Book Jacket

 

rank 5909
word count 41347
date submitted 13.06.2009
date updated 13.08.2013
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Chick Li...
classification: universal
incomplete

Emma Brown

C.A. Rathbone

Brilliant and successful, Emma falls in love and gets rejected. Unable to cope with the pain and humiliation she isolates and drinks. Can she survive?

 

You’ll land square in Emma’s hectic life in the first paragraph as she arrives in an exotic country far from home. There she meets the man who will turn her world upside down. The chemistry between her and Juan Fernandez sizzles at “Hello.”

However, out of the blue, the promising relationship is quashed. Trapped in a vortex of anger, pain and humiliation, Emma, spurned, isolates herself and drinks to flee everything, to disappear, to die.

Love, betrayal, and pain run the gamut in Emma's world until salvation comes from the most unexpected place.

Finished at 66,000 words

 
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tags

alcoholism, business, dallas, drinking, family, inspiration, love, orlando, public speaking, recovery, romance, sales, travel, uruguay, values

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72 comments

 

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Lockjaw Lipssealed wrote 1712 days ago

Cath,

To begin, this is simply good writing! Here's the thing...this is not my normal read....I'm very macho, I walk around in military garb, lift school busses to stay in shape and chew glass instead of peanuts with my beer...point is, the likelihood that I would have read this under any other circumstance is pretty slim. So the fact that I began this and continued turning pages, speaks to the strength to what you have here.

The flow of the writing is clean and unencumbered, your characters are believable, but most of all your story is engaging. I'm glad I took a look at this.

Lockjaw

Odysseus wrote 1714 days ago

You don’t usually find this sort of dialogue in Chick Lit:

““I understand,” he said smiling again, “I was only teasing you. People are always surprised when they come to Uruguay. It’s such a small, quiet country, so laid back, never much in the international headlines like so many of its South American counterparts. But there’s an enormous amount of history, culture, and above all education. In fact,” he said tapping the side of his nose thoughtfully, “did you know that Uruguay is one of the most literate countries in the world?””

Perhaps this:

“Had she been able to see behind her, she would have noticed more than one head turn following her out of the room. She cut a fine figure in her flowing camisole and silk trousers. The shimmering scarf that trailed almost to her ankles added an air of sensual suggestion quite unlike anything else in the room.”

Query this:

“Emma groaned as she rolled over in bed, trying to shut out the bright shards of sunlight that were pushing through the cracks in the drapes. Her head was pounding as if filled with jackhammers and her mouth tasted like a skunk had crawled up into it and died there in the night....
There was no going back to sleep now, the dead animal taste in her mouth was screaming for water and there was no convincing it that another half hour of rest would do. Gingerly pulling the pillow off her head, she realized it was the hotel phone ringing.”

Enjoy this for what it is and says:

“She stood motionless, taking a long deep breath which she let out slowly so she could absorb the overwhelming beauty. Two smaller pools cascaded into one larger one surrounded by all manner of ferns and tropical flora. The deck wrapped around the entire area and was dotted throughout with gigantic terracotta pots full of tumbling red geraniums. The walls which enclosed the water garden were covered in ivy, bushes and vines. Below all of these, pushing out from the dense shade, blankets of impatiens of all colors bounced in the soft summer breeze.”

Then compare and contrast with this:

““Geez woman! Would you please shud-dup!” Alan dismissed her with a lazy flick of his wrist, “We’re going to reinvent your promotional pieces, your website, your pamphlets and booklets, in fact everything you hand out, send out, give out, put out or sell. We want everything to have the same look and feel. The feel of Emma Brown. I want everyone to desire Emma Brown just as you are. I want them to want your style, your elegant simplicity, your qualities. You ARE the diamond in the rough.”

Then add in this:

“Juan smiled at her and Emma’s knees turned, again, to jelly. Hard as she might try, she hadn’t been able to keep her eyes off him almost all evening....”

And you have a most enjoyable book that by far merits it listing as Literary Fiction whilst showing how to write intelligent well written Chick Lit along the way. Shelved.

