Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
User avatar
Nathan Bransford
Posts: 1436
Joined: December 4th, 2009, 11:17 pm
Location: New York, NY

Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 14th, 2010, 2:13 pm

If you'd like to have your query critiqued for the occasional Query Critique events, please paste your query in a post in this thread. Time permitting I'll use a random number generator to pick the query up for critique. Please limit this thread only to queries entries for critique on the blog.

Please also remember that there are separate forums for peer page, query, and synopsis critiques in case you'd like more instantaneous feedback. All non-query posts in this thread will be deleted.

Please only one entry per human.


Posts: 1
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 2:36 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by EfoYao » June 14th, 2010, 2:36 pm

Star Wars meets Legend Of The Seeker, when a prince discovers he was born a slave,
he sets out to discover who he is and right the injustices against his new family.

My novel, The Worker Prince, is a complete 86,000-word science fiction space opera in the same mold as Timothy Zahn or Orson Scott Card. Containing elements of romance and spirituality mixed with action, The Worker Prince, is fast paced and filled with memorable characters.

Davi Rhii has a problem. Born a prince, he’s found out he was born a worker and secretly adopted by Princess Miri. As he begins a quest to discover his fast, he finds himself stuck between two sides of a long time conflict. Resented by his family and friends for betraying his people, he finds the workers don’t trust him either and he must prove himself to both sides.

The deeper he gets into his self-discovery, the more the conflict grows without and within. Now his uncle has sent an old rival to capture or kill him. Joining the workers’ struggle for freedom, he finds himself falling in love for the first time. As he begins to win their trust, he struggles to restore his relationships with family and friends, and, to find out who he is and where he belongs.

A member of El Paso Writer’s League, I have a B.A. in Communications from Cal State Fullerton. I have had seven stories published this year in specific ezines, had scripts in development in Hollywood, articles published in a number of magazines and newspapers, and am a professional technical writer with many years’ experience. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Posts: 2
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 2:38 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by JesseVCoffey » June 14th, 2010, 2:41 pm

Oh wicked cool...thank you for this. :-)

Thom Mitchell is one of the biggest selling folk singers in the US—a John Denver type, with a big heart for children and the environment, and absolutely no enemies in the world—or so he thinks.

Thom takes a month long vacation in the White Mountains of New Hampshire to get some rest before touring to promote his new CD. In the space of a week, he meets the woman of his dreams . . . and gets mugged, shot at, and kidnapped—all because of an alcoholic blackout on a night, twenty years ago, that ended with a devastating car accident and one dead senator. Lost on the most treacherous, remote mountain in the Presidential range—Wilde Mountain—he has to remember the details of that night, and get himself and his new lady away from the kidnappers. And not die in the process.

A romantic-thriller of approximately 120,965 words, WILDE MOUNTAIN TIME draws upon my experiences as a professional singer, both concert and theatrical, and a love of hiking.

My previous novel, A Wager of Blood, was published by LBF Books, an American imprint of Lachesis Publishing in Nova Scotia, Canada and has had a modest success. My other works are The Savior, The Brothers Campbell, and a short story collection, Illusions & Reality. I am a member of ASCAP, the Erotic Authors Association, and currently write a literary news/review column for an online news area, for the Lexington, KY and surrounding areas.

I would love to send you some sample chapters or the entire manuscript, if you would prefer. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you for your time.

Ms. Jesse V Coffey (in case I can entice you with this and you want to read the manuscript--I can dream, can't I?)

Posts: 2
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 2:44 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by vampyr14 » June 14th, 2010, 2:42 pm

Dear Nathan,

Demons have lurked in the shadows throughout Casey’s life, but she has never examined them – until an assignment forces her to drag them into the light. Writing an autobiography involving painful and traumatic childhood memories is no picnic, even as an eighteen-year-old.

When Casey meets Mark, she discovers he is struggling with his assignment too. Their connection is immediate and the pair are drawn together like magnets. Casey wants their relationship to blossom, but is terrified by the possible outcome. Everyone close to her ends up abandoning her.

As they write their ‘Assignment 9’, Casey and Mark discover things about themselves, their families and each other that will change their lives forever. One big question remains unanswered: are they really soul mates, or nothing more than damaged goods seeking solace and empathy? The answer is the last demon Casey must face. If she dares.

Assignment 9, a 71,000 word young adult novel, was a semifinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. My short stories have appeared in HER Magazine, All Things Girl, Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology and Residential Aliens.

I would be delighted to send you sample chapters, or the entire manuscript, at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Posts: 1
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 2:42 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by tiernsshadow » June 14th, 2010, 2:44 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

Sebastian is the man of Bella’s dreams - literally - but when her friend has him brought to life by The Dream Doctor, he finds himself an unwelcome surprise birthday gift. Getting sent back for a refund isn’t Seb’s idea of a successful first date, but at least he isn’t destroyed. The Dream Doctor himself, Thaddeus, offers Seb a job as his new assistant.

