Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Fate's Guardian is my novel. The 120,000 word manuscript is complete, and I'm sending my query letter out to agents. I was fortunate enough to get a professional critique yesterday by Nathan Bransford, agent extraordinaire, as well as many readers of his blog. http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/

Here is the synopsis for Fate's Guardian:

Gil Jacobs must die in order to save his soul. After living dozens of lives over hundreds of years, the events of his past are catching up with him, and he is powerless to prevent it…

In thirteenth century France, a Troubadour travels from town to town, but he is not just there to sing and perform, he also has an insatiable urge to kill. His murderous instincts do not get him into trouble with the law, but they do taint his relationship with a lady he loves. The Troubadour murders her abusive husband in order to win her affection, but in doing so he only alienates her further. Furious over her rejection, the Troubadour tries to kill her, but he cannot bring himself to complete the deed and instead takes his own life, leaving her on the brink of death.

The Troubadour’s soul leaves his body, but he refuses to cross over when the light comes for him. He is waiting for his love to die so he can finally be with her, but when she does die, he cannot go through the light with her. He is trapped as a ghost. The Troubadour wanders the globe, searching for people on the brink of death, trying to grab onto their souls as they cross over so he can go with them. Sometimes they slip away and make it through the light. The others he traps and consumes their energy, growing stronger with each soul he devours. As centuries go by, he forgets his past, his own thoughts clouded by the memories of the souls he preys upon. In 1968, he makes his way to rural Georgia…

Gil Jacobs is only seven years old when he witnesses a horrific double-homicide. His best friend’s father kills his wife and daughter, and Gil, who has come over to play at the wrong time, watches through the window as Julie Flaherty is killed. It is an event that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Literally.

The Troubadour is drawn to the Flaherty house, sensing the impending deaths. He captures and devours the soul of Julie’s mother. As he struggles to claim Julie’s soul, Gil’s presence at the window distracts him, allowing Julie to escape from his grasp.

The Troubadour turns his attention toward Gil and attacks, trying to possess him, but Gil’s soul is too strong. Something odd happens to the Troubadour when he is near Gil – memories of his long forgotten life begin to surface. Memories of the woman he loved, and the man he killed to have her. Curiosity turns to anger as the Troubadour ponders his past, suspecting that Gil played a role in his demise. Not knowing who Gil once was, and having no clear memory of the past himself, the Troubadour develops an intense hatred for Gil, and is determined to take his soul.

Julie Flaherty is alone, scared, and confused. Trapped as a ghost, she clings to the one positive memory of her life – her best friend, Gil Jacobs. She watches as the Troubadour attacks Gil. She can see that the Troubadour is not strong enough to take Gil’s life, but she watches in fear as the Troubadour preys on the weaker souls nearby, growing stronger with each one.

Years pass, and as his strength grows, the Troubadour becomes more persistent in his attacks on Gil. During one attack, the Troubadour catches a glimpse of Gil’s fate. Knowing the time and place of Gil’s death, the Troubadour realizes that he cannot end Gil’s life, but thinks that he may be able to extend it. If Gil misses his destined death, his soul will be thrown into an imbalance that will weaken it, leaving him defenseless.

Julie knows that there is only one way she can protect Gil. Using herself as bait, she lures the Troubadour far away, to other prey. She provides a temporary reprieve, and Gil grows to adulthood and starts a family. But living happily ever after was never part of Gil’s fate, for he is going to die in a car crash at the tender age of thirty-three. Unless, of course, the Troubadour can prevent the crash.

The Troubadour returns on the day of Gil’s destined death, trying like mad to upset the sequence of events that leads to the crash. Julie follows, and in the moments before the crash, she sacrifices herself to the Troubadour, providing the distraction necessary to facilitate Gil’s fatal end.

As the Troubadour devours Julie’s soul, his past memories come full surface, and he realizes that in her past, Julie was the husband of his lost love, the one he murdered so long ago. Drunk with power, the Troubadour makes a final assault on Gil’s soul as the light comes for him. As the Troubadour attacks, Gil changes. He no longer appears as the young man the Troubadour pursued for so many years. Gil's soul takes on the form of a woman from a life he lived long ago, and the Troubadour recognizes his lost love. Stunned, the Troubadour watches in vain as the light comes and the soul he longs for crosses over and is lost to him once again.


Anita said...

I'll come back and read your synopsis later...for right now, just want you to know I'm going to interview HARLAN COBEN!!! See my blog for more info.

Crimogenic said...

Wow, cool. I thought the whole idea was pretty neat, unique. I would read it!

I did have a few questions however. Who's the MC in this story: the Troubador or Gil? If it's Gil, we should be seeing this synopsis through his eyes. Why don't you name the Troubador, he was a man once, must have a name? Also, does Gil have any inkling of his past? Does he know his bestfriend is protecting him? It seems from the summary that his bestfriend was seven, but as the summary progresses seems like she grows up. Also, why would she pick trying to save Gil over her own parents?

Hope my questions make sense. And good luck in your querying.


Rick Daley said...

I'm glad you like it! All of these questions are answered by the end of the novel, but since its publication seems to be a while off I can satisfy your curiosity...

Gil is the main character. Things happen to him and around him, but he is unaware of it. He's just trying to live his life. His fate to die in a car crash is a choice he made as a soul before he was born, but once he was born, that choice is blind to him, locked away in his subconscious. He is not aware of his past lives.

The Troubadour cannot remember his name or his past. The memories of the souls he consumes have clouded his own thoughts. Plus I think the Troubadour sounds cool ;-)

Julie was killed by her father, right after he killed her mother. The Troubadour consumed her mother's soul right before Julie died, so she could not help her. She chooses to help Gil instead of her father because of what her father did to her.

After Julie dies, she recalls some of her past lives, so she does mature some beyond the seven years she experienced in this life.

All of the characters in the story reincarnate multiple times, it's kind of a baseline philosophy / spirituality. The exceptions are the souls that get trapped as ghosts, like Julie and the Troubadour (or the souls the Troubadour consumes before they can cross over).

Crimogenic said...

Sounds really thought out. Nice. Also kind of scary and freaky all the same that this Troubador is after Gil, and he doesn't even know it. Keep at it with trying to get published, persistence pays off.