3rd SR Crapometer #57

Dear Miss Snark,

You may be interested in my 70,000-word finished novel, SUSPICION, a contemporary romance suspense novel set in Charleston, SC.

Celeste's an heiress with gold diggers at her door. She can't inherit until she marries. Damn her father for making her promise not to marry for the money! Now her father's old partner, Mr. Sanders, is sabotaging the family real estate business and she's more than certain he was involved in his death. With no proof and no money to hire an investigator, she's forced to
find a job to make ends meet.

With a stalker calling her cell phone and her new job at a gallery, she bumps into a stranger and he seems to know her. His charm and his sexy brown eyes distract her, but could it be her stalker or another gold digger? As she fights for control of the business, she must find a way to settle the dispute. and figure out what role the new handsome stranger has to play.

A sample pages (and the kitchen sink) have been provided below. Thanks for your consideration.


have you left no stereotype unturned?
gold diggers?
evil bankers?
testementary shenanigans?
Stalkers masquerading as handsome strangers?

you're awash in the detritus of bad novels here.
Unless you are being sarcastic, sardonic, or ironic, I'm done at this point.

Suspicion - Chapter One

She was late, and Deacon was going to kill her. Celeste slammed the door of her blue sedan and walked away from it, her flat heels clacking against the pavement. She glanced at her gold watch -- a quarter after nine. She tried not to think about Deacon or his hands reaching for her neck. She concentrated on finding her way out of the unfamiliar parking garage.

At the top of North Market Street, she slipped between crowds of roaming tourists. They wore their khakis and light jackets for the January weather. A rhythmic beating of drums set the mood for the street -- vibrant and quick. Rat-tit-tit-tat. She followed a group heading somewhat in the right direction.

Rat-tit-tat-tat. The drums played on. She stepped out from behind the crowd and under the awning. The scent from freshly baked muffins and cinnamon rolls mixed with the lemony fragrance of magnolias. Her stomach growled. She drew back a lock of dark blonde hair away from her eyes and tried not to look toward the fudge shop or the restaurant serving French toast to whiney children while tired parents (it's 9:15 am...have those parents been up all night?) sipped coffee.

She darted around a group of women sitting on the ground weaving sweet grass into delicate baskets. The grassy-yellow baskets were clustered together on the ground, with price tags attached to strings strapped to the handles. A lolling crowd walking in the same direction paused as a succession of men carried large billboards into a truck. Too slow. She'll can't lose her job now. Celeste looked for an opening between the men. She ducked herself under
a billboard.

Yup, I'm afraid my boss is going to literarly kill me, and what I do is take a little stroll down Main Street and notice everything. I don't know about you but when I am in a hurry the only thing I do is motor down the avenue at full speed and shove little old ladies and their perfumed poodles the hell out of the way.


Celeste crashed into someone and stumbled. Strong arms caught her before she slipped to the ground. She caught her balance and backed up. (crash and slip are mutally exclusive force events) "Sorry," she said, not looking up and brushed her plaid skirt. She started back down the street. An arm blocked her way.

She squinted -- the sun light through feathery clouds getting into her eyes. She registered the person as a man. "I'm sorry, but I'm late." That had to be enough of an apology. She stepped to the side, moving away from him.

Rat-tit-tat-tat. A hand gripped her arm. "Are you always this careless when you're in a hurry?" he asked.

She turned and pulled her arm away. "I'm sorry." Her mouth opened to say more but looked at him and stopped. Deep-set brown eyes. The drums did a wild roll that seemed to match her heartbeats. "I. I didn't mean to bump into you. If you would please excuse me."

"And let you leave? Without a proper introduction or inquiring of the weather?" He turned his body so he stood directly in front of Celeste. She glanced up, his strong nose nearly bumping into hers. (I'll draw you a picture of why the physics in that sentence doesn't work) "Our Southern ladies haven't sacrificed common etiquette for their beauty, have they? It'd be a
shame," he whispered.

Celeste moved her hand behind her back and clenched her fist, ready to punch him. She pulled her head back to get a better look at him. He was too tall. Six feet she guessed. She doubted a punch to the chest would affect him, one
to his broad nose perhaps.

Find a junk yard dog critique group. Let them gnaw on you for awhile.


Anonymous said...

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

--Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

Anonymous said...

Where does his nose work out to get so strong?

LOT of "she-she-she" in the narrative. Consider first person at some point or trim down the pronouns.

I'm with Miss Snark about the tunnel vision one gets when in a hurry. I have bumped, slipped, and on one memorable occasion done a complete forward somersault, landing neatly and unexpectedly on my feet, which startled many people on the quad, myself included.

sherry decker said...

Miss Snark said: "Find a junk yard dog critique group. Let them gnaw on you for awhile."

Miss Snark must be exhausted. And this is probably when she would be reading MY submission. That's why, thank you Jesus, I'm glad I didn't send one to the crapometer.

December Quinn said...

I don't get it. She notices everything on the street but never once actually looks at the guy whose nose she's rubbing?

class-factotum said...

She took a job to make ends meet? As opposed to the rest of us who -- what? Work as a hobby?

Lots of adjectives. Lots of them. Too many.

If she has anything to do with this moron she's bumped into, I would slap her silly. What self-respecting woman puts up with a man who grabs her arm after she has stepped away? But this is going to turn into a cute meet, isn't it? Sheesh. Why must southern women be portrayed as such idiots?

MaryKaye said...

I'm rooting for her to realize that she should aim, not for his chest, not for his nose, but much lower.

But I'm afraid she won't, and I am really sick of women who are attracted to men who treat them badly. It does't strike me as either funny or romantic.

helen said...

Just wanted to give the author a ray of hope by pointing out that, contrary to our beloved leader's comment, there's nothing illogical about parents with young kids being exhausted at 9am!

Anonymous said...

There's a junkyard dog or two over at crapometer.blogspot.com

Wouldn't hurt to go rattle the chainlink over there...

Lisa said...

All of those Rit-Tit-Tat-Tats were giving me a headache.

Personally I feel the guy is a jerk and there is absolutely nothing romantic about this story.

Jo Bourne said...

This --
'I have a problem' hook,
followed by quaint colorful setting,
followed by 'bump into hero'.
--- opening
is a bit of a cliche in Romance.

As an alternative,
one might choose the first action the character undertakes that will affect the rest of the story. Open with that. Then arrange the H&H meeting while the heroine is engaged in that action.