Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Guess the Plot
1. The new girl at Huntford High is hot, but why did she list her age as 342 on admissions papers? And, why does Brad shun bright light ever since he took her to the movies? Lisa, Brad’s ex, is dying to know why her answers to those questions seem so . . . guarded.
2. At midnight cat burglar George Florin is put in a car to be driven across Wyoming by a pair of deputies. But a huge elk crosses their path and the car swerves into a tree, killing both deputies. Jack regains consciousness in the arms of a beautiful woman: a shape-shifting sorceress who takes him to 5th-century Byzantium.
3. Carrie Bell is trying to make it as a private eye, but an underworld kingpin wants something from her. Luckily, she has the ability to create "Guards," metal plates that give her powerful magic. But can her Guards guard her from . . . a demon?
4. Blane tries to sweep Lucy off her feet, but she pushes him away after every swoon-inducing pass. Lucy has a secret. She's in Witness Protection after turning state's evidence against her last boyfriend, a serial killer. That's why she must remain . . . guarded.
5. The worst thing about your mom being the president is having a carload of Secret Service goons watch every move you make, so of course Tiffany is thrilled to meet a witch with invisibility potion. But she soon realizes there's not much point arranging a clandestine meeting with Todd behind the Lincoln Memorial if he can't actually see her.
6. Congressman Mike Schiller weighs every word he utters, lest an out-of-context quote demolish his career. He's especially careful explaining why his wife no longer campaigns at his side. If word leaks that he's had her locked in the basement since a werewolf bit her, he can kiss that committee chairmanship goodbye.
Dear Mr Editor,
Like many people, 25-year-old Carrie Bell’s struggling to come to grips with the demons of her past. Except in her case, it's one demon in particular. Lathan. After escaping Lathan’s mind-warping bridal boot camp four years ago, [I would like to have a better idea of what you mean by "mind-warping bridal boot camp."] she returned to her world; a world she hardly recognizes. Now werewolves, fae and other kinfolk live covertly side-by-side with soccer moms and workaholic dads. [It sounds like you're using "kinfolk" to mean "supernatural creatures." If so, you might put it in quotation marks the first time you use it. Better yet, come up with something better, like "supernatural creatures."] [Was this change in the world evident as soon as she returned, four years ago, or did it manifest recently?] Ever the ardent believer in denial, Carrie plays along with their kin charade. Who’d believe her anyway? [What is their kin charade? Are they pretending to be kin of the soccer moms?]
Her job as a P.I. offers plenty of human drama to distract her, and is certainly a step up from her original plan of hiding in her closet. But her life once again becomes overshadowed by magic when she finds herself in possession of a butt-ugly statue. [She's been back four years and only now notices she has a statue? Was it here all along?] While the statue’s esthetical value may be debatable, its power is not. It has garnered the attention of an underworld heavyweight with seemingly limitless access to kin thugs. [Kinfolk, kin charade, kin thugs. I guess if you keep saying "kin," eventually we'll figure out what it means.] He calls himself GOD, [He capitalizes all three letters of his name? Not even God is that self-absorbed.] and his megalomania doesn’t end [with excessive capitalization.] there. He intends to use the statue to open a permanent portal to Alethia [Why? He's already king of the underworld with his unlimited access to kin thugs. Opening a portal that lets Lathan through will make him second banana. It's like The Joker deciding his criminal enterprises in Gotham City would go better if he invited Satan to be his partner.] – Lathan’s homeworld and the source of Carrie's nightmares. Now that reality’s hitting her over the head with a frying pan, she can no longer afford to close her eyes to the kin-filled world around her.
In the middle of her mouse-meet-world predicament, her libido skyrockets, upgrading every male in sight from “maybe” to “hell yeah.” [Before her libido skyrocketed, every male in sight was "maybe"? Sounds like her libido was in the stratosphere to begin with. Most women have huge categories called "Fat chance" and "Not if he was the last man on Earth."] Of course, when your father turns out to be a satyr and you’ve reached the age of sexual maturity, no man is safe. [25 is the age of sexual maturity?] Just when she gets her head back in the game and is about to untangle the identity of GOD, Lathan slithers back into her life, transforming her night terrors into reality. Luckily, bad dreams aren’t the only thing Carrie took away from Alethia. She also gained the skill of weaving Guards, metal plates that shape energy into powerful magic. And with her enemies closing in, she’ll most definitely need them. [Nice of her Alethian captor to look the other way while she developed a magical power that can defeat him.] [What are these plates? Do they look like dinner plates?]
GUARDED is an urban fantasy novel of 96,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.
Is Carrie the only person aware that the world is crawling with kinfolk?
After your definition of "kin" goes mainstream, people watching reruns of The Beverly Hillbilles will wonder why the werewolves and zombies never show up.
I think we can do without the sexual maturity/libido info in the query.
It feels like girl-next-door gets captured by demon, escapes, is trying to forget her past and live her life but can't because her enemies want something from her. Then at the very end you reveal that By the way, she's the daughter of a satyr and she can shape energy into powerful magic. I'm sure her power is revealed early in the book, but in the query it's a deus ex machina.
I'd open with something like: While she was the demon Lathan's captive, Carrie Bell learned to wield powerful magic. It's a talent that sometimes comes in handy in her current job as a private detective, but she'd like to put the past behind her and live a normal life. Not gonna happen.
An underworld kingpin who calls himself GOD wants to use Carrie to open a portal to Lathan's world.
You can take it from there. What is GOD up to, what happens if he succeeds, what does Lathan want, and what does Carrie plan to do about all this?