Mar 16, 2009

Query: KRELIS (Revision 1)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent,

Once every hundred years, Comet Orel blazes across the sky, calling to the heavens the souls of deceased dragons. During this time, an opportunity opens to imbue dragon stones with the souls, creating powerful talismans. Krelis and six wizards embark on a journey to collect the elusive dragon stones, which are formed from the hearts of dragons, but the power they yield proves to be too enticing, corrupting one of their own.

Krelis’ innate, magical ability earns him an apprenticeship with the great wizard, Antigonus. He lives in the conservatory on a small remote island where he practices the art with his friends. His life is simple, free from the conflicts that plague rest of Known World.

All of this changes when his mentor brings Krelis and his friends together to reveal the real reason for their selection; a dream of everlasting peace between the races of Known World that can only become a reality with the power of the dragon stones.

Krelis and his peers leave their home and undertake the quest filled with danger and ultimately…betrayal.

KRELIS is an 80,000 word, young adult fantasy.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.


Query for

Dear Agent:

Marsha Underwood is one of those people who actually can sell iceboxes to Eskimos. So it’s logical that she is recruited as Director of Marketing for the San Francisco based Internet dating service startup, LOVE.COM. The startup’s founder, Paul Latimer, has loved Marsha for her strength and beauty for more than ten years since their college days, but Marsha doesn’t consider Paul to be marriage material. Paul is desperate to win the approval of his own powerful but remote father as well as Marsha’s affection. becomes the vehicle for both of his desires. Paul also recruits Marsha’s father, the noted relationship expert Dr. John Underwood to develop matching protocols. The company becomes an overnight sensation after adopting Marsha’s novel pricing strategy: allow subscribers unlimited use of the site for free, and charge them only after a successful match is made. But such a pricing strategy proves an irresistible temptation for Paul to tinker with Mother Nature. Of course, he can’t let Marsha or her father in on the plot. They wouldn’t understand. They have morals.

A slick advertising campaign and the Company’s controversial ‘Soulmate Strategy’ isn’t enough to account for the Company’s success. Soon, subscribers begin marrying in numbers far greater than anyone can fathom. When Marsha and her father question why, danger and death are right behind. With now a worldwide phenomenon, Marsha is afraid for her life from the man who purports to love her. Will Marsha save her own life, discover the secrets of and perhaps even find her own soulmate?

LOVE.COM is a romantic suspense complete at 99,000 words. It will be of particular interest to the millions of women and men who have dabbled with Internet dating (we all know at least one). It is the first work I have submitted for representation. I was previously Vice President of Marketing for an information technology consulting firm, which not only is relevant to the story, I also have an excellent marketing plan for the project. Thank you for your time and consideration.




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

Dear Ms. Agent:

There is a huge grizzly bear in their parents' bedroom.
This comes as rather a shock to Mina and Darwin, but they don't have time to think much about it before they and the bear fall through the portal into another world, Bagastana. As soon Bear sees what has happened, she begins to swear in quite forceful and creative ways, because getting the kids back home is going to be a challenge. The only known portal back is far away; it is guarded by a powerful creature who calls himself “The Maker,” and he will kill Mina and Darwin if he discovers who they really are.

Along the way, the twins encounter shape-shifting animals who worship a deceitful tiger; they are kidnapped by giant ants, forced undercover by misogynist horses, nearly devoured by eagles, and asked to make a great sacrifice by evangelizing fish. Mina and Darwin begin to develop their own magical abilities, and as they grow in power and knowledge, they begin to understand why the Maker would want them dead. They also learn how the Maker imprisons some of those who challenge him in his Living Clay, where they are unable to see, hear, breathe, or die.

BAGASTANA is the story of two young people who, while trying to get home, discover who they really are along the way. Like Pullman's GOLDEN COMPASS or L'Engle's A WRINKLE IN TIME, the story of Bagastana is multi-layered with deeper meanings. This novel is complete at 73,700 words; it can be marketed in the commercial-literary genre or as YA fantasy (no sex or profanity, although the religious symbolism might be a bit controversial).

