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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Jessi Heinrich
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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Jessi Heinrich » December 2nd, 2010, 8:28 pm

Dear Nathan Bransford:

Nestled secretly among humans, a race known as Celestia are at the peak of an epic battle for control of the human dominion. As the Fallen brethren attempt to create more bodies for their army, the Angels try to protect themselves and the humans they serve. The burden of saving human souls rests with Daniel, who has spent his entire existence watching his brothers Fall to temptation. While trying to maintain his righteousness, Daniel teeters between his inherent compassion and the greed and violence that tear his race - his family - apart.

Souls ascend to Araboth courtesy of Daniel's ability to harbor the physical pain of their sins. He resents them for the way they live their lives and the battering his body and mind receive from their tarnished souls. Still, he doesn't stop protecting them. There's one in a billion that is worth all he has to endure. Her name is Eileen and her ascension destroys the barriers Daniel has built since the inception of life. He begins to Fall in love with her.

But, love for an Angel isn't heavenly. It's dangerous. Every Angel that's been in love has Fallen.

As Daniel bears witness to the tragic downward spiral of his closest, love-struck brother, his need to protect Eileen will thrust him down a path that was created before his existence began. He travels through worlds filled with infinite possibilities and devastating realities. This patron to humans may not be able to hold onto his pure spirit while the threat of war and loss leave him filled with pain, contempt and confusion.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to introduce my 82,000 word novel, Memoirs of Daniel: The Fallen. This story has the potential to become a series, though the first book can stand alone. I appreciate your consideration for representation and look forward to hearing from you.

Jessi Heinrich

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by lyndoncr » December 5th, 2010, 12:29 am

Dear Agent (This would be personalised obviously ;)),

Wyman Baker is an old man just looking for a better life. What he finds is the still living voice box and ear of Gilbert in his soup. Gilbert is understandably grumpy and promises Wyman a great deal of coin if the rest of his pieces are found.

Now making deals with severed limbs is a strange prospect even in a place as weird as Rah-Rah-Rah, but Wyman’s little magic tricks do little to bring in the big numbers. So Wyman sets off to put Gilbert together again. Trouble is Gilbert’s pieces are being used by a very dangerous man from Gilbert’s past, a Puppeteer who controls the government with the help of severed limbs, machinery, and a healthy dose of magic.

Pretty soon Wyman is spotting top hats left and right (the attire of the Puppeteer’s lackeys) and the quest for Gilbert’s pieces uncovers a plan to cleanse the world of all its “undeserving” citizens.

For an old man that just wanted a few extra coins in his pocket Wyman is quickly out of his depth in all the necessary heroics. He must decide whether a life full of coin and safety is worth losing a friend and his choice may just end the world all together.

THE BAKER, THE PUPPETEER, AND THE MAN IN PIECES is the first in a possible series of fantasy novels and is complete at 58,000 words. It is structured in a somewhat unusual way. Between each chapter sits an interlude; a glimpse in to The World of Filth and Riches and the people that live there. People that Wyman passes on his way to finding Gilbert’s pieces, from sideways children to magic tents and a half man-half tiger searching for the thumb sized man that kidnapped his wife. All of them on their own little quest to change themselves or the world at large.

Thank you for your time in reading this and I look forward to hearing from you,

Lyndon Cullen-Reid

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by HappyElmoMonster » December 12th, 2010, 10:53 pm

Dear [Agent's Name, properly spelled and adressed],

First-time mother Jennifer Rosado is in deep trouble. The son she loves more than the world has turned four, and in her dystopian America, she's required to turn him in so the government can sell him to other parents. Authorities turn up at her door unannounced, ready to take him away from her. Jennifer digs her heels in, refuses to let go and insists on keeping him.

Her plight worsens after she goes into hiding to stay with her son, who resists her every step of the way. Together they and her husband manage to avoid capture and separation until a trip to a fast-food restaurant alerts authorities to their location. They kill her husband and wipe her son’s mind before kidnapping him, leaving her alone.

Not to give up on her loved ones, Jennifer lies her way out of prison and onto the streets of Chicago in search of her son's new owner. As she gets closer to finding him, terrorist attacks and her own faults threaten to tear her and her son apart forever.

HUMAN HUNTING is a 100,000 word dystopian thriller. I am currently fourteen years old and it is my first novel.

Thank you for your time.


