Aug 30, 2009

WHIZ-BANG FANTASTIC

Dear Xxxx,

Dashiell Colourful is an extraordinary gentleman. He's charming, refined, street-smart, handsome, and a sharp dresser. He's intelligent, affable, strong and agile. To put it succinctly, he is Whiz-Bang Fantastic. As such, he is the protagonist of Whiz-Bang Fantastic, an 83,000-word fantasy novel of perfect worlds, thrilling adventures, and discoveries that could change virtually everything.

Dashiell leads a charmed life in the vibrant town of The City, a gilded place where everything is grand and amazing. He works as a haberdasher, selling the most chic wares the High Street has to offer, he has a loving wife and a talking fox for a pet, his best friend is a flamboyant stage actor, and he is admired and respected by all.

And he finds it endlessly boring!

He tries to lash out against his walk in life however he can, from soaring through the air on his aluminum "Gull" glider, to exploring the vast, untamed forest in his backyard. He's still in a rut, however, and he thinks nothing will ever change… until he meets Raleigh.

Raleigh is a young woman that Dashiell found wandering in the forest, lost and injured. She's not grand and amazing, and we probably wouldn't notice her on the street. To Dashiell, however, and to his world, she's like nothing they've ever seen before!

Raleigh's arrival in The City causes an astounding stir, and sends Dashiell and everyone close to him on a journey of perspective, realization, and self-discovery. Some, though, believe Raleigh to be a corruptive influence due to her being the complete opposite to the way of things, and no one can be sure what else may change…

Whiz-Bang Fantastic is my first completed novel, but I've been writing short stories and other novels for the better part of eight years. My writing has won me the Seamus Flynn Memorial Award, a local scholarship for artistic achievement. If you would like to read a sample of my manuscript, I would be happy to provide it. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Sincerely,

John Marshall

Query: Winter Roses Never Die

Click here to read the original query.

This is my second go at it...thank mightily for your help and suggestions.


Dear Ms Xxxxxx,

As a fan of your blog, I'm querying your interest in a 90,000 word paranormal romance ms for adults which crosses borders into inspirational and mystic Christianity.

When Jennie - a shy, fey woman of thirty-four - relates to her library co-workers of meeting a gorgeous man (Charos) in an abandoned wintry cemetery beside a rose-covered grave, her credibility is stretched to the limit. But when she describes hearing disembodied singing and music that seem to follow her down the cemetery path, her long-suffering associates begin to doubt her integrity and sanity. However she hasn't even told them the whole story of what she experienced. She is convinced a fairy lady, with sloe-shaped green eyes, was reclining upon a twig-like branch of a wattle tree. The lady's eyes held such power that Jennie couldn't move or speak. Only when able to recite the most powerful prayer she knows does the vision disappear.

For Jennie, the blood red roses aren't the only stand-out feature of the overgrown, gothic cemetery. She uses the grounds as a short cut to work and stops to speak to the life-like statue of the Christ garbed in a maroon cloak. She sometimes receives uplifting 'inspirationals' when she does.

Not far away from the statue, the wheel-chair bound man who finally reveals his name to be Charos is often seated beside the rosy grave. There appears some surreal connection between him and the roses. He explains to Jennie that the roses are magical and will never die. They only sleep in summer and return every winter when 'she' is needed the most. With the arrival of summer, this enigmatic, charming and understanding man disappears along with the winter roses. Jennie is determined to know the truth about Charos and bring him back into her life. Armed with eternal truths gleaned from inspirational communication with the Divine, she begins her quest discovering in the process that true, selfless love is more about understanding and sacrifice than romance which, like the winter roses, will never die.

Winter Roses Never Die was recently awared a Highly Commended certificate and third place in an open writing competition hosted by Affordable Manuscript Assessments. More details of the story, including the first chapter and a book trailer, are available on my blog at http://www.blackfaerydesigns.blogspot.com

Thank you for your time, etc....

Aug 29, 2009

Query for WIND FURY: Revision #3

Just the meat and bones this time; let's hope I'm closer. Thanks again to all who take the time to re-re-re-re-read and comment, you are all my heroes and heroines!

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read revision 1.
Click here to read revision 2.


When the North Wind's mortal lover, Armin, is murdered by an unknown enemy, North discovers in the aftermath that there was more to Armin than she ever knew--- and a possibility that he's not quite dead.

Forbidden by the Council of the Gods to find Armin or the person responsible for sending him to the Underworld, North makes the choice to ignore eons of loyal duty and go after her heart, even though it could mean the loss of her powers and immortality. But before she can try to bring him back, she will have to wade through the mystery of his past, and the fate of the gods that lies in his hands, for Armin is the Determiner of his generation: the mortal bound to decide if the gods will stay on Earth, or go back to the Oblivion from which they came. If she fails at any of the trials before her, she just may lose him forever.

Query - Treandle (revision 1)

Click here to read the original query.

Cyrilla’s life on the farm has been sheltered because of the magic she’s kept hidden for eighteen harvest seasons. But there’s something about Muerek that she is willing to risk everything for.

The problem is, he’s a cavalry soldier in the Royal Army, and his lineage goes all the way back to a commander in the Nettoyage war, when those with magic were contained behind the walls of Treandle.

When her magic is exposed for saving his life, both their worlds are ripped apart. Cyrilla must endure the pain of loosing her family and Muerek, while struggling to perform the daunting tasks of High Speaker, a role of high power to those with magic.

Muerek has nowhere to go. Azthorn, his home city, only holds ridicule and shame for falling in love with a Verbannen (those locked away for having magic). Then, a vivid dream beckons him to investigate the means by which gifted children are taken to containment camps, and he discovers a deception that will forever change his beliefs about the Verbannen and Gekozen (mages assigned to keeping the Verbannen contained).

My 96,000 word YA fantasy, Treandle, brings the Verbannen from Treandle and the Goeden (those without magic) from Tearnoc back together after two hundred seasons of fear and persecution. But there is a price to pay, war against the Gekozen. The rest of the Goeden in the kingdom know nothing about what is happening to the gifted children, thereby siding with those they have been taught to believe.

Cyrilla is a shy and insecure girl (both her parents are alive) who must learn to deal with the pain of lost love, accept overwhelming responsibilities, and grow into something she never thought possible.

Muerek’s always been confident and had everything he ever wanted in life, except love. Now he must learn to trust his own instincts and decide for himself what is right and wrong.

The stage will be set for a war fought to free those with magic which will come in future novel(s).

Aug 28, 2009

REVISED Query - Beneath the Heart of Beauty

Click here to read the original query.

Charlie Waters has secrets that even he doesn't know. He was shot in the head while on a business trip a few years earlier. The wound had robbed Charlie of his memories of that time. Nobody has a clue, including Charlie, what had happened during that fateful trip.

Charlie's present life is an unhappy one. He thinks he loves his wife, Barbara, but he has never been able to forgive her for her affair. Brief flashbacks of that mysterious business trip begin to return, including memories of a beautiful, young woman that overflow with sex, passion, and a happiness that seemed like a dream. When additional flashbacks of greed, suicide, and murder also return, Charlie struggles to understand how that dream became a nightmare.

Charlie realizes that while he was terribly upset over Barbara's affair, he apparently had his own. Barbara and he begin a complicated dance in an attempt to reconnect with each other. Charlie's disjointed memories haunt him, jarring him both emotionally and physically. He wants the relationship he used to have with Barbara, if that's possible. He also can't deny the longing for this woman he recalls only in flashbacks. He has no idea who shot him or why. Until he finds these answers to his past, Charlie is unable to move forward with any future he might have with Barbara.

BENEATH THE HEART OF BEAUTY is a literary novel with 72,000 words.

BENEATH THE HEART OF BEAUTY is my first novel, although I've had several short stories published in the past on different fiction web sites (all now defunct). I have written most of the book reviews on www.reviewsofbooks.com for the last seven years.

Thank you for your time and consideration. A completed manuscript is available.

Aug 24, 2009

Query - Beneath the Heart of Beauty

Charlie Waters loves his wife, Barbara. Or at least he used to. When her affair was revealed two years earlier, everything in Charlie's world began to unravel. Soon after that discovery, Charlie went on a trip to Los Angeles and disappeared. It wasn't until he emerged from a coma six weeks later that anyone had any idea where he was, or even who he was. A gunshot wound to the head had robbed Charlie of any memories of what had happened to him. He has staggered through life ever since.

Charlie begins to have intense erotic dreams and brief memories about a beautiful woman he doesn't recognize. He assumes this young woman must be from his forgotten past. The memories of this woman overflow with sex, passion, and a happiness that seemed like a dream. When additional flashbacks of greed, suicide, and murder begin to return, Charlie struggles to understand how the dream became a nightmare.

Charlie and Barbara begin a complicated dance in an attempt to reconnect with each other. Charlie's disjointed memories haunt him, jarring him both emotionally and physically. He wants the relationship he used to have with Barbara, if that's possible. He also can't deny the longing for this woman he recalls only in flashbacks. He has no idea who shot him or why. Until he finds these answers to his past, Charlie is unable to move forward with any future he might have with Barbara.

BENEATH THE HEART OF BEAUTY is a literary novel with 72,000 words.

BENEATH THE HEART OF BEAUTY is my first novel, although I've had several short stories published in the past on different fiction web sites (all now defunct). I have written most of the book reviews on www.reviewsofbooks.com for the last seven years.

Thank you for your time and consideration. A completed manuscript is available.

Aug 23, 2009

QUERY FOR: NOT HER MOTHER'S FATE, revision one

Click here to read the original query.

