12.17.2006

HH Com 128

Abigail Matthews’ fate is decided the moment she pulls the trigger of the gun pointed at a British soldier. She is no longer seen as a devoted Loyalist to the Crown, but is marked as a traitor and faces a hangman’s noose. Already treading on dangerous ground, lifetime friend and Patriot, William Jackson helps her flee the patrol. She has no place to go and reluctantly joins him on his Sons of Liberty assignment to Berkshire. They soon find themselves caught up in a conspiracy involving smuggled rifles and unstable Indian alliances.

Abigail is forced to choose between her allegiance to England and William, who dreams of a free nation. Her decision involves tremendous risks, and she wonders if she and William will survive to explore their newfound love.

Set during pre-revolution Boston, COST OF FREEDOM immerses the reader in the espionage and intrigue of the rebel cause where capture means certain death . . . even for a woman.

You've got the hook form down right, but of course you're not giving us much other than usual here. You need to more specific about the risks. Is she going to lose her property? Is her mother going to gun her down as a rebel slut for running off with Bill from Berkshire? What are the consequences for her if the Patriots win...or if they don't? One thing we forget from the vantage point of 2006 is that the outcome WASN'T certain. Fewer than half the people in the colonies supported the rebel cause. Thousands LEFT when the Brits lost. Make us feel that dilemma.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm rather afraid I've missed something obvious but...why did she kill the British soldier if she is loyal to England? Was he attacking her, someone else, was it mistaken identity?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Already treading on dangerous ground, lifetime friend and Patriot, William Jackson helps her flee the patrol."

The second comma does not belong, unless the sentence is addressed to "lifetime friend and Patriot".

Dave said...

When I say too many words, I meant things like this:
"Abigail Matthews’ fate is decided the moment she pulls the trigger of the gun pointed at a British soldier. She is no longer seen as a devoted Loyalist to the Crown, but is marked as a traitor and faces a hangman’s noose."

It's tighter to say: "Abigail Matthews’ fate is decided the moment she pulls the trigger of the gun pointed at a British soldier. Marked as a traitor, she faces the hangman’s noose."

Or maybe: "After killing a Redcoat, Abigail Matthews is destined for the hangman's noose unless (until)..."

HawkOwl said...

The "espionage and intrigue of the rebel cause" part was interesting and if not new, then at least new to me. The lame-ass love story thing, old and moldy. Contrary to what Hollywood believes, nothing ruins a good plot like an extraneous love story. Make it two brothers torn apart by their different choices, or two enemies brought together by their same choices, or anything other than a cookie-cutter love story, and I'd want to read it. As it is, no.

Ski said...

I like this premise. Personally I don't give a rats behind for every little nit pick criticism. The idea for the story is good. I'm sure that like any story it can be ruined if you're not careful, but I would expect you'd be very careful...so I'd expect a good story! You don't need to explain the obvious to me, at least not at this stage. I'd be happy to read further. Good Luck to you.

Rgds...............ski

Bill Peschel said...

Ski, any premise can sound good, but the author has to convey in sub-250 words that she can deliver the goods. This means introducing a twist in the standard plot. Or showing some bright angle that other stories haven't covered. Or display a facilty with words "which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron."

This first impression has to be as perfect as perfect can be, because if the writer can't get it right in 250 words, what makes the agent think he can get it right in 90,000?

Kristi said...

I actually agree with Hawkowl...if you can lose the romance the whole thing gets a lot more interesting.

Then again, don't listen to me. I'm biased against romances.

Otherwise, I thought the hook was well-done.

Kim said...

I would like to see more specifics, but honestly, I think it's good. The time period is different, and it also happens to be one of my favorite. Tighten it up a little, and I think it'd be pretty good!

Kit Whitfield said...

Just a side-note: Until I got to the last paragraph, being English, I assumed that 'Loyalist' meant Northern Irish Protestant. The story fit either scenario. You might want to clear that up if you are considering an international audience - call her Bostonian at some point, or something similar.

Also, her allegiance would be to Britain, not England.

Xiqay said...

I got lost at the very first sentence. I couldn't figure out how this loyalist pulled the trigger on a British soldier. Was it an accident? Because if it wasn't, I'd think you were already committed to a cause to do that. So that choosing allegiance to Britain is no longer on the table--and the whole dilemma seems to evaporate.

Just my confusion and take on this hook, fwiw.

Anonymous said...

I think the premise is cool, the shooting of the soldier and the hangman's noose, but then you leave me dangling. I'd like to know what she has to overcome to get away with it rather than the love affair. I have a feeling the book is better than the hook you've come up with.

Anonymous said...

If Abigail is a Loyalist, then why did she shoot the British soldier? This is an important plot point that you need to explain straight off otherwise the hook doesn't make sense.
If she killed the soldier in self-defense or by accident, her main interest would be in clearing her name and getting justice from the Crown. Does she nark on Will Jackson and his Patriot friends in exchange for a dismissal of all charges?
I like the premise of your story, but you need to bring your heroine's conflict to the fore. I agree with Miss Snark--make us feel the divided loyalties. The anti-Crown forces often hated one another as much or more than they hated British redcoats. Bring that out.

Anonymous said...

Okay 1st I would buy and read this, yes I would. Now, I've seen this "treading on dangerous ground" in about ten of the thirty books I have in storage.

It now makes me cringe to know writers continue to use it.

I still like the premise even though it lacks a few strawberries in the patch but, it still has growth potential.

Me likes it.

thraesja said...

The only scenario that makes sense to me is that Abigail killed the British soldier to prevent him from executing her good friend William. In that scenario, she would indeed be seen as a traitor, while still feeling loyal to Britain. If the soldier had been threatening her life or chastity, unless he was the son of a high ranking officer, she should have been able to successfully argue self defence. Assuming they knew her Loyalist, er, loyalties.

Unfortunately for Xiqay I don't know of a term that would seperate them from the Northern Irish that would be historically accurate. They were called Loyalists in the time period. After the war, once they moved to Canada, they were called United Empire Loyalists, but this is set well before that. Perhaps the author can mention the locale earlier in the hook.