Book Jacket

 

rank 944
word count 46559
date submitted 06.01.2011
date updated 11.02.2013
genres: Fiction, Romance, Popular Culture, ...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Moonstone Beach

Concetta Huffa

A romantic adventure in the Hollywood limelight. (Romantic Comedy)

 

Three twenty-something best friends move from Philadelphia to Los Angeles with great expectations for sun, adventure, and hitting the reset buttons in life.

Josie LaMaida is a hard-working assistant in the fashion industry, whose personal life was comfortably numb entwined in the company from hell, right up until the boss died in a shocking accident.
Cheri Cohen is a free spirit, brought up in a strict Jewish household, looking to spread her wings while sidestepping a slew of Mr. Wrongs.
Enrique Kessler, Cheri's cousin, is a good-looking college dropout, disenchanted with medical school, hoping to find his way into UCLA, and waiter his way back to school.

They say life happens when you’re making other plans. Well, the bonds of friendship take unexpected twists through the heart of life in the Hollywood scene, red carpets, movie sets, and gold diggers. They could never go home again and live their same old lives, knowing there was something else out there in life between outrageous and average.

 
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tags

beach, california, celebrity, club scene, comedy, fashion, film industry, friends, hollywood, jewish, los angeles, movie, night life, red carpet, roma...

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Maevesleibhin wrote 221 days ago

Moonstone Beach
Concetta,
I have read the first four chapters.
I found the first chapter fun and engaging, and I got hooked right away. However, the following three chapters seemed to go in a  different direction, gave up the hook which you had so craftily formulated in the first chapter, and slowed forward motion to  a crawl. Although there is a bit of good character development in these chapters, I am unclear about their relationship with the first chapter, and so I am not sure how much to invest in Enrique and Cheri. These chapters have some amusing descriptions and dialogue as well, although I think some of it is lost on me because I am not fluent in Jewish culinary restrictions (they can't have milk in their tea? I thought it was just about cheeseburgers.) But these moments don't hold up the interest for me enough to overcome the lack of forward motion plot wise. 
Jossie's decision to move across the country to California for work is clear. What is less clear is why she decided to drag along her friend and her cousin. The situation at Cheri's home seems annoying, but certainly nothing seems to have happened to merit suddenly running away. Enrique is a societal drop-out, but why did he hook on to Jossie? Maybe I missed something.
The road trip is very summarised, which may be inevitable, but I think it does more harm than good at the beginning of the book. I would rather you skip the description entirely, keep one or two scenes as narrative (rather than summary- I mean, go into the moment and have description and dialogue, rather than telling it from an after-the-fact perspective), or really go into it, in which case you have to decide this will be a book about a road trip, and not about Jossie's relationship with Silas. But if you do that, I think you need to remove the first chapter from the place it is at because it is misleading.
But I am not sure why you would do this. Your first chapter is really good, and makes a fab hook.  I gather what you are doing it  is making it  a kind of flash-foward, or prologue, and you are going back in time to the decisions that led Jossie to get involved with this man. You have definitely hooked me, and I am very interested in the aunt who drops a turd on his coffin. I want to learn what this bastard did to deserve such treatment from both of them. I want to see what happens on the car ride with the aunt after the funeral, and spend some time in the now before going on a flash back. And, when I go on a flash back, I don't expect it to start with hereto unrelated characters. It may be that Enrique and Cheri play pivotal roles later on, but I need to first care about them before I read about how they all decided to go on a road  trip and move to California. So I would want the flashback to start with Silas. Then, again if they become introduced and important, you can give me a bit of background.
These are, of course, my opinions. You should stick to your vision and your concept. However, if they are helpful and you decide to reorganise or  rewrite based on them, please let me know and I will re-read. You have a very amusing narrative style and I think that if you tighten the plot progression this would be a fun and engaging read.
Best of luck with it,
Maeve

Some comments as I read:

 
Very good first chapter. I like the sbonding  of the two women. Although there was a bit of summarizing, most of it was contained in dialogue and was nicely distributed among the narrative. You hooked me with the character development, and I definitely would like to read on.
2 I'm amused by Cheri's apartment, Barbara is entertaining, but unclear as to the temporal or plot relationship with ch 1
3 don't know enough about Jewish custom to get this. Not sure if the aunt is Jewish or the mother. Missing the plot from Chapter 1.
4  Seedy rental well described, but not much in the way of plot development.

Isabel Lopez wrote 428 days ago

MOONSTONE BEACH ~ CONNIE HUFFA

According to one study cited by CNN.com, "people with psychopathic tendencies are four times more likely to be found in senior management." Thus the story begins, with the protagonist (Josie) showering her better-dead boss's grave with a celebratory splash of champagne and some indecorous unspoken sentiments. Many of us can relate to Josie's feelings, making her a most sympathetic character.

The opening chapter takes place in a cemetery, which is piquantly described with all its dark imagery, reminiscent of a Poe-esque scene. One almost expects some jolting bloodcurdling event to take place. Instead, Josie is confronted by the deceased man's elderly auntie who, through well thought out dialogue, gives the reader added insight into his nefarious dealings. The fine details in the first chapter are masterful in evoking mental images in the reader. "The chills chattered her insides like trapped dragonflies." Brilliant.

What marred this near-perfect chapter for me was the digression into Ian's marriage proposal, which seemed out of place.

