Face-Lift 912: Defy Reason
[Re-titled from Camp Coyote]
Jo Redfox and her mother Spooky, a powerful, reincarnated Seer, run Camp Coyote, a summer training center for young werewolves vying for a spot in the elite pack of Cosmic Law Enforcers known as the Scythe. When Spooky is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Jo takes over the camp while her mom beseeches the Constellati Court to save the life of their favored Seer. Jo’s hope runs out when her mom fails to return.
With every moment passing bringing her mom’s death closer, Jo is up shit creek and her only paddle is an old journal full of secrets Spooky never shared, and the cryptic post-its her mom scattered randomly in Jo’s path. When the signs point to the Scythe, despite their vow to protect the Redfoxes, Jo knows the stars aren’t the only ones screwing her over.
Jo reluctantly accepts help from John Casteel. The Casteels owe the Redfoxes much more than just the fortune the Seer afforded them, and John never leaves debts unpaid. His specialty is finding what doesn’t want to be found. He will do everything in his power to find Jo’s mom and win Jo’s trust because from the second he laid eyes on the down-home country girl, John wanted her for his own. But he has no idea how deadly the obstacles separating them are – shifters from the sticks don’t like outsiders much and breaking the Cosmic Law by bringing him in to the inner circle will paint a stellar target on his back.
Old enemies and dangerous secrets stream from the shadows of Spooky’s past to hunt the Redfoxes. With only a fraction of her mom’s gift, Jo is at a disadvantage in this cosmic game of deadly hide and seek. Never one to scare easy, until she finds a post-it saying, “Goodbye”, nothing will stop her. But time is running out and the last secret Spooky hid from her daughter will change Jo forever and threaten the tenuous trust between her and John.
DEFY REASON is a 120,000 word paranormal romance set in the wilds of West Virginia’s New River Gorge and my debut novel.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
The author is worried she's lost her voice in this revision in trying to bring the query to ground. She's also over-written, trying to get all the explanations in, which is a VERY natural part of the cycle of query revision. The query is too long and it needs more focus. Taking a close look at the genres in play here will, I think, help with the focus.
Points to include for the paranormal part:
- Native American/celestial-based pack law as a unique differentiator
- Who Jo is
- What Jo wants
- Who John is
- What John needs
- The dark moment that separates them
- Mom disappears (I'm not convinced we need to know she's dying; in the query it doesn't seem to make a difference)
- Discovery that who Jo thought were family friends and protectors may be the enemy
- A bit crude
As for the new title, DEFY REASON does nothing for me, especially given the genre. Maybe look to the celestial overtones for inspiration?
This reduces the word count by about 25% and takes the focus off of Mom and puts it more squarely on Jo and John.
When Jo Redfox's powerful, reincarnated Seer of a mother, Spooky, goes missing, Jo discovers the stars that power her less-than-perfect Sight aren't the only ones screwing her over. Cryptic clues Spooky left behind point to the very folk sworn to protect them: an elite force trained up at the camp she and Spooky run for the Scythe -- cosmic law enforcers of the werewolf kind.
Desperate, Jo calls in a marker from ex-marine John Casteel, whose family owes a blood debt to the Redfoxes. Never one to to leave debts unpaid, John agrees to put his talent for finding what doesn't want to be found to work for Jo. The only problem, after one look at the down-home country girl, John can't be sure whether it's his honor or his dick making the decisions now. And he might think differently if he knew just how lethal helping her could be -- shifters from the sticks don't much like outsiders sniffing around.
With John's honed deltoids and six-pack abs a nagging distraction, Jo follows shadowy clues from Spooky's past as the truth of who her mother really is slowly surfaces. Then the hunt for her mother takes a deadly turn. [The Scythe's pack leader figures out she and John are closing in on secrets best left buried] and the cosmic game of hide and seek escalates. Now time is running out, and there's still one last secret Spooky hid from her daughter that, when found, will change Jo forever and threaten the tenuous bond between her and John.
WOLFSIGHT/FOXLIGHT/STARFOX is a 120,000 word paranormal romance set in the wilds of West Virginia’s New River Gorge.
Thank you for your time and consideration,