Thursday, June 01, 2006
Dear Ms./Mr. _____,
SECOND CHANCE is a 95,000-word romantic suspense novel set on a small island off the New England coast. Think Romancing the Stone set on the water. [Joan Wilder: (voiceover) That was the end of Grogan... the man who killed my father, raped and murdered my sister, burned my houseboat, shot my dog, and stole my Bible.] Twin four-year-old girls are in jeopardy. [From what?]
Lainey Carmichael, a woman whose job it is to rate charities, consistently underrates her own considerable talents. When she realizes things have gone wrong for her orphaned twin nieces, however, Lainey will stop at nothing to rescue them. [From what?] [That "however" suggests that Lainey uses her underrated talents to rescue the girls; what are her "talents?"] Unfortunately, she seems overmatched by the girls’ legal guardians, celebrated philanthropists whose use of blackmail to raise funds puts the twins at risk.
She enlists the reluctant help of world-famous oceanographer Becket Fallon, the forty-something granddad of the twins with a flair for fast boats and secrets of the deep. [1. It reads like the twins have the flair. 2. Not sure what a flair for secrets of the deep is, but if he's a world-famous oceanographer, you probably don't have to tell us he has it. 3. Why is he reluctant to help rescue his grandchildren? 4. If the twins have a forty-something granddad and an aunt, why are these philanthropists her legal guardians? Are they related to her? 5. They're philanthropists, which by definition means they try to improve the welfare of mankind. And they've taken in the twins, when, apparently, Aunt Lainey wouldn't. Somehow blackmail doesn't fit. They're supposed to be the villains?] He is at a loss, however, when it comes to two little girls. This is the story of how Lainey and Becket overcome physical threats, legal obstacles, and their own inner demons to save the girls [From what? Oh, wait, Romancing the Stone . . . Crocodiles! Crocs in a pit!] [Ira: Look at those snappers, Ralph!] and find unlikely love. [Love? The twins' grandfather and the sister of their dead parent? Let's see, I hope Lainey isn't Becket's daughter or daughter-in-law. So she's the sister of his dead child's spouse. Or he's the uncle of her third cousin, twice removed. Still somewhat weird that he would put the moves on her.]
Second Chance is my second romantic suspense novel completed in the last year and a half. It finaled in the only contest (NEC/RWA) in which I have so-far competed. A member of RWA since 1999, I am on the board of RI Romance Writers, edit their newsletter, and belong to the New England Chapter of RWA. I was published in non-fiction (two textbooks) some years ago.
Thank you for taking the time to consider Second Chance. I will be happy to send a partial or complete manuscript at your request.
It seems pointless to revise this without knowing what's happening with the twins. Are the ruthless philanthropists threatening to harm them? Have they been kidnaped? Are the people being blackmailed threatening them? How did they do on Jeopardy? And most of all, how is this in any way like Romancing the Stone?
I think instead of a charity rater, Lainey should be a crocodile hunter. When the ruthless philanthropists toss the twins into the croc pit, she can use her underrated talents to rescue them. Then Fallon drives them to safety in his speedboat. It's sounding more like Romancing the Stone every minute.