Jun 25, 2014

QK Round 4: Shalom Sasquatch VS Beauty and the Crazy Kidnapper

Entry Nickname: Shalom Sasquatch

Title: Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things

Word count: 77K

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Query:

Seventeen-year-old Samantha Berger is pretty sure most nice Jewish girls don’t have parents who force them to hunt Bigfoot, especially on national T.V.  Just when Sam thinks she couldn’t be more humiliated, she meets the competition: a team of snobby anthropology students from Yale who are set on wiping the floor with her “Squatch” loving family.

The captain of the other team, Devan Mehta, is impossibly cute in a Bollywood Romeo-meets-Sherlock Holmes sort of way — until he opens his perfect British mouth and calls her family a bunch of low-class wankers. Sam’s no longer just embarrassed. She’s livid, and determined to beat the ascot off Devan and his crew. After all, the prize money will allow her to study pre-med at the college of her dreams, far from Yetis and Yalies.

Teamed up by the producers for a special challenge, Sam and Devan bond over family pressures, geek out over fantasy fiction, and learn to rely on each other. In a moment of honesty, Devan admits he may be kicked out of his anthropology program if his team fails and Sam worries about paying for college if she doesn’t win. Before they know it, understanding leads to attraction and a steamy snogging session
. Now, as the competition heats up, Sam must choose between her ridiculous family and Devan. Suddenly, finding Bigfoot is the smallest of Sam’s hairy problems.

First 250:

On a good day, my parents were just mildly embarrassing. The day the camera crew came to our house was not a good day.

I squinted at the bright lights illuminating our dingy living room, and turned to my older sister, Sophie. “Hunting Bigfoot in private isn’t bad enough?” I whispered. “Now Mom and Dad have to humiliate us on national television?”

Sophie shrugged. “You’ve been complaining for weeks. It’s time to suck it up.”

Colin, the producer of a new TV show called “Myth Gnomers,” stood behind our scratched-up coffee table shooting pre-interviews with my parents, me, and my two sisters. The awful title of this lame reality show should’ve served as an obvious warning we were about to do something ridiculous, but nope, it sure didn’t.
Instead of running like hell, all five of us were squished together on our stained, saggy brown couch, smiles frozen in place. At least our butts hid the holes in the upholstery.

“Checking. Checking one, two. Your mics should all be on now.” Colin peered over the camera at my parents’ matching neon green shirts that read, “Ohio is Bigfoot Country.”

My mom’s smile tightened. She glared and gestured at me until I put on a Northern Ohio Bigfoot Society hat like my sisters. Each Sasquatch club designed their own logo. My tacky trucker cap had a cartoon footprint and a motto on it in Latin— which probably translated to “We have nothing better to do.”

I pulled the brim over my eyes and slumped down, wishing I could join the pennies and crumbs hiding in the crevices of the sofa.



VERSUS







Entry Nickname: Beauty and the Crazy Kidnapper
Title: Stealing Fire
Word count: 75,000
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Query:

Ella’s life for her father’s. It’s the easiest decision she ever made.

When Ella traces her missing father to a decaying mansion, she's shocked to find him being held captive by a devastatingly handsome man. He offers to let her father go free, but only if Ella stays behind.

Lucian isn't just a crazy kidnapper wrapped in eye candy. He's the head of a species who live as humans by day and monsters by night. Desperate to discover why none of his kind have been born in centuries, Lucian stole Ella's father, a scientist who’d worked with Lucian on the fertility crisis before abruptly quitting decades ago. When Ella shows up and is immune to Lucian's powers, he sees a chance to get answers, certain the scientist hid them in Ella’s DNA.

Ella willingly trades places with her father and becomes Lucian’s prisoner. He gives her everything she could possibly want except her freedom. The more time she spends with Lucian, the harder it is to deny he’s a ruthless monster. Even so, with every sideways glance and accidental touch, she becomes more confused and Lucian comes closer to forgetting she’s not his.