Amy Thompson is not looking for romance when she meets Robert Crane at her birthday party. Impulsive, charming, and outgoing, he is the exact opposite of Amy, who loathes crowds and attention. At first Amy resists his advances because his constant drunkenness reminds her of the abusive home she grew up in, but after much encouragement from her friends, and Roberts resolution to give up alcohol, she gives in to her loneliness and longing for a family of her own.

Once they move in together, Amy discovers Robert’s commitment to sobriety is as fickle as his religious faith. As his alcoholism escalates into violence, Amy is haunted by nightmares of abuses she suffered at her alcoholic father’s hands, and several times she plans her escape. Unlike her own father, however, Robert is sincere in his remorse and guilt, and has the loyalty and support of his family and church.

Further complicating her dilemma is Amy’s growing attraction to Robert’s best friend, who unwittingly rescues her from the worst of Robert’s failings on several occasions. Abandoning Robert and avoiding the cycle of abuse and alcoholism that was the eventual cause of her mother’s death would be easy, if she did not also this betrayal would end any chance of happiness with Cal as well.

Not Her Mother’s Fate is a 90,000 word family drama that tests the limits of friendship, love, and loyalty.


Thank you for reviewing my project. Per your submission guidelines, please find below the first five pages of Not Her Mother’s Fate.

Sincerely,

Donna Hole

Aug 21, 2009

Query for WIND FURY: Revision #2

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read revision 1.

Alright, I'm going to preface this one with my dilemma. On the last attempt, several people noted confusion at "the North Wind" being a person, whom I later refer to as North. They suggested I refer to her as a goddess, but she isn't, in my world. She is an Aspect of Nature, born of Gaea (Mother Nature) as part of herself to rule over the North Wind. She can blow into the world as the Wind, but she also has a human form. Without getting into too much detail, that's where my problem is.

I don't want to break the rhythm of the query by having to explain all that because it's kind of a mouthful. So, any help on that issue with the info above would be GREATLY appreciated, and please let me know if I've solved the other questions, as well. Thank you SO MUCH everyone, I know it's a doozy to have to do the same ones over and over but I really appreciate your help :) -L.T.

Here's my latest version:

An unknown enemy is trying to kill the North Wind’s mortal lover, Armin, and one day, they succeed.

A change comes over North with the loss of Armin. He was the shining star in the long dark of her existence. For the eons before him, she had been responsible, dutiful--- and lonely. Now she must choose between her duty and her happiness to try to reclaim him from the Underworld and find the person responsible for his death; even if it means disobeying the ruling of the Council of Gods. But before she can try to bring him back, she will have to unlock the mystery of his past, and the fate of the gods that lies in his hands, for Armin is the Determiner of his generation--- the one who decides if the gods stay on Earth, or go back to the Oblivion from which they came. If she fails at any of the trials before her, she just may lose him forever.

WIND FURY is a 90,000 word fantasy novel exploring a world on the edge of two destinies, and the mortals and immortals who will determine its course, explore their true abilities, and uphold their honor.

The completed manuscript is available at your request. This novel will stand alone, but I already have several ideas for sequels and related story canon in this world.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

Query "Stand-In" Revision 1

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent,

Kelly Jo Carter is the object of a killer’s twisted obsession. She is also a woman with a severe, yet well placed, mistrust of law enforcement. When she finds herself smack dab in the center of an investigation into the murders of several local women, she needs to decide if she can trust Detective John Broden and Special Agent Alex Darby. This time around, though, Kelly has an advantage because she has something that the lawmen want; the name of the serial killer they are hunting. Broden and Darby both realize that Kelly is no doubt the killer’s endgame so they want more than a name. They want to use Kelly as bait. Kelly is aware that she will never be safe until this particular man is off the streets, and in theory, Broden and Darby could help accomplish that. But, the last time she had sought the help of authorities where this prominent citizen was concerned, things had not gone well. Now, she fears that if she gives these new investigators the killer’s name, the entire matter will be covered up… again.

“Stand-In” is a completed 84,000-word commercial fiction thriller that will appeal to readers of John Sandford’s Prey Series as well as readers of Sandra Brown’s thrillers. “Stand-In” will be the first of at least three novels in this series; although, it is written in a way that it can stand-alone. I currently have no published works to cite, but I feel that “Stand-In” will change that.

I would be happy to send the entire manuscript or any portion of it for your review. Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Author

Aug 19, 2009

Query for WIND FURY, Revision #1

Click here to read the original query.

Someone is trying to kill the North Wind’s mortal lover, Armin. One day, they succeed.

Something changes in North with the loss of Armin. For eons, she has been responsible, dutiful--- and lonely. Now, she must choose between her duty, and her happiness, to reclaim the shining star in the long dark of her life and find the person responsible for his death, even if it means disobeying the other gods. But before she can try to bring him back, she will have to unlock the mystery of his past, and the fate of the rest of the gods that lies in his hands. If she fails at any of the trials before her, she just may lose him forever.

WIND FURY is a 90,000 word fantasy novel exploring a world on the edge of two destinies, and the mortals and immortals who will determine its course, explore their true abilities, and uphold their honor.

This is my first novel. I thank you for your time and consideration.

QUERY- RUDY TOOT-TOOT (Revised)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

Hi Ms. Agent,

I appreciate the feedback you gave me regarding my earlier manuscript for RUDY TOOT-TOOT; there certainly is room for more. According to physics, gas expands to fit whatever size container it is in, so naturally the story grew from a short picture book to fill out the new 4,000-word chapter book manuscript ;-)

Rudy Toot-Toot, the gassy little boy who was born on a bean farm, wakes up one morning to find a list of chores left for him by Papa. One of the hired hands is sick and they need young Rudy to help out at the family Bean Market. Rudy's emissions keep slipping out as he completes each chore, sometimes expediting them (like when he wakes up all the Beanheads camped alongside the road), and sometimes prolonging them (like when his wind erases the Price Board). Eventually, Rudy's "gift" saves that day when the market bell breaks and he finds an alternate way to sound off for market close.

You had asked that I stay in touch. I hope you find the attached manuscript to be a marketable work that you would consider representing. In a world where WALTER THE FARTING DOG has earned his own movie, I think Rudy and his family can make a lot of noise!

Best regards,

Rick Daley
Lewis Center, OH
Phone Number
Email

Aug 18, 2009

Query-The Eternal Link (Versions 6 and 7)

NOTE: There are two versions of the query in this post, the author would like feedback on which one you prefer.

Version 6 (I hope I got it right this time and didn't ruin it by putting in some voice.)

Sixteen-year-old Catalina returns to the 31st century after searching through the past for her mother to find pieces of that ancient time came back with her. Now she is stuck in a world where the magical past and the high-tech present are merging at an alarming rate…and it’s pretty much all her fault.

After discovering she is an eternal, Catalina puts her quest for the birth-mother she never knew on hold to fulfill her newfound duties as a keeper of time. But control of her swiftly growing magic lies just beyond her reach and she can’t to fix time alone. Instead, she seeks the aid of old eternal who just might be able to stop the time blend before an army of united dark magic and high-tech soldiers destroy everything in pursuit of her immortality.

Time is literally running out before the world erases completely, and Catalina must choose between holding onto her hopes of a life with her real mother or accept her responsibility to return time to its proper state. On the plus side, there will be no more laser guns pointed at her head or souls suckers poised at her door. But a restored timeline means nothing will be left of her Catalina’s friends, her mother, or the boy she has come to love but two-thousand year old memories.

The Eternal Link is a young adult fantasy novel completed at 80,000 words.

Version 7

After searching through the past for her mother, sixteen-year-old Catalina returns to the 31st century only to find pieces of that ancient time came back with her. Now she is stuck in a world where the magical past and the high-tech present are merging at an alarming rate…and it’s pretty much all her fault.

Catalina puts the quest for her birth-mother on hold to try and mend her mistake. But she can’t fix time alone. Instead, she seeks the aid of an old eternal who just might be able to stop the time blend before an army of united dark magic and high-tech soldiers destroy everything she cares about to get to her. Time is literally running out before the world erases completely, and Catalina must choose between holding onto her hopes of a life with her real mother or accept her responsibility to return time to its proper state. On the plus side, she’ll get rid of those instigating the hunt for her immortality. But a restored timeline means nothing will be left of Catalina’s friends, her mother, or the boy she has come to love but two-thousand year old memories.

The Eternal Link is a young adult fantasy novel completed at 80,000 words.

Synopsis-The Eternal Link (Version 2)

Click here to read the most recent queries.

I worked on this a lot, so I hope it's better this time! (it's definitely a more manageable length) For reference The Eternal Link is an 80,000-word YA fantasy. Any help is appreciated!

It's 3031 CE in the city of Ulcadia. Fifteen-year old Catalina Cordova, late to class and feeling ill, rushes past the students popping in and out of transporters. Her heartbeat drums loudly in her head and she stops, half-leaning against the cool wall of the hallway. She feels a flush and, without warning, flames pour out from her eyes, turning the hall orange and sending students screaming. When her vision clears, her headache is gone and she remembers her best friend lying on the floor, her skin charred and ice leaking in a puddle below her.

Catalina doesn't know what happened, and neither does anyone else. Her adoptive parents yank her out of school, back to the decaying house she once called home. But her parents' mindless chants to Mother Nature won't bring back Catalina's friend, and she's worried fire might burst out of her again at any time. And ever since the accident Catalina’s been having more dreams-haunting dreams of a birthmother that fills her with images of love and acceptance. If anyone would have answers, it would be her birthmother.

While searching for her mother, Catalina is beckoned through a painting come to life with promises of answers in the world beyond its frame. She is thrust back thousands of years in time where she loses control of her fire in a battle with a demonic creature. Her fire burns the surrounding trees and sends a signal above the forest. From above, a flying stranger brings a soothing rain that sizzles against Catalina’s skin and, despite her protests; he rescues her.