Barry Wenlock wrote 1410 days ago

Emma is such a great character. I liked her from the start and although this isn't my usual read, I was happy to back you.
best wishes, Barry

lizjrnm wrote 1503 days ago

Love the coverart so I had to take a peak and was I in for a ride - thisis writing for chicks at its best! BACKED

Liz
The Cheech Room

Jesse Hargreave wrote 1535 days ago

Backed January 21.

Jesse - Savant

http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=14062

Jupiter Echoes wrote 1544 days ago

BACKED

I get very little from comments about my own book, nowadays. Some people like it, some don't. Some people are too frightened to leave genuine feedback, while others seek to enforce their own style upon me. I want to get to the Ed's Desk to get professional comment. I would rather spend 30 quid than do all this reading and backing. I have got everything I want out of Authonomy community already. So I am backing your book so that you can reach the Ed's desk and get professional feedback, instead of the platitudes and devious backings that account for 80% of backing you receive. Only 20% of comments are genuine, and will add value to your work.

Now, who am I not to back you? I am not godlike. Your work might be flatly written, unoriginal or even down right bad. It could be wonderful. But in my experience, only you can be honest with yourself about your writing... and that is what matters.

So, I am backing you so you can reach the Ed's desk.

There you are.

BACKED

Hope you reciprocate.

If you end up leaving a comment that adds value to Dream Diamond, I will return to your book and give it a thorough read and comment.

eamonn walls wrote 1579 days ago

I wasn't sure about the whole language thing in the opening, but maybe it isn't such a big deal. I just feel that the very start needs to be very very simple and easy to understand in order to give yourself the maximum chance of sucking in as many readers as possible. Anyway, I really liked your characters, Fernandez and the coffee were just so nice and everything fitted together so nice and comfortably, I think charming isn't quite the right word but it had a very comfortable self-assured natural feel about it. Well done, more than happy to back this one! :)

gillyflower wrote 1619 days ago

This is such a readable book! Emma is a really good character - so like me. every woman reader must be thinking - and you develop her marvellously. She already drinks quite a lot, signalled by the purchase of two bottles of duty free vodka in Ch.1 (after all, she's had a rough time in her life before she ever meets Juan) so it seems very natural that when Juan dumps her, that's where she goes for comfort. Your writing is clean, easy, simple, but you can and do give us some great descriptive passages, for instance when you write about Juan's garden, the Angels' Paradise, and about the market, and about Uruguay, when Emma first arrives there - I could go on. Juan isn't quite so real a character, probably because we never get inside his head, as we do with Emma, but he's real enough to be a believable central male figure. I think we know him well enough, in fact, to doubt that he would have sent the break off email - I suppose Emma believes it because of her previous relationship with Bill. This is reasonable enough. But I bet you it was Susana who sent it, breaking into his account! Well, I can't bet you, you already know!
A lovely book, I enjoyed it a lot. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls.

Freddie Omm wrote 1645 days ago

interesting premise – sure to resonate with readers of lit fic and chick lit genres equally

you bring emma’s arrival in uruguay to life – the heat, the scents, the sounds, the happiness of fellow travellers arriving home, the well-drawn character of raúl... this is good scene setting

the immediate frisson between her and juan, their subsequent dinner date, all rang true for me

but i found it slightly difficult to engage with subsequent events – juan’s lover arriving during dinner and emma’s private reaction to same (ott, to my mind - she’s only just met him and whilst there may be some chemistry, there’s no relationship other than business) which would, i feel, have been more convincing had she and juan had more time to develop a romantic relationship before introducing susanna on the scene... then emma’s jealousy/resentment/disappointment would be wholly believable

but this is a minor tweak on the grand scale of things – overall this is a well-written narrative with strong characters and a promising storyline... nice to see something tagged both literary and chicklit wherein the darker moments are dark and less frothy than the genre often tends to be

i am placing this on my shelf and wish you well with it .

freddie
("honour")

Lockjaw Lipssealed wrote 1712 days ago

Cath,

To begin, this is simply good writing! Here's the thing...this is not my normal read....I'm very macho, I walk around in military garb, lift school busses to stay in shape and chew glass instead of peanuts with my beer...point is, the likelihood that I would have read this under any other circumstance is pretty slim. So the fact that I began this and continued turning pages, speaks to the strength to what you have here.