[My name]

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Mary-Catharine » January 18th, 2011, 3:34 pm

Mary Edmondson
(personal information)

Dear Nathan Bransford,

Brody thinks I'm a hero-- but, of course, love is blind.

He can't see what I do in the mirror: a monster.

I know that one day I won't be able to keep control, and the wolf I've been trying to cage will make its debut.

Until then, I'd sacrifice my life to protect him from the beasts of a supernatural persuasion.

I just hope when Brody finally sees me for the monster I really am, he'll still think I'm a hero.

NIGHTFRAME: IN THE RED OF THE KNIGHT is a 119,000 word Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance proving that love's 'bite' is worse that its 'bark'.

This is my first novel. Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Mary

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by grazia » January 18th, 2011, 7:39 pm

Women’s Fiction
G. M. Rechichi

Chapter 1: Cora

What was it about laundry, thought Cora, that made her happy?

Was it the solitude of the thing, or lack of complication? With laundry, as in nowhere else in her life, there was no lingering detail, no worrisome doubt, no troubling second guesses. Lately nothing but laundry offered Cora that sense of peace. Just taking an empty basket back to the basement laundry room filled her with accomplishment. Or, maybe, it was that she did not take the empty basket down the stairs – she kicked it.

Standing at the top of the steps, Cora watched the basket’s tumble startle her two bewildered cats yet again. With each acrobatic flip of the white plastic Cora silently reprimanded herself.

“It’s gonna scratch the walls.”

That was something she would have yelled to her two children if they tried such a stunt; which is why she did it when no one was around.

Smiling at her audacity, she walked down the 12 steps, ignoring the cowering cats to retrieve her basket and attack the remaining clothes piles waiting for her.

Folding another of her son Sam’s endless supply of jeans in the windowless back corner basement laundry room, Cora marveled at her own temporary peace of mind. It was the laundry, she concluded; her life was so fragmented with so many things left undone that her only real sense of accomplishment was getting that basked up those stairs and clothes into everyone’s drawers week after week. Done. Finished.

Not like the rest of her life.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by kevinott777 » January 27th, 2011, 12:41 pm

Dear Nathan,

Juan Garcia works in the fields of California's Central Valley picking lettuce, but he possesses a musical genius not seen since Mozart. At night, he sits in a shed filling papers with rows of numbers. Despite not knowing how to read or write standard music notation, he claims to be writing a symphony using a matrix system that he invented. He longs to start a new life as a composer and escape the brutal world of migrant labor. Help arrives from the least likely person: an outspoken white racist named Lainey Smith. When Juan risks his life to pull her from the wreckage of a car crash near the migrant camp, an unlikely relationship begins. Lainey, a studied composer, possesses the skills to translate his matrix into a symphony and publish his work; but Juan must first overcome her deep-seeded prejudices.

THE LAST SYMPHONY OF JUAN GARCIA, a 91,251-word commercial literary novel, found its genesis in my experiences working with migrant workers and befriending their families in the San Joaquin Valley of California. I've earned a degree in music composition, written symphonies, and created a new system of music notation for this novel. I'm a new author.

Thanks for your time!

Kevin Ott

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by BetweenTwoWorlds » January 30th, 2011, 1:12 pm

It’s 1952, and Henry Valentine is turning 13 in Windmill, Texas.

Baseball is the love of his life, but he’s beginning to wonder about Peggy Henderson, the girl he meets each morning on his paper route. And there’s the problem of kids who don’t follow his rules as the Safety Patrol Officer at the crosswalk. It’s a lot to handle for a boy who wants to be a man like his father and who needs the attention and approval of his mother.

Then his world is upturned when a Negro kid bests him in a batting-and-pitching duel, the local anti-communist congressman up for election incites a riot, and he witnesses the drive-by killing of the sheriff. He must attend the funeral of his best friend and then testify about the shooting he witnessed while trying to figure out whom he can trust.

He gets help from the crazy old lady who doses her lemonade from a hip flask and from the colored preacher who canoodled the white Baptists out of their church building. Finally the truth comes out through the combined efforts of Henry, the congressman’s mistress, and the town’s embittered newspaper publisher.