When Catalina wakes up, she butts heads with her irritating, yet surprisingly intriguing savior, Darwin, who acts more like a boy than the man he is. But he leaves and Catalina is kidnapped by followers of a man, Valmont, who lusts after her power and the immortality that comes with it. She barely escapes with the help of Valmont’s jealous fiancĂ© and washes up on a beach where an old wizard she almost recognizes finds her.

The familiar wizard, Warwick, exudes a strange sense of safety that is solidified when Catalina accidentally enters his mind. He knows her and, maybe, he knows her mother as well. Back at Warwick’s castle-home she bumps into Darwin. He kisses her then forces her back to where she started in 3031 CE just as her mother rushes to her. Catalina is fueled by anger from watching her mother slip away again and her powers grow. The trees see this and recognize the marks of an eternal, a keeper of time. But that’s just the problem…the trees SEE.

Awakened after thousands of years, the trees tell Catalina that as an eternal, it is her job to protect time. Due to a rift, at any given moment, pieces of the past come crashing into Catalina’s present. The trees urge her to seek the help of he who failed before her as an eternal: Warwick. But before he can help, Warwick’s powers must be restored by reuniting him with his true love.

Catalina follows clues from her vivid dreams that guide her through the ever-changing landscape affected by time jumps. They lead her to outwit the fairies in their labyrinth, across the mountains where demons roam, through the roots of elvin trees, and finally into the sea with a siren. Deep into the ocean, in a cottage untouchable by magic, Catalina finds Warwick’s love but on her way back, she is pulled into Valmont’s mind. Through his eyes, Catalina watches him raise an army of soul-sucking demons and high-tech armies alike. Through his body, Catalina feels the elation that wipes over him as he murders the people she cares about.

Catalina is driven by these images to fight Valmont herself. There is no time to wait for Warwick’s powers to strengthen. At the castle that popped up out of nowhere, Catalina finds not only Darwin waiting as pompous and handsome as ever, but also the woman she so desperately wanted to find: Her mother. With her mother by her side, Catalina and her army march forward into the great domed city of Ulcadia to fight Valmont head-on. In the midst of battle, Catalina meets Valmont and transports them both into the fourth dimension. The voices of those she loves swirl in her head and she gains the strength to annihilate Valmont. Instead, she leaves him in the fourth dimension to rot while she fights her way down into the stream of time.

Through Catalina, time slowly heals, but she realizes she will lose everything when it is restored to its proper state. She cries as she hangs like a puppet on a string while clinging to the image of her half-dissolved mother. Just when she makes the decision to sacrifice herself and become a human patch for time, a new force enters the fourth dimension. A powerful Warwick takes Catalina’s place and tells her she can either return to earth as the eternal or she can go with Mother Nature and be at peace. If she dies, a child will have to take her place. So, as Warwick fuses with time, Catalina spirals down to earth to be caught by none other than the boy behind the magic portrait, her painter, Darwin.

Aug 17, 2009

Not a Real Query- Just for Fun

To take a break from all the critiquing, I'm posting a mock query I submitted to Evil Editor for last week's Writing Exercise: Bad Queries. "Write a query that focuses entirely on one thing that should be a very minor part of a good query, or shouldn't be included in a good query at all." All of the submissions were funny, check the rest out!


Dear Evil Editor,

I know you are just dying to read my really long manuscript, THE SEARCH FOR MR. LINCOLN: AND THE ENCOUNTER WITH CORNBREAD AND THE THREE EYED MAN. You see, even the title is long. And with a title that long, the manuscript must be long, too. I can’t tell you how many words it is, because when I tried to do a word count, my computer started crying. Really, tears poured from the monitor. That really jacked up my keyboard, but it didn’t stop me from adding another huge chuck of words to the manuscript.

I know the word count is right on the money, so you don’t have to worry about it. You can trust me. I made it incredibly long because you can’t have too much of a good thing. I tried to have too much of a good thing once. You know what that good thing was? My manuscript. And I couldn’t get enough of it. So I added more words.

I’m adding more words to it again even though it’s done so I can release an unabridged version, with an even higher word count. The critics will rave about it because it will be a big thick book and it will look impressive on anyone’s bookshelf.

I think a high word count adds a great deal of value to the book. If you sell it at the same price as other books, like “epics” that are only “250,000 words,” then my book will have a lower cost per word. It will be like pennies on the dollar compared to those books because of all the extra words you get when you buy my book. In today’s economy, you can’t be too sensitive to the needs of the consumer.

Thank you for your consideration. I think I went over 250 words for this submission, but that only helps to illustrate my point, so I know you’ll forgive me.

Query- The Last Flight (Version 4)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the second version.
Click here to read the third version.

Agency
Agent

Dear Mr. or Ms. Agent

Flannary Investments LLC has been on the SEC's Division of Enforcement radar for a long time. Their increasing power in the markets and trading irregularities had triggered alarm bells. Jeff Conklin, SEC investigator, was assigned to the case.

When Conklin investigates, he discovers irregularities that go far beyond suspicious trades. Flannary Investments isn't a run of the mill powerful hedge fund. It's a massive investment scheme. Built upon a complex web of betrayal, trust, sex and murder.

Richard Harper a highly respected, freelance investigator never expected he would become part of an elaborate cover-up when he accepted an offer from the CFO of Flannary Investments LLC to investigate an investment scheme larger than he had ever known. And he would never have imagined that during the investigation, his wife was being seduced by its CEO.

Conklin teams up with Richard Harper to try and unravel the scheme. But the more they unravel, the more they find themselves entangled in the darkest corners of the hedge fund world where Flannary Investments operates.

The closer they get to the truth, the more desperate Flannary Investments becomes to stop them. As they target the company, they discover that Flannary Investments is targeting them.

Your agency was recommended as one of the top 50 in the country for longevity and for getting results. Also, Mr. Agent, I noticed when visiting your web site, you have particular interest in crime genre.

Thank you in advance for your time reading my query and I am prepared to send the entire 85k manuscript upon your request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Author

Query "Stand-In"

Dear Agent,

Detective John Broden and Special Agent Alex Darby have been thrust into their worst nightmare; a serial killer that leaves the next body faster than the investigators can process the evidence from the previous one. Add in the fact that the killer is clearly trying to turn each victim into some unknown woman, and Broden and Darby definitely have their work cut out for them. They both know that the key to solving the murders will be determining the identity of the mystery woman.

When they stumble into the middle of what appears to be an unrelated case, they find their key. Kelly Jo Carter is, without a doubt, the object of a killer’s twisted obsession. She is also a woman with a severe, yet well placed, mistrust of law enforcement. As Kelly lays out a story of corruption and betrayal, of brutality and abuse, it is almost more than the lawmen can believe.

“Stand-In” is a completed 84,000-word commercial fiction thriller and as a victim of a violent crime myself, I was able to incorporate some of my own experiences into the story line. “Stand-In” is not only packed with suspense, but allows readers to really feel the emotions that overwhelm victims.

I would be happy to send the entire manuscript, or any portion of it, for your review if you are interested. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Author

Aug 16, 2009

Query- Shadow Falls (Revision #1)

Click here to read the original query

Dear Agent:

There are people who know sixteen-year-old Willow Sinclair’s big secret. Unfortunately, Willow isn’t one of them.

Will senses something strange is going on the first week she starts her new school in the mountains of North Carolina. For a girl who has spent the first two years of high school successfully blending into the scenery, she suddenly is getting a whole lot of attention.

First, the faculty is giving her the hard sell on joining the Leadership Council (the LC), an exclusive club of students with ties to the academy’s biggest donor, a charismatic televangelist. The members are supermodel perfect, smart as hell, and spiritually dedicated (although dedicated to what, she’s not so sure). Willow can think of nothing she would like to join less.

Then, two boys are competing for her interest and warning her about the danger the other one poses. Will is confused. When did a fairy godmother sneak into her room and sprinkle her with desirable dust? Boys like these would have existed in another orbit from her at her old school in Texas.

Finally, as if beautiful boys and pushy teachers aren’t enough to drive a girl to the edge, Will starts seeing colors around people and develops the olfactory glands of a bloodhound.

Will needs answers. But she’s not sure which guy she can trust to help her find them. Rivers, the sweet Alabama boy with the killer dimples, who also happens to be a member of the LC? Or Pierce, the over-confident preacher’s son with a reputation for preying on new girls and an ax to grind with his father?

Both boys think they know why she’s gifted—she’s goddess-touched like they are. But neither realizes that Willow’s gift came at a price. Before she took her first breath, someone made a deal with her soul. And now it’s time to pay up.

I am pleased to submit for your consideration my paranormal young adult novel, SHADOW FALLS, complete at 85,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you would like to learn more about me, please visit me at http://fictiongroupie.blogspot.com . I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,

Me

Query- Near Edgware (Revision 1)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent,

I would like to introduce you to my novel, Near Edgware.

16 year-old Jess Trainer returns to a school that has changed in everyway except geographically. The Head doesn’t tolerate deviation from his code, and the rules. Jess is glad to be back, she just wants to spend time with her friends. Despite her determination to avoid trouble she can’t fight the lure of Caleb Ridgeway. She can see him, tell the difference, to her he is more than one of the matching set of boys who came with the new Headteacher.

This attraction draws Jess inside the world of those born Were. Only after she is attacked by feral Were does Jess discover that Caleb’s secret, exciting to speculate about, is bitingly real. Given the choice between keeping his secret or losing Caleb for good Jess decides their love is worth the risk. When the feral Were attempt to destroy the younger members of the pack – specifically Caleb – they have help on the inside who nearly make that happen.

