Title: Free Fall
Entry Nickname: Moving On Is Never Easy
Word Count: 81k
Genre: Women's Fic (Adult)
When Larkin Winters tries to figure out why her college boyfriend committed suicide, she discovers some secrets are meant to stay buried.
Five years after Adam jumped off the campus clock tower, Larkin is a sarcastic, functional alcoholic who is barely able to handle the daily stresses of her dead-end retail job. While her therapist continually suggests dealing with Adam’s death and reapplying to medical school, Larkin prefers to drift through her life until a near nervous break-down forces her to reconsider her priorities. The only way to confront the loss, Larkin’s therapist says, is to attend her upcoming college reunion.
There, rumors swirl about Adam’s double life. Larkin doesn’t know who—or what—she should trust. Her memories of Adam are fading just like those of her life in college. Her free-spirited, feminist roommate, Kate, is unrecognizable as an uptight, Upper East Side-housewife. Larkin seems to share a connection with an attractive classmate, Hank, but she doesn’t remember him. With Kate and Hank’s help, she investigates Adam’s secrets while desperately trying to hold onto a past that no longer exists.
Even though what Larkin uncovers is the key to moving on, it stands to destroy Adam’s reputation and her college friendships. In the end, she must decide whether saving herself is worth losing everything.
“Larkin?” a woman’s voice calls. “Are you still with me?”
The smart leather chairs and the bookshelf lined walls blur back into focus. Oh yeah, I’m in my therapist’s office. I run a shaking hand over my face, then pinch myself.
On the other side of the room, Dr. Shannon Fielding looks at me over her glasses. “Larkin?”
When I don’t reply, she makes a notation on her pad of paper. The scratch of the pen cuts through me. I dig my nails into the couch cushion. I’m surprised there aren’t permanent dents in it by now. I hate when she writes things down during our sessions, but she already knows that.
This is just a challenge. Something to bait me into ‘sharing’ things with her.
Well, it isn’t going to work today. She already used this trick on me last month. That’s how she found out about my college boyfriend, Adam. I cracked under a moment of intense pressure while she took notes on that pad. I won’t make that mistake again.
Leaning back in my chair, I cross my arms. “Dr. Fielding, it’s just – “
“Ms. Winters,” she interrupts, her voice as no-nonsense as her expression.
I close my eyes to hide the involuntary roll. This office has a first name only policy. For some insane reason, Dr. Fielding thinks throwing societal labels and professional etiquette to the wayside really helps her connect with patients. As though calling me something different changes who I am.
It’s a bunch of psycho-babble.
Title: Unreasonable Doubts
Entry nickname: I fell for a convicted felon
Word Count: 91,000
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Liana Cohen is a 29 year-old public defender. Her job is to represent indigent defendants whether they are guilty or innocent. But after years of representing the most hardened criminals, she is burned out. She needs one client, just one, in whom she can believe, to reignite her passion for the work and salvage her career.
In this state of emotional turmoil, Liana pins her hopes on Danny Shea, a convicted rapist. She finds Danny intelligent, magnetic and compelling. And he could be innocent.
As their attorney-client relationship transforms into something less than arms-length, Danny painstakingly insinuates himself into Liana’s world. After she wins him a reversal and he is released from prison, she is confronted with a man who is single-minded in his desire to be with her. Danny’s attentions intensify at the same time that Liana’s long-time boyfriend, Jakob Weiss, proposes marriage, and she’s forced to choose between love and a dangerous attraction.
First 250 Words:
Dear Ms. Cohen,
Forgive me for being so direct, but I have no choice.
I need you to do something for me, something that goes beyond just doing your job. I’m begging you to put aside what you think you know about me based upon my conviction and from reading the testimony of the witnesses at trial, and to search out the man behind those words. It’s critical that you know in your heart, as my public defender, but even more so, as a woman, that I couldn’t, and I didn’t, rape Jennifer Nash or anyone else. I need you to believe in me.
My case could have been assigned to any attorney, but I have you. I believe there’s a reason for this, and I know that with you on my side I will emerge from this terrible darkness that has engulfed me since this false accusation was lodged. I pray that you’ll have the courage to stand with me.
Who is this guy? Liana wondered.
“Liana, you have a call on line 1.”
“Who is it, Tony?”
“Randy Napoli, that reporter from the New York Law Journal,” Tony responded. “Want me to ask him what it’s about?”
“No, thanks. You can put him through,” Liana said. She and Randy had the kind of friendship that sometimes flourishes because both parties know that it exists only in cyberspace and they’ll never actually have to meet.