Oct 27, 2016

NoQS Agent Round: THE FIRST TODAY - Adult Spec. Thriller

Name: Rachel Berros

Twitter Handle: @Berrosrachel
Genre: Adult Speculative Thriller 
Word Count: 90,000

My Main Character's Most Stressful Relationship is

The most stressful relationship for my MC, Alice, is with fate. It started when her mother died the morning after Alice first used her ability to change events. Her fear of further retaliation has shaped her life and guided her every choice since. It's because of fate that she has more motivation to become a better physician, but also a heavier mantle of guilt.


As an emergency physician Alice Whithers must constantly choose between accepting her patients’ deaths or reliving the day to try again—and risking fate’s wrath at the intrusion.

Alice can turn back time, but she hasn’t used her ability in seventeen years, not since interfering with fate led to her mother’s death. As painful as it is to watch her patients suffer or die, the risk of intervening has always outweighed the possible benefit. That is, until Alice causes a lethal car accident. Overcome with guilt and remorse, she decides to relive the day, praying that not only will she save lives, but she may finally gain the redemption she’s sought for nearly two decades.

Tonight, she'll choose. Tomorrow she’ll face fate’s response.

First 250:

This patient is dying and there’s nothing more I can do. Not even repeating today would save this woman from her stroke during the night. No, this time at least, I get to suffer my patient’s loss like a normal physician. And providing things like a comfortable passing, without feeling guilt, is almost a blessing.

I glance at the pajama-clad granddaughter crying beside the bed. Monitors beep around us like orchestral crickets and bleach flavors the air.

This isn’t what they need. They need peace and respect, and I can at least provide them those. So, I mute the machines and readjust her pillow. Chanel No. 5 tickles my nose and despite everything, my lips tug up at one corner. If this patient also loved bacon, she could’ve been Granny’s twin.  

At the thought, something tightens deep in my chest, but I push it aside. This isn’t my Granny. It’s Ms. Avery’s.

I’ve advised her of the prognosis, there’s nothing left to say, yet I still don’t leave. Instead, I place a hand on the young woman’s shoulder. “I’m sorry I can’t do more. But I will keep her comfortable.”

She raises red, swollen eyes to my burning ones, and nods. “Then…then I guess that’s enough.”

Her breaking voice echoes my heart. One day I’ll stare at my Granny like that, at my only family, my best friend.

Nothing will be enough on that day. 

With a deep breath, I squeeze her shoulder gently and then leave her to her grief.  


  1. Hi! I'm SHIVERing over here.

    If you could please send the query and first ten pages to querysam at awfulagent dot com, I'd love to continue reading! Thanks!

  2. Shiver. Please send your query, synopsis, and first 10 pages (all pasted in the email body) to whitley@inklingsliterary.com. Thanks!

  3. Shriek! Please send the first 50 ages as an attachment to soloway@andreabrownlit.com. Please use REQUESTED: Nightmare on Query Street: THE FIRST TODAY in the subject line. Looking forward to reading more! Jennifer