The flow of the writing is clean and unencumbered, your characters are believable, but most of all your story is engaging. I'm glad I took a look at this.

Lockjaw

Odysseus wrote 1714 days ago

You don’t usually find this sort of dialogue in Chick Lit:

““I understand,” he said smiling again, “I was only teasing you. People are always surprised when they come to Uruguay. It’s such a small, quiet country, so laid back, never much in the international headlines like so many of its South American counterparts. But there’s an enormous amount of history, culture, and above all education. In fact,” he said tapping the side of his nose thoughtfully, “did you know that Uruguay is one of the most literate countries in the world?””

Perhaps this:

“Had she been able to see behind her, she would have noticed more than one head turn following her out of the room. She cut a fine figure in her flowing camisole and silk trousers. The shimmering scarf that trailed almost to her ankles added an air of sensual suggestion quite unlike anything else in the room.”

Query this:

“Emma groaned as she rolled over in bed, trying to shut out the bright shards of sunlight that were pushing through the cracks in the drapes. Her head was pounding as if filled with jackhammers and her mouth tasted like a skunk had crawled up into it and died there in the night....
There was no going back to sleep now, the dead animal taste in her mouth was screaming for water and there was no convincing it that another half hour of rest would do. Gingerly pulling the pillow off her head, she realized it was the hotel phone ringing.”

Enjoy this for what it is and says:

“She stood motionless, taking a long deep breath which she let out slowly so she could absorb the overwhelming beauty. Two smaller pools cascaded into one larger one surrounded by all manner of ferns and tropical flora. The deck wrapped around the entire area and was dotted throughout with gigantic terracotta pots full of tumbling red geraniums. The walls which enclosed the water garden were covered in ivy, bushes and vines. Below all of these, pushing out from the dense shade, blankets of impatiens of all colors bounced in the soft summer breeze.”

Then compare and contrast with this:

““Geez woman! Would you please shud-dup!” Alan dismissed her with a lazy flick of his wrist, “We’re going to reinvent your promotional pieces, your website, your pamphlets and booklets, in fact everything you hand out, send out, give out, put out or sell. We want everything to have the same look and feel. The feel of Emma Brown. I want everyone to desire Emma Brown just as you are. I want them to want your style, your elegant simplicity, your qualities. You ARE the diamond in the rough.”

Then add in this:

“Juan smiled at her and Emma’s knees turned, again, to jelly. Hard as she might try, she hadn’t been able to keep her eyes off him almost all evening....”

And you have a most enjoyable book that by far merits it listing as Literary Fiction whilst showing how to write intelligent well written Chick Lit along the way. Shelved.

JohnRL1029 wrote 1716 days ago

Emma is a well-developed, flesh and bloood character, whom I enjoy spending time with. Excellent character development. The chemistry between Emma and Juan is sizzling! This is very professional writing. WL.

Valentina wrote 1720 days ago

Hi!

I’m really enjoying this! I’ve read a couple of chapters and you really pulled me in. I think that the opening in the plane is excellent. You really set the scene with all the intricate details, even thinking of the hostess’s speaking in the other language. This all makes it rally realistic.

I think that you create a real good chemistry between Emma and Juan, I can feel them ‘sizzling’ as I read! Particularly all the little cheeky remarks like when he books the restaurant and she feigns disappointment. Very flirty.

You do an excellent job of bringing in all the senses! Particularly smell…

Awww, I can feel the torture as he announces his ‘lady friend!’ great hook for the end of the chapter.

Haha, I am also astonished! It takes me an hour and a half to get ready to go out -- my to the annoyance of my boy friends…

Again another great hook at the end of chapter two. I think you make the relationship between Juan and suzanna very believable. They argue like they know each other so well.

Nitpicks:
You have gotten the punctuation wrong in a few places like this:

“This is Roul, my driver.” -- you need a comma instead of a period here, as in all speech there is no full stop until the end of the sentence, which will not always be where the dialogue ends. Also, there isn’t a capital letter for the next part, ‘He said’ needs to be ‘he said.’

