Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Press Finalist #17 - Sorry's Not Enough

Sorry's Not Enough
Contemporary New Adult


If emotional wall-building were an art form, Charlotte would be a grand master. In order to hide emotional scars from the past, she builds an impenetrable fortress of attitude. At least she thinks it's impenetrable, until a summer writing workshop brings Steven into her life.

With his obnoxious ego and stupid good looks, he's somehow immune to her Stay the Hell Away from Me pheromones. What's even more bizarre is for the first time, Charlotte can't quite bring herself to mind. But the unexpected romance screeches to a halt when Charlotte and Steven walk into the same classroom at the start of the school year and find themselves on opposite sides of the desk. Steven's quick with the apologies, but sorry doesn't seem to cut it when you've just found yourself cast as a modern day Lolita, you know?

Trying to avoid the pull of forbidden love isn't how Charlotte had hoped their relationship would start. Being just emotionally distant enough, for long enough, that the guy she doesn't want to admit she loves gets tired of waiting isn't how she thought it would end, either. But she seems to be wired for self-sabotage and can't stop herself. When no amount of time or distance and no number of men can make her forget the comfort of Steven's arms, Charlotte must dig into her painful past and face the man whose betrayal destroyed her capacity for trust to begin with. And by the time she finds the courage to so, will “sorry” be enough to get Steven back?

First 150:

Sanguinolent sunset. There's a word you don't see every day. Charlotte circled it with her red pen and drew a smiley at the end of the line, below where she'd called out a different phrase for being trite. She continued making notes in the margin as the others took turns giving feedback. By the time she was done marking up the poem, the paper was also sanguinolent.

She looked up when the group grew quiet. Her turn. She looked down at the poem again and hoped its author wouldn't be offended. What was his name? Steven.

“It's a little confused,” she said. There was a pause and a shuffle of papers.

“What don't you understand?”

She snapped her chin up and was taken aback by the force of his gaze. No adjective could adequately describe the shade of green staring back at her.

“I'm not confused. Your poem is.”


Mallory Braus said...

The premise here is fantastic! And your voice shines through from the opening line. I'd love to read more of this!

Please send me the complete manuscript in an .rtf file, along with a synopsis, to Address your query to my attention and indicate in your first sentence that you’re enclosing requested material from the GUTGAA pitch. In the subject line of your email, please type the manuscript's title, your pen name and the genre. All submissions will receive an auto-response acknowledging receipt. Please allow up to 16 weeks for a editorial response to your submission. We appreciate you patience while we give your project our careful consideration.

Mallory Braus
Editor, Carina Press

Jessa Russo said...

This sounds great! I love your first 150 words.

Please send your query in the body of the email, and first three chapters attached in a Word document to jessa [at] curiosityquills [dot] com.

Unknown said...

I'm hooked on the first 150. I'd be interested in reviewing the full manuscript.

Please send query and full manuscript in Word to

Patricia E. Riley said...

This character has a fantastic voice! She has me hooked from the first line!

Spencer Hill Contemporary would be happy to consider your novel! Please send the full manuscript, as a Word document to priley (at) spencerhillpress (dot) com and put "Your Title: GUTGAA Requested Manuscript" in the subject line. Also include your query in the body of the email.

Can't wait to read it!

Patricia E. Riley
Editor, Spencer Hill Press / Spencer Hill Contemporary

Unknown said...

I have no critique for you. I hope you find a wonderful home for this one!

Anonymous said...

I would love to evaluate this for Entangled Publishing's new adult line! Please send your query and the first three chapters in the body of an email to theresa(at)entangledpublishing(dot)com.

J. Lea Lopez said...

I just want to say a huge thank-you to Deana for hosting this contest, and also to the editors who took the time to read and offer kind words (and requests!) on our pitches. I'm thrilled so many of you liked my premise enough to ask for pages, and I look forward to hearing from each of you. :-)