Jan 18, 2010

Query -- Masquerade (Second Revision)

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

Business Letter Format

Dear Ms. Agent,

I am seeking representation for the STEWARD AND MISS HIGGINS, a single title Regency Romance complete at 98,000 words.

An outrageously beautiful, yet painfully shy Duke’s daughter must play at a dangerous game of masquerade to outsmart a villain trying to destroy her family.

When William Smith, the Earl of Westerly, agrees to do his cousin Robert a simple favor, keep an eye on an elderly relative and her companion, he doesn't realize what he's gotten himself into until it's too late. Upon his arrival at Wakefield, Quiggins, the trusted butler reveals, “…things are not what they appear to be.”

William, a confirmed bachelor, has only one passion, horses, until he meets the mysterious Miss Penny Higgins whose sweet, sunny smile and unfathomable intellect are in direct contrast to her dowdy clothes and recurring stutter. The Duchess of Caymore, his aunt’s cousin, is a wry old bird who keeps a strict eye on her companion and William means to find out why using his charm and affable nature but no one is talking. It’s obvious the ladies are in trouble, they are in hiding, and now it appears he will also have to masquerade… as the steward.

As the weeks pass, William cannot help but fall in love with the quirky Penny and wants to marry her, even without knowing who she really is. Penny loses her heart but knows nothing will come of it – her father is determined to marry her off to someone of his choosing.

When Penny’s true identity and her reason for hiding are finally revealed to William, he immediately launches a campaign entrusting some unlikely friends to help catch the villains. Upon their return to London, a confounding chain of events finds Robert masquerading as Penny’s fiancé. Moreover, now that William knows who Penny really is, he is awed but undaunted. Despite Robert’s annoying role as Penny’s fake fiancé, her father’s threats to marry her off to a duke, and the Duchess of Caymore’s machinations to keep Robert and Penny together, William is determined to marry Penny, but first he has to find the blackguard who threatens her.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rick -- Thanks for catching it's only the second revison, not the third. Although it's probably the 122nd for me.

Just so everyone knows, I mis-typed, the title is supposed to be THE STEWARD AND MISS HIGGINS. However, if we don't like that, we also have, THE LADY'S MASQUERADE.

Thanks everyone for all your input. I really appreciate it. This is so much harder than writing the book I think.

Robin

PS-- And great idea about the critxchange Rick. That's so awesome.

Rick Daley said...

Robin- no sweat, thanks, and good luck!

In regard to the title, there is a chance for any of us that a publisher would have a different opinion on a title anyway. And if that happened, it's what I would call a "good problem."

Anonymous said...

I am seeking representation for the STEWARD AND MISS HIGGINS, a single title Regency Romance complete at 100,000 words.

William Smith, the Earl of Westerly, a confirmed bachelor, has only one passion, horses, until he meets the mysterious Miss Penny Higgins whose sweet, sunny smile and unfathomable intellect are in direct contrast to her dowdy clothes and recurring stutter. It’s obvious the ladies are in trouble, they are in hiding, and now it appears he will also have to masquerade… as the steward.

As the weeks pass, William cannot help but fall in love with the quirky Penny and wants to marry her, even without knowing who she really is. Penny loses her heart but knows nothing will come of it – her father is determined to marry her off to someone of his choosing.

When Penny’s true identity and her reason for hiding are finally revealed to William, he immediately launches a campaign entrusting friends to help catch the villains. Upon their return to London, a confounding chain of events finds Robert masquerading as Penny’s fiancé. William is determined to marry Penny, despite Robert’s annoying role as Penny’s fake fiancé and her father’s threats to marry her off to a duke, but first he has to find the blackguard who threatens her.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Dominique said...

Much better, but the last paragraph still feels a little rushed to me. You've clearly got a lot of interesting story going on, and it seems you're trying to fit it all in in one breath.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone who helped with this. I won't re-post, this query is driving me insane so I'm sure it must be to you too.

Robin

Aimless Writer said...

I like the name The Lady's Masquerade.
Second paragraph is great.
Below that we get a bit wordy. I can see there's a lot to cover so I have a few suggestions.
We don't need to know he likes horses. The third and forth paragraphs can be combined if you cut some stuff.
Something like; as a favor to his cousin Robert, William Smith, Earl of Westerly, heads to Wakefield to keep an eye on the Duchess of Claymore and her companion. When he meets Penny Higgins..."
I know how frustrating it can be to get your story down to two or three paragraphs when there is so much to tell. If you only had three sentences to explain the Earls confict, motivation and goal what would they be? What about Penny's?
If you had three minutes in an elevator with your dream agent you need to get your story told in just a few sentences. Start there.