Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Laura Heffernan
Mentee Name: Jesse Vigil
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 96,000
When game designer Deena collides with a swarthy cosplayer, Grant becomes her biggest challenge. She can handle his trollish friends and insecurity, but to keep Grant in her life, she must show him commitment doesn’t mean giving up his geeky passions.
Strangers in costumes surrounded me on all sides. If they didn’t dress head-to-toe in the garb of superheroes and space travelers, they wore trendy t-shirts plastered with pop culture references. I did not enjoy comic conventions, but such was my love for my roomie and de facto bestie. I braved this festival of awkward spandex for her. And how did she repay me?
“Please stop pressuring me into scoring a random hookup while we’re here,” I implored.
McKenzie Park punched my shoulder. “You’re a game designer, so I’m going to put this in terms you can understand. Picture me with a big exclamation point floating over my head. I am now giving you a quest to complete. Do not return to me until you’ve made out with one Burly Cosplayer or thoroughly beguiled five Lesser Fanboys.”
“Typically you’re supposed to offer me new boots if I complete that mission. I saw a bitchin’ pair of Fluevogs last week you could buy me with your new comic book riches.”
“You are as adorable as your ideas about how lucrative this industry is. Nevertheless, the quest remains. Complete it and you shall receive the Scroll of Moving On With Life. It grants Renewed Self Confidence and +2 to Feminine Swagger. It is a legendary rare item.”
“I’ve been single again for all of a hot second. Reign it in.” Internally, I died every time Kenzie played “quest giver.” I couldn’t help being a player who enjoyed completing every side quest, but hers always made me squirmy.