I was born and raised in suburban New Jersey, but I managed to escape. After attending Yale as an undergraduate and getting my Ph.D. in psychology from Rutgers, I took a job with University of Maryland's overseas teaching program, living in several different cultures, many of which I've drawn on for this novel. I moved back to the U.S. in December.

Please contact me if you are interested in receiving a partial or the complete manuscript. The first chapters also are available on my website at

Thank you for your time, and take care!

Query for Demon Dreams, main stream paranormal fiction...

Almost thirty years ago Margaret Turner left the occult world and the duties of being a Guardian for a normal life. Two marriages and three kids later she’s still trying to find normal.

Late one night while relaxing and reading a good book an old friend pops in to pay Meg a visit. More curious than scared of the demon, Meg agrees to a battle of wills and quickly gains control of the situation. What she learns from the demon under her control makes her less than thrilled. Hell is in danger and needs her help.

A power hungry warlock has been killing demons and assuming their powers. He’s somehow blocked the higher level demons from leaving hell on their own and any move they make to attack him misses. Having exhausted every evil plan they can think of, Satan and his minions turn to their earthly counterparts for help.

The idea of returning to her duties as Guardian of the Way makes Meg pause. She left all of that behind to live a normal life. As she wonders if she can pick up where she left off, she realizes that if she doesn’t help everything she knows and loves will die. So with help from her psychic friend, druidic boss, a few demons and angels, Meg immerses herself into the world she left behind. Can she find a way to defeat the warlock at his own game before hell takes over earth?

Demon Dreams is a finished 65,000 word paranormal/fiction manuscript that follows Meg Turner, witch and Guardian of the Way on a wild ride to save Hell. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely Yours,


Bearing flowers to the cairn erected in his vanished wife's memory in the wilderness of Belize, an ambush awaits Dr. Robert Bowen and his heart.

Bound and bruised on the forest floor, he battles a potentially fatal arrhythmia while his captors bicker in an obscure tongue. They ignore his wallet and passport. He thinks they might be drug runners. He couldn't be more mistaken.

For millennia, the Philosophers of Ubabaor denied the existence of xenoliths -- stones rumored to mediate convergences between worlds. For centuries they had witnessed the advance of earthly technologies and summarily rejected them.

When a brutal invasion overwhelms their country's defenses, their military commandeers the stones to open corridors through our world to support the covert strikes and strategic evacuations that enable their country to persist under siege.

Robert's exile to Ubabaor for witnessing a convergence rekindles hope that his wife still lives. Seeking other exiles who might have seen her, he roams a war-ravaged landscape, facing Ubabaor's enemies, as traces of Elizabeth, faint but unmistakable, lead him closer to a possible reunion, if he can keep his balky heart beating long enough.

XENOLITH, an urban fantasy, is complete at 110,000 words. I am a Harvard-trained, tropical disease ecologist whose many forays in developing countries and innumerable bouts of culture shock help inspire my depictions of exotic cultures and settings.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please let me know if you would like to see more.

Query: YA Fiction: Fault Lines

Sam can’t imagine her ancient grandmother, Granny Franny, or her mother, Angela, as teenagers. To Sam's mind, her grandmother was born an old lady and her mother has always been a bordering-on-boring single mother. But the discovery of a photo of a teenaged Franny kissing a cute boy and a look through Angela's high school yearbook now have Sam resolved to learn more about her grandmother's and mother's younger years. Her voyages through the past coincide with her finding her first boyfriend.

Sam discovers more than just exciting first kisses and tender hand-holding. She learns secrets with the power to destroy her fragile family. After Granny dies, petty arguments, old jealousies and unraveling secrets threaten to explode into intractable family feuds.

Fault Lines tells three interwoven stories of love, loss and identity, each echoing the shiver-inducing electricity of young love, the plaintive ache of lost innocence, and the ongoing struggle to become an independent, self-assured adult. Fault Lines is around 60,000 words long.

I have twelve years of professional writing experience, the bulk of which has involved writing instructional manuals for the computer software industry.
My freelance work has appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Chicago Parent, American Health & Fitness, Bride & Groom, and Delicious Living.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.