Three Empty Frames – the synopsis

I dread writing the book blurb for the back cover and/or the Amazon website. I have trouble deciding on what to say and what to leave out. What follows is the long version of the book’s description. On the blog I can be as wordy as I want! Chapter One will be posted tomorrow. I hope you will enjoy it! And for those of you who have read it, I’ll be interested in your thoughts about the changes I’ve made.

Jennifer Dunne has just buried her mother. The tedious task of sorting through her mother’s things yields a discovery. A diary dating from the 1960’s hints at her mother’s involvement in a decades old unsolved mystery. Three priceless works of art, stolen from a Philadelphia museum have been missing since Halloween night in 1968. When Jen and new love interest, the handsome lawyer, Tommy Quinn, begin to unravel the clues, the Dunne family is targeted by a burglar. Coincidence? Just when Jen and Tommy believe they’ve discovered the location of the missing paintings, things turn dangerous.

Meanwhile, Jen and Tommy’s relationship is complicated by the arrival of a handsome executive from Prague who attempts to sweep Jen off her feet. Alexi Marek is wealthy, elegant, and charming. He is also not who he claims to be. The search leads down one blind alley after another until finally, Jen is sure she’s found the location of the lost masterpieces. But has the final clue led her astray yet again? Or have the paintings been hidden in plain sight all along?

Some Positive Feedback

Always welcome when you’re struggling or unsure.

I sent the first five pages of my revised first novel to an agent after participating in a Writers Digest webinar. I finally heard back from her late yesterday. Here are her comments:

“Overall, really fantastic writing. It’s beautifully composed –and also subtle. So despite the rather brash setup of an ex-convict, this leaves me feeling very intrigued about the rest of the plot. Nice job! I don’t have any overarching notes for you, other than to continue working on loosening your dialogue. You’ve got a good start to it, but there are some scenes that come across as just a touch stiff. (Dialogue is hard; it will come with some revision, I’m sure.) Best of luck with your query process; I have no doubt you will find an agent!”

So that’s pretty cool, right? If you’re wondering why she didn’t ask for the full manuscript herself, she doesn’t usually represent this genre. However, having good feedback from professional agent is certainly encouraging. I have already made revisions to the opening chapter of Three Empty Frames and will post the final edition later this week. Thank you all for reading along!

Stained Glass

A short story ~ by Meg Sorick. Add one more to the collection being pulled for publication.

My trip had been grueling. A seventeen hour flight followed by a nearly hour-long cab ride thanks to the heavy traffic. All the weekend beach goers making their way home on a Sunday evening. I was tired but relieved. John would be so surprised. We expected to be celebrating our anniversary on two different continents, via a Skype connection.

However, I’d worked through the weekend and most of the evenings during my trip. After all, what would an American woman on her own do in an industrial city in China for fun? My choices were nil. I ordered room service each night and kept at my laptop until it was time to go to bed. Happily, I’d managed to finish up my project a full three days early and exchange my return ticket at minimal cost.

The lights were on in the living room when the cab pulled up in front of my home. John’s car was in the driveway. I paid the cabdriver and hauled my bags to the door. As I let myself in, I wondered whether John had eaten dinner yet; if maybe he’d want to get takeout. I could go for Mexican food. Or maybe a pizza… Granted, he would still owe me a romantic dinner when I got over my jet lag.

The house was quiet and John wasn’t in the living room. I was just about to yell out to him when I saw the wine bottle and the lipstick stain on the glass. My heart squeezed in my chest. I left my luggage in the foyer and walked to the back of the house. No one was in the kitchen either. I stood still and listened. Although the house was quiet, it didn’t feel empty. From the second floor came the quiet murmurings of a conversation.

Perhaps my exhaustion was making me emotional, I thought, but dread began to wash over me in a wave. This could not be happening. Not today. Not on my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

I returned to the foyer and slowly, quietly climbed the stairs. The voices were more distinguishable now, coming from the spare bedroom John used as an office. I swallowed hard, holding back the tears that threatened. Was it some small comfort that he hadn’t taken his woman to the bed he shared with me?

The light was on in the room. I took a deep breath and braced myself for what I was about to see. I heard John say, “I’m so excited. Let’s do this.”

As I put my hand on the doorknob, I heard my phone ring downstairs and I pushed the door open to find my husband at his laptop, the Skype connection open and my friends and family gathered around the desk behind him.