Book Jacket

 

rank 4562
word count 56853
date submitted 05.10.2009
date updated 03.02.2011
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Crime
classification: moderate
complete

Victoria's Deepest Secret

Missy Shirley

How much is too much to lose?

 

She's already lost her son and her evil husband wasn't worth keeping. How much will Rory Jordyn have to give up before she can walk away from this case? If her client goes free, justice suffers. But to make sure her client goes to prison, she risks disbarrment. What's a girl to do?

 
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tags

drama, fiction, law, mystery

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49 comments

 

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Burgio wrote 1410 days ago

VICTORIA’S DEEPEST SECRET
This is a book with a clever title. I like stories that feature strong women and Rory certainly falls into that category. Makes this a good read. I’m adding it to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

Barry Wenlock wrote 1428 days ago

Good writing -- but especially the dialogue which was very tight and convincing.
Backed with pleasure, Barry
Little Krisna and the Bihar Boys

Donna Stafford-Munro wrote 1498 days ago

Hi Missy,
I noticed you write in 1st person and I wanted to see how you tackled it. My novel 'Finding Tarzan' is also 1st person and it's my first attempt away from multiple viewpoints.
'Victoria's Deepest Secret' starts with a great paragraph that immediately creates a liking for the protagonist.
I suggest breaking up your paragraphs more, in the first chapter particularly. Try where the dialogue starts or new action begins. It will make it easier to read.
A bit of editing is needed (isn't it always) but so far (of what I've read) the story is interesting and I enjoyed your style and voice.
Good luck.
Donna
'Finding Tarzan'

JLPenn wrote 1534 days ago

Excellent, catchy title! Good pitch.

meemers wrote 1560 days ago

Great pitch, drew me in and kept me. Backed

sue sohn
fate's chastening

Francis Albert McGrath wrote 1563 days ago

Yes, 'tis good. I would omit first two paragraphs and commence with "Having won the biggest case in the firm's history..." (Bit of a mouthful the full name of the firm, but you can feed that info in later). The paragraph beginning "She was standing..." needs to be subdivided into smaller units. Its size alone will discourage many readers.
There is no indication where the action is happening. Might be an idea to hint at the locale e.g., by saying "Bain, Picard and Ackley, the firm that ... to the citizens of [city].." The dialogue is very credible and real.
Not quite clear how the title ties in with the first chapter.
But I like it. Shelved.
Frank

B Michaels wrote 1576 days ago

Great short and long pitch - great great opening chapter. Great pace, great dialogue - easy to be swept away with this (the legal side stroke a cord with me). Backed without hesitation.
B Michaels - Lock in the Box

Natasha Owens wrote 1576 days ago

Missy, I like your pitch...it drew me to read and back your story. Your writing is clean and clear and it kept me reading.

Natasha (Water Under the Bridge...rises)

Emoo wrote 1579 days ago

Missy,

I envy you. I really do.

I don't know how you can have the time to take care of 6 (or perhaps now 7) children AND also turn out such a book. This is real chick-lit ! Can I say that ? Or will you be offended ?

But it is really good. Your writing reflects the things that only girls would know or notice. Like the way we all reach for ice-cream of choco after a hard day.

Will return the backing with pleasure.

Best of luck with it and your next baby.

Hsiau Hsia Moo

(The Monarch Butterfly)

John Harold McCoy wrote 1583 days ago

Hi Missy. Good pitch - a little short but to the point. Not my usual genre but still... read a few chapters then skipped in a ways. Very nice. Writing is clean, clear and the story is well presented. Good flow nothing I can see to crit. Well worth backing. On my shelf and best of luck with it.

