Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Genre: YA Near-Future Thriller


In 2103, two very different teenagers threaten to shatter the money-making machine of Nova Vita, an anti-technology cult with the key to unlimited solar power.

Plagued by her OCD, Eve Thomas is already on edge when her brother contracts a disease the cult won’t treat for religious reasons. Mana Aquino left Manila’s slums for work in Nova Vita years ago. Now he’s determined to kill the bishop who made a sacrifice of his sister. He just can’t seem to get anywhere near his prey.

But when Mana learns about Eve’s photographic memory, he realizes she’s the weapon he’s been missing. He offers to smuggle medicine to her brother, if she’ll serve as his human camera, gathering information that could topple the bishop. If Eve accepts, she’ll commit a crime that could destroy the only home she’s ever known. If she says no, her beloved brother’s as good as dead.

First Line:

"Let me go," my sister shouts, her arms and legs flailing.


  1. The first line didn't grab me but the pitch sure did. WOW. So gripping! And you've outlined the stakes perfectly. Definitely hope to see this in the first page round because I want to see the gorgeous writing your pitch hints at. Good luck!

  2. I agree with Kimberly. The first line seemed a little generic, like you were trying too hard to make it exciting. But the pitch hooked me and I love your title! :)

  3. I agree about your first sentence. But the query was great. My only question is about Mana's sister. I'd like to see you come full circle the way you do with Eve. We know what Eve will get, what about Mana?

    Good luck.

  4. Yes, this is very very interesting! I'm just really confused about "2013". Is there a reason or that year? Because if you think about it, this book probably wouldn't be published until 2015 at the earliest. It would be very weird to read a newly published fictional work about the year 2013 unless it had some kind of actual significance.

    Mostly, you should just cut the year, or explain the significance if there is one.

    1. Ha! I almost did that too! Unless she's fixed it since your comment, the year is 2103, not 2013. Our minds are amazing things aren't they? switching around numbers because we expect them to be a certain way.

  5. I love love love that one of the characters is from the Philippines! YA needs more geographic diversity.

    My only real complaint is that I'm getting a disconnect between the first and second sentences in the second paragraph. We're with Eve and her brother, then we're with Mana and his sister, and it took me a couple of read-throughs to realize they weren't each other's siblings. I'd like to see a bit more of a transition to help clarify that their relationship is emergent, not established.

  6. Just to clarify, the year is 2103 and not is a near-future thriller. So it is set 89 years in the future. : - )

  7. I agree about the second paragraph of the query. Perhaps a smoother transition between first and second sentences so we know you're talking about a new character. But I really LOVE the query overall!

    The first line didn't bother me. It made me want to keep reading to see why her sister's shouting and what's happening to make her arms and legs flail. Only thing I would recommend is an exclamation point after "go," since she's shouting. I may be biased since I've read the entire ms already, but this entry is AWESOME!!!!!!!! :-))))

  8. This is really interesting.
    I think the second paragraph gets confusing. Maybe make a different paragraph when you're talking about the other character.
    Also I agree on the problem with the year. Right now 2013 sound like the past not the near future. I'd go with 2016 or something like that.
    I really like the idea of the sotry and the stakes are really high. I really like it.

  9. I have read the manuscript. It is wonderful. Good luck Heather!!

  10. This is an intreguing pitch. When I saw the title I expected Romance, but Surprise! (I love surprises.) The other commenters are pointing out an important fact without realizing it. Our brains have an autocorrect feature, and some of them are reading "2013" instead of "2103" like you have. You may need to separate the year a little so that the reader will pay attention. At risk of being cliche, you might just say, "The year is 2103." This will force the brain of the reader not to simply skip over the year, transposing digits. That's said, I think for this type of novel, the year is important.

  11. I'll be changing the year to 2107 so that it pops out more and doesn't get confused with last year! Thanks for the comments!

  12. What I like: You do a good job of imbuing a sense of ‘epic.’ I like that!

    What I would like: I would love a little more voice, and details to really bring the characters for life – for me it read a little ‘this-then-this’ and I didn’t feel as involved as I would like to.

    Great job!


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