Help me choose my entry... please.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Sorry this is a day late. But here is ‘Writing Wednesday’... on a Thursday.

I need a little help from my lovely readers (yes, both of you ;-] ). I got the okay to post my synopses for feedback!

So here’s the deal. I plan to enter the Harlequin American Romance editor pitch contest on July 20th. I need a one-page double-spaced synopsis to enter. Since that is all they are asking for, I am terrified! I really want to make sure that my entry is the best it can possibly be.

I also have two WIPs which are far enough along to enter, so I’m trying to decide which one to enter. This is where you come in. I am including both synopses here in this post and would really appreciate it if you would read them both and comment. I’m looking for feedback like, ‘this works, this doesn’t’ and ‘this is the better story’.  Of course, feel free to say as much or as little as you like. And sorry for the weird background to some of the paragraphs. I can't seem to get rid of it. 

So here goes....

The first is for Valentine Bride. This story started as an entry for the Valentine Secrets contest in 2011. It is the furthest along of the two and the one I am leaning more toward. I wrote this synopsis with loads of help from Winnie Griggs during her pitch workshop.

Valentine Bride
Convinced she’s his soul mate, a big-city police detective is quick to propose to his girlfriend of three months, but he’s even quicker to rescind that proposal when he finds out she’s pregnant... with his baby.

Orphaned flower shop owner, Caroline Bennett wants a storybook family to call her own. After a one night stand the smell of roses suddenly makes her physically ill and she discovers she is pregnant by a man who doesn’t know and wouldn’t marry her if he did. Police detective Matt Ryan, badly burned by an ex-fiancée, wants to hold on to his simple, bachelor life. Unfortunately he can’t forget the mystery woman who snuck out of his bed while he showered, especially when the death of his brother makes him question life alone.

            Caroline seems to be the only person Matt can open up to about his brother’s death and quickly becomes his confidant. The attraction between them grows, but the hurt from Matt’s past - his fiancée got pregnant by his best friend - has him insisting he isn’t a family man. His refusal to bend on this issue keeps Caroline from telling him about the baby - but that’s a secret she won’t be able to keep forever. When Matt asks Caroline to marry him, she tells him that he is going to be a father. He is stunned and hurt that she has kept this from him. He slips the ring back in his pocket and storms out, fleeing back to Durham.

Later, Matt confesses to his family why he ran and they encourage him to give Caroline another chance. He returns to the flower shop. Without saying a word, Matt approaches a heavily pregnant Caroline at the counter and slides a pre-written floral card across the counter. It reads ‘Will you be my Valentine Bride?’ They are married on Valentine’s Day surrounded by his family and their baby, Juliette Rose. The scent of roses surrounds them as they vow for better or worse and begin their life together as a family.

Here’s the second. This one is for After The Storm. It isn’t as far along, but I could catch it up if need be. This synopsis I wrote using some of my original 4 page synopsis and some of Winnie’s input.

After The Storm
A head-strong paramedic finds her hard-won peace disrupted when the ex-fiancée who jilted her wants back in her life, and she must learn to trust again to find her chance at love.

Skye O’Reilly is the kind of girl who can bake a black and blue pie from scratch, crochet socks, and won’t leave the house without mascara.  She’s also the kind of girl who can wield a chainsaw.  As a paramedic with the Outer Banks Search and Rescue Team, Skye has a reputation for being tough, opinionated, and not so easy to work with.  She’s run off more partners than she can count on one hand, so the next one had better watch his step.  Especially since he just so happens to be the only man she ever loved—the one who proposed then left her to marry someone else.

Chris North is the kind of guy who saves children from icy lakes, volunteers at a soup kitchen, and dug through rubble at Ground Zero for three days without rest.  He’s also the kind of guy who breaks the heart of the girl he loves just to stay on his father’s payroll.  But Chris knows he’s messed up and he’s hoping to fix things no matter what it takes.  Ten years ago, he chose his daddy’s money over true love, but now he’s back and he’s looking for a second chance.

Stranded in an abandoned beach house as a hurricane ravishes the Outer Banks, they must pull together to stay alive, but the past is still a hurtful memory that Skye can’t shake. While the house is battered by winds and rain, Skye finds herself drawn to the protection of Chris’ embrace. When the storm drifts out to sea, Skye realises what is truly important in life—love.

Back the station house, Chris is finally able to do what he came to North Carolina to do.  He gets down on one knee and proposes to Skye with his grandmother’s ring.  And, of course, she accepts.  Because Skye is the kind of girl who believes in true love and Chris is the kind of guy who will love her for the rest of her life.

So, go on, let me hear it!


  1. I really like After the Storm. Terrific characters and exciting story line.

  2. Thanks for your comment, I'll be picking one later this evening :)

  3. I would say go with valentine bride... I have always liked the plot and feel it works .... It wasn't her fault but an ex's that turned him away when he finds out about the baby ... But he sees sense and they grow on each other from that one night stand. The other one ... Ats he rejected her for money ??!! And then she takes him back ? I prefer them getting to know each other from a dodgy start :) and you have more of it written ... And I liked what I read so far x

    1. Thanks. I have been leaning more toward VB since there's much more of it written, but I do love ATS. There's more to it than money, but she doesn't know that from the start. Still, I think in the end it will be VB. Unless there's some sort of overwhelming response by tomorrow. Doubtful.

  4. Which one did you go for ???

    I must start writing again ... even if it is to get the 'Builders always letting us down' saga off my chest.

    Good luck :)

    1. I'm going with Valentine Bride. I got 19 page views for this but only the 2 comments-- one vote for each-- so I had to weigh things up. I did a little brainstorming on ATS and more of the story revealed itself to me. I think I have a really good concept, but I want to give it more time to stew.

      Yes, you should be writing! I need to write everyday, but most nights after I get the kids to sleep I can't spell my own name, let alone write. I need to find more time during the day, but there's always articles to write or housework to do.

      We need to set a date to get back to our meetings. That'll keep both of us in line. ;-)


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