Seb learns the ins and outs of the underground dream actualization business: assessing client satisfaction, dealing with threatening mail, and explaining features like the optional Fail Safe programming to new clients. Bonding with some of the dreams on his monthly house call list, Seb realizes that he wants more than just the day job and hand-me-down shoes that Thaddeus has given him. He wants friends, his own life, and maybe even someone to love – say, a neglected dream on his house call route who’s becoming a little more than a friend.

But to Thaddeus, all dreams are merely merchandise, and Seb will have to confront his employer and his own self-destructive programming before he can become a real boy.

Or Your Money Back is an urban fantasy novel complete at 82,000 words. A brief synopsis and SASE are enclosed. I am working toward my MFA in fiction at Hamline University.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Nicole Lorenz

User avatar
Posts: 34
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 1:53 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by ddegreeff » June 14th, 2010, 2:45 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford:

If not for the handicap of being only twelve years old, Brock Rockster
would be the man’s man to end all men’s men. Brock is daring. He’s
quick-witted. He’s adored by the media. He’s a prodigious world
champion mustache grower. And until this afternoon, when he falsely
accused a popular politician of burglary and failed to successfully
solve a case for the first time in his career, he had been the world’s
greatest child investigator to the rich and famous. Now his only
chance of career redemption lies in solving the most difficult mystery
he’s ever encountered.

Brock is called to the home of celebrity socialite Madame Poogery,
whose cat/best friend, Ms. Poofytail, has been catnapped in the dead
of night. Brock arrives as soon as possible, hoping to solve an easy
case before his earlier failure can make the evening news. But he
finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for, and learns he
must also fend off Jonny Dapper, his most devious rival, and
brainstorm a way to keep Lydia, a school newspaper reporter
documenting his investigation, from solving the case before he can.

As Brock works closer to the mystery’s solution, the list of suspects
grows: was Ms. Poofytail kidnapped by her poet monkey boyfriend? The
butler clad in a clown suit? The stalker leaving threatening messages
in the mailbox? Or did she simply become a victim of the infamous
mansion’s many booby traps? Brock only has two hours to find out, or
his reputation may not be the only thing buried six feet underground
middle-grade comedy complete at 39,000 words, and is best enjoyed by
readers who live for intrigue, trap doors, boogery sneezes,
redemption, and of course, being the absolute best.

My publishing credits include the TOMMY BOMANI: TEEN WARRIOR series
from Magic Wagon, which is the MG arm of the ABDO Publishing Company,
and short pieces published in Skive Magazine and on I am also a member of SCBWI.

Thank you for your time,
Davy DeGreeff
ddegreeff at gmail dot com
Davy DeGreeff

Posts: 1
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 2:48 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by valerie » June 14th, 2010, 2:51 pm

Dear Nathan Bransford:

Four Georgia residents take a whack at revitalizing their town and their love lives with a kudzu festival, Victoria’s secrets, Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue rules, and a local cop’s tough-love tactics. Love and Kudzu is a mainstream humorous novel, complete at 104,500 words.

Sheila Weeds is a repressed 33-year-old virgin who wraps her bony body in Victoria’s Secrets and goes after the town’s 38-year-old playboy, who must be ready to settle down now. Theresa Stallings is a good ol’ girl, married but lonely, as her husband spends his evenings hovering over a car. She dismisses “What Would Jesus Do?” in favor of “What Would Dr. Phil Do?” and consults his Relationship Rescue book for hints on how to turn Wes’ attention from the body of a ‘68 Pontiac GTO to hers. Yankee Joan Andrews and her family move to Pinewater Falls, Georgia in a return to small-town values and a healthier lifestyle, but soon husband Richard is messing around, and teenager Ashley is in trouble with the law. Big, loveable Dwayne Fitts is married to his childhood sweetheart, Mayor Dorea, but her growing coldness stirs fears that she doesn’t love him. They’ve struggled with fertility, and Dwayne worries that they’ll never have the family he’s always wanted.

All four viewpoint characters join together to put on a kudzu festival to bring those tourist dollars to Pinewater Falls and bring the town “out of its doldrums.”

An excerpt from this novel (“Satan’s Lingerie”) won a scholarship to the Lost State Writer’s Conference (TN) several years ago, and was published in 2009’s The Petigru Review. I won first place in the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop 2009 fiction contest, and Honorable Mention twice in Writer’s Digest Fiction Competitions. I’ve had short fiction published in Golf Digest, Southern Golfer and Mother’s Manual, and articles and short humor in small magazines.

I would be happy to send sample chapters or the entire novel. Thank you for your consideration.


