Wednesday, June 8, 2016

QK 2016 Agent Round 1: WHAT'S LUCK GOT TO DO WITH IT, Adult Fantasy

Title: Big Town
Entry Nick Name: What's Luck Gotta Do With It?
Word Count: 77,000
Genre: Adult Fantasy


Lena Huertas grew up hearing only the dead were welcome in Big Town, but it’s the only place she believes could save her life.

After her father is murdered by the Forty-Niners who claimed California, she becomes desperate to trade streets consumed by violence, and starving folk, for security among the modern royalty of the most successful boomtown in 1879. It doesn’t matter that the city lies hidden in the Sierra Nevada, or that the borders are protected from outsiders by a marksman of legendary skill. Bodies from the poorest regions of the West are shipped to Big Town for an unknown purpose, and Lena aims to follow to ensure her pa gets a proper burial and to seize a brighter future for herself.

She boosts her chances with the charity of Rolando Tavares, Big Town’s one-eyed, possibly two-faced, sheriff – along with the power of a mysterious pair of golden dice capable of granting favor to those who need it most.

But what she doesn’t know is that Rolando’s false eye allows him to enter minds, and that within the home she’s always dreamed of awaits outlaws and lawmen who desire corpses and are willing to kill for the magic luck she possesses. Because to a populace who take their wealth for granted, control over the future is worth more than gold, and neither the living nor the dead are welcome to leave.

First 250:

Three coffins rested near the railroad beneath a sky as gray as a weathered barn. Sealed with rusty nails, the wooden boxes were reused anytime someone from Skidmore dropped dead, or was murdered, and had no kin to give them proper burial.

Or for those who, like Lena Huertas, had nary a penny in their pocket.

The young woman’s dry hair was bunched under her father’s Stetson. She sat in a ticket booth that was boarded up on one side and gutted open on the other, and watched a beetle scuttle between her boots across a cracked stone platform. The bandana covering her face helped shield her from the dirt and mud swallowing everything else, including most of the sign welcoming would-be passengers of Skiddy’s Wagon to her quaint mining town.

She folded her arms on her knees and ignored the mosquito bites begging for a scratch. A wind cut through the ticket booth, making her shiver and hug her knees tighter. The pale afterglow of the sun peeking up over the walls of the Sierra Nevada was fading, but she’d yet to find the courage to step closer to the railroad, put her hand on her pa’s box, and bid a last farewell.

She was surprised and grateful no one ever tampered with the coffins. They were usually left on the platform for days awaiting their journey. She supposed superstitions got the better of folk. No chance it was out of respect.


  1. I would love a chance to take a look. Please feel free to send first 3 chapters and query along with the synopsis to #QueryKombat Requested Materials" in the subject line. Thanks! And good luck :)

  2. Dear What's Luck Gotta Do With It?,

    Please do email the full manuscript and query letter my way.

    To tell you a little bit about our literary agency, which closes more deals for authors than any other agency worldwide:

    Trident Media Group (TMG) is a prominent literary agency located in New York City that originally formed in 2000. TMG represents over 1,000 bestselling and emerging authors in a range of genres of fiction and nonfiction, many of whom have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers Lists and have won major awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the P.E.N. Hemingway Award, The Booker Prize, and the L.A. Times Book Award, among others. TMG is one of the world’s leading, largest and most diversified literary agencies.

    For more than ten consecutive years, TMG continues to rank number one for sales according to in North America. TMG is the only U.S. literary agency to consistently be in the top ten in both UK fiction and UK non-fiction and has ranked as highly as number one in UK fiction deals.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best,


    Mark Gottlieb
    Literary Agent
    Trident Media Group, LLC
    41 Madison Avenue, Floor 36
    New York, NY 10010
    (212) 333-1506

  3. I'd love to see more of this! Please send pages to with "QueryKombat Request" in the subject line.

  4. Interesting start-I'm interested in reading more. Please send pages and a 1 page synopsis to me at: Please paste your query in the body of the email and be sure to reference Query Kombat in the subject line. Thank you. Looking forward to reading your work.

    Sincere regards,
    Lisa Abellera
    Kimberley Cameron & Associates