Thursday, July 26, 2012

July Anything #11

TITLE: In Transition
GENRE: YA Fantasy First Page

My father was dying and there was nothing I could do to save him.
When I walked into the office, the first thing I saw was the blood.  I’d never seen so much blood before, pooling around his body rapidly on the speckle-tiled floor.  Tears streamed down my face and my heart was pounding.  I tried the phone on his desk but it was dead.  Screaming for help, I prayed someone would help us, save him in the way I couldn’t.  But my voice sounded meek against the sound of my pulse in my ears and I wasn’t sure anyone could hear my pleas.
“DAD!  What happened?!”  I cried out.    
Dad’s face was sweaty and pale, his lively green eyes dimming.  His mouth kept opening and closing in an attempt to breathe, but all he could manage were shallow breaths.  His graying-blonde hair was matted down against his skull.  There were lines around his eyes and in his forehead I had never seen before, his expression not just pained, but torn. 
“HELP!  SOMEONE PLEASE HELP US!!”  My tiny hands weren’t enough to cover the stab wounds in his chest, warm blood seeping through my fingers at an alarmingly rapid pace.  “Dad, tell me what to do!  I can’t, I can’t stop the bleeding!  I keep applying pressure but it just keeps coming!”
 “I’m sorry Kitty-Kat,” He wheezed.  “No one can save me.”
 “No!  No! NO!  You can’t die, please!  I need you, I love you, Dad, please don’t leave me!”  I put my head on his chest, sobbing. 

July Anything #10

TITLE: Imminent
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance Logline

Seventeen-year-old Alexa discovers, after falling for a new boy, that she's at the center of a paranormal war and must protect humans from her enemies while saving herself from them in the process.

July Anything #9

GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy First Page

I’d never killed a man before, or been this close to one. My nose
brushed his shirt and wrinkled. It was messier than I thought, and
smelled of sweat and blood. He’d been a bear of a man, standing in
front of me, but the dagger slid in right between the ribs, slick and
easy. I tugged it out, and it was all blood and bits of flesh clinging
to the blade. Flecks of bright red freckled my face, and he fell
across my dusty boots. His sword clattered against the stones. Glass
glittered as it fell. It was simple.

I stumbled. My laces were tangled in his fingers. He dragged me back
towards him, blood pooling under his chest, and I kicked out. His neck
cracked and blood bubbled between his broken teeth. Shaking my foot,
his hand fell away. I prodded his cheek, his nose, and held my palm
under his nose. Nothing, and my shoulders slumped. I touched his nose
again. A boy’s face on this barrel-chested body. He’s my age; he was
my age. He was still warm, but my chest was chilled. He was big and
well-fed, and I knew Isaak would never be that tall.  Isa and Isaak
Agnes, wiry and thin like the rest of rabble.

Broken glass littered the ground around him. It sparkled and flashed
in the dying sun. An arrow, black and cracked with age, rolled by his
feet. I reached over him and ran my fingertips over the shaft.
Fire-hardened wood painted black and a steel tip painted over with

July Anything #8

TITLE:  Butterfly Girl
GENRE:  Upper MG First Page
Madison pulled a marigold out of the vase on the kitchen table and snapped the stem short. 
 “You look handsome, Grandpa,” she said, and stuck the golden-orange blossom in his button hole.
“Thank you, darlin’. He grinned and bent at the waist in a courtly bow. 
Madison smiled.  “Got to make a good impression on the judges.”
Grandpa had waxed and polished the old white truck. On the side was a picture of a giant blue ribbon next to The Real McCoy Organic Acres, painted in bright green letters over a dark green shamrock. The truck bumped down the gravel road, tires churning up a cloud of dust, then turned onto the blacktop that led to the highway.
Madison stared out the window and absent mindedly sectioned off a half-inch strand of hair and wove it into a long, honey-brown braid. The dewy fields and orchards blurred by, row after row, mile after mile. An hour later Madison spotted the giant Ferris wheel and then the zipper ride, carousel and mid-way games spreading out around the fairgrounds, with exhibition halls and horse corrals on the perimeter. A red white and blue banner fluttered in the breeze: Oregon State Fair.

