HH Com 416

Seventeen-year old Jen Hargrove arrives at Mount Holly Amusement Park believing her summer job will help heal both her mind and heart. Because while no one could ever accuse her of having a blissful, normal upbringing, her unhappy childhood was nothing compared to the living hell that masqueraded itself as her junior year at Chesterton High.

(your hook starts here)
Ten months have passed since her boyfriend, Michael Garrison, was murdered during an armed robbery. Unable to get past her role in the sequence of events that led to his death, Jen continues to be haunted by guilt and regret. (stop) And so, more than anything, she longs for the chance to see Michael one last time.

(start) Jen’s hopeful enthusiasm quickly fades when, just days after her arrival at the park, Jen experiences ethereal visions of a young bride. At first, she fears her tenuous grip on sanity is slipping again. Soon she’s wishing it were only that easy.

No mere hallucination, Lydia McKinley, the long-deceased daughter of the original park owner, invades Jen’s waking and sleeping hours, compelling her to solve a decades-old crime. Knowing she’ll be headed back to Chesterton Memorial Hospital’s mental health ward if she can’t stop the onslaught of the visions, Jen sets out to discover the truth. Her dilemma: how to solve the mystery without scaring off a new love interest and losing what’s left of her mind?(stop)

Focus on main elements. Why is Lydia picking Jen? Does the bf factor into the story beyond the fact he's dead and she's in mourning?

This is a pretty standard plot. I'd be looking for something that elevated it beyond what is run of the mill.


jamiehall said...

The first paragraph is blah.

The second paragraph is interesting and (mostly) well-organized.

The remaining material sounds good in places, but it has an unsteady rhythm and doesn't connect well to the interesting parts in paragraph #2.

Fix those concerns, and it could be a really good hook.

xiqay said...

You've got a character with a past--bad childhood and some role in her boyfriend's death during an armed robbery.

Then she takes a job at an amusement park and you've the ghost with an agenda story. So MC must solve the crime.

And then MC falls in love and wants to work on that relationship.

psychological paranormal mystery romance?

This would be too much crammed in to one story for me.

But I liked the main character. Her fear of slipping into mental illness and being sent back to the Chesterton Memorial Hospital seems to be crucial to me.

good luck.

Anonymous said...

The part I liked best was that she had a hand in the events leading up to the robbery. I'm not big on ghosts with an agenda. They're always too smart, guide the person just right etc...I think you'd have to have a different twist to it in order for me to pick it up.

Anonymous said...

Many, many thanks to Miss Snark and those who offered comments. I sincerely appreciate the insight and advice.

What an amazing gift you've given to us during this crazy busy holiday season, Miss Snark!

Best wishes to all for a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Author #416

Anonymous said...

YA mystery?