Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry 3

Genre: YA

LOST IN A HEARTBEAT is a 77,000-word YA contemporary novel. It will appeal to readers who enjoy the character-based stories of Sarah Dessen and Sarah Ockler, and also to those who love the romance and danger in PERFECT CHEMISTRY and THE BODY FINDER.
Seventeen-year-old Calleigh has a plan for summer vacation. Too bad her goal of forgetting what happened ten months ago clashes with everyone else’s plans.

Her mom wants Calleigh to spend her summer training for the high school swim team tryouts. That’s so not going to happen. Her best friend wants this to be their summer for romance and guys. As if. Not after Calleigh’s last boyfriend cheated on her. And the guy her best friend’s lined up for Calleigh wants her to admit the truth about what really happened last summer. To top it off, he’s suddenly super protective . . . and she has no idea why.

As a romance develops between Calleigh and Aaron, she discovers the truth surrounding his sister’s death. Only thing is, she and Aaron’s sister are linked in a way she could never have imagined—a connection that could be deadly for Calleigh.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


  1. This one is interesting and would catch my attention if I saw it in a book shop.

    I'd love to know what the the link is with her boyfriend's sister.

    Good hook.

  2. I really like most of this query, but the beginning kind of seems unnecessary for me. I guess this is a popular way of introducing your style, but I think your query should speak for itself. And yours does.

    My only concern was the introduction of Aaron - seemed kind of abrupt. I know you alluded to her friend wanting to set her up with guys, but then Aaron is there with no formal introduction and I don't know who he is.

    Overall, though, I like this. And I'm very curious as to what she's trying to forget that happened last summer.

  3. It sounds intriguing and I want to know how it plays out.

    I'd move the comparisons towards the end of your query - after we hear what your book is about.

    I also agree with Melody (above) when she says the introduction of Aaron's name just appears. Maybe reference him by name in the paragraph above. And I took the liberty of revising your second paragraph a bit (just an idea)...

    What about this?:
    Her mom wants Calleigh to spend her summer training for the high school swim team tryouts. Her best friend wants a summer of romance and guys. And Aaron, the guy her best friend’s lined up for her wants the truth about what really happened last summer.

  4. Be careful with cliches and vague sentences. Your last paragraph, especially, doesn't really tell us anything unique about your story, or the consequences. "Linked in a way she never could have imagined," for example, sounds like it could have come from a dozen stories. Be explicit in what seperates your story from the rest.

  5. I'm intrigued! I agree with K.M. about moving the first chunk with the comparisons to the end. I'm not sure you need it since the query stands well on it's own - but grab them with the good stuff!

  6. I agree that the first paragraph should move to the end of the query. The first sentence can stay on it's own, but the others need to come later.

    Aaron needs to be named in the second paragraph, and I think the allusion to what happened "ten months ago" is a little vague. I think I can piece together the plot from what you've got here, but it should be very clear from your own words.

    Sounds like an intriguing story, so do it justice with your blurb.

  7. Jamie Weiss ChiltonApril 26, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    Great first paragraph -- I really like the use of comp authors and comp titles here.

    I'd like to see more detail in the summary here; I want at least a few more clues about what happened ten months ago. For example: who knows what happened? Do Calleigh's mom and best friend know?

    I suggest introducing Aaron earlier. I'm not sure if he's the guy Calleigh's bf sets her up with, or a different guy.

    I also think you need to establish Aaron's sister's death earlier -- I can only assume this is what happened ten months ago.

    How are Calleigh and Aaron's sister linked? This could imply a paranormal aspect to the novel, or they could be linked, for example, as half-sisters or in another non-paranormal way.

    You establish high-stakes drama with the connection, which I like, but I need to be more clear on the plot details so I'm not confused after reading.

    Great job overall -- this definitely catches my interest.


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