December 13, 2010 | By: Tracy

Query BlogFest Entry

Okay, folks, here is my entry for Jodi Henry's Query BlogFest taking place this week. 

Whether you're participating or not, feel free to stop by and visit some of the other brave souls who are putting their queries out there for tweaking and feel free to add your input. 

(Please note: I'm only including the story blurb -- no personalization or background info)

GEMINI CURSED - 83,000 word paranormal fiction

Dear Wonderful Agent:

Centuries ago, Anna Rodwen had no intention of standing idly aside while another woman plotted to steal the love of her life. She fought for her man, and refused to abandon Thomas despite learning his not-so-secret admirer was a witch. Anna thought she understood the dangers of opposing an enemy who could wield magic, but the actual repercussions were beyond her imagining.

The worst part of being cursed to live for eternity was witnessing the death of the one person she’d risked everything for.

Decades later and a country away, Anna crosses paths with a young man identical—in every way—to her long-lost Thomas. While he has no recollection of the lifetime they once shared, Anna’s convinced her soulmate has come back to her. Just when it looks as though fate has given its blessing for a second chance, she discovers her newfound happiness comes with a curse of its own.  

Anna once sacrificed her mortality in an attempt to secure a life with the man she loved. This time she may be asked to pay a far steeper price.

To my fellow blogfesters, I promise I will be getting around to all of you at some point this week!

19 witty remarks:

Matthew Rush said...

I've seen this before haven't I? I mean not this version, but this same story with a different query, right? I think this is pretty good. You could change a few things but I think it's pretty strong as is. Are we supposed to be critiquing these?

If so one thing I would change is not to call it paranormal fiction. I don't think you should use the word fiction in the genre ever. Otherwise, good stuff!

Tracy said...

Thanks Matthew. Yes, it's the same story. Now that it's been through massive revisions.

And yes, the queries are up for any critiques or comments people see fit. The blogfesters are going around to check out everyone else's, but anyone is encouraged to participate if they'd like.

What about women's fiction?

Shannon said...

Hi Tracy,

I might be thinking of story before revisions - if I recall, Anna and Thomas meet back up every few years, or something. Is that still part of the story? If so, you may want to include that in the critique. =)

- S

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Tracey, you can call it a paranormal novel. It's obvious it's fiction because of the paranormal part. It isn't a memoir, right?

Justin W. Parente said...

Hi Tracey,

So I'm going off on a limb here and saying that this is really exciting. I've never been too much into paranormal fiction, but this has a nice take to it. I like that all of the conflict in the opening drowns out the future, larger conflict (somewhat connected) at the end. You might want to omit P2 entirely, or find different phrasing. It's stock and doesn't do much for the story right now.

So, the heart of the concern is what happens to Thomas the first time. Is it the witch who did him in, or the combination of them both? Maybe throw that in somewhere.

In My Write Mind

Lydia K said...

Exciting story! I hope it garners a lot of requests.

Janet Johnson said...

What a fun premise! I'm with Lydia, I'll be crossing my fingers for you. :)

and yes, super brave soul!

Stephanie M. Lorée said...

Hello! This is a very good query, polished. I like the character and the setup is great. I have a few minor issues.

1. First you say "Centuries ago" and then it's "Decades later." The connotation between the two is completely different, so maybe you want to specify a bit more or say it differently.

2. Pretty sure "beyond her imagining" should be "beyond her imagination" but not 100% on this.

3. The climax setup where there's some curse, some sacrifice, it's all very vague. I wonder if you can't be more specific while still enticing us to read on. Right now, I'm not entirely hooked. I'm waiting for something a bit more to grab me and make me understand what seperates this from other love-lost romance stories.

And this is a love story, isn't it? Your query's plot focuses entirely around the romance, so you may want to tag this as paranormal romance.

I really think this is fantastic. Best of luck!

Scribbler to Scribe

Rachel said...

Why would she be "cursed" with immortality. Most people want to live forever. Who killed Thomas or did he die of old age?
Sounds intriguing. Good job with the query. Normally I have more to say.

Melissa said...

