Thursday, March 31, 2022

Dear O'Abby: what's an R & R?

 Dear O'Abby,

I'm about to begin querying my first novel and I was just wondering what an R and R is.  I keep hearing the term, and I feel like it's a good thing, but I'm not entirely sure what it means.

Can you help?



Hi Newby,

Like all industries, publishing has its own lingo and this is an example of it.  R and R stands for revise and resubmit and yes, it's a good thing.  Not the best thing - that would be an offer of representation - but better than a flat rejection.

An R and R means the agent you queried liked something about your query and pages.  Maybe the premise, maybe the voice, maybe the style.  They don't feel like the book is ready yet, but are willing to let you have a go at getting it there.  

Usually the agent will give you some feedback about what they think needs to be done to get the book to the point they might represent it.  How detailed this feedback is can vary. 

The best thing to do when you receive an R and R is to think about what the agent is asking before you dive in and start making changes.  If the suggestions don't resonate with you or you feel like making those changes will change the book into something that doesn't feel like your book, you don't have to make them.  You can always thank the agent for her feedback and decline to go in that direction.

If the feedback does resonate with you, take your time over the revisions.  As well as looking for a book they can sell, the agent also wants to know how well you can revise, so don't rush to get it back.  Any agent worth her salt knows that revising well takes time and if you fire back a new draft in a week's time, they are unlikely to be impressed.

Hopefully that leaves you feeling better informed.  Good luck with your querying!

X O'Abby

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Cole Poindexter answers #13Questions in OA's Debut Author Spotlight

Operation Awesome Spotlight #13Questions of #NewBook Debut Author posted by @JLenniDorner of @OpAwesome6 2022

13 Questions shine Operation Awesome's Spotlight
on this
2022 Debut Author

Inherit by Cole Poindexter

1- If you had a real lightsaber, what color do you believe the Kyber crystals would turn it and why?

I hope mine would be blue! I feel like it symbolizes you are a kind person, so I hope that would hold true for me.

20 questions later... (I still don't know what "What should be the punishment for a soldier who soiled your plants to your nemesis by mistake?" means. And I thought a Jedi couldn't get married.) I have a blue lightsaber too!
J's Lightsaber color blue result

"The Most Accurate Lightsaber Color Quiz Optimized for 2021"

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Don't be afraid to strike out on your own and self-publish, at least initially. It gives you a ton of creative direction.

3- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?

I hope that it sends a message about family. Your family members are absolutely what you make of them. We also get to choose who we are every day, through our actions, and I hope people think about that. You can be a timid person but also stand up for what's right and stand up for yourself. It's a choice we have to make every day.

4- As a nurse, what tips would you give to someone trying to stay healthy this spring?

There's lots of health information out there, but I feel like we don't talk about stress enough. When you're stressed out, you do things you normally wouldn't - like binge eat junk food. You might be irritable and tired. So my advice is to control your stress as much as you can, and you can start doing that by choosing yourself first every day. Don't commit to things you don't want to do! Take more time out for you. Take naps or watch TV at home if that's what you enjoy. Your body will love you for it.

5- Would you share a picture with us of your book with a dog?

Cole Poindexter answers #13Questions in OA's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #DebutAuthor #2022Books #13Questions

6- How do you support your fellow debut authors and have any of them supported you?

I can't think of any new authors who have supported me, but I can think of several veteran authors. Twitter is a great way to connect with them. Lots of people have retweeted things for me and vice versa. Social media can be great if used for the right reasons.

7- Time to double-down on social media! What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
Also, can you please recommend a favorite #bookstagram account profile?

Two amazing author friends I'd like to shout-out are Mark Gardner and Jessica Piro. Mark did the artwork and formatting for my book. He also has a long list of novels he's written. Jessica actually went to my high school and we grew up in the same town, so I've known her my whole life. She has the Phoenix Trilogy as well as the Elementals series.
I follow a great bookstagram account, her name is @thewellreadchiro

8- What is your favorite creative non-writing activity to do?

I love to listen to music. I feel like it opens up the creative channels in your brain and opens up that muse. If I'm really stuck on something, I'll take a break and listen to music and come back to it later.

9- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? #WeNeedDiverseBooks

I try to keep diversity in mind when I'm creating characters. I have a character who comes out in my first book, and he plays an important role in Parker's life going forward. I also have multiple characters who are people of color. I feel like real life is full of diverse people, and I'll always try to reflect that in my books.

10- What's the biggest writing goal you hope to accomplish in your lifetime? #WriteGoal #BucketList #WriterBucketList

The biggest writing goal I have is to find a publisher! I feel like that's a small goal that could lead to bigger goals. It'd be really cool to one day work on a Star Wars project, but I realize that's quite a lofty goal. For now, I'm keeping it small. I'd like to first find a small publishing company to work with.

11- What was the query process like for you?

I queried five publishers. Looking back now, I had no idea what I was doing. After a while, it was getting really disappointing, and I was losing faith in my book. I feel like a lot of agents are looking for the same thing, and my book just didn't have any of what they wanted - it was too different. But I believed in myself, and I believe I can find my audience one day. So I decided to self-publish. The response to the book has been overwhelming positive, much more than I could have anticipated. Every book is a new opportunity, so I'm excited to keep moving.

12- Would you please ask our audience an intriguing question to answer in the comments?

Do you feel like art is a necessary component for life?

13- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

Struggling artist Parker Derrick faces the death of her mother - and the emergence of villainous family members when she's named the sole heir to her aunt's North Arkansas estate. Surrounded by new friends and enemies, Parker must decipher who is really on her help uncover a deadly secret.

Inherit by Cole Poindexter

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Fiction to Films #atozchallenge is Coming!


Well, not all fiction becomes a film (technically) but Film to Screen does not have the same poetic quality. I suppose Story to Screen is acceptable. 

The upcoming month of April is dedicated to the #AtoZChallenge, where posts are related to the alphabet and a topic. Here at OA we have chosen books and screen adaptations, be it film or TV.

Personally, my views on books becoming films has changed over time.

I started as a purist, believe it or not. I had to read the book first. Who cared if I saw the film or TV version? I would choose to watch the film or TV if I was so inclined.

Then I discovered a handful of lovely book to screen adaptations where (the HORROR) I saw the film/TV version first because I didn't know it was a book first. I fell in love with the film/TV version and then read the book. These included What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. 

I could never be a Story to Screen purist every again.

Don't get me wrong. I am still very (very) disappointed and critically harsh if my beloved story is not done justice on the screen. To be fair, it is a regular nightmare of my own work being turned into film/TV adaptations. I have debated whether I want movie rights to be available or if I want to visit set or if the anxiety would be too much.

Yet stories are stories, I consume books and visual stories. I get super excited about the books that are made into visual nuggets that I can appreciate both for how wonderful they are and appreciate their differences.

Some of my favorite Story to Screen adaptations that I will not be discussing in detail this month but may be discussed in future posts, listed in no particular order:

  • Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Misery by Stephen King
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Beowulf
  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Monday, March 28, 2022

April 3-9 National Library Week

In April, the Operation Awesome blog is participating in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge.  Each day we will post a letter-relevant article on a book-to-film.  Come back April 1 and learn what we're reading and watching!  And if you want to participate in the Challenge yourself, go here and sign up -

Because the month of April is already scheduled, I'm using today, the last Monday in March, to let everyone know that April 3-9 is NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK.

This year's theme is "Connect with Your Library".  Visit your library that week and check out the celebration!

Friday, March 25, 2022

#PassOrPages Poll - What Will Our Next Query Contest Genre Be? #amquerying #writingcommunity

There were only four eligible queries this round. (FRIENDS OR ENEMIES TO LOVERS ROMANCE. Any Age Audience.)

What audience age and genre do you hope will come up for round two? Please vote in our poll!

#passorpages 2022 query contest


Operation Awesome 2022 normal posting schedule

Thursday, March 24, 2022

March 2022 Pass or Pages Entry #4


It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agents Annalise Errico and Rebecca Podos for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 4: Meet Me in Santorini

Genre: Contemporary Romance


I am seeking representation for my 85,000-word contemporary romance novel, Meet Me in Santorini—a childhood-friends-to-lovers, second-chance romance with dual POV and alternating timelines.

