Wednesday, August 24, 2016

YA Contemporary Fantasy: THE KEEPER'S SECRET

Author's Name: Leila Oicles
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Stage of Completion: Mostly Polished and Looking to Query
Preferred Critique Style: Straight to the Point, A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down
Cat Person or Dog Person: Dog person, but like cats for their independence.
Tea or Coffee: Haha, decaf tea. Too much caffeine is no good for my heart.

Short Pitch

17 y/o Liora Preston discovers she's a spy in training for another realm, whose memories were taken from her. Now she needs to finish the tests, but soon discovers she may be working for the wrong side.THE KEEPER’S SECRET will appeal to fans of world-hopping star-crossed lovers like Laini Taylor’s DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE and the dark imagery of Julie Kagawa’s THE IRON KING.

Writing Sample

Most people take off their shoes before they get into bed. A habit I’d never really thought much about until now. There’s something creepy—no, disturbing—about waking up in your bed, shoes and all, having no recollection of how you got there.
This was my life as a sleepwalker. Weird things were bound to happen in that place between dreams and consciousness.
I kicked off my muddy sneakers, having no idea where they’d treaded last night. I sunk my head into the pillow, and stared at the posters on my ceiling. Einstein, Shakespeare, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, Jane Austen, Bob Dylan. They were more than great minds or artists to me, they were people who found that one thing they were meant to do in life. Me, I still didn’t have a clue.
I locked eyes with Shakespeare. “Do you know what happened last night?”
The deep edge of his brows lined a pair of serious grey eyes, and I could swear he smiled subtly, as if he held secrets of his own.
Just one minor relapse in three years. No big deal. No one has to know.
My iPhone vibrated, bouncing on my nightstand. A text from my bestie, Greer.
U better be up! Lots of planning before tonight. A shifty-eyed emoji flew up on the screen. And don’t even think about backing out! Be at ur house in an hour.
Before I could reply with some snarky remark, my door rattled with a few knocks.


  1. My own work "dreamscape" deals with dreaming. Kinda similar. I'd like to see what happens next. If you are interested in working together, message me at

  2. Hi! You totally had me at the Daughter of Smoke and Bone comp... I'd love to swap a chapter if you're interested! I'm Lyla and mine's also a contemporary fantasy, although a rough draft, so it needs alpha/beta reading most. I could swap for whatever your needs are in terms of critiquing, though. If you think you'd be interested, my email is llawless (at) terpmail (dot) umd (dot) edu. Cheers!


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