Selling Synopsis Examples

Cathy C

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Okay, so this thread's all about synopses that SOLD a book or series. All of us have been forced to learn to write a synopsis, and everyone hates it. :rant:

But I thought that seeing some different examples would help a lot of aspiring authors, because there are as many ways to write a synopsis as there are ways to write a book. So, here's the first of what I hope will be many examples of synopses that either sold, or helped sell a romance/women's fiction novel! I should note that my co-author Cie and I had already sold two books to Tor when I wrote this. The sale of our first book was an anomaly that didn't play by the regular rules of publishing. But to sell the SECOND series, we did have to play by the rules.

Now, you're going to find that I don't write a synopsis like any you've probably seen. I'd never read any books about how to when I wrote it, and hadn't yet joined any writing forums like AW to ask questions. However, I still like our method better than others I've seen, so feel free to use the format for your own synopsis. This is exactly 2 pages, single spaced. But the story changed a bit from the synopsis to the final version, because it wasn't completed when this was written. :)

****************

SYNOPSIS OF
TOUCH OF EVIL

Setting:
This first in a series, full length (100,000+) paranormal adventure is set in the city of Denver, CO. It’s told in first person, from the heroine’s POV. It is late summer in the present time, in an alternate reality.

Characters:
Mary Kathleen ("Kate") Reilly: The female heroine is approximately 28. She is a former professional beach volleyball player, who retired after severe shoulder injuries. She is presently self-employed as a bonded air courier. She’s 6'1", with green eyes and red-gold hair that she often wears in a braid. She continues to keep fit by running and working out in a home gym. She is a devout Irish Catholic, and owns a converted warehouse in lower downtown ("LoDo") in Denver. In addition to her own apartment, she has four other rentals in the building. Kate has a great abundance of psychic talent, which was discovered by the Thrall, a self-aware parasitic society which preys on humans. Kate has been attacked in order to make her the Thrall queen. But to become the queen would mean that she would lose her own consciousness, and is the equivalent of being dead to her. She is considered, "Not Prey" by the queen collective, because she killed the previous Thrall queen of Denver, but has a penchant for wearing biker leathers due to her paranoia of future vampire attacks.

Tom Bishop: Tom Bishop is approximately 30 years old. He is an extremely handsome firefighter in Denver, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. He is a known lycanthrope. Tom is the ultimate search and rescue dog during fires and disasters. He retains his mental capability, which is unusual for a wolf in this reality. Tom is one of the tenants in Kate’s building. He and Kate have flirted for over a year, and he’s very interested in her, but he has not been allowed to do so by his pack leader. In this reality, the wolf pack is a matriarchal society, but the females are sterile, and they must have a human surrogate to increase the pack size. The female leader, or "Acca", will not allow Tom to date until the surrogate has chosen a mate from among the single males.

Dylan Shea
: Formerly Kate’s fianc
é, he cheated on her with Kate’s best friend Amanda Quinn, and left Kate when he chose to become part of the Thrall herd – a blood donor to the queen. He is approximately 29, with wavy black hair and sapphire blue eyes. He’s regretted leaving Kate for Amanda, but knows he’s hurt her too much to go back to her. Or has he?

Storyline
:
The book opens with Kate returning home from a delivery of gemstones to Tel Aviv. At the airport, she discovers she is being followed by a Thrall Host. Her psychic connection to the Thrall collective acts as an "early radar" for nearby humans which have been absorbed by one of the parasites. She is able to escape the Host, but in her trip home from the airport (miles outside the city), another Host runs her off the road. While she is not injured, the police insist she be checked at a hospital. Kate has two brothers, Bryan and Joe. Bryan is a mental invalid who is cared for at the local church. Joe is a doctor at a particular hospital, so that’s where she goes. She’s attacked there by the Thrall queen, Monica, who uses one of the nurses under mind control to attempt to inject Kate with a drug to make her woozy so that Monica can implant queen eggs in an arm vein. Monica hates Kate with an almost psychotic passion. When Kate killed the former queen, all of the Hosts and Herd which were attached to the former queen also died, leaving Monica alone, and driving her nearly insane. Making Kate the next queen is the perfect revenge.

Once home, Kate receives a message from her former fianc
é, Dylan Shea, asking to meet with her the next day. He doesn’t give a reason. Considering the difficult way they broke off their engagement, and the fact that they haven’t seen each other since, Kate is more than a little nervous, but also curious. The following day, she runs into Tom Bishop in the lobby. He invites himself to her apartment for breakfast. Kate is surprised, but pleased at the turn of events, since he hasn’t ever shown much interest in her other than as his landlord and running partner. He seems to struggle within himself, but eventually kisses her. An erotic scene ensues which is interrupted before consummation by the arrival of Joe, ready to accompany Kate to meet with Dylan. This is not what Tom wanted to hear, and he leaves in a huff.

Feeling angry, nervous and afraid, Kate travels to a local pool hall to meet Dylan. She is pleased at her lack of emotion at seeing him again. She’s introduced to Dylan’s brother-in-law, Matt Quinn. This is quite a shock to Kate, who hadn’t realized that Dylan married the woman he left Kate for. However, it makes her life easier, knowing there’s no future with him. Dylan convinces her to help he and Matt find his young niece, Dusty Quinn. Kate realizes through a mental impression from Dylan that somehow the Thrall hive is involved with Dusty’s disappearance, but she doesn’t know in what way, because Dylan is suddenly paralyzed by Monica, making further questioning impossible. Eventually, Kate realizes that Monica is at the end of her life. In case she cannot capture Kate, she has arranged another possible queen candidate, Dusty.

Kate soon learns that Dusty is being protected by the local werewolf pack after agreeing to become their human surrogate. Kate uses all of her sources in Denver to find try to find Dusty, and it sets her at odds with Tom, who is protecting the girl. Kate doesn’t know that Tom has been forbidden from pursuing her by his pack leader, the Acca. But he’s afraid that the situation will prevent him from ever getting a shot at Kate, and gives in to his feelings for her, in an intense lovemaking scene. But he doesn’t know how his pack leader will react.

Dylan is intent on keeping Dusty safe. But as part of Monica’s herd, he fight her mental commands to deliver either Kate or Dusty. He does the only thing he can think of – he contracts with another Queen and becomes a Host, severing him from Monica’s influence, but guaranteeing his death. When Dylan meets Kate in a clothing store to give her information to help her find Dusty, they end up kissing passionately. Neither of them realized that his transformation makes him able to feel things for Kate that he’s never comprehended, and her attraction to him in return unnerves her because of her disgust for any Thrall and the fact that he’s married.

Kate finally arranges with Tom to meet with the Acca of the werewolves to prove to herself that Dusty is safe and unable to be turned by Monica. The meeting doesn’t start as planned, because of several subplot stalls, the first of which involves Kate being pressured to deliver divorce papers to a long standing client, despite her reluctance. Next, one of Monica’s Hosts has kidnaped Kate’s brother Bryan and Kate must rescue him. Fortunately, manages to get him back before the Host delivers him to Monica. When she finally reaches the werewolf meeting, she learns that the Acca is not pleased with her or Tom for becoming involved. She warns Kate that despite their feelings for each other, Tom is not yet available and any further interference by Kate will have dire results. Kate doesn’t know how to respond to this ultimatum, but does ensure that Dusty is safe with the wolves.

Kate spots a glint of light in a nearby window and recognizes it as a rifle scope. She yells a warning just as a shot rings out. Dusty is only shot in the shoulder due to the Acca’s quick action, and the wolves change in a flash and attack the gunman. The police arrive because of the gun shot, and Kate is taken to a room to await interrogation. She spends the time trying to sort out her feelings for both Tom and Dylan. She is fortunate that the detective who arrives to question her is another Not Prey who recognizes her. They agree to assist each other in removing Monica from Denver, however they must. Monica arrives at the scene just as they are leaving. She has captured Tom and has brought dozens of Hosts with a final threat: agree to be queen or she’ll order the Hosts to slaughter Tom, the police, the other wolves, and every human in sight. Monica has nothing left to lose, and Kate knows she will carry out the threat. She agrees to allow Monica to lay eggs in her vein, with a number of stipulations. Only the wolves, the detective and Father Mike are allowed to help.

But Monica didn’t plan on Dylan’s free will as part of another hive. He manages to free Tom, but the reader later learns that he was killed during the rescue. Tom gets into the church via the belfry and attacks the vampire who is keeping the others from helping Kate. In a tense scene, Kate’s brain fluctuates between her own thoughts and that of the queen hatchling. The detective is able to remove all but the strongest queen hatchling by dissolving the eggs in whiskey. A tourniquet prevents the hatchling from reaching the brain, so it explodes through her skin and tries to crawl in her mouth. But Bryan throws the bowl of whiskey into Kate’s face, killing the hatchling. The ending is tinged in sorrow for Dylan’s death, but is warm when Tom reveals his love, despite the future wrath of his Acca.

***********
 

Glenda

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Thank you Cathy for all the help you give us.
 

Susan Gable

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Okay, this is the synopsis from the first book I sold to Super. (my first sale, period. <G>) I'm a big fan of GMC, so I like to try to get that in there upfront. Also, Super is big on conflict (inner) so that should always be spelled out as clearer as possible.

This is a 5 page, 12 pt Times New Roman DS synopsis. It's from before Super started requiring us to submit hugely detailed synopsises with our partials. Some of my more recent ones run 11-16 pages. <sigh> :)

It's funny to read this now, because some of this changed, especially some of the motivation. And the hero's first name got changed, too. LOL.

********

Synopsis for The Baby Plan by Susan Gable

Having faced his own mortality while watching his best friend die far too young from cancer, BROC MANNING's biological clock is ticking - loudly. His half-siblings, whom he raised since their father's death, have also left home and started their own families.

He craves a child of his own, a lifeline to the future, to eternity. But he doesn't want the emotional entanglement of a woman, because women always leave. He knows from too much experience that when they do, they leave behind a mountain of pain. His mother left three broken-hearted kids; his wife took his hopes and dreams for the future; even his best friend's widow left town despite Broc's efforts to provide his godchildren with a substitute father figure.

Always a man with a plan, the architect knows exactly what he needs: a surrogate.

HARLEY EMERSON wants to be somebody - somebody else. The talented female mechanic is tired of not measuring up, tired of society sneering at her. Illegitimate, abandoned as an infant by her mother, and raised in a series of less-than-desirable foster homes after the death of her father, her heart longs for the security of a real home - a dormant fantasy she doesn't think obtainable because she's unworthy. The one thing she doesn't foresee in her fantasy family is a child of her own. She's scared to bring a baby into a world she knows only as harsh and cruel. She never wants another child to live a life like she has.

Harley believes a college education and a high-powered career in business management will transform her into someone new and acceptable, and she's working hard to obtain it.

Broc and Harley meet when she repairs his Mustang. He reports the theft of items from his car to the garage owner and inadvertently gets her fired. He believes her profession of innocence and finds himself attracted to her spirit as well as her sexy voice and curvaceous body, a body designed for child-bearing. Captivated, he asks his cop brother to do a little snooping in her files. The search turns up some interesting information. Broc feels guilty about getting her fired and decides to take her to dinner. He wants first hand details about her criminal record. If he gets the answers he expects, he has a proposition for her.

