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 PoppysInARow » June 14th, 2010, 3:51 pm

Why not?

Dear Nathan,

Cursed with a weak heart, all Jonah has ever been good at is suffering near-fatal heart attacks. He used to be good at Magik too, before he learned that every cast shortened his already dwindling lifespan.

So Jonah’s decided to retire at the age of fifteen, teaching children a Magik he can’t use until his life runs out. But when his students disappear in a puff of green smoke, the parents decide that Jonah’s to blame. To rescue the children and salvage his honour, Jonah will have to venture into the outside world and hunt down the Order of Grie—a group of religious fanatics who want to use the children’s youth to summon the God of Death.

With every cast, Jonah brings himself one step closer to an early grave. All he ever wanted was to live to thirty, but it’s becoming clear that he won’t survive his rescue mission. When he finally confronts the Order, they promise him a long and healthy life—everything Jonah has ever wanted. All it will cost him is the lives of his students... as well as his soul.

IN THE EYE OF DEATH is a young adult fantasy novel completed at 77, 000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

Insert Witty Signature Here.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by graciebea » June 14th, 2010, 3:57 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

I am seeking representation for my contemporary novel 468 Miles to Nashville, complete at 72,000 words.

Kay Nelson ran away from home by accident. Never mind the country singer in the passenger seat. Never mind the (very annoying) voices in her head telling her to pursue fame and stardom. Her biggest problem right now is how to a) elude Diva's kidnappers; and b) not get caught by the Evil Grandma Crosby. Which becomes a tad more difficult when GC's daughter, Kay's former nanny, decides to join the caravan, considering she may or may not be texting Kay's whereabouts to GC. Plus Diva's ex-boyfriend (who talks all the time like he's in a movie) doesn't get the hint that he's not wanted, nor the attention his brand of fame brings.

The closer they get to Nashville, the bigger grows the ominous dark cloud on the horizon. Diva seems intent on undergoing the fate of all young stars, and Kay's self-imposed responsibility of keeping her from sneaking into bars and smoking in alleys is hard enough in the middle of nowhere, let alone Music City, U.S.A.

But Diva's kidnappers know right where they're headed, and so does Grandma Crosby. When stardom catches up to them, will Kay survive the trip to Nashville?

I look forward to hearing from you. Below I've included pages of 468 Miles to Nashville, and I'd be pleased to send you the full manuscript.

Gracie Bea Winterton
Thou knowest not how that one word rings
Ever by day and by night in my ear,
I cannot hearken to olden things
I cannot listen to hope or fear.

-"The Call" by L.M. Montgomery

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by terri » June 14th, 2010, 4:30 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

I read your blog almost every day and enjoy the information you share with writers. Hopefully, I’ve done my homework and you’ll be interested in my contemporary women’s novel.

Lizzy Batron sleeps with a fistful of pills. After three years, she still nurses a crushing guilt for her husband’s untimely death. Her prolonged widowhood takes a direct hit when she meets romance writer, Paul, who opens her eyes to the kind of love she’s only written about. But she can’t go there, yet. Lizzy needs to face her past by dealing first with her present—donating her sixteen-year-old son’s heart to the man she loves.

A contemporary women’s inspirational novel, A SPRINKLING OF PROMISES, is set in a fictional town in the rural northeast where hope and choices are as rare as a week of sunny days.

I am a contributing author to over forty articles published in magazines/anthologies including six in Chicken Soup for the Soul. If you would like to consider A SPRINKLING OF PROMISES, complete at 75,000 words, I’d be more than happy to forward you the manuscript, I am simultaneously submitting to multiple agents.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Terri Tiffany

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by artzicarol » June 14th, 2010, 5:11 pm

[removed; got an agent, can't figure out how to delete the post *grin*]
Last edited by artzicarol on May 10th, 2011, 1:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by briantedjones » June 14th, 2010, 5:13 pm

Deep in the mountains of southeast Oklahoma lives a man named Rayber Maline. He grows marijuana, tortures animals, and practices a warped and savage form of Catholicism. He’s also a fugitive from the law. Two years ago, he attempted to assassinate the District Attorney of Shout County, part of a takeover plan hatched by the delusional youth of an antigovernment militia. Since then, Rayber’s kept himself well hidden, but all that’s over. One of his animals--a boar--has escaped and killed a little boy. Now the law is coming for Rayber. But Rayber’s going to be ready, in Everything's Fearful Dead, a 370-page novel by Brian Ted Jones.

