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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Query Workshop 8--Running Down the Dragon

Title: RUNNING DOWN THE DRAGON
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Crime Thriller



Thalia Drake is the last dragon on earth. Her cover identity as an ass-kicking werewolf in the U.S. Military's elite shape-shifter ranks is in jeopardy. Among shifters, only dragons can take on other animal forms. Not even her adopted shifter family know her true form.

When human victims start turning up in the Everglades, evidence suggests the killer has bigger, more reptilian game on the menu. Thalia alone recognizes the glyphs burned into the victims skin. Thousands of years ago, the sorcerer who murdered her grandparents carved the same glyphs into the door of their tomb.

The ritual to kill a shifter was supposed to be lost to antiquity, along with all sorcerers capable of pulling it off. Naturally none of the shifter investigators - who also happen to be Thalia's adopted family - suspect what she does: that their modern-day killer might be capable of killing essentially immortal shifters with human magic. Thalia isn't eager to inform them and blow her cover. A thousand years of lies would be tough for her family to forgive, and other shifters wouldn't think twice about killing a recalcitrant dragon. But holding back what she knows will put every shifter in danger.

Thalia and the FBI's shifter division track the killer from South Florida to the heart of Washington, DC. Every clue seems to point to a U.S. Senator with an anti-shifter bias, despite his air-tight alibi. Whatever the senator's involvement may be, if they don't find the killer soon, one of his rituals is bound to succeed. One successful ritual could spell extinction for the shifters.

RUNNING DOWN THE DRAGON is an urban/contemporary fantasy novel of 103,000 words. I have also completed a second Thalia Drake novel, but RUNNING DOWN THE DRAGON can stand on its own.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

5 comments:

Charity Bradford said...

There is a lot of great stuff in here, but it's getting lost. You have to ask yourself, what is the one most important thing in this book. Why should an agent ask to read it?

I love the first two sentences but would drop the third as un-needed info at this point. which means the 4th sentence might need tweaking. I do think it's important that not even her family knows she's a dragon.

Paragraph 2--what evidence? I'm also wondering if you need the last sentence about her grandparents. It just seems out of place.

Paragraph 3--Can you combine the first half into one sentence? I didn't care about any of it until I got to "A thousand years of lies would be tough for her family to forgive, and other shifters wouldn't think twice about killing a recalcitrant dragon. But holding back what she knows will put every shifter in danger."

Paragraph 4 is all good. My only question is about the rituals. Is he doing a trial and error approach to finding a way to kill shifters? How does that relate to the human victims?

All in all, this sounds like something I would read.

Huntress said...

I like the inclusion of the political animals in D.C. LOL.

I love me some dragons but I am confused. This is a dragon in werewolf form? Her shifter family doesn’t know what she really is?

Try cutting back to under 200 words. This might help clarify the storyline if you cut unnecessary words. Example:
Thalia tracks the killer to the heart of Washington, DC, and every clue points to a U.S. Senator despite his air-tight alibi. (22 words)

Thalia and the FBI's shifter division track the killer from South Florida to the heart of Washington, DC. Every clue seems to point to a U.S. Senator with an anti-shifter bias, despite his air-tight alibi. (35 words)

Tara Tyler said...

i love this concept! but i agree to cut back a little too. the first two paragraphs are great, the third might be summed up in one sentence...Thalia must choose between risking the lives of all shifters or blowing her immortal cover... I'm sure you could do better!

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

Thank you all for the great advice! I know this version is too long, but the previous version was too short. Balance is key! :)

mshatch said...

I've offered my comments/suggestions in parentheses:

Thalia Drake is the last dragon on earth. Her cover identity as an ass-kicking werewolf in the U.S. Military's elite shape-shifter ranks is in jeopardy. Among shifters, only dragons can take on other animal forms. Not even her adopted shifter family know her true form. (I get this, but it is confusing)

When human victims start turning up in the Everglades, Thalia alone recognizes the glyphs burned into the victims skin. Thousands of years ago, the sorcerer who murdered her grandparents carved the same glyphs into the door of their tomb. (Why? What do the glyphs mean? Can you say without spoiling?)

The ritual to kill a shifter was supposed to be lost to antiquity, along with all sorcerers capable of pulling it off. Naturally none of the shifter investigators - who also happen to be Thalia's adopted family - suspect what she does: that their modern-day killer might be capable of killing essentially immortal shifters with human magic. Thalia isn't eager to inform them and blow her cover. A thousand years of lies would be tough for her family to forgive, and other shifters wouldn't think twice about killing a recalcitrant dragon. But holding back what she knows will put every shifter in danger. (This last sentence sounds like the choice Thalia has to make – let her true self out and save the day but at a cost of admitting the lie she’s been living and the repercussions)


Other than that I pretty much agree with what others have said :)