Pitch Madness SJ-1: ZANETTA KALLO, STEAMPUNK DETECTIVE

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Genre: 
MG Steampunk
Word Count:  32,000
Pitch: When twelve year old Zanetta’s big brother,
his airship and its priceless cargo all go missing, she throws off the corseted
conventions of her exclusive academy and escapes through the jungle to find him.


Excerpt: 
Family Day at the
Harledge Altheric Academy and my only living relative had not appeared. All
morning, steam clouds rose and gears whirred as airships and ornithopters
delivered mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and
cousins …everybody except my big brother Joseph.
“I promise we’ll be
there, Zani,” he’d said. ‘We’ meant him and his new fiancee. He was probably
too busy getting ready for his wedding.  Making plans for a new family
that wouldn’t include me.
Maybe I shouldn’t care so
much now that I was twelve. I didn’t need a big brother. I was Zanetta Kallo,
Analytical Detective and Future Important Person.
Still. This time he’d
promised.
I stood on tiptoes in my
high-button boots, hoping my long skirts would cover my improper stance. I
turned slowly, trying to take in every corner of the terraced courtyard.
The Academy building loomed beyond, rising like a multi-tiered cake with its
flying buttresses, crenellated towers and fanciful gargoyles. The courtyard
itself was jammed with Family Day visitors.  Students and their families
sipped punch, ate crumbly cake, talked and laughed.  The visitors who were
rich and lazy reclined in their float chairs, surrounded by their children and
the soft hissing of steam propulsors.
I pushed away memories of
my own parents and focused on my goal—find Joseph. There was no way around the
starched and proper visitors. I’d have to go through them if I wanted to search
the gardens on the other side.

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