Everything’s Fearful Dead is a 115,000 word literary thriller that examines the consequences of extreme religious conservatism in the lives of isolated people. As Rayber gets ready to fight for his freedom, we see in full detail his descent into violence and zealotry. We witness his stark poverty, his illiteracy, his terrible luck, and his rage. We also learn the darker history of Shout County--a history of men whose dreadful ambitions have left a bloody ghost upon the country, a ghost that binds individuals and families together and sends them, generation after generation, into conflict and agony. In the aftermath of Rayber’s confrontation with the police, we see how this history is still unfinished, and how it continues, uninterrupted, into a future of deadly heroes and heartbreaking villains.

Brian Ted Jones was born in 1984 in the same mountains where Everything’s Fearful Dead is set. He spent two years writing a thousand-page version of this book, then set it aside to start over from scratch. The result is a much shorter, better focused, and more powerful novel, which he is proud to call his first. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife, Jennifer, and their sons Oscar and GuyJack.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by LBender » June 14th, 2010, 5:15 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford;

David Harvey has a college degree, but no prospects, no interests, and a dead end job as a cashier in a grocery store. Then he discovers an extraordinary coin that answers questions with sounds that no one else can hear. Those answers lead him and his friend Susan on a hunt through Manhattan that ends with the discovery, buried within the bedrock, of a long since forgotten chamber. Within that chamber they find a young woman in what seems to be a perfect state of preservation. They only realize how perfect when she awakens, a bit dehydrated, but otherwise little the worse for wear.

Arin, daughter of Seraiya, is trapped. Far away from her home, forced to take refuge from an earthquake in her uncle’s cave, she can feel the rumble as half the mountain collapses to seal her in. Unable to dig herself out, forced to wait for a rescue that will come, if it comes at all, weeks or possibly months later, she has no choice but to place her hopes for survival in other’s hands. Meanwhile, she must use the ke-nok, the long sleep, so that she is still alive those weeks or months later when that rescue might occur.

But she has made a slight miscalculation. That rescue will not occur weeks or months later. It will be millennia, and everyone and everything she knows will be long since dust. She will be lost, and alone, and must depend upon a young man of no interests and his friend to help her adjust to living in a world that she doesn’t understand, and where they speak no language that she has ever heard before.

‘When Sleeping Girls Wake’, a novel of 98,000 words, is one part coming-of-age and one part romance, set in the realm of science fiction and against the backdrop of one of the major untold tales of the origins of the modern computer age.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

I have enclosed (whatever you requested in your instructions).

I can be reached at …


Lawrence Bender

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by HLWampler » June 14th, 2010, 5:24 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

Cornered in the shadows of the Parthenon, seventeen-year-old Eumelia “Mia” Gray wonders if she will ever see her parents or friends again. The Greek gods of Mt. Olympus are in fact alive and the goddess Athena tells her that it’s time to fulfill the destiny she was born for: to fight alongside the Gods and keep the Titans locked beneath the Underworld.

Mia can barely take in that she is the only daughter of Athena and Ares, stolen from Mt. Olympus as a baby, before she is reintroduced to the world of Gods. With the gorgeous twins Adam and Adronis by her side, Mia must travel to Mt. Olympus to battle Cronus and the Titans.

She must come to terms with who she is. Not a mortal but a goddess with a big mortal problem. She falls in love with Adam. She is captivated by his smile and alluring blue eyes. The closer Mia gets not only to him, but also his identical twin brother, she risks all their lives.

WAR OF THE GODS is a YA Fantasy/Romance completed at 80,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Heather Wampler

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Surya » June 14th, 2010, 5:47 pm

Dear Mr.Bransford,

I am seeking representation for my 75,000 word literary novel, “The sky has moved away.”

