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Team Brenda #7 – SPARK

Thursday, 17 May 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
Title: SPARK
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 61,000

It’s just like seventeen-year-old, Taisie Monahan, to fall flat on her face the first day at her new school in her deceased mother’s hometown. When the popular clique in school accepts her into their group, she goes from zero to hottie in a flash, but their friendship comes at price.
When nightmares of a ghostly girl stalking Taisie her entire life invade the real world, she finds solace in the arms of a mysterious biker boy. Soon Taisie learns she’s the missing piece to a centuries old prophecy and her new found friends will stop at nothing to make sure she fulfills her destiny.
In a twisted séance game, the clique tries to transfer the dead girl’s spirit into Taisie to stop an evil spectral from coming back to life. During the ritual, Taisie discovers that her mother’s soul is imprisoned by the spectral and he will use it to get his hands on Taisie’s unharnessed powers.
Forced to choose between her mother’s soul and her own freedom, Taisie must embrace her true identity and trust her new friends to save the ones she loves or lose her soul forever.
Pressing myself against a brick wall, I tried to catch a break from the sea of students flowing through the floodgates of Saint Isabel High. I’d never seen so many name-brand clothes in one place before. I took a step forward and then quickly returned to the safety of the wall. 
Get a grip. People are staring. 
I tried to will myself to listen, to move away from the wall, but my fear kept me locked into place like a statue held by chains. Acting like a mess wasn’t going to make my old rep of being a freak-girl go away in this school any easier.
“Hey! Come here!” My breath caught when the hot jock yelled and waved at me. Or what I wanted to be me. After all, didn’t I try to make myself look like his type when I got up that morning?
My finger lightly swiped across my sorry excuse for lipstick, kicking up a slight hint of cherry from my lip balm, making me feel like a little girl in big girl clothing. My legs wanted to run away, but my brain ordered me to act like this was nothing new and walk over to him as if I’d done it a million times. No one knew the old me. The one I’d left behind. I could be different here. I just had to act the part. 
I managed to plaster a huge fake smile across my face as I strolled over to him.

Filed: Misc

  • Ooo a twisted séance game? Spirits? Spectrals? YES!

  • Sarah Ahiers says:

    ooh i really love ghosts! And i’m with Erica – seance’s rock!

  • TYHatch says:

    Sounds dark! And starting school in a new place, totally scary.

    Good luck!

  • Valerie says:

    Whoa! I want to know what the hot jock wanted and you cut me off! Can I read some more?? 🙂

  • T.L. Bodine says:

    I would have been all over this as a teen. Oh, who am I kidding, I still am.

  • Jamie Grey says:

    Yep. I’d love to read this in a heartbeat! Awesome concept and great writing!

  • Becca C. says:

    Waaaaant it – so much potential for twisted, witchy awesomeness. Go Team Brenda!

  • Leigh Ann says:

    You had me at “twisted seance game.” 🙂

    Love your first page! Feel sorry for that poor girl right away. 🙁 Great work.

    Good luck!!!

  • April Wall says:

    Give me ghostly and evil any day! Good luck!

  • Great job on your query! I love all the new details – such a tease, it makes me want more! I like the little changes to your first page too. Good luck!

  • Lisa K. says:

    This sounds deliciously creepy!

  • You had me at ‘mysterious biker boy’. 😉 This sounds chilling!

  • Julia King says:

    Jennie, the “mysterious biker boy” is HOT! Good luck Jamie!

  • Dahlia says:

    Love this intro; I’m already feeling for the MC in a big way! Good luck!

  • Noelle Henry says:

    Really like the conflict of having to choose between her mother’s soul and her own freedom. What a tough choice to make! Great entry. Good luck!

  • I love the first line of your query. I also love the opening scene! As a teacher myself, I can picture this scene perfectly. Good luck to you!

  • Alex Hayman says:

    Wow, this sounds compelling and creepy. Good luck!

  • I remember this one!! It was one of my favorites when I was reading the original 200 entries!!

    I think you are going to do awesome!! Good luck!!

  • Tara Dairman says:

    #7 SPARK


    I think that there’s too way much going on in this query—characters are introduced and dropped, like the biker boy or the “dead girl’s spirit” (OK, maybe that’s not a character, but it shows up out of nowhere and then disappears), and to me every paragraph reads like it could be the synopsis of a different book. Even if all of these things happen in the book. I think that you need to pick the one or two most important plot threads and refocus the query on those. What’s the main conflict? Taise vs. the popular girls? Taisie vs. the spectral?

    First page:

    I actually like this first page very much. Starting a YA book on the first day at a new school has definitely been done a lot before, so I wonder whether you might have a more distinctive place to start…but I can see the scene clearly, empathize with the MC, and you leave me wanting to know what’s going to happen next. In other words, I think that the writing is strong. I’d love to see your query capture some of the straightforwardness and relatability of this first page.

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