Chapters two and three give us a perfect insight into the characters of Cheri, Enrique, and Barbara, the latter the epitome of Jewish motherly wit. Here is where your gift for dialogue is most evident. May I suggest some transitional dialogue in the beginning of chapter two so that the dramatic change in scenery is less abrupt?

I thoroughly enjoyed the road trip in chapter four and your vivid descriptions of the scenery enroute.

In chapter five, Josie's new boss Pam eerily reminded me of a supervisor I had whom I christened "Cruella" in my book. Again the realism of the character speaks to the psychopathic nuances of supervisors who have crossed our paths and made our lives miserable. We can all relate on varying levels, which is what makes this story believable and eminently readable.

Best of luck!
Isabel

Seringapatam wrote 452 days ago

Not my read normally, but found myself deep into it. Well delivered and such a cracking tale with a good flow. to it. I can see this doing really well. Well done. High stars for me.

Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you? Many thanks. Sean

Truth One Note In wrote 469 days ago

Depth of feeling, there is a lot just in a few paragraphs. You make the reader feel what Josie is going through. Anger.
Your pictures are worded very well to show the reader the surroundings and to hear the silence of the cemetery, the hissing of the bubbles, and the cork popping. Good job!
The plot idea is good, but not completely my taste.
Just a thought, but maybe condense your pitch some. It goes on for a while and the reader only needs a touch of interest to read the book.
Fabo work.
Toni [Cavern of Time]

Andrea Taylor wrote 472 days ago

A refreshing look at death! More truthful than we'd like to admit. A class act, this. Beautifully written, eloquently described. Six stars.
Andrea

patio wrote 583 days ago

Wow, what a opening. Disturbing but brilliant

It is said, the opening of a book determine its sales. You have enough to get volume off the shelves. Find a publisher and start collect royalties. Its a shame Authonomy only give reviews otherwise they would have given you a book deal

max stars

Concettah wrote 674 days ago

I really like the opening - an original and unique beginning! I really like the way you show Josie's feelings and evoke the reader's sympathy for her situation, through showing rather than telling. Your writing is extremely polished and the imagery you employ is often unique. I read to the end of the first chapter, and despite this not being my genre, I wanted to read on.

This is shaping up to be a great read, and I don't normally read this kind of book. Six stars, and best of luck with this!

Emma, 'The Puppet Spell'



Emma,
Thanks! :) Glad you enjoyed the read, especially because I normally don't write this kind of book either. It was a great escape from the darker more intense genre I usually write. So I truly appreciate the validation. I will be sure to reciprocate shortly.
Connie
Moonstone Beach

ELAdams wrote 675 days ago

I really like the opening - an original and unique beginning! I really like the way you show Josie's feelings and evoke the reader's sympathy for her situation, through showing rather than telling. Your writing is extremely polished and the imagery you employ is often unique. I read to the end of the first chapter, and despite this not being my genre, I wanted to read on.

This is shaping up to be a great read, and I don't normally read this kind of book. Six stars, and best of luck with this!

Emma, 'The Puppet Spell'

Concettah wrote 791 days ago

MOONSTONE BEACH
This is a good idea for a story: a woman moving to Hollywood to reinvent herself. I like the way you begin this in a cemetery; makes for a unique way to introduce your main character. The conversation with the older woman across the grave is a great way to introduce back story. By the end of the first chapter, a reader has a great idea of who are these characters and want to follow them. I’m adding this to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?



Thanks for the read and your kind comment. This was very fun to write and an escape of sorts from my more sinister techno-thrillers.
I hope to find out 'Who Killed The President?' in the next couple of days :) Thak again.
Connie
Moonstone Beach

Concettah wrote 791 days ago

Connie,

I don't have time right now to do more than look at your first chapter, but I do have some general and specific comments that I hope will be helpful to you.

First, for some reason, I was picturing this scene taking place in the dark, after the funeral was done. You did such a good job with the cold, etc, I just added darkness to the mix, I guess - easily fixed! What I also found confusing was the fact the casket was in the grave, uncovered. Usually at the funeral, the casket is placed over the hole, and later, after everyone leaves, it's lowered into the grave, but the hole would then be filled in so nobody could fall into it. I'm sure any funeral home would be happy to answer questions about this sort of detail. Worrying about that, meant it was pulling my attention from the story.

One detail: You tell me Josie has trouble opening the bottle with her gloves on, but you don't tell me she took them off. Shortly, however, you talk about her hands freezing.

Last line of the chapter... you might want to identify the speaker. The woman, right?

Another "craft" issue is your paragraphing. It almost seemed like you were doing a hard return after every sentence. If this is a word-processing/formatting issue, ignore, but in general it's best to try for variety in paragraph lengths - some short, some long. White space is good, however.

Now, for the writing! You have an extremely strong narrative style. The emotion pours off the page, and you show me through Josie's actions and interior thoughts what her relationship was with Silas rather than telling me. With that level of story-telling skill, you should go far.