I love that you are approaching immortality as a curse and not something to be desired (like so many other books!). I think it's an excellently fresh way to look at it.

This sounds like a good story! I'm crossing my fingers for you.

LTM said...

LOVE it... I might caution to ditch that initial adverb (idly)--just b/c they've become such no-nos these days. Hate to hurt your chances. But I know what you're going for there, and I can't imagine it would be a deal killer w/this great premise. Good luck! :o) <3

Nicole Zoltack said...

Love the closing hook!

I agree about the centuries/decades thing.

I'm curious as to how Thomas died, whether it was by natural causes or not.

From the query, I would call this paranormal romance. Good luck with this! :)

Anne Gallagher said...

This would be called paranormal romance.

Tracy said...

Thanks Everyone! Any other suggestions, keep them coming!!

I've teetered on calling it paranormal romance, because while the love story is the main focus it doesn't fit into traditional romance guidelines. My story is sort of a Nicholar Sparks, Anne Rice love child, lol.

lexcade said...

I would figure it as paranormal romance because obviously it centers around the love between Thomas and Anna. Even if there may not be a HEA, I personally believe it still counts.

Secondly, the query is great, but as someone mentioned above, there are parts that are vague. You give us specifics in the beginning paragraph and the great hook of Anna's immortality and her having to watch Thomas die after all she did to be with him. Immediate empathy. But whether he died of old age or from something the witch did, we don't know, and the way he died would honestly color the perception of the story. Was it instant-tragic (death by evil witch), sudden-tragic (death by accident), or long-and-drawn-out-tragic (death by debilitating illness or old age)? Each cause will affect Anna differently, and we need to know how he died to get two things: bearings on time-frame and Anna's mindset when she meets Thomas 2.0.

Also, to clear up the decades deal, you could simply state "Decades after Thomas' death..." Easy-peasy.

Great concept, though, chica. Good luck with it!

Jodi Henry said...


This is fabulous. Love the premise.

It's deffinilty PR. Great voice and everyone else mentioned the rest.


J.C. Martin said...

This is a really good query letter. I wonder if you could dangle the carrot a bit more by revealing just a little what her "far steeper price" is? And I agree with the others that this could be classed as a Paranormal Romance.

Patricia A. Timms said...

Great query. I think some of the comments were reaching for something to pick at. No query is perfect. It sounds to me like some of the commenters want to read more and therefore want you to give more away than necessary. You have put your premise out there in a back-of-the-book style fashion and I think you don't need to reveal anything else.

I would read this book, for sure.

I say, if this manuscript it done, then you should be sending this query out already (or wait until January when agents are back from vacation.) Great job!

Dominic de Mattos said...

Tracy, this is a great premise and you sell it well.

I agree with Melissa that calling immortality a curse works really well. It leapt out at me and said this author is offering something different.

It seemed clear to me from the difference in time scales and your reference to their lifetime together that she had had to suffer the agony of seeing Thomas age and wither and then face an eternity of loneliness without him. It would be great to have a flavour of this emotion, this night-time of the soul in the second paragraph. This helps make us care even more for Anna and sets up a greater delirium of joy when she meets her beloved Thomas in P3. A bit more emotional investment might be worth it here too. (You hint at it in "long lost" and "soulmate" but these are quite dry). I had the same comments about my query - short on the emotional connection. I would think that showing some extra emotional depths would be even more important for a romance.

P4 - I love the concept of "sacrificing her mortality" - it's the other side of the immortality as a curse coin and it is neat was of bringing us back to the story premise. One thing you might like to think about - when you use the word "attempt" it suggests that she failed to have the life she wanted with Thomas. I did my Sherlock Holmes and reckoned that she did get that life. Do you think it would be more powerful to say "Anna once sacrificed her mortality to secure one brief life with the man she loved. This time the price is even higher." It doesn't tell us whether she pays it or not and there I take it is the conflict.

I have never read romances (sheesh! why didn't I say so before? After I made you read through reams of waffle?) but this sounds so intriguing I would be tempted to cross genres. Must be a good query then!

Good luck with this


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