Deadly Ever After

Hop To It!

Today’s Brew: Crystal Light something or the other. Anyone know a good Keurig repair person?

For those of you visiting Deadly Ever After for the first time, welcome to Julie and Kristen’s little corner of the web! We like to think of it as controlled chaos here.

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Like many of you who participated in Gearing Up To Get An Agent (#gutgaa), we both just recently finished manuscripts and we are working on finding an agent who will love them and sell them so in turn the whole world can love our books as much as we do. Julie and I both wrote vampire books, which we are finding out is a little bit of a dirty word in the publishing community. Damn you, Edward, and your sparkly little family.

Not only do we feel that our vampire books offer something a little different than what’s available now, they are both very different from each other. I will post the pitch and the first 150 here for both Julie and I. Please feel free to leave your feedback! We’re all here looking to improve.

RUNNING HOME (Julie)
Paranormal Thriller
80,000 words

Query:

Ellie Morgan has done a good job of forgetting the pains of her past and is not eager to disrupt her life. Her vibrant friend, Kat, insists on dragging her to an event to introduce her to Chris Lynch, a too good to be true attorney that she has fallen for. Here she meets the mesmerizing Nicholas French, who seems to know too much about her restless soul.

Ellie soon finds that Lynch, Nicholas, and his brother Roman are dangerous company to keep. These newcomers to this small New Hampshire town are vampires.

Nicholas gives Ellie the home she has longed for. The cozy cabin in the middle of the woods that he shares with Roman is a safe haven for her. The “brothers” treat her like family, and let her live as one of them, but their secrets make her wonder what her place is. They show her a world where being Chosen can mean many things, not all of them good. Nicholas insists she is meant for more than the life she has made for herself, and she suspects that he is right.

This new life Ellie has found with Nicholas is separating her from Kat more and more. When Chris and Kat become engaged, Ellie is sent into a tailspin trying to protect her friend from the monster she loves. It becomes impossible as Kat severs ties with her long-time friend. There is not much that Ellie won’t do to make her safe. When Nicholas becomes the true threat to Kat’s life, Ellie realizes that part of the destiny that promises her greatness will also force her to destroy everything she holds dear. Ellie drowns in trying to reconcile the otherworldly connection with the vampire who would make her a hero, and being forced to make unthinkable choices.

RUNNING HOME is a paranormal thriller at 80,000 words.

First 150 words.

“I don’t want to dress like a human cupcake,” I pulled my arm away from Kat as she veered me in the direction of Katrina’s Boutique

“But Ellie, there’s a sweater sale.” Kat smiled, even as she pleaded. She was unaffected by the wind and snow we had to trudge through to navigate downtown Ossipee that day.

“I’ll be at–”

“Birch Tree. I know.” Widening her smile more, she fluttered away in a swish of lilac wool, sunset hair, and peony perfume. She knew it wasn’t in season, but would never wear a different scent.

I shook off the biting cold, my boots pelting the floor with snow. More wet clumps dropped from my hood, and I wiped sloppy, black strands of hair from my cheeks with mittened hands.

The string of bells on the door caught my sleeve, making them jingle too long. I felt loud, irritating the comfortable world around me that had been my go-to place since being an awkward teenager.

IMMORTAL DILEMMA (Kristen)
New Adult Paranormal Urban Fantasy
78,000 words

Query:
Tristan Trevosier had it all. He was the son of two pop culture powerhouses. That’s what made him so attractive to Talis de Rancourt. He was the only thing that could save her struggling Las Vegas real estate empire. Now Tristan is big business in his own right. His band, Immortal Dilemma, is in residence on the Las Vegas Strip and his vampire reality show is on constant repeat.

Eighteen year old hippie island girl Callie has no reason to question why everyone in her family tried to keep her away from her first love, Tristan. She’s used to being overprotected. Despite their objections, Callie has enrolled at Las Vegas State to reconnect with him.

Blade had a taste of the vampire rock scene and decided he wanted nothing to do with it. He seems to be everything that Callie wishes Tristan was and she begins to want him more and more.

