Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #149

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 67,000


Jackson’s job has its ups and downs. Sure, the seventeen-year-old gets to slay man-eating monsters every day, and yes, he does train with the best warriors in the kingdom. But he’s also required to stay a virgin forever—even though he’s in love with his beautiful partner, Moira.

Sometimes it’s tough being the only male Unicorn Rider.

Jackson’s life gets even more complicated when he overhears a dangerous unicorn secret. There’s an ex-Rider hunting down him and Moira, searching for a world-killing weapon called the Shadowed Flame. When Jackson tries to pry more information from his mare, she stonewalls him, fearing for his safety. Even worse, he soon suspects that the other unicorns may have a hidden agenda. It’s up to him to ferret out their secrets, stop the ex-Rider, and protect the girl he loves but can never have.

First 250:

The worst part about being a Unicorn Rider was that we had to stay pure of body—meaning we were pretty much doomed to eternal virginity. As far as I knew, I wasn’t even allowed to kiss a girl. It didn’t matter anyway. The only girl I wanted to kiss was a rider too, and she’d never leave this lifestyle for me. Even if I tried to steal a kiss—which would be epic—she’d probably deck me for the effort.

“Jackson! Stop staring at me and focus,” came a frustrated hiss from my side. I snapped out of my reverie and gave my partner, Moira, an apologetic grin.

“Sorry. You, uh, had a bug on your face.”

She rolled her eyes and stabbed a finger at the meadow below us.

“Fine, fine.” I scooted forward on my stomach to peer over the rise again. “New monster. Giant worm. Very dangerous. I know.”

“You’re lucky worms don’t have ears, or that thing would’ve eaten you by now.” Moira slung her bow off her back and drew out an arrow, shaking her head.

“For your information, it would not eat me.” I glanced at the forest behind us to watch the oak leaves flutter. Good—the breeze was still carrying our scent away from the creature. “It would take me prisoner. Everyone knows monsters only eat ugly people. I, being charming, handsome, muscular, and hilarious, would merit being kept in a little golden cage at its side to provide entertainment.”


  1. I love this concept, Jackson's voice, all of this! #146

  2. I love this, too. Your voice shines through like A-maz-ing. Good luck. *fingers crossed*

  3. Really cool. Only point I'm not clear on is if they have human forms, not horses. Might want to slip that somewhere in the query. Good job. Amy (#168)

  4. Thanks, Carissa and Talynn! Spaced Out Gal, I'm confused by your confusion. :) Are you asking if the Unicorn Riders are human, or if the unicorns are? The Unicorn Riders are indeed regular humans who bond to and ride the unicorns, and the unicorns look for the most part like you would expect. Thanks for your comment!

    1. Ah, sorry. I did not pick up on the reference to "Rider" in your query though you state it right in your opening line and I just missed it. :/

      addition: I also love the male pov. nicely done.

    2. Aha! You had me worried I was going crazy for a second there. :p Thanks, glad you liked. Best of luck to you!

  5. Lori A. Goldstein (@_lagold)February 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Having had the opportunity to read previous versions, I'll say you've got the pitch down. Great job. Love this take on the first page. Good luck!

  6. I don't read fantasy, but you totally hooked me with your voice! This might be me being a non-fantasy person, but I might have wanted a tiny bit more info in the second paragraph of your query. I couldn't process what exactly the shadowed flame was (world-killing = it would destroy the world?) and why Jackson is the only one who can save everyone? What exactly is the ex-Rider's connection to Jackson and Moira?

    Overall though, based on the first 250, I'd definitely read more! Good luck :)


  7. I love the male POV, to me there are not enough out there, maybe becuase the male POV is hard to capture correcting, but I think you have it here and I love Jackson's voice. Good job and good luck!

  8. WOW! I love the male POV too, and I think you've done a great job with it in your first 250. Your query as well! It's shiny and intriguing. I would definitely read on! :)

  9. You had me at UNICORNS! Love the names and his voice! Even shines in the query. So good. I want more now.

  10. Ha! I love the premise of a guy who gets to do all sorts of cool stuff, but never gets to do "it."
    And, as a girl who may have had her share of Unicorn posters...and stickers...and a big fuzzy blanket, I think it's high time unicorns make a return to the literary spotlight.

    PS - Moira rocks.

    1. Ha! Thanks. Yes, Moira IS pretty awesome, I must admit. :P

  11. You're in.

    You've got great voice and a likable sense of humor. Whether or not you can sell an agent on unicorn riders, I don't know. Good luck.