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Question: Which do you like best?
VERSION ONE is one POV.
VERSION TWO is two POVs, but with the reveal in the second part.
VERSION THREE is two POVs, but with the reveal at the beginning.

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Author Topic: LIES ON THE SEINE - MYSTERY  (Read 965 times)
MichelleG
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« on: October 14, 2017, 01:42:44 PM »

Please be patient. There are three versions here. I just want to know which one I should put my efforts into. I know one should stick to one POV, but then it really doesn’t tell the story.



VERSION ONE
Sue Smith is an American housewife living the life in Paris.  To her friends and husband she’s a stay at home mother of two and a talented, if not truly committed, culinary student. To her employer she’s an undercover operative whose position as a wealthy international traveler makes her the perfect person to keep track of a black market arms dealer.

It seems like an accident when Sue’s car is run off the road until gun-wielding masked men grab her friend Analise from behind the steering wheel. When no ransom demand is made Sue is convinced Analise was mistaken for her and fears her cover may have been blown.   

The police are convinced Sue was targeted because of her husband’s security business, and while they are grateful for all the help he can give them, they warn her against amateur sleuthing. Her employer, more concerned with getting her out than saving Analise, cuts Sue off from all her usual sources in an attempt to force her to come in from the field.

Out of resources and sheltered from intel, Sue will have to drop the pretense of naive spouse. Confessing to the father of her children that she knows he runs weapons and squads of mercenaries in order to get his help could lead a very dangerous man to realize she is the traitor for whom he’s been searching.

Risking cover, mission and life, Sue is determined to find Analise and return her to her family, but what she discovers is hers is not the only marriage woven in lies.
   
At  80,000 words, LIES ALONG THE SEINE is a romance mystery.


VERSION TWO

To those who know him, Joe Smith operates a multinational and highly confidential security company. He’s married to the woman who crashed his party and stole his heart. He couldn’t imagine a better life if it wasn’t for the lies. Joe fears if his wife knew the truth she would leave him.

 To those who know her, Sue Smith is a stay at home mother of two and a talented, if not truly committed, culinary student. She is an American living just outside of Paris, with a husband who adores her, in a marriage most people only find in their dreams.  She couldn’t imagine a better life, if it wasn’t for the lies. Sue believes if her husband knew the truth he would kill her.

In-denial-bliss turns to terror for each of them when Sue’s car is run off the road and gun-wielding masked men grab her friend Analise from behind the steering wheel. The authorities are doing everything they can, but both Joe and Sue are certain they are looking in the wrong direction. 

Joe knows what he should do.  As The Facilitator, a black market arms deal negotiator and mercenary recruiter, he should assemble the right team to track down the abductors who meant to take his wife, put an end to them forever and rescue Analise. However, saving her means risking everything Joe holds dear.

Sue turns to the only people she can trust, her employers. Unfortunately her CIA handler believes her cover has been blown. He tells her to consider Analise collateral damage and cuts her off from her usual resources. In order to get Joe’s help Sue may have to drop the pretense of naive spouse, but confessing to the father of her children that she knows he runs weapons and mercenaries could lead a very dangerous man to realize his wife is the traitor for whom he’s been searching.

While working together, and behind each other’s backs, Joe and Sue will discover theirs is not the only marriage entangled in a web of lies.

At  80,000 words, LIES ALONG THE SEINE, is a twisted romance suspense novel.       
           
VERSION THREE   

To his family and friends, Joe Smith is an adoring husband and loving father who operates a multinational corporation providing highly confidential security related services. To the world of counterintelligence, he’s The Facilitator and indirectly responsible for the death of thousands.  His greatest fear isn’t ending up dead over some venture gone wrong, or even prison, it is seeing the look of horror on his wife’s face if she ever learns the truth. 

Sue  Smith is an American housewife living just outside of Paris, France.  To her friends and family, she’s the mother of two and a talented, if not fully committed, culinary student. To her employer she’s an undercover operative keeping track of a dangerous man. Her assignment was to gather intel.  It was her decision to marry The Facilitator.  Sue believes if her husband knew the truth he would kill her.

Blissful denial turns to terror for each of them when Sue’s car is run off the road and gun-wielding masked men grab her friend Analise from behind the steering wheel. The authorities are doing everything they can, but both Joe and Sue are certain they are looking in all the wrong directions. 

