Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Agent's Inbox #8

Dear Ms. Bridget Smith:

Guardian angel Enael can't seem to protect anyone.

When she tries to stop her human ward from cheating, the man ends up with a bullet in his brain at the hands of his wife. During another assignment, a demon attack sends her human into a spiral of depression and, ultimately, suicide. And there’s the orphan, starving and homeless on the streets of pre-Revolution France, where bread is scarce and sympathy is scarcer. Enael doesn't know where to begin.

Fellow Guardian Kaspen supports her through all of these failures. Enael relies on his strength... and maybe on his smile and confident swagger, too. His strong connection to his ward inspires Enael to examine her relationships with her own. Just when Enael is ready to admit her love for him and apply all he's taught her to guarding her human, the demon that attacked her previous ward interferes again. Kaspen is enslaved and forced to renounce his wings.

Heaven's governing council forbids Enael from rescuing him because her next human is waiting. Enael faces a choice: To perform her sacred duty, she must surrender the angel she loves. To save him, she must disobey the council, becoming a fallen angel herself.

FALLEN REDEMPTION is an adult fantasy. It is complete at 103,000 words and has series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



My ward Daniel Michael Wheaton proved to be a handful from the moment he was born. After witnessing his temper during his Life Plan sessions, I should have been prepared, but I was confident in my ability as a Guardian angel.

On an afternoon in May 1759, the Wheaton family ate their midday dinner together. I stood behind Daniel, hands nestled in the small of my back under relaxed wings. Daniel's head was bowed as he planned the work he needed to finish before twilight.

I was determined to prove myself to my superiors with this life. Daniel's heart rate was strong, his breathing even, and his brain activity normal. The breeze sweeping through the cabin cooled him, despite the unseasonable afternoon heat. The only thing that could go wrong was another emotional outburst, and I would do everything I could to stop that.

Daniel's wife Lillian cut up her son's pork, her cutlery clinking against the plate. Their eleven-year-old Caleb chattered about a game he and the neighbor boy had invented that morning. It involved leftover scraps of fence, long grass strands, and large insects. "'Twas my idea," he said.

"Caleb, finish your mush." Lillian slid the plate toward him.

"I don't wanna finish my mush." Caleb shoved aside the bowl. "It tastes like cow dung."

Lillian clanked down her knife and gave Daniel a sharp look.

I felt Daniel's temper flare. Before I could react, he said, "'Tis my fault your mush is dry?" He didn’t look up from his peas.


Anonymous said...

I really liked the voice in this entry. It certainly made me want to read more.

Megan Reyes said...

Great first sentence in your query! We learn who the main character is AND her big conflict—that’s not so easy to do in only eight words! Well done.

The concept of a struggling Gaurdian Angel is super fascinating. I’m curious how much interaction is spent between Enael and Kaspen verses Enael and her humans. It sounds like the biggerfocus is between the angels? If there is a lot more centered around the human relationships with Enael, then it probably should be highlighted more in the query.

The only thing that might be missing is insight to Enael’s personality. You’ve laid out the plot/conflict REALLY well, but I’d like to get more of a glimpse into Enael’s character. Is she confident? Timid? Does she have emotional attachment to her “job” or humans?

All in all, I think this is a good query! I’m at a loss for offering suggestions, which I think is a good sign. :) I would definitely want to read more pages!

Anne Tedeton said...

Gah, what a nice 250. And it ends in a way that brings it full-circle. We know Caleb's about to cause trouble, and it makes us want more. Well done.

And a clean, strong query, too! Hope this goes far :0

Meradeth Houston said...

I love these kinds of books so I definitely want to read more :) I did kind of want to see more of Enael's personality in the query and excerpt (in the latter, I felt I knew Daniel better than her, and that's fine, but she's the MC). Definitely enjoyed this one!

Anonymous said...

I like angel stories, too, so this would interest me as a reader.

The second paragraph of the query lost me. There is too much and not enough going on there. Get to the stakes faster - her choice is save her love or fall from grace. That's the story. That's the important part.

I want to know more about Enael's character. She comes across as sort of bumbling and I'm not sure if this is supposed to be humorous, but then I get to the part about her becoming a fallen angel and that seems serious so...maybe that's a no on humor.

Molly Pinto Madigan said...

Really interesting concept.

One thing that stood out to me in your opening page was the dialogue between the Wheaton family; it struck me as being slightly stilted. I know, it's 1759, but the 'twas and the 'tis seemed a little forced to me, especially with modern-sounding phrases like "I don't wanna..." I think the time period can be conveyed through the nouns you use, like "mush" and "dung."

Anyway, that's just a very minor thing, and, of course, it's a personal decision. The important thing is that I want to read more! ;)

Jane said...

This concept grabbed me right away. What an intriguing point of view--I never thought about all the things an angel would have to be on top of, and that they might actually worry about whether they had it all covered.
I agree I would like a hint of Enael's personality--just a tiny thing, like is she a worrier by nature and what might it be that she sees in Kaspen. You've mentioned his strength, but does he fill some gap in her? Is he decisive? Just something to see how they complement/balance each other.
What a great first line in your query. It lays it all out and pulled me in immediately. I would definitely read more.
I hope this does well! I'd love to see it in print!

Bridget Smith said...

For whatever reason, the past two summers have resulted in a surfeit of angel queries. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a request, just that it’s important that yours really feels fresh. Right now, this query doesn’t sparkle enough for me. I think it would help if you really brought these characters to life: make me want to follow them specifically, no matter what their story is. Give me details about their personalities, and let the story follow naturally from that.