John Harold McCoy - Bramwell Valley

MickR wrote 1586 days ago

Missy Shirley,
Victoria's Deepest Secret may be how good this book is. If it weren't a secret it would surely be ranked much higher. Keep plugging at it, and the word will get out.
MickR - The Nightcrawler

T.L Tyson wrote 1588 days ago

First and foremost you have totally drawn me in with just the opening chapter and I want to read on.
What I might suggest is the opening. It is too long, too running over here and there. To be honest, if you got to the courtroom quicker this chapter would really fly. I found the opening just too darn long.
But once you get to the court room you had me. Maybe cut out some of the movement. The walking down the hall, driving, through the metal detectors. THis is just a suggestion.
The opening chapter is good but I think you want to get to the courthouse quicker.
Backed
T.L Tyson-Seeking Eleanor

Onthedottedline wrote 1606 days ago

I often wondered how lawyers defend clients they know are guilty, and this book tells me, albeit with tongue in cheek. Your characters are all larger than life, and you write in a most easy, engaging style. This is a cut above most chick lit books because, beneath the banal prattle, there are layers of more serious meaning, and I think you readers will really apprciate that. Backed with pleasure. Best wishes. Tony.

happypetronella wrote 1607 days ago

Well, well, what can I say but I couldn't stop reading through to the end - great story. Shelved.

Clare Hill wrote 1621 days ago

Great title, and I love your main character.
'...find and date his own harem I'm not blind.' Could do with either a full stop or comma after harem.
Backed.

andyroo wrote 1622 days ago

The narrative could be condensed a little, but overall, the writing is tight, the dialogue even more so. Flits through with professional ease, and delivers the plot with timely application. Feels like a published book.

Andrew

kylrsmom wrote 1625 days ago

I re-wrote the first cahpter encounter between Nancy and Rory. mind taking a look and letting me know what you think?

Missy

I think the opening encounter between Rory and Nancy would have more impact if you were to depict it via dialogue.....You could then conjure facial expressions, body lanuguage, craft an atmosphere etc.....

ie.
Natalie wore a frown on consternation, this was no social call.
'So' I said, with a tentative sigh, 'What can I do for you Nat?' I hedged
There was a charged silence.
Natalie slid into the chair beside my desk, she tapped a finger thoughtfully on her cheek.
'I've got a tough one, infact, you might think it out of your league' she announced., one eyebrow raised.
I swallowed a lump of annoyance. Her words echoed in my head. She stared at me with unblinking eyes. Concious of the fact it was my turn to speak, I found my voice...
'Excuse me' I managed....'Out of my league' I intoned, sharply.

D'you know what I mean......It's a pivotal encounter, and your opener....I just think, that as good as it is, it could be mucho mucho better.......

Would like to know what you think.....? Great

klouholmes wrote 1627 days ago

Hi Missy, A strong voice that gives confidence in the protagonist's identity. The parallel of the babies being murdered and the mind-boggling possibilities are interesting reading on sensational cases. I liked the dialogue and the character portrayals.
Wondered that she could graduate from law school at age 21? And that a lawyer of her level would want to only defend criminal cases as innocent?
The writing has good pace and transition from action to storytelling. Very readable. Shelved Katherine


Francis Albert McGrath wrote 1627 days ago

You have a BRILLIANT title (along the lines of "Fairytale of New York") - it reads like a book that's already been published. The writing is stylish, confident, polished. I was sucked straight in. I'm not to sure whether the first two paras add anything. I would delete them - a bit of a distraction. Your narrator has a likeable dry irony ("Wow. She wasn't feeling the love. Oh, well. Neither was I.") Well done.
Frank

Ayrich wrote 1628 days ago

I love teh end of chapter one. Ben and Jerrys lends some humanity to a very hardend lawyer. I suspect a great deal more will be added as we go along. A dispicable crime and an unlikely client. I think hes not guilty, but we'll see.
After I put you on my shelf.

DMC wrote 1635 days ago

After reader your strong opening chapter I have to agree with the praise below and I’ve now added this book to my ‘read all’ list for when I get back to reading for pleasure (in 1 month, I hope).
Shelved with my best wishes
David
Green Ore

kylrsmom wrote 1635 days ago

Thank you so much. I appreciate the support.

I like this. I like this quite a bit. It's your 'voice', really. It's confident, yet very casual. I feel as if I'm listening to a friend. I can 'hear' you. To my mind, that is very, very good.

If I was in a shop or a library right now, I'd be taking this up to the clerk.

