25. HOPE ON A FEATHER – Young Adult Contemporary

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Fiona McLaren

Mentee Name: Carleen Karanovic


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 65,000


Modern-day Stand By Me meets The Outsiders.

The tie between fifteen-year-old Bobby and his friends is challenged when Bobby falls for a girl from a street gang invading their neighborhood. When a friend is attacked, Bobby must decide which bonds are worth breaking.


The sun went down bloody, casting a pink glow on the white picket fences. If I was the sort of guy who believed in omens, I might’ve shivered, but Hell’s furnace was cooler than my neighborhood. No one shivered that night.

I reached Main Street, played chicken with the traffic, and headed for Sunday Park. Two blocks over, I stopped to hit a leaf on the lowest branch of the oak tree blocking the view of the playing field. I missed, stepped back, and jumped ‘till I got it.

As usual, my boys waited for me on the bleachers. I hesitated. Something was wrong. Blake sat hunched on the bottom level while Pauley paced nervously. Izzy gave a subtle nod as Trey unscrewed the cap from a half-empty bottle of vodka underneath the stands.

“Your old man get the better of you, Blake?” I sat beside him.

Blake wiped a smear of blood from his face and tried to smile from beneath the long swoosh of hair always in his eyes. “He gave it his best shot, Bobby.”

At least his dad noticed him. I hated myself for thinking it.

“Damn near killed him this time,” said Pauley. “One of these days he’s going to succeed.”

“Geez, dramatic much, princess?” Izzy ran a hand through his shock of red hair. He had more freckles than the number of wet dreams a thirteen-year-old got from staring at his first Playboy. “Blake lived through this one like all the others. He’s got more balls than the Southside Golf Course.”

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