Since no one sent questions for a Monday FtQ&A post, I want to ask for your thoughts on the “enticement” package for my next novel-- the cover, back cover blurb, first page, and sample chapters. There’s a big fat poll at the bottom, and comments are most welcome. Thanks.
It’s 1958, a time of innocence Jesse is a terminally shy teen when he and his best friend score jobs as summer hands on a ranch in Texas hill country.
Lola, the boss’s daughter, is a firecracker of a girl. Jesse’s attraction is instant, but, he’s sure, doomed. Then, on his second day on the job, a ranch hand is murdered with brutal violence.
There’s a dark secret in Lola’s life that she aches to leave behind. And she needs all her courage when the man Jesse suspects is the murderer attacks.
In this coming-of-age story laced with love and murder, Jesse and Lola struggle with death and passion in ways that transform him into a young man and launch her toward womanhood.
What readers say:
“The Summer Boy brought back memories of first kisses and fogged car windows.”
“The story is alive. I kept reading even when my eyes were closing at night.”
“Wow….the tension never ended and it seemed to come from all directions. I spent the day reading as I couldn't stop.”
Now for the first page of narrative from the book.
The air was as still as it was hot—only the whir of a grasshopper’s flight troubled the quiet. Jesse felt like an overcooked chicken, his meat darn near ready to fall off his bones. Mouth so dry he didn’t have enough spit left to swallow, Jesse croaked, “That guy tryin’ to kill us?”
Dudley’s answer took a while coming. From where he slumped against the other side of the tree trunk, he said, “I’m beginning to wonder.”
The live oak’s skimpy shade was as good as it got there in the south yearling pasture—wherever the hell that was on the Box 8’s ten thousand acres of ranchland. A half-dozen red-brown Hereford yearlings, broad white blazes down the centers of their empty faces, grazed on parched yellow grass. Jesse had tried a friendly moo, but they paid him no mind.
Jesse said, “Doesn’t seem like a foreman should be leavin’ people stuck out here with no water.”
“Maybe Buddy ol’ buddy doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s not much older than us.”
“Oh, he knows. You hear him laugh when he drove away?”
Dudley chuckled. “You mean right after he said, ‘You ain’t bothered by snakes, are you?’”
“Yep.” Jesse tossed a stone at a prickly pear cactus the size of a laundry basket. A dry rustle started up, whispered (snip)
Lastly, click here to download the first two Summer Boy chapters.
Now I know this story isn’t for everyone, so you can’t hurt my feelings. But I will tell you that I was surprised at the strength of the response from beta readers, all women. You can check multiple items in the poll.
As always, your thoughts about any aspect of this “enticement package” are welcome.
© 2011 Ray Rhamey