Monday, September 10, 2012

Pitch Polish #102


THE KEEPER
CHRISTMAS ROMANCE
48,400 WORDS

Query:
THE KEEPER, complete at 48,400 words, is a Christmas romance.
Mark Shafer plans to sell his family’s beautiful Christmas tree farm in Sutton, Massachusetts, so he can pursue a career in music and propose to his city-loving—not farm-loving—girlfriend. Until he learns the trees might be miracle trees.
Sound unlikely? Mark thinks so too. Until Angela, a single mom, and her daughter visit the farm to buy a tree. An anonymous gift begins a series of events that entwines their lives together and threatens his plan to sell.  He struggles to learn the truth about the farm and he must decide what, and who, is most important.

First 150 Words:
The Nor’easter brought the snow, but that didn’t start it. The radio station began playing carols around the clock, but that didn’t start it. Main Street wrapped the lamp posts in candy-cane striped garland, but even that wasn’t enough. Not until the decorated tree stood in the front window with soft lights glowing around the angel’s contented face did Christmas officially begin in the Donovan family. This year, Angela promised her daughter she could have the honor of choosing the tree.
“Is this the one?” Angela asked as she held her daughter’s hand and stared at the four- foot pine tree.
            Caroline leaned closer to it. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Do you feel that?”
            “Feel what?” Angela asked.
            “The tree, she’s beautiful,” Caroline answered.
            Angela bit her lip and glanced at her watch. “Is this the tree you want?”


8 comments:

Carrie-Anne said...

Is this a novella? I'm just wondering because of the short word count. It sounds like a charming story, but the query could use some more details to flesh out the hook of the story and give us a little more voice for the protagonist. It just seems a little short for a query.

I like your first 150 words. It's a nice change of pace for a book to begin a little slowly instead of with immediate action.

MPH2003 said...

I love Caroline and her reaction to the tree--she pulls me in to the story. I also like Angela's typical mom reaction to such a fanciful remark--looking at her watch. This beginning definitely leaves me wanting to read more. As for the query, I agree with Carrie-Anne that you might want to include more details. Also, the quick description of the book could wait until after you have hooked us with hints about the love story that is about to unfold.

myupsndowns said...

I think this is a great query and I love the first 150 words.

Like the first commenter, though, the word count seems very low so I wonder if it is a novella also.

Otherwise, really nice. :)

Jessica Peterson said...

I like the idea of your story, and I love that you've called it a christmas romance, how cute! I would put your first line at the end and start with your hook. I think you could leave out the "a single mom" part unless it's really important to your story. Also, I think you've given us an idea of what the story is about in the second paragraph but I feel like it needs a bit more detail. I like your hook though. Best of luck :)

amycavenaugh said...

I agree with everyone else that this sounds like a charming little story and also wonder if it's a novella. The words Christmas Romance make everyone feel all warm inside, I think. ;) I wonder if you mention that Angela is a single mom because there's potential for a new romance? If so, I think it's okay to keep that detail in the query. Best of luck!

Cheryl Hettick said...

Tamara - this is a beautiful premise and your first 150 words really draw the reader in. I like the idea of it being a Christmas romance. The query works for me right up until the last sentence -- I'd like to see the stakes raised - the final kicker to get me to buy the book. I think the rest is spot-on, but like the other commentators, I'm wondering about word count and genre. Good job!

Mia Celeste said...

Enchanting and delightful! I would read this.

Valerie Ipson said...

I love the feel of your first
150's opening sentences! And the length doesn't matter--everyone loves a great Christmas romance! Lots of luck with it!!!