Ann - Absence of Grace




Thanks Ann, Yep, the paragraphs are the way that Authonomy reads in the word Doc. I've tried so many ways to rearrange the way things fall, but to no avail. I come from the old school, where a write had to calcualte how the paper pages began and ended - so this part of Authonomy is frustrating. :)

Thanks for the detailed advice.
About the funeral home - my uncle was a funeral director and I worked for him as a teenager :) It wasn't creepy, but more of a solemn honor for the family and the person. He had a saying I still love, 'it's not the dead ones we need to worry about in life.' So this was an interesting chapter to write as Josie is worried about the dead coming back. Frequently the open graves were left for a hour or so (especially during lunch breaks of the workers, or if there were multiple burials in one morning) after the funeral for the heavy vault covers to be installed over the caskets before the earth was poured on top. Typically this is sort of traumatic (the end) and isn't done in front of the family unless requested - or we might be burying more family members the same week. :) Silas' family probably would've helped shovel him in, I think.

Thanks for reading - I'll look over those spots you pointed out. :) I hope to read yours shortly.
Connie

Moonstone Beach

AMW wrote 793 days ago

Connie,

I don't have time right now to do more than look at your first chapter, but I do have some general and specific comments that I hope will be helpful to you.

First, for some reason, I was picturing this scene taking place in the dark, after the funeral was done. You did such a good job with the cold, etc, I just added darkness to the mix, I guess - easily fixed! What I also found confusing was the fact the casket was in the grave, uncovered. Usually at the funeral, the casket is placed over the hole, and later, after everyone leaves, it's lowered into the grave, but the hole would then be filled in so nobody could fall into it. I'm sure any funeral home would be happy to answer questions about this sort of detail. Worrying about that, meant it was pulling my attention from the story.

One detail: You tell me Josie has trouble opening the bottle with her gloves on, but you don't tell me she took them off. Shortly, however, you talk about her hands freezing.

Last line of the chapter... you might want to identify the speaker. The woman, right?

Another "craft" issue is your paragraphing. It almost seemed like you were doing a hard return after every sentence. If this is a word-processing/formatting issue, ignore, but in general it's best to try for variety in paragraph lengths - some short, some long. White space is good, however.

Now, for the writing! You have an extremely strong narrative style. The emotion pours off the page, and you show me through Josie's actions and interior thoughts what her relationship was with Silas rather than telling me. With that level of story-telling skill, you should go far.

Ann - Absence of Grace


Concettah wrote 815 days ago

MOONSTONE BEACH
This is a good idea for a story: a woman moving to Hollywood to reinvent herself. I like the way you begin this in a cemetery; makes for a unique way to introduce your main character. The conversation with the older woman across the grave is a great way to introduce back story. By the end of the first chapter, a reader has a great idea of who are these characters and want to follow them. I’m adding this to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?



Thanks. It was fun to write. I'm on my way to visit your book.
Connie

Wanttobeawriter wrote 817 days ago

MOONSTONE BEACH
This is a good idea for a story: a woman moving to Hollywood to reinvent herself. I like the way you begin this in a cemetery; makes for a unique way to introduce your main character. The conversation with the older woman across the grave is a great way to introduce back story. By the end of the first chapter, a reader has a great idea of who are these characters and want to follow them. I’m adding this to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Concettah wrote 879 days ago

An interesting start, but it throws the reader a bit, as well as the rhythm of the writing.

I was expecting a revenge thriller, or even a murder investigation, but it turns into a Romantic comedy, or Female empowerment story, as well as the only other protagonist (the dead man) suddenly turns from an utter bastard into a small lost boy, who's Auntie is mourning over them.

Incidentally making the main character look like a cruel heartless bastard, or someone who has just made a really crass error of judgement.

I just think most readers wont carry onto chapter 2 to get to like the character but stop at the beginning.

Suddenly "switching" the main character so early doesn't work, as some people can make an entire book about someone having a life changing experience, and this takes a couple of pages and then launches into a different story.

I'm not sure it helps to interest the reader first of all and then launch the real story of the book.



Wow. I do write revenge thrillers. But, after writing several, I thought it was time for a change from the sinister to something lighter and more fun. This novel is definitely pitched as a fun romantic comedy, not a thriller at all. If you want dark and twisted - try Achilles Heart. The pace is different as would be the reader's expectations.

My style is to write POV from three main characters, shifting from one character and the next chapter to a secondary - it's consistent through out and most readers seem to like the intrigue it creates through misunderstandings between the characters - though the reader knows all.

Sorry you didn't like it.
I'm glad to trade reads and will start on yours shortly. Sorry for the delay. I'm about a week behind due to the holiday and work travel.
Thanks for the comments.
Connie

An interesting start, but it throws the reader a bit, as well as the rhythm of the writing.

I was expecting a revenge thriller, or even a murder investigation, but it turns into a Romantic comedy, or Female empowerment story, as well as the only other protagonist (the dead man) suddenly turns from an utter bastard into a small lost boy, who's Auntie is mourning over them.

Incidentally making the main character look like a cruel heartless bastard, or someone who has just made a really crass error of judgement.

I just think most readers wont carry onto chapter 2 to get to like the character but stop at the beginning.

Suddenly "switching" the main character so early doesn't work, as some people can make an entire book about someone having a life changing experience, and this takes a couple of pages and then launches into a different story.

I'm not sure it helps to interest the reader first of all and then launch the real story of the book.

silvachilla wrote 925 days ago

I liked this. A very different start and I was a bit worried that having your MC practically dancing on someone's grave would put me off her, but by the end of the first chapter I was warming to her a bit, and in chapter 2, it was cemented. Leaving someone who's offering everything to you on a plate isn't easy.

