Monday, April 4, 2011

Query #17: "Flute Music" by Earth

This query is from Earth for the novel Flute Music. Thank you Earth for the honour of allowing me to work on and post this!


"I have been waiting for you. Please help us, before he destroys us and your mother." The strange woman's plea is sixteen-year-old Mira's first indication of the trouble brewing in her new town.

Mira questions the identity of the threat and finds out that it's none other than her mother's boss and the owner of the powerful Calvert Mining Company - the town's biggest employer and its meal ticket. Mira's mother has been hired to jumpstart the company and make its newest mining technique, Salcopper, operational. The woman, Aiyana, has a simple request - stop Salcopper, as it would totally ruin the town's already fragile ecosystem.

Mira has two options. She could tell her mom of Calvert's disdain for environmental safeguards, which would result in her mom refusing to run the technique or going to the federal authorities. With Calvert's track record of dealing with whistle blowers, Mira could well end up an orphan. So option one is out.

Option number two - find evidence against Calvert

Then time runs out for Aiyana. Her body turns up in the mines next to a stack of explosives. The police claim she died attempting to blow up the mine. Mala suspects Aiyana was set up by Mr. Calvert and his best buddy, the police chief.

That's a real problem because Mr. Calvert is now dating her mom. Desperate to convince her of Mr. Calvert's guilt, but unable to find the proof she needs, she accepts help from Brad, a junior at her school. His motives are suspect, since he's also Mr. Calvert's daughter's boyfriend. But to get justice for Aiyana and save her mother, she's willing to take all the help she can find to face the devil himself.


When Mira's mom is hired to help the Calvert Mining Company perfect a new technique for ore extraction, Mira--like her mother--believes that jumpstarting the company's profits can only help their new hometown. When a local woman named Aiyana starts harassing Mira with conspiracy theories and predictions of ecological disaster, however, the sixteen-year-old decides she has to investigate further.

Mira learns the ore extraction technique is really a engineering trick devised to let Calvert Mining evade environmental safeguards and then legally blame Mira's mother for the damage. Before Mira can warn her mom, however, Aiyana turns up dead--apparently of a botched sabotage attempt against the mine, but more likely of murder.

Now too scared to speak out--especially with the mine's owner suddenly cozying up to her mom--Mira realizes she must find enough evidence to go to the federal authorities alone. If she doesn't, her mother will go to prison and the town's ecosystem will collapse--but if she does, Mira herself could wind up dead.

Flute Music, a [word count] word YA mystery, is complete and available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Goblin Caveat: Some elements that may not be accurate for the novel have been added to this edited version of the query.

Have any thoughts about either the original or the re-written query? Please join the discussion in the comment thread!

Also, I'd be delighted if you would please help draw more commenters to the site by mentioning this post to your online friends. Thank you!