12.22.2006

HH Com 339 (339 is workinig in the coal mines)

What if you inherit something that may be stolen--and may very well get you killed, or at least in big trouble with the feds, Interpol, and your Grandma?

Pauline Goodwin led a harum-scarum life--she lost her fiancĂ© to the 1918 flu, ran away to Egypt in time to get a glimpse of King Tut’s newly discovered treasures, and nearly married a British lord with a dark secret. When her body is found in the sands of her beloved Egypt, two women as unconventional as Pauline herself inherit her estate, her secrets, and her enemies.

Enter Tink and James, a couple of overgrown Nancy Drews in the throes of a quarter-life crisis. But their stress about what to do when they grow up is nothing compared to digging for buried treasure in a local cemetery, dodging an armed madman in a casino, being interrogated by foreign police, and dating a hot Egyptologist who may just be trying to get them killed.

In The Heart Scarab, James and Tink race from America to England to Egypt to unravel the mystery of their great-aunt Pauline’s life, death, and the sacred object of love she accidentally stole in 1923. An object that someone will go to any lengths to steal back.


Start with the main character, even if that's not who we meet first in the book. Tink and James, in this case. Then tell us what happens to them. Aunt Pauline and her perils are mere clauses in the hook du jour.

Start again.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, I liked this one. I read a lot of mysteries and would probably pick this one up.

candy said...

i know tink and james carry the adventure through, but it sounds like the key character is Pauline Goodwin. i like this one too.

Anonymous said...

I liked it too, but I agree with MS that the first two paragraphs got too much attention. I was blase about it until the thrid paragraph. That's the cool part.

Luc2 said...

I really like these remarks between parentheses, about the hooks she threw out.

Anonymous said...

I liked this until you killed off Pauline.

It was "Gee, Amelia Peabody meets Stargate and then--WTF??"

cm allison said...

I could see getting this one for my mother-in-law. (Except for a few, I'm not a big mystery person. So, buy for her, borrow back for me! Good daughter-in-law.)

good luck!

heidi said...

A shame this didn't hook Miss Snark, but I can see where she's coming from.

I really liked this one and would certainly read it.

However, it does sound like two books. I'd read the one about Pauline more than the one about Tink & James based on this hook.

Dave said...

Can I Ask -
Aren't Tink James guys names? So when the author calls them:
"Tink and James, a couple of overgrown Nancy Drews"
Does she mean they are gay, like Carson Cressley gay or the Hardy Boys gay?

I am guessing that TInk is short for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor and not tinkerbell - but then ...hmmm...

Kat said...

This one sounded like fun. I liked "quarter-life crisis." *grin*

Angus Weeks said...

Another thing to add to my list What I've Learned From the Crapometer - don't lead with a character who's actually dead.

Pauline sounded interesting, so it's frustrating to see she's not actually in the story. You don't want to dash an agent's hope like that. Better to start with Tink and James, like Miss Snark said.

Virginia Miss said...

Although I recognized the weaknesses in the structure of this hook, this interests me. I like the Amelia Peabody books, and this seems like it could be about her descendants.

I agree with what angus said, when you lead with an interesting character who's killed off, we're disappointed to find out someone else is the protag.

Oh, and fix the Nancy Drew line when you re-write. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

One of the writers here (a team wrote this book, BTW):

Thanks for all of your feedback! This was a very hard hook to write because the book switches back and forth between Pauline and Tink & James. So when we wrote the hook, we had to figure out how to get all three in there without switching back and forth ... but I guess we made a bad choice when deciding to start with Pauline. :)
We've written a query that works OK, but a hook was difficult for us.

Yes, in the beginning you know that Pauline has died, but she's rather old by then, so it's OK. PLUS, you get to read about her adventures, too. It all ties together by the end.

OH, and Tink and James are nicknames--they *are* girls. Names are very important in the book, and their nicknames come into play, as well.

Well, thanks again. Back to the drawing board!