Grandpa made his way towards a table near the end of the last row. “Here’s our spot. Number ninety-seven.”
Madison unloaded her box. “I’m going up front to look for Jade.” Jade had been her best friend ever since the day they met at the sandbox in the park, back when Madison lived in town with her mom and dad.
Grandpa shook his head. “Slow down, now. Don’t go running off.”
 “But Grandpa, you promised when I turned twelve I could walk around on my own!”
He pressed his hand to his heart. “What? You don’t want to hang out with your old grandpa?”
 “That’s not what I meant Grandpa, it’s just…”
He winked at her. “You can go around by yourself, just as soon as your friend shows up.”


July Anything #7

Title: The Incredible Misadventures of Avery Mann
Genre: MG-Modern Fantasy First Page

The flower garden in Kensington Park made the perfect hiding spot for
three reasons. First, I’d never seen Max, the school bully, or my six
older brothers go anywhere near it. Second, it was on top of a small
hill, which allowed me to spot trouble before it got anywhere near me.
Lastly, it smelled a lot better than Ms. Crabtree’s compost heap—which
also made a good hiding spot, but required nose-plugs and goggles.
It might not be as impenetrable as Superman’s Fortress of Solitude or
high-tech as Batman’s cave, but it was my top-secret hide-out and
nothing could bother me—


A piece of paper dropped out of the sky and smacked me across the face.
Flick, flick, flick!

One of its ragged corners flapped in the wind, stabbing me in the eye.

Blinking back tears, I yanked the vicious thing off my face, ready to
rip it into subatomic particles, but then I stopped. No, way!
I pressed the squirming flyer against the ground.

Madame Magpie’s Magic Shoppe Grand Opening!
Amazing Magic Tricks! Great Gag Gifts! Unusual Novelties! Curious Curiosities!
Receive a free token for our fortune telling machine with this flyer.
One lucky customer will receive a $100 gift card!

Visions of vanishing boxes, flash powder, and levitating wands floated
through my head. I could buy a lot of magic tricks with $100.
I crept to the edge of the garden and glanced around. Max and my
brothers were nowhere in sight.

July Anything #6

TITLE: Rebel Threads
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy Query Letter

Seventeen-year-old Adalmund Port lives in a world where magic is woven
and knotted like thread by those who have the eyes to see it. She’s
one of the last in the world who can manipulate these strings.

Adalmund can whistle fire into her hands, vanish with a twist of her
finger, and she’s the perfect weapon because of it. After the
assassination of her nation’s heir, the queen orders Adalmund to
infiltrate a neighboring country and murder the man behind the attack.
But weaving magic takes two hands. Due to a grave wound Adalmund
sustained in the attack, she will never use her right arm again.

Adalmund will not let herself fail her queen, though, and hides her
injury long enough to teleport across the border.

Instead of one murderer, Adalmund finds an army poised to attack her
nation within the week. It would start a war her country couldn’t win,
and Adalmund can’t defeat them on her own since she’s still struggling
to weave magic with only one hand. She swallows her pride and turns to
the mysterious revolutionary, Peace, for help.

A charismatic and violent man able to weave the threads of magic like
Adalmund, Peace is planning a coup against the army threatening her
nation. If she helps his rebellion, he’ll make sure there’s no army
left to attack her country.

To stop a war, she’ll have to start a revolution.

REBEL THREADS is a young adult fantasy of 70,000 words. It is a
standalone book with series potential.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

July Anything #5

TITLE: Storm Bird
GENRE: Picture Book First Line

Near the tip of the longest limb…on the tallest tree. . .of the highest mountain in Puerto Rico a happy parrot named Eco sat watching the sky turn black.

July Anything #4

TITLE: Brake Fluid, Blood & Body Bags
Genre: YA Contemporary Logline

Six months after the party where a twisted bet sparked desire and revenge, one teen is dead. Now a nameless, gender-ambiguous teen rides shotgun with Triss, the driver of the car and situation, on a mission to dump the corpse of a classmate whose death they might have, sort of, maybe had something to do with.

July Anything #3

Title: Rebel Threads
Genre: YA Fantasy Logline

The sardonic young magic weave Adalmund must stop a worldwide war by
starting a revolution. She's not allowed to kill a single soul, but
the whimsical rebel she's working with is too good a target.

