The submission window for the Spencer Hill Contemporary pitch event is now CLOSED!

SpencerHill Contemporary Pitch Event

 

The submission window for the Spencer Hill Contemporary pitch event is NOW CLOSED!

 

You may pitch to the editors until April 30 at 11:59PM EDT. Follow the fun and the editors’ tweet on the Twitter hashtag #pitchSHC

Here’s all the details from Spencer Hill Contemporary editors …

We are looking for contemporary, realistic YA fiction only. This means anything that takes place in our world and abides by the generally accepted laws of reality, time, and space.
For example: a historical fiction love story between a cowboy and a governor’s daughter set in 1954 would absolutely qualify. However, a paranormal romance where an alien cowboy falls in love with the governor’s daughter…who happens to be a vampire from 1954, would not.

For this contest we are looking for real stories with real characters that we can fall in love with and pretend, with very little suspension of belief that those characters could exist out there somewhere. Strong voice and unforgettable characters are important to us.

How do you make your query stand out? Pinpoint the piece of the story that makes your query unique. Tell us who your character is, what your character, and what stands in the way.
Spencer Hill Contemporary only takes agented submissions year-round, so this is a really unique opportunity where most of our editors are in one place looking at your query! Keep in mind that we are not agents; we are editors looking for authors who want their books to be considered for publication! We are accepting completed, polished YA manuscripts only. If you’ve submitted your cowboy story before and someone on staff has read/reviewed/passed previously at any time, then please do not resubmit.

Before you enter, please take a moment to check out www.spencerhillcontemporary.com to check out most of our current and upcoming titles.

Please only submit if you are truly interested in having your book considered by our imprint for publication! We look forward to seeing your queries!

To submit your query for consideration, in the comments below leave the following information:

Name: Your Name
Title: Title of Manuscript
Word Count: Manuscript Word Count

Your query (200 words max!) Only put the meat of your query in the comments.

 

The editors will make requests by replying in the comments. If you get a request, follow whatever guidelines the editor gives you. If they don’t give any, send requests to submissions@spencerhillcontemporary.com. (If you have problems emailing to that address, the alternate email address is Spencerhillcontemporary@gmail.com.) Please put the query in the body of the email and attach the requested pages as a Word .doc. Make sure to put this in the subject line:

Attention:  (Editor’s name): SHC Pitch Event – Requested Material: TITLE OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT

(Make sure to reference the requesting editor.)

DO NOT send to the above email address if you do not receive a request. The editors will know which ones they’ve requested and you don’t want to get blackballed by trying to be sneaky.

 

And here are the editors who will be stopping by to make requests …

 

Spencer Hill Contemporary

Our Editors:

Patricia E. Riley is the Managing Editor of Spencer Hill Contemporary. As her clients can attest to, she does not consider the Oxford Comma a negotiable punctuation mark. In addition to books and writing, Patricia can be found spending time with her wonderful (and incredibly supportive) husband and their two tiny humans. You can find her on twitter @PatriciaERiley.

Danielle Ellison is a Senior Editor and an author of YA fiction. When she’s not editing or writing, Danielle is probably drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, and dreaming of the day when she can be British. You can find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

Kristi Cook is an Associate Editor, as well as the author of more than a dozen books for adults and teens. She’s been wielding her red editing pen for several years now, helping both aspiring and already-published authors whip their manuscripts into shape. She lives in New York City with her husband and two teen daughters, but in the summer months escapes with them to sunny Miami, where she lounges on the beach and teaches creative writing classes at Miami-Dade College. You can find her on twitter @Kristi_Cook.

Lauren Meinhardt is an Associate Editor, avid reader, vlogger, and oxygen-breather. She’s been reading YA for years, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys hiking, baking sweets, and annoying her roommates. She is currently in hot pursuit of an English degree in sunny Southern California. You can find her on twitter @Renkellym.

Asja Parrish is an Associate Editor who currently resides in Brooklyn and eats a steady diet of words and movement. She went to college for too long, earning a BFA in dance and a MFA in creative writing. Asja is currently dancing professionally with two NY-based companies and teaching little ones on the Upper West Side. Somehow she finds time to write and read and dance. Sleep is only sort of necessary. You can find her on twitter @AsjaKParrish.

Traci Inzitari is an Associate Editor and the current intern co-wrangler for reading interns. Traci has a Bachelor’s degree in English, blogs at The Reading Geek, and loves to read YA. Her avid reading gives her an advantage in developing all aspects of story and character. She also has a great taste in TV shows. You can find her on twitter @thereadinggeek.

 

 

136 comments to The submission window for the Spencer Hill Contemporary pitch event is now CLOSED!

  • HollyD

    Name: Holly Dennler
    Title: FRACTURED SPIRIT
    Word Count: 85,000

    Query:

    Something far more sinister than nightmares follows sixteen-year-old Sierra Callahan to White Falls, Ohio.

    When her stalker disappears, Sierra soon becomes the prime suspect in his disappearance. As if Sierra doesn’t have enough problems, his parents arrive in town determined to find out what happened to their son.

    Sierra’s heart belongs to Riley Walker but following it could put them both in danger.
    Sierra has sworn to never be anyone’s victim again and will do whatever it takes to take control of her life, even if that means breaking a few laws.

    FRACTURED SPIRIT is an 85,000 word YA Romantic Suspense available upon request.

    Sincerely,

  • Whitney Taylor
    Beneath the Ties
    82,000 words

    Seventeen-year-old aspiring artist Colla Harding yearns for nothing more than a little stability to call her own. Just about fed up with the nomadic lifestyle she is forced to lead at the influence of her single mother’s liquor-fueled whims, a shotgun wedding to a man she met online is hardly the feel good news Colla has been waiting for. She must once again move away and start over without getting too attached to anything…or anyone.

    It is in her new hometown of Auburn, Michigan, where she meets Daegan Trace, the Canadian hockey player with a swagger like James Dean and the eloquence of a nineteenth century poet. He is everything Colla never expected she would find, intelligent, charming, chivalrous, and insanely good-looking. There is just one minor problem…

    He is Colla’s new stepbrother.

    For the girl who wants normalcy, falling for her stepbrother is hardly the way to get it. And realizing that they have to parent their parents is a role that connects them on levels neither one of them is prepared for. Trying to fight their feelings and survive the mess their parents have created of their lives, this pair of stepsiblings must rewrite the definition of a normal family.

  • Amber Thielman
    The Guys Next Door
    42,000

    Audrey is the last person who should be taking guardianship of two orphaned teenagers, and Olivia and Noah have every intention of making that clear. After an accident that killed their parents, seventeen-year-old Olivia and her kid brother wind up under the watch of their father’s erratic sister. Audrey has never experienced children of her own, and to top it off she lives in a cramped apartment, has a fetish for strawberry daiquiris, and is the proud owner of The Guy’s Next Door, a popular dance club in the heart of Seattle; an all-male dance club.

    Within days, two worlds collide. Normal no longer applies as the sibling’s meet and bond with unique new people: an outspoken Puerto Rican bartender named Marisol and three hunky men—the diva, the heart-breaker, and the scholar—all of them so very different than what they portray on stage.

    Olivia allows herself to embrace happiness again as this crazy world welcomes her in. But when Child Protective Services catches wind of the situation, the court begins to question the bizarre life that Audrey is providing, and just like that Olivia and Noah’s stable life is derailed . . . again.

  • Jodie Andrefski
    The Girlfriend Request
    68,000 words

    One click. That’s all it’ll take for sixteen-year-old Emma to catch the guy of her dreams. Eli Peyton, the boy next door, has been Emma’s best friend since she moved to town ten years ago. They do everything together, and Emma knows she can tell him anything. Well, almost anything. Except for the tiny fact that she’s in love with him.

    Sick of the status quo, Emma makes a risky move and creates a fake online profile in an effort to lure Eli in and write her own happily ever after. But things start to get complicated as Emma finds herself with a college guy competing for her attention, the school Queenie out for blood, and Emma’s no closer to getting her man.

    Lies unravel, and Emma runs the risk of not only losing her shot at girlfriend status, but Eli’s friendship as well. Emma must choose between her longtime crush and a possible new love without losing herself, and her heart, in the process.

  • Jennifer Jones

    Name: Jennifer Jones
    Title: Summerboy
    Word count: 99,500

    Seventeen-year-old Aislyn’s summer vacation is a disaster from the start. She hates Kansas—the screeching chickens on her grandpa’s farm, the dirty air, and even the attractive but damaged farmhand Cam. But with her mom rolling around in bed with guys half her age; her dad shacking up with his characters; and her best friend snorting cocaine up her nose, Kansas doesn’t seem like a bad option.

    The last thing she wants is to be sucked into more drama, especially after getting involved with Ryland, who is handsome, devilishly charming, and has a soul-sucking ex-girlfriend who happens to be Aislyn’s coworker. But unfortunately that’s just what she gets when Ryland shows his true intentions. When Cam is there, annoyingly, to save her, she finds out how his tragedies led to her rescue. She feels safe with him. But when her past finds her, will their bond be enough to keep her from running?

  • Jodie Andrefski
    Summer of Hope
    65,000 words

    After her twin brother’s death, sixteen-year-old Callie shuts down. Forced to go to her family’s summer beach house, she resolves to erase the pain any way she can. Enter the Perfects-—the Gold Card group of girls who offer escape in the form of parties, booze and boys.

    Things change when she meets Ethan. After a major case of mistaken identity, Callie does her best to convince herself she couldn’t care less if Ethan looks like he just stepped out of a magazine and is completely adorkable to boot. Despite trying to keep her distance, Callie is drawn to his sweet ways and sexy smile. She falls hard—but her world comes crashing down when she discovers he’s been hiding a secret that could change everything. Ethan came to the beach to escape, to live without the label. Because his label… is the kid with Hodgkin’s disease.

    Callie is left with the choice of standing by Ethan’s side and watching another person she loves die, or running and abandoning the one person who helped her to believe in love again. Fight or flight? Callie’s decision puts her own life in danger, and changes the lives of everyone around her, forever.

  • Name: Jodie Llewellyn
    Title: Chemicals Collide
    Word Count: 75,000 words

    Sixteen-year-old Sara is convinced that her life is completely under control. Her grades aren’t perfect (she’s failing two classes), and her friends aren’t the best influence (she’s caught up in the gritty world of Speedway). But her grandmother always said that it’s important to keep up appearances and Sara’s façade is well in place. It’s almost as good as her mother who hides her crippling OCD.

    But while her exterior is immaculate, Sara is falling apart. She spends the majority of her time cleaning the house to ensure her mother doesn’t spiral out of control. Between that, a part-time job, and her chaotic relationship with Speedway racer, Logan, Sara is beginning to believe that anxiety runs in the family.

    Sara wasn’t raised to ask for help, but she needs to decide who she can trust before it all falls apart. It’s no longer just her grades on the line, but her first love, her health and most importantly, her mother.

    Chemicals Collide delves into the world of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It tells the tale of a girl learning to stand on her own two feet with the help of those who want to build her up, not tear her down.

  • Kimberly Lay

    Name: Kimberly Lay
    Title: Gypsy Girl
    Word Count: 68,000

    All sixteen-year-old Seraphina wants is to hang out with someone other than her little sister at the fair when not performing in her family’s gypsy-storytelling show. She meets Noah. He’s there to show horses. Sera’s terrified of them. Her horse terror is not her only problem while falling for Noah.

    Sera’s presence instantly creates drama with the five small town, horse-loving teens. Noah’s flirty best friend, Josh says he’s the short, pasty, and average sidekick, but he’s fun, protective, and just as endearing as adorably kind and patient, Noah. The Dark One, Kelly is the troublemaking ring leader of the three girls, preying on Sera’s horse fears, and posting it all over Instagram and Facebook. Kelly takes tormenting Sera too far when jealousy over Noah costs her family Peppy the Capuchin monkey, threatens to close the show, and may end their gypsy way of life.

    While the boys help Sera conquer her fear of horses, and help fix the messes their friends have made, Sera can’t help falling for both boys. Kissing them both creates a rift in their friendship. Sera must make a difficult choice before the fair comes to an end, and hearts will be broken.

  • Melissa Oblitas

    Name: Melissa Oblitas
    Title: AN ORIGIN STORY
    Word Count: 59,000

    Bruce has a year left at North Street High, which is an exhausting amount of time to think about when every day feels like a century. And just think – if not for stupid, smug, smiley Tyler McQueen, Bruce’s ex-best friend and ex-sort-of-boyfriend, Bruce would’ve gotten to skip a grade back in middle school and he’d be practically free by now.

    But there’s no point in him even thinking the words ‘middle school,’ unless he wants to revisit the dissolution of his friendship with Tyler, and, worse, the dissolution of his family. In the space of a month Tyler started ignoring him, and his mom ran off with some asshole.

