Thursday, June 7, 2018

QK Agent Round 5: My Babysitter is a Skeleton, YA Fantasy

Title: King of Sand, Queen of Bones

Entry Nickname: My Babysitter is a Skeleton

Word count: 71K

Genre: YA Fantasy


Fifteen-year-old Patella is tired of being coddled by her necromantic cult. No one lets her help with the goat-rearing, the morning worship, or even the sacrificial blood clean-up. While everyone else has a job, she’s expected to memorize their boring history book. Desperate to prove herself useful, she ditches their desert cave for the nearby castle town, hoping to find a job and a little freedom. At least, that’s the plan until a case of mistaken identity involving her skeletal guardian and Ash, the city’s reluctant young king, accidentally outs her as a necromancer. Lucky for her, Ash is running away, too. They flee into the desert together, leaving the cultists and guards hunting them far behind.

Unfortunately, neither of them have half a clue how to survive on their own. Their first monster attack is almost their last until a trio of adventurers pull their butts out of the quicksand. Under the adventurers’ wings, Patella learns to use both life magic and necromancy while Ash studies swordplay. Patella’s a natural, healing Ash’s training wounds as easily as she summons lizard skeletons. Finally, she’s useful to someone, someone with a cute smile who trusts her despite knowing what she is.

But Patella doesn’t know what she really is. The cult was waiting for her 16th birthday to tell her she’s their god’s Chosen One, and the God of Death is not at all pleased about his hero’s last-minute change of profession. He and the cult won’t rest until she’s dragged back to complete the job she was born for: the destruction of the life mages’ last known refuge - Ash’s kingdom. Just when she was getting the crazy idea that she could be its queen.

KING OF SAND, QUEEN OF BONES is a young adult fantasy novel complete at 71,000 words and would appeal to fans of REIGN OF THE FALLEN and CITY OF BRASS. It is a standalone novel with series potential. My short fiction is forthcoming on Daily Science Fiction and in the Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up to No Good anthology.

First Page

A sea of black hoods surrounded Patella, all eyes on the young man, the old man, and the soon-to-be-dead man in front of the enormous dragon skeleton. Talus and Father Parietal stood before the sacrificial altar, while old Calcaneus lied on it, a gleeful smile on his face. It was no secret that he was ready to go to Nymok and no surprise that he had volunteered to be his grandson’s initiation sacrifice. All the adults agreed it was the most desirable death and the greatest sixteenth rites gift anyone could ask for.

Patella fumed with jealousy. Her grandparents had all passed on already, her parents were far too young to be her ritual sacrifice, and Tibby didn’t count because she was already dead. She’d probably end up with a boring old goat. How was that fair? Talus was only a week older than her, but he always got the best of everything. At least no one could see her scowling under her hood and ask her what was wrong.

“Brothers and sisters!” Father Parietal raised his hands for silence, though the echo of his voice around the great dragon’s cavern was loud enough to wake the dead without any magical aid. “Centuries ago, after our founder’s destruction, our ancestors wandered the lands, aimless, directionless, brotherless. Lost and alone, they struggled, they sought, and eventually, they found each other. They gathered here, at the site of our fallen founder, where all that remained was the Book of Nymok and the founder’s faithful steed.”



    I would love to see more of this! Please send the query, synopsis, and first 100 pages as an attachment to

    Dorian Maffei
    Kimberley Cameron & Associates

  2. I'd love to see more!! Please send a query, synopsis, and pages to