One of our readers submitted a query letter for critique. Feel free to make comments, but please keep them constructive.
Critique Archive 0026:
It’s 1992, you’re in London in the middle of the night, frightened and alone. Who would you call? If you are a brilliant, desperate 11-year-old girl hiding in the Notting Hill library, you call on your favorite literary characters. Why? Because Jane Eyre, Huck Finn, and Sidney Carton are your friends…
The young English girl’s tale is one of two that converge in Charm Bracelet, the first novel in my City of Roses series. Set in Portland, Oregon in 2009, the second storyline revolves around jaded corporate attorney, Simon Phillips. In an alcohol-induced fog, Simon finds himself atop a conference room table at his law firm boldly taking the entire legal profession to task, spouting off the things lawyers sometimes think about but never say. This gutsy stand, and other bad-boy behavior, land Simon with an enforced leave of absence, volunteer work, and stress management classes.
Hoping to avoid anyone he knows, a sober, disgruntled Simon goes to a crumbling community center in Northwest Portland for help, and there, unexpectedly, meets the love of his life. Simon has only to look at Dr. Kate Spencer, a non-profit pediatrician, to know she will change him forever, Accustomed to women falling at his feet, Simon must work hard to become a better person, one worthy of Kate. Will it be enough for him to win her, or is it his turn to have a broken heart? Can Simon help Kate move beyond the tragic past that haunts her? Will Kate risk emotional security or continue burying herself in a life of service? And just how does a dented, battered charm bracelet tie Simon and Kate’s story to the girl in the library?
These questions are all answered in Charm Bracelet. Comparable to the work of Lolly Winston, the 102,000-word story explores the consequences of loving another, showing that relationships can be harrowing as well as redemptive. It’s a smart love story with humor. And a shiny, gold heart.
I have been a passionate reader and writer since childhood, and now that my six children are older, I have adequate time to devote to my vocation. Over the last two years, I have taken as many classes as I could to learn the craft. I participate in two critique groups, have attended writer’s conferences throughout the state of Utah, and I am a member of The League of Utah Writers. As a regular speaker at a local women’s organization, I feel in tune with what women look for in a good story, and I am now working on the third installment for City of Roses. My former instructor, Sharon Jarvis (The Kaleidoscope Season, The Fairhaven Chronicles, Deseret Book Company) suggested that I begin submitting my work.
I have enclosed the first five pages of Charm Bracelet with this query. I hope to hear from you in order to send more. Thank you for your time and consideration.