Jun 7, 2018

QK Agent Round: Lady CEOs Are Sexy, Too

Title: Swaying Magnolia
Entry Nickname: Lady CEOs Are Sexy, Too
Word Count: 82,000
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance (#OwnVoices)


Twenty-two-year-old Maggie Reyne has never felt more like an outsider than when she moves from her small town to start an internship at a San Francisco tech company. It seems like a Lord’s miracle that she landed this coveted spot, and she’s determined to be hired on full-time. That would mean enough money to save her family home.

On her first day of work, she nearly gets herself fired. She comes face to face with the CEO of the company, Victoria Citron, a twenty-nine-year-old prodigy and tech industry celebrity, infamous for demanding perfection. Not realizing who she’s talking to, Maggie lets slip a piece of gossip she heard about Victoria. Maggie believes her gaffe is going to be the end of her career—goodbye family home—but instead Victoria asks her out to a fancy rooftop lunch.

Maggie, who has lived her sheltered life with the assumption that she’s straight, cannot ignore her growing attraction to Victoria. The lunches turn to real dates, to an actual relationship. In order to keep up appearances with her Baptist family who checks up on their baby girl any chance they get, Maggie begins to dig herself into deeper and deeper lies. When Maggie’s family arrives in San Francisco for a surprise visit, Maggie has to make a choice. Deny her feelings and retreat back to the world she’s always known, or find the courage to dive headfirst into her relationship and this new identity, even if it means losing her beloved family.

SWAYING MAGNOLIA is an Adult F/F Contemporary Romance novel, complete at approximately 82,000 words.

First 250:

From where I stood on the elevated train platform, the Bay Bridge stretched out like an arrow, pointing to towering skyscrapers wrapped in fog. So this was San Francisco in August. Bright sun teased the East Bay and San Francisco’s surrounding areas, but a spell of clouds had been cast over the city. Two hours away in the central valley, summer meant warm evenings lazing by the pool, iced lemonade, bloodshot sunsets. I’d never known anything else. I couldn’t call that home anymore, though. This gloomy place had snatched the title, and there was nothing I could do about it. 

Shaking the thought away, I lugged my bags downstairs to the street. I hailed a taxi and we drove off to my new house. Well, my cousin George’s house. 

The freeway afforded another unobstructed view of the city, its towers looming like jagged teeth. My hand darted to the simple gold cross around my neck. A gift from my parents on my sixteenth birthday, it was the only nice piece of jewelry I owned. I rubbed the smooth metal of the cross until it became warm, and I became aware of my posture. Had I been sitting bolt upright this whole time? Relax, Maggie. Yes, I longed for the lush fields of infinite almond trees back in Redford, but this was the right thing to do. The right thing to do—my courage-rallying mantra these last few weeks.

My phone rang. “Home,” it read, as if taunting me.


  1. I'd love to see this!

    If interested, please send the query letter in the body of the email and the pages as a Word attachment to querycaitie@lizadawson.com

  2. I'd love to see more of this! Please go to http://QueryMe.Online/AmandaJain to find my submission guidelines and upload your sample pages. I look forward to reading!

  3. I like your voice—more please! Email chris@kepneragency.com with Query Kombat and the book title in the subject line.