I know it’s confusing, here are some examples, all correct:

“This is Roul, my driver,” he said. -- here you have more words after the end of the dialogue so it is a comma, and no capital.

“This is Roul, my driver.” -- here you have a full stop, if you take away the he said so there are no more words in the sentence.

Finally:

“This is Roul, my driver.” He turned to… -- here, you have a full stop because it is the end of the sentence, and then a capital letter because it is a new sentence starting.

I hope this has helped!

Really excellent writing apart from this slight punctuation mistake, you really drew me in! I was hooked from the passengers leaping and clapping when they arrived home.

Happy to back, best of luck! x

hot lips wrote 1720 days ago

As I have already said several times, I am a very slow, picky reader but I thought this was flawless professional writing. It flowed so well. The dialogue was so believable, the scene setting and the interesting little details. I only had time to read one chapter, but if the pitch is to be believed this is excellent stuff. I back it; it's on my shelf.

Jo Ellis wrote 1723 days ago

You take us to places unknown while your writing is smooth and easy to read.... once again time constraints of reading online when such books should be in my hand is... anyway shelved for being a book I would pick up and take home.

Jo xx

Spoit, Fire Starter, Charlottesville and The Mystic Garden

Shayne Parkinson wrote 1723 days ago

I've read the first three chapters, Cath. What a wonderfully warm beginning you have, with people so delighted to be home that they clap!

You draw the completely unfamiliar (to me) setting of Uruguay beautifully - I could almost smell the flowers. And Emma is a great character - strong and driven, and very competent, but made vulnerable by that very urge to drive herself; to seek perfection. It's completely convincing that she'd fall for the lovely Juan, and equally convincing that she'd take that loss to heart, and get into self-destructive behaviour. You deftly hint at fairly heavy drinking from early on.

Chick lit. with an edge. Nicely done.

Shelved.

Edie wrote 1725 days ago

Dear Cath,
Such an interesting story. I had to keep reading. I was especially taken when Juan's girl friend decided to join them at dinner. What better way to get the reader to turn the page. However, I must also point out the lapses that slowed the flow for me. ...all (of = delete) the olive-skinned... thirty-five... ...Emma (had = delete) learned...
...father (, = delete) as the... ...shouted a (bespectacled - not necessry) older man... ...and (they ? = who are they?) ...Emma sat (quite = delete) still, (iinsert comma) watching... ...All at once = They were applauding the sheer exhileraton... There's more but I think you get the idea. One more word by word read through should brig this bok to "great." I am going to watch list this. When you decide to read through with an eye for lapses let me know and I will gladly put it on my shelf. Edie

Edie wrote 1727 days ago

Dear Cath
I read very happily throug the first chapter. I liked Emma even thought there's still a lot I'd like to know about her. And Juan! And at the very end his grilfriend coming to eat with them. Intersting situations all around. I will shelve this and get back to it. If I didn't have a dinner engagement I'd continue on. Did you say you intend to read Prides Crossing? I think you'll like it, enough, I hope, to put it on your shelf for a while. It seems to be the only a book can advance. Still, whatever you think, I'd like to hear from you. Best with Emma. Edie

EJ Fechenda wrote 1728 days ago

Hi C.A.,

Your pitch caught my attention as my MC in The Beautiful People also struggles with the drink after some trauma. Emma's character is being developed nicely and I like that Susana in introduced to add some unspoken tension between Emma and Juan. The scenery is described beautifully and I feel like I am walking alongside Emma as ahe takes in the sights.

The pacing is a little slow, maybe removing some of the "he said" and "she said" during dialogue exhange will speed things along.

Shelved.
EJ

Adrian.A.Moore wrote 1729 days ago

Hi Noony

I had just started reading your book then my wife asked me out for lunch. How could I refuse, since she is so wonderful?

