>Dear Secret Agent,

Stuck in a loveless engagement arranged by her uncle, Lady Evelyn “Evie” Newbury struggles with her decision to obey her uncle or follow her heart.  Orphaned at a young age, she had vowed to be the perfect picture of a dutiful niece; yet Evie soon discovers that, with her future at stake, she must do what she can to find her own happiness.  As she plots her escape, Evie soon finds an ally in the mysterious stranger in her uncle’s dungeons. The only problem is how to get her out…

Soccer practice, babysitting, chasing off her mother’s latest boyfriend, and going on trial for being a witch; junior year is not starting off very well for Toni DeWitt.

As an average teenager, Antonia “Toni” DeWitt has never placed much importance in history.  Yet when she’s suddenly transported back to the past with a mysterious necklace, she soon finds herself wishing that she had stayed awake during her hours at school.  Her strange looks and speech along with her smart aleck comments soon land her in the dungeons quicker than she could say “homecoming queen”.

FATED MISHAPS, (92,000 word young adult fiction) follows the adventures of two girls from different time periods as they unexpectedly find a friendship that gives them the strength needed to do what they must to survive betrayal, love, and life.  Told through the eyes of the quirky and proud Toni and the caring and naive Evie by alternating chapters, this novel is a mixture of humor and adventure that shows readers that some friendships can survive anything through time, even in its most extreme form.

This novel is a stand-alone book but has potential to become a serious. Enclosed is the first 250 words. I’ll be glad to send you my complete manuscript for review. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.



I will never be Lady Hakebourn.

He will never speak to me. He will never touch me.

These reassuring thoughts repeated themselves in my mind as the maid continued fastening the buttons that ran up the back of the wedding dress. With every button, the laces beneath the dress pushed tighter against my skin, gradually squeezing the air from my lungs, making it harder to breathe-all to please the godforsaken realm of fashion.

The day’s fitting was in preparation for next week’s wedding. Since it was a hasty engagement, the dress had only arrived from the seamstress this morning.

Yes, a hasty engagement. Baron Hakebourn’s second wife recently died of unknown reasons, though the gossips swore that he had simply beaten her too harshly one time too many. Of course, they stopped their mutterings as soon as I came within earshot, so I haven’t heard more than a whisper of that.

And unfortunately, given my recent luck, the dress seemed to fit perfectly, meaning that I couldn’t send it back and have another few days of freedom. As tempted as I was to secretly rip out the seams, I knew that would only be a temporary solution. And a cowardly one at that, to place the blame on the maids. My parents would be disappointed in me if they knew. Of course, if they were still alive, I wouldn’t be stuck in this predicament.

8 Responses to “#39 FATED MISHAPS (REVISED)”

  1. Dorothy Dreyer says:

    >Interesting premise. I would read on.

  2. Michelle says:

    >Love the first line of your query! I wanted to know how she went back to the past, though. And the second paragraph lost me because there was no set-up for the other MC; I thought that it was still talking about the first girl and she'd been given a new name.

    I would start with the second line of your sample. I think it's the better hook. The writing is strong and the premise captivating, just somewhat unclear in the query–I would explain outright about using two POV's. Good luck!

  3. Larissa says:

    >This is an interesting premise, so I'm going to be nit-picky. 🙂

    Because your query starts with Tori, I was a little confused when your story started with (I'm guessing, since we don't get a name) Evie. Maybe flip the two around in your query?

    I also wonder how Tori is transported. You don't have to explain the whole thing, just a taste of what we're dealing with: a magic spell sent by Evie? A charmed amulet from the past? etc.

    The sample is interesting.

    Good luck! 🙂

  4. Janine says:

    >IMO leave out the "average teen" stuff. Also, I agree not enough to transition to 2nd MC. And again, I agree that it is weird to start with Tori in the query but Evie in the story. I felt almost like I was reading the opening pages of a different book. Just FYI.

    I think you need to start the query after Toni's been transported. Explain that lickety-split and introduce Evie right away. Also, I'd introduce the Uncle, b/c he's the villian?

    Sounds like a fun premise.

  5. Hhook says:

    >I also think the query letter could start with Evie, so it matches the story a little beter. I do like the writing and the voice in the sample, though.

  6. Libbie H. says:

    >If I were an agent…

    The query:

    Why would I make jokes about “Antonia”? Maybe I’m just not up on my witch lore – I don’t know. In spite of the confusion I feel over this bit, I like the first paragraph enough to keep reading your query.

    Tell me more. You’ve got two girls in a dungeon, and that’s it. What do they want? What are they willing to do to get what they want? What’s at stake for both of them if they fail?

    Rather than mention that you’ve done no work on a sequel, which just kinda sounds funny, I’d say something like “This novel has series potential, but stands on its own.” The fact that you’ve got a synopsis ready for a sequel is something you can bring up with your agent, once you land one.

    The sample:

    Needs a little polish – there are some small errors there. Overall, though, it’s pretty good. I’d request a partial.

  7. Nate says:

    >I like your idea and voice, but your query's opening line seems a little too flippant to garner serious attention from an agent with 100 more queries to read behind yours.

    Not being a paranormal fan, I also have to wonder how Antonia (and what's funny about that name?) found herself "suddenly" transported through time and space?

    As with my other query critiques, I think yours is lengthy because you're telling too much about events in the book and not what the book is about, which, in this case, sounds like it has a lot to do with free will, friendship, and individualism vs. our real or perceived duties to our families and ourselves.

    It seems worthy of being allowed to continue to the next round in this contest, however, and I wish you all the best with it!

  8. Trish says:

    >The query reads great, but I wouldn’t tell the agent that the story is humorous. Leave that for her/him to decide. That should show in your writing sample.

    In the writing sample, I would tighten the second paragraph a little to save repeating the same words. Here is a suggestion>>

    These reassuring thoughts repeated themselves in my mind as the maid continued to fasten the back of my wedding dress. With every button, the laces beneath it pushed tighter against my skin, squeezing the air from my lungs and making it harder to breathe-all to please the godforsaken realm of fashion.

    The rest reads great, but if you want the humour to show straight away, add a little more in the first 250 words. Good luck