Penelope and Colin, best friends and each other’s first loves, haven’t seen or spoken to each other in six years. Next-door neighbors in Brooklyn, New York, the two have been inseparable since they were seven and nine years old. Colin, a photographer who has always felt like an outsider in his family of doctors and lawyers, finds solace with Penelope, who always sees the good in others and has an overwhelming desire to live life to the fullest.

They spent every moment together—until Penelope’s mother died, and Colin disappeared from the face of the earth without warning or explanation.

Now, a family wedding brings Penelope and Colin back together on a luxury vacation across the Mediterranean coast. The trip seems ill-fated from the start when a disagreement between the two families threatens to ruin the entire vacation.

As they re-acquaint themselves with one another, snorkeling in the south of France, watching sunsets over the Aegean Sea, and cruising the cliffs of Monaco, Penelope and Colin quickly realize they never stopped loving each other. But will they be able to overcome Colin’s betrayal? And where has he been the last six years?

In this People We Meet on Vacation meets The Light We Lost, Penelope and Colin must decide if they will reclaim the all-consuming love they experienced in their youth, or let their dueling families, complicated past, and years apart ruin their second chance at love.


Annalise's comments:
Rebecca's comments:

First 250 Words

It took six years for Penelope Cameron to put the pieces of her heart back together. And still, the glue hadn’t fully dried.

It was early—too early, as she sat on the floor of her childhood bedroom surrounded by cardboard boxes of her old things. Penelope had never been a morning person. It was the thing she liked least about herself, the way her body worked against the part of her that longed to get the most out of every day. But every morning she would wake, and her heart would sink over the precious minutes she had wasted while she slept.

She would be sleeping now, if it weren’t for Juliet. Which was a shame, because Penelope really wanted to like the woman—but Juliet made that very difficult. She had woken Penelope that morning with all the noise she was making bustling around the kitchen, clanging dishes and running the vacuum. These weren’t noises Penelope was used to hearing so early in her family’s home. But the truth was, the house on Cranberry Street had not been her home for quite some time. It was impossible with the two gaping holes staring at her from every place she looked, threatening the fragile cracks in her newly healed heart. Digging through one of the boxes for a sweatshirt, she heard a tap on her door[AE1].

“Yes?” She tried to sound cheery even though she was exhausted and irritated to be awake at that hour.


Annalise's comments:
[AE1] I would pass here, but probably request an R&R based on the next few paragraphs. This would be for two reasons. One, the word count is on that border of a little bit too high for a contemporary romance — but not high enough that it’s an automatic no. Two, the writing seems just a little unpolished, but at a place where another round of line-level edits by the author might be effective. Or, again, it might just be that it doesn’t jive with me personally!To get the first 250 words right is such a difficult task, which is why I request the first three chapters, to get a better sense of the flow of the authors writing. But in this query’s case, the concept and comps to Emily Henry have me interested!
Rebecca's comments:
I like a lot of the elements this teases in the query letter—the tropes, the luxury vacation setting, and the comps are great.

But I think there’s something in the description of Penelope that would make me pass, and this is ENTIRELY subjective. Describing her as “seeing the best in everyone and having an overwhelming desire to live life to the fullest” seems so broad as a character trait, and then opening on her being annoyed at another character for cleaning their home too early, I feel like I don’t have a handle on this character enough to invest in following them through the story, and would likely pass after the opening chapters.

Results:  [If you receive a "Pages!", click on the agent's name here or at the top of this post for submission instructions.]

Annalise: Pass 

Rebecca: Pass

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

March 2022 Pass or Pages Entry #3


It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agents Annalise Errico and Rebecca Podos for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 3: The Companion’s Comeuppance

Genre: Historical Romance


I’m excited to submit my historical romance THE COMPANION’S COMEUPPANCE to you. Perfect for fans of the relationship dynamic in Minverva Spencer’s OUTRAGEOUS and the setting of Lisa Kleypas’s COLD-HEARTED RAKE, my manuscript includes a plucky heroine, sharp social commentary, and a subverted childhood-enemies-to-lovers trope. It is complete at 82,000 words. Please note that this manuscript contains an off-page intimate partner violence backsory for a side character. 

