Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Agent's Inbox #5

Dear Fabulous Agent:

Seventeen-year-old Madison’s lost one hundred pounds but not her kissing cherry. When her cousins get her drunk on her flight to Rome, they trick her into a bet: Kiss one hundred boys by the end of August, or hop into Trevi Fountain in the skimpiest bikini imaginable. Madison plans to work at an archaeological dig over the summer, not lock lips with strangers or expose her body in a crowded piazza.

She shares her first kiss with Raffaele, a hot intern so out of her league. He’s the perfect combination of confident and smart. Everything she’s not. On the bright side, she’s one smooch down. But she can’t give him another. The terms of her cousin’s bet insist Raffaele's lips are now off-limits.

Days spent excavating Rome's ancient past are followed by nights touring the city, bringing them closer together. Until a Roman Barbie endangers Madison's position at the dig and sinks her claws into Raffaele.  Madison must uncover her inner-Indiana Jones to save her job, get out of the bet, and drop her walls for the only boy worth kissing.

100 Kisses, complete at 69,000 words, is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and SCBWI.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
M.M.


100 KISSES

When my connecting flight landed in Paris, I came close to receiving my very first kiss.

From an old guy.

After the plane nudged against the terminal, the heavy man in the seat beside me leaped to his feet. Like he couldn’t wait three seconds for me to get out of the way? Before I could unbuckle, he climbed over me, his face so close I feared the deed would be done.

Imagine. Me, no longer a kissing virgin. Courtesy of some unnamed guy with a bad comb over. I’d waited forever for Mr. Right, and instead, I get Mr. In-A-Hurry. Throw in the added bonus of halitosis, and my life was complete.

Shuddering, I darted into the tiny bathroom. While I was away, my twenty-one-year-old, identical twin cousins, Nat and Cat boarded the plane.  They’d join me for the last leg of my flight to Rome. We hadn’t seen each other since the family reunion a year ago, and I couldn’t wait to reconnect with them over the summer. Knowing them, the party would start immediately.

Creeping around a steward, I tapped on Cat’s shoulder.

She shoved her bag in the overhead compartment and spun. Her mouth dropped, and she squealed, her hands rising to cup her face. “Oh. My. G**. Maddy. You’re skinny.”

“It’s Madison,” I murmured. When would I ditch that horrible nickname?

We hugged, and she kissed my cheeks in bobbing European fashion before stretching back to look me over at arm’s length. “You’re absolutely gorgeous.”

11 comments:

Luisa Perkins said...

Super fun premise, nice hook, great setting. I'd read more!

Emily Dunn said...

Love your premise! I'd like to know why she feels like she HAS to follow through with the bet. Solid start :)

Kendra said...

I have to admit I was skeptical until I got to your opening. Why does she *have* to go through with the bet?

But then the scene on the plane hooked me. I chuckled aloud at the halitosis comment.

Kathleen said...

I love the premise too! I agree with the other comments, why take the bet in the first place? How did they trick her and why does she go along with it? Otherwise, this is solid. I like the page too and the old guy with a comb-over made me laugh. Nice set-up and your writing is good! I'd request more pages! Good luck!

Sara said...

Love the premise and your voice! I connected with Madison right away. I would love to read more!

Laura Moe said...

Having been to itLy, it's not that hard to kiss 100 guys I a. Short time. The men are quite affectionate the. :)
This puts me in mind of Maureen Johnsons's 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

Secret Agent said...

Query:

I really enjoyed your query letter. It was concise, straightforward, and had all the right pacing. I appreciate that you set the stakes, and then raise them as Madison discovers who she is—and what she wants.

One of the only critiques I have of this query letter is the lack of information about how many guys she manages to cross off the kiss-list. Does she make any progress on the list or does it start—and end—with Raffaele?

The other point that I need to bring up is that kissing 100 different boys is a huge number. Obviously, the point of the story is that she doesn’t find fulfillment in a number, but it still gave me pause. As an agent, this is something I would have to consider before offering representation. I would need to make sure that we could sell it with the right positioning.

Pages:

I love Madison’s voice. She’s funny and self-deprecating while still feeling very real. You know your target audience and write for them beautifully. Well done!
Thank you for the opportunity to read your work.

Secret Agent said...

Some comp titles like 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES and 20 BOY SUMMER wouldn't be out of place here.

Martha Mayberry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I don't like 'lost her kissing cherry' as a term. It took me a minute...for what I'm talking about, replace the word kissing with any expletive and see how it reads.

Maybe I'm odd, but it took me two passes to figure out that's not what you intended.

Martha Mayberry said...

Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions.

Secret Agent: Don't forget, I gave Madison out. But the question is: Can a girl who has lost 100 pounds, and still thinks she's overweight, don a tiny bikini and expose herself to the world?