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Query Letter: Shadow Tier: A Propulsive Military Revenge Thriller

Before writing novels, Steve Stratton was awarded a Green Beret, worked in White House Communications, and spent time in the US Secret Service. That varied experienced proved to be the perfect background for writing his acclaimed Shadow Tier military thrillers.  Stratton's first novel, Shadow Tier, was awarded a Bronze Medal by the Military Writers Society of America.  The story follows an Army Special Forces leader who sets out on a mission to avenge his parents after they are attacked by members of a Mexican drug cartel. Stratton followed up with the equally well-received sequel, Shadow Sanction.  The third book in the series, Caribbean Harvest will be out in late 2024.  

He is also releasing the prequel, A Warrior’s Path, through SilverBack Publishing – an intriguing new outfit specializing in novellas.


Stratton was kind enough to share the query letter that landed him a three-book deal with Force Poseidon, a publishing house focusing on military-themed works.


Dear Force Poseidon,

I am a US Secret Service, White House Communications Agency and Army Special Forces veteran.

I am seeking representation for my 100,000-word thriller, Shadow Tier. This fast-paced story dives into the dangerous world of drug cartels and tells of a man who has been pushed to the edge to seek revenge.

A family vacation in Mexico ends in death. Army Special Forces leader Lance Bear Wolf’s parents are killed attempting to save lives. To avenge his parents, Wolf targets a Sinaloa Cartel lieutenant and his sadistic sister Eliana Cortes.

The US and Mexican Governments are powerless to help. Wolf, a Crow Indian by birth, starts his own covert guerrilla war, attacking the cartel with help from family and teammates. In the depth of his darkness, Wolf attacks sites in Los Angeles creating an all out war between the Tijuana and Sinaloa cartels. But revenge comes at a high cost to his friends as a cartel assassin speaks his language of death. The cartel’s Mexican government insiders label Wolf a terrorist. The FBI leads a multi-agency investigation taking Wolf to the brink of losing everything, before the President forms Shadow Tier, a new covert unit built from special operations National Guard and Reservist personnel.

Their mission, to take the fight across the border to the Sinaloa Cartel. Wolf lets go of his need for revenge, and in the end, he saves Eliana and his own soul.

Thank you for your consideration. I have attached a copy of Shadow Tier for your consideration.


Steve Stratton



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