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The Ring Thief


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#1 Renaissancegirl

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:38 PM

I’ll take a whack at it. Is this too long? CRITIQUE AWAY!!

-----

Dear X, I would like to offer my 56,000 word Amish romance novel, THE RING THIEF, for your Love Inspired or Love Inspired Suspense genres.

When she finds out that her fiancé is cheating on her, Charlotte Cooper doesn’t cry and throw her engagement ring or any other projectiles at the dirtbag; instead, she takes the ring and starts a deceitful business. She repeatedly tricks men into proposing to her, dumps them, and legally re-sells the engagement rings online, all while single-handedly throwing all her fairytale dreams of true love out her dingy apartment window. Talk about getting even.

 

Charlie carries on her charades until both her parents pass away and one ex-fiancé turns violent. She and her younger Zoe take refuge with her Amish relatives that her deceased parents would never speak of. In picturesque Unity, Maine, the sisters try to camouflage themselves with prayer kapps and antiquated dresses. The gentle -not to mention cute- Elijah Hochstetler tries to hide his growing feelings for Charlie, who is as taboo as electricity until she joins the Amish church. At first, life is peaceful as Charlie and Zoe ride around in buggies, can applesauce, make cheese from scratch, and outrun large turkeys. However, life in the simple Amish town quickly becomes complicated and dangerous.

 

As several mysteriously chilling events arise and buried family secrets are exhumed, fingers start pointing at Charlie. Meanwhile, an old box of adoption papers helps her unravels the story of her origins that is as dark as an Amish buggy: she was born Amish as a result of rape in a tangle of lies as wide as a cornfield, and she has a fraternal Amish twin. After her ex-fiancé is arrested for attacking her, Charlie finally gives Elijah her heart and joins the Amish faith, only to later on find their future home purposefully set ablaze by her own Amish twin. God’s gift of forgiveness finally breaks through Charlie’s anger and binds the sisters, and Charlie and Elijah’s wedding reunites the devided community. Since Amish tradition bans jewelry, Charlie ironically ends up with no ring at all, but her new simple life of faith and the love of her new family is all she needs.

 

THE RING THIEF may appeal to fans of PLAIN SECRETS and HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT.

 

I am a self-published author of three books on Amazon, my best seller being the educational documentary I wrote while living with three Amish families as I did extensive, hands-on research for this manuscript. ASHLEY’S AMISH ADVENTURE is used as curriculum by homeschooling families. I am a blogger for ProLife Missionaries of Maine and Amirah Boston, and I have a certificate in Writing Children’s Books with honors from Ashworth College.


Ashley Emma
Affordable book editor and coach
Taking new editing clients - ashleyemmaproofreading@gmail.com

I also offer coaching on writing and marketing - ashley@ashleyemmaauthor.com
Website: ashleyemmaauthor.com

You can view my bestselling novel at: https://www.amazon.c...uct_top?ie=UTF8


#2 Renaissancegirl

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    I have written 9 manuscripts.
    I have 2 books published on Amazon.com and one is a bestseller. I have a certificate in Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with honors from Ashworth College.
    You can view my bestselling eBook at: https://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Covert-Police-Detectives-Novels-ebook/dp/B01L6JE49G/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
    Or search for AshleyEmmaAuthor to read some of my other books for free on Wattpad!

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:40 PM

unravel*   oops


Ashley Emma
Affordable book editor and coach
Taking new editing clients - ashleyemmaproofreading@gmail.com

I also offer coaching on writing and marketing - ashley@ashleyemmaauthor.com
Website: ashleyemmaauthor.com

You can view my bestselling novel at: https://www.amazon.c...uct_top?ie=UTF8


#3 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

I’ll take a whack at it. Is this too long? CRITIQUE AWAY!!

-----

Dear X, I would like to offer my 56,000 word Amish romance novel, THE RING THIEF, for your Love Inspired or Love Inspired Suspense genres.

When she finds out that her fiancé is cheating on her, Charlotte Cooper doesn’t cry and throw her engagement ring or any other projectiles at the dirtbag; instead, she takes the ring and starts a deceitful business. She repeatedly tricks men into proposing to her, dumps them, and legally re-sells the engagement rings online, all while single-handedly throwing all her fairytale dreams of true love out her dingy apartment window. Talk about getting even.

