Thursday, January 12, 2012

Drop the Needle #12

TITLE: Cooking Up Love
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, Single Title

Poppy is a TV chef who just got fired and is desperate to get back on TV.

“What are you going to do? Everything we planned, we worked for — it’s gone. It’s burned up just like that Southern white-haired witch’s dishes. I hope you’ve come up with a plan,” said Stella (aka Poppy's mom).

“It’s just temporary. We don’t need to worry. Think of all of the press I’m getting. You can use that, can’t you? When we negotiate my next contract?” Poppy asked. Her mother might not be the warm and fuzzy kind of mom, but she definitely had Poppy’s best interests at heart.

“You need to fix this one, sweetie. I am going to be at a ‘spa’ for the next six weeks or so getting rejuvenated,” Stella said. The older woman’s blond hair had been thickened and lengthened with extensions recently, and she’d been complaining that her muffin-top was showing in the pictures.

“You’re leaving town? What am I supposed to do? You’re my business manger?”

“You’re the one who burned everything down. You are the only one who can fix this. What did I always say when we did pageants? It’s not the judges, it’s you.”

“Yes, Stella,” Poppy said. “I’ll think of something. This is our dream. I can’t quit now.”

“That a girl,” Stella said enthusiastically. “You won’t be able to reach me when I’m out of town.”

“I’ll work on using the press to my advantage, like we did when I won that pageant in Michigan, and then I can use that to get myself a new TV program,” Poppy said. She worked on smiling as she talked. It's what her pageant coaches and Stella had taught her. No matter what happened if she smiled the judges would think whatever had happened was planned.


  1. I think you have good bones here, but they are buried under too many words. I like that the main character comes off as arrogant because I can just see her downfall around the corner. I also like the mother's flippant attitude as well; it speak volumes on how the MC was raised and why she is the way she is. I just think this can be tightened up for a better flow. For example, you don't need to say the mother is going to a spa to get rejuvinated - we know that, that's what spa's are for. Also, instead of saying her hair and been thickened and lengthened you could just say it had been enhanced. As the reader, we'll get the rest. I know you want to paint a clear picture, but we'll see just as clearly with less words and your sentences will flow all the better. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the comments and suggestions -- it is always a challenge to balance description and pacing. I'll look at this section and the remainder of the manuscript again (and again) to see what can be trimmed!

  3. Business manager ends qith a question, which is odd. And I like their names. Poppy makes me smile and Stella makes me cringe. :)