Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #6 - Calling Death

YA Paranormal


Sixteen-year-old Daughter of Death, Damaris, was born evil. The only way her kind gain access to Heaven is to steal human souls and trade them for eternal life. Or so she's been told. But Damaris doesn't buy that and refuses to kill anyone. She's also determined not to let her little sister, Genie, end up a heartless, soul-stealing murderer like her parents.

The key to saving them both is Chase, a smokin' hot stranger with a penchant for breaking in through her bedroom window. Bent on retrieving his sister's stolen soul from Damaris's family vault at any cost, he offers a trade. He can free captured souls in exchange for her help.

They only have three weeks until her father's Death Day. Twenty-one days to find Chase's sister. Five-hundred hours to free all the souls before her dad hands them over to Death and they are lost forever. Thirty-thousand minutes to save Genie and prove to her kind that their ancient beliefs are wrong. The clock's ticking, and Damaris is running out of time.

First 150 Words:

I spin the loan crystal vial between my fingers. The silvery-blue soul dances erratically inside the glass like misty water. For the millionth time, I whisper an apology to the little soul in its cold, beautiful prison. I know it means nothing at this point, but pretending it does makes me feel better. Just in time to hear my sister giggle maliciously, I put the vial carefully back in it's place on my bookshelf.

Sighing, I squeeze my eyes shut, count to five while holding my breath, and all I get is a head rush and those stupid white spots flickering in my vision. That's when the tingly feeling hits me.

Someone is watching me through my window.

Genevieve squeals down the hallway again, dragging something heavy and loud across my bedroom door. But, luckily for her, it's not Genie that is my main concern anymore. It's whoever is spying on me.


Abby Minard said...

Love this one! I love the countdown in your query- it really captures my attention. And the sense of foreboding in your 150 is great. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

This query is fantastic! My eyes continued to widen as I was reading! I also loved the first paragraph of the first 150. Good luck!

Lone Star said...

I like the dark theme. I get the feeling that the story would be just the right amount of edgy for my tastes. The query is solid, but I'm not sure I completely understand the stakes. You threw in the term "Death Day" without much explanation. I know it's tough to explain supernatural concepts in the space of a query, but perhaps there is a way to clarify what's really going on.

I'd read on!

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #6!

I’m going around giving everyone at least one critique and one positive today. (Maybe more, if I spot something helpful.)

- I would totally read this! :)

- One sentence threw me. “Five-hundred hours to free all the souls before her dad hands them over to Death and they are lost forever.” I thought her dad was Death?

Best of luck! :)

Stacey Trombley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mara Valderran said...

My only critique is something Honey Badger already pointed out, so I am just going to jump into the praise:

What an amazing query! I LOVE the idea of someone fighting against their base nature or what they are told their nature should be. The first 150 sent goosebumps across my arms and then decided to do it again with that last paragraph! Great job!

Colene Murphy said...

Nerds, I can totally see how thats confusing. Yes and no, she's a decendant of Death--a daughter of many sons and daughters. Her parents are her kind too, not death himself in her den. Can't very well go around clarifying at the end of every query letter I send, though. Will solve...

Thanks guys! Appreciate all the wonderfully kind and helpful feedback!

S. T. Lakata said...

This story seems so intriguing to me. The idea creates curiosity instantly and I want to read more. The uniqueness of the story is so evident in your query. Your first 150 ends with a perfect line. It immediately makes the reader want to know, "who is spying?"

Good luck!!

Honey Badger said...

Elaborating on that should clear things up. :) You have my vote!