Thursday, September 30, 2010

3 Query Letter #22

Query Letter #22
Name: Stina Lindenblatt
Title: Lost in a Heartbeat
Genre: YA romantic suspense

Dear Ms. LaPolla,

Most seventeen-year-olds keep secrets, but Calleigh’s could cost her best friend her life.

A guy assaulted Calleigh at a party. There’s no way she can tell anyone why she quit competitive swimming. He threatened to kill her best friend if she did. After looking over her shoulder for the past ten months, Calleigh finally thinks she’s safe—until she and her friends visit the local Renaissance festival. A stranger passes her a message given to him by a masked guy: “Hope you haven’t forgotten your promise, Calleigh. I haven’t.” She’s afraid to tell the cops because the psycho might strike before they can track him down, and she doesn’t remember what he looks like (dissociation, anyone). The only person she can tell is her new friend, Aaron. He kinda figures things out— never a good idea to approach a girl who has pepper spray and not give her some kind of warning first.

Aaron comes up with a plan: pretend they’re dating so he can keep an eye on her and figure out who the stalker is, then they can go to the cops. But as she falls for Aaron, she discovers they’re linked in a way she could never have imagined—a connection that could be deadly for Calleigh.

LOST IN A HEARTBEAT is a 77,000-word, YA romantic suspense. It will appeal to readers who enjoy the character-based stories by Sarah Dessen and Sarah Ockler, which deal with healing and moving on. It will also appeal to those who love the romance and danger in PERFECT CHEMISTRY and THE BODY FINDER.

I’m a member of the SCBWI and YALitChat. During the past four years, I’ve attended New York City and Los Angeles annual SCBWI conferences, and recently completed two online fiction writing courses through Writer’s Digest, including one on writing for teens.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


  1. The "pow" opening is great -- but a little confusing. It's not her secret that could cost her friend's life but rather not keeping it. Easily fixed: Most seventeen-year-olds keep secrets, but if Calleigh doesn't keep hers, it could cost her best friend her life.

    The second sentence of the second paragraph should lead it off: She can't say why she quit swimming. A guy assaulted her at a party and said he'd kill her best friend, etc. The swimming thing makes me want to know what happened, then you tell me. I'd keep the assault and threat together instead of breaking them up with the sentence in between.

    I really, really want to know what the deadly connection with Aaron is, and I like (and hate!) that you leave me hanging. Makes me want to read the book so I can find out.

    Good job building suspense and a strong, young woman character. Good luck!

  2. I agree with what Debra said about tweaking the sentences she mentioned.

    Sounds like quite a thriller. I like the elements of voice you've got. Great cliffhanger!

  3. I agree with Debra's comments as well. Overall, great job, but I think there's another spot that could use smoothing over. The parenthetical "disassociation, anyone?" feels off to me. I know it's there for a taste of voice, but it seems out of place to me in a query. But that could just be me :)

    Great job - best of luck!


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