The task of saving them all falls on Jess which is ironic given the other secret that permeates the book. Her parents keep from her why she senses when people are more than they seem, why she is fast and strong, why her visual memory was bred in her; they want to end a way of life built on hatred and annihilation. They leave it to fate to see what happens when the last born Hunter meets the Alpha-to-be. An unscrupulous Were could see Jess’ ignorance as the perfect opportunity for revenge. It’s a good job Caleb fights for more than the right to love.

Near Edgware is complete at 75,000 words. It has been written as a stand alone novel. But it could be so much more. Once characters have been established they have been known to develop a loyal following. I have planned the outlines for five, or infact six, further linked stories elements of each have been woven into the book. The first three chapters of Book 2 are already written and could be ready for perusal with the more polished manuscript described above.

I am a teacher and use Social and Emotional Aspect of Learning (SEAL) as the cornerstone of my work. I also have a counselling qualification. I bring these skills to my writing.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Aug 15, 2009

Query - Traitor's Plight (1st Revision)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent,

When her betrothed decides she has lived past the point of usefulness, Lydia escapes assassination only to find herself in the distant kingdom of war-torn Mudamora and her life in no less danger. The gods meddle in the affairs of this land and bless her with the ability to heal. The blessing is more of a curse; the power reveals itself when she restores Lord Rhys Calorian from a mortal injury, only for her to discover she must now bear the excruciating pain herself. Worse yet, it is a power condemning her to serve in the mad King's failing army should she ever be found out.

Resourcefulness and quick thinking saved her life before and these attributes serve her well as she blends into the underbelly of the city using the anonymity of a common serving wench. Only Rhys knows her secret and he uses it to coerce her into joining the ranks of the Princess's female guards, of which he is the reluctant captain. Over the clash of practice swords, they discover a passion greater than either of them expected, but it is a love continually tested by his quest for redemption of past transgressions and by her risk of discovery.

The trouble with secrets is not in the having, but in the keeping and when the Princess she is sworn to protect finds hers out, Lydia takes on the role of master dissembler to protect a prince from his own madness and to avoid a war of ascendancy that would leave Mudamora ripe for its enemy's picking. Only her act comes at the cost of Rhys' affection and to win it back she risks not only the family she swore to protect, but also sentencing herself to captivity and him to the
headman's block.

TRAITOR'S PLIGHT is a 107,000 word fantasy with a strong romantic element, and is the first volume in a trilogy. I would be happy to send you the complete manuscript at your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,
Author

Query- Near Edgware

Dear Agent,

Near Edgware, my YA paranormal romance is set in a seemingly normal secondary school and the ancient woodland that borders the town of Woodford, near Edgware. The manuscript is complete in 75,000 words.

Jess senses that someone’s keeping secrets and despite her determination to avoid trouble she can’t fight the lure of the boy who keeps away from his peers, says he isn’t interested but seems to be around every corner she turns. She can see subtle differences and worries away until she finds out the truth. She runs, more than walks into trouble unaware that there are things her family should have told her.

In the first term of the Sixth Form, 16 year-old Jess returns to a school that has changed in everyway except geographically. She has learned to use swimming and running to focus her excess energy now. The boy that intrigues her shares a lot of her interests and is more attractive than she can resist. She believes that she can really see him and wants to know him better. For a boy who says she should keep her distance his hands linger more than his eyes.

This is an attraction that draws Jess into the world of those born Were, the dangerous feral Were and the hunters who are born to eradicate wolves in any form. It takes trust and courage to love when the obstacles that stand in your way are rooted deeper than cultural norms.

Near Edgware opens up the window onto the world of the Were and the hunters who have bred a highly-skilled nemesis; only Jess knows nothing of her destiny. The result is a gripping and moving tale of two individuals who can see more in the other than the pretty, surface image. It is complete as a stand-alone novel but could be just the first chapter of a love that will have to withstand the ramifications of its existence.

I am a new writer. I am also a teacher and use aspects of Social and Emotional Aspect of Learning (SEAL) as the cornerstone of my work. I have an counselling qualification. I bring these skills to my writing.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.


Right... we all know that I need help of an almost psychological nature so I look forward to a little (or a lot) of advice!

Aug 14, 2009

A Scorpion's Nature - Revision #4

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.
Click here to read the third revision.

Dear Agent,

The other sunny idiots at YMCA Camp Crenden could hold hands and wallow in their Kum By Yah lovefest. Ryan Laraway chose to lash back at his evil Junior Counselor and a tyrant camper. Unleashing his rage was the only way Ryan knew how to deal with the torment of his father’s death. It stunk that he might get booted out, though. He was so close to talking with that gorgeous girl in his field sports class. She seemed lonely too, just like him.

A SCORPION’S NATURE follows an anguished thirteen year old who copes with death by walling himself off from the living. Ryan’s journey unfolds in a rollicking summer camp with quirky songs and food so atrocious even the director’s mutt refuses to eat the Cheesy Fish Tarts. My 55,000 word upper middle grade novel grew out of twenty years as a YMCA camper, counselor, and director.

The complete manuscript is available upon your request. Thank you for considering my work.

Sincerely,

QUERY - DARK VISIONS

Dear Agent:

Psychic Jasmine Winters is about to find out which is harder: saving a woman she hates from a headline-making serial killer, or learning someone she loves might be that killer.

DARK VISIONS, my 97,000-word mystery, opens with Jasmine’s vision of her nemesis’ murder. While she’d like to let Marissa meet her end, there’s one problem: Marissa is married to Jasmine’s best friend, Mark. So, she spills all to Mark, who insists Jasmine meet with police. A reluctant Jasmine has instant chemistry with Det. Eric Mathers, a lead investigator on the case. Despite ridicule from colleagues, Eric asks Jasmine to help with the investigation.

Eric and Jasmine grow close as she recounts her visions of future and past murders by the serial killer. Things are looking up as one of Jasmine’s visions leads to a breakthrough in the case, and she and Eric become further enmeshed. But the rosy outlook doesn’t last long. Jasmine witnesses signs of mental instability in Mark and begins having disturbing visions of Eric’s violent past.

When Jasmine sees evidence connecting Mark to the killer’s unique calling card and hears the venom he has toward his wife, she’s not sure what to think. She’s even less sure after she has a vision of Eric’s past violence ending in a murder. She’s got a feeling one of these men is connected to the serial murders. She’d be less concerned if she could see her own future, but those are the visions that never come to Jasmine. So, now she’s got to piece this puzzle together herself before it’s too late.

DARK VISIONS is my first novel. However, I have written professionally about crime. I covered crime and spot news for The Kansas City Star. I also wrote for Campus Crime, a trade publication focused on crime and policing techniques on college campuses.

I’d love to send you the complete Dark Visions manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Signature

[to blog viewers: thanks in advance for your feedback]

Aug 13, 2009

Query: Silver Spangles

Dear Agent,

In one world, a girl covets independence from her family. In another, a young man struggles to honor noblesse oblige while pretending to live a carefree teenaged life. Love—and an elite private school—smashes these two worlds together.

Eva, an American high school senior stuck in a new British school, chafes against her mother's constant surveillance and her classmates' unnaturally good behavior. Their blond good looks and bizarre obedience to authority, not to mention her paid stalker, lead her to suspect that the school is harboring a white supremacist group. Eva falls for the school's moody golden boy, Marcus, who reveals the truth: the students are Vikings who can travel in time until their nineteenth birthdays.

Marcus's royal angst means he doesn't tell Eva he rules as a minor king in the past. Planning on a short, romantic idyll, Marcus and Eva visit the eleventh century. The outing becomes dangerous when Marcus is attacked and drugged by a jealous Viking girl, Eva lands in prison and escapes by marrying a former classmate, and the Queen of Denmark attacks the Viking settlement. The couple barely escape to the present after Eva's mother, secretly a time-traveler herself, tips the battle in their favor and Marcus temporarily relinquishes his crown.

The completed young adult manuscript is approximately 93,000 words long.

Thanks for looking over this query. I've included the first five pages. Would you be interested in reading the full manuscript?

Sincerely,
Me!

Query: Killing Time on the Highway (final)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read a revision.

I just wanted to say thank you for your valuable comments. I sent queries to five literary agents on Aug. 4 and have had two requests for sample chapters so far! This is what I sent:

I came across your site and was immediately intrigued with your background as an editor. With your experience on both sides of the publishing industry, I feel my novel, Killing Time on the Highway, would be in good hands.

Minnesota State Patrol investigator Cade Dawkins takes on the case of a lifetime when a bloody highway shootout leaves behind eight dead bodies—and $300 million in cash. After his last assignment, a disaster that left his partners dead and his career on life support, Cade jumps at the opportunity for redemption, recognizing this will either be his biggest case—or his final case.

As Cade gets close to uncovering the money’s owner, there’s a problem: the owner wants his money back and is willing to do whatever it takes. To slow down Cade’s investigation, a catastrophic attack using automatic weapons and a stolen Hummer is launched on the Twin Cities’ busiest highway by four of the cruelest men to ever crawl out into daylight. With Cade and the entire city reeling, audacious thief Martin Clements is planning to break into Patrol headquarters to steal the money back.

Killing Time on the Highway, my 76,000 word thriller, will appeal to fans of the Prey series by John Sandford. His novels have taught me that strong characters, tight plotting and page turning action are important ingredients to a successful thriller.

Having written professionally for the last ten years in advertising and marketing, I’ve learned the value of powerful ideas and concise execution.

Thank you for your consideration,
Allan Evans

QUERY - A SCORPION'S NATURE - REVISION #3

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.