 

Charlie carries on her charades until both her parents pass away and one ex-fiancé turns violent. She and her younger Zoe take refuge with her Amish relatives that her deceased parents would never speak of. In picturesque Unity, Maine, the sisters try to camouflage themselves with prayer kapps and antiquated dresses. The gentle -not to mention cute- Elijah Hochstetler tries to hide his growing feelings for Charlie, who is as taboo as electricity until she joins the Amish church. At first, life is peaceful as Charlie and Zoe ride around in buggies, can applesauce, make cheese from scratch, and outrun large turkeys. However, life in the simple Amish town quickly becomes complicated and dangerous.

 

As several mysteriously chilling events arise and buried family secrets are exhumed, fingers start pointing at Charlie. Meanwhile, an old box of adoption papers helps her unravels the story of her origins that is as dark as an Amish buggy: she was born Amish as a result of rape in a tangle of lies as wide as a cornfield, and she has a fraternal Amish twin. After her ex-fiancé is arrested for attacking her, Charlie finally gives Elijah her heart and joins the Amish faith, only to later on find their future home purposefully set ablaze by her own Amish twin. God’s gift of forgiveness finally breaks through Charlie’s anger and binds the sisters, and Charlie and Elijah’s wedding reunites the devided community. Since Amish tradition bans jewelry, Charlie ironically ends up with no ring at all, but her new simple life of faith and the love of her new family is all she needs.

 

THE RING THIEF may appeal to fans of PLAIN SECRETS and HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT.

 

I am a self-published author of three books on Amazon, my best seller being the educational documentary I wrote while living with three Amish families as I did extensive, hands-on research for this manuscript. ASHLEY’S AMISH ADVENTURE is used as curriculum by homeschooling families. I am a blogger for ProLife Missionaries of Maine and Amirah Boston, and I have a certificate in Writing Children’s Books with honors from Ashworth College.

You've been a member for a while. If you've been following the query threads, you'd realize this is a synopsis rather than a query. All a query needs to do is lay out the conflict, tell a little of the storyline, and intrigue the reader into wanting to read pages. A synopsis lays out the entire plot, which is what this does.

 

It sounds like a good story but right now the query doesn't work. One problem lies in the first line. Either this is a romance or a romantic suspense. If you don't know which genre it belongs in, an agt/ed won't take time to figure it out. So choose the one that fits and stick with it. (Also, both Love Inspires are Harlequin lines, not genres.)

 

What is the conflict? What does Charlie want more than anything? To make all men pay for what her first ex-fiance did? To get away from the violent ex-fiance? Once you decide that, figure out what keeps her from getting it. Once you have those two things straight, you should be able to come up with a better hook. Right now the hook paragraph is too long to work. (There's a little bit of voice in it though, which is always good.)

 

Leave Zoe out altogether or refer to her as 'sister' because a query doesn't have room to focus on anyone but the main character (main characters if it's a romance).

 

Try to cut out padding and make this come in between 200-300 words. Finish with an intriguing note. You might want to check out some back cover blurbs to see what a good query should entail, because they're written to entice the buyer to open the book and read pages. And that's all a query does: entice an agt/ed into reading pages.

 

 

The qualifications para needs to be cut way back. E.g., My self-published book, ASHLEY’S AMISH ADVENTURE, is an educational documentary about my living with three Amish families and is used as curriculum by homeschooling families.That's about all that's really pertinent to this query. This isn't a children's book and your blog (and website if you have one) can be listed below your name if the agt/ed's interested enough to check it out.

 

But this is just my opinion. Hope it's of some help.



#4 CeeJam

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

Hi RG,

 

As usual, I agree with Cheryl.  A synopsis is not going to do you any favours in this forum, and I think a revision is in order!  Pare this down to Charlie's character and journey 9catalyst and dilemma etc), and if you are going to make her unlikeable from the start (money grabbing ring thief!) then you need to build something in to make her intriguing at least - why should we want to read on, otherwise?

 

Good luck with this,

 

CeeJam



#5 Marandart

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

Trim this down to the bare bones. Just ask yourself: do we NEED to know this tiny detail right away? Isolate your story into the most interesting element. If you had one sentence to tell someone on the street about your work, what would you say to best summarize it? I found that making a bullet-point list helped me a lot. I made the same mistake you did: I outlined the entire novel. But when I sat down and looked at WHY readers like my work, I narrowed it down to, "Post-apocalyptic, survival, character-driven," etc. Just really simple elements. I think that'll help a lot. :) You have a really strong story here, I think. 

One thing I'd change or omit completely is the section about her discovering her past. That seems to come out of nowhere. You can probably reduce that to one or two sentences. "She discovers she is tied to the Amish in more ways than one, and her discovery threatens to dissolve her world from under her." Or something. Make it intriguing. Describe the feeling the reader gets from reading that part of the book. Does it strengthen the suspense? Does it change everything? Are we on the edges of our seats, eager to know what happens to Charlie next?!