It’s 1885, and the Industrial Revolution has left rural England in turmoil. Thousands flock to cities for work, leaving behind declining villages as the gentry lose their income and ancestral estates to poverty.

Facing bank foreclosure on her family’s estate, 24-year-old Alys Dolling, the frugal granddaughter of a viscount, swallows her pride and searches for employment as a lady’s companion to spare her father and sisters from poverty. 

Intending to claim the baronetcy left to him by his uncle, 23-year-old Sir Albert Pendrake has returned to the village he left as a teen. Haunted by memories of a drunken father and childhood bullies, he commits to supporting the local workhouse children to heal the scars–both literal and figurative–of his past. 

When Albert discovers that Alys Dolling–his worst childhood bully–is now his mother’s companion, he at first revels in fortune’s turning wheel, for now she is at his mercy. Alys falls for the baronet with extraordinary empathy and law acumen, but knows she ruined her chances years ago. Albert can't imagine that she would see him, once illiterate and dirty, as a catch. Besides, he doesn't seduce his employees. Despite their history and present differences in station, neither can deny the growing attraction between them. 

Alys and Albert must work together to fight a villainous new neighbor who threatens to ruin their village’s already precarious position. If they can avoid breaking one another's hearts. But with the village’s livelihood at stake, as well as Alys’s reputation, hearts may need to be broken to do the right thing for everyone.


Annalise's comments:

Rebecca's comments:

First 250 Words

June 1885, Northamptonshire, England 

The interior carriage paint was peeling. Alys’s fingers twitched at the urge to scrape away the mustard yellow evidence of genteel poverty. That would make it worse. Instead, Alys glanced out the window at the dusky sky. “We’ll be late.” She hated being late. 

Her sister, Mary, leaned back in the worn, maroon upholstered seat, careful not to disturb the turquoise hat pinned to her golden curls. “We’ll be fashionably late.” 

“We’d have been fashionably late if you hadn’t taken such time to curl your hair. As it is, we’re just late.” Alys smoothed her own honey-colored hair and watched mossy stone walls and grazing fields roll past the carriage window. 

Mary pursed her rosebud lips. “I couldn’t possibly show up at the assembly hall looking like a commoner! We are the granddaughters of a viscount. We owe the community some measure of class and decorum.” She gestured at the orange sky. “See, the sun hasn’t set yet.” 

“It’s Midsummer. Of course it hasn’t set yet,” Alys returned dryly. 

Their father snorted, eyes shut. At first Alys had thought he’d fallen asleep, lulled by the swaying motion of the carriage, but his lips were moving. Her heart twisted as she looked at his gray hair and lined forehead. Yesterday he’d met with the land agent to discuss quarterly profits, and it hadn’t gone well. Her father had been silent for almost a day now. 

“I heard the Sheltons are in London for the Season right now[AE1].


Annalise's comments:
[AE1] Pages! I’m a sucker for historical romances especially when they feature some sort of social commentary/criticism. While reading the pages, I would be extra focused on how the boss/employee trope played out, but in general, in HF, I think there is a little more leeway because of the nature of their society. But that also means there needs to be some sort of discussion, implicit or explicit, of women’s rights — inside and outside of a romantic relationship — for me to feel like the author has equalled out the power dynamic (I think Evie Dunmore is a great example of this.)
Rebecca's comments:
This is a very strong query letter! I might have liked a little more information about the villainous neighbor to establish the stakes in the story beyond “will they like each other” but I would keep reading. The dialogue in these opening lines is snappy, with just enough description to set the scene and the era, and there’s already forward movement on the first page. This isn’t quite my genre, but I think this is really well done, and I would keep reading or request pages from this!

Results:  [If you receive a "Pages!", click on the agent's name here or at the top of this post for submission instructions.]

Annalise: Pages!

Rebecca: Pages!


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

March 2022 Pass or Pages Entry #2


It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agents Annalise Errico and Rebecca Podos for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 2: Swallows of Mostar

Genre: Contemporary YA


I’m querying with my contemporary YA novel, SWALLOWS OF MOSTAR, a story of a friendship that blossoms into love between two girls as they fight to break into the sexist world of competitive cliff diving. Complete at 80,000 words, this Slavic version of “ICEBREAKER” by A.L. Graziadei meets “SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY”, is a standalone novel with dual POV. 