Harley is surprised someone as up-scale as Broc Manning is showing interest in her. She's attracted to him, especially to the compassion she saw in his eyes at the garage when her boss fired her. Just another case of getting convicted and sentenced for a crime she didn't commit. She had nothing to do with the chop-shop run by a former boss and tells Broc so. Surprise gives way to outright shock when he proposes she be a surrogate for him in exchange for the financing of her dream, her college degree.
She declares his plan cold and refuses. As she storms from the restaurant, he begs for the chance to prove he'd make a great father. Harley is reminded she's not good enough to attract a man like Broc; they come from two different worlds.

Her criminal record, a mistake she fears will haunt her forever, interferes with her finding a new job. Still struggling to pay old debts run up in her name by an ex-boyfriend, she gives up her apartment and ends up living in the back of her pick-up. Surrounded by Broc's attempts to convince her he'll provide a wonderful home for a child (photographs of him with his twin nieces, baptismal certificates naming him godfather of his best friend's children, and a "daddy resume") Harley considers his plan. Will providing one child with the kind of home she never had somehow balance out the grand scheme of things?

She goes to his home to discuss it with him, and to present him with her two non-negotiable conditions: a marriage of convenience and an old-fashioned conception to prevent society from sneering at the child.

The idea of making a baby in bed with this beautiful woman sends Broc's hormones into overdrive, but guilt over being responsible for her living arrangements gnaws at him. He's not about to enter into such an important agreement with a woman who seems to have no choice. He doesn't want to give her any room to back out on him later, to renege and leave, taking his child with her. He declines her terms for the time being. He plans to find her a new job and new living quarters and then, when her back is no longer against a wall, they'll renegotiate the terms of the surrogacy. He tucks her into his sister's old room.

Harley hates the new job Broc helps her secure - an oil change technician at the Quik E. Lube. Even mechanics have their pecking order, and an oil change technician is pretty much the bottom rung. Still, she learned a long time ago beggars can't be choosers. An encounter with a well-off client who's more interested in a different sort of lube job from Harley reinforces her burning desire to be something more.

After work, she finds Broc babysitting his twin nieces. Watching him with the little girls solidifies her belief that this endearing man truly deserves his dream of a baby of his own. He'll give a child the home she always wanted for herself, surrounded by doting aunts and uncles, with cousins for playmates. And his large, extended family will provide back-up in case something happens to him - like the accident that claimed her own father.

Broc now agrees to her conditions, understanding a marriage is actually in his child's best interest. He also likes having her in his home so he can closely monitor the pregnancy. For the baby's sake, they both agree not to tell his family the true status of their relationship.

Broc plans an unforgettable wedding night with candlelight, wine, and soft music. Overwhelmed by his tenderness and consideration, Harley falls for him, hard. Knowing he only wants her for the child she intends to give him, that she's not good enough to be a keeper in his life, she's torn between wanting to conceive quickly to shorten the pain and wanting her time with him to last.

She enrolls in school full-time for the fall semester. Two months after their summer wedding, they discover she's pregnant. Harley hears the clock ticking down the time until she must leave both her child and the man she's come to love.

Now that she's pregnant, Broc believes he can suspend his attraction to her. When a disagreement over her choice of breakfast foods leads to a steamy chocolate-icing incident, his control shatters, but a work-related phone call interrupts. At Harley's urging, he reluctantly accepts an out-of-town offer for a hotel design. For the baby's sake, she wants him to have the money and prestige this design will bring.

He's unhappy about leaving her alone, but plans to use the time to wrestle his growing feelings for her into submission. He can't afford to fall in love with her. He's already on that road, but can't admit it. Her unique combination of strength and vulnerability tugs at his heart. But this isn't in his plan, and can only lead to disaster and heartache he's not willing to face again. Besides, if he were going to fall for another woman, it wouldn't be one who could plan to give up her child.

He returns home a few days before Christmas. Neither confesses the loneliness each felt during their separation. Harley has also discovered her business classes aren't quite what she'd hoped. She's been bored with most of them.

As a result of her childhood, Harley has Scrooge's attitude towards Christmas, but Broc vows to change it. A playful search for a tree culminates with the decorating. In a soul-baring conversation, Harley finally tells Broc the story of her name. Now he understands how far back her vulnerability goes. He realizes he's in love with her, and they make love beside the lit tree.
He dares not voice his feelings. Loving a woman never made a difference in the past; they always left anyway. His bruised and battered heart can't take that kind of rejection again. So, he'll quietly go along with the original plan, take the time they have together and cherish the memories - along with their child.

Christmas with Broc and his family awaken Harley's long-dormant dreams of belonging to a real family. She realizes now that although her child will have the life she's always dreamed of, she also wants to be part of this family. When the twins give her a sweatshirt proclaiming her "The World's Greatest Aunt," guilt at being a fraud and deceiving them, as well as the pain of coming so close to obtaining her dream, overwhelm her. She tearfully bolts the room.

Having never seen her cry before, Broc follows, concerned by her reaction. He doesn't want to lose the baby - or, he suddenly realizes, her. He wants it all. Overwrought, she sobs in his arms, confessing her desire not to be "returned" or sent away, as she was sent packing from so many foster homes. She cries herself to sleep.

Given her background, he concludes she may be the one woman who will stay forever if offered the home denied her as a child. When she awakens, he puts his heart on the line and confesses his love, asking her to stay. But Harley believes it's the holiday and his fear of losing his child talking, and rejects his "pretty words." She can't imagine she's worthy of him or their child.

He's determined to prove his love is true and she'll make a good mother. When an opportunity arises for her to baby-sit his nieces, he believes she'll gain confidence in her mothering skills. She ends up watching his infant nephew as well, and the night is a series of minor disasters. Broc returns home to three screaming children. His brother arrives in time to hear Harley's panicked recounting and he hurls accusations of incompetence at her. She agrees.

Believing she's a menace, and Broc and their baby will be better off without her, she decides to leave. Heart breaking, she does what she thinks is best for them. A note confesses her love and informs him that she'll call when it's time for him to come and pick up the baby.

Broc is devastated. Another woman has left. But this time he's not just going to suffer the pain in silence. This time he's going to do something about it - he's going after her.

He flies to her former-parole-officer-turned-best-friend's Florida home. When she doesn't show up after four days, Broc becomes frantic. A phone call from a sheriff finally reveals that she is several hours away - in jail. Broc and Harley's friend drive to the jail to retrieve her.

A routine traffic stop escalated when a young deputy, aware of her previous record, frisked her - a little too friendly for Harley's taste and she ended up arrested for assault. The sheriff, aware of his deputy's penchant for over-stepping the bounds on occasion, offers to drop the charges if Harley agrees not to press any of her own.

Not expecting Broc, Harley is humiliated when he shows up and sees her in a jail cell. It's further proof how unsuitable she is for him or their child. They deserve better. Broc confesses his love again, imploring her to come home with him and make a real family. She realizes a man on his knees outside a jail cell, who's traveled more than a thousand miles to find her, isn't plying her with "pretty words and empty promises." He truly loves her - just the way she is. She accepts his new proposal and new plan, including his offer of her own garage. His unconditional love frees her to be herself.

Epilogue: Harley gives birth to a daughter. Broc's baby plan works out even better than he expected. Not only does he get a baby, he gets a woman to love them both, forever. And Harley gets the home and family of which she always dreamed.
 
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Susan Gable

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Here's the synospis for my second book, the one I called Firefly Wishes, but that sold as The Mommy Plan. <G> (When they changed the name of the book, I changed the name of the camp to Camp Firefly Wishes. <G>)

Disillusioned optimist Rachel Thompson arrives at Camp Rainbow – a summer camp for transplant kids and their families – just wanting to survive the emotional roller coaster and get a good report from the camp directors, friends of her principal. Her cherished teaching career, the one thing she has left since her divorce and only child’s death, is on the line. Her principal thinks the camp will help her come to grips with her loss by showing her miracles created by organ donors – like her son. Trained by her military father to suppress her emotions, Rachel fears her heart may not survive intact.

Overprotective single dad James McClain wants his eight-year-old daughter, Molly, to have a normal summer experience – within reason, of course. Her heart transplant has given her the energy to fully enjoy life for the first time, but he doesn’t want her overtaxing herself.

James and Rachel meet when he follows her into the camp parking lot. She’s flustered when she catches herself ogling the handsome stranger – she doesn’t do that sort of thing. And James assigns Rachel to his fantasy woman category because he doesn’t have time in his life for “real women.” Occasional fantasy is all he can manage between a psychology practice and raising his daughter.

Rachel and James discover they’re cabin neighbors, adding proximity to chemistry. A discussion reveals both to be divorce-wounded. Having mistaken him for another camp volunteer, she bolts when he mentions his heart-recipient daughter.

Molly wishes her father would stop smothering her, so she, along with her friend, Cherish - another heart transplant child - hatches a plan of distraction: find him a woman. The blond lady she caught him staring at when they first arrived could be perfect. Molly initiates contact with Rachel at a campfire, learning the woman is a teacher – perfect, she must like kids – and is unmarried with no children of her own.

Memories of her son threaten to overwhelm Rachel during the ceremonial lighting of the camp’s memory torch. James finds her leaning against a tree, eyes closed. Drawn to her obvious emotional struggle, he recommends she deal with whatever threatens to consume her from within. She redirects the conversation. Sparks fly as James tries to remove sticky marshmallow residue from the corner of her mouth. When he introduces Molly as his daughter, Rachel is surprised to discover she’s the little girl who brought her a marshmallow. James is disappointed when Molly’s offer to show Rachel her transplant scar sends the woman fleeing. Obviously she’s like his ex-wife: uneasy around medically fragile kids.

Molly later casually confesses an interest in finding a new mom for their family. James insists only a very special woman could be part of their lives, and that Molly’s love is enough for him.

Molly enters her father and Rachel in the adults’ three-legged race. They win dinner for two at a nearby restaurant. Both are disconcerted at the prospect of being perceived as a couple. An ecstatic Molly and Cherish continue plotting to get them to go on the "date."

Rachel’s arrival at a parent support meeting surprises James. He and the other parents are stunned when she reveals her young son was an organ donor. Unable to deal with a public display of her boiling emotions, Rachel retreats to her cabin.

James follows, offering comfort, holding her during a long-overdue venting of her grief. Drawn to his compassion, never having been comforted in this manner, Rachel finds herself hoping he’ll kiss her – maybe the pain will fade for a moment if he does. But he doesn’t. They agree to be friends, and Rachel shares some of her anger over the loss of her son. He calls her decision to donate her son’s organs brave; she says she was only logical, and couldn’t save the child she really wanted to.

James finds himself haunted by the images she creates: Her son in a sterile operating room, surrounded by strangers, heart kept beating so it could be transplanted into someone like Molly, while Rachel grieved alone. Later that night, James goes to check on her. On the way, Molly gives him a plastic cup of fireflies she’s captured, insisting Rachel needs the wishes.

Following an intimate conversation and shared firefly wishes in the moonlight, James wants to kiss Rachel, though he knows it’s a bad idea. She admits to wishing that Molly's new heart stays strong and healthy so James never knows the grief of losing a child, and also for Molly's donor family to know peace in their loss. Seeing the pain in her eyes and wanting to distract her, he declares his wish for a kiss. She demurs; he insists there’s no time limit for firefly wishes to come true.