A young adult novel, STARS IN THE TEXAS SKY is complete at 72,000 words.
WIP1-4: Dead, and buried, and lost in time
WIP5: Finished, but hidden in a drawer
WIP6: 72k YA/MG. Working on 3nd edit.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by D.T.Roberts » January 31st, 2011, 2:13 pm

In his world, where everything is based on facts, Detective Alex Mendez learns the hard way that nothing is as it seems. Even DNA, the most compelling scientific evidence, is anything but irrefutable.

Six years after the death of his wife, Alex is raising his sixteen year old daughter alone. Their relationship has been on shaky ground, but a new case threatens to tear them apart. A serial rapist, who has defied forensic investigators and criminal profilers, is targeting the town’s most affluent women. Under pressure from his department and the public, Alex follows trails of conflicting evidence to his suspect, but his assumptions about the evidence were wrong. Now an innocent person is dead. When Alex learns the DNA evidence was planted, his daughter goes missing. Now, in a race against time, he must risk everything, even his life, to find her.

At 73,000 words, IRREFUTABLE, blurs the lines between Medical/Thriller and Crime/Suspense. It will appeal to readers of Lynn Hightower, Michael Connelly and Robin Cook.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards
It has been said that writing comes more easily if you have something to say.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by swedishfish » February 2nd, 2011, 6:14 pm

Dear Nathan Bransford,

There is a place where church and state are not separate. There lies the dichotomy of Zion where an avid religious community resides, yielding high teen suicide rates, prescription drug abuse, divorce, bankruptcy, rape, paid porn subscriptions, and domestic violence; a place where western values of patriarchy are enforced, setting the standard for the American Dream.

Sex with Angela is located in Utah County, at the cusp of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, amidst the shadows of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The lives of the community weave together as their marriages fall apart and stunning mid-life realizations begin to sink from the burden of chasing the American Dream.

Meet the characters of Lakeview 5th ward: Mary, a bi-polar zealot who works at the LDS temple. John, Mary’s husband, who disagrees with Christianity. Hannah, Mary’s sexually confused 17 year old daughter. Rebecca, a witty college professor and mother of six whose husband leaves her for their sexy babysitter, Angela. Carolyn, an unnerving and insecure woman coping with her husband’s porn addiction. Shauna, a petite woman tied to an abusive husband at the expense of her children. And Leigh, a 19 year old girl married to the rich 30-something year old Jason Allen of a multi-level marketing juice company, who stops at nothing to bend others to her desires. And finally Angela, a sexy, sophisticated and boundless solution to these personal and societal ills. Or something entirely different: a symbolic mediation of the freedom outside these walls.

This fiction novel is delicately written by Sarah Isaacson, a 22 year old Utah inhabitant and graduate of English with an emphasis in creative writing from Utah Valley University. She currently moonlights as a writer for the Examiner as the Women’s Fitness Expert and is an avid reader of modern women’s issues after having met social critic “Bell Hooks” at a university convention one year ago. In the daytime she works in college admissions helping students achieve their dreams one day at a time.

Sample chapters are available upon request along with chapter summaries. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Last edited by swedishfish on February 18th, 2011, 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by health_junkie » February 17th, 2011, 6:57 pm

Dear ***,

Suspense, Mystery and Erotic Romance combine for a Noir Thriller in the 85,500-word novel, "Blood Matter," which targets the audiences of both "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Basic Instinct."

Joe Vasquez, an ambitious FBI agent (nicknamed 'Hound'), struggles with a family history that's detrimental to his career and reputation in the FBI: his infamous cop father was caught manipulating evidence to save a family member from a justified incarceration. When Joe is assigned the case of finding a mysterious and sadistic vigilante known as 'Viper,' who penetrates maximum security prisons and executes incarcerated serial killers in the same manner in which they killed their victims, Joe sees it as an overdue opportunity to finally distance himself from his tarnished familial past, and attain the honor and glory that could make for a brilliant career.

Viper is the stuff of prison legends, never seen by those alive, and known only by his strange, hissing voice. The sophisticated, hide-and-seek game that Viper plays with Hound evolves into an intense, mutual fascination. Viper points out a covert side to Hound’s psyche that makes them somewhat of a ‘related species,’ and Joe can’t help but admire Viper’s sharp intellect or recognize his warped sense of fairness.

Dr. Gabrielle Lubovich, a controversial forensic profiler connected to the case, uses unorthodox methods to peer into her psychopathic subjects’ souls. Just as she tricks them into revealing their darkest secrets, she forces Joe to confront the side of himself that he would rather renounce. She is everything that Joe ever wanted in a woman- and more than he bargained for.