    Except that now, Tyler has waltzed back into Bruce’s life and he wants to mend their relationship. So much could go wrong but being with Tyler is like time travel. When they’re together it’s like Bruce gets to go back to when his family was whole, but the more they’re together the more their past and present overlaps. Suddenly Bruce’s mom is back, as are Tyler’s old fears of being outed, and Bruce can’t help but wonder if a repetition of his old mistakes could be as imminent as the SATs.

  • Name: Peggy Rothschild
    Title: Punishment Summer
    Word Count: 65,800

    Query:
    Sixteen-year-old Nicki Steele doesn’t want to be labeled as the girl with the dead sister or the runaway mom. But fitting in comes at a price. After breaking the rules once too often, Nicki is sent to her grandpa’s for the summer. The timing sucks; while Nicki’s stuck in the “Mendo”, her best friend will have a clear shot at her sometime-boyfriend – possibly ending their friendship.

    Nicki met Grandpa once, but doesn’t remember him, and his cabin comes as a shock: Dead animal heads hang from the walls and there’s no electricity or cell service. But Grandpa’s German shepherd is a different story. While Nicki’s days are filled learning to fish, hunt and tend the garden, she and Queenie gain each other’s trust. She tries to fit in, hoping good reports will convince her dad to bring her home early.

    But vying for a good report loses importance after Grandpa takes off, leaving Nicki to deal with an injured girl and two hostile deputies. When new friends are threatened, Nicki tries to protect them.

    From secret pot farms to human trafficking, PUNISHMENT SUMMER follows Nicki as she outgrows her past and learns there are some choices she can’t undo.

  • Kimberly Lay

    Name: Kimberly Lay
    Title: Into the Woods
    Wordcount:65,000

    Fifteen-year-old, painfully shy, Kate dreams of living in one place for more than a year. So far that only applies to the state she lives in, Alaska. She is on her twenty-fourth move out to the middle of nowhere on the Kenai Peninsula to live in an old log cabin. Being in a place so remote could prove dangerous for her family. It has nothing to do with the bears and moose nearby. For the moment that danger is sober.

    Kate spends as much time as she can in the woods with her younger sister Alyssa to escape reality. Kate wants to abandon their secret place in the forest when it’s discovered by Ilia, a boy with a dogsled team from a nearby Russian village of Old Believers. Kate learns she would be an outsider in his village and her friendship with Ilia is forbidden.

    Kate and Ilia form a close bond that gives them the courage to stand up for what their hearts desire most. Ilia, a chance to someday run the Iditarod with the dogs he adores. Kate, to stand up to her alcoholic, abusive step-father. However, their courage may cost them those they love and each other.

  • Annie Clark

    Name: Annie Clark
    Title: Tender Fragments
    Word Count: 56,000

    A masterful secret keeper, seventeen year old Nessie holds the few friends she has at arm’s length, maintains a 4.0 GPA, and dresses conservatively to throw sniffing teachers off her trail. Because Nessie is a victim of abuse.

    Tormented by her possessive stepfather, Nessie shields her fragile mother from the truth with silence. Her dark skin helps to conceal the bruises but inside Nessie’s secret is destroying her. She smokes marijuana to get through her days and has a severe case of haphephobia, a fear of being touched. No one can touch Nessie without causing her physical pain. Not even her mother.

    For David, it was love at first sight. Nessie is withdrawn and bad-tempered but David is creative and will do anything to make her love him. Albeit, his progress is much slower than he would like and there are many things that David doesn’t understand about her. The most baffling being her aversion to being touched but David is determined.

    Nessie tries to ignore her feelings for David but her physical reactions to him continue to intensify. She realizes she is falling for him but Nessie knows she can only have one: her secret or her first love.

  • Name: Kate Larkindale
    Title: STUMPED
    Word Count: 81 000

    Sixteen-year-old Ozzy has a super-hot girlfriend who’s ready to take their relationship to the next level. Tonight. At the lake.

    But a missing condom scuttles his plans for seduction. Furious, Ozzy takes his girlfriend home and drives off – into the path of an oncoming truck. He wakes up in the hospital with both legs amputated above the knees.

    When his girlfriend runs out of his hospital room gagging after one look at him, Ozzy knows he’s a hideous freak. He becomes convinced he’s blown any chance of ever being loved.

    Determined to prove he can still be a man despite his disability, Ozzy throws himself into dumping the burden of his virginity, but finds there’s a limited number of people willing to touch legless dudes in wheelchairs. His obsession takes him into the seedy underworld of brothels and escort services where he discovers the difference between sex and intimacy, and that sometimes the price you pay for getting what you want is much higher than a sex worker’s fee.

  • Heather

    Name: Heather Van Fleet
    Title: Taking a Chance
    Word Count: 90,000

    Five years after the fire that killed both of their mothers, ex–friends Xavier, the champion wrestler and Dani, the star clarinetist, have only one objective in life: make sure their fathers don’t kill each other.
    But after Xavier spends a night in handcuffs, their goal takes a back seat to something much more…unexpected.

    Convinced that Dani Parker is exactly what Xavier needs to regain his father’s respect, after his drug possession and underage drinking charges are dropped, he does everything he can to persuade this ‘nerd girl’ to be his pseudo girlfriend. Except, yeah, that’s kind of a problem when Dani wants absolutely nothing to do with Xavier Faulkner, Hispanic playboy extraordinaire.

    However, when a secretive wrestling–induced eating disorder begins to dig its claws into Xavier, and a past friendship turns into something deeper, the lines between reality and deception start to blur. Now this unlikely twosome must work together to right more than a reputation.

  • Name: G. Donald Cribbs

    Title: THE PACKING HOUSE

    Word Count: 81,000

    Everyone knows what happened to sixteen-year-old Joel Scrivener. It’s all over YouTube. When he suffers a nightmare in study hall and someone records it on their phone, Joel awakens to the living nightmare he’s avoided for ten years. Reeling from an ill-timed mid-year move thanks to his mother’s loser boyfriend, Joel must choose whether to stay where he’s at with the chaos he knows or leave and forge his own uncertain future as a runaway.

    Once his choice is made, Joel’s past meets up with his future and lands him back with his father’s family. When the cops show up and bring Joel’s hidden past front and center, Joel is forced to face what the investigation unearths. He needs to be tough if he’s going to steer Amber Walker away from her current bad news boyfriend. She’s made it clear to Joel she doesn’t want a broken boy, but what remains to be seen is whether or not this is a façade she’s hidden true feelings behind, or she’s certain there’s no future beyond friendship for them. Unless Joel finds a way to confront his past and carve out a durable future for them both, he risks losing Amber forever.

  • Name: Jenny Mundy-Castle

    Title: MAYA

    Word Count: 50,000

    Query:

    One mistake, and Maya is closer than ever to her greatest fear: inheriting her mother’s schizophrenia. One night, her free-spirited best friend Sierra convinces her to attend a party and try LSD. In a drug-induced confusion, Maya is raped. Sierra convinces her to seek immediate revenge and the two attack the rapist. Leaving him for dead, the girls flee to San Francisco, hoping to find aid from the father who abandoned Maya.

    During the journey, Maya hears voices. Some encourage, others warn of danger, all are eerily similar to those her mother hears. Maya fears for her sanity, though she doesn’t tell her friend in hopes that the problem will simply go away. In San Francisco, Maya and Sierra find an ally in Cat Hardtail, an older woman who has triumphed many traumas.

    Sierra dances at Cat’s strip joint and Maya discovers a talent for reading tarot, an outlet for the voices she hears and a way to get some extra cash. The girls dive into drugs and parties, while the voices in Maya’s head grow louder. Sierra starts drinking and popping pills. They lose the focus that drew them to the city in the first place, and must fight their very genes to survive. If they don’t rise above their challenges, they will lose one another and risk their shared, greatest fear: becoming like their own mothers: drug-addled, insane and lost.

    MAYA is Thelma and Louise meets Go Ask Alice.

  • Name: Louise Caiola
    Title: Sing The Wild Horses
    Word Count: 80,000

    Robert Keller’s a three-drink-two-fisted bad boy, but you can call him “Maniac,” just not to his face. His girlfriend, Betsy Church, is a seventeen-year-old runaway, occasional punching bag and seeker of sweet revenge. Deadly dreams come true when fate turns her into an accidental killer, leaving Betsy to contend with blood on her hands, and one suspicious kinder-cop hot on her trail, homeward bound.

    As Betsy manipulates a so-called normal life with her tightly wound Southern family – her dad, (Rudolph, sir, yes sir, Church) a former military man, her mom, a Bible-belt busybody, and her surly little brother – she is forced to face a stunning truth that changes her very identity.

    At once Betsy has not one, but two secrets to guard, and a whole lot of crazy to fix. Yet, there’s no how-to guide to help figure out who you are when genetics and your parents are big, fat liars. And, no manual anywhere that can tell a girl how to quiet the noisy conscience of a murderous past.

    Think “Perks of Being a Wallflower” meets “Thelma & Louise.” SING THE WILD HORSES is a tale of teenage stirring and suspense, choices and consequences, family, forgiveness and love.

  • Alice Kaltman
    WAVEHOUSE
    77,000 words

    Painfully shy sixteen year-old Anna Dugan is a surfer who feels most at home when taking off on a ten-foot wave or paddling through a dicey churn-fest of white water. But surf culture bores her big time. While other shredders follow trends and speak the lingo, Anna harbors a secret desire to be an architect. Not the most practical dream for the daughter of a single mom living in a beach town where kids her age are so surf-centric they think ‘Current Events’ have something to do with ocean tides.
     
    When a professional surf scout comes to town to gage her talent, Anna freaks out and refuses to meet him. The idea of professional surfing causes her major anxiety. To protect herself from the pressure and the panic, Anna only surfs at a private break called Secretspot for the rest of the summer. But Secretspot becomes treacherous in ways Anna never imagined, and the danger has nothing to do with waves. When a gorgeous hunk named Crazy paddles over from a distant break, events are set in motion that will change both their lives forever, raising difficult questions about love, honesty, betrayal and family ties. 

  • Carolyn Chambers Clark

    MY NAME: Carolyn Chambers Clark
    TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: Secrets
    WORD COUNT: 59,000 words

    Still reeling from her mom’s death, senior Raz Rinaldi, struggles through a budding relationship with a boy from another culture while handling the pressures of school, family, and the advice found in the diary of her dead grandmother.

    Raz badly needs a friend to help her sort through all the secrets weighing her down, but what she gets is to tutor smart-mouthed Logan Spenser in advanced algebra so she can afford college next year. Yes, he’s gorgeous, but the way he embarrasses her in class—and out—is totally humiliating. To add to her troubles, he’s after the same track scholarship.

    As if she doesn’t have enough to deal without her Mom, her new stepmother tries to come between Raz and her depressed father. Worse, her relationship with Logan triggers threats from girls he’s dated and their boyfriends. Just in time, the diary of her dead grandmother arrives in the mail, chock full of advice that could help—or make Raz’s situation even worse.

    As Raz and Logan share their secrets, they make beginning efforts to help one another and forge a strong friendship that could become a romance or a disaster.

  • Name: Ashley Supinski
    Title of Manuscript: Rumor Has It
    Word Count: 43,000 words

    Kendall, the protagonist of RUMOR HAS IT, attends a private, Catholic High School. When she finds herself pregnant after being raped by the star football player, she has a crisis of faith and must decide whether or not to have an abortion. After going through with the abortion, she comes to terms with the idea that her relationship with God has changed, but it doesn’t make her any less Catholic than she was previously.

    Throughout the story, there are two other threads. The first is Kendall’s relationship with Robb, her best friend and the cousin of her rapist. Robb has always loved her and continues to be her rock throughout the novel. The second is a research project on Mary Magdalene. As Kendall researches the woman, she finds a kinship with Jesus’s companion and realizes neither Magdalene or herself are bad women in the eyes of God.

    The story also deals with bullying, mother/daughter relationships and lost friendships.

  • Shana Silver
    ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH
    81,000 words

    Sixteen-year-old Alice suppresses her need for rebellion after a petition to start a farmer’s market receives more snickers than signatures. That is until Whitney Lapin, a girl who speaks in cryptic riddles and spends her free time turning abandoned warehouses into beautiful gardens, leads her on a rabbit trail into the underground–aka secret society–of Wonderland High. Curiouser and curiouser.

    Even though Whitney’s group of teenage environmental vigilantes operates on the wrong side of the law, Alice has never felt more free to be herself. Soon she stomps on her good girl image by completing a series of environmental pranks to impress them: flooding the school and smuggling a pig out of a testing facility. But the group refuses to help with the farmer’s market or reveal their hidden agenda. She wants to trust them, and she especially wants to trust (or maybe kiss) Chester Katz, a boy with a killer smile, a penchant for disappearing, and a secret that will really turn Alice’s word backward. When one group member tries to frame Alice for all the pranks, she must figure out their secret before she ends up in front of a jury that’s screaming, “Off with her head!”

  • Name: Kate Evangelista
    Title: Chasing Heartbeats
    Word Count: Manuscript 90k

    Query:

    Narrated entirely from Knox Patterson’s point of view, CHASING HEARTBEATS follows his story six months after surviving heart failure by undergoing a transplant. On his return to school, he has three goals. Catch up with school work. Find a sport because his psychologist made it a condition of his return. And find a girlfriend so he can lose his virginity.

    Enter Erika Hamilton, the hot new girl who also happens to be the manager of the Shields—the school’s soccer team. After scoring a goal that Knox has no memory of making during PE, she convinces him to try out in return for a date. Unfortunately for him, the date is a disaster. Coincidentally, he makes it onto the team.

    By some miracle, Knox keeps scoring impossible goals, which leads him to believe he’s possessed. The night he finally loses his virginity to Erika, she tells him of a phenomenon called Cellular Memory that happens to heart transplant patients. The heart he was given once belonged to her now dead boyfriend, who subsequently was the soccer player who robbed the Shields of last year’s championship.

    Told with humor and a little more than a seventeen-year-old’s fair share of hijinks, I look at Chasing Heartbeats as Winger meets Eleanor & Park.

    • Danielle Ellison

      Hi Kate! Could you please send me the full MS to the email address referenced above in the instructions? Thanks! Danielle

  • Name: Christina K
    Title: VALEDICTIONS
    Word Count: 54,000

    Sixteen-year-old Tatum is spending her summer under family-imposed house arrest for a crime she didn’t commit. Feeling bored and misunderstood, she’s pinned under the judgmental gaze of her jailer – Tiger Stepmonster Su-bin. In secret, Tatum starts a graphic design business, with the help of her sweet but sly step-grandmother, in the hopes of earning enough to pay off her fine, and also building a portfolio that will eventually get her the heck out of her house.

    To Tatum’s surprise, her business also leads to flirty email banter with a cello-playing client, Seamus. His soulful music and belief in her make her wonder how life might be different if her loved ones saw what he sees.

    When her perfect stepsister inadvertently reveals a shocking and image-shattering secret, Tatum realizes she has a choice. And she doesn’t have to make it alone. She must decide if standing up for herself is worth falling deeper out of her family’s graces instead of settling for their expectations of who they want her to be.

    VALEDICTIONS, complete at 54,000 words, was inspired by Cinderella.

  • Name: Christina K
    Title: EMMY & MARI
    Word Count: 76,000

    High school junior Emmy, perpetually on the fringes of social acceptance, thinks she’s finally found a real connection when she meets her best friend Mari. But when Mari suddenly dies from a drug overdose, Emmy is left numb and confused, wondering what warning signs she missed. Careening through her grief, she tries to fill her emptiness by accepting the unhealthy attention of eager boys.

    When Emmy discovers photographs Mari left behind that lead her to a handsome but unfamiliar guy, she must decide if she wants to ask the questions that will lead her to the truth. With the help of her fellow bereavement group members, Violet and Dash, Emmy begins to put the pieces together of the friend, and friendship, she no longer recognizes.

    Told through alternating voices in the past and present, EMMY & MARI is complete at 76,000 words.

  • Name: Susan Cotter

    Name: Susan Cotter
    Title: Miss Calculation
    Word Count: 60,000
    Query:

    What’s easier: solving 14×46 in base 8 or figuring out what to wear on the first day of high school?

    Jane Grey’ll take the math problem every time.

    Nonetheless, the first day of school is here. A girl has to cover her knobby knees with something or else she might as well move to the isle of Elba.

    Now if only her off-brand-sneakers would disappear and her gorgeous red crinkle dress would stay untucked from her pants so she didn’t look quite so much like an infuriated peacock and the teacher would call on her to demonstrate what she’s got inside her fine mind, she might get a chance to put Project: Wow The Crowd into effect.

    If a pair of bullies decided to pull up stakes and move to another town, that’d be okay too.

    But nothing and no one is cooperating. What’s a math genius to do? Recovering from the less-than-stellar first day on a stress-reducing lavender-scented laundry pile, the answer comes: revenge.

    In her investigations, Jane discovers that sometimes even math geniuses make mistakes. And sometimes they are completely, utterly wrong about everything not math-related. But, hey, she warned you her forte was algebra.

  • Amy Swetkovich

    Name: Amy Swetkovich
    Title: SHATTERED
    Word Count: 77,000
    Query: Ever since Leah’s alcoholic mom ran off to pursue her dream of becoming a Hollywood starlet, Leah has spent her whole life trying to keep the rest of her family together, and her best friend and boyfriend, Cody, safe from his own alcoholic and abusive parent. Well, that and doing her best to make her dream of designing haute couture come true.

    But when Leah’s brother, Brandon, comes home from a photography assignment in Iraq with his legs broken into a million pieces by a roadside bomb, Leah’s safe and tidy world begins to unravel. Leah can only watch as the people she loves skid out of control, as she begins to understand that she can’t convince someone to want to live, or that their life has value. But somehow, she’ll have to find a way, or else watch helplessly as two of the people she loves more than anything else in the world slip away from her.

  • […] YA Contemporary pitches from April 28-April 30, 2014.  This special pitch fest is happening on Brenda Drake’s blog click on the link here. Yes…that’s right, this special pitch fest starts […]

  • Jean M. Malone
    DANNY BOY
    60,000 words

    The Renaissance Faire could be a magical place where history meets make-believe, but for 17-year-old Daniel McNeill, an average musician playing second bouzouki in his family’s band, it’s a tedious, nomadic cycle of pretending to be someone he’s not. A devoted big brother, Daniel wants to leave the Faire circuit so that he and his siblings won’t spend the rest of their lives performing like marionettes. They’ve been at it ever since Daniel’s mother died, never staying in one place long enough to bother making friends, each town, like each song, blending into the next.

    When his father breaks a promise to finally return home, the family winds up at a Faire in Tenterfield, a town in rural Tennessee, where Daniel vows to give his brothers a normal life, no matter the cost. But a rivalry between the “Rennie” kids like Daniel and the local “Townies” and a case of mistaken identity with profound consequences will force Daniel to reconsider the meaning of family and home.

  • Name: Elizabeth Arroyo
    Title: The Simple Truth
    Word Count: 60,000

    Seventeen-year-old Jesse thought getting beaten and branded out of the gang life was the worst thing imaginable. He was wrong.

    Chased by a couple of thugs away from the shelter he calls home, he’s saved by a woman who offers him a place to stay. Motivated by food, clean clothes, and a shower he accepts, vowing to make a break for it at the first sign of trouble.

    Seventeen-year-old Elena kept quiet about a lot of the changes her mom made after her brother died—a new school and new dreams. But when her mom saves a gangbanger from the streets, she draws the line. She’s avoided scum like Jesse her whole life. But Mom is on a mission and fails to listen, which means war. Jesse’s gotta go.

    As Jesse and Elena begin to trust each other, they realize they have more in common than avoiding scum: guilt. Jesse blames himself for his girlfriend’s death, and Elena can’t find the spark to dance anymore. And when trust turns into something more, they learn to find forgiveness and hope. But when Jesse’s past comes back to haunt him, he’s faced with a choice: face his demons or ignore his heart.

  • Name: Tabitha Martin
    Title: SAY ANYTHING
    Word Count: 62,000

    Diagnosed with leukemia as a child, seventeen-year-old Stella Rhode has spent most of her life waiting to die. When the cancer returns for a fifth time, Stella’s not up for the fight. But amidst her protests and against her wishes, her parents decide a month of intensive chemotherapy is the best course of action.

    When Stella checks into the hospital, she’s already planning her funeral, while her optimistic boyfriend plans their future. With no one listening to what she wants, Stella finds solace in a gay heart patient, Felix, whose mixed signals leave her mind puzzled and her heart racing.

    As Stella’s life divides into hospital and home, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep the two halves from crossing paths. With her dedicated boyfriend visiting daily and evenings spent with Felix, Stella’s heart is torn by two boys: one in love with her, the other in love with life.

    Piecing her life together just as it’s coming to an end, Stella must decide if she will fight a disease determined to shred her spirit or die on her own terms – and who will hold her heart in the end.

  • Monica Fumarolo

    In the final months of senior year, Annie’s tired of how routine high school has become. Sure she’s busy, but the organized chaos that fills her days has become so predictable. Maybe even a little boring in its own way. Wanting to do something for herself for a change, the girl who always has a plan and was born to be backstage shocks everyone, impulsively auditions for the spring play, and actually gets cast… as an understudy.

    But Annie may have taken on too much this time, just like her best friend Colin predicted. She has lines to learn and sets to build on top of the usual school stuff. But all of that is nothing compared to Bryce, her charming ex, suddenly speaking to her again.

    With drama happening onstage and off, Annie has no idea what to do. Should she expose the real reason she broke up with Bryce? Finally learn to go with the flow? Admit she likes Colin as more than a friend?

    Oh yeah, and there’s still a show that must go on.

    • Monica Fumarolo

      Ahh! My information got cut off and I can’t edit now that it posted – so sorry!

      Name: Monica Fumarolo
      Title: My Life Unscripted
      Word Count: 62,000

  • Sean Lamb

    Sean Lamb
    TROUBLED
    57,000 words

    17yo Kyle Grimstone will do anything to escape the barbaric regime at St. Bonaparte Military Academy. First, he must go through Headmaster Sterm, the deranged dictator whose questionable disciplinary methods drives cadets to the brink of suicide.

    When new prospect Kirk Hamilton arrives, his youthful optimism injects life into the hopeless cadets. He’s not afraid of Sergeant Bates’ brass knuckles or Sergeant Oden’s dog cage. Even Sterm’s dead-eyed stare doesn’t faze him.

    Hamilton’s invigorating attitude turns the school upside down. Costume parties, exploding pranks and pretty girls remind the boys what true rebellion tastes like. But Kyle knows the revolution could destroy his ticket out of St. Bonaparte. If he fails Sterm’s upcoming review for release, he’s ready to execute a less civilized escape plan.

  • Juliet Chatham

    Name: Juliet Chatham
    Title: THE MYTH OF THE MERMAID
    Word Count: 96,000

    Sixteen year old Hannah Kate Ryan has lived her whole life on a small island off the coast of New England, but it’s not where she plans to live out the rest of it. Having lost her father, a commercial fisherman, to the sea when she was only seven, she longs to leave the sad legacy of her family tragedy behind. Then she meets Toby McDeavitt, the embodiment of everything she wants yet rejects all at once.

    Tensions escalate when a documentary film crew arrives to the island seeking to make a movie out of the sinking of her father’s boat that not only took his life but the lives of two other men. As the island townsfolk rally around to protect their fierce and famous privacy, old wounds are reopened and secrets revealed. Tossed about in the tumultuous emotions of first love, Hannah searches for the truth about her dad. But can she face the truth that lies in her heart?

  • Name: Jessica Ward (writing as J.A. Ward)
    Title: KEEP YOUR EYES ON ME
    Word Count: 70,000 words

    The summer before seventeen-year-old Roland Cruze’s senior year was supposed to include afternoons at the batting cages, late night practices with his band, and skinny dipping with his pin-up-perfect girlfriend. But three months before summer could begin, Roland hit and killed a little boy with his car. Now, Roland’s summer is dedicated to patrolling Fates Bridge, an infamous spot in the city for suicide. If he could save one person, he might feel whole again.

    After a failed attempt to save a jumper, Roland’s family demands he get therapy and stay away from Fates Bridge. To quell his need for redemption, Roland’s sister encourages him to volunteer at a suicide hotline center instead. The hold up: He needs to take nine weeks of classes before he can get on a phone line. The plus side: He meets seventeen-year-old Cassie, a fiery classmate who seems even more broken than he is.

    Attracted by the pain in her eyes, Roland pushes to get to know Cassie better in hopes that he finds someone who understands his guilt or—better yet—someone to save. But her secret could be the thing that leads them both back to Fates Bridge—and over the edge.

  • Stephanie Cardel

    Name: Stephanie Cardel
    Title: THIS ISN’T SHAKESPEARE
    Word Count: 59,000

    Seventeen-year-old Stacey wants to believe that Calvin is “the one.” So she’s willing to overlook that he doesn’t share her faith. And he’s pressuring her to have sex. And he doesn’t have a job. That’s what you do when you love someone. A past mistake taught her the importance of total commitment. Everyone expects her to go to Cal’s college and become a teacher, especially her mom, but she dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Cal’s college doesn’t even have a dance major.

    Then Nathan, her ex-boyfriend—that past mistake she can’t forgive herself for—encourages her to pursue her dream regardless of the consequences to others. Unsure, she prays for a sign to show her which path to take. When she gets what she believes to be the sign, she makes her choice final by sleeping with Cal—a lifetime commitment in her mind. No turning back now. Except then Nathan challenges her that she might be in love with love. It can’t be true. Leaving Cal now would contradict everything she believes. Sifting through the lies she’s told herself nearly breaks her as she discovers what she really wants and how to navigate an unplanned future.

  • Name: Peggy Rothschild
    Title: Flame
    Word Count: 70,000

    Query:
    Sixteen-year-old Beth Foss is counting the months until she can graduate from high school and escape her home. The sudden arrival of a handsome older boy into her circle of friends eases the pain of her recent break-up with Randall Monahan. But Beth’s growing passion for the new boy, Denny, isn’t the only heat igniting the town –this is fire season and the grit-laced Santa Ana winds are fanning the wildfires across the hills of Ventura, California.

    When Randall Monahan is found murdered in the strawberry fields, Beth’s life goes under the microscope and her world begins to collapse. Clues only she would notice make Beth fear her new boyfriend had something to do with Randall’s death. She tries to smother those thoughts, but fears continue to rise – as do the flames outside town. Soon it becomes obvious an arsonist is behind the blazes. In a literal trial by fire, Beth is forced to look into the psyche of an arsonist and the heart of a murderer. In her fight for survival, Beth learns she’s stronger than she thought and adulthood isn’t what she thought.

  • J Davidson

    John Davidson
    Bricks
    63,000

    Sixteen-year old Cori Reigns’ list for a perfect senior year contains five items—three are about the prom. Such is her gilded life. Wealthy parents, big house, new Ford Mustang—perfect. But on the first day of summer vacation, a tornado reduces perfection to a pile of rubble. Her “parents” turn out to be an aunt and uncle who stepped in when Mom went crazy after real dad’s death. Her best friend stews while the rich kids replace stuff they lost with stuff he never had. An athlete friend becomes a social recluse, and she volunteers to take in her orphaned worst enemy who suffers from amnesia and can’t remember ever hating her. The twister leaves a muddy briar path where days before sat the golden road to a perfect senior year.

    But as the newly-elected class president, Cori sees a chance to save her list, her friends, and her school. She convinces the three to join her on a road trip to persuade a famous band to play their prom. But with her friends’ lost caring, courage, and recollection in need of restoration, something of her own needs restoring— and it took losing everything to appreciate it.

  • Karole

    Name: Karole Kurtz
    Title: The First Fall
    Word Count: 78,000

    Where do you draw the line between someone else’s salvation and your own self-destruction?

    Having spent her childhood pitched between the highs and lows of her mother’s bipolar disorder, it’s a question Kathryn Tanner has long grappled with. To distance herself from this emotional roller coaster, she moves in with her father to finish out high school drama free.

    Kathryn jumps from the frying pan to the fire when she makes it her personal mission to save Christopher Prescott. In the wake of a tragic accident that claimed the life of Christopher’s girlfriend Brooke, the once high-achieving, popular athlete is falling apart – self-medicating with marijuana and lashing out at anyone who tries to break down his defenses. Maybe, in part, because Christopher has a devastating secret – Brooke’s death may not have been an accident after all.

    Does Kathryn have a fighting chance of saving someone so fractured? Or, as she gives more of her heart to Christopher, will hers be the one that ends up broken?

    The First Fall is a character-driven story that takes a raw, emotionally-charged look at mental illness and substance abuse, as well as the lengths teens go to in hope of finding love amidst tragedy.

    • Danielle Ellison

      Hi Karole. Could you please send me the partial (first 50 pages or so) to the email address referenced above in the instructions? Thanks! Danielle

  • […] 4/28: Got YA Contemporary? – Pitch Spencer Hill Contemporary (they are normally closed to submissions) on Brenda Drake’s blog. You’ll need to hook them in 200 words or less. See the Brenda’s blog for details. The submission post  can be found at http://www.brenda-drake.com/2014/04/submission-window-spencer-hill-contemporary-pitch-event-now-open… […]

  • Mark O'Brien

    Name: Mark O’Brien
    Title: Mad World
    Word Count: 55,000

    Sixteen-year-old Taylor knows her longtime boyfriend Lawrence inside and out—except the part of him demanding he kill himself.

    When Law hyperventilates on the Ferris wheel at the town fair, she’s worried. When he accuses her of flirting with an eighty-year-old geezer, she’s pissed. When the doctor says “schizophrenia,” she’s terrified. And so is the Inglery family down the street, who kick off a fear-fueled smear campaign meant to run Law out of their tiny Texas town.

    But Taylor’s sure the only person the voices want Law to hurt is himself. And they’re getting more convincing. Taylor’s used to talking people down in her job as a peer hotline operator, but it’s a whole lot harder when the hand she’s pulling on belongs to the one person who is her everything.

    And if Law chooses the voices over her, she has everything to lose.

  • Amber Clites

    Name: Amber Clites
    Title: WHEN IT ALL WENT AWAY
    Word Count: 60,000

    It’s been twenty-seven days since Grayson Caldwell broke seventeen-year-old Quinn Bishop’s heart. Twenty-seven days since the night of the party, where she caught him kissing one of her closest friends. And despite his claims that it was “just a drunken kiss”, the emails from her former friend – the girl he kissed – prove otherwise.

    With her loyal best friend Harper by her side, Quinn sets out on the daunting path of getting over Grayson – crazy colored hair, first dates and open mic nights included.

    But Grayson’s plans to win her back threaten her resolve to forget him, and remind her of the epic love they shared. And as the news of their breakup spreads, the most popular boy in school declares his crush on Quinn.

    It seems like an easy enough choice, until Quinn discovers she’s been lied to more than once.

  • Irena Tervo

    Name: Irena Tervo
    Title: Wilderness
    Word Count: 96,000

    Two best friends sign up for the Wilderness survival trip in the Smokies. But can their friendship survive all their secrets?

    Val Garcia would go to the ends of the earth for her empathic best friend, Mia Belmont, but forced to keep a legal document about Mia’s father confidential; she arrives at base camp and learns Mia has a hidden agenda of her own. Val discovers Mia is intent on mending her broken friendship with Val’s enemy, the scheming socialite Mercedes Whitman. Worse, Val watches Mia fall under Hunter Calhoun’s alluring spell, the rebellious rich boy she despises, also Mercedes’ ex-boyfriend.

    During the course of the trip, Val tries to thwart any liaison from taking place between Mia and Hunter while trying to make Mia understand that love is not destiny…it is a choice.

    When they encounter a strange man digging holes in the forest, Val’s buried memories re-surface surrounding her mother’s death through dreams and in her drawings. And as the group loses their way in uncharted territory, Val unearths the startling truth she’s hidden from herself.

    Told in two POV in alternating chapters, Wilderness is Frozen meets Hatchet.

  • Tanya S. Liard

    Name: Tanya S. Liard
    Title: Sarin
    Word Count: 65,000

    Three days ago Dylan was your average army brat: protesting fitting in, failing an English paper, and dealing with the yearly changeover of classmates. But when his family is attacked and killed by an unknown female assailant, Dylan finds life is about to become far more complicated.

    Yet, instead of grieving, Dylan must now flee the military base he calls home when a mysterious gas attack occurs. An evacuation is attempted, but Dylan watches as the first C-5 barely makes it off the ground before exploding. His plane doesn’t make it far before the pilots succumb to gas exposure, resembling Sarin but with a twist, and the plane crashes on an island in the middle of nowhere.

    Now Dylan and the other surviving military brats must work together to stay alive and find a way home. But the island reveals new secrets, deadly secrets. And the more answers Dylan discovers, the more sinister the outcome is for the group. When members of the group start dying, Dylan must succumb to the darkest parts of humanity to protect those he cares for. A descent that leads Dylan to discover that the greatest danger on the island lies within one of them.

  • T Martin

    Name: TA Martin
    Title: Skid
    Word Count: 61,000

    Driving home from swim practice, seventeen-year-old Gabrielle Richards hits a patch of black ice and her car skids over the embankment. In ten seconds her back is wrecked and her Olympic dreams are dead. So is her younger sister.

    Now, haunted by guilt, all Gabrielle lives for is drugs to numb the pain and alcohol to numb her brain. Until Erik Tennyson crashes into her.

    Legend has it the ghost of Erik’s great-grandmother lurks in the Tennyson orchard. When Gabrielle discovers eerie similarities between his ancestor and her sister, she becomes convinced that the two shared a spirit. All she has to do is solve the mystery of his great-grandmother’s murder, and she can atone for the accident. But somewhere among the apple trees, her plan skids out of control. Along with answers, she finds love. And instead of appeasing the dead, she starts to live.

  • Connie MacElroy
    REVERSE CASCADE
    50,000 words

    After a shooting, security is tight at Henry High School. When SARA (16) gets into trouble for her T-shirt, transfer student JAKE (16) rescues her, only to be punished. Jake is a free spirit, but, Sara, having lost her brother in the shooting, is safety-obsessed. Jake believes fear has driven the school to insane levels, making life intolerable. They should “just get over it.” But he finds his circus arts skills–juggling, parkour (think Jackie Chan), and tumbling–connect with other students. Even Sara is especially smitten by contact juggling’s beauty. She pushes Jake to put together a troupe to perform at the annual talent show, Illusion. But when their recreation of the dance scene in Romeo and Juliet leads to trouble, and the group fractures. Jake works with Bobo on a secret project. He’ll use guerrilla theater to bring the rule keepers and the risk takers together. But it will take more than a performance to bring healing to this school.

  • Grier Cooper
    WISH
    70,000 words

    My mother is driving me crazy. I have to escape.

    For now, Indigo Stevens escapes in ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio, which are refreshingly orderly and predictable compared to Indigo’s home life. Indigo hopes this is the year that she’ll get the chance to audition for the New York School of Ballet and start her real life. But first she must prove to Miss Roberta that she’s ready, keep her mother from losing it, protect her younger brothers from Mom’s abuse, and ignore Jesse Sanders, the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things For Dancers.

    When Indigo discovers that Mom is an alcoholic, the news simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. Indigo fights to maintain balance as Mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic. But after the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue and must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.

  • Kate Larkindale
    THE SIDEWALK’S REGRETS
    87 000 words

    Seventeen-year-old Sacha McLeod isn’t looking for someone to rock her world. She just needs a new violin string to replace the one she broke while practicing her audition piece. But when she hears the boy in the music store play guitar, the energy, violence and unpredictability of the music thrills her. She soon learns that the boy who creates it calls to her the same way.

    As their attraction heats up, Sacha finds herself spending less time with her violin and more time with this exciting guy who makes her feel things she’s never imagined. But her plans for her violin-virtuoso future – and her self-confidence – are shattered when she screws up the audition for a prestigious summer music program. Failure isn’t something she’s ready to face, so when Dylan asks her to spend her vacation with him in the city, she lies to her parents, pretends she won a place in the summer school, and secretly moves in with Dylan. She’s expecting romance, music and passion, but when she finds herself playing second fiddle to Dylan’s newly acquired drug habit, she realizes despite what the songs say, sometimes love isn’t all you need.

    Desperate to understand what’s competing with her for Dylan’s affections, she joins his band and does drugs with him — just once. But once become twice, three times, and more. As the band’s popularity grows, so do the pressures and her drug use escalates. If Sacha can’t figure out how to leave the band, and Dylan, she’ll lose herself and her own music forever; if she does, she’ll lose the guy who stole a chunk of her heart.

  • Laurie Litwin

    Name: Laurie Litwin
    Title: Gripped
    Word Count: 62,000

    Query:

    Seventeen-year-old Taylor is supposed to be the homecoming queen, not the girl who shows up drunk at school and barfs on the VP. For three years, she’s climbed the social ladder at her prestigious high school, snagging the hottie athlete boyfriend, and landing the head cheerleader spot, all while maintaining a perfect GPA. So what if she needs a few drinks to cope with the pressure.

    But that was before the hottie dumped her and she walked in on her dad banging a blonde bimbo. Now, not only is she without a boyfriend, but her family is falling apart. And nothing terrifies Taylor more than being alone and unloved.

    Suddenly, a couple of harmless drinks a week become a few dozen. Several benders later, Taylor is showing up at school drunk, tanking exams, getting into drunken fistfights at house parties, and sabotaging the chance at a relationship with the intriguing college guy.

    One frigid December night, drunk and pissed off after an argument with her arch-frenemy, she gets behind the wheel of a car and slams into a tree – and the truth. She’s doesn’t know how to survive without alcohol and she’d rather die than give it up.

    • Laurie Litwin

      Name: Laurie Litwin
      Title: The Summer That Saved Me
      Word Count: 62,000

      Query:

      Rock n roll is seventeen-year-old Cass Walkers escape from life on the wrong side of the tracks. When she listens to her favorites – Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, The Doors – she’s free from the ghosts that whisper threats in her ear and the scars that mark her body like a map.

      But music can’t help her flee a lifestyle where drugs are exchanged like candy and casual sex is the norm. Or her musician boyfriend that beats the crap out of her. If she doesn’t leave she may not live to graduate with the Class of 1974. So when her grandmother offers her the guest cabin at the lake, she runs.

      At the lake, she meets Brent, who’s so not her type, not to mention way out of her league. As their relationship deepens, she pushes him away. He may not hit her, but she’s no one’s ghetto project. As their relationship deepens, she tries to forget him, but he won’t let her. And after a huge fight with the abusive jerk she can’t give up leaves her black and blue, she has to decide whether Brent’s the only one who can help the scars fade forever.

  • Laura Haley

    Eighteen-year-old Sadie Howell has always hated parties, but she never would have guessed that one drink at a mid-summer party would leave her pregnant, terrified and fighting to protect her unborn child from its father: the man who raped her.

    When Sadie first runs into local college football hottie at a party, she can’t believe he’s talking to her. He’s charming, funny and the closest thing that their tiny tourist trap of a town has to a celebrity. The next morning, however, Sadie wakes up to the terrifying reality that Derek drugged and raped her. For the next few weeks, Sadie hides what happened that night, but a positive pregnancy test finally forces her to confront it.

    Bridgeforth Police Officer Sean Prescott takes Sadie’s report and promises to help in every way he can, but without any evidence there isn’t much he can do. He quickly becomes one of the only people Sadie can talk to in a town full of people who turn their backs on Sadie as soon as word spreads about her accusations. With his support, Sadie decides to put the baby up for adoption, but Derek isn’t about to let that happen.

    • Laura Haley

      Accidentally deleted the heading on first post.

      Name: Laura Haley
      Title: Plan B
      Word Count: 80,000

      Query:
      Eighteen-year-old Sadie Howell has always hated parties, but she never would have guessed that one drink at a mid-summer party would leave her pregnant, terrified and fighting to protect her unborn child from its father: the man who raped her.

      When Sadie first runs into local college football hottie at a party, she can’t believe he’s talking to her. He’s charming, funny and the closest thing that their tiny tourist trap of a town has to a celebrity. The next morning, however, Sadie wakes up to the terrifying reality that Derek drugged and raped her. For the next few weeks, Sadie hides what happened that night, but a positive pregnancy test finally forces her to confront it.

      Bridgeforth Police Officer Sean Prescott takes Sadie’s report and promises to help in every way he can, but without any evidence there isn’t much he can do. He quickly becomes one of the only people Sadie can talk to in a town full of people who turn their backs on Sadie as soon as word spreads about her accusations. With his support, Sadie decides to put the baby up for adoption, but Derek isn’t about to let that happen.

      • Hi, Laura! I’d love to see the partial (somewhere around 50 pgs., plus a synopsis, if you have one) for PLAN B. Submit via the instructions above, and make sure you put “Kristi” in the subject line. Thanks!

  • Carey Torgesen

    Name: Carey Torgesen
    Title: SPEECHLESS
    Word Count: 68k

    Whenever seventeen-year-old Lorelei Bell steps onstage, everything vanishes. Only she, the music, and the boy behind the spotlight remain.

    Ever since her freshman theater audition, Erikan has made Lorelei Bell’s heart do more than flutter. He’s been her world, though he hasn’t noticed.

    When a bus carrying her theater troupe careens through a railing, Lorelei risks her life to save Erikan’s. Escaping seconds before the bus explodes, flying shrapnel slits Lorelei’s throat, severing not only her vocal chords, but her life in the theater and any chance at love.

    No longer confident, everything she was before is broken. Being labeled “the-mute-girl” in school doesn’t help. But when she gets a text from Erikan in class, she finds there are ways to communicate without words. Armed with texts, notes, and bashful smiles, Lorelei gets more than Erikan’s attention. She gets his affection.

    The relationship blossoms and Lorelei couldn’t be happier, even without her voice. Until Blaire, an ex-bestie bent on revenge, hatches a plan to take everything from Lorelei. As Lorelei senses Erikan slipping away, she realizes without the two things she’s built her world around, she’s nothing. And in order to find herself, she has to let go of what’s defined her for so long.

  • Laurie Litwin

    Name: Laurie Litwin
    Title: The Summer That Saved Me
    Word Count: 62,000

    Query:

    Rock n roll is seventeen-year-old Cass Walkers escape from life on the wrong side of the tracks. When she listens to her favorites – Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, The Doors – she’s free from the ghosts that whisper threats in her ear and the scars that mark her body like a map.

    But music can’t help her flee a lifestyle where drugs are exchanged like candy and casual sex is the norm. Or her musician boyfriend that beats the crap out of her. If she doesn’t leave she may not live to graduate with the Class of 1974. So when her grandmother offers her the guest cabin at the lake, she runs.

    At the lake, she meets Brent, who’s so not her type, not to mention way out of her league. As their relationship deepens, she pushes him away. He may not hit her, but she’s no one’s ghetto project. As their relationship deepens, she tries to forget him, but he won’t let her. And after a huge fight with the abusive jerk she can’t give up leaves her black and blue, she has to decide whether Brent’s the only one who can help the scars fade forever.

  • Amy Swetkovich

    Name: Amy Swetkovich
    Title: BELOW THE SURFACE
    Word Count 78,000

    Query:

    For Sammi Colton (16), going to high school in Portside, a small town on the shores of Lake Superior, is comparable to a painting by one of the old masters; dark, grim, and completely depressing. When her father leaves her family for his pregnant girlfriend, Sammi loses her creative spirit, her ability to paint, and her sense of self. Soon, an unlikely friendship develops with Kayla Ryan (16) who is the complete opposite of Sammi’s own dark personality.

    Under Kayla’s direction, Sammi takes on a new identity, complete with a set of pom-poms, parties with the popular kids, and a romance with Kayla’s brother, Austin (17). This new persona is a façade, spread over her like a suffocating, thick layer of paint, and Sammi soon realizes she must find the courage to scrape it away and discover who she truly is before she loses herself forever.

  • Name: Marquita Hockaday
    Title: In Limbo
    Word Count: 74,000

    In 1918 Richmond, Virginia Syl, a sixteen-year-old white boy, can’t help being angry at everyone. His older brother and father are off fighting in World War I, leaving Syl to care for his mother. When his best friend, Sketch, dies of the Spanish Flu, Syl decides the only way to keep his memory alive (and escape his heroic brother’s shadow) is to enter Sketch’s artwork in a contest in New York City.

    On the other side of town, SJ, a sixteen-year-old African American girl, wants to leave her farm behind and perform on Broadway. After being told she’s too dark and too round by naysayers, SJ almost starts to believe them. However, after SJ catches her mother cheating on her soldier father, and SJ’s best friend calls her dreams “silly” one too many times, SJ decides to steal a car and leave Virginia behind. To SJ’s surprise, Syl wants to go with her.

    IN LIMBO is the story of Syl and SJ as they set off through the segregated South to what they believe is the more accepting North. Along the way they must stifle their growing attraction while avoiding the police and the ever-present threat of the Spanish Flu.

  • Hannah goodman

    NAME: Hannah Goodman
    TITLE: TILL IT STOPS BEATING
    Word Count: 65,000

    Seventeen-year-old Maddie Hickman’s senior year begins with the good (the reemergence of The One That Got Away), the bad (a cancer diagnosis, not hers, but it might as well be) and the WTF (an anxiety attack that renders her an upside down crab, writhing on her parents’ bedroom floor.

    Adding to her spiraling anxiety is Senior Project, in the form of I’ve Decided To Write A Book about The Other One That Got Away (And Crushed My Heart). Compounding it all is applying to college and keeping up with her friends. The ever-mounting stress eventually rips her tight grip on all that she holds dear and a(nother) mental melt down ensues.

    Her break down leads to an unexpected road trip where she is forced to listen to her wildly beating heart. It is only in the back of a convertible with Brittany Spears tunes blasting, that she discovers she must risk everything she once thought was important in order to really live.

    Till It Stops Beating is a 65,000 word contemporary YA novel that deals with anxiety (literary and otherwise), love, and death.

  • Gillian Libby

    NAME: Gillian Cummins Libby
    TITLE: Get to Know You
    WORD COUNT: 81,000

    When self-professed musical theater nerd, Annika Fitzpatrick, gets an email during her high school graduation she finds her worst nightmare has come true. Her father wants to spend more time with her.

    Ever since her mother passed away four years ago Annika has used sarcasm and avoidance to deal with everyone, her classmates, her “mean-girls in training” friends and especially her once absent biological father, Steven.

    That’s all about to change because Steven and Annika’s step-dad, Joel, have joined forces and arranged for her to spend her summer in New York City (which she’s terrified of) and work at Steven’s music venue, Annika’s Attic, that he named after her (which embarrasses her).

    Things start looking up when Annika meets her outrageously hip co-workers and the gorgeous musical prodigy, Theo, who’s a fixture at Annika’s Attic with his rock band. As Theo and Annika fumble through a summer of missed connections and confused signals, Annika begins to learn that the hard shell she thought was protecting her has really been holding her back.

    Fans of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS will enjoy the swoon-worthy romance between Theo and Annika and fans of the movie PITCH PERFECT will enjoy the quippy dialogue and big musical moments of this book.

  • Leslie Hauser

    Name: Leslie Hauser
    Title: CHASING EVELINE
    Word Count: 61,000

    Query:
    Sixteen-year-old Ivy is the only student at her high school who listens to cassettes. Her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this Irish rock band means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

    Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s certainly not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

    The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy must try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never find joy in the present.

  • Name: Julie Wise-Andrews
    Title: FINE LINES
    Word Count: 65k

    FINE LINES is BREAKING BAD meets THE BLING RING, a 65k contemporary YA novel that twists a suspenseful, dark love story through the subculture of ultra-rich teens in Scottsdale, Arizona and the drug cartels of Mexico and South America.

    Seventeen-year-old Kate Conner is a trained ballerina who knows life is filled with fine lines: the line between trusting and turning her back; the line between friends and lovers; the line between living on the edge and falling off of it.

    Kate is a recovering addict from another kind of fine line—cocaine. She knows that dance can save her, but it’s hard to stay strong when her circle of friends—her only real family—keeps pulling her toward the life she is trying to leave.

    When she finally steps outside of her circle, she meets sexy and sweet Marcos. He’s older and more mature, and he seems like the perfect guy to pull Kate’s life in a different direction. However, he’s more a part of her old world than she realizes. Marcos is the heir to the Vega drug cartel, and for his family, drugs aren’t a hobby or a quick fix. Drugs are a deadly serious business.

  • Name: Christina Mercer
    Title: Honey Queen
    Word Count: 68,000
    Query: YA Contemporary with Magical Realism (are elements of magic in an otherwise normal world acceptable for this imprint?)

    Seventeen-year-old Melaina Maris knows how dangerous love can be. While she wishes for nothing more than the freedom to love Sam, she’d have to sprout wings to cross the gap between reality and wishes. A family curse means that anyone who engages her in carnal love will die—much like a drone honeybee meets his death after mating. She won’t let the same fate that killed her father befall Sam, nor will she succumb to the bee-venom addiction like her mother. But fate has its own ideas, especially when the curse turns Melaina into the Honey Queen—savior to honeybee kind.

    To help her fulfill the curse’s demands in the least harmful way, her grandmother takes her to mate with terminally ill Boyd. But Boyd’s gay. And an expert in mythology. Instead of having sex, Melaina learns how she might summon the goddess who created the ancestor bee-charmer and cursed her bloodline. Melaina’s magic—tears to save honeybees from endangerment—could be enough to persuade the goddess to end the curse. But an unexpected discovery soon changes that hope and forces Melaina into a swarm of love, friendship and death.

  • Susan Fisher

    Name: Susan Fisher
    Title: BLACKBALL
    Word Count: 68,000

    The exclusivity of a clique is empowering until a member goes rogue. That’s why seventeen-year-old Bryn Michaels keeps her friends close and her enemies closer. She plasters a cheer captain smile across her face and parades around with her quarterback boyfriend. Too bad Bryn’s enemy, Ivy, knows their relationship is fake.

    If anyone discovers Bryn is a lesbian, the small town residents will harass her. That’s why she keeps her mouth shut about Ivy purposely crashing into the guardrail as revenge for her humiliating cheer squad demotion, killing Bryn’s secret girlfriend. But Bryn knows the truth, and she not going to let Ivy get away with murder. She creates an elaborate plan to sabotage Ivy’s popularity and good girl reputation.