Valerie Norris

Posts: 14
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 2:55 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by sirfrodo13 » June 14th, 2010, 3:00 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

When a deadly infection resurfaces, Valence becomes the pawn of a vicious conflict dating back to the first race of men, but the return of the infection also brings the resurrection of the Warlord who created it. Valence is thrown into the fires of war, but as revealed secrets amass, he cannot be sure if his motives are his own. With the Pearls of Mithrus, destructive tools of the Warlord, Valence is granted insight to the infection's history, and a possible way to stop it. Now, suspicious that he is linked to the Warlord, whether by blood or across time, Valence races to uncover the mystery of his involvement in the new war against the infection.

I have had numerous publications in my undergraduate literary journal, where I held a position as a board editor, and my undergraduate newspaper, as a staff writer and artist. I am a member of good standing at the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror and was honored with a guest critique in January.

BOND OF DARKNESS is set in a gritty world of unforgivable secrets, clashing magic and murderous lineages. It is an Epic Fantasy and complete at 115,000 words.

Thank you for considering my manuscript.


Justin W. Parente

User avatar
Posts: 3
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 2:56 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by larryj » June 14th, 2010, 3:01 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

Alexander Steele is a retired African American private detective turned night club owner living in Philadelphia. He hoped to put the detective life behind him and move on with his longtime girlfriend Shakia. When Alex's friend brings him an encrypted travel drive with info on the blackout that was created three months before the recent Canadian blackout; Alex finds himself drawn into the well-crafted mind games of a madman known as Chameleon.

Chameleon is an American terrorist whose goal is to shut down the country by collapsing the economy of the United States of America. From the snow cover streets of Montreal, Canada to the tropical beaches of Nassau Alex follows the trail of clues and dead bodies as he inches closer to revealing the plot to bring down the entire U S government while narrowly surviving the constant attempts on his life. Alex also has to uncover where ten of the country’s top hackers have disappeared to.

My name is Lawrence Johnson Sr. I was born and raised in the South Philadelphia part of Philadelphia, PA and now living in Charleston, WV. Through my various jobs and careers I have always returned to writing. I started out as freelance writer for greeting cards and then moved to fiction writing.

Blackout is a 43,000 word mystery novel set in the winter and spring of 2010 in Philadelphia, PA. This is my first mystery novel. My first novel is science fiction adventure Escape 2 Earth 2012. I've used my knowledge of the city and my life and traveling experiences to write Blackout.

Thank you for your time, and hopefully I will hear from you soon.

Best wishes,
Larry Johnson
Last edited by larryj on June 27th, 2010, 3:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 1
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 2:39 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by JanetOber » June 14th, 2010, 3:03 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,
I didn’t plan to write a memoir, but ... stuff happens.

Six years ago a horrific accident nearly took my life ... and my leg. Somehow I defied the odds and lived. I recovered better than expected, surprising doctors who said, “You might never walk again.” Four months post-accident, I walked again and four years later I returned to running. This week, I ran my first post-accident half-marathon.

When I woke up twelve days after the accident, I realized I’d have a tough physical recovery, but the emotional and spiritual trauma that followed shocked me. Learning to live with pain, limitations and a leg with a stark deformity threw everything I thought I knew about myself, life and love into a whirlwind I dubbed Hurricane Reality.

On My Feet Again is a 68,000 word story of hope for others who have experienced trauma and suffered loss. It’s not a Pollyanna story - I still have disappointments and still ask why. In spite of that, I’ve made a choice to live life to the fullest ... “Doing what I can, with what I have, where I am.” (Teddy Roosevelt)

I have been speaking and writing for about four years and would like to share this story with the world. You can see more of my work at

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Janet Oberholtzer

Posts: 3
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 11:55 am

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by taylormlunsford » June 14th, 2010, 3:04 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford

The night of their college graduation, Maggie McGregor broke Will Buchanan’s heart. She thought she was doing what was best for both of them. They had their whole lives ahead of them. Neither of them needed to be tied down by the expectations of someone else. They deserved a chance to live their dreams, not compromise them for the sake of each other.

Maggie McGregor is a strong, intelligent college student with her future all planned out when she meets Will Buchanan. He’s everything she’s ever wanted in a man; he’s handsome, funny, considerate, and he’s not afraid to go toe-to-toe with her. In the safe, uncomplicated world of college, they thought happily-ever-after would be easy. But when faced with the real world, Maggie chooses to go her own way rather than changing her plans for Will. She has spent the past four years studying at Oxford and working to become a successful novelist. Now that she’s succeeded, it’s time to head home and face her past, specifically the man she rejected to pursue her dreams. But can Maggie find her way back to Will Buchanan or has too much time passed for either of them to return to how they used to be?

