Monday, May 20, 2013


Genre: MG adventure
Word count: 69,000


Eleven-year-old Liza, daughter of a cruise ship captain, may be obsessed with the bestselling Pirates and Princesses series, but this has no connection to her suspicions that Henry Weston, the Sapphire’s new guitarist, is a bona fide scallywag schooled by Blackbeard himself. Liza’s aunt Mel sees in Henry only roguish handsomeness, a rawther lovely British accent, and charm more sparkly than the ship’s million-dollar jewel exhibit--which Liza’s sure he’s after. After all, nothing says pirate booty like crown jewels from every country in the Baltic.

Mysterious meetings in Denmark, too many “band practices,” and alleged tampering with the security cameras have Liza convinced her suspicions are correct, and there’s nobody to help stop the heist except Tilly, her friend-of-the-week, and Liza’s iguana Iggy, who can’t do much because--well, he’s a lizard. Yet Liza is determined to save the ship and her aunt from the clutches of dread pirate Henry.

When she fails to turn up a wooden peg leg or, at the very least, a blood-tinged cutlass, Liza and her imagination have a tearful face-off with real life. But not before she makes a mistake more epic than the iceberg that sank the Titanic and ends up literally hanging for her life.

Maybe adventures are best left in novels.

First page:

Only one obstacle lies between me and the front-most tip of the ship. I grasp the handle of the wooden sword hanging from my belt. A brigade of bloodthirsty pirates I can manage. Even an ultrasonic super villain with x-ray vision. But these two gangly man-boys from the theater playing basketball on the sports deck? My dad would ground me for a week if I maimed any member of his crew.

The briny sea air whips at the rolled-up maps under my arm. I take a deep breath and nod to the neon-suited ladies from Kids Club circling the jogging path. I may need witnesses if this ends ugly. Having just raced through the ship--using only practical shortcuts such as the grand staircase banister--I’m not at my best. These guys could have an edge.

I unsheathe my sword a few inches, ready to draw should they dare strike first, and walk through the game. One of the players stops the ball with two hands, then cradles it under his arm. The other looks at me with raised eyebrows and a half-smile. “Oh. Are we in your way?”

With the quickness of the finest swordsgirl on these high seas, I withdraw my weapon. Its blunt but intimidating tip hovers between them and me. And they have the nerve to laugh.

“I’ll have you know,” I say in my deepest and fiercest belly voice, “I have a ship to save today, and no swashbuckling scallywags are going to stop me.”


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the voice in this--the query and the first 250. It just drips character.

I'm so glad you won this one, Krista!

Marieke said...

Oh my goodness, I just want to read this! The voice! The dread pirate Henry! The cruise ship! AWESOME. Good luck!

Noelle Henry said...

Pirates? High seas adventure? Yes! What a great concept for MG! Your voice leaps off the page and promises a super fun, exciting read. So awesome! Good luck!

Copernicus Nerdicus said...

Sign me up! I loved this since day one - Query + Voice are spot on! Good luck!

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

This makes me smile every time! I love your concept and your voice. I want to squeeze Liza to bits, although I have a feeling she'd get me that wooden sword first!

Ashley Turcotte said...

The query does a great job of drawing me in. I definitely want to read this to find out what happens, and especially after that last line! Not to mention the great voice in the 250. Really excited to see what happens with this one in the agent round. Go Team Krista!

Jennie Bailey said...

'But not before she makes a mistake more epic than the iceberg that sank the Titanic and ends up literally hanging for her life.' - I am DYING to know what this is. DYING, I tell you. There is so much 'adorbs' in this, as my niece says (which I'm pretty sure stands for adorable in MG speak). Your voice just shines through in the query and the first 250. Good luck!

Laura said...

There are so many details and such great voice in your entry. It sounds like such a fun read! It stuck in my head from the first 150, so I'm psyched you're on Team Krista!

Anonymous said...

Yay, go MG! I just love the voice in your first page! Also anything that combines swashbuckling adventure with a strong female protagonist is great in my book. Good luck!

L. T. Host said...

<3! Good luck :)

Suzie Townsend said...

I'd love to see this!