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Public Critique: EVER Query

Hello!  It's time for another query critique.  Give this one a good look!  Next week, Jamie will be back with a brief excerpt for critique and is looking for a critique partner.  If you have the time, please give the query a read and offer any advice or constructive criticism you may have.  If you're interested in having a query, synopsis, or excerpt posted on Lit Rambles for critique, check out my contribute page.

EVER
(query)
YA Paranormal
By Jamie Manning

Dear Dream Agent,

Waking up in a coffin hungry for blood is only the beginning for sixteen-year-old Everly Blue. Her desire to drink plasma, though, pales next to her desire for Chance Caldon, the hottie who dug her up. He’s gorgeous, super-nice, and has delicious-smelling blood that Everly wants very much to taste. But when Chance tells her that she’s half vampire, Everly’s world turns upside down.

Half vamp? No way. Everly can’t believe it. Not until Devon, a thousand-year-old vampire, shows up and tells her it’s true. And that he’s the one who turned her. Now Everly’s mind has to deal with that sudden bloodlust and the desire to see Devon dead. She’s a monster now, she can feel it; and her life is over.

But redemption isn’t lost. Devon turned Everly to save her life after he found her nearly dead, and now he’s giving her a chance to regain her humanity. The price? Kill 100 vampires or remain a bloodsucker forever.

So with Chance by her side and no other choice, Everly sets out to get her life back. All the while having to deal with her feelings for Chance, her hatred for Devon (who she knows has a hidden agenda), some new-found vampire hunting friends and that pesky taste for blood that just won’t go away.

Once Everly starts killing vampires, though, the local covens come after her, starting a battle that could destroy everything Everly has been working toward. In the end, Everly is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever.

My young adult novel, EVER, is complete at 70,000 words. I think fans of the supernatural will enjoy this story of a girl thrown into a life of danger and romance. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Jamie Manning
jmanni32.blogspot.com

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Okay, let me try this comment thingy again! LOL! (The first time didn't work.) I think it's catchy, earns my interest from the get-go, and gives me a sense of your voice.

    My only suggestion...what's the decision at the end that will change her life forever? That should be the crux of your story/black moment, right? You should reveal that choice.

    Something like:
    "She must choose between killing the boy she loves or sealing her fate as a vampire."

    Or something like that. Overall, really good though! :)

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  3. I used to think I've seen everything there is about vampires but with this story, I'm happy to say I stand corrected.

    Love the voice a lot. Makes me want to read. Right now. Unfortunately, the query seems too long. All the details included are critical (IMHO) but I think you have to find a way to say it in a more condensed fashion.

    The last line, however (In the end...) is too cliched - having seen the entire query, I'm very, very sure you can do a lot better than this.

    Lastly, I think your entire query is good enough to end with "My YA...complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration, et al." No more 'I think fans..."

    Just my 2 cents.

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  4. It seems like a pretty solid query, and definitely sounds like a promising book. I agree with Kristin--I want to know what Everly's life-changing decision is.

    I find one line odd-- "But redemption isn't lost." It sounds like she came close to redemption and had it taken away from her, rather than just stating that redemption is possible. Maybe a slight rewording, though this could just be me.

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  5. I really like your query. It sounds like an interesting twist on a vampire story.

    I agree with the other comments that you need a stronger end setting out the stakes. I also think you can make it more concise by combining paragraphs--perhaps the first & second, leave the third as is except for deleting "redemption isn't lost", and combine the last two.

    Also can you describe Chance in a way that doesn't use "hottie"? It seems so many people do.

    Seriously, you've explained your story well & you just need to tweak this. Good luck.

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  6. This is really good and has a nice flavor.

    I think the hook is a bit buried. And so is the explanation of what a half vampire means in your world.

    Dealing with... the new found vampire hunting friends

    They're the only ones in the list that I can't figure out what she's "dealing with" with them. Why are they bugging her? After all, this is a list of issues she has.

    Agree the ending is vague. Not saying you have to give away the choice in the query, but something a little more concrete might help. And maybe beefing up the covens coming after her. Right now, it's a 'No duh' kind of statement.

    So here's my short version (147 words) to hopefully give you a sense of what I would like to see and when. (My opinion.)


    Waking up in a coffin hungry for blood is only the beginning for sixteen-year-old Everly Blue. She’s half vampire. Her desire to drink plasma is almost eclipsed by her need to kill vampires. Devon, a thousand-year-old vampire, turned Everly to save her life after he found her nearly dead, and now he’s giving her a chance to regain her humanity. The price? Kill 100 vampires or remain a bloodsucker forever.

    Dealing with her feelings for Chance Caldon (super-nice and a gorgeous bod full of delicious-smelling blood), her desire to kill Devon (who she knows has a hidden agenda), some new-found vampire hunting friends and that pesky taste for blood that just won’t go away, Everly sets out to get her life back. Once she starts her killing spree, the local covens come after her. Everly is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever.

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  7. I agree with what other people have said so far. Just two things:

    1-"coven" is witches (I should know, I'm in one), "kiss" is vampires. It's by far the most annoying thing about the vampire fiction that's been coming out in the past, like, 5-10 years.It's like referring to a group of wolves as a "pod".

    2-How can you make a half vampire? I've devoted my life since my teen years to researching all things vampire and I've never heard of someone making a half vampire (known, actually, as a "thrall"). In legends, a half-vamp is born. If you're giving us a new legend to play with, you may want to make that clearer.

    (I'm a total goth cliche, but at least I have fun XP)

    All that being said, this book I would read and I don't even like YA!!

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  8. It may just be me, but I got momentarily confused over the opening paragraph -- I thought for a moment she woke up wanting blood, in a coffin, got dug up, and THEN somebody broke it to her that she was a vampire, and she was actually surprised. Reading on, I got there.

    This sounds like a really interesting concept and definitely something I'd pick up -- and that's saying something, because I'm not much for vampires!

    (Also, unrelated: Barbara Kouts spotlight coming up! Yay!)

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  9. It's fairly tightly written. Good query!

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  10. You spent the first 151 words on "Oh dear, yet another sparkly vampire" stuff. Can you condense it and get to the "kill 100 vampires" right in the first paragraph? Because that is what separates it from the other vampire novels out there.

    I'd phrase it more like this which takes out 69 words (of course, you can do it much better because it's your novel):

    Sixteen-year-old Everly Blue desires Chance Caldon's blood more than the gorgeous, super-nice boy. When he tells her that she’s half vampire, she can’t believe it. Not until Devon, a thousand-year-old vampire, confirms that he turned her to save her life after he found her nearly dead. Now Everly’s mind has to deal with sudden bloodlust and the desire to kill Devon. She can feel she’s a monster and her life is over, but Devon gives her a chance to regain her humanity. The price? Kill 100 vampires or remain a bloodsucker forever.

    ReplyDelete