The Writer’s Voice Contest – Time Bound – YA Historical Fantasy

I can’t believe I did it again. I entered another contest – and actually got in! This time it’s the amazing The Writer’s Voice contest held by Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.).

Those four amazing ladies will each be serving as coaches to a group of 10 writers, to help polish and perfect their openings, before a panel of judges/agents takes over and votes for their favorites. I can’t even tell you how honored I’ll be if I get chosen for any of these teams! It’s been a long road with Time Bound, and I’m only just now starting to query, so to know someone else believes in my MS too would be the best gift ever.

I’m sure everyone else feels the same way, so good luck to all the other entrants – I’ll be cheering for you!


Plot Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Holly Kimura expects her annual visit to her grandmother in Japan to be just another summer of boredom and sushi, until she meets local boy Tamashi. When he saves her from a gang of thugs at the market, Holly jumps at the chance to get closer to him, hoping to unearth his secrets, and maybe steal a kiss or two. Instead, she discovers his threadbare clothes and strange accent hide a secret that spans centuries. A secret that causes her world to collide with that of Izuko Fujita’s, a girl born over two hundred years ago with her own ties to Tamashi.

Izuko has spent her life dreaming of escape from her uncle Akio’s wicked temper and his horrific human experiments. After a brutal punishment at her uncle’s hands, Tamashi steps in and offers his help and his friendship – for a price.

Tamashi is a Time Dragon—the last of an ancient breed created to watch over Japan—trapped by Akio in the body of a seventeen-year-old boy.

Only the blood of a human woman and an ancient ritual can set him free, but as Akio grows closer to unlocking Tamashi’s power to rewrite Time, Tamashi finds himself growing more desperate for help. Now, two girls, two centuries apart, must help him stop the evil wizard from discovering the truth and completing his terrible vision for the past – because if they fail, there will be no future for any of them.


First 250:
There was nothing quite like the smell of tuna to set the mood for a first date.

Holly stood at the edge of the farmer’s market and wrinkled her nose. Usually the scent of yuzu and fresh chestnuts spiced the air, but today was Wednesday. Fish day.

Not exactly the day she would have chosen to meet up with her crush, but evidently guys either didn’t mind the smell or didn’t pay attention to that sort of thing. She hitched up her ponytail and wrinkled her nose at the tables covered with ice and slimy octopus. Fish mouths gaped at her, full of razor sharp teeth, but it was nothing compared to the looks some of the stooped old vendors shot her. They gawked as she passed, their quick judgment of her easy to read in their drawn brows and cold eyes.

She was only half Japanese. An outsider. Though they were too polite to say anything, she knew what they were thinking. Hafu. Hapa. Half-breed. And now that she was back in Japan for another summer, she had to get used to the place all over again. It always felt so foreign, so alien to return, like stepping off a spinning merry-go-round and trying to stay upright. And the older she got, the longer she took to regain her balance.

“Buy a kimono!” one of the vendors shouted at her in Japanese. Holly shook her head and kept moving, skirting around tables full of cheap lacquer boxes for the tourists.




  1. Oh my goodness. I’m so happy to have a public forum to say again how very, very much and dearly I love TIME BOUND. Even from this first page, I lose myself in the Japanese market. Later on, my heart hurts for Holly – not to mention Tam – and Oh! Izuko.

    Best of luck to you, my friend. I believe in TIME BOUND, and if I could, I’d coach you in a heartbeat. 


    •  I <3 you 🙂 Thank you so much for being such an amazing cheerleader! Don't know how I'd do it without you!

  2. This still makes me want to go “oh Izuko” <3 Love what you did to the query. LOVE this story so much <3 GO TB GO!

    • You are the best! I can’t thank you enough for all your help on TB – what would I do without you guys? <333

      I'm still flip-flopping on the query, but we'll see what the judges think 🙂

  3. Hi Jamie, I’m stopping by from the Writer’s Voice Contest to wish you the best of luck! Nice to meet you.

    •  Thanks for stopping by, Matthew! Nice to meet you as well!

  4. Good Luck!

    •  Thanks Adam!

  5. Ooh, a story set in Japan – love it! Best of luck with the competition 😀

  6. I’ve always loved this premise. I hope I can read this someday! Good luck!

  7. This sounds awesome. I remember this from another contest, and it’s definitely something I’d pick up in a bookstore. Best of luck with the contest!

  8. Ooh, I love the opening! Best of luck!!

  9. <3 this beginning! Good luck!!!

  10. Fellow Writers Voice entrant checking in – howdy!

    Ooo! I love this entry – I’ve seen it on contests before. Good luck with the contest!

  11. I so LOVE the market opening. I am right there with her!

    Good luck! Good luck!!

  12. I love this entire concept! It sounds fantastic! The voice in the first 250 is realistic and engaging, and I love how much I know about Holly already. Can’t wait to read this!!

