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Legend of the Protectors by: Sarah Jensen

A young adult urban fantasy

Month

January 2009

Query Crits

Okay, next week we will work on our queries. So if you can have them in by Wednesday morning at 9 am MST, I’ll get them posted and up that same day.

Changed the email address for that, but if you’ve already sent them to the msfvrevisions email, I’ll still get them.

The email to send them to is sdoddjen@gmail.com

And since Authoress doesn’t want us criting our first 250 words over here anymore, which I totally respect, anyone still up for having queries and the first chapter critiqued, let me know.

I will be happy to post queries next week, and the following week, a first chapter by Michael.

You may post more than one query if you’d like. For the same book, or for mulitiple books. As you might have noticed, I had a few different queries posted here last week. So send me what you want to work on. 🙂

Miss Snark’s First Victim Revisions Now Open

I was hoping to have this up earlier, but I have the flu and didn’t get out of bed until after noon. Sorry about that. 😉

Anyway, I wondered who would like to post and critique just queries next week? If you are interested, please email them to me at the same address. I know some of you included yours here, and that’s fine. Maybe you can take the feed back and share it next week.

I’m also thinking about sharing first chapters for anyone interested. We’d have one up a week, and I’d put them up in the order I received them. Again, if interested, let me know. I would do that in two weeks.

Now, lets be kind, as I know you will. 🙂

And thank you to everyone willing to share their revisions with us!

Good luck.

MSFV Post #49

Original Post

Crevan Fox
Young Adult

Crevan Fox strutted away from the beach of Crescent Moon Bay, shaking the sand off his feet when he reached the sidewalk. He passed the Ice Cream Shack, then the Lighthouse Trinket Shop that sold trinkets and souvenirs of the lighthouse that stood on the other end of the beach. He looked at the red and white striped lighthouse looming in the distance and shook his head in disgust.

Stupid lighthouse. Everyone makes such a big deal about it. It’s ridiculous. He walked past the pier, crowded with people. Tourists come from everywhere to see a lighthouse that they can’t get into. It has no windows, no doors. No one knows who built it. It’s never been used.

His stomach knotted. The kids he hated most in the world might get to solve the mystery of the lighthouse. Just knowing they had a chance of it, irritated Crevan to no end.

Dad better not tell me what I just heard is true. I hope it’s just a stupid rumor.

He picked up a stick to smack against the fence as he continued down the sidewalk where the street was lined with tidy, colorful houses that faced the beach.

“Beep, beep,” someone behind him said.

Annoyed, Crevan glanced back and rolled his eyes at the boy on the bike. It was Toby Garin, a boy his same age of thirteen. He didn’t like this kid much.

MSFV Post #45

Original Post

Pandora

Early Chapter Book

Spring was the busiest time of year on Buttermilk Farm. Calves were arriving day and night.

One balmy night, a tiny calf struggled into the world.  Farmer Johnson and Verbal stood by in the barn.  Mrs. Johnson was there, too.  She loved all of the cows, and knew every one by name, even though they all looked remarkably alike.

Mrs. Johnson decided she would name this calf Pandora if it were a girl.  She wasn’t sure why she picked that name.  But something told her this calf would be full of surprises.

After many long hours, Pandora was born.

From the very beginning, Pandora knew she was different.  She couldn’t see the difference.  It was the reactions of everyone around her that told her she was no ordinary cow.

When Farmer Johnson first saw Pandora, he said, “Well, well, would you look at that?”

Mrs. Johnson said, “Oh, isn’t she precious!”

Verbal said, “What in tarnation?”

But it was her mother’s reaction that told Pandora she was unusual.  Pandora’s mother, Buttercup, took one look at her new daughter and fell over in the straw in an earth-rattling faint.  No doubt about it; there was something odd about Pandora.

Query:

I am seeking representation for my 7,200-word Early Chapter Book, Pandora.
Meet Pandora, a most extraordinary cow. All the other cows on Buttermilk Farm have black and white splotches. Not Pandora. She’s checkerboard. Pandora’s greatest desire is to be loved and needed. But the other cows think she looks too weird. They either laugh at her or run away every time she comes around.  It’s a lonely life for Pandora.

Then one day Pandora moves to Sunnyside Farm. At Sunnyside, everyone accepts and loves Pandora as she is; especially one small boy named Lester.

Lester thinks Pandora rocks! And he’s pretty sure her checkerboard pattern isn’t the only thing that makes her special.  Pandora hears in Lester’s voice all the sadness and loneliness she knows so well. It’s no wonder they become fast friends. When together they find out that Pandora’s milk is also special, Lester comes up with a brilliant plan that helps him realize his own worth.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

MSFV Post #44

Original Post

Title: The Treasure of Morro Bay – A Tale of Two Hearts

Genre: MG Light Fantasy

April’s scream echoed from the garage walls as brightness exploded through the window, chasing the darkness into corners and illuminating the thing in front of us. She scooted closer, grabbing my arm, as thunder rumbled through the house.

