Jun 1, 2018

QK Round 1: Why Are You Obsessed w/ Me? VS Cherry & Ben Camp & Kiss

Title: Guarded
Entry Nickname: Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?
Word Count: 76,000
Genre: Contemporary Romance (#OwnVoices)

Query:

Being the center of attention and the subject of tabloid gossip isn’t anything new for actress Ava Madison. After all, it’s not every day someone who uses a wheelchair becomes a Golden Globe winner. So when rumors swirl that she and her friend, heartthrob Brett Sinclair, are an item, she doesn’t feel the need to address them—until Brett falls for someone else. Knowing the public will turn on him if they think he dumped her, Ava comes up with a plan that’ll help him while also proving to everyone that even though she has a disability, she’s never a victim. But she never expects her plan to backfire—and she definitely never expects Brett’s fans to vandalize her property and threaten her life because they think she broke his heart.

Just when she thinks things can’t get worse, Ava’s manager hires a security team for her that includes live-in bodyguard Leo Matthews. Always striving to be as independent as possible, Ava hates the arrangement, and she couldn’t have had a worst first impression of Leo, but she ultimately can’t deny her attraction to the tall, dark, blue-eyed former Navy SEAL who seems to know her every desire. As their relationship heats up, the threats from Brett’s fans get closer and more dangerous, affecting not just Ava but starting to put those around her at risk. Ava is scared of losing Leo—but she’s also scared that she’s falling in love with him.

First 250:

Ava Madison and Brett Sinclair Getting Married!

Wedding bells are on the horizon for recent Golden Globe winner, and our favorite cougar, Ava Madison! Sources tell us that her boyband heartthrob boyfriend, Brett Sinclair, popped the question to her last weekend! They plan on tying the knot as soon as possible, creating growing speculation that she is indeed pregnant with twins, as we reported last week. One thing’s for sure—those babies are going to be gorgeous!


At twenty-eight years old, I was a cougar.

Never mind that men like Jack Nicholson and John Stamos had women one-third their age on their arm every time they made an appearance and no one batted an eye, but as soon as I was ‘caught canoodling’ with Brett, five years my junior, you’d think I was a decrepit old woman robbing the cradle.

At least I don’t look like one.

I rolled my eyes and clicked off the site before taking a sip of my tepid coffee, flashing a smile to the barista as he glanced my way. The speculation about Brett and me was crazy. It started when he took me as his plus one to the AMA’s. We never commented about our relationship, so according to celeb gossip sites we were either hooking up, engaged, already secretly married, or preparing for the upcoming birth of our twins. No one ever considered the truth—that we’re just friends.


 VS


Title: Embers and Flame
Entry Nickname: Cherry and Ben Camp and Kiss
Word Count: 61K
Genre: M/M Romance

Query:

Charles “Cherry” Andrews needs to prove to himself that he can have a life on his own. His ex left him the couch, the bed, and the camping equipment. Replacing the city and hospital sounds with crickets and birdsong at his favorite campground feels like the perfect vacation, but instead of finding peace, he’s simply bored.

Ben Torres set out on a motorcycle tour of the country as a way to find his own peace after his mother’s death, but a bad baffle curtails his plans within hours of leaving home. Luckily for him, the guy in the next camp spot happily shares his fishing equipment as well as offering taxi
service.

An unplanned kiss on their last day together leads to an afternoon of discovery that turns into a summer romance that becomes a long distance relationship. Everything would be wonderful if they could spend the rest of their lives in a small tent next to a lake, but when Cherry’s concerned
ex-boyfriend and Ben’s teen son become part of the equation, they fear that two-hundred miles may be too far.

First 250:

The roar of the motorcycle pulling into the campsite next to mine shattered the peace of the evening, and I imagined the sunset’s reflection in the small lake rippling with the vibrations. I glared as the intruder flipped the kickstand down and swung his leg over the seat, but my scowl softened as the man pulled off his jacket to reveal tight black jeans that displayed trim hips and a tight ass. Any resentment at the interruption evaporated completely when he removed his helmet and shook his jaw-length black hair. He caught me watching and stepped my way. I struggled to rise from my low camp-chair as he crossed the space between us, extending his hand.

“Ben Torres,” he offered as he wrapped his hand around mine. A bright smile, set off by tawny skin and dark eyes that were almost as black as his hair, dazzled me, drying my mouth, making it difficult to form words.

