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Ask Daphne! About My Query LIV

flamesSome seriously high heels for LB, who’s offered her query for today’s AMQ post.

Dear Daphne:

Single mom Ella Steel is settling in for a rare and peaceful evening to herself when a fire in her mother’s kitchen brings irresistible Captain Jack Piper to her rescue, in more ways than one. His unexpected arrival in her life, and her powerful but unnerving attraction to him, adds more chaos and confusion to her already complicated existence. Ella has been trying to get a grip on her life after being abandoned by her husband; sexually harassed by her boss; taunted by a sewer issue; harried by her children and tortured, not only by self-doubt, but also her mischievous dog, JJ. And to top off the mayhem, she must fulfill her duties as the maid of honor for her best friend’s wedding, which includes surviving the steamy bachelorette party. Burdened by a lack of faith in herself, she fights the chemistry with Jack as best she can, armed with a good dose of prejudice and mistrust. However, Jack is persistent, gently encouraging Ella to stop and take a look at her life, stand up for herself and move forward with confidence. It is not until Ella’s son disappears at the wedding reception that she finds the strength to survive her past, courage to face her future, and faith in herself and others to ignite the fire in her soul.

FIRE IN THE SOUL, a 58,000 word women’s fiction/romantic comedy similar to the works of Janet Evanovich, is complete and ready for your review. I found your agency listed on webook.com, and after researching your website, found that we have a similar interest in style.

I am a member of Northern Colorado Writer’s Group.

This submission is not exclusive. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


To be honest, this is a bit of a difficult query for me to review, since it’s written very well, but it’s for a genre that I feel is somewhat overstuffed with similar titles. As a reader, looking at this blurb, there’s little except the “sewer issue” that feels different.

What I’d love to see more of is what makes this novel special. What makes it stand out? Is it humor? Hot sex scenes? Religion? (There seems to be a lot about faith, which makes me wonder if you might want to market this as Christian fiction.)

Two quick notes about character — you might be able to tell me more about Ella by talking more about her best friend. What kind of relationship do they have, and how does Ella feel about being her maid of honor? I’m not saying to add too much more, but I’m sure you know the answer, and it might be helpful to give an agent reading your query a sense as well. It also allows me to see Ella as more than just a love interest, but a friend, too. I always say my favorite parts in romance novels are those involving the secondary characters.

And speaking of a second character question — how old is Ella’s son who disappears at the reception? Is he a toddler, that she fears may have been kidnapped? A teenager who might have run away? Those are the two poles, but again, giving the agent a sense about her family life adds another dimension to your MC.

As it stands now, this might be something I’d pick up to read, but is it especially memorable? Readers, what do you think?

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