Today is Shelley Watter’s Birthday Blowout Blogfest Contest (Happy birthday, Shelley!!!) with agent, Victoria Marini. I was hoping to have my new project completed so that I could enter its first 250 words into the contest. But, alas, I failed at finishing it in time. I decided to post Library Jumpers instead. Some of you have read it before, and I apologize for boring you. Actually, I’ve been querying Library Jumpers and I get mix comments about the beginning. Some agents say it goes too fast and others say it starts too slow *scratches head*. I came up with two beginnings and I was wondering if you all could read both and tell me which one works best for you.
Title: Library Jumpers
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 91,000
1st Beginning . . .
I swallowed my breath mint when some hot guy across the reading room busted me staring at him. I completely froze, unable to tear my eyes away from him. He totally stood out in the conservative atmosphere of the library with his messy brown hair and tight leather gear. His intense gaze held me for several seconds before I shot my eyes at Afton. Submerged in a book on the Salem witch trials–a strand of her dark hair-weave all twisted around her finger–she hadn’t even noticed him. A gust of wind came from his direction and rustled the pages of her book. I swung my eyes back to him. He was gone.
“What the . . .?” I blurted and stood to get a better view of the large reading room. The biography on Samuel Adams slipped from my hand and clunked onto the table.
“Shhh, Gia.” Afton glared over her book at me. “Hello? We’re in a library.”
We weren’t in just any library. We were in the Boston Athenaeum, an exclusive library with a pricey annual fee. Afton’s father got her a membership at the start of summer. It’s a good thing her ticket in allows tag-alongs, since my pop would never splurge like that, not when the public library is free.
“What’s wrong?” Afton asked.
My eyes flicked around the reading room searching for the guy. In the core of the room, a collection of antique furniture and sculptures surrounded large walnut tables with leather chairs.
2nd beginning . . .
The bloated dark clouds spattered rain against the polyester shield of my faded-red umbrella, threatening to dampen my good mood. I strangled the wobbly handle while dodging hurried shoppers along the tiny makeshift aisle of Haymarket, Boston’s famous outdoor produce market. Every Friday and Saturday canopies bloom and produce stands sprout up in the early morning hours in the middle of the bustling city, where venders shout their wares over tangled conversations and the howl of the nearby traffic. The site, just off the North End, is totally packed and stinky. The fruits and vegetables sold there are rejects from nearby supermarkets. Basically, they’re sort of edible and crazy cheap.
“Limes!” an older Italian man with a huge belly yelled. “Twelve for a dollar!”
I skirted around a group of slow-moving tourists.
“Real Sugar Cane!” a craggy woman bellowed over the crowd, her weather-battered face looking just like brown leather.
“A buck a pound!” another man shouted as he held up a tomato in his sausage-sized fingers.
“Fish! Fresh off the boat,” a shorter man lied.
The stench from the fish gagged me and I hurried past the booth, holding my breath. I rushed up the street, my sandals slapping against the wet pavement. The rain slobbered my legs, and I cursed my friend, Afton, for insisting I wear a skirt today. Breaking through the crowd, I continued up the street to the Haymarket entrance to The T, Boston’s subway system.
Across the street, my two best friends huddled under a black umbrella.
Thanks for stopping by and stop over at Shelley’s blog Is It Hot In Here Or Is It This Book? to check out all the other participants entries.