CH 1: Hey I live in Poland and I thought only Poles clapped, can’t understand myself, and I have successfully trained my wife NOT to do it.
I’m not sure what you mean by ‘flawless British English’ Devon, Newcastle, Southend (Safend), Birmingham etc. or do you mean ‘BBC English’ - the way I speak.
‘get her a two of bottles of vodka’ - maybe ‘couple’

‘For goodness sake’ – one of my favourite sayings

CH 3:para ‘Hey darlin’… ‘for some reaon’
‘and you’re goo-ood’ – you don’ have to say ‘dragging out the last syllable’ we can see it.

The pace is a bit slow but the writing is good and pleasant to read. Maybe too many words in some places and descriptions of things that don’t add value to the plot.

This is not a book that I would buy or read but I’m sure plenty of others would, since we all have emotions. Happy to shelve.

Kind regards Adrian.

Heyjude wrote 1731 days ago

I thoroughly enjoyed reading EMMA BROWN! I thought it was well-written and I felt as if I'd been to Florida, Texas AND South American after reading it. I thought the character development was strong and I was hooked on the story and truly cared about the ending....I SMELL SEQUEL. Great job, Ms. Rathbone - keep writing.

Maria Luisa Lang wrote 1733 days ago

Dear Cath, You’ve given me a great deal here: a chance to visit Montevideo and to meet two of its leading citizens, the company of a complex, appealing main character, and wonderfully vivid writing that enables me to see everyone and everything very clearly. I’m enjoying myself along with Emma: I know from your pitch that her good time will soon come to an end, but I like more than enough to remain by her side.

On my shelf. Maria, The Pharaoh’s Cat

aislingb wrote 1734 days ago

First off you have a spelling mistake in your short pitch, billiant, I presume you mean brilliant. 'er tells me you visit from the United States?', I understand that you are trying to convey someone who is learning English but 'er' comes across as just a spelling error. I think you need to shorten the first chapter. I like the bit on the plane but I do think it goes on for a little long. Overall I like this and I will continue to read.

Nicky Jones wrote 1735 days ago

You write beautifully, Cath. I really enjoyed your style. And the will they, won't they suspence created through Emma a and Juan meeting is compelling. Good luck with this book... it is bound to be popular. Shelved. Nicky.

maryinflorida wrote 1735 days ago

Cath,
I like your Emma Brown, with her business smarts and quirky predilection for mini-disasters. Squashed cheesecake - what a heartbreak! Polished breezy dialog, but all that drinking must be a bad omen for things to come. Nicely done, so I'll move this to my bookshelf.
Mary

John Harold McCoy wrote 1735 days ago

Hey, C.A. I don't usually read this genre, but I stumbled across it perusing the books and gave it a try. Actually, I enjoyed it. A few things that will be caught in editing, but on the whole, very nice. Your style is easy to read and fun. Characters pretty well defined. The pitch is intriguing. I think it deserves some shelf time. So, backed. Good luck with it.

R.A. Battles wrote 1736 days ago

I finally had a chance to read EMMA BROWN this afternoon, and I’m pleased to shelve it.

You’ve categorized this novel as fiction, literary fiction, and chick lit. Although literary fiction is difficult to define, it reinvents the language. That’s what marks it as “literary.” By contrast, commercial fiction, of which chick lit is a sub-genre, merely tries to glue us to an unfolding sequence of events and involve our emotions in the lives of invented characters.

I love your short synopsis, but the full synopsis doesn’t indicate where this novel takes place. Exactly what is Emma’s world? Also, since you mention drinking in your short synopsis, you need to tie that in to the full synopsis.

A few nits (Chapter1):

“black tarmac” can simply be tarmac.

two thirty five pm should be 2:35 PM.

and she discovered there was a delightful singsong quality to it. Avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. How about - and it had a delightful singsong quality.

“Yes, that’s me,” Emma’s heart skipped a beat. The comma should be a period.

“Call me Juan, please” said Fernandez. A comma is needed after please.

He beamed at her, “yes, Raúl has friends there too. This should be written - He beamed at her. “Yes, Raúl has friends there too.

