Thursday, June 7, 2018

QK Agent Round 17: Unnaturally Dyed Boutonniere, Adult Historical


Entry Nickname: Unnaturally Dyed Boutonniere

Word count: 93K

Genre: Adult Historical LGBTQ


Under its glittery surface, Belle Epoch Paris is a brutal place where an illustrious name or prodigious bank account are almost the only means of advancement. British expat Fin Tighe has neither due to his illegitimate birth. His evenings spent in the clandestine gay community are legal through a loophole in the Napoleonic Code, but they leave him vulnerable. So the engineer proposes to find investors for his employer Gustave Eiffel's pet project: a 300-meter tower that will dominate the city's skyline. If Fin raises enough money, the commission will earn him a fortune, and hopefully, some protection.

Capricious stranger Gilbert Duhais appears to be a boon from the gods. Gilbert is wealthy, connected, and--somehow privy to the tragedy Fin instigated in his native Yorkshire. Gilbert introduces Fin to every nouveau riche speculator in the city and soothes Fin’s suspicions with heart-thumping charm. Each provocative interaction heightens Fin's risk of exposure. But also brings Fin closer to his dream of financial security.

When Fin's dear friend is murdered, piecemeal clues indicate that Gilbert may have hijacked Fin's life for revenge over a man from Gilbert’s past, a scoundrel that Fin had good reason to want dead. Fin must untangle the disparate threads of his past--and his current romantic gamble--before they become his noose.

GREEN CARNATIONS is a 92,000-word LGBTQ adult historical fiction that will appeal to fans of Mackenzi Lee's Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue and Cat Sebastian's M/M historical romances.

I teach history’s scandals to teenagers. I’ve lived in Sweden and Scotland and traveled to 30 countries. This MS has finaled in 5/5 RWA contests and so far, won its category for the Catherine. I run writing workshops #ontheporch, and was a finalist in both #Revpit and #NightmareOnQueryStreet.

First Page

Paris, 1886

I lifted my glass to hide my unshakable smirk in another drop of wine. The terrace wasn’t empty, but I had my choice of seats facing the direction of the river, towards the Champs du Mars. Not that I saw it over the mansard roofs of my neighborhood’s apartments, but I knew where it was. I wasn’t the most creative man, my talents were concrete; numbers and measurements. Dependable things, unable to be changed on a whim. But when I lifted my gaze toward the gibbous moon, I could almost make out the iron lacework tower that would change my life.

If it were built.

And it had to be because Monsieur Eiffel would make it worth my effort.

The expanse of butcher paper serving as a tablecloth begged for some scribbles and I pulled a pencil from the pocket under my green-tinted boutonniere. With a flourish, I wrote out the sum I could've done in my head when I was six, let alone one-and-thirty, but I needed to see the answer in writing. Twenty percent.

Good Christ. I giggled, and I never giggled. Giggling was for small children and overenthusiastic young girls. Yet, there I sat, in a crowded restaurant, and something I vaguely recognized as joy burbled out.


My head whipped up at the unfamiliar male voice. I could count on one hand the people who called me Fin rather than Finley or Tighe, and none of them would hover around a perfectly bourgeois establishment like this tonight—or any night.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to see more! Please go to http://QueryMe.Online/AmandaJain to find my submission guidelines and upload your sample. I look forward to reading!