Bounty Hunters led by Boba Fett have positioned themselves at every junction.
They’ve cut off all paths to the training grounds where they’ve rounded up several Padawans.
The Council must engage them to rescue their captives and prevent them from being handed over to the Sith.
May the Force be with you…
Battle Stations: Query and first 15 pages
Anger clouds your mind: Query and first 50 pages
Somebody has to save our skins: Query and first 100 pages
It’s a trap!: Query and full
The full force of the Jedi Masters and their teams can been found below.
Genre: MG Horror
Word Count: 52,000
If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why? At the beginning of the story, Tim would want to be Chewie, because his brother’s best friend wears a Chewbacca costume when he’s pretending to be a Bigfoot.
35 Word Pitch: Thirteen-year-old Tim’s fake Bigfoot video goes viral, causing a perfect storm of social media and reality TV. When a real monster arrives, Tim must overcome his guilt – and the monster – to save his friends.
First 250 Words:
Note to self: Next time the Conroy twins want to play hide and seek on Monster Hill at sunset, tell them to get lost.
I caught Robbie in his usual hiding place five minutes ago. Now I’m after Mitch, who isn’t just a better hider, he loves to startle me.
A twig cracks in the distance, putting me on high alert. I move toward the noise, but Mitch is gone when I get there. The sun slips down over the top of the hill; pretty soon I won’t be able to see anything as the shadows grow even darker.
More rustling comes from a few feet behind me. Mitch is noisier than usual tonight; he’s giving himself away. I get a whiff of something foul on a light breeze that’s kicked up. I bet he stepped in dog poop again. He’s a magnet for the stuff.
I turn toward the noise, but my phone vibrates. Mitch’s text glows on the backlit screen: “Mom called me in when Robbie came home. You win.”
A chill shoots down my spine. If Mitch is at home, who’s sneaking up on me? Or maybe it’s not a who, but a what. After all, I am on Monster Hill.
POP! A thicker branch behind me breaks. I catch movement out of the corner of my eye, and turn quickly enough to get a brief glimpse of a hulking, shadowy thing standing in the darkness. It takes a step toward me.
“YAAAAAH!” I sprint for home.
Special Question: If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why?: Rey (or perhaps Ezra from the “Star Wars: Rebels” series), because he has a power that frightens him and he must learn to use it for good.
And he was right, but I wasn’t about to tell him the real reason just yet.
Title: ZACH BEACON STRIKES OUT
Genre: MG Contemporary
Word Count: 35,000
Special Question: If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why? Han Solo, because Zach is a fast-talking rebel, and he would love to pilot the Millennium Falcon.
35 Word Pitch: When trophy-obsessed Principal McMott unjustly fires the school’s groundskeeper, seventh-grade shortstop Zach Beacon fast-talks the baseball team into going on strike, using the best leverage they have—the team won’t win till McMott gives in.
First 250 Words:
I knocked the dirt from my cleats and glared at the pitcher. “Gimme a fast one, Joey, if you’ve still got it in you.”
“Whatever, man. It’ll be midnight before my arm gets tired.” Joey went into a windup—and fell over laughing.
I’d done my signature bat-waggle butt-wiggle. It gets them every time.
“All right, Zach, knock it off,” said Coach Clark from the dugout.
I rested the bat on my shoulder. “Aw, Coach, we’re just messing around.”
“Zachary!” yelled a voice from the stands. “This is the last day of spring tryouts. Pay attention!”
My dad. Of course. He gets almost more excited about baseball season than I do.
Joey slung a fastball over the plate, and I smoked it into the hole in left field. I cruised to a stop at second.
“Nice,” said Coach Clark. He rubbed a hand across his forehead and squinted at a notepad. “Zach, take over as catcher. Rod’s going to bat now.”
I trotted towards home. Rod Grimble tore off the catcher’s mask and grabbed his bat from the dugout.
“Whee-yoo, Rod, this mask stinks,” I said as he stomped back to the plate. “What’d you have for lunch, a garlic sandwich?”
