Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry 33

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy/Romance

A young prince in ancient Greece tests his mettle at the grueling Isthmian Games and along the way, finds a love worth fighting for. A young princess risks her father’s alliances to find her heart’s companion, and discovers a love worth dying for. Caenus And The Quiver Of Artemis is complete at 52,100 words.

Desperate to prove his worth to a disapproving father, Caenus of Iolkos, an unassuming and undistinguished prince, competes tooth and nail in the Games against the best princes from across the Hellenic world. A victory could erase his father’s doubts, but could a loss deepen the divide?

Disgusted with the customary arranged marriage social construct, Kalliste, princess of Samos, travels under an assumed name to the Isthmian Games to find her true love. Will the deception derail her plans?

While competing in the Games against the gleaming backdrop of Corinth, Caenus meets two people who alter his life's path; Makedon, a brash and ruthless prince from Neapolis, and Adriande, a peasant girl from Corinth who is not all she seems. Romance brews between Caenus and the elusive Adriande, who is actually Kalliste, and she promises to wed him if he wins the Games. The only problem is, her hand is already promised to another prince, Makedon.

The hands of the gods guide Caenus and Makedon toward a final showdown in the Games, where an unethical act is performed to secure victory- the genesis of what becomes a bitter rivalry fueled by bad blood. Tension roils to a fevered pitch when Caenus is later blindsided by the revelation that Adriande is actually Kalliste, Makedon’s bride-to-be. Tempers flare, leading to an all-or-nothing fight for Kalliste’s hand, thrusting Caenus into a set of events that test his faith, his mettle, and his love, sending him to the Underworld and back.

I taught high school for six years. Mythology has been a lifelong passion of mine, which shows through in my passionate personification of the gods.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


  1. Hello! Popping in to give you my two cents!

    Well first off I have to say the premise sounds cool. I like that you go into the story a bit with a tagline before you give us your title and word count (but no genre?). However, I think the tagline has to be a bit shorter for it to be really affective. It has to hit like a quick jab and get our attention immediately.

    In fact I think the query itself might be too long. Maybe I have a short attention span, but I automatically dread reading long queries because they tend to go on for too long instead of getting to the point quickly. So maybe it would be helpful to look at what's the crux of your story: the core conflict - and centre the query around that.

    Paragraph by paragraph:

    I think this sounds really cool, but I automatically want to know what the Games are. Is it like the Olympic games? Or is it like the Hunger Games where he has to kill everyone? Unless it's essential, don't keep that a secret. You definitely don't have to go into any long explanation. A simple phrase following a comma might do.

    I'm also not a fan of questions in queries I'm afraid. "could a loss etc." "will the deception etc." They may be a bit cliche, but these can be easily rewritten.

    As I go on I see that the main problem might be that you are sort of just listing off characters and events. Again, find the heart of the story, the major conflict (and whatever little tributary conflicts flow into those) and put it all together into a few short coherent paragraphs. Remember, only focus on what (and who) is important.

    Finally, I love that you love mythology and I can see that through your setting. However since you don't mention the gods too much in your query, you may not have to highlight your "passionate personification of the gods" as a major, notable aspect of your writing/story. In fact the phrase itself seems a bit confusing. I'm not really sure what you mean.

    Still, I love reading stories about mythology and I definitely get the feeling that you know your stuff and did tons of research for the story. That's always a high point!

    Good luck <3

  2. A few comments, first I really like the premise. The idea itself is really intriguing. I would do away with the questions at the end, I don't think they help build the tension in the story.

    My other main concern is the last paragraph makes it sound like all of the conflict in the first part of the query is just the beginning of the book. The genesis of a blood feud makes it sounds like it will go on for a lot longer, but your book is relatively short--I don't know if you can accomplish everything with world building, and character development and adequately cover everything your query has mentioned.

    It sounds like there is a lot of action, and that it should be an exciting read. Good luck!

  3. I agree that the query should be tightened and stream-lined. You've got a good story hiding under all those words!

    Also, a couple of suggested edits:

    "Arranged marriage social construct" is kind of clunky, perhaps try "Disgusted with the thought of being forced into an arranged marriage..."

    I'd drop the rhetorical question at the end of that paragraph too.

    Finally, instead of introducing Adriande as a character and revealing that she's Kalliste, just say that Kalliste comes to the games disguised as Adriande, a peasant girl from Corinth. Good luck!!

  4. I am the author of the query/ book. Thanks to all your comments. They are duly noted. I will be incorporating every comment to the extent possible and revising it for the big hunt.

    Thanks again!

  5. Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I love mythology and this sounds like a fun and exciting read. Tighten up the query as others have suggested to make your idea shine, and get it out there so we can read this. :D Good luck!

  6. Jamie Weiss ChiltonMay 9, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    I think the strongest queries allow the reader infer the questions of the story, rather than ask the questions outright. I recommend cutting the questions at the end of your second and third paragraphs.

    I'm getting a distancing adult voice in this query, with prhases like "tooth and nail" "customary arranged marriage social construct" "romance brews" and "tempers flare." These are all examples of telling rather than showing. I'd like to see the main characters' voices come through in the query. Show the reader how they're feeling; it will engage the reader more effectively.

    Nice work.


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