Monday, May 16, 2016

Are You Hooked? Adult Genre Fiction #27

TITLE: Bears Tears
GENRE: Adult - Paranormal suspense

Living a fairy-tale can drive you nuts.

The legion of trees, standing guard against the mountains in the leached Northern light, would have looked forbidding had I not been so happy.

At long last, my teaching contract had been completed, China lay over twenty hours of travel behind me, and I was finally in my adopted country driving home with my husband in his boxy old Volvo.
I'd given up trying to get him to even look at a Pathfinder or a Jeep--he was too attached to his first car, which at this rate, would also be his last. To be fair, the Volvo was more than dependable and crested even the highest hills with deceptive ease. Yes, they were well matched my husband and the Volvo--in temperament and oddly enough, in looks. Dark brown hair to dark brown car. Tall, almost rugged build to a long, never sleek car. Both utterly dependable and stubborn.

We overtook our neighbour, Vasilli, on the little country road, little Ivan waving excitedly back at me. I smiled at Nik. He smiled back with understanding, wanting a child of our own too. We'd already tentatively decided we'd start trying now that I'd retired from teaching.

Up another hill around a slight bend and the last stretch home wound ahead flanked by the ever present forest. Another ten minutes and the kettle would be on for a much anticipated cup of tea. So, I was surprised when Nik brought the Volvo to an abrupt stop not three kilometres from home.


  1. One quick thing -- I need it to be more obvious that husband = Nik before his name pops up in paragraph 4.

    But the main thing to give this a good hook, I think you need to push the details of that third paragraph further down, to after the last two paragraphs. Those graphs need to move up -- you've got the issue of having kids, and Nik suddenly stopping the car 3 klicks from home -- those are strong. The boxy Volvo bit can come after. But overall, good stuff.

    Your logline, on the other hand, needs a little more meat in the sandwich. Why does it drive you nuts? What's the consequence of that?

  2. I like the logline, even though I know it breaks all the rules of a logline. Maybe that's why I like it. *shrug*

    I like the character's easy kind of playfully snarky voice, and I would keep reading past the 250 up there, but I think I would need something to happen pretty soon to stay interested. Kind of seems like something was gonna happen when Nik stops the car, so I'm guessing that's not an issue, though.

  3. I would keep reading, yes, but I do think that you might want to condense the second and third paragraph some. Your story gets interesting with the last sentence, and a lot of the second paragraph feels like backstory. You also have to watch for slipping into telling - for example: wanting a child of our own too. We'd already tentatively decided we'd start trying now that I'd retired from teaching.

    I love the title, btw!

  4. I love the logline. And I'm hooked by the excerpt, but I think the commenters above are right - a little condensing wouldn't hurt.

  5. I'd definitely read further, but I would suggest not using the word retired. Maybe given up, it may sound like a peeve, but when I read old Volvo and retired later I thought the leads were over fifty and then they're trying to have a child? Its a silly thing, but that's how I felt when I read it. Otherwise I would definitely read on for the voice. :)