SHROUDED GODDESS, YA Fantasy

Name: Patricia Moussatche
Genre: YA Fantasy
Title: SHROUDED GODDESS
Word Count: 81,000

Themes: Brazilian history and culture

35-Word Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Sophia was raised among foreigners who married into her tribal family. To escape marriage and bring peace to the ravaged rainforest, she must awaken a powerful goddess and prevent the slaughter of her tribe.

First 500 words:

Only Uncle Hector would hang a man then go fishing.

The giant jatoba tree, where the noose is set, shades the corpse but doesn’t protect it from the heat. Winter is more merciful than our hellish summer, but only slightly. Noon is fast approaching, and the stench of emptied bowels permeates the village like early morning fog. I press an arm over my nose and quicken my pace to the bakery ahead. At least there is some advantage to being forced to wear long sleeves in warm weather.

Vultures circle the cloudless sky above the tree, but not even they dare to defy Uncle Hector. Why does Aryeea insist I fetch flour? I glance over my shoulder at the fortress’s four-story tower spiked on the Igjommi Hill. The fluttering white cloth, billowing like a sail in the valley breeze, can only be her skirt. My grandmother on the balcony, watching me as if I’d go anywhere other than where she sends me.

I enter the bakery and shut the door behind me. The warm scent of dough overwhelms the heat. Steps approach from an inside room, and the baker’s rosy face beams at me as he ambles through the doorway.

“Lady Sophia.” He wipes his hands on his tunic. “What do you like today?”

I’d like someone to cut down that man and bury him before he rots. But if I voice the request, the baker will feel obliged to carry out the order. No need to tempt another hanging.

“The baroness would like manioc flour.” I use Aryeea’s title in case I’m overheard.

“She make beejoo?” There must be no one around if he’s using the Peetanguara word for biscuit.

I nod, although my grandmother’s version is more like a cake and soaked in honey from the king’s land across the sea. Cane sugar isn’t sweet enough some days. “Aryeea’s hanging day tradition.”

The smile flees the baker’s face. “I send it with Gavin.”

My eyes prickle and I adjust my hair bun, digging a pin into my scalp to ease the pain in my chest. “I can wait.”

His turn to nod, though I’m not sure for whom the baker thinks I’m waiting. Neither do I if I’m honest.

He returns from the back room with a sack the size of his head. “You take this. I send more later.”

With Gavin? Instead of asking, I hug the cotton sack full of manioc flour tight to my breast. The coarse meal shifts within the constraints of the cloth, as do my insides against my skin. I can’t think of Gavin. Not when I might find myself wed to my cousin Victor tomorrow. Bile burns my throat, but it has nothing to do with the stench permeating the village.

The blinding light outside the bakery directs my gaze to the shade of the jatoba, where the man still hangs in his soiled breeches. The darkness of his swollen hands contrasts with the unnatural paleness of his bare chest.

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22 thoughts on “SHROUDED GODDESS, YA Fantasy

  1. Caitie F says:

    The voice in this is fantastic. I’d love to see the query and first 50 pages as a word attachment to querycaitie(at)lizadawson(dot)com

    Like

  2. Whitley Abell (@whitleyabell) says:

    Same! I am so in love with Sophia’s voice already. I’d love to read more. Please send your full manuscript as a word document attachment with “Pitch América” in the subject line to whitley [at] inklingsliterary [dot] com. And if you don’t mind, could you also include your query letter on the first page of the word doc?

    Like

  3. Laura Crockett says:

    I would love to read more! Could you send me the official query, the first 50 pages in an attached Word doc, with subject line Pitch America to laura(@)triadaus(.)com, please? Thank you!

    Like

  4. klcarleton says:

    Love this voice! Please send the first three chapters with the query and synopsis to kirsten[at]prospectagency[dot]com. Looking forward to reading more!

    Like

  5. Erin Harris says:

    Thanks for sharing your work, Patricia. I love the voice and premise here. So much great conflict is packed into these opening pages! Please send the manuscript and query letter to eharris[@]foliolitmanagement[dot]com, with “Pitch America” in the subject line. I look forward to reading.

    Like

  6. Erin Harris says:

    Thank you for sharing your work, Patricia. I love the voice and premise here. So much great conflict in these opening pages! Please send your query letter and manuscript to eharris[@]foliolitmanagement[dot]com. I look forward to reading.

    Like

  7. Jen Azantian says:

    Thank you for sharing your work. I’d love to read more! Please send along a query, 1-2 page synopsis, and the first 50 pages in an attached word document to queries at azantianlitagency dot com. Also, please include Pitch America in the subject line. I look forward to reading!

    Like

  8. Taylor Martindale Kean says:

    Hi Patricia,
    This opening and Sophia’s voice are absolutely fantastic! I would love to keep reading. Can you send the query letter and full manuscript to my attention at fullcirclelit@gmail.com? I can’t wait to see more of this story. Thank you for participating in PitchAmérica!
    All my best,
    Taylor Martindale Kean
    Full Circle Literary

    Like

  9. Rebecca Podos says:

    The language is gorgeous, and I love the Sophia’s perspective so far. I’d love to see the full MS. Could you please send to Rebecca(at)Reesagency(dot)com, with PITCH AMÉRICA in the subject line?

    Like

  10. Rachel Stark says:

    What a great first line! Could you please send your query and full manuscript, as a Word doc, to rstark[at]skyhorsepublishing[dot]com? Please include “Pitch América” in the subject line. You do not need an agent to query me.

    Like

  11. Roseanne Wells says:

    I’d love to read more! Please send the first 50 pages using the guidelines on jdlit.com and mention the Pitch America contest. Can’t wait to read!

    Like

  12. Shira Hoffman says:

    This one isn’t quite for me since i don’t really rep this genre, but it sounds perfect for my colleague Christa Heschke. I think she would really love it! You should query her with the first 3 chapters, query, and synopsis to CHquery (at) McIntoshandotis (dot) com

    Make sure to mention #PitchAmerica in the subject line and mention I reffered you 🙂

    Like

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