Tristan is struggling with his addictions, and Callie is one of them.

Now Callie must weave her way through a world she had no idea existed; a stream of insatiable groupies, paparazzi, and wild after show parties to find her place somewhere between what she’s found with Blade and Tristan’s new afterlife.

IMMORTAL DILEMMA is a 78,000 word New Adult Paranormal Urban Fantasy

First 150:
All I could see through my haze was blonde hair. Even though I knew that what I was seeing and what was actually there were two different things, I didn’t care. I just wanted the pain to go away.

My post show ritual was always the same. A drink, a line, a girl. Usually in that order, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what or who they were, either. Tonight, I already took care of the first two. This chick had my attention. She smelled like fresh air, sunshine…familiar.

“I can make you a star in your own right, Tristan,” she whispered in my ear as she ran her hand lightly down my chest. Her fingers were cool to the touch. I shivered.

I closed my eyes, moaning as she nibbled at my neck. I was sick of being billed as my father’s son. But what could this girl offer that my father couldn’t?

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8 thoughts on “Hop To It!

  1. First this is just ONE opinion. Take it or leave it. 🙂

    RUNNING HOME (Julie)
    Paranormal Thriller
    80,000 words
    Query:

    Oh! I remember reading this! My thoughts were I love the story line but recall reading a book with almost exactly the same premise and set up a couple of years back. Even searched on Amazon to figure out what it was with no luck (I thought it was a Lynsay Sands, but am not sure), but if I do see it I’ll let you know!!. So, that said, what you need to focus on is what makes yours unique from other books with the trope of my-best-friend-is-marrying-a-vampire-and-I-need-to-stop-her. So you need to go into more detail about her destiny and restless soul, etc.

    First great name for the heroine ☺ But you need to cut back the rest of these names and use monikers instead – best friend, best friend’s fiancé, etc. The ONLY names we should have are the Heroine and the Hero or other protagonist if it’s not a romance.

    Ellie Morgan has done a good job of forgetting the pains of her past
    Can you expand this a smidge – give us one pain, something which ties into her actions later – her mother’s death, a nightmare situation, something to show us her hard knocks and why she’s trying to be ‘normal’. This first line should set up your character and give us the point ‘a’ she is at to start the story. You might want to add a second line reinforcing her determination to stay at this ‘safe’ point.

    and is not eager to disrupt her life. Her vibrant friend, Kat, insists on dragging her to an event to introduce her to Chris Lynch, a too good to be true attorney that she has fallen for. Here she meets the mesmerizing Nicholas French, who seems to know too much about her restless soul.

    You need to condense all this – and make it a statement of the pivot/transition to the start of the change of her path:
    Dragged out by her best friend to meet her new boyfriend and his buddies, Ellie meets the mesmerizing Nicholas French. (add in a separate sentence about her reaction to him – make it clear it links to a latent ability if this is the case– even if you’re not stating it directly here what her ability is).

    Ellie soon finds that Lynch, Nicholas, and his brother Roman are dangerous company to keep. These newcomers to this small New Hampshire town are vampires.
    Good. Might want to say if vampires are known or if she’s always known but never told or… show a reaction to this second pivot point.

    This next transition is too abrupt and seems odd for the story line. You say oh no!, vampire!, then say, she’s moved in with one! ☺ Need a bit better transition. Show this step in her journey, why does she take it? Longed for home doesn’t do it for me. If she has special powers start hinting at them here. What about the home speaks to her? Is it the seclusion? Why? Is it the knowledge no other predator will come near with the vampires there? A sense of belonging? Knowledge that they know the secrets she does so she doesn’t have to hide them?
    Nicholas gives Ellie the home she has longed for. The cozy cabin in the middle of the woods that he shares with A FELLOW VAMPIRE is a safe haven for her. The “brothers” treat her like family, and let her live as one of them, but their secrets make her wonder what her place is. They show her a world where being Chosen can mean many things, not all of them good. Nicholas insists she is meant for more than the life she has made for herself, and NEW SENTENCE she suspects that he is right.
    WHY, give us a hint of something, powers, knowledge, something to let us see why she agrees.

