Monday, September 17, 2012

Rd 1 Agent Pitch Contest #39 - FINDING MEARA

Finding Meara
NA Urban Fantasy
80,000

QUERY:

To keep her safe, privileged Hazel Michelli's parents never told her she was adopted. She found out the truth when the danger her parents feared ripped apart the front door of her Denver penthouse and stole her away to the Realm, an alternative land where magic and monsters exist.

Hazel escapes back to Colorado with the help of a friendly Firecat, but not before she has a terrifying family reunion with her sadistic birth father, Lucian.  She learns Lucian must sacrifice a daughter to maintain immortality. When his planned sacrifice--Hazel's half-sister Meara--went missing, he sent his minion to find her and got lucky when he found Hazel instead. With her blood Lucian can not only maintain his immortality, but can obtain unlimited power to take over the Realm. Hazel is moved to the top of the sacrificial short list.

Home once again, Hazel wants to hide until the sacrificial window closes and then reclaim her comfy life. But Meara remains in danger, and Hazel is the only one who can return to the Realm to save her. Afraid, yet compelled by her adoptive parents to protect her newfound sister, Hazel races between both worlds, searching for the little girl while attempting to stay one step ahead of Lucian.  Their lives, and
the future of the Realm, leave her no room for failure.

First 150 Words:

By late morning, the unseasonably warm weather forced me to open all the windows of my penthouse apartment.  The crisp aroma of dried leaves drifted through the rooms and mingled with the infrequent
rumble of large delivery trucks coming off I-25 on their run into downtown Denver.

The beautiful fall day gave no hint of the unbelievable mess my life
would become.

I focused on my laptop’s screen, and wished my online racing bet would upload faster.  The status bar ticked up to ninety-seven percent, ninety-eight…

“And…done!” I said to the empty apartment.

Snapping the laptop shut, I set it on the coffee table, and checked my cell phone for the time.

Dang.  Still had time for a run before lunch.  I forced myself off the couch to go change, but only made it halfway across the living room.

With a tremendous cracking noise, the front door shattered.  Shards of wood flew by me.

6 comments:

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!

Kelley Lynn said...

I love how Hazel is slightly reluctant to 'do the right thing'. It adds such a flavor of authenticity to her story. I also like that the tale is founded in the 'real' world as well as this magical realm.

And talk about making us want more! Those last 150 words end to soon!

Jambo said...

This sounds really great, best of luck

Mara Valderran said...

I keep meaning to refresh my entry to see if I've gotten any comments, but I end up clicking on yours instead. By accident, you ask? No. I just keep re-reading it and going "Damn, I wish that was already out so I could keep going." Just thought you should know. :D

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, I love the fact that your story bounces back and forth between present day Denver and a magical realm. What a great contrast!

You've clearly spelled out Hazel's stakes, and I can sense how heart-pounding this story is. You've explained her connection to Lucian and the Realm, and you've done this very succinctly--which, as you know, is way easier said than done.

My only critique is the fact that I still don't really know what the Realm "feels" like. You obviously don't want to go too deep into this world-building, but I'd love to know if we're talking Middle Earth or Hell or an alternate planet Earth here.

Finally, I LOVE this sentence: "The beautiful fall day gave no hint of the unbelievable mess my life would become." Is there any way you can lead with this sentence and move the other two descriptors to the second paragraph?

Very good job!

D. D. Falvo said...

My favorite part? The terrifying family reunion. What an awesome and apt description of the unfolding drama. I think your query creates great conflict, and gives me several reasons why I want to read on--the appeal of a magical Realm and a befriended fire cat, the life of a child hanging the balance, the curious and deadly paternal relationship. All good stuff. Give me more! :D