The Blurbs, They Are A’Changin’
So first, today I’m guestblogging over at Romance Vagabonds, so puh-leeze come stop by! My post over there is all about my continuing quest to craft the perfect one-sentence hook – and I need some help. Writing the blog made me realize that the GOTH blurb on my website was long overdue for a change.
The blurb I used to have up there was my first attempt at writing a hook. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. It went like this:
As a girl, Lucy Waltham wanted to be ‘one of the boys.’ Now Lucy’s grown into a woman, and she wants … one of the boys.
Orphaned at the age of eleven and left in her brother Henry’s care, Lucy refused to languish in the schoolroom while the men had their fun. She’s spent eight autumns in their company, hunting, fishing, and worshipping Sir Toby, her brother’s rakishly charming friend.
Now Toby’s about to become engaged to the angelic Sophia Hathaway, and Lucy is desperate. Seduction is her weapon; Toby, her target. All she needs is practice. She turns to another of her brother’s friends – Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall. Jeremy taught her to angle for trout and snare a grouse. Who better to give her lessons on trapping a man?
Against his better judgment, Jeremy agrees to her scheme. He reasons he can distract Lucy long enough to save Toby’s engagement and Lucy’s reputation. But what starts with a kiss (Or two. All right, three.) sparks into a fiery passion. And when Sophia’s angelic halo slips, Lucy must choose between the love of a girl’s dreams and the desire of a woman’s heart.
Once I finished the book and began working on my query letter, it became clear that this hook just wouldn’t do. It ends, as CM once so saliently put it, on a ridiculous question of “love-or-radish” proportions. As in, “Will she choose the love of her life? Or will she choose to be beaten about the shoulders with a rotten radish?” Lucy’s choice is obvious, of course. Who would pick girlhood dreams over womanly desire? Sheesh. Not me.
This is the new blurb, which closely resembles what’s in my query letter. (But my query letter doesn’t have those headings, of course!) I tried to keep the same light, comic tone, but end on a note of conflict.
A huntress taking aim at love…
Lucy Waltham is about to turn poacher. She’s spent eight autumns with her brother’s friends, angling for trout, snaring grouse, and admiring the rakishly charming Sir Toby. When Toby plans to marry another, Lucy vows to bag him first. With a few practice kisses under her belt, she’s ready to give chase. But instead of luring the dashing knight, Lucy reels in a much bigger catch. An earl.
An earl dodging his troubled past…
Plagued by would-be wives, rioting tenants, and the ghosts of a boyhood tragedy, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall, has plenty of problems. He’s about to get one more. For eight years, Jeremy’s kept his friend’s pestering sister at arm’s length. Until the night Lucy runs into his arms, and her ‘practice’ kiss sparks a fiery passion. Suddenly, the chit he’s always ignored is the woman he can’t forget.
A passion that can’t miss!
When a scandal threatens to ruin Lucy, Jeremy takes matters – and a compromising letter – into his own hands. His impetuous gallantry costs him a friendship, his dignity, and his bachelor freedom. He’ll be damned if he’ll lose his heart, too. But Lucy needs rescuing like a fish needs a curricle. She wants love, and she won’t settle for less.
Notice that this one also makes it sound as though the hero actually does something in the book. It also keeps mention of secondary characters to a minimum.
Of course, in between these versions were about a dozen other attempts. I re-wrote this thing until my brain hurt.
Be honest, which do you like better and why? Did I trade up, or make a change for the worse? Are the headings in the new blurb just too cheesy?