Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Terriane » September 9th, 2010, 5:02 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

An amnesiac, teenage girl tries to navigate an alternate realm with only the voice in her head as a company. The Beginning of Everything is a YA Fantasy novel in 75,000 words.

When Girl Doe awakens in the attic with the worst case of cramps in female history, it is only the beginning of her troubles. Amnesia isn’t as cool as they make it seem on TV. On top of that, there’s a nudist demon standing outside her window howling to get in. So what’s a girl to do? The only logical thing is the most illogical thing. She walks through a mirror to the Second Realm and hopes it’s not a trap. There she discovers that she’s not alone, someone else is living in her head. Voice Girl is nearly as insane as she is childish. As Girl encounters Wizards, Fay, and the descendents of ex-slaves known as Outhers (pronounced oo-theres), she must figure out her identity and her relation to the Tainted before the Darkness rises to silence her forever.

As a former college student and current McDonald’s crew member, my life, much like The Beginning of Everything, is ripe with humor. Just as I can recommend that you try the Caramel Frappe with complete confidence of its addictive qualities, I recommend that you request an excerpt of my novel.

Terriane Ward

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by charity_bradford » September 10th, 2010, 10:54 am

Dear ____________,

Personal reason why I chose above agent goes here. Sendek is a complete science fantasy novel of approximately 84,000 words.

In a world that tried to crush all forms of magic in favor of science, astronomer Talia Shannon is trapped. Her prophetic nightmares point to an approaching invasion, but to warn the military would expose her magical nature. If anyone learned she could heal herself, every scientist on the planet would want a piece of her. In order to protect her secrets, she has spent her life searching for the scientific proof needed to warn them. Unfortunately, the face in the mirror now matches the one in her dreams. Time is not on her side.

The Dragumen, a species of human dragon hybrids, have returned to claim the planet Sendek as their own. Thousands of years ago, they were exiled from the planet. Enraged and hungry for revenge, they steal technology and make their way across the galaxy and the home they still believe belongs to them. They perfect their military prowess by destroying worlds along the way. Now, they are smarter and stronger and they plan to wipe out the humans of Sendek.

Talia must learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins if she wants to survive the invasion and find a way to save her world. When science fails to protect her way of life, magic becomes the only hope.

The complete manuscript is available at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Charity Bradford
If you are a mother and a writer you have to make the time to write. No one is going to give it to you.

Michael Clutton
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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Michael Clutton » September 12th, 2010, 12:06 pm

Dear Nathan,

For a lonely, overextended single parent like Doral “Dak” Kent, getting what he wants just means catching a break and with a little luck, finding a good woman. Improving his social life starts when Dak forms a friendship with a family of foreigners. And when its patriarch, Caleb Westland, buys one of his struggling businesses, Dak thinks he is finally getting a break.

When his lab tech accidentally creates a blood simulation he refers to as Juice, Dak knows this medical marvel could save millions of lives and marketing it will generate massive profits. Anxious to protect Juice until he can obtain patents, Dak forms a strategic partnership with Caleb to expedite the process. But having the Westland family as allies unleashes threats from a rival family. They waste no time producing a trail of bodies, which leads a terrified Dak into the middle of a covert conflict among factions with inhuman motives.

Barely surviving multiple assaults convinces Dak that he’s in way over his head. He knows that figuring out the secretive origins of the Westland family and the real reasons they want Juice is his top priority if their partnership is going to continue. A Crime Cartel? Vampires? Aliens? Or, just some weird psycho cult? Whatever the truth is, Dak knows he must deal with forces willing to kill for control of Juice.

His sleepy little hometown of Murphy, North Carolina has become the epicenter of a macabre conflict and only one thing becomes certain. In the wrong hands, Juice will ignite a bloody rebellion that’s been brewing for centuries among beings he can’t comprehend. When his daughter is kidnapped, Dak agrees to face Caleb’s nemesis and risks everything in a clash for control of humanity.

JUICE: Revolution is a 139,000-word suspense thriller.

Thank you in advance for your consideration,

Michael Clutton

(I know the word count is an obstacle and I'm working on it)

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by fersnerfer » September 13th, 2010, 10:24 am

Dear Nathan,

Skyla had been warned by her mother not to read other people’s shadows.

To Skyla there is an additional shadow within the physical, beyond the silhouette we see when our bodies subtract the light from a wall or a sidewalk. Skyla can see this imprint that a soul leaves against the fabric of the universe, reflecting a person’s sins and fears.

While other children are good at crossing their eyes or rolling their tongue, Skyla reads people’s soul like a book. It hasn’t helped her make any friends at school, but it has been a helpful distraction when she needs to run away from bullies.

Now she is running from a preacher-turned-witch-hunter, hired by a theocratic government seeking to control or destroy her. Skyla’s only hope is to uncover the truth surrounding her origins before she is captured, burned or worse.

THE BETWEEN PEOPLE, is a 128,000 word, [epic fantasy, science fiction, alternate history depending on agent] novel, set in a world where airships rule the sky, and religion rules the cities, where the American Revolution never happened and the Dark Ages are only a memory away.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
[my info]
It turns out he really IS the killer!