Over the next few days, their bond grows stronger as Rachel demonstrates her quiet strength and James supports her through emotional rough waters. Molly and Rachel also grow closer. Molly wishes Rachel could be more than just a summer distraction for her father, especially after Rachel plans a water balloon fight just for them after finding her watching the rest of her group swimming – an activity forbidden by her father because of his concern about germs. James catches Molly with the water balloons and sternly lectures her, prompting her to pitch a fit of her own. When she stomps into their cabin, he turns on Rachel, only to be stopped short by her wet t-shirt and the sudden flames between them. Their first kiss is explosive, and leads to them agreeing to claim their prize and go on a “real date.”

Their dinner date combines emotional sharing and physical tension as James does his best to distract her from unpleasant memories, triggered by the restaurant and food, about the day of Daniel's death. As they leave, another diner has a heart attack. James performs CPR, saving the man. He drives the victim’s wife to the hospital, unaware that Rachel hasn’t set foot in one since her son’s death. Though she makes a brave attempt, the memories set-off by the sensory input of the ER overwhelm her, and she faints – in full view of both James and the camp director (Who, also a psychologist, is at the hospital for a support group he runs.) So much for her “good report.” James again comforts her after she flees, though he’s truly disconcerted by her reaction – a woman with a phobia like that could never be a real part of his and Molly’s life. And he’s so drawn to Rachel, on more than just a physical level now.

The night’s events lead Rachel to fully realize the fragility and fleetingness of life, and she adopts a new philosophy of living in the moment. In that vein, she and James make love, agreeing it’s a summer romance and nothing more. Though Rachel has fallen for this compassionate man, she’s willing to accept even one night with him rather than miss out on something special.

James, Rachel, and Molly spend Saturday, a free day from camp (week-ends are arranged with choices of activities for the families, not “regular” camp activities), at an amusement park. This leads to further conflict between James and Rachel when she disagrees with how he restricts Molly’s activities.

The remaining week of camp passes quickly, with them stealing moments to be together. On the last night of camp, James and Rachel decide to continue their relationship on week-ends since neither of them wants to give it up. Molly is thrilled at the idea.

James and Molly spend a week-end at Rachel's house. They meet her father, brother and nieces, as well as her principal, who is impressed with Rachel's emotional progress. James can see past her father's gruff, military exterior to a man greatly concerned about his daughter's well-being - something James can totally relate to. Rachel is touched when James wants to visit Daniel's grave, and he places a small yellow school bus (an item of great significance for Daniel. Rachel had confided to James how her son longed to go to kindergarten on the big yellow school bus, and he hadn't made it) near the headstone. Rachel struggles with her feelings of love for both James and Molly. How can their relationship be anything more when Rachel's terrified of losing another child?

During the week, Rachel's ex-husband visits to tell her that he's about to marry again, and his fiancée is pregnant. Rachel's father shows up and chastises Roman, but because of his presence, Rachel cannot vent her devastation that the man she holds responsible for their child’s death will have another while her life is empty.

James calls her. His afternoon schedule is suddenly free due to patients canceling appointments, and does she want to meet him "half-way" (between their respective hometowns) for a late lunch? Definitely! She needs his touch, his compassion, his attention. Though they meet at a restaurant parking lot for lunch, Rachel is hungry for something more than food, and they get a motel room.

Desperately in need of physical reassurance, Rachel initiates a near-frantic bout of love-making. Afterwards, James gets her to confide in him about Roman's new marriage and child, and how she feels so empty, so alone. James gently reminds her that nothing or no one will ever take Daniel's place in her life, not even another child. He realizes he's falling in love with Rachel. However, he needs to know that she can overcome her hospital phobia to be part of his life. Molly deserves a mother who can help her in all aspects of her life. When he mentions the hospital, she gets upset, and orders him to stay out of her head. He decides patience is in order. She's already made great progress with her healing, but he doesn't want to rush her.

On the next week-end visit, Rachel goes to their house. Things take an interesting turn when Molly, still scheming for ways to make them fall in love with each other, manages to lock her father and Rachel in the master bathroom. (***Note - this whole section got changed. My ed decided that it was a safety hazzard for the kid to lock these people in a room together. <G>) It's there that they each confess their love to the other. Neither of them bring up Rachel's hospital phobia, and they're hopeful about the future for the first time in years. James's parents arrive at the house, and release the trapped pair from the bathroom - not exactly the first meeting Rachel had hoped for. She begs James not to punish Molly - who is now sleeping soundly, looking quite angelic - for the prank. After all, it led to good things and reminds Rachel of her son's pranks.

On Saturday night, James is called away to a patient-related crisis. He leaves Molly in Rachel's care. Molly enjoys her time with Rachel, doing things with her that a little girl would do with her mom, like playing with her make-up and painting her nails.
That night, Molly confides her ultimate firefly wish: to have Rachel as her new mom. Rachel worries she can’t be a good mother to her because of the hospital phobia. James has helped her make sense of her grief – maybe he could help her overcome her fear? She's cautiously optimistic.

Until later, when Molly decides that with her father gone, now's a good time to slide down the banister. Surely Rachel won't yell at her for something like that - especially not after sticking up for her the night before. But Molly falls and may have broken her arm. Rachel frantically tries to call James, but only gets his voice mail. The service refers her call to his partner. After calling for 911, Rachel calls his parents as well. She tries to go with Molly to the hospital, but hyperventilates as she climbs into the back of the ambulance. Molly's grandmother takes Rachel's place, while the little girl frantically assures Rachel that it doesn't matter if she can't handle "medical stuff." But a dejected Rachel realizes she can't do this - she can't love Molly and James; it's just not fair to them. When James arrives home many hours later, with a sleeping, sprained-wrist-ed Molly in his arms, they both agree - the relationship will have to end for his daughter's sake. James decides that once again, being a father has to take priority over being "just a man," despite the face that he loves Rachel. Molly's wishing for a new mom, and Rachel can't be that for her. It's unfair to put the little girl through this kind of emotional wringer. Sad and heart-hurting once again, Rachel leaves.

Several weeks later, Molly's routine biopsy turns up the news every transplant parent dreads: rejection. At Molly’s insistence, James calls Rachel, certain she'll never face her fear of loss and hospitals to come to his child's bedside. That stings because he needs her strength and the comfort of their love as he faces his greatest nightmare.

His call reaches Rachel in her classroom on the day before school opens. The career she's struggled so hard to preserve is nothing compared to the man and child she's come to love. She tells her principal to arrange for a sub and, despite her fears, she heads for the hospital, unable to leave James and Molly alone in a time of crisis.

Surprised at her arrival, James realizes if she's left her classroom and faced her fears, her love for them is strong - strong enough that with her, he can be both a good father, and "just a man." She'll make a fabulous mom for Molly. He proposes to her; she accepts.

Epilogue: The next summer, recovered and doing well, Molly prepares to attend camp by herself. When James asks what her firefly wish will be this summer, Molly wishes for a sister. Unable to resist an opening like that, Rachel shares the news she was saving for her night alone with her husband, James: they're expecting a baby. The magic of love and firefly wishes has created a new family and eased the pain in Rachel’s heart.

(***Note: Ha! I did away with that epilogue, too. LOL. It's funny to read these again.)
 
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BarbaraSheridan

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This synopsis is for a long historical that's out now.

Synopsis

BITTERSWEET SURRENDER

by

Barbara Sheridan​


1892
Indian Territory



Fiercely proud of the Choctaw blood inherited from her mother, Star McNamara would like nothing better than to see all non﷓Indian "intruders" ejected from the territory, for she believes them to be responsible for the increasing lawlessness of the land. She uses her position as editor of the Choctaw Sentinel to voice this opinion and to promote candidates of the National Party whom she hopes will win this year's hotly contested tribal elections.

Jason Hillhouse is as proud of his heritage as Star, but in his capacity as a captain of the Light Horse, the Choctaw Nation's tribal police, he has seen the futility of trying to have both Indian and white citizens co﷓exist under separate legal systems. He is against women meddling in the male arena of politics and is a supporter of the Progressive Party who believes that the future of the Choctaw Nation lies in obtaining United States citizenship and integrating fully with the white settlers.

Although their fathers have been friends for decades, Star and Jason have always walked the fine line between love and hate ( leaning heavily towards the hate side), but all that changes when Jason is shot while apprehending whiskey smugglers and is treated by Star's father, a physician.

Jason is napping and in the midst of an erotic dream when Star comes to tell him that his parents have arrived. Jason, under the influence of pain medication, is only half aware of her presence. Still dreaming, he reaches out, coaxing his imaginary lover to fondle him.

Caught off guard, Star reacts impulsively and allows herself to "take the edge off" Jason's pent﷓up desire then flees, angry at Jason for his unconscious actions and at herself for behaving in such a sinful manner﷓﷓and liking it.

Later that night, following a heated argument with Star, Jason realizes that he cannot recuperate under the roof of the woman who has been a thorn in his side for as long as he can remember. Ignoring the pain of his gunshot wounds, his own common sense, and the approach of a storm, he leaves the McNamara house.

The following morning Star regrets her harsh words when Jason is found by their mutual friend, Seth Willis. He is returned to Dr. McNamara's home suffering from the reopening of his wounds and a pneumonic infection brought on by his exposure to the elements.

Jason hovers between life and death with the doctor's treatments ineffective. In desperation, Jason's parents send for an alikchi, a Choctaw shaman whom Star knows to be a dangerous fraud. Despite the questionable ministrations of the medicine woman, Jason's fever breaks and he regains consciousness. He leaves to recuperate at the home of his parents as soon as possible.

An encounter in church and Jason's scathing response to one of Star's editorials adds fuel to the fiery tension that has always existed between them, but the mutual dislike takes a much different turn when Jason comes to Star's rescue and prevents her from being molested by immigrant coalminers.

Wanting to delve further into this newfound attraction (which intensifies after Star presides over the emergency birth of his brother's child) Jason invites Star to dine out with him only to have another obligation take precedence.

Star never receives Jason's apologetic note and assumes that he has led her on the way he did when she was younger (the time he, his cousin, and friend played an elaborate practical joke on her). When Jason learns that his younger brother purposely destroyed his note, he tries to explain, but Star rebuffs him. He is called away to resume his law enforcement duties.

Jason returns for his niece's christening and he and Star share a pleasant afternoon at the large family gathering and feel their attraction grow only to have their differences over politics and the independence of women lead to another heated argument. However, the animosity fades over the ensuing days and the attraction reaches its pinnacle at a community celebration.

Jason whisks Star away from the crowd and they make love on a secluded hilltop, beneath a star﷓filled sky. But the lovers' newfound happiness is shattered the following day when Jason is arrested and charged with the murder of one of the whiskey smugglers he shot in the line of duty.

He is taken to Fort Smith, Arkansas to stand trial before "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker. Star goes to Arkansas to be near him. Jason knows that it may be a long time until his trial and he fears the strong possibility of hanging for killing a white, United States citizen (other Indian officers have been so charged in the past). Consequently, he says cruel things to Star under the mistaken belief that she would be better off forgetting him.

Heartbroken, Star returns home to Indian Territory and has to come to grips with the feelings of degradation and emptiness Jason's words have caused. These feelings are compounded by the happiness of her stepsister, Lucy, who becomes engaged to Star's friend, Seth.

