MENTOR: Sarah Nicolas
ALTERNATE: Amy Bearce
TITLE: Fairy Keeper
CATEGORY/GENRE: YA Dark Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 66,000
PITCH: Fifteen-year-old Sierra wishes she was never marked as a Fairy Keeper. When her hive disappears, Sierra must find another queen to produce nectar for her drug-lord father or her sister will pay the price. The magic she discovers will transform their world.
EXCERPT: The last drops of fairy nectar cling to the edge of the jar I’m holding, poised above the beaker containing today’s harvest. One measly beaker’s worth. My dad, Jack, is not going to be happy. Jack insists that nothing stand in the way of his drug business, especially not annoying little fairies who are refusing to produce as much as usual.
I give the jar a little shake to loosen those stubborn drops, since every bit of it’s precious. Fairy nectar keeps Jack happy. When Jack’s happy, he leaves me and - more importantly - my little sister Phoebe alone.
I squint at the glowing nectar swirling gently in the beaker, measuring it with my eyes. It seems like so little to cost so much.
The ground growls beneath my feet and I freeze. I stand like a statue for a long moment, my hand poised above the beaker. Dread swirls inside me like the golden syrup in the glass. The moment spins out, an elastic split-second in which dust motes float in the air like gold flakes. Then our ancient unicorn gives a rusty bellow. He always knows when all hell is about to break loose.
When his cry scrapes down my spine, it shatters my paralysis. I grab for the beaker, but I’m too late.