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by prity » September 17th, 2010, 12:01 am

Last edited by prity on September 27th, 2010, 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Thalia » September 17th, 2010, 9:44 am

London, 1882. When Emil Aleric was a child, he was kidnapped. He and his mother survived. The rest of his family didn't. So the word of a ruthless killer rampaging London frightens his mother into sending Emil to live with Corwin James, the Scotland Yard officer in charge of the case.

Every murder follows the same pattern: a young girl is kidnapped. Three days later, her body shows up, horrifically mutilated. But what throws everybody off are the notes quoting Alice in Wonderland.

This doesn’t mean anything to the police, but it does to Emil. The man who kidnapped him was never caught, and Emil only knew him by one name: the Hatter. Certain that the man they’re looking for and the tormenter of his past are the same person, Emil resolves to stop him at any cost. He even stands a chance of avenging his family—if the Hatter doesn't kill him first.

MAD AS A HATTER, a YA historical mystery with a supernatural twist, is complete at 50,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by abc » September 17th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

I’ve been enjoying reading and learning from your blog for a few years now and I’d be delighted if you would consider my 40,000 word young adult novel, The Year of My Ghost.

Fourteen-year-old Anabel has big plans for high school. She’s going to kick butt in Studio Art, place well on the tennis team, and finally get a date with the boy she’s been pining for since the start of 8th grade. But when her professor father decides to move the family to Australia for a year, her life is turned upside down (under). Instead of joining her friends and major crush as a freshmen at City High, Anabel will be attending an all girls boarding school in the city of Adelaide and spending every weekend with her family in a small river town in South Australia.

Swan Reach, South Australia looks like a recipe for boring until she discovers her new house is likely haunted. What’s more, there is Simon, the dishy, rugged boy that lives down the road. With his help they set out to solve the mystery of the haunting. As her year in Australia unfolds, Anabel discovers there’s more to life than homecoming dances and big city experiences.

The Year of My Ghost explores the bittersweet experiences of growing up, leaving home, falling in love, and the adolescent longing for things to happen.

Thank you for any consideration. I appreciate your time.


Alison Coffey

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by taylormlunsford » September 24th, 2010, 2:22 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, 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 90,000 words. A STEADY WISH is a book 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 weekly blog, With A STEADY WISH complete, I am currently writing my next novel, a Regency romance.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Taylor Lunsford

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by jennthewriter » September 24th, 2010, 2:55 pm

My heart raced as I looked from the answering machine to my husband. I hadn't told him anything about John. Not even that they had made a mistake in identifying a body they thought was him. My first reaction was to say, "I can explain," but I couldn't even get that out before Trevor asked, "Still feel safe?"

Completed at approximately 57,000 words, Chance Happenings is a romantic mystery set in modern day Colorado. It’s the story of what happens when jealousy takes a dark turn and lives are lost. In the vein of authors like Nicholas Sparks and Elizabeth Brundage, the story keeps you on your toes as it tugs at your heartstrings... then shocks you with its revelations.

Read Chance Happenings to discover the truth behind John’s disappearance and whether or not Cate will survive until death do us part. Please call or e-mail me and I'll send you a copy. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

Jennifer Harrison

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by geistwrite » September 24th, 2010, 11:15 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

Anna’s vampire mother and werewolf father abandoned her as a young child in an effort to protect her from their feuding races. Her existence has been disputed for the last fourteen years since her parents’ brutal murders, as both sides have attempted to locate her. 18 year old Anna, however, has no idea what her genealogy includes. She only knows that with her unnaturally perfect memory and incapacitating fevers, she doesn’t fit into the human world she has grown up in. Because of her early abandonment and growing up virtually alone, she is labelled ‘damaged’ and pitied by everyone around her. Peter, a wolf who finds her after years of searching, upsets the subtle balance of control she has maintained over her memories and fevers. With Peter’s help, Anna begins unravelling the truth about her heritage, falling for him in the process.

But before the pieces of her past can fall into place she is left broken and alone in a violent wolf attack. Following a single note left behind by Peter, she travels to the town of her birth. There she discovers the story of her heritage when she meets Stephen, Peter’s vampire brother. But answers about her past can’t help her find the love she has lost or decipher her own combined nature. She will have to reconcile the two sides of her inhuman heritage if she is to find a new hope for the future.

FADING GREY is an 86,000 word paranormal romance with YA crossover potential.

Thank you for considering my literary work for further review.

Last edited by geistwrite on October 15th, 2010, 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by gsfields2004 » September 26th, 2010, 1:37 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

Major Jarv Guerra knew his Air Force career was at an end when he was put out to pasture in a dead-end NATO staff job in Italy. Accepting his fate, he set his sights on retiring and mustering the courage to marry the woman he loved. But when he starts having dreams about disasters before they happen, all of his plans erupt into the night sky like Mount Vesuvius.

Metaphysically shanghaied by an ancient oracle cursed with eternal life, Jarv is led on a journey through past, present, and future realities to recover the Lost Sibylline Books, decipher prophesies that foretell of an apocalyptic event, and figure out a way to stop it from happening. If that wasn’t enough to push him outside the envelope of sanity, Jarv meets the Greek god, Apollo, who tells him to ignore the oracle and destroy the books.

Using a combination of brains, skill, and guts, Jarv performs modern day Herculean tasks to uncover the truth. And while he has help from a cheeky British petty officer, his old academy roommate, and a French ex-fighter pilot with ties to the mafia, he alone must decide if he’ll stop an event that could destroy mankind. His decision will depend on who he trusts; a cursed oracle bent on avenging her fate or a Greek god with a score of his own to settle.

THE ORACLE’S REVENGE is a fast paced 91,000-word fantasy novel set in present day Europe where ancient myths and legends come alive in modern day storytelling.

I am a retired United States Air Force officer who lived a total of nine years in Europe and travelled extensively throughout the continent. During that time, I was fortunate enough to experience many of the rich and diverse European cultures and learn some of their fascinating stories and myths.

Thank you for your consideration and time.


Gregory Fields

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by ted » September 28th, 2010, 4:11 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

…I fear I have been killed because of what happened today at Swains Lock.

So begins the dried-out note that Vin Illick finds while scavenging planks from an abandoned shed near the old Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. It's signed by canal-hand Lee Fisher and dated 1924. Vin reads on:

I may be buried along with the others at the base of three joined sycamores… one tree leads to the money, the second leads to the killers and the third leads to the dead. In your search for me you may find the truth. Be careful you don’t share my fate.

Vin should be finishing his software consulting project and looking for a full-time job -- that was the plan when he and his fiancee Nicky relocated to Maryland so she could start work as a veterinarian. But to Nicky's chagrin, Vin becomes determined to find Lee Fisher's joined sycamores. Was Lee killed and buried along with the others? What about the money? And what happened at Swains Lock?

Following threads in the note, Vin finds fresh clues that seem intended for him. His investigation turns life-threatening in the woods, and he suspects a young widow associated with two accidental deaths is stalking his search. Why? As Vin closes in on the sycamores, his obsession with "Lee Fisher's truth" may cost him his relationship with Nicky, but calling it off may cost him his life. Because the past that Vin pursues is also pursuing him, and a confrontation with destiny and vengeance awaits him at Swains Lock.

SWAINS LOCK is a 116,000-word work of mainstream fiction written for lovers of treasure hunts and scary myths told around a campfire. I'm querying you because you're looking for thrillers that explore a unique space and time, and SWAINS LOCK does that for the wild and scenic Potomac River and its canal era.

Thanks very much for your consideration, and for your tireless efforts to demystify the role of literary agent for so many aspiring authors.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Guardian » September 29th, 2010, 4:42 pm

Last edited by Guardian on October 1st, 2010, 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by suja12 » October 1st, 2010, 12:41 am

Mr. Bransford,

Sixteen-year-old Mala's decision to take up cudgels on behalf of the environment gets the attention of the local mine owner. People who get his attention usually end up dead.

When Mala's mother gets a job at the Calvert Mining Company, it offers both mother and daughter a chance to leave behind their old town and its bitter memories. Mala decides to try and fit in her new school and town with as little fuss as possible.

The image on the local news of a blazing car and a dead EPA agent is the first indication Mala has of the state of affairs in her new town. But it is only when her friend, Aiyana, dies that Mala realizes how murky the waters really are. Aiyana had been crusading against the rampant pollution caused by the Calvert mines. Both deaths are labeled accidents by the police, though Mr. Calvert had both motive and opportunity.

Bitter and angry, Mala takes on Aiyana's cause, determined to bring down the powerful mine owner. In this she is aided by Brad, a junior in her school, whose sparkling green eyes hide a secret - his own connection to Aiyana. While warm feelings stir between them, a cold reality faces them. Mr. Calvert is not about to let a couple of teenagers stop him – and murder comes easy to him by now.

My YA novel FLUTE MUSIC, complete at 54,000 words, is available for your review.

Last edited by suja12 on October 7th, 2010, 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Diana Shelton
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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Diana Shelton » October 3rd, 2010, 10:26 am

Dear Mr. Bransford:

Something about college student, Eliahna Shay, doesn't quite fit. Like her friends, she's hard working, fun loving, and wouldn't mind dating a nice guy for a change. But when handsome Professor, Aiden Klemenson, singles her out as a potential Chosen of the Gods and a slobbering demon tries to eat her, Eliahna's aspirations change. Aiden convinces her that in order to survive, she must accept her fate and learn to harness the fierce magic within her. Despite Aiden's better judgment, desire burns between them with an enchantment all its own.

The evil Gods of Destruction have other ideas. Cunning and deceitful, they will try to break Eliahna's heart and spirit before she can become the Chosen of her patron God or Goddess- someone her atheist upbringing insists does not exist. Eliahna learns that it's hard to argue about the reality of the supernatural when magic is the only thing that can keep you alive.

Eliahna never imagined college could be that transforming.

CHOSEN BY THE GODS is a completed 90,000 word urban fantasy with romantic elements, in the vein of Laurell K Hamilton and Kim Harrison.
Thank you for your time and consideration.


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