Thank you to everyone who has been posting comments. Your responses have been specific, which has been quite helpful. I’ve really struggled to balance the serious elements (a parent’s passing) with the fun side (goofy camp games and quirky songs) of the story when writing this query. I don’t want the whole novel to come across as a total downer. I’m eager to hear your response to this (final?) draft.

Dear Agent,

The other sunny idiots at YMCA Camp Powell can hold hands and Kum Ba Yah all they want. Kyle Matusik lashed back at his evil Junior Counselor and a tyrant camper. Unleashing his rage was the only way Kyle knew how to deal with the lasting torment of his father’s death. It stunk that he might get booted out, though. He was so close to talking with that gorgeous girl in his field sports class. She seemed lonely too, just like him.

A SCORPION’S NATURE follows an anguished thirteen year old who copes with death by walling himself off from the living. My 55,000 word middle grade novel, set in a quirky summer camp, grew out of twenty years as a YMCA camper, counselor, and director.

The complete manuscript is available upon your request. Thank you for considering my work.

Sincerely,

Aug 12, 2009

Query - Treandle

Cyrilla’s sheltered and insecure world seems to finally have purpose when she falls in love with Muerek, a member of the Royal Army. But when his life is threatened, the use of her forbidden magic is the only way to save him, even though it condemns her to a containment camp, locked away from everything she’s ever known. Thrust into a role that forces her to use magic she knows nothing about, her perception of the world around her is forever changed.

Muerek’s pain quickly turns to anger, nearing hatred, for the woman he once loved, but who betrayed him, and he runs from any connection with Cyrilla. Plagued by vivid dreams of lost and scared children, taken from their parents for no other reason than possessing magic, he embarks on a journey that will forever change his life long beliefs.

The Royal Army marches towards Tearnoc, bent on destroying all magic within Treandle, with or without Lord Tearle, who is supposed to keep order within Treandle. Can Cyrilla cope with the pain of losing Muerek and the overwhelming demands of her new role in order to break the containment wall’s spell in Treandle, creating shelter for those the Army wishes to destroy?

Will Muerek be able to forgive Cyrilla and accept her unconditionally, or will the anger push him over the edge and into the depths of hate?

Treandle is a 113,000 page, young adult novel, that will take readers on a journey of lost love, and all the challenges that a position of power and authority pose to one not accustom to anything but farm life. It sets the stage for a war that will determine the real evil within the kingdom of Tribidor, which will continue in subsequent novel(s).

The rest will be personalized for each agent ;o)
Thanks!

Query - Genesis (Revision Three)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the second version.

[If I don't get it close to right this time, I'm gonna pull my hair out!]

Dear Agent:

After a chance encounter with tall-dark-and-handsome, Detective Anna Savage finds her old passions for secrets and mystery start to resurface like wounds reopening to the air. Her wealthy, sexy suitor comes to sweep her off her feet and carry her to a mansion in Paris. It’s not a problem that Pierre DuChamps is a vampire. In fact, that only sweetens the deal. It’s a dream come true for Anna, a dark fairy tale she had only imagined would ever come true.

But he is determined to find a cure for his Thirst. In some way, the solution seems to be in the unborn half-human, half-vampire child of her friend, Maggie LeBlanc. The child is an anomaly, but much more than a science experiment. The birth is imminent, but the baby’s fate is unclear. Are Pierre’s intentions pure or does he have some sinister intent for the child? And her dreams keep warning Anna that Pierre is not what he seems. Does she follow her heart and help the vampire she’s falling for, or trust in her instinct to protect the innocent and lose Pierre forever?

There’s no way for her to know the importance of her choice; that with this birth comes the entire force of Heaven. This child will be a dark Messiah, sent on a Holy mission to release the vampire souls from their perpetual Hell. To the victor goes Salvation, and it all hinges on Anna Savage. The choice she makes will determine not only her own fate, but that of thousands of others.

Genesis is a completed contemporary fantasy novel. Thank you for taking the time to consider my query.

Sincerely,

Tara
[Contact Info]

BROKEN - OPENING PAGES REVISED 1

Click here to read the query.
A revision of the query has been posted, click here to read it.
Click here to read the original sample page.

Hello everyone! Revised the opening pages of BROKEN based on feedback. Interested in comments of all sorts. Thank you again for your time!


She didn’t notice the blood at first.
Glittering packs of high-heeled twentysomethings shivered past her on their way from one bar to the next, and her head was thick from dollar pitchers with the boys after shift change.
She waved off catcalls from a man across the street who wasn’t shy about telling her how happy he could make her New Year.
“You a cop?” he asked, eyeing her uniform. “‘Cause I’m a bad, bad boy.”
Flashing the badge and writing up a horny drunk for public intoxication would have taken less than ten minutes, but she was off duty and close to the two bedroom apartment she shared with her kid sister, Connie.
The first few riffs of “Come on Eileen” burst through an open door, pummeling dirty snow banks and wobbly patrons who’d stepped outside for a smoke. She couldn’t place the other songs in the air. They were heavy with base and drums. The kind of music that Connie would know.
She didn’t hear a scream.
Connie was probably in one of these bars, wearing the skimpy Max Mara dress she’d borrowed to impress the bartender with the goatee who couldn’t take the night off. Connie could do better than that guy, she thought. Better than most of the guys she’d been dating.
She turned into the alley near the back entrance to their apartment complex. A sodium street lamp on the fritz flashed an orange glow across the dumpsters at unpredictable intervals, and something flickered in the darkness beneath a shadowy mound that resembled a garbage bag.
She didn’t see the blood.
Mrs. Lipinski, the old widow on the third floor, was dropping trash off the back porch again. She swore under her breath, expecting to find the alley littered with spoiled fish and cartons of rancid milk like last time.
She didn’t.
Her footsteps slowed to a halt. Her eyes settled on a high heel shoe poking out of the snow and found the mate flung inches away.
And when the sodium lamp flashed at the shadows again, Madeline Gunn saw the rest. She saw the ground beneath her oil-slicked with her sister’s blood. Blood that still gushed from the places where Connie’s flesh had been ripped down to muscle and bone. She saw the Max Mara dress shredded past her sister’s waist, exposing Connie’s bare, beaten body to the cold and the night.
Mostly, she saw that her sister had been running towards home, Madeline thought. And that she wasn’t there to save her.
Madeline dropped to her knees and cupped her sister’s still warm face in her hands. She stared into the glassy eyes that looked out at nothing and called Connie’s name until she knew that her sister would never reply with a word or a whisper.
Madeline Gunn rose to her feet and unholstered the gun at her waist. Her hands, wet with her sister’s blood, burned in the frozen wind. She stepped into the darkness, and her breath quickened to the ragged pant of an animal poised to kill.

Aug 11, 2009

QUERY – A SCORPION’S NATURE – REVISION #2

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

Dear Agent,

The other sunny idiots at YMCA Camp Powell could hold hands and Kum Ba Yah all they wanted. Thirteen year old Kyle Matusik lashed back at his evil Junior Counselor and a tyrant camper. Unleashing his rage was the only way Kyle knew how to deal with the torment of his father’s suspicious death. It stunk that he might get booted out, though. He was so close to talking with that gorgeous girl in his sports class. She seemed lonely too, just like him.

A SCORPION’S NATURE unfolds in a rollicking summer camp with quirky songs and food so atrocious even the director’s mutt refuses to eat the Cheesy Fish Tarts. My 55,000 word middle grade novel grew out of twenty years as a YMCA camper, counselor, and director.

The complete manuscript is available upon your request. Thank you for considering my work.

Sincerely,

Query - Genesis (Revision One)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent:

“It’s okay to be a little crazy,” she says with a chuckle. Detective Anna Savage is no stranger to sin or violence. But her past motivates her to protect others from the evil she knows is out there; the darkness she has been drawn to her entire life.

After a chance encounter with tall-dark-and-handsome in Pittsburgh, her old passions for secrets and mystery start to resurface like wounds reopening to the air. Then finally her wealthy, sexy suitor comes to sweep her off her feet and carry her to a mansion in the City of Love. It’s not a problem that Pierre DuChamps is a vampire. In fact, that only sweetens the deal. It’s a dream come true for Anna, a dark fairy tale she had only imagined would ever come true. She could really see herself loving him.

But he is determined to find a cure for his Thirst. In some way Anna doesn’t understand, the solution seems to be in an unborn half-human, half-vampire child. It’s an anomaly, but much more than a science experiment to its expecting parents. The birth is imminent, but the baby’s fate is unclear. Are Pierre’s intentions pure or does he have some sinister intent for the child? And her dreams keep warning Anna that Pierre is not what he seems. Does she follow her heart and help the vampire she’s falling for, or trust in her instinct to protect the innocent?

There’s no way for her to know the importance of her choice; that with this child comes the entire force of Heaven. This child will mark the beginning of the journey to save the souls corrupted inside the world’s vampires. To the victor goes Salvation, and it all hinges on Anna Savage.

Genesis is a completed contemporary fantasy novel. Thank you for taking the time to consider my query.

Sincerely,

Tara
[Contact Info]

The Last Flight- Revision 3

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the second version.

Richard Harper, freelance and highly touted insurance investigator, accepted an offer from the Chief Financial Officer of Global Investments LTD to investigate the largest investment scheme he had ever known. Becoming part of an elaborate cover-up never entered his mind, nor did the idea of his wife Lydia being seduced by Mark Flannary, CEO of Global Investments LTD.
The Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission has been monitoring the irregularities in the hedge funds data base for Global Investments LTD all of 2008. Now in early 2009, Jeff Conklin, special investigator for the SEC, begins to unravel the scheme that may well take the company to financial ruin. Collaborating with Richard Harper, Jeff finds that not all is what it seems to be. Trust, sex, and murder are wrapped tightly in the investigation as Jeff gives due diligence to his case.

