Genre: MG Fantasy
Word Count: 40,000
Pitch: Andalucia is a sassy tweenage dragon with a simple agenda: torch the human princess, recover the stolen treasure, and return home a hero. But start a war? That is not part of the plan.
I was the first to arrive for the Flying exam. From the top of the cliff, I watched the sun poke nubby pink claws into the sky. It was cold and overcast and would probably snow—big surprise. Looking down, I saw that Icicle Quarry was still asleep—another big surprise. It was always sleeping. Me, I was wide awake.
I flared my wings and took a few practice jabs at a make-believe bad guy. I figured if my parents had known I’d woken with the wordconquer marching through my mind, they might’ve kept me home. But they didn’t comment on the way I conquered my caribou bacon with a steak knife or conquered my chores while humming battle anthems, so nothing stopped me from leaving the house full of cheerful bloodlust.
Now, perched on the precipice with the wind at my back and the sun in my face, I felt utterly imbued with the spirit of Kung the Fierce. Closing my eyes, I imagined my scales were black and scarlet instead of rainbowy white. I imagined a deep well open inside my body, and from the well I pulled up bucketfuls of ancient magic as strong and dark as soy sauce. “Exam time,” I whispered, and broke into a grin.
The sun had cleared the glaciers by the time my stiff-limbed classmates arrived. My instructor swooped in shortly afterwards and got us started on warm-up stretches. Her yellow eyes widened when she saw my perfect backbend. That’s right, fear me! I thought.
CLUE: Mr. Boddy is lying in the center of the ballroom dance floor, a rash around his broken neck. The diamonds and gems in his watch are missing.