Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Good Samaritan

by Katherine Baker from the June 18, 2012 issue

Tagline: Karen was sorry she would never get to know the handsome stranger who'd pulled over to help her. Boy, was she in for a surprise!

In a Nutshell: Karen gets a flat on the way to an important meeting. She works for a literacy foundation and is hoping for a generous donation. A man helps her change her tire. Turns out he's the guy she was rushing to meet. She gets both the donation and a date for lunch.

Observations: It's been a while since I saw a story with car trouble. Although flat tires occur often in Woman's World stories, I wasn't rolling my eyes at this one. I think part of it was Karen's personality, which is spunky. She tries changing the tire herself--something I'd never do. (That's why I belong to AAA!) Also, when the man pulls over to help her out and she realizes how handsome he is, she thinks to herself:

     Well, hello there, Mr. Good Samaritan!

That made me smile.

Another thing I wanted to talk about was the fact that Mike made a point of telling her the check had been made out the day before and that he'd already decided to donate to her foundation. That was an important plot point, because otherwise, that business would have "mixed" with their personal interest in each other, causing a conflict of interest. That was a smart move on the author's part to make their romance run more smoothly. Perhaps if this had been longer story, or even a novel, that conflict could have been milked, but with only 800 words, it's better to not cause the conflict in the first place. :)

14 comments:

Mary Jo said...

I read this story when? A couple of weeks ago? But I remember that I liked it. I thought it was pretty smart. I appreciate that WW characters are getting a little more sophisticated. When we have people dwelling on their high school years,ten, twenty, thirty years ago, it really turns me off. I think, let's move on, folks.

The only thing that bothered me about this story was the simple fact that she was carrying a cell phone. She didn't call Triple A (they usually show up pretty fast)and then call the prospective donor to tell them she would be a few minutes late.

The story would have been more believable if her cell phone simply didn't get a connection there.

Pat said...

I also loved this story. And cheered the heroine for her action. My Dad taught me how to change a flat when I was 14 so that when I got my own car I could take care of it myself. I did this until I hit age 60. Now due to medical conditons, I call a son to do it for me, but I remember changing a flot for my Mom at age 14 with too tight lug nuts. We finally got them off but I called the guy her put the tires on with a lug nut gun some pretty bad names. LOL

Kate Willoughby said...

Mary Jo, I've written those old flame stories, and I don't think my characters dwell on the past. It's not like they have hidden shrines in their basement with pictures from the yearbook and a dried up hot dog their lost love once took a bite from. LOL Like anything, there's a sliding scale. Personally, when I read or write the old flame stories, I think they tap into the fantasy of being so special that that person remembered you and held you in a special place in their heart all those years. Powerful stuff, if you ask me. But to each his own.

As far as AAA, like I said in the blog post, I would have called them because I'm a sissy girl who would have to work real hard to find the spare in the trunk in the first place. LOL. I actually admired the heroine's willingness to do it herself and I figured she didn't belong to AAA.

Kate Willoughby said...

Pat, good for you, AND your dad. (I don't think my dad could have changed a flat either. LOL)

Tamara said...

Sometimes women doing so-called masculine things can be cute. I sent in a romance about a female mechanic whose name was Sam -- short for Samantha -- unknown to the guy with a bad starter. She drove up in a truck wearing a baseball cap, and when she removed it, a bunch of long curls fell out. Story got all the way to the editor-in-chief, and Johnene expressed disappointment that it didn't make it.

Mary Jo said...

Hey Tamara, the girl at the Shell station where I get my gas loves working out in the garage section. She would do that any day in preference to working the desk. She is a hefty lady, though.

Pretty funny paragraph, Kate. I wrote what I thought was a cute post-high school story for WW early on, but it didn't go anywhere.

Even without AAA, most car insurance which every driver has to have offers roadside service. Just to argue the point, I doubt even a handy woman would want to be hefting a dirty flat tire when she is dressed for an interview. High heels and a nice suit? No wonder she was glad to see that guy stop.

Kate Willoughby said...

LOL, Mary Jo. Sorry to hear about the rejection, Tamara. How many Rs have you collected?

Tamara said...

Kate, not sure whether you were directing question to me. Does R stand for rejection or romance?

Kate Willoughby said...

Yes, I was asking Tamara, how many rejections (Rs) have you gotten from WW? Just curious. You don't have to answer if you don't want to.

Tamara said...

Best I can count is twenty-seven romance rejections (stories, not men -- ha ha) and nine published. I have amassed five rejected mysteries and one published -- just recently started writing the mysteries. I am currently awaiting word on one romance and one mystery and I, too, will be resending a Valentine story that I mailed in too early last year.

Tamara said...

Make that "too late", not too early.

Kate Willoughby said...

So you're a seasoned WW writer, T. Glad that you're a regular visitor. :)

Tamara said...

Well, I am glad I found this blog to commiserate. I just sent my Valentine's story out today. Good luck to us all.

Kate Willoughby said...

Amen.