Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crashing into Love

by Carol E. Ayer from the February 16, 2015 issue

When friends asked Laura and Brad how they met, they both had to laugh...

In a Nutshell
When Laura forgets to set the parking brake on her car while getting the mail, the car rolls down and crashes into her garage door. As her landlords assure her their insurance will cover it, their son makes an impression. Three weeks later, the son repeats the crash.

Only in a Woman's World story would landlords not be upset about a smashed garage door. LOL

This story had a good hook.

All I can say in my defense is that it had been a rough week.

I immediately want to know what is she defending herself against and what made it such a rough week.

I found nothing in particular to remark upon in the middle of the story, but I really loved the last line of the story about the flat driveway.

Photo credit: Alisa Cooper via Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

For You

by April Serock from the February 9, 2015 issue

The wind blew and the snowflakes flew, but for Veroni
ca and Jon, Valentine's Day was bringing a warming trend...

In a Nutshell
Veronica works the reception desk for a big building and likes to cook up stories about who is behind all the flower deliveries that arrive for Valentine's Day. The delivery guy is enchanted.

I thought this was a fresh idea for a story, but I found Veronica a little too...I don't know, bland.

Because Jon kept returning, I figured, after the first bouquet, the flowers were from him because he was trying to find out what Veronica liked. After all, why wouldn't the shop he worked for deliver all the flowers to that building at one time?

The ending was sort of a miss for me as well. However, I liked that Jon actually verbally asked her out, instead of writing it on the card, which is what I would have expected. But I think that card was a missed opportunity. "For you" seemed unimaginative.

Photo credit: Natalia Wilson via Creative Commons Flickr

Monday, February 9, 2015

Back on Track

by Debra McNally from the February 2, 2015 issue

After her divorce, Jenny fell into a comfortable but lonely routine. That changed when she met Mac...

In a Nutshell
Determined to get more exercise, Jenny meets a man at the gym.

This story is so special to me because it's one I helped the author with. And here it is! This is so exciting. After I went over the story line by line, Debra revised her story and sold it. AWESOME.

Jenny is the perfect Woman's World heroine--her divorce was a bit of a hurdle, but full of optimism, she's ready to move on with her life.

If you look closely, you'll see a gray moment when they go to their separate locker rooms. Because Mac is trying new gyms, you figure Jenny missed her chance and probably won't see him again. But, Mac comes back, of course, because he's intrigued with Jenny.

Then just as you think things are going to go well, she notices his "World's Best Grandpa" T-shirt. Damn. Black moment. He's married!

Oh, no he isn't! He's actually a widower. Whew. That was close.

The only oddity was that the entire story was present tense, except for the end, where it went past tense. It didn't bother me, but I did notice it.

So, congratulations, Debra! I'm so thrilled I was able to help you sell a story.

Photo credit: By aewolf from Denver (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sleepless in Cincinnati

by Shelley Cooper from the January 26, 2015 issue

Thoughts of Dan were keeping Isabelle up at night. Turns out, Dan was struggling with insomnia too!

In a Nutshell
Isabelle and Don are best friends. They kissed once, but chalked it up to having both been recently dumped. Now that he gets a job offer that will take him far away, it looks bad, but Dan kisses her just to make sure and it's wonderful.

This is a friends to lovers story that pushes the norms a little in that the "meet cute" happens before the story even starts. We join their romance in progress instead of jumping in just prior to the meeting.

Also, there is a pretty hefty black moment in which Isabelle thinks Dan will be lost to her forever because he's going to take this amazing job. We see black moments, but they're not usually as intense as this. And this is tied to the fact that a majority of stories do show the first meet, so there isn't as much on the line.

I wanted to point out a couple of really romantic moments that gave me that warm happy feeling inside, and I think this is a real accomplishment for a Woman's World story, mostly because we only have 800 words to do this.

Moment One: When he hauls her into his arms and kisses her. OMG. I could SO picture this in my head. It was like something out of a movie. Sure, it was a little cliche, but it totally worked for me. Inside, I was like, "You go, Dan. Kiss the hell out of her!"

Moment Two: When he tells her she's his dream. Big Sigh. That sentence preceding it really sets it up, too. His gaze softens. Yowsa. That prepares the reader in such a subtle but important way.

I wish the author had milked that moment a tiny bit more instead of moving on so quickly to him suggesting he pick her up at seven and I thought the ending was a little lacking as well. With all the emotions she evoked in me, I was a little disappointed that all Isabelle seemed to get was a good night's sleep.

Still, fantastic story!