In terms of your writing style, I liked it. Just enough description and metaphors without being overly flowery, and your dialogue is very very good. It's on the things that is likely to make or break a book for me, and it was realistic. There were a few minor typos, but these can be easily fixed up with an edit.

Your characters are well drawn, though Josie is my favourite - probably because I feel I know her the best. The devil in a red suit - lol.

Good job with this and plenty of stars for the time being.

Silva
x

Paul J wrote 926 days ago

i'm not usually one for pure romance, but i like your writing. good cast of characters. i think people who like light romance will enjoy it.

SRFire wrote 928 days ago

Chapter 1
On my first read, I found myself being repelled in the idea that anyone would want to dance upon someone elses grave, which in turn led me to be repelled from Josie. However, halfway through, there is the hook about the woman in red and the gypsies prophecy which carries weight in the life of the deceased. We (the reader in the plural) learn of Silas' underhand business and romance affairs and we start to see the reason for Josie dancing on his grave. Yet, all the time, we know there must be more to this story and interesting business relationship that the two shared. At the end we see the old woman sharing the same disgust for not just a business acquaintance but blood relative. Silas becomes the true villain and we long for more information. This is the necessary hook to keep us reading.
I did pick up on a few spelling mistakes - so watch out for this.
All the best with your work in progress.

MrKarats wrote 929 days ago

Connie,

I read up to the middle of your second chapter.

Your pace and your sentences keep it going :) You are a good writer with a sense of realism in her dialogue. The first scene is an engaging one, even for readers of other genres -like me. This scene has mystery, background, realism, a touch of despair that switches to humor ever so discreetly. I enjoyed it and can see your audience turning the page there. (at some point you write "lightening" where it should be "lightning")

The second chapter fits better to the description of your genre, and I read as much as I could. You kept the realistic dialogue and the light humor that colors your writing.

It is a good start and a well-written one. 5 stars from me to show my appreciation, even if I don't belong to your target group.

Yannis

Philthy wrote 951 days ago

Hi Concetta,

First, one problem I have with Authonomy (I love this site, so don't take this out of context) is that a book's success isn't determined by its merit. I struggle sometimes to see how certain books make it so high, while others don't. This is one of those underrated gems, in my opinion. I admit, I sort of dreaded getting into the long first chapter, but your description is deceptively delicious and your writing's clean (which is rarer than it should be on this site).

Cover: It’s hard to really see what I’m looking at because the covers have to be so small, but it’s pleasing to the eyes. Not sure the dark blue pops enough, but otherwise I like it.

Title: Simple and clear and easy to remember. Good stuff.

Short pitch: Before coming to HC, I wasn’t much of a pitch writer. Not sure I am now either, but I think I’m much improved. That said, take my pitch writing advice with a grain of salt. The short pitch isn’t really a pitch, though. It’s more of a description. What’s the hook?

Long pitch: I think that final paragraph should be your first paragraph. “Three best friends move to Los Angeles with great expectations for sun, adventure and hitting the reset button in life. But their friendship takes unexpected twists in the Hollywood scene to the point where they’d never be the same.”
That’s the other thing, while the hooks here are GREAT, it gets a tad bit wordy. Notice how I cut some of the words down, while saying the same thing. Just a humble suggestion. I think the concept is VERY intriguing, and by sharpening the pitches you could really entice more readers.

Chapter 1

Some minor things I noticed:

First quote…”I told you I’d dance on your grave.” I’d add “Josie muttered under her breath” just after that, then continue with the quote. That way we’re not guessing who said it.

Just a small thing, you probably don’t need to continually tell us that the coffin is gleaming, glinting or glimmering.

“wind burned cheeks” should be “wind-burned cheeks”

“make up” is one word

I like this...a lot. I don't really have a spot to back it at the moment having just shuffled a new group in, but it's high on my WL and I intend to shelf it when I get a spot open.

Good luck with this! Hopefully we can get it moving upwards again.

Phil
Deshay of the Woods

a.morrison712 wrote 953 days ago

I read through your first chapter and I love your MC! I think this is an original piece and deserves to be looked over and considered seriously for publication. I am giving you high stars and will be watching! Best of luck to you with your book and if you ever want me to read over anything specific just let me know.

Best,

Ashley

Walden Carrington wrote 954 days ago

Concetta,
I like your cast of characters with their fun-loving spirit in this adventure to the City of Angels, a place I've spent too much time in to like anymore. But I enjoyed my visit to this enchanting account with its lively dialogue and characters I would like to know.

Walden Carrington
Titanic: Rose Dawson's Story

difloyd wrote 957 days ago

Thanks for supporting my sister Ellise Weaver! I'm glad you like the new cover. I'm the photographer and was extremely proud to use one of my photos to promote her great book. And to say a proper thank you I am going to read and back your book...and I'm sure you'll also be receiving 6 stars. Best of luck and thanks again!

YorkyMate wrote 958 days ago

I liked the fast-paced dialog between the old woman and Josie..

bunderful wrote 963 days ago

Your novel has a very interesting premise and this is certainly a very interesting first chapter. You had me hooked.

I think that both your short and long pitch could use a little work though. Your short pitch certainly doesn't really explain what the novel is about or draw a reader in all that much. Your long pitch seemed a bit unfocused to me. Try to have it "tell" the story from the perspective of one of the characters.

I think that you could tighten up some of your writing too. But the plot is very compelling.