Lagos is a city bustling with energy. The noise, the smells and the colors make a first time visitor almost forget the poverty, violence and cruelty that lurks just below the surface. When a deadly heat wave raises the temperature in this equatorial city to a scorching 55º C, the ensuing chaos and anarchy plunges it into one of its darkest periods. “The sky has moved away” is a depiction of the collective and insular reaction of individuals to a disaster that threatens their very existence.

The novel, set in contemporary Nigeria, is the story of three unlikely people who find their lives entwined in the Lagos of such trying times. Martin, a handsome Dutch man with a successful career and an enviable life lives a luxurious and sheltered life in Victoria Island. Ansara, with her wild dark hair and cocoa brown face, not only captures his imagination, but with her silent determination in the face of many misfortunes, also captures his heart. Ayomide, born into Lagos' slums, pulls himself out of abject poverty through his guile and ruthlessness, only to return to the past he had worked hard to leave behind.

In simple terms, it is a love story – the story of Martin and Ansara. However, there is nothing simple about the circumstances surrounding their love. From social and cultural differences to personal vendetta to nature’s fury, obstacles are plenty. Yet what eventually prevails is a spirit of hope, for true love defies every conceivable adversity, including death.

While the story is fictional, the details of life in Nigeria are based on my experiences and interactions while living in Lagos for four months last year. I am enclosing the synopsis, first three chapters and a SASE. It would be my pleasure to send you the complete manuscript.

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

Surya Ramkumar

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by nbleach » June 14th, 2010, 5:55 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford:

Eighteen-year-old Jolie Jacobs was never that girl who made a difference. Hell, she's never been that girl who got noticed walking the hallways of high school. Desperate for change, she ekes out a new life, away from her twisted mother, haunting nightmares and visions of evil beings in hooded cloaks. Just when things seem to get brighter, she uncovers a prophecy of angels and demons on a computer blog--and it has her name written all over it.

BELIAL, a rogue demon and his legion of disciples, look to vanquish the Guardian Angel race. It is a race that helps chosen human souls come to grips with what they have been chosen to do--help conquer Belial's evil and stop the prophecy. CHRISTIAN, a Guardian Angel, has been sent to protect and lead Jolie, for she is the last one chosen and only she can help his people survive. All because of a promise made from someone she least expected, long ago. Questioning her important role, Jolie misreads the prophecy and decides to leave Christian and their intense growing love for each other behind to face the destroyer of his race--alone. Now she will have to find the strength to uncover her true power, defeat Belial, stop the prophecy from happening, and save a mother she never really liked in the first place.

HALO is a complete, 114,000 word young adult paranormal romance manuscript. Packed with action and intriguing twists, it delves beyond the borders of normal teenage high school life, told in Jolie's unique and witty voice. A firm believe in self-marketing within blogs and internet social media, HALO would be an excellent opportunity for the two of us to create a lasting partnership.

If you would like to see the full manuscript, I would be honored to send it to you. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.



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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Michelle4Laughs » June 14th, 2010, 6:36 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford:

Marguerite Navarre’s world has forgotten magic. Serious and shy, she is one of the governing race of Argents. Her life is filled with smug, boring people and endless lectures on duty. For longer than anyone can remember, the Argents have lived separately from the more numerous and subservient Silvers. And with that loss of connection, magic vanished.

But someone has rediscovered magic and is prepared to kill the small population of Argents to keep it for themselves. For the magic of heartsouls requires a pairing of Silver and Argent. Fleeing from an attack on her kind, Marguerite is rescued by a group of Silvers, and unwittingly meets her heartsoul match.

Delighted with the Silvers’ friendship, she is both drawn to and repelled by Jorge. He is her opposite in every way, from his enormous confidence to his complete lack of scruples. A flirt and a tease, he hides behind lies but, like a bee to a flower, Marguerite cannot resist his charm. As attacks against Argents continue, blame focuses on Silvers and threatens to tear her from Jorge. To find those responsible for the attacks, Marguerite must put aside doubt and completely trust Jorge in order to learn the magic of heartsouls before time runs out for her and the Argents.

