Monday, June 17, 2019

Query/Synopsis Writing & Example

Everyone hates writing a query letter/synopsis.  How much do you tell?  Did I tell too much, or too little? Most submission guidelines with have a limit on how much you should write.  It may be two pages, or 200 to 300 words, but always try to stick to their guidelines.  Below is a query/synopsis I wrote for Honorable Death.  I did not use this, as I had already published the book and actually did it for fun, and to see if I could actually write one I liked.  I hope it gives you some ideas for you own.

I would love to submit Honorable Death for your consideration. It is a 63,435 word detective crime thriller. It is book 1 in a 3 book series. All three books are written and have been edited, and I’m currently working on the next three.

Honorable Death is written in first person, and revolves around Detective Kacy Lang and her partner, Dave Capello. A unique team as Kacy is a wildfire and Dave is what the other detectives considered over the hill. The novel is set in Chicago and begins with the discovery of Kacy’s twin brother’s tortured and mutilated body. Kacy and Kyle were adopted at birth by rich parents who really didn’t want them. Growing up unloved took its toll, and Kacy devoted her life to law enforcement, while Kyle took the opposite path of drugs and thugs. The investigation of Kyle’s death leads to the discovery of black market baby sales, slave trade and prostitution. Kacy’s life is in danger and her adoptive parents are at the top of her suspect list. The novel is interspersed with colorful characters from law enforcement and the drug world. Kacy learns that Kyle had a daughter and must do everything she can to find her and protect her from the people who killed her brother. When a fellow officer is killed they turn up the heat with drug raids and arrest of gang leaders. Kacy learns her real father is legal counsel for the Colombian cartel. The novel is filled with twists, turns and concludes in a deadly showdown between Kacy, her partners, and the woman behind it all, her brother’s sister-in-law.

The book has received praise from early ARC readers as well as the editor and proofreader, who called it:

Everything a detective novel should be--gripping, clever, and filled with deep characters. Brilliant but troubled detective Kacy Lang and her partner, Dave Capello, aren't the perfect detectives, but they're the perfect team. The history of their relationship is every bit as intriguing as the murder they're trying to solve." - Stefanie B., Red Adept Line Editor
Honorable Death is a multilayered, fast-paced archaeological dig of a mystery, with well-developed characters and a well-constructed plot well worth reading." Laura B., Proofreader, Red Adept Publishing

I have been both published and self-published since 2006. I am a New York Times and USA Today best selling author. My backlist includes twelve novels, all presently self-published. These include paranormal murder mysteries, legal thrillers, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, and one romance. I have worked with the judicial system since 1997, first as a legal secretary, then a free lance court reporter and official reporter for criminal court. I have also worked closely with local law enforcement on murder cases and putting together evidence for local prosecutors.

The manuscript is complete and available at your request.

Linda S. Prather, Author



Saturday, June 15, 2019

Interspersed with colorful characters!

This series has been one of my favorites to write. The characters have a unique relationship that made them fun to get to know. If you love detective stories, don't miss this one.

Honorable Death


“Jesus, Kacy, it’ll be a bugger identifying this one.”
Under normal circumstances, my partner, Dave Capello, would have had a point. The body had washed up from the icy depths of the Chicago River near the fork of Eleanor and Loomis, and the call had come in minutes before quitting time. Dave had wanted to ignore it. For once, I wished I’d listened to him. A blowtorch had been used on the face, and all the fingers were missing. The angles of the arms and legs told me bones had been broken.
I didn’t need the ME to tell me the identity. Nor did I need to see the small skull tattoo above his left ankle to verify it. Kyle and I had never shared the twin bond in life, but as I stared down at his tortured and mutilated body, I realized a part of me was missing. I’d never considered it a vital part—until now.

$.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited Amazon

Dishonorable Death


“You’ve reached the residence of Detective Kacy Lang. I can’t come to the phone right now because it’s Saturday. My first day off in two months, and I don’t give a big rat’s ass who’s dead.”
Giggles came through the line.
“Jesus, Lang, you’re a potty mouth even on your birthday.” Dave Capello chuckled softly. “Martha and the girls wanted to say happy birthday before they catch the plane to visit Grandma and Grandpa.”
“Happy birthday, Aunt Kacy.”
“Aww… you guys are so sweet. Thank you. Have fun on your trip.”
“We will.”
I held the phone away from my ear as more giggles and a few squeals erupted.
“Settle down back there!” Dave yelled. “You free for dinner? Buy you a burger?”
I hated lying to Dave. My plans for the day were to do absolutely nothing except wallow in misery. In my case, misery did not love company. “Sorry, partner, but I have a date.”
“A date? With who?”
“It’s whom, and that falls under need to know.” I could hear Martha’s laughter in the background. She loved it when I put Dave in his place. “You don’t need to know. See you Monday.”
I ended the call before he could go into full interrogation mode, picked up my fresh cup of hazelnut coffee, and headed for my favorite spot on the back porch. I’d spent the last hour pulling weeds and rubbing my lower back. Weeks of work and a thousand dollars had turned the small patch into what my psychiatrist called a meditation garden. Propping my feet on the ottoman, I leaned back in the chair. Bastard should have called it a chiropractor garden with all the damn weeds I have to constantly pull.

$2.99 or Free on Kindle Unlimited  Amazon

Justifiable Death - Now Available For Pre-Order


“Seriously, Lang, you named your dog Butter?” Dave Capello rolled his eyes as I slipped into the passenger seat and buckled my seatbelt. “What kind of name is that for a dog?”
“He likes it. Besides, Greg has Popcorn.” I grinned. “You know, Popcorn and Butter?”
“Jesus.” Dave honked the horn. “What’s taking Stevens so long?”
“I stuck my tongue down his throat and ripped his clothes off. He’s still getting dressed.”
“I think I liked it better before you two started dating.”
“We’re not dating. We’re just friends with benefits.” I turned away, so Dave couldn’t see the laughter in my eyes. “You told me to get laid.”
Dave switched the subject, a telling red flush creeping up his neck. “Did Park say what he wanted?”
“No, just that he wanted to see us first thing this morning.” Greg came out the front door, two tiny balls of fluff nipping at his heels. “Park said he’d explain when we got there.”
“How’s your gut?”
I frowned. “My gut?”
“Yeah, your gut. Something bad coming down or just your everyday murder waiting on us?”
Greg climbed in the back seat and Dave backed out of the drive. My sixth sense wasn’t kicking in, but I knew why he was asking. “I think we’re good this time.”
“I hope so.” Dave said. “Sick of demons and crazy serial killers.”
I met Greg’s gaze in the rearview mirror. “Dave thinks I’m psychic.”
Greg laughed. “Cool, give me the lottery numbers.”

“No spooks on the horizon?”
“Can’t promise that, partner. There’s always crazies on the horizon.”
We finished the drive in silence, each of us lost in our own thoughts. The cases that crossed our desk were mentally and emotionally draining, but when it became personal it was a thousand times worse, and the last two cases had been very personal. First, my twin brother’s murder. Then, a serial killer and his twisted brother who almost killed the three of us. I’d only been back on the streets a month, and it would be nice if Park had a simple case of greed or jealousy. Something easy to solve, and understandable.

$2.99  Amazon