A Spoonful of Sugar…A Pinch of Magic, 80,000 words, Women’s Fiction
Elizabeth Stevens is in a funk. Not only is it her thirty-fifth birthday, nor is it merely the one-year anniversary of being dumped by her ex-husband, it’s also the day she has to do the unthinkable. Elizabeth, co-owner of a Chicago bakery, has to bake the perfect wedding cake for her ex-husband. Yep, that’s right – and all because of one tiny little oversight. But, what Elizabeth doesn’t know yet, and is about to find out, is that she has Gypsy magic flowing through her veins. Unknowingly, she casts a spell that renders her ex-husband limp and unable to – ahem, perform – during his honeymoon. When she discovers the truth about the magic, she does what any red-blooded woman would do. She uses it.
Toss in one sexy cop (who she met while attempting to break into her own apartment), a loony grandmother (who repeatedly calls 911 with odd requests), a sister on the brink of insanity (issues…lots of issues), a gay male best friend who wants to sleep with her (just to test the waters), a beauty queen girlfriend slumming it (she’s thrown out all of her lipsticks) – not to mention a snake, a cat, and a mouse – Elizabeth’s life has gone more than a little kooky. Using her wits (what she has left), her magic (if she could just figure out exactly how it works), and her heart; Elizabeth tries to solve everyone’s problems while figuring out what she needs to be happy.
This is a terrible hook. It's got too many characters and not enough plot. I love it. Why? I don't know exactly, but there's something about "When she discovers the truth about the magic, she does what any red-blooded woman would do. She uses it." that makes me laugh.
I know this drives you crazy when I do this, but honestly, it's a subjective process and this is the best example of that we've seen recently.
Rachel Vater comments on this in her blog recently: lousy query letter/great pages.
The whole reason we're doing hooks here though is cause a LOT of agents aren't requesting pages or they're taking e-queries and you HAVE to be able to write a good hook (99.9% of the time) to get their interest. This one is that .01% exception.