Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Agent's Inbox #17

Dear Mystery Agent:

Waking up bruised, bloodied and mortal was not exactly what Inga had in mind when she agreed to do a small favor for Odin. Not that she’d had much of a choice. Until the night of her sister’s wedding to one of Odin’s own, the ice-wielding, immortal Inga had managed to stay off the High King’s radar while still defending the snowy realm of her birth and drinking copious amounts of ice mead. But when Loki, Odin’s (moderately) attractive brother, puts the moves on her during the wedding festivities and she brushes him off, Inga finds herself at the wrong end of the High King’s blade, bargaining for her life.

Now Inga has to make good on that small favor, a favor that lands her in present day Boston in the body of Odin’s mortal daughter, Iza Frost. One of the King’s enemies has attacked the young woman and left her in a coma. Now Inga has until the close of Winter Solstice to find Iza’s attacker or die by Odin’s blade.

I practice corporate law at Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. a company with a knack for making good coffee. I earned my Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and my Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from Colby College in Maine, where I won our college’s top award for outstanding fiction writing.

Per your contest requirements, below please find the first two hundred fifty words of THE ICE MAIDEN, a 101,000 word completed adult fantasy manuscript.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best,
J.G.


THE ICE MAIDEN

Forget what you’ve heard about Valhalla. I’ve seen your mortal depictions. They’re all wrong. You’re missing its bellow of vitality. The miles of walls hung with chain-mail rippling like a silver sea. A roof of beaten gold pulsing like a blazing summer sun. The clamor of the fallen warriors and cries of the Valkyries. Valhalla, hall of Odin. Odin the High King. Odin the terrible.

Odin soon to be related to me by marriage.

The High King rose from his throne at our approach. He was broad-shouldered and firm, but there were lines on his face and his hair was iron gray shot with silver. He fixed me with his one fjord blue eye. The eye that some say can tell truth from lie.

“High King.” I dropped to one knee like a warrior. I don’t curtsy.

“Rise, Inga, daughter of Gymir.” Odin commanded. “Is this not a glorious occasion, the marriage of your sister? Does it not speak of further peace between our realms?”

“A glorious occasion,” I echoed.

Odin frowned. “Are you certain she is yours, Gymir? She offers so few words.”

Father fidgeted beside me, obviously regretting his earlier warning. Well, maybe he shouldn’t have said our lives depended on my ability to hold my tongue tonight. “You are gracious to honor us with this feast,” I offered. My gaze slid to Odin’s sword.

“Balmung,” he said, though I knew its name. Give me some credit. I live in a realm of ice, not under a rock.

8 comments:

Fiona McLaren said...
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Anonymous said...

The concept of this intrigued me a lot, and I really wanted to read the pages. However, I did find the opening a little less than I expected. The description of Valhalla actually is what I'd have expected it to be. However, I liked your gutsy main character, so would have read more. This totally piques my interest.

K. said...

Query: Interesting premise, and I loved the stakes. I feel like you might have had one too many names in it, but that might just be me.

250: The first paragraph is tell-y. The first sentence doesn't really draw me in and strikes me as a "You wanna hear a story? I'll tell you one" opening. Bring us into the moment with your MC. Don't tell us about her story, just tell us the story. :) Also, careful of said bookisms. Try to use 'said' or 'asked' rather than 'echoed' or 'offered' or 'commanded'. I'd also like to get more of a feel of your MC's voice in this first page. Really immerse us in her head.

Great start though. I'd definitely keep reading. Good luck! :)

MJ Marshall said...

This type of story is right up my alley, so I was a little biased in your favor even before I got to the pages. It sounds like a fun, romp read and I liked the metallic/metal-woker imagery throughout the first 250. Clang, bellow, iron, silver, etc. :) I also think you got your character's voice across well in your query! I'd like to read more of this, for sure.

Jennifer K. said...

This definitely sounds like a fun, magical read. Is the main part of the story set in Boston? I feel like there may be too much backstory in the query before getting to the real stakes. In the first 250 words, I think there might be another place you could start to give it a little more "punch." But I do like how bada$$ the character comes across immediately!

Hannah said...
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The Agent said...

This is a great first paragraph - I was intrigued, I read straight through to the end, and I have a very good sense of what your book is about. The one thing I'm unclear about is age range, though I'm going to guess it's adult.

Oooh I like the idea of time-travel and Norse Gods in present day Boston! Definitely intrigued. I like the brevity of your query - it's short, sweet and to the point and tells me almost everything I need to know - but I would like to have known earlier on that this is adult fantasy or time travel or whatever you want to call it, and I'd love to see some comp titles, but in general I'm certainly intrigued enough to read on!

The text:

Okay I totally love the voice here. It's playful with a promise of snark, well written, your descriptions are spot on and they really set the stage - I have a clear image in my mind now of where they are and what's going on. I continue to be intrigued.

I really like the snark of your character and the voice is clear and interesting. I'd definitely read on. Curious to see where you take this and if the good writing holds up.

BCW said...

This sounds like fun. I'm interested to find out what happens. I like MC's feisty. I don't curtsy.