Six Sentence Sunday – 3/11/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP tentatively titled MUST LOVE BREECHES.

Here’s my new pitch/logline: When a thoroughly modern girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies.  (You can see the other entries here.)

This is from Isabelle’s POV, and she and Lord Montagu are in a curricle (a type of carriage) heading to Hyde Park. She’s only been back in time for two days and he’s just called on her to ask her to go on this ride with him. This picks up one sentence after last week’s:

Isabelle’s exposed position in the high seat of Lord Montagu’s curricle caused her to inwardly squirm. Surely one of them would point and whisper—interloper, faker. She was probably even sitting wrong. Though it was cool to find out what it was like to ride in one of these, the equivalent of a modern-day sports car… Kind of thrilling, too, but, Lordy Pete, she was glad when he slowed down from the fast clip he’d been maintaining.

She could no longer deny her physical reaction to him, not when sitting this close.

As always I welcome constructive feedback. Thank you!

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. Other participants writing time travel: Sharon Cullen and Ginger Simpson

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! Have a great Sunday!

Six Sentence Sunday – 3/4/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP tentatively titled MUST LOVE BREECHES. I will be returning from the FF&P Fantasy on the Bayou Conference on Sunday, so will be a little later in the day visiting everyone. UPDATE: Just found out I finaled in the WRWDC Chapter’s Marlene Contest in the paranormal category!

Here’s my new pitch/logline: When a thoroughly modern girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies.  (You can see the other entries here.)

This is from Isabelle’s POV, and she and Lord Montagu are in a curricle (a type of carriage) heading to Hyde Park. She’s only been back in time for two days and he’s just called on her to ask her to go on this ride with him:

Twenty minutes later, Isabelle clutched the edge of her seat as Lord Montagu’s curricle rattled alongside all the other stylish carriages that crammed Rotten Row in Hyde Park. Elegantly dressed women mingled along the lane strolling, or talking in small groups; men and women trotted on horses; and, to Isabelle’s astonishment, tradespeople and servants lined the edges here and there, staring and pointing. It was as if the promenaders formed a parade for the less fortunate to gawk at. And the way the promenaders behaved—strutting, gossiping with others they met on their amble—it reminded Isabelle of the practice of cruising with cars that used to be popular. She stifled a giggle when they passed a group of garishly dressed men in their early twenties—real live fops! They looked pleased with themselves.

As always I welcome constructive feedback. Thank you!

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. Other participants writing time travel: Gayle Ramage, Sandra Jones and Maria-Claire Payne

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! Have a great Sunday!

Polishing my Pitch for the FF&P Fantasy on the Bayou Conference this weekend

funny pictures-RAWR! Iz I doin it rite? RAWWWR!!!I’ve had a nervous stomach since last Wednesday when I realized this conference was only a little over a week away. Now it’s only a couple of days. Eeep!

Been hitting the Chamomile Tea pretty hard to calm the ole stomach….

Reason I’m nervous? Not only is it my first writer’s conference, but I’ll be pitching to three agents. Never done it before. For the non-writers who might be reading this, I basically have about 8 minutes to verbally infuse that agent with a hot, burning need to read my manuscript. Can I say ‘Eeep’ again?

They say you should memorize about 3 to 4 sentences to pitch and that the agent will ask questions. Is that about right?

So I thought I’d indulge myself by running several by y’all. They say it also needs to sound conversational… So here it goes, FWIW:

A) MUST LOVE BREECHES is a completed 98,000 word time-travel romance. When a thoroughly modern American girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies. 

or:

B) MUST LOVE BREECHES is a completed 98,000 word time-travel romance. It’s about a quirky modern American who has finally met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem–he lives in 1834. She has sworn off ever doing the follow-the-boyfriend move again. But when she’s accidentally transported to 1834 London, she has a hard time resisting the hunky lord known as the Vicious Viscount. She wants to find the silver case that transported her through time so she can return to her carefully crafted life in the present, but when he asks her to pose as his fiancée for his own scheme of revenge, she ultimately has to decide when her true home lies. One of the fun things about it, besides the yummy hero, is that she is befriended by Ada Byron, Lord Byron’s daughter, and meets Charles Babbage, the inventor of the Difference Engine. I’ve tried for a light, humorous touch, while also exploring aspects of 1830s London that’s not typical: the scientific.

I know mentioning other characters in a pitch is usually bad, but the thing is, Ada Byron Lovelace is a major secondary character. She is one of the “high concept” things about the book. Whenever I mention she’s in it to someone who asks me what my book is about, they perk up with that bit. Also, it’s timely–Steve Job’s biographer’s next subject will be her. Folks into steampunk love Lovelace and Babbage.

I’ve tried to get my goal, motivation and conflict in each, my theme, and (B) also includes the Act One turning point.

I see (A) as my elevator/cocktail bar pitch and (B) as my actual pitch? Will I have enough time for B?

Some resources I found, if you’re faced with doing a verbal pitch session soon:

I’ve done my research on the agents, now I just need to nail down my pitch and memorize it. I’m also going into it with the attitude that the agent will know I’m nervous, it’s to be expected. Hopefully that will make me less nervous. I’m going to go in positive…

How about you? Do you have any advice? Are you going to the conference? Do you have any funny pitch stories to share?

Six Sentence Sunday – 2/26/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP tentatively titled MUST LOVE BREECHES.

Here’s my new pitch/logline: When a thoroughly modern girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies.  (You can see the other entries here.)

I got a request to have this week’s six feature the hero, Lord Montagu, and so I thought I’d share this snippet I wrote recently to add into Chapter One. I’d realized I needed to have him be a little more sympathetic and “heroic” because up until now, the reader only knows he has a bad reputation and is known as “the Vicious Viscount.” So in this new addition, he’s just been given a cut direct and has realized that his self-inflicted reputation is no longer working to enact “his plans” — he’s returning with food to Isabelle (whom he just met and danced with) and along the way sees a ‘young lady’ of ‘remarkable intelligence’ but with a ‘shy nature.’ Here’s what he does:

On a whim, he bowed, eliciting several shocked gasps. The young miss turned white. Excellent. Word would quickly spread and put her in the orbit of the young blades of the ton. Surely some worthy gentleman’s sense of protectiveness would be aroused and he would take notice of her.

Perhaps his reputation still had one noble function.

Does this work? As always I welcome constructive feedback. Thank you!

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. Other participants writing time travel: Gayle Ramage, Sandra Jones and Maria-Claire Payne

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! Have a great Sunday!

Six Sentence Sunday – 2/19/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP tentatively titled MUST LOVE BREECHES. Today is also in the thick of Mardi Gras here in Mobile, so I will try to make the rounds this morning, but might not be able to return comments until after Fat Tuesday :)

Here’s my new pitch/logline: When a thoroughly modern girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies.  (You can see the other entries here.)

I thought I’d pick up exactly where I left off last week, when Isabelle’s friend said a guy was a “breech-ripper.” Seeing the comments, it made me realize I needed to have her react to the term, so here’s my next six:

Isabelle choked on her drink—they’d just been discussing their favorite ‘bodice ripper’ romances. She’d  discovered they shared a mutual obsession with guys in period clothes, which had helped propel her through the early stages of the party. Since this was the first time they’d hung out, she treated this moment delicately, afraid to puncture the mood. To have another friend in London would be wonderful.

A sharp elbow in her side caused her drink to flirt with the rim of her glass. “Look sharp,” Anna said, her voice low with just a dollop of teasing, “here comes Andrew.”

Does this work? As always I welcome constructive feedback. Thank you!

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. Another participant writing time travel is Gayle Ramage.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! Have a great Sunday!

Is It Getting HOT in Here? A Steamy Kiss Blog Hop

I’m participating in the Is It Getting HOT In Here? Blog Hop in honor of Valentine’s Day. The object is to share a kiss from either a favorite story, from our own experience, or from our own work. I decided to share a scene from my current time travel romance MUST LOVE BREECHES. It’s the first time things get a little heated between them.

In this scene, the heroine, Isabelle (from modern day), is in a carriage with the hero, Lord Montagu (19th century man). She’s just rigged a hasty bandage on his arm from an injury he sustained. She wants to know what happened:

*********

“What I don’t understand,” she said, pausing as his eyes snapped back open, “is how you met with the business end of an iron rose trellis.” She grabbed the last remaining bit of linen and used it to clean the blood off her hands and the seat. She took the lamp and replaced it on its hook by her head. Not knowing what to do with the bloodied linen, she dropped it onto the floor. She pulled her gloves back on, afraid she’d forget them.

“As you are determined to know, the offending object was directly beneath the window and appeared to be an ideal perch for me to make my descent. Unfortunately, I lost my footing and slid down the side of it. My fall was marginally slowed when I went over the edge and one of its points ripped through my coat sleeve to produce this scratch.”

“Scratch? You call that a scratch?”

He shrugged.

“Gah. Men!” She thwacked him in the chest with her small purse.

The hand of his uninjured arm shot out, captured her wrist in his strong fingers and pulled her slightly forward. “Miss Rochon, why do you suddenly have the compulsion to strike me repeatedly?”

“Sorry, habit.”

“Peculiar habit.”

Isabelle’s trapped hand absorbed her whole attention, the small purse dangling in a small arc, the meager light from the lamp setting the sewn-in jewels sparkling. Her wrist moved upward, pulled by Lord Montagu, and she followed its ascent transfixed. Lord Montagu slowly turned her wrist and brushed the underside, right at the pulse point, with his lips. Isabelle shivered despite the barrier of her glove. His well shaped lips, moving just oh so slightly to her wrist; the scar below his lip stretching.

Without thinking, she snatched her wrist out of his grasp.

Her mind caught up to her action. Why, oh why did she always do stupid stuff like that with guys she found attractive? They caused a strange flight response—her curse. What scared her? Someone give me a Rewind button.

Lord Montagu gave a low chuckle.

“Why’d you do that?” Oh my God, had she just asked him that? Could a black hole open below her and suck her in? Please?

“Why do you surmise, Miss Rochon?” His eyes stared straight into hers, awaiting an answer, searching.

“I, uh…” Oh man, black hole? You there?

“My apologies, I have caused you discomfort. That was not my intention.” His eyes shuttered and his shoulders stiffened.

You idiot Isabelle, what does it matter? Here was a chance to let go, without any consequences. Strange that she’d pulled away, though. Usually she was more at ease, more flirtatious, around men when she traveled—they posed no real threat to her, to her life. So, why not in this situation? Also, strange that she recognized what she was doing in time to change it.

She could push past her fear, against her instincts, use this as a ‘teaching moment,’ as her mother used to say. As long as she could keep her own feelings in check and not hurt him.

And besides this wasn’t her real life. Maybe this was a good time to get in some practice. He still looked at her, but he did not appear angry or hurt. Maybe a little confused.

“You took me by surprise is all.” She let her gaze linger over his strong cheekbones and then down to his lips and the scar. Okay, just do it. Her hand reached up to touch his scar. Man, they shook a little bit, but too late to turn back now.

His eyes darkened, his gaze became more intent. The space between them seemed so large, the time it took for her hand to reach him embarrassingly slow. Oh, lord, and she was leaning at an awkward angle toward him. To remain steady, she put her left hand down to support herself.

Finally, the gloved finger of her right hand reached his chin and traced a path over to the cleft in his chin, a feature on any man that made her want to go ‘Rowr!’

He was not doing a thing. He only stared at her. God, where was that black hole? So much for trying to take control, pushing past her fear.

She closed her eyes and let her hand drop. Her breath hitched—his hand had grazed her upper arm. His fingers paused for only a moment as they delicately passed by the inner part of her elbow.

Shivers flitted through her body, erupting as goose bumps on her skin. When had that part of her body become so sensitive?

The light touch of his fingers brushed down her gloved arm and slowly enfolded her hand in his. He turned it slightly, so that her palm faced up, exposing the soft part of her arm. When the warmth of his lips met the tips of her fingers, her eyes snapped open.

Somehow she’d moved closer to him on the seat and as she gazed at his lips, transfixed, he moved his head lower and kissed her palm. His head moved a fraction and he placed another soft, tender kiss on her wrist.

Oh God, she was having trouble finding her breath.

No one had ever done this to her in her life.

And it was so, so, well, so erotic. Who knew?

She couldn’t tear her gaze away as his delectable mouth moved up her arm with soft kisses until it reached the end of the glove, right below her elbow. He paused, his breath caressing her skin. What would he do next? Then his lips touched her bare flesh for the first time, just on the inside of her arm.

Heat seared around her chest and speared downward. Where had all the air in the carriage gone? Her head felt fizzy. The sound of their breathing filled the coach, heightened, joining, wondering. She had the overwhelming urge to push him back against the seat and jump his bones.

Slowly he raised his head. What would those painstakingly tender lips feel like against her own? She moistened her lips with her tongue. It seemed like forever since he’d placed that last kiss on her arm.

The carriage clattered to a stop, jolting her forward slightly. His strong hands grasped her waist, steadying her.

“Miss Rochon?”

She still couldn’t catch her breath, but he seemed calm enough, the bastard. She pushed back to her side of the seat and took deep breaths though her nose, trying hard to look like she was doing nothing like that at all.

Evidently they’d reached Mrs. Somerville’s house.

********

As always, I welcome helpful feedback! What did you think? Be sure to visit the other participants.

Six Sentence Sunday – 2/12/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP tentatively titled MUST LOVE BREECHES.

Here’s my new pitch/logline: When a thoroughly modern girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies.  (You can see the other entries here.)

Okay, a couple of week’s back I shared the new first opening lines and below is taking the last line in that and reworking it to show their obsession with guys in breeches, not tell. I wanted to get y’all’s opinion. I had one critiquer tell me they thought this was a bit gross/crass, but I wasn’t sure if it was just her sensibilities, or if it really was just, well, gross. Setup: they are at a reenactment ball set in 1834.

At least her co-worker Anna was with her in this. Like Isabelle’s, her dress was circa 1834. “Hmmm, how about him?” Isabelle asked, eyeing the guy walking past in tight-fitting, buff-colored breeches.

Anna sucked on her olive and plopped the stir stick back into her cocktail. “Oh, yes, a breech-ripper for sure.”

Since this is the third and fourth paragraph, I don’t want to get her characterization wrong. To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. Other time-travel SSS writers: Gayle Ramage

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! Have a great Sunday!

Six Sentence Sunday – 2/5/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP tentatively titled MUST LOVE BREECHES.

Here’s my new pitch/logline: When a modern girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies.  (You can see the other entries here.)

So far I’ve only shared examples that were meant to be humorous or were requests for feedback. Today I thought I’d switch it up and share a moment when things get a little, uh, heated. They are in the British Museum, it is Lord Montagu’s POV, but starts off with the tail end of Isabelle’s dialogue (she’s been going on about the exciting things she’s seeing):

“…Everything in this room is all jumbled together from places all over the world — Alaska, Africa, New Zealand…”

When she finished talking, her hand still remaining on his upper arm, she looked at him waiting for his reaction. Her passion for these items lit her eyes.

The claws of instinct and desire gripped him. Her passion for history: he had to drink it, transmute it into another kind of passion. He framed her face with his hands, pushed her back into the recess between the two cases, and captured her silken mouth with his own.

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. Othe time travel snippets this week from: Gayle Ramage, Chris Kelworth and Ginger Simpson

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! Have a great Sunday!

Six Sentence Sunday – 1/29/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP tentatively titled Must Love Breeches.

Here’s my new pitch/logline: When a modern girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies.  (You can see the other entries here.)

Here we meet Lady Byron (Lord Byron‘s widow) and it’s just been announced that Lord Montagu has arrived to visit. Ada is her daughter (the future Ada Lovelace). The heroine (whose POV we are in) has had it with Lady Byron’s passive aggressiveness:

Lady Byron continued, “So kind of [Lord Montagu] to be solicitous, but then he should be since I am a close relation after all and one cannot be too solicitous when it comes to family. Is that not so, Ada? No, not at all.”

Good Lord. She wished Lady Byron’s embroidery needle would slip out of her fingers, whip around and stab the back of her hand. The woman was unbearable.

I want to thank all the commenters last week who helped me get my six sentences into a good rhythm. The comments were extremely helpful and enlightening and as some said, it was a good lesson in writing. Thank you!

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. And this week’s other time travel snippets are: Ginger Simpson.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! Have a great Sunday!

Six Sentence Sunday – 1/22/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP tentatively title Must Love Breeches. I currently have this out to Beta readers for feedback and hope to be in a position to query for agents by March. Here’s my working query hook for it: Isabelle Rochon has met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem: he lives in a different century.  (You can see the other entries here.)

I’m going to try something new and share something I just added to see if it flows right. Setup: Lord Montagu, the love interest from the 19th century, has come to call on the heroine (from our present time). This is in her POV. I just revised this bit this past week — the original just had the first and second lines. I thought I’d try to explain what the meaning of the bow seemed like to her and I’m not sure if I have the beats down right.

He executed a neat bow.

A folklorist should document his bows — the man expressed different degrees of meaning with each. Like this one, which seemed to say, “I’d like to jump your bones.” Well, he’d probably phrase it as, “I lust for you.”

Um, yeah, no. Who was she kidding?

I’d love constructive feedback as to whether this flowed smoothly and if it gave you a chuckle? EDIT: The consensus seems to be that the last line kinda fails. Any suggestions on how to reword that so it gets across that she’d just made all that up and read too much into it? Okay, changing last line to:

Um, yeah, no. Probably more like, “Good afternoon.”

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. And this week’s other time travel snippets are: Tarah Scott and Ginger Simpson.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! Have a great Sunday!