I am looking for representation for a completed 85K word crime genre novel. Your agency was recommended as one of the top 50 in the country for longevity and for getting results. Also, Mr. Fry, I noticed when visiting your web site, you have particular interest in crime genre.

Thank you in advance for your time reading my query and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Robert Meacham

Aug 10, 2009

Query - 'History Lessons'

Oxford University freshers* Quinn Foster and Jack Townshend embark on history degrees at St. Swithun’s College expecting the same things as most Oxford freshers; academic rigor, a world-renowned faculty and a lifetime of shameless name dropping. They don’t expect to discover that a celebrated British General threw the American Revolution.

When the respected, brilliant and terrifying Professor Clifton assigns them a joint research project, the two stumble upon the journal of General George Padgett, lead commander of British forces in the American Revolution. A guilt-ridden account of his role in a plot to depose King George III, Padgett’s narrative weaves a tale of ambition and idealism gone awry while turning conventional historical scholarship on its head.

Stunned, Jack and Quinn hunt for further proof of Padgett’s claims before making the journal public. But when Quinn's best friend is brutally attacked within the secure college walls and the journal is stolen from Jack’s room, they realize that exposing Padgett’s tale will have consequences reaching far beyond academia. Someone else knows his story and will stop at nothing to keep it out of history books for good.

Jack and Quinn have a choice – to shut their eyes to a groundbreaking discovery and get on with life or to continue their pursuit of the truth and risk everything that matters.

History Lessons is complete at 78,000 words. I am a 2008 graduate of Oxford University with a B.A. in History. My undergraduate thesis focused upon the events leading up to the American Revolution and an essay I wrote on the same period was published in the 2005 Summer Edition of The Concord Review, a historical journal.

Thanks very much for your time and consideration.

QUERY: NOT HER MOTHER'S FATE

A revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.

Not Her Mother’s Fate, a 90,000 word family drama set in Oroville, Ca, between 1978 - 1983, would appeal to women who have either been victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault, or who have known someone who is a survivor.

Amy Thompson never expected to find a safe haven from her abusive childhood among the burnouts and party crowd when she accepts a friend’s invitation to roommate. With the support of friends, she is able to heal, and when impulsively charming Robert Crane makes his move, she is ready for romance. It doesn’t take long for Robert’s alcoholic nature to manifest, but the couple are pressured by friends, family and church to remain together.

As Robert’s drunkenness escalates into violence, Amy is haunted by flashbacks and nightmares of her childhood, and she’s determined not to end up with her own mother’s deadly fate. Escape is not so easy however, as Amy’s attraction to his best friend - a man who frequently and unwittingly rescues her from the worst of Robert’s failings - becomes a testing ground of friendship, love and loyalty. A final tragedy forces Amy to choose between abandoning both men, or making one last attempt at true love.

Thank you for reviewing my project. Per your submission guidelines, please find below the first five pages of Not Her Mother’s Fate.

Sincerely,

Donna Hole

Critiquing Critiques (Revision 1)

If there are any of you that didn't see my guest post over at Nathan Bransford's blog, here is a re-posting. Don't by shy about clicking over to the original, there are many comments with additional advice, including some good points by regular commentors here (Bane of Anubis, for example had a great follow up comment, so did Tricia O'Brien). For those who did see it, you may notice a few additions in this version...

Critiquing Critiques
Writing a novel is a lonely task. Sure, our characters keep us company, but after numerous readings and revisions they transform into red-headed step-children and we want them to leave us alone. That’s when it’s time to ship them off to boarding school, where they are tested under the critiques of our friends and family. Not all of them graduate.

As writers, we yearn for feedback. Aside from the chosen few who produce flawless prose on the first draft (and can’t ever fathom why the query for their masterpiece was rejected by those ungrateful agents), we understand that hearing the honest opinions of readers is crucial to perfecting our work. However, opening our souls to criticism can be daunting…

Giving a Critique

I recommend the sandwich approach, where you start with a positive point, give an honest opinion of what doesn’t work for you (may be multiple points), and then end with another positive point or words of encouragement. I’ve found that the sandwich approach helps put recipients at ease (especially if they are hungry). It makes people more receptive to constructive criticism and keeps them from getting overly defensive. If you are taking the time to provide the feedback, you should want the person to actually do something with it.

Be careful if you re-write something as an example, especially in a query critique. A short clause or sentence is one thing, but if you start re-writing paragraphs you are providing more than advice – you are providing voice.

Know your audience and respect the forum. If it is public, and you are criticizing the work of someone you don't know, and extra level of professionalism is warranted. Some sites that post work for feedback are dedicated to snark and humor, some blunt force trauma, and some polite but pointed feedback. This particular site fits in the latter-most category.

What Not to Do When Giving a Critique
- Don’t be overly apologetic or you will undermine your own opinions.
- Don’t hunt for things just because you feel you have to suggest something. Sometimes the work we review is really good. However…
- Don’t limit your feedback to praise just because you are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. Paula Abdul has cornered that market. (NOTE: This position is open again, she's leaving Idol. But remember - there can be only one!)
- Don’t be a ruthless jerk. Simon Cowell has cornered that market.
- Don't get upset if someone doesn't run with your advice. If you say, "Why did you ask me if you weren't going to do what I said?" I will answer: Because I didn't know what your response would be.

Receiving a Critique
Rule # 1: Don’t pout if you hear something negative. Remember that you asked for the feedback in the first place. Don't get defensive and don't argue.

Rule # 2: Wait until all the feedback is in before you seriously contemplate your changes. Depending on the length of the work in question (e.g. a query vs a full manuscript) this may be 24 hours, or it may be several weeks.

Rule # 3: Seriously contemplate your changes. Take time. Work through it. You never microwave a roast. Slow cooking always turns out better. (NOTE: what’s with all the food references?)

Rule # 4: Look for common threads in the feedback and start there. The advice of the many outweighs the advice of the few.

Rule # 5: Re-write. If someone provides a re-write as an example, don’t just copy it. Try to understand why they suggested those changes. Otherwise you may dilute your own voice and you miss the opportunity to learn something.

Rule # 6: Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. (NOTE: Please remember that this is in regard to critiques, not form rejections. Agents are not critique partners. No matter how much we want them to be.)

Rule #7: Be ready to disregard any feedback that doesn't make sense. Sometimes people will tell you to say something different, but that does not always equate to better. Some people may give ill-advised feedback. If it doesn't make sense and if clarification seems unnecessary, just disregard it.

Rule # 8: Thank the people who took the time to offer their feedback, and pay it forward by offering a critique to someone else.

Aug 8, 2009

Query: FERRIS' BLUFF #4 (Thriller)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.
Click here to read the third revision.

Agency
Agent
Street Address
New York, NY, 10010

Dear Ms. Agent,

Ace Evans is an ex-SEAL/undercover operative forced to live a solitary vagabond existence. He risks a visit with an old friend and soon discovers that the quaint, gossipy little town of Ferris’ Bluff, Arkansas, has a very dark side.

His friend is in a coma, a virtual prisoner in the nursing home, and Ace is drawn into a series of confrontations with a number of ruthless local villains--a conniving greedy lawyer, his even greedier wife, and a brutal town tough.

And if that ain’t thorny enough—Russian gangsters, vengeful enemies from his shadowy past are skulking around.

Ace knows he should hit the road, not only to protect his fragile alias but also to (hopefully) assure the safety of his new friends; especially Annie Travers, the woman he has been trying to deny a growing affection for, a widow as lonely and damaged as he is.

But the body count rises and the lawyer’s murderous schemes continue to threaten the people he’s become very fond of.

Resolved to make a life for himself in Ferris’ Bluff, Ace enlists the aid of his new friends to try and pull off a dangerous ruse, a bluff of his own, luring both the lawyer and the Russians into a violent, deadly showdown.

FERRIS’ BLUFF is a 96K word thriller with a southern drawl and a smoldering romance tucked inside. Thanks for taking a look. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,


Fred Limberg
Email
phone

Query - Genesis

Dr. Maggie LeBlanc is a specialist in blood. She's a scientist, a Catholic, and an innocent, desperately trying to save lives. Rick Herten is a specialist in depravity. He's a rockstar, a womanizer and a violent alcoholic, slowly destroying himself to atone for old sins. They're a highly improbable pair who, under normal circumstances, would never even meet, much less have a child together.

Pierre DuChamps, a sadistic vampire looking for a cure for his thirst, will change those circumstances in the most drastic of ways. When he abducts them away to his house in Paris, they must count on one another to live through it and protect their unborn son. In the middle is Pierre's love, Anna Savage, a human detective torn between her protective instinct and her desire for the dark power that he can offer her.

But none of them can know the importance of their choices; that with this child comes the entire force of Heaven. This is the Genesis of the solution; the beginning of the journey to save the souls lost to the vampire blood. These three people are brought together in Paris to fulfill their intertwined destinies and save countless thousands from their perpetual Hell. To the victor goes Salvation.

Genesis is complete at 127,000 words and well-suited for the adult fantasy market. It is intended as part of a book series, the second of which is in outline form. I know you’re up to your ears in queries, so thank you for taking the time to read this. Please feel free to email me at bloodcrossed@gmail.com if you are interested in viewing a more detailed sample of the work. Thanks again for your consideration.

Query- The Last Flight (Revision)

Click here to read the original query.

Richard pulled the chord.The chute did not open. He grabbed the emergency chord and the chute did not respond. He calculated his life ending in approximately ninety seconds, not enough time to review instant replay of his life.