Heartsouls is an epic fantasy with strong elements of romance. It is the first of a series, with the second well on its way.
Thank you for your consideration.

Michelle Hauck

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Adam Heine » June 14th, 2010, 8:03 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford:

For Hagai's twenty-first birthday, his mother sends him a stone that gives visions of the future. But he doesn't know why she sent it, or how, since she was killed eighteen years ago. Hagai's not exactly a hero -- the bravest thing he's ever done is put peppers in his stew -- yet when the stone shows his mother alive and in danger, he sets out to find her.

Air pirates and sky sailors are also after the stone, and Hagai soon loses it to a wanted sky’ler named Sam. Sam wants the stone to help him avenge his father, but it only shows him his own death. Hagai, he learns, receives many visions. So when Hagai tracks Sam down and demands he give the stone back -- politely, of course, because Sam's got a knife -- Sam offers him a job instead.

Now Hagai, who grew up wanting nothing to do with sky’lers, is crew to one and fugitive from both pirates and police. He’s not sure he can trust Sam, and the stone haunts Hagai with visions of his own death. Nonetheless, he’s determined to change the future and find his mother, if it’s not already too late.

AZRAEL'S CURSE is a 90,000-word science fantasy novel, available on request. It's written to stand alone but has series potential. My short story “Pawn's Gambit,” set in the same world as AZRAEL'S CURSE, appeared recently in BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Adam Heine

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by alh » June 14th, 2010, 8:18 pm

June 14, 2010

Nathan Bransford
Curtis Brown, Ltd.
1750 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Dear Mr Bransford,

Did you know you were a scientist before you could read or write?

Children from babies on up are natural scientists. Kids educate themselves on many subjects prior to kindergarten. I propose a children’s series called Do YOU want to be ____? The series is designed for three to seven year olds, similar to the “Little Critter” Series.

The 108 word manuscript for Do YOU want to be a SCIENTIST? is enclosed. I have outlines available for eight additional books: Mathematician, Engineer, Artist, Writer, Musician, Archeologist, Chemist, and Physicist. Other subjects are adaptable for more books.

The series goals include: How educated and capable children have made themselves, children can be anything they want and to not listen to anyone who tells them differently. My inspiration for the series comes from my experience raising four children. SCIENTIST is my first book because of my twenty plus years in Biotech.

Working part-time at Borders Books, I understand a successful book requires correct marketing strategies. Targeting parents, library, preschool, and elementary professionals and their conferences might be a logical start since this book appeals to adults wanting to expand a child’s horizon. Attending the Writer’s Digest Publishing Conference, I learned the importance of author platforms. A website is in the early stages of design and creation and I am building social media connections and pages.

I look forward to meeting with you to discuss our futures.


Ann Hartman

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by ZWarr » June 14th, 2010, 8:40 pm

Dear Mr. Bransford,

I am seeking representation for my mid-grade urban fantasy novel, 13 DEMON DAYS, which is complete at 55,000 words. 13 Demon Days blends the dark and powerful family inheritance of the Artemis Fowl books with the whimsy and magical wonder of Fablehaven.

Josh and Liz Raven are 13-year-old magicians, but when it comes to the control of magic, they’re toddlers taking their first tumbles. When a sinister car accident robs their mother of all memory of her kids, the Raven twins discover that the family portal is leaking magic and a demon is taking shape in their neighborhood. With the help of their newfound magic and the family farm of freakish creatures, the twins might stand a chance against a regular demon–but this is Veta Rashon, the most dreaded demon to ever set his sights on earth, and he plans to rip open the Raven family portal and flood the world with demon-kind.

