Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"The Fortune Teller"

by Janice Curran from the November 8, 2010 issue

In a Nutshell: To help his best friend in his marriage proposal, Alex is subbing for the fortuneteller who cancelled. When the bride to be's friend enters the tent to "test his powers," they hit it off.

I've seen fortune teller stories before. I've even seen substitute fortune teller stories before! This was the cutest I've seen yet, mainly because of the banter between the main characters.

My Favorite Part: Alex is telling Marcia's future and predicting romance for her. He says her man will take her to a movie and Marcia says, "A chick flick."

Alex's quick reply is, "The crystal ball tells me the first movie you'll see together will be a chick flick. The second will be an action film." LMAO!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Halloween Magic"

by Lisa Weaver from the November 1, 2010 issue

Tagline: Officer Phillips was expecting some ghoulish encounters on Halloween, but the pretty witch took him by surprise!

In A Nutshell: Officer Phillips helps Emily get the neighbor's cat out of the tree. Afterward, he's called back again to Emily's, but not because of any real mischief. The neighbor is playing matchmaker. Emily and the policeman make a date for dinner.

Observations: This story is first person, present tense, which I always have to get used to.

A lot happens in this story, so much that I wondered how the author fit it all in. The hero and heroine interact quite a bit, which is terrific, but I found it a little choppy in the middle.

"Can you both stay for some hot cider?"

I radio headquarters to let them know I'm taking a break, then head inside, where the talk turns to superstitions.

"My grandmother believed that if you gazed into a mirror at midnight on Halloween, you'd see the reflection of your future spouse," Mrs. Jenkins says, peering over her mug of cider at Emily and me.

I'm due back on patrol, so I extend my thanks and leave.

This scene is so short that it can't be anything other than foreshadowing. It's so obvious that they're going to see each other's reflection later because there isn't much of an attempt to disguise this smoking gun with a little more conversation or internal thought. In my opinion, this could have been done a little more smoothly.

Also, because it is midnight when they look at each other in the mirror, I wonder how long did they sit and chat over cider? What time was it when he rescued the cat, because midnight is pretty darn late for both trick or treaters and/or matchmaking/false alarm attempts by elderly neighbors.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Meant To Be"

by Susan C. Hall from the October 25, 2010 issue

Tagline: Was it coincidence that brought Morgan and Tim together? Or was it something called destiny?

In A Nutshell: After exchanging glances with a man in the doctor's office, Morgan keeps seeing him around town. On the fourth instance, she finally introduces herself.

Observations: This was the coincidence plot pushed to its ultimate. The heroine accidentally runs into the hero four times. On top of that, they both end up being teachers. To me, this seemed heavy handed. I would never have submitted a story with this many coincidences in it, even if I acknowledged this with the title and the characters' conversations. However, clearly the editors liked it.

This just goes to prove that this business is very subjective. :)