Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #4: THE ALABASTER REFUGEE

THE ALABASTER REFUGEE
YA Adventure/Romance
87,000

Query:

For seventeen-year-old Jocelyn, being betrothed to the charming Prince Zven should've been perfect--instead it's hell. After moving into his palace, Jocelyn's world collapses when she discovers he's murdered her family.

Trapped inside Zven's twisted world of animal torture and indiscriminate murder, Jocelyn's convinced she's his next victim. Once she discovers Zven's plan to poison the King, she escapes with her life and the prince's secret.

With the entire kingdom searching for her and winter biting the forest, Jocelyn refuses to drown in panic. She accepts help from the mysterious soldier Taggert--a thrill-seeker more than willing to protect her.

Together they form a plan to cross the Kingdom of Zire and retrieve a letter from the royal apothecary proving Zven's poisonous plot. Taggert uses his questionable connections to elude the prince and enlists an unlikely group of allies to aid Jocelyn: a drunken rogue, a jilted pirate princess, and a silent enigmatic spy.

Soon Jocelyn and Taggert's plans are interrupted when one of her allies informs the prince of her whereabouts. Jocelyn must find a way to use the prince's secret to stop him and outsmart the traitor before the prince finds her and forces her into marriage. She cannot fail. Experience has taught her--no one lives to cross Prince Zven.

First 150 Words:

Jocelyn swallowed her panic in breathless gulps. It’s too late! I didn’t get far enough.

With guards chasing her, she had two options—run or hide.

She chose the latter.

Now she waited.

Jocelyn lay flat—her stomach pressed into the frosty ground. Was it the cold or the fear making her skin rise in complaining goose bumps?

The relentless pursuit moved closer with each shallow breath. She touched her neck and her fist closed around a broken locket—its jagged face cut into her flesh. You’re still alive, the pain reminded her. She willed herself to remain still, fighting every screaming instinct to—Run!

The earth throbbed as boots hit the ground in a chaotic cadence.

They’re going to find me. He’s going to kill me!

Polished boots stopped inches from Jocelyn’s nose and she stiffened. The guard cursed under his breath. He pushed aside the leaves on a bush across the trail and they crackled like angry paper.

8 comments:

  1. Hi there!
    Oh man I love this! You drew me in right away in your query and didn't let go in your 150. So, now I'm wondering when this book will come out . . . cuz I want to buy it. Like now. Good luck with GUTGAA! (Looks like you had font trouble at the bottom. I had the same problem with my e-mail, but who cares, this is awesome!)

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    1. Actually, that was my formatting bad and I've now fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out!

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  2. You have a lovely writing style, and it sounds like such a thrilling, awesome book! I wonder if the query doesn't read more like a synopsis, with it's length and detail? It was very good, and really got me into it, though.

    Great first 150, too. Wow! So tense!! Hated to stop!

    Good luck!

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  3. Your query made me a afraid for your MC right away, which is awesome. Your story sounds creepy in all the best possible connotations. Good luck!

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  4. I have goosebumps as I read this entire thing. Query and first 150. The writing is stunning and poor Jocelyn can't get a break. Really well done!

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  5. Loved your first 150! Sucked me right in. Your query did feel too much like a synopsis though.

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  6. PITCH: You should’ve seen my jaw drop when I read the part about him murdering her family—totally threw me, and drew me in. Right away I could see the stakes are high. The story sounds very good. At the same time, I’d recommend shortening the pitch, because I think too much is given away—it’s a little too much of a summary.
    FIRST 150: This is very tense, and there are some awesome details worked in, such as the broken locket cutting her skin, the earth trembling beneath the cadence of boots—all very good. Personal preference: I need to get to know the character a little better before I can care about her running for her life. The writing is great. Have you considered beginning the story somewhere else?

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  7. Love the stakes here! This is what a good story is all about. I do have to agree with Braidyhead, in that, I like to get to know a little about the character on the first page before seeing so much action. Make me really care about her beforehand and you will have a true winner here!
    Best of luck!!

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