Aug 29, 2010

Query - Sub Rosa

Rome, 58 AD. Aemilius Valerius is back from the army. His father is dead, his sister is divorced, his mad uncle is obsessed with home renovations, and his new wife has a favour to ask – can her snarky adolescent Julia daughter come to stay?

Julia has stormed out of home because her father got her engaged, and she’s not happy about it. Neither is Valerius, because now she’s under his roof, and he has enough to worry about – unless he can get a job offer soon he’ll never have the political career expected of a man of his rank.

Sent by his wife to sound out the fiancĂ©, Valerius accidentally lands a job. Albanus is murdered, and Valerius finds himself working with the investigator Atreus, a plebeian with a chip on his shoulder, to discover the killer. Mad Uncle Maro promised it would be a smart career move, but that was before a second senator turned up dead. Now everything points towards a corrupt legion, an imperial assassin, and the emperor Nero’s mother Agrippina. It might have been smarter to accept that honorary priesthood, stupid hat or not.

There are the added complications of an ex-brother-in-law who fell on his sword, a slum gangster who wants Atreus dead, political pressures, class divisions, and Valerius’ ongoing domestic hassles with his sister, wife, stepdaughter and assorted slaves.

Sub Rosa, a historical mystery, is complete at 129 000 words. It is my first novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Jennifer Burke

QUERY - The Crystor

Dear Agent:

Seventeen-year-old Kira Edwards can deal with her friend, Lydia, being from another world, but when she finds out Lydia’s brother has the heart of a wild cat and wants to eat her, well, that’s just not acceptable.

When a photo shoot in the mountains turns into a night of terror, Kira is forced to decide between returning to her life of seclusion or saving Lydia’s life. If she returns, Lydia will die and Kira will forget her friend ever existed. But if she chooses to accept the Crystor, a magical healing charm, she’ll be bound to her friend forever and be thrust into a world where an ancient curse turns a Royal into a ferocious beast.

Lydia’s brother, Octavion, is just such a creature and if he can’t control his primal instincts, Kira will be his next victim. It’s a good thing this spicy little red head has a plan. If Kira can find a way to tame the beast raging inside him, he just might let her into his heart—which is where she wants to be. If she can’t, she’ll pay the ultimate price with her life.

THE CRYSTOR, a YA paranormal romance complete at 103,000 words, features a strong female protagonist who develops into a kick-butt warrior. This novel has the potential to crossover into the New Adult market and will appeal to the same audience as Shiver and Graceling.

The complete manuscript is available for your review.


Christine (C.K.) Bryant