Dear Miss Snark,
Thank you for taking time from your busy agenting life to schedule another crapometer. I hope I’m lucky enough to get snarked. (well, you might change your mind now, but thanks)
All Christine Abernathy wanted was to get through another day, but karma—the bad kind, never the good stuff—hovered around her in a cloak of disaster. Little did she know the simple act of opening the door to the CEO’s office would embroil her in the dirty world of black market pharmaceuticals...
Hired by a group of oncology doctors to investigate the source of contaminated chemotherapy solution, David McLeod discovered he’d sunk to a new low when the butt of his gun taps a woman unconscious. But he must finish the job before spending Christmas with his grandmother, even though his gut told him he hadn’t seen the last of the woman who wore the sweet scent of trouble.
Beyond the Past is a romantic suspense complete at 100,000 words. With the story’s roots embedded in the medical world, I’ve drawn upon my twenty-three years of experience as hospital medical technologist. An active member of RWA, I am currently serving as president of my local RWA chapter.
If this submission doesn’t meet your needs at this time, please send your response to u.stink@suckywriter.
A Devout Snarkling
well, that's a sucky query letter. First. Romantic suspense and cancer? yikes. Second, you're trying to hard to be clever. Cloak, karma, gun taps. I'm losing confidence you are in control of your adjectives and adverbs which are wily creaturs at best and must be on leash and at heel in the doggone query letter.
Christine Abernathy hated Christmas.
So why in the hell had she taken this second job? She hated smiling with artificial cheerfulness while the same stinking Christmas music played over and over on a thirty minute loop until she wanted to pull her hair from its roots. Helping frantic men, flustered women and the hordes of screaming, whining kids…
God, it was enough to drive a sane person crazy.
But here she was, wrapping Christmas presents for the largest retailer in town—Beekmans. Everyone shopped at Beekmans. Everyone from every stupid little town for fifty miles around shopped at Beekmans. And they were all here tonight.
Could life get any suckier?
Taping the last corner of the package, Chris couldn’t help but admire her work before tying the silk mistletoe to the top. It provided the one bright moment in her life. There. Forcing her lips to turn upward in her best fake smile, she walked to the counter to hand the customer his free holiday wrapped package. “Here you are, Mr. Tinsley. It’s a lovely gift. I’m sure Mrs. Tinsley will enjoy it.”
“Took you long enough,” he grumbled, his breath smelling like a Johnny Walker distillery as he grabbed the package out of her hands.
Chris wrinkled her nose to keep from sneezing as the fumes tickled her sinuses. Through all she kept the smile firmly super glued in place—a feat in itself as she recited, “Have a Merry Christmas. Please shop with us again.” You cheap SOB.
“Next time work a little faster.” Clutching the present to his thin chest, he pushed his way through the throngs of humanity waiting impatiently in line.
Up yours, Scrooge. Her faced ached from a smile so firmly entrenched she thought it had become stuck in an artificially benign expression. (you've said the same thing before-we have the picture) What a dreadful thought. A faint throb beat at her temples and it didn’t bode well for the rest of her evening. “Thank you. Next, please.”
Why did she put herself through this? It wasn’t as if she needed the money. With her job at the pharmaceutical company, she lived comfortably—at least, in the physical sense. So why did she put herself through this hell?
To keep the memories at bay, that’s why.
Jeez, now she’d even started answering herself.
Chris wanted, no…needed, exhaustion to numb her feelings and deaden her emotions. So she worked long and hard hours to fall into bed in a dreamless slumber, waking to the buzz of the alarm clock to mindlessly perform the same ritual all over again. It was the only way to keep from dwelling about the past—the last long and lonely year.
A very large woman plopped her stuffed Beekmans bag on the counter. “I need all of these wrapped,” she said in a little girl voice totally at odds with her appearance. (we see that from what you wrote-you don't need to tell us again)
Great. Life did get suckier. God, she hated people. This was her own private hell, a purgatory where she must earn her freedom.
I'd stop here.
I see over explaining (her job at the pharmaceutical company paid enough) melodrama ( a purgatory where she must earn her freedom) and nothing very suspenseful or romantic.
I'm not much of a Christmas partisan myself but anti-Christmas has been done to death.
Romantic suspense requires a hero and a villain. If this is your villain, what wuss. If this is your heroine...what a whiner. I'd like to read about someone interesing not someone who won't say "Did I mention my admiration for Carrie Nation" out loud to a drunk customer.