Thursday, July 27, 2017

July Pass Or Pages Entry #4

Welcome to the feedback reveal week for the latest round of Pass Or Pages! We're so thankful to our agents for taking the time to critique these entries. We hope seeing an agent's perspective will help both the authors and our readers! Many thanks as well to our brave entrants! Now, without further ado...



Memories of Forever is the fictional account of Jessica White, a cynical, but hopeless romantic, who finds herself in a love-at-first-sight relationship moving at lightning speed. [RB1]

The victim of well-meaning, but woefully unsuccessful matchmaking by the group of church ladies, Jessica finds herself facing Christmas alone. When her mom drags her to the town Christmas tree lighting, she knows she must escape before the church ladies start plotting again. But instead of finding an escape route, Jessica finds a pair of intense, green eyes instead.[TS1] And they are staring right at her. Maybe this Christmas will be different.

Jessica and Max are as much different as they are alike. Him, the confident, no-strings-attached type and her the insecure, looking-for-a-life-partner type, but both with one important thing in common: a need for each other. [RB2][TS2]

Jessica’s tumultuous, but torrid relationship with Max, the man with the gorgeous green eyes and body worthy of worship, [RB3] overcomes infidelity, [RB4] distance and near-death in less than a year.[TS3] But it may not be enough. If she can’t let go of her expectations of perfection, the only forever they will ever know may be the memories of a forever that couldn’t last.

Some love stories don’t end the way we expect them to, but some love stories never end. Jessica and Max will discover that forever doesn’t follow anyone’s timeline… not even theirs. It may take being apart for them to finally realize that they are meant to be together.[TS4]

Memories of Forever is a romance novel complete at 66,000 words with series potential.[KP1]

Rachel's Notes:
RB1: I’m already on the fence a bit here, because insta-love is a hard sell to editors and readers. We have to believe it is real love that fast, and it’s often not believable.
RB2: Around here I’m thinking I’d like to see stronger conflict than one being into having a relationship and one against them.
RB3: This is the second time his eyes have been mentioned, and now his body…it’s making me think this is lust not love and feels surface level in what she sees in him vs. a deep connection
RB4: I’d pass here. It’s hard to get me (and readers) to forgive a cheater in a romance novel when they are the hero or heroine we are rooting for, and based on what I previously mentioned this doesn’t sound like a fit for what I’m looking for.

Tricia's Notes:
TS1: This makes it seem she “found” green eyeballs somewhere. Suggest blending with the second sentence: “But instead of finding an escape route, Jessica notices intense, green eyes staring right at her.”
TS2: I expected to get a brief intro to Max to follow with the “intense green eyes” stuff.
TS3: Wait, what? The transitions in the query need work.
TS4: Not sure this paragraph is helping. Query could end with the previous paragraph for more impact. Unfortunately, I’m not hooked.
Kelly's Notes:
KP1: The info in this sentence should be included in the first paragraph.

First 250:

Why does Christmas always have to be ruined with romance? Why can’t we just celebrate a baby born in the manger and leave it at that?

Here’s the thing: Last year, I would have been all for Christmas being a romantic holiday. Last year, I would have embraced it. But this year is different. This year I am alone. There is no guy. No special someone for whom to buy a gift or wait in sweet anticipation to receive a gift from. There's just me and music and lighting and feelings that make me feel lonely, incomplete and pretty much anything but jolly. All I want is to share this holiday – this life – with someone, and I’m over waiting for him to magically appear.

I know I’m not supposed to admit those things. As a grown woman, who is independent, smart and successful, I am supposed to be all "I am woman, hear me roar and to hell with needing someone else to complete me or make my Christmas special!" But this is how I feel. For better or for worse.

Which brings me to tonight. Tonight, is the town’s Christmas Tree Lighting. It’s not as simple as it sounds. The tree lighting is just a small part of what could otherwise be called a town festival. There’s a performance stage, a parade, a town square filled with vendor tents and too many people walking around embracing the most wonderful time of year. It’s enough to make my skin crawl.

Kelly's Notes: So your query was actually quite good. I didn’t find much wrong with it, and it did entice me. I love that she finds love in the least expected of places and challenges herself to an unorthodox relationship that places her outside of her comfort zone multiple times. However, your first 250 pages didn’t grab me because it’s an infodump about your character. Instead of allowing the story to unfold and her voice to shine through dialogue and interactions, your MC is telling your reader everything we need to know about her straight off the bat. Let the reader slowly learn about her, discovering who she is throughout the story, enticing us to want to read more and truly discover her for ourselves.

This is going to be a pass for me, as unfortunately I’m not sure the beginning is strong enough to capture my attention quite yet.

Rachel: PASS
Tricia: PASS
Kelly: PASS

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