    This next part show how her friend’s engagment jerks her out of her complacency. She’s okay around vamps, but her BFF isn’t. Something like (this sentence needs work!):
    Ellie may be fine around vampires, but she knows her best friend isn’t. Ellie’s frantic to protect her from the one she’s dating, which only drives a wedge between them when their engagement is announced and Ellie insists it be called off. show a spidey sense here if you can.

    This new life Ellie has found with Nicholas is separating her from Kat more and more. When Chris and Kat become engaged, Ellie is sent into a tailspin trying to protect her friend from the monster she loves. It becomes impossible as Kat severs ties with her long-time friend.

    There is not much that Ellie won’t do to make her safe. NICE

    When Nicholas becomes the true threat to Kat’s life, Ellie realizes that part of the destiny that promises her greatness
    This is too vague, at this point some of what her powers or role is should be clear.

    will also force her to destroy everything she holds dear.

    Ellie drowns in trying to reconcile the otherworldly connection with the vampire who would make her a hero, and being forced to make unthinkable choices.
    Nice!

    RUNNING HOME is a paranormal thriller at 80,000 words.


    Again just my take. Hope it helps ! Have to finish up laundry, should get to Kristen’s in the morning!

    • Dear God, Ellie, could you please move in? This gives me the most amazing direction to take with this query, which I have admittedly struggled with. I will look into the story that seems a bit too much like mine, as it seems that I am still not getting across the angle that I have on my story. If the novel itself were as clunky as my query, I would be in big trouble. Thankfully, it is pretty polished.

      I cannot thank you enough for your very specific comments, and your interest in helping me succeed! This is exactly the type of advice I needed, and appreciate it beyond words.

      –Julie

  2. I plan to get to Kristen’s tomorrow, if RL doesn’t get in the way!.

  3. Yay! Thank you, Ellie! All feedback is appreciated!

    Kristen

  4. Oh, a love triangle, that’s hard to pitch!

    Hmmm, not sure, maybe you could give them each a tag line, a paragraph in the middle which shows the interaction between all three, and then a wrap up sentence showing the stakes for all three? Does that sound workable?

    EXAMPLE:

    Tristan Trevosier has outgrown his island roots and shaken the chains of his famous family to become a pop icon in his own right. Too bad he had to become a vampire to do it.

    Callie XXX’s hippie parents never approved her first love, Tristan, but that doesn’t stop her from enrolling in college in his new hometown in the hopes of reconnecting, despite the fact he’s now undead.

    Blade XXX knows all too well Tristan’s Vampire Rock lifestyle. Been there, done that. Now he’s (something…. And Callie is important to him how?)

    Callie came looking for Tristan and found Blade. Tristan rediscovers Callie and realizes just how much addictions, including his for her, are ruling his life. Weaving their way through the stream of insatiable groupies, paparazzi, and wild after show parties surrounding Tristan, they each search for the person who will ground them in this world.

    Because if they don’t even an undead life might not be worth living… or some sort of stake here that they might all fit into.

    Ack, not sure if that’s helpful or not.

    But things I tried to do:
    Cut out names which aren’t the three main characters including place names.
    Give a sentence (or two) of who they are and what is their outlook/stake at the start of the story.
    Show some of the interaction that sets up the main conflict/the start of the main conflict of the story and include some of the setting of the story.
    Establish the stakes – what BAD thing might happen if they don’t resolve the conflict.
    Leave the reader with an unresolved issue to make them want to read to find out what happens.

    You’ll definitely want to switch this up, it’s not even close to your voice. I was just trying to give you an idea of ONE way you could go with the query.

  5. Thanks, Ellie. You’ve given me some food for thought. The general feedback I’m getting is that my pitch is too much like a synopsis, and that I’m putting too many names into it.

    Writing a book is easy compared to trying to describe it!

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