Thanks to the scheming of a Raven ancestor that left a stain on the family name, Josh and Liz will get no help from the Magician’s Enclave. With no idea who they can trust or even what they dare tell each other, Josh and Liz have less than a fortnight before Halloween and their school’s Haunted Hall party–to which Veta Rashon just may have procured an invitation. Between Josh’s love of windy nights with a magical pooka at his side, and Liz’s uncanny ability to dream across magical barriers, the twins will discover a true talent for getting into trouble, but how else can they live up to the Raven family name?

I have published short stories in the fantasy and science fiction genre for various online magazines and contributed to Extraterrestrial Ruins, a print anthology. I attended Orson Scott Card’s Literary Bootcamp in August 2009. I am currently an instructor for the Writing in Depth online workshop. My website,, is updated regularly and includes a list of my publications.

Thank you for your time,
Suzanne Warr

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by writerdean » June 14th, 2010, 9:26 pm

Shape shifter Alec Graves has spent nearly a decade trying to keep his family from being drawn into open warfare with a larger pack. The arrival of a new student at his school should be a non-event but the more he gets to know her, the more mysterious she becomes. The background checks he's ordered all came back empty. Worse, she seems to know things she shouldn't about his shadowy world.

Is she an unfortunate victim or bait designed to draw him into a fatal misstep? If she's a victim, then he's running out of time to save her. If she's bait, then his attraction to her is pulling him into a fight that'll cost him everything.

Adri Paige is too busy dealing with the emotional fallout from losing half of her family to deal with boys. At least she thought so until both of the most intriguing guys in her new school take an interest in her.

Both boys are gorgeous and blessed with obscene amounts of money. They should have the emotional depth of note cards, but instead display undercurrents she doesn't fully understand. Rumors that the pair has destroyed peoples' livelihoods seem ludicrous until she gets caught in the crossfire and her family almost loses their home. She's increasingly unsure either boy is really human, and their rivalry is rapidly turning deadly.

A double novel told from both Adri and Alec's perspectives, Broken and Torn is designed so the reader can start with either character's point of view and then continue on to the other half of the book to get answers to the questions driving them onward. Coming in at an admittedly-weighty 240,000 combined words, Broken and Torn could be released separately, but would be strongest packaged as a combined work. This YA urban fantasy novel represents the beginning of a larger story arc which will be told through the inter-related tales of a number of different characters.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by cassdunn » June 14th, 2010, 9:36 pm

A few years ago, I sat by my uncle’s bedside for six weeks, visiting with him daily, as he died of liver failure. The most painful thing about the experience was the fact that a transplant could have saved him, but his history of alcoholism and age led the transplant board to turn him down. I wanted to write a novel about a man in a similar situation, from the point of view of a woman who loves him, to honor my uncle’s memory, and to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation. Julia’s Well is that novel.

Julia is a stay-at-home mom of two young girls. Her husband travels constantly for work, her children have endless needs, and the days when she was able to put herself first in her life are long gone. She’s fortunate to have a loving mother and father to help her on occasion, until her father’s life of alcoholism catches up to him and she finds herself even further down her own priority list as she struggles to care for her kids, meet the demands of her marriage, and fight for the liver transplant that her father needs to survive.

Julia, always an optimist, is hopeful that her husband will change to a lighter-travel job, her father will receive a liver transplant, and her bickering family will work out its differences. When every one of her hopes for a perfect resolution fails, Julia has a choice to make: give in to the misery, or learn to cherish the joy in her daughters, her newfound friendships, her closer bonds to her sister and uncle, and the precious weeks she spends at her father’s hospital bedside.
Along this path, Julia discovers a strength in herself that she’d lost amid her myriad responsibilities. She finds out that her perfect family is not who she thought they were, finds it in herself to forgive them for this fact, realizes that happiness is a choice, and accepts that perfection is impossible, but sometimes it’s simply enough to love and be loved by those around you, for as long as you have together.

Julia’s Well, which takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a 91,000 word women’s literature novel. Upon your request, I am prepared to send the complete manuscript.

I received my MFA in creative writing from Mills College. Work of mine has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ghostly Encounters: Real-Life Stories of Supernatural Experiences (Atriad Press, 2003) and I received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s 2009 Short Story Award for New Writers. I also write a blog at

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.


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