He didn’t look at me. Not even a grin. Rod the Bod—he’s practically as big as some of the high school football players—isn’t known for his sense of humor.
Joey lobbed a low fast one.
I grimaced. Rod hissed something my parents would murder me for saying and gripped the bat tighter.
Title: A MATTER OF MUMMIES
Genre: MG Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 49,000
Special Question: If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why?: If Liadan could be any Star Wars character she would probably be Rey. Because Rey is self-sufficient, brilliant and a total bad-ass.
35 Word Pitch: When mummified murder victims pop up all over Victorian Dublin, girl genius Liadan’s on the case. It’ll take a devoted inspector and some werewolves to help solve it—before Liadan ends up a murder victim herself.
First 250 Words:
Breakfast was oatmeal. Watery. Hateful. Oatmeal. Eating, however, was a far less unpleasant idea than being fed. They would put their hands on her. Force her to eat. Bruising pale skin and laughing. She didn’tlike to be touched. The horrible click of silverware against plates and the dull murmur of the genuinely mad echoed around her with none of the pleasantness she’d once associated with meals taken in company.
After oatmeal, an orderly—with his hand on her shoulder—Insufferable lout—shoved more than led her to her appointment with Dr. O’Toole, a man she had been on precariously equal footing with up until the day she’d woken up to find herself trapped in this place. She couldn’t even remember what happened that night.
She wasn’t really paying attention to what he was saying. The chair she was in was dusty, the fraying fabric far more interesting than he was. Though his bright red mustache did catch her eye. Like a bird to a bit of ribbon. The curly edges flopped as he spoke. Droned. Liadan corrected. He drones. Worse than Sir Andrew, for certain. But a word caught her attention from the stream of dullness.
She blinked, bright green eyes flashing from boredom to alertness. “Excuse me?” she interrupted.
His mustache drooped as he frowned. “I said,” he explained, “I’ve decided a course of electrotherapy would be appropriate for your condition. I’ve scheduled one for you today, in fact. The sooner we start, the sooner you can—”
Title: DO NO HARM
Genre: Adult mystery/thriller
Word Count: 81,000
Special Question: My main character would be Rey. An intelligent, resourceful woman who lost everything dear to her, but risks what little she has to help a stranger and, once invested, is tenacious in pursuit of the goal.
35 Word Pitch: Accused of malpractice, anesthesiologist Dr. Kate Downey risks more than her career to explain a series of unexpected post-operative deaths and stop a mercy killing-for-hire scheme before her comatose husband becomes the next victim.
First 250 Words:
“Unbelievable. They’re going to kill him again.” Dr. Kate Downey’s glimmer of hope for this medical student team had faded to more of a speck, an echo of a speck.
Nathan Cassell sat to her right. “They killed him a long time ago. I can keep him in VFib, but there’s not a molecule of oxygen in his system.” He pointed to a small window on the left side of the simulator control’s computer monitor. Arterial oxygen – Zero. “Maybe there’s no oxygen in the whole classroom.”
“That would explain a lot.” Kate squeezed her neck beneath her ponytail. “Keep overriding the decompensation. They have to come up with something.”
Through the one-way glass into the simulation classroom, she watched the scenario unfold. Three senior students surrounded brawny Stan the Man-ikin. A life-size Ken doll laid out on a stretcher, minus the tan. His pasty skin tone and over-large features challenged the willful suspension of disbelief, but the students aggressively coded him nonetheless.
At the head of the bed, a student with Harry Potter glasses squeezed a breathing bag attached to a plastic tube in Stan’s throat, while Robert, a classmate who appeared to spend more time at the gym than the library, performed chest compressions. A young Indian woman stood mute by the defibrillator.
“They may suck, but at least they’re consistent,” Nathan said.
Alarms wailed as the students continued their incompetent resuscitation. An electronic ka-thunk broke through the incessant alarms. All three stared at the ECG.
Title: THE LAND OF LOST SOULS
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Word Count: 83,000
Special Question: If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why? Without a doubt, my main character, “Diamond Bessie,” would choose Rey. Just as Rey was abandoned by her parents, Bessie was abandoned by an unforgiving society for being a “fallen woman.” Both are determined, resourceful, and survivors. Even though Bessie is killed by her husband of eleven days and seeks revenge, like Rey, Bessie also finally realizes her own power: the power to forgive and find peace.
