Monday, September 17, 2012

Rd 1 Agent Pitch Contest #33 - THE CARNELIAN LEGACY

GENRE: NA Speculative Romance
WORD COUNT: 87,000


Marisa MacCallum always believed she’d find her soul mate out there somewhere. The problem is, he’s in a parallel universe.

Seeking comfort in the woods after the death of her father, Marisa loses her way in a freak storm and crosses paths with Darian Fiore. He’s arrogant, rude, and the last person she would want as a guide. But when she learns she’s entered an ancient parallel dimension called Carnelia, the haughty-but-handsome diplomat might be her only chance at finding the sorcerer who can send her home.

In return for Darian’s help, Marisa joins his risky journey to negotiate peace with his cousin and archenemy, Savino. Along the way, she sees a softer side of Darian and starts to fall in love. But, when she discovers he is locked into an arranged marriage, her heart shatters. Falling for Darian wasn’t part of the plan. Neither was having Savino fall for her. When Savino demands her hand in marriage in exchange for peace, she faces an impossible choice: marry the enemy of the man she loves or turn her back on them all and become the catalyst for a bloody war.


Marisa MacCallum wiped the tears blurring her vision as the men lowered her father’s casket into the ground. It had already been a week since he died and still she couldn’t believe he was gone. Sure, the doctors had expressed concern by how fast the cancer had spread but she never imagined it would take him so quickly. His bright blue eyes and infectious grin still lingered in her mind and her arms ached to hold him just one more time.

Marisa looked sadly over at her brother Mark to see if he was okay but his grim expression only made her feel worse. She wiped her cheeks with a crumpled tissue and slipped her arm under her uncle’s. Now that their father was gone, Alistair MacCallum was all they had left.

As soon as the service was over, Marisa broke away and hurried down towards the parking lot, eager to avoid the irritating comments from her father’s co-workers.


SugarMagnolia said...

Thanks for participating! My plan is to read through all the entries and then begin my comments and critiques. I will give out my top ten my votes when I'm finished.

Best of luck to you, and stay tuned!

Jayme said...

LOVE what you’ve done with this. Your hook is awesome and the new 150 has a much stronger pull. Good luck! :)

Jambo said...

I love the premise. Best of luck

SugarMagnolia said...

(Hi again! I plan to give out comments during this round, and then I'll give out my top ten votes as soon as I have critiqued everyone's queries.)

First of all, Marisa MacCallum is an AWESOME name. Your first paragraph is spot-on, and I feel myself immediately being pulled in by it.

This is going to seem like a random question, but is there any way you can personalize Darian a little bit in the second paragraph? I find myself warming up to him in the third paragraph, but I initially felt a bit put-off by him. He seemed forgettable, like that generic jerk we've all read about in romance novels.

I know Darian isn't actually "that guy," but is there any way you can show us something that gives us a better feel for him in that paragraph? A quirk, a unique or interesting detail, anything at all that makes me understand how three-dimensional he actually is.

(The fact that he's stuck in an arranged marriage totally humanizes him in the third paragraph, but I feel like we need something like that sooner.) Does this make sense?

A very powerful choice to open with Marisa's father's funeral in your first 150 words. I really like this, and I think it gets us right into the action quickly. Great job!

Violet said...

This is a FANTABULOUS query! So, so, so well written! You do a great job setting up the story. We know who the main characters are, what the conflict is, and what choice your mc has to make. The only (teeny) bit of advice I would give is to try and give us a *little* bit of world building in the query, because when I think of parallel universe, I imagine a world just like ours (like in the TV show Fringe--considering you even watch that show ;), but with *slight* differences. However, based on what the rest of your query, I'm guessing it's nothing like Marisa's "home." I would like to know a little bit more about this parallel dimension other than it's ancient (IMO).

Your opening words were great! I think you started at a good place. Right away I got a good idea of who Marisa is and the kind of pain she's in from losing her father. I wanted to keep reading!

Great job on this. I can really tell you put a lot of work into it :-)


Cheryl Koevoet said...

Thanks, Violet! I really appreciate your vote!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Hello good lady!
I love the idea behind your MS. I mean, i'm a sucker for a "sucked into another world" story, so right there you hook me.

I like the query a lot. The only thing that trips me up (and it's really really minor) is the "Along the way, she sees a softer side of Darian and starts to fall in love" just because it's a bit to telly for my taste. I think i'd prefer more specifics about what it is about him that makes her fall in love. Also "falling in love" can mean a lot of different things. Like, does she want to kiss him, or jump him, or are we talking she wants to marry and settle down with him. So more specifics i think would only serve to help you here.

Yay!! Super good luck!

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Jasmine said...

Thanks, Violet! I really appreciate your vote!