Resist the urge to quote contest reviewers in a query, particularly those who are anonymous. PW comments here do NOT equate to a PW review in the actual magazine. I give ZERO credence to these blurbs cause I have no clue who wrote them, and I'm absolutely convinced that no one says "this is crap" in one of these things. Not to say that yours is crap, but trust me, some of them were.
Semi-finalist is also the kiss of death. Finalist might be ok, but the only ones I'd truly want to read would be the top three at most. Why? Semifinalist means you're one of 100 or so, right? I can't sell something that is as good as 97 other things. I need something that is BETTER than 97 other things..the top 3%. More likely the top 1%. You're shooting yourself in the foot by mentioning this. Let the book speak for itself.
Joy is a twenty-three year old millionaire working as a prostitute as a penance to ease her guilt over the death of her ex-boyfriend. Raised by an undemonstrative mother, and absent father and an abusive uncle, Joy has relationship issues, so when she meets Matt - a married man - on the job and hears all the right lines, she falls for him.
Ok, I've stopped reading right here. When you throw "millionaire working as a prostitute" at me, you've got to realize that there's a leap of logic here that isn't clear to me. I can see her working in a soup kitchen, or giving away her money, but whoring? Not quite so believable. In fact, not at all.
When Joy receives news that her mother’s terminally ill, she knows it's time to go home. Haunted by childhood memories, will she find the way back?
And this has zero connection to what we just read in the previous two sentences.
Says Amazon Top Reviewer: “the story drew me in and made me wonder what the motivations of these women were. As we got further into the story, it was becoming clear that the reasons were not all black and white, and that there was definitely some deeper meaning behind all of it.”
Again, this isn't something that works in your favor.