Jason is acquitted, but bitter over his ordeal for a time (Star witnesses his temper in action) and when he and Star are reunited at the wedding of Lucy and Seth, she refuses to listen when Jason awkwardly tries to explain his earlier words and actions. Ignoring his father's advice to give Star as much time as she needs, Jason confronts her at her newspaper office two days later.

They reconcile and begin to talk of their own wedding plans while the tribal elections and Star's fear of losing her independence create friction between them. The friction escalates after Star's brother﷓in﷓law is arrested in connection with a series of politically motivated assassinations that place the Choctaw Nation on the brink of a civil war (with Star and Jason on opposing sides).

Jason and Star keep up a united front until Seth is given a speedy trial, is found guilty, and is sentenced to be executed. With the engagement on indefinite hold, Star goes east to pursue an independent life (which is empty without Jason to share it).

Both miserable, Star and Jason reunite and have a bittersweet reunion on the day appointed for Seth's execution. There seems to be light beyond this dark day until the assembled peace officers refuse, one by one, to be the executioner. His sense of duty absolute, Jason carries out the death sentence at the judge's order while Star watches in horror. Overwhelmed by his actions, Jason leaves the territory.

A few months later Star is aghast when her stepsister asks her to be her son's godmother, telling Star that Jason is to be the godfather. Star relents upon learning that Seth, himself, chose the baby's godparents when he learned of Lucy's pregnancy just before his death.

When the christening is over, Star finds Jason consumed with grief at Seth's gravesite and when he asks her help in coping with the guilt she admits to herself what she has known all along﷓--that she loves Jason Hillhouse with all her heart and will do everything in her power to ease his pain.

The End​
 

pepperlandgirl

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This is the synopsis for Mad World. Whiskey Creek Press offered a contract based on it and the first three chapters. It's 3 pages, single spaced.

Mad World begins with the discovery of a corpse of a young prostitute. She’s just one in a long line of victims, and detectives Jason Squires and Laurel Davidson are assigned the impossible task of finding a serial killer, or killers, who never leave a clue. Jason leaves the crime scene frustrated and angry and runs into Daisy Winters, a prostitute with an undeniable allure. Jason is surprised by his lust for her and has sex with her in an abandoned alley. When he’s finished, he warns her to stay off the streets and out of the serial killer’s way. She ignores him. The two part ways and both continue with their regular lives as though the meeting had never happened. Jason returns to his cold wife, and Daisy expertly handles her pimp Draco. But Jason can’t stay away from Daisy for long, and he soon finds her again. They meet a second time and Jason takes her to a hotel room and forces her to have sex, without offering payment. When he collapses in exhaustion, Daisy takes his gun and considers shooting him. All that stops her is the fear of witnesses, and she steals the gun and his wallet before leaving.


Daisy uses the gun to kill Chris Daniels before she pawns it for one hundred dollars to her long time friend and owner of Harrison Pawn, Alex Harrison. Jason tracks her down and finds her apartment. He bursts into her home and demands to know where his weapon and badge is. Unperturbed, Daisy insists she has nothing of his. He ransacks her apartment and finds his badge. Before he leaves, Daisy has sex with him, demonstrating that she’s not impressed or frightened by his blustering and violence. Shortly after Jason leaves, Draco arrives. He rapes Daisy and her friend, fellow prostitute, Brandy. Enraged by the way both men treated her, she vows to make them both pay. She arranges for Jason and Draco to meet the next night, and when Draco pulls a gun, Jason shoots him without hesitation. With Draco’s body cooling at their feet, Jason announces that Daisy is working for him now.


Jason takes Daisy to his apartment and finds her thighs are covered in cuts. She reveals she was attacked by Chris Daniels and subsequently shot him. Concerned that Chris’s attacked matches the serial killers MO, Jason grills her on her encounter with Chris. Once Daisy tells her story, she blackmails him into hiding the body, disposing all the evidence that links her to the crime, and shielding her from the investigation. The next night, Jason sets up a meeting between Daisy and their number one suspect, Warren Smith. Jason uses Daisy as bait and he hopes the meeting results in incriminating evidence. Warren beats her and infuriates Jason. Daisy quietly plans her revenge on Smith, and Jason surprises her by treating her gently and even considerately. Jason has no hard evidence on Warren Smith, but he’s convinced that Smith is the man he’s looking for.


Laurel notifies Jason that there has been a murder at the docks, and the murder weapon is his missing gun. He investigates and finds that Warren Smith bought the weapon. With this information, they obtain a search warrant to search his home. Unfortunately, they do not find enough evidence to make an arrest; however, they did find a charm bracelet with charms that match the one found on the most recent victim. While Jason is investigating Smith, Daisy directly defies him and picks up johns. Jason learns of this, and infuriated with jealousy, he threatens to scar her by carving his initials in her thigh. She taunts him with the knowledge that he’s jealous, and he ultimately takes her to a tattoo parlor to have his initials put on her thigh. Daisy knows she won’t be able to outrun him, so she chooses to seduce him, lulling him into trusting her, and he agrees to stop cuffing her to the bed at night.


The next morning, Jason finds Drusilla in the kitchen, murdered and mutilated. She’s another victim of the serial killer he’s hunting. Horrified, he calls Laurel and immediately he’s listed as a suspect. He’s forced to reveal his relationship with Daisy to clear his name.


Jason completely immerses himself in planning Drusilla’s funeral and cleaning the house. He stops eating and sleeping and Laurel informs him that Warren has skipped town. Weaver, his Captain, refuses to take men from other departments to look for Smith. The stress, mourning, disgust, and horror over the funeral wear him down. When Daisy comes to his home, looking to help, she learns of his past and his son when she inadvertently views an old home video of his. He kicks her out and tells her he doesn’t want to see her again. The night of the funeral, Warren returns to Pomona. He picks up Daisy with the offer of a thousand dollars. When Jason learns Smith is back, he leaves the funeral immediately, intent on tracking him down. He turns the speaker on and from the bug, previously placed in Daisy’s purse, he can hear Warren chasing Daisy at the docks. He races through town, sick with fear, and arrives just as she pulls her weapon. She shoots Warren in point-blank range and Jason, still sick, takes her back to his apartment instead of calling for back-up.


Jason unleashes his fear and rage on her, tying her to the bed and beating her with a belt. Daisy silently withstands the assault, and in the end, Jason breaks down, sinking to the floor and crying, muttering about his love, and exhibiting his extreme weakness when it comes to her. Daisy decides to capitalize on this and she doesn’t leave. The next morning, there is another victim found. Jason realizes they are looking for two serial killers, working as a team. Daisy looks for a way to exploit Jason’s feelings, and an opportunity practically falls in her lap. She arranges to steal fifty thousand dollars, using him as an unsuspecting decoy. In the process, Jason is severely beaten and Daisy escapes with the money.


They grow increasingly intimate, and Jason continues to shield her from all police investigations, even going so far as to sabotage Laurel’s interrogation of Daisy about the night she killed Warren. Her growing feelings for Jason frighten Daisy and when she’s offered the opportunity to work as a call-girl in Los Angeles, she jumps at it. Before she can leave, Jason uses considerable skill in seducing her and convinces her to stay with him. She reveals where she’s hiding her money, and that night when he thinks she’s asleep, he steals it. Daisy, infuriated, tracks him to a storage facility. Jason had discovered the second killer’s identity, Ted Wells, and found a garage in his name. That morning, all three find themselves at the garage for different reasons. There is a tense stand-off between Ted and Jason, both unaware of Daisy’s presence. When Ted draws his gun, Daisy shoots without thought, and Jason acts in self-defense. Ted is killed instantly and Jason is left with a wound to his thigh. Daisy calls 9-1-1, and flees to Los Angeles.


While Daisy’s life is being put into order, Jason’s is falling apart. While in the hospital, Weaver informs him that he’s too much of a liability and requests his resignation. His family is dead, Daisy is long-gone, his career is over, and the doctors don’t know if he’ll ever walk again. Jason decides to leave town as soon as he’s released from the hospital. He gets his affairs in order, including sending Daisy’s money back to her. Surprised by his actions and confused, she returns to Pomona to confront him.


In their final confrontation, she forces him to tell her that he loves her and he wants her to stay with him. She then admits she feels the same. Jason invites her to go to Mexico with him.
 

pepperlandgirl

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Mad World was probably the first synopsis I wrote. I wrote the Chasing Silver synop like 3 years and many books later. This is with Juno Books.

Chasing Silver Synopsis
Born in Washington DC in 2057, REMY CAPRA never thought she’d find her second chance at life in Los Angeles, or her only chance at love in 2006 with NATHAN PIERCE.


Remy Capra lives on the outskirts of society, hunted by a cop who cares more about pain than she does justice, the ruthless KIRSTEN HENRYK. Orphaned at an early age, Remy finds a new family on the streets, but when her gang is targeted by the police, she is left with nothing. After Kirsten destroys everybody she loves, Remy breaks into the Henryk mansion and steals a handful of coins, including an heirloom, the Silver Maiden. Before Remy understands what is happening, the Silver Maiden sends her plunging back in time seventy-five years to land at the feet of Nathan Pierce.


Nathan lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles, hunting the criminals that slip out of the reach of the police. Once a cop himself, he turned in his badge after a terrible betrayal nearly took his life, as well as the life of his partner, ISAAC McGUIRE. Nathan has learned not to trust anybody, save Isaac. A hot summer night finds him in a warehouse, stalking his most recent quarry, TIAN, a powerful gang leader. Just as he corners Tian, Remy falls out of thin air, and affords Tian the chance to escape.


Injured and confused, Remy needs Nathan’s help. Nathan offers to take her back to his apartment to see to her injuries. She has a deep gash across her back, as well as several other cuts and bruises. The attraction between them is undeniable, and when the first aid turns to physical intimacy, they’re both caught up in the moment. Nathan flees before he can go too far, hoping it’s temporary insanity, but the next morning, he finds he still desperately wants her. Not only does he want to sleep with her, he wants to find out who she is, where she came from, and why she’s in his life.


They both long for something new, something untarnished. Nathan doesn’t believe he deserves a second chance, but he can’t help but see one every time he looks at her. Remy is shocked that she found somebody to trust, somebody who would fight for her. When she reveals she has traveled through time, he is skeptical, but agrees to help her research her claim. Their study takes them to the myth of the Silver Maiden that spoke of a slave who created the coin in an effort to buy her own freedom. Remy surmises that the coin grants the holder’s most fervent wish, and she wished to be safe. She understands that the coin sent her to Nathan because he would do anything to protect her.


But their fragile relationship is threatened on all sides. Isaac offers Nathan another chance to find Tian, extending information about where Nathan can find him. Remy insists on participating in the plan as gratitude for Nathan’s kindness. The confrontation ends with Remy saving Nathan’s life, but Tian slips away. Angry, Tian attempts to kidnap Remy as a means to get to Nathan, but he is thwarted once again. Tian allies himself with a weapons dealer, GABRIEL DE LOS RIOS, seeking his aid in finally bringing Nathan down.


But Tian is not the only person searching for Nathan and Remy. Kirsten Henryk followed Remy through time, and is now seeking the Silver Maiden—the key to her return to the proper time. During her efforts to find Remy, she shoots and injures Isaac. Forced to remain below the radar, she seeks out a new ally. The Silver Maiden is the link between her family and Gabriel, and when she seeks his help, he is more than happy to oblige. He secretly wants the coin for himself, and betrayal, torture, and murder are not out of the question. When they learn that Remy has found sanctuary with Nathan, Tian agrees to help as well.


In an effort to kidnap Remy, they capture Nathan instead. Although they threaten and torture Nathan, he refuses to give up the location of Remy or the coin. While he is held captive, Isaac and Remy must work together to find him and rescue him from his captors. The attempt leads to a final showdown between Remy, Kirsten, and Gabriel over the Silver Maiden. Gabriel shoots Kirsten as part of the trade, insisting Remy hand the coin over to him. When she still refuses, he also agrees to let Nathan go and to leave Los Angeles. Remy agrees and gives him the coin.


Nathan is shocked that she would give up such a powerful artifact, but she informs him that she’d give anything, even her own life, in return for his safety. Nathan admits that he would have done the same in her place. With the coin out of their lives, Kirsten murdered, and Tian finally behind bars, they have the opportunity to take advantage of the second chance they both have been given.
 

dragonjax

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Here's the brief synopsis for HELL'S BELLES.

HELL’S BELLES: Synopsis

The succubus JEZEBEL loves her job. Seduce a lot of men, corral their souls for Hell…what’s not to like? But then KING LUCIFER makes the Announcement that changes Hell forever, which leads Jezebel to run away. Next stop: the mortal coil. In Salem, MA, Jezebel convinces a witch to turn her into a human (albeit one without a soul). A run-in with a malefic bounty hunter proves that the spell worked: for all intents and purposes, Jezebel is now a mortal—in fact, a dead ringer for the witch herself—complete with an amulet to hide her presence from Evil.

At Boston’s South Station she meets PAUL, a handsome man who, like Jezebel, is leaving a big part of his past behind him. They take a train to New York City, where Jezebel realizes she has no idea what to do with her new life. She decides to rent a hotel room while she looks for work and an apartment. She is very intrigued (and a little spooked) by Paul, whom she now recognizes as her last “client” when she’d been a demon. He gives her his phone number and says she should call him once she’s settled.

She gets a job as an exotic dancer at a topless club called Belles, working for ROMAN and MOMMA. Then she returns to her hotel room and comes face-to-face with the Fury MEGAERA. In Hell, Jezebel and Meg were best friends. But even Meg didn’t know about the conversation Jezebel had just before the Announcement with a certain demon, ending with a soft kiss…a demon who turned out to be King Lucifer. Now in the hotel room, Meg urges her not to say anything to the humans about the Announcement—and that if forced, Meg would do her job and bring Jezebel back to Hell.

Nighttime, and Jezebel’s first shift at Belles: Paul is one of her many fans, and she spends time with him in the VIP lounge. Things get a little bumpy when Roman later speaks with her in private…revealing that her friend, the incubus DAUN, has possessed Roman. After a failed attempt at seducing Jezebel, Daun echoes Meg’s earlier warning, then leaves Roman’s body. Roman mistakenly thinks that he and Jezebel slept together. He tells her to come by his office tomorrow; he has a proposition he wants to discuss.

The next afternoon, when Jezebel and Paul have lunch in her hotel room, she reveals part her past: she ran away because she learned something about her “family” that she couldn’t handle. Paul comforts a grieving Jezebel, and she responds by throwing herself at him. He gently rebuffs her advances; he doesn’t want to take advantage of her. Stung by his rejection, she kicks him out. On her way to meet Roman at the club, she gives a twenty to a sick beggar, who reminds her that there are others out there worse off than she. In Roman’s office, her boss suggests that she prostitute herself for select customers in the VIP room. She says she’ll think about it.

During her shift that night, Paul pays for a half hour in the VIP room with her, trying to make up for that afternoon. On the way to the room, Jezebel remembers visiting Paul when she’d been newly reassigned as a Nightmare, just before she fled Hell. She had tried to terrify Paul but wound up seducing him instead. When QUEEN LILLITH threatened her, Jezebel turned passion into horror. Paul’s shrieks echo in her ears now as she leads him to the VIP room. Paul reveals part of his past, as well as his feelings for Jezebel. They kiss and make up.

Downstairs, Jezebel’s amulet warns her that something Evil is in the vicinity. She retreats to the dressing room, joined by a female patron who needs a bathroom. In the dressing room, one of the strippers is possessed by Lillith and attacks Jezebel. The customer slams her boot over the possessed dancer’s head, and the iron in the steel-toed boot forces Lillith to evacuate the stripper’s body. Momma brings the stripper to the hospital and tells Jezebel to go home. Paul escorts Jezebel back to the hotel, where she reveals more about her past. Giving into the undeniable connection and attraction they share, they make love.

Next morning, Jezebel leaves the hotel in search of finding an apartment to rent. She meets the beggar from the previous day, who attacks her and steals her amulet and all her belongings. Wounded, broke, and with nowhere to turn, she flees to Belles. Roman helps her upstairs to the VIP room, where he dopes her. Daun appears, preventing Roman from taking advantage of her.

She comes up with a new plan: work that night, score a lot of money, and get out of the city before Hell catches up to her. During her shift later, Daun warns Jezebel that “she” is coming—and then he is expelled from Roman’s body. Paul arrives, flashing a police badge, telling Roman he’s under arrest for operating a house of ill repute. Roman escapes, with undercover vice cop Paul on his heels. Jezebel dashes off to the main showroom en route to the exit, where she freezes: the police have taken control of the crowd and the staff. When Momma is escorted downstairs, she sees Jezebel. Possessed by Lillith, Momma grabs an officer’s gun and shoots at Jezebel, barely missing her target.

Jezebel runs out of the club and down the street. Paul stops her, but then Megaera appears, ready to claim Jezebel for Hell…but first she gives Jezebel the chance to willingly return. Jezebel refuses and closes her eyes, waiting for oblivion. When she opens them, Meg has disappeared. Thinking she’s free, Jezebel embraces Paul, only to have Roman approach them, brandishing a gun. Roman tells her to get out of the way as he takes aim at Paul. Instead, Jezebel launches herself at Roman, who shoots her point blank in the chest.

As she lays dying, she remembers the Announcement, when the purpose of Hell was revealed. King Lucifer told the demons that God didn’t believe they were doing their jobs well enough. Therefore, Heaven would run Hell. Lucifer himself had been reassigned, and the archangel MICHAEL was appointed the new King of the Underworld. Under Michael’s jurisdiction, many changes were made, including all female Seducers being reassigned as Nightmares. This is why Jezebel ran away—she couldn’t bear spending eternity with no purpose other than to terrify mortals. Confused over the roles of Good and Evil, she decided to flee and take her chances on the mortal coil.

Jezebel opens her eyes to face Lucifer, the new Angel of Death. She reveals her love for Paul, which is why she took the bullet for him. Lucifer says that because she sacrificed her life in the name of love, she has the right to claim a soul. She accepts. The contract against her is null and void; the demon Jezebel is no more. She is finally, completely, human.

She survives the gunshot, and the story ends with her in the hospital, healing, with she and Paul making plans for once she has recovered…and with the former demon Jezebel wondering about her connection to Lucifer, and her newfound ability to read people’s auras.
 

Sonarbabe

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Here's my synopsis for Breaking All the Rules. Though I went through the full process of partial/synopsis followed by the full, my editor at Samhain told me she knew she'd buy it after the synopsis and partial. So here it is:

Breaking All the Rules
Monica Robinson

Rules are meant to protect us. At least, that is what we’re led to believe. What happens though, when the rules that we create suddenly become the rules we want to break? Do we take the chance and risk heartbreak, or do we continue to follow the rules and constantly ask ourselves, what if?

This is what ALACIA “Allie” McALLISTER wants to find out. On the outside, Allie seems to have it all together. She is top bartender at Charlotte, North Carolina’s hottest nightclub, The Guild; has written four best-selling novels, and spends her “free time” helping aspiring authors, namely, male authors.

On the inside, she is a mess. After a painful breakup with a former student, Allie vows never to allow another man to break her heart. Thus, she created the rules. 1) Six months is the limit. 2) When the Mistress of Seduction speaks, they listen. Most importantly: 3) Under no circumstances are her students ever allowed to fall in love with her. The rules work splendidly until the night Adam walks into her bar and turns her safe world upside down.

When criminal defense attorney ADAM CARLTON agrees to go to The Guild with a friend, he doesn’t know what to expect. The club caters to its artistic patrons, but bumping elbows with actors, musicians, and award-winning authors isn’t what amazes him. It’s the bartender. The flashy, sexy, bundle of energy known to the club as Alley Cat has his interest piqued and his motor running.

After witnessing his friend, Charlie, kissing Allie, Adam learns that Allie has not only helped Charlie write his debut novel, but they had dated for exactly six months as well. He doesn’t get the opportunity to delve deeper because the weekly auction is about to begin. The prize? A shot of house tequila taken from Allie’s breasts and Adam is determined to be the winner.

Allie watches Adam approach and though she knows it’s ridiculous--not to mention pathetic--the instant attraction she feels for this handsome stranger has her hoping that he wins. And he does--after bidding over two hundred dollars!
[/I]
When Allie leaves the club that night, Adam offers her a ride home. She protests, but when he points out the late hour and that her other option is to walk home in a dangerous city, she agrees. Between the feel of his hard body, the thrumming engine between her legs and the fact that she hasn’t had sex in way too long, Allie takes a risk. She invites Adam up for an after-hours party all their own.

After a wild night in Allie’s bed, Adam can’t let this be a one-night stand, but how can he keep her interest? From his discussion with Charlie the night before, he suspects that she dates her students. He doesn’t have a creative bone in his body, but she doesn’t know this and in a moment of weakness--or is it insanity?--he decides to ask her to help him write a book.

Adam broaches the topic and Allie warns him that if she agrees to help, there are rules that he has to abide by. When she mentions that there are to be no emotional attachments, he replies that he likes things simple as well. This seems to satisfy her misgivings and she agrees, stating that their first lesson will begin the next morning.

The first lesson is literally a wakeup call for Adam. Allie comes to his apartment early the next morning and they go to a local diner for breakfast. It is here that Allie begins her lesson in characterization--turning everyday people into potential characters.

Adam has never met a woman he couldn’t easily walk away from, but as the days pass and he spends more time with Allie, he develops feelings for her that test the limits of rule 3. Suddenly, he wonders if perhaps a little complication is just what his dull predictable life needs.

These feelings aren’t one-sided either. At work, Allie looks for Adam, hoping he will visit the club and when he never does, she’s alarmed by the sense of disappointment that overcomes her. However, with her ex-boyfriend’s deceit engraved in her memory, Allie isn’t sure if she’s willing to risk giving her heart to Adam. What if she comes home to find Adam in bed with another woman like she did with her ex, David? The thought terrifies her, but still, she can’t help wondering what if?

The next day, Allie stops by Adam’s office for “lunch.” Dressed in a trench coat and not much else, she informs him that he is the special of the day and tells him that it’s time for lesson two--building tension. Shedding her coat, she gives him the hottest lap dance of his life but before they can go any further, Adam’s secretary buzzes to announce that his father, Jed Carlton, has arrived. The situation becomes more complicated when she discovers that Adam’s next client is a senator.

Allie comes up with a solution to their dilemma. Since Jed has never met her, why not walk out as though nothing is amiss? Agreeing to meet later, Allie sails past the bewildered senator and Adam’s father, tossing them a wave as she passes.

