Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Agent's Inbox #10


Hadley Barrington has lived in France long enough to know she wants nothing to do with Oklahoma or the old wooden yacht she inherited from her mother. But she does want to know what caused her mother's death. And to sell the boat so she can get back to her life as a successful jewelry designer and free French woman, unfettered by any desire for long term relationships.

Zane wants nothing to do with anyone who is not all-American. His future lies right here on Grand Lake, Oklahoma. And that includes marrying a local girl…when he finds the right one. But his comfortable world dissolves into spicy chaos when his father asks him to take on the mission of making sure the tiny Parisian beauty leaves the lake--and the country--as soon as possible.

Zane is a hunky, Native American solution to Hadley's problem of getting the boat ready to sell, with his long dark hair and the amber pendant dangling on his handsome bronze chest. But Barrington women are dangerous for the men in his family, and he must keep secret what he knows about her mother’s last days. A secret that might rock Hadley’s French view of love. The story is set on Grand Lake ‘O the Cherokees. The “front side” is a playground of wealthy oil men and a unique wooden boat culture. The “back side” is where the locals, many of them Native American, live out their lives, often in poverty.

My book, a story of returning home, culture shock, and finding true love, might be called Through Amber Smoke, Cougars on the Dock, or Eurotrash Accent. The manuscript is complete and consists of 75,000 words. It fits firmly into the Contemporary Romance genre.

I am a professional non-fiction writer and teacher in business and the university. My short play, Every Boat’s for Sale, was recently performed in a local theatre. This story was inspired by my fascination with boats and my involvement in the wooden boat culture of Grand Lake, Oklahoma. In fact, a significant portion of the book was written on a boat.

I blog about my writing, tweet about it (over 1000 followers), maintain a Facebook Page and an author fan page.



Hadley frowned and rubbed her sweaty palms on the seat of her shorts. Why wasn’t the door shut? Was someone on board? She paused to listen, but all she could hear was the creaking of the wooden dock and her own heart pounding. Her expression, more a grimace than a smile, hurt her face. Nothing else could go wrong after the h*** of the last couple days. She’d used up her share of bad luck. She was sure of it. All she wanted was to sell the stupid boat and head back home to France. With her toe, she nudged the door of the neglected old yacht the rest of the way open, then squinted into the dim interior, wary of spiders and other creatures that thrived in abandoned places.

“Are you Hadley?” A voice erupted from the shadows, sending her scrambling backwards up the stairs and out onto the deck. Her gaze darted up and down the deserted dock. Could anyone hear her scream, if that’s what she decided to do? Forget screaming. She was alone. She’d handle this man herself. Sucking in her breath and keeping a safe distance, Hadley faced the stranger. She stood as tall as she could, crossed her arms, lifted her chin and tried her best to appear intimidating.

Oui. I am Hadley.” She hoped the golden man couldn't hear the tremble in her voice. “But who are you, Monsieur, and why are you on my boat?”


Janice Sperry said...

I like your premise. This is my favorite kind of romance. In your query, take out the But that begins the second sentence and combine the third sentence with the second so you don't begin two consecutive sentences with but and and. (Similar problem in the second paragraph.) Your 250 is great. I would read on.

Unknown said...

I'm not normally a romance reader, but I like the sound of your protag. And I LOVE your title ideas. I can tell this is going to be a funny one.
The one thing I thought was weird is how you're giving the synopsis, and then in the same paragraph you sort of switch back to talking to the agent. At least start a new paragraph with "This story is set.." Or you might be able to do without that last little bit. I think the first part's good enough!
Congrats on being able to write for a profession! (envious sigh)
Your no-nonsense greeting made me smile. Yo Vicki!

Kristen Wixted said...

I love the wooden boat aspect. Learning through a story is the best way to learn about a culture or a lake you've never heard of, or how, exactly, to keep a wooden boat looking good and floating.

Susan Vineyard said...

"She was the owner, but her education into the nuts and bolts—and wood and caulk--of the nautical world was about to begin."

Victoria Marini said...

I think this is a successful query. I worry that it's a bit formulaic, but hey, if a formula works why fix it? I do think you can ease up on the cultural conflicts: we don't need to keep being reminded that she's French and he's Native American. Otherwise, the plot is clear, her goals and obstacles are clear. I'd keep reading for sure.