The New Year comes to THE HOPE STORE

It's that time of year again.  ABNA time.  That stands for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards contest.  For more info, go to  The submission window opens January 23rd.  I'm knee-deep in revisions of my second novel THE HOPE STORE.  Here's the evolving elevator speech for it.

The first store in the world opens which sells hope over the counter -- and lives begin to change miraculously.  Customer Jada Upshaw's passionate will to die is pitted against a store owner's will to hope.  It all culminates one windy New Year's Eve night on a lonely rooftop where suicide is a viable outcome.  What happens there on said rooftop will determine the future of the relationship between Jada and the store owner, the fate of a new business venture, and maybe the destiny of all humanity.  It's just another eventful night in the new millennium.

This synopsis represents a big shift from last year's submitted version of the book.  Here are some of the main changes I am implementing over the next week!!

-- Instead of store owner Luke Nagano being the central character, the focus now shifts to customer Jada Upshaw front and center.  Early beta readers really liked Jaded cynical, funny candor and will likely relate better to the customer POV than the store owner.

-- The central conflict and final climax used to center around issue with the media circus and skepticism of the validity of the Hope Store.  Now these will center around the deepening relationship between Jada and Luke as they cross boundaries and become something more like friends than business contacts.  And central climactic themes will pivot more on exploring what is the real nature of hope, the role of science & commerce & belief.  How powerful breakthroughs can sometimes occur in a laboratory that are inexplicable, but still powerful nonetheless.

-- Previously the climax of the novel occurred at CNN's Town Hall Meeting on Hope and was a large public moment in which a gun played a key role.  Now the climax takes place on the rooftop of the Hope Store between just two people.  Though hidden cameras may play a key role.

Any thoughts welcome.  Are you submitting a novel this year to the Amazon contest?  If so, what's it about?


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