The Writer’s Voice is a multi-blog contest hosted byBrenda Drake, Cupid's, Monica B.W., and Krista Van Dolzer. For all the details about this contest, click here. I’m happy to say I was one of the lucky people to have my lottery drawn to get into the first round! Below you’ll find my query for ABEGALE FORCE and the first 250 words of the manuscript.
Good luck to everyone else who made it into the contest!
Dear Tireless and Supportive Coaches,
Abegale's turning thirteen, and life has become as foreboding as the number itself, with a may-not-be-human landlady, a missing grandmother who could be right under her nose, and a horrifying discovery at her grandmother’s abandoned cottage.
Abegale has to take care of everything around the house since her dad died, especially with her mom busy working, singing in the choir, or hanging out with a new boyfriend. Meanwhile, Abegale’s brother's asthma has gotten worse. When the breathing becomes too difficult to control, Jeremy has only Abegale to count on. Jeremy's illness scares Abegale, and she wishes her grandmother had been more successful finding a cure in the Andes before she disappeared.
After Abegale finds the mysterious herbal medicine book her grandmother left behind, she is determined to pick up where her grandmother left off and save her brother. Guided by dreams she can't explain, and with the help of her best friend and the cute boy next door, Abegale is led to her grandmother's forgotten cottage in the woods where she discovers an environmental horror that just might devastate the small town of Three Points. Abegale must decide, save her town from an environmental nightmare, or focus on the mysteries of her grandmother's medicine book before it’s too late to save her brother--and bring her grandmother home.
ABEGALE FORCE is an upper middle grade mystery adventure with magical elements, complete at 67, 000 words. It is the story of one girl’s journey to heal injustice, and the environmental impact her town faces while rediscovering who she is.
In writing this manuscript, I drew on my studies in herbalism, nutrition, and The Tarot. ABEGALE FORCE is a stand alone with series potential. I have attended writing classes at The New School and organized monthly poetry readings at Zinc Bar in New York City. I’m a member of SCBWI, an illustrator, and founder of a MG writing group with 24 members.
Karen Lee Hallam
First 250 Words:
The Maiden Villas sit on the highest peak of Pine Crest and hide under a shadow of trees. I sure don’t want to meet Mrs. Egremony, the creepy landlady, with the way she stares at me, but she told me to come.
She says she knew my grandmother.
I have to stand on my pedals to reach the top of Ridge Road. A black crow comes out of nowhere. I swerve and nearly crash. Thinking the crow might return to finish the job, I race out of there and up the hill.
At the top of Ridge Road you can look out over most of the valley of Pine Crest, and over the tops of the pine trees below. What were once the old Cabins became the Maiden Villas when Mrs. Egremony took over.
I leave my bike on the side of Mrs. Egremony’s cabin. Compared to the others her “villa” is large. It’s unusual she’s not in the garden. I ring the doorbell, looking around for suspicious crows. There’s no answer.
I know she’s just an old woman, but something’s not right. For starters, Mrs. Egremony dresses like she’s stepped out of the pages of Little House on the Prairie with those longs skirts dragging on the ground. And why does she call herself Mrs. when she’s not married? Stephanie says she sees her working in her garden late at night. That’s just WE-I.R.D if you ask me.
“Abegale!” I jump. Mrs. Egremony is behind me.