PITCH WARS! ALT B-3: BLACK HEART, RED RUBY

Name: Teresa Yea
Mentor: Elizabeth Briggs
Title: BLACK HEART, RED RUBY
Genre: YA Gothic Horror
Word Count: 74K
Pitch: 17-year-old Ava Nolan’s life as an amateur relic hunter is filled with backstabbing—not to mention literal stabbing—when her quest for an occult ruby pits her against her graverobber uncle and her ambitious boyfriend. 
 
A visit from a lurker was the highlight of my night.
He was a scrawny guy about my age, seventeen, maybe nineteen at the most. Propped against the side of the barn, he looked as pathetic as a scarecrow. Somehow he’d seemed scarier standing outside my bedroom window, a dark prince cloaked in fog and shadow.
His name, we learned after my brother put him in a headlock, was Ben Wolcott.
“I don’t get you, Ava.” Cam scrubbed the sweat from his buzz cut. “You wanted me to talk to him and here I am—” He kicked Ben in the ribs. Ben groaned and hacked up a string of bloody spittle. “Talking.”
“Stop it!” I latched onto Cam’s brawny forearm and dragged him away from Ben. “He’s had enough, you idiot!”
For freaking me out, Ben deserved a good beating, but Cam never knew when to quit. My brother’s head, as our dad used to tell Cam’s probation officer, was filled with missiles instead of brains—and it only took a tiny spark to launch WWIII. As his sister and keeper, only I knew how to work the controls.
Cam cursed under his breath and booted a rusty wheelbarrow instead. 
Point made, I drew my corduroy jacket closer to keep my teeth from chattering. Back in Santa Monica, I lived in tank tops and shorts, wore my bikini to the mall. We were still Californian by default, but moving to NorCal was like moving to the North Pole.

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