Monday, February 22, 2016

Handsome Is As Handsome Does





Title: Handsome Is As Handsome Does

Age and Genre: Adult/Historical Romance


Word Count: 75,000

Query:
                     
This Regency romance is set in Bath and Gloucestershire in 1817, at a time when England is crippled by war and poor harvests. Loose behaviour is not uncommon, but just how far will the love-struck heroine go to win her man, and has she chosen the right one?

This Happy Ever After story follows the adventures (and misadventures) of young governess Emma d'Ibert, who is keen to restore the fortunes of her once-noble family.

To do this she must work hard, keep her identity secret and try and avoid the pitfalls of living under the same roof as beguiling rogue, Charles Keane. She has inadvertently made an enemy of his friend, Viscount Tidworth, who has the power to expose her and bring her new life crashing down around her ears.

Tidworth's marriage plans are crushed when a delay on the road, for which he blames Emma, allows another gentleman to step in and claim his sweetheart. He is furious when Emma, as part of one of Charles' wicked schemes, attends his charity ball pretending to be a wealthy countess. Should he unmask her, or save her from disgrace at the hands of the amorous Charles?

First 250 words



Gloucestershire April 1817

Emma barely understood what had just happened.  
  
The cart she was travelling in had been lumbering towards the crossroads when suddenly Carrier Marshman hauled on the reins, slewing the vehicle sideways and almost toppling her from her seat. The panicked neigh of a horse followed by an ominous thump  made everything clear. Alarmed at the sight of a hefty cart bearing down on the crossroads through the obscuring rain, a thoroughbred had shied and thrown its rider, then bolted off towards Bath.

Horrified, Emma scrambled down, hampered by her rain-sodden skirts. As Marshman jumped to the ground to calm his edgy team, she squelched towards the fallen horseman.

 He lay supine, staring up into the leaden sky with a glazed expression, his beautifully cut riding coat spattered with mud, arms flung out on either side of him as if welcoming the rain into his embrace. He emitted the occasional groan, but seemed unable to elevate himself from his unfortunate position.

 "Oh sir, are you alright? Let me help you up."

 Blue-grey eyes flickered towards her face, struggling to focus.

*****
Participants do not comment on other entrants' posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else's.

The Judges

Ayden Morgen
Elsie Elmore
Leigh Statham
Mara Valderran
Stacy Nash
Elisabeth Roderick
Samantha Bryant
&
Me!





Visitors welcome!

Please comment as to whether this pitch piques your interest and what feedback you have about making it stronger. 
Your assessments will be appreciated by the participants.

8 comments:

  1. Query: Your first sentence sets the stage for the story, time, place, and the dilemma – loose behavior. Wonderful. The perfect blurb for a back cover!

    Add your writing credentials, education, or platform to this query and you're good to go.
    250 words. Wonderful introduction, great setting, I'm hooked!

    Excellent job!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your query is solid and allows your voice to come through. So kudos. But I wanted to punch it up a bit. I prefer reading that there are adventures and misadventures than just being told. I tinkered with your words to give you something to think about.


    Young governess Emma d'Ibert is keen to restore the fortunes of her once-noble family. Between the war and the poor harvest, the year 1817 has been cruel and England is crippled. Emma refuses to let her family suffer or reputation slide or family starve …or something along those lines.

    To do this, Emma must work hard, keep her identity secret and try and avoid the pitfalls of living under the same roof as beguiling rogue, Charles Keane. (So, is the governess job the way she is living under the same roof as Charles? If yes, Might want to find another way to describe her in the first sentence – young noblewoman, etc. Also, a little drama here wold be good. Can you show one or those misadventures?) (and hold up – love beguiling rogue ☺ She has inadvertently made an enemy of his friend, Viscount Tidworth, who has the power to expose her and bring her new life crashing down around her ears. (Does he dangle that in front of her at all? Does he make her suffer at all?)

    Tidworth's marriage plans are crushed when a delay on the road, for which he blames Emma, allows another gentleman to step in and claim his sweetheart. He is furious when Emma, as part of one of Charles' wicked schemes, attends his charity ball pretending to be a wealthy countess. Should he unmask her, or save her from disgrace at the hands of the amorous Charles? (nice closing question ☺)


    Your first 250
    Super strong start but i'd love to see that she is horrified. How bad is the rain sodden skirt? Show me how she lands on horrified because I want a stronger connection.
    Your writing is smooth and smart!

    best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh no! Another one my comments got lost. I'll give you the truncated version...

    First paragraph of query seems to telly to me, so I'd work the information in elsewhere.

    250: I would remove the first line...

    I don't know why the panicked neigh of a horse and ominous thump would make everything clear. Show us what she's seeing...

    This is great writing and a great concept :) Thank you for your entry.

    ReplyDelete


  4. Query: I feel like this query bounces around a bit. We start with setting/genre definition and get to the crucial questions. Then we define the story again. Then we summarize the plot, ending with a question that takes us into another character’s point of view. It feels a bit unfocused and I’m not sure where my attention should be.


    First 250 words: The scene works well. I have no trouble understanding what’s going on and enjoyed the image of that man lying in the road.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oooh I like this one! Especially the start of first chapter. Heaps of imagery!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Intriguing without being obscure. Great sense of character and setting already. Well written. I want to read more!

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  7. I definitely see publication in your future! Thanks for participating in the Son of a Pitch! You're a talented writer with a great story, good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Definitely should be published. This story seems a bit different from the usually cliched plots, so it will be a fresh read. Besides, from the description given, it will definitely be an interesting and great read as well. I want to read more!

    ReplyDelete

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