“My passport?” said Emma surprised, “what do you need my passport for?” but she saw the twinkle in his eye and exhaled “oh no … don’t tell me you have friends there too?” This should be written - “My passport?” said Emma, surprised. “What do you need my passport for?” She saw the twinkle in his eye and exhaled. “Oh no … don’t tell me you have friends there too?”

This needs a round of editing to correct punctuation errors and to replace lower case letters in some of the dialogue with upper case letters. It’s a good story. I know you’re git-r-done. Good luck!

Rodney

S Richard Betterton wrote 1736 days ago

There's so much I like about this, Cath. It gets to your senses in every way!
The sounds of the tires screeching as the plane lands. The heat of the summer air. The taste of the coffee. The smell of the eucalyptus. The sight of Juan Fernadez's face.
And of course, I love the Spanish in it.
Shelved, sin duda.
un abrazo,
Simon

DMC wrote 1737 days ago

Cath/Noony

A fine, well written pitch you have, m’dear.

And we’re straight into the story from the off. I like that.
I read Ch1 and enjoyed it. But as everyone comments on that one, I thought I’d skip ahead to Ch5 and then Ch10.
A few things strike me about your work. This is very well polished and you do a fine job with your consistent prose. I think Emma is a worthy protag and you obviously have a talent with characterisation. Your target reader will love this I’m sure.
The email in Ch5 is disturbing. This creates great tension, leaving us hoping for a resolution.
Ch10 starts in a very engaging manner. What a situation to be in!

In all this appears to be a very well crafted story with a good range of experiences for the protag. I’m very impressed by your writing.

Well worth a spin on the shelf.
Good luck with it,
David
Green Ore

Lynne wrote 1737 days ago

What a good opening chapter. Strong characters and you have an excellent talent for description. "Those soft eyes that looked like milk chocolate Hershey kisses". Really enjoyed reading this and I'll be back to read more. Lynne.

Rian wrote 1737 days ago

Hmmm... at first, I felt something brewing just under the surface. A set up for some sort of intrigue perhaps?

Then the pacing kept slowing. Interesting dance between the two but it went a touch too long. It has a romance novel feel. If that's what you want, it okay.

The tension/peril part of the plot seemed there, but you faded away from it. You may want to make that a touch more solid here.

I enjoyed your use of imagery. Too often it's ignored. Go with it a little more, especially because this is focused towards women. I want to know how he smells and how he moves. What tone of voice does he have etc.

Shelved.

JohnnySix wrote 1737 days ago

Flawless, near-instant characterization. I really do like that, as so many writers have such a hard time introducing us to their main characters -- but you do it in a way that flows along with the story. None of the dialogue feels forced or unnatural (with the possible exception of Juan using the word "stuff" once -- just jumped out at me, and I have no clue why).

I'm only 3/4 of the way through the second chapter, so I'm not entirely sure where it's going yet, but I have no problem chucking it on my shelf to read more later. Good stuff.

The Bevster wrote 1738 days ago

HI Cath,

I was flicking through the chick lit chart as I wanted something to read while I was eating my tea and I came across Emma Brown.

Firstly, apologies...I usually make notes while I'm reading of the things i like, but as I was eating my tea, I just wanted to read for enjoyment ;o)

I really like Emma, I warmed to her straight away, she's down to earth. I felt like I'd been spirited away to Uraguay, your descriptions are fab, made even more authentic by the smattering of Spanish.

Things look like thjey might be hotting up between Juan and Emma... much to Susanna's annoyance!! - GREAT!

Was glad I stumbled across this - happy to shelve ;o)

Love Bev x
Thicker Than Water

Krista Darrach wrote 1741 days ago

Emma Brown,
Cath,
This is very well written. I loved the easy flow of the narrative and the concise dialog. I couldn't find anything to nitpick. You paint the picutre very well. I didn't want to stop reading.. but it's late. I'll be back!
Shelved.
~Krista Darrach
-Riley's Gift

Phil Rowan wrote 1743 days ago

A moving story, beautifully written, Cath. Backed with pleasure and wishing you luck - Phil Rowan (Weimar Vibes)

Authorfiction wrote 1743 days ago

Easy to read, and understand,I like your story very well,I am kinda new to this type of genere,but it fascinate me very much and want me to read more like this.thanks for the experience.

Chris24Steven wrote 1744 days ago



ILY, Emma Brown.

JANVIER wrote 1746 days ago

Hello C.A,

This is not the type of story I need elaborating on its quality. It is excellently written, with all the right elements of characterization, setting, plot, pacing, dialogue and narrative. In fact this gripping story I will have to return to more than more to read further. Yours is one of the stories here I find with such an excellent mark.

All the best.

Janvier (Flash of the Sun)

Ariom Dahl wrote 1752 days ago

I've read quickly to the end of chapter 8 and although I don't read a great deal of this genre - and I can't work up empathy with Emma - I found myself enjoying it. Can't recall whether I shelved it or not, and it does need work, as do most of the stories on here, but I'll put it up on my shelf for a while. All the best with it.

Dania wrote 1752 days ago

This is my favorite genre and you've got a good story :) Easy to read and you get the reader hooked early on. Liked the POV, we see everything through ther eyes, the landing, the initial meeting with Juan etc.
Liked the closing of ch 1 and the scene on the cessna in ch 4.

maitreyi wrote 1753 days ago

ok, here i am again but i'm not an easy person to please. stand well back.

only because you've asked, here are my comments on the pitch.

'discovered' - this may be clear in the book but it's confusing in the pitch. i think of performers being discovered, not business-women.

'finding love unrequited she crashes' - might be good to add 'emotionally'.

'a new phase of her thriving business' - is this interesting to your reader? or are they here for the sizzle with juan? if the business is important tell us what it is. if it's neither here nor there, don't make such a feature of it in the pitch.

'backed by alan etc' do we need to know this? if he is only 'the money' who cares what his name is? if he's also her lover/father/brother, tell us.

'this gorgeous, dynamic, forty-something businesswoman, divorced for over twenty years..........' you just lost a big chunk of your audience. it's a defensive description that we don't want to identify with especially if we're not 40 or wish we weren't.

in terms of 'happy ending' chick lit, there ain't gonna be no wedding and babies and that's not a seller either. of course happy endings can occur at forty-something (tell me about it) but you don't need to push this aspect on the cover. most of us identify with our younger selves.

'the first man to rock her world since college days' - hello, what's wrong with her??

'spoken for' is not a sexy phrase. try 'taken'. there's a man on this site whose only profile says 'male. taken.' that makes a girl curious...............

you don't arrest things from doing things. this isn't english.

'in a whirlwind............abruptly' - this doesn't hang together. a whirlwind is not abrupt although it may be short-lived.

omg the last sentence is the death knell for the book - get swept up in the mind of an alcoholic in denial. who'd want to? sounds like a black ending - is it meant to? you have to rewrite this so that i'm desperate to open the book.

and we are not permeating a world we seldom get to see. permeate is not the word. penetrating might be but it is such an unhappy sentence, i would start again.

now enough already. i wish i'd never started because as ever i'm coming over as really mean and negative. it's not meant unkindly and i hope it's useful. i seem to remember the book was good. this is a not uncommon problem. i'm thinking of opening a pitch-writing business and giving up my own writing altogether!
xx
maitreyi
BLOGSPOT

Thomas E. Mahon wrote 1753 days ago

C.A.,
This is terrific. I wish I'd read this last week; I could have shown it to my summer school comp. students. Why? You always speak in the active voice. Your choice of verbs is superb, and your use of Spanish is flawless. "Belch" "explode"...just some examples. And I love your title. Simple, yet it beckons the reader to find out more. Oh, and great description of the 777 landing. Couldn't have written it better if I'd tried! Shelved.
Hope you get a chance to read "The First Daughter" if you haven't done so already. I've been so wrapped up in my grading of stacks of high school esssays, I may have forgotten. Cheers!
Tom Mahon

Heidi Mannan wrote 1755 days ago

Okay, somehow I've read this twice. Enjoyed it both times :) This is an easy read with smooth writing and excellent characterizations. Best of luck with it. On my shelf.

