Thursday, July 28, 2022

July 2022 Pass or Pages Entry #4

It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agent Ann Leslie Tuttle for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 4: Guardian of the Blaze

Genre:  MG Fantasy


Dear agent, 

Sage Juniper Tucker never knew the real story behind her grandmother’s unexplained death. That is, until she turned twelve.

When Sage finds a key and a mysterious note meant for her on her birthday from her grandmother, she realizes that there's more to the story. Turns out, the key opens a door to Fenmire, a realm of fairies, and that Sage is a princess of that kingdom. Not only that, her grandmother is also still alive, but she is captured by the Imposters, a mysterious organization who are vying to overthrow the kingdom. As challenging obstacles come in her way, Sage learns that she has a unique ability to manipulate fire that is so powerful that the Imposters are willing to do whatever it takes to find a way to obtain them.

Sage is determined to find her grandmother, but managing to fit into a new world and embark on a dangerous mission is harder than it seems. Worst of all, amidst the chaos of solving mysteries and trying to figure out her own identity, she finds out that her own parents aren’t even her real parents; instead, they are humans. As a result, Sage is put in a perplexing dilemma of whether to leave her family behind, or to go back to where she doesn’t belong: the human world.

Complete at 65,000 words[ALT1], GUARDIAN OF THE BLAZE is a middle grade fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Keeper of the Lost Cities and The Princess Diaries. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Ann's comments:
[ALT1] Word count is on the high side for MG and comps seem dated.

First 250 Words

The night was completely pitch black, dimmer than the other nights. It was mystifying.[ALT2]

Nevertheless, the moon in the sky was illuminating, and its light poured through the window, which was enough for Sage to see what Grandma had hidden deep in the closet in her bedroom.

She fished out a wooden box from the depths of the closet and ran her hand over the tiny, latched box, a wave of calmness rushing over her. The box felt smooth and cold, just like the wet pebbles at the bank of a river.

I can’t believe this, she thought, Grandma meant to give this box to me. If only she were here with me today...

But Grandma couldn’t be with Sage anymore. She was gone. Dead. Everything had felt like it happened yesterday, even though it happened one year ago. Sage could recall the heartbreaking moment when she found out that Grandma had passed away in a car accident. But to this day, Sage didn’t believe that. The car had been perfectly fine, except for a few dents and scratches, and Grandma’s body hadn’t even been found.

Tears welled in Sage's eyes. It was surprising how joyful moments can break and shatter easily, like a beautiful glass sculpture. If you drop the sculpture, it breaks to pieces of glass until all that’s left is a few sharp shards that poke and sting.


Ann's comments:
[ALT2] Prose could be more engaging.  Too much telling and set up.


Results:  [If you receive a "Pages!", click on the agent's name at the top of this post for submission instructions.]

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