Monday, January 28, 2013

Bouncer Post #81


Genre: Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 83,000
Sarah Green is an expert on hiding from ex-husbands. But when men claiming to be centuries-old Knights rescue her from some nasty monsters, she discovers an ex-husband she didn’t marry. Her past self did. Sarah’s relationship with the Knights’ leader, Merek, is the key to unlocking the Knights’ freedom and defeating their enemy. Sarah yearns to let go of her fears and place her heart in Merek’s hands, but she’s not the woman he sees.
After six centuries trapped inside a mystical box, Merek the Devoted has been freed. His resurrected body recalls the passion once ignited by Princess Sevira, even if she doesn’t. When his seduction of Sarah Green doesn’t go as easily as expected, only the faith of his Knights gives him the fuel to fight his curse.

But if Merek cannot see through the past and into the true soul of the woman he once loved, then the fight for Love will be lost for all time.

First 250:
This was the last time Sarah would ever go running after dark. Ever.

At the sound of a twig snapping behind her, Sarah increased her pace. A quick glance at her wrist GPS flashed eight-minute miles. The adrenaline pumping through her system meant her lungs didn’t burn with each breath, her pulse didn’t pound in her veins, as it usually did at this pace. She slipped her hands up to her ears, removed her ear buds, and stashed them in the waistband of her shorts. Now that her hearing wasn’t diluted, she blocked out the sounds of her own footsteps and listened for anything out of place.

Her usual route took her along forested paths, but as she neared a juncture, she opted for right, back toward the busy main road.

People. Cars. Safety.

Her fingers gripped the small tube of “bear” spray and she switched it to “on”. Bears occasionally attacked people, but people attacked people a whole lot more often.

Headlights beamed across her vision, and she blinked hard against the contrast between the bright light and the dim streetlights barely cutting through the darkness. Sarah blew out her relief as the car passed her, and then slowed her pace to an easy nine and a half minutes.

Pad, pad, pad, shuffle, pad, pad.

Wait. Shuffle? Someone was following her. Adrenaline shot back into her system, her heart raced even though now she was almost walking.

It’s not him. It’s not him.


  1. The first line of the query definitely got my attention--I love it! I liked the query in general, don't have any specifics about it to critique. Your 250 really caught my attention and I want to know what happens next. Good luck.

    I'm #91.

    1. Thanks, Virginia! I appreciate your comments :) Best of luck to you too.

  2. Oh! I really like your first 250! The query is okay, but it's not reflective of the voice of the story. I don't know that I have any solid advice on how to rework this, but the start of the story her voice is clear, there's a strong element of suspense.

    Hold on a sec... not sure this is *right* (there are plenty of grammar issues) but it might give you an idea of how to infuse the tension you have in the start into the query:

    In order to survive, Sarah Green became an expert in dealing with her ex-husbands and their obsession. Nasty monsters, and being rescued by a husband from a previous life, test the limits of her resilience. Particularly when she finds she is the key to his and his companions survival. Sarah yearns to let go of her fears, but is convinced he does not see her, just the memory of his lost love. Until he sees her clearly, she will not succumb to the temptation. Been there, done that.

    Okay, again, not your voice, not quite right, but you see how I've tried to incorporate some of her tension, her personality (or at least the little bit of personality I see) in it? You need to to that too, show us the plot points, but make it from her perspective, if you can.

    I really, really like your first 250 and hope you make it through!

    1. Hi Ellie. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such helpful comments, and for your encouragement.

  3. I love the tension in the first 250, and like the query letter version better than the pitchwars one. It makes it more clear to me who wants what and why. I'm curious though, the query portion doesn't tell me who they are up against, or what they'd have to survive/fight/avoid in order to reach their happily ever after. I know there's an enemy out there, and I'd love to know what/who stands in their way, if that makes sense.

  4. Great job! I love the first line of your query and the premise. It looks plain fun, which I love. I also like that she it starts out with her running in the dark with bear spray. Very cool place to start - it really shows what kind of girl she is. Ellie might be right about the disparity between the first 250 and the query, but I liked them both. If you are getting bites off this query, I'd just go with it.

    Good luck!
    Sam (87)

  5. This is an interesting opening! I like your 250. I do have a few suggestions. A couple places you might make the writing tighter? For example, she switched it to “on”--could be switched it on, and avoid the awkward "on". Then the phrase "a whole lot more often", could you be more concise? As in, "a lot more often?" or "so much more"? Saying she opted for right, is a bit unclear. Can you say "she opted to turn right..."

    You have a very interesting premise. The query engaged me. Could you put "Princess Sevira" in quotes so we see right away that's her? My last question: why can't he see through the past so easily? What is the obstacle that is the problem? If it's her not returning the passion, can that be more clear?

    Good luck! I hope that was a little helpful!

  6. Great premise, strong voice. I like the suggestions Ellie made for our first paragraph. I do think it makes Sarah's dilemma clearer.

    I also agree with Jason that we need a strong sense of what is at stake for Sarah and Merek.

    I wish I had more to add. :)

    Great tension in the first 250. I would absolutely read this.

    Good luck.
    Amy #73

  7. Thanks for all of your comments, everyone :) Much appreciated and best of luck!

  8. The voice does come through in the first 250 words. It's also a great place to start as I'm totally engaged in her escape, even if I don't know why or where.
    The love story hooks me...I just need to hear more of her voice in the query, as some other people have stated.
    engaging writing