Adam apologizes for the delay, but is cut short by his co-worker and ex-girlfriend, ERICA CONNELLY. Once Erica slips into his office, he asks his father why Erica is sitting in and Jed replies that Adam and Erica are an unstoppable team and that he thought Erica had mentioned that they would be partnering up for the case. Not wanting his father to know that he harbors ill feelings for Erica since their breakup, Adam replies that Erica most likely did tell him about it.

The meeting goes smoothly, but once the senator and his father leave, Adam confronts Erica, demanding to know what she is doing. She pretends not to know what he’s talking about, but within a matter of seconds, it’s apparent that her ploy is an elaborate--if not pathetic--attempt to lure Adam back into her bed. She knew from experience that the way to his heart was through winning, but when he throws her out of his office, she is outraged, vowing to make him sorry.

While getting ready for her date, Allie receives a phone call from her “perfect” sister, Chloe asking if she will be attending Thanksgiving dinner at her home in Raleigh. She tells her sister that she already has plans and tries to cut the conversation short, but not before Chloe can make a few flippant comments that leaves her sister fuming.

At dinner, Adam knows something is upsetting Allie, but he doesn’t know what. In hopes of getting her to open up, he creates “a scenario” to find out what is bothering her. To Allie’s amazement, he is dead on with his speculation. With the encouragement of two glasses of wine, she tells him about Chloe’s call and reveals her feelings of inadequacy when compared to her “perfect” sister.

In an attempt to make her feel better, Adam suggests that she go with him to his parents’ home for Thanksgiving. Warning bells go off in Allie’s mind. There is nothing simple about meeting his family, but instead of feeling better when he tells her that the invitation is platonic, she feels disappointed. Suddenly, her simple, sex-only relationship with Adam has turned inexplicably complicated and she doesn’t know what’s worse. The fear that she might be falling in love, or the fact that she is falling in love with a man who doesn’t love her.

Meanwhile, enraged by Adam’s rebuff, Erica sulks at the local coffee shop. She is determined to fond out who Adam’s new girlfriend is but she doesn’t know anything about this woman. Lost in her anger (and the misery of knowing that she has to attend Thanksgiving dinner with her mother at the Carlton home), she barely hears her name being called. She glances up and doesn’t believe her luck! Who better to give her the information she needs than Adam’s best friend? After a few minutes of causal chitchat, she tries to steer the conversation toward Adam. She soon discovers the name of the woman Adam is dating and that he is “writing a book.” The news is invaluable and she formulates a plan to get even with Adam.

Come Thanksgiving morning, Allie is a nervous wreck. She wants to blame her trembling hands and twisting stomach on the fact that she’s going to meet Adam’s family, but she knows that’s not the reason. It’s Adam. Ever since their romantic dinner, she’s found herself opening up to him and though she didn’t think it were possible after her break up with her David, she trusts him. What stuns her most is the sense of completion she feels when he’s around. Everything feels...right. In that moment, as she paces her living room, she realizes that she’s in love. What should be a glorious moment leaves her feeling depressed--and a tad dizzy--instead. Adam doesn’t feel the same way. Why should he? Love and all of its insane ups and downs are the epitome of complication. She tells herself to “play by the rules and she won’t get hurt.” Yet at the same time, he hasn’t given her a reason not to trust him. In fact, why not change the six-month rule? If they keep their relationship light, then there’s no reason why they couldn’t continue to see each other.

Adam no more than enters the apartment, when Allie informs him that now is the perfect time to begin lesson three, but there’s a catch. The rules don’t apply. Curious, he asks what the objective is. Love, she tells him. Upon seeing his shock, she quickly reassures him that the lesson is a form of role-playing and they will be putting themselves in his characters’ positions. This is all the encouragement Adam needs as he literally sweeps Allie off her feet and leads her to her bedroom. He tells her that if he is going to enact what his characters would do, then he is going to make sure he gets it right the first time. (Never mind the fact that there aren’t any characters.)

On the ride to his parents’ house, Adam is certain something is bothering Allie. He asks her what is wrong, and she tells him that she has been thinking about their relationship. Panic sets in. He’s been careful not to let on to the truth and when she asked him to show her something to prove that he is working on the assignment, he had presented her with a list of characters. So has she discovered that he doesn’t intend to write the book? To his relief, however, Allie tells him that she is considering amending rule one. Adam jumps at the chance, but guilt over his lie niggles at him.

The instant Erica and her mother, Virginia, (the co-founder of Carlton & Connelly) arrive at the Carlton home, dread fills Adam. Erica’s presence can only mean trouble and his suspicions are confirmed when she lures him into his father’s den under the pretense of wanting to discuss the senator’s case. Once in the den, she quizzes him about his arrangement with Allie, firing questions at him and taunting him. Frustrated and enraged, Adam blurts out that there is no book, there never was, and there never will be. Erica’s only response is to wave at the doorway where Allie is standing.

Angry and hurt, Allie leaves. As she walks, she berates herself for being so foolish. If Adam had lied about wanting to write a book, what was to make her think that everything else between them had been a lie as well? Exhausted and sobbing, she reaches The Guild where her boss comes out to comfort her. She tells him what happened and he offers her a story that helps put her situation into perspective. Allie doesn’t trust Adam, but despite what logic is telling her, she still loves him.

Adam has never been more miserable in his life. Not only has he lost the only woman he’s ever cared about, (let’s be honest, the only woman he’s ever loved) but he’s also lost the biggest case of his career. He can’t do anything about the senator’s case, but he is determined to win Allie back and he can think of only one way to do it. He’ll write the damn book. It’ll be the worst dreck ever, but it’ll prove that he isn’t a lying scumbag...or so he hopes.

Two days before Christmas, Allie receives a package. The return address is from the office of Carlton & Connelly and she’s tempted to throw it in the trash, but her curiosity gets the better of her. Opening the package, she pulls out what appears to be a manuscript. At first, she thinks it’s a sick joke until she begins to read and her heart freezes in her chest. Adam has written their story.

When she reaches the last page, she wonders where the rest of it is. The story isn’t finished. With a bit of hesitation, she calls Adam and is surprised that to catch him sleeping. She apologizes for waking him and starts to hang up when Adam tells her to wait. He then asks her if she read the manuscript, to which Allie blurts that if he doesn’t come over to her apartment and tell her how he feels she’ll go insane.

Twenty minutes later, Allie no more than opens the door, when Adam wraps his arms around her and gives her a kiss that makes them both weak in the knees. He whispers repeatedly that he loves her and that he wants things to be complicated between them. Allie agrees and as they make their way to her bedroom, she asks how the story ends. He tells her that at until that moment, he wasn’t sure but now he can safely say, “They all live happily ever after.”
 
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job

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This synopsis sold to Berkley
Hmmmm .... this may be a late draft rather than the final.



SYNOPSIS OF ANNEKA


They meet in the dark.

ANNEKA VILLIERS, sneaky French spy, has just been tossed into a
dank cell under a chateau near Paris for some brisk questioning and a
lingering death. She's not alone. As she gropes her way around the
makeshift dungeon she encounters GREY, spymaster of England's
shadowy British Intelligence Service, and his young associate. The two are
dying of thirst, beatings, and in the boy's case, bullet wounds.

Anneka has been a spy since she was a child, serving France with
her wit and cunning. She despises calculating, ruthless men like Grey. She
wouldn't trust him the length of the chain he's rattling.

She has a task to fulfill and a harrowing decision to make. Her
friend and mentor, the bitter, disillusioned old Revolutionary, SAUVIGNON,
has given her a mission that's likely to send them both to the guillotine. He
stole Napoleon's detailed tactical plans for the invasion of England, the
Boulogne plans, intending to give them to the British and stop that bloody
and futile battle.

Sauvignon is old and sick. It's up to Anneka to carry on his scheme.
Will she save England ... or stay loyal to France? Will she let thousands of
innocents in Kent and Sussex die for Napoleon's overweening ambition? Or
will she give the Boulogne plans to England and shift the balance of power
so thousands of Frenchmen will die instead?
If she can escape this cell and make it to England, she must decide.

Grey is England's master of spies, a dedicated, private man of subtle
mind and strong passions. The cynical, hard-bitten spies of his Service
respect him as their leader and trust him without reservation. In the brief
flicker of lantern light, he recognizes Anneka when she's tossed into their
cell. Months back, when the stolen Boulogne plans were offered for sale to
the British, the payment gold was hijacked and three of Grey's men were
murdered in cold blood. He's sure Anneka was part of that ambush.

He wants revenge. He wants the Boulogne plans. Deep inside, unadmitted, he
wants this woman.

In the best tradition of espionage, a suspicious Anneka and a silently
seething Grey form a temporary offensive, defensive alliance to escape.
Their captor, the rogue French spy DEVAUX is planning inventive demises
for the lot of them ... after he tortures the location of the Boulogne plans out
of Anneka.

Grey and Anneka, supporting Grey's wounded young friend, escape
the chateau and struggle toward the meeting point when Grey's men await.
There, Grey takes his temporary ally prisoner and bundles her into the
waiting coach, headed for England.

Hours later, in a small inn on the Normandy road, they confront each
other in the darkened bedroom - Grey, steeling himself to be ruthless;
Anneka, brimful of hidden agendas and desperate secrets. It's an explosive
mix of anger and sexual attraction.

She has few weapons left. Reluctantly, she plays seductress,
distracting Grey long enough to get a garrote round his neck. Her plan to
subdue but not kill backfires. Loosing consciousness, Grey strikes out at
her, and the blow lays her stunned across the bed.

As they recover, it's reassessment time all round. Grey realizes
Anneka could have killed him with the quick twist of that cord. He's alive
because she's not the cold murderess he thought her. Anneka, confronted
with Grey's agonized guilt at hurting her, realizes he's not the hard,
calculating monster she expected. In the aftermath of battle, a wary truce
emerges. Naked under the blankets, exhausted, Anneka curls up to sleep,
knowing Grey will not hurt her. And Grey ... he was an officer and a
gentleman before he went into the spy business. He's not going to touch
her.

Morning comes. One of Anneka's many secrets emerges. She's blind.
She has been since she took a blow to the head six months before. She
can only hope, as the doctor in Vienna suggested, that it will reverse itself
eventually.

Now Grey has another reason to hold onto Anneka - if she gets loose
Devaux will find her and kill her.

With Devaux's men hot on their trail, safety lies in England. But
Grey's young spy is going to die if the bullet isn't taken out of his shoulder.
Grey can't chance finding a doctor. He'd likely to kill the boy with his own
clumsy surgery. But Anneka has spent years in the tail of enemy armies,
spying, working in the medical tents. She's plucked shrapnel out of a lot of
bodies, a job that requires lightening speed and a sure touch, not sight.
Grey trusts her skill, and her operation saves his friend's life.

Fleeing across France, they remain in a tenuous, untrusting,
intermittent truce, punctuated by Anneka's attempts to escape. What
begins as mutual respect between spies transforms into friendship.

Then they break the first rule they teach you in spy school. They fall in love.

Near the coast, Devaux's men finally corner them. Grey hides
Anneka in the safely of a ruined monastery and leads the pursuers away.
After a hard night dodging French bullets, he returns ... and immediately
steps into the boobytrap Anneka set for Devaux's men. As he lies stunned,
Anneka ties him up with her usual sightless competence.

