Wednesday, July 29, 2009

43 Query Contest

Dear Agent,

When you’re a witch named Trouble, chaos follows.

Arden Lesstymine (known to everyone as Trouble) likes attention as much as the next girl, but this is getting ridiculous. When an insane stranger is murdered in the inn where she works, Trouble becomes the next Soulbearer for the disembodied god of chaos, Loku. Yes, it comes with the ability to channel the god’s limitless power, but at the cost of her sanity -- literally. Now she has a sexy but cynical knight claiming to be her protector, a prince trying to seduce to his cause (and his bed), and a snarky chaos god who offers a play-by-play commentary on it all, whether she wants to hear it or not. To make matters worse, a necromancer wants to capture the soul of Loku for his own dark purposes, and the only way he can get it is by killing her first.

A SOUL FOR TROUBLE is a 100,000 word is a fantasy romance targeted for Ace, Tor, Lovespell, and other fantasy lines with a large female audience and would appeal to fans of Lisa Shearin and Dawn Cook.

I’m an active member of the RWA (PRO), the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Romance Divas, and AbsoluteWrite. I currently have several shorter works contracted to be published later this year by Phaze Books and by Liquid Silver Books.

I look forward to hearing from you, and I appreciate your time and consideration of my novel.


“Hey, Trouble, it looks like your usual clientele just sat down at one of your tables,” Hal said as soon as he entered the kitchen.

Arden Lesstymine, known to everyone in the village as Trouble, wrapped up her meager meal of bread and cheese in a cloth. “Please don’t let it be Conn again; my ass is still sore from his pinching.” She peered out of the cracked door, praying the lecherous blacksmith wasn’t sitting in the main room.

“No, this one’s a stranger, and a real kook at that.” The beefy inn-keeper leaned against the door frame and pointed him out. “You must be some kind of magnet for the crazies.”

“Why do you think I ended up here?” she replied with a smirk. She smoothed her apron and shoved the swinging door open.

Arden approached the table and studied the new customer. His frail body trembled like the last leaves on the branches outside, and his snow-white hair stuck out in every direction. What troubled her the most, though, was his constant muttering. She waited for a lull in his private conversation with no one, but when it never came, she cleared her throat. “Can I get you something to eat or drink?”

His body jerked at the sound of her voice, and he lifted his head. Feverish bright blue eyes ringed by a yellow-green halo stared back at her so intensely, she took a step back. Yep, definitely crazy. And definitely a foreigner with his coloring.


  1. This query was good, and I would definitely request a prtial off of it and the first few pages. This sounds really good.

  2. Good hook :)

    I enjoyed both your query and the sample. I would keep reading. I do think there are places where you could tighten up your writing to make it even stronger, but you've got a fun sounding story with an interesting mc. Good job

  3. I liked the query. Direct and to the point. Hooked.

    The sample was good. It's not something I'd normally read, but it flows really well. I'd definitely want to read more.

  4. yes. i liked this. i was hooked. i want to read more! :D

  5. Hooked.
    This sounds fun and I like the way the voice in the query reflects the voice of the story. You kept the query concise and the first 250 words put us right into the action that starts the story. Really enjoyed this!

  6. Query: I like the premise. Hooked.

    Snippet: Still hooked.

  7. Query: Good hook sentence.

    One typo: "A prince trying to seduce HER..."

    Regardless, I'm hooked!

    Sample: Still hooked :)

  8. This query hooked me immediately: I love the premise, and the problems you introduce sound like this novel will be a blast.

    My only comment on your first 250 words is that I thought that the heroine would have identified the crazy guy as a foreigner from his coloring immediately, rather than after noticing all those other things about him.

  9. 100% hooked. Love your voice, love the storyline, love the sample writing

  10. The opening sentences in both the query and partial hooked me. I like the voice in both, too. There are a few typos that need attention but I would be interested in reading more.

  11. I was hooked well enough to read the sample page, which was good. The only problem I had with the query, though, is the beginning of it felt like it was ya since it refers to Arden as a 'girl'. Maybe try 'as much as any woman'?

    That's just a nitpick, though. Your idea sounds good, and it looks like you have the writing skills to back it up.

  12. I like the tone of the query. Towards the end of the blurb, I was getting a little shell shocked as there was a mish mash of elements - not any one element standing out as the main premise or hook -- but I get that it's a zany fantasy adventure. The sort of book I used to enjoy from someone like Robert Asprin or Piers Anthony.

    The opening page was well-written. I wanted a little bit more to elevate it. There's a cheeky barmaid and the usual motley crew you see in a traditional fantasy tavern. In this sort of opening, you need to have your characters stand out immediately. I'd read more, but would really be lookiing for something to make this opening as special as the query sounded.

    Also with a length of 100,000 words, I'd expect an epic storyline to warrant the length. The query sounds more like a series of adventures. Total nitpick, I know!

    Good job overall.

  13. Loved the query. The opening sentence was fabulous. Left me curious right then and there.

    I enjoyed the writing as well. Good luck!

  14. I'm hooked. I really got a feel for your voice in the query. The first page was pretty good and I'd probably request to see more.

  15. I thought both the query and excerpt were good. I'd request more.

  16. I liked your query. I'm hooked, but would like to see a bit more backbone in your character in the synopsis.

    250--liked. could be tighter, but I liked it!

  17. This query is well-written and easy to follow, and the pages are just as nice.

    I'd read more of this. Just watch the typos and make sure you ground the reader into the tavern/inn setting immediately with tastes and smells. A setting like that has oodles of potential. Use it all.