Dear Miss Snark:
Below please find my query and the first page of my cozy KILLER SWING (65,000 words).
Out of work for the first time, disheartened executive Liz Grant seizes the opportunity to act as manager of her vacationing brother's golf course. Believing his dream business is a success, she realizes too late that her brother took the course's funds and left her to save his motley staff's jobs. Finding a murdered woman on the tenth hole only adds to the challenge. When Daniel Ames, the head golf pro who captures her heart, is arrested, Liz steps forward to accept custody of his six-year-old daughter and scrambles to prove his innocence, redeem the course's reputation, and catch a killer. (yea!!! a plot!!)
KILLER SWING is written in the humorous first person of a task-oriented, never-give-up career woman just discovering her maternal instincts. (well, she'll be sorry soon enough about that but ok)
I have a bachelors degree in English and a M.B.A. in Marketing. My previous publications include employee manuals and marketing materials, written while I worked in human resources and marketing management - two great fields to meet interesting characters. I am a member of Sisters in Crime.
The polished manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your consideration.
"In golf as in life, no matter how badly the game is played, it can always get worse."
At this point, I have put down the gin, shoved the DVD remote into KY's sticky paw to keep him occupado, and I'm reading.
When my first practice shot flew eighty yards on the driving range, sliced over the top of the containment net, and dropped inches from the groundskeeper's head as he raked a sand trap, I knew I had made a mistake. Not only in my shot which could have killed or injured him, but in becoming Acting Manager of Heron Vale Golf Course while my brother and his wife cruised the Mediterranean.
"Just come for one month. All you have to do is approve checks and keep an eye on things. Kathy and I haven't had a vacation in ten years. We need to get away," Jeff, the course's owner and manager, had pleaded.
"I've never managed a golf club. And I'm a lousy golfer."
But I had always wanted to be a good one, envious of Jeff's skill and drive, not to mention his snappy clothes. Golf is an individual achievement sport, right up my alley, requiring the ability to hit a stationary target, a relatively simple task in the realm of sports. And no catching, which has always been my downfall.
"Liz, you're the most capable person I know. You stink at golf because you refuse to practice. This month will give you the opportunity. It'll be fun."
It was reaffirming to hear that someone still believed in me, even if it was my brother. I had just lost my job and yet another boyfriend, a cause-and-effect situation come to find out. As Vice President of Human Resources for Hire Me, an Internet job search company, I was responsible for naming the next Sales Manager, and my boyfriend Ron had wanted the job. When the company downsized and set me out on the sidewalk, Ron lost interest in me.
I hadn't planned on spending my life with either one of them, but it was rejection overload. Without a job for the first time in my adult life, I felt empty and betrayed. Wanting to feel productive and valuable, and certainly in need of a change, golf took on a whole new appeal for me. So I seized the opportunity to help my baby brother, who I could never resist, and better myself at the same time.
First I went to the nearest pro shop and bought all new golf clothes, because sometimes looking the part is half the battle. Then I packed my new clothes and drove to scenic Chelseaport, New York. Jeff and Kathy hopped the next plane to Europe.
Now it was day one of my adventure, and I had almost killed the one person Jeff said to count on for support.
"Ms. Grant, you need to yell 'Fore' if you think your ball is heading towards someone." Ed Huber, the groundskeeper, strolled over to me and took off his Heron Vale cap, releasing a shock of white hair. He rubbed the sheen of perspiration off his forehead with his sleeve and replaced the hat. The smile beneath his thick handlebar mustache was gentle.
"Sorry, Ed. And please, call me Liz."
"Right. Liz." Ed gave his mustache a nervous twirl, reminding me of a cartoon character who tied damsels in long skirts and ruffled petticoats to train tracks.
I'd read on for sure. I'd be watching for good character development and the feeling that I'm right there on the green. There's a wonderful series of golf mysteries by Roberta Isleib that I'm very fond of. I'd be starting to think about pitching this as appealing to people who read and enjoy her work.