A modern day tale, similar to Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, A STEADY WISH tells the story of Maggie and Will and their journey back to each other. An adult Maggie's memories provide the history of her relationship with Will as she moves closer to being able to embrace an adult life with the man she loves. With the help of her friends and family, Maggie realizes that she doesn’t have to compromise her dreams to be with the man she loves.

This romance novel is complete at approximately 83,000 words. A STEADY WISH is a novel not only about the love between Maggie and Will, but the problems facing many graduating college students and young professionals today: should I plan my life around someone else? How do I know what will and won’t work out? Am I ready to live with that regret?

I am a senior English major, feminist studies and religion minor, at Southwestern University, a small liberal arts university in Texas. I wrote A STEADY WISH over the course of three semesters, while maintaining a 3.5 GPA. Other than a few articles in my school newspaper, I am unpublished. I also have a daily blog, With A STEADY WISH complete, I am currently writing my next novel. I am in the process of finding an agent, so I am sending this out to several different agencies.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Taylor Lunsford

Amanda Sablan
Posts: 1
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 3:05 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Amanda Sablan » June 14th, 2010, 3:14 pm

Last edited by Amanda Sablan on February 23rd, 2012, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 7
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 7:19 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by emptyrefrigerator » June 14th, 2010, 3:21 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

At twenty, Ari, who has Down Syndrome, fears that others will always view her as a child. Her younger sister Steffi has already passed her in many ways, and has now gone off to college while Ari remains stuck in her high school special education class.

Everything changes during winter break, when Ari discovers that Steffi is pregnant. Gradually, Ari becomes privy to Steffi’s other secrets as well, and the sisters regain some of the closeness they shared in childhood. But as Steffi unravels over the next few months, eventually joining a dangerous spiritual group, Ari must decide whether to betray her sister’s secrets in order to get her some help. As a result of Ari's choice, Stephanie faces a life-altering decision herself.

HALFWAY TO ANYWHERE (literary fiction) is complete at 93,000 words. It is my first novel. I was inspired to write the story in part because of my past experiences as a social worker, when I witnessed the complex issues faced by families dealing with developmental disabilities and mental health problems. I am querying you because of your interest in [relevant interest(s) inserted here].

Thank you for your consideration.

Posts: 85
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 3:55 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Meredith » June 14th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Dear Agent:

Being a half-blood is inconvenient even on a good day, especially when the half you got from your mother is werewolf. Valeriah can’t take wolf form but she is still driven by the full moon. Running helps; a tired werewolf is a good werewolf. She’s found her niche, though, using her enhanced strength and instincts as a bodyguard for the members of the Council of Magical Races.

When her cousin’s life is threatened, Valeriah expects to face danger and even risk her life to save Crystal. She doesn’t anticipate stumbling into the very plot that led to the murders of her parents and brothers, a mystery she has spent eight years trying to solve. She really doesn’t expect to learn that she and Crystal are the last obstacles to a coup against the Council.

Valeriah hides Crystal in a suburb of Los Angeles while she tries to unravel the conspiracy, but she needs help to protect Crystal. She has to decide who she can trust. She wants to believe the handsome stranger who has already helped to save Crystal’s life, even though her instincts tell her that he’s hiding something. Her only other choice is a member of the Council who has already turned his back on her once. What she doesn’t know is that one of them is the killer.

BLOOD WILL TELL is a 94,000-word urban fantasy novel. I have enclosed a synopsis and the first chapter per the instructions on your website.
Thank you for your time.
Last edited by Meredith on August 9th, 2010, 2:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Posts: 2
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 5:17 pm

Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by iwillwhisperno » June 14th, 2010, 3:50 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

Bo Wolf is a confident kid, okay, maybe he's a bit conceited... but still! And yeah, the other school kids tease him, saying his arms look like flexi-straws, but with his mad fencing skills, Bo's convinced he's on the way to the pinnacle of his awesomeness.

After impressing a school yard gang by defeating their leader in a broomstick combat, Bo agrees to help them take on the meanest, ugliest, and biggest bully known to man: Grendul, a dark and nefarious kid, who has overtaken the playground jungle gym, tormenting any poor idiot who dare step onto the alluring structure.

However, when Bo puts the smack-down on Grendul, he finds a much more powerful adversary in the monstrous bully's mom, the school lunch lady. Bo is thrown into a wild undertaking, where he must save the entire school from being poisened by cafeteria food from the vengeful hands of the fearsome lunch lady, who is enraged that her "little baby," was beaten. And Bo's life lesson for the day? That selflessness goes a lot farther than just his ninja-warrior moves and soon-to-be ravishing good looks.

"I'm Here to Save Your Day: The Adventures of Bo Wolf," is a Middle Grade fiction. The word count is 30,000. The story is a modern re-telling of the epic poem "Beowulf," based within the dramatic world of the middle grade school yard, where so much happens, unknown to the teacher's eye.

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

With warm and grateful regards,
Jared Larson


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests