PW #205: Middle Grade Mystery: THE ORDER OF BLACK HOLLOW LANE

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Julie C. Dao
Mentee Name: Julia Nobel
Title: THE ORDER OF BLACK HOLLOW LANE
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Mystery
Word Count: 56,000 words

Pitch:

When her mom dumps her at boarding school, Ginny figures things can’t get much worse. Then a secret society tries to steal her only link to her missing father: a box of strange medallions. Finding out why might unveil painful secrets…and make her their next target.

Excerpt:

There were certain things Ginny’s mother didn’t need to know—like whether she’d clipped her toenails—but the box in Ginny’s nightstand was not one of them. That was why her fingers twitched when her mother came into her room.

“Are you ready, dear? The press will be here in a few—” Her mother gasped.

Ginny held her breath. She had put the box away, right? If her mom saw it, if she found out….

Suddenly her mother’s eyes filled with tears. “Oh, Ginny, that dress looks beautiful.”

Ginny breathed out and picked at the crunchy taffeta. She had to put the box out of her mind. She needed to focus today.

“It really seems to fit you like a glove. Don’t you just love these polka dots?”

It looked like the dress had come down with the measles. The sleeves puffed out like pink toadstools, and apparently ‘like a glove’ meant barely being able to walk.

“You’re the perfect image of my daughter. Well, almost.” Her eyes lingered on Ginny’s forehead. She picked up a monstrously large hat and wrenched it over the bandage covering Ginny’s three fresh stitches. “Good thing I bought this sweet chapeau. Why you insisted on playing that soccer game is beyond me. You knew we had a major event today.”

“I can’t just skip a match, Mom.” Ginny looked down. What was she supposed to say? Sorry I’m a good soccer player, Mom. I’ll try to suck more, that way I won’t get onto the good teams.

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