Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Agent's Inbox #6

Dear Agent's Inbox:

When Daphne Haddox discovers she is pregnant, she wonders how a 24 year-old unwed pregnant barmaid from England in 1497 can hope to provide for her child. So when a mysterious bottle with a promise of a chance at a better life for her and her baby appears on her dresser one night, she drinks the potion in desperation. She wakes to find herself at the Crossroads Home for Pregnant Women in 2014 in Austin, Texas, where she and other girls like herself can have their babies, put them up for adoption, and return to their time with no memory of it all. Daphne decides this is best for both her and her baby and stays.

Despite the rule against relationships, Daphne begins to date Alan Everett, an understanding computer programmer who makes her happy, but her caretaker learns of the relationship and forbids her from seeing him. They sneak around, enjoying each other’s company, until Alan finally tells her that he gave up a baby for adoption in the past, and Daphne, feeling betrayed, ends the relationship.

But when the time comes to have her baby, Daphne realizes giving up her child and a chance at true love isn’t the path she wants to take.

Crossroads Home for Pregnant Women, a Women's Fiction novel, is complete at 76,000 words and ready for your consideration.

Several of my devotionals have been published in Devo’Zine, a devotional lifestyle magazine for teens. I am currently a member of the Pikes Peak Writers. I have a Bachelors in Communications Studies, Human Relations from the University of Texas at Austin.

Thank you for your time and consideration; I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
J.K.


CROSSROADS HOME FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

It’s amazing how nine months can feel like both the shortest and the longest time in your life. And for me that wasn’t even the strangest part. No, the strangest part would have to be being pregnant in a whole different era from my own. Yes, that would have to be it.

Simply put, up until the night I got pregnant, my life was hardly noteworthy. In fact, it was rather boring. But let’s travel back in time, shall we? Say, five years and nine months ago (give or take a few centuries), back to when things really started to get peculiar:

Let me start by saying my name is Daphne Haddox and I like all desserts and watching movies while cuddling. Wait--this is starting to sound like a dating profile… but I think I am starting to get 21st century humor. 

Anyway, usually I went through life just fine with who I am and where I am and what I’m doing. After all, my Uncle John, being the realistic man he is, raised me to be the same. But it was one of those days where I was slowly wiping the table, staring out the window, daydreaming about what it would be like to be royalty and I was betrothed to some prince in a foreign land. And, even if I hated him, or he was ugly, at least I knew I was going to be taken care of. My future was secure.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This isn't the genre I read in, but it actually caught my eye. I love the concept. The idea of a Crossroads Pregnancy House? Very original. I did find the query wandered a bit in the second part though. I found the same on the 250 words. The first half really engaged me, but then it began to get a little wandering. This is totally subjective though, as it's not the genre I read in. But I thought this sounded really interesting and fun!

Deborah Drick said...

VERY interesting concept!! Your query was well written at the beginning but the consequences sort of fizzled out. Give it a little more fire in the "or else" statement.

Here is an alternative suggestion for the second sentence in the second paragraph:

They continue to secretly enjoy the relationship until Alan confesses he had given up a baby for adoption. Daphne feels betrayed and ends it.

Good luck -- this is really cool!

DD #26

Jean said...

I agree with the first reviewer. Very interesting concept. Beginning of the query pulls you in (could be cleaned up a little), but then rambles. Also, you pull in Alan but then you give away a key plot point that she breaks up with him. I would not include that. And is Alan from the same time period or from another time? Not clear on that. This could be a very interesting set up with women there to have their babies, but from all different time periods. Also the how and why such a place exists.

Same with the sample. I also wonder if the genre is not quite WF - because there is this supernatural/fantasy/time travel element to it. Not sure what genre to throw it in. She is 24, which could fall under NA (new adult), not quite YA. Also, be sure to really research the time period she is from (you may have already done this) because the paragraph at the end where she talks about her former life seems too modern to me. Sure, she's living now in the present day, but her way upbringing is 15th century. It's a careful blend of speaking/acting/thinking the way she has known (15th century) and of her new way of thinking/acting (21st century).

Unrepentant Escapist said...

This is a fantastic, unique premise. I love it to death. It is such a cool idea.

Paragraph 2 isn't as appealing to me. It seems really hypocritical of her to feel betrayed by him doing the same exact thing that she is planning to do.

The voice in the story strikes me as really modern and unauthetic. I also feel like you could have a more interesting hook. I get why you want to do it--putting the time travel thing right up front--but I feel like there must be a better way to do it. There's not much tension or promise of conflict, and she seems to be fine and happy in nine months, so why should the previous trials matter? I'd rather get to know the character in dire straits--like her landlord about to kick her out, or her being fired for being pregnant or something.

The Agent said...

This is a great first paragraph! Well written and I'm absolutely drawn in an intrigued! Great concept! I would remove the last sentence: "Daphne decides this is best for both her and her baby and stays." - because it's unclear to me if she even really has a choice to stay or not to stay...she just drank a magic potion and ended up in the future, no?

I think in the next paragraph before you tell us "despite the rules against relationships" - we need to know more about the home - that there are rules - and that there are men there! if it's a home for pregnant women - then what is a computer programmer doing there? And who is her caretaker? The person who runs the home? And how is it that Alan gave up a baby for adoption? Isn't he male? Did he give birth? If not, then who was the girl who had his baby?

The next sentence is unclear to me too "giving up her child and a chance at true love" - why does one necessarily mean she must give up the other?

But having said all that, I'm super intrigued by the concept and would definitely read on.

The text:

I like your first sentence, but from your query I was expecting the book to start in 1497 - so I found it jarring that she has knowledge of what happened to her and where she ended up. I'm not sure this is the right place to start this book. A lot of the fun of time travel novels is when the main character ends up in another time and as readers we enjoy seeing how they lived before and their sense of confusion at being displaced - how different things are in the time they travel to.

I read to the end of the selection here and I definitely think I would prefer to see this set in 1497 - I want to be with the character as she experiences what happens to her and first I want to experience first-hand what her life was like in her original time period.

I might read on just to see if this is some kind of prologue, but the voice doesn't feel right here - I was expecting something else.

Jennifer K. said...

Thank you so much for all of your comments! I have already taken them and updated my query and the opening. I appreciate everyone taking the time to read and provide feedback. Thank you!