Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #6 - Lucky Charms

Commercial Fiction with Elements of Romantic Suspense

Charlie Cooper has spent her summer nights gorging on salt water taffy, nursing a broken heart and squashed ego from the confines of her mother’s plastic-encapsulated couch. When her bestie, Becca, forces Charlie out for a ‘night of fun’ at the casino bar, then goes missing, it’s not tracking down the human traffickers who have taken Becca that has Charlie’s panties full of sand. It’s having to put her trust in a man she’s just met, if she ever hopes to get Becca back.
Jake is a bouncer at the Holly Rock casino. He’s street smart, fast on his feet, and has a body that could peel the underpants off of a nun.The first two are assets to a girl chasing kidnappers. The latter, a distraction that may prove deadly for both girls. Jake has been keeping secrets of the dangerous variety. Now Charlie must wonder if a few human traffickers are the least of her worries.
First 150 Words:

I glared at the couple dry humping on top of the speakers. My shoes hurt. My boobs were sweating. This was supposed to be fun?
“It’s too hot in here.”
“What?” Becca pointed to her ears. “I can’t hear you. The music.”
“I said it’s too hot!”
Becca grabbed my arm and dragged me to the ladies room at the back of the club. “Charlie, would it kill you to lighten up?” she asked. “Please?” Her voice sounded muffled to my ringing ears.
Ethan stepped through the door. “You two doing okay in here?”
“E.” Becca pointed to the sign. “Ladies room.”
Three girls weaved past us toward the sinks. One of them stopped and gave Ethan a sideways look.
“It’s okay,” he said. “What you got, I don’t want. Believe me.”
The girl raised an eyebrow.
Becca shook me. “Do you have any idea who I had to flirt with to get us in here?”


  1. Hmmm, the last sentence of the query is a little bit off, but I'm not sure how to rewrite without being cliche. Overall, the story sounds interesting.

    The opening lines are interesting, I'd keep reading.

    - L (Jane Doe)

  2. Agree with Liana - I wouldn't put a problem with human trafficking beyond #1 on anyone's list, esp. a person who is affected. It is a serious problem with horrible consequences worldwide.

    While your query shows tight writing, I'm having issues with believability. So...the traffickers are scouting at a casino in the U.S. or Canada? Yet the casino already has security plus bouncers? And Becca has to track down her friend - not her friend's parents or other loved ones? Why are the authorities not getting involved? IMO, answer these questions somewhere in your query to show us you know your stuff.

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback.

      Here are a few answers to your questions. I didn't delve into all of these details in the query.

      The police are crooked. Jake is revealed to not be who he claimed, and suddenly Charlie is not only looking for her friend, and unable to go to the cops for help, but also running for her life (hence human trafficking being #2, and not being killed going to #1 in terms of immediate concern--maybe that line was unclear.)

      The story moves along very quickly (less than 24 hours in its entirety) so there really is not a thought in Charlie's mind to call relatives, she is focused on finding her friend before it is too late with what resources she has available to her. Becca is a grown woman, and single, so parents/loved ones are not in the immediate picture.

      While I definitely agree that human trafficking is terrible and has awful implications (this is touched upon in the book), what readers will take away from this story is a sexy, edgy, fast paced and fun read.

  3. I think I needed a little fun tonight because this seems to be an underlying theme to my choices tonight. I enjoyed your query. You're first first paragraph with the sweaty boob reference cracked me up.

    I agree that the last line could be reworked, but that's an easy fix IMO.

    I vote yes.

    1. And I am so happy it cracked you up and that you found it fun to read. Yay!

  4. I enjoyed this immensely - but I would also add not to make light of the trafficking issue - even if the book touches on this, in the query it's a little like "whoa.." But tight writing, and seems like a fun read. Love the panties off a nun line!

    1. Thank you Jaye. Yeah, I am really regretting not ending the query with the line, "The latter, a distraction that may prove deadly for both girls." I think the line after that is what caused so much confusion. Thank you so much for the feedback.

  5. I love your writing in both your query and 150 but your query does leave me slightly confused over what the story is really about. Best of luck :)

  6. The query sets up a high-stakes conflict with a sassy tone that the first 150 words appears to replicate. All of this looks promising to me. I'd keep reading!

  7. I'm incredibly intrigued. I applaud the juxtaposition between a serious topic (human trafficking) and the sarcastic / sassy tone of the narrator's voice. The query is tight, which is appreciated. Consider me hooked by the first 150 words. Bravo!

  8. I agree with the others--I would definitely keep reading! The writing is solid and I love the snark and sass in the tone. More! More! I want to read more!


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