Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
Posts: 2
Joined: September 4th, 2014, 8:39 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by MaryDuquette » September 4th, 2014, 9:00 pm

Song of Cerberus


• 1 cup cynical yet spirited woman, Susie, cuckolded; French chef and ineffective yogi
• 1 tablespoon cheating husband, Richard, remorseful but complacent
• 1 teaspoon lover of cheating husband, Dolores (or Dodo, as she is not-so-affectionately called)
• 2 cups teenager, Chris, wise beyond his years; often quoting Kierkegaard and Roy Rogers
• 2 cups handsome tree of a man, Erik, who turns Susie’s life from vertical to horizontal, and who also happens to be a clown

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Blend together two DKNY suitcases of unwanted designer clothing and a fierce cooking arsenal. Sprinkle in a wealthy suburb in Connecticut, a Boston apartment, one lonely man who sells newspapers, and a family seeking a French chef for three picky, allergic children. Fold in one vindictive boss and three nanny cams. Mix well.

Add ten tablespoons of conniving, and a few clown noses – along with one poorly-received store-bought cake and a Mardi Gras party that goes awry. Whisk in a three-headed hell hound who may not be such a bad guy, after all. Season to taste. Bake for forty years.

I am seeking representation for my completed 98,000 word novel, Song of Cerberus, which falls into the category of Commercial/Upmarket Fiction. I have had my work published in literary magazines such as Salome Magazine and Ginosko Literary Journal.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.



Posts: 7
Joined: June 14th, 2014, 5:40 am

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Denisa » October 26th, 2014, 5:25 am

Dear Mr. Bransford,

There is no such thing as true immortality. Eternity is a long time to make enemies, and Carla Dubrov knows that sooner or later, everyone gets killed.

To survive, Carla has taken the lives of many immortals, but the one that will forever haunt her was not taken—it was given. Anthony, the man she loved, sacrificed himself for her. Now, two hundred years later, she can finally repay the debt by saving his brother, Jason. The boy’s reckless search for Anthony’s killers has attracted attention that is certain to turn deadly. No one knew Anthony had a living brother—not even Carla—and for Jason’s own sake, that secret should have never been revealed.

When two of Jason’s friends are compelled to commit suicide, it becomes clear that Carla’s enemies—the same enemies who killed Anthony—have found them. Carla’s plans to keep him alive are frustrated by the fact that Jason wants nothing to do with her; he is convinced she was involved in Anthony’s death, and he accuses her of luring the killer to his hometown. All Carla can do to protect him is try to find and stop the killer before he or she gets to Jason. Despite all of her efforts, her adversary is always one step ahead. As the deadly game unfolds, it becomes clear that Carla is the ultimate target. Jason is simply the means to making her suffer.

The instincts that have kept her alive for so long are telling her to run, but she has no guarantees that the killer won’t stop to finish Jason off before following her. She can’t leave him behind. But staying also has consequences, one of which could very well be her own death.

SHADES OF DARKNESS: THE LIGHT is a young adult contemporary fantasy novel, complete at 83,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Denisa M

Posts: 3
Joined: March 31st, 2015, 9:14 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by crittermonster » March 31st, 2015, 9:54 pm

Which is better-- the long query or the short one??

Dear Mr. Bransford,
With the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, a great octarine light has gone out of the world, and his legion of fans are cast into the darkness.
Maybe you can offer them a match: my 80,000 word comic fantasy NOBODY'S FOOL.

In the Whellen Country, the Florentine Renaissance, Elizabethan England and free mechanical power mash up to create a land that’s bursting with innovation and prosperity. But all that is about to end, unless its ruler can curry serious favor with an unhappy King. She thinks a magical stranger was sent to help her, but it’s really the disgraced royal jester— with a talking magpie on one shoulder and a chip on the other.

I've written advertising copy since 1992. Take pity upon me.
Eva Sandor


Dear Mr Bransford,

For 20 years, Malfred Murd was the royal jester...until an over-ripe wisecrack got him exiled from the King’s palace on the Isle of Gold. Sure, you’re never supposed to explain humor. But after a whiff of life on the dirt streets of the mainland, “Fred” is desperate to try. It isn’t much of a quest— but to an unlicensed fool, it could make the difference between life (potentially cushy) and death (either from starvation, or a fatal arse-kicking by territorial buskers).

Then Fred spots what he thinks will be a free ride back home.

Dame Elsebet de Whellen might be 70 years old, but she can still rip it up with sword and spear. And that’s good because she’s on a quest, too... a mission to save her prosperous, technologically advanced country from ruin. She’s headed for the Isle of Gold— and needs someone to help her out with a little sorcery.

Fred’s theatrical skills convince Dame Elsebet that he’s the spell-casting sidekick she prayed for. But if she finds out he’s lying, she’ll slice him into precisely equal pieces.

That already exceeds even the bravest fool’s danger quota. But it’s too late to back out, and it’s going to get worse. Because the real danger is hiding in plain sight: an evil far more monstrous than Fred, or Dame Elsebet, or even the King, could possibly imagine.

NOBODY’S FOOL is an 80,000 word comic fantasy.
It’s my first novel.

Posts: 4
Joined: April 6th, 2016, 3:51 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by notalone710 » April 6th, 2016, 3:59 pm

Dear {Agent Name Here}
This is the origin story of William Scott.
A fifteen year old boy, who discovers the side effect of finally overcoming his life-long problem with his weight, is stage four lung cancer. Attending a charity event in West Seattle. Will sees the face of his former best friend, Emma on every girl to take the stage. He races to tell her, not making any sense along the way. In surprise, Emma gives Will his first kiss. With little to no time left, Will wants to spend his last days with the people he loves. The fierce Emma will not go quietly into the night. She tracks down the world renowned and incredibly good looking Doctor Edvin Gerhard, demanding that he help Will. Emma convinces him to fight, to survive it.
Will uses his formidable knowledge of biology to figure out an idea for the Cure for Cancer. Not exactly what Emma had in mind but she'll take it. In the days to follow their love only grows stronger and more profound, in a way he's never known.
Given the sensitive nature of The Cure and those who would covet it, Doctor Gerhard gives Will an ultimatum. Stay with his love and sacrifice the world or sacrifice his love and save the world.
Then he had to go and die......for five minutes.
Doctor Gerhard uses this opportunity to whisk Will away to Sweden, promising, his family will be safe.
Emma spends the next two years in complete turmoil. Her world is rocked by two email announcements, there is officially a Cure for Cancer and Will is returning home.
The Cure has given Will a new body that seems to grow stronger and faster with each passing day. With a friend’s mysterious disappearance tied back to an infamous drug lord and the mounting horror of a serial killer on the loose. Will struggles against the clock to save his friend and all of Seattle.
I’m seeking representation for my 84000 young adult science-fiction novel, The Cured: Rebirth. A stand alone with series potential. Possible future titles are Revenge & Redemption.
I live in South Africa where my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago, giving me experience with the devastating effects. I have a Facebook & LinkedIn friend list of close to 2000 people each, with emerging personalities on Twitter & Wattpad.
Thank you, Ms. {Agent Surname Here}, for your consideration of this query. As requested, I have included the first chapter below.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
P.S. Because approximately 32.5 million people worldwide live with cancer and it being the second leading cause of death in the United States, this book is unique and marketable to a wide audience.


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