Viper both saves and spares Joe's life during their closest encounters. He doesn't begrudge Joe his mission to catch or eliminate him, but he won't tolerate Joe’s pursuit of Gabrielle Lubovich. He informs Joe that his affair with her could get him killed - and that Viper doesn’t "do it nice."

As the grisly killings continue, and the pressures from above increase, Joe begins to suspect that Gabrielle might be identifying the caged targets to Viper. He also realizes that, for the first time in his life, he is obsessed with a woman as much as he is with solving a case. With Gabrielle and Viper, the triangle Joe finds himself in is complete. But whether the nature of that triangle is a twisted love - or another mystery altogether - is what he must find out. Will Hound be charmed by a charismatic handler, fail in his hunt and satisfy his enemies within the agency? Will he beat Viper to his next victim? More importantly, will he turn out to be truly his father's son?

* * *

I earn my living as an environmental engineer, while concentrating my creative energy on writing, plus film-making and acting in the Sante Fe region. A number of my screenplays won awards. One short was recognized in a competition on Francis Coppola's "Zoetrope" website and then produced, and my last feature script (a Noir psychological thriller) attracted an established director who is now working hard to move it into production. I just completed my eighth screenplay, a feature-length Comedy/Horror. I am also halfway through the first draft of my next novel, a YA epic fantasy-adventure.

“Blood Matter” is completed and professionally edited. The prologue and the first chapter are included below. Should you indicate interest, I'm happy to send you sample chapters or the full manuscript immediately.

Your time is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Marina Giorgii

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by winwritewin » April 9th, 2011, 1:41 pm

Life Journeys of a Cockney Girl, is a 90,759 Memoir. It is the first book of a possible trilogy; the second book is nearing completion.

My name then was, Iris Jones, and I was five years old when separated from my family during the evacuation of Britain's children in WWII (1939 – 1945). Torn from my mother's arms, then herded and packed on to an overcrowded train with thousands of crying, jostling, snot-nosed children, I face a terrifying, unknown future amongst strangers. This story is of a child's desperate search for love, acceptance and validation during the war years and throughout the painful adjustment of the years that follow. Inherent Cockney humour is the only weapon I possess to fight and protect myself against the trauma and scars of discrimination, humiliation, hunger, disease and neglect, plus the fear and guilt connected with incidents of sexual abuse. My struggles continue through the on-going effects that evacuation had on me and on my now estranged, dysfunctional family; a family where I no longer seem to have a place. Eventually, I find love when I meet an American GI at the age of 15 years, and after the quagmire of recrimination, being called"Yank's meat" and further humiliation, we receive permission to marry shortly after my sixteenth birthday . Within months, I leave England for the United States of America, buoyed by the hope of finding my place in the world and to at last feel that I am a "someone".

I am the author of short stories and poetry published in anthologies in the USA and the UK. I have read excerpts of this book on National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA, and on BBC Wales; by invitation, I have also given talks and readings to many groups. This is my first full-length book.

The Target Market for the subject of my stories is among, but not limited to, the almost 3.5 million British evacuees and their descendants as well as the hundreds of thousands of GI Brides and families, now spread throughout the world. I maintain a home in the USA but currently live and write in the UK and amable to promote my work in both countries.

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

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Heather B » April 25th, 2011, 10:28 pm

Dear Nathan,

If an Ellerwoman makes a promise she has to follow through. For Adelaide Williams, promising the impossible has become a habit.

On her seventeenth birthday, Addy signs her contract with the Torrens Court, promising to do her job following their rules and regulations.
When her first assignment Noah, refuses to join the Court, she promises his mum no harm will come from the summons, and when her best friend Mira accepts her summons, Addy promises she’ll be safe.

She should have read the fine print.

If a human is summoned to Court they have two choices: go or die. So when Noah’s notice of disposal shows up in Addy’s inbox she knows what has to happen. The problem is, it can’t. And the more time Addy spends with Noah, trying to think of ways to kill him, the more she thinks about him in general.

The Torrens Court doesn’t think much of patience though, and with a time restraint on Noah’s head Addy knows she has to work out something fast. But an off feeling is building in her stomach, made worse by the black shadows following her, and Addy starts receiving messages that the Torrens Court isn’t the utopia it claims.

