Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I'd like to cut this down to around 300 words. So 50ish words need to go. I'm stuck on what to take out. From other feedback I'm getting it just raises more questions they say I need to answer in the query, but I don't need to add to it, I need to delete stuff. I have answered who the characters are, what they want, what the stakes are, what gets in their way. I know it should only convey 1 pov, however the plot is tricky and I'm stuck on how to do that. I've written queries for both and then one that included both, neither of which have been a success.
Thanks in advance!
Watching your (2nd POV might work in this case. Sounds good to me.) wife slip away and belong to another is hell on earth. Unless you are Trent Allen, then it’s just purgatory. I separated your hook from the large paragraph. It's more clear.
Trent and Kenzie Allen have it all (If you drop the, "have it all" cliché, and use specifics, it will be more clear. Say, "Mansions, Money, Murder, etc.) plus a little more, thanks to Trent’s secret obsession with stashing money in places Kenzie has no idea about. A year after Trent is murdered, Kenzie and the couple's child move into the Cove Water, Florida estate bought with Trent’s black jack winnings. Despite Kenzie’s grief, she is resolute to take full advantage of the estate and restaurant that could make her millions (I am curious how one makes millions of dollars from a restaurant? Over 40 year? Let alone an estate? An estate is a liability, pretty much ) and provide refuge from Trent’s murderers. But Kenzie has no idea Trent has a front row seat to her life, nor that he refuses to let go of her until he knows she’s safe. I want to make sure I understand. In my head, he's faked his death and she's living in protective custody, possibly with a new identity.
I like it though. Sounds like a cool twist.
Trent’s brother and grandma (ok, lol, so I guess she's not in any kind of protective custody, or her family would have no idea about her whereabouts, unless this hiding out is not government involved. If it's not, tell us sooner, like she's hiding out on her own, so we know for sure.) offer to help Kenzie get back on her feet (get back on her feet how? She has a restaurant and land she thinks will make her millions? Is she a drug addict? Or emotionally destroyed from the death of hubby?) in Cove Water, which is all the help she thinks she needs.
Until she meets Austin, Trent's estranged childhood friend who manages the (what's a dive? say cruddy bar, if that's what it is? It's more clear) dive Trent bought. Kenzie can’t resist Austin’s soulful passion, and once she starts asking questions about his past, she can’t stop. Austin’s honest to a fault and only shares one trait with Kenzie’s dead husband – they have the same taste in women. Trent never told Kenzie he had an affair with Austin’s girlfriend in college resulting in pregnancy, and watching his wife desire the man he stole love from makes him want to die all over again. I hate to scratch this out, but it was so slow and does not contribute to your plot well. Keep in my, it's my opinion, but I think others who are familiar with queries will say the same.
After Trent’s brother develops a (ok, so this query is getting really confusing. Too many characters. Too many plot points. For clarity, since her husband dies so quick and you want to enter a love triangle--just say in one sentence,"her husband dies and she meets Austin, etc. You waste a whole paragraph above on hubby and he dies. Focus on the living characters we want to know. I mean you mention like 7 characters in a query, and it can work, but it's confusing here. Now I can tell you have a well-thought out bad ass book because of twists and turns and betrayals, but this is way too dense with characters. Focus on 2, maybe 3 at most, only if the third is like an additive. You need a protagonist. You need an antagonist. keep it simple, and your query will shine a thousand times better relationship with Austin’s ex under Kenzie’s nose, Kenzie’s not sure the girl didn’t have something to do with Trent’s death. Driven by the fear of Trent’s murder being unsolved and uncovering a different side of her husband, Kenzie and Austin share one goal with Trent – to discover who and why Trent was murdered and find peace to let go of it all.
WITHIN THE CLEANSING FIRE is a ? written in alternating POV. The manuscript is complete at 85,000 words and appeals to readers of stories such as I LIKED MY LIFE and SAFE HAVEN.
Thank you for your time and consideration.