Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #31 - Nefertiti's Heart

Steampunk romance


London, 1860. Twenty one year old Cara Devon can fight, shoot and lose a tail. Skills necessary to survive Victorian high society and protect her heart - it’s going to be a killer season.

 After the strange death of her father, Cara returns to London with a simple mission - sell off his damned collection of priceless artefacts. Her plan goes awry when she shoots two intruders, attracting the attention of a notorious crime lord. He wants to get his hands on the priceless objects d'art, and Cara.

Worse trouble erupts when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts. Literally. An eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests and turned. 3,000 years ago Nefertiti turned an Egyptian man into a god. Now a killer stalks the ballrooms, searching for his own regal beauty and an ancient relic, rumoured to hold the key to immortality.

Self-preservation fuels Cara’s hunt for a particular artefact, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, if only she can find it before the killer turns his attention to her. Or has she already made a fatal mistake, by giving her heart to the number one suspect?

FIRST 150:

There was something cathartic about wielding a crowbar. Cara used one end to loosen the tacks, before ripping up the expensive patterned carpets. She tossed the strip in a growing pile by the wall. Pushing a deep auburn spike of hair from her forehead, she took a moment’s break from the dusty work. She flung open the second story window and took a large breath of London air. And coughed. Coal smoke and steam spiralled past her window, forced skywards by the combination of the narrow street and tall buildings. She blinked the stinging smog from her eyes and looked up. An airship glided by like a giant floating dodo, its tiny props spinning frantically to manoeuvre its bulk on the air currents.

Turning, Cara leaned on the casement, surveying her work. She had taken up most of the library carpet, the wooden floor boards dull in the morning light.


  1. What an interesting premise. And a gruesome way to die! I'm hooked :)

  2. Hi there!
    Hooray! Steampunk! There were only two YA Steampunk entries over at Robin Weeks blog so I thought I'd come over to the adult entries.
    I'm loving your query and 150. I get a real sense of world here.

    Good luck with GUTGAA!

  3. This shows promise but the query has a lot of errors. Artifact, three thousand (spelled out) and run-on sentences in your last graph, with an incomplete sentence right after the word: "literally."
    I'm unclear on the connection between the killer and the aristocratic beauties - why is he targeting them? Bc you say he's looking for a relic. Is it hidden in their hearts?
    Also unclear on the connection between the crime lord and the killer. Which one is your main plot? And why your MC has a tail. Is she a human?

    Hopefully you will rework this query because your premise stands out in this bunch. You have my vote.

  4. Lumpy Space PrincessSeptember 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    There's an intriguing premise here, and some fantastic hints of danger and mystery. But the query is a little confusing. Why mention the notorious crime lord when he doesn't appear to be the main antagonist? The killer sounds more interesting. And what do the (curious and unique) murders have to do with finding an ancient artifact?

    Still, this stands out to me and there is some lovely imagery and writing in those first 150 words. You've got my vote!

  5. So glad this got votes, I can't wait to read it!


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