Thursday, November 3, 2016

0 Red Light/Green Light Round Two Entries

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today I have the great pleasure of posting the pitches of our top ten Red Light/Green Light entries. We read some fantastic opening lines last week, and I strongly encourage all those who did not progress to this round to keep on putting their words out there! And now for our top ten...

THE CROW QUEEN
Kalyn Josephson

Once, no one would have dared threaten the kingdom of Rhodaire. Not when skilled warriors protected the land on the backs of massive Crows with elemental magic.Eighteen-year-old Princess Ana Cerralté trained her entire life to become one of those riders, until the Illucian Empire’s elite soldiers invaded on the night of Rhodaire’s yearly festival. With the help of traitors meant to be on guard duty, the Illucian soldiers set fire to the rookeries and hunted down any Crows that escaped the flames, leaving Ana’s kingdom vulnerable and destroying the future she worked so hard for.

Left aimless for the first time in her life, Ana falls into depression and withdraws from her kingdom, leaving her sister, the queen, to piece it together. When Illucia gathers their strength for a final assault, her sister agrees to engage Ana to the cruel Illucian prince in exchange for peace. Believing Illucia plans to forcibly place Ana and the prince on Rhodaire’s throne once the marriage is official, Ana searches desperately for an alternative. When she finds a Crow egg in the ruins of the royal rookery, she scrambles to hatch it, knowing even one Crow could level the playing field between the kingdoms – but the secret of hatching may have died with the Crows.

As Ana hunts down the last known Crow rider in hopes of learning the egg’s secrets, she discovers the Illucian prince is having her followed, and may already know about the egg. With time running out, Ana must let go of her past and depression, and find the secret to hatching the egg before her marriage becomes official, and Rhodaire crumbles under Illucia's total control.

ASHMORE UNBROKEN
Christian Smith

Sixteen-year-old Gavin Ashmore had always suspected his family was different, hearing voices and seeing “ghosts.” But after a mysterious, otherworldly girl saves him from an untimely death in a plane crash, Gavin begins to see and hear things, too, just like his family. Gavin learns that an ancient spirit named Cain has been searching for him, and now that he turned sixteen, Gavin is no longer safe. Gavin learns he bears a family curse, and it is this curse keeping Cain imprisoned between the living and dead worlds.  To break free, Cain only needs to obtain Gavin’s heart.

But Gavin isn’t alone. To survive, Gavin must learn to fight Cain with the help of otherworldly beings named Seraphs. One of those Seraphs, Alina, is assigned to protect Gavin as his guardian, but even with that help, Gavin may not be strong enough to fight Cain. Gavin must decide if he will risk giving up his heart to save his loved ones, or lose everything by fighting against Cain and his relentless armies of undead soldiers.

WISHES OF FIRE
Sarah Aspen

The summer after high school, small-town girl Ashlynn Weaver should hold high hopes for the future. Instead, she’s held back by suffocating fears. Sightings of impossible creatures blur the line between dreams and reality and leave Ash questioning her sanity. Just when things couldn’t get weirder, she finds a mysterious lamp and releases Rizian, a strangely familiar fire-jinn.

As a small reward, Ash receives three wishes, her chance for a nice and normal life. Normal. Ash likes the sound of that. But her first two wishes go awry. Soon she’s caught up in a feud between scheming witches and a vengeful fairy queen. Amid magic and mayhem, Ash grows closer to Rizian, who proves to be literally too hot to handle.

Instead of the safety and sanity she thought she wanted, Ash falls for danger personified, and the amazing part is, he falls for her right back. Their romance seems doomed, but Ash has one wish left. When her sister becomes the next target in the witches’ sinister plans, Ash will sacrifice anything to save her. Even her shot at love.

Her only hope of finding her enemy’s hidden weakness lies within the secret worlds of her dreams, but braving the perils of the dreamverse pushes danger to the extreme, and Ash needs more than wishes to make it out alive.

MOMENTS OF IMPACT
Robin Hall

Seventeen-year-old Sera prefers to control every relationship, but a freak car accident changes everything. Now, whenever she locks lips with a guy, she literally hears his mom’s voice in her head. Talk about a mood killer. Unfortunately, finding the reason behind the voices is harder than she’d imagined as her theories fail kiss by kiss….

