Pitch H- Secret Knowledge

Secret Knowledge
YA Contemporary Fantasy
65,000 words

Query:

The stars and signs don’t lie, but sometimes the diviner reading them does.

On the surface, life is pretty normal for sixteen-year-old Mossy Burke. She goes to a regular high school, she’d love to make varsity cross-country and have a boyfriend–if she could get her parents to lift their ban on dating, imposed after Mossy’s epic indiscretion. But away from the usual teenage drama, Mossy’s home life is far from normal. Her family belongs to an ancient Druid clan. They work with the elements, and wield secret knowledge, which is memorized and safeguarded by a few select members.

When Mossy finds a wren’s skeleton during her coming-of-age ritual, the clan’s diviner proclaims Mossy’s path in life is to memorize all the Druid’s secret knowledge. Mossy fears she isn’t smart enough, but accepts the task to regain her parents’ respect. Soon a crush-worthy shape-shifter, a tortured spectral-hound and a nightmarish kayak trip make Mossy question why anyone would entrust her with secrets capable of tipping the balance of all realms: mortal, immortal and fey.

Too late, Mossy discovers she’s been set up. The very knowledge she is responsible for protecting has been stolen from her while she slept, and is about to be used to destroy her family and clan. To save them she has to act now, she must push aside her fear of failing, risk the respect she craves . . . And confront a powerful diviner who knows Mossy’s weaknesses and the true meaning of finding the wren skeleton.

First 150:

Mossy blew out a breath and pushed herself from a jog to a sprint. If she didn’t stop worrying and start focusing on her running, she’d never make the varsity team. But how could she stop thinking about it? Tonight she’d recite the words, take the candle and go into the forest alone. Tonight everything would change.
A pair of varsity runners passed Mossy on her left. She willed her legs to move faster, but her muscles tightened and she dropped to the back of the pack. Damn. She had to focus.
Mossy pumped her arms. She struggled to catch-up. But by the time she reached where the jogging path started up the forested hill, she was a good fifty yards behind the team.
As the other runners disappeared over the hill’s crest, Mossy stopped running and hunched over in the middle of the path, hands on her knees as she struggled to catch her breath.

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5 thoughts about "Pitch H- Secret Knowledge"

  • Jen says:

    I really like this concept based on the query. The first 150 don’t stand out to me though. Is there anyway you could start with something about her uniqueness rather than normalcy? The last two sentences of the paragraph hint at something different, but since they are surrounded by running I’m afraid they get lost and lose the power they could have.

  • Indigo says:

    Except for some grammar issues which need your attention, your query is pretty solid. It’s a little on the long side, especially once you add in the housekeeping. So tighten it up and try to knock down the word count. Also, be careful of shifts in tense in the last para. Lastly, without giving too much away, elaborate just a tad more on what that wren thing means so it adds to the tension.

  • Writerlicious says:

    You’ve got my vote!

  • Juliana says:

    This is such a solid query, my only thought is that your first paragraph is mostly background information. Would there be a way for you to begin your query at the, “When Mossy finds a wren’s skeleton during her coming-of-age ritual…” moment? I might suggest thinking about reworking your query just so it will begin at the inciting incident.

    But heck, I really do like it as is, so take that suggestion with a grain of salt 😉

    Let me know if you need anything else! And be sure to stop by tomorrow for the birthday giveaway 🙂

  • Terri K. Rowe says:

    I loved the opening line of your query—you had my interest right away! Thank you for sharing this story and your query. I learned a lot about how I can improve my writing and editing of queries from this.

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