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PW #370: Young Adult Alternate History (Diverse): A COURT OF MIRACLES

Friday, 4 November 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Names: Rosalyn Eves and Erin Summerill
Mentee Name: Kit Grant
Title: A COURT OF MIRACLES
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Alternate History, Diverse
Word Count: 95,000

Pitch:

Retelling of both LES MISERABLES and THE JUNGLE BOOK via Six Of Crows.

The French Revolution has failed. In the violent jungle of a Paris divided between merciless royalty and criminal guilds, a cat-burglar must protect her sister from a ruthless slave lord.

Excerpt:

I watch Ettie out of the corner of my eye. Father will beat us if she doesn’t learn fast. And she is not a fast learner.

The inn is roasting, too many bodies in too small a space. Voices merge into a dull roar. The air is thick with the scent of stale beer and sweet smoke from the pipes of the dreamers in the corner. Carrying drinks means navigating a maze of legs, wandering hands, and lecherous grins. Ettie knows to avoid the ones with the tattoos. Those are the ones you don’t want to trip over.

Ettie struggles beneath the weight of an iron jug. Water sloshes with her unsteady steps. She wobbles. A large hand grips her shoulder, steadying her.

“Not used to waiting on tables little one?” says a rough warm voice.

My heart sinks into my boots.

No, no, no…

I drop empty tankards onto a table, ignoring the protests of the customers, and push through the crowded floor towards her.

The man reaches for the jug of water and Ettie, relieved, lets him take it.

Don’t look at him.

She looks up, a golden curl escaping from her cap. She’s small and he is a giant of a man. He’s tanned, with yellow eyes, and hair bleached orange-blond from years spent on ships. The long, cording scars that cross like stripes from his forehead to cheek don’t take away from his magnetic charm. He smiles at Ettie, a smile that is all teeth, and god forgive her, she smiles back.

 

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