Monday, February 4, 2013

Bouncer Post #127

Title: Secretly Enchanted
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 94,000


With fierce intelligence and impeccable charm, world-renowned biological researcher James Blackburn leads scientists to discoveries that expose the very secrets of the universe. When a windstorm shatters a laboratory on a perfect spring day, even he can't explain it. He will discover the culprit.

With the power to defy physics' uncompromising laws, Kyla leads a double life. To the world she is assistant professor Dr. Kyla Conley, but to her people, she is the most powerful enchantress of all time. At all costs, she must protect her people's secret. To do so she must convince one professor that sorcery does not exist.

With no choice but to infiltrate his investigation and derail his mission, Kyla fights to prove the supernatural lives only in dreams and fairytales, all the while resisting the inexplicable attraction that grows every day. As the masterful scientist grows closer to her greatest secret, she can only wonder…

What will he do when he discovers the truth?

Secretly Enchanted is a paranormal romance and is complete at 94,000 words in length.  My manuscripts have seen success in various RWA-sponsored contests including First Place in the Sweet Spicy Spooky Contest, Unsinkable Heroine Award in the Molly, Third Place in the Southern Heat Contest, Third Place in the STAR Contest and two semi-finalist showings in the Molly Contest.  I am currently a finalist in the FRW Golden Palm and the RWA Emily competitions.

I have written seven manuscripts in addition to Secretly Enchanted, including three paranormal romances, three contemporary romances and one children's fantasy. You can view descriptions of all of my manuscripts on my website,

With over a decade of professional writing experience, I produced a wide variety of written material for businesses and individual clients across a variety of subject matters. I worked both in advertising agencies and marketing departments as a copywriter. My freelance articles on the web garner more than 20,000 clicks a day. I am active in the Florida Romance Writers, a local chapter of Romance Writers of America.

I have poured my heart into this story.  I hope it enraptures yours.  Thank you very much for your consideration.

First 250:

Sweat tickled his forehead. It formed first as a misty sheen, then as a thick mask, turning furrows and ridges into tiny creeks and lakes. Above a bushy eyebrow it became a river, miniature and yet flowing, ever so slowly creeping down a valley of wrinkles to razor-thin lips. It tasted salty and hot and full of fear.

Nerves normally ruled Chester as he conducted his experiments. But not like today.

Not with this experiment and most certainly not with these compounds. One wrong move and an explosion would rock the science lab like homemade fireworks on the Fourth of July, all but certainly demolishing his coveted position as assistant to the nation's leading biologist.

Mix the contents of test tube A with beaker B, and then beaker C with beaker D. Place everything in a large bowl, then stir. Chester slowly followed the experiment's recipe, holding his breath until the last compound had been mixed and danger averted. With a wide smile, he released the air in a long, slow whistle.

The bowl rattled.

Chester stopped and stared, the whistle dying on his lips as it shook once more, clearly unperturbed that its movements didn't quite fit in with the laws of physics. It continued as a beaker joined in on the fun, first one glass bottle, then another and another. Confusion and fear drove icy tendrils through Chester's chest as he watched an ever-increasing number of items rattle and shake, dancing to an imaginary rock and roll concert.


  1. You've set the stakes high here for Kyla and I love a story with high stakes! I was all set to dive into the story so your first 250 confused me at first because I was expecting James or Kyla and got Chester instead (who isn't mentioned in the query letter). I'm guessing that this is the explosion about to happen? But I'm not entirely sure. Either way, your sample is strong and I can tell from it the high quality of your writing. Your intriguing premise makes me want to read on.

    Best of luck!

  2. I love the idea of a scientist who doesn't believe in magic trying to find a solution to a magical problem, while a scientist who is a magician tries to stop him from realizing magic is indeed real. That's exactly the sort of thing that would pull me in.

    The plot part of the query could use some tightening. Is James the "professor" Kyla has to keep her secret from? That should be made more clear. Just because someone is a researcher doesn't mean they are a professor. (And vice versa). The bio part of the query is a little long. Most things I've read say keep the bio down to one paragraph. Personally I would completely cut the paragraphs that begin with "I have written..." and "With over a decade..." That would help substantially cut this section of the query down.

    Concerning the 250 words, it derailed me some that I was reading about someone named Chester and not either of the MC's described in the query. Especially in the first paragraph since you don't mention Chester by name I just sort of assumed it was James.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

    ~Mandy (entry #130)

  3. Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it. :o) I actually used to start with James in a scene right after the explosion happened, but one of the agents suggested putting in the explosion first to get right into action. It's a really quick scene and then you get right into James. I will definitely look at the points you brought up though. They are very helpful. All the best, Melanie

  4. I like the idea of a sorceress masquerading as an assistant professor in order to cast doubt on the existence of magic. Very creative! Best of luck in the contest!

  5. I love that Kyla has to try to keep James in the dark, and can just imagine how torn she'll be when she falls for him. Yum yum. I had similar thoughts as the others that I expected Kyla or James in the first 250. I think your query was great, but it might be best to trim your bio a little (even if it is very impressive!)
    Good luck!
    Laura, Kiss #33, BSD #122

  6. Thank you guys for the suggestions. I am changing it to put James in that first scene.