Wednesday, September 14, 2016

An Agent's Inbox #19

Dear Jennifer Johnson-Blalock:

When DC Madam Faith Crawley receives a call from former client, Senator Bill Drummond, she thinks it’s the answer to her prayers. The money he offers her to smear political rival Finn Billings will save her company, her lifestyle, and her girls. Finn is the Tea Party’s wet dream, and if Drummond can’t smear his squeaky-clean image, he can kiss his senate seat goodbye. 

Raised in the shadow of a political magnate, Finn seems more enamored with the rocks he collects than with politics. While offering to make over Finn into a political powerhouse, Faith plots against Finn--but in the process falls in love with her mark. Now she has a tough decision to make: turn over the incriminating pictures of Finn to save her own a** or give up everything for the sake of love.

FULL GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE is my work of women’s fiction complete at 90K words. 

I earned my MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University, and I am the Regional Director of the Florida Writers’ Association, Palm Beach County. I lead three local writers’ critique groups, and my blogs have appeared on The Good Men Project, and I was senior editor of Fabulous 40rties Magazine and am an active member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the Florida Writers’ Association. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 



I was sitting across the table from one of the most dangerous men in Washington. William Drummond, aka slippery Bill, had the hungry look in his eyes of a half-starved animal. The greediness in his gaze could’ve been attributed to my dress’s plunging neckline, but I soon realized Drummond had other things on his mind. Complications which involved me. And like the aged steak slowly digesting in my belly, sharing company with the man who almost killed one of my girls did not sit well. 

Still, I had problems. I had to at least hear him out.

I lifted my empty champagne flute and motioned for a refill. Drummond obliged. 

The bubbly was good and dry, and it was tempting to down the bottle, but I needed a clear head since I was dealing with someone less trustworthy than my drycleaners. 

While sipping my drink, I looked around. Subdued conversation and the sound of china tinkling filled my ears. The Capital Grille was an ideal setting for whatever Drummond had in mind. The place was elegant, a landmark decorated in a combination of old money rich and frou-frou contemporary. 

A place one didn’t make a scene. 

I glanced at my watch. Forty minutes had passed, and Drummond still hadn’t mentioned why he’d invited me to lunch. It was time to end the pleasantries and get down to business.

“I was surprised you called,” I said, circling my flute on the tablecloth. “But you hinted it was urgent.”


CFBDouglas said...

Love the story line and the DC setting! It has to be DC. :) Your QL's beginning sets up the story nicely; Crawley needs big money and Drummond can pay. Enter the wrench (not wench), Crawley falls for her mark. Nice. I had to reread, initially, why Finn who has been exposed to big politics (family magnate) would hire a madame to make him more appealing. Then, I realized it's to make his image more powerhouse-like. Yes, a madame can help him do that b/c she knows where the bodies are buried (figure of speech). Love it!
In the first 250, the scene is set. I like the champagne with lunch, and love the way Crawley is assertive with furthering along the reason she's there with Drummond. Also, the "aged steak slowly digesting" is perfect imagery. I can feel her queasiness.
There are only a couple of really small writing style edits to mention: if you decide, you can probably edit out "hungry" b/c you do a great job showing that with "half-starved animal." Also, "dress's" for the same reason - "plunging neckline" renders a great reason for a normal, greedy gaze.
Oh, one more thing, what a great trait for Crawley to order a refill before she asks why she's there!
Good writing - readers will be interested in how this is going to play out!

Dana Edwards said...

Your first 250 words are really intriguing! You set up the conflict quickly. Nicely done!

I had to reread your query. For instance, " While offering to make over Finn into a political powerhouse," I wasn't sure how a madam would do this.

But your bio is really strong and the right length, and you leave the reader wanting more.

Good luck!

JJM said...

Nicely done! Your first 250 words flow as well as the champagne being served, and your characters are well depicted.

The query seems a bit choppy, maybe put Finn Billings character first and follow with your initial paragraph. Other than that, I like your style.

Good luck,


Jennifer Johnson-Blalock said...

Thank you for your query, C.D.! I think your book has a lot of potential to be sexy and fun, but that's not quite coming through in your query--Finn collecting rocks, for instance, doesn't make him seem like a particularly alluring romantic prospect. I get the basic outline of the plot from this query (which is good; that shouldn't be undervalued!), but adding some more voice and color would take it to the next level. And keep the perspective on Faith; show us these other characters through her eyes.