Thursday, October 11, 2018

So Tell Me, Rose Buds...What Do You Think? by Margo Hoornstra

Hi There Fellow Rose...Buds and Important Others,

With a new title coming out the end of this month, October 29 to be exact, it's promo time for me. As part of my getting the word out plan, and at Jannine's suggestion, I've secured a spot at Just Romantic Suspense, November 7-8. This is what I'm sending in. Tell me what you think.

"Nothing is working for me anymore. I quit."

Flouncing into the living room from my home office down the hall, I plopped on the couch, arms crossed over my chest in true body language style, to protect myself and shut down any argument.

Across the room in his favorite recliner, my husband glanced up. "You know you don't mean that."

Obviously, he hadn't received the body language interpretation memo.

"This time I do." I held myself tighter.

He didn't seem to notice. "Really?"

"Yes. Really."

"Okay, I'll bite. Why?"

"Nothing's working." I hate when I have to repeat myself with him. "My contemporary romance series about women millionaires is going nowhere. I'm not excited about it."

For the next few moments he sat there, quietly letting me fume. Then... "How about this? I see a woman in her apartment, alone and confused. She's just lost her job and doesn't know what to do next. Enter an undercover cop who needs to run surveillance on a resident across the street, and her place is the perfect vantage point."

That was all I needed to hear...

What had started as a short story about an old, abandoned colonial house was morphing into a full length romantic suspense novel with a cop turned bounty hunter hero and an unsuspecting and wrongly accused ex-con out on probation. My hero had a friend and colleague still on the force, who helped him out now and then with 'inside' information.

Fleshing that one out, eventually titled ON THE SURFACE I got the idea for a Brothers In Blue series, four heroes who met at the police academy to become life long friends.

From there, I went on to the suggested unemployed heroine and undercover cop and eventually, ON THE FORCE was born.

Here's a sneak peek.

Losing her job and reputation is nothing compared to the prospect of losing her life

Top notch CFO Sydney Raines is devastated when her coveted job working for a high profile conglomerate is yanked out from under her. Determined to restore a mangled reputation, she finds her second chance when the owner of an upscale art gallery hires her as his personal assistant.

Straight arrow cop Vince Miller is assigned to crack an international art theft ring. Working undercover, he never counted on meeting Sydney Raines, let alone falling in love with her.

Then an unexpected twist in the case reveals the identity of a serial killer, along with the shattering realization that Sydney could be the psycho’s next victim.


“It would have compromised the assignment.”

After she finished the sentence for him, he nodded. “Exactly. The feds were involved. I couldn’t do anything but keep quiet. Those guys don’t take kindly to having civilians interfere in their operations.” 

“Interfere? Really?” Her tone deepened to one of disbelief. “And after the feds left the case?”

He took a moment to swallow. “We…you and I…never seemed to have the time.”

“That is so lame, Vince. In all the alone time we did spend together the past couple of weeks.” A fast breath huffed out of her. “You couldn’t take five minutes?”

“Five minutes wasn’t going to cut it. We’ve been at this a lot longer right now, and nothing’s been resolved.”

“You couldn’t even try?” Tears moved up to tinge her voice. Even as she clamped her mouth shut, her chin continued to tremble.

“It’s not that I didn’t want to. Didn’t think about it a lot.” He lifted an arm toward her then, thinking better of it, let it drop. “You were always so busy with your new job.”

“Seriously? You not being able to tell me the truth was my fault?”

“No. Of course not. I’m not saying that at all.” Pressing his lips tight, he again broke eye contact. “It’s no one’s fault you had responsibilities. Out of town business. The reception Curan had you put on.”

“You could have been honest with me. Not used me the way you did.”

“I never used you.” He pulled in a breath as he looked up at her. “It was my job, Sydney. I was just doing my job as I’d been instructed.”

“Certainly you were. You’re not a magazine reporter, you’re a cop. One who was working undercover to bring a man to justice who, by your own admission, never did anything wrong in the first place.” With both hands at her sides, she drew them into fists she relaxed, then clenched tight again.

Vince lifted his chin, half expecting her to clock him with a well‑aimed right hook. “That’s not exactly how it is.”

ON THE FORCE is Book 2 in the Brothers In Blue series.

It joins ON THE SURFACE Brothers In Blue Book 1, which will be my Reader's Choice giveaway. Both books are published through THE WILD ROSE PRESS

So what do you think? How'd I do? Too much? Too little? Or just about right?

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the stories I write, please visit my WEBSITE


Jannine Gallant said...

You need to lead with, "Have you ever wondered how a book is born? Well, this was my experience." Or something like that. People will think the intro is an excerpt from the book when they start reading. Otherwise, it's very entertaining!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Yay you on your release! So I'm guessing you're asking about the intro, the blurb, and the excerpt. (As well as how they 'fit.' Here goes. I thought the intro was an excerpt at first...then I realized it was about you...considering quitting writing. You might want to clear up that confusion. And, I don't know...since your excerpt should take center stage...maybe make your 'author intro' more expository...a paragraph about your amazing husband who entices you back to the keyboard with a story concept.

The blurb. Is Sidney someone Vince used to know? Could that concept be slipped in the blurb...then the excerpt works better.

The excerpt. A good one, no doubt...but one which might be in a contemporary novel. Do you have anything more grab your target audience?

All off the top of my head. Love your story concept!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Jannine makes a good point. And congratulations!

Alison Henderson said...

I love hearing about the evolution of an idea, and I bet others will, too!

Margo Hoornstra said...

As always, thanks, Jannine for the fresh eyes input. So noted.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Rolynn. I knew I could count on you. Thank you so much for the additional insight. I'll work to make my blog entry to Just Romantic Suspense more understandable.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Brenda. Long time coming and all that.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Alison. Here's hoping you're right.

Diane Burton said...

Great evolution of the story. Congrats on the new release.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks so much, Diane. And, thanks to my Rose Buds here, I have the revised blog post ready to go.

Andrea Downing said...

I'm with Jannine and Rolynn--I thought the intro was part of the excerpt at first. Now I'm just wondering if your husband has any ideas for western romance....

Margo Hoornstra said...

Turns out I’m with them too, Andi. In fact i’ve already made the suggested changes. Hmmm. Western romance? I’ll ask him ;-)

Leah St. James said...

Congratulations, Margo! I had the same sense in the beginning (intro v. excerpt) and will look forward to reading your changes on the blog! (And very cool how your hubby gave you the seed for the story!) I also agree with Rolynn that it might be better to find a more suspenseful excerpt. Wishing you much success with the new book! I just read the first of your "Brothers" series and really loved it!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Oh, Leah, you loved it! That means the world to me. Thank you. And, yes, I cleaned up the intro and found a more suspenseful excerpt. Knew I could count on you guys.