Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sample Query Letter and Synopsis

Dear Wild Rose Press,

Eli Hastings, the charming Duke of Ravensworth fell instantly in love with the stunning beauty on the canvas, never imaging she was real let alone the sister of an acquaintance.

My novelette Ravensworth is a 14,000+ word historical romance set in 1820’s England, and tells, with heart, the story of how the duke and the beauty in the painting came to fall in love.

Eli purchases the painting of Miss Jaclyn Stuart at an open market in Kent and put it on display for is friends.This sets into motion the events that would eventually lead to the poor young woman’s ruin and subsequent exile from polite society.

Jaclyn was taught to paint by her grandfather and painted a nude self-portrait intended for her eyes only until it was stolen from her studio. Jaclyn is sent to France until the worst of the scandal fades returning to England years later to live in near obscurity until Jaclyn’s sister Sarah takes it upon herself to throw the two together.

Though outrageous, Sarah’s attempt at matchmaking bears fruit and the two are soon fast friends with an undeniable attraction between them only Eli is already engaged. When it becomes evident that Sarah was conspiring with Eli’s cunning fiancée Charlotte who as it turns out was madly in love with his cousin Brian, the matter is quickly set aside.

When Sarah and Charlotte’s recklessness threatened to further destroy Jaclyn's already tattered reputation, Eli asks her to marry him. She refuses for fear he was only asking out of a sense of obligation but he soon convinces her otherwise and a few days later the two happy in love marry.

Thank you for your time and consideration I have included the novelette's synopsis. The manuscript is complete and available upon request.


Simone Ogilvie

Novel Synopsis

Our Hero: Eli Hastings, Duke of Ravensworth was a ruthless lord, head of his brood and a man madly in-love with a woman he never had the chance to meet in person.

His Heroine: Lady Jaclyn Stuart was a fiercely loyal and talented young woman who lived in near isolation after he displayed her nude self-portrait.

The Novel: Is based primarily around Eli and Jaclyn’s romantic relationship. The first few chapters introduce and give, in detail, the foundation of the two such as who they are, and where their heart lies. There are secondary story lines but their sole purpose is to add to the lead characters’ interaction so the story remains focused on their development.

Together: Eli and Jaclyn are a passionate pair that entertain and delight. They are genuine in their approach to each other and are faithful to the love they share so that they comes across as endearingly romantic without being trite or overly sentimental.

Their story: Ravensworth opens with a bang. Eli wakes with a sore head in Jaclyn’s bed, her concerned face close to his while her upset parents look on. He is having difficultly remembering how he came to be there but figured from the blood on his neckcloth that he was knocked over the head.

In between the furious words of Jaclyn’s father, Lord Stuart and Eli’s explanation, the truth of how he came to be in her bed is set forth by a distraught Jaclyn who pointed the finger squarely on her sister Sarah. Soon Eli, Jaclyn and her parents are working together to contain the potential scandal Sarah and her co-conspirators have set into motion only Eli's unfaithful fiancée Charlotte who was the mastermind behind the whole thing made certain that was not possible.

See, Charlotte wanted out of her engagement with Eli so she could marry his cousin Brian only her father would not allow her to cry off to marry a mere lord when she could have a duke. In desperation, Charlotte turns to the simple-minded Sarah whom she convinced that it was a win-win for all involved if they made it so Eli compromised Jaclyn and was forced to marry her.

Jaclyn’s parents are soon convinced that despite where the fault lay, Eli must marry Jaclyn but the two young people are resistant for concern of the believed innocent Charlotte and work in secret to come up with an alternate solution. That is until Eli’s cousin Brian pays him a late night visit to confess his love for Charlotte and his part in the plan to compromise him into marrying Jaclyn.

Furious at his idiot cousin and reckless fiancée Eli calls on Lord Stuart who, by now has accepted his daughter Sarah’s hand in Jaclyn’s compromise in order to make a formal offer for Jaclyn not thinking she would object once she learned the full truth. She is resistant to his offer half out of concern for Charlotte who, until then, no one had heard from directly and partly that she did not want to marry him because he was trapped into marrying her.

Particularly now that she was falling in love with him. But he was not to be deterred for now he stood to gain all he ever wanted so he kissed her to prove how deep he truly felt for her. The two share a passionate moment and agree to marry when Charlotte turns up to make clear her intent to come out of this whole debacle in her father’s continued good graces.

Eli, too happy in love with Jaclyn to care what his silly ex-fiancée does going forth, agrees to her terms and a few days later he and Jaclyn marry.


This I wrote and sent to Wild Rose Press an ePublishing site with the hope they'll accept it. If they don't I'll publish the story here in chapters for your entertainment.

Have a lovely weekend,


  1. Simone

    I wish you every success. However the novel gets published, I'm sure it will be very popular.

