Sunday, March 2, 2014



Genre: YA Near-Future Thriller/Romance

Word Count: 89,000


In 2107, two teenagers with starkly different goals threaten to shatter the money-making machine of Nova Vita, an anti-technology cult with the key to unlimited solar power.

Plagued by the OCD linked to her photographic memory, Eve Thomas is already on edge when her brother contracts a disease the cult won’t treat for religious reasons.

Having left Manila’s slums years ago, laborer Mana Aquino’s determined to kill the bishop who made a sacrifice of his sister. He just can’t get anywhere near his prey.

But when Mana learns about Eve’s 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 Page:

Mama and I struggle to keep my sister in the kitchen chair so the medics can find a vein and fill a vial with her blood.

“Let me go!” Theresa shouts, her arms and legs flailing.

Restraining a furious seven-year-old is no easy task. Miraculously, once the needle’s in, her hazel eyes calm and the thrashing subsides. The thin red stream shooting up into the glass is beautiful. After we release her, I tap the back of the chair four times.

Sarah’s next. Nearly twelve, she’d rather die than act like a baby. She jumps into the seat, jaw clenched and lips mashed together. When the vial’s full, she pivots toward me.

“Your turn.”

“Sixteen’s too old. They don’t want my blood.”

“Too bad. It’s kind of fun.”

She bounces off as I rock baby David in his cradle. My smallest brother has such pudgy cheeks, I want to gobble him up. In another year, he’ll be old enough to contract the disease.

Josh is the last one. He slides into the chair before anyone notices, then starts the usual barrage: How’s the blood labeled? How’s it stored? Where will it go? I don’t know any other ten-year-olds like Josh. The two women collecting the samples glance at each other.

“Don’t fret,” says the older one.

“But who looks at the samples?

“Josh.” Mama shakes her head. “That’s enough.”

He frowns. There’s no way he’s buying the story we’ve given the kids about why they’re being tested—he knows it’s not for some scientific study.


  1. Oooh! The pitch and first page definitely left me wanting more. Good luck!

  2. Great job on both the pitch and first page. I'm not the greatest with pitches, so I don't have any advice here. Looks great to me! And you've accomplished so much in that first page. Love it.

    Good luck!

  3. The query, though confusing, was unique enough in premise and setting to hook me. But then the pages fell flat for me. I had no concept of space or setting, of who stood where or what things looked like, of how people moved/changed positions. Without that, I couldn't even get past the first few lines with out getting a bit frustrated. I think the writing could be strong, and as mentioned, the premise is intriguing. But I need to see WHERE things are happening and HOW it all happens. Show me this world and its characters, don't just tell me their dialogue and feelings.

  4. The premiseis truly intriguing and promises to be action packed and full of suspense. For me, the pitch is a bit jumbled and feels like you're trying to squeeze too much information into a small space. Partly I think is the dual POV in the pitch that falls flat. I'd suggest consolidating that and focusing on what brings the two together to battle the big bad. For the first page, ground us in a macro view to help us grasp where we are and get a handle on the number of people in the room. It's a lot to throw at us all in one shot. That said, the details are lovely and we get a lot of overall development quickly and in a sympathetic way. Well done overalll. I think you're nearly there!


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