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.
I love that this is about siblings. More stories need that, I think :) And this sounds so very lovely. Good luck with it!
One question...what is this MG writing group you speak of? #MGunite! Good luck!
Hi Sarah, you can find us on twitter #MGbetareaders. We have a wait list now. But if you or anyone you know needs a reader--I'm keen to read as much MG as possible, especially now that my boys are moving into YA. :)
Thank you! I'm coming around to read the posts today. Good luck Writers! #MGUnite!
LOVE the first 250. So much creepy atmosphere. Best of luck!!
Sounds like a fun creepy read...My favorite! good luck!!
Whoa! I want to follow her journey (:
What a fun adventure. Abegale sounds like she in quite the predicament! Good luck with your entry!
I read this on nazarea's blog the other day and thought it was great. So glad you got in! I'm also intrigued because you mention tarot in your query! My novel relies heavily on tarot too (it's all about gypsies and fortune telling) so this definitely drew me in :) best of luck!!
This looks great! I have some background in herbalism, and so I'd be really interested in reading more. Best of luck to you!
This story has all the elements I love: mystery, adventure, a creepy older person...just awesome. Best of luck to you! :)
Lucky CP here chiming in! I've read this MS and it's AMAZING. Good luck Karen.
I love sibling stories!!! It also has this awesome creepy feel to it. :)
Poor Abegale - the good of one or the good of all is a huge decision for a girl to make. Love the sound of this with the high stakes and search for grandma, it has winner written all over it! Best of luck!
This sounds interesting! Good luck!
Oh, this is such a great entry! There's so much to love here. Great premise, stakes, and what a spooky beginning! I'd definitely read on. Best of luck!
WOW! You are all amazing. (many of you have some pretty impressive stories, which I'll have to add to my TBR list--SO please, keep going with those projects)
Even if I'm not picked for the WV team--you all made me feel like my story's a winner!
Thanks you so much for all of this support.
Much love xx
I'm intrigued by the herbalism aspect. I haven't read many books that delve into that, and I love the idea of nature and its healing powers.
Wow, this sounds incredible. Would definitely read something like this! Best of luck to you!
Love, love, love this!!! Just mad I couldn't keep reading! ;)
Hhaaahhaa! Thanks, Jessica! Well, you can--if you really want to. xx
I love the way you're weaving your knowledge of Tarot into your story. Fun and creepy.
My interest is piqued! (Brenda gave me the green light to ask for pages). Would you send me a pitch letter with a one page synopsis and the 1st 50 pages to firstname.lastname@example.org? Looking forward to it.
Kimberley Cameron & Associates
YES!! Yes!!! Pooja--On the way now! :D
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