Author Topic: my first cozy blurb  (Read 741 times)  

Online HSh

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my first cozy blurb
« on: September 06, 2017, 02:20:04 PM »
I recently wrote my first cozy mystery.  The main character is gay and there's a light romance subplot.  Mostly, it's a mystery. 


I need it to be clear in my blurb that 1) this is a light, fun cozy mystery, and 2) there are gay people so don't leave me a 1-star if you don't like that, just don't read the book ok?   ;D ;)


Does it seem like I've made that clear?


Quote
Abe might not be the best gardener in the suburbs, but he's still looking forward to the gardening competition, and beating his annoying (if handsome) neighbor, Gregory.  But Abe's zinnias and Gregory's permaculture project are no match for the mean-spirited judge...nor is anyone else's backyard.  Clarence Collin, up and coming TV garden show host, is a lot more hateful in person than he seems on TV.  Unfortunately, that means there are no end of suspects when Clarence turns up dead...in Abe's backyard.  As possible suspects for the murder stack up, Abe and Gregory work together to search for clues.  Who could have hated Clarence enough to kill him?  Or are they looking in the wrong direction entirely? 


Cozy mystery with a gay sleuth 
51,000 words

Hollis Shiloh  | My blog | Amazon page

Offline DanaFraser

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 02:33:46 PM »
Sounds cute. Clearly, you say "cozy mystery with a gay sleuth" but I wonder how many people will read that little bit. You do note the neighbor is "handsome" - maybe say "hunky" to be slightly more explicit. A straight man can think another man handsome and still be straight. If he thinks he's "hunky" that's altogether different. :D But maybe the word is too strong for a cozy. I don't have any experience in that.

Offline willow163

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 04:31:50 PM »
Now, I know nothing about nothing, but here's my thoughts anyway :-) I read your blurb twice, and both times, the "nor is anyone else's backyard" caused me to trip up a little. Just a flow thing I think, and honestly, you could cut that out and you wouldn't be missing anything. And since you told me it was a gay mystery, I did notice the handsome part and the obvious gay sleuth at the bottom, but I certainly can't say that a reader not expecting that wouldn't miss the signs. Maybe with the questions you ask at the bottom there could be a little romance question or some other sort of question that reinforces that the MC is gay. Kinda like backup for those who miss it in the beginning. Anyway, sounds great. Good luck!

Online Kat M

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 04:39:40 PM »
I love the cover and blurb but agree with Dana that another word in place of handsome might better reveal the MC is gay.

Offline Pandorra

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 04:47:17 PM »
why not just add m/m at the bottom?
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Offline Alix Adale

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 07:22:18 PM »
It sounds like a fun story with a cute cover! I don't know much about mystery blurbs, but it does read a little choppy--here's character A, then here's character B, now here's character C causing conflict, except now he's dead... It whipsaws me a little and it kinda puts the romance subplot forward first. Also, why are Abe and Greg solving the murder together? Does this town not have police? Are they suspects?

A "stab" at revision just for fun:

Quote
Clarence Collins is pushing up daisies--in Abe's prize-winning bed of zinnias!

When the caustic critic of TV's favorite gardening show winds up murdered in Abe's immaculately groomed backyard, it's CSI in the suburbs! Both Abe and his hunky-but-married [or whatever is the conflict keeping them apart at the open] neighbor Greg end up on the suspect list. For Abe, amateur sleuthing is an exciting way to cozy up to Greg, but when these two green thumbs dig past the red herrings and into the gardening circuit's dirty little secrets, the sparks aren't the only things flying.

Cuddle up with The Body in the Backyard, a cozy gay mystery.

It does open with a cliche, but maybe that sets a lighter tone.  Sort of ends on a morbid note too, almost suggesting the reader cuddle up with a body, but maybe that's appropriate too.



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Alix Adale | website | newsletter | twitter | goodreads

Offline DanaFraser

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 08:29:08 PM »
why not just add m/m at the bottom?

I would strongly advise against using m/m unless it's very standard for a cozy mystery with light romance elements. I think most people see m/m and expect there will be a very high heat level.

Offline ShayneRutherford

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 08:59:55 PM »

A "stab" at revision just for fun:

Quote
Clarence Collins is pushing up daisies--in Abe's prize-winning bed of zinnias!

When the caustic critic of TV's favorite gardening show winds up murdered in Abe's immaculately groomed backyard, it's CSI in the suburbs! Both Abe and his hunky-but-married [or whatever is the conflict keeping them apart at the open] neighbor Greg end up on the suspect list. For Abe, amateur sleuthing is an exciting way to cozy up to Greg, but when these two green thumbs dig past the red herrings and into the gardening circuit's dirty little secrets, the sparks aren't the only things flying.

Cuddle up with The Body in the Backyard, a cozy gay mystery.

It does open with a cliche, but maybe that sets a lighter tone.  Sort of ends on a morbid note too, almost suggesting the reader cuddle up with a body, but maybe that's appropriate too.

I love this. It's the perfect melding of the mystery and the romance aspects, and it's witty and fun, too.
     

Offline Gabriella West

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 09:59:00 PM »
Sounds fun! Good luck with it.

I copyedit, too, at Edit for Indies: http://editforindies.com|Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gabriellawest|

Online HSh

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 02:56:49 AM »

Thank you for the suggestions.  I appreciate them all.  I've replied to some things below, and will go back and work on the blurb some more right now.  Thank you guys. 
 :-*

Sounds cute. Clearly, you say "cozy mystery with a gay sleuth" but I wonder how many people will read that little bit. You do note the neighbor is "handsome" - maybe say "hunky" to be slightly more explicit. A straight man can think another man handsome and still be straight. If he thinks he's "hunky" that's altogether different. :D But maybe the word is too strong for a cozy. I don't have any experience in that.