35 Word Pitch: Nineteenth century prostitute “Diamond Bessie” seeks revenge for her murder from the afterlife, fearing others will fall prey to her killer if he’s acquitted. But she learns that revenge is not what she truly wants.
First 250 Words:
February 1877, Jefferson, Texas
Fifteen days passed before someone found my body. I know, because I waited.
A woman ventured out of her cabin to gather kindling, singing as she walked through the woods. My fully clothed body had been carefully laid out like a corpse in a coffin. The snow-covered ground, a log, and a canopy of bare trees served as my funerary box. One arm had been placed on my chest, the other lay by my side, and my hat strategically covered the left side of my head.
The singing woman stopped when she saw me. I’m sure at first she thought I was taking a peaceful afternoon nap. But I wasn’t napping, and I felt anything but peaceful. My anger had hardly begun to subside. It stirred the wind, darkened the woods, kept the buzzards, hogs, and even sparrows at a distance. I hadn’t ventured from my spot. I needed to protect my body. No matter how long it took, I had to remain recognizable.
The woman was far enough away that she couldn’t touch me but close enough to see the maggots wriggling around my eyes and mouth. I could feel the woman’s heart pounding, each beat mingling with the sound of a nearby brook running fast after the thaw.
She turned and rushed off. It wouldn’t be long now.
Soon, a wagon stopped nearby. Several men approached while the woman stayed off at a distance. One of the men knelt down and took off my hat.
Title: NIGHT WITCHES
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 89,000
If your main character could be a Star Wars Character, who would they choose and why? Valka would choose Poe Dameron, as he’s the pilot she’d want to be and he always keeps his cool.
35 word pitch: 17-year-old Valka joins a magic wielding regiment to prove herself and win a war. But her sexist fellow aviators are hell-bent on seeing her wash out, even though her unit might be their only hope.
First 250 words:
Valka didn’t realize the war had come to them. Not until the factory stopped.
She sat at her post like a good citizen, oblivious to the oncoming storm from the north. The organized cacophony of industry filled her to the brim. Slim, shining war beetle parts drifted past on the conveyor belt, twitching and trembling with faint traces of magic. As their progress on the belt slowed, the voice of her supervisor emerged from the din. “Girls!”
The hissing, ratcheting and clanging died away for the first time in years. Valka paused with a leg in hand, fingers half buried in its oily bones. In her three years working here, she’d never heard the machines go still. The silence had a sound all its own, the sound of a promise broken.
She turned her wheelchair away from her post and pushed towards her supervisor’s voice. Machines towered around her like trees, blocking the hard light of the factory lamps, frozen in the act of spitting out legs, carapaces, and antenna. Valka rounded the base of an enormous sheet press and found Mrs. Rodoya in the middle of the hall, tall and straight, hands clasped just over her belly. Other factory girls crept out from behind conveyors and riveters, ducking under cranes. They clustered at the edge of the open space.
Mrs. Rodoya took a deep breath. “We need to evacuate. Get your things.”
Title: THINGS BETTER NOT HEARD
Genre: YA Contemporary
First 250 Words:
The bottom dropped out of my stomach like I’d hit a speed bump at one-fifty, and I goldfished for breath. The unusual stillness of the classroom meant five other girls—and probably at least two boys—had rated the new guy at precisely the same level as me. To. Die. For.
Hayley stiffened alongside me like a hunting dog. If I risked a glance at her, I’d lose my shit for sure, because she’d be pointing with her boobs rather than her nose.
To disguise my reaction, I shoved a hand through my hair, tucking it behind my ears as I steadied my breathing. Damn. Rarely was I unselfconscious enough to pull such a dumb move. Though my loose hair flouted the school dress code, the embarrassed teachers could be relied on to ignore my only defiance—but now I’d exposed my hearing aids. I raked my hair back into place, praying the new guy hadn’t noticed.