If we know all the details right away, it loses meaning. Like trying to describe the feeling of The One Ring around Frodo's neck in one sentence. It becomes trite and loses emotional weight. So leave it open ended and make it exciting! :D 

I hope this helps and I look forward to a revision! 


Post-Apocalyptic Junkie, Lover of Tea, Carnivore Caretaker

Twitter: @ArtMaranda

Crit my Query? http://agentquerycon...a-sf-post-apoc/


#6 Renaissancegirl

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    Affordable book editor taking clients: ashleyemmaproofreading@gm

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    I have written 9 manuscripts.
    I have 2 books published on Amazon.com and one is a bestseller. I have a certificate in Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with honors from Ashworth College.
    You can view my bestselling eBook at: https://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Covert-Police-Detectives-Novels-ebook/dp/B01L6JE49G/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
    Or search for AshleyEmmaAuthor to read some of my other books for free on Wattpad!

Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:21 PM

Hi, thanks for your comments! I forgot to mention a few things.

I am doing this without an agent. I am sending this directly to Harelequin because they take authors without agents.

I haven’t been on this site or written a query in several months, so I’m a bit rusty.

This is not a typical query. Harelequin asks for a synopsis of 500-1000 words, so that is what I wrote.

They also asked for a one paragraph synopsis, so I am adding this in before the long synopsis.

Thanks!

Harelequin’s submission guidelines

  • We need to know the line the manuscript is intended for, the word count and status (complete/partial/query), any publishing history, writing awards and a one paragraph synopsis of the material. This is standard query letter material.
  • Following this should be a synopsis—preferably between 500-1000 words, giving an overview of your story—including the ending!

---------------

Dear X, this is the partial for my 56,000 word Amish romance novel, The Ring Thief, for your Love Inspired Suspense line. The following is a one paragraph synopsis.

 

After her fiancé cheats on her, Charlotte Cooper takes revenge on the male species by deceitfully tricking men into proposing to her, dumping them, and then selling the rings online. When one ex-fiancé violently demands back a ring that she cannot recover, Charlotte and her younger sister must flee and take refuge with their newfound Amish relatives on a tranquil farm. However, the simple town quickly becomes a dangerous place to live. Even as the pacifist community whispers of suspecting Charlotte for strange events and sudden robberies, Elijah the farmhand can’t help his growing love for her, though the idea of marrying her is forbidden as electricity unless she joins the Amish faith. Dark secrets are dug up from farm soil as she realizes she is tied to the Amish family in more ways than one and her discovery threatens to dissolve her world from under her. As Charlie wonders if her rampaging ex-fiancé has tracked her down, an unknown attacker becomes life-threateningly persistent in keeping Elijah and Charlotte apart. When being together threatens their lives and tragedy is inflicted, Charlotte and Elijah must make choose between vengeance or fiercely pursuing faith, forgiveness and true love.

 

I am a self-published author of three books on Amazon, my best seller being a documentary I wrote while living with three Amish families as I did hands-on research for this manuscript. I have a certificate in Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with honors from Ashworth College.  You can view my Amazon eBooks at: http://www.amazon.co...t=relevancerank. (Ashley’s Amish Adventure is being completely revised and expanded.) The following is a full synopsis.

 

When she finds out that her fiancé is cheating on her, Charlotte Cooper doesn’t angrily throw her engagement ring or any other projectiles at the dirtbag. Instead, she takes the ring and starts a deceitful business. She repeatedly tricks men into proposing to her, dumps them, and legally re-sells the engagement rings in her online store, all while single-handedly throwing all her fairytale dreams of true love out her dingy apartment window. Talk about getting even.

                Charlie is convinced all men are shallow liars, and she wants to make them pay for what her ex-fiancé did to her. Charlie carries on her charades until both her parents pass away and one ex-fiancé turns violent when he realizes his ring, which he originally stole, is gone for good. Determined to get it back before he is suspected of his crime, he threatens to convince the state to take Charlie’s younger sister, Zoe, away from her. Vowing to keep Zoe safe, no matter the cost, Charlie must make a decision. Unable to produce the ring, Charlie fakes her and Zoe’s deaths at the scene of her father’s fatal car accident. The sisters quietly leave everything they know behind and take refuge with her Amish relatives that her deceased parents would never speak of.

