Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bouncer Round 6 #20

Genre: Paranormal
Word Count: 70,000
Parenting a child with autism is not easy, but Stevie Lewis never falters in her devotion to her young son, Charlie. When his life is threatened, Stevie finds herself at the heart of a three hundred year old secret and discovers that she is a genetic witch capable of reducing the laws of physics to mere suggestions.
Stevie has no knowledge of her family’s magical legacy or the long-held secrets that haunt her hometown of Beaufort, North Carolina until Vanessa Moore, a dark witch with lethal intentions, returns to town to retrieve a power amplifying amulet believed to be among the newly recovered treasure found near the wreckage of Blackbeard’s sunken flagship. Vanessa also plans to use her time in Beaufort to exact revenge on the coven responsible for locking her mother away in a psychiatric hospital twelve years earlier. Determined to shake the coven to its core, Vanessa targets young Charlie as her first victim and inadvertently awakens Stevie’s dormant power. With help from the clandestine coven led by her own mother and a few eccentric octogenarians, Stevie works to master her newly acquired magical talent and soon discovers exactly how far she will go to protect her vulnerable son.
The first installment in a planned series, Crystal Coast is fast-paced paranormal fiction that will appeal to fans of Practical Magic. The manuscript is complete and has been professionally edited.
First 250:
The woman in black raced to LAX as soon as the call came in. She hadn’t returned to her oceanfront house to pack a suitcase, and with no baggage to check, she quickly purchased a one-way ticket to Raleigh-Durham International Airport and proceeded farther into the bustling concourse.
“Have the car waiting for me when I arrive,” she barked into her phone. She paused, listening to the response from the other end of the call. Then she snapped, “I don’t care how you get it, just do it!” She abruptly ended the conversation and shoved the phone back into her leather handbag.
At the security gate, she placed her suede Manolo pumps and her bag into the plastic tray and waited for her turn to pass through the metal detector. Though she was certainly the most dangerous passenger the agents would ever encounter, this exercise was a waste of time. The weapons she possessed would not be revealed by a metal detector. She passed the security check without incident.
The woman in black found her gate and waited for first class to begin boarding. Struggling to hide her contempt for her fellow passengers, she warily eyed a young mother with an infant and a toddler in tow. Children were nasty little creatures, always sticky, drippy, or crying. Why anyone would willingly assume the care of one, much less two, was unimaginable to her. She looked away, comforted by her certainty that the pesky monsters would be flying in coach.
When the time came to board the plane, she found her seat on the aisle and settled in, discreetly observing the others around her. As usual, there were several businessmen to consider. One was quite attractive; she guessed he was in his early thirties, not much older than she was. She caught a glimpse of his left hand as he loaded his briefcase into the overhead compartment. No wedding band.
That’s too bad, she thought. All the good ones are single.


  1. I really, really love your query!! That sounds like something I'd definitely enjoy reading.

    Your first 250 are good too, but I'm not sure or sold on it starting from the evil witch's POV, and I think it could be better starting with Stevie. The woman in black thoughts about kids being "nasty little creatues" has a sort of Hansel and Gretel feel about it, and I'm not sure if you are actively going for that or not.

    I'd read on if I had more to read. Good luck!

    Virginia (#9)

  2. I loved Practical Magic and that came to my mind as I read the query even before I got to the last line. Great job. I like the first 250. I though the character was very Cruella daVille -ish and I would certainly read more.


  3. Originally, the story began with Stevie and Charlie, but I added this new opening to amp up the tension/action at the start. I've always been worried about beginning the story with the evil witch and I really appreciate your comment. It definitely gives me something to think about.

    Thanks, Virginia!

  4. I remember this entry from round 1, and I really like the changes you've made to your query! I feel as if this version gives me a much clearer picture of your story, and it also reminds me of Practical Magic--which I love! Great job!

    Best of luck!


  5. The content in your query works well but I'd look at tightening some of your sentences up. Especially that 55 word opening sentence in your second paragraph. I'd also look at making culling some of the names. You could probably keep Stevie and then Vanessa. Also, you do a bit of perspective jumping between Vanessa's actions and Stevie's actions. You'd want to angle the query from what Stevie acts on.

    I liked your first 250 but is there a reason you're referring to Vanessa (I assume) as the woman in black? I really liked how she didn't want to go after a single man, gives insight to her character. However, from your query it sets up that Stevie is your primary and most agents may go into your sample expecting to see Stevie. As long as you go back to Vanessa at points in the story, this could work.

    Good luck with it. :)


  6. At this point in the story, Vanessa is using an alias (this is revealed later in the chapter). I hoped to add an air of mystery by calling her the woman in black, especially since the name she is using at the beginning is not her real name. Stevie is the primary, but Vanessa's perspective is shown several times throughout.

    Thanks so much for the tips!

  7. OOOOhhhh---- The first 250 really grabbed me in! I wonder though about what Mia pointed about above: agents wanting to see Stevie right off the bat? This looks great to me though. Good luck in this round. I love the premise of a mother having her powers awakened to protect her son. ~lara (#3)