Title: Trial of the Heart
Author Name: Erin
Genre: Women's Fiction
Word Count: 86,000
Emily Hennas despises the split-second of gratitude she felt for the drunk who stole the lives of her two oldest children. Because he also killed her scum-sucking bastard of a husband.
Her surviving son deserves a mother who'll stand up for him. And herself. A single finger salute to her dead spouse, and she resurrects the career he forbade. She tackles single motherhood with the devotion of an answered prayer. Not lacking complications, she risks love with a new man who’s dedicated to redefining her perception of relationships, one barrier at a time. Until--the drunk driver wants her support for a plea bargain that will allow him to stay home while he dies from cancer.
He can go to hell. Emily relishes the thought of sending him. While at the same time, she can’t help wondering if she doesn’t belong there as well, because the killer of her children was also her savior—that’s damn hard to live with. Even harder to forgive. Until Emily finds closure, she has no hope of moving on. But the hardest person to forgive just might be herself.
The Good: Ooh... this pitch promises a book of great emotional intensity. The raw power comes through well, and we get a good sense of the premise and the narrative voice. This is a revised version of the one posted a couple of days ago, but both versions have the same, I'm-going-to-punch-you-in-the-gut presence that makes me think of an Oprah Book Club pick.
Suggestions: The sentence fragments grab my attention, and, while they work well with the narrative voice, consider making them complete sentences (see the comment about frustrated English majors in yesterday's post). I don't think the em-dash is appropriate at the end of the second paragraph; it's either an ellipse or punctuation-free (and converted into a complete sentence).
Bottom line: Another strong pitch that I think needs only cosmetic changes to have a great chance in ABNA.