Before swearing off boys forever, she immerses herself in the biggest kissing-meets-science experiment she can think of: the Winterfest kissing booth. The only silent kiss she manages is from nerdy, trombone-playing Jeremy. But getting him to agree to be her test subject is complicated—he was the other driver in the accident that started the whole kissing mess. He’s also the one guy on campus who doesn't seem to want to date her. 

When Sera discovers Jeremy’s mom is in a coma because of the accident and that’s the real reason for their mute kiss, she realizes he’s keeping secrets too and there’s more at stake than make-out bliss. As she wins Jeremy over, she eventually hears his mom's voice in her head and knows his mom will wake up soon. Sera must convince Jeremy his mother is still cognizant before his family pulls the plug.

ENCOURAGER
Taylor Rew

16-year-old Sloan Pepper only goes to the lake to make peace with her ex-boyfriend, Bear, and their mutual best friend, Rice. So when she and her ten-year-old brother, Thatcher, get sucked into a waterspout alongside them, she's more than a little annoyed. The waterspout transports them to the planet Tectus, a place they know from their movie collection as the Land of Oz, though 800 years have passed since Dorothy clicked her heels and melted a witch, and the stories we hold dear have become the things of myths and legends.

A prophecy makes the Peppers targets of Tyv Rakus, a self-proclaimed wizard who siphons magic by killing anyone with suspected powers. The Peppers become fugitives and flee through Tectus to the Last Witch, who helps Sloan discover that she has the ability to heal and manipulate the elements. But she’s not looking to control air and fair; she wants to find a way home—and that means traveling to the Emerald City. Sparks fly between Sloan and Rice as they journey, but when Bear, jealous and secretly working for the Rakus regime, disappears with Thatcher, Sloan abandons the path home in pursuit of her brother. 

Sloan sharpens her magic as she is confronted by flying Frankenstein-esque monkeys, weaponized travel bubbles and an army of disgruntled tin soldiers. As buzz around her power grows and the locals begin to see her as a warrior, Sloan is faced with an impossible choice: save her brother or save this new world. 

TRAVELERS
Carla Reighard

Throw in a dash of history, a little bit of science fiction, fill it with fantasy and you have the story of Triana, a twenty-year-old mermaid. She just wants to be normal, but  instead, her parents die, a queen adopts her, and now she’s living in a palace. Triana knows she will have to take over as queen of New Kyra someday, but she doesn’t feel adequate for the role. Since she has the love and support of Queen Alethea, she is determined to do whatever it takes to succeed. 

What starts out to be a typical day of queen prep and history lessons, ends up taking Triana far beyond her comfort zone. She meets a handsome merman, Alexio, who at first seems to be an egotistical blow fish, and should be avoided. Unfortunately her heart disagrees with her head, which leads to more peril than Triana could have imagined. Alexio, her new found “friend”, leads Triana straight to an enemy she didn’t know existed. Not only did this new nemesis kidnap  the queen and threaten New Kyra, but the witch also happens to be Alexio’s mom and Queen Alethea’s sister. To add to Triana’s problems, she discovers those aren’t the only secrets the queen has kept from her.

Instead of fleeing from the unforeseen danger, Triana heads straight towards it with the unexpected consequence of being thrust into time travel throughout human history. As Triana tries to make sense of all the secrets her adopted mother has kept from her, she is forced to share the body of a human. 

Unable to return to her own body, and unsure if she can trust Alexio, who manages to show up at every turn of her journey, Triana feels more alone than ever before. She must prove she can face insurmountable challenges, even though Triana is uncertain that she will be able to save her world in time, and doubts that she will ever be able to return to her own body again.

