Thursday, May 17, 2012

Team Krista #9: PLAYING WITH FIRE

Title: PLAYING WITH FIRE
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Word count: 76,000

Query:

Seventeen-year-old Pollock Avery can steal anything for anyone. Her electrokinesis allows her to short out security systems with a quick zap, then it’s as easy as breathing to nab a priceless painting. Since her parents’ murders, the money has kept her and her little sister out of the foster system.

When a mysterious new client offers Pollock information about the murders in exchange for the private use of her unique form of thievery, she knows the deal is sketchy. But she can’t resist the allure of finally uncovering the killer and getting revenge. As the heists get riskier, the client grows more deceptive, and Pollock realizes he wants more than art and jewels…he wants the key to her ability.

Ending their arrangement won’t be easy, though. The client will do anything to obtain the Avery sisters’ abilities, even kill them like he did their parents. When he kidnaps Pollock’s sister, she has to work fast to get her back or she’ll be adding another number to the Avery body count. Killing a murderer won’t be as simple as stealing, but Pollock’s electrokinesis packs a shocking punch.

First page:

The security guard’s heavy boots echo on the stairs below us. A static buzz fills the air as his radio clicks on.

“This is SG9. Robbery in progress at the James Anderson Museum. Two female suspects headed for the roof.”

“Are you happy now?” I huff. We burst through the roof access door and dash to the edge. The scarf covering my mouth and nose muffles my voice. “On my back, Rem.”

My sister climbs on and digs her heels into my side. I twist my long ponytail over my shoulder so she won’t use it as reins. The last time she did that I expected to be bald when we landed. I imagine my body is a spring. Shiny metal coils squish against one another. My muscles contract. Tension builds.

A deep breath and…release!

Together, Rem and I leap through the night sky. I look back as the guard runs on the roof. I don’t know if he saw us jump, but right now I need to focus on the landing. I shot too far.

Gritting my teeth, I try to pull back, but it’s too late. We slam into a tall oak tree in the park a mile or so from the museum. Sharp pain shoots through my left shoulder; twigs scratch my face. Loud cracks of splitting wood cut through the silent park as Rem tumbles off my back and falls through the branches. She better hold on to the backpack.

23 comments:

Michelle Mason said...

I love the last line in this sample and the whole concept. So glad we're teammates! Go #TeamKrista!

Noelle Henry said...

Love this concept and how you start out right in the middle of the action. I agree with Michelle, that last line is perfect!

erinpetti said...

I love this opening! So much energy and excitement!

Becky Mahoney said...

Love it! Such voice and energy, and I like Pollock already.

loritayseastep said...

I want to know what happens next! Love it. :) Go Team Krista!

Ryan said...

Still one of my favorite entries!
Bald. HA!

Lisa K. said...

I love that this is such a dynamic opening page...and the concept of electrokinesis has me intrigued. I would definitely read this. Go Team Krista!

T.L. Bodine said...

Definitely intriguing! good luck!

Ben Spendlove said...

Wow! This sounds fun. Wish I could keep reading.

Jennie Bailey said...

I loved this when I read it during the competition - it was one of my favorites. I wasn't surprised at all that you were chosen. This is such a great story!

TYHatch said...

This is a great concept, and I really enjoyed your opening.

Fantastic last line.

Good luck!

Sarah Henson said...

Thank you, everyone, so much for your comments. You make me feel all warm and gooey inside, like a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie (and now I want a cookie!). Thanks and good luck to all!!

Becca C. said...

Tons of energy in the excerpt, and I never fail to go "ooo" at the premise. Plus, sister relationships just get me.

Leigh Ann said...

Okay, Pollock sounds totally awesome. And I LOVE her voice! Great work. Good luck!!!

kiperoo said...

Love the premise of this story, and what a great name for a character! This action-packed beginning has me craving more.

April Wall said...

I love anything with the word electrokinesis in it, so sold! Good luck!

erica m. chapman said...

Oooo electrokinesis!! YES! Cool concept ;o)

Valerie said...

Heists!!! I want to read more :)

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Great opening action scene. I also love the last line! Good luck!

Alaskan Ninja said...

Great voice, great premise, and a good solid story arc. Sounds like a super fun read! Best luck!

Dahlia said...

Sounds like such a fun read! Good luck!

Louise Fury said...

I vote for you.

Tara Dairman said...

#9 PLAYING WITH FIRE

Query:

This is a nicely written query—the MC is well-introduced, the stakes are clear. The one sentence that confused me was “As the heists get riskier, the client grows more deceptive, and Pollock realizes he wants more than art and jewels…” because I thought that the “he” was Pollock, and then I thought “isn’t Pollock a girl?” and had to reread the first paragraph. I know you don’t want to refer to him as “the client” twice in the same sentence, but maybe the second time he can be something like “her potential informant” or something so it’s clear that you’re talking about the client, not Pollock. Nice name for an art thief, btw. =)

First page:

I like how you jump straight into the action here and show us the MC’s abilities in the scene rather than telling us about them. I really get the feeling that this would be an adventurous and exciting read. I also like the taste we get of the sisters’ relationship, how the MC is clearly protective of the younger sister.

You might want to have the guard run “onto” the roof instead of “on” it, but that’s my only real nitpick. I’d read on!