Guess the Plot
1. Sunol, California, 1998. Jeff Dunley and Mark Morris are engaged in an all-out, take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred war between their rival Christmas Tree farms.
2. They're known as the Holiday Lords: the gorgeous people who spend their days luxuriating on beaches, and nights partying at exclusive clubs. And Brian has fallen in with them. Can the one woman he trusts help him confront the dangerous secrets behind the veneer of the Holiday Lords -- including what fuels their glamorous, but sinister empire? Or is it too late for Brian?
3. When Santa's henchmen get tipsy on grog left beside the tree on Christmas Eve and end up busted for burglary, they soon realize the only way to survive incarceration is to form their own gang. They can't be "elves" any more. So they pierce their substantial pointy ears and swagger around, calling themselves the Holiday Lords.
4. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Years. They used to be a real drag. But now that Kris Tanrite has taken over the city, all forms of cross-dressing have been outlawed. Can the Lords of the Closet restore gaiety to the beloved holidays, or will Tanrite straighten them out?
5. Tina is beginning to hate Christmas. Every year it's the same two weeks of stress-inducing hell. Her family, in-laws, her family, in-laws. That is, until she finds out that she's married into the richest, most powerful group of witches and warlocks in the country. Can Tina convince them to halt their assault on the holidays and just relax already?
6. In Zinbumbsi, every holiday begins with the choosing of a lord who rules over the revelry until the seventh day, when he is tossed off a cliff into the Sea of Despair, and never seen again. But when beautiful sorceress Abidibia sees it is her man, Viggo, tied to the Throne of Distress, she knows this custom must end. She goes straight to the underworld to raise the fiercest fighting force Zinbumbsi has ever faced: the Holiday Lords from Hell.
Dear Evil Editor:
Brian reunites with his lifetime crush, Veronica, and gets the ultimate invitation: to join her on vacations at international hotspots like Bangkok and Dubai. Veronica and her friends are "holiday lords" -- the gorgeous people who spend their days luxuriating on beaches, and nights partying at exclusive clubs.
He's torn between the alluring realm of the holiday lords, and an intriguing girl named Claire. She introduces him to a potent world of truth [Huh?] and diverse cultures -- from Rome, Italy, to ancient Pueblo lands in the Southwest.
When Brian loses his wallet in Colorado, he's forced to accept help from the wrong person, not knowing that the decision could cost him his life. Strengthened by Claire's encouragement, Brian confronts the dangerous secrets behind the veneer of the holiday lords -- including what fuels their glamorous, but sinister empire. [We're back to the Holiday Lords? What happened to the life-threatening decision?]
HOLIDAY LORDS is 60K words. Thank you for your time and consideration.
First of all, I don't see how . . . What the . . . ?
It began when racist jokes crept out. [What began?] Then came the unexplained death of their neighbor. [Whose neighbor?] When Brian finds secrets inside his girlfriend's coat pockets, [What secrets? Be more specific.] he quits his abusive job and leaves town to find the one person he can trust, Claire.
Brian's road to liberation [Liberation from what?] starts with an eerie taxi ride after his car breaks down, and continues until he meets a family in Pueblo country. They help Brian understand why he's plagued with vivid nightmares, and everything happens to him in patterns of 3.
While traveling through Colorado with Claire, Brian's wallet mysteriously vanishes. Needing food and cash to get home, he accepts help from a man who gives him a job in construction. When Brian discovers that the contractor has imprisoned Guatemalan workers as slaves, he'll have to choose between saving their lives, and his own. [Himself or some Guatemalans. I believe I know which way he's leaning.]
I think I see the problem. You're supposed to be sending Evil Editor the query you were about to send to someone who matters. Assuming you weren't planning to send multiple-choice queries to agents, you are admitting you can't tell which of these is better.
Scrap both versions and start over.
Take us chronologically through Brian's story. He reunites with Veronica. When and where does he meet Claire? What's her connection with the Holiday Lords? What's sinister about the Holiday Lords? Are they behind the enslavement of Guatemalans? There needs to be something that unifies the book. We need more than a hint. We need to know how everything ties together.