Jun 8, 2014

QK Agent Round: (YA SciFi) SunnysideUp

Entry Nickname: SunnysideUp
Title: If I Promise You the Sun
Word count: 89,000
Genre: YA SciFi


Sixteen-year-old Eve Thomas doesn’t mind that she can’t leave Nova Vita, an Amish-like religious community that rejects most technology and has perfected solar power. Except for the compulsions and tics linked to her photographic memory, life in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is nothing short of paradise.

But when her little brother shows signs of a genetic disorder the cult won’t treat, Eve questions her religion’s reliance on God and its refusal of the modern world. As she searches frantically for a cure, Eve has no idea that someone is watching her, an eighteen-year-old boy named Mana Aquino. A migrant worker from the garbage slums of Manila, Mana is determined to kill the cult’s leader—the bishop who used his sister as a human sacrifice and treats all laborers like slaves. He just can’t seem to get anywhere near his prey.

After Mana learns about Eve’s unusual memory, he offers to sneak medicine to her brother, if she’ll serve as his human camera, gathering information that could ruin the bishop. If Eve can bring herself to trust Mana and accept his offer, she’ll commit a crime that will destroy the only home she’s ever known. If she says no, her beloved brother’s as good as dead.

Told in alternating points of view, If I Promise You the Sun, is a light science fiction thriller with forbidden romance at its heart.

First 250 words:
Mama and I pin my six-year-old sister to the kitchen chair so the medics can find a vein and fill a vial with her blood. 

“Let me go!” Theresa shouts, twisting crazily under our hands.

I gasp for breath as her bare foot wallops my gut.
All children in Nova Vita are being tested for an illness so rare it has no name, and each one who tests positive will die. Bishop Conner agreed to let researchers study us, as long as they don’t interfere with our beliefs. This year, we’ll know ahead of time who we’re going to lose.

Once the needle’s in, Theresa’s limbs relax and her hazel eyes widen. We’re all mesmerized by the thin red stream shooting up into the glass—it’s too beautiful for anyone to take away.

When you turn thirteen, your parents finally explain that there’s no cure, maybe not even outside of Nova Vita. The cause may be genetic, which means it’s in God’s hands. The Book of Healing reminds us that illness is part of Nature and Nature doesn’t make mistakes. Every year, three or four kids from our settlement start showing the signs. It can take months for them to die, as muscle control, then eyesight, then breathing fail.

After we release Theresa, I avoid Mama’s eyes while mouthing a prayer, then tap the back of the chair four times. Not because I want to, but because I can’t stop myself. That way it won’t be my fault if the unthinkable happens.


  1. I want to see more! Please send your pages to leon@andersonliterary.com

  2. I'd like to see this one. Please send a query and pages to:chquery@mcintoshandotis.com

  3. I want to see more, at lpopovic@zshliterary.com.

  4. I'd like to read pages. Please send query, pages and synopsis as an attachment to Sarah@CorvisieroAgency.com

  5. Please note that Leon Husock has moved agencies and is now at L. Perkins. His new email is leon@lperkinsagency.com