Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Writer's Voice Entry: LUCK STRUCK

QUERY

LUCK STRUCK is a 71,000 word work of young adult fantasy with strong thriller and romance elements. It should appeal to readers of Julie Kagawa and Marie Lu.

Aurelio Vico wants two things: to redeem his family name and ignore the ghastly demons that haunt his visions. When the demons turn out to be real, and hungry, he resolves to do whatever it takes to stop them. He joins The Luckies, a secret society dedicated to protecting the city by hunting down the living nightmares known as Curses.

But demons aren’t always easy to spot, let alone kill. And when fighting Curses, even small mistakes have dire consequences. As the Curses close in on Aurelio’s family, he’ll need every drop of luck he has to save the ones he loves.

My works have been awarded twice by the Writer’s Digest Competition, with a fifth place in Children’s/YA and an honorable mention in Horror. I am an active member of SCBWI.



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LUCK STRUCK



I watched the shadowy black hand settle on Otto's shoulder. It had too many fingers.

Unaware, Otto examined the game pieces in front of him. He scratched his chin, turning his head to study the board from different angles.

“Aurelio?” Adriana came up beside me. “What is it?”

“It’s nothing,” I turned my attention to her. “Just watching the games.”

Her gaze skimmed the room, glass beads sparkling in her coiled dark hair. Her skin, the color of tiger’s eye, seemed to glow in the light from the wall sconces.

“Adriana!” A girl called from one of the tables. “Come join us.”

Adriana gave me a quick smile before moving to join her friends. Around the room, cards flicked against tables, wooden pieces tapped against boards. Casting runes clattered into bowls while players argued over interpretations, the intent being to predict the most outlandish fortune.

The Galvani manor was always filled with house guests during the weeks surrounding the Firstlight holiday. Every guest room, den, and alcove seemed crammed with visitors.

My eyes went again to the ghostly arm that stretched from between Otto’s shoulder blades. The elbow bent to keep the palm resting on his shoulder. The claw-tipped fingers twitched and jerked against his jacket.

Cold sweat beaded on my brow. Ever since I’d seen my first shadow mark, as I thought of them, I’d learned not to tell anyone about them.

But the ones I’d seen before had been much smaller.




34 comments:

  1. YESSSSSS! This is so creepy! Good luck!!

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    1. I'm glad it creeped you out! Good luck to you, too.

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  2. I'm in love with the visuals here, Belinda. And the tension in just a few words is amazing.
    Connie

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    1. Thanks! Making people tense is a great way to start my weekend.

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  3. I like 1st Person POVs with this kind of dynamic/purpose. Sounds interesting.

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  4. Great imagery and pretty high on the creep out factor. I'd love to see where this goes. Good luck!

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    1. Sweet, can now cross off "creep out others" from my bucket list. Good luck to you, too!

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  5. Great query, and your 250 left me wanting more! Best of luck!

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  6. Great job with your query and 250! You pack a lot into the "too many fingers" sentence. Not only does it conjure up a visual, but it also evokes a creepy mood. Good luck!

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  7. Love your first paragraph! Best of luck in the contest!
    Rebecca

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  8. Beautiful description an very unusual too. Are you looking for a CP? Good luck with this entry!

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    1. Thanks! I'll let you know if I'm looking for a CP :)

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  9. Wonderful opening line! Good luck in The Writer's Voice!!
    (Thanks for you comment on mine, The Friday Night Fright Club.)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck to you, too!

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  10. Solid query, and I love the first 250--very creepy!

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    1. Great! The query gave me quite a headache ;) Best of luck to you, too.

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  11. The query is great...but demons aren't always easy to spot! That's great. Good luck!

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    1. I'm glad to hear it, queries are so nerve-wracking! Good luck to you, too.

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  12. great, great opening. good luck!!

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  13. YES GIRL. I loved your query and your 250!
    Best of luck Athena!

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  14. Hey Athena! Your entry was in one of my top picks because Rachel and I both loved your opening. It's super creepy and your writing is strong. The only reason we hesitated was because of your query. The first time I read it, I thought your book was paranormal, not fantasy because of secret societies, demons, etc. There's nothing in it that says to me it's not in our world, so see if you can add more unique details to it. I also think you should change some of the names - Luckies, Curses, demons all feel very paranormal/urban fantasy. Can you call them something other than demons (which are a big no-no to agents right now and might throw them off)? A lot of the query also felt very generic - what makes your book different from other YA fantasy out there? Focus on that. Your query is short enough so you can expand on it quite a bit. Also, if there's a strong romance, I'd find a way to mention that too. Hope this helps!

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    1. Thank you, Liz! It means a lot to me that my opening made an impression with you and Rachel. Queries are a big struggle for me, so having your feedback is super helpful. I'll definitely be applying your ideas and working to make this query stronger.

      Thanks again!

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