Heidi
Turning Red

Ariom Dahl wrote 1756 days ago

I've read two chapters of this and like the interplay between Emma, Susana and Juan. It's not the sort of thing I read a lot of, but I'll keep it on my WL and come back to read some more. There are a few misplaced quote marks and punctuation, but they're easily fixed. In Ch 1 you used 'principle' but I think it should have been 'principal' - it's an adjective. Comfortable reading, and there's a hint of Emma's drinking problem.

maitreyi wrote 1756 days ago

cute book, like sitting down with my favourite biscuits and an episode of something entertaining and girly. definitely shelved.

only one moan : your pitch is flabby and not doing your cute book any favours. sharpen it up so we can tell what we're getting.
xx
maitreyi
BLOGSPOT

ChrisX wrote 1758 days ago

Cath
This is great chick lit: exotic and engaging.
The start is good and we are pulled straight in. The dialogue is convincing and we quickly get to like Emma. You also know how to end a chapter. This is well written!
The only place I can help is with some nitpicks on punctuation. I wasn't looking for it but spotted the following:
* …smile[.] “Where did you …”
* …just smiled[.] “I’d love…”
* "…the 70s[,]” he said…
* "...best for me[,]" said Emma...
On my shelf without hesitation.
Chris (I Dare You)

Patricia wrote 1759 days ago

Very publishable. Great story. I like it very much, and regret that alcohol is to be the villain. It's along the lines of Danielle Steele, and a total page turner.

I like the knowledge displayed in all of the descriptions. I felt like I was in Uraquay, a place I've never been, and then I felt like I was on a commercial set. And I like the lightness of the dialoque and the pace. There is a very pleasant narrator voice, clearly in control of the entire mood.

I would like more description of Ms. Brown's past.

I read the whole thing and enjoyed it.

Thank you

Sheilab wrote 1759 days ago

hi Cath
have read all 8 chapters. I liked this. Some bits I wasn't sure about to start off with. Felt, for example, that you were 'avoiding' the alcohol scenes but this changed the more i read.
On my shelf
Sheila

Andrew W. wrote 1760 days ago

Emma Brown

Hi CA, This is going to be a great read, beautiful back-drop, beautiful people, dark demons pulling at our main character. A heady mix to start with. There is no real fore-shadowing of what is to come, the beginning is light and frothy and very realistically written, they say write what you know and you have quite clearly done that. Great stuff. Emma is broken inside and will prove, I am sure, a very interesting and engaging character throughout this book. A quick, short read and it deserves to do well, I found your writing efficient, evocative and descriptive and the plot was delivered quickly and without labour. Good stuff, the very best of luck with it - Andrew W.

Lord Dunno wrote 1760 days ago

This is desperate and yet it's not the harrowing gut wrench I thought it would be, It's human and funny and just way too real only in a good way. Disaster is one step away and yet at the same time you drag us over to Uruguay. It's a mixed bag but all of it is inviting. In some ways Emma reminds me of one of Greene's flawed heroes only a female version.

pattimari wrote 1761 days ago

Back just finished ch 7. I've got to tell you, addiction is something I've been around in my profession and it really affects people. You've done your research because your book is so real. I have to tell you, I think more books should be written on this subject since there are so many out there that could benefit from the storyline. I am impressed and want to shelve it as soon as I find room on my shelve. I have another chapter to read too.
So I will be back and hopefully by then my shelve with allow me to put your book on it.

Listen, I did see a few small items you need to revise, but I know if you do as I do, you re-read and revise often, so I won't go there since they are so few. Read and excellent read.

ML Hamilton wrote 1762 days ago

Noony,

Okay, you've got me wanting to jet off to Uruguay this moment. You set the scene so vividly and capture the joy of the people. You have a subtle hand at contrasting the differences between American culture and those of Latin America. You also poke a little fun at the close-mindedness of Americans with the whole education dialogue. More than that, you capture the essence of someone speaking English as a second language. That was very convincing.

The only nit-pick I have is why Juan ordered vodka from the duty free. You didn't indicate that she had asked for that. You might want to clear up that one little issue. Other than that, I truly loved the transportation to a new culture.

On my shelf,

ML

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