Even in the dim light, the fear in her eyes was evident when she looked up at me. Maybe it was because she was only thirteen. Or maybe it was because of the thing sitting on the floor-the thing we had dug up earlier that morning.

As another bolt of lightning flashed outside the window, my mind replayed the events that had led us to this point . . .

That morning had begun with the irritating sound of April Logan’s voice yelling up at my bedroom window. “Hey, Grant!”Are you going to sleep all day? I thought we were going fishing. Get up already!”

I considered how delicious it would feel to simply ignore her and let sleep crawl back into my head. I was just about to enjoy that feeling when her voice jumped into my ears again.

“Grant Parker! I know you’re in there. Come on. Get up!”

She wasn’t going away. In fact, she never went away. She had turned into a real pest this summer. Ever since her father had disappeared a few months ago, she had been hanging around Matt and me – all the time – like a lost puppy.

“I know you can hear me,” she yelled.

Who couldn’t?

MSFV Post#42

Original Post

Title: Illusions
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

A blink at the wrong moment and Kate would’ve missed the handoff completely.

A woman forced her way through the crowd, stepped up to the fountain next to the man in a suit, and tossed a coin into the fountain. Her other hand brushed against his. One heartbeat later, she disappeared in the mass of tourists.

Clean, quick, professional. These people were good. Unfortunately for them, Kate was better.

“Be advised, subject has the package and is heading southeast out of the piazza.” Kate said and followed the man at a discreet distance.

“Copy that Leopard. Continue as planned.”

Justifiably cautious, the subject checked for a tail at random intervals. Poor sucker didn’t have a prayer of catching Kate following him. Spotting a tail is about recognizing familiar faces, unusual patterns, and suspicious behavior. All signs Kate never leaves.

She was the best spy in school, which meant she was the best spy in the world. Of course, she had an ability that automatically placed her among the espionage elite.

The man rounded the corner and Kate fixed a new image in her mind. With that single thought, her entire appearance altered. Tourists jerked back, frightened, as Kate strutted around the corner. Her blond ponytail became a black and purple mohawk. Practical khaki shorts turned into a black leather miniskirt with torn fishnet stockings tucked into scuffed combat boots. A skull tattoo covered her right cheek and a dog collar wrapped around her neck, spikes poking in all directions. With one thought, Kate appeared distinctly different from her tourist persona.

Another revision. 🙂

A blink at the wrong moment and Kate would’ve missed the handoff completely.

A woman had forced her way through the crowd, stepped up to the fountain next to the man in a suit, and tossed a coin. Her other hand brushed against his. One heartbeat later, she disappeared in the mass of tourists.

Clean, quick, professional. These people were good. Unfortunately for them, Kate was better.

“Be advised, subject has the package and is heading southeast out of the piazza.” Kate said into her com-link and followed the man at a discreet distance.

“Copy that Leopard. Continue as planned.”

The subject checked for a tail at random intervals. Poor sucker didn’t have a prayer of catching Kate following him. She was the best spy in school, which meant she was the best spy in the world. Of course, she had an ability that automatically placed her among the espionage elite.

The man rounded a corner and Kate fixed a new image in her mind. Tourists jerked back, frightened, as Kate strutted around the corner. Her blond ponytail became a black and purple mohawk. Practical khaki shorts and sneakers turned into a black leather miniskirt with torn fishnet stockings tucked into scuffed combat boots. A skull tattoo covered her right cheek and a dog collar wrapped around her neck, spikes poking in all directions.

Kate’s new persona made it easier to navigate through the roadblock of humanity. She knew he wouldn’t suspect anyone in such outrageous apparel.

“Hey Leopard, nice change of spots.” Giovanni’s voice sounded distinctly in her ear.

“Real original, Quicksilver. How long did you work on that one?”

MSFV Post #40

Original Post

Violent Purple

Young adult urban fantasy

The current world climate sucks eggs – raw eggs.  We all want to escape our stress.  My young adult urban fantasy, Violent Purple, complete at 66,000 words, provides that escape.

Mom’s a faery, Dad’s an elf, and their six children never knew.

Arturo Dell, fifteen-year-old gamer geek, considers himself a man of science.  However, scientific theories and data can’t explain the magic sparkles shooting from his fingers.  The realization that he’s a supernatural half-breed from a thousand-year, magically-mixed marriage,  discombobulates Arturo’s rational worldview.  All he wants is to disarm bombs in his virtual game, Homeland Security.  But at the appearance of his parent’s foe, Alkibiades, his family is beset by arson, drive-by shootings, and a giant murdering Easter bunny.  Mom goes to jail for inciting a riot and Arturo’s attacked by ladies undergarments.  When his sister Fayerie is kidnapped, he must accept the reality of magic or lose her forever.  If Arturo’s fledgling powers fail, will his gaming skills be enough to save her life, or will they die together?

