Monday, October 30, 2017

NoQS Minion 12: Into the Pale, YA Fantasy

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 
Word Count: 80,000

My MC and MP (main protagonist?) are dressed as:

Jorie wouldn't be caught dead frozen, let alone in fancy dress, at any party. No ma'am. No way. Only reason she'd be there, is if she were dragged in by her sister Bren, who would undoubtedly be dressed as a siren draped in the fresh greens and golds of sea silk and having the time of her life. Vela on the other hand, would have no need for a costume. After all, the Ice Witch is nothing but a tall tale spun on cold nights deep in the cracks of children's nightmares...


Sixteen-year-old Jorie makes her living scavenging off the bodies of foolishly ambitious men. Everyone knows no one survives the Ice Flats for long, but the threat of a frozen death has never deterred the steady stream of desperate men and women—or dampened the legend of a priceless treasure hidden in a forgotten city somewhere across the ice. Life is hard, but Jorie and her younger sister Brenna have a system. Until Jorie scavenges from the wrong corpse. 

It looked like any of the hundreds of others she'd lugged home to be buried, excepting the bloodless bullet holes on his back. Wounds that wouldn’t have warranted a second look, until a stranger shows up in Jorie's front room. A man calling himself a Rover--a roaming outlaw--and he wants to see the body. When the Rover doesn't find a notebook on the dead man’s corpse, he becomes convinced Jorie has already pocketed it. But it’s a notebook Jorie has never even seen, let alone stolen. To convince her otherwise, the Rover takes Brenna as collateral instead.

To get her sister back and solve the mystery of the dead man’s murder, Jorie must team up with the murdered man's reluctant nephew, a university student from the south. A boy she finds deep in his cups, already drowning out his sorrows. But as the chase drives them deeper and deeper into the heart of the cursed Frozen North, Jorie and the boy find themselves caught in the center of a centuries old secret. One that people are prepared to kill for. Because out in the cold embrace of the Ice Flats, nothing--and no one--is what they seem. To save her family, Jory must walk a path littered with outlaws, uncertainty, and a trail of secrets frozen into the very ice beneath her feet.  

First 250 words:

The eyes always freeze first.

That ain’t something most people would guess. Most folk would say it was the fingers or toes. Or maybe even the guts, if they were out. Once, I’d even heard a man say it was the tongue that froze first. But I knew better.

I lowered the ruddy dyed-fur lining of my scarf, and let the blistering cold curl around me, tilting my head at the ice-covered body by my feet. Guess he knew that now too. I scuffed my boot across the side of the man’s bear-hide coat, sending small swirls of snow, as fine as any dust, out into the raw dawn. And just like everything else round here, the wind whipped past and stole ‘em away.

Only idiots tried to cross the Ice Flats. Cause the only thing out this way was the cold. And death. And hunger. Lots of hunger. Way I figured, anyone dumb or greedy enough to think otherwise damn well had it coming. Ain’t like they couldn’t see all them grave markers out front. Little grey stone warnings in the permafrost, a jagged line of snowy teeth. A boundary between life and death. Between the Flats and the whole rest of the world. 

I gazed down. The man’s head more than half buried in the slush. Heavy flakes of snow, thick as any summer cream, clotted to the corners of the dead man’s face. Above cracked lips, a fine layer of ice coated grey flesh like a second skin.


  1. This has me SHRIEKING! Please send with a full synopsis to crubinobradway AT lkgagency DOT com.

  2. Can you hear me shrieking? Please send your query, synopsis, and first 50 pages to Thanks!

  3. Scream! I would love to take a look at the manuscript. Please feel free to send it along as a word document to with Nightmare on Query Street in the subject line. Thanks! Looking forward to reading.

  4. Shriek! Please send me first 50 pages (Word attachment works) via email to Include a query letter and please indicate #NoQs in the subject line. Thanks!

  5. Shriek! Would love to see more of this. Please send the first fifty pages of your ms as a word attachment to

  6. Posted for Steven Salpeter:


    Hello, Minion 12. 250 words in not nearly enough! I’d love to read on. Would you please send me about 50 pages via my form here and include #NoQS before your title?…

  7. Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord LiteristicOctober 31, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    Shriek! Please send me the first 50 pages as a word doc! Thanks!

  8. You scream, i scream, we all scream for this manuscript! Please upload your full at Thanks!

  9. Please email the query letter and full manuscript 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.

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    I look forward to hearing from you.

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


  10. I'm SHRIEKING for this! Please send your query, 1-2 page synopsis, and the first fifty pages (in an attached word doc.) to queries at azantianlitagency dot com with "NoQS: TITLE by Name" in the subject line. Thanks! I look forward to reading on! -Jennifer Azantian

  11. Hi, SHRIEK for this as well! Please send along the query including the synopsis, and the first 50 pages pasted into the body of the email to please! Please include NoQS in the subject line. Looking forward!