Here’s another example query for you to feast your eyes on. Renita queried me with her NA manuscript The Unity of Opposites in October last year.
THE UNITY OF OPPOSITES is a New Adult Contemporary Romance complete at 70,000 words.
When nineteen-year-old Brinley Monroe runs into Ryder Briggs—an insanely desirable, tattooed bad boy and the other half of her disastrous first kiss—she knows she’s in trouble. Since that humiliating day four years ago, when she experienced a moment of Ryder-induced-bliss followed by nose-diving into a swimming pool, she’s hated him…every delectable square inch. Now in college, her past has reappeared and, by the looks of it, still hasn’t grown into his ego.
Despite their scorching chemistry, a guy like Ryder is the last thing Brinley needs in her life. As the product of a teen mom, who now loves vodka more than her own daughter, Brinley refuses to let bad decisions rule her life. But while spending time with Ryder, she discovers there is more to him than the image he broadcasts. Though complete opposites, they share the same fear—repeating their parents’ mistakes. And as Ryder’s desire not to hurt her drives him away, her trust in him draws them back together.
But when Ryder’s involvement in a campus-wide scandal comes to light, the only person to pay is Brinley. As much as she wanted to believe otherwise, learning from her past means leaving people from it out of her future. Now, in order to protect her, Ryder must fix the mess he’s caused then do what he should have done from day one. Walk away.
I am a romance author currently published through Lyrical Press. (YA Paranormal Romance series—October 2012 and September 2013, and an Adult Urban Fantasy Romance—March 2013). I appreciate your time and consideration and sincerely hope to hear from you in the near future.
Here’s what caught my eye:
The Title. Now, we actually changed it—more on this later—but I loved the title. It automatically intrigued me. (Maybe I always go for people who are my opposite, I don’t know).
That first paragraph gives a great set up. I love that Brinley and Ryder have a history and that it’s humiliating for her. A disastrous first kiss followed by a nose-dive into a swimming pool—and it’s made her hate him? That feels so very authentic. I still have a high school kiss that makes me cringe whenever I think of it. And if I ran into that guy now, oh I wouldn’t be a fan.
But what really gets me with that paragraph is that Ryder “still hasn’t grown into his ego.” This is such a great example of voice and characterization in a query. It’s a little detail, worded in a way that reflects exactly something that Brinley would say and it tells me so much about her and about the book.
The second paragraph sets up more conflicts. This is a book that is a romance but each of the characters have their own conflicts going on as well. Brinley’s relationship with her mom comes into play here. More than that though, I also love that “Brinley refuses to let bad decisions rule her life.” This tells me that she’s a strong character, she might have history and family issues like all of us, but they’re not going to get the best of her.
And of course the tease of a campus wide scandal really got me too, but what I liked about the ending is that this feels like a romance that’s more than just a will they/won’t they—it sounds like a relationship story, something that requires working through every day conflicts and struggles. It feels so real and authentic to the college experience.
Of course Renita is a fabulous writer so when I started reading her pages I was totally hooked. And I wasn’t the only one.
THE UNITY OF OPPOSITES and two companion novels sold at auction to Random House Flirt. We changed the name to Just a Little Crush and now it comes out October 21st. That’s almost 12 months to the day that Renita queried me!