Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Agent's Inbox #13

Dear The Agent,

I’m seeking representation for my humorous adult contemporary romance, PLAID PACKAGE, at 82,000 words. It’s written in dual point of view and works as a standalone novel, but is intended as the first in a Scotland-set series.

An ocean has never separated MARIE CHRISTIE from her sister, but her bestie’s destination wedding in Scotland demands she ease up on her overprotective tendencies. After arrival, she’s caught purchasing souvenir whisky flavored condoms by kilted hottie OLIVER STUART only to discover he’s leading the tour to kick off wedding festivities. A week in close proximity with him tests her two rules regarding romance: 1) relationship required, and 2) her post-weight loss saggy skin means no hanky panky. But his kindness, sexy accent and, well, kilt, have her daydreaming of a carefree life abroad.

Oliver swore off shagging his customers years--fine, months--ago, poring all his focus into a business expansion to better support his employees. However, the sexy American lass has this eternal bachelor second-guessing his priorities with her generosity and good humor. Sparks fly, but their romance expires along with her visa. Marie won’t abandon her sister in America, Oliver’s livelihood is tied to Scotland, and neither is prepared to relocate for love.

I do social media and media relations for a university and speak on these topics at international conferences and local events. I’ve visited every Scottish locale in this book for, you know, “research.”

Thank you for your time and consideration.

All the best,
L.L.


PLAID PACKAGE

Whisky flavored condoms? Marie laughed as she reached in her purse to snag a few coins for the vending machine. Her first day in Glasgow and she already found the perfect souvenir. Flavored prophylactics in festive packaging almost made up for the dismal state of the bathroom.

She admired the red and orange tartan cardboard packets as she exited the ladies’ room into the hallway. The top of her head slammed into something hard. She looked up and nearly combusted as a fast-moving burn spread across her cheeks. "Excuse me. I'm sorry, I-" She had head-butted a wall of muscle.

A curly-haired sexpot stared down at her with a playful glint in eyes the color of well-worn denim.

Her first thought? She wanted to jump up and wrap her arms and legs around him.

Second? Don't. That's inappropriate behavior.

Third? Wuss.

She stared back and watched his eyes lower to the ridiculous handful of condom packets pressed into his stomach.

"Hoping to pull?" he said with a toe-curling brogue.

The undiluted power of that accent should be criminalized. She scanned the hallway for a fainting couch. "Pull?” Marie ran through her vocabulary of UKisms to translate. “No, these are souvenirs." A laugh bubbled up and escaped like something far too close to a squeak. "Back home the condom machines don't have anything as fancy, or hilarious, as this."

He grinned down at her. "The flavored ones are only in machines. I prefer the plain ones."

"So...you've tasted them?"

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

*whispers in shame* I realize I missed the U on "poring" in the query. Gadzukes!

justinemanzano.com said...

This book looks fun! The title is too cute.

I love that your query has voice in it, and I could already hear the style of the narration before I moved down to the page. However, I feel like your plot description ends quite abruptly, and I almost didn't get that we'd switched to talking about you in the next paragraph.

The page did not disappoint, although I was surprised it started when she was already in Glasgow, rather than before. Still, very funny introduction to both of them. Thanks for sharing! :)

Unrepentant Escapist said...

I like the title. I can picture a very sexy cover. :) the query is so witty and fun. I love it.

You don't need to capitalize character names in a query. That tends to be more outlining/scriptwriting.

From the sample pages: what bathroom? Presumably her hotel, but it's not clear. For me, I'd prefer to get a better sense of the main character--who she is as a person--before we meet the hunk. I'd read on. The query made me think she'd be more embarrassed about buying condoms than she seems to be.

The Agent said...

Oooh Scotland! I love Highland Romances. I'm intrigued! And I love the idea of a destination wedding - lots of opportunities for hijinks and fun! You don't need to capitalize the main character's name. But the whisky flavored condoms bit is funny - I want to see how this plays out...I think that your second paragraph could use a bit of smoothing, but in general it reads well and I continue to be intrigued.

I feel like the next paragraph ends too abruptly - what happens next? We need more a teaser - one last sentence or so to tell us what happens next and to keep us guessing! It can't just end like that....so what will be? Something like "Marie and Oliver will need to figure out if this is more than just a passing fling..." - or something like that? Give me a hook that makes me want to jump to read the text...

I like your sentence about research - it shows me a bit of your quirky humor and now I'm going to hope to see more of that in the text.

The text:

Well, you can't go wrong starting with Whisky flavored condoms! Cute first paragraph, I'm hooked.

Second paragraph - I wondered if you could really head-butt someone's body that hard...

I'm a little turned off by the use of the word "sexpot" - maybe just say hottie? hunk?

But I'm loving the quirky voice here and I would definitely keep reading!

Jean said...

As a fellow Scotland-lover and writer, I loved this. I don't usually read humorous romances but I did love this. I loved your voice in the text sample. I agree on the sexpot part. And I think the query could hold a bit more information about what's at stake.. Fun read!

Lisa Leoni said...

Thank you all so much for your comments and feedback! They are the helpful boost I needed to strengthen my query and opening words.