will be turned over to The Saint.]
Earthly and spiritual mysteries become linked, and their answers [Questions have answers; mysteries have solutions.] rest with the fate of sheltered Faith Moreno, the 25-year-old parish music director at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. [The solutions to linked spiritual and earthly mysteries rest with Faith's fate? I have no idea what that means.] On Easter Sunday, Faith's father dies unexpectedly out-of-grace. His death intensifies pressures on Faith, as she struggles with doubts about herself, her church, and now, her God. Adrift, she questions God's plan while pursuing Father Pat, a handsome priest newly returned to town with whom she shares a special bond from their past. [Pursuing romantically? A priest? Okay, admittedly a handsome priest, but isn't there someone she could pursue who's available? Say, a detective?]
Meanwhile, Detective Roger Stark balances new fatherhood [I meant an unmarried detective.] while investigating two cases. Who is stalking Faith with increasing menace? Who killed the substitute organist inside St. Mary's, for which Faith is a suspect? [What idiot thinks Faith killed the substitute organist, and why?] [It was clearly Father Pat.] Wells and Stark unravel the mysteries, but God extracts a high cost. [Never mind those mysteries; what about the guy who got shot in the Grand Canyon? You haven't shown that that has anything to do with your plot. Connect it.]
A Matter of Faith is a completed 90,000 word mystery set in Marshfield, a fictitious mid-sized Pennsylvania city. This is my third complete novel, and the second one set in Marshfield with Detective Stark. A fourth novel, also set in Marshfield, will be completed by mid-2007. I've published several Internet articles on writing and received the Gary Provost Scholarship for the 2006 Writers Retreat Workshop.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Does this book have a main character? I can't tell if it's Faith, Stark or Wells. If it's Stark or Wells, you might concentrate more on that person.
Why not mention what the special bond between Faith and Father Pat is?
What does Faith see as God's plan? Pursuing the priest, or not pursuing the priest? She questions His plan, but it's not clear what that means.
What is this high cost God exacts for the unraveling of the mysteries? Is God playing an active role here? God's intervention leads to the solving of the Grand Canyon murder? I'm not sure mystery readers would go for God solving the crime. Although it's better than the detective proving God committed the crime.