Monday, May 16, 2016

Are You Hooked? Adult Genre Fiction #14

GENRE: Adult - Contemporary Romance

PS I Love You meets The Edge of Never when Jocelyn must take a roadtrip with Heath, the man who broke her heart, to scatter her brother Steve's ashes. But the discovery of Steve's journal and letter may lead to more devastation or rekindled love. 

One thing was certain: Jocelyn didn’t want to go on the road trip—not with Steve in a jar.

Okay, maybe jokes weren’t appropriate, but it was the Courtellier way of dealing with difficult situations. And her brother’s death was the worst she’d ever faced.

A text alert chimed, shooting shivers across her back. Steve? No, it couldn’t be him. He had been cremated a few days ago. But brief forgetfulness made her race to the phone.

Despite Steve being in a jar (it was an urn, but urns were frigging creepy), Jocelyn semi-expected his early Saturday morning check-in. Her hands shook as she unlocked the screen.

Her face fell at the thought of him never waking her again, but she blinked back the tears and focused on the message.

Be outside in fifteen—Heath.

Jocelyn sighed heavily as she squinted at the phone. Did that mean she needed to be waiting outside or he would be? Knowing Heath, it was a command.

She scowled. Screw that. Jocelyn Courtellier waited for no man. Least of all Heath Whitely.
Her long, violet-streaked ebony hair swung over her shoulder as she unzipped her overnight bag. A tank, fleece, and yoga pants speckled her duvet. She was staying home—final answer. Heath could handle this without her. He hated her tagging along, anyhow.

She dumped the rest of her clothes out onto the bed and sat with her arms and legs crossed.

Jocelyn didn’t need to go to Acadia.


  1. I started engaging with this piece at "Be outside in fifteen." I like what that line, and Jocelyn's reaction to it, say about the h/H and their relationship. Best, it's a hint that gives me something to wonder about, which means I'm going to turn the page because I want to see the fireworks when these two people meet.

    I'd go so far as to say that you could get rid of everything that came before that line, and let the reader discover the purpose of their road trip in the next pages.

    By the way, I like the concept of Jocelyn's odd humor, and that could work as a way to characterize her, but the execution didn't do it for me here. I don't know if it's because it came first, or if it's just not my cup of tea.

    Either way, by the time I got to her and Heath and their potential clash, I was in, so that's a "hooked" for me :) Good luck!

  2. I'm also quite interested in seeing Heath and Jocelyn's potential meeting. She seems like a headstrong and quirky character I'd enjoy getting to know. Admittedly so, I was a tad taken aback at her flippant attitude toward Steve's urn/jar. Lol, it just caught me off guard the way she talked about her brother. It makes me wonder what sort of relationship they had. And I'm interested in knowing how Heath broke her heart. So, I'd keep reading.

  3. When I read this opening, it does not sound like an adult, more like ya or na. Maybe I'm just reading it differently, but her attitude makes me think she's not yet an adult. It also makes me think that Steve's not dead yet. I don't know why. Like her I'm hopeful he'll be alive. So yes I'm hooked, but I'm not comfortable with the heroine yet.

  4. I agree that it picked up after the text. I think the line I liked best was the simple declaration of the last line. I felt like the first few paragraphs could be tightened up a bit. It may just be me, but I like the idea of starting with the simple declaration of the last line and then getting into the why. Or maybe combine that with the current first line: "One this was certain: Jocelyn didn't need to go to Acadia."

  5. The logline is fantastic!

    I'm seconding what the others' have indicated thus far--I think you could start at "Be outside in fifteen--Heath." That way, the story begins with what's happening *now* and isn't as focused on what happened before. Then, you could weave in the backstory about her brother's death as she (undoubtedly) argues with Heath.

    I'm also missing a sense of stakes in the first 250--what happens if she goes to Acadia? or doesn't?--but if you start it at the text, you have space to address that.