Two years after she moved from Atlanta to Mostar, a historical town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, eighteen-year-old biracial Franka Garcia still struggles with loneliness, language barriers, and terrible grades. All she wants is to get into her dream school of pharmacology, but she flunked her entrance exam! After she accidentally falls off the famous Old Bridge into the river Neretva, Franka is rescued by Mirna, a wickedly intelligent, but exasperated teenager obsessed with cliff diving. 

Despite training all her life and frequently besting her peers, being a girl means Mirna can never participate in the centuries-long tradition of diving off the Old Bridge. But stubborn and determined Mirna won't give up so easily. 

After Franka’s near-perfect accidental dive, Mirna reluctantly takes on the challenge of teaching her all she knows about cliff diving, and tutoring her until she passes her entrance exam. Feeling alive for the first time in years, Franka discovers she’s a natural at the sport. If she and Mirna want to compete, they must juggle the academic workload with their unorthodox plan to take down the patriarchal system forbidding them from diving. The girls grow closer, but strange new feelings growing between them, combined with Franka’s desire to return to the U.S. and Mirna’s inability to deal with her emotions, threaten to ruin the friendship forming between them. 

SWALLOWS OF MOSTAR is a story about breaking traditions and the legacies we leave behind, set in a unique and memorable location I’m closely familiar with. Growing up as a queer teenager in Bosnia and Hercegovina, I’ve always yearned for a light-hearted and passionately optimistic novel with a focus on a sapphic relationship.


Annalise's comments:
Rebecca's comments:


First 250 Words

"Mirza, idiote, ne naginji se na ogradu, neki kreten ju je jučer razvalio!"

The sight of a tall young woman in a traditional Bosnian costume yelling at a teen in a Speedo made Franka smile. Partially at the absurdity of it, but mostly it was because she finally understood her fully. How awesome was that!? 

Some jerk busted the fence of the Old Bridge yesterday and Mirza, the teenage boy now running past Franka with a grin on his face, was an idiot for leaning against it. What a lovely sentence. 

Croatian was needlessly complicated, in Franka's humble American opinion. So was Bosnian. And Serbian. Mostly because they were the same language, no matter what the native speakers would like to argue. Declinations, verb changes, grammar cases and not to mention genders, it was all entirely unnecessary. Who decided "river" was female and "bridge" was male and can Franka make their descendants pay for causing her to flunk her entrance exam[AE1]

To be fair, it was partially on her for being a recluse for two years since she moved here. And on her mom for never teaching her her native language properly when her brain was younger and more prone to linguistic acquisitions. Blame was plentiful; solutions, not so much. 

It was what it was. Franka was stuck in the city of Mostar. 

"Franka, I just heard, from a reputable source, that it is summer outside. Can you believe it?" her mom asked last night.


Annalise's comments:
[AE1] I would stop here, but I would probably send a R&R request based on the next few paragraphs.While I love the concept, the writing style reads a little bit unpolished to me. This can happen when the first few paragraphs are really expository, or even when its been over-polished. Too, it could be a case that I, personally, might just not jive with the writing style! That’s why I like to give queries a little time to get into their rhythm.This is why I love R&Rs. I send out quite a few because often a concept will grab me (sapphic romance about sports? yes, please!), but the writing isn’t quite where I like my projects to be when I acquire them. R&Rs gives both me and the author a second chance for acquisition.

Rebecca's comments:
I’m definitely intrigued by the synopsis, and I would love to read more queer and sapphic stories set outside of the US! But I did get tangled up in the opening lines; something about the description of what’s happening was confusing to me, and I wasn’t sure what or who I was looking at. We also jump around so quickly, from the dialogue to Franka’s musings about Croatian to the entrance exam and into flashback, so I don’t feel grounded in the scene.

I would have like to stay in the moment longer, to see who is on this bridge and why. So I would likely pass after this, as I would worry I don’t quite click with the writing style.

Results:  [If you receive a "Pages!", click on the agent's name here or at the top of this post for submission instructions.]

