51. SET IN STONE – Young Adult Contemporary

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Veronica Bartles

Mentee Name: Natalie Williamson


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 56,000


Seventeen-year-old Amber lives by strict rules to survive her mom’s bumpy love life: always keep your eyes on the horizon and never get close to anyone connected with mom’s boyfriends. Even if the boyfriend’s daughter is really nice and the daughter’s BFF, who happens to be the hottest boy in school, keeps hanging around.


Rule number one for surviving my mother’s love life? Always keep your eyes on the horizon. That’s why, instead of putting my things away in my new bedroom, I’m alternating between writing an English essay that’s not due for two weeks and obsessively refreshing the admission status page on KU’s website. Good grades and a college two and a half hours away from here. That’s what’s on my horizon right now.

“Amber,” a voice says, and I look up to see Mom standing in my doorway. She raises an eyebrow and looks from me to Buffy, my German shepherd, who is stretched out next to me on the bed.


“You know what.”

I sigh. Kevin, mom’s new boyfriend and the owner of this house and this bed, is not a pet person. He doesn’t want Buffy on the furniture. Mom had to know I’d break this rule, but I don’t think she expected it on move in day. “Buffy, off.”

Buffy shoots me a hurt look and slinks off the bed.

“Thank you,” Mom says, her gaze flickering between me and Buffy and all of my unopened boxes. “Are you taking a little break?”

“Uh, yeah.” I dig my toes under the pillows at the head of the bed and nod at my laptop. “Had to do some homework. I put all my clothes away, though.” I don’t mention that other than that and Buffy’s food and water bowls, I haven’t touched a thing.

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