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Shadows Over Love query
Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2011 8:38 PM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 12

This is intended to be short, but sweet, and a starting point for me. I would be personalizing the query to each agent in some appropriate way, but this likely will be the bulk of the query. Input gratefully appreciated! ~K


I am submitting my (Word count to be determined after final edits, currently 76,000)-word alternative historical romance for James Bond fans, SHADOWS OVER LOVE. Comparative titles for this work would be Gail Carriger's Alexia Tarabotti series: Soulless, Changeless and Blameless.

Lady Georgia Devane has retreated into the world of science and research after being left at the altar for being too smart seven years previous. Her parents have indulged her, but are also determined to have her married off by offering larger and larger rewards to the man who manages to persuade her into the ranks of married couples. Lord David Montague avoids Society as much as he can while running Queen Victoria's covert intelligence organization, Scottish House. When an international entity bent on world domination begins making advances in England and his lead scientist goes missing on a mission to Germany, Montague must enlist the assistance of Lady Georgia. They navigate the choppy waters of a developing romance while danger and intrigue dog their steps.

I have been previously published in erotic romance and erotica under the name Kelly Maher by Ellora's Cave, Black Lace, Amber Quill Press and Phaze. I look forward to speaking with you further.

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 8:38 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 8


Hey there--first off, hi!

Here are my thoughts about your query: I love that you kept it short and sweet, something I wish I could find a way to do with my own. I don't have much of a feel for the voice of the book from the query, nor do I have a sense of what's motivating the characters--Lady Georgia has thrown herself into her work because she got left at the altar, but does she want to find love again? How does she feel about her parents wanting to get her married? Just a little bit about motivation would really help here. Also, what about Lord Montague? I don't know anything about him other than his job and that he avoids society. Lastly, I would add some specifics into the last line about navigating the choppy waters of a developing romance (and I think you can find a sexier way to say developing romance)...Maybe mention one or two specific things rather than the more general "danger and intrigue".
I would start with answering some of those questions to flesh out the story without adding too many words. I have to think that since you've been published in erotic romance and erotica, that you can sex this up a bit--I know it's the dreaded query, but I'm sure it's already there in the story. Great premise, btw. I'll be happy to check on any revisions you post.
Michael R Underwood
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:39 PM
Joined: 3/3/2011
Posts: 74


I really like this concept, and think you have a good grasp of your intended demographic and comparative titles. I'd suggest putting the comp. titles at the bottom of the query, and possibly adding another comparative title from a different author.

Also, this line strikes me as awkward, "Her parents have indulged her, but are also determined to have her married off by offering larger and larger rewards to the man who manages to persuade her into the ranks of married couples."

I imagine you might be trying to bring the voice of the book into the query, but 'man who manages to persuade her into the ranks of married couples' doesn't work for me.

In addition, I'd try to get a little more of the query to be from Lady Georgia's perspective. Most of what I see here are things that have happened to her, not things she's done. I always like to see a pro-active protagonist, and have been told in my own query feedback to shoot for displaying an agent, engaging lead.

Good luck with the query!
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:12 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

Okay, I’ll take a stab at this. While I find the concept of Lady Georgia’s parents trying to pay someone off to marry her intriguing, I wonder: is this really central to your plot? If it is, it needs to remain front and center and alluded to later in your query. If not … throw out that baby!

I find myself wanting to know more about the initial dynamic between Lady Georgia and Lord David. Is he reluctant to work with her because she’s a woman? Does he doubt her abilities as a scientist for this reason? Must she prove herself to him?

And, I would also start with simply this:

“I seek representation for Shadows Over Love (in italics), a 76,000-word historical romance.”

Then launch into the pitch.

Put your comparative titles toward the end. I’d also think twice about the James Bond reference – I’ve noticed that a lot of people either love or hate Bond films, with no in betweens.