Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Query Extravaganza #11

So you know the drill. Contact me on twitter if you want your query showcased. Comment on the query before and after yours. All query critiques are subjective. And rabbits don't come out of my hat, but I'll do my best. Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear. Buy one and I'll throw in a set of free steak knives, just pay separate shipping and handling fees. 

Here is Query # 11:

Cage is a loner who (What about: A loner, Cage) haunts the streets of London with his trusty six-shooter, tracking down the vile monsters responsible for killing all his loved ones those he ever loved.(Sounds like he's made his choices. I'm getting a steampunk vibe, though I've no idea why.)  His shock at locating the villainess who killed his family causes his shot to go wide.(Wordy. Shock at locating the murderer of his family drives his shot wide. I get you want the villainess out there quick, but it's adding a lot of words, which robs the punch.) Which is a good thing for Lady Jessamine Rose, considering she is fully human, and not the monster Cage mistook her for. (Grammar Girl says avoid ending with a preposition on job interviews. Query letters are job interviews. Lucky for Lady Jessamine Rose as she's human and not the monster Cage believes.) 

Jessamine can't stand the mysterious man who fires upon her (man intent on killing her), but she's also drawn to him and the dark web that ensnares ensnaring nighttime London at night. (When has she had time to meet him? I don't see her sticking around to talk with him. Shouldn't she be running?) While searching for answers as to what(shouldn't this be who?) killed her brother, she locates Cage's watch. Only the watch isn't what it seems to be, and soon she's finds herself shooting her steam-powered pistol at strange creatures bent on killing her. (Mystery for the point of mystery doesn't entice. Can you be more specific about what the watch is?  Also 'creatures' falls flat. What sort of creatures? Now that would be more interesting. PS, I knew it was steampunk.) 

London isn't safe anymore, and if Cage wants his revenge, and if Jessamine wants closure, they'll have to work together to not only save the city, but also each other. (I don't have any idea of why the city is in danger. Seems like the danger mentioned here is entirely personal to them. I'd also reword to lose the 'ifs'.)

ROSE AND WATCHES is a steampunk romance novel complete at 90K. (Yeah, I'm not getting the romance from this query. I was thinking steampunk western like Brandon Sanderson's The Alloy of Law.You really need more than the fact that she can't stand him.)

I am the author of a fantasy romance trilogy, Kingdom of Arnhem - Woman of Honor (2009), Knight of Glory (2010), and Champion of Valor (2011) published with Desert Breeze Publishing. Fifteen of my short works have appeared in various anthologies, including Holiday Magick by Spencer Hill Press. The first book in another trilogy, Black Hellebore, will be published in October by Desert Breeze Publishing. Impressive!

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

The main problem I have with this query is wordiness. It could use another run through to tidy it up. Plus, I got no sense of the stakes or the romance. How are the 'creatures' a danger to the whole city. That can be fixed with a bit of tweaking. 


  1. Awesome resume!
    I agree with Michelle about romance. (Romance is another one of my favorite genres.) I would like to see you really introduce the romance and love interests. Your query seems strong.

    Good luck and thank you for sharing.

  2. Your writing credentials are stellar! I absolutely agree with what Michelle has said. I think the premise behind your query is very strong, but I think you can go through all of it and clean it up to make it stronger. This is all just an issue of flow, so definitely do the read aloud bit. If that never works for you, buy one of the read it programs who have a terrible automated voice and that will make any awkwardness in your writing absolutely UNBEARABLE (so you'll know exactly what to change!)

    This sounds like a great story!