I gathered my wits with a deep inhale and introduced myself. “I’m Cherry.” Ben’s mouth rose on one side, as did a thick eyebrow, when he tipped his head while my hand was still tight in his grip. I wasn’t exactly suave at the best of times, and gorgeous men made me more awkward than usual. Sweat broke out across the back of my neck as I rattled out my clarification. “Uh, Charles. Andrews. The third. Grandpa was Charles, Dad is Charlie.” Like a total doof, I pointed towards my auburn hair with the hand not in his possession.

16 comments :

  1. Judges, please respond with your feedback and vote here! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another great match up! I'm really hoping the hosts work some magic and you both get through to the next round, hint, hint.

      Obsessed:
      The query is super tight and hooky, just like I like them! One note, can you be more specific about why she doesn't like Leo at first. Give us some juicy details, not generalizations when at all possible. What's the conflict? Why is she scared of losing Leo? What is the actual danger? I think once you are more specific you'll be in excellent shape.

      The 250 is pretty great. I love where you are starting the story. It flows very nicely and sets up the story well.

      CHERRY:

      Great job here as well! I think you fit everything you needed to in the query. My advice would be to ramp it up just a little. I.e. why is it so important that they be together, make the conflict more specific, as well as the stakes.

      The 250 is well done. Lots of great stuff there. I'd recommend taking a look for telling words and phrases like "imagined" and "introduced myself." I think you can streamline a bit, but otherwise, I already love it.

      This is a really hard match up, but I have to declare VICTORY TO OBSESSED

      Delete
    2. Comments for Obsessed:

      This is a very well structured query. In two paragraphs, you give a good sense of the plot, characters, and stakes. In the second paragraph, however, your prose gets away from you just a bit, and I think you could strengthen this pitch considerably with some relatively minor editing. The second sentence is a bit of a run-on, and "affecting not just Ava but starting to put those around her at risk" is an awkward formulation. I'd strongly consider reworking this.

      The first 250 are also solid, but in the paragraph beginning with "Never mind..." you run into some of the same structural problems. I understand what you're saying, but "Never mind... but..." is an awkward formulation as well, and the last half of the paragraph is a clunky read. A little bit of polishing here could make a big difference. This wouldn't stand out so much if the rest of the text didn't roll off the tongue so cleanly.

      Comments for Cherry:

      For the most part, your prose in both the query and the first 250 flow very cleanly. That's not easy to manage when you're trying to cram the plot of an entire book onto a single page. Well done. There are a couple of details you might want to look at, though. In the first paragraph, not sure why the reference to the hospital is there. Is he a doctor? Has he been staying with a sick friend/relative? You probably shouldn't toss a detail like that out there without follow-up, because it feels like a loose thread. Also, in the first paragraph of the first 250, I'm having a hard time with the visuals as Ben gets off the bike. How does removing his jacket reveal his jeans? Bike jackets usually stop at the waist, no?

      I think my major issue with this query, though, is the lack of obvious stakes. Why is Cherry's ex concerned? Is Ben abusive in some way? And why should Cherry care if his ex doesn't approve of his new flame? And what's the issue with Ben's teenage son? I don't have any feel from this as to what exactly is keeping these two apart other than the inconvenience of living in different towns. I'd need more of a hook than that to want to pick this book up.

      Both these queries have strengths and weaknesses, but I think I know what I'm getting into with Obsessed. With Cherry, the book might be great, but based on what I see here I really can't say.

      Victory to Obsessed.

      Delete
    3. Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?

      Query
      Your query is really solid, though some of your sentences run a little long. My main quibble is with the ending – is there something in the way of their romance beyond the threat of danger? “Scared she’s falling in love with him” makes me think there’s some reason she shouldn’t/wouldn’t fall for him.

      250
      Hilarious and would keep reading in a heartbeat! Well done.

      Cherry and Ben Camp and Kiss

      Query
      I like how you set up both characters, but it gives a lot of space to their backstories and then skims the rest of the plot. I’d elaborate more in the third paragraph about how the ex and son fuel the conflict (I’m especially puzzled why the ex is concerned) and what personal hurdles Cherry and Ben need to overcome for their relationship to work.

      250
      This beginning is a little abrupt for me, like it should be the second (or third) paragraph after introducing the POV character’s voice more. Maybe Cherry could reflect on the campsite’s peace, contrasting with whatever he’s escaping at home, and give us a sense of what he’s after before this guy comes to shatter that and turn his world upside down. But cherry seems delightfully awkward! Love the last bit.