The urban fantasy world calls to young adults.  There, they have the knowledge, skills, and experience they lack in real world situations.  There, magic exists.  Reading has turned into safe harbor from an unstable world and turbulent adolescent insecurities.  In 2005, according to The Young Adult Library Services Association, there was one fantasy book in the Teens’ Top Ten.  When Hurricane Katrina hit, the war in Iraq escalated, and mortgage defaults climbed, fantasy books boomed.  In 2008, seven of the Teens’ Top Ten books were fantasy.

As a mother of six I well know the happy chaos and magical energy of a large family.  Violent Purple encompasses both aspects and draws on the reality of the power available to us all when we sacrifice ourselves for someone we love.

***

Chapter 1:  Blowing Up Brothers

The bomb shone with symmetric beauty.  Red, white, yellow, and blue wires entwined through the C-4, the shapes almost geometric.  Arturo focused on the colored lines.  There had to be a pattern.  If he snipped the wrong wire, Kansas City would explode.  So would he, along with two million other people.  That would suck.

Arturo wiped a trickle of sweat from his brow, and took a deep breath.  Breathe in with the calm air, out with the stress. He settled the controller more firmly in his real hands.  The cyber hands on screen mimicked his movements.

His fingers flew over the buttons on the game controller.  They moved with smooth precision between the hundreds of colored wires on the explosive device.

“I own you, man,” Arturo crowed into the head mic.  Excitement bubbled in his chest.  ExCIA had beaten him at Homeland Security everyday for almost a month.  It had been one of the most frustration-filled months of his life.  But now, he would disarm the bomb and blow ExCIA into a million pieces   At last, he’d get his revenge.

“Yeah?  You think you do, Junior,” the hollow voice of ExCIA echoed through the headset.  “You teenagers think you rule the world, but we old guys still have it going on.  There’s no way you’ll beat me.”

“Yeah, right, old man,” Arturo answered.  The virtual hands snipped another wire.

“I ain’t kidding Junior,” he warned.  “You have an IQ bigger than your shoe size.  Why don’t you use it?”

Arturo snipped a second wire.  Then, made the hands hover over the two red lines connected to the timing mechanism.  He entered a sequence of numbers and zoomed in to scan along the red, white, and blue plastic-coated copper wiring.

“Think Junior.  Think first what you know about me, since I designed this thing,” ExCIA cautioned in his echoey, simulated voice.  “If you know the character of the designer, you have a map of the design.”

MSFV Post #38

Original Post

The Weaver

MG Fantasy

Tucked in a lush valley between two snowcapped mountains was the village of The Tales.  Those who lived in the village were known as Weavers. Each person in The Tales could tell stories about anything at anytime and they often did. Prose, poetry, limericks or yarns; they told stories of all types and styles.  Parents of young weavers didn’t measure their children’s progress by their first step or first word, they bragged about their first story.

“My little Emma wove her first story today!”

“How exciting!  What did the precious little weaver say?”

“She said, ‘Swirling snow settles over the shanty, sheltering the shivering squirrel.'”

“Oh my, alliteration at such a young age, she will be a fine weaver, indeed.”

The most respected weaver in The Tales was, Abigail Wordsmith.  Abigail’s lyrical fables entranced even those who told horror stories.  When she wove a story everything around her stopped so that all could listen.  During a recent trip to the grocer’s, an audience gathered as she weaved to the clerk.  She said:

A simple woman paid for her groceries with money her husband had gained by humble means.

“Not enough!” barked the grocer.

“Yet, ’tis all I have,” replied the simple woman. “Will you accept my scarf?  It is special to me because it was knitted by my dear, departed mother.”

“It is worth nothing to me!”

“Will you accept my donkey?  I will carry my groceries on my own back.”

“I don’t like donkeys.  I would accept your ring.”

MSFV Post #34

Original Post

Title: STRICKEN

Genre: YA Fantasy

Karma’s long hair swayed around her as she descended the dark staircase.

Nightmares had awoken her again and the thought of hot tea, tempted her to retreat from the warmth of her bed.

Reaching the bottom step, she crept over to the kitchen.  The faint aroma of that evening’s dinner still lingered in the air.  The moonlight, barely visible through the kitchen window, highlighted a couple of spiders, dripping silvery spikes from the ceiling.

“He’ll stop at nothing to destroy you!  He hates traitors . . . !”

Karma froze.  The unfamiliar voice echoed out from her stepfather’s office.

Tiptoeing across the kitchen, she halted at the office, and pressed an ear against the door.

“B-But how could he have known?  There’s no way he could’ve found out!  I was so careful -!

The mystery man growled.  “Dammit, Devante, it doesn’t matter how he found out; what matters is he did!  If he captures your family, he’ll figure out who she is.  Thirteen years he has searched for her!  What do you think he’d do to you, if he knew you were harboring her in your own hou -?”

“But what am I to do with her now?”  The sound of Devante’s fist slamming on the top of the desk made Karma jerk her head back.

“You’ll find sanctuary in the city of Carling.  That would be the only place he can’t reach you . . . or her.”

Karma’s eyebrows knitted together.  Are they talking about me?

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