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PW #201: YA Contemporary: CAST IN SHADOW

Monday, 2 November 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Phil Stamper
Mentee Name: Lucinda Troy
Title: CAST IN SHADOW
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 61,000

Pitch:

Tomoe Ikeda is as skilled in her ninja training as she is at getting into trouble. But when a failed heist ignites a feud with rival shinobi, the conflict threatens not only her school, but her life. Being a twenty-first century ninja wasn’t supposed to be this complicated.

Excerpt:

Ninja.

So many myths surrounded us. Silent assassins. Invisible spies. Mercenaries without allegiance or honor. It all sounded very dramatic.

But really, all I wanted was to win my bet.

I stared at the ceiling, letting my body sink into stillness. Silent. Focused. I’d bandaged the nicks I’d gotten from training with Parker-sensei. They’d heal fast enough. But my sternum ached with each measured breath. That would take longer to go away, although I’d deserved nothing less for losing control of my momentum. A rookie shinobi mistake.

My heartbeat sped up at the thought of my clumsiness. My skin tingled with a mixture of embarrassment and shame. Angrily, I pushed it from my mind. I forced myself to take deep, even breaths. Concentrated on tonight’s goal. If I wanted to slip out of the dorms, the other girls had to think I was asleep. Despite the mess of a day, a smile tugged at my lips.

My fingers ghosted over the homemade smoke bomb tucked in my pocket. I couldn’t wait to try it out.

When the last of the girls around me settled into a heavy sleep, I made my move. Soundlessly, I unwrapped myself from my bedding and pulled on black jeans, a black t-shirt, and black shoes. Color that blended with the night. I’d hoped for an overcast evening, but the light from a bright, full moon filtered through the windows. It made my job infinitely harder.

Good thing I loved a challenge.

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