By my criteria, that earns you my shelf, with my compliments.

Shoshanna Einfeld
A True Faerie Story

kylrsmom wrote 1635 days ago

Thank you so much. That was the nicest, absolute best comment I have ever received. You are a living doll.

Kyrls, this is without a doubt the best book I have read on this site since I joined last year, and the questioning of Thia when she was on the witness stand was as good if not better than any thing I have seen on TV or the big screen, if this don't get published then HC is reading in brail, well done, well done....Alan

AEWilson wrote 1635 days ago

Kyrls, this is without a doubt the best book I have read on this site since I joined last year, and the questioning of Thia when she was on the witness stand was as good if not better than any thing I have seen on TV or the big screen, if this don't get published then HC is reading in brail, well done, well done....Alan

mikegilli wrote 1642 days ago

Congrats on your fascinating book.
Great characters, interesting story,.....,suspense.
Wishing you lots of luck with it..
.shelved....Mikey

mikegilli wrote 1642 days ago

Congrats on your fascinating book.
Great characters, interesting story,.....,suspense.
Wishing you lots of luck with it..
.shelved....Mikey

mikegilli wrote 1642 days ago

Congrats on your fascinating book.
Great characters, ionterseting story,,suspense.
Wishiong you lots opf luck with it...shelved....Mikey

Phil Rowan wrote 1643 days ago

I liked your pitch for Victoria's Deepest Secret, Shirley. It drew me in - and your writing delivers: it's first rate. I particularly like the way you use the first person (OK - it's my first choice too!) because I think it immediately draws us in and we want to carry on to see what happens 'Wow. She wasn't feeling the love. Oh, well. Neither was I' This is one enticingly written story that I'm really pleased to back.

You gave me some encouraging comments on Weimar Vibes and I'm hoping that, if you feel it warrants it, you might be able to give it a short spin on your self - it's getting v competitive in this last week on the ED!

Best wishes - Phil Rowan

Freddie Omm wrote 1644 days ago

short pitch intriguing – long pitch could do with work... too many questions, perhaps?

chick lit/crime combo is interesting - first person narrative voice good – opening sentence punchy and hooks the reader .

(nitpick: not an easy font choice for on-screen reading – better with a serif font) .

would agree with others who suggest breaking up into smaller paras, inserting more dialogue etc., to up the pace in places but overall this is strong, confident narrative with a central character who will appeal to your readership and a storyline with more depth than is always the case with the chick lit genre .

i’m putting this on my shelf and wish you luck with it .

freddie
("honour")

Simon Swift wrote 1652 days ago

This is really rather good! Sell it more with a better and longer pitch! I am gonna back it, cos it oughtta be higher! Good luck!
Simon (BLACK SHADOWS)

Bob Steele wrote 1653 days ago

Victoria's Deepest Secret has a rather thin pitch [what kind of journey is this story going to take me on? What are the milestones? Who are the characters?]. Your MC certainly seems to have a wry sese of humour, though, despite what'shappening around her. I liked the way you developed the relationships between Rory, Krista and Jack. Combined with the fast pace of the narrative this made for an enjoyable read that I'm happy to back
However, I do suggest you need quite a bit more dialogue to break up the text and add more immediacy for the reader and make it even better.

Andrew W. wrote 1654 days ago

Victoria's Deepest Secret

Hi Missy,

You have a great main character here with a very strong and individual voice. You plunge us straight into her stream of consciousness and her style of talking, the cadence, is cleverly evoked by the rhythm in the narrative. It is a warm, intelligent voice, one I seemed to be listening to as much as reading. Strong writing. The set-up and the back story are skillfully down. There were dense paragraphs of description where it might have been better to try and do something with dialogue but this is easily fixed in the next draft. You have a light-footed almost glib style (well she does, her voice is like that) which makes her descriptions of the everyday and what is happening to her fresh and interesting. There is also quite effective foreshadowing here, never detracting from her warm-hearted babble, but upping the intrigue nicely. Easy one to back, well done. If you have the time to look at my book that would be great.

