Query for Beyond Paradise

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bforlenza
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Query for Beyond Paradise

Post by bforlenza » November 2nd, 2011, 5:15 pm

Here is a new and hopefully improved query for Beyond Paradise.....All comments and suggestions welcomed....thanks....

When Cheryl Benson kills her abusive lover in self defense, she believes she is finally safe. Until, the only witness to the crime, a Long Island millionaire, blackmails her into marriage to secure his inheritance.

Trapped and desperate, Cheryl escapes to the Paradise Lounge where Jonny Vallone, the handsome manager, intrigues her. Two dirty martinis later, Jonny offers to plan her getaway, and she quickly accepts. Maybe too quickly. The martinis aren’t the only thing that’s dirty. Cheryl’s husband and Jonny’s boss, share the favors of many city officials and prominent businessmen on both sides of the law.

If Cheryl ditches her marriage vows for Jonny, her husband will make sure her next stop is prison. But if Jonny takes her side, his may be the morgue.

To free themselves Jonny and Cheryl have to out-wit her husband, out-think his boss, and out-run a crooked cop close at their heels, and they’ve got to do it while overcoming their biggest obstacle . . . the love that is quickly claiming both of them.

The risks they take and the choices they make drive BEYOND PARADISE, my 90,000 word romantic suspense.

Moni12
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Re: Query for Beyond Paradise

Post by Moni12 » November 2nd, 2011, 6:42 pm

I'm a criminal justice student and the big problem I see here is that in a self defense case (especially with domestic violence) the abusee can (I hate to put it like this) get away with murder.

What I mean is that there are self defense exceptions to the law. So, your mc wouldn't have to enter a dirty deal with some sleaze bag in order to not go to prison. It would depend on the evidence against her, but there would be witness to her relationship. Maybe people knew some way or other that she was being abused. What about neighbors?

Also, when you said "The martinis aren't the only thing that's dirty" I assumed Jonny was also playing her.

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wilderness
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Re: Query for Beyond Paradise

Post by wilderness » November 3rd, 2011, 5:37 pm

Hi there,

I have to agree with Moni. The premise doesn't sound very plausible. Unfortunately, the query might not be the only problem; you probably need to rethink what makes sense in your novel. Good luck!
bforlenza wrote:Here is a new and hopefully improved query for Beyond Paradise.....All comments and suggestions welcomed....thanks....

When Cheryl Benson kills her abusive lover in self defense, she believes she is finally safe. Until, the only witness to the crime, a Long Island millionaire, blackmails her into marriage to secure his inheritance.

Trapped and desperate, Cheryl escapes to the Paradise Lounge where Jonny Vallone, the handsome manager, intrigues her. Two dirty martinis later, Jonny offers to plan her getaway, and she quickly accepts. Maybe too quickly. The martinis aren’t the only thing that’s dirty. Cheryl’s husband and Jonny’s boss,(no comma here) share the favors of many city officials and prominent businessmen on both sides of the law. This is pretty vague. What is Jonny's plan and why is it dirty?

If Cheryl ditches her marriage vows for Jonny, her husband will make sure her next stop is prison. But if Jonny takes her side, his may be the morgue. Not sure who "his" is referring to, Jonny or her husband. Not sure what that means either -- you are being too coy here I think. You want to be much more clear in a query. Check out Nathan's post on the importance of specificity

To free themselves Jonny and Cheryl have to out-wit her husband, out-think his boss, and out-run a crooked cop close at their heels, and they’ve got to do it while overcoming their biggest obstacle . . . the love that is quickly claiming both of them.

The risks they take and the choices they make drive BEYOND PARADISE, my 90,000 word romantic suspense.

bforlenza
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Re: Query for Beyond Paradise

Post by bforlenza » November 3rd, 2011, 9:21 pm

Moni and wilderness....Thanks so much for your input. And yes I know you are right regarding the spousal abuse. But of course my character is not a criminal justice student, lawyer, police officer or any other person that would know the law and how it reads. She is a desperate woman who commits murder in self defense, is afraid and easily coerced into thinking that she can go to jail for murder if she doesn't do as she is told. There certainly have been many books and movies made that are on much shakier ground than that. But you got me thinking and I will definitely be adding a sentence about her desperation. Thanks for making me think.....

thewhipslip
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Re: Query for Beyond Paradise

Post by thewhipslip » November 16th, 2011, 11:38 am

bforlenza wrote:Here is a new and hopefully improved query for Beyond Paradise.....All comments and suggestions welcomed....thanks....

When Cheryl Benson kills her abusive lover in self defense, she believes she is finally safe. Until, the only witness to the crime, a Long Island millionaire,lots of comma breaks here. go for a straight sentence, and try to create some intrigue, as in: She believes she's safe - until she finds out there was a witness. A Long Island millionaire uses her guilt for his own gain. She'll have to marry him or face jail, and he'll secure his inheritance.I'm also not clear why he's chosen her specifically, or why marrying anyone would secure an inheritance. is it part of the will or something? and believe me, there's plenty of women who would marry a rich guy just for the money - they don't need to be blackmailed into it. there needs to be more motive here, I think blackmails her into marriage to secure his inheritance.

Trapped and desperate, Cheryl escapes to the Paradise Lounge where Jonny Vallone, the handsome manager, intrigues her. Two dirty martinis later, Jonny offers to plan her getaway, and she quickly accepts. Maybe too quickly. The martinis aren’t the only thing that’s dirty. Cheryl’s husband and Jonny’s boss,no comma share the favors of many city officials and prominent businessmen on both sides of the law. which means what for Cheryl? also feeling like there's name soup here. who is Cheryl's husband in this case? the lover she killed or the LI millionaire?

If Cheryl ditches her marriage vows for Jonny she's marrying Johnny now? I thought Johnny was getting her out..., her husband will make sure her next stop is prison. But if Jonny takes her side, his may be the morgue this sentence is unclear. her side in what? and what does "his may be" mean?.

To free themselves Jonny and Cheryl have to out-wit her husband, out-think his boss, and out-run a crooked cop close at their heels, and they’ve got to do it while overcoming their biggest obstacle . . . the love that is quickly claiming both of them. not enough specific obstacles - and how is love really an obstacle for them? what's the conflict here? not feeling an overwhelming sense of connection to Cheryl or her plight. sorry.

The risks they take and the choices they make drive BEYOND PARADISE, my 90,000 word romantic suspense.
http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/ - Submit your 250-500 word excerpt to be read out loud in a vlog post!

bforlenza
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Re: Query for Beyond Paradise

Post by bforlenza » November 19th, 2011, 4:52 pm

whipslip....thanks for your input...

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