Wednesday, August 24, 2016

YA Fantasy (Steampunk): FORTUNE DAYS

Author's Name: Jacqueline Peveto
Category: YA
Genre: Steampunk
Stage of Completion: Mostly Polished and Looking to Query
Preferred Critique Style: A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down
Cat Person or Dog Person: Dog person
Tea or Coffee: Tea. Absolutely.
Short Pitch

The year is 1851, and the world is steeped in tea. Seizing one last chance to make her living abroad, young American photographer Madeline Bird travels to China, the heart of tea country. Here in the focus of the world’s attention, she hopes to capture people’s stories through pictures. International obsession with tea brews all kinds of intrigues—bandits, rumors of poison, abduction—and with one click of the shutter, Madeline stumbles into the increasingly dangerous business of Darjeeling and Earl Grey. And every move she makes is shadowed by the subject of a photograph she was not supposed to take.
Writing Sample

The year was 1851, and the world was steeped in Tea.

While Science built societies and ordained men to carry out her distinguished Work, others, too—less known but no less skilled—quietly hastened after Knowledge. These pursuits took place in the unsophisticated laboratories of starry-eyed dreamers, inside the half basements of curious tinkers, and one particular morning, on the third floor of Mrs. Rigby’s boarding house as a jar of developing chemicals descended at an astonishing rate to meet the pavement below.

Madeline Bird, the tenant in possession of the open window from which the jar fell, snatched up the second jar before the sudden windstorm could claim it, too. She leaned out as the sky ship skimmed overhead, its wake wisping her chocolate brown curls into tangles.

“You’re a beauty, aren’t you?” Madeline whispered while the sleek wooden craft bound in gleaming rivets pressed on through the clouds. The schooner’s engines resolved from a roar into a rumble.

Deeper in the sky beyond the ship, she made out the shapes of others soaring over the city with the cargo of the Empire, going out with goods and coal and coming back with black, green, and white tea. The conclusion of the Opium War only a few years earlier meant that the docks were again flooded daily with prized China leaves. When the ships drifted closer, Madeline saw their busy crews working beneath white sails.


  1. I love the idea of steampunk and would love to read more. My own story is under "dreamscape". If you are interested in working together, message me at

  2. Jacqueline, love the idea of tea intrigue and the mix of styles. Really enjoyed your sample! I write MG and YA. If you'd like to exchange chapters, email me at

  3. I would read this book. Beautiful language


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