Richard Harper accepted an offer to investigate the largest insurance fraud he had ever known. Getting corrupted never entered his mind, nor did the idea of his wife Lydia getting seduced by Mark Flannary, CEO of Global Investments LTD.

The SEC had been watching the irregularities in the hedge funds for Global Investments LTD all of 2008. Now in early 2009, Jeff Conklin, special investigator for SEC, begins to unravel the company's scheme.Befriending Richard Harper , Jeff finds that all is not what it seems to be. Trust, sex, and murder is wrapped tightly in the lives of Richard, wife Lydia,and Mark before justice prevails.

I am looking for representation for a completed 85K word crime genre novel. This is my first go at searching for an agent and your agency was recommended as top 50 in the country for longevity and for getting results. Also, Mr. Fry, I noticed when visiting your web site, you have particular interest in crime genre.

Thank you in advance for your time reading my query and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Robert Meacham

Query--Shadow Falls

There are people who know sixteen-year-old Willow Sinclair’s big secret. Unfortunately, Willow isn’t one of them.

Will senses something strange is going on the first week she starts her new school in the mountains of North Carolina. For a girl who has spent the first two years of high school successfully blending into the scenery, she suddenly is getting a whole lot of attention.

First, the faculty is giving her the hard sell on joining the Leadership Council (the LC), an exclusive club of students with ties to the academy’s biggest donor, a charismatic televangelist. The members are supermodel perfect, smart as hell, and spiritually dedicated. Willow can think of nothing she would like to join less.

Then, two gorgeous boys are competing for her interest and warning her about the danger the other one poses. Will is confused. When did a fairy godmother sneak into her room and sprinkle her with desirable dust? Boys like these would have existed in another orbit from her at her old school in Texas.

Finally, as if beautiful boys and pushy teachers aren’t enough to drive a girl to the edge, Will starts seeing colors around people and develops the olfactory glands of a bloodhound.

Will needs answers. But which guy can she trust to give them to her? Rivers, the sweet Alabama boy with the killer dimples, who also happens to be a member of the LC? Or Pierce, the over-confident preacher’s son with a reputation for preying on new girls and an ax to grind with his father?

Both boys know her secret. Each has their own agenda. If Will aligns with one, she risks her freedom, the lives of innocent people, and her shot at experiencing real love. If she chooses the other, she faces a destiny that someone in her past has worked hard to protect her from.

And she thought her biggest problem with starting a new school would be fitting in.

Ms. Agent, I am pleased to submit for your consideration my paranormal young adult novel, SHADOW FALLS, complete at 85,000 words. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you would like to learn more about me or my writing, please visit me at http://fictiongroupie.blogspot.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Aug 7, 2009

Query- The Last Flight

Richard pulled the chord.The chute did not open. He grabbed the emergency chord and the chute did not respond. He calculated his life ending in approximately ninety seconds, not enough time to review instant replay of his life.

Richard Harper accepted offer to investigate the largest insurance fraud he had ever known. Corruption never entered his mind, nor did the idea of his wife Lydia getting seduced by Mark Flannary, CEO of Global Investments LTD.

I am looking for representation for a completed 85K word crime genre novel. This is my first go at searching for an agent and your agency was recommended as top 50 in the country for longevity and for getting results. Also, Mr. Fry, I noticed when visiting your web site, you have particular interest in crime genre.

Thank you in advance for your time reading my query and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Robert Meacham

Query- Savage Grace

I'm late to the party. This is a wonderful idea. Here is my contribution:

Life is cruel. This is a lesson Evangeline Savage learns at a young age. When her mother is murdered and a mysterious visitor claims that Evangeline’s life is in jeopardy, she sets out to find the murderer before he finds her. Her journey takes her to the humid swamps of South Carolina’s low country where she learns of her mother’s involvement with a coven of elemental witches. A coven that reveals Evangeline’s legacy as a member of a family of powerful water witches.

Thrust into a world where magic is real and danger lurks at every turn, Evangeline must decide who to trust. With untapped power the likes of which the magical community has never seen, she becomes the target of a madman out to steal her power for his own. She must unite forces with the dynamic and seductive Justin Hammersley, a fellow water witch, if she is going to survive the coming battle. She trusts him with her life, but dare she trust him with her heart?

Savage Grace is a fast-paced 90,000 word paranormal romance set in South Carolina at the end of the 19th Century. With a strong female protagonist, an unforgettable romance and a vibrant historical setting, it will appeal to fans of such writers as Elizabeth Boyle and Karen Marie Moning. Savage Grace is the first in a four book series entitled The Savages.

Query: BEAUTY SECRETS

Note: I've left out the intro and personal touches (as in why I'm querying said agent).

Beauty Secret Representative Keira Diaz was out to sell lipstick, not solve a mystery. But when her client’s playboy husband, Roger Siebold, is reported missing and the Beaufort Police Department dismiss the case, Keira’s plans change. A desire to help propels Keira to lead an investigation. What she discovers is that more than one person is being deceived.

Finding Roger’s body only leads to more questions. Where was he the three days before he was murdered? Who had access to the ricin that poisoned him? And what does a kidnapped little girl have to do with it all?

Not even Keira is prepared for how deep the lies go and how many crimes are intertwined. This is one case where keeping secrets just might get her killed.

When you write genre fiction it’s important to bring something new to the table. Beauty Secrets accomplishes this by creating its own niche within the themed mystery novel market. The protagonist, Keira Diaz, is an independent beauty representative (think Avon or Mary Kay). Her profession gives her daily access to people’s homes, their private lives and the neighborhood gossip. Combine this with Keira’s natural curiosity and determination, and you end up with endless mystery-solving scenarios.

If interested, the full manuscript (62,000 words) is available upon request. For more information about myself or my writing, please visit my blog at http://www.stephdamore.blogspot.com/.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

A Guest Post on Agent Nathan Bransford's Blog

To the one or two Slushpile readers who don't already read Nathan Bransford's blog:

This is the last day of Nathan's 2nd Guest Post Week, and yours truly will be the featured poster (child?). The post should go live at 8am Pacific time / 11am Eastern Time, barring accidents, and the topic is highly relevant to this site.

All of the posts this week have been very good, and I encourage you to go back and read them if you haven't already. For that matter, the blog itself is indispensable and should be part of your regular reading anyway, making this point moot. Please forgive me.

And while I'm here, thanks to all of you who post, comment, and lurk here at the Slushpile. I'm really glad this site works so well for so many!

Now it's 6:28am, and I need to get back to my manuscript...

- Rick

Aug 6, 2009

QUERY - A SCORPION'S NATURE - Revision #1

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent,

The other sunny idiots at YMCA Camp Powell could hold hands and Kum Ba Yah all they wanted. Thirteen year old Kyle Matusik would lash back against his evil Junior Counselor and a tyrant camper. Getting booted out was better than enduring their harassment or being pitied as the camp's misfit boy, tormented by his father's suspicious death.

A SCORPION'S NATURE unfolds in a rollicking summer camp with quirky songs and food so atrocious even the director's mutt refuses to eat the Cheesy Fish Tarts. My 55,000 word middle grade novel coalesced out of twenty years as a YMCA camper, counselor, and director.

The complete manuscript is available upon your request. Thank you for considering my work.

Sincerely,

Query: The Jackpot (Thriller)

Great site here. Below is a version of my query that initially worked like gangbusters (6 requests out of 12 submissions). Then the bottom dropped out, and I received 30+ form rejections in a row. Would love to get a sense of whether this was a good query, or whether I just got lucky at the beginning.

Dear Agent:

I am seeking representation for The Jackpot, my 95,000-word dark comic thriller about Samantha Obeid, a Lebanese-American attorney facing a personal crisis, and her new client's gigantic winning lottery ticket, which threatens to destroy Samantha's life when her desperate boss decides to steal it.

After spending eight soul-reaving years "helping really big and rich companies get a little bigger and richer" (as she wistfully puts it), Samantha Obeid is crushed when her law firm passes her over for partner. So when the firm's janitor, Julius Mitchell, approaches her for advice about a winning lottery ticket worth nearly half a billion dollars, she sees an opportunity to salvage her career with a wealthy new client for the firm. She introduces Julius and his ticket to her boss, Hunter Pierce, hoping to revive her dreams of a financially secure future for herself and her struggling parents. But Pierce, a man riddled with more problems than he can count, devises his own plan for the ticket - to steal it.

Following a violent confrontation that leaves Julius dead, Samantha finds herself holding the ticket and risking her life to deliver it to Julius' only heir - his estranged son. But as a nothing-to-lose Hunter Pierce closes in on her, Samantha becomes increasingly drawn to the ticket and its promise of unimaginable wealth. The really bad news? Neither Hunter nor the temptation to keep the ticket for herself is Samantha's biggest problem: a homicidal mercenary with a unique take on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution has been hired to hunt down the ticket, and he will stop at nothing to find it.

I am an attorney living in XXX, and my writing credits include two short stories published in online magazines (names of stories and mags). I hope you will find that the novel’s darkly comic tone and Samantha's background provide interesting spins on popular lawyer-in-trouble thriller.

Thank you for considering my query, and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,
David

Two Posts With No Comments

Hello all,

There are two posts that have not received any comments. I have a feeling they went up too close to other posts and got lost in the shuffle.

If you are looking for fresh meat (or tofu), then check out:

Query- Vampire Vacation (revised)


and/or

Synopsis- Vampire Vacation

Query Ferris' Bluff revision#3

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.

Agency
Agent
Street Address
New York, NY, 10010

Dear Ms. Agent,

FERRIS’ BLUFF, a 96K word thriller, is the story of a troubled man hiding from his past until a glimpse of the life he’s been forced to abandon, an easy camaraderie with unique new friends, and the promise of love he thought impossible help him realize he has finally found a home—one worth fighting for.

