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.
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