    When Bryn discovers Ivy’s plot to murder everyone in their social circle to become the new “it” girl, she fears Ivy’s father will help her escape murder charges once again. However, Ivy’s boyfriend plasters Bryn’s scheme and sexual orientation on the Internet, risking her Queen Bee status and forcing her to face small town prejudices. Now Bryn must fight for equality and take down Ivy before she erases the clique one-by-one.

  • Margo Sorenson
    SECRETS IN TRANSLATION
    62,700 words

    Sixteen-year-old Alessandra, a diplomatic service “brat,” is still working on fitting into her new American high school and trying desperately to meet just the right guy when her parents send her back to Italy as a summer nanny for the tween from hell. Reluctantly returning to Italy, she finds herself falling for handsome university student Carlo, and she knows she must keep from him the secret of her father’s dangerous undercover Mafia work back in the US. Torn, she really wants to be honest with Carlo, because he seems to be the kind of guy she’s been hoping for, but when she stumbles on a Mafia-connected conspiracy that he’s involved in, she suddenly realizes the risks she’s taking. She must choose whose secret it is she really needs to keep before a firestorm destroys everything she’s longed for.

  • Mike Yates

    Name: Mike Yates
    Title: DISTANT HOPE
    Word Count: 72,000

    Rob Price has it all. He’s a college freshman with a loyal best friend and a loving boyfriend. Okay, admittedly his bright future is contingent on his actually staggering out of bed to go to class once in a while. And his best friend might be living it up on campus while he ferments in his childhood bedroom. And, alright, maybe his boyfriend’s hella-thousand miles away in California while Rob freezes his ass off in Buffalo.

    So when his beloved Jayson announces that he’s coming to visit in the spring, Rob should be stoked. Turns out he’s crippled by his own special brand of fear and doubt: what will he Jayson think of Rob’s shitheap city – and his sadsack life?

    Visions of Jayson taking one look and nope-ing the hell out of there haunt Rob. He sets out to reinvent himself, but finds the path rougher than he could ever have predicted. His insecurities put his relationship on the rocks and his friends in danger, and it takes everything he’s got to defeat them before the snow thaws.

    Fans of FREAK MAGENT by Andrew Auseon will get a kick out of DISTANT HOPE, complete at 72,000 words.

  • Leslie Hauser

    Name: Leslie Hauser
    Title: LUCKY GIRL
    Word Count: 75,000

    Eighteen-year-old Mallory has lotto fever. With her family falling apart, the only bright spot left in her life is her boyfriend—until she catches his lips attached to another girl’s at the end-of-summer party. So when she discovers a mini mart famous for selling winning lottery tickets, Mallory sees a ticket to happiness and joins the crowd of dreamers.

    Mallory develops lottery fever instantly as recurring trips to the mini mart gift her with visions of the joy that she and her family so desperately need. But while she waits for her jackpot dreams to come true, her real life worsens. Mallory can no longer keep up with her wealthy friends as her parents’ unemployment woes continue. If she doesn’t find her luck soon, her parents could lose the house, Mallory could lose her college dreams, and the distance with her friends could become permanent.

    However, amidst all the sadness is a growing friendship with Adrian Lopez, the tough yet totally hot transfer student with his own family struggles. Despite running in different crowds, Adrian becomes the one person Mallory can confide in, and their budding relationship is just the thing she needs to help her find her luck.

  • Jodie Andrefski

    Jodie Andrefski
    SECRETS
    65,000 words

    Summer following junior year is supposed to be a time for carefree fun with friends. Except Shay’s best friends have become the pills she hides in a Midol bottle, and the razors she keeps in her nightstand drawer.

    Until the night at the boardwalk when Shay reconnects with the one guy that just might be different from the rest of the party crew around her. With his soulful eyes and sexy smile, Zane is genuine in a way she’s never known, and he makes Shay almost believe that she’s as perfect as she pretends to be. In just a few weeks’ time, Shay finds herself revealing more and more of her past to the one person who seems like he truly cares.

    But there are some secrets that are too deep to reveal, as are the scars those secrets left behind. Afraid to trust her heart, Shay runs. With enough distance and pills, anything can be erased. But habits die hard and if Shay doesn’t get it together soon, she may just do enough damage to not only ruin her chance at love, but also end her life.

  • Name: Connie Michael
    Title: Serenity
    Word Count: 87,000

    Ever since Serenity stepped in to save her twin brother from the abuse of their mom’s revolving boyfriends, she’s put everyone else’s needs first. Entering her senior year Serenity sees an end in sight from the social outcast role her life has forced upon her. When her grandma dies and her deadbeat mom returns, she has no choice but to let a manipulating high schooler pay for the skills she thought she buried in her past or lose the life she built for her and her brother.

    Ever since Jolin found his gift on the football field life had been easy. Catapulted to the popular table with the head cheerleader on his arm, Jolin was high school royalty. Scouts were knocking on his door and his future as a college football star was within his grasp until an illegal hit on the field stripped him of everything. Struggling for his identity beyond football, Jolin is desperate and will do anything to win back popularity.

    Tossed in the middle of a scheme to completely destroy Jolin’s chance at homecoming king, Serenity finds herself struggling to keep her life together while she begins to fall for the guy she’s supposed to take down.

  • Lauren Hodges

    Name: Lauren Hodges.
    Title: Anything but a rose.
    Word count 65,000 words.

    Life can be pretty tough as a teen, especially one with manic depression.

    James is a 17 year teenage girl. She might look like a normal teenager but inside she is fighting a battle: James is Bipolar and a synesthetes. Every day is a struggle, a roller-coaster of highs and lows.
    When James meets Henry she finally feels like a normal teenager; he does not question her Bipolar.
    Henry is a music therapist at the local hospital. Here he treats terminally ill children and teenagers. James volunteers at the centre and while she is there she witnesses the death of one of the patients, Patrick. This starts the beginning of a bipolar episode.
    James begins to slip deeper and deeper into depression, too scared to tell anyone, she copes with alone, suffering hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.
    Finally it is all too much and James commits suicide. Outside of her body she meets Patrick and Jim, another of Henry’s patients. Each must face their past, their present and their future; on a journey of self-discovery.
    James realises that her mental illness must not define her but can she overcome her demons? Or will she succumb, leaving her life behind once and for all?

  • Maggie Spence

    Name: Maggie Spence
    Title: Vardin Village
    Word Count: 63,877

    George lives in a crappy, ramshackle cabin. There’s no electricity, the roof is caving in and the creaky front porch overlooks the ancestral mansion that his father lost because of his drug abuse. George is not sure which is more breathtaking, the view or the irony.

    School starts soon and George can’t scrape up enough money to pay his cell phone bill let alone the fee to play varsity football. Uncle Morris shows up from one of his weird jaunts and offers a creative solution to keep George and his sister under one roof; a much larger, less leaky roof, with a breathtaking view of the crappy, ramshackle cottage. Morris reveals a hidden tunnel that leads to the mansion and consequently some Vardin family secrets that will make junior year unforgettable.

    Reginald, the proper curator of the mansion-turned-museum, has his doubts about the living arrangement but he’s in. Morris recruits a waitress from the diner and a cranky old security guard to make up the proverbial “village” that’s needed to raise a child. Even a slightly dysfunctional, eccentric village can get the job done unless, of course, a greedy lawyer and his popular quarterback son hate your guts. Game on.

  • Natasha Sinel
    THE FIX
    80,300 words

    Everything should be perfect for seventeen-year-old Macy Lyons – she’s rich, she’s dating the cute boy next door, she has plenty of friends. But Macy is hardened by a dark secret that could ruin her seemingly perfect family. And when she meets recovering addict Sebastian Ruiz, she realizes that keeping the secret could destroy herself.

    Macy’s cousin Scott, whom her parents raised, sexually abused her from ages seven to twelve, and stopped suddenly in one dramatic event. But when Macy comes out with her secret, instead of the relief she hopes for, everything falls apart. Scott denies the abuse, her reliable father disappears on a workaholic binge, she pushes away her best friend, and even Sebastian. Shockingly, it is her mother, whom she has hated for years for not defending her against Scott, who comes through for her. Together, Macy and her mother can try to move their family toward a new future. And she hopes that, despite everything, her future will include Sebastian.

  • Name: Priya Kanaparti
    Title: FOREVER KINDA LOVE
    Word Count: 81,000

    Query:


    Life’s. Little. Surprises.

    The last thing seven-year-old Carrigan “Ace” Casper foresaw was a eight-year-old Heath Lovelly walking into her life the day her mother died. In her darkest hour,he’s a bright, shiny star. From that moment on, Heath sticks by her side, slowly becoming her strength, her need, and her entire world. What she doesn’t know is that she’s his saving grace, too.

    Ten years later, Ace is handed another crippling challenge that threatens everything she holds dear. Only, this time, she doesn’t turn to Heath, pushing him away instead. But Heath won’t back down easily. He’s ready to do whatever it takes until she accepts that their love is the kinda love worth fighting for.

    Will he be her forever triumph or her unexpected downfall?

    Two lives.

    One story.

    And an unexpected journey to falling in love.



    FOREVER KINDA LOVE is a 81,000 word YA contemporary romance, exploring not only the power of young love, but the heartbreak and difficulty of battling teenage leukemia.​

  • Christy Little

    Name: Christy Little
    Title: BACKLASH
    Word Count: 63,000

    Nina never meant to be a bully. But after her longtime boyfriend broke her heart, she just wanted to silence an annoying classmate, Stephanie, who planned to sell details of the humiliating breakup to the highest social bidder. So Nina struck first by taking a nearly nude photo of Stephanie during a locker room confrontation. Sure, it was social blackmail. But Nina didn’t mean for anyone to actually see the pic — just to scare Stephanie into staying quiet and minding her own business.

    But when the photo accidentally goes viral, Nina is called a bully. And a mean girl. And even a potential sex offender. All because of a split-second mistake made in the pressure cooker of high school.

    Now, Nina must fight bullying from her former friends, repair her relationship with her outraged parents and explain her behavior to the police. But she also knows she must make peace with her victim and figure out whether she really is the monster everybody thinks she is.

  • Susan C

    Name: Susan C
    Title: Miss Understanding
    Word Count: 62,000

    Hypothesis:

    Using a foreign country as her laboratory, a high school senior sets out to prove that the phrase “location, location, location” is a significant consideration not only for real estate but also in the dating realm.

    Observations:

    Jane Grey is a reasonably attractive seventeen-year-old female who isn’t about to leave important subjects like finding love in the capital of Romance to something as unpredictable as chance. With a solid understanding of the words amour and liaison, not to mention chic and à la mode, Jane has a strong feeling her dating dry spell is near its end the moment the plane touches down in Paris.
    All her planning pays off when she meets Monsieur Dreamy.

    Results:

    Pending, but as Jane soon discovers, not all variables can be controlled.

  • Thrust into a plot fifty years in the making, teenager Desi Robinson strives to rescue two historic relics, fighting forces which dominate the island of Saint John.

    Winning a school competition and a dream vacation in the Virgin Islands, high school students Desi, Brook, and Lana befriend the curator of the Saint John Museum. Under mysterious circumstances, he tells the girls of two valuable vases vital to the economic security of the island: One which has been stolen, and one to be delivered to the island after a wait of fifty years. It isn’t long before the curator is kidnapped and the girls receive phone calls demanding a code which leads to a hidden treasure.

    The girls’ lives are in danger as they try to make sense of a time capsule, riddles, and car chases. How can they know even the police can’t be trusted? And when they travel deep into the jungle to search for the vase, even nature turns against them as they are attacked by a giant moth. When their boyfriends arrive, a storm at sea forces their sailboat into an eerie cave which might lead to an underground entrance to the thieves’ hideout and the answer to all of their questions.

    Dale S. Rogers
    The Caribbean Code
    30,000 words

  • Name: Joanna Hinsey
    Title: Here To Stay
    Word Count: 57,000

    Query:

    This story is about what comes first: beauty or confidence.

    17-year-old Eden Calloway has always hid behind her best friend Billie, but when a homework assignment causes her to see herself differently, she wakes up feeling like a more attractive version of herself. This buoys her courage and prompts her to talk to rebel poet Hawk Taylor. When he responds with a poem and cup of coffee, she can’t believe her luck.

    Drawn to Hawk and intrigued by his friend Ivy, Eden thinks maybe she could choose something more than the safe, vanilla life she’s always had. Juggling her old life and new friends is more difficult than she imagines though, and one night changes everything. Now she’s grounded, kicked off the volleyball team, and fighting with her old friends, not to mention too busy with her own problems to help her 9-year-old brother. He’s been trying to talk to Eden about Mom’s new boyfriend for weeks, but Eden can’t see past how great a father figure would be for him. If Eden can’t give up her obsession with how things are seen, she will burn everyone—including the boy who’s heard her, and taught her how to be heard.