      Tough match up, but I’m going to say…

      VICTORY TO OBSESSED!

      Delete
    4. Earthbound MisfitJune 2, 2018 at 1:39 PM

      Why Are You Obsessed:

      Query: I honestly don't have too much to say about the pitch, because it's really strong and reads very smoothly. Good work! The first paragraph introduces the story with an interesting hook, and the query as a whole outlines what seems to be a very clear story structure. I would suggest maybe varying the sentence length a little for effect—there are a lot of longer sentences, and you could use one or two shorter ones to draw attention and create emphasis.

      1st 250: The opening has a very on-camera feel that fits with the premise of the story—a sort of pan-out from the tabloid website to the narrator to the café setting. It introduces the character and her situation quickly and effectively. I do wonder if there could be a more dynamic way to open the story, though, that isn't simply the character browsing the web in a café. I also think "At least I don’t look like one" needs to be in past tense to match the rest of the prose.


      Cherry & Ben:

      Query: The query's very strong from a structural standpoint, with a paragraph each introducing the two main characters and their individual situations, and then a third paragraph that brings them together. It's those story complications in the final paragraph that feel like they could be expanded on a bit to make this pitch more specific and detailed. In particular, "when Cherry’s concerned ex-boyfriend and Ben’s teen son become part of the equation, they fear that two-hundred miles may be too far" seemed a little general and vague; I was confused by why exactly the ex-boyfriend is concerned, what the teen son is doing, and the two hundred miles (from where or whom?). More specificity would help a lot.

      1st 250: Great descriptive details and a strong sense of atmosphere and mood make these first 250 words a quick read. I could visualize the scene easily, and related to Cherry's feeling of immediate attraction. I'm not entirely sold on the first sentence, though. It seems to need something more beforehand—maybe set the tone of a peaceful evening first, THEN interrupt it?

      It's always really tough to decide these things—both writing samples were well written and really polished, but Why Are You Obsessed's query was stronger. So…

      Victory to Why Are You Obsessed w/Me!

      Delete
    5. The Red CardiganJune 2, 2018 at 5:02 PM

      Why Are You So Obsessed With Me: Interesting premise! I like the Hollywood setting and the fact that one of the main characters uses a wheelchair. Disability rep is badly needed in Romance. I was a little unclear about what Ava’s big plan was— was it that she would tell the press that she dumped Brett? Also, how much of that first paragraph in the query in the book? If it’s backstory, then it can be reduced. I’d rather know more about the hero, Leo, than about Brett. First Page: Great voice, but there was a bit too much backstory, and telling instead of showing, such as telling us that Brett is just a friend instead of showing it in their interactions. I liked starting with the tabloid article.

      Cherry and Ben Camp and Kiss: A camping romance? Love it! This query is good, but it would be better with a bit more specifics. Why did Cherry’s ex leave? Is Cherry upset about it? Why go camping? Also, I have no clue what the conflict here is. How do Cherry’s ex and Ben’s son interfere? First Page: there is a lot of description here, and I feel it’s dragging the story a bit. I love that you started right with the meeting of the two, but I wanted to get a better idea about how Cherry felt about Ben other than he was hot. Also, an idea of how Ben feels about his life. I liked his stumbling with his name, it game be a glimpse of insecurity in Cherry.

      Great job on both, but a more compelling first page leads me to award Victory to Why Are You So Obsessed With Me!

      Delete
    6. Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?

      Query:

      I like this concept, but I feel like it takes too long to get to the point of Leo and Ava. The first paragraph seems like a lot of backstory. I think you can condense it. The hook is great, but I don’t think we need the step by step up until the point that she’s being threatened. That can come much sooner so we can get to the point of the security team and what’s happening there.

      I’m also wondering if this is contemporary romance, or romantic suspense. The threat against Ava makes me think romantic suspense, but I could be wrong, depending on how prominent that is in the story. I think by condensing the first paragraph, it’ll give you an opportunity to delve farther into the main plot, and give us more specific stakes. That’s missing a bit too.

      First 250:

      I love the voice of the first 250. Ava seems like a fun and likeable character and she just draws me in. I’m just wondering again, where the plot starts. Because I’m wondering how long it takes until we get to the security part of the novel? It makes me feel like maybe you haven’t started in the right place. It feels like you could start with the threats and the fact that people want to hurt her over breaking Brett’s heart, especially if Leo and that part of the novel is the main plot. I guess my main thought is that the inciting incident is going to be too far away from this moment.

