Mar 23, 2009


Dear Agent,

One year—that’s all Anslem has before the deadly curse set upon him consumes and blackens his heart. War has defined him and his skill in battle has propelled him into a life full of wealth and power. Men respect him and women desire him. But he was loyal to his wife and desire could not change him. Of course, it was this loyalty that took his wife and placed this curse upon him.

When the goddess of desire tried to seduce Anslem, she was appalled to hear him turn her away in favor of his wife. Enraged, the goddess took Anslem’s wife away and imprisoned her where he would never find her. As he swore to the goddess that he would find and rescue his wife, she placed a curse on his heart to make sure he would never succeed. One year—that’s all Anslem has to find his wife and stop the curse before it consumes his heart entirely.

MENALI is a high fantasy epic inspired by THE ODYSSEY and the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a fictional world with an ancient Greek setting.


Click here to read the original query.

Dear (Agent’s Name):

If making women laugh and think were Olympic events, seventy-four-year-old Liz McCall would win the gold. If she could change anything about her life, she’d change damn near everything.

Born in Mississippi, divorced from several well-heeled Texans, and a source of wit, wisdom, and imperious advice for the black and white staff and clients at the salon, Liz takes a special interest in Leah Starks, a twenty-six-year-old whose life has been burdened by abandonment issues and doubts about her self-worth. When Leah’s emotionally distant mother is killed in an automobile accident, her life changes for the better after Liz unravels a family secret that lies in the spelling of Leah’s name. With her health deteriorating, and estranged from all but the youngest of her six sons, Liz has to decide to whom she will bequeath her wealth—if, when, and how she should reveal the family secret she has kept for almost fifty years—and how she will want her epitaph to read.

WHEN HEARTS CRY OUT, a 79,000-word novel written for the commercial and women’s fiction markets, centers on an agnostic beauty salon denizen, the influence she has on the lives of saints and sinners, and the six things in life that are free.

I hold a BBA from the University of Texas at Arlington. Privy to the humorous conversations, philosophical musings, and stories women tell while getting clipped, rolled, tinted, permed, manicured, and pedicured, I’ve had a standing Saturday appointment with the same hairstylist for twenty-five years and a standing appointment every other Saturday with the same nail technician for fifteen years.

Some of life’s greatest lessons and best kept secrets can be learned at the beauty salon.

I appreciate your time and consideration.


R. Battles