  2. Very talented.
    Great blog and excellent taste in authors. I hope you get published soon.

  3. Sumptuous art and delicious prose, a heady combination Simone. This blog makes me feel positively prole-like. I like the soundtrack as well, very eclectic. One needs to appreciate the ability to write romance with Rage Against The Machine in the background!

    If you are such a confirmed foodie, you might get a chuckle out of my post "Appies" if you haven't already read it. I will definitely be stopping around when I need to be reminded what real, snark-free writing is like.


  4. Few things to help...

    1.Need a comma in first sentence after "canvas."
    2."Our Hero" is written in past tense, "Our Heroine" in present -- which do you want? In fact, you might go back through and make sure the entire letter is in a consistent tense.
    3.I would take out "Together": comes across as apologetic.
    4.The title is BEAUTIFUL, but does it tell anything about the story? Does it entice to the meat, or the hook?

    I hope this comes across in the spirit it is intended: helpful criticism. I would hope for the same when I put myself out there! I wish you nothing by the best!


  5. I also wanted to recommend this book to you: I Am Madame X. It is well-done and compliments beautiful artwork in a way I think you would enjoy. It also deals with a woman nearly devastated by social constraints and the work of an artist, of which your MS reminded me. It's a good read!


  6. This sounds exactly like a novel which I would read. Good luck on getting it published!

  7. Thank you very much for your comment!! I see you're a writer,that's amazing... I wish I could write a whole book and not just single stories or thoughts..! I'll come back and have a read in your blog!

  8. My every thanks to each of you.
    Michele, I take to heart your advice and will re-read and edit the letter and synopsis. Also, I'll be sure to look out for 'I Am Madame X'.
    You have all been very kind and I'm most grateful.
    Please take care,

  9. This sounds like a wonderful read! I sincerely hope they take you into consideration in publishing your work! Of course for my selfish benefits i'd love to read it on here as well!

  10. Great site it appeals to the romantic geek in me :))

    Being in the publishing industry, myself, I know how hard it is both for you writers and us who work in publishing houses. Many people would like to become writers and think their manuscripts are the best in the world. That's why publishers often disregard many manuscripts from the beginning because they just don't have enough time and patience to deal more carefully with everything that is sent to them.
    Because of that, they really do often miss out on some great works. But you also have to bear in mind that general reading population is rather mediocre in taste, and often prefers books with lesser quality than some others that stay unpublished.

    You just have to stay strong if you really believe in your talents and if others believe in you to. In the mean time, keep on perfecting your skills, keep on learning, keep on re-writing your old books, and sooner or later, if your books have true quality, you will find a publisher and your readers.

    Love, Dezz

  11. I wish you all the best in publishing your novella, but if it doesn't work out, don't give up, you must keep trying.

    Recently, I wrote an article on my blog about the publishing industry. I touched on the fact that even the world's best authors experienced several rejections before seeing their work in press. For example, J.K. Rowling's first H.P. book was rejected 15 times, Stephen King's novel, Christine, 30 times, and Vincent Flynn, was turned away by publishers 60 times. Moral to the story, if you believe in yourself and your work, then the rest will come.

    One last thought. If you decide not to pursue a traditional publishing venue, then perhaps you should consider self publishing. There are a lot of great models out there (I attached a link on my post). It really does work. I know an author who pursued the self publishing route with his first novel. He sold enough copies of his book to establish a platform. When he submitted queries for his second book, a publishing house picked him up. My friend believes that self publishing helped him to establish enough of a following that a traditional publisher took a chance on him.

    You have a great blog, I've decided to follow it. Best wishes and happy writing.

  12. Bonjour! Sounds like a very interesting novella - the picture is gorgeous! Bonne chance!

  13. Such lovely blog you have - and I loved that first image!

  14. Good luck. That you are willing to put this on a blog is good karma.

  15. Beautiful! The paintings match your writing. My friend has written and published a historical romance novel and her website has many interesting & curious links that may interest you ( ). Happy Writing! I've crossed my fingers, my toes, and braided my hair for luck!

  16. Bonjour! Just wanted to let you know I have an award for you over at my blog. If your blog is award free or you choose not to participate, no worries - just my way of saying I enjoy your blog!

  17. Best of luck, Simone! I have a couple of friends who write for Wild Rose, and they are very happy :)

    I'd love to see your work in print.

  18. Thank you all for your kind words of Encouragement it is greatly appreciated and I'll be sure to stop by each of your blogs to thank you personally,
    All my very best,

  19. Fingers crossed, prayers said, and hopes to the highest. I would definitely buy this book or one of the others I have read about on this beautiful blog.

  20. Ah, your posts are always acrobatic in the ways of said romance, something I could never imagine myself conquering.

    Perhaps I shall know how to wield such influential love songs when that Starbucks guy works up the guts, but until then, I keep to my cat-hunting-the-fat-mouse routine.

    As always, you enlighten my dearest friend.