Addy knows Noah is in trouble. She thinks Mira might be too. And when a notice of disposal comes through with her name on it she knows her time has nearly run out.

There may be enough time to save one of them. If only she hadn’t promised to save them both.
Journey to the Cuckoo's Nest

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by kurzitza » June 9th, 2011, 1:26 pm

Losing an arm in a freak accident is hard to deal with. But when you’ve been touted as the next young Olympic hopeful for the last five years, it’s devastating. Not only did the accident take away Jason Dee’s identity, it took away much more: his father. But when he finds a cryptic letter written by his late great-grandfather apologizing for the very incident that shattered his life, Jason’s world turns from tragic to incredible.

While trying to drag out the last summer break before his first year of high school, Jason continues to struggle with depression and adjust to life as an amputee. But when he delves deeper into the meaning of the letter—and ultimately the meaning of his name—he unravels a hidden destiny unwittingly inherited from his great-grandfather that is unchangeable and undeniably real.

Supposedly a member of a secret fraternity along with five other boys he’s never met, Jason must somehow seek them out one by one in time to save all of civilization from a lurking evil. But does he believe enough in himself? Does he have the fortitude to be a leader, or will he stick to the path of least resistance?

A YA fantasy adventure, J.A.S.O.N.D: JULY is my first novel and the first installment of a potential series spanning the last six months of the year. It is complete at 96,000 words.
Thank you for your time. You may contact me via e-mail at, or by phone at ***-***-****

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by juliakaypierce » June 9th, 2011, 7:55 pm

Dear Nathan,

“The monsters are real. Don’t forget that for a moment.”
Mya Stevens hasn’t had the most stable life, but she’s determined not be a victim. She’s become the kind of person who takes things in stride. She can cope with the unusual abilities she possesses, like being able to calm agitated psychiatric patients with a touch. She can deal with the headaches and panic attacks, and the fact that she’s beginning to hallucinate. She can even handle the vampire in her living room, and the werewolf in her bed- but things are about to get dicey, even for Mya.
No girl wants to know that she can make people explode…even if those people happen to be vampires. For one, it’s messy as hell. For another, it attracts attention. Mya’s vampire roommate reveals that the supernatural community suspects Mya of being a sensitive; a human manifesting unusual powers. Mya finds herself the target of the vampires and werewolves, who wish to hone this new tool- or eliminate her before she becomes a threat. She even becomes a target for her own kind, as a group of perceptive humans draw her into their quest to eradicate the creatures of the night.
Mya’s powers continue to grow, and she is forced to embrace the new- and sometimes frightening- person she is becoming in order to survive. Overwhelmed by the questionable intentions of the dangerous creatures around her, and the tumultuous changes taking place within her, Mya struggles to keep a grasp on her humanity. In a desperate bid to keep her independence, she finds herself standing up to the most powerful beings in the country. Sometimes the old adage is true- it turns out they really are more afraid of you than you are of them.
Moonlight Calls is an urban fantasy novel, complete at 109,000 words. While it certainly can stand on its own, there are two more books in this saga, both nearing completion.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Re: Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog

Post by L-live » June 11th, 2011, 12:57 am

Most child prodigies burn out before they rise to any recognition, but Elizabeth “Liz” Choi refuses to let that happen.

For most of Liz’s life she has been told by jealous classmates and well-intentioned parents alike that Asians will never play a prominent role in America’s culture industries. While other kids go to late night parties, she practises piano for three hours a day. While other kids hang out at malls, she writes letters to record companies with her band. For Liz, a record deal is the only way for her to escape the desolate Tucson suburbs and her tormented adolescence. Branded by her parents as “delusional” and “useless”, Liz can only retaliate by achieving top marks and hustling youth rock gigs every week.

However, the music industry is all about connections and sixteen year old Liz still struggles to network with industry professionals. This all changes when Joe Suzuki, a Japanese-American man who befriended the girl years ago, comes back with a credit card that never runs out, a handsome sardonic smirk, and shrewd hard headed advice. While Liz flaunts their unusual friendship, Joe keeps all secrets to himself. While Liz puts off critiquing his story, Joe recommends her band to an A&R friend. When Liz finally signs her record deal, it is only on the eve of Joe’s arrest that she realizes that he, too, has a similar ambition: to publish one phenomenal story before pursing death.

Banana Suburb is a multicultural YA novel complete at 94,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.


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