Oblivious to the no-touching-students rule, Mrs. Richter ushered him further into the classroom, then danced her impressive bulk back to guard the door, as though she feared he’d bolt. Like a wild animal.
His rugged appearance held a hint of something untamed, but it looked like running was the last thing he’d ever need do. Knee bent, left leg taking his weight and thumb hooked through the shoulder strap of his backpack, he confidently returned the not-so-covert scrutiny of fifteen sets of eyes.
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Word Count: 90,000.
Special Question: If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why?: If Star Wars existed in the world of GENESIS, Kali would choose to be Luke Skywalker. She’d be able to connect with a number of his core values—his loyalty to his friends (no matter how few), his desire to protect weaker people, and his willingness to follow rules (at least until another, more expedient method to solve the issue is found).
35 Word Pitch: Disguised as a boy, Kali enlisted to fight the mutated beasts terrorizing the world, but now must prevent the general’s assassination. If she fails, the army will fragment, the beasts will win—and she’ll die.
First 250 Words:
Steel, heated by the sun, sliced through the skin of Kali’s shoulder—first blood.
Grimacing, Kali ducked under her opponent’s next strike before backing into the shadows cast by the cathedral. She shivered at the sudden chill and examined the wound; it was shallow. I can still win this. She rolled her shoulders. I will win this.
The cheers and screams from the audience were loud and hard to ignore. An overripe jamberpeach struck the ground next to Kali’s foot. A bookie shouted, “Last call! Place your bets here!”
Across the arena, Nia grinned but didn’t press the advantage, flicking blood from her sword. “Running scared?” she asked, panting. She was favoring her left leg, her simple blue tunic stuck to her dark skin, and her hair was a mess of flyaway curls.
Kali shook her head and blew her bangs away from her eyes. “You’re the one wheezing. Why should I be afraid?” Gripping her sword’s sweat-soaked hilt, she gulped down muggy air that smelled of a coming autumn storm and the rotten fruit strewn around the outdoor arena.
Nia dashed forward.
Scraps of metal, broken tech, and shattered glass crunched underfoot as Kali met the other girl halfway. Their blades shrieked, grating against her heightened hearing.
The memory of her mother’s voice snapped at her. You know more than twenty ways to kill her. Do it, Specimen K-3-55.
Kali faltered and took a step back.
Nia broke the stalemate, punched Kali, and swept her feet out from under her.
Title: THE WATER CHILD
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 60,000
Special Question: MC would be Obi-Wan because he is the all-knowing guru and Tora can’t stand to be left in the dark, she wants answers.
35 Word Pitch: Fifteen-year-old Tora wants to forget her pearl-diving heritage, but when the 2011 Tsunami strikes Japan, wrenching her mother away, she’ll comb the waves – and graves – to bring her mother home again.
Men in orange suits dash onto the train tracks to haul the remains of a body off the rails. They run single-file, practiced. I tighten my grip on the metal pole near the train door and my eyes blur over my iPhone screen. Everyone knows why we’re delayed, we simply don’t say it.
“We apologize for the inconvenient delay,” buzzes the train conductor.
Electronic doors slide open, releasing the disrupted passengers. I stifle a shiver as a gust of early spring air washes into the train car. Morbid curiosity claws at my throat. I gulp it down. Don’t look, don’t stare. I step forward, gazing at the platform outside, halfway concealed by a blue tarp. Police and railway employees crisscross the scene, assessing the ‘human accident’ on the tracks below.
“Tora,” Sakura calls. “This isn’t our stop.” Her eyes meet mine through a mirror in her makeup compact. She’s re-coating every single eyelash in thick black goo, legs crossed and sitting in the handicap zone.
I startle, recalled to our present journey and the plum blossoms waiting for us at Tenjin Shrine. The train doors whisk closed. I jump back and my phone clatters to the floor. The afternoon breeze also falls, cut short by the closing doors, and dissipates like a recoiling fog.
Sakura turns in her seat to face me, her questioning gaze drifting to the phone at my feet. Heat floods to my face. My mother warned me never to compare Tokyo with home, but I can’t reconcile this.
