Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sun Vs. Snow Critique Workshop Entry

(Thanks to the amazing Michelle Hauck and Amy Trueblood for hosting this amazing workshop. Also, a huge thank you to everyone who takes their time to leave amazing feedback here. The link to join with a blog post of your own -- including your query and first 250 words -- is open until February 21st, so come check out this post to add your link, join in, and leave feedback for each other!)


Genre: YA fantasy

Word Count: 98,000


Dear Amazing Agent,

Leah Ellis never knew why she was abandoned on the beach at two years old. That is, until her life takes a bizarre turn when she begins seeing images in mirrors she can’t explain--cloaked figures using powers that manifest like lightning bolts, or flash-frozen beaches on another world beneath a purple sky.

She practices mirror-gazing, driven to understand these images and their possible connection to her forgotten past, and discovers a wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to control what the mirror shows her.

When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they're dead ringers for the people in her visions. According to Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes, and his father, she is a MirrorMaster--an alien with a gift that lets her travel through mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Her birth parents sent them to take her back to her homeworld of Jantyr.

But Leah’s long-lost birth sister activated an ancient device to trigger a cataclysm on Jantyr as a bid to consolidate her own power. Leah must return to Jantyr, master her newfound ability in order to disable the device, and thwart her sister’s plans. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy, including Earth and everyone she loves.

THE MIRRORMASTERS is a 98,000-word fantasy for young adults. I have earned a graduate degree in Psychology from Widener University and work at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. My short story, "Unfinished," was published online on author Samantha Mabry's website, Flash Paranormal Fiction. My short science fiction/apocalyptic story, “Defying the Darkness,” is published through Novelty Fiction. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Warmest Regards,

Lora Palmer


Every single year on this date, June 15th, strange things happened. Mysterious pulses of light flickered in the forest. Not-quite-solid figures appeared in the cemetery one second and disappeared the next. All day, I couldn’t shake the intuition that this year would bring something much worse than the usual weirdness, much worse than the usual gibes about how it began thirteen years ago, the same night my parents found me abandoned on the beach.

“Let’s watch something light—not a horror movie,” I said.

“Leah, Leah, Leah.” My brother David shook his head and scooted closer to my best friend, Kara, on their loveseat. They shared a conspiratorial grin. “Don’t tell me you want to watch some lame comedy when we can have a slasher fest. Besides, it’s tradition.”

A shiver raced down my spine at the mental image the idea conjured, one of chilling music, strangled sobs and hitching breaths, followed by screams silenced. Tonight also marked the town tragedy of the 1870s, when strangers murdered the Stanford twins, the mayor’s daughters. Of course David would insist we do something scary to commemorate the anniversary.

“Come on!” I shot him a pleading look. “I’m sure you breezed through exams, but I took three AP finals this week and fielded a million alien jokes today. I deserve a break from crazy.”

“Just go out to the cemetery with us,” Kara said, her eyes sparkling. “We won’t do anything risky, I promise.”

Sure. Why wait for trouble to find us when we can seek it out and bring it right here?