WHEN I WAKE
Beth Wertz

Raya has moved to a new town, and is hopeful that despite her tendency to make unintentionally rude commentary and her long-standing diagnosis of narcolepsy, she’ll actually make some friends for the first time in her life. She’s angrily kicking trees in her narcoleptic forest hallucinations when she meets a strange girl and a man, Julian, who claims to be her dead father’s best friend, and it isn’t long before she figures out the truth: she was born with the power of astral projection. She learns that her father died trying to protect Pirondea from the malevolent ruling Amarcks, and now that she’s back, they’re after her, too. With the help of her new friends, she works to get control of her powers and fulfill her father’s legacy, until her stubbornness gets Julian kidnapped by the Amarcks. It’s up to Raya to figure out how to get the only father figure she has back before the Amarcks can use him to get to her, or she may lose everything she’s ever wanted, including lives.

MIRROR'S EDGE
Tara Lehmann

The Mirror has always had a "special" place in Lumi Winters’ life, even before it shattered and it’s shards of glass scattered across the earth. It’s the reason why her mother’s three friends, her “aunts”, barely speak to her anymore. It’s the reason why her mother is dead, why Thyra, her girlfriend, was killed, and it’s why Lumi Winters is a murderer.

Victims of the Mirror’s magic are hard to find, but for years Lumi has hunted for those with the glass buried deep within. It’s the only way the Mirror can be rebuilt, more lives can be spared, and her own can return to some semblance of normal. But after her last victim dies, Lumi leaves her northern manor to hunt for the next piece in the puzzle; while out in the world, she finds Gemma and Kyle and discovers that they seem to be drawn together. However, Lumi's attempts to stay away crumble when Kyle cons Lumi into taking him with her, leaving Gemma and her broken heart behind. Back in her wasteland home, Lumi slowly begins to see the startling truth about Kyle and the Mirror, while Gemma fights across the world and seasons to find Kyle and bring him home. But Kyle is a piece to the puzzle; in fact, he could be the key to finally completing the puzzle.

But what if fixing the Mirror won’t save the world? What if piecing the shards back together was what the Mirror had wanted all along? Driven between good and evil, Lumi is faced with decisions she’s made in the past as she struggles to accomplish her mother’s dying wish and save the world. However, to save the world from one evil, she may very well be damning it to another, far worse one.

THE STORYTELLER
Amanda Malamut

Joan Whitman wakes up to find herself in a military interrogation room, unable to remember how she ended up there. She realizes she’s not alone when Sergeant Simon Rodriguez begins to question Joan about zombies, the Everett siblings, and what the three of them came across while trying to survive. Joan tries to get more information from Simon about the purpose of the interview but gets nowhere. She relents and tells Simon what he wants to know.

They are challenged by zombies and humans alike, struggling to find a balance between self-defense and murder. The trio is constantly debating whether they should become a larger group or stay by themselves; whether they are better off fending for themselves or relying on strangers. These challenges often come to a head when Joan flashes back reliving past memories she’s recalling. She’s anxious, depressed, and is constantly questioning her decisions and grappling with her feelings for Sam. 

Joan starts to tell Simon about the final run that she remembers when it finally dawns on her- she was infected. She becomes scared, angry, and confused- learning that she was bit a week ago but has been since cured. The side effect of the cure is that parts of her ability to recall and create new memories is compromised. With the help of a computer chip implant in her brain, Simon and his team had been working with her to regain her memory. Sam is kept out of the room, despite pleading with Simon and sleeping on the couch outside of the door.

THE PENDRAGON'S SON
Kelly Barina

Seventeen-year-old Vael meets his long-lost brother, Mordred, for the first time, only to discover that they’re destined to become enemies. 

After years with only swords and tomes as companions, Prince Vael finds his first true friendship with the arrival of his surly half-brother, Mordred—a boy even more familiar with rejection and loneliness than Vael. However, an ancient prophecy haunts Mordred’s footsteps―he is destined to kill their father, King Arthur, in a battle that will destroy Britain. Vael may not believe in fate’s power, but that means little to the superstitious kingdom that wants his older brother dead.

When Mordred’s sorceress mother builds an army against Camelot and plots to use him as her pawn, Vael vows to show Mordred that destinies can be chosen, even if it means challenging the fearsome sorceress himself. If Vael cannot free Mordred from the sorceress’ twisted grasp, he will have to watch his father and Camelot fall or kill the only friend he’s ever had—his brother.

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