Title: 50 WAYS TO KILL YOUR STEPMOTHER
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 76,000
Star Wars Character: The force is unusually strong with my main character, Sydney. She has a desire to protect the ones she loves. She chooses Anakin Skywalker because his arc is reflective of her own. How does evil come from good? It’s born out of a moment of broken humanity.
Pitch: Sydney uses humor as a daily survival technique dealing with her new stepmother. Innocence lost/sexual abuse by relative while her step-mother knows and does nothing. Escalating kill or be killed. Dark-Comedy-Cinderella
On the first day of summer my dad confirmed, “I do,” in front of God and a court appointed witness that he did, in fact choose Amy. The same day my mom and sisters climbed into a U-Haul truck, and moved two thousand miles away, promising it’d work out best for everyone. I moved my bed and everything that mattered into our basement. Locked in my new room, I didn’t even come out to throw rice or say goodbye.
Amy was quick to quit her job as a waitress at The International Dog House, and in turn became our bitch in residence. On weekends William who lives next door, and I watch movies, it’s kind of our thing. In an effort to flush out Amy, the last six months we’ve dedicated our lives to screening any title centered around divorce or cheating. Unfaithful, Fatal Attraction and Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce have enlightened us about our very own Gone Girl.
Amy comes in the front door carrying a bucket of fried chicken and drinking a Big Soda from the gas station. She squeezes in next to dad, making room on the couch. The greasy smell from the chicken settles around her as she announces, “Lipto-cockus, can’t be beat.” No one says anything, but the dead air allows her time to educate us.
“You know Lipto-cockus oil, they use it in massages?”
Dad cracks up at her contrived version of eucalyptus, and pulls her closer. I die a little
Title: FOUNT OF POWER
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 90,000
If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why?: Tessa would be torn between picking either C-3PO or Finn. Of all the characters, she sees the two of them as the only ones properly aware of how dangerous and ridiculous space travel and resisting the empire are. And poor C-3PO keeps getting blown up and assembled incorrectly. Some thanks for all of the incredibly logical observations he makes! But it’s because of that she would eventually pick Finn. Finn hasn’t been blown to pieces yet or powered off by his so-called friends, and she doesn’t want to live through that. Honestly, she can relate to Finn a lot. She’s a bit of a henchman turned hero herself whose first instincts are fear and self-preservation. But like Finn, she has a good heart and a strong desire to protect the people she loves.
35 Word Pitch: An ill-timed peace treaty strands Tessa behind enemy lines, vulnerable to those she betrayed. Now she must use her psychic powers to gather a new army for her enemies, or they’ll hang her for treason.
First 250 Words:
Tessa’s basement window let in the faintest smear of sunset, just bright enough to illuminate the dust in the air. The plaster floor chilled her thighs, but she sat motionless, one hand draped over Chay’s shoulder, her other hidden inside her coat pocket. She didn’t need him noticing her twitching fingers.
Chay stared at the window with the dedication of a Sage. His grubby blonde hair glowed in the weak sun, making him look younger than his ten years. When the Avendese soldiers tromped down their street, he sucked in a breath. “Was that it?”
“Shh. That’s only the curfew patrol,” said Tessa.
“So we’re safe?”
“No. I heard something else.” Tessa cringed at her own words. Telling fibs always bothered her more than bold-faced lies. She hadn’t heard anything, but the boy couldn’t know that. Tessa sensed intruders her own way.
“I’m cold.” Chay traced his finger down his palm and a spark of fire formed along his life line. “Can’t I just-”
“No, it’s too noisy. Fire crackles.” Tessa grit her teeth, fighting a fresh spasm in her hand. Normally, she didn’t react to Chay’s magic. This settled it. There must be another syph nearby.
“Fine.” Chay pressed his palms together, extinguishing the flame. The poor boy trusted her more than his own sense. He deserved better than this. She pulled him closer, trying to squeeze him warm.
Tessa flexed her fingers, searching for a clearer premonition. Syphs meant Harian troops, and she wanted to be far away before any fighting started.