But their days together are limited. Lucian has enemies, and they’ll do anything to keep his species from expanding. As they close in, Lucian realizes the safest place for Ella is far away from him, and Ella must decide if her old, normal life is really where she belongs. But a true beast would never give up so easily.

First 250:

Ella shoved open the door to the sheriff’s office, slamming it against the wall. So what if all the deputies were staring. Let them know she was angry.

Tyler glanced up from the paperwork scattered across his desk, a lazy grin planted on his face. “Ella, if you really want to see me, all you have to do is call,” he said with his signature drawl that had all the women in the small Maine town of Pine Springs drooling.

All the women except Ella.

“Have you found him?” she asked, trying to make her five-four frame appear as large and imposing as possible.

Tyler stood up from behind the desk, towering over her. “We were able to track your father’s car down, but couldn’t find any sign of him. Like we told you before, he’s probably with someone at that conference you mentioned.”

“I filed the report over a week ago, and you’re the one who said he never checked in at the Lexington Hotel.”

Tyler nodded like he was listening, but she recognized the glazed-over look in his eyes. He’d already written her off. “Normally, that would be troubling, but you can’t exactly call Dr. Murray ‘normal’.”

What the hell? Sure he was exasperating, but he was a great sheriff. Why would he ignore an official missing persons report? “You need to take this seriously,” she warned.

Tyler moved around the desk and set a hand on her shoulder. “How about I swing by your place after my shift ends and we can discuss this over dinner?”

25 comments :

  1. Judges, please cast votes as a reply to this comment.

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    Replies
    1. Love the voice, fun and originality, so VICTORY TO SASQUATCH

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    2. Allusion AssassinJune 25, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      Ditto Omar. VICTORY TO SASQUATCH

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    3. Princess PrimroseJune 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      I haven't been able to get this story out of my head, though the other query was stellar as well.

      VICTORY TO SHALOM SASQUATCH.

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    4. Like Primrose, I can't stop thinking about this story. Rock on, Sasquatch! (And please, oh please, let me read this book!).

      Victory to...SHALOM SASQUATCH!

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    5. Well, both are worthy of MANY agent requests. Just a personal preference for the story idea makes me give...
      Victory to BEAUTY AND THE CRAZY KIDNAPPER

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    6. They're both great entries, but it seems Shalom Sasquatch is destined for the finals

      Victory to Shalom Sasquatch

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    7. I'm finding myself liking the Beauty and the Crazy Kidnapper characters a tad more (not sure if you rewrote the first 250, or if I'm just warming up to them), and I still like the premise. But Shalom Sasquatch has so much heart and crazy originality and is bubbling over with voice, so I say: VICTORY TO SHALOM SASQUATCH!

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    8. MRS N, the Query QueenJune 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      I'm a sucker for a brand new story and while BEAUTY reminded me of Underworld meets Beauty and the Beast, there is nothing like SHALOM SASQUATCH!!! You've had my heart ever since the opening round and I so want to read the rest of the story!

      Victory to SHALOM SASQUATCH!!!

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    9. I've voted for both of these in a past round and think they're both fantastic. But the idea of a family searching for Bigfoot is just too awesome for words.

      Victory to SHALOM SASQUATCH.

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    10. Both are great entries. BEAUTY is a unique retelling, but Sasquatch? For so many reasons, I want to read this book - NOW.

      Victory to SHALOM SASQUATCH!

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    11. Both sound like very fun concepts. But personally, I find the first one extremely original. I'm in!

      Victory to SHALOM SASQUATCH!

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    12. Love to see how these have evolved over the course of the contest. But my heart belongs with the 'squatches.

      I give VICTORY to SHALOM SASQUATCH.

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    13. Girl with the Golden PenJune 25, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      SASQUATCH- I love your first line and your unique premise for these characters. Definitely something I'd be interested in reading :)

      BEAUTY- Fairytale retellings are big right now and this certainly puts a great spin on Beauty and the Beast. Its an intriguing and fun premise and definetily something that caught my eye.