      Vs.

      Cherry and Ben Camp and Kiss

      Query:

      There’s a lot of characterization going on in the first two paragraphs. Admittedly, a bit of the second paragraph gets away. In particular, I don’t understand what a “bad baffle” is? I think we need less character backstory and more of the plot. I’m also not clear on the stakes. Why is Cherry’s ex concerned? In the beginning his ex sounded like a jerk. There’s no mention at all of Ben’s teen son prior, so that’s so out of the blue. It needs to lead up to the stakes to strengthen and enforce it.
      First 250:

      I really like the introduction. It had me smiling by the end of it. Cherry seems so adorable and likeable, and I think that the way you revealed he has red hair was really clever. A ramble that ends with the obvious of why and how he got his nickname. You’ve got a great start here, and I really think you should take note that you’re starting when Cherry and Ben meet, so you can use that in your query. The query should tell us what’s happening in the story, not what lead up to it. The writing is there. You just have to get your query there too.

      This is a really hard match up. Obsessed has a stronger query, but Cherry and Ben has a stronger 250. At that point, it comes down to what I’d want to read more, which I know guys, but you haven’t made it easy!

      VICTORY: WHY ARE YOU SO OBSESSED WITH ME?






      Delete
    7. Sexy bodyguards? Moody guys on motorcycles? This is a TOUGH match up.

      Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?
      I'm just going to come right out and say that, subjectively speaking, so many elements of this book are totally my jam. I think the query pretty much nails all the important elements and you definitely give the reader a great sense of the stakes. I also love the the first page. Part of me kind of wonders if you'd be better off just using a generic term for male actors instead of naming those specific male celebrities which might date the book or the audience. But I think that's pretty minor. I would definitely keep reading.

      Cherry and Ben Camp and Kiss
      I loved this too! On the query, I tend to agree with the other comments that it is heavy on characterization and light on conflict and cost. I think we need to know more about the issues that might keep Cherry and Ben apart and what the stakes are if they can't make it work. The first page was awesome and I loved the way that you managed to make the first meeting both sexy and awkward. Nice work!

      A difficult decision but victory to Why Are You So Obsessed With Me!

      Delete
    8. Mrs. Will HerondaleJune 4, 2018 at 11:38 AM

      Why Are You So Obsessed W/ Me?

      Query: Love the premise of a famous actress who uses a wheelchair. Overall, I think this is a tight, well-written query that sets up the premise well. One question though: It sounds like she expects the public to turn in Brett if they think he dumped Ava, but then she’s surprised when Brett’s fans turn on her because they think she dumped him…wouldn’t she expect that reaction? Is it just a stronger reaction than she anticipated? Maybe you could clarify that a little.

      The stakes in the second paragraph get confusing for me. Why is it a bad thing if she falls for Leo? Why can’t they be together happily? Does he not share her feelings? Who exactly is at risk from Brett’s fans? Leo? And why is she going to lose him? Because he’s in danger from the fans? Isn’t that his job as a bodyguard? Is this a group of fans, or one specific crazy person? I might be more specific about the fans, as it would be a much clearer threat if we knew specifically who is threatening them. Also seems like Brett could step in and solve this problem pretty quickly by releasing a statement saying she wasn’t at fault. Is there a reason this can’t be solved simply by saying she and Brett were never dating in the first place?

      First 250: Great line about being a cougar. Although if the age difference doesn’t play a big part in the story, I might cut that part and get straight to the next part—so go straight from “…gorgeous!” To “I rolled my eyes...” I just wonder if your first 250 is the right place for a whole paragraph on gender inequality, or if it would be more powerful to get on with the story as the last paragraph is what gets me the most interested. Might just be a personal preference. It’s well-written, either way.


      Cherry & Ben Camp & Kiss

      Query: Love Cherry as a nickname for Charles. I’ve never heard that before. I wonder if the first few sentences might work better a little scrambled up. “When Charles ‘Cherry’ Andrew’s ex leaves him the couch, the bed, and the camping equipment, he decides to prove to himself that he can have a life on his own. He replaces the city and hospital sounds with crickets and birdsong at his favorite campground, but instead of finding…”

      2nd paragraph: Change “set out” to “sets out” to keep present tense. What’s a baffle? Does he wreck his motorcycle? Is that what a baffle is? (Maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t know this word usage?)

