So I entered the #sunvssnow contest that took place a couple of weeks ago. It was interesting and fun, but as a new submitter, I was a little overwhelmed! My pitch wasn't chosen, and Michelle and Amy are hosting a critique session today. I decided to participate to get some feedback on my query letter and first 250 words, as I'm hoping to be ready to query the manuscript in the next couple of months.
So without further adieu:
Title: Summer's Almost Over
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 60,000
Organized, list-making Sophie Newton has thrown herself into her beachside taco stand after her father said she could never run a successful business. She’s so dedicated to proving him wrong, that her ex-fiancée broke up with her because she was already “married to The Sandy Tortilla.” They might be right. She doesn’t care—she’s going to prove them both wrong, one burrito at a time.
When her summer help breaks her leg, Sophie finds herself combing the beach for a warm body to take orders. She finds that body—and what a body!—in Montgomery Winters, a tourist who stopped in town because he loved the lighthouse. An actor trying to break into action films, Mont left LA for the summer as a way to clear his head.
Sophie—desperate for help—offers him ten times what she normally pays, and Mont figures he can write an order for fish tacos as easily as the next guy. The money’s dead useful, but it’s the curvy company that really lights his fire.
When his talent agent calls to say he’s landed Mont a big audition, he tries to cool the growing connection between him and Sophie so neither of them will get hurt. After all, this summer was never about anything permanent—until he can’t shake her out of his head.
As Mont prepares to leave town, Sophie realizes that it’s far more than her bottom line that will suffer without his wit, charm, and intelligence. For the first time in well, ever, she wonders if there’s more for her than making salsa seven days a week, if there’s a possibility of a future for her and Mont.
But what she really has to answer is this: Can she let go of her grudges in time to show Mont that she’s ready for true love?
First 250 words:
Sophie handed an order of carne asada quesadillas out the window of her taco stand—The Sandy Tortilla—and pasted on a fake smile when a woman who was obviously one half of a newlywed couple took them.
She’d been working the stand for enough summers to recognize the glow of the newly hitched, even without the enormous diamonds. The men couldn’t stand more than two inches away from their wives, like they might wander away if given the chance.
Yes, Sophie had seen enough newlyweds to overdose on sweetness without even getting a taste of sugar. Her stomach lurched as she returned to the orders hanging above her grill. She focused on tossing the chicken onto the flattop, slathering the cilantro spread on the tortilla, and crisping up the chips.
With her utmost concentration on her cooking, she didn’t have room to obsess over Mark.
“Chicken verde,” she called out the window, and a teenage girl stepped forward. At least she wasn’t in her mid-twenties with a huge rock on her finger.
Sophie glanced down at her left hand, where, until recently, she'd worn a gold band with a single diamond on it. With a little imagination, she could see a tan line where the ring had sat.
Mark hadn’t wanted to set a date, something that frustrated Sophie. She liked deadlines, and making lists, and meeting goals. Without a date for the wedding, she couldn’t plan the event.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading and critiquing! I'll be heading around to get my critiques done this weekend too. (I think Michelle will have a link list on her blog.)