Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Lee Gjertsen Malone
Mentee Name: Jennifer Ray
Title: THE GIRL IN THE GARDEN
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 41,000 words
While visiting historic Mirror Lake, eleven-year-old Brooke meets Elizabeth, a mysterious girl living a century earlier. When Elizabeth becomes dangerously ill, an unexpected connection is revealed and Brooke must find a way to change the past – or risk her own future.
Free at last! The words from that Martin Luther King video they made us watch every year in school echoed inside my head as I jumped down the porch steps, the screen door banging behind me.
“One hour, Brooke!” Mom yelled from inside. “I mean it. No disappearing.”
“I know,” I called over my shoulder.
A flash of pink made me look up and I immediately wished I hadn’t. Sophie stared back at me from our bedroom window, her nose squashed against the glass. Besides the pink tutu, she still wore last night’s pajama top, and her hair stuck out in all directions like a crazed porcupine. Our eyes locked and I whirled around, almost crashing into Dad, who was hauling the last of the luggage up the front walk.
“Whoa, where are you off to?” he asked, reaching over to steady the bag of golf clubs he’d balanced on top of my sister’s Minnie Mouse suitcase.
“Just for a walk. Mom said it was okay.”
Dad’s thick brows pulled together and I shifted my weight, praying he wasn’t about to ask me to take Sophie. I’d already maxed out on family togetherness, and the last thing I needed was Princess Peculiar sticking to me like dryer lint.
“Okay,” he finally answered. “But I want you to settle in before dinner, so don’t lose track of time. Are you wearing a watch?”
“No, but I can hear the clock tower. I won’t be late.” I darted a quick glance back at the house, but the window was empty now.