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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Query Critique - One Good Catch

One Good Catch - Original

ER Doctor Kate Maguire wants a normal life, a great career, quality time with her family, and for her nightmares to stop.
  
Ignoring how a recent trauma is affecting her everyday life, Kate engages in some high risk activities to try and feed her restlessness.

When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ casual fling with the man who still stars in her dreams.

Rhys ‘Mac’ MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over, and he wants much more than ‘casual’ with Kate.

The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew.

His sudden interest in Kate might be aggravating his best friend, but it’s her indifference to their mutual attraction that’s driving Rhys crazy.

For years Rhys refused to return home because of unresolved family issues, now they threaten to complicate the simple life he’s created.

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature sets her in the line of fire of a suspected arsonist forcing them to deal with much more than just the sparks igniting between them. 
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My name is (...). I’m a full-time mom and a part-time System Administrator for my local volunteer fire district.

One Good Catch is a standalone HEA story. It's the second book of three in the Maguire's Corner series.

My first published title, Maguire’s Corner, was one of the top 28 finalists in the 2012 Harlequin/Mills & Boon So You Think You Can Write contest.

The small publisher closed and the rights to Maguire's Corner have reverted back to me. I'm looking for a new home for these wonderful books to succeed.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my work.


Critique - 


ER Doctor Kate Maguire wants a normal life, a great career, quality time with her family. (My personal preference is to break the sentence to make it pop.) And for her nightmares to stop.

Ignoring how a recent trauma is affecting her everyday life, Kate engages in some high risk activities to try and feed her restlessness. (IMO, there are problems with sentence structure here. How about:) She ignores how her recent trauma affected her life by engaging in high risk activities.

(At this point, you need something to tie both paragraphs together. Suggestion :) But putting herself in dangerous situations isn’t enough to curb her restlessness. She needs something more.

When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ casual fling with the man who still stars in her dreams.

Rhys ‘Mac’ (Do you need the nickname? It doesn’t show up anywhere else and slows the flow.) MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over, and he wants much more than ‘casual’ with Kate.

The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire Kate, the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew. (Interesting)

His sudden interest in Kate might be aggravating his best friend, (Why does it aggravate Kate’s brother? Suggestion:) who doesn’t approve, but it’s her indifference to their mutual attraction Do you need this phrase? that’s driving Rhys crazy.

For years comma Rhys refused to return home because of unresolved family issues, now they threaten to complicate the simple life he’s created. (Suggestion:) For years, an unresolved issue with his family kept him away from home. Now it threatens to complicate the simple life he’s created.

(I'm not sure that you need the above paragraph. Possibly it makes the query a little too 'busy'. Followers?)

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature sets her in the line of fire of an suspected arsonist forcing them to deal with much more than just the sparks igniting between them.
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An excellent bio.

Followers, what do you think?





10 comments:

Heather M. Gardner said...

Thank you!
You did a really great job.
I do like some of the improvements that you made to my letter and I think that they will help the letter sound so much better.
I appreciate your time very much.
Heather

Ginger Faulkner said...

Wow! I wish I was far enough along to be writing a query letter. I thought it was great before the crit. After reading the revisions its amazing. Great work. Congrats Heather, your book sounds wonderful. Best of luck to you. Thank you for posting these. They are very helpful : )

Holli Moncrieff said...

The critique made it a lot stronger, but in my opinion, it still tells too much about the plot. You don't need much more than a teaser and two paragraphs at most about your plot, followed by your bio and the "thanks for considering."

My two cents. Good luck!

L. Blankenship said...

>ER Doctor Kate Maguire wants a normal life, a great career, quality time with her family, and for her nightmares to stop.

Not interesting enough to be a hook, IMO. Tell me what Kate's major problem is. First it might be nightmares, then it might be Mac, then it might be an arsonist. Pick one, tell me what the consequences of failure are, and tell me what Kate's going to have to do to succeed.

Charity Bradford said...

Wow, this almost felt like the beginning of a synopsis instead of a query letter. It seemed long because of all the short paragraphs I think.

Do the nightmares have to do with the trauma? Is the trauma tied to the arsonist. I need to feel more connected to what Kate's problem is. What do you want to be the main star of this novel--the romance or the suspense? Both need to be mentioned in the query, but more time is given to the romance so I'm guessing that makes up most of the story?

It sounds interesting to me, but the query needs to gain more focus.

Beth said...

"ER Doctor Kate Maguire wants a normal life, a great career, quality time with her family, and for her nightmares to stop." I would cut "a normal life" here.

Your blurb is a good length and easy to follow. It means you have plot down. I agree with the comment about the sentence structure in your second paragraph and all other comments. With the exception I like the idea of using a nickname for the hero it makes him more familiar. But you would need to use it through the rest of the query. Either way works just choose one. I agree you have an awesome bio and I think with some polish you can get some interest. If your MC is a doc you may consider the medical romance route.

Kristin Smith said...

I have to agree with Charity. This does remind me more of a synopsis than a query. But I like how you establish right off the bat who Kate is and what she wants.

I think the paragraph that begins with "For years, Rhys refused to return home..." is unnecessary. It doesn't seem to add to the query.

I like the phrase in the last paragraph, "the sparks igniting between them."

Sounds like an interesting book! Good luck!

Misha Gericke said...

Mmm... I'm going to be a bit of a bad news bear now:

1) I'd put the query in one perspective only, even if the book's written from two. It focuses the query more.
2) I'd either mention the arsonist from the start, or leave him/her out of the query altogether.
3) From what I've seen from my research into querying, you shouldn't mention where a story placed in a competition unless it was in the top three (maybe top five).
4) I think you should refer to the book genre as romance or woman's fiction (depending on what it is) instead of HEA. HEA happens in all genres so it's not a strong way to let the agent know where the book should be shelved.
5) If you want the agent to take on the first book as well as the second, why did you write the query on the second book and not the first?
6) If the first book sold well, you should give an indication of how many copies sold, since that can count towards your writing experience. And besides, the agent will probably ask for the number first thing anyway.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Thank you. I appreciate everyone's time.
HMG

Liz A. said...

I'm ignoring the previous comments as they have a way of influencing me, making me doubt my own opinions (and these are just my opinions).

I loved this! I'm sure there are some refinements that can be done, but mostly, I'd say keep this as is. A little tightening, maybe.