      In the end, I have to go with the awesome voice and concept of Sasquatch.

      VICTORY TO SHALOM SASQUATCH

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    14. I hardcore love the voice in SHALOM SASQUATCH and the stakes and characters are very well laid out in the query. I'd definitely keep reading. I think the spin on BEAUTY AND THE CRAZY KIDNAPPER is really great and Beauty and the Beast is my favorite so...

      Victory to BEAUTY AND THE CRAZY KIDNAPPER

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    15. I don't like round 4. I want all these entries to move on. Seriously, writers. I want to read both these books. Such great voice and two totally different books. So I gotta go with the tiny things that stand out and grab me (okay that sounds a little dirty, but you know what I mean). And Sasquatch had me at that first line of the query.

      Victory SHALOM SASQUATCH.

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    16. This is the hardest match up for me this round. I still love SHALOM SASQUATCH from the earlier round, but BEAUTY AND THE CRAZY KIDNAPPER is such a unique spin on Beauty and the Beast... excuse me while I stare at my screen for a few minutes to decide... hmm...
      I think it comes down to if I was in a book store and could only chose one of the two books I would choose... ahhh...
      Victory to SHALOM SASQUATCH

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    17. FYI, I saved this one for last because I knew it would be the hardest decision for me. So please take the compliments. I know in those querying trenches how necessary they are.

      SHALOM SASQUATCH. I love both your nickname and your title...so wish they could both be your title. But that just shows how clever you are, which makes me think this is going to be a great novel. *sigh* When this is over you should ask me to beta read it for you. If you want someone to gush and doodle up little sketches. That's how I roll in my beta reading...I'd tell you which of my betas to ask about that...buuut that'd be giving away who I am. So I'll stick with great job.

      Also loved BEAUTY AND THE CRAZY KIDNAPPER. Good grief that is a great spin on this tale. Ella is nice and strong, which is different from the more trapped Belle's of OUAT and Disney. I may have already said this but it may not have gotten through because I've been having trouble with posting for some reason...but I do so wish you didn't just tell us Ella wasn't falling for Tyler's charms. Show me that one. Just because its the beginning and it gives us a taste of Ella to make her less generic strong girl who doesn't fall for handsome guy just because he's handsome. I really, really want to feel more from her right away. belle stuck her head in a book when Gaston tried to win her over and she rolled her eyes and politely tried to escort him away. We felt and saw her dislike. She didn't have to say it...even though she did later. And sing about it too. LOL. Other than that, great idea you have here. Just wish the writing was stronger out the gate. And its a tiny nitpicky thing too. Remember my first line about not wanting to decide, okay?

      Victory to SHALOM SASQUATCH

      p.s. I'm gonna hate the next round, I can tell...

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  2. Both of these look great, but I absolutely love the premise and the humor in Sasquatch.

    Victory to SHALOM SASQUATCH

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. I like both entries, but I'm really digging Beauty and the Crazy Kidnapper.

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  4. Guest Judge Green Velvet here. Apologies for my techy troubles which make commenting a challenge. BEAUTY I'd like to be proven wrong, but fairy tale retellings feel over-saturated at the moment and I'm not sure yours is unique enough to catch a publisher's attention. SASQUATCH I'd caution you against using "butt" and "hole" in the same sentence, but overall I loved the voice and humor in your entry. Also I have a closet "thing" for sasquatches. Victory to SHALOM SASQUATCH.

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  5. I'm intrigued by Beauty and the Crazy Kidnapper!

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  6. Mrs. Malcolm ReynoldsJune 26, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Sigh. I love both these entries so much and have no doubt they will get ALL THE REQUESTS after this contest... these are such tight queries/engaging openings!

    But I have to throw my hat in for my fantasy peeps - I would love to read this spin on Beauty and the Beast.

    VICTORY TO BEAUTY AND THE CRAZY KIDNAPPER

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  7. I love fairytale retellings and the premise of Beauty and the Crazy Kidnapper sound like so much fun!

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