Thank you.  Good suggestion!


Now, I know nothing about nothing, but here's my thoughts anyway :-) I read your blurb twice, and both times, the "nor is anyone else's backyard" caused me to trip up a little. Just a flow thing I think, and honestly, you could cut that out and you wouldn't be missing anything.


Thank you!  You're right.


why not just add m/m at the bottom?

I don't think it would be helpful.  I wouldn't write F/M on a "straight" cozy of this heat level.


A "stab" at revision just for fun:
Clarence Collins is pushing up daisies--in Abe's prize-winning bed of zinnias!When the caustic critic of TV's favorite gardening show winds up murdered in Abe's immaculately groomed backyard, it's CSI in the suburbs! Both Abe and his hunky-but-married [or whatever is the conflict keeping them apart at the open] neighbor Greg end up on the suspect list. For Abe, amateur sleuthing is an exciting way to cozy up to Greg, but when these two green thumbs dig past the red herrings and into the gardening circuit's dirty little secrets, the sparks aren't the only things flying.Cuddle up with The Body in the Backyard, a cozy gay mystery.


This is really good.  Thank you!   I'm going to have to use some of this!  It doesn't all fit the specifics of the plot but the fun tone of it is a real step up from my blurb.

Nah. But it does signal romance, which is not what this is supposed to be so I agree that it's not a good idea to put that in the blurb. H.S. writes very low heat m/m, at least as far as I know. Quite good too. I'm looking forward to this book. I'm a bit of a fan if you can't tell. :)


Thanks!  It's my first go at a "proper" mystery and I admit I'm equally nervous and excited about the response from readers.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 03:01:20 AM by HSh »

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 04:06:50 PM »
Used 'hunky.'  Used some of Alix's draft.  Currently I have:

Quote

Clarence Collin is pushing up daisies--in Abe's bed of zinnias!

When the caustic critic of TV's favorite gardening show winds up murdered in Abe's immaculately groomed backyard, both Abe and his hunky-but-irritating neighbor Gregory might be on the suspect list. Abe starts amateur sleuthing in self-defense…and to spend time with Gregory.  When the two green thumbs dig past red herrings and into their neighborhood’s dirty little secrets, the sparks aren't the only things flying.


A cozy gay mystery
51,000 words

Except I'm really not sure what else is flying....my brain is being a bit too literal.  :D The [crap] hitting the fan, maybe?  But it's not the sort of book where people say '[crap].'
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 04:09:52 PM by HSh »

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Offline ShayneRutherford

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 05:30:18 PM »
I assumed it was bullets that would be flying.
     

Online HSh

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 05:35:59 PM »
No.  It's a cozy.  There's really no on-screen violence. 


I may need to work on that bit some more.  Thanks.

Hollis Shiloh  | My blog | Amazon page

Offline Pandorra

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 05:53:32 PM »
I would strongly advise against using m/m unless it's very standard for a cozy mystery with light romance elements. I think most people see m/m and expect there will be a very high heat level.


I look for it if I am in the mood is why I asked lol .. I tend to prefer menage in my romances these days (or Kristen Ashley!) so I look for the m/f/m and know to skip the ones with f/f or m/m in them. Otherwise I wouldn't have a clue .. if they don't have that I think what usually cues me in for the book's blurb is that both have male or female names... I don't actually read them too closely. (Romance is an easy genre to read.. I'm not looking for serious if you find me there..)
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:56:23 PM by Pandorra »
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Offline DanaFraser

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 06:02:54 PM »
No.  It's a cozy.  There's really no on-screen violence. 


I may need to work on that bit some more.  Thanks.

Accusations will be flying - don't get stuck on being literal :)

You can also add a short paragraph or two about a dirt clod fight or whatever tickles your fancy

I LOVE the new blurb!

Offline Camilla

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2017, 04:46:20 AM »
Nothing useful to add, except I love your cover! Did you design it?

Online HSh

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2017, 09:12:22 AM »
Accusations will be flying - don't get stuck on being literal :) You can also add a short paragraph or two about a dirt clod fight or whatever tickles your fancyI LOVE the new blurb!


Thank you!  And thanks everyone for their thoughts & suggestions.


Nothing useful to add, except I love your cover! Did you design it?


No.  It's by Bayou Cover Designs: http://www.kboards.com/yp/?seq=488

Hollis Shiloh  | My blog | Amazon page

Offline MattGodbey

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2017, 05:48:14 PM »

A "stab" at revision just for fun:

It does open with a cliche, but maybe that sets a lighter tone.  Sort of ends on a morbid note too, almost suggesting the reader cuddle up with a body, but maybe that's appropriate too.

Excellent! I love this.

Offline Alix Adale

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2017, 08:58:18 PM »
I'm glad my ideas were helpful! As for what was flying besides sparks, I thought bodies, bullets, you know... but rumors, gossip, accusations work too. That was a placeholder for a kicker. Good luck with the story!



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Online HSh

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 02:42:00 PM »
I tweaked it a little more, but finally just had to hit publish!  Thanks again for all the suggestions.   :-*

Hollis Shiloh  | My blog | Amazon page

Offline DanaFraser

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Re: my first cozy blurb
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2017, 08:49:11 PM »
Wishing you great sales and great reviews!