All the best,

Rena (Bunderful) author of Master of the Miracles

Red Agate wrote 967 days ago

You had me hooked with "drinking in the graveyard". This is a great read, fun, alive with great characters, dialogue and a nice original plot. Love this story x

Concettah wrote 983 days ago

sorry it took me so long to take a peek at your book.
i love your characters- i wish they could be real. i also love how everything is so vivid- it really helps me visualize exactly what is going on. i really do think this is well written.
backing this.
and good luck, melissa :)



Thanks, Melissa! Much appreciated. I too have a huge back log - so no worries. Just very glad you liked it.
Connie
Moonstone Beach

Melissa Koehler wrote 983 days ago

sorry it took me so long to take a peek at your book.
i love your characters- i wish they could be real. i also love how everything is so vivid- it really helps me visualize exactly what is going on. i really do think this is well written.
backing this.
and good luck, melissa :)

Concettah wrote 988 days ago

Hi Conchetta,
I like the premise of the opening a lot - drinking champagne in a graveyard - piques the writer's curiosity straight away. I wonder if it might do that even more effectively if you started with, "Josie had been saving this champagne...", cutting the first couple of paragraphs. I also wondered if the part where she is thinking and drinking champagne could be cut a bit - maybe all we need is a general idea with a few details rather than what feels like a description of each moment, so we can get to the action/dialogue quicker? Just my opinions though - if they're not helpful feel free to ignore!!
Couple of line edits - but shouldn't really have a comma after it; too many 'as' in your second paragraph, and a typo on 'its bubbles'(should be no apostrophe) hope that's helpful!



Thank you so much for your great feedback. You're right. I have gone over this fist paragraph a couple hundred times editing with the previous comments I received and my head is spinning with the back and forth changes. I always start everything I write, chapters, and stories with dialog - action, getting the reader right into the mix.

I did the last edit a couple days ago, and you're right in that I need to go through and check the repetitive words again. Your comments are very helpful :)
Thanks a million.
Connie

ClaireLyman wrote 988 days ago

Hi Conchetta,
I like the premise of the opening a lot - drinking champagne in a graveyard - piques the writer's curiosity straight away. I wonder if it might do that even more effectively if you started with, "Josie had been saving this champagne...", cutting the first couple of paragraphs. I also wondered if the part where she is thinking and drinking champagne could be cut a bit - maybe all we need is a general idea with a few details rather than what feels like a description of each moment, so we can get to the action/dialogue quicker? Just my opinions though - if they're not helpful feel free to ignore!!
Couple of line edits - but shouldn't really have a comma after it; too many 'as' in your second paragraph, and a typo on 'its bubbles'(should be no apostrophe) hope that's helpful!

Concettah wrote 993 days ago

Really wish I had come across this sooner. Although now I’m a bit to ‘into’ the story I’m never going to get any editing of my own book done. Even though I usually like a speedy first chapter, I didn’t mind the slow-ish pace here because I loved your characters so much. Joise is brilliant. So much so that I wish she was real just so I could be friends with her. Your descriptions are great and it makes me hate the miserable Irish weather even more, LA sounds a lot more exciting. On chapter 4 and looking forward to more.



Thanks, Janny. I'll take another look at chapter one to see if I can crop it any and speed it up a bit. Glad you're enjoying it :)
Connie

Jannypeacock wrote 1002 days ago

Really wish I had come across this sooner. Although now I’m a bit to ‘into’ the story I’m never going to get any editing of my own book done. Even though I usually like a speedy first chapter, I didn’t mind the slow-ish pace here because I loved your characters so much. Joise is brilliant. So much so that I wish she was real just so I could be friends with her. Your descriptions are great and it makes me hate the miserable Irish weather even more, LA sounds a lot more exciting. On chapter 4 and looking forward to more.

Concettah wrote 1016 days ago

Moonstone Beach
Dramatic opening chapter and I loved (probably with most other readers) the dog poo incident. What a way to end a chapter! I read your first 4 chapters and I like the way you handle alternate POV’s to get into the character’ personalities. I like Josie, especially. And I loved your description of the road trip to California – being from the UK, it made me yearn for those long highways and open spaces. They’ve just arrived in LA so I will be reading more to see what transpires. High stars ******
Kat x Hens from Hell



Thanks for the great feedback, Kat. So glad you're enjoying it. The fun starts in LA. I Just added another chapter. My husband is from the UK and you are so right. He loves the long drives here. Enjoy. :)
Connie

katjay wrote 1018 days ago

Moonstone Beach
Dramatic opening chapter and I loved (probably with most other readers) the dog poo incident. What a way to end a chapter! I read your first 4 chapters and I like the way you handle alternate POV’s to get into the character’ personalities. I like Josie, especially. And I loved your description of the road trip to California – being from the UK, it made me yearn for those long highways and open spaces. They’ve just arrived in LA so I will be reading more to see what transpires. High stars ******
Kat x Hens from Hell

Concettah wrote 1020 days ago

Dear Concetta,

"..., and hitting the reset buttons in life" - wow. The phrase has reminded of one of my Christian religious education's "Change is a factor of life". As every one would love that changes be overhauls, I hope is/was our hero/heroin's in thee novel.

"... while sidestepping a slew of Mr. Wrongs." - little wonder, a bad name omen to the bearer = inviting to reading your book.

Exciting pitch. Read on.

