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PITCH WARS! ALT B-5: THE GHOST ENGINE

Wednesday, 23 January 2013  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
NAME: Theresa Fuller
MENTOR: Lindsay Smith

TITLE: THE GHOST ENGINE
GENRE: YA Steampunk
WORD COUNT: 80K

PITCH: Lady Elizabeth Lovelace finds herself trapped inside a Victorian-age computer and fighting for her life while searching for its creator…only to discover she’s falling in love with the engine that has captured her.

England 1880
Here Be Dragons.
Cartographers used to write that phrase in the margins of maps to indicate the places no one dared venture. Elizabeth’s heart beat louder than warning drums in Africa. While she might not be attempting to explore a new continent, if successful in her endeavour she would be no less a pioneer than those hardy souls who had set off into the unknown. Did they ever feel as she did right now, frightened to meet a beast, the likes of which they could never have imagined even in nightmares?
Elizabeth flicked a mote of imaginary dust from the widow’s weeds she wore, her late mother’s black silk gown. She could do this. She was a Lovelace. Courage flowed in her blue blood.
A plaintive whisper broke her concentration.
“My lady, please. Let’s return before we are discovered.” Eyes wide, her maid glanced at the pedestrians scurrying along King Street, as if expecting them to turn into cannibals.
Elizabeth fought the urge to scowl. Life would be much simpler if she could have left Rose at home, but convention required she be chaperoned so as not to be mistaken for a woman of ill repute. Men had no such problems. Such blatant inequality made her more determined to succeed in what she was about to undertake. 
“Hush. Remember, when we enter this building, for the next hour, I am a widow and therefore of age to be able to walk in and purchase whatever article I desire.”

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