Joe believes enemies made by his illegitimate enterprise are invovled.  Joe knows he should assemble the right team to track down the abductors who meant to take his wife, put an end to them forever and rescue Analise. However, saving her means risking everything Joe holds dear.


 Sue fears someone from her past may be set on revenge, but her boss at the CIA tells her to consider Analise collateral damage and cut off her usual resources. To get Joe’s help, Sue may have to drop the pretense of naive spouse. Unfortunately, confessing to the father of her children that she knows he runs weapons and mercenaries could lead a very dangerous man to realize his wife is the traitor for whom he’s been searching.

While working together, and behind each other’s backs, Joe and Sue will discover theirs in not the only marriage entangled in a web of lies.

At 82,000 words, LIES ON THE SEINE is a mystery with a twisted romance.


POLL NUMBER 2  - Should I call this
a)    romance suspense (yes, that is a Harlequin category)
b)   mystery with a twisted romance.

         

 





« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 03:43:28 AM by MichelleG » Logged

"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
mafiaking1936
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2017, 08:24:46 AM »

This is an example of a neat premise that doesn't lend itself well to the "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!" formula of query letters. However, to keep things as clear as possible I would say the first version, only because this character has more knowledge of the plot- she knows what her husband really does, but he doesn't know what she really does. Keeping secrets and revealing them throughout the query could irritate agents, since it's such a short pitch anyway. Best to just lay it out right away. In fact, you might state that the husband is a gun runner in the first paragraph:

Quote
To her friends she’s a stay at home mother and a talented, if not truly committed, culinary student. To the CIA she’s an undercover operative whose position as a wealthy international traveler makes her the perfect person to keep track of a black market arms dealer-- her husband.

Or something to that effect. No idea about the genre since I don't really read those types of books. An interesting idea! But be careful of being considered too similar to True Lies or Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 08:28:08 AM by mafiaking1936 » Logged
mgmystery
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 08:20:25 AM »

I really like version 2, but it only works if this is multi POV. Sorry, but I have no idea about the technicalities of the genre. I'm thinking more on the lines of suspense. FWIW, This is one I'd love to read!

To those who know him, Joe Smith operates a multinational and highly confidential security company. He’s married to the woman who crashed his party and stole his heart. He couldn’t imagine a better life if it wasn’t for the lies. Joe fears if his wife knew the truth she would leave him.

 To those who know her, Sue Smith is a stay at home mother of two and a talented, if not truly committed, culinary student. She is an American living just outside of Paris, with a husband who adores her, in a marriage most people only find in their dreams.  She couldn’t imagine a better life, if it wasn’t for the lies. Sue believes if her husband knew the truth he would kill her.

In-denial-bliss turns to terror for each of them when Sue’s car is run off the road and gun-wielding masked men grab her friend Analise from behind the steering wheel. The authorities are doing everything they can, but both Joe and Sue are certain they are looking in the wrong direction. 

Joe knows what he should do.  As The Facilitator, a black market arms deal negotiator and mercenary recruiter, he should assemble the right team to track down the abductors who meant to take his wife, put an end to them forever and rescue Analise. However, saving her will end his marriage. means risking everything Joe holds dear.

Sue turns to the only people she can trust, her employers. Unfortunately her CIA handler believes her cover has been blown. He tells her to consider Analise collateral damage and cuts her off from her usual resources. In order to get Joe’s help Sue may have to drop the pretense of naive spouse, but confessing to the father of her children that she knows he runs weapons and mercenaries could lead a very dangerous man to realize his wife is the traitor for whom he’s been searching.

While working together, and behind each other’s backs, Joe and Sue will discover theirs is not the only marriage entangled in a web of lies. (I don't think this line adds anything, but a teaser about which is right about the criminal would be great. Extra points if it's neither of them  Grin)
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newtothis22
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2017, 07:12:00 PM »

I like version two but I prefer the last sentence from one.

Risking cover, mission and life, Sue is determined to find Analise and return her to her family, but what she discovers is hers is not the only marriage woven in lies.
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MichelleG
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 10:15:37 PM »

I really like that line too.
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"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
MKWrites_318
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 04:09:07 PM »

I liked Version 3.
                