Ace Evans, an ex-SEAL/undercover operative, forced to live a solitary vagabond existence, risks a visit with an old friend. He soon discovers that the quaint, gossipy small town of Ferris’ Bluff, Arkansas, has a very dark side. His friend is in a coma, a virtual prisoner, and Ace is quickly drawn into a series of confrontations with a number of ruthless local villains -- a conniving greedy lawyer, his even greedier wife, and a brutal town tough.

And if that ain’t thorny enough—Russian gangsters, vengeful enemies from his mysterious past are skulking around. The danger factor grows dramatically. So do the complications.

Ace knows he should hit the road, not only to protect his fragile alias but to hopefully assure the safety of his new friends; especially Annie Travers, a pretty widow as lonely and damaged as he is.

But the body count rises and the lawyer’s murderous schemes continue to threaten the people he’s become very fond of.

Resolved to make a life for himself in Ferris’ Bluff, Ace enlists the aid of his new friends to try and pull off a dangerous ruse, a bluff, duping both foes into a violent, deadly showdown.

FERRIS’ BLUFF is a sexy, smart, original thriller with a southern drawl and a slow-burn romance smoldering inside the action. Thanks for taking a look.

Sincerely,


Fred Limberg
Email
phone

Aug 4, 2009

QUERY - SAVE US - Revision 1

Click here to read the original query.

Hi guys, I cleaned up my original query, hopefully it's better. Love to hear what you think. Thanks-

Vipul


Dear Agent:

Phoebus has had a busy few months: falling in love, dying, and leading a rebellion—in that order.

Phoebus is a young, orphaned fisherman living in ancient Phoenicia during the time of Christ. When he and his love Ariadna drown in a storm, they find themselves on the outskirts of Hell. Captured, separated, and enslaved, they sink into despair, until Phoebus inadvertently sparks a rebellion against his demon captors.

He soon meets Durus, a mercenary angel sent to aid him, who informs Phoebus that this conflict is meant by God to distract the devil from events on Earth. Faced with this new mandate, the desire to find Ariadna, and the threat of a growing demon army, Phoebus becomes the unlikely leader of a desperate people. As Jesus' path takes him to the cross, Phoebus undertakes a task that transforms him as much as it changes the fate of the slaves in Hell.

SAVE US is 75,000 words, and is my first novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Aug 3, 2009

Query- Ferris' Bluff (Revision 2)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

Dear Agent,

Ace Evans, ex-Navy SEAL and undercover operative, is on the run--has been for the three years since his family was brutally murdered. He’s running from the Witness Protection Program that betrayed him, from Russian arms dealers still out for revenge, and nightmares of that tragic fiery night.

He risks a brief visit with an old friend, Granville Tubbs. Ace feels like he needs to stick around the quaint little town of Ferris’ Bluff, Arkansas after he learns that Tubbs, comatose, is being kept in near isolation by the lawyer, Tremont.

While trying to unravel the lawyer’s motives Ace is determined to see that Tubbs gets proper treatment. He’s drawn into the lives of Annie Travers, her two children, and a collection of townsfolk that are pleasant and friendly, and, well…a bit nosy. There’s ‘gossip in the water’ in Ferris’ Bluff, you know. He can’t avoid making friends, try as he might to leave a faint footprint and stay true to his alias.

He can’t seem to avoid making enemies either. Ace is soon at odds with the lawyer, his slutty scheming wife, and a psychotic town tough named Pink.

As if things aren’t difficult enough, a resourceful young Deputy Marshal tracks him down. He urges Ace to return to the WPP, warning him that the Russians are nearby. Ace won’t go back. He likes it in Ferris’ Bluff. Friends new and old need him.

He discovers that the accident that killed Annie’s husband and left her daughter paralyzed was no accident. One of his new friends is murdered. Tremont has apparently stolen some mineral rights from Tubbs, the underlying catalyst for all of the local tragedies. Tubbs regains consciousness, drawing the Russians dangerously close by using Ace’s real name.

All the while the affection he’s trying to deny for Annie grows. It’s a very mutual attraction. Ace is more determined than ever to set things right. With a bit of forgery, a touch of larceny, and a little help from his new friends he might just pull off his audacious ruse.

FERRIS’ BLUFF is a 96K word thriller; the story of a troubled lonely man seeking a connection to his past, a glimpse of the life he’s been forced to abandon…and what he has to do now that he has finally found a home.

Thank you for taking a look. I look forward to hearing from you.



After a bit of cogitating I got what the frogmeister was trying to say. NOW it might be ready for some looks.

Fred

Query- Intuitive Tarot: Finding Your Inner Voice

Hi everyone,
I just found out about this site! I received a response to this query from an agent who found it "intriguing" but wasn't "sufficiently enthusiastic" to ask for more. Not sure if that means the query is good but the subject not her cup of tea (which I'm okay with, not everyone is into self-help books) or if I need more work on the query. Feedback is welcome!

Dear [Agent],

I’ve just written a workbook that can help everyone lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives. After 22 years of in-depth study, practice, and teaching, I’ve put all that I’ve learned into an easy-to-use workbook, Intuitive Tarot: Finding Your Inner Voice. I would like you to consider helping me bring this work to the public.

We’ve all experienced those moments of not listening to our “inner voice”. When was the last time you ignored yours? Last week, perhaps? Driving home from work, stuck in traffic, something inside you said "turn off here" at a side road but you didn't so your 20 minute commute took 2 hours because of road construction? Later that evening, you heard on the local news that an alternate route would have gotten you home in 30 minutes; it was the road you would have turned onto had you listened to that inner "something".

We human beings are fascinating, aren't we? All we need to know is within us, if we would only listen. It's not that we don't want to, we just don't know how, or we don't trust what we hear. We've never been taught the means to connect with that vast library of knowledge within. Tarot cards are an incredible tool to help you learn to do just that.

You may not be entirely sure what tarot cards are. Perhaps you've seen television programs where a reader lays out the Death card and oh no! someone on the show dies, and now you're a bit leery of the cards. Intuitive Tarot: Finding Your Inner Voice will take the mystery out of tarot. This workbook is for everyone wanting to learn how to listen to, and trust, their inner voice; for everyone who wants to find a way to touch the source of their own inner power; for everyone who wants to learn how to navigate through the sometimes challenging transitions of life, and to do it all in a fun and enlightening way. Intuitive Tarot: Finding Your Inner Voice can be used alone, with friends, or as a classroom workbook by other teachers of tarot.

I purchased my first tarot deck in 1987. I had no teacher; there were few books at that time. I learned the hard way, by myself. Now, after twenty-two years, thousands of clients, hundreds of students, numerous published tarot articles, in the process of co-creating a "modernly traditional" tarot deck as well as writing the accompanying deck-specific book, and still as passionate about tarot as the day I purchased my first deck of cards, I am proud to offer Intuitive Tarot: Finding Your Inner Voice as a tool for every person who wants to learn to connect with, and trust, that place of knowing within.

Two people have seen Intuitive Tarot: Finding Your Inner Voice so far. One, an author and public speaker, said that reading the workbook made him want to immediately go out and buy a deck of tarot cards. The other, an author/shaman/music composer, told me, "I read through your tarot workbook chapters. I think they are fantastic and I don't know of another book like it!"

I invite you to visit my website to learn more about me and my work. I would be happy to send you a full proposal at your request.

I appreciate your time and consideration, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Aug 2, 2009

QUERY- FERRIS' BLUFF (Revision #1)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read revision #2.

My thanks to all who weighed in on the original. Here's revision number 1 (actually query #16) for Ferris' Bluff.


Dear Agent,

Ace Evans, ex-Navy SEAL and undercover operative, is on the run--has been for the three years since his family was brutally murdered and he was left for dead. He’s running from the Witness Protection Program that betrayed him, from Russian arms dealers still out for revenge, and from his own nightmares of that fiery night and his scarred self-image.

FERRIS’ BLUFF, a 96K word thriller, is the story of a lonely man seeking a connection to his past, a glimpse of the life he’s forced to hide from, and what he has to do to once he realizes that he has finally found sanctuary and healing love.

Risking a brief visit with his old friend, Granville Tubbs, Ace reluctantly stays in the quaint town of Ferris’ Bluff, Arkansas after he learns that Tubbs is in a coma and is being kept in near isolation by the lawyer, Tremont.

While trying to unravel the lawyer’s motives and maneuvering to see that Tubbs gets proper treatment Ace is drawn into the lives of Annie Travers, her two children, and a collection of townsfolk that are friendly and trusting, and, well…a bit nosy. There’s ‘gossip in the water’ in Ferris’ Bluff. He can’t seem to avoid making friends, try as he might to stay aloof and true to his alias.

He can’t seem to avoid making enemies either. Ace is soon at odds with Tremont, his scheming wife, and a brutal town tough named Pink.

A young Deputy Marshal tracks him down. He urges Ace to return to the WPP and warns him that the Russians are probably watching Tubbs.

Ace won’t go back. He can’t.

Why? The accident that killed Annie’s husband and left her daughter paralyzed was no accident. One of his new friends is murdered. He discovers that Tremont has stolen some mineral rights from Tubbs, the underlying catalyst for all of the local tragedies. Tubbs regains consciousness, drawing the Russians dangerously close by using Ace’s real name.

All the while the affection he is trying to deny for Annie grows. It’s a very mutual attraction and Ace is more determined than ever to set things right. With a little luck, a little larceny, and some help from his new friends he might just pull off his audacious ruse.

Thank you for your interest in FERRIS’ BLUFF. I look forward to hearing from you.