Best wishes and good luck
Andrew W.
(Sanctuary's Loss)

kylrsmom wrote 1654 days ago

I have always thought about rewriting that. Maybe I will try it today.

Missy

I think the opening encounter between Rory and Nancy would have more impact if you were to depict it via dialogue.....You could then conjure facial expressions, body lanuguage, craft an atmosphere etc.....

ie.
Natalie wore a frown on consternation, this was no social call.
'So' I said, with a tentative sigh, 'What can I do for you Nat?' I hedged
There was a charged silence.
Natalie slid into the chair beside my desk, she tapped a finger thoughtfully on her cheek.
'I've got a tough one, infact, you might think it out of your league' she announced., one eyebrow raised.
I swallowed a lump of annoyance. Her words echoed in my head. She stared at me with unblinking eyes. Concious of the fact it was my turn to speak, I found my voice...
'Excuse me' I managed....'Out of my league' I intoned, sharply.

D'you know what I mean......It's a pivotal encounter, and your opener....I just think, that as good as it is, it could be mucho mucho better.......

Would like to know what you think.....? Great

paxie wrote 1654 days ago

Missy

I think the opening encounter between Rory and Nancy would have more impact if you were to depict it via dialogue.....You could then conjure facial expressions, body lanuguage, craft an atmosphere etc.....

ie.
Natalie wore a frown on consternation, this was no social call.
'So' I said, with a tentative sigh, 'What can I do for you Nat?' I hedged
There was a charged silence.
Natalie slid into the chair beside my desk, she tapped a finger thoughtfully on her cheek.
'I've got a tough one, infact, you might think it out of your league' she announced., one eyebrow raised.
I swallowed a lump of annoyance. Her words echoed in my head. She stared at me with unblinking eyes. Concious of the fact it was my turn to speak, I found my voice...
'Excuse me' I managed....'Out of my league' I intoned, sharply.

D'you know what I mean......It's a pivotal encounter, and your opener....I just think, that as good as it is, it could be mucho mucho better.......

Would like to know what you think.....? Great

B. J. Winters wrote 1655 days ago

I liked the first chapter. The voice of the main character is very approachable and the style easy to read. The last line is great -- definitely felt some empathy there.

What I did notice though is that you tend to use the same words repetitively -- case (in the early paragraphs), driveway (only a few words apart) -- and I think if you read the chapter backwards (one paragraph at a time) this would really be noticable to you. I have the same technique when I'm writing, I find the "perfect word" and only when I edit without looking for plot, but really focusing on the sentence structure, do I see just how repetitive I actually was.

I read on to the second chapter. Same strong pluses around characterization and forshadowing. The ken/barbie line was cute. I'm looking forward to reading more soon.

TJONES wrote 1658 days ago

I read the fist couple of chapters and not sure how I feel about the character. But you drew me in with the first line. Good luck with this project.

Freeman wrote 1658 days ago

Well your opening made me laugh always a good start. I must say that I did not like the aspect of your character that she helped the guilty go free. Although I know this goes on all the time, I hate smart lawyers who find loopholes. And from that viewpoint I was hoping she would fail this case. ‘satiny, jet black hair that shined like satin’ ? chapter 2 You use OK and then okay. ‘He was blond[e]-haired’
Okay by the end of the second chapter I felt sorry for her, but I was surprised she was allowed to handle the case.


This book is well written and moves at a good pace. You have listed it as chic-lit. I have read lots of chic-lit here and your book does feel like it. You should take that as a compliment, since I think it appeals to both sexes. Despite not liking your character, I do think you have done a great job in bringing her to life. I will back your book with pleasure.

