Well, after a break of a few months, I’m back in the game. I started sending out queries for THE BARD’S GIFT yesterday. Hopefully, this is the one.
Sixteen-year-old Astrid keeps mostly to herself, amusing herself with the stories her grandmother used to tell. She’s too shy even to talk in front of the young man she secretly dreams of, Torolf. Then the Norse god of eloquence appears in Astrid’s dreams and forces her to drink the Mead of Poetry. Suddenly, she’s compelled to tell her stories. In public. Even in front of Torolf.
This leads her to actually talk to Torolf–and find out that he likes her, too. They’ve barely enjoyed their first kiss when the seeress makes a prophecy that splits them apart. The gods have chosen Astrid to bring her people to a new future in the part of the map labelled “Here be dragons”. Meanwhile, Torolf undertakes a hazardous voyage in the opposite direction to supply the fledgling colony.
But an ambitious rival plots to control Astrid’s abilities and status to take power. The only weapon Astrid has to thwart this attempted coup is the ability to know the exactly right story to comfort, inspire, instruct, or warn. Failure will mean disaster for all of them.
THE BARD’S GIFT is an 84,000-word young adult alternate history set in late fourteenth century Greenland–and beyond.
I still have to work out a shorter 35-word pitch. Eep. I’m no good at that, but I need it for an upcoming pitch fest.