This is her chance to escape, and her last moment with him. "I wish I
had never met you," she whispers. "And I will never forget. I should have
made love to you when I had the chance." She walks away.

"I'll find you. Wherever you go." It's a promise from her lover. It's also
a threat from England's spymaster.

Anneka makes it about a mile before the horse she's stolen throws
her. The blow jars loose the malicious fragment that's pressed upon her
optic nerve.

She can see again. Anything, anything at all, seems possible ... even
the hopeless task that's brought her halfway across Europe.

Days later, Anneka and a thousand flopping halibut are delivered by
the smugglers to Dover. Grey is already there, waiting for her. So is
Devaux.

In the first likely dead-end street, Devaux and his persistent
henchmen come after her with hungry knives. Grey wades in to save her
life. When the Frenchmen flee, Grey turns to face Anneka. He expects a
quick jog down the alley, chasing her ... but there's no trace of recognition
in those clear blue eyes.

She's never seen Grey. In France, when she was blind, Grey was
indomitable strength, the smell of leather and soap, and a voice speaking
the slow, smooth French of the South. The man who rescues her is a
stranger, a smuggler, a hero in a worn fisherman's jersey, speaking crisp
English, and smelling, frankly, of fish. He calls himself Robert Fordham -
Grey's real name. She doesn't know him at all.

Anneka is headed for London. Grey invites himself along, hoping
she'll lead him to the Boulogne plans.

On the road, talking, sharing the prosaic concerns of the journey, they
can at last be more than spies of warring nations. Anneka can't fight her
attraction to this strong and gentle defender. In France, she'd succumbed
to the bewitchment of Grey, a man as unsuitable for a lover as a penguin or
the shadow of a large tree. Now, only days later, she wants someone else
with equal fervor. This argues a grave moral weakness. She lies awake at
night and worries.

That's not the only thing keeping her awake nights. Will she pass the
Boulogne plans to the British ... or choose not to? So many lives depend on
her decision. And can she give up the plans, knowing it means old
Sauvignon's death?

Grey's doing some thinking of his own. He's sure Anneka has the
Boulogne plans. He can see the secret tearing at her like the Spartan boy's
fox. But where has she hidden them?

Then Anneka pulls yet another obscure quotation out of her memory.
Suddenly Grey knows. Her memory isn't just good - it's perfect. That's why
the French put her to work when she was still a child. Anneka's not going to
retrieve the plans from a secret cache. She's carrying them in her head.

When they arrive in London, Grey takes her to his headquarters, an
innocent-looking house on a quiet street. Too late, she realizes who her
handsome smuggler must be. She is Grey's captive. Again.

It's disaster for Anneka. Grey has lied to her and betrayed her, kissed
her witless, and held her safe from deadly enemies. She is tragically and
irrevocably in love with him. Dazed beyond thought, she doesn't resist
when Grey holds her tenderly and they make love. Or maybe she is loving
Robert Fordham.

Between spies, it must be love without commitment and promise.
For an hour they hold at bay the forces ranged
against them.

Reality closes in fast. Even as the veteran agents of the British
Service meet, seeking ways to keep Anneka alive, Devaux is in London,
gathering his men.

Time is running out. Anneka seeks a path through the horrible
choices that confront her. The bonds between Grey and Anneka are strong,
but this battle of wills tests them to the limit.

Then an old secret strikes a blow at the foundation of Anneka's being.
"We French," she is fond of saying. But 20-year-old British Service records
disclose a truth even Grey hadn't known. Anneka's parents, now dead,
were not French patriots as she had believed. They were British agents
operating under deep cover. It is one of the greatest secrets of the British
Service. Her parents never told her.

Anneka is devastated. Her whole life was built on lies. As her
certainties desert her, only Grey can bring comfort. She's tempted to give in
and hand over the Boulogne plans, whatever the cost.

While she hesitates, Devaux and his bullyboys, tenacious in their
intent to annihilate her, blow up the front of British Service headquarters.
Ironically, this is her chance to escape.

She doesn't get far. Within the hour she's scooped up by French
agents and delivered to SOULIER, Napoleon's chief spy in England, a man
she's known since she was a child. In his silk-hung parlor, her fate will be
decided.

Grey isn't far behind, furious, and determined to get her back. And the
final player arrives in Soulier's house -- Devaux, murderous as ever and
now frantic to close Anneka's mouth. He tries to kill her, even under
the eyes of the two greatest spymasters of Europe.

Devaux's shot goes wild as Grey leaps to Anneka's rescue and
wrestles him to the ground. The reason for Devaux's desperation now
becomes clear. Sauvignon is dead, beyond law or vengeance. Devaux can
no longer blackmail Anneka's silence.

Anneka is the last person alive who knows what happened in Holland
the day the Boulogne plans disappeared and Grey's men were slaughtered.
Now she can tell everything. It was Devaux who killed Grey's
men and kept for himself the gold the British carried. Devaux betrayed the
French, the British, and indeed everyone in all directions. Soulier is happy
to have him hauled off to Paris to be shortened by a head.

With Grey's silent support, Anneka faces her old friend Soulier and
tells the greatest lie of her career. She has already given the Boulogne
plans to England, she says. The invasion plans are exposed and useless.
The British are warned.

With these words, she buys England's safety. But it is at great cost.
She is traitor to France, marked for assassination.

Grey saves her with another lie. He lays down the great secret that
Anneka's parents were British Service. "Anneka's ours. She always has
been." There is an unwritten agreement between French and English
intelligence agencies in the decades-long war they wage - they dispose of
their traitors, but they don't kill each other's agents.

Soulier wants the disastrous invasion as little as any sane man and
has no wish to kill Anneka. He and Grey agree to pin the theft of the
Boulogne plans on Devaux, though it may be the one crime he never got
around to committing. Anneka is safe.

Outside, in the cool night, on the grass of a London park, Grey and
Anneka lie under the stars. Grey will marry her, even if it means they both
leave espionage.

Anneka has grown and changed in the last weeks. She knows now
that her loyalty has never been to France alone, but to an ideal. Whether
she is English or French, she must fight Napoleon's ambition for conquest.
She'll do it at Grey's side. It will be a marriage of turbulent equals.
They wouldn't want it any other way.
 
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Petroglyph

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Wow! Thanks, thanks, thanks....the timing of this thread is perfect and the information is outstanding.
 

L.Jones

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Okay, the final book really didn't turn out like this but I sent this not so hot mess and ended up with a series (did I WANT a series? I forget) so for what it's worth

The Barefoot Believers
Annie Jones
Steeple Hill

Kick off your shoes and walk awhile with God.



Kate Cromwell is a Podiatrist with hardly a leg to stand on, or rather hardly any patients to keep her newly opened office open. When she and her sister, Jo, a successful Realtor decided they must step in to keep their mother (Dodie Cromwell) from moving to Florida to live in their old summer cottage, which they have rented out and none of them seen for 16 years, Mom has other ideas. Kate has never been able to handle her mother because she feels guilt that she did not stop her father from abducting the youngest of the Cromwell sisters when the older Cromwells split up.
In the chaos, Kate’s foot is broken and Jo offers to take her in while she heals. Kate closes down her office but hopes to be back on her feet, literally, much sooner than the doctors feel she can.
Jo has her own problems. Her whole life she had felt she had to ‘out-perfect’ the naturally perfect Kate. It takes all her time and energy and yet never achieves her true goal, to feel wanted, to be the one that somebody chooses for herself. In seeking this she has made some bad business decisions trying to impress her boss, and now needs some fast cash to keep a ‘flip’ of a house from driving her to financial ruin. Both women think they will find their answers in Santa Sofia, Florida, where they had many happy times as girls, and where Kate had last seen, and left behind, the only man she ever really loved.
Santa Sofia brings more troubles for them, when Jo twists her ankle in a tacky garden of rocks and souvenirs. They are now stranded in the cottage. But their prayers for good neighbors are answered two-fold when they meet the local minister who runs the Wayside Travelers Chapel and find Kate’s old love, Vince Merchant, working as a handyman at the cottage across the way from theirs.
Meanwhile Molly Christina (Moxie) Weatherby, the young woman who has been the caregiver at their cottage for years, is coping with her own problems, including a father who goes fishing whenever anything stresses him out. He owns Billy J’s Bait Shack Buffet and he and his wife took Moxie in as a baby. She has always known this because he even has the only photo of her as a child, with her and her birth mom standing in front of a truck, behind the cash register. Still, that didn’t make it easier when her foster mother left when Moxie was a teenager, leaving a note which asked, “Isn’t there something better than this?” meaning home, family and small town life.
Jo’s involvement with the minister begins to shape her thoughts about the life she has led and her goal of selling the cottage. She faces her priorities and realizes that even before she became a Christian, the Lord had picked her for his own. She needs to honor that more than to try to prove something to others.
Kate finds the first peace she has known in many years in this place of old memories and wants to hold onto it, maybe even spend a lot more time there. Until she meets her old boyfriend’s baby granddaughter.
This brings old fears to the surface and reminds her of why she ran away from their marriage plans so many years ago. Vince’s young son had asked her to promise she would love him and always be his mom. Kate’s life experience warned her that she could not make that kind of promise, if Vince ever decided to leave her, he would take yet another child out of her life forever. Now she wants to sell the house and go.
Then the grandbaby gets sick and Kate has to make a decision. She thinks of Vince’s son, the baby’s father, and how things might have been different if she had been there to keep Vince from never making the young man face his responsibilities. She contacts the son, which infuriates Vince.
Now Jo wants to stay and Kate wants to go. Moxie just enjoys spending time with the family and wishes they would stay. She has postponed her own marriage to a local doctor because she doesn’t have any experience with love that last through tough times as well as good and is afraid to believe it can.
That’s when Dodie Cromwell shows up. The girls had been avoiding her calls so she just did what she normally does – exactly what she wants to do! She arrives as Kate is opening an old ‘treasure chest’ that she hasn’t seen in years and when Kate pulls the old photos from it, Moxie is shocked and runs out.
The Cromwells catch up and find an offer Moxie (now with her own property management company) had planned to make on the house. The family must now decide what to do. The mother says the house is too full of painful memories, something the girls don’t understand. Kate has been made an offer to stay in town and participate in an Urgent Care Clinic but her unresolved issues with Vince have her wavering. Jo has decided to stay. She cares for the minister and no longer cares about the things she once thought so important.
Before they can reach a consensus, Moxie returns, with the framed photo from the buffet. It matches the photo from the treasure box! Dodie is her mother and Kate and Jo her sisters!
After a tearful reunion Moxie learns the lengths Dodie went to trying to find her – including spending all those years after she stopped coming to Florida, following even the most unlikely leads to find Moxie (who she knows as Christina). Once she gave up Christina turning up in Santa Sofia (where she came every summer and rented out to friends who kept tabs on things every winter), she sent a souvenir from every place she searched. She knew one day they would all return to the cottage as a family and she wanted to show Christina that she had never stopped looking, never stopped loving her.
The women talk all night and by morning have decided they cannot look back. They have been given this chance and they must take it and make the most of their lives. It’s then when Kate sees Vince’s truck across the way and she knows she must make peace with him if they are all going to live in tiny Santa Sofia together. What she finds is him helping his son move in with the son’s wife and daughter. When Kate cut him out of the equation and told the son she expected more of him, it had started something. They are not exactly a couple again, but they do agree that they can be good neighbors.
In the epilogue, we find the three sisters sitting on the porch (which played a big part in the story) sipping sweet tea with their feet up. We learn what became of the three budding romances and then Moxie remembers the note her mother had left asking: Is there something better than this?
To which the sisters hold hands, smile and agrees, there is not.
 

dolores haze

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These are all very helpful. Thanks for posting them.
Question: what length should the synposis be if publisher doesn't specify. Err on the side of shorter (2 page - single spaced) or longer (5 page - single space)? Thanks.
 

