1. Describing the "mind set" of the American public. I'm absolutely uninterested in sweeping generalities, and I'm absolutely uninterested in sweeping generalities that don't mesh with what I see in the world. If you want to be iconoclastic, be specific. If you want to illustrate a point, use specifics. If you want me to rethink what I "know is right" be specific.
2. "Impacting" "impactful"
This is instant no.
I hate this.
I hate it so much it had an impact on my standards for rejection.
Unless you're talking about your wisdom teeth, I don't want to hear about anything that was "so impacting on your life" that you blah blah blah.
3. Missouri is NOT in "Central America".
4. Getting basic historical facts, particularly dates wrong. This drives me crazy. And before you get all huffy and say "copy editing can fix all that" let's just remember that what it REALLY means is you do NOT know what you're talking about in the novel. John Adams and Abraham Lincoln didn't take tea together. If you don't know why, don't ever query me.
5. Telling me you paid to have the book edited is shortsigted. Telling me the editor "liked" the book when she was finished is tantamount to asking for a clue rocket. If you can't figure out why, let me know.
6. "deals with the pain" "shattered lives" . These are such cliches that any confidence I had in your writing instantly evaporates. It also misses the obvious: novels aren't about shattered lives. Novels are about how people deal with/muddle through/survive terrible circumstances or events. If you can't see the difference, think about it for awhile while you read more novels.
7. "final bizarre shocking twist ending" usually means deus ex machina. It doesn't make me want to read your book.
8. "the absurdity of" followed by only one noun. The entire concept of absurdity requires contrast. The absurdity of innocence is meaningless (and convinces me you can't write worth spit) unless you place the innocence somewhere unexpected, like the green room at the Howard Stern show.
9. "Such and such an author has given me permission to use him as a professional reference." Clue: you don't need references to write or query a novel. What exactly am I supposed to do, find out if you wash your hands before reading a library book? You're not interviewing for a job here.
10. "it is a 90,000 word piece of work". ok. I believe you. Next!
11. Including a photo of yourself. This just boggles the mind. Thank all dogs you weren't naked.
12. "leave the memorial service for their late friend"...yea, those memorial services for the living are much more fun.
13. "entire species of frogs are now bearing sterile young". If you don't know why this is hilarious, you weren't paying attention in biology.