NoQS Adult Women’s Fiction: WOMAN ENOUGH

Title: WOMAN ENOUGH
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 77,000
My Main Character’s Most Stressful Relationship Is:
My character’s most stressful relationship is with her
mother. Angst between the two has been there since the days Becca received less
than perfect scores in her gymnastics routines; her mother never praising her,
but instead pushing her to do better. All Becca ever wanted was her mother’s
approval, her ear, and her unconditional love. Instead, she learned from her
mother she’s a selfish little bitch and comfort can be found from a bottle of
whiskey. Still, Becca fears her mother’s rejection most. And who knows how
she’ll react if she finds out Becca is an exotic dancer?
Query:
After too many nights of debauchery, twenty-one-year-old
Rebecca is kicked off the gymnastics team, loses her scholarship, and moves
back home with her parents. Desperate to eke out a living that will allow her
to escape the confines of a life with an alcoholic mother, she takes a job as
an exotic dancer and keeps the job and her substance abuse a secret from her
family, forcing her to live a double life. Everything would be much easier if
she could ignore the unlimited backroom drugs, the vile remarks from men who
think a stripper is fair game for such behavior, and the awkward sexual
advances she receives from strange men. And while she’s never been sure of what
it means to be a woman, her dancing life is empowering, too, as she
incorporates moves from her gymnastics past and loves the thrill of performing.
She’s determined to use her voice to speak out against the misogyny that
follows her, but spirals further into a fog of alcohol and drug abuse.
Ben, a wealthy patron of the club, charms Becca and pays for
private sessions with her. While she revels in his special attention, the line
between work and love blurs, and she may be falling for him. So when he
proposes she leave dancing to be his professional girlfriend, she thinks this
could be her way toward salvation. Then, one night, she realizes Ben isn’t who
he seems, and she can either keep living the life she hadn’t planned or find
the life she deserves.
First 250 words:
Rebecca’s body synchronized with the vibration from the bass
in the music-filled room. Two A.M. This was her last dance of the night. A lump
in her throat hard from the dry mouth effect of the ecstasy she’d swallowed
earlier, she pressed her tongue against the roof of her mouth to produce extra
saliva. It had been a mistake plopping it in her mouth, aware it’d kick in
while she was performing, but too late to care now. Now, the contamination
coursed through her blood.
The music swallowed her whole again as she sunk into the
grave deep end of the noise. She crossed her ankles tight at the top of the
pole as she lowered her back into an arch, releasing her arms. It wasn’t a full
arch, but the crowd loved it anyway, cheers warped and distant to her ears as
she transitioned into a basic knee release and then an outside leg hang. Men
nodded rhythmically to the steady beat, their hands waving cash for her to
collect.
As she exited the stage, warmth from the ecstasy washed over
her. Her jaw clenched, teeth chattered, and eyelids fluttered. Her brain seemed
tight, if that was even possible. Shrink-wrapped. She rubbed her palm slowly up
the side of her face and then down again, watching her reflection in the
dressing room mirror. She looked normal but didn’t feel it.
Panic, another side effect from the pill, crept over her for
a moment, and then subsided.
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