  • Karrie S

    Name: Karrie S
    Title: As the Firelies Live
    Word Count: 70,000

    Sixteen-year-old Callie Clover is done being the resident punching bag of Montside High. She’s staring down a handful of sleeping pills when she receives a text message:

    >> [Unknown Number] You can always kill yourself later, so why don’t you have some fun first?

    It has to be a prank. No one would know her plans. No one even wants to know her.

    The Unknown Texter keeps Callie alive long enough for her to discover an audition. It’s for a one-time orchestra conducted by her favorite musician at Carnegie Hall. But she only has six months to master the violin, which she hasn’t touched since her mom’s death. With nothing else to live for, she adopts the audition as her last hurrah, while the Unknown Texter and Eric, a mischievous college boy, fill her final days with the fun she thought was impossible with fake IDs and action movie-worthy escapes from her tormentors.

    Callie can’t figure out why they’re helping her. But she needs allies as entering the competition means facing everything she’s run away from: her debilitating social anxiety, her still grieving family, and the bullies who want to knock her down for good. If Callie can’t reclaim her life, she may end it after all.

  • Robin Tzucker

    Name: Robin Tzucker
    Title: Run Away Home
    Word Count: 57,000

    Alissa Jacobs has always wondered what it would be like to be part of a normal family. The years spent bouncing between foster homes and her drug-addicted mom didn’t provide any clues, and her wanna-be-thief brother and long-vanished dad aren’t helping matters either.

    When Alissa learns that her mom is being released from prison she decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands. Alissa and her older brother Trent head north to find the father neither of them remembers in one last ditch attempt to create an ordinary family for themselves.

    But some things just aren’t meant to be and happily-ever-after may not be in the plans for Alissa. The journey from Bakersfield to Seattle is strewn with misadventures as she finds herself caught up in situations that pull her in over her head, from encounters with the police to unexpected betrayals from those she loves.

    Alissa is forced to grapple with the unintended consequences of her decisions as she faces her deepest fears. And confronting questions she has long avoided may be the only way for her to break the bonds of her past.

  • Name: Jessie Devine
    Title: SOME KIND OF QUEER
    Word Count: 54K

    Sixteen-year-old Jamie Kravitz just wants to make it through high school unscathed. It’s proving difficult with a non-binary gender identity and a target on his back. Laura, Cedarcrest High’s Queen Bitch, has had it out for him since she kissed him in junior high—and found out about his vagina later.

    The only person who makes it better is Kenzie, Cedarcrest’s new girl with big dreams and lots of charisma. Kenzie and Jamie are fast friends. She helps him with his struggle to understand his identity, and he supports her through her trials with showbiz. They grow to trust each other to the death, and Jamie thinks he might be falling in love with her.

    When Laura gives Kenzie the opportunity to audition for a TV show, Kenzie is willing to do anything. When a nude picture of Jamie surfaces on Facebook, signs point to her. As betrayals mount and secrets come out, Kenzie has to decide what’s important and Jamie has to decide who to trust, before they lose grip on their dreams and each other.

  • prerna pickett

    Name:Prerna Pickett
    Title: Restoring Casey
    Word Count: 79k

    When seventeen-year old-Casey’s emotionally crippled father hires her crush, the Kyle Chandler, she wonders if he’s finally lost that loose screw in his head.

    This could be Casey’s chance to get Kyle to fall madly in love with her. But it also means he’ll be exposed to the new version of her dad. The one Casey’s dying to get away from as soon as she graduates. When Kyle starts to show signs of reciprocating her feelings, their budding romance gets another wrench thrown in when her East Indian grandparents visit. Armed with conservative ideas on dating and marriage, her grandparents invade every aspect of her life, from the “scandalous” way she dresses, to her romance with Kyle.

    Spending time with her grandparents leads Casey to two discoveries: that their sudden visit has everything to do with her dad, and a promise they made her mother before she died, and that her dad isn’t the only one living in denial. Just when Casey was about to go through with her plan and runway, a second chance to repair the relationship she never thought to have with her dad appears. But first she has to face the truth about herself.

  • Name: Michelle Kemper Brownlow
    Title: M
    Word Count: approx 80,000

    Everyone knows she keeps her name a secrer. Everyone knows to call her M. Everyone knows she’s the fifteen year old who lives in the group home on the corner. But no one knows the reason behind her panic attacks and regular hallway freak-outs.

    Luke Bennett is the least likely student at Penn Valley High School to befriend the dark stranger named M, but he can’t seem to stay away. And it drives M insane. Luke tries to needle his way into her life and when he gets too close she lets him know.

    “Do you know it only takes 2.8 pounds to tear the human ear from the head?”

    “Dammit, M! Let go!”

    “Promise me you won’t ask me about my name again.”

    Her social anxiety wanes when the house mother at BCH (Blessed Children’s Home) requests a visit from her caseworker and her meds are regulated. But when the English teacher at PVHS announces M’s roll in the 11th grade project, there may not be enough anxiety medication on the planet to keep her sane.

    If being the emcee at The Battle of the bands doesn’t kill her, the prank the “pretty people” pull off at the event may give her the final push over the edge.

    M is a story about a lost soul who finds friendship when she wasn’t looking for it, strength in the most difficult of situations and the home she didn’t know existed.

  • Amy Giles

    Name: Amy Giles
    Title: Anywhere But Here
    Word Count: 65K

    When Jessica Nolan’s brother was killed a year ago in her town’s theater massacre, it was her best friend Marceline who helped her get through her grief. But then Marceline is killed in a random shooting. Alone, with no one else to turn to—her mother is mentally ill, her father is a drunk–Jess continues to text her dead best friend out of desperation.

    The last thing Lucas Gianni needed was another person in his life who was irreparably damaged by the same tragedy that killed his older brother. As Jess and Lucas work together at the Warehouse, Lucas and Jess discover that even though they’re both broken, somehow when they put their pieces together, they are whole enough.

    Lucas’ parents aren’t convinced that he should date “someone like Jess,” and Jess is fending off a visit from Child Protective Services, as well as her brother’s drug addicted friend, Ray. When Ray breaks into her home, Jess realizes she can’t do this alone anymore.

    Torn from her parents and Lucas, Jess is running out of time to figure out the big secret Marceline wanted to tell her, the day she died. The answer is in Marceline’s phone.

  • Pat Martinez
    BECOMING BENTLEY
    52,000 words

    The Rolls Royce Bentley: sleek body, impeccable design. Almost sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce, gear head and car geek extraordinaire, feels compelled to live up to her namesake. Not so easy when her body measures like an inverted fraction or a top-heavy Dolly Parton. When Bentley’s best friend is suspended (twice) for defending her against the taunts of the mean-girl crowd, she pushes him away and tries to survive high school in her friendless refuge of car fantasies.

    But Bentley is forced from her car-world bubble when she accepts a challenge to compile a collection of car stories for her sophomore independent project. The stories (from a stolen Chevy returned in better condition, to a swimming pool built into the bed of a truck), and the people who tell the stories, all bring insight, humor, and hope into Bentley’s struggle – enough hope to seek for the one thing she needs and wants more than a driver’s license: a true friend.

    When her new friend drinks, drives and wrecks, Bentley risks her future for her friend’s safety. Caught at the wheel of the wrecked car, Bentley must decide if this friendship is more important than standing up for herself.

  • Angela Maracle

    Name: Angela Maracle
    SOUL SAVER
    88,000 Words

    When the family dog dies, seven-year old Trin convinces her teenage brother Braxton to scan it’s DNA onto the controversial ‘Soul Saver‘, so she can still interact with their pet.
    In a society divided by social class, (Fences and Ditches) only the rich can afford to technologically preserve their dead, but system registration activates subliminal suicide messages. Trin is abducted by the Saver’s creator, who longs to atone for a fatal mistake he made in the past. Braxton’s mother bonds with his sister’s Scan and is unable to cope with two versions of her daughter when the little girl is rescued.
    The relationship between Braxton’s schoolmate Natalia, and her Ditch boyfriend Stem is met with animosity from all sides. The young lovers realize they will never be accepted or truly free, and contemplate joint suicide.
    A news team risks their lives to warn citizens about the Soul Saver, and Braxton’s friend saves him from becoming a victim. Deals with life and death’s blurred boundaries, personal epiphanies, family dynamics, heroism and tragic love.

  • Sarah Kettles
    The Old Creek Bridge
    89,000 words

    When Jack Snyder, a bright boy plagued by a desperate desire to escape his small Southern town, is forced to deal with the tragically explosive death of his grandaddy, he doesn’t; he becomes a self-made pariah, shunning everyone but a teacher, his mother, and Kelly Green while forcing the rest of the town to cope with his emotionally volatile inner ‘monster’. Academic success and the support of these three women allows Jack to grow out of that monster and to leave Ajax – that is, until his daddy gets sick.

    Jack turns to Kelly for comfort when his daddy dies; three months later, he’s made to surrender his dreams and drop out of college to help prepare for his future child. Kelly is kicked out of her house by her conservative parents, and the couple is left with no one to turn to but Grandaddy’s mistress, the only other person in town with a reputation as bad as theirs.

    Kelly’s pregnancy ends in tragedy, forcing Jack to quickly grow up and out of his self-obsession. A route to escape the town that has now truly rejected him has been cleared, and he no longer knows whether or not he wants it.

    • Hi, Sarah! I’d love to read the partial (somewhere around 50 pgs, plus a synopsis, if you have one) of THE OLD CREEK BRIDGE. Please put my name (Kristi) in the subject line and submit following the instructions above. Thanks!

  • Kai Strand
    FINDING THOR
    83,000 words

    As a young girl, Cara Cassidy imagined Thor would crash to the earth, drive his hammer into the ground and save her from unspeakable evil. Six months ago, the evil showed up, and Thor didn’t.

    Psychologically broken after her brother’s suicide, Cara simply doesn’t want to care or feel again. Having a broken psyche is her new persona, and everyone accepts that fact. Until Nik Rock.

    Nik stirs up feelings in degrees she has never experienced before, and causes her to do things that most assuredly give him the wrong impression – like kiss him before their first date. Slowly, he breaks down the walls around her emotions until she has no choice but to forgive herself and feel again.

    But a mysterious, troubled past follows Nik, and Cara may prove to be his weakest link.

    When a royal princess shows up looking for Nik, and an international gang arrives looking for missing jewels, Cara lands in mortal danger. Will she be able to save herself? What will happen to her newly repaired psyche if she loses Nik?

    Finding Thor is a contemporary romance that weaves mystery and high stakes into everyday high school life.

  • Cathrina Constantine
    Title: INCENSE & PEPPERMINTS
    77,600 words

    It’s 1969, an age of peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning of the U.S. flag. An escalation of the Vietnam War languishes behind the scenes of INCENSE & PEPPERMINTS, catapulting a young generation to live life riotously. A music revolution, hippies, marijuana, and drugs, spurring an old and young generation into a new decade.

    The Vietnam War is remote in the village of Lancaster, where it is out of character for fifteen-year-old, Mary to sneak out of school. With this decision, out flunks her sensible side, generating a chain reaction of events: Mary’s first cigarette, her first beer, her first reefer, and her first party with Michael Covington, the freaking new hot guy who rescues her from a fate almost worse than death. Mary’s life is taking a nose dive, and she wonders if Michael will keep her secret, or will her reputation be ruined.

    After his father’s premature death in the Vietnam War, Michael Covington succumbs to adolescent anarchy. With an alcoholic mother and her abusive live-in boyfriend, Michael’s life is unraveling. After a series of brutal mishaps, he is sent North to live with his Aunt and Uncle, only after he detours to Woodstock, New York. In his unwholesome life, Michael discovers a pure soul in Mary and realizes she’s on a wayward journey, a rocking revelry journey. And for some reason, he feels the need to take care of her, and is accused of a lecherous misdeed. A girlfriend is not on Michael’s agenda; his only goal is to graduate with a football scholarship and leave everyone and everything behind.

  • Kim Briggs
    Title: Starr Fall
    Word Count: 71,000

    When the Organization decides that seventeen year old Starr Bishop is not only the model student, but the ideal assassin, Starr needs to escape the island and disappear. Six months of training and a lifetime commitment to the Organization are not on one of her ‘To Do’ lists.

    While in hiding, Starr meets Christian Evergood, dark, moody, and dead sexy. From opposite ends of high school’s social hierarchy, their lives collide in one electrifying moment. Christian makes Starr forget the Organization is after her, but Starr’s life rarely stays normal for long.

