Dear Miss Snark,
My multi-viewpoint thriller, REVELATIONS, is completed at about 70,000 words.
What would you do if your identical twin were murdered . . . and you believe it should have been you because no one leaves the cult alive?
Although KIRK HUDSON has just run home from Celestial Village, a religious cult located in central Texas, to his parents and twin brother, he needs to decide whether he should return. After all, it might have been the cult leaders who ordered him dead, and the killer mistaken BURT for Kirk. The decision is made for him when LUKE, an ex-cop cult member sent to find Kirk, traps Kirk and Burt's girlfriend in Luke's motel room and says he will hurt the girl unless Kirk returns. Luke swears that he didn't kill Burt. Luke doesn't know that Kirk fled from the cult and its co-leaders, SISTER ANGELICA and her brother, BROTHER JAMES, the day he found them making love in Sister's tower room in the old Victorian house the cult owns.
Kirk and the Sister are attracted to each other, but neither ever did anything about it. When Kirk arrives back, he's locked into his old room, only let out to work and to eat with the rest. A few days after he returns, a young boy, JEREMY, falls from the barn's upper story and appears to be dead. Sister Angelica insists he will rise in three days. She also begins to talk about "Transfiguration" and the "end days," and even tries to seduce Kirk. Brother James is furious with her, but also worried about her plans.
Kirk enlists Luke's help in finding out what Transfiguration means, and escapes from his room. They search desperately for clues to his brother's murderer. One evening Kirk finds Jeremy walking in the hall, although he knows the boy is laid out in the barn with his mother, EDEN, keeping vigil. Eden has shown she desires Kirk since he joined the cult, but he has always avoided her. He hears hammering in the basement, but ignores it because he is intent on checking out Eden's room since he suspects she may have murdered his brother, mistaking Burt for himself.
On the third day, Jeremy rises from the dead, and now all the cult members are willing to follow Sister Angelica to Transfiguration.
Confused and horrified, Kirk and Luke search the old Victorian. Kirk finds evidence in Eden's room that she killed his brother. They find a wax effigy of Jeremy and understand how the whole cult was duped.
But what they find in the basement is the most astonishing thing of all.
I hope this short summary interests you. I've had one novel, XYZ published by Quiet Storm Publishing, and over thirty-five short stories in various magazines over the past several years.
you've confused a cover letter with a synopsis and it drives me crazy to have character names in all caps.
Thrillers tend to have plots wherein the well being of the world is at stake. Think James Bond, Tom Clancy, and other kinds of race against the clock stories.
Right now you've got a lot of people searching rooms in houses. That sounds like a gothic novel to me...plus you've got dead bodies and creepy wax figures.
Kirk's heart pounded every time a car drove by as he trudged down the highway. He prayed it wasn't them, hoped he could get home and hide. He realized how skinny he looked--a hundred and sixty pounds on a six-foot frame. His hair hung to his shoulders, and his beard and mustache were full and bushy. He'd have to shave and cut his hair when he got home. His step-father would have a stroke. Mom might not care too much, as long as he was clean, but she'd defer to Philip.
He glanced back over his shoulder as he walked along Route 80 towards Valleyview. At least he'd crossed the state line into California the day before. There wasn't much traffic, and he didn't thumb. Occasionally someone would slow down, but each time he shook his head, holding his breath, hoping it wasn't them. (why doesn't he hide?)
Home. He once thought he'd never see it again. Not after he'd joined a new family, a family made up of people who believed as he did. Until three days ago.
But he couldn't think about it. His head ached when he remembered.
A horn blared behind him, and he jumped, almost stumbling onto the roadway. He'd walked all the way from Texas, and he was exhausted. He shifted his backpack into a more comfortable position as he glared at the retreating car.
He plodded on. Where else could he go? How else could he get there? He had no money left from the eleven dollars he started with. He couldn't risk accepting a ride with anyone. They were searching for him, he knew. And if they found him, they'd take him back. He shuddered in the warm California sunshine.
He walked from Texas to California with less than eleven dollars?
uh huh. sure.
I've been working on these for about seven hours now, I'm tired, I'm cranky, and it doesn't take much for me to get snippy. That's how I read the slush pile on a lot of days; how many of us do. Slush is hardly ever the first thing we do every day, tackling it with chipmunk enthusiasm, bright eyed and bushy tailed. We do it when we're on hold, waiting for the Verizon repairman, and late in the afternoon waiting for KY to get picked up for Doggy Buns of Veal workouts in Central Park.
I'd pass on this one with a form rejection.