Wednesday, August 19, 2009

2 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Brewmaster and Her Barista
GENRE: Romantic Contemporary - humorous.

Today of all days to forget her debit card.

The smell of freshly brewed coffee teased Bonnie Brewster’s nose, and she wanted to cry at the thought of her tall, soy latte being frothed as she searched for her wallet. A panicky sweat prickled her scalp.

Rattling around in her purse, she could see her wallet wasn’t there, but maybe she missed it. She had no cash, she used it up on tips at yesterdays celebration. There was no way to get her morning jolt of blessed java. Crap. The warm shop with the muffin smell suddenly felt overwhelming, the air thick with humid baking, the quiet murmur of morning commerce grated on her nerves. She licked her lips, and glanced up at the Green Bean barista, Rocco.
The Hot Coffee Guy, as she and her assistant Christine referred to him.
Swell. The Hot One would see her humiliation. Why couldn’t it have been the Punky One, or the Nerdy One?

Rocco smiled at her, green eyes twinkling, as though they were in the middle of some sort of farce. The man had the ability to render her speechless with just a look, but today was not the day to try and flirt.

She frowned and ducked her head, feeling the blush rising on her cheeks. Some other woman would banter with him, make a witty comment make him laugh. She was not that woman.
She checked her bag again before she blubbered like an idiot for her coffee.


  1. Ok, I did laugh about the Hot Coffee Guy and her panic about looking like an idiot in front of him. :)

    I just kinda squinted at wording here and there - like the first line seemed to be missing a word. I didn't know why she wanted to cry about her latte being frothed. Then last line seemed to indicate she was asking for her coffee (blubbering is a dl tag to me).

  2. I don't think I'd read on. She's making a big fuss about nothing.

  3. I would ask to see more pages, but it's noted in the genre that it's humorous romance and the humor seems to be getting lost. Also I agree with Keren about her making a big fuss over "nothing". Perhaps a sentence or two about why she wants the coffee so bad would help ground this first scene better.

  4. Ach, first comment got deleted. We'll try again.

    "Rattling around in her purse, she"?
    Is she rattling around in her purse? Maybe use "rummaging" instead?

    Also, one or two minor typos, e.g. "yesterdays celebration" -> "yesterday's". Nothing major, just something I noticed.

    I'm with Catherine on the "frothed" and "blubbered" bits-- I interpreted them the same way she did.

    I also have to agree with Keren on the impression the MC is fussy. I assume there's a good reason she's unraveling ("today of all days"), but I can't say I'd read on to find out. Sorry..

  5. My initial reaction was too much telling, not enough showing. I'm hearing about it after the fact rather than being there with her.

    The other thing was that maybe you were trying too hard. Smells would tease her, not her nose. Why does she want to cry at her coffee being frothed? Doesn't that happen every time she orders one? His eyes twinkling as if in a farce - what does that tell us?

    I thought the idea itself was fine and I could see the humor, but the writing/presentation needs to move up a notch. Better to write clean and simple and get your point across than to bother with similes and metaphors that don't work.

  6. Great sensory descriptions and interesting voice for your lady in need of her coffee.

    I would like to identify with her more, understand why this day of all days, she absolutely needs her coffee.

    As it stands, I didn't identify with her enough to want to read more. I wasn't quite hooked, but almost.

  7. I too, would like to know why, today of all days, she needs the coffee. Also, when I lose my wallet, everything else goes out the window, including need for coffee.

    But I liked some of the description, and that craving for coffee, and the nicknames for the workers at her coffee joint.

  8. I would start with the first paragraph and put the debit card thing later.

    I enjoyed it, and was intrigued by the hot coffee guy.

    It does need some tweaking... but a good start.

  9. I'm hooked. It's a fun story I would turn to for a nice weekend distraction.

    I'm sure most ladies can relate to the concept of having the crush on HOT Coffee Guy...Mine was Hot Record Store Guy...

    Only suggestion...maybe describe the color of his hair too?

  10. I like the set-up, and I think you have a good voice going, but this opening needs a little tightening to make it work. I was intrigued but not hooked. Sorry.

  11. I think your comedic voice shines right through this excerpt! You are setting us up for a fun contemporary romance that would make a great escape from a really cruddy day. I'd definitely keep on reading.

  12. I can dig the idea of Hot Coffee Guy, but the to-do about the wallet/ lack of coffee baffled me. If I lost my wallet - that would be my concern, not the coffee. The heroine crying over it in the first page was a turnoff I'm afraid. It makes her seem very silly. I love silly comedy, but the heroine as a person needs to be of sterner stuff for me to enjoy her as a person. Not hooked. The voice is good and enjoyable.

  13. I don't know where to ground myself in this snippet -- there are too many things happening without a specific focus.

    I wouldn't read on.

  14. Way, way over-written. Can you write the same thing and cut out half the words? It would have a lot more impact. See poster Barbara's comments above.

  15. I'm sorry--while I get that she doesn't want to be embarrassed in front of the hot guy, her extreme panic, and, later, near-blurbing, was just too much of a reaction for such a small thing.

  16. I like this. I think that you've gotten across her panicky feel right here about it. It's only 250 words it's hard until more is read, you know? I'd read on. Maybe put in a line about 'oh no if it's not here where is it?' kind of thing but I wouldn't stop reading. And I hope hot coffee guy buys her the drink. :)

  17. Semi-hooked, I might read on, but not sure.

    I thought the bit about "The Hot One," "The Nerdy One," and "The Punk One" was good... maybe should move it up earlier into the intro to give us a reason to understand her fretting. I need to know why coffee is so important to her; otherwise, blubbering over it seems weird to me. (Do they not have a coffee pot in her office? That's pretty standard equipment for an office and you tell us she has an assistant--doesn't the assistant "fetch coffee"?)

  18. You could tighten this up a bit, lose a few adjectives and watch the cliches ('grated on her nerves', for example), but it's not a bad start. Being a coffee fiend myself, I understand her panic.

  19. Good job showing her attraction to Rocco -- I sense some strong chemistry between them. Also, the way the sentences are structed -- how they run into each other -- conveys her sense of panic over not being able to get her morning coffee. I agree with some of the other comments that it may be a little heavy on the descriptors, but I also want to know if Rocco will come to her aid and help soothe her caffiene addiction.

  20. This is an adorable opening and the writing is strong and clear. The only reason I wouldn't continue reading is that I don't handle contemporary romance or romantic comedies. Most people have had the experience of ordering food or a drink and realizing they've forgotten their wallet, and yet the writer makes this potentially mundane moment interesting with her humor and specific details. The trick would be to keep things interesting from here on in.