    Kidnapped by her long estranged grandparents, Starr becomes a pawn in a game of power, money, and manipulation. She is left with no choice but to take on the very Organization that destroyed her life. One Starr falls, and a killer rises.

  • Name: Rebecca Gomez
    Title: House of Bones: a novel in verse
    Word count: 21,400

    For sixteen-year-old Tara Porter, the house of bones is merely an intriguing subject for her fancy new camera. But during her first photo op, she meets Grayson Thomas, who captures her interest with his gentle manner and smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. The interest is mutual, and through a series of secret meetings, romance blooms.

    All is not picture perfect for the couple. As Tara deals with her conflicted feelings concerning her old-fashioned parents and ailing grandmother, she struggles with guilt about keeping her relationship with Grayson a secret. And Grayson has secrets of his own, as evidenced by the frequent bruises on his cheek.

    But even the darkest secrets eventually come to light. And when they do, Tara and Grayson discover that the house connects them in ways they never could have guessed. It was the scene of a crime that happened years before they were born, leaving both families permanently scarred. Now, for the chance to be with Grayson, Tara must help him to see that he is nothing like his father. And she must convince her own father to shift his focus from the hurts of the past to the hopes of the future.

  • Chelsea

    Chelsea Spear
    Sally Darling: Intrepid Girl Reporter
    50,000 words

    So you’ve been dumped by your best friend and humiliated in front of the student body. How do you deal? If you’re Sally Darling, you ditch class for the local record store…which leads you on a surprising new adventure. While picking up the latest album by her favorite band, Sally has a chance meeting with hotshot editor Matthew Olmstad, who invites her to write for local arts magazine the Skyline. Before long, Sally finds herself reviewing demos by up-and-coming artists and interviewing Dan Callahan, the dashing lead singer for the Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters. The revelation that a fellow outsider’s sister has been tagging local buildings with unusual graffiti inspires Sally to pursue the story…in spite of her inexperience and the potential for trouble it could bring to her friend. Will Sally maintain her allegiances to another outcast, or will her ambitious streak win out?

  • Name: Erin Fanning
    Title: Deathstalker Two-Step
    Word count: 70,000

    Snake wrangling is not how 18-year-old Rafael Padilla planned to spend his summer. But when his older brother Mano decides to become a snake wrangler, Rafael gets sucked into the new profession.

    It’s only been a few months since Mano’s “nervous breakdown” and stay at “the Spa.” At least that’s how he explains the abrupt end to his first year at college and the psychiatric hospital where the school sent him. With their mom’s recent death, Rafael feels responsible for Mano, whose moods swing from manic bowling sessions to curling up in bed too depressed to move.

    During a snake-wrangling job to capture a diamondback rattler, Rafael also finds a deathstalker scorpion, an exotic variety from the Middle East. This leads Rafael and Mano to Cassandra, a gorgeous fish and wildlife agent investigating an outbreak of exotic pets. She introduces Mano and Rafael to the black-market world of animal smuggling. A murder soon occurs and Mano decides to catch the killer, pulling Rafael along with him.

  • Name: Jolene Haley and Haylee Qualls
    Title: Loco Motives
    Word Count: 60,000

    Lennon and Paige Radner like riding the train to school. It’s jam packed with weird people and heck, it beats sitting in the endless Southern California traffic. The commute allows the girls to do what’s important to them: Lennon studies her A.P. vocab words in between glances at longtime crush Huxley Wright and Paige primps while eyeballing the older college boys.

    After conquering freshman year, tenth grade should be as familiar as their daily commute. But life, like public transportation, doesn’t always arrive on time. Or in the Radner sisters’ case, sometimes it doesn’t arrive at your desired destination at all.

    Paige and Lennon’s lives derail when the girls discover their father is sneaking around with a strange woman, Paige’s run for Homecoming Princess is sabotaged, and the man that Lennon thought she’d marry stomps on her heart. The Radner sisters’ preconceived notions of love, family, and life are shaken. Lennon’s control freak tendencies and Paige’s incessant need for adventure have to be tabled if they have any chance of navigating out of the unfamiliar terrain.

    Sophomore year should have come with a warning: Please use the handrails and watch your step.

  • Cathrina Constantine
    Title: INCENSE & PEPPERMINTS
    77,600 word count

    It’s 1969, an age of peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning of the U.S. flag. An escalation of the Vietnam War languishes behind the scenes catapulting a young generation to live life riotously.

    The war is remote in Lancaster, where it is out of character for fifteen-year-old, Mary to sneak out of school. With this decision, out flunks her sensible side, generating a chain reaction of events: Mary’s first cigarette, her first beer, her first reefer, and her first party with Michael Covington, the freaking new hot guy who rescues her from a fate almost worse than death. Mary’s life is taking a nose dive, and she wonders if Michael will keep her secret.

    After his father’s premature death in the war, Michael succumbs to adolescent anarchy. His life is unraveling and is sent to live with his Aunt and Uncle, only after he detours to Woodstock. Michael discovers a pure soul in Mary and realizes she’s on a wayward journey. For some reason, he feels the need to take care of her, and is accused of a lecherous misdeed. A girlfriend is not on Michael’s agenda; his only goal is to graduate with a football scholarship and leave everyone behind.

  • Name: Danielle Justine Thurby
    Title: WHO WE ARE
    Word Count: 103,000

    Maddie Carlisle, a senior and member of the in-crowd elite, is forced to confront the consequences of her decisions when outspoken, eighteen-year-old Cameron Dawson moves in next door, covered in bruises and carrying more secrets than luggage.

    Maddie appears to have it all, but she’s an expert in deceitful appearances. She’s beautiful, popular, and surrounded by her school’s most powerful clique. Too bad her hair is as fake as her smile, and she’d rather be invisible than popular.

    She goes through the motions, loathing her life and dreaming of a different one, when Cameron, the rebellious transfer student shows up and offers her something she isn’t used to: freedom. When she’s told to spy on him she forms a secret friendship with him instead which sparks a romance that can never happen.

    With a drunken father and a dismissive mother, things aren’t stable in Maddie’s household. And Cameron, who knows plenty about instability from his abusive father, is the perfect person to help her deal. The more she learns the clearer it becomes that Cameron isn’t as honest as she thought. Maddie must find the strength to take her life back and save his as well before it’s too late.

  • Name: Wren Handman
    Title: Kind Words and a Gun
    Word Count: 71,000

    “It’s Saturday night, and I have that twitch in my fingers that means trouble. Chris would tell me to take a breath, take a walk with him and cool; but Chris isn’t here, hasn’t been for a long time now, and I know there’s only one way to shake the pressure in my chest.”

    Kind Words follows two orphaned girls on a search for the mysterious benefactors who have shadowed their distinctly separate lives. Emma lives an idyllic life, and the question of who maintains that lifestyle has been like a constant feeling of something missing… but life goes on.
    Sarah, on the other hand, knows that if she ever falls out of the boat her mystery benefactor will be there to catch her – so she’s not just rocking. She’s setting the boat on fire.

    Soon coincidences are piling up; Emma’s support network crumbles; strangers with guns lurk down the alleys of quaint little Crystal Falls; and Sarah realizes that she might burn before she drowns. The murky past leads the pair towards each other and the secret that will throw their lives into turmoil – that some truths are meant to stay buried, and some men hide more than their last names.

  • Bridget Adair

    Bridget Adair
    GLASS HAND
    53,000 words

    Cyra Berque wants two things in life: a date with Rochan and a chance to show the world that a girl with one hand can fence in the Olympics. To make enough money to train at that level, Cyra teaches classes and tutors whenever she can. When her coach tells her he’s taught her everything he can, he sets her up with another coach. Of course, the new coach costs more money. Feeling her dreams slipping out of reach, Cyra agrees to tutor a ballerina with a rich father and a D minus in English. He’ll pay Cyra three times her usual rate if she can get his precious daughter to a passing grade, but the ballerina only has eyes for Rochan. She has promised Cyra to turn her D into a full fledged F if Cyra doesn’t help her win the heart of Rochan.

    Cyra has no intention of giving up either dream.

    GLASS HAND is a YA contemporary retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac with the gender roles reversed.

  • D. G. Driver
    On the Water
    62,000 words

    Dannie is a 14-year-old, sporty California girl, who has to spend 10 days with her grandma near a lake in rural Tennessee while her parents take a vacation to France. She thinks it will be the most boring summer of her life until she runs into some local boys. They mistake Dannie for a boy and invite her to join them for their annual boys-only kayaking trip and campout on an island in the middle of Center Hill Lake. She doesn’t bother to correct them, because she really wants to go. Plus, Lamont, the group’s leader, is pretty handsome. The big problem is that, of course, her grandma won’t let her go. So, her only choice is to sneak off in a rowboat she finds hidden behind the shed.

    An adventure begins as Dannie struggles to catch up with her new friends, uncovers an old family secret, and winds up lost in the middle of a lake in the black of night in a leaky, wooden rowboat that just might be haunted by the ghost of a teenager who drowned 35 years ago.

  • Name: Maggie Patterson
    Title: Banned
    Word Count: 45,000

    When the high school in a small Midwestern town publishes a list of banned books, four teenagers form a secret club to read the list and save the books, their English teacher’s job, and themselves. The four, three girls and one boy, each have their own unique perspectives and personalities and the point of view of the story alternates between all of them.

    In a time when banning books still makes the news regularly, BANNED tells the story of those who stand up for what they believe in, no matter how difficult that can be.

  • Erica Covey

    Name: Erica Covey
    Title: KEEP ME ALIVE
    Word Count: 65,000

    Aspen Parker is surrounded by sharp edges, from her alcoholic mom to her absentee dad. She’s counting down the days until high school graduation, eager to escape her stifling small town and all her problems. Then she meets Max Lamont, the new guy with a mysterious past and the unexpected ability to pull Aspen out of her shell. She sees her pain reflected in his eyes, and for that reason alone, he both frightens and fascinates her.

    Aspen attempts to keep her distance, but Max has the annoying habit of popping up wherever she goes. After surrendering to his pursuit, Aspen discovers he may not be exactly who she thought. When Max finally reveals his own explosive secrets, Aspen risks her already-fractured life to protect him on his journey to confront his own demons. Along the way, they learn the truth about each other, find real friendship, and realize that feeling broken doesn’t mean being too weak to fight for what you need.

  • Name: Genevieve Angelique Artel
    Title: Imperfect Tomorrow
    Word Count: 60,000

    Bree isn’t thrilled at being whistled at, drooled over, or fondly referred to as “beer cart girl,” but she’s been accepted into the Med Scholar program and can’t be too choosy how she fills her piggy bank while working on the private golf course.

    In enters Hayden, one of the country club’s elite members, whose overconfidence leads to one insensitive bet after another…including the affection of Bree’s skeptical heart. Hayden can’t seem to win with Bree until his revealed vulnerability causes her to pause.

    Yet statistically speaking, Bree’s chance for happiness is fifty-fifty. Her fingers start to twitch just as she begins falling in love—an ominous sign that she cannot escape her deepest fear. Bree is sure she is going to die from Huntington’s. Ten years ago, the disease took her father. Today, Bree watches helplessly as her younger sister fights for her life.

    Unable to fully reciprocate Hayden’s feelings without knowing her genetic destiny, Bree decides to get tested for the carrier gene. Her entire life—her dreams, her family, Hayden—is tied to the results.

    Tomorrow will never be the same.

  • Name: Janice Broyles
    Title: Broken
    Word Count: 75,000

    Query:
    Jaime Mattson has secrets. Her mother drinks too much, gets fired too often, and becomes broken-hearted too easily. If handling her mother wasn’t difficult enough, hiding the demons of their past is simply too much. So Jaime shuts herself off from others, tries to be invisible, and deals with the pain on the inside by cutting on the outside.
    Jaime finds herself in a new town with her mother promising to “turn over a new leaf.” They can only afford a one bedroom cottage at Earl’s Fishing Paradise, and that’s if they work for Earl as housekeepers. Jaime knows to just bide her time; her mother is bound to get drunk, get fired, or get dumped within months, but she wasn’t expecting her mother to meet John, a widower with a five year old daughter. She wasn’t expecting her mother to truly start to change. She wasn’t expecting her mother to find love.
    Her only escape is school where she can go through a portion of the day thinking about anything other than her home life. But no one will leave her alone there either. From the student council president to a trio of girls who are determined to break through Jaime’s barriers, Jaime has to work to hide her secrets.
    Until she meets Dorrin. Another loner like herself, he keeps showing up, offering to help her clean the rooms, or asking her to go with him on long walks. Jaime wants to push him away, wants to keep her barrier firmly in place. But it’s slipping. If she lets him, Dorrin will show her how love can forgive the past and heal a wound no matter how deep its cut.

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