Query Entry #18

Dear Nicole Resciniti,

Seventeen year old Madeline Martin has been in and out of trouble her entire life. Unable to shed the hero stigma her father left behind, mischief seems to find her everywhere she goes. And if she gets into any more trouble, juvy hall may just be on the agenda. As it is, Maddy’s been sent to upper state NY to work in a library for the summer, away from her Manhattan friends and lifestyle, for a good dose of responsibility. When Maddy stumbles onto an envelope tucked inside the pages of an eighteenth century atlas in the library, she uncovers a political secret that’s been hidden away for centuries. Confiding only in the roguish neighbor guy, who is dealing with some issues of his own, Maddy embarks on a mission to uncover the truth. Once she knows someone is following her every move, she has no choice but to get more answers, since even the police can’t help her.

French-Iranian hit-man, Armand Dantuine is after the truth as well, but not for the same reasons. Employed by an international organization, his mission is simple: destroy the secret documents confirming the political secret, along with any witnesses.

Told from dueling points of view of both Madeline Martin and Armand Dantuine, my YA thriller, The 49th Parallel, takes on a series of twists and turns as both race to achieve their goal. Packed with action, suspense, and a hint of romance, The 49th Parallel is complete at 65K words. I am a member of SCBWI and a moderator at YALitChat.Org. The full manuscript is available at your request. Thank you so much for your valuable time.

Sincerely,

PK Hrezo

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17 comments on “Query Entry #18

  1. Interesting premise. I’d work on the hook a bit. Right now, it feels too general and doesn’t grab me. Also, you mention that the story is told from two perspectives, but the query leans more heavily on Madeline. You might want to balance it out so that both main characters get equal weight.

    Good luck with this!

  2. Ooo PK, I like that this sounds totally action packed! The one critique I have is that the first paragraph seems loaded with information that you may not need. If there was some way to maybe simpilfy that Madeline is a trouble maker trying to live down her dads perfect record to the library, I think that would be great.
    Good luck!

  3. Oh this sounds interesting! I think the first paragraph can be tightened some:

    Seventeen-year-old Madeline Martin has been in and out of trouble her entire life and if she gets into any more trouble, juvy hall may just be on the agenda. As it is, Maddy’s been sent to upper state NY to work in a library for the summer, away from her Manhattan friends and lifestyle, for a good dose of responsibility. When Maddy stumbles onto an envelope tucked inside the pages of an eighteenth century atlas in the library, she uncovers a political secret that’s been hidden away for centuries. Confiding only in the roguish neighbor guy, who is dealing with some issues of his own, Maddy embarks on a mission to uncover the truth.

    I’m not sure you need to mention the roguish neighbor guy since you later on mention that there’s a hint of romance.

    All in all, this sounds like something I would enjoy!

  4. You drew me in right away! Like Nat’l Treasure for teens:) I’d keep the part in there about the neighbor. Otherwise, it sounds like she’ll have a romance with the hit man. And is the hit man an actual man, as in adult age? If so, that’s a risky business telling it from his POV in a YA, even if it is only partially . . . just my 2 cents!

    • Hi Jamie! Thanks for your feedback. Yeah, the hit man is early twenties and fresh out of the military… a reject himself. Something in me just had to tell part of the story from his POV… and you’re prolly right about it being to mature for YA…. but I had to do it. I may hit some road blocks with it… but I’ve got a couple of teen beta readers now, so we’ll see how they relate to it.
      Anxious to see Nicole’s opinion too since she’ll be the first agent to see a partial!!! Woohoo!!! 😀

  5. Very interesting premise – I love it when bad girls have to get responsible! 🙂

    I do agree with Jamie: the hitman’s age might be essential information if he’s going to be a POV character in a YA book. I also agree that you share some details that you probably don’t need–like her father’s reputation.

    Try starting out with “If she gets into any more trouble, seventeen-year-old Madeline Martin is headed to juvenile hall. Instead, she’s headed for upstate New York to work in a library for the summer. [Insert her reaction to the news, here.]”

    Also, give a few more details on how she knows she’s followed and why the police can’t help her.

    Good luck!

  6. Nice suspense. I like the political intrigue. Am a little concerned about the adult hit man as a main character in a teen book, but think there is potential here. It sounds mature for YA, but I think the voice really aligns with teens today. I’d love to take a look.

  7. Sounds intriguing – and I concur with the other comments about tightening the first paragraph and clarifying the role of the hit man (I typoed ‘hot man’…must be time for some chocolate!)

    Good work, and best of luck to you!

  8. I like it! Political intrigue in a YA novel – cool idea! I tend to agree with everyone. The first paragraph is a bit long and maybe not specific enough. Tighten that up and balance the POVs & it’ll be perfect!

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