Thursday, June 7, 2018

QK Agent Round 14: Don't Mess With an Assassin Mom, Adult Thriller

Title: BABYFACE

Entry Nickname:
Don't Mess with an Assassin Mom

Word Count: 89K

Genre: Adult Thriller


Query



To her family and friends, Marybeth Delay is the embodiment of the word "wholesome": she's a teacher, wife, and loving mother of two young children living in a small Minnesota town. But they don’t know that she was once, in a different lifetime, Valentina “Babyface” Nacosto, the New Jersey mob’s most prolific and mysterious killer. They don’t know that she had a child seventeen years ago, who died in a hit meant for her. They don’t know that the serenity of her new life is repressed denial of her old one.

Marybeth thinks the past is forever behind her until the morning she turns on the news — and discovers that her son is alive. Alive, and the focus of a furious FBI manhunt, along with Valentina’s ex-husband, fugitive mob boss Vincent "Nine Lives" Nacosto.

Valentina couldn't save her child from violence seventeen years ago. But she can now. And she will. She’ll get to him before the FBI does. She’ll be his way out—and she will risk her new family, her new life, her new peace to do it.

BABYFACE is told in both past and present timelines as Marybeth/Valentina comes to terms with who she was, who she is, and who she needs to be for both her families. Complete at 89,000 words, BABYFACE evokes a female John Wick crossed with the emotional conflict of A History of Violence. It will appeal to fans of Alafair Burke’s The Wife, Riley Sager’s Final Girls, and Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive.

I have a professional background in finance, with a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.



First Page


I have the Minnesota winter to blame for what I did today, and for everything I know I will do tomorrow.

The kids and I got back home at 3:30 from pickup. My fingers were numb. The heater in the minivan doesn’t work well, not in this kind of cold, and I forgot my gloves. It’s month two of my maternity leave and I really don’t have it together yet. Caroline was nagging me for Doc McStuffin the entire ride home and Jacob was screaming his little head off. I knew he was hungry. I knew because my breasts felt like two water balloons filled a hair short of bursting. But Jacob doesn’t latch; I have to pump. My stomach sank when I realized he was twenty minutes away from his meal.

Five tortured miles later, we made it home. I dragged the car seat into the living room. “Give mommy a second," I begged as he screamed louder. I felt like a PSA for birth control.

My eyes fell on the TV. Maybe the cartoon would distract him. I jabbed at the remote, my fingers blue and slow from cold. The TV jumped to life and I pressed the numbers. 3-1-3. Disney Junior. Jacob was still screaming when I headed to the foyer to retrieve the pacifier and the pump, wincing as my fingers came back to life in a series of potent little stabs. If he hadn’t been screaming, if I hadn’t been in pain, I would have noticed. I would have seen. I would have understood that I had the wrong channel.

I would have changed it.

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