Friday, October 25, 2013

NOQS Minion 1: TWICE BETRAYED, MG Historical Mystery

Word Count: 62,300

My Main Character's Greatest Fear:  

On that fateful night, I snuck Abby to the river under the guise of a fairy-tale and my heart shattered when she wasn’t in the makeshift castle at the docks. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t think. And no matter where I searched, I couldn’t find her. Abby’s ribbon floating on the Delaware’s dark waters branded my brain with guilt and terror. Once I found her, I vowed never to let her out of my sight. But if the Philadelphia selectmen find me guilty of treason, my little sister will be lost to me forever—and I can’t let that happen.


Dear Agent:

I’ve entered the Nightmare on Query Street contest in the hopes that you will consider my MG Historical Mystery, Twice Betrayed, complete at 62,300 words. A twenty-four page bibliography is available for this manuscript, including verifications from the curator of The Betsy Ross museum in Philadelphia.

With the spark of independence crackling in Colonial Philadelphia, three girls dress as boys and head to the river to put a perilous plan into action, but only two return. When the third, a young milliner’s apprentice is found drowned, with gold coins sewn into her hems, coded spy letters on her person and a journal implicating another sewing apprentice, all eyes turn toward 13-year-old Perdy Rogers.

The constable builds a case of treason against the upholsterer’s apprentice with circumstantial evidence, but she cannot prove her innocence because her two friends—her alibis—are forbidden to speak to her and one of them has betrayed their friendship.

Charged with treason, Perdy must unravel the traitorous web woven around her that protects the real spy. With a grandmother so distraught she is helpless and her best friend called to testify against her, assistance comes from the most unlikely sources—her 4-year-old sister, a Scottish cabin boy she barely knows and a general destined to lead the new country.

Prominent historical figures, as well as a possible origin of the first American flag, are woven into Twice Betrayed. As a Master teacher, I believe this novel will find a place on the middle school’s social studies curriculum list as well as middle grade readers’ personal bookshelves.

A member of SCBWI and The Cliff House Writer’s Group, I’m a published children’s author. Rock Star Santa – Scholastic – 2008 (over 154,400 copies sold to date) Pugalicious Press- 2012 -YA Historical Romance Anthology, Timeless. And Ratgirl: Song of the Viper, a retelling of the Pied Piper was a 2013 Horn Book/Boston Globe nominee and is a 2014 International Reading Association nominee. I also have several other MG and YA novels completed and my current WIP is a YA thriller.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Warm regards,

First 250 words:

A shout rings out in the crowded street. “Help! My child! Help!

I glance up from my work, drop the ascot I’m hemming and rush out the shop door, the doorbells overhead tinkling wildly.

A toddler, dressed in a pale-colored coat and bonnet waddles across the slippery cobblestones. The pouring rain makes it difficult to see her and a wagon bears down on the spot where she stops.

Her mother, on the far side of Arch Street, desperately clutches a baby to her breast, screaming for someone to save her child from certain harm.

Heedless of the rain, I quickly judge the distance the wagon must cover and dash out to the child, swooping her up in my arms. As I twirl away, the wagon passes so close my skirt ruffles in its breeze.

The child wails, not from the danger she was in, but from suddenly finding herself in a stranger’s arms. I cradle her head against my shoulder and rock her like I used to do with Abby when she was upset.

Her mother darts through the traffic to reach her. “Thank you. Thank you,” she cries, her tears mixing with raindrops trickling down her cheeks. Her baby stares wide-eyed at her big sister, also crying in my arms. “She just let go of my hand,” sobs the mother, “and when I turned around she was lost in the crowd.”

Shielding my eyes from the rain with my hand, I gaze at the traffic, heavier than usual. “Where is everyone going?”


  1. Ooooo, intriguing! SHRIEK (please send the pages/synopsis/pitch to

  2. SHIVER!!! Would love to see more :) Please send query and pages to

  3. I'm going to SHIVER for this one! Please send your query and pages to

  4. Shiver. Please send query, pages, and synopsis to Use "nightmare query" in the subject line.

  5. SHRIEK! I love historical fiction so much, particularly when it deals with a little known part of history! Please send with query to

  6. I think I'll SHRIEK here! Please send to and use Nightmare Query in the subject line.

  7. SHRIEK!

    Please send 50 pages to with REQUESTED MATERIAL: NIGHTMARE QUERY in the subject line, your query in the body of the email, and the material and a one-page synopsis attached.

    Can’t wait to read it!