Thursday, June 7, 2018

QK Agent Round 16: No Heroes Here, Adult Fantasy

Title: Following Shadows

Entry Nickname: No Heroes Here

Word Count: 93K

Genre: Adult Fantasy, OwnVoices


Kieron Lawson is a dashing hero on a quest to save the damsel in his dreams. In reality, he’s a socially awkward lord with a penchant for heroic fables and an aversion to touch. Determined to have an adventure, he makes a deal with his controlling father: in exchange for permission to travel across the Kingdom of Alros and compete in a royal tournament, which hasn’t been held in over a century, he’ll finally choose a bride.

Adventure begins before the tourney does. Chasing down a thief earns Kieron a private meeting with Princess Adelina, and when she slips into a deep sleep after being poisoned, he’s promised her hand in marriage if he can retrieve a cure from a forbidden wasteland.

But the fairytale falls apart when Kieron’s company abandons him, and the only person willing to guide him on his quest is the aforementioned thief, Eidolon—a man of masks and shadows, who inspires feelings Kieron doesn’t understand and can’t control. When Kieron’s temper and a cave-in derail the mission, he finds himself faced with a choice to be the hero and save the princess, or follow his feelings and save the thief.

FOLLOWING SHADOWS (93,000 words) is an #ownvoices adult fantasy novel with romantic overtones and strong series potential. Imagine a classic medieval fairytale, in the vein of Sleeping Beauty, except the charming prince is an asexual man on the Autism spectrum who falls for a male companion, instead of the princess he sets out to save.

First Page

Hollowness spread through Kieron Lawson’s chest as he stared out the lancet window. Lunch had not gone well, but he couldn’t imagine why. He’d done everything by the book.

“Must you keep doing this?” asked his father, Viscount Lawson, tapping his fingers against the table.

“Why do you assume I did anything?” Kieron kept his eyes on the horizon. Cumaro’s farmlands seemed to stretch on forever. By now, he’d all but memorized every golden wheat stalk and hay bale.

“Lady Voss left in tears.”

The viscount’s methodical drumming sounded like a ticking clock.

“I don’t know why.” Kieron shrugged, thumbing his cold metal tankard. As his etiquette text dictated, he’d nodded politely as the lady spoke. He’d even made eye contact once. “I didn’t say anything.”

“Yes, that’s exactly the trouble. She says you sat silently for the majority of the meeting, staring at the wall behind her. Then when you did say something, you called her by the wrong name.”

Kieron turned away from the window. “You mean her name isn’t Liza?”

The rhythmic tapping skipped a beat. “No. Her name is not Liza. We’ve known the Voss family for years. How do you not remember the girl’s name?” The drumming intensified. “And did you have to tell her you didn’t like her dress?”

Kieron cocked his head at his father’s squat frame and frowned. “She asked if I liked it, and I said no.”

He’d answered a question when asked. What else should he have done?


  1. I'd love to see more! Please go to http://QueryMe.Online/AmandaJain to find my submission guidelines and upload your sample. I look forward to reading!