Julius B [Destined to Triumph]




Thank you for your support. :)
You're right, Julius. At some point people have to step out of the shadow of others and make the right choices in their lives. They can base their lives on shallowness, to which they will have to reset their lives multiple times and feel despair at getting nowhere. Or they can, base their lives on meaning and substance as these characters learn to do. However, this particular book doesn't preach, but rather it demonstrates love of family. This is light, romantic, and fun with a ton of current pop culture to make it relevant.

My first novel Achilles Heart - Rivalry has a bit more Christian teaching in it - especially from the book of Job. Job is key to the plot actually. Again, it is not preachy, but gets the point across about what is important in life. However, the thriller genre of this series is sinister, also has sex, violence, war and crimes against humanity. So if anyone is easily offended . . . the other book may be more your taste.

Thanks,
Connie
Moonstone Beach

Juliusb wrote 1023 days ago

Dear Concetta,

"..., and hitting the reset buttons in life" - wow. The phrase has reminded of one of my Christian religious education's "Change is a factor of life". As every one would love that changes be overhauls, I hope is/was our hero/heroin's in thee novel.

"... while sidestepping a slew of Mr. Wrongs." - little wonder, a bad name omen to the bearer = inviting to reading your book.

Exciting pitch. Read on.

Julius B [Destined to Triumph]

stephen racket wrote 1033 days ago

Great opening, with Josie dancing on Silas's grave. I read the first couple of chapters and thought this was well-written and full of delightful touches of humour. Cheri's confusion over Ian's package and the dog-turd ending to c1 stand-outs for me. I think the characters are well-rounded and enjoyed the dialogue. Sophie is going to be a lot of fun. Nitpick, a good edit would be beneficial, but then we're all in the same boat. Generously starred and on my WL for further reading. Good luck with this.

Concettah wrote 1049 days ago

Concetta, Dont tell a soul that I like this...oh, but I do. : )



Lol Okay, I promise. Thank you. :)
Connie

AshleyN wrote 1049 days ago

Concetta, Dont tell a soul that I like this...oh, but I do. : )

Concettah wrote 1053 days ago

Concetta

Moonstone Beach is the guilty pleasure we all read. Only got through a few chapters, but I did get past the first which means you made me turn the page. good job on pulling me in. Little upset I didn't get to check out the fun with Ira at dinner.

I'll keep you on my WL so I can rotate you to my shelf. Star rated.

Good Luck

Michel



Thanks for reading Michel. Ira'a character needs more than a dinner to have the most fun with him. He pops up later, and the people who were upset previously might just be happy about it and others might feel altogether a different way. My goal in this book is to turn every character completely upside down by the time you're done reading - which is pretty much what happens to people in L.A. anyway.

Thanks again.
Connie
Moonstone Beach

michel prince wrote 1053 days ago

Concetta

Moonstone Beach is the guilty pleasure we all read. Only got through a few chapters, but I did get past the first which means you made me turn the page. good job on pulling me in. Little upset I didn't get to check out the fun with Ira at dinner.

I'll keep you on my WL so I can rotate you to my shelf. Star rated.

Good Luck

Michel

Concettah wrote 1069 days ago

Hi Concetta: You look so much like my cousin i had to go to your profile I have also read the first chapter and enjoyed the read. The pating of ways is cute. Have rated and plan on returning for further read.
Cheers, Red



Thank you. If your cousin is from Philadelphia, New York, Boston, or Calabria, Italy - we may be related :)

Red2u wrote 1069 days ago

Hi Concetta: You look so much like my cousin i had to go to your profile I have also read the first chapter and enjoyed the read. The pating of ways is cute. Have rated and plan on returning for further read.
Cheers, Red

Concettah wrote 1072 days ago

Moonstone Beach
Fiction, 3rd person

Premise, Life happens while you make other plans... Love that!

POV 3rd person held together well in Ch 1.

Pacing; IMO, the pacing is rather slow through Ch1. There are some places where it picks up and I think it moves along well in Ch 1 where current events are taking place. The reflections... not so much.

Mechanics: a few issues that a good copy editor would easily correct. For example in the 3rd from last para Ch 1:
"You look good in red." She said.
Should be: "You look good in red," she said.
There were other places but they were not too bad as I skipped over them without making mental notes.

Characterization: this is where this story shines. Well rounded and good development of the characters. Josie is believable and likable. Silas deserves the dog poop. (I LOVED that, btw) Fitting!

Plot: Since I only read through Ch 1 (and found it hard to stay focused) I won't comment on the plot. I think that it is probably well supported.

The strength to the book, IMO, is the development of the characters and this author has a remarkable skill with that. I think that the book would benefit from more immediate action at the start. Of course, that is just my opinion. I found the scene at graveside moving very slow, due to the backstory. IMO, it was too much and interjection of something really compelling might make it a more entertaining read. Something like a big wind coming up and blowing over an electric line on top of the casket. Some DISASTER that twarts the MC's goal ... But I really did like the old lady with the dog poop. :~D

Raechel
Echo



Raechel,
Thank you so much for taking the time. I did take out the hack saw and did some carpentry work. I have one more sentence I need to rework and reinsert for the plot. But, your comments were well taken and very appreciated :)
Connie

Intriguing Trails wrote 1073 days ago

Moonstone Beach
Fiction, 3rd person

Premise, Life happens while you make other plans... Love that!

