Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Book Blurb Friday #25: Coltrane’s Promise

Posted on Aug 18, 2011 by Lisa Ricard Claro   16 Comments | Posted in Book Blurb Friday

TGIBBF! Thanks for checking in for this week’s Book Blurb Friday.

My last post offered links to contests being offered by two national magazines, Good Housekeeping and Family Circle. One of my commenters, June Freaking Cleaver, proved her genius (something of which her readers are already aware) by saying this:

“The GH theme is pretty vague – a theme related to women. I think they should have included “who read Good Housekeeping.”  My first task is to look at the stories that won last year, to get an idea of what they want. . .”

So true! Before you submit to any market, provide yourself with a solid understanding of what your target publishes before you submit. The idea of throwing something out there to “see if it sticks” will only annoy the editor on the receiving end.

Don’t assume you know what a magazine wants just by the title, either. Read the magazine so you know the preferred tone. For instance, one magazine devoted to cats might look for humor, while another eschews funny for fancy.  Your chance for acceptance (or contest win) goes up if you write to the preferences of the publication. Remember, they’re selling to a target market, too.

I know, I know. This topic has been beaten to death. But there’s a reason for that, right? It’s because even though we all know better we still sometimes opt for the “see if it sticks” method.

My most embarrassing rejection is rooted in not paying proper attention to market research. Get this: I did the research and still didn’t get it right! I read the (horror) magazine cover to cover and submitted a story. True, my tale wasn’t nearly as graphic as those in the magazine, but it was still a good story. And it was horror. It even had a nifty surprise ending. What’s not to like, right?

Well, the (extremely kind) editor responded with a few nice comments about my writing and the suggestion that I “read the magazine” before submitting again. I felt so embarrassed to have submitted something I knew wasn’t a great fit (Oy! What was I thinking?), but I was crazy lucky he took the time to send me a personal note. I didn’t deserve the note, or his time, but I value both.

What is your most embarrassing rejection? C’mon, share. I’ll laugh WITH you.

On to BBF!

Welcome to Book Blurb Friday, where 150 words must sell your story!

If you are new to this blog, please click HERE or click the tab under the blog header for details of the Book Blurb Friday meme.  This is the shortened, abridged version:

Write a book jacket blurb (150 words or less) so enticing that potential readers would feel compelled to buy the book.

Below is this week’s “book cover,” generously offered for our creative blurbs by Kathy Matthews. My book blurb follows:

Coltrane’s Promise
(150 words)
Laramie Coltrane, one of the country’s wealthiest and most colorful cattlemen, died as he had lived: rich, arrogant, hated, and on the back of a purebred horse.
Deke Hayes, sheriff of Gold Rock, Montana, compares hunting for clues in Coltrane’s murder to poking a hornet’s nest. His angry suspects include Coltrane’s four sons; his wife, socialite Monica Rayburn Coltrane; and his mistress, stripper Honeydew Melons. Further complicating the investigation is the arrival of journalist Shawna Medlin.
Shawna stakes her claim as Coltrane’s only daughter and she has the DNA to prove it. Coltrane made her a promise long ago, and she aims to hold him to it, even from the grave.
While Shawna is relentless in her pursuit, Deke realizes he must protect her from becoming a second victim. Whoever killed Coltrane has Shawna in the crosshairs and will stop at nothing to prevent her claiming—and exposing—Coltrane’s promise.

This photo made me feel so many things! Thanks, Kathy, for sharing this awesome photo.

Please put your name and link in Mr. Linky, below, if you are participating in Book Blurb Friday. If you have no blurb to share, please do not install a link. It will be treated as spam and removed. Thanks.

Please scroll past the Linky widget to see our “book cover” for next week.

Here is our “book cover” for next week’s Book Blurb Friday #26, provided by Lynn Obermoeller:

The stories generated from this photo should be pretty awesome. I’ve already got a few ideas fermenting. Thanks, Lynn!

Enjoy your weekend!

16 Responses to "Book Blurb Friday #25: Coltrane’s Promise"

  1. Comment by Ms.Daisy
    August 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm  

    Lisa,Great premise for this mystery read. I got a real kick out of Honeydew Melons and Shawna Medlin wonderful character names! Had to come to see what everyone is up to at BBF!~Jean

  2. Comment by Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
    August 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm  

    Hi Lisa,I can't figure out how you put all of that into 150 words … mine always seem so tame. I love your story idea … lots of strong peeps right off of the bat. Your names are wonderful, as always. I went with a ranch theme too, even though the picture was taken at gravel pits instead of ranch land, lol.I haven't submitted anything yet, and I hate rejection in general, but first I have to write a whole story!Thanks so much for hostessing. I love Lynn's photo for next week and am already thinking about what to write about it.Have a wonderful weekend,Kathy M.

