HH Com 186

Meet Kate Baker, one of New York City’s most celebrated investigative reporters by day...sex trade worker by night. Kate has never met a scandal she couldn’t expose. A vigilante with a keyboard, she uses her street smarts (learned from her detective father) and her tenacity to bring criminals and miscreants out of the shadows and onto the front page.

Two young women have been murdered in the last week and the cops haven’t a suspect in sight. But Kate knows something the police don’t…both women worked for the Phantasy Texting Company, a phone sex gone high tech service. From their home computers these women made their living acting out the sexual fantasies of their clients through lascivious text messages. Kate is convinced their secretive jobs hold the key to their deaths…especially when Kate discovers they both worked under the screen name “Miss Tress”.

What Kate doesn’t understand is if cyber sex is anonymous how did the murderer track them down to within blocks of their own doorsteps? Unfortunately, there’s only one person alive to answer that question and the killer only reveals himself to sex texters with a specific name. That’s why Kate’s got a new night job…complete with the screen name “Miss Tress.”

Well, that's the backstory, what's the plot?

I have a hard time believeing phone sex has gone to text messaging. Phone and video cams sure, but texting? I sure wouldn't pay $3.00 a minute for "u r so hot".


Alex Adams said...

FYI, hot tea stings like bejeesus when it shoots out your nose. "u r hot" indeed. "me luv u long time."

Anonymous said...

I don't get this at all. Phone sex, cyber sex, and/or texting sex aren't illegal, so why is the company "secret"? Why haven't these girls' employers or fellow employees come forward? Wouldn't the company owners be just as interested in making sure their employees aren't all murdered?

And why in the world would a policeman's daughter, no matter how tough a journalist, decide to withhold valuable information from the police? Information that could save lives?

I'd believe it more if she somehow convinced the cops to let her go undercover.

I think it sounds interesting, because I love mysteries, but I'm having a hard time with the secrecy bit. How incompetent are the police, that they haven't found pay stubs or direct deposit records from these girls' other employers? That they haven't found a soul who knew about the evening sex work?

Heidi Frost said...

What Kate doesn’t understand is if cyber sex is anonymous how did the murderer track them down to within blocks of their own doorsteps?

This is what I don't understand. The cybersex thing I kinda get, although I'm not sure how lucrative that could really be. But... is this indicating that Kate is just not l33t? I assume there's a technical explanation for why Kate thinks she can remain anonymous, but the way it reads it seems like she just doesn't know how the internet works.

Virginia Miss said...

I like the way you describe your heroine.
Is there such a thing as text sex services?

Anonymous said...

I was hooked and would definitely read it. I think it was "laid" out well and is provocative. Good luck with it.

Anonymous said...

Unless these gals performed text sex for free, there wouldn't be much anonymity because their patrons would be paying by credit card or PayPal.

Anonymous said...

Actually this could be timely. Sex-texting has been in the news a lot lately. The cell-phone porn industry is booming. I am not kidding.

cm allison said...

and be careful that your plot is different from one N Roberts published few years back...writer sister, phone sex murdered sister, who dun it.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to an article about a text sex operator:


What will they come up with next?

Anonymous said...

Just to also throw in some verification, there are a number of text-sex ads on TV where I live. Cracks me up everytime.

Anonymous said...

I have learned enough from the COM to know that you're going to say "That's the back story, where's the plot?" on mine too. Oh woe, if only we got another chance. At least I know what to work on now, to make my query more compelling to an agent. But, I must say, this hook about Kate left me wondering about what she would encounter on her quest, and made me want to read more.

Maprilynne said...

C.M. Allison, that's exactly what sprang to my mind when I read this hook. Nora Roberts' book is called "Brazen Virtue" and is pretty much exactly the same storyline except that it is actual phone sex instead of texting. The company the two girls work for is even called Fantasy (with an F instead of a P). I have a hard time believing that is completely a coincidence. (It might be a subconcious coincidence; I'm not accusing anyone of plagiarism.) But even if it's not, I guarantee, an editor will catch it and be very hesitant to buy it even if it is fantastic writing.

Man, I apologize for surely bursting someone's bubble. Sorry.


Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. These companies keep themselves secret because their clients don't know they are talking to employees...they think they can "hook up" with these women they're talking to. Guess I should have shoehorned that into the hook :)
Just for the record...I don't read Nora Roberts so I had no idea she had a similar book out.

Hypergraphia said...

*Note to Alex Adams - Swallow first, then read the Snark's comments.

I don't get the "sex trade worker by night" line? Is this after she goes under cover as Miss Tress? If so, then I would remove that from the first line.

Miss Tress - clever.

A "celebrated investigative reporter" not understanidng how someone can be tracked down over the internet....can't buy that. My 14 yr old can track people down on myspace in a matter of minutes. Nothing in the cyber world is anonymous.

I think you've got a story here though and the talent to work this through.

Anonymous said...

Sex texting is real. I know women who do it for a living--a good, good living.

And I think it's secret, not because of legal issues, but because the women who do it don't want to be known. They're often stay at home moms who'd rather keep day momma and night hot momma seperate.

Never read Nora's, but as it's been pointed out, there's only so many plots and if this can be done well, why the hell not? Just got to bring the hook out of the backstory and into what happens to her now.

jamiehall said...

Regarding statements made by anonymous #1:
I read the hook differently. I read that the company was keeping things secret because it wasn't just a text-sex company, it was an actual prostitution ring that used text-sex as a way of finding customers.
I also read that the MC was investigating personally instead of going directly to the police because of two reasons:
1) She is a prostitute herself, and doesn't want to chance giving herself away.
2) Her day job is an investigative journalist who is famous for bringing cases like this to light, and therefore she wants to uncover something juicy enough for the perfect story before going to print and to the police.
Perhaps I read the hook wrong (since it didn't outright state any of those points), but I thought they were implied.

Angus Weeks said...

"Meet Kate Baker, one of New York City’s most celebrated investigative reporters by day...sex trade worker by night"

I thought you meant this was everyday life for her and wondered when she got the time to write. Then another poster wondered if you meant the 'sex worker by night' happened only because of the case she was investigating, and now I realise that is most likely what you meant.

If the latter explanation is true, you might want to take note that some people have misread the line.