Tony

Urania wrote 1658 days ago

Hi Missy, you have a likable MC here and a nice, chatty style of writing. Just up the chick lit street which now needs to open its doors and cross over into other genres. So the thriller angle is great too. I think you might just shorten a few of those very long paragraphs. Otherwise, shelved, no problem

Binky Myers wrote 1659 days ago

Hello Missy.
I read to Ch 5.
Double Infanticide, a tragic murder that seems to replay on a loop for Rory Jordyn.
Brutal, ugly, fast, the plot couldn’t be grittier. RJ is facing a truly harrowing dilemma.
Why then am I drawn by the humour in this narrative?
In between alarming detail of Abbey`s appalling murder, there are snippets of hilarity and your/ RJ`s caustic wit. Paraphrase...after a day like yours you need the hard stuff...she reached for the Ben & Jerry’s.
Really quirky, and a strangely compelling read. Loved it, I wish you well.
Dawn : ARK

The Bevster wrote 1659 days ago

HI Missy,

Your fab pitch and great cover drew mw to this...glad I found it

This is gripping stuff but fun too...love the line at the end of chapter one, works just as well as any hook ;o)

Rory is a good MC and finds her self in a bit of a predicament - she's damned if she does and she's damned if she doesn't...


On my shelf ;o)

:Love Bev x

Love Overboard & Betrayal

tojo wrote 1660 days ago

Although not my usual kind of book I like to read,. I am very glad I did, The MC Rory is a great character and I found myself reading up to chapter seven, well engrossed into the story. on my shelf with pleasure.

soutexmex wrote 1660 days ago

For once I actually like the pitches. You are one of the few books who got the pitches right. I read the first couple of chapters and nothing I saw made me doubt your writing abilities.

What could you improve? I think having LONG paragraphs works against you. Why? It slows down your pacing, makes it read like a textbook, which is the kiss of death. It's just simple editing so I know yo can do it. I write in the same genre so I use this technique myself.

Good stuff here. BACKED!

Look forward to your comments on my book when you get a chance. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau File

TheLoriC wrote 1660 days ago

Fun, offbeat, and certainly far from boring! Shelved with confidence!

L. Anne Carrington, "The Cruiserweight"

Steve Ward wrote 1660 days ago

HI Missy, quirky, funny and excellent writing. I love this tale. Rory does a lot of introspection with some really funny lines in her very serious business (Ok took me down the whole damn wall) a great combination for an entertaining novel. Well done. With my editor's eye, I didnt see much: Is ebter a legal term or typo: . . .ebter my appearance enter? Also you spelled OK both ways OK and Okay, Okay is the standard for novels. This is a fun read, good luck with your book.
Steve Ward
Test Pilot's Daughter: Revenge

Lorelli wrote 1661 days ago

Hi Missy

This is great - you're narrative voice is fresh and speaks directly to the reader - i found it immediately engaging. Great start with the lemon/lemonade reference - fab!

Then Rory shows the reader more about her life and how she's got to the place shes at. Rory is a likable mc, and the world she lives in is easy to relate to. You use some great references to ground the setting in reality and also to comic effect - Ben & Jerrys, not feeling the love, king-couch potatoe - all great.

This is exactly the type of thing i'd buy.

Shelved :-)

Best wishes
Lorelli (The Man Whisperer)

Kim Jewell wrote 1661 days ago

Hi Missy!

I love the tone that you put into your writing style - very conversational. Makes this an easy and fun read! The premise is spot on for chick-lit, and I think you'll do very well with the audience you are targeting. Great job - on my shelf!

Kim
Invisible Justice

beegirl wrote 1661 days ago

Your style is wonderful. Fresh and easy but telling a strong complex story. Jodi Picoult better watch out!!! I think that this is more than the normal chick lit. There are some great techique critics on authonomy--I am just a reader giving a reader reaction--and I like this.
Barbara
The Sea Pillow

Krista Darrach wrote 1661 days ago

Victoria's Deepest Secret---
Missy-
Well, your first paragraph hooked me -
And the 'best friend' named Krista was even better! I love that character btw! Everyone needs a friend like her. *grin*
The voice is great and I'm out of time -- I've tossed it on my shelf and I'll be back!
~Krista
-- Riley's Gift

R.A. Battles wrote 1661 days ago

Missy,

There must be something in the water this month because good, new books just keep on coming.

In a few words, your short and full chapters say an awful lot.

I could find no reason not to immediately place this on my shelf. I LOVE your title!

Rodney

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