Good morning, RU! Welcome to this month’s edition of C.J. Redwine‘s query letter critique. A big thank you to Susan Taylor for providing her query letter. We really appreciate it.
Dear (Salutation and agent’s name),
I am seeking representation for a single title contemporary romance manuscript completed at 103,200 words set in Washington D.C. (You need to look up acceptable word counts in your genre. This is too high and may immediately stop an agent from requesting.)
A woman who cannot trust. A man who seeks her love. A desire stronger than tempered steel.
Lieutenant Brenda Piedra exerts a rigid control (On what?) to level the playing field of life and love. Working beside Marc Gallini, Brenda is aware of the physical attraction developing between herself and the gorgeous CEO. She falls but just for one night of unstoppable passion. . (Delete extra period) She won’t be swayed (Need a sentence before this to show what he wants that she refuses to give.) by sweet words, (Delete comma and use “or”) pretty trinkets, never mind about (“Never mind about” doesn’t quite match the rest of the sentence. Maybe “never mind the promises of”? Otherwise, you’re essentially saying she won’t be swayed by sweet words, pretty trinkets, or an egotistic playboy, but most readers wouldn’t equate egotistic playboy as something that would sway a woman.) an egotistic playboy. Brenda safeguards her heart and flees rather than trust a man with a rule-breaking lifestyle. (For this to really work, we need to understand that Marc is a rule breaker and that this terrifies Brenda. You can accomplish this when you introduce him.)
Dangerously attractive military subcontractor, Marc is infamous for getting the job done at any expense. Avoiding love and commitment, he builds an international tech business through willpower and grit. Having sacrificed for most of his life, he succumbs to Brenda Piedra at first sight. Unable to think about anything else, he’ll have what he desires and will stop at nothing until Brenda is by his side.
Brenda and Marc are haunted by a passion that posses (possesses) their body and soul. Brenda tries to forget what her heart desires and agrees to marry a man who would rather seek fulfillment elsewhere. (Why would Brenda do this? You haven’t established a reason for Brenda’s trust issues and why Marc really rings those trust issue bells. That needs to be established early on or this choice will look like a plot device instead of a natural outcome of a character’s inner motivation.) Only when Brenda is threatened with scandal and blackmail, are her eyes opened to true love.
I am a member of Romance Writers of America. I currently write environmental reports and blog about yoga for writers.
Would you be interested in reading my work? I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.
You’re pretty close to a final draft! Just a few more layers and you’ll be there. Best of luck to you with this!
Thanks, C.J.! Susan, thanks again and please keep us posted on your submission process.
Please stop back on Wednesday to hear Allie Pleiter’s journey to becoming a branded author.
C.J. Redwine is an author of young adult novels and an experienced teacher. After teaching high school for several years, she turned her love of using innovative teaching strategies to the publishing field and began creating materials designed to equip writers with the skills necessary to succeed. Her book QUERY: How to get started, get noticed, and get signed is available now for Kindle and Nook. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, four kids, two cats, and one long-suffering dog. To learn more about C.J., visit her website: http://cjredwine.blogspot.com.
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