Title: Sucker Punching Magic
Word count: 75,000
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Home-schooled Jude Kozlowski, whose allergy to light causes him to shift into a troll, wants the world to accept him as a decent guy, not the “who’s that tramping over my bridge” stereotype. But his huge frame and pistachio skin scare normal humans and his shyness keeps him from meeting anyone else. Even his part-time paper-pushing job has him working alone. Fitting in seems hopeless.
Until Luz Bangor crashes into his cubicle at First Metro Finance, thugs on her heels. The Fairy Syndicate kidnapped her brainiac brother, Eric. Attention deficit and out-of-control magic pasting a ginormous loser L on her forehead, Luz is his last choice for a rescuer. But she and her unpredictable magic are his only hope. Like a runaway wrecking ball, her miscast spell puts her and the kind troll-shifter she just met straight into the path of her brother’s powerful enemies.
Smitten and glowing over the unexpected chance to be a hero, Jude vows to help Luz rescue her brother. When the villains snatch Luz, Jude pursues. He braves neighborhood vigilantes, a spoiled poodle and a troll biker gang to track Luz to Underhill, the fairy fortress. There, the unlikely pair must square off with the Fairy Godmother or lose Eric—and each other—forever.
SUCKER PUNCHING MAGIC is a YA urban fantasy of 75,000 words told alternately in Jude’s and Luz’s point of view.
First 250 Words:
The Number Ten shot by, ruffling Jude Kozlowski’s hair. At the stop, nose deep in calculus homework, he jerked his head up. He could blame a lot of things on The Fairy Tale Effect, the mutations magic’s resurgence caused, but missing the bus wasn't one of them.
At 4:35 in the afternoon, on a clear day in downtown Milwaukee, 6’2” Jude made a big target. Hard to believe the bus driver hadn't spotted him. Yet the guy hadn't even slowed.
Jude leaped to his feet. Book, paper and pencil in hand, he barreled down the sidewalk in pursuit.
He needed his job. The order and routine. The chance to be normal. If he waited for the next bus, he’d be late.
Heart racing, he dodged the parking meters and the guys who cradled cheap wine in paper bags outside the military surplus store.
Down the block, the bus’s brakes shrieked. Its axles groaned. The side doors disgorged a bearded dwarf in a trench coat. Jude bounded over the dwarf and reached the curb as a woman wearing a Hamburger Heaven uniform hurried through the bus’s front doors.
Jude followed, but before his foot touched the step, the gnome at the wheel flinched. Eyes wide, he hastily cranked the Plexiglas doors closed. The reflection of Jude’s lumpy, pistachio green skin played over the window.
“I need a ride.” Going for friendly, Jude grinned. Wrong move. In the glass, his smile appeared strained—too full, a baring of teeth.
Entry Nickname: Star Light, Star Bright
Title: Sadie Scottsdale and the Wasted Wish
Word Count: 40,000
Genre: MG Fantasy
In a world where wishes come true, ten-year-old Sadie Scottsdale wishes they didn’t.
Ever since the international Wishing Council identified her thirteen-year-old sister, Becca, as one of the world’s six Wishers, Sadie’s felt like a big, fat nothing. All everyone wants to talk about is how Becca’s upcoming Wish is sure to do something spectacular, like re-establish an extinct species or clean their town’s polluted river.
Sadie understands all the attention toward her sister—to a point. Wishes are important. They’re granted only every eight years when the Sister Comets re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. But it would be nice if someone—anyone—admitted the obvious: Becca ruined Sadie’s awesome summer. Instead of movies and the mall, Sadie's stuck in a boarding school in the Wishing Village with other kids unfortunate enough to be related to a Wisher. Worse, the Village isn’t a real town—it’s a bunch of buildings on a farm in Nebraska.
Then, as everyone waits for the Wishes to be granted, rumors swirl that Becca broke the rules by making a selfish Wish. Becca swears she didn’t, even as evidence mounts against her. With the Sister Comets rapidly approaching, Sadie bands with her new friends and comes up with a plan to clear Becca’s name and salvage her summer. Problem is, Sadie’s going to break the rules to do it, and if she gets caught, she’ll be joining her sister in the detention center until the next time the Sister Comets return.
First 250 words:
She had to stop soon, Sadie thought. No one could possibly sing that long, especially about something so stupid.
Sadie winced as the sound of her sister’s high-heeled shoes striking the ceramic tile grew louder. Clapping her hands over her ears, she stared at her book. Maybe, just maybe, if she looked like she was concentrating really hard, Becca would leave her alone.
The shutter doors to the kitchen banged open.
“It’s Wishing Day! It’s Wishing Day! Come one, come all, it’s Wishing Daaaaay!” Becca sang, prancing into the sun-drenched room.
Don’t look. Sadie pressed her palms against the sides of her head and mouthed words she pretended to read.
Becca remained undaunted. “Wish-ing Day! Wish-ing Day! Every-body’s com-ing to Wish-ing Day!”
Sadie slumped and lifted her eyes. Becca twirled across the floor, her brand new white-flowered dress swaying as she spun.
“Hurry up, Sade. We can’t be laaaate,” Becca crooned.
Sadie waited until Becca stopped. Making sure her sister was watching, she gave her eyes a good roll and flipped the page.
Becca arched an eyebrow and smirked. “Mooom,” she sang. “Sadie’s not dressed!”
Sadie groaned, knowing what was coming.
“Sadie!” Mom shouted from the living room. “Move it!”
Sliding off the kitchen stool, Sadie sighed and grabbed her bowl of pineapple. She tossed a chunk into her mouth and trudged toward her bedroom.
Her sister skipped by and gave a light push. “Come on, Slow-mo.”
With a flick of her wrist, Sadie grasped the satin ribbon on Becca’s dress and pulled.