      3rd: The first sentence could be worded a little better, and the stakes are said really bluntly, and yet they’re clear and understandable. Sounds like most of the feedback is saying to give more info about the stakes, but it actually worked for me. This sounds like a straight up romance where the complications of their lives are going to get in the way. It wouldn’t hurt to add more detail, but it worked for me as is. Good job!

      First 250: I don’t have much critique here. I love Cherry’s awkwardness, and especially the last paragraph when he tries to explain his nickname. I like that they’re meeting on page one, because you can give pieces of their background and the rest of it as you go, but I’m immediately interested in the conflict/tension between these two characters.

      That said, the writing could be streamlined a little. Be careful of not using too many adjectives and having all your sentences be on the longer side. Try to intersperse some shorter thoughts. i.e. Maybe take out the “and” and break up the first sentence into two? Sometimes you immediately get a sense it you’re reading a male or female POV, even before you know who the character is, and I might have guessed this was female if I hadn’t read the query first. Cherry seems like a more feminine man, which is not bad at all, and an over-thinker, so maybe as the pages go on, his POV would seem completely natural/totally him, but interjecting some more direct thoughts/sentences with the longer detailed ones might balance out the male perspective while still giving us his personality. Just one opinion, though!


      VICTORY TO CHERRY & BEN CAMP & KISS

      Delete
  2. Comment for Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?

    First of all, this sounds like an amazing story and I can’t wait to read it when it’s published! I love how the setup puts all kinds of obstacles in our lovers’ way, but it also seems like there could be some unexpected twists and turns. And I love the idea of a protagonist who is both in a wheelchair and definitely not a victim. Huzzah!

    A nitpick: in the query, “couldn’t have had a worst first impression” should be “worse” instead.

    And a comment on the pages: The line “At least she didn’t look like one” makes me dislike Ava. That seems like a shallow and catty thing to say, and I’m immediately put off. Just a thought, if that wasn’t your intention (maybe that’s part of her initial character and she’s going to grow or whatever).

    Looks solid, best of luck! -Laura

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  3. Comment for Cherry and Ben and Camp and Kiss

    This seems like it’s gonna get steamy very fast! I was a little surprised that we didn’t get a moment to just see what Cherry’s current state is before Ben rolls in.

    A note on the query wording: When you write “Ben Torres set out on a motorcycle tour...” I know you’ve got it in past tense because that’s already happened by page one (he’s already set out), but the change of tense is confusing. Maybe it could be reworded as something like “Ben Torres is hoping his motorcycle tour will help him find peace…” so it’s consistent in terms of tense and structure.

    Also, in the first paragraph, I feel like it should be “shook OUT his jaw-length hair” – like you take off your helmet and you have to shake out your hair. I love Cherry’s awkwardness in this scene! It makes him instantly likeable and relatable.

    This is gonna be a tough match-up for the judges! Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Comment for Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?

    Love the premise, so relevant right now with today's pop culture environment. Both in the query and in the opening, I wanted to know why Ava won the Golden Globe... is she a TV star? Movie actress? Not super detailed, but just a hint to help the reader pin her down a little more.

    Comment for Cherry and Ben Camp and Kiss:

    Lots of great chemistry between the two in the first 250 but (just a nitpicky thing), aren't motorcycle jackets generally short? So Cherry could've noticed his, um, jeans :) before the jacket came off?

    All the best to both entries!

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  5. Romance isn't really my cup of tea, but I do like to dabble when I read, so here are my thoughts:

    Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?: I really like the concept of this one. Especially the idea of a handicapped character who is also a celebrity. I've never read anything like that before. I definitely like the first paragraph of the query with Ava and Brett, but when you introduce Leo in the second paragraph, I get a little lost. I don't know if that's how romance queries are written (Introduce the third end of the love triangle), but for me, it kind of disrupted the flow of what occurs earlier, even though it seems essential to the plot.

    As for the first 250 words, I think, "At twenty-eight years old, I was a cougar" is a much better first line than everything you have before it. I get that you're trying to get the whole media angle in there early, but I think it's better to get your protagonist's voice in there even earlier. It makes for a stronger lead in. Interested to see where it leads.

    Cherry and Ben Camp and Kiss: I think the fact that your male character is nicknamed Cherry is a problem. And this is only because I dismiss the "Charles" part and jump right to the "Cherry" part, which sounds more like a nickname for a woman than a man, so the whole gay angle isn't as clear as it could be for me.

