Query Kombat Agent Round 1. BEARDS, Adult Romantic Comedy (Own voices)

Title: Chai, Beards, and Harmony
Entry Nickname: Beards
Word count: 71K
Genre: Contemporary Adult Rom-Com (Own Voices)

Amira Khan is too old for her dorm and exhausted from reporters’ constant calls for her personal ‘hot take’ on Islamophobia. She needs peace and quiet, and intends to get it by leaving grad school early to finish her thesis at her grandmother’s house. But it turns out, her grandmother rented the basement to… a barbershop quartet?! Amira needs silence; they need to rehearse for an upcoming competition, and the overgrown garden-gnome of a baritone is making her absolutely crazy.

For the sake of his family, baritone Duncan Galahad has to stay in the tiny town he calls home. But he needs big-city cred even for small-town gigs these days. Winning this competition might give him top billing, so he won’t let an outspoken, overbearing engineer like Amira get in his way. Even if outspoken, overbearing women are his exact catnip, Duncan knows women like that have no time for small-town singers with no steady pay-check. And Amira might be way too much… even for his tastes.

Amira finds harmonious friendship with the misfit singers. And she finds that clashing with Duncan outside the bedroom only means hitting all the right notes between the sheets.
But their differences are more than skin deep. Duncan comes from a world that sees Amira as nothing more than a cautionary tale against multiculturalism. And Amira long ago decided that only someone like her could understand her. When family, jobs, and distance pile up to make their connection seem impossible, Amira and Duncan realise that to make it work, they have to not only accept their differences… but fight for them.

First 250:
If there was a Sufi Saint protecting single women travelers Amira Khan was sure she’d royally pissed her off at some point in a previous life.

The last time she’d tried to travel, she’d been unceremoniously escorted out of the security clearance area of Toronto airport, having been denied boarding her flight to Philadelphia. Nothing like that could happen now— this was a train, and there was no border crossing between her university in Kingston and her house in Toronto. No border meant no overzealous guards accusing her of terrorism because of her last name and fondness for Arabic calligraphy. But seeing as her train appeared to be stuck in some place called Port Hope, and a creepy man wearing silver pants was leering at her, Amira clearly couldn’t trust any deity to help her reach her destination unscathed.
She peeked at the creep. Shiny grey pants, black shirt open to reveal a silvery undershirt, plus gold chains and a vile facial expression. Fuck. Amira hated traveling alone. She’d left grad school early because of overly creepy members of the male species— only to get stuck on an almost-empty train car with one.

Finally, the doors slid open for new passengers. Good. More people meant more protection should things get hairy with the slick sleaze. Only one boarded— a large man with a lurid, orangey-red beard. Holy hell, that was bright. He accessorized his facial hair with a red-plaid flannel shirt and black suspenders, resulting in a look that could only be described as Garden-Gnome chic.
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  1. Very nice start! I'd love to read more. Please send your pages and a one-page synopsis to me at Lisa at (@) kimberleycameron dot (.)com. Looking forward to reading!

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