Eighteen-year-old Rosa becomes separated from her family as they flee their Spanish homeland – and the Inquisition. Decent hook, I’d shorten it up with “flee the Inquisition.” I realize that there were other Inquisitions, but most people immediately think “Spain.” Now her life is in the hands of a stranger, Baha, an artist from the Ottoman Empire. He is her one hope of reaching Constantinople and reuniting with her family. Nice, but I’d rephrase slightly for flow and word count – you can mash the two sentences previous to this comment together – “Now her one hope of reaching Constaninople to reunite with her family lies with the stranger Baha…” As they travel together, Rosa’s drive to find her loved ones is matched by a deepening desire for the man at her side. Nice.
Her family refuses to accept her marriage to a man Wait – they got married? of a different faith, but when janissaries arrest her father and brother, Rosa and Baha risk everything to rescue them. Together they will prove that their love can withstand their differences… if the Grand Vizier doesn’t throw them both into the dungeons first. This is solid, minus the abrupt reference to marriage.
OUT OF THE WATER is a 15th Century historical romance, complete at 115,000 words. I admire your client [XXX] and found your website and newsletter through [his/her] blog. Based on what you say there, and in your interview on [BLOG (March 2011)], you might find OUT OF THE WATER a good fit for your interests. The novel was a 2010 NaNoWriMo project, and initial drafts were revised through participation in author Barbara Rogan’s invitation-only Next Level Workshop. Good info here, relative and pertinent while not being ass-kiss or braggy.
The query that you’ve got here is damn solid, but there are two things that bother me.
1) Is this YA or straight romance? You don’t specify it as YA but the age of your protag has me curious.
2) Your word count is a mite high. I realize that historical can sometimes get away with this, but I bet you can find a way to shave this down. You don’t want to handicap what is otherwise a really solid query with a sinker that has the weight of a stone.
Interested in what my readers think on this point? Can a historical romance with a teen protag get away with a high word count?