  13. Jamie, I loved this premise during another contest and I still love it now.  GOOD LUCK!

  14. Woo hoo! Congrats on getting in! Your MS sounds great!

  15. Stopped by to wish you luck!  I love your idea – it’s fresh and fantastic!

  16. Good luck from a fellow entrant!  Great premise.

  17. Good luck, and wood writing.

  18. Love me some Japanese culture, and historical / contemporary juxtaposition could be fun! Best of luck from TWV #30!

  19. “This is totally wicked!” (say it like the boy on the bike in The Incredibles)  Everything about this intrigues me…unique setting, history, magic, time-travel, dragons!!

  20. Oooooh, this is relevant to my interests 😀  Congrats on getting in, and good luck!


  22. Oooohhhh, I love this. Like, love love. Like: WRITERS VOICE PEOPLE- Pick her! I want to see more (and I’m a fellow competitor. That’s how much I love this.)

    So, so, so interesting plot-wise and I really like your MC’s voice in the first 250. Good luck *crossing fingers for you*

  23. You couldn’t really do a Japanese market without fish (or any market for that matter), but your imagery is stunning – I’m reaching for the parsley sauce (that’s what we Brits do to fish) – {shudders a little at the 80’s time warp}.
    Hi Jamie, I couldn’t not look at you – we’re both J. Gray (although you have the UK spelling of the colour and I have the US one!) and both writing historical fantasy.
    Quelle coincidence. Mine is MG, so we shouldn’t be in direct competition, good really ‘cos I’m not sure and English Archer can compete with a Japanese Dragon.
    Best of luck Babe,
          Jacky (#130)

  24. Congratulations on making the list, best of luck with your fantastic entry. I’m not a fan of this genre normally (doesn’t it drive you nuts when people say that? 😉 But this honestly has me really hooked. I want to read it now! ^_^

  25. I’ve been a fan of this novel for a while. Absolutely love it! Good luck, I really hope one of the coaches pick you.

  26. Good luck, Jamie! I’m really excited for you 🙂 And I really really want to read the new version of your book!

  27. Interesting idea.  I can tell by your description of what it’s like acclimating to a new locale that you’ve got some great storytelling abilities.
    Once again, good luck!

  28. I love the setting of your book!

  29. Stopping by to say good luck one contestant to another!

  30. Love your query! The last part really gripped me. Good luck!!

    Entry #31

  31. Very cool! I love the whole setting and premise!! Good luck ;o)

  32. Would buy this in a second off the shelf!  I picked you for my fantasy Writer’s Voice Team.  🙂  Best of luck from #197! 

  33. Stopping by to wish you good luck in TWV. 🙂

  34. I like the half-Japanese cultural identity piece, even though that’s probably not the mail focus at all!
    Lisa (#59)

  35. Best of luck from a fellow contestant!

    Nikki (Entry #160)

  36. I love the first sentence of your novel. 😀 Good luck, Jamie!

    Carrie (#162)

  37. I want you! Please pick me! <3 

    •  I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be part of your team!

      Of course I pick you!!!


  38. Um, you had me hooked at “Time Dragon.” Congrats on getting picked!! Well deserved!! 🙂

  39. Congratulations! Awesome premise- I would love to read more!

  40. Congrats!  Best of luck on the team.

    Tina (#194)

  41. What a completely unique concept! Not suprised you got picked! Continued good luck!

    -George (#49)

  42. I love this. 🙂

  43. I think I saw this entry before on another Cupid contest and I liked it a lot then. It really stands out, especially the setting. Best of luck!
    – Carla (#152)

  44. I remember this from the Feb. Cupid contest. Best of luck from #52!

  45. Ooh…  time bending, an exotic culture, and, perhaps, a little romance?  Love it.  Am I catching a whiff of “Big Trouble In Little China?”

  46. Love the setting. Good luck!

  47. This looks incredible! The query drew me in, and then the 250 words sealed the deal. I really like the voice, and the setting/characters/plot are fascinating. Looking forward to you being published so I can read it! 😀

  48. Yay! Congrats on being picked! I’d definitely buy this if I saw it on a shelf!

    Brandi #199

  49. I want to know more about Time Dragons!
    Best of luck!Carolyn, #157

  50. I am just overwhelmed at all of your amazing comments. Thank you SO much – you have no idea how much it means!!!

    You are all my new best friends 🙂

  51. Congratulations on being picked!  Good job!!!  I love Time Bound, and your first 250 are GREAT!  😀

  52. Stopping by to wish you luck from another member of #TeamBrenda! I’ve loved your first page from the very first time I saw it. I can’t wait to read this some day! Japan is such an interesting setting & I really love the idea of a MC struggling with her identity (I mean, didn’t we all?)