July Anything #2

GENRE:   Paranormal Fantasy (w/romance elements) First Page

It was crazy.  Ludicrous almost, but Arianh knew she’d been here before.  The woods were ripe with musical magic: the birds were chirping louder, the crickets keeping a steady rhythm, soft winds blew through the forest fauna creating rustling sounds.  Energy abounded in these woods.  If you stopped and listened, buried underneath all the woodland sounds, you could hear it; a soft hum. That was the energy of the land.  This is what had called out to her in the pre-dawn hour.

Had it not been for the pesky raven and its interminable caw, Arianh wouldn’t even have found the correct spot.  But she had and it was just like in her dream.  Although in that vision she was younger, had red hair, and strode through these woods with purpose.  The girl in the dream knew where to go and what she was about to do.

Arianh searched the small clearing but in the dim morning light she couldn’t find what it was the young girl had placed her hands on.  All she saw was overgrown brush and cascades of morning glories, jasmine, and trumpet vines.  The smell of heady woods and sweet floral was intoxicating but Arianh was quite sure this was not what she was brought here for. 

A stream of early light slashed its way through the trees, illuminating a slivered portion of the wooded area in a soft glow.  Before taking another step Arianh heard a buzzing sound near her ears and stood quite still.  Hummingbirds – three of them.  They darted around her in playful ease.

July Anything #1

TITLE: Werebeasts
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy - First Line

Ajay clenched his teeth and sniffed the air. The moon was rising in the wouldn't be long now.

Monday, July 23, 2012


*Please make sure to read the entire post*

This round is for "Anything".  You may enter a logline (up to 100 words), first page (up to 250 words), a 2 page synopsis (up to 500 words), or a query letter (up to 350 words, please omit personal information like your name and address, etc.  Just submit the "meat" of your query).  Your manuscript does not have to be complete to enter this round. 

From Monday, July 23, 2012 at 6 until Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 6, I will accept submissions. I will post them Thursday, July 26, 2012 by 4:00 PM EDT right here at KTCROWLEY.COM for critiquing.

Please send submissions to ktcritiques [AT]
In the subject, please state “JULY ANYTHING ROUND”

This round I will accept all genres and it is two entries per person, per genre/subgenre (So you can submit 2 adult, 2 YA/MG).  If you are entering two different items, please submit in two seperate emails. 
Please list the TITLE, GENRE and your SCREEN NAME (I will not include screen names in the critique posts, these are for my purposes only.  Your screen name is the name you'll use to critique others in the comments.) above your submission(s) (format it the way you normally would).  Please do not stop in the middle of a sentence.  If you're entry goes over the word limit by a couple of words, that's fine.  If you stop at say, 7 words under it, that's fine, too.

Your submission(s) should look like this:

SCREEN NAME: Your Screen Name Here
TITLE: Your Title Here
GENRE: Your Genre Here

(Submission here.)

Please leave out "chapter one," chapter "titles", etc.  Otherwise, I may count them toward your word count and you could lose some of your entry.

You will receive a confirmation email, but it may not be right away.  Only resend if you don't get one by the last hour of the submission window.

Please check your submission(s) carefully for typos, grammatical errors, etc. before submitting.  Once the submission is confirmed by email, it is set to automatically post.  Double checking it first will ensure you're writing is critiqued appropriately.  ;-)
If you enter once, you must critique at least 5 other submissions (if there are only five, please critique all entries).  This is so it's fair for everyone involved.  If you've entered twice, critique 10 or all that have been posted if there is less than 10. 
I will accept up to 30 entries.

THIS WILL BE THE LAST CRITIQUE ROUND FOR A WHILE, so please make it count!  I'm several weeks away from my delivery date and will be unable to host again until after the baby arrives.  I'll have a blog post up this week to update you all on what I've been doing and what will be happening.  ;-)
That’s it!  If you have any questions, please hit me up in the comments. 

Spread the word please; the more, the merrier!  Let's fill up this round and help everyone involved get as much feedback as possible.  Also, if you're not a follower of my blog, please do so, so I can continue to offer rounds like this to help writers like you perfect your work.  :)