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Monday, 2 November 2015  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

Pitchwars Badge (Square MG)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Jenna Lehne
Mentee Name: Wendy Parris
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Mystery
Word Count: 45,000


Desperate to save her grandparents’ failing Wisconsin lake resort from demolition, twelve-year-old Mia begs a Ouija board for help. A ghost named Gus responds, claiming knowledge of long-lost cash hidden onsite. Thrilled, Mia follows his sketchy clues, until she discovers Gus was a Chicago bank robber who disappeared in 1932—and his ghost is after her big brother. Clock ticking, Mia must find the loot to bail out the resort before her brother sleeps with the fishes and her family’s legacy disappears forever.


For Mia Molloy, summer never officially began until she dove into Full Moon Lake.

Luckily, her grandparents understood this. The second their beat-up Jeep stopped next to the Tamarack Landing lodge, Mia opened the passenger door and hit the ground running. She peeled down to her bathing suit, flinging her T-shirt and shorts on the grass as she raced toward the edge of the bluff, joy bubbling in her chest.

Behind her a screen door creaked and a voice whooped, “Finally!”

Mia grinned, picturing her best bud Connor McGee bursting out of the ranch house next door, but she couldn’t wait for him. She kept going, skittering down the stone steps to the beach, tearing across the warm sand, pounding along the aluminum dock. Reaching the end, she launched herself into the air, sailing free for one glorious split-second and then—whoosh!—plunged headfirst into the icy Wisconsin water.

A muffled roar filled Mia’s ears as she shot downward, her thick black hair streaming away from her face. The second her fingertips struck the reeds she reversed course, legs scissoring, arms sweeping, until she broke through the lake’s surface and inhaled a gulp of fresh, piney air.

Summer had started.


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