Friday, January 23, 2009
Queries and pitches and blurbs--oh my! (and a new cover)
by Mary Margret Daughtridge
January 29, our Casablanca editor will be with us to take your fifty-word pitches for your book, so I hope your pencils are sharpened and you're polishing away already. Marie's going to tell you all about it tomorrow, and she'll answer all your questions.
When I suggested to the other Casababes we have this little pitch-party, and maybe offer some tips for success, several admitted they had never pitched. Well, neither have I. True. And then, I wondered if I could.
Evey author needs a couple of sentences they can respond with when someone asks, "What's your book about?" So I decided to offer a warm-up to the Deb's blog by writing some pitches for SEALed With a Promise, the SEALed book that will be in the stores in April.
I played by the rules: fifty words and under. We learn by doing and then getting feedback. Tell me which pitch you think is most successful. I'd also welcome suggestions. Here goes:
1. Caleb, a Navy SEAL must enter a senator's world if he hopes to fulfill his promise to make the senator pay for his mother’s death. A dowdy daughter of missionaries can be Caleb's ticket--if he can persuade a woman who’s not used to masculine attention, she’s worthy of his.
2. As a trailer-trash kid Caleb swore he’d make Senator Calhoun pay for his mother’s death. Someday. Now he’s a SEAL and ready to bring Calhoun down. Emmie, a spinsterish PhD, has the entrée he needs into Calhoun’s upper-crust world. Caleb’s next step: make Emmie believe they’re in love.
3. As a trailer-trash kid Caleb blamed Senator Calhoun for his mother’s death. Now Caleb’s a SEAL. Emmie, dowdy professor, has the entrée he needs into Calhoun’s upper-crust circle. Once there, he’ll bring the senator down. But first he must convince the family (and Emmie) they’re engaged.
4. Caleb, a Navy SEAL, and Emmie, a dowdy professor, team up to bring a “Family Values” Senator who’s also a deadbeat dad his comeuppance. But Emmie doesn’t know how deadly in earnest Caleb is. When fate offers Caleb perfect eye-for-an-eye revenge, only love will decide which promises they keep.
Since I just know you're dying to read more by now, here's a back-of-the-book blurb I wrote for inclusion in ARC(Advance Review Copy) letters to go out with SEALed With A Promise.
The maid of honor has connections.
Bookish blue-blood, Emmie Caddington, all beige hair and baggy suits, fades into the woodwork most to the time—even when she’s maid of honor at an Eastern North Carolina society wedding. Few men notice her, fewer still want her.
The best man is a SEAL.
But Navy SEAL Caleb Dulaude, aka “Do-Lord,” is trained to see what others miss—in this case: fey beauty, a killer bod, and quirky charm. When Emmie needs his covert operative skills to switch the cakes at the wedding, he knows just how to turn her quixotic scheme to his advantage. She isn’t immune to the attraction between them. Emmie can be his ticket into Senator Teague Calhoun’s upper-crust world.
Caleb was just a trailer-trash kid when he promised to make Calhoun pay for his mother’s death—someday, somehow. Now he’s a SEAL, battle-hardened, subtle and crafty. He hides his genius IQ under country-boy charm—and someday is finally here. All he has to do is convince the world (and Emmie) that they are a couple.
They both have promises to keep.
Emmie’s no fool. He wants entrée into Calhoun’s extended family? Okay. But Emmie has promised herself she’ll never again drift into a one-sided relationship. With a makeover to boost her confidence in her attractiveness, she insists on commitment.
Hot passion and the increasingly bright hope of a real future together make it easy for Caleb to promise Emmie anything she wants, and hard to remember his desire to make Calhoun accountable.
But when fate hands Caleb the perfect eye-for-an-eye justice, will either be prepared for what keeping their promises is going to cost?
All I know is, I went looking for Teague Calhoun, and I found you. That’s enough for now.—Caleb Dulaude.