Monday, January 28, 2013

Bouncer Post #100

Genre: Contemporary NA Romance
Word Count: 90,000


A captive girl learns to see the prince inside the beast in A BEAUTIFUL NIGHTMARE; a figurative and contemporary retelling of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

Although Angelina has just graduated high school, she has an honorary PhD in stoicism. With suppressed memories of the loss of her twin demanding to resurface, Angelina's set on finding an empty, distracting job. So when she meets a passion-exuding man right before a critical job interview, she flees from his kiss without so much as a “We’ll be in touch.”  

If Angelina thought her day couldn't get any crazier, finding herself running from a stranger who knows her name certainly tops it off. Waking up on Haithem's yacht... now that takes the whole damn bakery. He claims it's a misunderstanding, but sending her home becomes trickier when Angelina's temper flares. Her threats fall on the ears of Haithem's father, a powerful tyrant - sorry tycoon, who sees Angelina as a threat. Haithem's solution to protect Angelina may just be the one thing that could destroy her; keeping her forever.

With nothing to hold her memories at bay, blissful distraction beckons in the form of Haithem's tantalising body. That's if he will get off his moral high horse long enough to let her have it. When the walls begin to cave on Angelina, Haithem offers something she had not believed existed - understanding. As Haithem's facade of indifference slips, Angelina aims her sails for his 'west wing'; his closely guarded heart. But when opportunity arises Angelina must decide what she is really prepared to sacrifice for love...

First 250

The fabric of my skirt suit felt damp against my skin. Sweaty armpits were something I would rather do without forty-five minutes before a job interview.

Just concentrate Angelina!

I slid the jacket from my shoulders and draped it over the back of the cafe chair. The laptop sat open on the table taunting me with its interview questions. I took a breath attempting to focus on what I was there for, and not the gossiping mothers in front of me, or the sweet, rich air that promised yet more coffee and maybe even a pastry... I shook my head slightly and focused.

What are my weaknesses?

The air puffed back out of my lips and I tapped my finger on the mouse pad. China clinked on glass. I looked up in time to see the waitress turn around after dumping my overfilled Cappuccino on the tabletop. Brown foam oozed over the full rim. With a sigh I picked up the messy coffee, and inhaled deeply savouring that perfect first sip smell.

My gaze drifted from the cup of steaming goodness in my hands. Huge dark brown eyes collided with mine. I blinked. They did not move on. They did not look past me. If anything they focused in. Like a hook sinking into something inside me, they tugged at me gently like a fish. His large body straightened, turning ever so slightly towards me. Breath rushed from my chest. People moved around him, but he stood fast.


  1. Great premise! :)

    As I read the part about Haithem, I realized he wasn't introduced as the man she met on her way to the interview. I think that connection needs to be made. :)

    I can feel the heat between the two of them from your first 250 words! Wow! It's a promise of goodness to come. ;)

    1. Thank you Rachel, your right I should have made that clearer in Query. Thanks for the feedback :)

  2. Hi Amber -

    As a lover of romance and fairty tales, I'm intrigued. I feel like your 250 is much stronger than your query. Some comments:
    -I think you can find a better opening then her sweaty clothes. I suggest looking at the entries that get bounced in or the ones that really drew you in. What do their opening sentences look like? How does that set up the first scene? The whole story? There is a reason opening sentences get so much attention, and do you really want your first contact with the reader to be about sweat? And you might, but you should think about all the reasons why the sweat is key to setting the scene.
    -I was a little confused by this sentence, "I looked up in time to see the waitress turn around after dumping my overfilled Cappuccino on the tabletop. "I thought the coffee was spilled on the table. So the wording should be looked at.
    -also, you spend a lot of time talking about coffee. Now, I love coffee, but first page real estate is crucial, is that what you want to spend your time talking about when you have such a juicy next paragraph?
    -That last paragraph is great and exactly what I want to see on a first page.

    When I hear Beauty and Beast, I think one ugly, one pretty character. But those aren't the elements you play with, so try to find a way to bring that out. Overall, I found the query tough to follow, but I do hear your voice, and I like it. With some study and practice, I'm confident you'll write a killer query.

    To get there, I recommend three things: spend some quality time on Janet Reid is the godfather (godmother?) of queries. This site is full of great examples and critiques. I also think this contest is a great way to learn what makes some queries better than others. Lastly, find books similar to yours and read their back copy. Good queries are a lot like the back description on books.

    Best of luck!

    1. Thanks so much for the tips :) hmm maybe I do need to cut some of the lead up. Thanks for taking the time to leave so much advice.

  3. I agree with the feedback both Rachel and aerichert have given you. What hooked me right in was the reference to Beauty and the Beast, but I felt unsure as to who the beast was (Haithem or his father) as I read your query further.

    As for your first 250, I felt a connection right away with Angelina, but I wanted to get to that juicy, last paragraph much, much sooner. Perhaps you could even start with "What are my weaknesses?" and weave in the upcoming job interview, and then, in the next paragraph, we meet one of her weaknesses... Or something like that.

    Good luck!
    Bonnie #88

  4. Hi Bonnie, thanks for the feedback. It probibly could start from that line, thank you :)