Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cedardale Court's 2012 ABNA Contest Entry

Full of daring fools, haunting old flames, and burgeoning with panicked villainy, Cedardale Court captures the final days of Canner Connelly’s ten year struggle; his quiet avoidance of death. Despite his best efforts, and a well-intentioned move to the Oregon countryside, the safety and peace-of-mind he’s longed for, since the passing of his wife, for him and his daughter, Chloe, finally appears to be within reach. But, upon waking the next morning, the promising start at Uncle Henry’s falls rather short as the sun comes up over the tree line, and the ever inept inhabitants of Cedardale Court begin to start their days. A domestic dispute, a little reckless driving, and a broken fire hydrant later, what normally would have been a very enjoyable Sunday quickly turns into a slightly darker affair as a severed human hand, well, half of one really, turns up in Uncle Henry’s front yard. Things only get messier and more frightfully uncertain as, one by one, the secrets that have been so carefully kept, for so very long, start to unravel for everyone. For Canner and Chloe, amidst the drunkenness, burgling, kidnapping, extortions and murders of the people around them, suddenly it’s no longer a struggle to maintain normalcy, or an attempt to deny the familiar ghosts that lurk around every corner; it becomes a question of whether or not any of them will come out of this with their wits about them, or if they’ll even make it out at all. In the face of the monstrously absurd, the truth is that this little neighborhood, this absolutely out of control cul-de-sac, might serve as the key to opening the door for Canner and Chloe’s new life. Or, it might be exactly what it appears to be, the gateway to the undoing of them all.

We're only allowed the entry of a 300 word blurb, and this blurb will be the sole judging criteria of the first 2 rounds. Please, if you feel that an improvement can be made, even if it's just a comma somewhere, comment and let me know what you'd like to see changed. All and any input will be appreciated. Be as dark and critical as you like. It will only help the process. Also, this is exactly 300 words.


  1. Just finished it!!! Wow....it ended up a lot different than I'd suspected. What a clever way to tie everything together! This was a fun book to read. So many funny analogies throughout. This book was very entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud many times. It's not a comedy,and yet ....the side notes and thoughts of the characters are hilarious at times. Loved it!

  2. From the precocious 10 year old Chloe to Uncle Henry, to the well-thought-out dream-scheme of a young woman, this story is brilliant. It’s somewhat humorous. Definitely suspenseful. Keeps the reader’s interest. There’s so much going on but easy enough to follow. It’s delightful but then what place does “delightful” have to do with a murder mystery? Hmph. Just is. Think of “delightful” in this sense to mean amusing. Still maintains its believability and isn’t that what’s important? Pure genius.