VERSION THREE   

To his family and friends, Joe Smith is an adoring husband and loving father who operates a multinational corporation providing highly confidential security related services. To the world of counterintelligence, he’s The Facilitator and indirectly responsible for the death of thousands (I would like more insight into The Facilitator nickname. Does is fit his job description? Is it a name he's proud of/knows about or just CIA code?).  His greatest fear isn’t ending up dead over some venture gone wrong, or even prison, it is seeing the look of horror on his wife’s face if she ever learns the truth. 

Sue  Smith is an American housewife living just outside of in Paris, France.  To her friends and family, she’s the mother of two and a talented, if not fully committed, culinary student.  To her employer she’s an undercover operative keeping track of a dangerous man. Her assignment was to gather intel.  It was her decision to marry The Facilitator. (I think I'd combine those two sentences. Ex.: "Her assignment was only to gather intel, but she fall in love with The Facilitator." Sue believes if her husband knew the truth he would kill her. (I'd alter this to up the energy. Ex.: "if her husband learns the truth he will kill her.")

Blissful denial turns to terror for each of them when Sue’s car is run off the road and gun-wielding masked men grab (Don't like the word grab. Maybe abduct? That's just preference though.) her friend Analise from behind the steering wheel. The authorities are doing everything they can, but both Joe and Sue are certain they are looking in all the wrong directions. 

Joe believes enemies made by his illegitimate enterprise are invovled.  Joe knows he should assemble the right team to track down the abductors who meant to take his wife, put an end to them forever and rescue Analise. However, saving her means risking everything Joe holds dear.


 Sue fears someone from her past may be set on revenge, but her boss at the CIA tells her to consider Analise collateral damage and cut off her usual resources. To get Joe’s help, Sue may have to drop the pretense of naive spouse. Unfortunately, confessing to the father of her children that she knows he runs weapons and mercenaries could lead a very dangerous man to realize his wife is the traitor for whom he’s been searching.
(I'd shorten the last two paragraphs and put them together. Ex.: "Joe can assemble a team to track down the abductors and rescue Analise, but saving her might risk everything he holds dear. Sue needs Joe's help, but confessing to the father of her children that she knows he runs weapons and mercenaries could lead him to realize she is the traitor he's been searching for."

While working together, and behind each other’s backs, Joe and Sue will discover theirs in not the only marriage entangled in a web of lies. (I prefer the ending sentence of Version 1 to this.)

At 82,000 words, LIES ON THE SEINE is a mystery with a twisted romance.


POLL NUMBER 2  - Should I call this
a)    romance suspense (yes, that is a Harlequin category)
b)   mystery with a twisted romance.



I think "romance suspense." But it's not my genre, so you should probably rely on other opinions there.

I think it might read better/pull us in more if it had more of your voice in it, but, BUT, I think having two strong POV in the query could be a real problem. If you choose one over the other, (Sue would be my pick) definitely try to add more of your style to it.
I know you were having issues with voice in general. I did see some advice from a writer about this. She said she wrote her query in the voice of her novel and then went through and adjusted it to a query format.
Here's the link: http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/2010/02/writing-query-letter-with-voice.html

There's also this from the Query Shark about multiple POV in a query: http://queryshark.blogspot.com/2011/03/199-ftw.html
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MichelleG
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 07:26:29 PM »

Going to go check out the blog.

I write in 3rd person past tense, so it kind of is my voice.kind of my voice. 

You are right, I shouldn't be so iffy - believe he might - kind of wishy washy. 

Whether or not she actually loves him is a ? I want the reader to continually ask themselves. Its funny, I thought it was a 'questionable' love story - two friends read it and wanted to discuss my romance novel - ummm.
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"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 03:31:52 PM »

I love the idea of making her feelings for him a guessing game for the reader!

I didn't realize my sci-fi was basically dystopian until a friend called it that, so I know the feeling. lol
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 01:23:43 AM »

This is a tough one for me because one and two are really strong queries. If I had to pick, it would be one with only a minor change. The last sentence of the first paragraph.
"To her employer she’s an undercover CIA operative whose position as a wealthy international traveler makes her the perfect person to keep track of her husband, a black market arms dealer.

Very interesting story and well written queries.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 01:26:33 AM by Kjk » Logged
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