  3. Comment by Tammy
    August 18, 2011 at 10:42 pm  

    I love that you combined a Western and a mystery, and the line "…she has the DNA to prove it" combines the best of both worlds. I too am a Honeydew Melons fan–the name, anyway! My worst rejection was when I entered a fiction contest with a story about a little girl who has nightmares about the holocaust. Then later I heard a speaker who'd been a judge in that same contest, and she specifically mentioned that holocaust stories had been "done to death." Then she rolled her eyes. She didn't know me. That made it even worse.

  4. Comment by Susan Fobes
    August 19, 2011 at 12:38 am  

    The names, the names, LOL! How do you come up with these? I loved the blurb, and the little twists it takes.Now I'm not one for writing contests-I have entered a couple, and all I got was a great amount of effort and a few gray hairs to get them done in time. Too much pressure for me 🙁

  5. Comment by HOOTIN' ANNI
    August 19, 2011 at 4:52 am  

    Honeydew Melons? OMGosh. I'm still snorting at that name. I love a murder mystery.

  6. Comment by June Freaking Cleaver
    August 19, 2011 at 6:46 am  

    I kept waiting for "they'd have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for that Medlin kid" – like in the Scooby Doo cartoons!Great story – murder, money, jealousy and a love child!

  7. Comment by Sioux
    August 19, 2011 at 7:16 am  

    "Honeydew Melons" is a marvelous name for a stripper. What a hoot!I love this photo, so I am going to try and get a blurb in—probably late this evening.

  8. Comment by Sarah
    August 19, 2011 at 8:24 am  

    "… stripper Honeydew Melons" I nearly spit my coffee all over the screen. You really are masterful at these, Lisa!

  9. Comment by Dominic de Mattos
    August 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm  

    Hi LisaLoved your blurb – made me smile and marvel at your ability to pack so much into so few words.My heart sank when I read about your rejection – I have just done exactly the same thing – to the smallest detail. I am now dreading the inevitable rejection, though I doubt I will get a personal response!

  10. Comment by Calico Crazy
    August 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm  

    I can tell this is going to be a page turner. I'm dying to know what the promise is.

  11. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 20, 2011 at 8:29 am  

    Jean – Thanks for dropping by. :)Kathy – I can tell you how I put in so many words. I talk too much! LOLTammy – At least she didn't clue in to who you were. I hope you kept that story. You may find a home for it!Susan – Deadlines do create pressure, and it is amazing how often I find out about a contest only a few days before the deadline. I think the key is to write, write, write…and then when you see a contest or other submission, pull from your already written stories. Now if I could just take my own advice.Anni – I hope I didn't pull the name from my subconscious from someone else's work. It came so easily maybe it should be suspect. Geez, I hope not! That would be awful!June – I love Scooby! Thanks for your comments on my last post, too. :)Sioux – I hope you find the time to do a blurb. I love your blurbs!Sarah – Glad it was "nearly." I'd hate to be responsible for a coffee mishap!Dom – Maybe your story is so crazy awesome that they won't mind if it isn't a perfect match. I'll think good thoughts for you! Good luck.CC – Haha…me too. 🙂

  12. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    August 20, 2011 at 9:01 am  

    I just saw those contests a few days ago, and of course, I always want to consider something that doesn't have an entry fee. But thanks for the great advice about reading the magazine first. I wasn't going to do that, but you're absolutely right. I should know this, too, because my last rejection came with a note similar to the one you got from the horror mag. She gently suggested I read their publication and become more familiar with it. 🙂 It's very humbling, isn't it?!

  13. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm  

    Hi Deb – Yes…very humbling! I know I don't want to be on the receiving end of a similar rejection ever again.

  14. Comment by Karen Lange
    August 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm  

    Good contest and submission advice! Love the book cover too. 🙂

  15. Comment by K9friend
    August 21, 2011 at 8:06 am  

    That definitely sounds like a story you need to write, Lisa!

  16. Comment by Grandma's Goulash
    August 21, 2011 at 10:45 am  

    Murder, mystery and I'm betting a bit of romance between Deke and Shawna. Who could ask for anything more? I know I'd enjoy reading this one. Writing is such a new venture for me, that I have yet to submit anything for rejection. It is intimidating enough to publish something on my blog.Many famous authors collect hundreds of rejections before being published. I think you should consider yourself in good company.

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