Title: Song of the Vulture
Entry Nickname: Carrion My Wayward Son
Word count: 96K
Genre: YA Fantasy
Eighteen-year-old Alora Delattre should have been burned at the stake. Her power to possess others’ bodies is an ability condemned by scripture as the deepest form of corruption. Her father, the head of the church that would execute her, should have been the one to set her aflame. Instead, he hid her.
Then her mother is murdered by a heretic rebellion, and suddenly death by fire seems like a small price to pay for revenge. She takes over the body of one of the rebels, determined to hunt the killer down and make him bleed. But what she finds in their camp changes everything. For the first time, she sees her benevolent father through the eyes of the people whose blood he has spilled and whose families he has torn apart in the name of righteousness. And then there’s Chet, the quiet, passionate, maddening leader of the rebellion who she swears can see right through her even though he’s blind. She’s risking everything letting him get close—especially while she’s wearing another girl’s skin.
But Scythe, her father’s young, magical tracker, is on her trail and closing in fast. Alora must choose: get the revenge she craves by hauling Chet and his crew to the execution stage, or lead the crusade against the most terrible dictator her world has ever known—her own father.
SONG OF THE VULTURE is a YA fantasy complete at 96,000 words. It is a multi-POV novel with chapters from Alora’s, Chet’s, and Scythe’s points of view. The possession aspect hearkens back to Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, while the father-daughter relationship and the romance will appeal to readers of Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse.
First 250:You will burn, little vulture. Your secret will be discovered, and your body will crumble to ash.
Alora knew the pyre couldn’t speak, knew the words were in her own mind, and yet the threat still raised the hairs on her arms.
The pyre’s great pole shone white as a bone over the housetops behind her. Every time she and Kirsi snuck out of the temple like this, that pole watched her dart from shadow to shadow, followed her around every corner, waited for her to slip up so she could finally meet fiery death at its feet.
Alora glared over her shoulder, aimed an obscene gesture in its direction, and continued on her way.
Hooves clattered on the cobblestones behind them, and Kirsi shoved her into the nearest alley, cursing. They ducked out of sight an instant before the guards rode past. Alora’s heart thundered in her ears.
Kirsi’s dark eyes flashed as she tugged her hood to shroud her pointed nose and deep olive skin. “How in ash do you manage to talk me into this every stupid time?” she hissed once the hoofbeats faded.
“Come on,” Alora replied, breathless. “Dodging them is half the fun.” She pulled Kirsi back down the road. Faster now. The sooner they got to the Frosted Vulture, the better.
Keeping to the darkest parts of the city, they reached the slouching remains of an abandoned shoemaker’s shop a few hours after midnight.
Entry Nickname: This Wasn't in the Job Contract
Word Count: 100k
Genre: YA Scifi
There are three rules for time traveling:
1. Do not double warp.
2. Do not interact with people from the past.
3. Do not allow the past to catch up to the present.
Unfortunately, 18-year-old Galileo Matox is about to break them all. By accident, of course.
Galileo works for ScorpioCorp as a warper, traveling back in time to collect evidence of high-priority crimes. His latest mission? To identify a senator’s murderer. Seems simple enough.
But everything goes to shit before the mission even begins. Not only does the crew’s warp drop them eight days prior to the murder, it also badly injures a teammate. With his best friend quickly bleeding out, Galileo swaps his own warp suit for her damaged one and sends the team back to the present, initiating a (very illegal) warp within a warp. Now, Galileo’s stranded in the past—and in an alternate reality.
Enter Avaline, a gifted time-space scientist and daughter of the soon-to-be-dead senator. Galileo negotiates with Avaline (completely shattering Rule #2), and they reach an uneasy truce (which may have involved blackmail). Together, they must find a way to fix the warp suit before the assassination.
However, as the day of the murder draws near, Galileo begins to realize he may be responsible for the senator’s death. And worse—he has fallen for the victim’s daughter. If Galileo ever wants to see his team again, he’ll have to decide between killing the father of the girl he loves, or starting an interstellar war. After all, sometimes it’s the smallest change that causes the biggest ripple.
“Inception” meets “Minority Report” in space, WARPERS is a YA sci-fi complete at 100,000 words with adult crossover potential.
Temple City, Enora
Jumping back four days to watch a dog get hit by a hover car is a bloody waste of time. Unfortunately, that's my job.
I swallow an annoyed huff, miffed that Gamma team was assigned this joke of a mission. We could be solving that Leviathan kidnapping case, or figuring out who’s responsible for sabotaging the Interstellar Fleet’s dreadnoughts, or a million other crimes more important than identifying the license plate number of the asshole who ran over Senatori Gable’s pet dog.
Not saying said-asshole doesn’t deserve a dose of justice. But still—kidnapping case, or road rage mystery? One clearly carries more priority.
I wince as Takana’s too-loud voice crackles in my aud implant. “Hasn’t anyone told Senatori Gable live pets went out of style a billion years ago? Droids are the newest rage. Especially droid horse racing—”
“Maybe some people prefer a living, breathing companion instead of a mass of circuits and synth-fur,” I reply, tracking the dog in question as it sprints back and forth upon the lawn of the senatori’s mansion. At precisely , the dog will leap over the shock fence, plant its furry butt in the middle of the road, and get run over by an incoming hover car.
Tilting my head, I can't figure out why the dog reminds me of something . . . something just beyond my recollection’s grasp. An echo of a half-forgotten memory. Doesn’t matter, though. I’m not interested in dredging up old memories right now