Cathy C

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I would err on the side of shorter, personally. You can always expand it out if that's their preference. But brevity shows you can write concisely in the book, too. :)
 

Cathy C

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Ladies and gents, it's been far too long since this thread was added to. Are there any other debut authors (in any genre) that would care to share the synopsis that sold their first book? :)
 

Kasey Mackenzie

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Sure, I'll share mine! I actually forgot about this thread! This is for my urban fantasy that's coming out from either Roc or Ace (imprint hasn't been decided yet) sometime in early 2010. It has a major romantic subplot, since romance is near and dear to my heart. The last third of the book will be changing significantly once I get my editorial letter, but still--spoiler alert for those who don't want them! ;)

***

SYNOPSIS:
Red Hot Fury
by Kasey Mackenzie

When the body of a Fury washes up in Boston Harbor, Chief Magical Investigator Marissa Holloway is called in to investigate. Riss initially identifies the victim as her closest friend, Vanessa Turner, missing for three years, but later proves the corpse has been magically altered. Revealing this fact to her mortal superiors doesn't get Riss praised and promoted: it gets her suspended without pay--and almost dead.

Her immortal superiors, including her mentor, Stacia, refuse to act without concrete proof of a mortal conspiracy. Riss swallows her pride and reconciles with ex-lover Scott Murphy, the Warhound who broke her heart and the only arcane she trusts to watch her back. Scott, along with his snooty cousin Elliana and her husband Mac, help Riss break into the morgue to conduct a séance with the incognito corpse. What they learn shocks them all. The corpse turns out to be a Sidhe disguised with glamourie. Only problem is, the Sidhe are supposed to be extinct.

The spirit reveals that a group of renegade mortals have been breeding-- and cloning--the few surviving Sidhe in captivity, seeking the keys to their immortality. Scott and Riss dodge hired hit Harpies and kamikaze Phoenixes while trying to track down the truth. Riss strikes a surprising bargain with Calaeno, the Harpy queen, after she reveals that their mortal clients have betrayed them and taken one of her sisters, Serise, captive to use in their breeding program.

Riss and Scott set a trap for the traitor they believe hides in the Murphy stronghold. Riss never expects to discover that the traitor is Mac, since she has felt a kinship with him since they first met. Mac abducts Riss, in the process revealing the shocking truth that he is both half-Sidhe, and half-Fury, making him the first male Fury in history. Another shock meets Riss at the farmhouse Mac takes them to--her long-lost, presumed-dead mother, Allegra Holloway, who disappeared 13 years previously. She informs them that Vanessa was not the first Fury abducted for the mortals' breeding program. She was. And Mac is Riss's half-brother...

The mortals are creating their own army of super soldiers, with the eventual goal of forcing the arcanes back into the dying Otherrealms. Mac is one such super soldier. Born only 11 years ago, he has the physical, emotional, and mental characteristics of a 30-year-old. He has also been acting as a double agent for the renegades, trying to protect his sister from the inside.

Elliana arrives at the farmhouse with a pissed-off Scott as well as Riss's brother, sister-in-law, and niece. After an abbreviated family reunion, Riss and Scott's arcane allies begin amassing with the intention to storm the mortals' secret compound and take back their missing loved ones, as well as the captive Sidhe.

Scott's contact in the FBI calls them with the unwelcome news that the mortal renegades have discovered they are coming and have started evacuating the compound. She also gives them its exact location, although they arrive too late to save any of the captives. Riss uses the magical GPS keyed to Vanessa's magical signature that Dre loaned her, hoping to track down the location of the mortals' new base. Surprisingly, Vanessa appears to be less than a mile away, but when Riss catches up to her, she lays dying from complications of childbirth.

Vanessa begs Riss to rescue her daughter, Olivia, and keep her safe. Riss vows to do so just before Vanessa dies, and must postpone her grief in order to carry out her promise.

The missing Harpy, Serise, who watched over Vanessa as she lay dying, reveals that she can use the mother's blood to track her daughter--and the location of the new base. Riss and Scott decide to return to the farmhouse and consolidate their forces. The mortals will expect them to rush right in, so they decide to wait. Between then and the next night, Calaeno's second-in-command, Penelope, turns up missing. Calaeno and Riss hide this fact to keep morale up, unsure whether Penelope has met with foul play or has turned traitor.

At twilight the next evening, their Giant allies use earth-magic to tunnel into the rear of the underground installation, while Mac, Elliana, Riss, and Allegra provide a distraction by pretending to return the escaped Harpy along with her queen. Furies, the only true shapeshifters besides full-blooded Sidhe, can assume any form they wish. Riss and Allegra assume the guise of half-giant mercenaries in order to sneak into the base, and their ruse appears to work. They make their way inside the underground base. When the Giants set off the earthquake that is their signal to act, they attack their escort and one of their enemies trips an alarm.

Riss and the Harpies fight their way into the nursery where both Serise's daughter and Olivia are being held. Serise and Riss are too preoccupied with the infants to save Calaeno when Penelope finally makes her appearance and stabs her queen in the back. Literally.

Riss throws Olivia to Serise and attacks Penelope, driving her into another room so Serise can barricade herself and the babies in the nursery. Penelope fights, but seems to be holding back. Riss tries to figure out why the Harpy seems so familiar to her. When Penelope makes an all-too-familiar gesture--one Riss has seen her mentor make countless times over the years--she realizes the impossible truth--Penelope is actually Stacia in disguise.

Stacia shifts from Harpy form to Fury at will, something that should be impossible. Riss gives in to the magical Rage flowing through her and attacks her former mentor, who switches from Harpy to Fury form repeatedly to keep Riss off-kilter. Stacia reveals she developed this ability when her entire troop of Furies was murdered by mortals thirty years ago and she used her strength of will to make the Rage her own. She sees this same strength inside Riss, and has been grooming her since her mother disappeared. When Riss refuses to assist her, and resists her every attempt to drive her over the edge of Rage, Stacia drops the bombshell that she is the one who arranged for both her mother's and Vanessa's abduction, and she has been trying to drive Riss to Turn Harpy this entire time. Her plan is to claim Calaeno's throne, leave Riss in charge of the Harpies as her second-in-command, and then consolidate her position in the Conclave until she can claim control over them as well. And once she rules over both groups, she plans to lead them and her Sidheborn army of clones against the mortals, supposedly to gain justice for the arcanes who are discriminated against in the mundane world, but Riss believes her motivation is truly revenge.

Uncontrollable Rage consumes Riss at the revelation her mentor betrayed her mother and best friend. The battle grows near to them, and Allegra and Scott burst into the room to find Stacia looming over Riss. Allegra knocks Stacia away from her daughter and realizes that Riss teeters on the brink of Turning Harpy. When Riss reveals her intention to sacrifice herself to save everyone and take out Stacia in the process, Allegra tears off Riss's bandage. Riss drops to the floor in a sea of agony and Rage, but the two emotions help cancel each other out. Allegra then casts the dangerous spell Riss intended, killing Stacia, as well as every Sidheborn clone and mortal guard who intended to kill her.

But Stacia doesn't die; she's merely knocked unconscious. Riss struggles to maintain consciousness herself because she doesn't trust that Stacia's dead. Good thing, too, because Stacia launches herself toward Riss--and Scott stands in between them. Riss grabs Scott's magically-charged weapon and steps forward, impaling her former mentor in order to save the man she loves. Only then does she allow herself to pass out.

Allegra survives the spell's casting, and Scott revives Riss once the Rage burns away by reapplying her bandage. In the battle's aftermath, arcanes are reuninted with their loved ones and the captive Sidhe are finally freed. Riss cuddles Olivia, rejoicing in the fact she tracked down Vanessa's killers, saved her best friend's daughter, and has been reunited with both her mother and the man she loves most. For now, that is more than enough for this Red Hot Fury.
 
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Cathy C

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Shoot for brevity (so shorter). A publisher likes it when you can get the same information in a shorter space. It speaks well for your potential as a repeat novelist. :)
 

AllieGirl

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thanks so much

Thank you, folks, so so so much for giving up the goods. I was looking for this exact advice. If I didnt' find, I was going to start a thread and go to various authors' sites to beg them to post their queries that got them read. Thanks for saving my dignity. I wrote a category for Harlequin's AR line and while my romance-book-loving friends loved it, I couldn't get it read because, as the rejectino letter said, they were concerned over the plot not being compelling. I realized it was a boring, plainly written synopsis.

While I can't do much about that one (I hear editors hate resubmissions), I can do my darndest to get this new book read by writing a much better synopsis. Seeing these examples will help a lot. thanks again.
 

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You're very welcome, Allie! And don't forget we have a synopsis crit room where our best peeps will be happy to help you hone it into a gem. More than one AW member has wound up with a book contract after having the query and synopsis polished here. :)
 

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Question about the caps

Thanks for posting this synopsis Susan for The Baby Plan. It was eerie because I've read that book! :)

Is it standard form to put the character's names in caps the first time they're introduced?

I saw mention of this in a article over at Romancing the Blog, but the other day I was browsing books in Borders and didn't see the character/caps rule.
 

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I don't know that it's "standard," but a lot of people do it when a synopsis is in narrative form. It draws attention to the introduction of primary characters.
 

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Hi Guys, I've been looking through this and just wanted to say firstly congratulations to all of you guys that have sold a book/series :) well done I've been writing for a few years now and i always struggle to capture the right sounds in my synopsis as Landlord Insurance always tends to sound like a list more than anything so i was wondering if you people had any tips for me because i'm really struggling right now Thanks in Advance P.S - I'm a crime/gangster scene write (think Martina Cole or Mandasue Heller)
 
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Cathy C

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Nathan, the same elements that apply to romance are true for mystery. Tell the plot through your primary protagonist's eyes. What's at stake? Why take the case? ('Cause let's face it--when a case gets rough, not even money is enough to keep going.) Focus on the conflict that prevents the character from proceeding and what the shining goal is.

It's the GMC method of synopsis that Susan uses above. So long as you BOTH tell the plot and the GMC, you'll be fine. Low-key the subplots. While they may sound important (and ARE for the book) they're not really useful for the synopsis.

Hope that helps!
 

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(I'm new here, so please be gentle!)

I wanted to thank everyone who's posted a selling synopsis here. I'm terrible at writing the darned things. I once had an editor tell me she bought my book despite the lousy synopsis. Yes, mine are that bad. I currently have a time-travel that I'm marketing, trying to find an agent, and I have a feeling my lousy synopsis is what's holding the book back.

The examples here were excellent! I welcome any/all advice when it comes to synopsis writing. :)

~ Rebecca Sinclair
<a href="http://www.rebeccasinclair.com">rebeccasinclair.com</a>