    As for the first 250, this is one instance when I actually think the characters meet a bit TOO early. I'd actually rather get a better sense of Cherry than get another main character so early on in the story. But I would definitely like to see more M/M romance. It seems to finally be getting a lot more recognition, thank God. Good luck to the both of you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Obssessed:
    Query:
    I love how Ava is strong and independent, a glamorous actress and Golden Globe winner despite using a wheelchair. Your query is strong and flows very smoothly. Just some comments: Are “her plan backfiring” and “Brett’s fans vandalizing her property and etc” different issues or actually the same thing? If it’s the latter, perhaps condense this sentence to “But she never expects Brett’s vans to…”. The sentence “Always striving to be….who seems to know her every desire” is just a bit long and difficult to read! Perhaps divide it into two sentences? Next, I’d love to know more about why she has a bad first impression of Leo—just a couple of adjectives or a short phrase would do! And finally, how does she stand to lose Leo? Is it simply the risk of the threats? Or is there something darker going on?

    First 250:
    I love that you begin with the news. It immediately shows us how ridiculous the situation is, how frustrated Ava is, and the entertainment industry’s unfair treatment of women. I honestly don’t have any suggestions for improvement.

    Cherry and Ben:
    Query:
    You do a great job of introducing both characters in the query, and I am definitely invested in this relationship. However, the majority of the query appears to be set up—the first two paragraphs introduce the characters, and only till the third paragraph does the present plot begin. I’d love to see more detail on the hardships they must face, how Cherry’s ex and Ben’s son factor into the equation, and what hard choices await them ultimately. Adding all of that could make the query too bulky—so perhaps you could focus on just one character in the query, preferably Cherry, since your story opening begins with his POV.

    First 250:
    I really enjoyed Cherry’s awkwardness! It’s a good contrast to Ben’s biker-black haired-bright smiled-more confident look. I agree with a previous comment that perhaps it’s be best to give us just a little more time to know Cherry. The first paragraph of your present first 250 reads just a bit clunky, with a lot of description. Perhaps simply breaking it up into more paragraphs would help?

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  7. "Guarded" - Cute nickname in pulling the "Obsessed" line. I'm all-in with the story of the trials and tribulations of a Golden Globe winner, but the query is sounding like there are two stories going on: One, she and her platonic friend Brett are living some kind of double life by allowing the public to believe they're a romantic couple, wherein the MC is jumping through hoops to protect him, then 2) we're in a new story wherein she's falling for a sexy body guard, and no further mention of what happens to Brett. It would be great if those two plotlines felt a little more integrated. I actually like the false narrative in the beginning and hope it plays more into the full story. But maybe I digress...

    For "Cherry," I like the suggestiveness of that name. Can you give us more details on why conflict comes into their relationship so we can get more vested in the dynamic of the story? E.g., you allude to Ben's son's feelings but don't say what they are. And if Cherry's ex is concerned, what is it he's concerned about? These details will differentiate your story and give us the heart of what the characters care about. You've got me interested but I don't want to have to guess on such vital specifics.

    Good luck to both entries!

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  8. Obsessed

    Oh man, I loved this. Really well written query. I LOVE the name Ava Madison. Perfect for a movie star and makes me feel like she is the “classy” kind of star (as opposed to the trashy kind of star). She seems smart and determined and I immediately like her.
    I also really like the fact that she’s not falling for the best friend. I made an assumption when I started reading, and then Leo came along. This makes it feel less trope-y (in a good way). (Also – I love his name too. I might be contacting you to name my next child, lol.)
    I’ve really tried to offer critique to all the great queries I’ve read so far – but honestly, I got nothing.


    Cherry and Ben kiss at camp
    Your query starts off so strong. (That’s the kind of statement that’s usually followed by a “but” … but it’s not in this case. It stays pretty darn strong.) I particularly love the second line. Hilarious!
    Cherry’s voice is immediately endearing. I love that this isn’t pretending to be anything other than a romance. Honestly, romance is one of the greatest plots of life in and of itself.
    If I’m being totally nit-picky, I guess maybe I wouldn’t mind feeling more tension or higher stakes or something to that extent. We know that there are obstacles, but maybe we need to know more about why these are tearing them apart.
    That being said, I think you have a solid work here. Well done!

    ReplyDelete