                In picturesque Unity, Maine, the sisters try to camouflage themselves with prayer kapps and antiquated dresses. The family’s handsome and protective farmhand, Elijah Hochstetler, tries to hide his growing feelings for Charlie, who is as taboo as electricity until she joins the Amish church. At first, life is peaceful as Charlie and Zoe ride around in buggies, can applesauce, make cheese from scratch, and outrun large turkeys. However, life in the simple Amish town quickly becomes complicated and dangerous.

                As several mysteriously chilling events arise, fingers start pointing at Charlie, especially when a rash of robberies coincidentally breaks out soon after her arrival. Someone is trying to scare her out of Unity by vandalizing her car, destroying her clothes, and sneaking around the farm late at night. Charlie doesn’t know if it her outraged ex-fiancé, someone among them, or both as the strange happenings begin to exhume buried family secrets. An old box of adoption papers leads her to the story of her origins that is as dark as an Amish buggy: she was born Amish as a result of rape in a tangle of lies as wide as a cornfield, and she has a fraternal Amish twin. However, the secrets have been kept, even from her twin, and must remain that way, in order to not mar her Amish family’s reputation.

                After her ex-fiancé is arrested for attacking and kidnapping her, Charlie accepts Elijah’s proposal and joins the Amish faith. She thinks the attacks are finally over and that they can peacefully build their future, only to later on find their future home purposefully set ablaze by her own twin. God’s gift of forgiveness finally breaks through Charlie’s devastation and begins to bond the twins, and Charlie and Elijah’s wedding reunites the divided community. Since Amish tradition bans jewelry, Charlie ironically ends up with no ring at all, but her new simple life of faith and the love of her new family is all she needs. Charlie, Zoe and Elijah begin their new life together,
 

The Ring Thief may appeal to fans of Plain Secrets by Kit Wilkinson and Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry.


Thank you for your time,

Ashley Joy Lowell
 


Ashley Emma
Affordable book editor and coach
Taking new editing clients - ashleyemmaproofreading@gmail.com

I also offer coaching on writing and marketing - ashley@ashleyemmaauthor.com
Website: ashleyemmaauthor.com

You can view my bestselling novel at: https://www.amazon.c...uct_top?ie=UTF8


#7 Renaissancegirl

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    I have written 9 manuscripts.
    I have 2 books published on Amazon.com and one is a bestseller. I have a certificate in Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with honors from Ashworth College.
    You can view my bestselling eBook at: https://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Covert-Police-Detectives-Novels-ebook/dp/B01L6JE49G/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
    Or search for AshleyEmmaAuthor to read some of my other books for free on Wattpad!

Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:25 PM

Marandart, I loved that sentence so much I used it. I that ok?


Ashley Emma
Affordable book editor and coach
Taking new editing clients - ashleyemmaproofreading@gmail.com

I also offer coaching on writing and marketing - ashley@ashleyemmaauthor.com
Website: ashleyemmaauthor.com

You can view my bestselling novel at: https://www.amazon.c...uct_top?ie=UTF8


#8 JALS_EC

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:57 PM

I really like some of the imagery words you used. "Dark as an Amish buggy" and "a tangle of lies as wide as a cornfield." 

 

Do you use Italics for the book title? I've been hearing around you're supposed to Capsize the title of the book when it first appears but now I'm not sure.



#9 Renaissancegirl

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    Affordable book editor taking clients: ashleyemmaproofreading@gm

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  • Publishing Experience:I am a book editor taking new clients and I have very affordable rates. If you want your work published, it must be edited before you submit it!
    I have written 9 manuscripts.
    I have 2 books published on Amazon.com and one is a bestseller. I have a certificate in Writing Books for Children and Young Adults with honors from Ashworth College.
    You can view my bestselling eBook at: https://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Covert-Police-Detectives-Novels-ebook/dp/B01L6JE49G/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
    Or search for AshleyEmmaAuthor to read some of my other books for free on Wattpad!

Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

That's what I always was taught in school, to use italics. I don't know but I've seen both. Thanks!

Ashley Emma
Affordable book editor and coach
Taking new editing clients - ashleyemmaproofreading@gmail.com

I also offer coaching on writing and marketing - ashley@ashleyemmaauthor.com
Website: ashleyemmaauthor.com

You can view my bestselling novel at: https://www.amazon.c...uct_top?ie=UTF8


#10 cynkaba

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:12 AM

I think if this is a synopsis, you should post it in the synopsis section.  Good luck!


Cindy Batten ~ "Getting to the point with style and romance" ~
 

Fire In The Mix on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/1453732381

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