Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Romantic Suspense Winner!

While we’re a little sorry to see the contest come to an end, Jessica and I are also a bit worn out. But throughout the last couple of months, we’ve been really impressed with the talent all of you displayed. That’s part of the reason we’re so tired. Picking winners wasn’t easy.

In fact, down to this last contest, Jessica and I had very different favorites. All the same, we managed to choose a winner and two runners-up.

And the winner is...
Anonymous 11:41 pm — Wicked Little Things

They blew into Ordinary like cicadas on a blistery summer’s night. Thousands landed in trees and wood. They came, stole and ate like pigs. Yet no one knew what they were because they were never seen. Only the results of their voracious hunger left marks, like the fangs of a demon on another beast’s throat.

In this case, the victims were human.

Two by September.

Five after that.

Hundreds by Halloween.

Maya read the report until her eyes burned and she no longer thought of the victims as people, just mangled, chewed-up chunks of meat. “Great way to lose weight.”

Jessica: I was really intrigued by this. I wasn’t sure based on these words if this was paranormal or a straight, contemporary romantic suspense. Either way, it left me with a lot of questions that I really wanted answers to. I like the comparison to the cicadas and I like where this left me hanging, gruesome murders that obviously need to be solved. This also hints at the kind of cop romantic suspense I really like to see.

Kim: I love the imagery of the cicadas and find the comparison creepy and memorable. Nothing beats a dark, foreboding beginning. One thing that threw me, though, was that last bit of dialogue. It totally changed the tone. Without reading more, it’s hard to tell if it’s the author’s intention to jolt the reader this way. Because it did catch me off guard, I’d continue to read to see where it’s going.

Congrats, Anonymous! When you’re ready for your critique, please go ahead and send your query letter, synopsis, and first chapter to the e-mail link on the blog.

Now on to the runners-up . . .

Anonymous 5:01 pm - Whispered

“I'm alive.” The words met Twyla Segreto's lips, but no sound accompanied them.

Dry, hot air reeked of death. A single breath became impossible without coating her mouth and throat from the unsettled debris. The urge to cough up the dust bunnies residing in her lungs, overwhelmed her. She suppressed and listened for enemy footsteps. In the distance, the steady pat of automatic weapons echoed. Somewhere further away, a crackling whistle sound filled the stagnant atmosphere. Explosions grumbled through the sky and the ground trembled from the assault, indicating the missile had made contact with its target.

Jessica: I like the atmosphere here and the story this sets us up for. It’s creepy, scary, and we immediately want to know about where Twyla has been and where she is going. Great description.

Kim: I got thirsty just reading this. :) So the setting really came alive for me. I’m wondering if Twyla’s words are just self-affirming, or if she’s been left for dead and it’s a cry for help. Whatever the case, the danger feels imminent, and I want to see how she’ll get out of this mess.

Deborahdale — Canyon Road

"Are you lost?" The man's soft voice startled her. He stood in the V of her car and open door, his face in shadows, backlit by the store's fluorescents.

She hadn't noticed anyone in the parking lot. Where did he come from?

"No. I'm okay." She reached to pull the door closed but he stood in the way. Damn these helpful Midwesterners, they took niceties way too far. Oh, to be back in New York. "You need to move."

To her shock, he leaned in closer, rested an arm on the doorframe. "Well, here's the thing . . . I need your car."

Jessica: This one spoke to me instantly. The opening sounds very commercial and interesting and I really liked the casualness of the hijacker’s “request.” There are a lot of interesting possibilities as to where this book can go and I hope the author is pushing her limits.

Kim: I liked this one because even though the situation seems very threatening, I have a feeling the hijacker could also turn out to be the romantic hero. I, too, am intrigued by the story’s potential. Who doesn’t love a slightly dangerous hero?

Well, that wraps up the winners and runners-up for our 100 Words Contest! Tomorrow we’ll talk about our honorable mentions, and in the coming days we’ll have some wrap-up comments.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!


Spy Scribbler said...

Congratulations, Anon! And Anon and Deborahdale!

I learned so much from this contest. Thanks, BookEnds, for doing it!

Anonymous said...

Big congratulations to everyone, all the winners, the runners up, and everyone else that had the guts to enter.

There was a lot of phenomenal writing out there. Great work!

Heidi Willis said...

Congratulations to allthe winners! Great writing in these few words!

What surprised me most was this category. I am not at all a fan of the romance genre, and the thriller entries just seemed too full of shock and gore. But this catergory.... it seemed like the kind of thing I might read! I liked that the beginnings were about the story and less about trying to immediately grab attention with sex or murder without any build-up.

I know this was about the first 100 words, but I had to wonder if many of the entries over the past contests were from books that actually started that way.

Kim Lenox said...

No wonder these entries got your attention. I'd like to read more of all of them.

Congrats to the winners and runners up!

Sandra Cormier said...

Boy, what a talented bunch of writers out there. All bodes well in bookland for a long time to come.

Chiron said...

Congrats to all!

And thanks to BookEnds for such a marvelous contest. Your tireless and gracious effort is so appreciated by all aspiring authors.


Anonymous said...

Oh, wow. I'm stunned because I can't believe I won. I'm Anon 11:41. Thank you so much, Jessica and Kim! I guess I should write this one, huh? It's a romantic suspense/paranormal.

I read your blog all the time and have learned so very much. Many thanks, ladies, and congratulations to everyone who had the courage to enter. Karma.

Marina Richards

Anonymous said...

Wow! Runner-up? I'll take it! :-)

What a rush to see my name there! Thanks Jessica and Kim. This was an exciting contest with so many amazing entries in each genre.

Congratulations Anon for Wicked Little Things and Anon for Whispered!!

(or Debora-no-"h" Dale. LOL)

Julie Weathers said...

These were all great entries and caught my eye as well for their quality.

It was fun watching the talent throughout the contest and the process of choosing winners.

Thanks to Jessica and Kim for all their time and effort. Salute to all those who entered.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Congrats to the winners!
I was really bummed I missed this one, but I've learned from seeing who you chose.
Awesome contest. Thank you.