Monday, January 14, 2013

Bouncer Post #37

Genre: YA contemporary romance
Word Count:  70000


Falling in love scares the crap out of seventeen-year-old former ballerina Natalya Pushkaya—even more so when she meets sexy soccer player Antonio. After losing her Papa to suicide, her Mama to vodka and her ballet dream to an injury, she doesn´t even want to think about getting close to someone.

Natalya plans to keep everyone at least a rond de jambe away just like her Mama taught her, but her deadly glares don´t work on broad-shouldered and charming Antonio. As if seeing him at school wasn´t enough, they also end up working in the same Tex-Mex restaurant. Even though he infuriates her at every turn by challenging her to grieve, Natalya´s heart still does little pas chassés whenever he´s around. 

Once Natalya discovers the possible reason behind her Papa´s suicide, she must turn to Antonio for support...instead of tequila. If she can't, she might not only lose him, she might destroy herself.

First 250:

Chopin´s music is the soundtrack of my life. Papa taught me how to play his most heart-wrenching Waltzes, Mama used his Nocturnes as lullaby when I was little, and my legs itched to form an arabesque whenever I heard his Polonaises Op. 40. Chopin used to be my escape, a way to dream about the future, about everything I wanted—from finally falling in love to dancing the main part of Cinderella one day at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

But that was before.

As Mama drives me to school, the notes from his Prelude Opus 28—also called “Suffocation”—don´t bring a smile to my face. They oppress me. No matter how deep I try to inhale, I don´t get enough air into my lungs.

Mama turns the music down and exhales loudly. “We can´t go through the same thing every single morning, Natalya.” Her don’t-mess-with-me tone doesn’t scare me. What is she going to do? Ignore me even more? I’ve learned how to keep everyone at least a rond de jambe away partly thanks to her, aka The Master of Not Letting Anyone Close. Not even her daughter.

 “Are you listening to me?” Mama snaps. The morning sun sends shimmers through her blond hair but no amount of concealers could hide her bags. I’m not sure she’s slept a full night since we heard the news about Papa.

Eight months, three weeks, and two days ago.


“I don’t want to see you practice again.” She sounds tired.


  1. I usually don't read romance pieces, but wow. Your query really packs a punch--even if I don't know what a rond de jambe is.

    Your first 250 are powerful and really draw me in, making me want to read more... and did I mention that I usually don't read romance? I would definitely keep reading. Great job and good luck

    Your friendly, neighborhood Spiderman (aka Post 5)

    1. Wow thanks Michael aka my friendly neighborhood Spiderman :D
      I´m so glad you enjoyed it and coming from someone who doesn´t even read romance usually is definitely nice to hear :D :D :D

  2. I absolutely love this premise. And as a former dancer, I love the line in your query about the rond de jambe. So interested to read more.

  3. This is lovely! It's very interesting! I'd definitely read more. The only thing I would clarify is this line from the query: "She must turn to Antonio for support...instead of tequila." I think you mean she must turn to Antonio instead of tequila for support, but the way it's phrased sorta makes it sound like she's turning to Antonio for support instead of turning to Antonio for tequila haha :)

    1. Awww thank you :D Glad you enjoyed it! And you're right, she's definitely need to turn to Antonio instead of tequila for support. Thanks for pointing it out, very helpful! :D

  4. HHmmm--- I was wondering about the tequila thing as well, like jessiedevine. I like the whole ballet premise as well, having been a secret ballerina in my head my whole life. I would read this story. Great job. :) ~Lara, Submission #3

    1. Thanks Lara :D I'll update that sentence in my query in the future :D
      Glad you enjoyed it! (and I was also a secret ballerina in my head :P)

  5. I love the use of Chopin and how the music has influenced her life and I'm not into classical music at all--don't know any of the things you mentioned, but I love that she does and how they relate to her life. I thought your query was solid and compelling. And I want to read more. I want to know why her papa killed himself and I want to know how she survives this life and goes forward. Yep, color me hooked :)

  6. I love dancer MCs! Your first paragraph really sets the tone. I'm curious about what instrument she plays. I'm also wondering about the ongoing argument. Is it that she's giving her mom the silent treatment or does it have something to do with her mother seeing her practice the night before? Or maybe before they left for school? I'm assuming she shouldn't be practicing because of her injury, but I'd love to read on and find out. Good job of pulling me in. One little nitpick: I think "concealers" should be singular.

    Thanks for your comments on mine. (#13) Good luck!

  7. LOVE THIS! So gorgeous. It already feels like one of those reads that is alive with sweetness and color; just so NICE to fall into. Makes me want to read more so badly. And I'm not usually a romance reader, either!

    Good luck with the contest! (This is the first one I have been involved in at all, so excited to be reading and meeting other writers!)

  8. I really like this! I love the voice in the first 250 (the stuff about Chopin is gorgeous!), and I like the set-up of Natalya and Antonio’s relationship.

    Two things: First, it seems like ballet is going to be a huge part of this story, but I wonder if using two ballet terms in the query might be too much? As a non-ballerina, I have no idea what either of these means, and though I can guess, I wonder if you might be alienating someone who’s not uber into ballet? I like maybe leaving one for voice, but I personally found two to be too much.

    Second, the idea of Natalya turning to tequila at the end of the query really threw me. Since there was no suggestion about her drinking in the rest of the query, when I read that line I was left wondering whether this is a “girl working through her grief while falling in love” story or an addiction story—I would definitely clarify that if you can!

    Either way, I do love the voice, and can see it being a strong story whichever way it goes.

    YOU’RE IN!

    1. Awwww THANK YOU Bouncer Champagne!!!!! :D :D :D :D

      I will take a closer look at my query again and see how I can replace one of the ballet terms and see how to clarify :D

      Thanks again! I´m so excited! (and may have used too many smileys :P)

    2. Yay!! Can't wait to see agents snap this up! Congratulations! :D

  9. Yay, Elodie! So proud of you, friend. And I LOVE your first 250. More please! :)

  10. This is really beautiful! Good luck :) I love the musical influences, I wanted to keep reading.