Annalise: Pass 

Rebecca: Pass


Monday, March 21, 2022

March 2022 Pass or Pages Entry #1


It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agents Annalise Errico and Rebecca Podos for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 1: Sky Without Blue

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Dear Agent, 

Having a crush on your boss is usually a bad idea, but for Willa Deveraux, it’s worse. As Chief of Staff, she needs to ensure the White House runs efficiently, not worry about how hot the President looks in a tuxedo. After a scandal of her own making threatens his chance at re-election, she’s forced to leave Washington and the man she secretly adores behind. 

A return to her environmental roots takes her to Southeast Asia where she and her companions are kidnapped by local bandits. She’s experienced in crisis situations, but this time the multi million-dollar ransom is beyond her family’s means and escape appears impossible. Her only chance of survival is intervention by the man she almost ruined[AE1]

President Maxwell Weston isn’t willing to negotiate with terrorists. Ever. Until he discovers one of the hostages is Willa. The woman he loves. 

The kidnappers’ deadline is fast approaching, and if Max does nothing, the hostages will die. Saving Willa would go against a decades-long government policy, ruin his credibility, and worst of all, risks his re-election prospects. 

But he can’t turn his back on Willa. Not again. 

SKY WITHOUT BLUE is a friends-to-lovers contemporary romance combining the setting of THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT with the suspense elements of SCANDAL. It is complete at 78,000 words. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Annalise's comments:
[AE1] I would stop here. Unfortunately, books that feature romantic relationships between a boss/employee are very hit-or-miss for me because the power balance, even when done tactfully, usually borders on toxic. That being said, I like to give queries with this trope a try because they can be done well.

In this specific query, though, having a traumatic event like a kidnapping is too much for me right now. Any trauma-heavy books (for example, kidnapping or abuse of any kind, especially on-page) are, subjectively, an automatic no due to our volatile sociopolitical day and age and my general brain-capacity at the moment, unfortunately.

Rebecca's comments:

First 250 Words

Contrary to popular belief, the most powerful man in the world can't always get what he wants. 

A fact I'm reminded of every damn day. 

I lean back in my armchair and toss the stack of files to the coffee table. The updates and paperwork never end. If I had my way, that's one, albeit minor, thing I would change, the paperwork. 

Outside the door to my penthouse suite, a woman laughs, followed by a soft rap on the door. My back straightens a moment before she sweeps in. 

An absolute vision. It's not until my lungs shudder that I realize I'm holding my breath. A gown of burnt orange whispers against her legs as she walks. With only one shoulder draped in fabric, the copper undertones of her skin glow, even more pronounced by the fact her long black hair is styled in an elegant chignon. We're not even downstairs yet and I know she'll be the most beautiful woman in the room. 

My Willa. My Blue. 

In addition to winning a second term, she's what I want most. 

However, the risks are high. Never mind Me Too and the fact I refuse to be one of 'those guys'. If she's not interested, it will make working together uncomfortable. She may leave altogether and I'll never find another Chief of Staff like her. She's the smartest, hardest working person I know. The not-so-secret key to my political career and I don't want to lose that. I need her.


Annalise's comments:
Rebecca's comments:
I don’t think I would request pages based upon this query, for two reasons. One, I wanted more information in the set-up paragraph, about the relationship that does exist between the president and Willa (are they longtime friends? Purely professional? Have they ever flirted before?) and about the scandal of her own making. I don’t have a very full picture of this relationship, or what is threatening it, from the details included.

Things also take a very sharp turn from “a return to her environmental roots” becomes “kidnapped by local bandits.” That also takes this out of contemporary romance territory for me and more into romantic thriller territory, so it was very unexpected. I would definitely reevaluate the genre, when such a high stakes, life or death plot is involved. I don’t generally read/rep romantic thrillers, but I do rep contemporary romance, so being surprised by that plot point would probably stop me reading.
Results:  [If you receive a "Pages!", click on the agent's name here or at the top of this post for submission instructions.]

Annalise: Pass

Rebecca: Pass


Friday, March 18, 2022

Flash Fiction Friday


It's Flash Fiction Friday! Take a break from checking your email and write a short-short-short story. For this week's contest, check out NPR's Strange News page and write a short piece based on a headline! 

Catching my eye is: