Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bouncer Post #27

Genre: Mystery
Word Count: 82,000


Nan Macomb—a spunky thirty-five-year-old Nashville hair stylist—works her cut-and-color magic in her tiny home salon while gabby clients keep her up-to-date on the latest hair-raising gossip. Bombarded by one too many anecdotes about music exec Randy Soleman’s cheating heart (and other body parts), she barges into his Music Row office and finds her former lover bludgeoned to death with his own Grammy.

Strong evidence implicates Nan, so she recruits her two best friends—a depressed, stay-at-home mom and a country music singer wannabe—to help keep her well-toned butt out of jail. The trio comb the Music City, following clues and miscues to uncover theft, corruption, and deceit in pretty much every thing Randy touched. In their quest, they’re surprised to discover there are more kinds of addictions than there are shades of blonde. As Nan comes face to face with the magnitude of this disease, she must untangle own character defects to have the clarity she needs to prove her innocence.

The apparent suicide of Randy’s brother baffles the police, but Nan, a long-time puzzle enthusiast, discovers an encrypted message buried in the words of the note he left behind. The message could ensure her freedom … if she can get it to the police before the killer gets to her. 

For networking and educational purposes, I’ve attended writing conferences and workshops, taken online classes, and participated in online forums. I am a member of MWA as well as two critique groups, and I post to my blog on "reading, writing or whatever," three times per week.

First 250:

Nan Macomb daydreamed about trying on strappy sandals as she cut Mitsi Sowell's hair. Mitsi was a new client, so Nan had blocked out extra time, but the chick hadn't stopped talking since she walked through the front door and into Nan's cozy home salon. At least this was Nan's last appointment of the morning. She looked forward to an afternoon of shopping with her two best friends--a weekly ritual. 

"Wait. What?" Nan stopped, scissors still planted in Mitsi's thick brown hair. "Who're you talking about again?"

"Amy. Amy Soleman. You know her, don't you? Married to that hotshot record producer, Randy Soleman. I met her at--"

"And, you were saying ... just then? Sorry, I zoned for a sec."

"Oh, that's okay. Happens all the time. I said. I saw Amy in the grocery store, and she said she was six weeks pregnant and--"

Nan's hand jolted and the scissors severed a chunk of her client's hair.

"Ow." Mitsi's fingers leapt to her head.

"Sorry. Didn't mean to pull. I'm ... I'm trying something a tad different. Okay?"

"With your reputation you can do whatever you want."

Thank goodness the chair was turned away from the oversized mirror so Mitsi couldn't see the shock that transformed Nan's face. Nor could she see the wad of hair Nan dropped into her smock pocket.

Her hands trembled, but Nan snipped and shaped and layered and feathered 'til the cut was presentable. Mitsi didn't seem to notice it lacked Nan's signature flair. 


  1. I feel like I've seen this before...QT?

    I love the first 250 - it automatically makes me think of my hairdresser. And bludgeoned to death by his own Grammy ? Brilliant.

    Good Luck!

  2. I love me a good mystery! This looks promising, and the idea of a country-music setting pulled me in. Good luck! You're in!

  3. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Bouncer Iheartbooks! I'm doing a happy dance.

    @JennaDanielle You may have seen it in December at Baker's Dozen. Pages were requested, but ultimately it was a pass with some good suggestions. It seems I'm querying by contest. LOL

  4. I loved that the query showed a sense of humor along with establishing a very interesting setting for the backdrop of a murder mystery. I would want to read more for sure.

  5. I really like the voice of the piece. Especially because it has a knack for comedy, yet still believable. The way you leave a hint at the addiction makes me wonder what sort of addiction they could be suffering, and that just adds another layer to the murder mystery. Sounds like an interesting story.

  6. There are worse ways to go than querying by contest :o).

    This is setting up to be a nice little cozy. And the humor element and voice really help to set it apart! Major congrats on already getting requests for it under your belt.

  7. Yay, a southern mystery! This sounds funny and entertaining!

  8. I love the humor and voice in this - and now I'm wondering what my own hair dresser is doing to the back of my head (and how she's hiding the evidence)! This looks smart, funny, and clever - I definately want to see more!

  9. I love this! Definitely something I would read! I love a mystery that can make me laugh!

  10. Thanks for the kind comments and votes of confidence, everyone. I'm excited to be here.

  11. Humor, mystery, layers of intrigue ... Treasure! I'd love to read more. This is great because there's lighthearted chuckles mixed in with sleuthing. More, please!

  12. This is a terrific beginning to a terrific mystery.

  13. The voice in the query/synopsis portion matches perfectly to the voice in the first 250 words, which is great. I definitely struggle trying to inject voice into my queries. Bravo.

    This looks like it would be a fun and spunky kind of mystery, and so I wouldn't be too disappointed in myself if I couldn't figure out the clues because I'd be enjoying myself too much. (Because I hate when I can't figure out *anything* in a mystery. Makes me feel dumb :-P)

  14. I love humor and character connection. This query and first 250 have both in spades.

    Sounds like a fun romp that would keep me happily occupied cozied up to the fire with a cup of chai.

    Best luck~

  15. This is full of voice and fun! Promises to be a great read if the fist 250 words are anything to go by. Plus, I can never resist a good mystery or humor, and this has both-- a winning combination!

  16. Thanks for reading my entry and for taking time to leave such positive feedback! Fingers crossed one of the agents will like it too.