POV 3rd person held together well in Ch 1.

Pacing; IMO, the pacing is rather slow through Ch1. There are some places where it picks up and I think it moves along well in Ch 1 where current events are taking place. The reflections... not so much.

Mechanics: a few issues that a good copy editor would easily correct. For example in the 3rd from last para Ch 1:
"You look good in red." She said.
Should be: "You look good in red," she said.
There were other places but they were not too bad as I skipped over them without making mental notes.

Characterization: this is where this story shines. Well rounded and good development of the characters. Josie is believable and likable. Silas deserves the dog poop. (I LOVED that, btw) Fitting!

Plot: Since I only read through Ch 1 (and found it hard to stay focused) I won't comment on the plot. I think that it is probably well supported.

The strength to the book, IMO, is the development of the characters and this author has a remarkable skill with that. I think that the book would benefit from more immediate action at the start. Of course, that is just my opinion. I found the scene at graveside moving very slow, due to the backstory. IMO, it was too much and interjection of something really compelling might make it a more entertaining read. Something like a big wind coming up and blowing over an electric line on top of the casket. Some DISASTER that twarts the MC's goal ... But I really did like the old lady with the dog poop. :~D

Raechel
Echo

Concettah wrote 1074 days ago

Concetta,
"Moonstone Beach" is an intriguing portal into the world of the trendy set. I can appreciate Josie's parting splash at her departed boss and the enlightening backstory that comes with it. Your book proceeds at a smart pace with its concise prose and spiffy dialogue. Josie, Cheri and Enrique make exciting ingredients for the cocktail you serve up. Thank you for the entertaining read.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean



Glad you liked. It gets better hehehe. :)

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 1074 days ago

Concetta,
"Moonstone Beach" is an intriguing portal into the world of the trendy set. I can appreciate Josie's parting splash at her departed boss and the enlightening backstory that comes with it. Your book proceeds at a smart pace with its concise prose and spiffy dialogue. Josie, Cheri and Enrique make exciting ingredients for the cocktail you serve up. Thank you for the entertaining read.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

Concettah wrote 1076 days ago

Moonstone Beach, by Concetta Huffa

Feel free to disregard every word that follows. Anything useful is only for your reflection. I’m just going to try to point out what seems to me slight losses of flow and possible suggestions for changes and give running thoughts as a reader. Suggestions treat as IMO/IMHO. Please don’t mind if I seem a bit picky. It’s just how I review sometimes. I’ll offer an overall feeling and summation at the end

Also please bear in mind suggestions will reflect my own sensibilities and may miss the point of what you’re trying to achieve. But, hopefully, will be useful even as something to dismiss :).



First paragraph,

“Have a Chandon, you son of a bitch. I told you I’d dance on your grave, and here I am, you bastard. I hope you’re roasting in hell where you belong.”

It’s more suggestive of a moment that has been waited for. And, for me, darker.

Typo – you have an extra space before ‘She’d waited..’

(were among the few silent witnesses that)
were the last witnesses now that

Why would she want to keep the bottle? The above lines read as if she’s emptied it on the coffin. More realistic at this point would be if she threw th ebottle into the grave as well as a further act of desecration.

(This was February in Philadelphia.)
Just
‘February in Philadelphia’

‘The boss from Hades had even managed to choose an inconvenient time of th eyear to die: cold, gray and absolutely miserable.

(marginal snowfall)
light snowfall

(lay in that coffin)
lay in the coffin

(the glimmer was more of a warning of what perils)
the glimmer was a warning of the perils

- but don’t like the word ‘perils’ here. You could easily just lose it and it works better, to me. And it leaves more to the imagination.

‘the glimmer was a was a warming of what could befall a soul

(with him)
with Silas
- to help keep the reader on focus.

I would cut the paragraph ‘the bending grass…’ the imagery does not work for me.

(morning as begrudging)
morning like begrudging

(Any evidence)
The evidence

‘Her mind put no limits in its imaginings of the excruciating ways …’

(had ventured)
had come
- simple language can be more elegant in certain places and in the telling of certain stories – remember this is all IMHO :)

I would cut all the stuff about the Ferrari in this paragraph. I don’t see why that makes mourning hypocritical. Put it in the next one in away that relates to what you say there. If you use just the first line and join it to ‘especially since the people…’ it’s much more effective, imo.

Ok… see you had a use for the champagne bottle later.

(predictable, ordinary, and so very far away)
predictable and ordinary, and so very far away

(but today)
but this day

(as something she needed to do)
as something she had needed to do

(her pound a fist to her desk)
would sometimes find release with her fist pounding the desk.

… and there’s the bottle in the grave :)

‘..myself, though I didn’t waste anything as good as champagne on him.’



Overall:
From reading your LP and the first chapter I’d say you’ve got the makings of a fine and interesting story for the genre you are writing in, not a genre that I can claim any specialty in. My main suggestion is to concentrate on writing the story in an easy flowing style first and then in more final drafts look to add touches of metaphor and more meaningful words. It is a real art to tell a story in simple swift ease, and I think that is what you maybe should aim for. I think you can do it if you take a step back and then give it all a little more natural flow in places.

