Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Public Slushpile #3

TITLE: Flee
GENRE: YA SUSPENSE/ROMANCE

Being a runaway was never part of his plan. Neither was breaking up his family. As eighteen year old Mateo works to build a safe existence for himself and his mother in Austin, Texas, he wonders if he did the right thing. It had seemed cut and dry when he fled his Mexican drug cartel family even as gunshots were being fired on their estate. But now, as he hires security he is not sure is up to the task and listens to his mom cry herself to sleep, he is not certain. And when beautiful and fragile Blake begins to steal his heart, he finds himself in a race to protect the two women he loves most in the world from both real and suspected threats. He can’t delete his past. He must conquer it.

Flee is a YA suspense/romance novel complete at 94,000 words. It is part of a planned trilogy with the working titles Flee, Find and Fulfill. Flee is told from the alternating first person perspectives of main characters Mateo and seventeen year old Blake. Combining murder, mystery, suspense and romance, as well as a glance into the tragedy of the drug wars ravaging beautiful Mexico, Flee is a fast paced and engaging read in the style of current popular YA fiction such as Beth Revis’ Across the Universe.

41 comments:

  1. Yes. It sounds a bit "Perfect Chemistry"-esque, which I enjoyed, and you give us enough of a taste for me to think I'll like it, without giving away too much.

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  2. YES. This plot sounds compelling and a newer not so explored plot line.
    ~Sarah F.

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  3. Yes. Great sense of suspense and tension here that builds my interest for the story. Good work.

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  4. No. Alternating first person POV is nearly impossible to pull off well. I did waffle, though, because the backstory sounds interesting.

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  5. Yes - it's a setup I haven't seen much in YA before, and I think it could be really interesting.

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  6. No. I'm being picky, but the fact that you have some 18 year old runaway hiring security for his family without any explanation makes me suspicious of the rest of the book.

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  7. No.
    For the reason mentioned by Michael above and also, like, Nicole I do not believe laternating first person narration works.

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  8. No. It's an interesting concept, but there's a lot of telling in this query. I might be more intrigued if you added another paragraph to show us the mystery, suspense and romance.

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  9. No. I like the concept, but the writing in the query didn't sell me, and if there's not a compelling enough voice in the query, it makes me afraid that there won't be a compelling enough voice in the manuscript, either.

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  10. No. Your first sentence says what his plans weren't but you never gave a clear picture of what his plans were.

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  11. NO. I think you should spend more time setting up the conflict and stakes instead of telling us about the book, who's POV, etc.

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  12. No.

    The concept seems interesting, but I was turned off by the query telling me what all the book is going to make me feel (in the second paragraph) rather than showing that in the first paragraph, and I'm missing any sense of what Mateo must do to conquer his past.

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  13. No. Show the murder, mystery, suspense and romance in the query instead of telling me.

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  14. Yes. Your query needs work (see comments above), but living in Texas and hearing reports similar to the backstory of your novel has biased me towards wanting to read it because I know that the stakes are high.

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  15. No. Conflict is not unique enough and you should compare to a successful book in your genre.

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  16. Yes. The first two sentences did it.

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  17. Yes. I think the premise is timely and unique, but there is some awkward wording that could be improved and phrases like 'never part of his plan' appear a lot in queries and always sound cliche to me.

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  18. NO
    It was really, really close for me, but ultimately i couldn't tell what the MCs plans were and how he'd be active

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  19. Yes- the first paragraph is a little shakey, but still intrigues me.

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  20. No. Such a strong premise deserves a tighter, better constructed query with stakes spelled out and better voice (which would have garnered a yes from me).

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  21. No.
    It has the shadow of a good story, but there's nothing to draw me further. No sense of the stakes.
    And I don't believe

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  22. Yes. The premise hooked me, and I'd definitely ask to see the first few pages.

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  23. No, the story sounds great, but I don't hear any voice in this which scares me off considering you've written this in dual-first person.

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  24. No - The drug cartel is backstory, it's not clear what hiring security has to do with anything else in the story, and the love plot sounds like the focus of the story, and yet less exciting than the backstory.

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  25. No.

    Concept is intriguing, but the writing wasn't tight or active enough to make me want to read a whole book.

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  26. Yes. Like the premise, the conflict and potential.

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  27. No.

    Part of the problem was that it felt like you were explaining backward. Didn't even name the main character until the third sentence, didn't hint at what they were running from until after that. By the time I had a sense of the story it was it was over. And I don't see what the choice is that he has to make. This "protect the women he loves" from vague "real and suspected threats" sounds like an ongoing issue, not something that can be solved by the end of the book.

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  28. Yes - I was thinking "Perfect Chemistry," too. As someone else brought up, maybe make it clear that the cartel is still after him and his family.

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  29. No. I like the idea behind the story, but I got not sense of suspense from this query.

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  30. No. If the story altnerates POV, then the query has to represent both POVs.

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  31. Yes. The premise sounds interesting, but I am cautious with suspense angle as the stakes don't feel as nail biting as they should.

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  32. No. There are tidbits in there that I like, but too much is unclear, and 'suspected threats' turned me off.

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  33. NO. The first paragraph was hard for me to follow, and the second is a whole lot of telling (if I were you, I'd cut the entire second paragraph except the first sentence, seriously).

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  34. Yes.

    With reservations. I'd get rid of the second paragraph and offer more about Mateo's plans. Don't tell me what the book is about.

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  35. Yes! I like the fact that a young man, Mateo, has to step-up and take care of his family in a unique way with unique (and very relevant) challenges. I think this would appeal to many young readers, especially boys.

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  36. I say yes. The story sounds relevant, especially if you live in a border state and I'm intrigued by the possibility of dangers the MC could face.

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  37. No.

    Strong premise, but the alternating POV's might cause me to pause. And I did have some trouble getting into the start.

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  38. Juuudyb@hotmail.comMarch 22, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Yes. I would definitely read this story. Living in Texas, we hear about the drug cartels in Mexico all the time. I love stories where good overcomes evil. We all need hope in our world today.

    Judyb

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  39. Yes. Sounds compelling and I like the fact that it touches on Mexico's ever spreading and violent drug war. Need more like this to warn all youth.

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  40. No, because the the romance is uninteresting.

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