"It seems like a romance that may be suited to Avalon. However, we need to see more of your writing and the plot to make a fair assessment. If you would like to submit it to us on speculation, we would be glad to consider it."
Good news, of course -- beats a rejection letter. However, except for the book title it's the exact same letter as the one requesting to see Radio Red back in 2003, so I can't tell if I passed anything except the Moron Test. ("This guy hasn't even researched how to write a proper query letter or format a manuscript! He's a moron.")
I'm also puzzled at the fast turnaround time. One week? Avalon is a legitimate publishing company; shouldn't they have a huge slush pile to work their way through? Very odd. Still, I shall turn my back on the gift horse's mouth and hope I don't get bitten.
Now comes another check of the story, for mistakes and to make sure anything too offensive for their market is removed. Then I'll send in the entire manuscript, the letter they sent to me, a 2-3 page synopsis, a return manuscript box with postage, and a cover letter. Considering the coming week is our local festival, and in addition to working the fire department fish fry I'm one of the Grand Marshals (long story), the timing could be better! but I'm not complaining.
Still, I've been in this business too long to get overly excited by this -- Avalon did reject Radio Red, after all.
The original submission post: