Monday, April 18, 2011

Critique Partner Auction Entry 3

Title: Pictures of You
Genre: Romantic Suspense/commercial fiction
Status: Complete

While it is true that the course of true love doesn’t ever run smoothly, why must it be cluttered with stalkers, murders, and a rumor column edited by a student with a grudge? Vida Adamson thought that teaching at a small university would be the perfect place to recover from a bad and very public break up. She was wrong. She is not in the market for another man, until she meets Jack Hughes. The handsome dean of the school of arts and sciences is recovering from his own bitter marriage mistake. Even before the romance takes off, rumors and pictures begin flying around the campus. Privately they also discover that everyone has demons to overcome, some are within, and some come snarling via nasty text messages. With the demise of Jack’s soon to be ex father-in-law, the school’s president, followed by the death of Vida’s unpleasant ex, they see that their stalker is willing to pay any price to get what she wants. As the threats pile up Jack and Vida realize they must get the police to see the connections between the two deaths and the mysterious messages they are receiving before the final message becomes a deadly reality.

Carly Phillips’ fans would certainly enjoy PICTURES OF YOU, a sexy romantic suspense that will keep readers guessing until the end. The college setting was a natural choice for me, since I taught at small university in New Jersey for ten years.

PICTURES OF YOU, a single title, is complete at approximately 75,000 words.


It was humiliating. Who was he talking to? She had spent hours getting ready: a new outfit, hair and nails done, even endured a Brazilian waxing, and now he was standing across the room talking to some unfamiliar girl. She felt her heart racing. She clenched and unclenched her fists a couple of times before walking across the room in slow, measured steps.

Her eyes gently grazed his face; her voice was composed as the words dripped out more for the girl’s benefit than his, “Your wife is looking for you.” Her gaze moved back and forth, narrowing as she focused on the girl in the David Bowie tee shirt. She turned to back to him, her face changing at lightening speed to a more conciliatory look. She felt her disgust level rising.

Still facing the girl, he let out small breath. “Well, good luck with your classes. Maybe I’ll see you around on the campus.” Once they made their way across the room, he snapped, “So where is she? What’s the emergency?” She stammered something about Johanna having just been there. “Well, go find her.” He watched the girl wade through the crowded room to a small group of professors that he recognized from the math department. She tugged at a guy’s jacket sleeve like a bored child and whispered something in his ear; he put his arm around her shoulders and continued talking. She folded herself into him. Again she whispered in his ear; he laughed and kissed the top of her head. He caught sight of them again as they made their way single-file out of the room. She walked behind him, holding onto the bottom of his jacket. He watched, feeling a little pang of disappointment.

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