Jun 7, 2017

QK Agent Round - Mother of All Custody Battles

Entry Nickname: Mother of All Custody Battles
Word Count: 73K
Genre: Women’s Fiction


Lola Bishop has been to the end of her rope so many times she’s not sure she has enough antidepressants to keep her from tying it into a noose and slipping it around her neck. All she wants is to have a baby and raise a family with her husband, Paul. But their premature son doesn’t make it, and an emergency hysterectomy kills any future dreams of motherhood. More dark days follow in the form of depression and divorce papers. Then she discovers not only has Paul moved in with his young girlfriend, Iris, they’re also expecting a baby – a little boy they name Seth.

But Lola’s got to pull her act together when a car crash kills Paul and Iris and orphans Seth – now a toddler. Iris’s will has some glaring holes, but Paul’s will clearly names Lola as Seth’s guardian. At the same time Iris’s dad, who’s been caring for Seth since the accident, starts building his legal case to contest Paul’s will, Lola ponders whether she’s strong enough to raise the child her ex-husband had with his girlfriend. Steeling her heart, Lola jumps into the legal ring as she and Isaac try to outmaneuver each other in the mother of all custody battles.

First 250:

It was the receptionist at my gynecologist’s office who clued me in that something major was afoot. Not that she said anything in particular – of course she can’t say anything. Medical privacy laws and all. But there’s no privacy law that prohibits a weird, high-pitched tone when calling my name, or an uncomfortable shiftiness palpable across the sliding glass divider.

No, there was no one in the office who said anything during my checkup. But my nurse gave me several odd, sideways glances. And Dr. Marta, the obstetrician who’d walked me through days darker than death, made a telling comment on my way out of the office. As she put her cool, clinical hand on my shoulder, she held it a beat longer than normal and asked: “How’s your friend Brenda these days?”

Brenda Gillis – one of my dearest friends on earth, despite all the crap I’ve put her through – has an uncanny knack for knowing exactly what’s going on in the lives of everyone in Glenhaven without being a busybody. While she flirts with the line of being a gossip, there’s no malice in her methods. Less paparazzi, more society columnist.

I called her immediately from my car. “Where are you?” I asked. “I just left Dr. Marta’s. Her whole staff was acting weird.”

Brenda sighed on the other end. “I’m taking the kiddos to Noodles before their piano lessons,” she said. “Do you want to meet me there? We need to talk.”


  1. I'd like to see pages, please. Query letter in body of email and pages attached as a Word document. Please send to Melissa.Jeglinski@knightagency.net. Thank you.

    1. Pages are sent! Thanks so much for requesting and for taking part in #QueryKombat. I hope to hear from you soon!

  2. WILD CARD - I would love to see the full manuscript! Please feel free to send it to andrea@harveyklinger.com with Query Kombat in the subject line.

  3. I'd love to see this! Please send your query (in the body of the email) and pages (as a Word doc attachment) to patricia@marsallyonliteraryagency.com, with Query Kombat in the subject line. Thank you!

  4. Really interesting conflict here; I can't wait to read more. Please send your query letter and pages attached as a Word doc to queryjennifer[at]lizadawson[dot]com.

  5. **WILD CARD** I love the premise and am excited to dig in! Please send the full manuscript and query to Stacey@donaghyliterary.com be sure to place #QueryKombat in the subject line.
    Looking forward to reading FINDING SETH