Hi fellow GUTGAA-ers, I’m trying something a little different today as part of our workshop. For a start I’ve left the query til last because I already have so much advice on it that if I get any more I think my head will explode. (Not even kidding). Secondly, I’ve recently re-arranged my first and second chapters, so this is the first time these words have been considered as the opening words of my MS. Scary, huh? But I can’t wait to hear what you think and don’t forget – be as harsh as you like. Every little bit helps. Thanks!
Katherine Amabel
The Hourglass Bridge
YA Urban Fantasy
90, 000 words
First 150 words:
The lie was simple; the effect, staggering.
A piercing screech erupted through the drawing room with enough violence to shake the thatch from the ceiling. Pain exploded in Arthur’s temples. He attempted a spell to block it out but he may as well have tried turning a gnome into a nymph for all the success he had. Rosemary, his twin, was about to yell at him anyway when the noise died down to a hiss. It still felt sharp enough to drill holes into their heads.
“Excellent work!” their tutor, Mr. Begley, congratulated Arthur over the noise. “Try it again.”
“Do you speak truth?” Arthur demanded, directing his wand at Mr. Begley’s throat.
“Of course,” he replied, and his soft, Irish accent soothed the hissing away to nothing.
“Gosh,” Arthur said. “That was…”
“Horrid, I know, but Levina insists I teach you these things. She wants you to be safe.”

Query Pitch:

Dear Agent,
When an involuntary daydream during history class leaves Diamond sleep ranting about a plot against evil, she thinks the worst is over at being scolded by her favourite teacher and giving her bullies more to laugh at. However that’s before Arthur, a breathtakingly chivalrous teenage wizard, pulls her into sixteenth century Wales, expecting her to save his life.
Convinced he’s got the wrong history buff, Di is ready to suggest he stick his head on a pike and stay there – until she learns the truth. Arthur is about to inherit the legendary powers that protect his hidden, magical civilization. Malicia, an immortal witch whose looks can kill and whose temper shatters mountains, intends to destroy him for it. And a cryptic message says if Di can’t protect him, she and her twin brother will be next.
Determined to keep her brother safe, even if he is a pain in the butt who probably deserves time on the rack, Di agrees to hide Arthur in the modern world until he is powerful enough to fight. Caught in a double life of sword fights, covert magic lessons, and near death (by embarrassment) experiences as she involuntarily swoons all over him, she refuses to acknowledge the destructive forces growing inside her. But when enemy spies attack her ancestors, and her brother develops saintly new powers which make him the most vulnerable target of all, Di realises she must decipher the ancient secrets of her bloodline and finish the war her daydream may have started – even if it means succumbing to a darker side of herself.