Thanks for sharing your work with me, and remember mine is only one opinion. I see others really love this, but it’s not about whether I do or don’t, it’s that I’ve taken a critical approach to try and be helpful. Untrue reviewing is the bane of this site, and I avoid it as much as I can. There really is a great basis for a story here. Just help the reader glide through even more and enjoy it first as a story, and then see about using touches of writerly skills to heighten metaphors and moments.

I hope I have said something useful. If I haven’t , feel free to ask me to delete it all and I will :).

Best of luck with this, Connie.

John
‘The Lunatic Sings’



Thank you so much, John, for taking the time. I sincerely appreciate and will make notes to smooth those parts you noted. I usually write thrillers which is probably why I have more action and intense language than needed in some parts as more passive. This was a departure but very fun to write. The thriller series I'm writing evolved into an interesting string of related side stories including this one and a medieval fantasy. One of the main characters in this story I needed for a minor character in my series. In fleshing out his background, I came up with this romantic comedy.

JohnDoe wrote 1078 days ago

Moonstone Beach, by Concetta Huffa

Feel free to disregard every word that follows. Anything useful is only for your reflection. I’m just going to try to point out what seems to me slight losses of flow and possible suggestions for changes and give running thoughts as a reader. Suggestions treat as IMO/IMHO. Please don’t mind if I seem a bit picky. It’s just how I review sometimes. I’ll offer an overall feeling and summation at the end

Also please bear in mind suggestions will reflect my own sensibilities and may miss the point of what you’re trying to achieve. But, hopefully, will be useful even as something to dismiss :).



First paragraph,

“Have a Chandon, you son of a bitch. I told you I’d dance on your grave, and here I am, you bastard. I hope you’re roasting in hell where you belong.”

It’s more suggestive of a moment that has been waited for. And, for me, darker.

Typo – you have an extra space before ‘She’d waited..’

(were among the few silent witnesses that)
were the last witnesses now that

Why would she want to keep the bottle? The above lines read as if she’s emptied it on the coffin. More realistic at this point would be if she threw th ebottle into the grave as well as a further act of desecration.

(This was February in Philadelphia.)
Just
‘February in Philadelphia’

‘The boss from Hades had even managed to choose an inconvenient time of th eyear to die: cold, gray and absolutely miserable.

(marginal snowfall)
light snowfall

(lay in that coffin)
lay in the coffin

(the glimmer was more of a warning of what perils)
the glimmer was a warning of the perils

- but don’t like the word ‘perils’ here. You could easily just lose it and it works better, to me. And it leaves more to the imagination.

‘the glimmer was a was a warming of what could befall a soul

(with him)
with Silas
- to help keep the reader on focus.

I would cut the paragraph ‘the bending grass…’ the imagery does not work for me.

(morning as begrudging)
morning like begrudging

(Any evidence)
The evidence

‘Her mind put no limits in its imaginings of the excruciating ways …’

(had ventured)
had come
- simple language can be more elegant in certain places and in the telling of certain stories – remember this is all IMHO :)

I would cut all the stuff about the Ferrari in this paragraph. I don’t see why that makes mourning hypocritical. Put it in the next one in away that relates to what you say there. If you use just the first line and join it to ‘especially since the people…’ it’s much more effective, imo.

Ok… see you had a use for the champagne bottle later.

(predictable, ordinary, and so very far away)
predictable and ordinary, and so very far away

(but today)
but this day

(as something she needed to do)
as something she had needed to do

(her pound a fist to her desk)
would sometimes find release with her fist pounding the desk.

… and there’s the bottle in the grave :)

‘..myself, though I didn’t waste anything as good as champagne on him.’



Overall:
From reading your LP and the first chapter I’d say you’ve got the makings of a fine and interesting story for the genre you are writing in, not a genre that I can claim any specialty in. My main suggestion is to concentrate on writing the story in an easy flowing style first and then in more final drafts look to add touches of metaphor and more meaningful words. It is a real art to tell a story in simple swift ease, and I think that is what you maybe should aim for. I think you can do it if you take a step back and then give it all a little more natural flow in places.

Thanks for sharing your work with me, and remember mine is only one opinion. I see others really love this, but it’s not about whether I do or don’t, it’s that I’ve taken a critical approach to try and be helpful. Untrue reviewing is the bane of this site, and I avoid it as much as I can. There really is a great basis for a story here. Just help the reader glide through even more and enjoy it first as a story, and then see about using touches of writerly skills to heighten metaphors and moments.

I hope I have said something useful. If I haven’t , feel free to ask me to delete it all and I will :).

Best of luck with this, Connie.

John
‘The Lunatic Sings’

Concettah wrote 1081 days ago

I like the beginning, the black humour is great! One thing I would say is be careful that Josie doesn't come across as a little heartless- her opening line, for example, is both funny and harsh at the same time. You say that Silas had lived with a disregard for morals and yes he sounds like a nasty man, but it is not immediately clear exactly why Josie hates him SO much.

I liked the appearance of the old lady and could picture her in my mind. At around this point, however, I got a bit bored with all the details about Silas' life. If these details are relevant for the rest of the book then fine, but if he's dead and gone and his life makes no further impact then I would say some of this could be cut to make it snappier.

I liked the end of the first chapter- from the lady in red bit onwards :-)



Thanks Karen! Much appreciated. Yes, we get to have a bit of fun later in the book with Josie's life choices and how Silas' life makes her doubt herself and influences her choices negatively. Silas is clearly 'winning!' :) with tiger's blood . . . until his demise.

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