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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » New Query for BLOOD WILL TELL

   
Author Topic: New Query for BLOOD WILL TELL
Meredith
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I'm in an unusual situation right now, with two novels ready to query.
Second Version:
quote:
Being a half-blood is inconvenient on a good day, especially when the half you got from your mother is werewolf. Valeriah can’t take wolf form, but the full moon still fills her with manic energy. Running helps; a tired werewolf is a good werewolf.

Living perennially caught between two worlds--human and werewolf, magic and non-magic--doesn't leave much room for love. That suits Valeriah just fine. She's never had any luck with that anyway.

Until her cousin’s life is threatened, that is, and out of necessity she accepts the help of a mysterious young man to protect Cristel. Rolf is everything that makes Valeriah's pulse speed up in spite of herself. Now, with Cristel's life in the balance, is the worst possible time for that kind of complication.

But Rolf's secrets could be fatal, both for their budding relationship and for Valeriah.

BLOOD WILL TELL is a 97,000-word paranormal romance and potentially the first of a series. I have enclosed a synopsis per the instructions on your website.

Thank you for your time.


First Version:

quote:
Being a half-blood is inconvenient on a good day, especially when the half you got from your mother is werewolf. Valeriah can’t take wolf form but the full moon still fills her with manic energy. Running helps; a tired werewolf is a good werewolf.

Being perennially caught between two worlds--human and werewolf, magic and non-magic--doesn't leave much room for a love life. That suits Valeriah just fine. She's never had any luck with that anyway.

Until her cousin’s life is threatened, that is, and out of necessity she accepts the help of a mysterious young man to protect Cristel. Rolf is everything that makes Valeriah's pulse speed up in spite of herself. But now is the worst possible time for that kind of complication.

But Rolf's secrets could be fatal, both for their budding relationship and for Valeriah.

BLOOD WILL TELL is a 97,000-word paranormal romance. I have enclosed a synopsis per the instructions on your website.

Thank you for your time.


[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited July 28, 2011).]


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hteadx
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I'm not an expert at paranormal romances, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Since this is paranormal romance, I've notice you started out with the paranormal first. But you might want to highlight the romance part more and show how her paranormal side effects the romance.

Also fleshing out the romantic interest might help.


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wirelesslibrarian
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I think this is good. In just a few sentences, you've given me tons of information, and Valeriah is someone I'd definitely like to read about. I think the conflict and the romantic attraction angle are both explained in tantalizing fashion, which is what you want in a query, right?

Two suggestions: In "Valierah can't take wolf form but the...", there needs to be a comma after 'form'. That's a compound sentence there. The other suggestion also involves a 'but'. Namely, the last two sentences before your particulars start with the word 'but.' Could you change one of them?

I'm very impressed that you have not one but two novels ready to send out. Makes me feel like a slacker.


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Tryndakai
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Again, I have the benefit of having read your earlier attempt at a query, and I've gotta say--this one's WAY better, also. The "inconventient on a good day" bit starts us off with a snappy, snarky voice, which stays with us and gives me a glimpse of what I assume will be Val's personality. Excellent.

I love the explanation of what it actually means to be "half werewolf." And keeping the Dragon thing secret for now seems a good plan, to me. Makes a better hook, and sounds less forced than announcing it right out did.

One little thing I felt was missing: What about this time of her life makes it "the worst possible time for that kind of complication"? I suppose her cousin's trouble? For some reason, I wanted a little more, there.

Also, just nits which you can most certainly ignore completely: Valeriah seems a long name (4 syllables and all)--if she doesn't go by a nickname most of the time, it might bug me. And I thought it funny and ironic that Rolf's name be so close to the word "wolf" . . . But I know I'm super picky and possessive about my own characters' names, so I really don't expect you to change yours for me. Just thought I'd give you those reactions.

Overall, sounds MUCH more like something I might want to read. Right along the lines of L.J.Smith's stuff, I'd imagine.


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KathiS
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Well done, Meredith. Based on that query I would definitely want to read at least the first chapter. ;-)

Like some of the others, I like the explanation of what being a half-wolf means to her. Gives us a quick glimpse into her life. Your writing is concise and insightful, giving me an idea of voice as well.

kls


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LMermaid
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I liked this; it definitely makes me want to read more.

One small thing that bothered me were the last two sentences, which both start with "but":

"But now is the worst possible time for that kind of complication.

But Rolf's secrets could be fatal, both for their budding relationship and for Valeriah."

(And, I just noticed, the first two paragraphs, which both start with "being.")

Consecutive sentences/paragraphs that start with the same word always jar me out of the flow of reading.


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Wordcaster
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Hi Meredith,

With no knowledge of your story, here's my reaction.

You did a nice job of getting into the novel and introducing the characters. You also write in a way that shows your voice.

I feel you need to toss me a bone. Valeriah is a half-breed teenager who falls in love, leading to trouble. Can you add a clue to how Rolf complicates her life? I want to know the conflict, but I am just told there is a conflict without understanding it.

Also, the title is suggesting there are vampires (to me). Not sure if that is your intention.

Hope my comments are helpful and not annoying. My experience with queries is limited.

Edited to spell queries correctly (querys is just too embarassing)

[This message has been edited by Wordcaster (edited July 28, 2011).]


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Meredith
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Thanks everyone. I've been tweaking the query as I get your responses. I just haven't posted a revision, yet.

quote:
feel you need to toss me a bone. Valeriah is a half-breed teenager who falls in love, leading to trouble. Can you add a clue to how Rolf complicates her life? I want to know the conflict, but I am just told there is a conflict without understanding it.

Actually, she's 25, not a teenager. This one's not YA.

Okay. Let's see. She's never had any luck in love. She's trying to focus on protecting her cousin and Rolf is a distraction. Worse than that, if it goes bad again (and in her mind it always goes bad) will Rolf abandon them and leave her trying to protect Cristel alone?

Does the latest version cover that?

[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited July 28, 2011).]


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Wordcaster
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Other than the popularity of YA paranormal romance, there is nothing that should have cued me that was the case. I am not certain if it would be mistaken by agents, but if there is concern, you could provide a clue about her profession or lack thereof.

Is her cousin a teenager? Perhaps saying "Until her teenage cousin's life is threatened." This would provide better insight into why Valeriah would be tasked with helping her and provide the contrast to show she is not a teenager.

Overall, I like what you've done. I still don't understand if Rolf's secrets are something that will make this story unique and different from a typical paranormal romance -- I guess i'd have to read it to find out.


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EmilyS
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quote:
But Rolf's secrets could be fatal, both for their budding relationship and for Valeriah.

This line bothers me. It feels too vague, and, having read the story, I can't think how Rolf's secrets could be fatal to Valeriah. I think in this case revealing more would pique more interest.

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Meredith
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quote:
This line bothers me. It feels too vague, and, having read the story, I can't think how Rolf's secrets could be fatal to Valeriah. I think in this case revealing more would pique more interest.

Hmm. Well, it's more her reaction to his secrets that gets her into trouble. If she trusted him, some things wouldn't have happened. I'll think about how I can fix it.


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