1. Maggieway

    Maggieway New Member

    Nov 22, 2016
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    Query Letter Heart of Thorne

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Maggieway, Nov 22, 2016.

    Queries are subjective, I completely get that.
    I've taken the basic elements of most successful queries I have seen (of course there are some inclusions that can be argued against, including the comparisons section), so let me know what you think!

    The main question is - would this make you want to read on?


    Dear Agent,

    A chance to rekindle the love between the innocent Mia, and the wealthy but complicated Bastien, leads to an explosive affair that threatens them both.

    A dream job baking cakes for her café, a nice apartment in Chicago, an awesome roommate and best friend all sum up 22-year-old Mia Winters’ life. Despite her fabulous life, she is still haunted by images of the beautiful boy she met two years earlier, a boy she loved like no other. Not willing to see him, yet unwilling to forget their connection, Mia is content to ponder what could have been—until he unexpectedly walks right back into her life.

    Brilliant, beautiful, intimidating Bastien Thorne is the only man Mia’s never been able to shake off. Now he’s back in town, except this time as an engaged man. While his future and fortune rides on his impending marriage, he’s desperate to win Mia back amidst the devastating secret that tore them apart all those years ago.

    When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical and illicit affair, Mia discovers Bastien’s secrets and has to decide once and for all if she is prepared to risk the dangerous consequences of being the other woman.

    I enjoyed reading about your profile on your website and your wishlist of ‘Gutwrenching hot romance (or whatever they have quoted specifically romance wise)’ really clicked for me. That’s what I’m seeking—a passionate agent for my contemporary erotic romance novel HEART OF THORNE, complete at 78,000 words.

    Readers who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey will enjoy HEART OF THORNE. It embraces the same provocative romance and daring sexual tension, without the BDSM overtones.

    I have six novellas published through Amazon (with an average rating of 4.4 stars); with Entangle Me – Sydney earning Bestseller in the Short Stories category. Having published the first installment in May 2016, I have an actively growing platform which includes 10,000 mailing list subscribers, 1,700 Facebook Page Fans and 500 Twitter Followers. I am also a member of Critique Circle. My content editor, Tracy Vincent, helped me extensively revise my manuscript.

    Thank you for your time. Per submission guidelines, I have included the first XXX pages. I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Adam Kalauz

    Adam Kalauz Member

    Feb 2, 2017
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    First try at feedback here, so please take or leave. Also, after 7 years of exposure to the very Direct Dutch culture, apologies in advance if anything appears rude or abrupt.

    I would try to lead with a hook. You've lead with a hook, introducing two characters, and a threat. It's a lot to cram into one sentance, and I'd look for something shorter.

    The first sentance reads as a little broken, and awkward. It overshadows the next part, which is nicely loaded with some lovely emotion, piques my interest (why isn't she willing to see him, why did they have a connection?) and then a nice kick in the chops when he enters the story proper.

    I immediately hate Bastien. I don't know if this is what you were going for, but he's almost god-like, and he's trying to win Mia back while he's also engaged? Dick move. He feels arrogant, and cold?

    Ok, I sort of get what you're going for here, and again, interests piqued about what are the dangerous secrets. I'm personally just screaming for her to run, run away. Go back to baking cakes, Bastien is a terrible life choice.

    I think I'd be more engaged here if her goal was to find a way to be with the person she loves, but this reads like her goal is to be Bastien's mistress.

    Hope this is helpful. It's offered as opinion only, and if it doesn't ring true to you, please ignore it until it crawls under a carpet and dies.

    Good luck.
  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    What are your sales like for the self-pubbed novellas? Unless they're outstanding I'd be tempted to be more vague about them, and really about the other platform stuff, too. 500 Twitter followers isn't enough to be impressive, and I'm not too sure about the other numbers. I'd be tempted to go with something like "I've been building my audience through self-publishing and am now interested in new publishing opportunities..." That sounds kinda cheesy, but queries tend to be a bit cheesy.

    In terms of the main part of the query - I think the comparison to 50 Shades is so obvious I'm not sure it needs to be mentioned? But maybe.

    I don't like the way the first sentence of the first paragraph and the first paragraph of the second are so structurally similar.

    "Not willing to see him" felt too vague, to me.

    I'm not sure how we could be looking at "all those years ago" when they only met two years earlier.

    In response to the main question it absolutely wouldn't make me want to read on because I have no interest in 50 Shades or its companions. But it's possible agents are still looking for that trope, in which case I think this query makes it very clear what they'd be getting.
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Aug 12, 2015
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    London, UK
    I have to echo the others - I wouldn't read on because a) 50 Shades comparison and b) Bastien sounds like a shit. But we clearly aren't your target audience!

    I would definitely, definitely, leave out the stuff about Critique Circle and your editor. All authors should be getting feedback, and it isn't something to highlight in a query.
  5. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Mar 21, 2012
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    I thought it was quite good really, lucid & appropriate, but I have no expertise.

    Read through English eyes, only the names seemed stooopid, but that is an Atlantic issue, on-going cultural schism...

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